Blue-shifting the Gem State, one blog entry at a time.

Turn off the Bat Signal

Don't Tempt Me

Don't bait me, old man. I would be as an Idaho Gray Wolf having my way with a cardboard box full of mewling tabby kittens. Now calm down.

Things Idaho Republicans and their Legislature are Better Than:

Making love to a howling Husqvarna chainsaw wielded by a pirate.
Getting a script of Hydrocodone for a very painful blown shoulder and getting this cool new roommate named Ryan Leaf on the same day.
Siamese cats in heat outside your open window the day after you come home with your new heart pacemaker.
Kneeling to worship on Easter and realizing Rick Santorum and family are seated next to you
Pitbulls named Turbo, Axle, TNT, Mugga, or Kafka
Your girlfriend asking you one morning if you'd read about this new yeast infection that can infect men turning them into simpering little cowards with diseased testicles the size of chickpeas
Cow wallpaper
Finally meeting Serephin and Sisyphus for beers and discovering all they want to talk about are their FREAKING DRUM CIRCLES in parks.
Dick Cheney getting a heart transplant when members of the non-demonic human race needing them die in hospitals.

When Native Tongues Go Silent. Idaho State Moves Toward Solutions

Crossposted on Daily Kos and on The JHub



Yigaquu osaniyu adanvto adadoligi nigohilvi nasquv utloyasdi nihi

(May the Great Spirit's Blessings Always Be With You)

Ea Nigada Qusdi Idadadvhn

(All My Relations In Creation)


Wakan Tankan Nici Un

(May the Great Spirit walk with you)

Ho! Mitakuye Oyasin

(We Are All Related)

"Languages around the world are disappearing at a fantastic rate, especially indigenous languages in areas where European nations took control," - Beverly Klug, Idaho State University education professor.

According to Marianne Mithun, author of The Languages of Native North America, there are languages with no clear distinction between nouns and verbs, and languages that can give tense and conditionality to adjectives. We have languages that use different pronouns for a 'we' that includes the person being addressed, and a 'we' that excludes that person.

How can we retain a record of people here on Earth who have created alternative linguistic structures that are even more unfamiliar to English speakers? How can educators open minds to the astonishing variety of ways human verbal communication can be categorized and organized?

I first met Beverly Klug in 2004 when I began a stint of teaching for four years at Idaho State University. We had a vibrant exchange on topics from literature in the classroom to the rampant discrimination against Native Americans that was evident in Southeast Idaho.

That is why I was delighted to see her as one of the organizers of a "Symposium on Indigenous Languages: Retention and Revitalization," geared to increase discussion and awareness of the issues concerning indigenous language loss, April 10-12 in the Rendezvous Complex Suites A-C.

Even though federal legislation exists protecting Native languages and Executive Orders have been issued by Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama reiterating that language and culture are to be part of the education provided for American Indian children in the United States, this information is widely unknown or afforded in public schools. Speakers will provide many answers concerning this area of inquiry for those who attend, with opportunities for discussion for participants.

The symposium's original speaker lineup has changed and the schedule below reflects those changes. Reservations for the April 11 luncheon need to be made by April 3 to Rebecca Clover at 282- 2629 or before April 3.  read more »

An Open Letter to Pro-Life Activists

[Ed.Note: from the blog RavenWareConsulting; used with kind permission.]

I respect your passion and dedication to something you believe in so strongly, I only ask that you respect my position, even if you don’t agree with it. I am not pro abortion; I am 60 years old, and fortunately I was never faced with that decision, and if I had been I am not sure what my decision would have been. But I can tell you this, there are instances where I would not have wanted a child.

Rape seems to be discounted so easily; as if it does not happen often and should not be taken into consideration. Incest is another situation where young women of child bearing age are exposed to a potential unwanted pregnancy. Rape does not have to be violent, and done by a stranger, it can be nothing more than you told someone No, and they forced you anyway. But you were afraid of pushing back; he is bigger and stronger then you are and you are afraid. You did not want to do it, you laid there just waiting for it to be over and you would never have to see this person again.

