With the 2006 elections a mere four days away I look forward to the end of the vitriolic campaigning. Until November 8 when it starts all over again for the 2008 elections.
A story in this morning's Coeur d 'Alene Press gave me pause. Hate seems to have permeated our society and it's rearing it's ugly head again to a fare-the-well. The article was about hate - and terror. Pure and simple. The very fuel which has fired this election cycle.
Over the past several years friends from other parts of the country have asked whatever possessed us to move to northern Idaho. It is always asked if the Neo Nazi/Skinhead movement for which this area has been well know, is alive and well. I've always had the uneasy feeling that it lurks just beneath the surface. I am wrong. It is not beneath the surface at all.
Judge Debra Heise of Boundary County brokered a plea deal for a 21 year old man faced with a felony battery charge for dropping a 17 year old girl into a campfire. She suffered second degree burns on her leg and elbow before being helped from it. Why was this done? In conversation comments were made about the girl's ethnicity. She was a Jew and "Jews burn". She was picked up, carried ten feet to the fire and "catapulted" into the flames. The pain, she recalled, was excruciating.
The plea agreement means the young man will face a misdemeanor charge of a maximum of 6 months in jail instead of the 15 years in prison he would have faced on the felony charge.
The impression the girl's father got from the judge was that if both sides did not agree on the plea deal she would dismiss the case because she felt it was accidental. "Boys will be boys."
All the natural beauty in the world cannot overshadow this ugliness. Whatever possessed us to move here? An extreme lapse of judgment.