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Thursday, July 15,2010

Letters | Peace center is irrelevant

Peace center is irrelevant

(Re: “27 years of activism,” cover story, July 8.) There is no more irrelevant organization than the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, and I have to wonder why you wasted so much column space on this group of accomplishment-challenged earth muffins. Among their so-called achievements, they tout the shutdown of Rocky Flats. It was Ronald Reagan’s defeat of the Soviet Union and ending of the cold war that caused Rocky Flats to close its doors. In fact, a plan for the closure of Rocky Flats had probably been in the DOD files for at least 10 years prior to the protests.

You left out a few other key accomplishments of RMPJC. For example, they never met a Palestinian terrorist that they didn’t like. They idolize Muslim Palestinian suicide bombers who bravely targeted coffee houses and pizza joints, but organize three-person protests against Israel when she defends herself. Dan Winter of RMPJC tried his pacifist techniques with the Serbs during the Bosnian war. Unfortunately, those peaceful Serbs got his peaceful butt cornered, and he had to be rescued by nasty NATO troops. Each year RMPJC rolls out someone from Hiroshima to slam the USA for having the audacity to drop A-bombs on Japan to end WWII. They conveniently forget to protest Japan’s WWII atrocities, including the Rape of Nanking, where exponentially more Chinese civilians were murdered compared to the atomic bomb casualties. The RMPJC weenies wring their hands and tear their clothes at the idea that the USA and the West might preemptively do something to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, but are eerily silent when Iran hangs children as spies or sentences women to death by stoning for adultery. According to the RMPJC, those wacky, misunderstood Muslims, whether in Iran, Syria, Iraq or Gaza, can do no wrong, but the USA is the root of all evil.

I hope that RMPJC had a wonderful 27th birthday celebration complete with a sustainable, gluten-free, carbonneutral and fair-trade cake. I hope that Carolyn Bninski is able to quickly find another part-time job. I hear that Hugo Chavez is hiring.

Alan Bloom/Boulder

Obama vs. capitalism

(Re: “What would Sarah do?” Danish Plan, June 17.) I completely agree with everything that Paul Danish wrote in this particular column. However, as many of us know, Obama never wants a crisis to go by the wayside. As a result, he is using this one to deflect concern over the economy, and he is successful in accomplishing that.

Also, since he wishes to destroy capitalism — for example, 30,000 more are now unemployed due to his moratorium — he will say he must now raise taxes to decrease the deficit. That, as any well-versed economist knows, will put the final nail in the coffin of capitalism. Once again Obama (and Soros) win and the U.S. loses!

Tawn Otrhalek/Grosse Pointe Shores, Mich.

Romanoff, not Bennet

Just before a definitive victory of more than 20 points at the Colorado Democratic State Assembly in May, Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the Colorado House, gave a rousing speech blasting the corporate cash flow that stifles reform, “where we sell Senate seats to the highest bidder and turn Congress into a wholly owned subsidiary of the industries it’s supposed to be regulating.” Romanoff is the only candidate in this U.S. Senate race who refuses to take contributions from special interest groups.

Appointed Senate incumbent Michael Bennet is running on the tired cliché: “Washington’s broke, and I’m going to fix it,” while raking in special interest money that is the quintessential problem in Congress. He has received at least $1.14 million from special interests. Sixty-one percent of his contributions have come from out-of-state.

Bennet received $70,000 from oil and gas special interest groups, including BP, then voted in favor of oil and gas by voting against the Sanders Amendment, which would have closed loopholes that allow oil and gas companies to receive more than $35 billion in tax breaks. (Exxon Mobile made $19 billion in profit, paid no taxes and got a refund of $156 million.) This amendment would have reduced the deficit and invested in energy efficiency and conservation.

Bennet serves on the Senate Banking Committee and, of all the candidates running for U.S. Senate, he is the top recipient of savings and loans special interest money. He has received $800,000 from banking and finance interests. Bennet voted against a full audit of the Federal Reserve, voted against a plan to prevent banks from becoming too big to fail, and voted against legislation to prevent mortgage foreclosures and preserve home values, allowing families to save their homes.

He also received $80,000 from insurance interests and $76,000 from pharmaceutical and health care companies. Bennet raised $70,000 in donations as a “health care hero” on a promise to push for the public option. He broke that promise and then raised thousands more from the insurance industry for his campaign. He also voted against providing $250 payments to seniors who received no increase in Social Security.

