Letters: 1/12/17

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Bull-riding Feature

I was disappointed to see Boulder Weekly not only running an article that was pro-bull riding, but also featuring it on front page [Re: Adventure: “There’s more than one way to be a cowboy,” Jan. 5, 2016.] Inducing stress to an animal and then getting on their back is nothing to be proud of. Exploiting an animal’s desperate attempt to get someone off their back and encouraging the animal to do so at all costs is victimization and should not be encouraged.

Futhermore, I am sure the last thing a feedlot fed animal wants to do after eating “food” that is not appropriate for their ruminant digestive systems would be to go out and perform. The feedlot rations are comprised of soy, grains, corn and other industry by-products amongst other things and are designed for fast weight gain and not the health and well-being of the animal. Think of chronic indigestion and other GI issues in an animal that is designed to eat grasses and fibers.

Furthermore, muscular tears and injuries, along with ruptured discs are possible injuries in the bulls that are being caused by their violent and desperate attempt to throw the rider off their back during their induced distress. I do not understand how this is being labeled as a sport — it is nothing less than violence! If bull riders want to ride mechanical bulls and compete with them, great. Leave the bulls alone!

Jen Wilson/Boulder

You voted for Putin

Maybe you voted for Trump, but did you really understand you were also voting for Putin?

Today, just weeks away from controlling the White House, these nefarious billionaires continue the long con, bullying their way into ever-increasing wealth and power.

It is clear that Donald Trump is more loyal to Russia than to the US. It seems highly likely he is a Russian operative, and doesn’t even know it himself.

Meanwhile, leaders in Congress are more concerned about glad-handing the criminal-elect than heeding the wishes of the American people.

In this disturbing time, don’t allow your despair to stun you into inaction.

Call your representatives in D.C. every day. Remind them that we the people are the ones who sent them to D.C., and we will surely rescind that job if they don’t protect the ideals and international standing of this great nation.

Christina Book/via internet

Moving through fear

Risk and fear often hold us back [Re: “The rewards of risk” by Frank Bures, Jan. 5, 2016.] There is plenty of fear right now with the incoming administration. Why not take a risk and take some action, the best way to move through fear. Call or write your senators and representatives, asking them to protect America’s safety net programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps), and to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit so working childless adults won’t be taxed into poverty. Speak up, take a risk, move through your fears, and create a better country and world in the process!

Willie Dickerson/Snohomish, WA

And there’s your problem

Kellyanne Conway, Trumps hypnotic surrogate, was asked if, now that Trump will be our president will his tweets become more factual? Kellyanne answered that, “To Trumps supporters there are no facts. What Trump says is a fact, what the media says is a lie.” This explains the gap I’ve witnessed between what my good friends, who are Trump supporters, think and the perspective of folks I know who are not his supporters. There has always been a gap between the right’s information sources and the rest of informed Americans but now the gap promises to become an in-traversable canyon as our emboldened Republican representatives and commissioners move alt-right and become more informed by the 3 a.m. tweets of a pathological liar. At his last rally Trump told us, “I don’t need your votes now, maybe in four years, I don’t know, but I don’t need your votes now.” This is Trump speak for, I’ll be taking care of my billionaire buddies now. I guess we chumps are on our own again.

John Hoffmann/Carbondale, CO

It’s really a wonderful life

Now that the holidays are over and a new era looms, I can’t help but draw parallels between Frank Capra’s heartwarming holiday epic, It’s a Wonderful Life, and this year’s corporate-sponsored elections.

Bedford Falls, like our own towns and country, is a place of neighbors, trying to take care of one another.  George Bailey builds homes for, and has intimate relationships with, his neighbors, who are a diverse group of whites, blacks and immigrants. Mr. Potter, the corporate villain, is a heartless, greedy tyrant, willing to spend any amount of money to control the Bailey Building and Loan, as well as to corrupt George, and bring him over to the dark side (insert any hero mythology here). He ridicules George for being a generous sucker (bleeding heart), and for his idealistic notion that everyone is happier, healthier and wealthier, when people have the opportunity to build and own their own homes, businesses and futures.

The story contains the eerie similarity of Mr. Potter lying to seduce George, then stealing the bank deposit causing a run on the bank, and the ensuing fear, chaos, and distrust that follows. Sound familiar? Even honest George is terrified enough to momentarily be tempted by Mr. Potter’s offer to make him safe and rich, until he realizes that by doing so he’d be letting his neighbors fall victim to Potter’s tyranny.

Like us, he feels there is no way out.  The corruption has won. He can’t make a difference, so he has no choice but to disappear. Ah, but then Capra in his genius, shows us what happens when people give up. Sweet friendly Bedford Falls becomes ugly corrupt Pottersville.  And, although it seems bustling and prosperous, it’s a dark and violent place, devoid of humanity. Where citizens are indifferent to each other’s suffering, and only look out for themselves. But the forces of good are on George’s side, showing him ultimately that his investment in his town, and his neighbors, is well founded. They come to his rescue, in all their diversity, validating his life, and his humanity.

Do you think any of us would watch this year after year if greed and hatred, I mean Mr. Potter, had prevailed?  Would Bedford Falls have stayed the same caring place without George’s involvement? When you don’t participate in your own government, demean the process, or indulge your personal voting fancies at everyone’s expense because you’ve fallen for the lie that it won’t matter, and you can’t make a difference — think of George Bailey. Don’t be intimidated by the corporate owned thugs that are taking their seats at the banquet table. “You get the government you deserve,” as Alexis de Tocqueville wrote. If we don’t stand up to these bullies now, and show up to vote come mid-terms, we’ll change the Frank Capra ending, wake up in Pottersville, and want to jump off a bridge.

PJ Breslin/Rifle, CO

Trump election is pushback

Hillary’s loss and Trump’s unprecedented win was a pushback against the election of our first Black president.

Since, Obama’s election and reelection, Republicans and white Americans have insulted and demonized Obama because of his race. There has been an increase of police killings of unarmed blacks.

Since Obama’s victories several states with Republican controlled legislatures have implemented onerous voter I.D. programs masquerading as anti-voter-fraud in order to disenfranchiseblack and Hispanic voters that traditionally vote Democrat.

Republicans like Chris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and Republican operative instituted nationwide the bogus Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program which resulted in massive black and Hispanic voter suppression.

So, Hillary’s loss was the culmination of a decade-long Republican effort to disenfranchise voters under the guise of battling voter and which undermined democracy. Hillary, a white Democrat woman lost the presidency because of racist Republican machinations and reaction to the election and reelection of a Black Democrat president.

Andrew J. O’Connor/Lafayette