Archive for November, 2023


Author: admin

From the seemingly endless list of “grassroots” organizations these days, one that has lately piqued my interest is “Moms For America” and its apparent offshoot, “Moms For Liberty.”

“Moms” has been around since 2004, though only sprouting up in our Northwest neighborhood in the last year or so.  Website for the group is very professional with lots of patriotic verbiage and an online store where you can buy a “Christmas plaid apron” for $28 or a “long sleeve” hoodie for $31.”

There are some “hot button” words among the offerings.  Like “truly American curriculum” and “biblical citizenship workbook.”  But, the descriptive words that caught my attention were “A voice to counter radical feminists” and to “end gender confusion.”

“Moms” has popped up in a few Idaho school districts.  Though scant now, you’re sure to hear more about them.  Local chapters of a movement to end “gender confusion” while selling “Biblical Citizen workbooks” can’t fly under the radar very long.

The “statement of purpose” for “Moms” says it all:

“Moms for America is reclaiming our culture for truth, family freedom and the Constitution.  We activate, empower and mobilize moms to promote and advance freedom in our homes, communities through our vote.”

“Moms” also says it’s working to “restore patriotism” by “raising patriots.”

With talk of “restoring our patriotism” and reclaiming “family and freedom,” there’s a sense of confusion at our house.  Have we lost all that?  Does it really need it need to be “reclaimed.?”

All sorts of right wing groups are coming out of the woodwork these days.  School and library boards, county commissions and city councils are “under attack.”  In some cases, members of these “do-gooder” groups are running as a “team” hoping to get one or more of their members elected so those folks can work to get others “inside.”

This outburst of local right wing energy can be found in numerous states.  And, these folks aren’t being shy.  They’re announcing their purpose(s) right up front.  “Hot button” words and more.

We’ve seen these types before.  Their objectives are known to anyone paying attention.  What’s different now is (un)social media.  The electronic connection making us all a connected neighborhood.  Whether one nutcase or a hundred, with the ol’ I-net, the messages all look the same.

Such is the case with “Moms.”  Yes, there’s that professional website presence.  Yes, they’ve got those “hot button” words front and center.  But, is it truly a “national” movement?  Or just a few folks out to stir up local trouble?

What’s needed is a lot of local “push back” before anyone claiming to be a moderate is swept out of office.

Stay tuned.  Oh, and don’t forget those long-sleeved hoodies for just $31 emblazoned with  “Moms for America.”  Catchy.


Pay attention

Author: admin

We’re under attack.  Make that, renewed attack.

From the right.  Make that, far-right.  And the battleground is not some far off place where their blathering can go unheard.

No, they’re local.  As local as meetings of your school board.  Or city fathers.  Or county fathers and mothers.  Folks you’ve elected to guide your schools.  Or, community.

One such small group of dissenters is “Mothers for Liberty.”  Another is “City Fathers.”  And, there are more.  All positioning themselves to “bring down” whatever goes against their way of “thinking.”  In other words, to counter your way of thinking when you voted to fill those elected leadership positions.

The far-right angst so prevalent in Congress, at the moment, has long roots going back to wherever you live.  They’ve become like ants at a picnic.

The “Mom’s” group, for instance.  Opposed to some of the books your kids read, put in their hands by wiser people on school boards or citizen committees of the local library after much study and discussion.  You may already have such a noisy bunch in your backyard.  And, if they’ve been sort of “under cover,” the season for their “hatching” is now.

Rather than propose something new, they come empty-handed.  They come to “destroy” what they see as “wrong” in classrooms or other operations of local school districts.  They want to “cleanse” but offer no replacement curriculum or plan for your consideration.

That seems to be the way with anything or any group coming from the rightward “fringes.”  Break, obliterate, blowup what they don’t like without offering substitution of any replacement materials.

From the U.S. Congress down to your school board or city hall.  We seem to be under constant attack about something.  Go to any school board meeting these days.  City council sessions.  County commission gatherings.  Chances are you’ll hear voices raised against this, that and the other.

Voices seeking not to join the discussion, but to overpower it. Voices not wanting to join in conversation, but to silence it.  To drown out any voice but their own.

