Notes From Here

Billboard (rented) along a main Idaho artery

I’m concerned it could be taken as a subtle public invitation of violence towards our President–by the depiction a smug looking gunner next to the image of the President of the United States–and that perhaps the Secret Service should be notified of the possible suggestion. Over-the-top hyperbole can often appeal to the crazy as a signal of encouragement, and I think this unfortunate fact needs to be considered here. We’ve already just had one nut from Idaho shoot at the White House; so, in light of that alone, I think we ought to exercise some caution with our extremists. And, as for giving the 1st Amendment carte blanc to saying anything, remember that it stops at “yelling fire in a theater…”

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Pics From Here

Basque Festival, Boise, Idaho, July 29, 20012, 7:30 pm

I stopped by only long enough to have a coffee and chorizo.  It was really hot, though–with sweat pouring down my face–but what a great get-together!  Out of six pics this was the nicest.  It was the one that cost me the coffee (plus $3 tip) but was worth it for the best view of everything.  Boy howdy, I’ve got to hand it to the Basque, they really do bring a lot of class with their events.  I could almost imagine I was somewhere in Europe…or Spain!

Notes From Here

Treasure Valley Community TV website

This is the letter I sent to Idaho’s House Business Committee (a copy to all 17 members) about the Idaho Video Services Act (HB410) which I think negatively affects Public Access TV:

I wish to express my concern over HB 410 not having a provision for PEG fees. I feel that public access channels need a basic and consistent revenue source and it appears HB 410 places them at the mercy of cable companies and arbitrary local politics rather than in the public domain where public access channels belong.

To quote an article on HB 410 from the Association of Idaho Cities’ web site:

“…In response to a question from Rep. Elaine Smith (D-Pocatello), Lodge explained why the legislation does not provide a fee for public, educational and government (PEG) channels.

“We tried in previous drafts to include a PEG fee, it kind of met the same fate” as the revenue definition. “It wasn’t supported,” Lodge said.

“Federal law doesn’t address directly the PEG fee issue; it allows those decisions to be made at the local level. …This legislation does not prohibit nor mandate a PEG fee and would essentially leave that decision to video service providers and local governments at the local level.”

I just feel that if left up to cash strapped local governments–with often highly charged partisan political pressures–public access channels soon would become too inconvenient to survive; the same would go for cable companies’ bottom lines as well. Free public access TV has become a valued and enjoyed part of the public landscape and, of course, that requires a basic revenue source to operate. One would, therefore, think it only reasonable that a mandated PEG be included in any legislation that could potentially undermine its existence.

Sincerely,
Carl Madison

Notes From Here

Occupy Boise’s statement upon temporarily exiting the Vigil Site for lawn maintenance.

Last week while biking out the Greenbelt to Barber Park I realized that The Lawn truly is worshipped above all else now.  Huge vistas of golf courses and soon-to-be crackerbox ringed parks are everywhere on the afluent east Boise side; it’s a reminder of the new form of religious cathedral that the leisure class are privy to enjoy.  Oh sure, the working stiff is certainly allowed the use of, say, the Municipal Golf Course, but the rental fees for the carts, etc. are set above many pocketbooks.  That’s when it all clicked in my mind: The Lawn is the symbol of an exclusive club.  And, just like churches of old with the same motley cadre of overlords stepping from their coaches, here they enter their private temple to pray they hit something with a golf club.  When God couldn’t care less.

Notes From There

One of my more pleasant experiences while there was reading a Spanish comic novel, “El Espada Del General” by Laurenco Cazzare.  You have to be willing to learn Spanish to truly enjoy its 110 pages, but it’s well worth it.  And, plus, you’ll have learned a new language in the process.  I enjoyed the experience so much that I copied the book out in longhand–for sort of a reference lesson-book–and loved the front cover so much that I copied it, as well.  If you’re interested in learning Spanish I highly recommend that you use this fine example of comedy from our south-of-the-border friends!

Originally Illustrated by Raphael Barajes