Mail June 18, 2008 - June 24, 2008 

McNeil missed his own boat

On Larry McNeil's desire to "reclaim" the old Ada County Courthouse mural of the Native American being lynched (BW, Opinion, "Reclaim the Mural, June 4, 2008), he seems to be missing his own irony. It's been said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The truth concerning Idaho's past is not pretty, and I don't think that whitewashing (or in this case "redwashing") it is going to help anything.

It's about time we face up to what's been done, not destroy the evidence for the sake of a feel-good festival of "poetic justice." Or does McNeil think that seeing a mural is going to turn someone into a racist? Chances are good that the WPA-created mural was meant to be a sad commentary on the injustice done to indigenous Americans in the first place.

If the mural dehumanizes anyone today, it's white people. Knowing that a continent was stolen, and then seeing a depiction of a lynching of an Indian (who at worst had the temerity to fight back), can any white feel good about himself at all? Is anyone else going to feel good about whites (of then or today) upon seeing it? Also, guilty feelings are not known to be the province of racists. Whether the mural stays or goes is not going to affect them one iota.

Perhaps bulldozing America's past has always been what our future is about. And you don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.

—Steve Vetter, Boise

Oil Has a Friend: Sen. Crapo

On June 10, Idaho's Sen. Crapo helped defeat the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 with his partisan "no" vote. This bill would have amended the IRS Code of 1986 to provide incentives for energy production and conservation and to provide individual income tax relief for people that do so.

On the same day, Crapo again voted "no" to help defeat the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to consider S. 3044. That bill would have provided energy price relief to American citizens and would have held oil companies accountable for their actions with regard to high fuel prices at the pump.

Clearly, Crapo has his wagon hitched to corporate oil. No senate bill in the future that would cost these mega-billion-dollar corporations any money and help regular Americans will ever receive a "yes" vote from Crapo as long as he is tragically voted to "serve" additional terms in the Senate.

—Dick Artley, Grangeville

Gifts From Above and Cargo Cults

I appreciate Bill Cope's eye for the folkways in Idaho City (BW, Cope, "Nice No More," June 11, 2008), particularly of the mannequin-equivalent of former President Bill Clinton holding a cigar. I have an alternative explanation for this. Many an 18-year-old who signed up for Anthropology 101 learned about cargo cults. For those who smoked their way through that class, scholars have been fascinated by the behavior of Pacific Islanders after World War II. For years after the war, some cleared a space in the forest, set a Western-style table eerily similar to that once set up for military officers. These islanders noticed that those who ate at such tables received gifts from the sky.

Are you following me here? I suspect that Idaho City has a surplus of lonely, horny geezers who hope to lure a cargo-load of parachuting Monica Lewinskys, complete with knee pads.

—Jeanette Ross, Boise

BW crossed the line with St. AL's

Boise Weekly: I am so disappointed in you. You need to get all your bashing facts straight before you badmouth one of our valley's best health-care systems. We give excellent care at St. Al's. Our care we give to our patients has nothing to do with MRI Center. St. Al's did not comment on your story because the suit is still "active." I am sure they would have something to say to you if they could. I am all for expressing opinions, but when it starts hurting important businesses—whether it is about St. Al's, St. Luke's, Micron, etc.—well then you are overstepping your bounds. You have officially lost my readership.

—"RN00," Boise, online

BW Smackdown St. Al's Part 2

Zach's article was well-written and did an admirable job culling through the mountain of legal documents and complex allegations (BW, News, "(Not) For Profit," May 28, 2008). The problem is that he only tells one side of the story ... MRI's version. St. Al's is not at liberty to comment on advice of counsel, but rumor has it, they have retained expert lawyers to handle this appeal. So, if St. Al's prevails and the lower court ruling and verdict are tossed out, will BW set the record straight? How will you cover that story? You will owe Ms. Bruce one heck of an apology.

—"Robin Hood," Boise, online

And Finally ... A Response to Part 2

In this case, the appeals process is merely a stall tactic. The chance that a higher [court] is going to reverse this decision is pretty slim. The bottom line is you don't do business this way. Many times, the big guys get away with it. Greed is the root of this. Of course, St. Al's is full of great employees and this verdict against St. Al's has nothing to do with them or any one except those that gave the go-ahead to unlawfully try and run the MRI Center out of business. Hopefully some of these people that think that it's neat to operate a business like that or defend those type of actions can be on the receiving end of that some time. Karma has a funny way of coming back around.

—"Blue Collar," Boise, online

Bravo on Pride

I would like to commend the Boise Weekly for their ongoing support of the queer community. I appreciated the article about Pride, and I truly appreciated the Weekly's presence at the Pride Festival. Boise Weekly and "The River" radio station consistently offer positive support to our community while most local media ignore our existence. Thanks, too, for your ongoing support of the arts.

—Lynn Webster, Caldwell

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