Mail and Commentary Jan. 27 

Haiti: A Disaster and A Metaphor

Haiti is a metaphor for an America weakened by conservatives. Haiti has no effective government to help its citizens. This is what conservatives want for America. Remember how ineffectually conservatives responded to Hurricane Katrina? Conservative leader Grover Norquist has said he wants the U.S. government so small he could strangle it in a bathtub. Conservatives overlook that such a small conservative government would be too weak to provide effective military defense or to respond to national emergencies. (The next time a dam breaks in Idaho, call Norquist.) Conservatives support the same religious views against birth control that have led to unsustainable overpopulation and unemployment in Haiti. Conservatives support a free-for-all approach to the environment which would lead to the kind of deforestation seen in Haiti. Conservatives support the same hands-off attitude to the financial sector that led years ago to the looting of the Haitian economy by foreign banks. Conservative economic policies are leading to the same levels of unemployment now seen in Haiti. Enthralled of authoritarian personalities, conservatives want forceful leaders like Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, who give them simpleminded slogans while looting the country.

So take a serious look at the misery and strife of Haiti because that's what America will look like after conservatives finish with it.

--Gary L. Bennett, Emmett

To Pay Forward or Not to Pay Forward

There is a man and woman who have managed to get a wheelchair and cane somehow. I see them run without either one. The point of them using (sometimes) this wheelchair and cane is that they get to hold a sign saying disabled to try to get your money. I witnessed them before they had the cane. Even since I have witnessed both walk without the cane. I asked them why they are lying and they replied they do what they have to do, which is to scam you out of your money. Now that they have gotten this cane, they use it to further their image but I am telling you as an honest citizen of Boise that I saw them without the cane and wheelchair! They are tricking you and it is appalling. Please keep your cash because I promise you there are more frauds with signs than you know.

-- Sarah DiLulo,


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