Soap Box

Trade war hurting farmers
09/05/2019

To the editor,

President Trump is trying to attain trade equity with China, but his trade war is having a devastating impact on U.S. farmers, which could lead to long-term losses of the Chinese market for our agricultural products since they are being replaced by competing countries. The $12 billion farmers subsidy is just a temporary reprieve for farmers.

China typically imports large quantities of U.S. fruit, pork, cotton, soybeans and other farm products. It imports 60 percent of U.S. soybean exports, about 30 million tons per year. Although the European Union agreed to import more soybeans, its 14 million tons falls far short of the 30 million tons to China.

Brazil is the largest exporter of soybeans to China. It has increased its soybean exports to China by 27 percent to 71 million tons, and it is clearing large swaths of the Amazon forest for soybean production. Unfortunately, the forest is being cleared with set fires that are out of control, and the clearing has a huge adverse impact on the world since the rain forest absorbs millions of tons of carbon emissions each year, along with trees throughout the planet.

Note: My wife’s father, Alton Jones, was a cattle farmer.

– Donald Moskowitz, Londonderry, N.H., via email

Children of the borderland
09/05/2019

Cross the chihuahua’s freezing nights,
Sonora’s blistered desert sands.
Mothers holding tight to swaddled babies,
Fathers clenched to tiny hands.
Dreaming dreams of lives of freedom;
Go the children of the borderland.
Fences, walls, and rivers
Cold and swift and running wide.
People chased toward the open arms of justice;
Train top nights gone freezing by!
Gone to lands their father’s father s once possessed.
No time to wait, no time to cry.
Huddled masses breathing free,
Coyotes steal into the night.
The walk to freedom’s long,
It’s a deadly desperate flight!
With a baby in your arms,
Escape your homeland’s gruesome plight.
Dark money troops and weapons,
Pushed a fat cat’s greedy will!
Chaos births the gangs who target children,
Forcing them to kill!
We sowed the seeds of chaos
From fascists’ greedy hands.
The White House spins its circles,
Gives them all that they demand!
Now a mother and her son
Leave a world of fear behind.
Traveling toward the light of love and solace,
A vision etched onto their minds.
A vision full of promise,
From a land grown dark and blind!
California, clear to Texas;
Between the Arizona sands.
They suffer Santa Anna’s thievery!
The fascists forced a treaty, a military stand!
North to Colorado’s ribboned canyons,
These were once the people’s land.
Remember us to the ones who lived there.
They paved the way, they took a stand.
Crossed the peaceful Gila,
And they swam the Rio Grande.
Bless their passing with a welcome,
The sweet children of the borderland!

– David Singer, Durango

Meet Sen. Gardner's challengers
09/05/2019

To the editor,

Frustrated by our current “representation” in Congress? We haven’t seen our U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner for over two years! Twelve people are currently running (against each other) to become the Democrat who will take on Gardner in 2020. Come meet them, Sat., Sept 7, 2-4 p.m. at the Durango Public Library in a moderated forum. Join us!

– Anne Markward, La Plata Democrats

Big pharm CEO salaries sickening
09/05/2019

To the editor,
Why does health care in America cost so much? Why is every other industrialized country in the world able to provide lifelong health care to every citizen for half of what we spend?

Here’s part of the answer: David Cordani, CEO of   Cigna, “earned” $19 million last year. Larry Merlo, head of CVS Health, raked in $22 million. Michael Neidorff, CEO of Centene, made $26 million.

Axios reports in 2018, 62 health care CEOs made a combined $1.1 billion when calculating the actual value of cashed-out stock. What were these huge salaries based on? The CEO’s ability to make a profit for their shareholders. How do they make a profit? By denying us health coverage. By taking in more money in premiums than they pay out for our health needs.

How do these CEOs sleep at night? That’s one question I don’t have the answer to.

Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future is a lobbyist group made up of health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists. They are busy spreading propaganda to ensure that this corrupt system of “health care” that puts their profits over our health continues. Last week the American Medical Association quit the coalition.

As long as the profit motive remains part of our healthcare system, we will receive expensive, substandard care. National Improved Medicare for All (NIMA) will remove profit from the health-care equation. It will provide lifelong health care for every American, just like every other industrialized nation has been able to do for its citizens, for less than what we spend now.

– Philip Riffe, Hesperus

Scouts thank local businesses
09/05/2019

To the Editor,

The boys and girls of Cub Scout Pack 508 would like to publicly thank Tim, Vessie and Carly from Zia Taqueria for helping us get delicious food for our annual banquet earlier this year, and also Katie at Cream Bean Berry for donating 2 gallons of ice cream for our recent ice cream social. Our pack is a strong resource for all youth in our community, and we are made stronger by the generosity of local businesses like these.

– Cub Scout Pack 508