Letters | WikiLeaks and Ward


WikiLeaks and Ward

(Re: “A Nobel Prize for Assange?” Danish Plan, Dec. 16.) What do Roman Polanski, Richard Nixon and Julian Assange have in common?

The Wikileaks saga illustrates the fact that just because somebody does something worthwhile (make brilliant films, open relations with China, expose murder) doesn’t mean that all of their acts are noble or heroic.

Julian Assange’s exposure of the infamous helicopter footage was (despite his Michael Moore-esque editing) a laudable act. The release of the Iraq memos was more questionable; while it revealed questionable behavior by U.S. and Iraqi forces, some of the exposures were at best reckless and at worst sociopathic. An ironic situation for somebody who cloaks himself in the mantle of righteousness.

Now with the diplomatic leaks, we really have to wonder about his motivation. Did those cables contain any indications of illegal or even unethical behavior? As Paul Danish points out, those leaks embarrassed the U.S. and probably set back diplomacy, with no discernible benefit. I’m all for transparency and accountability in government, but smiling at Putin while calling him names behind his back is hardly a crime against humanity. Mr. Assange was either too lazy to do the work of curating the trove, or he is merely on an anti-U.S. vendetta, driven by his own megalomania. Or both.

Speaking of megalomania, what of Mr. Assange’s attempts to spread his seed, without consent of the recipients? If governments are pursuing rape charges with extra vigor because they can’t nail him on espionage … well, Mr. Assange might want to have a chat with Ward Churchill. The lesson for would-be antagonizers of the Establishment is: Keep your nose clean because they will looking for ways to get you. But that doesn’t mean anti-heroes should be exempt from all laws.

As for those claiming Mr. Assange has been framed, I’d be curious to find out if those same people defended Clarence Thomas 19 years ago.

is entirely possible to support some of WikiLeaks’ earlier actions,
despise vermin like Rush Limbaugh, question the recent leaks and condemn
rape … all at the same time.

“The phenomenon of dusk does not invalidate the difference between day and night.”

David Rea/Boulder

Cannabis cash

“Skunky money,” cover story, Dec. 9.) My wife and I are considering
entering the industry and found this article more than interesting. One
question on the banking is that the state has taken in millions from
owners and patients alike. How are they handling the depositing of these
monies, as wouldn’t they also be scrutinized under the same banking
laws causing the dispensaries so much hassle?

Kevin Reifenschneider/Westminster

Loko not the problem

“Finding Loko locally? Good luck,” news, Dec. 9.) I work at Central
Washington University, and read your article on Four Loko. While I
thought it was a nicely written article, your facts are not entirely
accurate regarding the Roslyn party. If you read the Cle Elum-Roslyn
Police Department report from that night, there is clearly something
else going on. Additionally, the girl passed out in the grocery store
parking lot that night did not even have any Four Loko. Neither did at
least one more person of the nine hospitalized.

are so quick to pass judgement on Four Loko, yet it wasn’t the problem
at the Roslyn party. Underage drinking (all were minors), along with
hard alcohol and poor choices, were more the culprit. While Four Loko is
a potent and harsh drink, it seems that it shouldn’t be blamed for this
problem. Of the nine hospitalized, from my understanding, not one of
them solely drank Four Loko that night. They were pouring hard liquor
into the Four Loko, drinking other beers, smoking marijuana and taking
other drugs.

like to clear the air a bit on this issue, since it has gotten so blown
out of proportion and no one seems to know the facts.

Andrew Caveness/via Internet

Democrats lack cojones

tax compromise with the Republicans is a betrayal beyond measure. First
and foremost, the Democrats legitimized Republican blackmail
and hostage-taking as a respectable negotiating tactic. Taxing the
super-rich while holding the middle class harmless should have been a
no-brainer. Yet the Dems paid the ransom and the ransom was us.

travesty comes atop of a raft of unholy Dem capitulations regarding
nearly every important issue arising over the past two years. The most
recent deal twice cuts taxes for the super-rich (the income and estate
taxes), increases taxes for the poorest workers by eliminating the
Making Work Pay tax credits, and compromises the Social Security tax
base by reducing the payroll tax for one year, which the GOP, with
likely Dem acquiescence, will make permanent.

thrown in, to sweeten the deal, is paltry compensation for the massive
long-term costs to the government’s revenue base and accelerated debt
accumulation. I expect the Dems will also go along with a permanent cut
for the super-rich two years from now. Down the road, the Republicans
will use the bloated deficits and national debt as an excuse to gut
valuable domestic programs, again with likely Dem acquiescence.

