Letters | People of the Year


(Re: “People of the Year: Our Health, Our Future, Our Longmont,” cover story, Dec. 27.) The People of the Year award brought tears to my eyes, because this was truly a community effort, led by, but transcending, those mentioned in the article. I am overjoyed that such an effort by a group of people is recognized and appreciated.

We live in difficult times, but we have an opportunity to come together and build a community of people hoping and working for a sustainable, more just and peaceful world. That is a joyful, deeply meaningful, hopeful and rewarding effort not measured by its successes but by the connectedness we affirm with each other.

My efforts continue to be for my 2-year-old and 3-month-old grandchildren. To quote Dickens: “It is not a slight thing when they who are so fresh from God love us!” We just can’t accept that love and condemn them to a painful future.

I must also mention my deep appreciation to Jefferson Dodge, Joel Dyer and the Boulder Weekly for their journalism and courageous reporting on fracking and its impact on Boulder County.

They have done this respectfully, courteously and truthfully. As Gandhi’s Satygraha (truthforce) led India out of colonialism, may truthforce lead Boulder and the world to a sustainable future.

Padma Wick/Longmont

Don’t get chippy

(Re: “Greetings and guesses from Tel Aviv,” Danish Plan, Dec. 13) “Things got chippy in Gaza last month.”

Interesting way to describe the Palestinian victims of Israeli violence.

Bet you wouldn’t say things got chippy in Auschwitz. Bet you wouldn’t say things got chippy if one of your family members was murdered. Since I consider all life to be precious, I don’t see a big difference between trivializing the deaths of Palestinians or Jews.

I guess one man’s Untermenchen is another man’s chosen people. Next time you think of racism, make sure you have a mirror handy.

Jim Wilkinson/via Internet

Danish and his guns

(Re: “Repeal the Second Amendment? How about the First?” Danish Plan, Dec. 27) Danish won! It seems there is an unannounced contest among the right wing to see who can say the most batshit crazy thing. Danish, while having several entries for the year, in my opinion, has beat out the likes of Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert, Alan West, Todd Akin and Michele Bachmann, just to name a few, with his last post of 2012, attempting to conflate the dangers of the Second Amendment with the “dangers” of the First.

First, using the Second Amendment to justify individual “gun” ownership is nuts to anyone who has thoughtfully examined the Second Amendment and is not being paid by the NRA or the gun manufacturers. “Gun” is not mentioned anywhere in the clause, but “a well-regulated militia” is; we have over 350 million guns and only 51 well-regulated militias, the state’s national guards and the federal military, of which few of the gun owners are members.

When faced with the logic of the situation the gun enthusiasts/sellers/ spokesmen for the industry always raise the canard, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” As I mentioned, guns are not mentioned in the amendment, only “arms,” which, by definition, include a plethora of lethal weaponry. Of course, if we were to take a strict constructionist view of the Second Amendment (like the right-wing Supreme Court justices would probably do if they weren’t in thrall to the gun industry and their supporters) we would say flame throwers, tanks, bombs, thermo-nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people. Can you imagine the jobs a decision like that would create? Both in building the armaments that every red-blooded American male would want in his armory and in replacing all those red-blooded American males killed by their neighbors’ flame throwers, tanks, bombs and thermo-nuclear weapons? Economic problems solved. (Mr. Danish, you are free to use this idea.)

The only part of the First Amendment that is truly bothersome and has proven to be quite deadly over the years is the freedom of religion but not from religion, but to each his own. Just for Mr. Danish’s information, because evidently he wasn’t aware of this fact, the First Amendment does have restrictions. … You know, “yelling fire in a crowded theater,” threatening various public officials, uttering “fighting words,” hate speech and slander. To be fair, I don’t think it is legal to own a thermonuclear weapon, except maybe in Texas (not sure what Perry and Gohmert have been up to over the holidays).

Finally, while not particularly proud of the fact, I’ve used harsh “words” with my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren from time to time. They are all alive.

Congratulations once again to Mr. Danish on his victory, and best wishes for a repeat win in 2013. The competition is stiff, but I’m sure he can prevail.

James C. Bailey, Jr./Boulder

Editor’s note: Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment.