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Mexico needs economic, not military solution

President Obama made his first visit to Mexico amid rising drug-related violence. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rightly said the problem stems from the “insatiable demand for drugs” in the U.S.

So far, the only concrete measure the U.S. has offered is the Merida Initiative – a military response that continues the failed supply-side strategy of combating drugs, but allocates no money for treatment or other proven ways to reduce demand in the U.S.

To focus solely on the cartels and violence misses the boat.

NAFTA and the economic crisis have had devastating effects throughout Mexico, increasing poverty and outmigration.

Sustainable development in Mexico and a reduced demand for drugs in the U.S. would drastically weaken the appeal of cartels and organized crime.

The Mexican people need an economic solution, but instead they suffer the consequences of a military solution with U.S. support. It is time to renegotiate NAFTA.


Mishandled cycles put us through the wringer

Re: Robert Robb’s Monday column “No unicorns on tax structure”:

Looking for the perfect anti-cyclical tax is a fool’s errand. There is a simple way to manage revenue cycles, however: Don’t overspend in up cycles; save for down cycles.

The problem with our city, county and state governments is that they spend more in bad times and then overspend and borrow on the down cycle.

We need prudent management, which we do not have, have not had and seemingly will not get.


Interior chief needs support vs. Big Oil

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is trying to bring balance back to the Bureau of Land Management lands so that oil and gas megacompanies don’t steal all our public lands.

His goal is renewable energy and being a conscientious steward of our public lands to protect our environmental, cultural and historical values from the elite oil and gas industries.

They’re used to getting their way, and they are fighting him. Salazar needs our support.


Salazar shifting gears on fuel industry, lands

Since taking office in January, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has prioritized renewable energy, put the brakes on the Bush administration’s full-steam-ahead approach to destructive oil shale development and canceled oil and gas leases on the edge of national parks and historic sites.

Yet Salazar’s measured approach has provoked a backlash by the oil and gas industry that enjoyed privileged status during the eight years of the Bush administration.

Salazar’s understanding that he is a steward of our public lands, and not the servant of the oil industry, is a breath of fresh air. With the Obama administration placing conservation and renewable energy issues high on its agenda, these should be the first of many more steps toward reforms to ensure the oil and gas industry doesn’t wreck more of our fragile Western landscapes.

Salazar should continue the shift from giving the oil industry what it wants to insisting on balance on lands that belong to everyone.


Columnist’s tea service makes his blood boil

Apparently Anne Denogean has decided only liberals have the right to free speech and protest. Her smarmy Friday column (“Tea party goers steeped in bitter loss of election”) is typical of the liberal press.

I have listened to Democrats’ incessant whining through the Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II administrations. I have heard the praises of the do-nothing Kennedys and Lyndon Johnson, who gave us the Vietnam War.

I have watched Jimmuh Cartuh make possible the birth of the Taliban.

Denogean says Bush destroyed America over the past eight years, but I don’t remember any recession until the Democrats took control of Congress and forced banks to make home loans to people who couldn’t pay them back.

I have heard Nancy Pelosi tell us she was going to “drain the swamp,” but instead made it much deeper.

I have heard Barney Franks and Chris Dodd screaming that Fannie and Freddie didn’t need regulation.

I do not recall mass unemployment and home foreclosures until the Democrats took control.

Oh that little remark about gun confiscation? Anne, try reading or listening to the news instead of writing it. Apparently you weren’t tuned in to Obama’s conversations with Mexico or the statements of his attorney general.

Both want to renew the assault weapons ban, which accomplished nothing to reduce crime in its last incarnation. The facts are there if you look.

Now we have praises of Obama for ending the crisis with the Somali pirates, which could have been resolved days earlier if he had not placed idiotic restrictions on the use of force.

Your “messiah” is even less experienced in dealing with a crisis than the governor of Alaska, and she was only running for the vice presidency!

This may come as a shock to Ms. Denogean, but our last competent Democratic president was Harry Truman.


retired military

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