99ers, those whose benefits have lapsed after 99 weeks, were left out
of the unemployment insurance part of the deal. For those who still
qualify, meager UI payments will last a paltry 13 months, compared to
two years of massive cuts for the ultra-rich. I expect those payments to
end permanently when Democrats and the Republicans forge yet another

summary, the tax deal is a piece of sewage that should have been flushed
the moment it floated to the top of the legislative cesspool, yet
Democratic pols ate it up like a funnel cake at the carnival.

that said, I am ending my role as a Democratric Party activist. This is
not the first time I have hinted at quitting party activism. Despite my
growing disgust, I have dutifully pounded pavement and made phone calls
on behalf of the party and its candidates. No more.

attention will turn to community projects and support for progressive
candidates; including progressive primary challengers running against
incumbent Dems in Colorado and elsewhere. I might even support a
credible primary challenge against Obama.

way I see it, the Democrats have willfully cut people like me loose. I
no longer have a reason to support Dem candidates just because they are running against Republicans. The differences are just getting too small to bother, George W. notwithstanding.

am well aware of what has transpired over the past two years. I also
understand what the word “compromise” means (Obama’s condescending use
of that word to belittle progressive positions pisses me off, so he can
just shove it). Rather than compromise, I characterize the past two
years as a litany of premature capitulations demonstrating a complete
absence of principles and a pitiable lack of cojones. The tax deal was
the last straw for me.

And too bad the public has been hoodwinked into accepting the monumental shaft job they have been given.

believe perceptions will change by 2012, as the weak stimulative effect
of the tax deal is barely noticed, the bankers get richer and more
arrogant on Obama’s watch, his wars spin out of control and a variety of
problems beset the nation as Democrats continue to bend over and spread
‘em for the Republicans.

Ken Bonetti/Boulder

More on body art flap

you for Elizabeth Miller’s excellent article “Body Art Battle” (cover
story, Dec. 23). She did a lovely job of condensing tons of information
into a very clear and concise piece of journalism. That being said, I
would like to illuminate a couple of points.

(Enchanted Ink) were, indeed, open by appointment only on the day that
we were cited for refusing inspection. The key point, however, is that
we were not open and operating for tattoo or piercing
appointments. We see clients (not for body art) on a highly confidential
basis for another business which we work with.

We told the inspector numerous times that we were not operating as a tattoo business on that day, yet she insisted that we were, even though she had no evidence to base that on.

Now you tell me, if you were a confidential client and a government inspector showed up, how would you feel if she came traipsing through the business? We were simply trying to protect our client.

another point, I would like to thank the inspector, Melissa Ellis, for
her memorable quote in said article regarding why some businesses get
cited for certain violations, while she gives others a pass. She said,
“I’ve had other businesses say to me, ‘Melissa, this is a really bad
time, so I’ve left … but this wasn’t a nice request.’” Bless her, out of her very own mouth she
proved one of the main points that we were trying to get across: That
the inspections are not consistent and that the inspector uses her own
biases in doling out penalties. Since when is it acceptable to cite and
fine a business because the inspector perceives that they weren’t nice?
Isn’t that rather subjective criteria?

Until the Boulder County Health Department hires and trains inspectors who actually know what
they are doing in our businesses, there will only continue to be
problems. We are only asking for competency and accountability in
exchange for the exorbitant fees, which continue to rise.

Is that too much to ask?

Tara Gray-Wolfstar/Boulder

Go vegan in 2011

This has not been a good year for the meat, dairy and egg industries.

In January, ABC News provided extensive coverage of cow abuse by the dairy industry.

BP oil spill in April called attention to an even larger Gulf “dead
zone” caused by the massive amounts of animal waste dumped every day by
the Mississippi River. A month later, a U.N. report urged a global shift
towards a vegan diet to reduce world hunger and climate change.

June, the FDA asked factory farms to stop routine use of antibiotics
that lead to drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans.

August witnessed the largest-ever recall of more than half billion eggs harboring Salmonella.

this month, President Obama signed into law the Healthy, Hunger-Free
Kids Act to replace fatty animal products and other junk foods in school
lunches and vending machines. According to the School Nutrition
Association, 65 percent of U.S. schools now offer vegetarian lunch

For a New Year’s resolution, we should all consider following suit.

I found a great website at www.LiveVegan.org with recipes and tons of other useful info.

Rudolph Helman/Boulder

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