April 4, 2010 in Idaho Voices

Priggee carries quite a ’toon

By The Spokesman-Review
 

If you don’t know who Milt Priggee is, you probably haven’t lived in the Inland Northwest for long. For years, Milt was the free-spirit cartoonist for The Spokesman-Review who was always in hot water – and loved being there. Once, he ticked off Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls chamber members with a ’toon that showed North Idaho kids participating in a Junior Bloomsday. In racist bedsheets. Milt has moved to Western Washington. But he hasn’t lost his ability to anger readers. Recently, he gained national attention with a ’toon portraying Tea Partiers as redneck bigots. The ’toon showed them with signs for various causes around a tree, with a noose hanging from it, marked “health care reform.” The head of the lynch mob wonders where President Obama is. Only a racial epithet is used for Obama to add to the incendiary nature of the cartoon. Which 57 percent of my Huckleberries Online readers thought was “highly offensive.” This time, however, someone else has to field the angry phone calls from readers.

Not Sarah’s friend

Local human-rights activist Tony Stewart isn’t amused by those cross-hairs that conservative firebrand Sarah Palin uses on her Facebook page – you know, the ones that show the 20 congressional Dem seats that SarahPac has targeted for Repub takeover. Tony told reporter Erika Bolstad/Idaho Statesman that Palin and other high-profile leaders “have a very, very serious responsibility to measure their words carefully. I’m deeply concerned about that type of trend in our country and what it could do to the fringe elements. When people are very divisive or extreme in their comments, unfortunately, our history has taught us that some individuals who are on the very fringe – and are oftentimes not even stable – may take that and engage in violence.” On the other hand, my Huckleberries Online readers didn’t agree with Tony. In a poll last week, 57 percent (107 of 189 respondents) said they weren’t bothered by Palin’s Facebook cross-hairs. How about you?

Huckleberries

The locally famous readerboard at Davis Donuts offered this bit of wisdom last week: “Good character is like good soup – it’s usually home made” … Huckleberries Poll: By 2-to-1 (66 percent to 33 percent), my blog’s Berry Pickers agreed with the Idaho Senate that recipients of public assistance should be required to take random drug tests. Which surprised me. I voted with the minority … Gov. Butch may be proud of the 2010 Legislature. But my Berry Pickers aren’t. Seventy-eight percent of them gave the recent session a letter grade of D, F, or incomplete … Scanner Traffic: 1st Officer: “Do we have a crime or is it just ruffled feathers?” 2nd officer: “I believe it’s just ruffled feathers” … Gov. Butch, btw, got a royal razzing during a speech to young Boise professionals recently – and he didn’t know. They were texting one another during his speech, including one who wrote: “Otter talking abt old people, cowboying, corp tax breaks … not to this young professional crowd, for sure.” Ouch.

Parting shot

Just when you thought it was safe to read national media reports about North Idaho … “Nightline” discovers that Boundary County militia group. Which it described as a “group of weekend warriors.” The show aired Tuesday. Quoth reporters Ryan Owens and Ely Brown: “ ‘Nightline’ visited a recent Saturday training session of the 21st Battalion of North Idaho’s Lightfoot Militia – a heavily armed force that, we’re told, numbers more than 100. Just about a dozen showed up on the Saturday we did.” An article re: the “Nightline” show quotes “Major” Jeff Stankiewicz, an unemployed welder with no military experience who heads the group, is saying government should be afraid of its people. The article concludes with the obligatory observation that Oklahoma bombing co-conspirator Terry Nichols was a member of the Michigan militia. Who said all publicity is good if they spell your name right?


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