Mail December 12-18, 2007 

Call Me Liberal

I doubt that Ted Rall needs anyone to defend him, but I must object to the attack on him by Robert Vasquez (BW, Guest Opinion, "Hey Ted: Quit Whining," Nov. 21, 2007). I, for one, am glad to see war devalued as a method of problem-solving. I am happy that a few enlightened individuals have begun to point out the terrible cost in human suffering, as opposed to glorifying the political or religious or patriotic reasons as to why war is important or even necessary. Such jingoism now seems a little anachronistic. To me, it is weird that human beings still think they can prove their superiority by killing each other.

Robert Vasquez seems to despise the word "liberal," but part of the definition of liberal is being open to change. If that is intended as a scathing criticism, I'll take it. That is one accusation that would never be leveled at Mr. Vasquez.

—Carol Bachelder, Boise

Wolf Harvest?

It's an appropriate time for this to appear, what with Idaho ready to pass the Idaho Wolf Management Plan (BW, Opinion, A Too-True Wolf Tale, Nov. 28, 2007).

Interesting note: The name was changed from the Idaho Wolf Harvest Plan. It mentions possible use of poison, traps and aerial gunning to wipe out 70 percent or more of Idaho's present wolf population. While Idaho conservation groups took part in a "stakeholder" group run by the Idaho Fish and Game, neither the Idaho Conservation League nor Defenders of Wildlife accept the current plan.

You can comment against the Idaho Wolf "Management" plan, and view information as to why delisting is currently a bad idea, at Our.Idaho

—Rick Hobson, Boise

Wolves Ain't Cute

Having lived in Alaska for 27 years so far and somewhat familiar with and a fan of wolves as a wild critters, I read Brian Connelly's story with interest and amusement (BW, Opinion, "A Too-True Wolf Tale," Nov. 28, 2007). I suggest he read Alaska's Wolf Man: 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser, by Jim Reardon. Glaser had a great appreciation for wolves—but he didn't devolve into romanticism and "Disneyfication." The myth of wolves only taking the old and infirm has long been refuted. As an example, they'll often target pregnant caribou as they present large numbers of slower moving, available prey. And many instances are reported of what can only be termed as wolves killing for sport. Nature is always fascinating, harsh, and often as not, unavailable to be forced into our desired shape. Bears kill their own cubs and eat cute little moose calves, sometimes while they're still alive. It's not a cute, shared picnic out there.

—David Whitmire, Alaska

The Only Studio?

I am writing in response to the Steve Fulton interview (BW, Citizen, "Steve Fulton," Nov. 28, 2007). In the article, Steve wrongly stated that the Audio Lab and Tonic Room are the only two studios in Boise that can accommodate live/full bands. Steve knows much better than that. I own, operate and engineer Project Seven studios here in town. I record live/full bands on a very regular basis. I very recently recorded New York band Skeleton Key (a full band) and have done many, many local albums of full bands through the years (low-fi, Bovalexia, the Treatment, the Pirkqlaters, just to name a few). In my studio. And I know of other studios in town that work with full bands also: Boise Records, Osmosis, Speck Studios, Permanent Records, just to name a few. Studios all have a unique sound, and I feel that certain artists gravitate to different studios and engineers to achieve the sound that they want. And Steve Fulton knows this. I am not sure of his motives in the statement, but as a citizen of the week, he should embrace competition and other artistic outlets around them, not omit them in bold statements like that. Thank you for the soapbox.

—Andy Agenbroad, Boise


I know how you feel, Bill (BW, Cope, "Info-lution," Dec. 5, 2007). It seems as though the use of rational argument to dispel the myths and confusion regarding the science of evolution has the opposite effect. The "faith-based" community grows louder and angrier inspite of the overwhelming evidence that their viewpoint is incorrect (at best). The reason for this is that when someone is too emotionally attached to an idea, they will not "hear" any reason-based argument that aims to destroy their belief. We all have these blind spots.

I saw the program and loved every moment of it. It's so cool to be living in a time when people like R. Dawkins, C. Hitchens, S. Harris and D. Dennett can be heard above the din of American religious stupidity.

—Billy Braun, online


You must have missed it, Bill, but the ACLU sponsored a debate between our own Bryan Fischer and one of the ACLU lawyers that argued the case in court (BW, Cope, "Info-lution," Dec. 5, 2007). I almost fell out of the chair laughing when Fischer said that many of the world's best scientists never believed in evolution—scientists such as Copernicus, Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton. What an idiot! They were all long dead when Darwin proposed the idea of evolution. I got a couple of glares from Fischer's followers though. The ACLU lawyer was very respectful and calmly made the case he had made on the trial. Fischer didn't help himself by completely ignoring the argument and just kept spouting his party line. On a somewhat related note, my friend had a good idea for a bumper sticker, "Republicans—have it your way in Paraguay." I think we should all chip in and pay the plane fare.

—BigGear, online


We really wish that in our Bad Cartoon issue (BW, Feature, "Bad Cartoon," Dec. 5, 2007) we had correctly noted that "The Animals are always the First to Know" cartoon was drawn by Katie Garrett.

We didn't mean to scare New York Times crossword puzzle fans, but we should have made the title of last week's puzzle Two Out Of Three. It was done by Trip Payne and edited by Will Shortz.

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