Letters to the editor: MyPillow guy, vaccine, homeless shelter, hate radio, Crapo’s outrage

·5 min read

MyPillow guy

While I applaud the Secretary of State on the decision to send a bill to Mike Lindell (the MyPillow guy); I feel this is another example of the tail wagging the dog in Idaho politics. How is it that some outsider can make absurd and false claims of election fraud in Idaho; and Idaho feels compelled to jump through hoops to discount these claims?

Is it because Lindell is such a renowned Idaho election expert or his celebrity? Is it because the Secretary of State feels a need to address unfounded concerns of the vocal and rabid right wing of his party? What are the chances the Secretary of State would conduct an audit if I, an Idaho voter and citizen, were to raise my concerns based on my fantasies?

I suggest in the future that any person, party, or group that wants to make frivolous claims that will cost Idaho taxpayers be required to tender the cost up front or be required to file a legal action. If their claims prove true they get the money back. Requiring some skin in the game will nip this type of nonsense in the bud.

Kevin Klein, Boise

Get the vaccine

Recently, I wrote about my anger toward those who endanger others by refusing to get vaccines or wear masks. Shortly after that you ran a piece by Dr. Ashley Carvalho in which she was threatened with violence for refusing to provide sub-standard care.

Since then, I have had two direct effects from anti-vaxxers, I had both doses of vaccine plus a booster and have been isolating as much as possible, but I contracted COVID. My symptoms were mild and I credit the vaccinations with keeping me out of the hospital and perhaps saving my life. I am fairly certain that I caught it from people I was unaware were not vaccinated and who did not wear masks.

Now I have a more serious problem. My knee needs replacing badly; I can barely walk; it gives out and I have fallen; it is very painful and I can only sleep for two or three hours a night in a recliner. But I can’t get it replaced because the hospitals have banned all but emergency surgeries because of Covid. I understand why they have to do this, but it is causing me agony. Please, get the vaccine!

Jean McNeil, Boise

Non-congregate shelter

Not learning from the past dooms us to repeat it. TB, SARS, and influenza caused numerous outbreaks in congregate shelters. Through these outbreaks, and the many lives lost, society learned that greater personal space is key to staying healthy.

Yet, almost two years into COVID-19, we still haven’t learned. We watch Interfaith recklessly push large congregate shelter. Experts predict COVID-19 will persist for a long time, and that new infectious diseases will occur. So why continue to put our most vulnerable at risk by repeating dangerous, old ways of doing things?

Good news! Advocates for the homeless propose a new best practice: non-congregate shelter. It’s safer, provides a greater sense of dignity, and improved outcomes. Even Interfaith Sanctuary notes these successes.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness found “non-congregate space has obvious benefits for people in shelter”. The National Coalition for the Homeless informed Boise that “[the pandemic provides] opportunity to start over and learn from our mistakes of the past. We cannot provide the least expensive large congregate shelters”

The government agrees: FEMA, CDC and HUD recommend non-congregate environments and have funding available including targeted to non-congregate shelter.

Why are we continuing to put our most vulnerable at risk?

Scott Burney, Boise

Hate radio

When I grew up, way back in the last century, AM radio was entertaining, informative and non-offensive. And tuning into today’s Idaho AM stations, I hear news, 24/7 sports, music, sporting events, lawyers giving advice, medical experts, financial advisers, local topics and some self-help wisdom.

However, some programming has radically changed. Almost all day long on some AM stations, I am appalled by the various shows’ hosts spitting out lies, negativity, anger, hate, wildly illogical conclusions and insane generalizations, with the target of their vitriol being, “the liberals, the lefties, the Democrats,” and intertwining with the words, “the socialists, the communists, the Marxists.”

All this right-wing hate rhetoric blasts out hour after hour without letup. Exactly who is the target audience of this bombast? The lunatic fringe? Who are the people responsible for these so called “talk shows,” which are really just extreme right-wing propaganda? And not even an equal amount of time for the opposing point of view? How rude. When I moved to Idaho almost 40 years ago, I have seen numerous signs and bumper stickers: “Idaho is too great to hate.” Obviously, some people didn’t get the message.

Tom Yount, Boise

Crapo’s outrage

Sen. Mike Crapo is outraged again — this time about personal privacy. He objects to a provision in a bill before Congress designed to empower the IRS to enforce tax laws against tax dodgers, especially the very rich. I believe Crapo does this every so often to remind Idaho voters that he is living in D.C. at our behest. I remember in 2007 when he was outraged about what he deemed “excessive federal financial regulation,” but backed away when the financial crisis hit soon afterwards. I’m a native Idahoan raised on the concept that it’s our civic duty to pay our fair share of taxes to support the government services we need and can’t provide for ourselves as individuals. I resent that the very rich are absolved from this duty under Crapo’s view of good government. I have nothing to hide in my bank account: no dark money, bribes or kickbacks, lobbyist gifts or under-the-table transactions. I’m into personal privacy, but if I have to give up a little for the IRS to find the tax dodgers, I’m all in. I wish Crapo were as outraged by the looming collapse of our democracy and climate change. Oh well.

Alyson Martin, Boise