Senate Race

To the Editor:
For those Democrats wary of John Hickenlooper’s ties to fracking and the Party establishment and uncertain of Andrew Romanoff’s electability as a Bernie Sanders, “socialist” acolyte, there is an interesting alternative, Trisha Zornio. Colorado was the first state to grant suffrage to women. It seems overdue to finally send a woman from here to the U.S. Senate, and not just any woman. Trisha is a climate scientist, and what America direly needs now is knowledgable minds, not political ideologues, to address the nation’s coming climate challenges. Trisha Zornio is a worthy consideration. 

RP

Data mining

The algorithm horse is out of the barn and galloping around the globe.

Rather than building firewalls monitoring data mining from their massive trove of public information, tech companies like Facebook and Google have made billions selling it to advertising and political campaigns and other, more nefarious, enterprises, including Russian operatives skilled at targeted propaganda messaging designed to incite political and ethnic divisions with the aim of opening a back door to power for authoritarian voices around the world and here in yet another Presidential election.

Nationalists are rising in Europe, Buddhists and Hindus are attacking and killing Muslims in Asia and India, and Donald Trump has aroused the abiding white supremacy of America’s “Manifest Destiny”. Anger, uncertainty, fear, and stress have been shown to physically alter how our brains function and how we perceive the world around us. A shared acceptance of truth and reality is being so deeply undermined and eroded that putting the world’s ills back into this newly opened Pandora’s Box is beginning to feel impossible, as may well be finding a balance between Western free enterprise, exploitive corporate capitalism and Xi Ping’s increasingly totalitarian control of thought and information in his projected new Han Dynasty.

And, as always, chaos combined with fear is ever the breeding ground of tyrants.  

The Master

To the Editor:…and the COOTER, the combined ClioOscarObieTonyEmmyRazzie award goes to…drum roll…Donald J. Trump! No finer actor of the modern era has so captivated the spotlight and imagination of America and the world like this masterful performer on every stage he appears. The question remains, who is the man creating this remarkable theater? Future historians may pull away the mask, but for now we can only marvel at the performance we witness day after day. He is the consummate master of absurdist theater, a bit fantastical but, as in the layered subtext of film noir, a larger than life persona exhibiting flashes of insight into the sinuous threads of human desire. 16,000 (and counting) lies have been noted and documented, but is it truly lying when every public appearance is a stage performance blending fantasy and reality, a Gordian Knot to be untied? The sad tragedy of this rare gift is the damage being done by stagehands behind the scenes.    

RP

Taking the 5th

To the Editor:
While there is much discussion over the 2nd Amendment and the rights and limits of gun ownership, we hear less and less about the 5th, which states that a person sworn under oath to tell the truth is allowed to not answer self-incriminating questions. Underlying this right is a profound respect for both a sworn oath and truth saying. Given the seemingly decaying value of truth in public and political life today, one wishes that all those sworn to uphold the Constitution would take the 5th rather than proclaiming outright lies

RP

The Palette Shifts

In the morning cast
Of sun light
After an early hard freeze
The palette shifts
Dramatically,
The Fall glamor gone, 
Giving way
To warmer tones 
And shades,
Tans and browns,
Dried flowers, dried grass, 
Red kinnikinnick,
And ebony-branched,
Silver green sage,
The natural world 
A visual gift opening 
Continually
Wondrous this river
Of light and time.

Surviving January

Am I more than
My dog’s doorman?

As the Earth warms
Will Armageddon be
Low fat, vegan, bug-eating,
Lactose and gluten free?
Probably.

No longer myth
The walking dead rain down death.
War, and mayhem everywhere,
And vampire capitalists thrive
On the blood, body, and brains
Of living souls.

And yet eastward,
Ultra-thin, a crescent moon,
The foothills westward red,
A cottonwood tree, charcoal sketched,
Sturdy trunks ebony and bronze
Against an amethyst sky,
Its last dry leaves sparkled golden
By the morning sun.