Letters: 1/4/18

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Trickle down

Let’s call it Trickle Me Once, Trickle Me Twice. The Trumpublican tax “reform” is a simple reaffirmation of Ronald Reagan’s supply-side, trickle down economic platform that has resulted in the wealth and income disparity we have today. It is purely magical thinking to believe that the corporate world will share its tax windfall with the average working American whose own tax “relief,” unlike that for corporations, is set to expire. In other words, all future deficits will fall squarely upon public rather than corporate income and conservatives can amplify their disparagement of federal safety nets such as Medicare and Social Security. The goal seems to be to transform America into a Banana Republic ruled by a wealthy, oligarchical class. All “isms” have positive and negative aspects, but this is capitalism at its worst.

Robert Porath/Boulder

Trump: the American
vaccine?

America is still a young country with much to learn. We started on good footing with a democracy and the rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our system of government was developed to keep a balance among the executive, legislative and judicial branches, which worked well until 2016 when we elected a defective candidate into the White House without revealing his financial information. In retrospect, we could have been spared the travesty if it had been the law instead of a gentleman’s agreement to require all political candidates to make their financial dealings public. Duh! Donald Trump has proceeded to dismantle many hard-earned regulations that protected us from industrial-caused environmental hazards and human rights abuses. He has seriously divided our people by denying science, promoting conspiracy theories and aligning with nationalist and racist radicals. Trump has been documented as proffering over 100 outright lies. Our national departments are now stacked with unqualified campaign contributors and Wall Street bankers. His purged cabinet still has people with nefarious connections to Russian spies. Trump’s only major legislative accomplishment is a tax overhaul of which 80 percent benefits the already wealthy particularly himself, while sabotaging the ACA, which will cause millions of Americans to lose their health care. The bad news is that the trillion and a half dollars added to our deficit and paid mostly to billionaires will mostly be paid for by the middle class, the working class, our children, their children and future cuts to social security, Medicare and Medicaid.

For over the last half-century our country has gone from a democratic nation to a corporatocracy, which sculpts the government to feed itself. Gerrymandering, polling restrictions and an outdated electoral college are further eroding our fractured democracy.

The good news is this is exactly what America has needed to see; what can happen when we get too lazy to go to the polls, or read a newspaper or become active in the electoral process. Consider Trump as a vaccination, which is making us sick but waking us up so we can learn and muster the tools and weapons needed to fix the American experiment before it is to late. 

Tom Lopez / Longmont

‘Organic’ animals suffer too

The Trump administration ruled recently that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming. The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the “organic” label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. “Organic” farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don’t lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for “organic” animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams.

Stanley Silver/Boulder

More on Hungary

Thanks for Michael Casey’s essay “‘Cold or not, God is present,’” [Dec. 28, 2017]. Here is additional information:

Sebastian Gorka, a key member of Mr. Trump’s team, continues to wear a lapel emblem which may be that of Arrow Cross. Two-thirds of Hungary’s 825,000 Jewish population was slaughtered with the active participation of pro-fascist Hungarian officials and voluntary organizations.

I recently read the Pulitzer-winning journalist Susan Faludi’s account of some Hungarian atrocities. On pages 183-4 of her recent book, In the Darkroom, she wrote:

“It was on the grounds of the Jewish Maros Street Hospital where, on January 11, 1945, all but one of its ninety-nine patients, nurses, and doctors were murdered by the Arrow Cross. In front of the table (shown in a photograph) were three rows of bodies, exhumed from the mass grave by the Soviets a few weeks after the liberation of Budapest.”

Faludi’s father, then a high-school student, was one of the photographers there.

I don’t know whether Gorka was a member of the White Cross or a similar group. But it is important for your audience to understand what such groups did.

Barry Karlin/Lafayette

The Boulder Effect

Verizon thought enough of Boulder to use it in a recent national TV ad; the one with the four people riding in a train car, with one of them speaking into a Verizon device, “Show me Korean Restaurants in Boulder.” I’m sure you’ve seen the ad.

Here’s the rub. If you read this paper, you know Boulder is cool. It is a destination spot; a place people around the country and the world want to check-out. But inside Colorado, if you watch political ads on TV, you’d think Boulder was the epicenter of evil; the place where illuminati scum must have their headquarters. Take, for instance, the election campaign that brought forth Amendment 71 — an amendment to make it far more difficult to amend the state constitution with a citizen initiative. This time, it was the oil and gas industry responsible for the smear, but we’ve seen and heard the Boulder bashing in campaign ads before, with tag lines like “Boulder Liberal” used liberally.

(At least) since the McCarthy era, Boulder pushes a hot button with conservatives around the state. It is the place they all love to hate, unless of course when the CU football team is ranked in the Top 25.

Other states have their version of Boulder. Madison, Ann Arbor, Austin. In my state of origin, Delaware, it is a place called Arden, a fascinating place founded by single tax proponent Henry George. It attracted artists and free thinkers from around the Eastern seaboard.

But while I was growing up 2 miles from there, it was considered by many to be the place where all of those weird artists, “perverts” and Communists lived, and we were instructed to not tread there. We did anyway, because it was the coolest place in the Delaware Valley. Just know Boulderites, you are not alone.

Pete Simon/Arvada

  • toto

    A survey of Colorado voters in 2008 showed 68% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    The National Popular Vote bill is 61% of the way to guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes and the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by states changing state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing anything in the Constitution, using the built-in method that the Constitution provides for states to make changes.

    All voters would be valued equally in presidential elections, no matter where they live.
    Candidates, as in other elections, would allocate their time, money, polling, organizing, and ad buys roughly in proportion to the population

    Every vote, everywhere, for every candidate, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election.
    No more distorting, crude, and divisive and red and blue state maps of predictable outcomes, that don’t represent any minority party voters within each state.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes—270 of 538.
    All of the presidential electors from the enacting states will be supporters of the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes among all 50 states (and DC)—thereby guaranteeing that candidate with an Electoral College majority.

    The bill was approved in 2016 by a unanimous bipartisan House committee vote in both Georgia (16 electoral votes) and Missouri (10).
    Since 2006, the bill has passed 35 state legislative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 261 electoral votes.
    The bill has been enacted by 11 small, medium, and large jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the way to guaranteeing the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country

    NationalPopularVote

  • YETI67

    Mr Porath derides “trickle-down economics”. I really don’t know if that is warranted, or if it is not.

    What I wonder is; was Mr. Porath one of the many, MANY individuals who believed and vocally espoused that, due to the individual mandate causing health insurance companies to make so much more money, premiums would come down?

    So…which is it? “Trickle-down economics” either works or it doesn’t. Are we to believe that execs and share-holders at health insurance companies are somehow magically LESS greedy than execs and shareholders at other companies?

    It can’t be both ways, Mr Porath.