Or you laid there, knowing that this person would do it again and again because he thought your body belonged to him, and you were afraid to leave. There was no love in this act, and any pregnancy that came as a result was not a wanted or loved child. So lets say you got your way and abortion is illegal, do you really think that would stop me from terminating an unwanted fetus? Maybe I am only 15 and my family would kick me out. Maybe my boyfriend abuses me physically and I am afraid of what he will do if he knows I am pregnant because it would be my fault. What are my options? Find a back alley doctor that will used dirty implements to remove this unwanted fetus? So maybe I do carry this child to term; rejected by family, boyfriend and friends; do you think I am eating healthy? Do I have the money to see doctors and take care of myself? Probably not, and when I have this baby, more than likely unhealthy at birth, and certainly not loved or wanted you will send me out on the street to try and take care of ourselves. You can certainly judge me, I should not have had sex outside of marriage; you can try to force your morals and religious beliefs on me, but this is not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. The Jesus and God that I read about is loving and caring and understands that we are human.

And the Republican party is against social programs, so where is my child that you have forced me to have going to be loved, fed, educated and raised in a stable environment. Healthcare will not be available; programs like Head Start will be gone; and I don’t have a high school education, where am I going to find a job?  read more »

Senator Chuckles' public profile somewhere between snake bellies and whale poop

Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder is trying to keep a low profile right now. He did send out an email to his constituents today, where he wrote about legislation he worked on this week. He mentioned Texting While Driving, Homeowners Exemption, the Charter School Cap, Concussions and the new Capitol Parking Garage.

Hmmm. Does it seem like something's missing there? Hold on, hold on, don't tell me, let me figure it out...

Looney Toons

The continuing adventures of major asshole Idaho State Sen. Chuckles Winder and his State Mandated Rape bill against the women of Idaho.

The bill, S1387, may not be dead for certain yet, but it's pining for the fjords. And Senator Chuckles, who up until yesterday was running unopposed for re-election, now has a terrific Democratic candidate by the name of James Mace climbing into the ring to kick Winder's flabby ass all around District 20.

Have I mentioned...?

Chuck Winder is an asshole:

Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions

Just before the Idaho's Senate passed the bill, which requires woman to have an ultrasound prior to obtaining an abortion, opponents of the bill pointed out that it makes no exception for rape victims, incest victims or women in medical emergencies.

Winder, a Republican from Boise, responded to those concerns by raising the question of whether women understand when they have been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this," Winder said on the Senate floor. "I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Have I mentioned that Chuck Winder is an asshole? He is -- he's an asshole. And not just any run-of-the-mill asshole. Chuck Winder is a grade-A, government-inspected, groundhog's asshole. A 5-star asshole. Asshole Prime.

I did say he's an asshole, right?

Ultrasound Publicity Stunt by Brandi Swindell and Other Extremists

After the senate vote on the state rape bill, Senator Nuxoll stated:

Stanton Health Care, a crisis pregnancy center, will sponsor a live ultrasound demonstration in the state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon entitled, “Voices from the Womb.” Three Stanton clients, one in each trimester of pregnancy, will participate, Nuxoll said. “Idaho will be the first state in the nation to have a live ultrasound display in the Statehouse,” she said....

Betsy noted that, actually, Ohio did this last year. While not novel, both stunts suggest a coordinated national campaign to the additional cost for the unnecessary procedure. So who is this Stanton Healthcare sponsoring the stunt? The answer is right in this video.

Its clear by Brandi's breathless recitation, that 1) despite God providing her a "medical facility" she has no interest in performing science based health care; 2) ultrasounds seem to be the single most critical item in the facility; and 3) the most "amazing" thing about the space is that God put it right next to Planned Parenthood.  read more »

"Welcome to Idaho Where You Can Almost Taste the Crazy"

Kudos to my friend for this gem about the Gem State. As we're both natives, it pains us to acknowledge this.

