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Thursday, January 21,2010

Don't sexualize women

(Re: “Performance and sex appeal,” Elevation, Jan. 14.) I wanted to send in a letter saying how horrid your article about the “sexy” women for Lange is. It’s disgraceful. Women have so many body issues, and what this “unique and quality” company is promoting is homegrown disgrace towards women. Let’s find a way to sell products that will promote local businesses without sexualizing them.

Morgan Tucker/Boulder

It was Geneva Basin

Just a note regarding the Dec. 31 letter on ski areas by letter writer Richard Lanman (“Other lost ski areas,” letters). The Guanella Pass ski area he mentions sounds like that would be Geneva Basin. I just flew over that, and the lifts are gone and the lodge burned down. I do believe I read/ heard it often enough that it was Gov. Romer who was an owner of that spot.

Rainer Hantschel/Denver

The war on drugs

I’m writing about the thoughtful letter from William Ambrose, “End reefer madness” ( Jan. 14).

Marijuana is the foundation of our so-called war on drugs. Remove marijuana from the equation, and the whole drug war will collapse.

The so-called war on drugs is a huge industry and huge bureaucracy. Victory in the drug war is not possible, nor is it the goal. Victory in the drug war would mean that the drug war industry and bureaucracy are out of business.

There are basically two kinds of people who support the so-called war on drugs:

Those who make their livelihood from it. This includes politicians and bureaucrats who are probably on the payroll of the drug cartels. (Al Capone had hundreds of politicians and prohibition officials on his payroll.)

And fools. Fools who have bought into the lies and propaganda of the drug-war industry and bureaucracy. Fools who are willing to deny liberty and freedom to others but think that their own liberty and freedom will never be in jeopardy. Fools who believe that criminalizing a substance will make it go away. Fools who think that drug prohibition somehow protects children. Fools who think that giving criminals control of dangerous drugs somehow protects children and our society. Fools who think that they live in a free country even though the United States is the most incarcerated nation in the history of human civilization.

Kirk Muse/Mesa, Ariz.

Not the change we need

(Re: “Obama, one year later,” cover story, Jan. 14) A fine article until we come to the final paragraph. “In the end, politicians are a reflection of the citizens they represent.”

How could you possibly come to that thoughtless, trite and categorically untrue conclusion?

The truth is that we have arrived at a time when politicians do not represent their citizens. Because we lack term limits, they are consumed with fundraising for re-election, which is why big business is so attractive to them. How many campaign dollars can a business the size of a Boulder newspaper contribute, compared to the thousands of employees of Bank of America?

I read that Goldman Sachs employees were the largest group of contributors to Obama’s campaign. Is there a relationship between them being the “last man standing” among the investment banks and those contributions?

According to you, there is no relationship, since politicians represent their citizens rather than their large corporate contributors.

I wish your conclusion had been that Obama would have been less of a disappointment if the Congress was not composed of corporate “sock puppets.” And I wish you had recommended term limits as the preferred method to keep Congress responsive to those who elected them.

Instead, I received the claim that it’s really all our fault, with no mention of the corporate “sock puppet” problem.

Robert Shive/Port Saint Lucie, Fla.

In response to your “Obama, one year later,” Wall Street got the gold and Main Street got the shaft.

I lost my home of 10 years because U.S. Bank broke the law, and your Boulder socialist courts are greasing the way for more evictions as you read this.

I’ve supported 1,000 jobs locally since 1992 with patents and legal counseling. I can’t find a single lawyer locally who has fought off an eviction, yet 8,000 appraisers complained to the U.S. Senate in 2004 that U.S. Bank and others were forcing them to lie about home values to keep employed. Since I am a lawyer, I fought one fraudulent appraisal, got a jury trial, and your lefty courts abruptly ended a shot at justice against a mega bank. This is not the change America voted for.

Rick Martin/Longmont

Nothing has changed

“I sent Congress a message recommending national compulsory health insurance … This nationwide system of medical care should be centralized … Under the plan all citizens would be able to get medical and hospital services.” — Harry S. Truman, Nov. 19, 1945.

In Hawaii, I was covered by medical insurance by the Hawaiian Health Care System. The cornerstone of the Hawaiian system was an act passed in 1974, called the Prepaid Healthcare Act. In 1989, with $10 million in seed money from the state legislature, Hawaii’s health department set up the State Health Insurance Plan: “SHIP.” There were approximately 15,000 Hawaiians on the SHIP program who were poor, but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. The Hawaiian system was far from perfect, but had worthwhile advantages that should be looked into when planning a national health care system today.

The quote by Harry S. Truman was made in 1945 (65 years ago). The language for national health care is basically the same today as it was then.

Only the numbers have escalated.

In 1960, the U.S. was spending 5.3 percent of its GNP on health care. The U.S. spent $817 billion on health care (1992), and $163 billion went toward administrative costs.

In 1992, hospitals spent more than 20 percent of their budgets on billing. The whole country of Canada employed fewer administrators than the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts only covered 2.7 million people. Canadacovered 25 million people and only spent 9 percent of its GNP.

I wrote in The Livingston Chronicle (Michigan) in 1992: “If the present administration is left to its own devices, there will be no change or reform for the American health care system. Costs will continue to rise out of control, and more Americans will find themselves with no place to turn in a health emergency.”

Reviewing my published archives, I could write the same exact words today, and they would be applicable. I have yet to see what the 2010 health care reform act has contained in it. Our representatives say they are working on the plan in Washington. Behind closed doors.

President Obama promised these health care talks would be televised. Why weren’t they? Are insurance companies and their lobbyists that powerful? Who has what to hide?

Many Americans put their faith in Obama’s ability to get the right things done. Shouldn’t our lawmakers have its citizens’ primary needs as a basic priority?

If you have to ask yourself the question, “Why is America the only industrialized country without primary health care for all its citizens,” then you realize there is a huge flaw in the way our government is applying its processes to help every American with programs the rest of the entire industrialized world has.

All Americans should have access to primary health care. Americans want a health care plan that works on its own merit — a plan that stands alone and doesn’t rely on the insurance industry to be successful.

B.J. Mooney/Nederland

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