Mail and Commentary 

School Demo

I attended the Boise School Board meeting the other night. Four people asked the board for a chance to save Cole and Franklin schools. A.J. Balukoff was rather rude in his reply. Basically, he stated that the people of Boise had four or five years to try to save the buildings. I grew up in Boise, and never did I hear it mentioned by the board that the schools would be coming down. I'll bet the average Boise resident did not either. Not one for sale sign in front of either building. I would bet that most Boiseans were, like me, left believing that Cole school was still in the hands of the Warm Springs Counseling Center. Not once was it announced that the school board had purchased the building. I would like to know why the school board thought it was sound business practice to take our state tax dollars, fight a legal battle over the building, then turn around and buy the building, just to spend more money to tear it down. How many books, teachers aids, learning aids, etc. would the money have been better spent on? I believe if these buildings come down it is time to vote in a new board. Perhaps one that will listen to the citizens of Boise when they say they don't want a building torn down but put to a new use. Check out the petition to save the buildings on the Preservation Idaho Web site, or the poll taken by Channel 12 on their site. By the time this letter will be printed, it will probably be too late. Franklin comes down on Sept. 21 and Cole on Oct. 20.

--Susan Slade Grossl, Boise

"Death Panels"

In Texas, Gov. George W. Bush signed into law the Texas Advanced Directives Act of 1999. It set up panels in Texas hospitals deciding when they were pulling the plug. Patients and families are not in this loop. This measure goes way beyond anything proposed in the health-care reform bills now before the U.S. Congress, yet not a peep of protest from the Republicans or the Town Hall Mobs. Not a simpering sob, tear or quivering lip from Glenn Beck.

By the way, Sarah Palin supports the Texas law and promoted "advance directives" in the state of Alaska when she was still governor there. I guess she was for the death panels before she was against them?

--Chris Morris,Caldwell

Grow Medicare

Meaningful health-care reform is just about dead on arrival. Medicare for All (single-payer) was killed off first, then the "public option" was initially watered down to an empty shell and will be officially terminated by a fraudulent "trigger," which is code for trashing it wholly. These "cooperatives" that we've heard about are too weak to deal with the real costs, and Republicans don't like them either so obviously we have to do what they say, right? What is left is an industry-prescribed, government-mandated non-plan that will force everyone to accept a private, for-profit insurance policy that may or may not provide effective coverage.

On the House side, HR3200 is filled with all kinds of gifts for the industry like patent protections for drug companies and anti-choice provisions that contradict all of the rhetoric about "keeping the plan you like." It goes like this: Employers must provide plans with "essential benefits" such as drug benefits, hospitalization, mental care, outpatient care, etc. This is termed "acceptable coverage" by insiders. If they don't offer it, you get to go to an "exchange" to choose one that will, which sounds all good except that if you are offered a plan with the "acceptable" label on it, you must take it or you will be barred from buying any more plans in the exchange. But in the Senate HELP committee, there are weak requirements to provide such level of coverage. So, if you have coverage that you don't like, you may have to keep it. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon spotted this and came up with his Free Choice Act, which would provide choice back into the mix for all of us little fish that currently are uninsured, self-employed or work for small businesses. But it has little chance of making it into any of the bills. All of these bills, with all of their thousands of pages of junk should be rendered to the dustbin and Medicare should be ironed out to balance reimbursements and expanded to cover all of us in America. It's the best way.

--Kevin Bayhouse,Boise

Not Nazism, Cope

Mr. Cope, who writes about "Fascism for Dummies," needs to look in the mirror. His idea of what Nazism was about is way off base. His claim that National Socialists were dedicated to eradicating socialism is absurd. They had all of the trappings of a liberal society including Social Security and national health care. In fact, Hitler, who originally despised socialism, embraced it after reading the socialist legislation of Bismarck and realized it was about power and control and not compassion and fairness (page 96 of the hardcover or 141 of the soft cover of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich and Mein Kampf). The hatred of Jews was not enough to kill 6 million of them. There must have been an apparatus in place and that apparatus was funded through the conduits of socialist policies.

His claim that leftist ideals of environmental policy and on-the-job safety may have flourished in a free society such as ours, but had no place except some lip service in a communist society such as the Soviet Union or China, which had horrendous job safety records and environmental records. They also had horrendous free speech records as well. Trade unions? Yeah, you worked for the government and if you went on strike, you went to the Gulag or worse. And those other traits he attributes to fascists (reliance on derision and disruption to silencing opposing views) were also part of the left wing communists and Socialists M.O. Did we not see a video of the left in our country strategizing to do just that in the town hall meetings regarding health care? And there is good reason for the synergies. Nazism, Communism, Socialism and Fascism are all left wing. The actual definition of Nazism: The autocratic centralized control of the economy which places the importance of race and nation above the individual, smacks of a left wing ideology, not right wing. The fact that they hated Jews or worshiped race does not make for a right-wing ideology unless you're arguing strictly from the left of center. True right-wing ideology is about less government not more, and National Socialists were anything but for less government. Best for Mr. Cope to do some reading before he writes. A good place to start is the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

--David Ihde, Steamboat Springs, Colo.

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