"I would like to add that we could save more money and our heritage by limiting education in Idaho to the eighth grade. After all, we don't need this "humanitarian, scientific" indoctrination of our children. Knowing how to write their names should be enough. And look at the money it would save. No high school. "
To Mr. Simmons,
Really? No chemistry, physics, or algebra? Not to mention language classes (so students can be aware that's there's a world outside the English-speaking Euro-centric one?). There's a reason that Hitler and Himmler's ultimate goal for Poles was an education limited to the eighth grade. Do you want a state with a tiny elite and vast masses of half-educated workers? How can you be so unabashed about such idiocy? Have you watched the movie "Idiocracy?" Your comments are ridiculously laughable. Instead, I just find them sad.
I agree with J. Goldsberry's comments regarding Tom Luna's proposal. I had the same type of teachers that were only there for a paycheck. Only a few select took a personal interest in their own teaching habits, let alone an interest in any of the students. I have studied Tom Luna's proposal and I believe there are some very good changes that are coming down the pike. His ideas are clear and concise, they are productive, and cost effective. Teacher productivity needs to be made a focus in order for student productivity to increase. This is only a start, but it is a good start. Student laptops are a thing of the future. It is common practice in most college courses and promotes increases learning ability. Simply stated, welcome to the year 2011.
Project Filter’s continuing issue with BW running SNUS ads, as I stated before, has partly to do with the contradiction between BW’s stated mission “to contribute to the well-being of the community” and that of RJ Reynolds, which is to make millions by addicting new customers and keeping their existing ones. Yes, it offends our sensibilities that BW continues to run these ads. In no way, however, does Project Filter want to insult the intelligence and independent-mindedness of BW’s readers.
For decades, numerous studies have shown that media and advertising does influence individuals to use and to start using tobacco products (much like the way they influence people to purchase a type of soda or sneaker). If this were not the case, I can’t imagine that tobacco companies (or Nike) would spend the millions they do each year to advertise their products. A very recent study found that media, peer influence, and secondhand smoke exposure were the most important factors influencing smoking initiation and were common to all racial/ethnic groups in that study. Here’s the reference: Peers, Tobacco Advertising, and Secondhand Smoke Exposure Influences Smoking Initiation in Diverse Adolescents. American Journal of Health Promotion 2011 25:3, e1-e11.
Above all, these SNUS ads do nothing but promote a continued addiction to nicotine. RJR’s claim that switching to snus as a way to get people to stop smoking is just false. There is no data to support that statement. This nationwide SNUS campaign of theirs is well-funded and intense. Big tobacco knows that SNUS appeals to teens in school because the product can be hidden from sight. But if you read the posts on Facebook, snus is not substituting for a smoking habit. Do a search on Camel Snus or Snus and you’ll discover that the product’s ability to go undetected is exactly why it’s so appealing to youth while they’re in school.
Yes, BW needs to run a business, but it’s disheartening that this is how they’re staying in business. Keep in mind: Tobacco companies spend $58 million a year marketing their unhealthy products in Idaho. And Idahoans spend $319 million a year to cover the healthcare costs of smoking-related illnesses.
We understand that BW is in the business to keep their publication on the newstands, but their long-standing publishing of articles addressing other important health-related and social justice issues run smack into conflict with their choice of this advertiser. Project Filter’s role as a state public health agency is to continue to speak out against the harmful effects of tobacco. We’re not overzealous, but we certainly are passionate about the work we do.
I wish people would do some research about Snus before lumping it into the same category as cigarettes. Snus is associated with far lower cancer rates than cigarettes, mostly because you don't smoke them. It may not be as good as an apple for you, but in terms of harm reduction, I think we should be encouraging all smokers to start snusing. In addition to reducing the harm, people like K won't know when people around him/her are snusing.
I'm betting that quitting smoking will NOT be 'the hardest thing I ever do'...THAT award goes to taking my best friend, Nacho (yes, a cat, LOL) in to be put to sleep at age 18 due to kidney failure/cancer last year...never had to suck it up like I did to do that, I cried for a week, non-stop afterwards...(I doubt quitting smoking will cause me to shoot the waterworks like a pre-teen girl the way THAT did...jeez, at least I HOPE not!...;)
Thanks for your kind words and support...and hey, did you see, we got mentioned in this weeks 'Civility' editorial in BW!...;)
You're so right, K. I often, unfortunately, realize after the fact that I've badly communicated my message. You helped highlight that in your comment. And all my support goes your way in quitting smoking. It's the toughest thing you'll ever do, but it can be done. That sounds like a great New Year's resolution. All my best wishes to you for a productive and healthy 2011!
