I am tired of the Ross Talbott bashers who use baseless and nefarious arguments.
The latest in the PI was on Feb. 10, by Dan Bokenko. Dan said, "... neither should a reasonable person group all liberal progressives with mass murderers." I agree; Mr. Talbott wasn't saying that.
Dan wasted no time inserting Jesus, racism, homosexuality and guns into the debate, and that's what I will address. He said that Jesus was a liberal, homeless, progressive, dark-skinned, socialistic, pacifistic Jewish community organizer. Many who read Dan's letter will ignorantly accept it as gospel. Let's investigate these unfounded accusations.
Was Jesus a "liberal"? No, and neither was he a conservative, or a Wall-Street occupier. Jesus was the sole representative of a kingdom that defied and contrasted every earthly government. In God's government there is neither liberal nor conservative, only one king named Jesus.
Was Jesus a "progressive"? Progressiveness means "increments of change for better living." Jesus was interested in transforming the soul and spirit, versus "increments of change."
A socialist? Socialism is a failed government, not a thriving kingdom.
Jesus a "pacifistic Jewish community organizer"? This is priceless and laughable. However, he was Jewish.
Did he have "dark skin"? If you're a follower of Louis Farrakhan then the answer is yes. In spite of the mystification there is no evidence that Jesus was a dark-skinned man. His mother was Mary, a Hebrew, and his father was Yahweh (God).
Was Jesus "homeless"? Israel was under Roman occupation who stole, raped and terrorized, creating difficult living conditions for all. Since Jewish living was very communal and shared common interest, it's hard to fathom "homelessness." However the Bible does say "He didn't have a place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20) Jesus was addressing a teacher of the law.
Finally would Jesus want guns in schools? Obviously Dan has no idea of the kingship or the personhood of Jesus and chose to discredit Talbott by inserting Jesus into the debate, likening Jesus to a western culture, left-wing activist. I don't think he misunderstood Talbott as much as he did Jesus.
God save the Queen? How many police does it take to go skiing? Who is taking care of the peasants while the total police and secret service escorts the higher ups? Didn't we rebel against England for this very thing? The very few did nothing while everyone else got taxed to death.
It's been 200 years, and we are right back where we started.
Congrats to Blanca O'Leary for being reappointed Pitkin County Democratic chair. Her great leadership and insight helped lead Pitkin County to overwhelmingly re-elect Obama last fall for a second term. Also, thanks for the fun Democratic meeting including the State of the Union speech. The highlight had to be President Obama's phone call to the meeting after his historic speech.
In his letter published on Feb. 10, Dan Bokenko makes some truly astounding claims, as follow:
1. "Jesus was a liberal." Indeed he was, insofar as he established a "liberating" new covenant that was bitterly opposed by a "conservative" orthodoxy of Pharisees and scribes, but any other parallel with modern liberalism is purely fanciful and incongruous.
2. Jesus was a "homeless" person. So I suppose Father Damien and Mother Theresa were "homeless" because they chose to live among the lepers on Molokai and work in the streets of Calcutta, respectively. And John James Audubon was "homeless" because he wandered off unpredictably for months at a time in search of birds to capture in his sketches and paintings.
3. Jesus was "socialistic." Mr Bokenko confuses charity towards the least among us with the confiscation of wealth by a central government that redistributes it among special interest groups.
4. The founding fathers were also "socialist." Say what? The assertion that all men are created equal does not mean that they are guaranteed the same standard of living, and the phrase "the pursuit of happiness" implies the freedom to own private property - to pursue personal wealth.
5. Jesus was a "community organizer." Yes, he established a community of believers, but he was not an agitator specializing in how to shake down governments for a bigger slice of the economic pie for a particular constituency narrowly defined by race, gender, social class and the like.
