Letters 12/3: Gross Reservoir, Trump and more

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To the County Commissioners, Re: Gross Reservoir

I am against the expansion of Gross Reservoir. It would require cutting down thousands of trees. Trucks and tractors would drive miles every day putting out enormous amounts of carbon dioxide. It would disturb residents that live near the highways where trucks pass daily. It would also disturb abundant wildlife in that area. The project will use enormous amounts of energy. 

Instead I think we need to address our lifestyles and make some changes and be more conservative with water. Folks can get toilets that use less water for reasonable prices these days. And, “If it’s clear, leave it here, if it’s brown flush it down,” is a motto at my house. (Editor’s note: We like to “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.” To each their own.) Turning off the faucet while brushing teeth or shaving, being conscious of water for dishes, gardens. Perhaps xeriscape instead of maintaining grass lawns. It may be time for fewer golf courses. In the 1970s here in Boulder, when there were low snow years, restaurants would only give you water if you asked for it. The EPA and Eco-Cycle state that over 40% of our greenhouse gases come from the way products are extracted from the earth, produced, transported and even dispose of, and that striving for zero waste is one of the easiest and quickest ways to fight climate change. 

Educating ourselves on what is recyclable and compostable as contamination continues to be the biggest problem with zero-waste. (Contamination is putting the wrong items in the wrong bins. If a bin is too contaminated it ends up in the landfill.) We all share this planet and we all need to be fighting climate change every day to ensure a future for our children! 

Laurie Dameron/Boulder

Unprecedented un-presidenting

We live in unprecedented times. Between a global pandemic and an unprecedented un-presidenting, the U.S. is in the world spotlight. While we lead the world in infections and deaths, we also lead the world in presidential self-denial. Trump has refused to concede the election to President-elect Biden. I hope I’m not the only one that sees the irony of the Electoral College votes being the same as 2016, in reverse. Pop quiz: When is a landslide not a landslide? When you’re the loser! Oh, I forgot: Electoral College plus 6 million more popular votes. Ouch!

Trump started casting doubt on the election way before it happened. His ex-wife, Ivana, told Vanity Fair in 1990 he kept a copy of My New Order, speeches of Adolf Hitler, in a desk drawer (although he asserted it was Mein Kampf). From the book: “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.” Sound like anyone we know? 

Regarding COVID-19, apparently making up stories about a virus that has killed over 250,000 people in the U.S. so that a large group of folks won’t believe it’s real, is just part of the narrative. No worse than the flu, and masks don’t work. Repeat.

With potential good news about vaccines, Geraldo Rivera puckered up and said, “Why not name the vaccine ‘The Trump?’” Talk about a jinx! Remember Trump failures with steaks, vodka, casinos, an airline, a university. Don’t forget a banned charity. 

I’d like to see a new vaccine, one that prevents Trumpism. Seventy-two million people appear to be infected. (Editor’s note: more than 74 million at press time.) I believe it’s spread subliminally via Fox, Breitbart, Newsmax and Rush Limbaugh. Perhaps wearing a mask or holding your nose while listening can slow it down. Until then, try earplugs. 

Craig S. Chisesi/Rifle

Siren song

England has a long and deep tradition of acting and theater which carries into its political arena. Marshall McLuhan (Understanding Media, still an essential read) pointed out the difference between the physical “staging” of the French and British Parliaments, the French a pluralistic semicircle, the British a strictly delineated bipolarity sitting in opposition, a carefully constructed stage set perfect for theatrical oratory. Tony Blair clearly misread his audience when he promoted the Brexit vote and underestimated the antipathy of Europe’s acceptance of multiple political parties in need of coalition and compromise, and Britain’s embrace of a bipolar, essentially Marxist, division of Labor and Capital, winner take all. “Bipolar” is now a recognized psychic condition of a persona divided against itself, at one time this, at another that, always in conflict. Such is the legislative state in America today, the parties sitting on opposite sides of “the aisle,” each locked in the information bubble of its choice, with ever a backstage siren song promising consolidated, autocratic, one-party power and rule. It is all written in the script.     

Robert Porath/Boulder

Humanity over greed 

“Humanity over greed” is my personal philosophy. I’ve seen it both through observation as well as in my own personal life.  

First off, looking at the economic environment as it is now is very disturbing. We have people who have stressful work hours with the fear of being fired for running a minute late. It certainly affects traffic. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s Fatality Report, there have been a total of 558 deaths within the state. (Editor’s note: This number comes from 2018. There were 545 fatalities in 2019 and, thus far, 495 in 2020.) The highest of these numbers were reported within Colorado’s State Region 1, which is the Denver Metro Area that, sadly, reported 214 total fatalities. If more people weren’t having to work long hours, then our roads would be safer. 

Secondly, I would love to be able to not need money to survive. The places I loved working at are the places I volunteered and worked for free. This mindset is how I truly wanted to work.

Thirdly, with COVID having damaged modern society as we know it, it may be time to take a look at how to fix our culture and economy. Our politicians use us as nothing more than piggy banks for their own greed. But if money meant nothing, then these career politicians would be forced to not only solve the problems, but actually have individuals who are there to help, not for their greed. As bad as it sounds, anarchy would probably solve a lot of our nation’s problems. 

In conclusion, I believe our culture needs to focus more on the human element as a priority, and categorize money as tools. We would be a less stressed and more connected society. 

Patrick Glover/via internet 

Veganism saves lives

JBS slaughterhouse in Greeley was cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for failing to protect employees from COVID-19. The negligible fine wasn’t enough to stop the slaughterhouse from calling high-risk employees back to work.

Many people fear that the agency’s scant oversight and lax penalties are putting slaughterhouse workers at risk. News reports indicate that nearly 43,000 U.S. slaughterhouse employees — in 498 slaughterhouses — had tested positive for COVID-19 by the end of September. More than 200 of them died, and OSHA issued only two small fines.

Let’s not wait for officials to protect slaughterhouse workers — and animals — from suffering and death. We can do it ourselves by opting for vegan foods instead of animal-based ones.

Meat, eggs and dairy “products” are not essential. We can enjoy tasty vegan foods, and slaughterhouse workers can join the growing vegan food industry. Visit www.PETA.org for more information and a free vegan starter kit.

Heather Moore/PETA