Printed Letters: May 2, 2014
If it’s only a name change, go all out on park status
The editorial in Tuesday’s Sentinel said it’s not nice to try to attempt to misdirect the public on the facts. The editorial goes on to state that changing the name of the Colorado National Monument to a national park is just a name change — nothing more — nothing else changes.
What an opportunity! Using that fact, the subsequent logic should be to do completely away with the “national monument” designation and convert all national monuments to national parks. Nothing changes. But wait, nothing changes except the government bureaucratic overhead to maintain the two separate designations which could (should, would) immediately go away — creating a cost-savings to the taxpayers, right? (Yeah, right!)
That would give Colorado not just four national parks but nine national parks, and, if drawing tourists is the reason for having national parks, then nine has to be better than four.
But why stop there? We have all those tourist-drawing other “national” attractions: national historic sites, national historic trails and national recreation areas. Change just the designation and then there would be 16 national parks in Colorado — almost reason enough to start charging those tourists admission at the state line. That would be 11 more national parks than neighboring Utah would have, but, alas, two fewer than neighboring Arizona (oops, better leave that state line alone).
If just changing the designation of one is good, then changing the designation on all should be great. Increase the number of tourists, reduce government overhead, etc. What could possibly go wrong?
It’s just the facts.
Obama’s wins, court rulings may have reignited racism
While the Sentinel’s editorial endorsement of the NBA’s decisive response to Donald Sterling’s racism (“Banned for Life”) is commendable, it facilely condemns the obvious while ignoring more subtle manifestations of deeply ingrained societal nativism.
Particularly troubling are two previous editorials: “Nevada grazing standoff reignites a festering feud” (April 15) and “Court ruling reflects progress on equality” (April 24).
Only when Cliven Bundy revealed himself to be an unrepentant racist did “conservative” Republicans abandon their “hero worship” of that free-loading “welfare cowboy” – but not their perverse definition of “patriot” (gun-toting anti-Constitutionalists using women and children as shields and positioned to assassinate conscientious federal officials).
However, the Sentinel has still not reported that the factual predicate of its sympathy for that “festering feud” – that the Bundys had been grazing cattle there since 1877 – was bogus. Consequently, its anti-government readers don’t know that the Bundys acquired the base property in 1948 and first grazed cattle on the disputed federal lands in 1954.
Likewise, while the Sentinel equivocatingly applauded the Supreme Court’s retreat from affirmative action and voting rights protections, it ignored the inference that the court’s “conservative” majority’s stated “belief” in “vast improvements” was merely convenient ideologically driven justification to dismantle the successful legal protections that had made more meager improvements possible in the first place.
Similarly, the Sentinel noted that “we have twice elected a [half-] black president to lead our country,” which for some affords “a compelling justification for a re-examination of affirmative action in this country.”
However, an overlay of maps depicting opposition to Obamacare, support for voter suppression, average education levels, rural poverty and the “Old South” suggests that President Obama’s elections actually reignited latent racism and that the court’s rulings having given the Donald Sterlings, the Cliven Bundys and like-minded local “tea partiers” license to more virulently express themselves.