Letters: 3/17/16

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One of the many depressing aspects of the recent presidential debates is the low level to which the Republican Party has fallen — culminating (I hope) in a CNN headline: ‘Trump defends the size of his penis’. With rare exceptions, these debates have been coarse, demeaning and vulgar. Well, they’re Republican — but does Boulder Weekly also have to sink so low? In last week’s icumi column, you wrote that pollsters in Michigan had “shit themselves” because they had called the primary there wrong.

I hope I’m not turning into my dad, but could you not have said the pollsters were “dismayed”, “disconsolate” or even “discombobulated”? Some of your readers probably think that, if anything, the level of public discourse needs to be raised, rather than lowered; and as part of the media, you could, if you wished, nudge the conversation in the right direction.

As any writer will tell you, profanity has its place — it’s often a valid (and entertaining) expression of emotion — but as a rule it is effective only if it’s sparingly used, and then only when it’s absolutely fucking necessary.
Richard Starks/Boulder

Let’s personally communicate with Donald Trump
Several days ago, I sent the following message to Donald Trump via both his campaign website and a letter to The Trump Organization:

“Donald Trump, I’m talking to you.

I’m speaking directly to you, and I’m doing so in front of whomever else chooses to read or listen. I’m posting this widely to share with the world, but because I want to increase the chance of you seeing it, I’m also sending it and all future ‘Donald, I’m talking to you’ messages directly to your campaign.

I will state right up front that I believe the combination of your personal qualities, your extreme lack of knowledge and experience in government and outside of the world of business and the wealthy elite, and your record of activity in the world make you wholly unqualified to be president of the United States.

Furthermore, your so-far successful run for the nomination of your party, if it is indeed your party, has been a divisive, destructive force within our country, an embarrassment here and abroad, and a genuine threat to U.S. national security and world peace.

It is my fervent hope, Donald, that you make the choice to end your candidacy for president, and as soon as possible. Even though it is highly unlikely that you would be able to beat either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton in November, you becoming the Republican nominee would in and of itself be a defeat, a dangerous defeat for our nation, and would create damage to our society that would require years to repair. It will be best if you either find an excuse, or a set of excuses, to leave the race or are defeated by one of your Republican opponents.

Donald, due to the weaknesses of America’s political system, with its ridiculously long two-year presidential campaign period, and its mainstream news media, which is straightjacketed by corporate- and government-induced self-censorship, you have been able to take advantage of the system to promote and grow your campaign far beyond the exposure it deserves. And because so many Americans are so deeply disaffected with the state of the nation, and so uneducated about all the ways they can help transform society for the better, you’ve been able to take advantage of voters and convince them that you and you alone are the only one who can solve all of our problems.

But there are millions of us, Donald, tens of millions of us out here, across the land, who are on to you, who understand the megalomaniacal game you’re playing and its disastrous results, and we’re going to be doing more and more, in myriad and continuous efforts through our personal networks, wider social media networks and connections to mass media, to show America how utterly ridiculous and terrible it would be to have you come any closer than the primaries to the Oval Office.

Myself, I’m going to continue speaking directly to you, to help keep you aware that a vast and growing number of us know exactly what you’re about and are rapidly spreading the word and organizing for your electoral demise. And since you don’t appear to understand, or admit, just how hurtful your behaviors are to the country you claim to love so much, and to the rest of Earth’s people, species and environments, I’m going to try, through this direct, repeated personal communication, to help you see the many and huge errors of your ways. And I’m going to encourage other like-minded individuals to do the same, and to encourage other like-minded individuals to do the same, and… You get the point.

Donald, the time has long since come for the people of America and our brothers and sisters around the globe to stop getting your daily doses of self-aggrandizing inanity and hate-filled contempt for all who don’t bend to your will or fit the twisted, prejudiced mold you’ve offered down our throats for these many years. Yes, you’ll be a loser in resigning the race, and I know you can’t stand the thought of that, but think of it this way: You’ll be avoiding a total exposure of your full self which would shatter us all. The rest of us would like to avoid such shattering.
Matt Nicodemus/Boulder

Porter Canyon
The cover story and its dramatic headline this week [Re: “Colorado’s role in California’s Porter ranch Disaster,” March 3] make a feeble attempt to draw a link between Colorado and the well failure at Porter Canyon.

This is what happens when reporters develop a thesis and then use a fly-by Google search level education to try and support that thesis.

Natural gas is fungible once it is in the pipeline grid. Thus, natural gas production in Colorado has the same level of relevancy to Porter Canyon as wheat grown in Colorado has to celiac disease.

A few of the particularly glaring errors in the article include the statement that natural gas is moved by rail and that the Porter Canyon facility is in part an oil storage facility which are both commercial nonsense, the placement of TransColorado Pipeline in Eastern Colorado, which is geographic nonsense and the use of that at least ten year old and wildly out of date graphic of pipelines and gas flows patterns from the Energy Information Administration.

The date the graphic is available on the EIA website from where it was lifted so the inclusion thereof in the article is basic fact-checking nonsense. Such easily checked and corrected errors bespeak to the quality of the entire article.
Brian Jeffries/Longmont

Editor’s note:
Matt Cortina’s response to above letter:
• It’s not Porter Canyon — the city is Porter Ranch, the facility is Aliso Canyon.
• Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is transported by rail.
• Aliso Canyon sits atop what was once one of the largest oil fields in California. It now mainly holds natural gas, but also maintains 32 active oil wells that produce 566 barrels per day.
• The TransColorado Pipeline is indeed not in Eastern Colorado, it is in Western Colorado.
• The map was the most recently available pipeline map from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Don’t fall for it
Super PACs are gross. Everyone agrees they corrupt our system regardless of your knowledge of Citizens United. But what about a 501c4?

Now granted, wealthy individuals and corporations are funneling millions of dollars into campaigns, but I was alarmed to discover that 501c4s and Super PACs have the same reporting standards with unlimited donations and sources. These non-profits have the same freedom with campaign financing as the corporations and wealthy. As long as the non-profit doesn’t actively promote any candidate, they can spend any and all money it wants on political advocacy.

So friends, thank you for getting up in arms about Super PACs, but remember they’re not the only threat. While you’re busy fighting the man and Wall Street on campaign financing, non-profits are creeping up on you.
Let me know if you have questions. Have a great night!
Lauren Yehle/Denver