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Thursday, September 30,2010

Letters | Channeling McCarthyism

Channeling McCarthyism

(Re: “The devil and Lenin in Delaware,” Danish Plan, Sept. 23.) In his efforts to support the candidacy of Christine O’Donnell, for whom the term “bimbo” would be a compliment, Mr. Danish has descended to an old and deplorable technique of ascribing Marxist leanings to her opponent, Chris Coons.

Unlike Miss O’Donnell’s public service record, solely confined to two failed attempts to win elective office, Mr. Coons has established a solid track record of capable service as county commissioner. If Mr. Coons had any Marxist tendencies, his policies and decisions would have demonstrated such influence. The total lack of any evidence of this influence demonstrates that the allegations coming from Mr. Danish are totally specious.

It is, indeed, a pity that the eloquent and well-read Paul Danish would go back half a century to adopt the despicable tactics of Sen. Joe McCarthy. It is even worse that Mr. Danish now appears to be channeling McCarthy’s late sidekick, Roy Cohn.

George Langer/Boulder

In Paul Danish’s sophomoric humor piece comparing Delaware’s Republican senatorial candidate, Christine O’Donnell (witchcraft dabbling), with Democratic candidate Chris Coons (alleged youthful “Marxist” dalliance), the columnist writes: “Over the past 100 years, Marxists have killed about 100 million people.”

Perhaps in a future column Danish will explain how he arrived at this figure. If memory serves, the number has been associated with the John Birch Society and other ultra-right-wing tracts dating from the 1960s. That Danish would resort to utterings damning what he considers the “Marxist” world should surprise no one. He has been writing bellicose, militaristic, anti-socialist/anti-commie columns — much of it pure Democratic Party newsbabble — for the past 40 years. He has advocated violent military solutions to foreign policy issues on numerous occasions, often citing suspect sources, highly selective information, or partisan propaganda as unimpeachable evidence for his positions.

For my part, I can argue that fascist governments, fascist sympathizers, transnational corporate capitalism and capitalist-oriented reactionary governments (include the UK and the United States here), have killed about 100 million people over the past 100 years. For example, about 20 million Soviet citizens were murdered by the German Nazis and their fascist allies during World War II. Massive atrocities were perpetrated by imperial Japan against the Chinese in WWII.

The U.S. military committed horrendous atrocities against the Japanese at Hiroshima/Nagasaki and during the many firestorm raids conducted against Japanese cities. And these are just starters. I haven’t mentioned Vietnam’s anticolonial struggle for independence; the Anglo/American invasion of Iraq/Iran under the U.K./USA-installed Shah and SAVAK; the Nazis’ murder of some 500,000 of their own citizens; World War I and its ghastly killing fields as capitalist nations duked it out over territorial expansion and market primacy; the Armenian atrocities; and Africa’s anti-colonial wars of independence. The list goes on and on, and very few instances involve Danish’s “Marxists.”

To describe his feeble attempt at comic writing as one-sided is an understatement of the first magnitude. It appears that either he is oblivious to world history or he has a proverbial ax to grind when it comes to “Marxists.”

Dave Morton/Longmont

Protect cannabis care

When Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1284, he created a regulatory system to ensure safe access to medicinal cannabis and completely changed the business landscape of the medical marijuana community. This bill’s signing into law forced a marriage between growers and dispensaries. A marriage of inconvenience for some, it has served as a great opportunity for others to implement a highly efficient business model. The regulation passed requires each dispensary to cultivate at least 70 percent of its on-hand medicinal cannabis, thus vertically integrating the supply chain. Essentially, this shift in business model eliminated the inefficiency of buying medicinal cannabis from businesses operating as wholesalers.

While each medical marijuana center incurs substantial overhead in cultivating its cannabis, the overall net cost for the center is substantially less than it would be if medicine were purchased from wholesalers. As such, the overall inventory cost for each dispensary has significantly dropped. Unfortunately, the savings has yet to pass to the consumer.

As it stands, some medical marijuana centers have overextended themselves and face extraordinary debt interest, while others simply are operating as cash cow businesses. Rather than inefficiency in the market, it is this reader’s opinion that savings should be passed to the consumer. There is no reason an individual on a fixed income, struggling to pay for alternative health care, should subsidize dispensary owners selling a week’s supply of medicine for $100 when the true price is closer to $60.

Our country is already reeling to figure out how to control the cost of conventional health care, and there is no reason consumers should allow this industry to follow their lead.

Christopher Woods, Terrapin Care Station/Boulder

County on wrong road

Boulder County has money for certain projects that were agreed to during the years when people thought the county was using its normal tax receipts for maintaining all of its roads. There is now the issue of subdivisions forming special taxing districts to tax themselves in order to fix and repave these roads, the traditional duty of county government. As most of us now know, in 1995 the commissioners relieved themselves of the duty to maintain subdivision roads for other projects.

One of these projects is the resurfacing of Cherryvale Road. This past spring, the neighborhood had meetings with the transportation department and county commissioners about what is the best way to do this considering the residents of Cherryvale. The plan originally presented to the neighborhood was soundly rejected as too ambitious for a neighborhood where the houses and trees were close to the road. It includes a six-foot-wide path for the occasional use of a few families, which was never part of the original vote. Recently the transportation department sent us a letter saying that they had compromised on the plans. The letter indicated very little change from the original plan, this despite opposition to the majority of the plan by more than 95 percent of the people who live on the affected section of the road.

For some reason the county commissioners are letting the transportation department dictate this project even though the commissioners are not happy with the rural nature of the neighborhood being diminished.

One suggestion is to limit the amount of money to repave Cherryvale Road, adding, perhaps, commonly used three-and-a-half-foot-wide shoulders instead of five feet, remove the six-footwide path and use the savings to help pay for everyone’s subdivision road maintenance. I’m sure there are other projects that could be downsized or delayed until the county gets back on track with its responsibilities.

Warren Smadbeck/Boulder

Gardner is more of same

Boulder and Longmont have experienced enough failure at the hands of outgoing and term-limited House Rep. Jack Pommer and the Democratic Party agenda. One of the party’s biggest boosters, Boulder County Democratic Party Chair Deb Gardner, wants to fill Mr. Pommer’s seat in State House District 11. To do this would be more of the same failure this state and country has experienced in the last two years under almost complete Democrat rule.

It’s no mystery why Democrat candidates are running from their own party and leaders. But let us never forget that political operatives — including Ms. Gardner, who is basically Boulder County’s top left-wing political hack — couldn’t ride the coattails enough of the failed state and national administrations after the 2006 and 2008 elections. But now they want us to forget all that and pretend they are something new and better? Their “hope and change” has been abysmal.

But specifically with Ms. Gardner, her support of the hateful anti-religious group in Longmont who pushed the LifeBridge Christian Church development plan into the hands of a neighboring and competing city can’t be easily forgotten. The church relocation this group fought will still move forward, except Longmont and HD 11 voters won’t benefit one iota from it. And now residents, including even Democrats and independents, have about had enough of Boulder County’s endless harassment of Rocky Mountain Christian Church (RMCC), which shares some of the same detractors as LifeBridge — all political supporters of Ms. Gardner.

HD 11 is a terribly gerrymandered district, and Boulder can pretty much decide the race if they want to. I suggest you show a little independence from what is expected of you and ask yourself if voting the party line is such a wise choice this time around.

Chris Rodriguez/Longmont

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