Letters to the editor: Immigration, Drug Free Idaho inaccuracies, listening

Letters to the editor: Immigration, Drug Free Idaho inaccuracies, listening



As to Zak Nabala’s letter of July 23, in which he states that it was the Obama administration that initiated separating children from parents as they attempted to immigrate into the U.S., and Trump is in hot water for doing the same. Correct. What you fail to mention is that the children are required by law to be returned to parents within 20 days. They were not. Some children were sent to other states. Zak, why go to that expense and trouble if you’re going to return them anyway? Also, during the Obama administration, parents were not deported prior to getting their children back. There still remain hundreds of children who remain separated from their folks. The Trump administration was ordered by the courts to have all children returned July 26. Your single fact is not the whole story. I have to add that I have heard this several times from those folks who toot the Trump-et. It’s only noise you make. So, I admonish you to take your own advice — go to your laptop or cellphone and dig deeper. You might be surprised by the rest of the story.

Drug Free Idaho inaccuracies

Drug Free Idaho’s presentation of “Chronic State,” an anti-marijuana legalization documentary, at the Egyptian Theater on July 18, was too riddled with inaccuracy to be properly addressed in this 200-word forum.

Suffice to say, it was a well-produced mash-up of every “Reefer Madness” scare tactic since Nancy Reagan.

Legalize marijuana, it intones, means rampant murder, enslaved youth and homeless invaders.

The tax revenue, healed children and reduced opioid harms seen in legalized states? Illusions, it proclaims.

From the opening scare shots of blacks, hippies and kids smoking weed, through the sinister music and visuals of urban decay and nature befouled, to the closing implication of “hey, nice state ya got there, it’d be a shame if something happened to it,” “Chronic State” was as relevant to most legal cannabis as Foster Brooks and “Leaving Las Vegas” are to legal alcohol.

What remains unsaid, naturally, is that the video is arguing for the status quo: using taxpayer dollars to arrest and imprison marijuana users and growers. Arrest your college kid for smoking a doobie. Imprison a father growing weed to treat his kid’s epilepsy.

Drug Free Idaho’s tagline is “Working for a Drug Free Culture.” It’s a culture war, not a drug war.

Russ Belville, Portland, Ore.

Be a better listener

My head is spinning from the pace of news that comes out of the White House these days. And after months of frustration and anger, I have decided to try another path. I am consuming a little less news these days (which still might be too much), and I am looking at our current situation from less of an ideological point of view and more of a wounded culture point of view.

I am committing myself to be a better listener and to engaging with respected colleagues who have a different political point of view. I will seek to listen well and understand that point of view better because the divide that is currently present in the USA must not be allowed to stand unaddressed. The media and the politicians will not solve this. And, in the end, I might not either. But I will learn something as I listen and I know that I need to make this effort because things are clearly not getting better by themselves.

This is a historic mess that is tearing our country and our culture apart. I hope I can find a way to heal these vicious divisions. Interested in joining me?


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