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August 7-13, 2008 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Equal rights for embryos
(Re: “Which comes first: a woman or her egg?” cover story, July 31.) I think that we should put Amendment 48 on the primary election this upcoming week. That way if it passes, all women in Colorado having sex on Nov. 3 can get two ballots so they can vote on behalf of their possible embryos. I would also be happy to distribute Clomid [a fertility drug] to any liberal-leaning woman so that she can be granted three or four votes. Furthermore, if the state is going to support the church (or one church in particular), then the church should pay much higher taxes — as I, and all the other sexually active, ovulating women of Colorado, will be expecting an unemployment check for our embryos until menopause.
Jenni Skyler/via Internet
As extreme as Amendment 48 is (shudder), if it were to pass, the next step would be outlawing “successful” intercourse. That is no man could have sex, protected or unprotected. Oh, wait, the conservatives humping this amendment don’t have sex.
Peter Bockenthien/via Internet
(Re: “Trendy young farmers,” online exclusive, July 31.) Thanks for this article. I am 27, and I live in Santa Cruz, Calif. I’m going to Wisconsin next month to volunteer on an organic farm after researching NEWOOF. I can’t wait to check out the other organizations you listed in the article.
Jody Mason/via Internet
Pickin’ over the Pickens Plan
(Re: “A viable energy plan at last,” Danish Plan, July 31.) I agree with Mr. Danish that Boone Pickens is to be commended for spending a considerable sum to put forth an innovate approach to the country’s energy dilemma. How “viable” is it? Natural gas turbines are the most reliable and “dispatchable” source of electricity, and by “firming up” intermittent wind or solar generation, keep the utility grid operating smoothly. Wind, at best, achieves a 30 percent or so “capacity factor,” so if we are going to displace gas turbines as our “spinning reserve,” we will need to build three times the equivalent capacity in wind machines, widely distributed across different wind regimes. Taking the estimate of 200,000 machines (which is probably low), the Pickens Plan calls for building and installing 20,000 turbines — and associated transmission lines — per year for the next 10 years. That’s 55 wind turbines per day! Mr. Picken’s ideas have merit and should stimulate thoughtful discussion about realistic goals and timeframes. Meanwhile, my next car may be a Honda GX (compressed natural gas fueled) with a garage-mounted Phill unit.
Ken Wonstolen/via Internet
Who’s looking out for Mr. Manring?
(Re: “Who’s looking at your wife?” letters, July 31.) Senate bill 08-200 was enacted because responsible legislators recognized that transgendered individuals are not equally protected by law. In a letter to Boulder Weekly, Edward Manring assaults this bill because he believes it will subject his wife to the leering eyes of transsexuals who may happen to be in the same dressing room as she. The basis of his paranoia is his assumption that male-to-female transsexuals are predators who only seek such a lifestyle so that they may be in close proximity to vulnerable women. The possibility that men who need to live as women will, due to that identification, be far more respectful of women than your average testosterone-laden, heterosexual biological male at the local sports bar should bear some scrutiny by Mr. Manring.
Further, if he is concerned about who is watching his wife in the dressing room, is he suggesting that lesbians be barred from women’s dressing rooms, as well? Because, returning to his transsexual paranoia, if the “biological male” in question is living as a woman and is interested in other women, then she is no different than a lesbian in the locker room — and it isn’t reasonable to suggest that it’s possible to separate homosexuals and heterosexuals in this environment anyway. If, on the other hand, the “biological male” in question is living as a woman but interested in men, she is probably not paying any attention to his wife anyway, so what’s his problem?
His problem is that he lives in a black and white world where people are male or female heterosexuals only and any individual existing outside that norm is an aberration in the eyes of God. Let’s not mince words here either. Mr. Manring encourages individuals to link to a religious-based website which asserts that transsexuals are merely predators who do not deserve equal protection under the law, which, getting back to the point, is the purpose of SB 08-200. Whatever you may think or feel about people who challenge your perceptions about gender and sexuality, does not change the fact that transgendered individuals are still human beings who deserve equal rights.
The religious bigots are trying to justify their stand by positing that protecting transgendered individuals creates a loophole that will allow sexual predators to take advantage of women and children. Nowhere in this bill is sexual predation justified, and history proves time and again that men who wish to take advantage of women and children seek no legal loopholes to do so. But nice try, Rev. Dobson.
