World Renowned Noam Chomsky Gives Enthusiastic Endorsement of ColoradoCare
Influential Author, Speaker, Political and Social Activist Joins Supporters of Amendment 69
DENVER — Noam Chomsky, widely considered one of the great minds of our time and a man the New York Times called "the most important intellectual alive today," came out as a strong supporter of ColoradoCare Monday, calling Colorado's "Medicare-for-All" type health care plan "a great idea, which should be extended to the whole country."
Chomsky is one of the most influential figures of the past half century, inspiring generations of people around the world to emulate his political and social activism. He has a long record of standing up for universal health care, and the need for a solution to America's health care crisis is familiar territory for Chomsky.
"The US health care system has about twice the per capita spending of other developed societies and relatively poor outcomes," Chomsky said in endorsing Amendment 69 Monday. "There is ample evidence that this unfortunate state of affairs is related to the fact that the US is alone among these societies in lacking some form of universal health care."
Citing years of national polling that have shown Americans "favor a universal health care system of the kind found elsewhere," Chomsky gave a hearty endorsement of Colorado's trailblazing efforts to establish universal health care.
"Quite often, significant progress has been initiated at the state level, then extending beyond," Chomsky noted. "For such reasons the ColoradoCare initiative is very much to be welcomed. It will not only be of great benefit to the people of Colorado, but may also be an opening wedge to substantial progress for the country as a whole."
Chomsky joins an impressive roster of thousands of endorsers of ColoradoCare, including small business owners, the self-employed, physicians, nurses, and organizations ranging from The League of Women Voters of Colorado to Together Colorado, from the Public Health Nurse Association of Colorado to being supported by name in the party platform of the Colorado Democratic Party.
"We couldn't be prouder to have Noam Chomsky's ringing endorsement of ColoradoCare," said Owen Perkins, Director of Communications for the ColoradoCareYES campaign. "If anyone can recognize a good idea, it is Professor Chomsky, and we couldn't ask for a more meaningful stamp of approval than his."
Chomsky has been on the faculty at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1955, and is now Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT. He distinguished himself as a game-changer in the field of linguistics and cognitive science early in his career, and he rose to widespread prominence through his opposition to the Vietnam War. He is the author of over 100 books, reflecting his groundbreaking work in linguistics, politics, media, analytic philosophy, and cognitive science. His most recent work includes the 2016 book Who Rules the World? and the 2015 documentary Requiem for the American Dream. He continues to actively publish articles on politics, the 2016 presidential campaigns, nuclear weapons, climate change, class warfare, the refugee crisis, and much more.
ColoradoCare, Amendment 69 on the November ballot, covers every Colorado resident — picking up hundreds of thousands of Coloradans who are not covered under the current corporate insurance system — with enhanced benefits and reduced costs, saving Colorado families and firms over $4.5 billion a year. There are no insurance premiums, no deductibles, and no co-pays on primary and preventive care. The system is primarily paid for through a 3.33% payroll deduction for employees and 6.67% of payroll for employers, representing savings of thousands of dollars annually for over 80% of Colorado residents.
For more information on Amendment 69, please visit www.ColoradoCare.org.
Glenn's credentials are impeccable and Coloradocentric. He is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, a lawyer and a public servant who has won landslide elections to the Colorado Springs City Council and El Paso County Board of County Commissioners.... Among staunch conservatives, Glenn has the rare quality of relating well with people up and down the political and socioeconomic spectrum. People like and respect him, whether they share his views.It was signed the "Gazette editorial board," which includes editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen, who happens to be married to Dede Laugesen, who happened to have collected more than $3,000 for campaign consulting and expenses from Glenn early in his campaign.
Laugesen, CoSGW’s [Colorado Government Watch] executive director, is a communications consultant, digital media designer, writer and video producer. She is an entrepreneur, public speaker, and producer of popular children’s prayer-based videos. A Colorado native and longtime El Paso County resident, she has been owner of Windhover Media since 2003 and has developed a broad base of clients in politics and industry.We've asked Mr. Laugesen for a comment and will circle back if and when we hear something.
Hike Cheesman Canyon
If an alliance between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is finalized, we expect we will be adding new resources to the museum. We would go through a strategic planning process that involves the FAC, CC and the community that would help to guide those allocations."We’re looking at a different structure than what we were considering when we initially asked Joy to take on that position," says Dahlin. "The future position will be significantly different. Not to minimize Joy at all, because she's very well educated at a master's level, but in the academic world, they value terminal degrees."
We will need a director with the background and credentials to integrate the academic mission and programs while continuing the community mission. Most likely this person would be experienced in working with an academic program in a museum.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report last week detailing the extent to which the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have failed to follow agency regulations in documenting and penalizing unauthorized or trespass livestock grazing on federal public lands. The report, entitled Unauthorized Grazing: Actions Needed to Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts, was requested by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee. The request came in response to several high profile cases of trespass grazing and a recognition of the devastating ecological impacts it can have on wildlife habitat.
The report came to several important conclusions. Trespass grazing is pervasive and causes widespread degradation of public lands, agencies do not document it adequately, and the Forest Service trespass fees are too low to be a deterrent.
The report also highlights the extent to which public lands livestock grazing is heavily subsidized by American taxpayers. In 2016, BLM and the Forest Service charged ranchers $2.11 per animal unit month for horses and cattle, and $0.42 for sheep and goats. But, average private grazing land lease rates in western states ranged from $9 to $39.
In a separate press release, Grijalva stated, “We know we’re leasing public land at well below market value. What we don’t know nearly enough about is the extent or impact of unauthorized grazing on public lands. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management need to bring grazing fees in line with the modern economy and take illegal use of public lands more seriously going forward.”
