Letters: 12/22/16

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An open letter to Boulder City Council, especially Matt Applebaum

I recently shared a video of a homeless woman at a Capitol rally with the Human Relations Commission: tinyurl.com/zoavmo6. Today I talked with the Chair, who said if we could find the woman she would open her home to her. But homeless advocate extaordinaire Darren O’Connor says she’s gone missing.

I’m pretty sure from her looks and speech patterns that she is American Indian. Your persecution of the homeless mirrors that of our ancestors’ persecutions of the Indians, who make up a disproportionate share of the homeless now.

Anyone who sees this video and continues to want to persecute the homeless is not just sick but perverted. Yet that is what the City of Boulder stands for!

As I told Council in November, Boulder is a machine for creating homelessness, because of:

1. Greedy landlords, real estate hoarding and the worst gentrification between the coasts.

2. Council policies against tiny homes, co-ops, etc.

3. Boulder is a major software center working overtime to automate everyone out of their job. The Royal Bank of Scotland predicts 30 to 50 percent of all jobs in the developed world will eventually be automated. It will be much worse for the developing world.

Does it make you feel clever, Councilman Applebaum, that you make money off all three causes of misery? And you claim the City’s services attract the homeless from elsewhere.

As I asked my erstwhile friend Rep. Jared Polis, what’s the plan? Will billions of unemployed homeless people be bulldozed into mass graves? Fed to cattle, or eaten directly?

You better start solving this and other real and pressing problems rather than “addressing” them with junkets to Oregon, commissions and memorials to the homeless your policies have helped kill. “Tweaking” your band-aid approaches isn’t working. A huge proportion of homeless do not need your vaunted services, and the attendant Trail of Tears they maneuver to get them. They need homes, even if it’s a tent for now.

Council’s homeless policies represent Downtown Boulder, Inc. (DBI) and other intolerant rich and powerful people.

You and DBI, etc. are NOT masterminds. Nobody is! Remember the “Best and the Brightest”? The Smartest Guys in the Room? The Masters of the Universe? How about the Master Race?

Your policies towards the homeless have been a complete failure for at least 50 years since the late great Bob McFarland, M.D. suggested you create a campground for young people who have been coming here every summer in spite of your persecutions.

Your policies have made you thousands of enemies among the young, the poor and the eccentric. This and other City “zero tolerance” policies doubtless exacerbate graffiti, vandalism, alcohol, addiction and other problems, not to mention overloading the emergency rooms and spreading disease. Remember when someone painted “Injustice Center” on the front of the Justice Center, whose biggest business is persecuting the homeless now that marijuana is legal?

Many homeless people will not use the shelter — even IF there is space- because of a slew of problems:

1.Sexual harassment

2. Bed bugs

3. Diseases including respiratory ones exacerbated by our cold winters combined with your prohibition of bedding and tents.

4. Smells of dirty and unhealthy people.

5. Separation of couples who have only each other

6. Problems with the mentally ill

7. Noise, especially a problem with vets with PTSD

Two more things: The offensive homeless probably constitute 5 percent of the total but are the ones you most notice, who cause the hatred the homeless face. Most of the homeless are hiding from you! Secondly, one entire group (I’d guess 30 percent) is what I call the ethical homeless. They will not join the military, the usual last resort for the poor. They will not work for the military-industrial complex, the biggest business on Earth according to the U.N. Research Institute for Social Development. And they don’t want to be part of the establishment in any way.

In this they are like the Zapatista rebels in Mexico, still in control of an area with 250,000 Maya 22 years after they declared war on the Mexican Army on the first day of NAFTA, which they called “a death sentence for the poor.” The women forswore having kids until things changed. Their slogan is “everything for everybody, nothing for us.”

Many millennial homeless especially are like this. They don’t need counseling. They are superior people, and may include the next MLK and Gandhi. Leave them be.

