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Bill Regan: Marshall Fire: Fire coverage quashes political strife

I’ve been watching the news regarding the recent catastrophic fires and the fabulous response by our emergency personnel.

I’ve noticed that I haven’t heard one single comment that socialism is bad or that taxes are too high.

Bill Regan

Boulder


Lydia Thompson: Marshall Fire: Snow on embers

Many are reeling from the devastating destruction from Thursday’s  Marshall fire.

As I helped my dad fix the flagpole on our house Friday, my thoughts were consumed with folks left digging through the ash and rubble of what once was their house. I sip tea from a favorite mug and mull over the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.”

While true, it’s one of those sentiments that seems to fall short sometimes. It’s one of those statements that’s easier said when you actually have a place to go home to.

Home is where the heart is, but it’s so much more: Home is where your bed is, with the handmade quilt from grandma, or the duvet the cat crawls under at bedtime. Home is where old love letters are stashed away in a tattered shoebox. Home is where favorite recipes are stuffed in a box, including your Italian grandpa on your mom’s side’s remarkable marinara sauce.

Home is where pictures, letters, special jewelry, marathon medals and sports trophies, shadow boxes of achievements, tapestries, photo albums of special trips, a locket of your godson’s hair, the doggie door the family dog barges out to chase squirrels, a flag that draped a loved one’s coffin, a cherished book from childhood, a hole in the wall from moving a large piece of furniture downstairs — the list of “things” with sentimental value could go on and on.

Relief, thankfulness and sadness swirl in the air.

My prayer is for those who have lost their homes: While you take inventory of memorabilia and precious mementoes that are lost, may the memories behind them of people, places, events, emotions and everything wrapped up in the “things” multiply in your heart and that no ounce of sentiment will be truly lost.

Lydia Thompson

Niwot


James H. Mittelman: Desmond Tutu: Archbishop’s message still rings wise, right

Kudos to the Daily Camera for its articles (Dec. 30 and 31) on the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. But they emphasize only part of his storied lifetime, one that throws light on Colorado’s ongoing efforts to reckon with systemic racism.

Having worked and lived in South Africa during the vexed times of its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which Archbishop Tutu headed, I witnessed the gruesome proceedings and remember his strong emotional reaction to them.

“The Arch,” as many South Africans affectionately called him, said that perhaps he was not the right person for the job because of his heartfelt sympathy for victims: Black, white and mixed race (“coloureds” in South African parlance) alike.

The commission was widely criticized for its inability to penalize perpetrators and nullify injustices. Archbishop Tutu nevertheless maintained that the best course of action was to catalyze a collective catharsis rather than allow the wounds of apartheid, the system of institutionalized racism, to fester.

Yet the post-apartheid government’s policies of transformation have not substantially ameliorated the country’s entrenched inequalities. Archbishop Tutu consistently railed the inequities and did not fail to criticize his African National Congress, the political party long spearheaded by fellow Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela.

Like Mandela, Tutu was a fierce advocate of waging restorative justice and mercy rather than correcting wrongdoings through punishment and vengeance.

Today, Archbishop Tutu’s powerful message rings politically wise and ethically right.

James H. Mittelman

Boulder


Ning Mosberger-Tang: Marshall Fire: Fires, shootings should mobilize legislators

Nine months ago, there was a mass shooting in my grocery store. Ten innocent people died. The store is still closed — a reminder of what happened when we drive by the store every day.

Thursday, my neighborhood Costco burned to the ground, as well as hundreds of homes.

What do these two events have in common other than the shock and devastation? Our country’s utter inability to create legislation FOR the people.

The vast majority of us want common-sense gun control. The vast majority of us want to address climate change. A decade ago, the Congress could have passed meaningful legislation for both, but they were blocked by filibuster. The inability for our country’s top legislators to pass any meaningful legislation has dire consequences, including what we are experiencing today.

We need to thank the first responders and firefighters, we need to help our neighbors get over the trauma and rebuild their lives, we need to support each other mentally, physically and financially. But in the meantime, we also need to advocate for fundamental changes and address the root of these issues, otherwise we’ll just be moving from tragedy to tragedy to tragedy.

January is the month when we MUST address the filibuster — call your senators and look up local events to attend on Jan. 6 (Capitol insurrection anniversary), Jan 17 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), Jan. 20 (presidential inauguration anniversary), or Jan. 21 (Citizens v. United U.S. Supreme Court decision anniversary).

Addressing the filibuster isn’t just necessary for us to protect voting rights (which is the key of everything), it’s also necessary for us to pass climate and gun legislation.

Without federal policy changes currently blocked by the filibuster, we can’t fundamentally address any of these issues. We will be stuck in a Groundhog Day of shock, disbelief, and mourning.

We need to break the loop.

Ning Mosberger-Tang

Boulder