REINS Act dangerous
RE: "Cost of Regs," Jan. 8: Your child is in the hospital with a life-threatening illness, but medical science has a cure. But, according to Ms. Benedict, a politician should make the decision on what treatment to follow as based on cost.
This is a good analogy for the proposed REINS Act. This act would allow all regulations to be rolled back by lobbyists and politicians to favor corporations -- not you or me. Costs for regulation have been passed on to consumers by businesses since the first law was passed eons ago. We know this occurs, but we have also told Congress that we were willing to pay for clean air and water and other consumer protections.
REINS replaces decisions based on science with political and religious dogma, which is both stupid and dangerous. Incidentally, the politician decided the medical costs were too high, and your child died.
Group helps vets
We have been reading about a growing number of tragedies involving veterans. I was talking with a Vietnam vet about the recent tragedy in the Northwest involving an Iraq veteran, and both of us thought: Here we go again. My heart goes out to such victims of violence, and I am saddened by what is happening to some troubled veterans.
The military does a wonderful job of training people to become soldiers and provides them with the finest equipment available, making our military the most powerful in the world. But too often, veterans who return from a combat zone do not receive sufficient support to transition back into civilian life.
Soldiers returning from war can be affected. In World War I it was shell shock, in WWII battle fatigue and now it's called PTSD. A Vietnam combat veteran recognized that Iraq and Afghanistan vets may be having the same readjustment problems that he and others experienced, so he helped found a local nonprofit, Veterans Helping Veterans Now. I am proud to say I have volunteered with the group for the past four years and have seen it grow to a drop-in center that provides services (within reason) to any veteran and their family.
Veteran volunteers listen to and support other veterans and family members. If you are a veteran or family member, or if you know a veteran or family member who is struggling, VHVnow will do its best to provide meaningful referrals, services and support.
Our office is at 600 Terry St. in Longmont. Call us at 303-772-9777 or visit vhvnow.org. If we all work together, maybe we can prevent some of these tragedies.
DA right on
I feel that District Attorney Stan Garnett is the first district attorney who continues to do things for all the right reasons. He will stand up in a public forum and remain true to his integrity even though he may catch a lot of flack from others.
From my perspective District Attorney Stan Garnett is truly a man of the people! It was District Attorney Stan Garnett who, with his talented and caring staff, personally contacted many of us in the Longmont community and Boulder County. He took time to meet with us to help develop methods that would help protect those throughout Boulder County who are being illegally exploited. This took courage on his part and he took a lot of criticism for that.
An earlier letter to the editor by Bob Askey spoke to the Boulder County commissioners' appointment of Ben Pearlman as county attorney, claiming the other guys in his office got together, talked it over and, wink-wink, nudge-nudge, told him "there was no basis for his office to get involved." I would disagree.
And he is on record advocating that there be a two-year period after a commissioner's term is up before they can be employed by the county. In my view District Attorney Stan Garnett and his staff are the good guys on this issue. For my part, Stan Garnett is a much-needed breath of fresh air!
An illusion lives in Boulder that if you are fiscally conservative, or God forbid, a registered GOP voter, you are someone who wants to destroy food safety, pollute the air and tarnish our drinking water. Well, at least according to Nancy Pelosi.
Before my political education, I used to believe much the same thing, until something interesting happened: I actually went to the state capitol to help pass legislation to support my clients' access to natural alternatives to toxic chemical pharmaceuticals. I came up against a largely Democrat-affiliated, legislative health board that fell in line with what the AMA was telling them. They believed that blocking complementary and alternative methods was actually protecting the people. The only representatives that supported choice were the Republicans on the committee.
This got me wondering. What in the world were the former "flower children" doing? Had they abandoned their holistic principles?
Since this incident, I have run into big Boulder County government wanting restrictions on my chicken coop, regulations on my organic farm and exorbitant fees on my greenhouse. I am also denied a sustainably engineered windmill on my land due to height requirements. Property rights are dead if it means a nice tidy tax for the burgeoning county staffers and GMOs are now being supported by my tax dollars right here in the People's Republic of Boulder.
Who do our local government officials think they are to make those choices for me? I have no other choice than to become a Green Republican to help vote the cronies out.
Despite two resounding defeats, the anti-choice people are trying to put another "personhood" amendment on this year's ballot.
If they really care about the welfare of children, why don't they take the tens of thousands of dollars that will be wasted in the ballot process and put it into a fund to assist families with adoption costs?
That would make a real difference in support of their cause.
Save the planet
When we unite we can demand the change we need to create a real future for our children. There is no better time to work toward energy transformation and stop allowing fossil fuel to destroy our planet and all of its magical beings.
Fossil fuels are costly to our environment: our air, land and water. Cancers from toxic sludge are a reality for communities downstream of shortsighted industry behaviors.
I was on the Western Slope last week and was dismayed to see fracking machines everywhere. We have poked this earth and inserted waste in so many places already, and safety is ignored and neglected to make more money.
What was incredible to me was that just about every fracking machine had a solar panel on it! Fossil fuel is saving money and using the very technology they want to crush! Solar is cheap and the sun is abundant! And it works! I found this to be simply unbelievable.
When do we stand up and insist on clean energy and move to create the jobs of the future?
Our political system is broken, with powerful fossil fuel political allies grossly mismanaging our resources. It is time to put life over corporate greed! We must start with the vote. Money is not speech and is not a vote. Corporations are not people, but some are made up of dishonest and immoral people who already have a vote!
There may be some sacrifice, but we must be responsible for all life on this incredible place we call home. We are an innovative people who can save the earth from destruction. Be the change: Tag, your it!
Ruth A. Remple
Thanks, Dr. Kelley
I want to publicly thank Dr. Severance Kelley for his years of dedicated service to his patients, their families and their employers. As HR manager for Boulder County for many years, I occasionally worked with Dr. Kelley when one of his patients was employed by the county. His concern for the safety and well-being of his patients, as well as safety in the workplace, was extraordinary. Of all the mental health providers I worked with, Dr. Kelley was the most proactive in seeking the best outcomes for his patients and did whatever was possible to see that they succeeded at work. I wish him well in his retirement.
There are several responses to Charles Krauthammer's "Are we alone in the universe?" column: Politics, which he exalts, often does not determine the acts of terrorist organizations, which are the most dangerous of the threats to Western society. Those acts are determined, often, by one man. The danger to human life that the use of nuclear or biological weapons represents would mean nothing to this man, who may believe their use would be the most expeditious way to shape a world that would exemplify his own conception of an ideal society.
The scientific responses are more speculative. Why is there silence? Perhaps other advanced civilizations, extant, may be hanging on to "life before self-extermination" just as we are. If they know anything of us, they likely do not think our help would be useful. The idea that there exists "a few who got it right" is a forlorn bleat in the vast cosmic silence. Implicit in all astronomical ideas, also, is the idea of mankind getting off to another world before the great cataclysm or before the oceans boil away ("Star Trek." "Star Wars"). We should be hearing about that any minute now from our magnificent scientific minds.
As to politics, there is always hope our politicians, who appear to be incompetent, malicious and vindictive, may find again the way to muddle through. But the current Republican effort to demonize President Obama in every conceivable way does not offer much hope.
But, take comfort from Thomas Hobbes, who famously said mankind's life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short." He was right. Seventy thousand years or so against the life of Earth, after all, is hardly as vast as the sea -- or even a drop in the bucket.
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