You should have explained your case like THAT in the letter you submitted to the paper...I cannot disagree with a single word you said, I agree on everything concerning that stupid Snus crud...I'm a smoker, and will likely quit in a few years (as it is, it's my ONLY vice, I do not drink, do drugs, etc at all) but for now I enjoy it...but I always make sure to smoke in places outdoors (even at home), well away from others (at least 100 ft...why subject them to MY nasty habit, right?...;)
Again, well said...and CIVILLY said...thank you.
I’m sorry you missed the point of my comment, but, most likely, I wasn’t clear enough.
The fact is, Boise Weekly regularly runs articles and publishes ads related to health and social justice issues. The paper routinely covers these topics: HIV Aids, equal pay, climate change, food insecurity and poverty, gun control, nuclear waste … I could go on and on.
Yet, when it comes to tobacco, an issue directly related to health and social justice, we rarely see a mention of it in the Weekly. Instead, prime ad space is given up to an industry that has a well-documented, shady history when it comes to targeting ethnic groups such as blacks and hispanics, the LGBT population, and lower socioeconomic individuals. The tobacco industry knows full well that smoking rates in most of these individual groups are the highest in the nation. These individuals are the most addicted among us.
I work in public health. Perhaps I should have identified myself fully in my initial comment. I’m doing so now only to help make my point clearer and to let you know that I did pick and choose—I picked the one thing I’m the most passionate about. And, tobacco has far more serious health and economic consequences than alcohol and whatever sex issues you referred to.
The Camel Snus ads are blatant in their claims that switching to snus will help a smoker quit smoking. What the company omits telling customers is that the people who switch will still be addicted to nicotine, making it far more difficult for them to actually quit smoking. The addiction is still there, and when an occasion arises when cigarettes are more available than the snus, the individual will smoke.
If BW is going to take the time to thoughtfully cover other issues about health and social justice and to also make the claim that their mission is to contribute to the well-being of the community, providing ad space to an industry that does nothing but promote sickness seems counter to that mission.
@ Jean Calomeni, Boise:
After reading your complaint/letter, I looked about in vain for another you may have penned wherein you complain about the liquor ads, sex ads, etc always seen in newspapers such as the BW...hmmm...nowhere to be seen.
So I guess you just pick and choose whatever YOU find offensive to bellyache over, NOT the products and services that actually ARE the most harmful or offensive?
Yeah, really does suck how those printed ads FORCE one to buy their products, don't it?
Truly, I pity your obvious inability to think and make rational decisions FOR YOURSELF, as most BW readers do. Good luck with those 'other papers' you spoke of, as I'm more than willing to bet they too will be advertising SOMETHING you do not agree with...maybe you should stick with coloring books, they don't have any advertising, do they?
Hey Jan (RE, 'Sin Tax')...
I'm a smoker, and I agree with what you proposed almost 100% (could we make the increase just a tad LESS than the $1.50 per pack you proposed, tho? How about 75 cents? I've made myself a promise, when generics hit 5 bucks a pack, it's time to quit...;)
See, unlike many who bitch and complain at the notion of 'their taxes being raised', I am fine with it, if it means helping those that need it. And I live in a small appartment (will likely never own a house, but who cares? I stink at home repair and when something breaks/needs replacing in an apartment, it's taken care of, FOC...;)...my income is way down there in the 'lower middle class' region, but I am proud to participate in helping out my fellow Idahoans/USA residents.
Too bad the self absorbed, petulant, egomaniacal 'I earned it, it's all MINE!' crowd, known as the 'top 2%' of our richest doesn't see it the same way, huh?
Good idea tho...I support you in your thinking, Jan...just a shame that there are doubtlessly others who will pitch their little fits and stamp their little feet at the idea of sacrifice for others. Not very American...is it?
Thanks, BW, for running my letter. As soon as I got on your site to look for it, I ran into an ad from K12, the online, for-profit education company that has the taxpayer-funded Idaho Virtual Academy contract. K12 has been advertising aggressively to poach students from our neighborhood schools. What a way to prove the point in my last sentence!
People interested in reading more about K12 may enjoy a commentary I wrote last week at Facebook. I'd suggest reading it before Election Day! But it'd also be a good story for an interpid BW reporter to look into post-November 2 ... say, when the Idaho Legislature is looking for more ways to slash school funding during the Ides of March.
I understand Mr. Storey's concerns about the advertising style being used by proponents of HJR4. However, there is a very real connection between federal health policy changes (from this administration or any other) and HJR4. There are countless mandates from Washington DC that impact hospitals...some good, some bad. The idea is that HJR4 gives hospitals more options on how best to meet the requirements of those mandates and the many rules and regulations that come from the Feds. Regardless of your opinion of the current form of health reform, HJR4 gives hospitals flexibility to meet the requirements. HJR4 definitely deserves a YES vote.
