Mail and Commentary June 16, 2010 

End of the World as We Know It

Humanity is at the crossroads of the most serious economic and social crisis in modern history. Entire sectors of the national economy are shutting down.

Globally, there is increased mass unemployment, the collapse of state social programs, and the impoverishment of millions of people.

The freeze on credit and decline in consumer demand leads to the demobilization of human and material resources. The global financial architecture sustains strategic and national security objectives.

Simultaneous with global unemployment, poverty and disease, there is the rise of the profit-driven "Killing Machine"/"war-economy"/global-war-on-terror, i.e., Murder Inc.

War enriches the upper class, which controls industry, military, oil, banking and advanced weapons industries.

Private military contractors (aka corporate mercenaries) have experienced a thriving and booming growth in their business of death and killing poor people around the globe. Militarization/war and the economic crisis are inextricably linked.

As society collapses, we will only see an increase in the  "Big Brother" surveillance police state, oppression and suppression of an impoverished people. The Great Depression of the 21st century is upon us.

--David Hewitt,


Meat Free, Not Free Meat

As global population surges toward 9.1 billion people by 2050, Western diets rich in meat and dairy products will become unsustainable, according to a United Nations Environment Program's report re-leased earlier this [month].

The report was prepared by the International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management, drawing on dozens of smaller studies. It notes that agricultural production accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

The panel concludes that, just as fossil fuels will be gradually replaced by renewable, pollution-free energy sources like wind and solar power, meat and dairy products in the world's diet will need to be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains.

Both shifts are absolutely necessary to reduce production of greenhouse gases and consumption of natural resources and to ensure planetary survival into the foreseeable future.

As Americans, we have a special obligation to lead the rest of the world in a healthful diet of vegetables, fruits and grains--a diet designed to prevent global starvation, while protecting our natural environment and safeguarding personal health.

Each of us can start with our next trip to our supermarket.

--Bradley Genna, Boise

Share the Road Installment III

I was taken to task in the June 2 issue by Robert Tencate for my letter of the previous week concerning cyclists' behavior on the road.

He said my letter was "so full of misconceptions that it would be impossible to address them in a short letter" and referred me to the "Street Smarts" booklet distributed by Idaho Transportation Department.

My letter made four points. No. 1 and No. 2: Use the bike lane if there is one. If there is not, ride as though there were.

"Street Smarts" says on Page 16, "A well-designed bike lane should encourage you to ride in the correct position on the road ..." I see no conflict with my assertions. I did not advocate weaving in and out of parked cars on the street but riding in the "correct position."

No. 3: Don't ride two or three abreast. "Street Smarts" Pages 34 and 35: "Side-by-side bicyclists occupy a whole lane ... On a narrow road or with heavier traffic, be courteous! ... Pull into a single line well before cars reach you." Precisely what I said.

And point No. 4: Expensive gear doesn't give you the right to be discourteous on the road. I'll stand by that without any further discussion.

--Patrick T. Storey, Boise

Beyond Partisan

The truth goes much deeper than the partisan comments that show up here (BW, Opinion, "Plug Ugly," June 9, 2010).

While Mr. Cope is correct to point out the blatant abandonment of governmental oversight by the Cheney administration, what is left out is the fact that Cheney, his puppet, and his neoconservative friends were able to pull off this debacle, as well as the WMD scam and the unitary president scam because the nation's ideological center has been moving unrelentingly to the right since at least the assassination of JFK (probably since the beginning of WWII and maybe before).

The very idea that [President] Barack Obama is a liberal is ridiculous. He's at least as conservative as Daddy Bush and Bill Clinton.

The number of liberal legislators in [Washington,] D.C., could probably be counted on one's fingers.


Blame-Placing Not the Solution

My God! This is the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of mankind and all we can think of is who to blame (BW, Opinion, "Plug Ugly," June 9, 2010). Not how can we fix it, but who's to blame.

It saddens me to the core to think what we have done. The oil will not go away. The marshes are dead or will be soon, and they ain't coming back, folks.

The irony of this, after I finish this blurb, I'm going to get in my car and drive six to seven miles to lunch.

Who's to blame?

We all share some responsibility in this mess. WE (caps noted) have to find a viable alternative energy source and the sense of urgency increases by the minute.

The last I read was that 30,000-50,000 barrels a day are being discharged into the Gulf. Multiply that times 40 and that is the number of gallons. Sweet Jesus.


All We Need Is Love

Love is love ... no matter who delivers it ... and it's love that makes a family (BW, Feature, "Faces of Pride," June 9, 2010).

We aren't going away, our children are already here and they have nothing to do with the family they have, they should not be marginalized or mistreated for this, it's just plain wrong, not to mention un-Christian to discriminate against anyone, much less an innocent child!


Flying Solo

The following comments were left at on a post about last week's anti-BP rally at which only one protester showed up but nine reporters covered.

So these people are going to be flyering over the weekend? OK, yeah, I'm totally against the oil spill but let's waste a bunch of paper telling people about it.

Clearly there are numerous types of environmentalists, much like vegetarians. It makes me wonder what kind of vehicles these "protesters" drive. Look into that, BW.

--Rick Bear Gibson

Rick is right about the wasted paper flyers will produce. And if a human already is completely unaware of the natural disaster happening in the Gulf due to the rock they live under--how will a stupid flyer help to educate them?

What purpose of use will it serve to them now they have that paper? Maybe keep a recycling bin nearby.

--Autumn Brock

OK, but who calls a rally when they don't have at least one friend who is going to help with it?

We've got a generation that thinks that having FB friends equals having influence and power. As much as I'd like it to be different, it takes more than pontificating on a keyboard to make real change--it takes feet on the ground.

--Judy Ferro

Quotes of the Week

"Most organizers have never been required to meet a payroll. 'Sideline Editorialists'"...

--5foldflats (, Citydesk, "Boise Anti-BP Rally Something of a Flop," June 10, 2010)

"When you get rid of that old, broken or unused sex toy, you will be helping our environment."

--best sex toys (, Cobweb, "Recycle Your Sex Toys," Aug. 25, 2009)

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