Perhaps Mr. Manring would be thrilled to see a bill enacted which makes transsexualism and homosexuality illegal. But he won’t get his wish in a country where the founding principles are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The legislators who voted for this bill are acting in accordance with those principles by acknowledging that not only do those principles mean different things to different people, but that we must understand that they do if we don’t want those principles dictated by the state or by someone’s “god.” Let your legislators know you appreciate their adherence to the principles of individual liberty!
Vote for Cindy Carlisle
I am writing to encourage Democrats to cast their vote for Cindy Carlisle in the current race for State Senate District 18 representation. Cindy is the only authentically progressive candidate with no historical ties to business or corporate entities. In her personal devotion to social justice, she is out front on the issues that matter: fair and just immigration policy, marriage equality, the preservation of our environment, clean air and water and the sharing of the earth with all creatures and peoples.
I met Cindy many years ago when we both served on Boulder’s Campaign Finance Reform steering committee. We joined with others who felt that the amount of money spent on City Council elections had become excessive. We sought, successfully, to create a mechanism that made it possible for any Boulder citizen, whether rich or poor, to earn a seat on City Council. At that time, I came to know Cindy as an articulate, passionate, experienced and knowledgeable citizen, engaged in civic life, an exceptional individual who cared about our communities both small and large. I will be proud to be represented by Ms. Carlisle, and I hope you will, too.
Polis is the progressive choice
As I have been canvassing door to door for Jared Polis’ s campaign, I have come to a realization. I had no idea how exemplary his record turns out to be. I found out from a teacher tonight that he sends all the new educators a gift from Blue Mountain Arts when they are starting out. Another voter said Jared was on the Board of the Watershed School. Someone else said he was on the Board of Eco-cycle. Yet another said they knew him from the League of Conservation Voters at a fund-raiser. His family was acknowledged as the sponsor of the 50-year Gala Celebration of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival last night, when I went to hear an eloquent and insightful reading by his brother, Jorian.
Jared is on point in the core issue of resource diversion to Iraq. Funding streams are needed in this country to convert to a renewable-energy economy before we have lost critical bridging resources to get there. This will enable basic human services to be restored and economic stability to return. His plan to get out of Iraq is endorsed by 50 other Democratic candidates and 10,000 citizens, covers equitable resolution of complex effects of our intervention there and is ready for prime time on Jan. 1.
I think it is noteworthy to reflect on the fact that Jared’s experience in the field of education is significant. He sat as Chair of the State Board of Education in 2000, the first Democrat in 30 years. From providing access to computers for school kids to starting charter schools with night-time hours, childcare and English as a second language to meet the needs of stressed populations, he has taken on the challenge of needs unmet by preexisting institutions. This leads him to call for systemic comprehensive reform in all the other key issues like energy and environment, foreign policy, health care, election reform, media, banking and mortgage industries, land use, transportation and preventative natural disaster management.
He seems to know how to engage in the kind of collaboration to actually get things done. Key to this is his sense of curiosity. He asks the right questions. He listens. He usually has the right answers and appears to be exceedingly well informed from the specific to the broader aspects of issues and interdependencies. He’s been successful in starting his own Internet-related businesses. Integrity guides the dispensation of his personal wealth. It is rare among progressive Democrats to have access to these kind of funds absent of influence peddling. His wealth, combined with ideas that actually reflect the true sentiments of the majority, serves as a formidable threat to many heretofore thought “mainstream” political operatives and ideologues of either party.
The time has come that we have little more time to waste. Len Barron/Alfred Einstein says time was invented so we can change our minds.
Climate change effects dictate global co-operation in creative efforts to solve much more imminent dilemmas than the negative and fear-based ones of wars over resource extraction, which only serve to accelerate depletion of those very resources. Jared will be a motivator as the inevitable evolution of political thought shifts. His voice and influence is critically needed on each and every one of those 435 individuals composing the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a real leader.
Drilling vs. global warming
I have a question. How do all of you now talking about drilling for more oil square that objective with the “fighting global warming” crusade so many of you have been clamoring about for several years now? If you haven’t noticed, you can’t have it both ways. Either you want to enjoy your life with all of the accoutrements the industrial revolution has provided, or you want to “save the planet,” by removing the pestilence that is supposedly responsible for destroying that planet, i.e., humans. But whom is the planet going to “thank,” once its only sentient beings have been removed?
Russell W. Shurts/Centennial
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