Letters: 11/9/17

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CU history incomplete

Paul Danish’s recent feature article, “CU’s roots: Tales of the founders,” flounders [Re: News, Oct. 26, 2017]. At the beginning of this article, Mr. Danish assumed that Boulder’s first residents were part of the gold rush of the mid 1800s. This is incorrect. Mr. Danish forgot about the earliest peoples of the Boulder Valley, including the Southern Arapahoe tribe.

Kristen Marshall/Boulder

Russian misdirection

If you are in the business of manipulating people, no matter how rich you are, you still need to be efficient in your use of resources. You want to have all the television stations you own, all the newspapers you control, and all the bloggers you employ saying the same thing. It needs to be a simple message which your servants repeat over and over again, pounding it into people’s heads. The message needs to serve corporate profitability and also increase corporate power. “The Russians are a threat” is such a message. It serves four functions.

First, as long as the media is screaming about how bad the Russians are, it is nearly impossible to take joint action to deal with climate change. The valuable message about how we will all need to work together to avoid environmental disaster is effectively drowned out. This supports the profitability of the oil, coal and chemical industries, all of whom have absolutely no interest in spending even a few dollars to help the environment.

Second, claiming that “the Russians are a threat” continues the divide and conquer policy of the military-industrial complex, thus insuring that their enormous profits will keep rolling in. It plays on people’s fear. Fear is a well-proven tactic to bring people under control.

Third, claiming that the Russians are a threat distracts public attention from the persistent Bernie Sanders movement and their messages about peace and the environment. The Bernie Sanders movement is a challenge to the corporate ruling class structure of this country. The corporate ruling class has this country’s politicians securely in their grip and have no intention of letting go.

Fourth, alleging that the Russians are a threat distracts people from the November 2016 election disaster. The early polls showed clearly that Bernie Sanders could have beaten Donald Trump. In spite of that, the corrupt old party hacks at the Democratic National Committee repeatedly sabotaged Bernie Sanders campaign throughout 2016. The DNC supported Hillary because she had the big corporate money behind her. The DNC’s actions cost them the election.

Is it true that the Russians are a threat? No, it is only a corporate lie, but whether a statement is true or not is irrelevant in Washington and Wall Street these days as long as it increases corporate profits.

George Newell/Boulder

On climate change

I’m wondering if climate change, in a more concrete sense, has perhaps truly insinuated itself into the consciousness of even a few hundred more people, as it has into their eyes and lungs this past summer. The wildfire experience so evident in the blood-red sunsets should help promote a wake-up call for those who can manage to lift their noses away from the iPhone.

Unfortunately, the calamity we face is real, even if it hasn’t struck some of upside the head. Blinking, wishing or pulling the old ostrich trick won’t change anything. This year, we found ourselves between two major hurricanes, with our low-lying citizens (physically, not socially) hopefully able to at least cringe and, hopefully, duck and swim. We can no longer dismiss the dichotomous catastrophes of fire and water so easily, if we are awake. I can easily visualize the deniers acting as fire detail at Pearl Harbor on that “day of infamy.” See them joking about those bombs and torpedoes (”fake”’ news?), deriding any who call for action or plead for a response. Any response to our climate crisis that comes too late is worth zip. There is no “day late, dollar short.” There is only “sorry, snake eyes.” It will not matter if humans are part of the cause(s). And only we humans can soften the blow.

Meanwhile, we simply must acknowledge the limits to our capacity to aid and recover from the blows a ruined atmosphere is already dishing out. How many $160 billion rescue packages can there be?

Gregory Iwan/Longmont

Trump unhinged

Sigmund Freud is not the most popular voice of reason in today’s psycho-chemical approach to controlling mental illness but it is undeniable that his psychosexual theories of sublimation and extension of elemental sexual anxiety can be applied to America’s fascination with guns, dating even back to the passage of the Second Amendment and the taming of the frontier, essentially Mother Earth. Applied to Donald Trump, with his succession of trophy wives, his long red ties, his sexual braggadocio, his quest for adulation, and fascination with wealth and glamour, Freud’s insights shine a light on his concern about the size of his hands. It is more than a bit disconcerting that those same hands do command America’s military might and that his finger hovers above the nuclear trigger.

Robert Porath/Boulder