Idaho is the Latest Front on Republican War on Women

On March 19, 2012, the Idaho Senate passed SB 1387, mandating a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure for anyone contemplating an abortion in Idaho. In debating the legislation he authored, Idaho State Senator Chuck Winder (R-Chauvinistan) argued:

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.”

Winder said, “I believe the state does have an interest in the life of the unborn. That's what the debate's about. Does it add cost? Yes, it does. I would just ask you to consider the pricelessness of the unborn.” He noted the Senate's recent commemoration of military members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past year. “Each person has a life story,” Winder said. “Those were cut short. Let's not choose to cut others short.”

The inherent assumptions underlying the Senator's comments are currently making national news here on HuffPo and here on Addicting Info. John Miller further inquired of Senator Winder in a piece published in the Washington Post. The article contains some outraged responses to Winder's argument from State Representative Cheri Buckner Webb (D-Boise).

After a rape, Buckner-Webb said, a doctor should be performing medical procedures to ensure a woman’s health, gathering evidence of a crime and taking measures to assure that she has the necessary support.

“Those are the things they should be checking — not the context. That’s an affront,” Buckner-Webb said. “Let me tell you, a comment like that is very painful. A comment like that is what keeps women from coming forward” when they’ve been victimized by a violent attack.

Senator Winder's campaign Facebook page is replete with commentary from detractors on the matter. Butch Otter is a self described libertarian and its anybody's guess whether those credentials will present themselves to veto the ultrasound legislation.  read more »

First District Democratic Candidate Arrested

Nearing the close of the candidate deadline for this year's races, many political observers expressed surprise to see a locally infamous, yet politically unknown, name pop up as a candidate in the hope to challenge incumbent Raul Labrador for congress in Idaho's first congressional district. Cynthia Clinkingbeard is a doctor who lost her license to practice in Idaho in 2005, reportedly for mental health issues. Approximately a week after filing she was arrested on three counts of aggravated battery for brandishing a weapon at a Boise area Staples store. She was arraigned on the felony counts Monday with her attorney seeking to get her hospitalized.

Clinkingbeard’s attorney, Bret Shoufler, told the judge his client was likely in a “hypo-manic state” when she went into the store and felt that a better place for her would be in a secure medical setting, like a hospital, instead of a jail cell.

Fourth District Magistrate Michael Oths decided to set bond at $100,000, but also told Shoufler he would be willing to approve a furlough from the jail for Clinkingbeard when arrangements could be made for a secure room in a medical facility.

Her candidacy was/is dubious and filing for the position may have been one of the erratic events the College of Western Idaho cited as a reason to suspend her employment last week.

Dr. Clinkingbeard's arrest emphasizes the limited and shrinking resources available to the mentally ill in Idaho. Last year Idaho Republicans slashed Medicaid funding by over $100 million and at the cost of 4000 Idaho jobs. Moreover the cuts were pound foolish merely shifting the burden to other budgets like Corrections and the CAT Fund. This year, Chief Justice Burdick noted that since 2006 there has been a 151% increase in mental health court filings. Ignoring the warning signs of this growing problem will not make it go away.  read more »

Idaho State Senator Wants to Manipulate and Control Reproductive Organs of Complete Strangers Against Their Will

Idaho GOP State Sen. Chuck Winder has decreed that the Gem State's government is now small enough to fit inside a woman's uterus, and he damn well intends to establish a beachhead. Chuck Winder is a dangerous asshole.

TVA has a terrific write-up about this travesty on his uber-blog-of-all-Idaho-blogs, Ft. Boise. Here's an excerpt:

Senator Michelle Stennett, the Minority Caucus chair gave the longest, and most detailed debate against the bill, at the beginning of the debate, identifying five specific reasons why it would be bad law.

• Ultrasounds are not free. None of the providers prepared to offer "free" services are abortion providers.

• In spite of it not being made explicit, in the case of early pregnancy, the bill would effectively require transvaginal ultrasound.

• The medical emergency provision as written does not apply to the new sections; it lacks a provision for "reasonable, medical judgment."

• It conflicts with the Medical Consent Act, giving adult persons in this state the fundamental right to make their own decisions for their health care.

