Letters 7/28/22


Jesus wasn’t a capitalist

The mingling of religion, politics, ethics, legality, and government, particularly in the pursuit of power, weaves a labyrinthine path across the globe. (The Islamic State group) clings to the militant history of Islam, the Taliban to its submission of women to men. The Medieval Crusades were to reclaim the Holy Land. Israel claims a God-given destiny. Vladimir Putin has re-sanctified the rule of the Tsars. Chinese Emperors were regarded the equal of gods, and ruled with an iron hand. Confucianism formulated a hierarchy for social and political stability (as has the Communist Party) that bypasses Buddhist pacifism. Our own Founding Fathers, skeptical of the dictates of both the Anglican and Catholic churches, codified the separation of church and state. In a similar move, the Dalai Lama has stepped away from his role in Tibetan Buddhism and endorsed a “secular humanism” removed from religious dogma, a proposal our “originalist” Supreme Court members have chosen to ignore. Within Christianity in America, the debate should be: “Was Jesus a Libertarian, a socialist, or perhaps even a Marxist?” In the Sermon on the Mount, he was definitely not a Capitalist nor a Conservative politician.   

Robert Porath/Boulder 

Race to the bottom for slumlords

I’ve really enjoyed the articles. I’m a relatively recent local tenant (10 years), and have dealt with landlord stupidity that boggles the mind. In most cases of needing a landlord to do anything that costs money it’s like pulling teeth—the place I’m moving out of this weekend wonders why I didn’t pay this rent this month…..had to remind them that I paid 1st, last, and deposit on move-in. (That’s just the tip of the iceberg.) Unfortunately, my best stories have an NDA—but I won.

It seems a race to the bottom in terms of slumlord activity, which has become accepted due to the fact that MANY landlords are seen as “upstanding members of the community”—highly moral, highly ethical people. In this day and age, I’m of the opinion that openly and publicly shaming them may be the best strategy.

The problem is the enormous power imbalance in virtually all aspects between tenants and landlords. I was lucky enough to have a fancy lawyer friend willing to waste his time on piddly friend cases. I also tend to think that helping tenants assert their rights better could be very financially viable for “small potatoes” lawyers—the actual (Colorado Revised Statutes) and local rules are short and simple. The other aspect would be providing low cost moving, storage, and housing assistance for people who are retaliated against maliciously. 

Travis Wehner/Boulder

Dogs and moose

Just a few weeks ago I found myself leaning out of an open car window in Yellowstone National Park to better watch a special spectacle. A large adult male wolf’s attack on a female elk backfired spectacularly. The wolf now ran for his life as the elk chased after the predator, down a steep slope, at 30 miles an hour.

Healthy prey animals can easily outrun wolves or turn on the predators and attack with their sharp hooves and antlers. Indeed, in my 8 years of yearly wolf watching I have seen only three wolf hunts, all of which involved prey successfully chasing wolves.

A few days earlier during my trip I saw wolves feed on a moose carcass not far from the park road. Moose, just like elk, are common prey for wolves, and will similarly defend themselves when necessary. However, unlike elk, moose often react aggressively to the predator-like scent of dogs. This fact came into tragic focus on June 8th 2022 as an encounter between hikers and a moose resulted in serious injury to a hiker, minor injuries to another hiker and their dog, and the killing of the mother moose by local authorities. Unlike wolves, dogs have neither the stamina or the speed to escape moose, so they often return to their owners when threatened. Unfortunately an aggressive moose will often follow the dog, endangering both the dog and the human. Wildlife safety professionals agree that by keeping your dog on leash you can prevent your dog from getting close to a moose and leading the moose back to you.

We can reduce our impact on the local wildlife by choosing to use extra caution in areas inhabited by Colorado’s incredible wildlife.

Anyll Markevich/Boulder


Email: letters@boulderweekly.com

Previous articleThe Oath Keeper’s son—part II
Next articleWhat to do when there’s nothing to do…