Letters: 1/7/16 issue

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Let there be peace
On Oct. 7, 2001, the United States began an attack on Afghanistan. It was billed as the “global war on terrorism.”
Is this war being won? Not accord- ing to the Global Terrorism Index (GTI), which was devised by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The GTI is a measure of the extent of ter- rorism in 162 countries. The 2015 GTI shows a nine-fold increase in terrorist attacks since 2000. We should not be surprised. War on terrorism is a contra- diction of terms. War is terrorism.

The terror of war was felt on Oct. 3, 2015 in Kunduz, Afghanistan. A Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hos- pital was fired on by a U.S. AC-130 gunship for 30 minutes. Twelve staff members and at least 10 patients, including three children, were killed. Common Cause reported that: “In the Intensive Care Unit six patients were burning in their beds.” Prior to the air raid, the position of the hospital had been communicated to all sides involved in the conflict.To knowingly bomb a hospital is a war crime.

Why is the United States still at war in Afghanistan? The bombing of the MSF hospital occurred 14 years, almost to the day, after the 2001 attacks by the United States. The children killed on Oct. 3 probably knew only war during their brief lives. They should remind us of the true cost of war: death and suffering of innocent civilians.

There is a way of ensuring that this horror will not be repeated. It is the termination of military action.
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese monk nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Dr. Martin Luther King, “….there is no way to peace — peace is the way.”
Kristen Marshall/Boulder

Pot comes at a price

Recently, a Boulder high tech firm working on solid-state energy innovations lost its industrial space to a commercial marijuana grow operation. The property owner was enticed to lease to a marijuana grow, understanding that his new tenant could easily afford higher rents. The technology company and its highly skilled and well-educated employees were dis- placed by bud trimmers.

In an area long referred to as Silicon Mountain (now a trade name for a solid state memory firm), Boulder County has been home to an amazing assortment of high tech companies. People from around the country relocated here to enjoy the benefits of life at the foot of the Rockies while inventing and innovating new technologies.

All good things may now come to an end, or perhaps it is simply time to move on. Our future has gone to pot. Longmont is next on the list, while our City Council ponders potential income from weed.

While it is possible that Longmont may have a need for pot shops to increase its sales tax coffers in retail marijuana locations, the product has to be grown somewhere. The Council is giving consideration to having commercial grows within our city.

Presently, commercial and particularly industrial space is limited and leasing at premium prices. There is simply not enough space for industry to find a home or expand. One example has been Digital Globe, which moved its head- quarters to Westminster when it could not find suitable expansion space here.

If our City Council opens up the marijuana grow market, permitting it in our commercial property sector, we should understand by the examples given, that property owners may well adopt the Green Dream. A loss to technology innovation and highly skilled jobs. Semiconductor engineers who want to remain in Longmont may need to retrain to be bud trimmers.
Paul Tiger, Luddite/Longmont

TPP is the same mistake all over again

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) will make it easier for businesses that are based here to move production offshore. That will mean fewer jobs for U.S. workers, and our already monstrous trade deficit will expand even more. Trade deficit is the amount of money that we spend for goods over- seas minus the amount that countries send to us for purchases of American goods.

Our trade performance worsened as a result of past trade deals. With Bill Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAF TA), jobs rushed off- shore to Mexican maquiladoras that paid workers about $1.20/hour. Now in America, we have no electronics manufacturing, no clothing manufacturing and no shoe manufacturing.

The U.S.-Korea Trade agreement (KORUS) took effect in 2012. President Obama said that this deal would increase U.S. goods exports by at least $10 billion and support 70,000 U.S. jobs due to the increased exports. It didn’t work that way; there was a decline in exports of 7.5 percent and imports from Korea increased by $5.6 billion. We lost about 60,000 well-paid manufacturing jobs. Bernie Sanders has stood in opposition to almost all free trade bills as job killers. Sanders stands against TPP as well. According to CNN, Hillary Clinton has stated pub- licly how much she supports TPP 45 times. But now she has changed her mind.

According to the Federal Register, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative announced on Dec. 28 that it “is seeking public comments on the impact of the TPP Agreement on U.S. employment, including labor markets.” Comment period ends Jan. 13, 2016.

It is critical that as many people as possible write to them about this. Send comments to Senators and Rep. Polis. (Bennet.senate.gov and Polis.house.gov)
Tom Moore/Boulder

Our Christmas Response?
Christmas is the story of a Middle East family seeking refuge and being repeatedly turned away. Sound familiar currently? How will we respond? Let’s open our hearts and welcome them with open arms.
Shari Malloy/Longmont