• It is likely to violate the privacy of patients, in that they would have to sign a statement which will become a public record.

Next time you see Senator "State Rape is good" Winder, be sure to salute him for all the fine work he's done for the women in Idaho.

If I Ran This Stupid State Addendum 4.3

Prior to removing their children from public schools to receive a religious-themed homeschooling, Idaho parents would be required to submit their children to a trans-metaphysical "soulogram" probe by a licensed atheist to include a recording of the actual absence of a soul. Parents would have the right to refuse to listen to the silence from a sentient human body devoid of any essence, spirit or other magical construction of "soul."

Prior to entering Idaho to live or temporarily work in a community with less than 20% minority population per the most current US Census, all Caucasian non-residents are required to submit to a trans-chromosomal "colorogram" to determine if they have any non-white genetic material. Individuals would have the right to refuse to listen to the automated voice stating their racial subtypes. Individuals lacking any racial diversity would not be allowed to reside in communities with less than 20% minority populations.

Prior to receiving purchase scripts for the following foodstuffs and spices often used in the preparation of squirrel meat, to include but not be limited to ketchup, tomato sauces, salt and pepper, salsa, flour, white and brown sugar, onion, potatoes, cabbage, teriyaki sauce, applesauce, chicken broth and beef bouillon, Idaho residents must submit to a trans-deliverance"rubeogram" to discern the sounds of banjos, washboards, pickup trucks idling, chainsaws, wolf hybrids howling, meth lab explosions. Individuals may not refuse to listen to the sounds of their internal hills and hollers if they intend to ingest Idaho's squirrels.

My One Interview w DFO

DFO: I'm cure-hee!-((us)) why you pick so man-he fights?

Me: I totally don't get the "cure-hee!-((us)) for "curious"

DFO: How about an ap-hollow-gee once in awhile?

Me: That's your fkn favorite isn't it? You gotta re-TIRE it, man.

DFO: re-TIRE is great! The seasoned citizens will love that!

Me: Seasoned citizens sounds like some depraved cannibalistic act involving spices and meat tenderizer. Dave, are you a cannibal?

DFO: You are itch-ZING for a trip to the cooler, sport

Me: WTF is the zing about? You're forcing it all the time.

DFO: That's it, buddy.

Me: You can't cooler me, I'm sitting in your fkn cubicle.

DFO: Cube-ick-hell!

Me: I taught you that one.

DFO: Hat Tip to you!

Me: Yeah. You're well-cum.

DFO: ???

Me: I have a thing for swarth.

DFO: !!!

Me: Thought I should let you no.


I am filled with a molten outrage over the banning of Sisyphus from a mid-sized city newspaper blog representing and pandering to the Homo Neanderthalenus-Drosophila Melanogaster hybrids of North Idaho.

It isn't because I actually read the grinding scroll of that hideous newspaper forum, although Sisyphus certainly cracks open their rickety outhouse door of pungent, gaseous diatribes and echo chambering with his reality-based commentary and gentle nudging of the resident Lord of the Outhouse People, but I have many more important endeavors to engage in during the day, e.g. memorizing the entire Joe Jackson catalog for "New Wave Brit Invasion Karaoke Night" down at the Dew Drop Wagon Wheel Inn.

But it just flaps my forward gunwales to imagine an America where the free exchange of ideas, even if they contradict or are too logical and humane for the Outhouse People to absorb or even allow to rattle around in their severely sloped and carbuncle covered heads like ball bearings in a gumball machine in the back of an 86 Subaru Brat (the official Car-Truck of North Idaho), is stifled by a tinpot internet Dictator presiding over his swampy banana republic of morons, jethros, hillbillies, wingnuts, assholes, teabaggers, snowballers, pukes, birthers, bible slapping Jesus monkeys, bikers, hellions, scofflaws, and rubes.

Seriously, compare Boise to Coeur D'Alene? My God, that is like comparing a fish with lungs learning to motate on muddy land with an intestinal flatworm clinging with a gaping starving maw for bits of semi-digested squirrel and beans.

