Don't be lenient
on drug abusers
The average estimated government expenditure for drug-related issues is $15 billion, with another $5 billion from insurance sources. Drug rehabilitation programs have touted sky-high success rates. Taking a hard look at those wishful figures, one unfortunately discovers five-year sobriety rates more like 18 percent to 21 percent, with some estimates as low as 5 percent. A poor return on the investment.
Drug use has been described as a victimless crime. False. Every murder or horrendous act related to the drug industry in South, Central and North America is the responsibility of the American user, a person not contributing to our society, but rather encumbering it.
An estimated 6,700-plus show up in emergency rooms daily, most of the costs for which must be covered by Medicare/Medicaid. There are about 44,000 drug-related deaths each year, a figure supposed to prompt us to greater fiscal effort. I look upon that statistic as 44,000 milestones removed from the collective American neck.
With regard to the opioid crisis, we've tried to demonize the drug industry, but the fault lies directly with the prescription abusers. For at least seven decades or more, we have been warned of drug use dangers, yet some choose to ignore sound advice in pursuit of personal pleasure. Continuous rehabilitation tours after consecutive relapses just enable the addict, who becomes more and more a public liability.
Years of lenient, conciliatory care have gotten us nowhere. Incarceration and curtailment of access to public health care should be considered.
John Bradford Jr., Wetmore
Is history repeating
with Greenland bid?
In 1847, the United States fought an imperialist war against Mexico under James K. Polk — Andrew Jackson's protege, commanding both Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee — and added San Francisco to our territory in time for the Gold Rush. We settled for 60 percent of Mexico, everything south of the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo to the Rio Grande.
Polk had offered Mexico's leader Santa Anna $30 million for the land, since we had "better uses" for it. When rebuked, under a pretext involving Texas, the U.S. Army and Marines invaded. That ought to be commemorated with a “Borderlands Park” on the Riverwalk's grassy slopes.
Today, the president again attempts to secure future resources for America by purchasing Greenland and its water. Who will deter U.S. aggression if things get dire?
Doug Ohmans, Pueblo
Recalling when recalls
were relatively rare
Not that long ago, it was rare for elected officials to face recall elections. When they did, corruption or scandal drove the voters to make an early change. Not so anymore. Elected officials today at all levels of government are defending their offices for much, much less and costing much, much more to the taxpayers who will foot the bills for these votes. According to Gilbert Ortiz, the Pueblo County clerk and recorder, the cost of a recall election is about $120,000.
The gas and oil lobbyists are funding recall efforts in Colorado. Around the state, conservatives already are circulating petitions in separate efforts to recall state Sen. Brittany Pettersen, and our own Sen. Leroy Garcia, state Rep. Pete Lee of Colorado Springs and Gov. Jared Polis. I believe this recall right is being abused by gas and oil lobbyists who do not want to accept the majority's decision about who should run the government.
Sen. Garcia has been a senator since 2015, a representative for two years before that, and senate president. He is and has been good for Southern Colorado. I urge you to support him in his recall effort.
Tom Latka, Pueblo
'Theater of absurd'
keeps us entertained
In these troubled times, humor always is welcomed. President Donald Trump's never-ending "theater of the absurd" provides much needed relief. What was more absurd? The president's disrespectful attempt to buy Greenland, Greenland's refusal to indulge the "very stable genius," Mr. Trump's spoiled child foot stomping and not playing with Norway, or Marc Thiessen's absurd defense of why Mr. Trump's actions in purchasing an autonomous, sovereign country are historically acceptable.
Referencing actions that seemed less absurd 70, 100 or even 500 years ago, luckily for us, is humorous. But remember the European colonization of the "new world" or "Manifest Destiny." We no longer attack, steal or buy other countries and peoples for political nationalistic gain.
I think World War II may have shown us one extreme version of an insane political leader who tried to forcibly annex property and exterminate those who disagreed with his tactics. This, obviously, is not that, but we should stay vigilant.
What's next on the presidents economic agenda, does he try to buy "blue states," or does he merely impose tariffs on them? The show goes on.
Ken Peterson, Pueblo
Electric privatization survey
produced inaccurate results
There was a "survey" of 339 households about the privatization of electric service? What a joke. There are 35,000 people in Pueblo West and 75,000 in Pueblo. Ask all of us. We don't want to spend $20 million over eight years like Boulder did, and they aren't even close to privatizing. We can work with Black Hills Energy without breaking our bank. Spend your money better.
The committee wanting to change our service to private is like the "Medicare For all" committee on the wrong track for the people trying to live the life we love in Pueblo County.
Pat Sears, Pueblo West
Sen. Garcia is working
to protect Pueblo's interests
State Senate President Leroy Garcia is facing recall. I do not know the reason and I have never met him. What I do know is that Sen. Garcia has collected $1 million from the Colorado Department of Transportation to upgrade Amtrack tracks in Pueblo.
There is a reason for this. Gov. Jared Polis is interested in building a bullet train from Fort Collins to Pueblo and perhaps continuing onto Santa Fe, N.M. If Garcia is kicked out, then the train will be truncated at Colorado Springs, meaning that Pueblo would be left out.
Polis and Garcia think that using existing tracks is the only feasible way to get a Front Range train that will connect Pueblo to Denver International Airport and save time, while relieving congestion on our overcrowded highways.
Do not recall Sen. Garcia; he has Pueblo’s best interest at heart.
I was a board member for Regional Transportation District in Denver for nine years and during that time a study was done about using existing tracks for commuter rail. This is not a new concept, but one whose time has come.
Kevin Sampson, Denver
Toughen legal penalties
for crimes involving guns
There are something like 51,000 gun laws in the United States. But they don't seem to stop shootings, so I would like to see them replaced with just two laws.
Any time a gun is present during the commission of a felony (armed robbery, drive-by shooting), upon conviction, the sentence automatically will be life in prison without parole.
If someone dies during the felony, upon conviction, the sentence automatically will be the death penalty. And also the appeals process will be completed within, say, one year, not dragged out for years.
Now, I know that these will put the burden of guilt squarely on the shoulders of the felons rather than law-abiding citizens, but nevertheless. And I also know these laws will take away the abilities of bleeding heart judges, governors and any one member of a jury (like the one who voted to let the theater shooter live a long and useless life), but so be it.
Don Keas, Rye
Sunday Chieftain offers
something special for kids
I thoroughly enjoy The Pueblo Chieftain every morning, with lots of local area news and just the right balance of national news. But the special treat on Sundays of the kids' activity page is great, especially since it's printed on heavier paper. I tear it out and save it every week so my grand kids can enjoy it when they come to visit.
And a special surprise on Aug. 25 was the Gamebook. I'll be working on those puzzles for weeks.
Thanks again for a great newspaper.
Emily Price, Pueblo West