Letters 2/17

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Remember the contributions of Black and Latino citizens

Although February is officially Black History Month, Americans should not forget the enormous contribution of our Latino brothers and sisters to the fight for American independence. At Valley Forge, American soldiers were freezing in the winter cold because they had no winter clothes, were often barefoot without shoes, and were without adequate food. Because silver from the Mexican mines had not arrived in Havana to remedy the severe situation of the American army at Valley Forge, our ally, the Spanish government, asked the Cuban people of  Havana for contributions to help the American soldiers. In six hours, especially patriotic Cuban ladies groups donated over one million silver pesos to the distressed American Army by pawning their diamond bracelets and jewelry, repeatedly shouting, “the sons of American mothers shall not be slaves of the British,” thereby saving Washington’s Continental Army and ultimately American independence. Later, 27 Cuban males and one Cuban female lent the combined American and French forces 500,000 silver pesos to fund our final victory over the British Army at Yorktown, resulting in the independence of our great American nation. Latinos such as the Puerto Rican soldiers helped George Washington’s fight for American independence by capturing the city of Pensacola. Although far to the west at least 500 Mexican recruits were brought to help the Spanish forces, our American allies, capture population centers such as Natchez and Baton Rouge. The great contribution of Latinos for the independence and freedom of our great land, the United States of America, is not well known because their role was mostly with our Spanish allies.

All Americans should remember the critical role of Blacks and Latinos in establishing our great country, a beacon of freedom, equality and human dignity to all mankind. 

Stewart E. Brekke/Downers Grove, Illinois

Billionaires and the radical right

As we begin to enter the 2022 midterm elections, I want you to pay attention to something which will receive very little attention from the “conservative-Republican” news media as well as the “liberal/progressive Democratic” news media. It began around 1980 with the emergence and growth of right-wing “think-tanks” and “policy institutes,” which are in reality right-wing propaganda mills and factories. What also emerged at this time was the increasing involvement of billionaires into Republican Party national politics. This is expertly detailed and described in the best book which I have ever seen written on the topic of politics—a book written by Jane Mayer titled Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Right. Mayer has won more than 12 awards and prizes in and for journalism. To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to successfully refute anything that Mayer says in her book. Please check out the reviews of it online.

What I take the most from her book is that today’s conservative-Republicans have become much more in favor of wanting to abolish every single federal government social program that helps the middle classes and lower classes (99% of us), including Social Security. This is especially true of the Republicans in the U.S. Congress.

However they will never admit to it because they know that most Republican voters do not want the programs to be abolished.

Stewart B. Epstein/Rochester, New York

Meat is murder

With China including cultivated meat in its latest five-year agricultural plan, the United States should make sure it isn’t left behind by investing heavily into cellular-agriculture development. For those who don’t know, cultivated meat is grown from animal cells, without slaughter. It’s better for animals, the environment and our health. 

“This nationwide strategic initiative could accelerate the country’s regulatory timeline for cultivated meat, drive more research and investment into the alternative protein industry and fuel broader consumer acceptance of these products,” said Josh Tetrick, the CEO of food-technology company Eat Just. “In short, this is one of—if not the most—important policy actions in the history of alternative proteins.” 

Our legislators should support increased federal funding for cultivated-meat research. This will help bring these revolutionary products to market faster at a competitive price with slaughtered meat. In order to reduce the suffering we inflict on animals, our greenhouse-gas emissions, and our pandemic risk, we have to keep pace with China.

Jon Hochschartner/Graby, Connecticut

The public is entitled to answers

I submit this as an open letter to Boulder PD regarding the JonBenét Ramsey case in response to the press release (bouldercolorado.gov/jonbenet-ramsey-homicide). Given it is still considered an “active” case, I think the public are entitled to answers to these questions and clarification would in no way compromise an investigation.

1) Do the letters and affidavits written by two former District Attorneys, apparently exonerating the Ramsey family, influence the ongoing investigation? Has the evidence which brought indictments against John Ramsey been quashed? Is that evidence still an important aspect in solving this case? 

2) Does Boulder PD consider the DNA sample previously labeled “Unknown Male 1” to be single-source or does it agree with the findings of BODE that the sample is “likely composite”? Can you reassure the public that this DNA sample is of sufficient quality, is of a single source and that it meets all current legal requirements and regulations?

3) Should a DNA match be found, has Boulder PD considered the ramifications of prosecuting the case, given the case history? Will handwriting samples, proof of entry and exit, and other evidence of an intruder’s alleged presence in the property, be required to pursue a case? Are you now at odds with the 1999 Grand Jury which saw no evidence of an intruder entering the house? What information other than tiny, trace DNA do you have to suggest an intruder entered the house that night?

Bruce Thompson/Boulder

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