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Thursday, September 9,2010

Letter | Wombs are not soapboxes

Wombs are not soapboxes

[Re: “Personhood revisited,” News, Aug. 26.] They’re at it again. They just can’t stay out of women’s wombs and couples’ bedrooms. They say they are protecting the unborn or preborn or whatever language they can dream up to cast one cell, two cells, a few cells as “persons.” There was a resounding “no” in 2008. But they will keep it up until they get some state, any state, to pass it. They hope for a legal challenge so that they can take it all the way to the Roberts U.S. Supreme Court in hopes of overturning Roe v. Wade. As a Coloradan, I don’t appreciate being used and abused to advance someone’s or some group’s religious dogma.

Our young women don’t remember a time when a woman didn’t have the right to make her own reproductive choices. They don’t remember that it took two Supreme Court rulings to make it legal for women to use birth control. And they assume that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land — and will remain that way.

But there’s even more to this than a religious belief. Those of us of a certain age remember the days when society supported the notion that the proper role for women was “to keep them barefoot and pregnant.” Most men and many women subscribed to the notion that a woman’s place was in the “house,” not the “House.” And there are those who still believe this and who are deter mined to turn back time to achieve it.

Amendment 62 is a measure that if passed, would change the state constitution and insert the government into the personal, private health care decisions that women and their families make every single day. The amendment seeks to extend legal and constitutional rights to fertilized eggs. It would ban all abortion, including in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is at risk. It could also ban emergency contraception and commonly used birth control.

So keep saying no to these people.

Say it loud and say it often. And make sure no judge ever sits on a bench that could rob women and families of their rights to self-determination. Talk to your friends, your neighbors, members of your extended family. Make sure that when November’s votes are counted that the rejection of the amendment is larger than the last time. Keep saying no for as long as it takes. Only you can protect your reproductive rights.

Kaye Fissinger/Longmont

Danish, terrorists and The New York Times

[Re: What to do about the mosque near Ground Zero,” Danish Plan, Aug. 26] When Paul Danish and like-minded right-wing demagogues write anti- Islamic screeds dissing Sufi community centers near Ground Zero, they are disempowering Islamic moderates and boosting the recruitment numbers of hard-line terrorists. When ignorant crackers attack law-abiding Muslims with knives in New York, or burn down mosque construction in Tennessee, they are marching to Paul Danish and friends’ tune, further empowering the suicidal nut jobs we all are so afraid of.

Is Paul Danish a secret Islamofascist because he is providing material support to terrorists with his hate speech?

We don’t even have to know for sure to have him indefinitely detained. We just need a note from our president or the CIA or the NSA stating that he is a terrorist. Since we are not in Pakistan or Yemen, we don’t even need a drone or a hellfire missile. A couple of rent-a-cops in a van armed with a Tazer can whisk him to the nearest airport and off to Baghram for interrogation. No muss, no fuss, no trial, no recourse, no bother. How great is that? God bless America! Make sure it’s a white, Christian God doing the blessing. If the terrorists’ goal was to destroy America, we are helping them by gutting the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution. We are also helping them by sending billions overseas when we can’t afford jobs, education or infrastructure at home.

Since the Weekly is an independent, egalitarian newspaper, I look forward to hateful screeds directed at other religious and minority groups written by ignorant, privileged white guys in the weeks to come. In the meantime, we could consider dedicating Ground Zero to a memorial for all of the innocent civilians killed worldwide by us in the years since 9/11. It would be an ongoing jobs project, ’cause they keep on dying.

Hats off to the rebranding of the occupation of Iraq. We withdrew 4,000 combat troops and are hiring 7,000 mercenaries to supplement the 50,000 “non” combat troops we left behind. Is this a “responsible” end of the “war”? See you at the parade.

Scott MacInnis/Longmont

You guys should really send this [Danish column] in to the New York Times, this is nothing short of great.

Barb Karr/Boulder

Why the secrecy around 60, 61 and 101?

[Re: “60, 61 and 101 would be disastrous,” Perspectives, Sept. 2.] Who is behind the Bad 3? They are trying very hard to make sure you don’t know. And they’re trying very hard to make sure you don’t know what damage 60, 61 and 101 would do to Colorado.

Reporting this week in The Denver Post opened a window on the backers of these intentionally misleading, job-killing measures as they attack the process of creating the “Blue Book,” the state-prepared voter guide. The only backer of these initiatives who will speak refuses to do so publicly. In fact, she will only communicate with the state by e-mail. The Post says this is because “proponents were not interested in meeting in person.”

But the e-mails are instructive. In one, the backer likens the nonpartisan analysts in charge of developing the Blue Book to Joseph Goebbels, one of Adolph Hitler’s top lieutenants. Seriously!

