Wednesday letters: Pride, foreign aid, emissions
New mega pride
It appears Target caved to the conservative boycott, as many stores have removed the Abprallen stuff because apparently Satan-inspired pride clothing goes too far.
For those unfamiliar with Abprallen, they sell shirts, pins and stickers with things like the design of a pastel goat head and the message “Satan Respects Pronouns.” The company also sells clothing that include the phrases “We Bash Back” with a heart-shaped mace in the trans-flag colors, “Transphobe Collector” with a skull, and “Homophobe Headrest” with skulls beside a pastel guillotine.
Because nothing screams “victim” like major corporations pushing your agenda as you threaten violence against anyone who disagrees with you.
There is some good news here: RE-1 might be able to buy some of Abprallen’s clothing at a discount from the Glenwood Target to hand out at local schools. We could kick off the new sex-ed program with some mega pride!
Thomas Mises, Carbondale
Foreign aid? World’s poor? Why you should care
Foreign aid makes up a fraction of the United States federal budget every year. In the proposed 2024 federal budget, foreign aid and international affairs received $63.1 billion in federal funds, the total 2024 federal budget is $82.2 trillion.
Therefore, foreign aid and international affairs makes up only 0.0767% of the federal budget. There should be more funding allocated to foreign aid, international affairs and helping the world’s poor because it significantly benefits normal Americans.
The foreign aid and international affairs budget broadly promotes American national security efforts by helping poor regions to develop, which reduces tendencies towards extremism. Reducing extremism also means less terrorist groups and organizations that could attack the United States.
Foreign aid is also a form of soft power that can be used to promote democracy and create new allies for the United States. Foreign aid also helps United States businesses and workers because the aid helps to promote development economically. Helping countries develop creates new markets for United States businesses to sell and export their products and services. More exports creates more U.S. jobs.
The European Union, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey, Taiwan, India and Brazil have also received significant U.S. foreign aid, and in return, the U.S. has increased its exports to these countries. For example, South Korea received $5.6 billion in U.S. foreign aid from 1960 to 1979, and now the United States exports more than $56 billion of products and services to South Korea every year.
Foreign aid not only increases the livelihoods of the world’s poor, but also has significant benefits for the United States, Americans and Coloradans. Therefore, Sen. Bennet and Hickelooper should support increasing the International Affairs Budget in the Senate. You can encourage your Congressional leaders to support increasing the International Affairs Budget by emailing them through The Borgen Project’s website at borgenproject.org
Riley Stevenson, Glenwood Springs
On Thursday May 18, the Roaring Fork Fishing Guide Alliance (RFFGA) hosted a volunteer work day at the Carbondale Boat Ramp/Bob Terrell State Wildlife Area. This project was in partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the Town of Carbondale and Roaring Fork Conservancy.
Around 30 volunteers showed up to help improve the condition and accessibility of the locally-popular Carbondale Boat Ramp on the Roaring Fork River. More trails were opened up for SUP and kayak access allowing a choice to not have to use the ramp. In the parking lot, pavers were set in the wide open area that will maximize vehicle parking and improve traffic flow. New signs went up to direct rafts and fishing boats with trailers to the trailer parking. A more sensible location for the trash dumpster and restrooms was also discovered. Workers cleared brush with saws and pruners to maintain boat parking along the banks and allow for passengers on fishing trips to safely reach their vessels without having to walk the ramp. Existing signage that had faded over time was replaced with fresh, new signs and posts. All the trash, brush and limbs were hauled off site, and the whole area is like-new and ready for summer now. It is amazing what human power, a little light machinery and some volunteers with a common goal can get accomplished.
We would also like to thank Dos Gringos for a delicious lunch and great cookies to keep everyone fueled and happy.
Here’s to a great summer on the river and responsible and respectful boat ramp use.
John Livingston, Kyle Holt, RFFGA Board members
Memorial Day emissions
Oblivious! This past weekend holiday, the U.S. had record amounts of travel on planes, trains and automobiles. All of this motion burns fossil fuels that produce more deadly emissions for our already overburdened environment. “We” are going on a trip somewhere because that’s what we always do. It’s like people think climate change is someone else’s problem. It’s not our job.
But because of climate change, thousands of Americans have recently died, hundreds of billions in property damage, massive floods, dwindling rivers, record drought, extreme temperatures that kill crops and people outright. But — it’s other people’s problems.
It’s clear: Individuals are just not going to do what is needed. Not people, not companies. Laws must be passed that will force the necessary changes. A few places have done this. The UK is looking at a kind of rationing system. Various people and industries would only be allowed so much carbon containing goods and services. Each year, there would be less allowed. “TEQs (Tradable Energy Quotas) is an electronic system for fairly sharing out energy, at the national scale.” (flemingpolicycentre.org.uk/teqs)
I’ve been hoping that our local business and government leadership would follow the heed of the climate scientists and take steps to change course. Nothing doing. Too much profit to be had? What will it take to get the leaders to do what is needed?
Patrick Hunter, Carbondale
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