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Your Letters

Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

The tone of Ross Talbott’s Jan. 10 column was refreshingly tolerant of those who think differently than he (“I’m looking to the left and everything looks OK.”) and was welcome in that regard. His Jan. 24 column even contained some ideas I agree with.

But he still spouts undocumented and incorrect assertions as if they were facts, and as a result, continues writing a great deal of nonsense.

For example, from his Jan. 24 column, “We need to increase our own energy production and stop buying it from the Arabs.” We buy relatively little oil from Arab countries.

About 40 percent of what we use is produced domestically and half our imports come from the Western Hemisphere. Among Arab nations, only our (admittedly dubious) ally Saudi Arabia, which supplies 12 percent of our oil, is a major supplier.

He also writes, “the Fed is unconstitutional.” The Supreme Court is constitutionally charged with making that determination, and disagrees (Lewis v. United States, 680 F.2d 1239 [1982]).

The Fed is an immensely powerful organization run by rich bankers with little accountability to ordinary Americans and should perhaps be abolished for that reason. But this is a practical issue, not a Constitutional one. Mr. Talbott invokes the Constitution while rewriting it, replacing the Supreme Court with himself.

“More than 50 percent of children are born out of wedlock.” The number is under 40 percent, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Though still alarming, this easily findable figure is significantly lower than Mr. Talbott’s assertion.

“We have also gone from a nation ‘under God’ to a nation against God.” Houses of worship and their symbols are ubiquitous, religious groups are not taxed and religious programming fills our airwaves.

Americans are free to worship Hashem, Allah, Baal, Jesus, or any other God, and are equally free to reject the notion of God. Apparently the basis for Mr. Talbott’s recurring complaint is the First Amendment prohibition against favoring his particular Christian God.

The Post Independent’s continuing willingness to publish Mr. Talbott in spite of his disregard for factual accuracy has become no less shameful by virtue of his recent, more conciliatory tone.

Ron Kokish


The Republican party purports that it is opposed to “big” government and supports small localized government.

Two members of the state Legislature, Republican Sen. Ted Harvey and Rep. Frank McNulty, are presently introducing legislation (Senate Bill 2012-88) on behalf of the gas and oil drilling industry that would strip or limit the local county and city governments of their ability to regulate this industry and transfer this power to the state government.

Their stated reasons for doing this is that the gas and oil industry affects the entire state. However, this industry affects different areas of the state in different ways, and that is why the local governments must retain the power to regulate it based on the impacts that the industry has on a particular area. Big state government cannot do this.

It appears that the actions by these public servants are in violation of their duty to represent the people of the state, violate section II of the state Constitution relating to the sovereignty of the people, and is an abuse of power.

I urge all citizens to contact the public servants who represent them and instruct them to oppose this legislation in its entirety.

Garry Evenson

Battlement Mesa

Regarding Mary Boland’s column of Jan. 26 praising the right wing Cato Institute.

I don’t believe Cato’s senior fellow Doug Bandow knows what our individual liberties are and which amendments protects them. I don’t believe the Cato Institute is on the side of individual liberty.

I believe individual liberty is freedom from unreasonable use of police power.

Criminalizing marijuana is an unreasonable and unnecessary regulation of our fundamental rights to liberty, to property and to privacy, and contravenes the Fourth, Fifth and 14th amendments.

Being arrested is deprivation of liberty. Seizing marijuana is deprivation of property. A search warrant is an invasion of privacy.

One part of due process of law requires that criminal laws be justified by a compelling state interest. This is to show the law is reasonable and necessary to protect public safety.

The private cultivation and even the sale of marijuana to adults does not threaten the rights of others. There is no victim of a crime.

What is a legal definition of a crime? “A body of rules and statutes that defines conduct prohibited by the government because it threatens and harms public safety and welfare, and that establishes punishment to be imposed for the commission of such acts.”

Every defendant in a motion to dismiss has standing to make these claims in court and have the marijuana laws declared unconstitutional and charges dismissed.

Judges cannot protect fundamental rights until lawyers present them before the court. In my opinion, it is against a lawyer’s self-interest to protect fundamental rights from unreasonable laws.

The Cato Institute wants to end the war on drugs, but doesn’t see it as justifiable controversy for a court of law.

Michael J. Dee

Windham, Me.

The Writers on the Range column by John Fenton published in the Post Independent on Jan. 31 will be read by other activists in areas not even remotely related to the conditions existing in Pavillion, Wyo., and that will cause fear, anxiety and panic. We have seen this happen in Garfield County.

It is true that their water is probably contaminated in Pavillion. However, no one knows the cause, and the work by the EPA failed to clarify a source.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has called the EPA’s study “scientifically questionable.” Some scientists are quoted as calling it “shoddy scientific analysis.” One report indicates EPA’s reported results of four phases of domestic water well tests do not exceed federal or state drinking water quality standards related to oil and gas development.

While Mr. Fenton claims that the sky is falling, there is a good chance it is just an ugly rumor spread by radical activists. Best to not overreact until we have facts. Meantime, we need the product nature provides.

Jack E. Blankenship

Battlement Mesa

Thanks for publishing the outstanding letter from Jeffrey Fegan, M.D., “War on drugs is fruitless effort” on Jan. 30.

Since the vast majority of all of our violent crime and property crime is caused by drug prohibition policies, the common-sense solution is to relegalize all of our now-illegal drugs. Then the drugs can be sold in legal, regulated and licensed business establishments for pennies per dose.

Then drug dealers, as we know them today, will disappear for economic reasons. Our so-called drug-related crime will be in our past – not our future.

Most people currently employed in law enforcement are against the relegalization of our now-illegal drugs. That’s because we would need far fewer law enforcement personnel if all drugs were relegalized.

However, there is one organization made up of law enforcement personnel who favor the relegalization of all drugs, despite the fact that it’s against their own economic self-interest to do so. That organization is called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

I suggest the readers visit the LEAP website at:

Arrange for a speaker from LEAP to give an informative and entertaining talk about our current and past drug policies to any organization or group.

Most will arrive at the LEAP talk skeptical. Most will leave convinced, convinced that we must make major changes to our nation’s failed drug policies.

Kirk Muse

Mesa, Ariz.

A portion of the Carbondale Board of Trustees believes we need to focus on the Main Street part of Carbondale. However, that is already the strongest and most vocal section of our town.

If anything needs work, it is the entry to Carbondale near the bridge.

Downtown is full of amazing restaurants, parks, cafes and great artwork. Any projects that are going to go need to make the entrance of Carbondale more appealing, so that people actually make it to our main attractions.

As of now, we have the Red Rock Diner, which is amazing as is, but it is surrounded by trailer parks and hotels. This doesn’t really shout out, “friendly and a great place to live.”

Put the effort into Carbondale where it is really deserved.

Kerwin Hirro


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