Hmmm. Webster’s New World Dictionary describes a “volunteer” as “a person who chooses freely to enter into any transaction with no promise of compensation.” Obviously, the teens paid by Kootenai County Commissioner Dick Compton’s campaign to do phone work last fall weren’t volunteers - though no one bothered to withhold taxes from their pay or file Internal Revenue Service paperwork. They simply were told to fib that they were volunteers if anyone asked. Or so they say. Compton, who worked the phones alongside the young guns hired by telemarketer Q&A; Communications, denies knowing anything about the arrangement. And Q&A;’s Sandy Clark disputes claims made by three Coeur d’Alene teens. But why should they lie again? Said 14-year-old “volunteer” Sarah Swearingen: “I couldn’t understand it. If we were volunteers, why’d we get paid?” Out of the mouths of babes …
Forget about the weather; where’s my letter?
So, the Militia of Montana believes Big Brother is manipulating the weather via a network of towers producing low-frequency radio waves? That’s what militia spokesman Bob Fletcher told a skeptical U.S. Senate panel recently. In fact, the Montana group has produced a 47-page booklet on the evils of weather control, which is available to you in a hot-pink cover - for only $10, cash or money order. But before you send for your very own copy, consider this question posed by the National Review about this cockamamie conspiracy theory: “Is this the same government that can barely conspire to deliver the mail?”
National truck firm spurns ‘goat trail,’ too
An old Coeur d’Alene saying goes: “There are no good roads to Worley.” Only U.S. Highway 95. Despite improvements to that road, many of us North Idahoans use U.S. Highway 195 in Washington when traveling to Lewiston and other Idaho points south - for safety reasons. Now, Swift Transportation Co., one of the country’s largest trucking companies, also has abandoned the lower half of what ex-Gov. Cecil Andrus routinely described as “the goat trail.” Company officials are rerouting approximately 30 trucks per day carrying finished paper goods from Lewiston through Pendleton, Ore., and Walla Walla. That will cost Idaho significantly in lost road and fuel taxes. But don’t hold your breath thinking the move will prompt the Idaho Legislature to do something about this deplorable north-south roadway. Southern Idaho legislators believe North Idaho begins and ends at McCall.
, DataTimes MEMO: “Hot Potatoes” is a feature of the Tuesday and Thursday Opinion pages.