We love it that local mothers came out of the woodwork on May 13, the day after Mother’s Day, to give our all-female county commissioners an earful about fracking.
These moms delivered hundreds of postcards to the board asking them to extend the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing that expires on June 10. They contend that as many as 1,800 new wells could be fracked in the county if the moratorium is allowed to expire.
We were especially moved by the statements of Jodee Berkee, an organizer for the Mother’s Project, who said, “We implore all mothers in Boulder County and throughout Colorado to stand with us and say no, emphatically and without apology, to the prioritizing of mineral rights over our children’s health and the well-being of our community. No, to the drilling of wells next to their homes and schools and, indeed, to the systematic contamination of our life support systems … air, water and soil. No more standing silently by while our elected officials legislate on behalf of the oil and gas industry to the detriment of our health and communities. We ask you to stand with us in defending Colorado from hydraulic fracturing should the state and local government continue on this unprecedented and destructive course of action that benefits the private profits of the oil and gas industry over the health and safety of the public.”
We know at least one commissioner, Elise Jones, has made no bones about her concerns regarding fracking, even trouncing, er, debating, Gov. Frackenlooper publicly.
We hope Cindy Domenico and Deb Gardner show the same intestinal fortitude and demonstrate responsiveness to the people who elected them.
TAXMAN OVERSTEPS HIS BOUNDS
So the Internal Revenue Service got busted for singling out conservative groups like the Tea Party in an effort to keep political groups from receiving tax-exempt status.
Hey, we’re often the first to criticize and make fun of the Tea Party and its ilk, but President Obama is right to condemn this approach by saying that the federal government “must conduct itself in a way that’s worthy of the public’s trust.”
Apparently, the IRS created some new criteria to flag conservative groups and check them for political activity, which disqualifies them from being tax-exempt. Those criteria included obvious ones, like whether the term “patriots” was used in a group’s name, but also some that were over the top, like whether there was language about making America a better place to live, or advocating for education about the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution.
Since when did educational efforts about our country’s founding topics become such a political football? Granted, we have been critical in the past about Republican university leaders trying to ease out “liberal” disciplines like ethnic studies in favor of “conservative” ones like civics, critical thinking and Western civilization.
But when it comes down to it, there should be nothing political about wanting to educate people about the roots and values of the country they live in. Unfortunately, those efforts have been given a bad name by some of the wing-nuts espousing them.
And our favorite criterion that the IRS was using to weed out right-wing groups? Whether there was any language in a group’s case file criticizing how the country is being run.
Wonder what kind of “Taxman” lyrics George Harrison would write if he were still around today.