In addition to the agencies' failure to document or penalize trespass grazing, the report states that according to agency personnel, “high-profile cases of intentional unauthorized grazing and related antigovernment protests can affect agency decision making regarding enforcement … (and) that not taking enforcement action on violators is likely to encourage more unauthorized grazing.” The report also states that “lack of support from higher-level managers for strong enforcement action does not incentivize field staff to act on unauthorized grazing and, in some cases, lowers staff morale.”
The report also acknowledges the significant ecological damage that trespass grazing can cause. The report states, “(U)nauthorized grazing may create various effects, such as severely degrading rangelands under certain conditions.” This damage was witnessed firsthand by the GAO investigators. “During our field visits, we observed locations where unauthorized grazing had resulted in severely damaged natural springs, overgrazed meadows, and trampled streambeds.”
“Western Watershed Project (WWP) has been documenting these types of abuse for years. Our reports often fall on deaf ears or are purposefully ignored by agency land managers who refuse to follow the law and punish or even document illegal grazing on public lands,” said Jonathan Ratner, the group's Wyoming Director.
Because the agencies rarely track and report on unauthorized grazing, the GAO concluded that the frequency and extent of unauthorized grazing on agency lands are largely unknown. The report found that rather than report and penalize unauthorized grazing as required by agency regulation, agency personnel are far more likely to handle incidents informally with no subsequent documentation. This leads to both a lack of institutional knowledge and makes identifying and prosecuting serial violators much more difficult.
“Trespass grazing occurs far more often than the agencies are willing to admit. We often find cows grazing inside exclosures, in the wrong pastures, or long after the permitted season of use. In fact, this is more the norm than the exception,” said Josh Osher, WWP's Montana Director.
Even when trespass grazing is reported and the agencies take action, the GAO found that the penalties assessed are often too low to act as a deterrent. This is especially true for the Forest Service where the penalty for trespass grazing may be even less the cost of permitted grazing elsewhere. The report points out that agency field staff stated, “that penalties for unauthorized grazing are rarely or never an effective deterrent ... some told us that there are permittees who view the penalties for unauthorized grazing as a cost of doing business because paying the penalties is cheaper than seeking forage elsewhere.”
A previous GAO report on trespass grazing in 1990 reached similar conclusions, including “when offenders were detected, BLM frequently exacted no penalties and, for the more serious violations, seldom assessed the minimum penalties its own regulations required. As a result, unauthorized grazing was not adequately deterred, which could lead to degradation of public rangelands, among other things.” At that time, GAO made recommendations to the BLM including that all incidents of unauthorized grazing be documented and that compliance inspections be expanded to “provide systematic compliance coverage.” Unfortunately, these recommendations were largely ignored by the agency.
“A culture of willful ignorance is pervasive within the BLM and Forest Service. The agencies rarely inspect grazing allotments and even when violations are found, corrective actions are rarely taken and violators are rarely punished,” said WWP's Idaho Director Ken Cole.
In this latest report, the GAO makes similar recommendations to the agencies about identification, documentation, and deterrence of trespass grazing. While the BLM and Forest Service generally agree with the conclusions of the report and claim they will make changes to agency policy, based on past experience, WWP is not confident that changes will occur or that local field managers will change current practices.
Western Watersheds Project is a nonprofit environmental conservation group with 1,500 members founded in 1993 and has field offices in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Arizona, California, and Oregon. WWP works to influence and improve public lands management throughout the West with a primary focus on the negative impacts of livestock grazing on 250 million acres of western public lands, including harm to ecological, biological, cultural, historic, archeological, scenic resources, wilderness values, roadless areas, Wilderness Study Areas and designated Wilderness.
Today, the Republican National Convention announced that U.S. Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn (R-CO) will address the delegates and attendees.Glenn knocked delegates' socks off at the state convention in April with a raucous rant that sounded like it came straight out of a revival meeting. We assume he'll be delivering a similarly animated pep talk in Cleveland.
“During my campaign, I’ve focused on the need for decisive leadership and unifying as a country, and now I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take my message to Cleveland and address the Republican National Convention.”
“For the past year, I’ve been traveling the State of Colorado, hearing firsthand from Coloradans about the issues they face. These issues: national security, jobs, economy will be on the table at the RNC, and I look forward to meeting with other Republican leaders in Cleveland to discuss how Colorado can lead in so many of these critical areas.”
Due to exciting developments we are postponing this event. We will let you know our rescheduled date as soon as we can.We'll update this posting as soon as we hear word from Khoury on exactly what these developments are.
This, in fact, wasn't the first time a police robot was rigged to do something it wasn't originally designed to do — say, instead of defusing a bomb, to deliver a flash or smoke grenade to incapacitate a suspect, experts say. But it was apparently the first purposeful killing of a suspect using such a rig.It might be worth a mention at this juncture that a robot was used in such a way right here in river city in May 2012, when police tried to flush out Ronald Dwayne Brown from his condo in southeast Colorado Springs.
The Hayden Pass Fire continues to grow as the fire was active throughout the night. New estimates put the fire at 7,500 acres.Esperance is fresh off the Beaver Creek fire of last month, as reported by the U.S. Forest Service.
The Hayden Pass Fire, located 3 miles southwest of Coaldale, Colorado; started as a lightning strike on July 8th. Fire crews searched for smoke over the weekend but were unable to pin point its location in the rugged terrain of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Smoke from this fire reappeared on Sunday, July 10th, just after 2:00 p.m.; by 10:00 p.m. the fire had grown to over 5,000 acres. Strong winds, dry conditions and the large volume of dead woody debris in the area contributed to this rapid growth.
A Type 2 incident management team, Rocky Mountain Incident Management Blue Team, will assume command of this fire at 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 12th. The incident commander for this team is Jay Esperance.