Sep. 28—Claire Levy: John Eastman: Beyond an embarrassment for CU
The Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization supports a Visiting Scholar in Conservative Thought and Policy to, presumably, bring conservative scholarship to CU. Although the Center is not funded from tuition and taxes the Center does use CU resources and represents the University of Colorado through its affiliation, presence on the website, and access to students, faculty and classrooms.
John Eastman, the most recent conservative "scholar," embarrassed CU by publishing an article positing a spurious birther theory that questioned Kamala Harris' eligibility to serve as vice president. Cloaked in the language of legal theory, the article purported to present scholarship but actually served just to stoke racial animus towards a person of color and child of immigrants serving as vice president.
The public is now learning that Mr. Eastman didn't just join Donald Trump at the rally that instigated the violent attack on the United States Congress, he authored a detailed memorandum about the steps needed to thwart recognition of the duly-elected President of the United States. Eastman actively engaged in efforts to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to another, providing legitimacy to mob violence and lending credibility to "the big lie." By authoring the roadmap for keeping Donald Trump in power, Eastman is integral to the history of this sordid period.
John Eastman's service as a visiting scholar under the auspices of the Benson Center will forever be a stain on the University. I call for re-examination of the structure of the Benson Center to assure there is sufficient oversight to prevent the university from hosting this sort of pseudo-scholar again.
Fred Clare: Trump: The lies keep coming
From Fox News on Sept. 24, : "Arizona Republicans concluded their audit of the 2020 presidential election Friday and said in a letter to the Attorney General that the review's overall tally matched results from November." (Confirming that Biden won.)
From Trump's rally on Sept. 25: "We won at the Arizona forensic audit yesterday at a level that you wouldn't believe."
Gary Sprung and Carolyn Hales: Bedrooms Are For People: A step in the right direction
Boulder's occupancy law says that no more than three unrelated people may share a home. It exempts families from this limit based on the incorrect assumption that families are cleaner, quieter, better neighbors. We live in a single-family, north Boulder neighborhood adjacent to a rental house. We've seen many tenants come and go. Among them, the four unrelated college students were the best neighbors. Outdoor parties were small and ended at a reasonable hour. The yard was kept neat and they had only two cars. In contrast, a big family renting the property had many outdoor guests and events, numerous cars, and rarely mowed the lawn, allowing weed seeds to freely spread to our gardens. Another family messed the backyard to the point we used the term "junkyard."
Neighbors affect each other through noise, unkempt landscapes, and cars parked on the street. We have laws to address the first two. The parking issue is addressed in neighborhoods under the city's parking permit program, which could be enlarged to additional areas. Instead of forcing eviction on people trying to make ends meet by sharing dwellings, our government should focus on the real ways we affect each other. Regulating who lives in a home is not a legitimate function of government.
The Bedrooms Are For People initiative doesn't eliminate government regulation of who can live with whom, but it is a step in the right direction. Please vote yes on Ballot Question 300.
Gary Sprung and Carolyn Hales
Ellen Wagner: Masks: Every death matters
The letter by David Dwier (Sept. 23) was very interesting to me as someone who values critical thinking. Oddly, Dwier gave no argument for his position, just asserting that somehow masks curtail students' "education." Really?
When students, teachers, and staff in schools are masked, COVID rates drop. This enables schools to continue to educate students safely and effectively, and it enables students to gain a better education because they are in school in the same room as their teachers, able to focus better, to ask questions more easily, to interact with teachers and classmates. Without masks, more students get sick, more teachers and staff get sick (and some die), and more students are quarantined at home, without access to education equal to that of their in-school classmates. So much for that non-argument.
But that non-argument is nothing compared with Dwier's claim that COVID has a "global 3.4% fatality rate among reported cases at worst." If only 3 or 4 people die of every 100 who contract COVID, does it mean that's an acceptable loss compared to the inconvenience of children, teachers, and staff having to wear masks? Is it just nothing? I wonder how the parents of the students who die of COVID, or the spouses and families of teachers and staff who have died of COVID, would respond to Dwier's cavalier dismissal of their suffering and losses. Those deaths count to other human beings, if not to Dwier.
Masks in schools, then, (1) prevent COVID infections in children who are too young to be vaccinated; (2) protect all teachers and staff, even if vaccinated, from breakthrough infections common in people who are more vulnerable; and (3) protect the families and friends of all the students, staff, and teachers who might carry the virus unknowingly to others. Case closed.
Robert Porath: CU South: Where did our insight go?
In pursuing the development of its "South Campus," the University and the City Council have done a disservice to the citizens of Boulder and to the world at large.
Much like Google, another City Council favorite, CU is acting as but another corporate entity set on constant expansion. There is too much uncertainty in the future to regard this project as having adequate foresight for the realities of climate change. The world simply cannot keep on "keeping on" in the old ways. Boulder was once thought an insightful city. This is no longer true.