Be that as it may, since I don't read it anyway and have been myself banned for over a year I don't suspect a boycott by me will be of any import.


Language and Racism: Cross Talk in Composition Theory

Crossposted on Daily Kos

A teacher is always a Utopian - Victor Villanueva

In this video, Victor Villanueva discusses structural racism and its implications for language education. I love his work, ideas, and approach, and how they weave seamlessly into the third edition of Cross-Talk in Comp Theory.

I first met Victor while teaching and doing research at Washington State University in 1997. I became enamored of his classic, Bootstraps, a work which helped broaden my vision and eventually reshape my paradigm as an academic of color. The memorable conversations include his mention of the many scholars he knew who considered themselves experts in Marx -- but who'd never had a cup of coffee in a working-class home -- as well as other insights.

That is why I was delighted when he published the third edition of Cross-Talk. The book maintains the historical perspective of previous editions while continuing to provide insights on the relatively new discipline of composition studies. Villanueva recruited the expertise of Kristin L. Arola to flesh out the discussion on composition and technology. According to the scholars, "the quick movement of the paradigm--from the personal computer to local-area networks to the rise of social networking--suggests the need to recall the talk and the cross-talk concerning computers and their products for composition."

The challenges of dealing with basic writers can sometimes seem overwhelming. English faculty meetings can be mind-numbing, and departmental administrative toil can leave little time or energy for sharing a vibrant intellectual life with colleagues. So the concept and practice of Cross-Talk gives me access to an empowering social dialogue. There is strength in numbers, and with the book in hand and ideas in mind, I am no longer alone in front of that classroom, or when grading papers. Instead, I am part of a larger, dynamic conversation with the brightest minds in the field (past and present), as well as students and scores of other instructors.

The joy of continually returning to this text brings me close to colleagues from around the world in this discourse community. The landmark articles in the book, by major figures such as Donald Murray, Janet Emig, Walter Ong, Sondra Perl, Mike Rose, and Patricia Bizzell have been a great influence on my teaching, as well as on the field itself. They are joined by the works of other trailblazing scholars such as Peter Elbow and Richard Ohmann. Villanueva also incorporates texts by key names within comp's conversations on technology, including Adam Banks, Cynthia Selfe, and Kathleen Blake Yancey.

Villanueva, now chair of the English Department at Auburn University, writes.

In a very real sense, Cross-Talk is intended as a historical artifact, a way of tracking theoretical discussions in a field that continues to find itself forming its theoretical foundations. Even the givens of comp—writing as process—are contending with cross-talk, like post-process theory. It’s hard to track the history we’re in.

Finally, another trend speaks to my soul:

The other big change in composition studies—at least in our journals—has been the increased presence of writers of color and the greater acceptance of critical pedagogy. As I point out in the final essay to this volume, writers of color are still not present in this profession in the kinds of numbers that would affect our discussions on racism in truly meaningful ways, but something did happen in the second half of the 1990s: the beginnings of rich discussion on racism clearly centered on the concerns of this profession (a somewhat different set of discussions on racism from those which took place in journals like College English at the beginning of the second half of the twentieth century).

Cross-Talk is a collection that continues to provide new and experienced teachers and scholars with avenues for problem solving. It has been a core text in my library as I face the challenges, controversies, and ever-shifting currents within this rich and ever-evolving field: the teaching and learning of composition.

Senator Crapo, GMOs, and the realization that the food system has some gaping holes.

I am new to this forum so I hope I don't violate established etiquette. If I do, just let me know!I wrote this blog entry originally for my group GMO Free Idaho. But, because of the content, I thought it would be good to share here as well. Please bear with me in the length. Who knew Senator Crapo could be so long winded? LOL
I would appreciate feedback you might have!  read more »

Sad that no one has stepped up yet in CD2... Rant against uncontested election

Politically I am very disappointed that no one has taken up the cause of CD2 in the Democratic Party. We do not know what the future holds. With closed primaries Congressman Simpson could fall. Plus fate is strange look at Phil Hart. If we had a candidate in the race we might hold his seat in the statehouse. Plus I truly feel that no federal candidate should run unopposed. If no one is running on my side I feel that there is no hope for a brighter future. By running the race our views our spoken. Our opinions sought. There is no news in an uncontested race.  read more »

John McGee Has Resigned Over Sexual Harrassment Allegations

UPDATED 8:50 a.m. 12/24/12

Crossposted on Daily Kos

At about 3:00 p.m. I received a note from an offical at the statehouse with the words above.