As Denver Public Schools superintendent, Bennet was “touted as having returned DPS to fiscal solvency, but DPS is $654 million upside down when comparing its assets to liabilities … DPS’ debt has risen … and standardized test scores only improved slightly,” reported Christopher Scott in the Huffington Post. Watch for more about Bennet’s involvement with huge losses to DPS teacher pension plans.

If we want our senators to solve problems, we need to limit special interest participation. A vote for Andrew Romanoff is a vote for the people of Colorado and a vote against the “payto-play” system that influences Congress.

Linda Petrie Bunch/Denver

Tax Lebron James

This letter is in response to the infinite articles of drivel concerning the status of Lebron James. One of the most disturbing facts about our capitalist nation is the misappropriation of funds directed to the salaries of entertainers.

Everyone should agree that the value an athlete, movie star, talk-show host, team owner, etc., brings to the average citizen is very small. Granted, they do offer a minuscule of diversion from our daily trials and tribulations, as did the jesters in the king’s court during the Middle Ages. But to allow these entertainers to horde such great amounts of wealth at the expense of more benevolent societal programs is unacceptable.

They do not provide a product or a service, so why are they rewarded as such?

Our society is also subjected to the “profound wisdom” of these people because it equates wealth with influence. Perhaps a solution to this problem and an alternative to defeated school levies, crumbling infrastructures and programs created to help feed, clothe and shelter those who cannot help themselves would be to tax this undeserved wealth. Entertainers could keep 1 percent of the gross earnings reaped from their endeavor, and 99 percent could be deposited into public coffers.

The old ideas of the redistribution of wealth have failed, and it is time to adapt to modern-day preferences. People put their money into entertainment above everything else; isn’t it time to tap that wealth? Does anyone think this will reduce the quality of entertainment? It seems to me that when enter tainers received less income, the quality was much higher.

Joe Bialek/Cleveland

Lions are not food

I was shocked to hear that lion burgers are being served at a restaurant in Arizona. I was even more upset to hear that this isn’t something new or out of the ordinary. That this meat is considered game meat and so easily obtainable is hard to believe since lions in Africa are a threatened species with only about 20,000 left. If we do nothing, they may be extinct by 2020!

Czimer Game & Sea Foods, the butcher who supplies this meat, was previously convicted in a landmark case of illegal underground animal trading. He was fined and served time in a federal prison, yet is still in business. Having purchased the carcasses of 16 federally protected tigers, four lions, two mountain lions, and a liger and selling them off as “lion” meat in the past, should we expect that he has changed?

With unregulated displays of lion and tiger cubs all over the United States, it’s easy to understand why previous investigations have shown that lion meat was being bred and raised right here in our country. Accredited sanctuaries are full, and there is nowhere for all of these big cats to go once they are too large and dangerous for exhibitors to house.

The fear is that many, if not most, end up as exotic game meats.

Inspectors are stretched thin. They can’t control whether or not lion meat is really from a lion. It may be tiger meat instead, which is illegally traded since tigers are an endangered species.

By banning the breeding of big cats in the private sector, it would make it impossible for U.S. dealers to acquire and sell this meat. Neither the USDA nor the FDA has the manpower to inspect, regulate and ensure the quality or origin of this food source. Please sponsor or co-sponsor a bill that would ban the breeding, buying and selling of big cats in the United States (other than AZA-accredited zoos).

Shawndra Hayes-Budgen/Arvada

Falun Gong oppression

A decade after the Vietnam War, I immigrated to the U.S. because of the corruption of the Communist government that represses its people and does not allow any freedom of speech or spiritual belief.

Not long ago, I started practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice that promotes the traditional values of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Within months, my overall mind and health improved greatly. Unfortunately, the Falun Gong practitioners in China have been brutally persecuted for 11 years this month.

In March, the U.S. House passed a resolution condemning China for the persecution of Falun Gong. We thank Colorado’s U.S. Congressman Lamborn for being one of the 81 co-sponsors of this resolution and the Colorado Congressmen/women for their vote.

This sentence from the Declaration of Independence written 234 years reminds me how lucky I am to be a citizen of the United States.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Vivian Lam/Denver

Conservative hypocrites

How hypocritical it is for self-styled conservatives to want government at any level to preserve or even support “social values.” Yet that is precisely what I believe divides the city where I live, and for that matter the country. Conservatives often criticize liberals for wanting government to solve problems. Some, for example those associated with the “Tea Party” movement, say they want to eradicate government. Does any inconsistency pop out at you? Don’t these folks realize that it is notonly undesirable, but impossible, to legislate morality? Except for the Taliban.

It’s time to give this matter some thought.

Gregory Iwan/Longmont

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