FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS
I am concerned that Boise State University has sold the naming rights of the Pavilion to Taco Bell (BW, News, Nov. 3). I am proud to be a 2001 graduate of Boise State. However, I am not proud that the University has entered into this alliance. The tomatoes supplied to Taco Bell restaurants are not picked in humane conditions. Tomato pickers in Florida must work 10- to 12-hour days and have to pick two tons of tomatoes to earn $50 in one day. This is not a livable wage. Yum! Brands (the parent company of Taco Bell) has the power to put pressure on its growers to ensure that workers are paid a fair wage. Until tomato pickers that supply Taco Bell restaurants are paid a fair and just wage, Boise State University should sever ties with Taco Bell. While it may be that local Taco Bell restaurants do not use tomatoes picked in Florida, they nonetheless benefit from the brand recognition of the Taco Bell logo--a logo that represents the exploited sweat and blood of tomato pickers in Florida.
Thank you for sharing the phone call you received from Dennis Johnson (BW, Letters, Nov. 10) with the rest of us so we can see what a superior person a Bush supporter really is. People so discouraged by the election that they feel they need a new role model will certainly be inspired by this person's good nature and keen intellect. I feel a little better about Kerry losing now that I get to see the true colors of a conservative.
FROM HANOI TO BAGHDAD
What does the reelection of President Bush mean? Many, including myself, believe it sends a message to the terrorists that America will never surrender. However, it does invite comparisons to the reelection of President Nixon.
Anyone who, on November 8, 1972, believed we were on track for American/South Vietnamese victory would be doomed to disappointment. Is the Iraqi National Guard analogous to Nixon's "Vietnamization" leading to the Communist victory of April 1975? Surviving South Vietnamese veterans say it is myth that the ARVN collapsed for lack of American babysitters. Nixon was courting Red China, and besides withdrawing troops he was withdrawing American material support. At the same time Zhou Enlai was increasing support of the NVA.
Nixon could afford to take a dive in Vietnam. He probably knew the "domino theory" was an exaggeration of Hanoi's potential. President Bush understands that al-Qaeda is a relentlessly ambitious wellspring of psychopathy.
--Martin J. Grumet
POP MUSIC RX
I recently read that President Bush signed a new Medicare drug program bill that provides drugs for our senior citizens. Hey, what about drugs for our pop stars!
Correct me if I am wrong, but in the golden age of rock, luminaries the likes of Eric Clapton, Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison produced their best and most inventive and unique music while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.
And not just the founders of modern rock benefited from "chasing the dragon." Could "London Calling" have happened without high quality UK approved pharmaceuticals?
And the blues and jazz greats of earlier eras benefited. The likes of Billie Holiday, Charlie "Bird" Parker, Ray Charles and Miles Davis all smacked. And lets not forget the country music luminaries. The greats such as Cash, Haggard and Orbison all did drugs.
Now compare the aforementioned founders of modern music with the recent batch of corporate offerings. Honestly, couldn't this group of vanilla, homogenized and uninspired pop-lite stars benefit from a good hit of horse or blow? Just what are Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys, The Spice Girls or Janet Jackson singing about? How their thongs are uncomfortable or how they had a bad day shopping at the mall?
I know that three of the founders mentioned in the first paragraph died of drug overdoses, but please note that they were the Americans. The Brits had the advantage of obtaining UK government-controlled doses of horse down at the Chelsea drug store supplied by the Queen. It removed much of the risk and allowed them to survive to this very day, still producing music. The only Brit to die early was non-drug related; John Lennon was murdered in New York City.
And what did the drug-induced music of the Sixties inspire in the youth of America? World peace, fighting hunger, equality for all races and sexes while the current group of corporate boosters only seem worried about their makeup, or how bitchin' their jeans look or putting a boot where the sun don't shine.
Come on conservative values parents, which do you prefer your kids to be concerned with?
America: Support a constitutional amendment to provide safe doses of drugs to our pop music stars. We can't afford to lose another generation of American kids to banal, materialistic, superficial pop music.
Yes, George W. Bush has been reelected. But he has no mandate because:
48 percent of American citizens are deeply dismayed that the United States has squandered our position as leaders of the free world, hard won by centuries of intelligent dialogue, diplomacy, teamwork and leadership, and that we are now despised by many people;
48 percent of the American citizens are shocked by our warmongering, go-it-alone foreign policy, where the model for success is a comic-book cowboy who only needs a six-gun, a lynching rope and a posse with sneers on their faces;
48 percent of American citizens are heartbroken that tens of thousands of innocent men, women, and children have been killed in a country that was no threat to us, had no weapons of mass destruction and did not attack us on 9/11;
48 percent of American citizens are offended that spirituality and morality have been co-opted by a narrow-minded, judgmental and self-righteous group of religious fundamentalists who listen more closely to their earthly leaders than to Christ, who taught love, tolerance and inclusiveness;
48 percent of American citizens are frustrated that our president fails to understand that that no number of bombs can kill ideas, that it takes thinking, strategies and, above all, friends and allies around the world;
48 percent of American citizens are distressed that our leadership chooses to waste our current and future assets on war while the health, education, and well-being of our own people goes deeper into a hole from which even our great-grandchildren will not be able to escape;
48 percent of American citizens are outraged that our leadership serves as stooges for corporations, handing out tax cuts, good-old-boy deals and special access to the Oval Office for the wealthy and powerful;
48 percent of American citizens are distraught that science is suppressed and our health put at risk where findings on environmental threats stand in the way of further accumulation of wealth by the wealthy;
48 percent of American citizens are saddened that the most beautiful places in our country are being ruined forever because our president would rather see oil rigs in Eden than say, "Let's stop driving Suburbans, Excursions, Escalades and Hummers;"
And finally, 48 percent of American citizens apologize to the rest of the world for not having tried harder to return the United States of America to the position of a generous, dependable, tolerant and intelligent leader. We now need your help more than ever.
FIRST IMPRESSION: LES BOIS
Speeding toward a promising destination
Foothills in the distance!
Franklin, Curtis, Chinden, river: all pass
Sudden elevation--a view
Garishly green hill!
Gigantic star-spangled banner!
Red-eyed halt at 13th and Myrtle
A respite to gaze upon the fair city's ambience
Suddenly, acres and acres of vacant, dirt lots ...