Sunday letters: State of the Union, Sen. Cory Gardner, Trump’s ‘peace plan,’ and Kirk Douglas

Wishing for a better State of the Union

(This letter was originally addressed to Sen. Cory Gardner)

We heard the president’s version of the state of the union. The following is the “other” state of the union.

We are more divided, politically and economically, than any other time in history.

The president continues his politics of revenge, resistance and retribution.
We have one of the largest deficits in history.

Our military spending dwarfs other countries by huge amounts, limiting our ability to fund healthcare, infrastructure and education.

Our diplomatic relations and our allies trust level of the U.S. are dramatically reduced.

In spite of low unemployment, income disparity is at record highs. Many of the job opportunities are at below subsistence wage rates.

We continue to deny scientific evidence of climate change and are unraveling environmental protections that have been in place for decades.

Our new tax laws favor the ultra-rich and large corporations.

We have education systems and penal systems that penalize those of color and the poor and favor those that are white and wealthy.

We continue to have legislative gridlock in Congress, fanned by rhetoric from the White House.

We’ve had a dramatic increase of hate crimes, white supremacy and blatant anti-Semitism, fanned by this White House. The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded to a disrespectful man who spewed hate for 40 years, while in the room with many great people who deserved it so much more.

We continue to be the country with the greatest amount of gun deaths, widespread ownership of assault weapons, while using the 2nd Amendment as an excuse not to make common sense changes.

This State of the Union should be completely unacceptable to you, your colleagues, and especially our president. My wish is for a much better State of our Union.

Michele Diamond
Glenwood Springs

Sen. Gardner’s headed back to his farming roots

Sen. Cory Gardner voted no on two articles of impeachment and no over a dozen times to hearing from witnesses and reviewing new documents in the U.S. Senate’s flagrant cover-up of Donald J. Trump’s proven, blatant abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Gardner and his Senate colleagues are duty bound – he’s beholden to Coloradans – via the Constitution, to hold a fair, complete trial particularly by hearing firsthand witness testimony about the president’s abuse of power in withholding $400 million in vital military aid to Ukraine plus a White House meeting with Ukraine’s new president in direct exchange for Trump’s bogus demand for an investigation into a political rival. A pollster in a Colorado interview wrote: “It’s no wonder Gardner is routinely called the most vulnerable Senator in the country.” Gardner’s approval rating is right at about 37 percent. In a way, more than with his party-line votes to help Trump cheat in yet another election, it’s Gardner’s governing by fear. When asked point blank, he wouldn’t even comment about whether he thought what the president did was wrong; he couldn’t be bothered to explain why Trump is not, like the rest of us, bound by the rule of law. Also, Gardner hasn’t held a town hall meeting since 2017! From the Washington Post: “…Gardner – whose office declined an interview request… as it has for nearly all media inquiries in recent months – still faces a mortal threat to his Senate career,” (Jan. 21). So, a sincere, fare-thee-well, Cory Gardner: I’m sure you’ll land on your feet, maybe in Colorado farm country or as a lobbyist for the pot industry, but not in the U.S. Senate.

Steele Wotkyns
Pueblo West

Phony for the wrong reasons

Alex Beinstein was correct in his Feb. 4 column in the Post Independent. President Trump’s Middle East peace plan is phony, but Beinstein’s reasons were all wrong. It isn’t a peace plan at all, but terms of surrender for the Palestinians.

Beinstein says the plan grants too much land for a Palestinian state. If you look at a map of the proposal, the Palestinians get scattered scraps of territory that in no way resemble a state. Israel maintains control of the entire Jordan Valley, the most fertile farmland in the region. Further, the Israelis will have a military presence in the Palestinian “homeland.”

Immediately after the news conference announcing the plan, to which no Palestinian was invited, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced they will annex the West Bank. That makes it official. Israel’s wars with the Arabs weren’t to secure a safe homeland for Jews in the Middle East, but wars of conquest.

Israel captured the West Bank in the Six-Day War in 1967 and have occupied and settled it since, even though the United Nations, the agency that created Israel, declared those settlements illegal. Occupy implies temporary. Annex means permanent. The Palestinians are right when they say the Israeli Jews learned their lesson well from the Nazis. Zionism has become imperialism.

Of course, the Palestinians rejected Trump’s “peace” plan. Why should they trust Trump? Guided by his extremely biased son-in-law, Jared Kirshner, Trump’s sided with Israel on every issue. He even moved the American embassy to Jerusalem despite the fervent objections of the Muslim world.

A lot of people like to dis Jimmy Carter because he screwed up the Iranian hostage rescue, but don’t forget the Camp David accords in 1978. Israel and Egypt haven’t been at war since. How did Carter do it? Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin knew Carter was neutral, so he was mutually trusted. The great dealmaker has never mastered the art of diplomacy, is neither neutral nor trusted, so has never negotiated a peace anywhere in the world.

Fred Malo Jr.

Douglas playing Holliday awakened consciousness in Glenwood

In remembrance of Kirk Douglas: Kirk Douglas fit the niche of a hero, not unlike John Wayne. Instead of just a redneck hero, he was more thoughtful. “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Ulysses,” “Gunfight at the OK Corral,” “Spartacus,” “Seven Days in May” were each memorable performances.

Interestingly enough, although a star in his own right, he never overshadowed his fellow stars, he worked with them. As a result, his later movies were not as much of a draw.

His career peaked from the mid-’50s to the mid-’60s. Only lately on Turner Classic Movies has his early work been shared, his later works are not as well known.

When Kirk teamed up with Burt Lancaster in “The Gunfight at the OK Corral” in 1957, it awakened the consciousness of Glenwood that there might be some notoriety in Kirk’s character, Doc Holliday, who died in Glenwood. A subsequent marker went up in Linwood Cemetery. It would have been cool if Kirk was there for the ribbon cutting.

Fred Stewart,
Grand Junction

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