Duane Leise

He met the enemy; it is us.

earth_on_fire_1062515_63098996The high temperature on Wednesday, Dec. 5, was 67 degrees. No real precipitation for about a year. Major fires still burning in Colorado. Texas fires and drought for two full years. Country wide drought of the hundred-year variety — at least of the old variety. Extreme weather events the world over.

Global CO2 concentrations at levels not seen by man, ever. The science is in — scratch that — our communal experience is here. We are in trouble. It’s obvious! Hopefully we will get some benevolent reprieves. But we cannot count on it.

I’ve come to understand that I can live in hope only if I am doing everything I can to bring about the hoped-for result. To not be in action for one’s hopes is to be living in wishes.

Greed, ignorance, pride and denial all contribute to our weather inaction. Don’t point fingers. It is us. It is me. We have a long road to recovery. Personal action is an imperative. Pushing for and demanding community and societal action is our human responsibility. Be ready to sacrifice.

We can overcome this apocalypse. However, we must first acknowledge the situation. Then we must act. I implore those who deny there is a problem with the weather to rethink and look through the lens of your immediate experiences.

The fiscal cliff is a grain of sand compared to the wall of weather we face if we continue on our current path. Begin a new course today.

Yes on 300: Ban fracking in Longmont

The “high risk, low reward” of hydraulically fractured gas wells inside of Longmont is a compelling argument for not allowing it.

The blatant trampling of community self-determination (aka freedom) is alarming, shocking and in a word un-American when regulation of potentially harmful activity is denied the affected community. This is not a partisan issue; it is a matter of survival and common sense! Protection of community health is the highest of community responsibilities.

The risks and rewards fall into two basic areas:

Health: There are no upsides for the health of the community — period! And if you think the health issues have been overblown, then you have not done your homework. Ignorance, consideration of only one side of the evidence, trust in the “stated” good intentions of the well operators or taking TV ads at face value are not excuses. Be responsible; this is the lifelong health of children that you’re dismissing. There is a word for this kind of disregard: selfishness.

Financial: The hit on property values is obvious. The real estate community has raised this flag. And potential accidents and long-term environmental costs are born by the public sector (i.e., you and me).

I urge you to do the intelligent, the moral and the brave thing: Vote for Ballot Question 300 — ban fracking inside of Longmont.

This ballot initiative does not stop fracking anywhere except inside of Longmont. There is a place for natural gas in energy policy. However, its use should be measured, methodical and well thought out as to the full repercussions. For heaven’s sake, it should not be extracted next to our children’s schools and around our water supplies. Please think — vote yes on 300.

Council Member Levison: Standing strong for honest elections

Council member Sarah Levison has come under attack. Why? Because she is standing up for transparent campaigns and elections.

If you care about the integrity of Longmont elections, you will want to support and follow this tenacious and principled lady who stands a diminutive five foot two. But when it comes to protecting and promoting the interests of Longmont, Sarah Levison stands head and shoulders above the rest.

She is not in the pocket of the likes of Comcast, Walmart or Western Tradition Partnerships. She understands the importance of big business and can and does work with them, but not at the expense of Longmont’s interests, your interests!

She stands up for the small business person and the average citizen who believes that frugal, responsible, intelligent government can serve all of the people for the betterment of all, but only if we create that kind of government. And Sarah works hard, to create good government.

She worked with Gabe Santos and a citizens group made up of Republicans, Libertarians, Democrats and Unaffiliateds to craft Longmont’s Fair Campaign Practices Act. It basically required financial disclosure. Who spent what where.

It had nothing to do with stopping freedom of speech as was knowingly falsely charged. Big out-of-state money didn’t like that little ole Longmont had the nerve to require financial election transparency. So they along with the likes of Scott Gessler, now running for Secretary of State, sued the city before the election.

They ran up a big bill. The newly elected Council settled the lawsuit, paid lawyer Gessler’s fees and agreed to change 19 words in the Fair Campaign Act. Pretty picky. Now the new majority is gutting our election transparency law. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Sarah, keep protecting us. And thanks for taking the heat for us all.

What’s up with the Tea Party?

What to make of the Tea Party?

Angry? Yes.

Anything else? Not sure.

It is not good enough to simply be against stuff. First off, shouldn’t one know what one is against? The Tea-baggers say, “We’re against taxes!!” But if there is a pothole out front of their house they want it fixed. But the budget for street repair is blown. They want it anyway!! NOW!! Bureaucrat! NOW! Didn’t you hear them? They are the Tea Party folks. It’s not taxes – its control. Control of and defense from the insanity that we all see in our lives every day.

I personally can’t blame them for their anger.

I’m angry too. Where did the surplus from Bubba go? I AM ANGRY!!! WHERE DID IT GO!!! Trillions, yes trillions, spent under the Republican house, senate and administration. Remember Bush? Are the Tea Party folks against the Republican big government, corporatist welfare spending.  No!  They seem to be alright with spending  billions, nay trillions, on rewarding the rich with tax breaks. While the treasury is bled out with off-budget wars. And the bailout of Wall Street? Remember, Bush did that the first time. It was the most hurried of all the bailouts. The Bush administration had the audacity to present a 3 PAGE BILL calling for nearly a trillion dollars of bailout without any oversight. To benefit whom? Who benefited from that bailout? Who benefited from IRAQ? I think it more the rich, than we the kept. I think all of this goes outside the purview of the talking points of the Tea Party folks.

Thousands yes thousands of Tea Party protestors get wall-to-wall coverage on the 24-hour news cycle. Yet four years earlier half a million protestors of the war in IRAQ could not find so much as a “Thousands of protestors gathered today to protest the war.” One thing is for sure the Tea Party is connected. They get coverage and then some. Big money is using them as shills in the continuing circus of politics as usual.

When the Tea Party folks finally figure out that they are not very far away from the liberals that they HATE, with little or no forethought, then they will find out that they are angry about many of the same things that liberals are angry about. The only difference is that liberals have thought about the situation and have a different set of people and circumstances to hold accountable.

And why do the Tea-baggers hate liberals? Could it be that they have been brainwashed to do so by the constant not-always-so subliminal drum beat of talk show radio and T.V. ?

Tea Party folks, wake up! You are being used. Used by the Republicans as mindless voters. Used by the left as mindless bogeymen.

If the Tea Party is to contribute to the political discussion in the U.S., they must understand the forces at play in what they are angry about. Is it really taxes? Is it the immigrant forced off his farm by NAFTA? Or is it the policies and large scale economic decisions that produced the symptoms that threaten the Tea-baggers’ lives?  These policies were put in place to serve the corporatists that run the Republican Party and  more and more influence the Democratic Party.

We all should be able to rally around, “Corporations are not people.” Well Tea Party folks, is that true or not? Or are you just angry?