He told me that a press conference was coming shortly.

Dustin Hurst of the Idaho Reporter is "reporting that Senator JOHN McGEE is resigning." A Press Conference was called at 3:30 p.m.

I had written blogs including Is the Media Drinking the Party Line on John McGee? last July.

And Boise's Channel 2 confirmed that the sexual harrassment allegations were by a female staffer.

Here is the story on KTVB.

BOISE -- Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says Senator John McGee has submitted a letter to resign from the Idaho Legislature. Otter told The Associated Press that McGee, a four-term senator from Caldwell, submitted the letter Wednesday morning.

McGee had been the caucus chairman, the fourth ranking post in the Senate.

The resignation caps a difficult year for McGee. He was arrested in June and a month later pleaded guilty to drunken driving in a deal that erased accompanying auto theft charges. He served jail time and paid restitution for damaging the vehicle. At the start of the 2012 session, McGee apologized to his colleagues for his actions and survived efforts calling for him to step down from his leadership post.

According to the Idaho Statesman:

McGee resigned Wednesday after allegations of sexual harassment involving a Senate attache who is not a minor, Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill said. The attorney general is reviewing the case, Hill said.

On Saturday, Hill said he received a confidential allegation of sexual harassment from a female Senate employee. He said he asked the Senate secretary to investigate the allegation. The employee is on paid leave. Hill did not say what the alleged harassment was or when it occurred.

Hill said his first priority is providing, “a safe, secure and professional environment for Senate employees.”

Since the Idaho GOP chose to "Stand by Their Man" after he got drunk, stole a car, and wrecked it -- the story now reads like a tragic comedy. And it was a woman, after all, who finally took him out!  read more »

Maddow Highlights Greenwald's Vandersloot Story and Connects Citizens United


Just last night I was discussing the Greenwald story with a friend and colleague, making the connection to the Citizens United decision and the corrupting power of money in politics. My friend didn't really get the connection. Lo and behold a few hours later, as Serephin notes below, Rachel Maddow makes the case for me.

Jody May-Chang has the transcript. Not all corporations are happy with the decision in Citizens United.

The iconic ice cream company, Ben & Jerry’s sure is not. The founders of Ben & Jerry’s, Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield launched their “Get the Dough Out of Politics” campaign on February 13 on the MSNBC show, the Dylan Ratigan Show.

Ben & Jerry’s is using its considerable clout as a beloved ice cream company to raise awareness about the Citizen’s United decision, a Supreme Court decision that, in my opinion, guts democracy. While appearing on the Dylan Ratigan Show, Greenfield said, “We have to get massive grass roots activation.”

The campaign is definitely doing what it can to get massive grassroots activation. The campaign has a website,, which asks people to sign up to campaign against Citizen’s United. Information about the campaign appears on the Ben & Jerry’s website. The campaign will have Scoop Trucks this summer at the Bonaroo Music Festival, which in addition to serving ice cream, will ask people to sign postcards.

Glenn Greenwald reports that, contrary to my earlier speculation, they have received no contact from legal representatives for Frank Vandersloot and/or Melaleuca, Inc. All's quiet on the Idaho Agenda front as well, and further notes that the story is underscores the need for Idaho to Add the Words. Recall that Idaho Agenda author James Tidmarsh was scolded for referring to Frank Vandersloot for being anti-gay. I think Frank's record of being "anti-gay" might be overblown. After the jump is a video of Frank Vandersloot and Mitt Romney with Idaho's "I'm Not Gay" Senator Larry Craig at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls a few years ago.  read more »

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