Soap Box

Problem not Fox, but antisemites

To the editor,

I worry about Shan Wells. After his latest cartoon, I think he needs anger management with a good psychiatrist. Why? What is considered the worst massacre of Jews in U.S. history, Wells turns into a platform to push his politics. Mourn and remember the dead? Not Wells. Dead Jews are just a prop for him to push his political agenda.

So what does Wells do, he blames it on Fox News. Does the shooter have accountability? Not to Wells, who, if he studied history, would know that Jew hatred has been around at least 2,500 years before Fox. Bowers hated Jews and Trump because the neo-Nazi thought Trump was controlled by Jews. Nothing more and nothing less.

If Wells thinks Fox had anything to do with it, he should look into the statistics of hate crimes over the last 22 months. The NY Times just came out with a report showing that half of all hate crimes in New York were against Jews. Now get this Shan: Not ONE person caught or identified as the aggressor in those antisemitic hate crimes has been associated with a right-wing group. Right wing antisemitism is only part of the problem.

To Wells, Jewish lives matter only when they are attacked by skinhead neo-Nazis. When the Jew is attacked by a person of color or a Muslim or pro-Palestinian activist, his sympathy disappears. Still waiting for Wells’ cartoon denouncing Louis Farrakhan for calling Jews termites, filth, vermin and calling for our destruction.

The problem is not Fox News or conservatives – it is Jew hatred, plain and simple. It exists on the right and on the left. It exists in some sects of Christianity and Islam. It exists among atheists as well. It can be found among the educated as well as the ignorant. White people and people of color can be and are antisemites.

To everyone who reads this letter, if you want to fight Jew hatred, look for the strain that is in the group you identify with and fight it there. Don’t sit back and pretend that it’s only a problem with your political opponents. If you think that, you are fooling yourself, and you are part of the problem.

The typical reaction of the Jews of Pittsburgh was not to call for the death penalty but to reveal that Jewish doctors had treated the shooter. Mr. Wells, maybe you could learn from that attitude instead of a rigid political narrative that has consumed and angered you for far too long. We can dream, can’t we?

– Shelly Perlmutter, Durango

Chain hotels hurt mom & pop

To the editor,

The current building of mega-storied name-brand-hotels in the heart of Durango is going to harm existing mom & pop hotels/motels/B&Bs. Price wars will greatly reduce typical summer room rates and many will turn into the likes of North Main motels with long-term stays – that used to have successful year-around short term stays in the early 1980s before Purgatory built accommodations.

Soon, all the Durango mom & pops will be renting rooms at a major discount to barely stay alive. Only corporate hotels can afford empty rooms as a write-off. What happened to Durango’s management team?

– Sally Florence, Durango

Spectrum doesn't offer a fair trade

Dear Sirs,

I’m very disappointed with the cable service I bought from Spectrum Cable. I made good for your service, and all you can say is we have an outage. So what I have to accept is I’m not getting what I’m paying for. When you personally purchase service or groceries or any exchange, do you receive a fair trade? How about refunding me for what I paid for, but didn’t get?

– Clark Kepple, Durango

'Medicare Advantage' has none

To the editor,

Notice all the ads on TV for Medicare Advantage health insurance? It is that time of year for us to sign up for or change health insurance coverage.

Americans already pay almost three times more for our health care than Canadian citizens and most other industrialized nations. This outrageous cost is mainly due to high overhead of private insurance companies in America.

Republicans are major supporters of Medicare Advantage insurance policies because they force our federal tax dollars to be spent on private insurance companies at a much higher cost than the Medicare program, run by our government.

Since Medicare Advantage was created under G.W. Bush, our tax dollars have heavily supported this insurance plan. This program creates a circle of our tax dollars supporting a much more expensive health insurance through private companies, which in turn, support Republican candidates.

Medicare Advantage is a quiet sabotage of “Medicare for All” (as in Canada.) Republican supporters make sure the circle keeps going, claiming no funds are available for a less costly system. They are also lying to us as they are working on ending protections for pre-existing health conditions. Texas, along with 20 other Republican-controlled states, are in court to kill this protection as I write this.

– Susan Troen, Durango

We got it pretty doggone good

To the editor,

Hi, Durango! I knew you when you were a puppy! You were all cuddly and sloppy with dreams I have witnessed unfold in our river trail, rec center, community support systems, festivals, street dances and on and on for four decades.

I have watched you stretch and grow with all that growing puppy pain when the bones are expanding faster than the ability to understand what the heck is happening anyway!

The county commissioners and City Council were constantly at logger heads about how change was to come about – much like our Congress today – as the little town was discovered by “outsiders” like me. The commissioners wanted nothing to do with regulations that infringed on how they had always lived and the city councilors recognized the need for them so that we could grow with a comprehensive plan. Each was right in their own way.

I have witnessed these two entities that represent all of us eventually find compromises and learn to grow together with a common vision for the common good. Like a puppy, Durango has grown into a robust and healthy promise fulfilled. We recognize that we are all very different and we celebrate our differences – it is the spice of life!

William Blake wrote, “Why stand we here trembling around, calling on God for help, and not ourselves, in whom God dwells?”

Life works in our little corner of the world – can we bottle this and send it to Congress – along with a healthy dose of LSD for each of them? (Professionally supervised, of course!)

I think that we would discover a much more  peaceful planet with much expanded consciousness as we discover we all enjoy our tummies petted as much as our dogs do! We are all in this adventure together! Let’s make the most of it!

– Susan Urban, Durango