I’ve been to city council and school board meetings over the years.  Hundreds and hundreds of ’em.  And, what I’ve witnessed, time and again, is whoever is in charge will usually be open to listening to the voices for awhile.  Will be patient with diversion from the printed agenda.  Will let interveners  have their “say.”

That was then. This is now.  Folks like “Mothers for Liberty” have their own agendas.  Somewhere, someone – unidentified at the moment – is cranking out those agendas.  And, marching orders.  “Moms” groups in Florida or Arizona or Portland are being told what to say, how to say it and what to do if they meet resistance.

People who don’t like what these groups stand for – which is often far-right thought and destruction – may have to start attending some meetings of their local governing boards and councils.

And, they may have to organize some sort of resistance to said groups because their kids’ education is on the line.  Governance of their own communities is under attack.  In subtle ways, lifestyles are being challenged.

All of that by folks who don’t think the way you do.  Don’t have the same values you have.  And, who don’t seem to care that they offer nothing to replace what they want to destroy.

Yes, we are under small attacks.  But, taken together, they represent a war of sorts.  A war on our thinking – on our values – on the way we live.  And, how we live.

Time to pay attention.

A missed swing

Author: admin


Idaho’s junior Senator is pissed by the noise from airplanes flying over his South Boise homestead.

What a deal!

Jimmy Risch has lived out there for decades.  Noise from aircraft is not a new phenomenon for him.  He’s been listening to airplanes – with his ham and eggs – for a long, long time.  When he’s there.

Only now, after many thousands and thousands of general aviation and commercial flights in and out of the Boise airport over 30 or so years, does he squawk.  The airport is just a mile or so from his desert hacienda, an airport he’s used many hundreds of times on his trips in and out of Boise, to and from his U.S. Senate offices in D.C..

The Boise airport has been in-place for many decades before the junior Senator and his family moved South.  He knows that.  But, now, several decades after he took up residence, he’s pouting.

Risch can be no more put out about the aerial racket than several thousand Meridian residents and folks in the area of Five Mile Road, Eagle Road, Cloverdale, Linder and more.  Those “aggravating” aircraft fly over a lot of West Ada County and Boise territory.  They’ve done it for years.

Now, our boy wants somebody, somewhere to do something about it.  NOW!

I’d be willing to support Jimmy if he was standing up for his constituents out West -and South – of Boise.  If he was asked to front an organized group of Ada County folks, similarly unhappy about the airport, seeking a real answer to their problem.  If he was the spokesman for thousands of folks who were as unhappy about noisy aerial conditions as Junior.

But he’s not.

Fact of the matter is, the airport had been there for many, many years before “Gentleman James” decided to live nearby on his little acreage.  He knew the planes were there.  He knew by hearing flyover noise as he was out there looking for a homestead many years ago. He knew by driving around the airport’s West end to get to his property.  Or, downtown.

What’s changed is that the Boise airport is much busier than it was in the ’70’s and ’80’s.  More commercial, military and private aircraft are in the skies thereabouts.  The airport is a thriving source of income for the city and a handy resource for air travelers and home to the Idaho Air Guard.  It’s win-win all the way.

What the hell does Risch expect in answer to his new outrage?  Who – or what – is supposed to do something to change the situation?

The only way to dry his tears is for him to move out of the area.  The airport is not gonna move.  The planes won’t stop flying.  The noise from those aircraft won’t suddenly go away.  The only answer for Junior is a U-Haul truck and some teens looking for work.

I’ve never been a Senator.  Never aspired to be one.  So, maybe I don’t understand the depths of Risch’s belated anger.  Is a Senator’s anger different from the rest of us?  Is he angrier than us?  Does it take 30-40 years to get up a full head of steam on an issue if you’re a Senator?

Or, is he using his years as a national politician to achieve his ends?  A little power play to get what he wants?  Silence?

Or, maybe – just maybe – he knows something we don’t.  Maybe he knows some new, high-powered stealth airplanes are coming to the Idaho National Guard.  Stealth planes that, I can tell you from personal experience, are much nosier than the current crop.  Much.

I go back a long way with the Senator.  I’ve watched him in “action” many, many times.  On a personal note, he’s even taken a drunken swing at me (and missed.)  A future Idaho Governor kept him from falling flat.  Oh, yeah, we go way back.

