For instance, just last week I navigated over to an Idaho left-leaning blog that appears to be pretty widely read in blogger circles: Red State Rebels. It's generally well written, and the author seems sincere. It also has proven to be a good source of Idaho political information. However, even RSR doesn't seem immune from the blogger's disease. Last week she posted about a dairy being proposed in my home county of Jerome. Naturally I was interested. Apparently this dairy is huge, and huge dairy equals huge stink. What makes this an even bigger controversy is that if approved, the dairy will sit too close for comfort from the newly (in 2001) minted Minidoka Internment National Monument. For obvious reasons, alot of groups oppose the dairy. What struck me though from RSR's post was this line,
The group also is protesting that Jerome County Commissioners do not plan to take testimony or even read emails from opponents of the proposed feedlot when they meet February 6 for a long-delayed decision on the application.
That's outrageous, right? Indeed it is. However, it turns out that the source of the opposition's frustration is a county ordinance which stipulates that only comments from those living within a mile of a proposed CAFO (that's code for HUGE dairy) can be heard by county commissioners. Art Brown, the subject of much of RSR and others' ire, is quoted in the Times News,
"I've never had input from outside the one mile before," said Art Brown, administrator for the planning and zoning board. "I've never dealt with this before."
The Times also reported that,
Brown has created two files for the case: one for comments from residents within the one-mile radius and another envelope for comments from parties outside the radius.
The file containing letters from outside the radius will remain sealed at the hearing, essentially muting those parties.
However, the commission will be presented with an index of the comments in the sealed envelope and can choose to examine individual comments if the majority of commissioners chose to do so.
It is clear that parties outside the one-mile radius will not be allowed to testify in person at the hearing, per the ordinance.
Commissioner Diana Obenauer said that's unfair and suggested changing the ordinance to include testimony from anyone willing to offer it - much the same way testimony is heard in neighboring Gooding County.
It doesn't appear that any deep rooted conspiracy is in place, or that the Jerome County Commissioners hate democracy, or any other such nonsense. This is just the way the law was set up and no one has ever complained before. Now that it's an issue, the rule is being looked at.
Also last week I found what to me was an even greater source of blogger disease. We have failed our duty as citizens is based just up the road in Gooding and written by an apparently very vocal and vehement critic of the Iraq War. She posted an argument against the war that included this absurdity,
Who was in charge before the Americans took their country from them? If they hated Sad-Damn so much, why were there never any car bombs, IEDs, suicide bombers, etc., trying to put him out of power?
Year after year, US TV showed his birthday party. He stood on the balcony, waving to the crowd. Vast numbers of men and women stood below, firing automatic rifles in the air, in a Mideastern-style celebration. If they hated him so much, how's come no bullet ever went toward him?
Yep, apparently everything was just peachy keen under Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people just loved him. Well, except for maybe the ones that he tortured and killed. But if they were really all that upset about the torture, why didn't they do anything about it? I mean, they just let it happen without so much as a single automatic rifle shot his way. Well, if they can't run even one suicide bomber at him, they surely don't deserve our help.