Kudo's Ringelsletter, it's sad to lose Old Boise Guitar...can't imagine what it's long time owner Johnny Shoes is feeling about now. Also have to agree about the musician thing. For a long time, I've wondered about a seeming lack of support for local artists. I am not a musician, but I have always been a concert junkie who's observed this odd cultural myth that if it isn't from out of town, it isn't worth seeing. Festivals, like Eagle Fun Days are notorious for spending big bucks on out-of-state bands. Truthfully, Idaho is rich with great musicians, and no one can have a greater impact,and perhaps social responsibility, for getting them heard than the Boise Weeekly and writers like Michael Deeds. I enjoy reading their work, but when you look at the multitude of out-of-town bands being paid big bucks to perform in the Boise area virtually every day, it gets downright ridiculous...if not tragic...like the closing of Old Boise Guitar.
i love boise weekly. they provide a great mix of local news, culture, reviews and upcoming events. they were one of the first things i grabbed when i moved to the area and i still pick up a copy almost every week. if "killing trees" is really your biggest gripe RECYCLE - otherwise leave BW alone. they are doing a great job! (the only thing that would make them better is using some of my art for their covers)
keep rockin BW.
Actually, Jason is dead right. After Rall and Cope, there's not much else you can get your teeth into in the Boise Weekly. The reviews of cheap Mexican eateries that go on and on about the heavenly re-fried beans, are banal, to say the least. As to the coldest beer in town, did anyone ever think that the reason it's so cold is because it has no taste? For crying out loud, give us some substance... Otherwise you will end up as a weekly version of the daily "Bronco Bugle." Otherwise known as the Idaho Statesman.
Hey Cody Kerns:
Thanks for what was obviously intended as a satirical letter...VERY funny stuff, there! Especially loved the ' Ted Rall (who, to his credit, called for Obama's impeachment 15 months ago)' bit...just hysterical! Obama being impeached for all the positive work he has done...HCR, lowering taxes (the lowest now since 1950, by the way), opening up stem cell research again, upping woman's pay, saving the economy, and so on...when GW Bush, who lied us into a billion plus 'war' and killed thousands of good Americans, ruined our worldwide rep and SO much more...was NEVER impeached...very funny stuff! Or your bit about 'Obama surged Afghanistan and that it's his tar baby. Ditto Gitmo', when anyone with an IQ past double digits KNOWS that GW (again) was responsible for getting us stuck in Afghanistan/Gitmo to begin with (hardly Obama's 'tarbaby...oh, nice racist remark too, by the way...HYSTERICALLY ironic!)...truly funny, funny stuff!
So thanks again for the bellylaughs...truly, you are a gifted humorist...I mean, just thinking about how anyone could take all that gibbersih SERIOUSLY is making me start to chuckle again!
Searle47 almost got it right. The fascists and the socialists are fighting it out in the streets while our country is actually being run by the Oligarchy of the top 1% that own this country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
Patrick T. Storey: Use the bike lane if there is one. If there is not, ride as though there were.
At the risk of belaboring this to death... if that implies that the cyclist should always ride at the right edge of the road (?), that's GENERALLY okay, but not ALWAYS the best practice.
The exception... if I'm riding on a road that's too narrow for a cyclist and motor vehicle to safely operate side-by-side, I don't want a motorist to get the idea that he can squeeze on by. It would be much safer for him to wait for an opportunity to pass me using part of the adjacent lane. So I'll ride far enough out in the lane that he doesn't risk his paint job and my life by zooming on past.
Is that selfish? If self-preservation is selfish... gulty as charged! Is it selfish for a motorist to get all bent if I delay his trip by 5 or 10 seconds, while he waits for a safe opportunity to go by? (Most motorists understand the problem and are very cooperative. The 5% or so who don't are probably aggressive drivers who frequently have "road issues" with multiple road users.)
Get there safe!
Hey Bob Kiah:
Mean spirited, hinting at violence to those that oppose your 'thinking', plus an epic fail at attempting to be humorous...a true GOP hat-trick...well done, I'm sure Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and the Ghost of Reagan would be proud.
Good luck with the hate, my man...
JMarc - you may perceive that you are safer on the sidewalks than riding with traffic, but that isn't accurate. Statistically, it's meaningfully safer for cyclists to ride on the roads, than on sidewalks. (Obviously a bike lane is an added bonus!)
On the sidewalk, you are dealing with traffic that is both faster and slower than you are. More importantly, motorists - including the ones who are distracting themselves with texing, calling, eating, etc. - are NOT expecting you there. You put yourself at risk at every intersection, curb cut, etc., from cars approaching from both directions.
Perceptions can deceive. Obviously there are other cyclists who feel they are safer when riding against traffic... they are endangering themselves and everybody else!
Check out that bicyclesafe website - it has explanations with illustrations. Very informative.
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