I’m afraid, on this one Jimmy, you’re on your own.  The “chin” you’re going to try hit this time belongs to the City of Boise.  Or the State of Idaho.  Or the federal Department of Transportation.  Or, the United States Air Force.

But, in the end, my friend, after 30-40 years of living in the same spot, you’re gonna have to move.  Or, buy some expensive ear plugs.

I don’t think you can “swing” your way out of this one.


Zinkes of the world

Author: admin

Montana has a U.S. representative named Ryan Zinke.

Zinke likes to strut around the U.S. Capitol grounds wearing a large, black cowboy hat and big ol’ black Western boots.  Always shined. Of course.  Just like every “cowboy.”

I don’t know if he’s got any cattle in Montana.  But, in Washington D.C., he is a committed member of the far-right “herd.”

Zinkes latest bellowing is about as racist as it gets.  He, and a few dozen members of that small self-righteous herd, want to send any Palestinians now on visas in this country “back where they belong.”

Zinke masquerades as a supporter of Israel.  He may have some limited understanding of what that means.  But, he’s “all hat and no “cattle” when it comes to knowing what’s currently going on in the Mideast.  Especially where Palestinians are concerned.

Zinke not only wants to stop issuing visas to Palestinians, he wants to revoke any such documents back-dated to October 1.

“I don’t trust the Biden Administration any more than I do the Palestinian Authority to screen who is allowed to come into the United States,” he said.

Zinke and others of his ilk have authored a bill to pause issuing visas for Palestinians issued since October 1.

Zinke says “This is the most anti-Hamas immigration legislation I’ve seen and it’s well-deserved.”

The title of the bill he’s backing is “Bill to Expel Palestinians from the United States.”  The measure would direct the Department of Homeland Security to “identify and remove covered aliens without lawful status” including those whose lawful status has just been revoked by the same legislation.

Zinke’s bill – which has the backing of about 10 others of the far-right “Freedom Caucus” – stands no chance of passage.  But, it does represent an increase of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab noise from those on that ragged edge of the ultra-conservative element in Congress.  Marjorie Taylor-Greene is another sponsor of the same garbage.

While the actual fighting action is in the Mideast, it seems there’s a wave of antisemitism sweeping the world at the moment.  While antisemitism is normally defined as opposition to Jews, haters appear to have lumped into the word about everybody with black hair and dark skin.

Even in the rather small Northwest community in which this writer lives, I saw a window sign along the highway last week saying “Jews Go Home.”  It disappeared after a couple of days.  But, I’d bet the thought still lingers on the property.

Reading it, I suddenly thought “What if the Jew in question was born in Seattle?  Is Seattle far enough away to go ‘home’?”

Hatred of others because of religion or skin color – or anything else – is a damnable thing.  It’s totally unreasonable and without any basis in thought.  I’ve never felt the urge to stigmatize others for the way they worship or for living a lifestyle different from my own.  What a terribly boring place this would be if we were all the same.

The Ryan Zinkes of the world would have us believe people with dark skin or who worship the one God differently should be shunted off to somewhere else.  Preferably out of the country.  They should be ostracized because…..  Because….  Oh, Hell.  For some ill-conceived “reason” totally unreasonable.

What’s happening now in the Mideast has roots going back thousands of years.  Thousands of years before there was a United States.  Thousands of years before there was a Western world.  The combatants probably wouldn’t admit to that but, it’s true.

Jews have been battling for many thousands of years for a homeland and they’ll likely battle more thousands of years to keep what they now have.  While we Westerners may look at the fighting and killing as just another “skirmish” in the Mideast, the distrust – the hatred – goes further back than most of us can truly understand.

My father told me he’d like to live long enough to see peace in that historically war-torn region.  He didn’t.  I have much the same thought.  But, peace there won’t happen in my lifetime.  And, likely not in my children’s.  Or their children’s children either.

The Ryan Zinkes of the world will keep the distrust and the hatred alive.  You can bet on it.  But, that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t prevail with understanding and love.  That doesn’t mean we can’t overcome his ignorance with wise thought and wise action.

I’ll bet we can.