6. Jesus was "dark-skinned." Well, whatever. What's the point?
7. Timothy McVeigh was a "Christian terrorist." Say what? The day before his execution he declared himself an agnostic. In any event, where's his manifesto asserting that the Oklahoma City bombing was part of a "jihad" for Christ? As for the KKK, which Mr. Bokenko places in the same category, most Klansmen were Democrats, and who understands how they think?
So where has Mr. Bokenko learned to become so facile at altering history and the meanings of words? My darkest fear is that there were one or more ill-educated public school teachers in his youth. This is how a nation commits intellectual, cultural and moral suicide.
Tonight I attended a very well-attended open house for the Highway 82 Access Control Plan through Glenwood Springs.
Mostly I listened. I listened to a gentleman explaining why he thought the proposed configuration of the intersections in the vicinity of Buffalo Valley would be an improvement. I saw heads nod in approval over the South Bridge. I heard concern expressed about the proposed configuration for the downtown area, particularly the Eighth Street intersection. I heard businessmen thankful that the 23rd Street intersection was not planning to be closed.
Concern was expressed that the proposed widened Grand Avenue Bridge would encourage increased speed into the downtown area. Although this was a presentation focused on the Access Control Plan, several people expressed concern that the downtown would be cut off for months by the bridge project. I also heard apprehension as to whether Midland Avenue and the existing Sunlight Bridge could handle the traffic from a detour. Experienced planners agreed that there is no perfect solution. There were the ever-present bypass conversations. I know I only heard a small fraction of the discussion.
I found the folks from the city, from CDOT and from Stolfus Associates to be patient and willing to talk and explain the options. I also saw several representatives from City Council engaged in serious conversations with concerned citizens.
What was and is apparent is that we need to bridge (pun intended) the gap. CDOT, Stolfus, City Council, city staff, and Citizens to Save Grand Avenue are not and should not be enemies. The city of Glenwood Springs has some serious issues facing us, but - rather than working against each other - we should be working together. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
If you wish to join the conversation and give me your thoughts please check out my blog at http://ourtownglenwoodsprings.wordpress.com/ . Bear with me as this is just beginning, but we need a venue to actually exchange ideas, and I welcome hearing from you.
Glenwood Planning Commission
Glenwood Transportation Commission
Last week I spent some time educating myself about gas development in the valley. I attended the Garfield commissioners' talk in Glenwood and the Energy Advisory Board in Rifle.
The County Air Monitoring program, although flawed, showed that there is a direct correlation between drilling and particulate and hydrocarbon emission but they then compared it to Denver air. They did not compare it to air in an undeveloped mountain area.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has established new rules on setbacks. Existing setback standards of 150 feet in rural areas and 350 feet in urban areas were extended to a uniform 500 feet statewide. Can you imagine a multistory drill rig working 24-7 with trucks delivering fracking materials while emitting hydrocarbons and particulates within 500 feet of your house? Imagine that there is a pregnant woman, a young child, or an old person breathing this contaminated air.
I was concerned that there were trucks weighing 120,000 to 160,000 pounds on the mountain roads carrying toxic materials. It was not clear which government organization was monitoring these trucks to make sure they carried the correct signage and that the drivers are properly certified. It was claimed that the state HAZMAT team would be responsible for a major spill. Not sure if they are equipped to deal quickly if the accident impacted a creek or the Colorado or Roaring Fork rivers. The Denver Post reported that there are an average seven spills every five days.
There was no talk of restoration. In Colorado we have seen the impact of irresponsible extraction such as the Climax Mine outside Leadville or the Super Fund site at Summitville. How do we return land that was once wilderness after it has been industrialized?
Hydrocarbon energy development is by its very nature parasitic. It must feed off its host, the earth. We have had limited success in containing the parasitic impact by eliminating airborne coal particulate, tetraethyl lead and ozone killing per-fluorinated hydrocarbons. But the parasite continues to mutate into tentacle-like bodies such as fracking, mountain top removal and tar sands mining.
Thomas E. Rutledge