Pledge to vote no on the Bad 3. The name on the e-mails is Natalie Menten, who bills herself as a champion of transparency. In 2009, when running for Lakewood City Council, she told The Denver Post that all workings of government “should be disclosed early on by using every method of notification available. Lack of information is misinformation.” If transparency is so important to her, why won’t she even show her face?

“Good governance depends on transparency, so Colorado voters ought to ask themselves why proponents of a trio of tax-slashing measures are so stridently arguing to keep a fact-based analysis of them out of view,” The Denver Post said in an editorial on Sept. 1.

The Post notes that the phrasing and use of capitalization in e-mails from Menten looks highly similar to two other e-mails the state received directly from Doug Bruce. That suggests Doug Bruce is just hiding behind Natalie Menten.

Bruce is accused of violating the state Constitution for failing to disclose who has financially backed the Bad 3. He’s spent months making a mockery of our campaign finance laws — and the courts — by dodging process servers after repeatedly failing to appear in court.

The right wing is hell-bent on wiping out our campaign finance disclosure laws. Doug Bruce is their poster child. Who is backing the Bad 3? Is it out-of-state business interests trying to damage our economy to eliminate com-people like Doug Bruce, we don’t know.

What we do know is that Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 are opposed by Democrats, and they’re opposed by Republicans. They’re opposed by Colorado business, as well as labor. Liberals and conservatives. Rich and poor. The people pushing these attacks won’t show themselves, and they are counting on voters who are angry about the economy not looking any deeper than having taxes cut during a recession. That’s exactly what happened the last time Doug Bruce horn-swoggled Coloradans into voting for one of his crackpot ideas — TABOR — during the Bush recession of 1992.

We have to put a stop to this. Pledge to vote against these destructive initiatives.

Mike Ditto/ProgressNow Colorado

Does anyone care about our sidewalks?

Is there anyone at all in charge of enforcing sidewalk laws in Boulder? My limited knowledge of overgrowth and low-hanging trees in north Boulder makes me think that no — no one even cares. On Iris alone, there are at least four instances of extreme overgrowth from Broadway to 28th Street.

What is the chance that violators could be fined? Wouldn’t it be nice if the fine money could be used to support our schools? After all, it is the schoolchildren who use the sidewalks.

And speaking of schoolchildren, I noticed that the very costly renovation of Casey Middle School has a front staircase that has two trees impeding travel down the steps. The trees are planted directly in the middle of two sections of the stairs at the bottom. Students would definitely be strangled by the wires holding them up, should they be unaware that the stairs end at a tree. Isn’t this a safety issue? And why are administrators forcing trees into the faces of students who walk down the steps?

Linda Nelson/Boulder

Tancredo’s third-party run a disgrace

I am writing as I am concerned that Tom Tancredo is getting a free pass on issues and how destructive his third-party run is for Colorado.

Tancredo has made a career out of being the champion against illegal immigration, yet his third-party run will certainly destroy any chance of reform in Colorado.

This legislative session, State Rep.

Kent Lambert (R-Colorado Springs) is introducing a bill modeled off of the Arizona law, a bill the majority of Coloradans support. Logically, this is an issue that Tom Tancredo should be fully behind, and he should be doing whatever

he can to ensure its passage, but his third-party run will split the vote, ensuring a John Hickenlooper win and destroying any chance of reining in illegal immigration and its destructive impacts on the state’s economy.

The media is missing the real impacts of the third-party run. Even if a newspaper’s “slate” is to support John Hickenlooper, all are missing the real story of just what Tom Tancredo is doing to skew the coming election and his seeming vendetta against the GOP.

Don Rodgers/Colorado Springs

Obama stretching military resources too thin

“Last combat brigade leaves Iraq,” said Obama last week. The newspapers dutifully printed what he said, but Obama was lying. The truth is that Obama is waging four wars, a fact that he wants to hide from the Democrats, especially before an election.

A couple of days later, Gen. Petraeus, talked about the 56,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Both military and civilian casualties are rapidly increasing.

About six months ago, Obama ordered the invasion of Yemen with what our military is calling a “modest” sized expeditionary force. An article in the Wall Street Journal said that an increase in the number of U.S. troops there is being considered.

Obama is also furiously bombing Pakistan with drones and cruise missiles. A news article gave details about one of our drone attacks on a building that had 20 children in it.

Obama’s four-war strategy is militarily unsound and economically disastrous.

No nation can wage four wars and win. Neither can we afford to wage four wars. Our national debt is officially at $12 trillion. The actual figure is closer to twice that. Niall Ferguson, the keynote speaker at the Aspen Institute symposium last month, flatly predicted that the American economy will collapse under our debt load within two years.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Either you go out and put pressure on Obama to stop this madness, or the economy will shortly bring the problem home to you.

George Newell/Boulder

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