Our good friend and former valley resident Nancy Nelson, local artist/ painter/ paper hanger/ photographer/ Reiki Master/ healer and all-around-dynamo is in the last stages of breast cancer despite a long and hard fight to survive. She lives in Gorey, Ireland where she is receiving hospice care.
We have this precious opportunity to send prayers, gratitude and healing wishes to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to her facebook page: Nancy Nelson.
While we know Nancy's bravado and zest for life will carry her through this final journey, her heart is and always has been tender and caring. Please join us in sending her boundless love and fervent wishes for comfort, peace and kindness.
Trout Creek, Mont.
March 2013: President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder said, "President Obama has the authority to use unmanned drone strikes to kill U.S. citizens on American soil."
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has customized its Predator drones to carry out at-home surveillance tasks identifying civilians carrying guns and tracking their cell phones.
May 13, 2003: The Carbondale Town Council unanimously approved a resolution that called for the repeal of all "unconstitutional provisions" in the Patriot Act. Richard Veit, of Carbondale, called the USA Patriot Act an "assault against the Bill of Rights."
Sept. 7, 2003: Peace activist Cathleen Krahe of Carbondale wrote, "Bush's emotionally loaded language creates fear in his audiences. People often set aside their core values because of fear. Look at how Congress gave up its right to declare war and passed the Patriot Act and how little opposition there has been to the loss of civil liberties in the U.S."
May 21, 2003: Kathryn Preston of Carbondale quoted Scott Ritter stating, "The Bush administration is exploiting the fear and ignorance of the American people to launch a frontal assault on the Constitution of the United States, the fact that we can arrest an American citizen and call him a noncombatant and hold him without legal representation. That doesn't happen in the United States of America, but it is happening right now. And it's going to get worse."
March 20, 2003: Chester McQueary wrote, "Bush and crew are destroying democracy with their assault on civil liberties via Patriot I and II and Homeland Security Acts. A militarized feudal society looms with 5 percent living as lords in castles while the general population lives in increasing social and environmental devastation and squalor, and the nation's wealth and energies are squandered in endless weaponry and warfare. Welcome to the Project for the New American Century!"
Sept. 12, 2003: Dan Bokenko called John Ashcroft a fascist and said he uses the Constitution as toilet paper.
The silence from the left on the use of drones and the attacks against our liberties from Obama will again show their true hypocrisy.
It is hard to generate sympathy for oil and gas companies that are asking the United States to "suspend" their leases in the Thompson Divide above Carbondale. (A "suspension" is essentially a lease extension).
The leases were issued in 2003 (possibly in violation of environmental requirements) and the companies have been speculatively sitting on them without development ever since. I suspect they want the "suspensions": 1) to see if natural gas prices rise enough to make the leases worth developing; 2) to make their corporate books look better; or 3) to hope that the suspensions allow time for local governments and/or conservation organizations to buy them out. But a buyout only rewards the companies' inaction with an economic windfall for leases that will expire and become worthless in the next few months. Why waste taxpayer and private conservation dollars on that?
The United States issues oil and gas leases on Federal land to promote domestic energy production. In that spirit, lessees are supposed to proceed to timely development of leases, not speculatively sit on them. The Thompson Divide leases were held without development in 2007, when natural gas prices hit all time highs. Now, the companies come in at the 11th hour, with gas prices far lower, and ask the United States to extend the leases? In my opinion, they are trying to pull a fast one, and get something for essentially nothing.
There are already 10,000 existing gas wells in and around Rifle and the Garfield County portion of the Piceance Basin, with another 25,000-40,000 predicted in the next two decades. Isn't that enough?
The wise course in the Thompson Divide is to deny the lease suspensions, and let them expire. Then, if the companies really think the leases are worthwhile, they can submit new lease applications that will be processed in accordance with today's environmental standards. I predict they could not meet such standards. Uncle Sam should not extend the leases and thereby reward the companies' past inaction and speculation.