To fix this problem you have helped create, start by repealing the no camping ordinance for this winter and follow up by establishing a campground in honor of Dr. McFarland for next summer. Charge $5 a night or half hour of work and let well-known local responsible homeless run it. Homeless advocate Judy Cardell, for one, knows them. I think the flat sunny area just west of the Red Rocks in Settlers Park is underused and could accommodate perhaps 50 people, for one location.

Figure out zoning for tiny homes, as many communities across the U.S. have done. Make cooperative living possible.

If and when the “last will be first and the first will be last,” where will you be?

Do you think the worst inequality in a century will last forever? Learn from history instead of repeating it to serve your overlords!

Evan Ravitz/ back in Boulder

Power forward

Looking at Trump’s choices for positions in his administration, it’s clear that he is bringing a climate wrecking crew to Washington.

Time is running out on our ability to fight catastrophe. As Bill McKibben says: “Climate change is a war where winning slowly is exactly the same as losing!”

For the next few years our best hopes for success lie at the state and local level.

It is urgent that we move ahead with implementing Boulder’s Climate Commitment (bouldercolorado.gov/climate). And the best way to accelerate this effort is through municipalizing our electric system. Xcel charges us high prices for their 75 percent climate-wrecking electricity. Boulder Electric Power will have low costs for 100 percent renewable electricity before 2030 and will save us money and stimulate local entrepreneurship because the cheapest forms of generation are now renewable. According to Xcel’s own numbers, wind is now cheaper than the fuel and operating costs of even old fossil generation.

Let’s power forward with Boulder Light and Power.

Ken Regelson/Boulder

A Christmas message

Taking this time to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with joy and happiness. May we bond together in love and caring and keep the stars adjoined in the glow of a peaceful outcome for the problems faced in this world. The battle of life is difficult and peace hard to find, but each of us has the ability to take that moment to feel the joy of peace and love, if only in our hearts. Who knows one day we may all join together with the wisdom, strength and grace to be a part of a lasting and eternal peace. I know that looking at the world as it is now it is hard to imagine. Keep the heart of love always present and find the joy that is there within you. Perhaps one day the hate and violence will be a thing of the past. We must look forward to a future filled with beauty and love. If we do not do this we become the embittered remnants of all those who have been the catalysts for all things evil in this world. Love is the promise, God is the gift, and we must be the answer.

Gary Carter/Walhalla

What makes America great?

Trump’s campaign begs the question, “What makes America great?” As an immigrant nation, primary to our greatness is our embrace of diversity and our understanding that we do not take one step forward that does not include us all. With Trump I feel usurped of confidence in our ability to protect the great abundance of public land, virgin forests, clean rivers and deserts. Great are the multitude of citizens, working with federal and state agencies committed to maintaining the integrity of the land, air and water while providing multiple use and maintaining public access to public assets. I am disappointed by Trump’s choice of appointees who would reduce our greatness for the profits of a few or inspire hate like the white gangs in New York attacking lone Muslim women. Maybe we WILL need to make America great again.

John Hoffmann/Carbondale

Response to Trump’s SOS appointee

In response the President-elect’s nomination of Rex Tillerson to be Secretary of State, Greenpeace Executive Director Annie Leonard said:

“Appointing Rex Tillerson to be our chief diplomat is an affront to global progress and will place the U.S. economy, our security, and our standing in the world in the same failing predicament Exxon is in right now. The global community continues to send a strong, collective message that it is ditching fossil fuels for clean energy. Rex Tillerson hid climate science so it could cash in on disaster, instead of transitioning his company to a position of true leadership. This appointment is a desperate grab for power by a failing industry that is perfectly fine bringing the American people down with it.

“Tillerson is beloved by Russian oligarchs and oil magnates. He has used legal action to harass civil society who dares attempt to protect itself from existential harm. He has led his company and his industry to double down on an energy source that is literally poisoning the world and making it harder for humans to survive on it. At this moment in time, choosing a man who knows the world through the single frame of the oil and gas industry may actually be more dangerous than picking somebody with no understanding of the world at all.”

Jason Schwartz/Greenpeace