LETTERS | Danish trivializes a death


Correction: A Jan. 2 commentary, “ALEC’s attack on renewables arrives in Colorado,” mistakenly identified Xcel Energy as a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Xcel was a member of ALEC until 2011. It continues to provide hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to a trade association, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), which is an ALEC member. ALEC has never published a list of members. The list comes from whistleblower documents leaked to the Center for Media and Democracy. (See story, page 15.)

Danish trivializes a death [Re: “Total elapsed time: 80 seconds,” Danish Plan, Dec. 26.] Paul, my only hope is that you don’t actually believe the ridiculous things you say but are merely trying to get a rise out of all the “progressives” here in Boulder.

There is absolutely no way to know whether or not Pierson knew the armed officer was “closing in” when he decided to shoot himself. It’s far more likely — if we’re going to try to fathom the mind of a disturbed individual — he did it because upon arriving in the library, he found his supposed intended target was no longer available. Since he’d already shot one person — by the way, thanks for trivializing the pointless death of a lovely young woman — he probably knew it was unlikely he’d be able to acquire any more victims.

(For the record, a Dec. 13 Chicago Tribune article quotes a witness as saying that, in fact, the debate coach was in the library but Pierson fired at him and missed after which the coach fled. That article names the coach. It also cites police as saying the attack lasted 14 minutes.)

And about that librarian/debate coach — how exactly was that person warned but the rest of the school’s occupants were left open to potential harm? Seems as if you are again making assumptions you can’t possibly confirm. (Again, the Tribune article indicates the only warning the teacher might have had was Pierson yelling his name as he walked — gun in plain sight — through the school.)

One thing we can all be very certain of is this: Every student at that school — including Pierson — has to know about the armed guard. Yet somehow, that knowledge did nothing to dissuade this unbalanced person from planning and carrying out a successful armed attack on the school. Yes, if a mentally ill teenager is able to obtain a weapon and massive amounts of ammunition, enter a school and fatally injure someone … his attack is successful. Even though “only” Claire Davis is dead.

You know what could have prevented this? Reasonable gun control.

As well as, perhaps, spending education money on education so that the “resource officer” is an educator/psychologist who can pinpoint those students in need of support and treatment rather than an armed guard whose usefulness still remains to be seen. (No disrespect to the officer involved. I’m sure he did everything he could.)

Finally, stop acting as if the NRA is any longer a club of responsible gun owners. It is not. It is a front for the gun manufacturers from which it receives most of its funding … and of which Wayne LaPierre is just the smarmy, soulless face.

Laurette Reiff/Nederland

Monsanto lies [Re: “Farmers’ suit against Monsanto reaches Supreme Court,” News, Jan. 2.] Thank you for your article on the court case against Monsanto. It was good to hear that the case has progressed to the Supreme Court level.

I’d like to express my great respect for all those who have engaged in this fight. Sometimes a destructive organization gets away with a lie so outrageous that people believe it. Hitler’s organization did that in Germany. When the organization has lots of money and power (and tries to use them to prevail) the lie can persist, even past the point where it has been exposed as a lie. For example, Monsanto’s lie that its GMO “products” are good for anyone but Monsanto. It takes a fantastic effort on the part of many people to wage the information war required to shine the light of truth on the lie, and then to obtain the backing of the law to fight the money power that has already been invested in forcing the lie on others.

But those of us who know about the great GMO lie surely outnumber Monsanto’s hired hands. We all have to eat, and we all want good food for our kids. We can prevail, if we all take some action. Even if it’s just an email or letter to our legislators, or a signature on a petition, our energy added to this fight will lend support and hope to the farmers involved in the suit, who are our first line of defense in this matter.

Jan Stephens/via Internet

Fast Track is bad policy This week, “Fast Track” is expected to come up in Congress. Fast Track is a leftover from the Nixon era. It speeds getting a bill through Congress, but steals from citizens and Congress the ability to influence the terms of the legislation. President Obama is attempting to use it to push through the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), nominally a trade bill but mostly a newly expanded Corporate Bill of Rights. TPP has 29 chapters, all negotiated in secret, even from most of Congress. Only five are strictly about trade; the others give new rights and privileges to corporations. Those are rights that only living, breathing citizens now hold. Fast Track is also known by the more veiled term “Trade Promotion Authority.”

Earlier this year 151 Democrats and 23 Republicans signed a letter to President Obama opposing the use of Fast Track to push the TPP. Rep. Jared Polis was not in the group. To read the letter search “letter opposing fast track.”

Using Fast Track takes away the rights of human citizens and Congress to input crucial issues related to labor rights, patent and copyright, land use (including fracking and GMOs), food safety, agriculture and product standards, natural resources, the environment, professional licensing, competition, state-owned enterprises and government procurement policies, as well as financial, health care, energy, e-commerce, telecommunications and other service sector regulations.

Urge Rep. Polis and the other members of the Colorado delegation to vote no on the undemocratic Fast Track, aka the Trade Promotion Authority.

Call Congress at 866-338-1015. Tom Moore/Boulder