Volume 5 Issue 42

SPECIAL REPORT: Abortive options and the proposed ban. News and Information: Meet the Rough Ramshorn Snail, Prairie Dogs fat, 3 Male Genders? Features: DEEPAK MORRIS!, 9:47 AM on 16th Street, Scenic Douglas County, The Best Halloween Hike, Buddhism, and so much much more!

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Abortive options widely available despite proposed ban

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Though new laws proposed this election year would illegalize the modern medical practice of abortion by making the act of destroying a fetus or prematurely terminating a pregnancy a homicide (whether accidentally through natural miscarriage or purposefully through abortion), abortive herbs which have been used safely for tens of thousands of years to abort pregnancies or destroy fetuses remain widely available – and even grow in the wild (and urban) places of Colorado.
        However, as easy and safe as it remains to abort a pregnancy using juniper berries, or even by properly adapting common herbs like dong quai, it is a sobering reality that obedient citizens will not any more likely use them for abortion than they presently avail themselves of those numerous toxic plants for the murder of adult human beings.
        Proponents of the legislative measures to illegalize abortion argue that there is little moral ground upon which to discriminate between the destruction of human life at any particular stage of development, yet the discrimination required to describe an act of murder requires the premise that life, simply lived, is insufficient.  A person who is nearly murdered, or is permanently handicapped by an assault, warrants the charge of attempted murder, under our law.  The quality of life has always been taken into account – until now.
        The slave, though alive, requires freedom and will give their life for that liberty.  The man who is starving will purchase bread even with his life.  Not only self-defense provides moral excuse for a murder, but the defense of necessary liberties.  Why, then, do we not now consider the quality of life of either mother or child?  This is a disturbing shift in the moral character of Coloradoans.
        The recent extension of human rights to other sentient animals upon evidence of their sentience established a sound basis for determining whether a fetus is sentient, and has any independent right to exist. 
        And observing these fellow sentient beings we call animals, we observe vicious acts of warfare and murder which put even the human capacity for violence to shame.  Yet we also see acts of compassion that exceed our own, as well.  We observe the tender care of a mother for a hopeless, helpless young one – and also acts of abortion which, as Coloradoans, we are about to illegalize. 
        Indeed, we see not only abortion, but infanticide – in many species, when resources are insufficient to lend a minimum quality of life to the next generation, the mother or father will undertake a merciful murder of their children.  In the Prairie Dog, this is done unwillingly, and with evidence of emotional distress at the mercy killing.  In other species, too, infanticide occurs only at that point when life is no longer preferable due to the quality of life which is being lived.
        No matter the species, because of our shared animal womb, a child born into want and poverty will be affected by that want and poverty – profoundly, from the womb’s subtle effects on the child’s hormones and instincts, to their upbringing and establishment of moral character. 
        In our own species, abortion – and infanticide – occurs with equal unwillingness, and after cold reasoning and logic requires the mother undertake that act of destruction so contrary to her nature and instinct. 
        Yet when we illegalized infanticide, we provided social care to mothers so that there would never be such a need while in our present illegalization of abortion, we provide no such remedy. 

        And if our mothers remain as obedient as we should expect them to be, we will soon see a society where many live, but few wish to.

Three male genders of Urosaurus ornatus

By Aaron Brachfeld, photograph by Brooke Michelson - - - While Americans grapple with the necessity of granting equal rights of our two human genders of male and female, as well as among our four sexual orientations of heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual and asexual, we should be grateful that we have just two genders to equalize: the Ornate Tree Lizard, found in Colorado, has one female and three male genders. 

        Stanford professor and biologist Joan Roughgarden, have suggested multiple male genders in this species. Among differently colored male tree lizards, there are different hormonal profiles. On the day a male tree lizard hatches, an abundance of progesterone will cause him to develop into an orange-blue type. Low progesterone will lead to the male developing into an orange type. During dry weather conditions, orange-type males' corticosterone levels increase, which causes testosterone to decrease, which leads to their instinct to become nomadic. Likewise, orange-blue types do not have this hormonal response to the weather, and remain in their territories regardless of climatic conditions.

Prairie Dogs fat and ready for autumn

by Aaron Brachfeld - - - Prairie Dogs are fat this autumn and ready for winter.  Though Prairie Dogs suffer little predation and are not a principle food source for any carnivore, Prairie Dogs are none the less a keystone species, providing necessary habitat for those critters essential to the foodchain.

Volume 5 Issue 41

SPECIAL REPORT: Colorado’s hemp harvest’s quality. News and Information - Global warming and the Antarctic ice, No on 3A and 3B?, Vic Meyers on the 2nd Amendment. Features - Proper discarding of used condoms, Yom Kippur in ElCo, Chunk the Cat  Photographer dies by rattlesnake bite, Buddhism, and so much much more!
Thank you for supporting local, independent journalism. Tell your friends you heard it in the Herald, and to subscribe.

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Kelly Dore is practicing medicine without license - your Republican candidate for Elbert County Commissioner

originally published 6/28/14.
Why republished?  Brooks Imperial seems to think that it is "leftist" to demand of a candidate for Commissioner to at least properly represent their medical credentials. If that's leftist, it's wrong to be right. -Editor.

        Kelly Dore is running for Elbert County Commissioner.  She is a counselor (specializing in Grief, trauma and family therapy) who practices in Colorado, a type of medical practice that requires certification and regulation by the State of Colorado.  On her website, www.coloradomommycoach.com, she says that she has been licensed since 2010.  But inquiry with DORA and other regulatory agencies could find no license has ever existed for her, under her married or given names.

        Incidentally, even if she did graduate with a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Colorado State University in 2000 (the graduation could not be confirmed), a license to practice counseling requires a Masters Degree (or a Doctorate). 

        Though it is a crime to practice medicine without a license (it is a form of fraud), we may say, tongue in cheek, that this may indeed prove she is a capable candidate for a job whose incumbents have recently been recently discovered to be undertaking illegal activities since at least the 1980’s. 

        However, it is the Herald’s opinion also that Elbert County needs a new kind of Commissioner, and John Dorman, a former Chief Petty Officer in our nation’s military, provides an adequate alternative.

Here is a PDF of her website, if you are unable to follow the link.

Should you vote no on 3A and 3B?

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - In this year’s notice of elections, the Elbert County Clerk didn’t go out of his way to make sure that there was counterpoint to the arguments for a tax increase.  Though he is still new at his job, we won’t blame him.  But because I feel that debate is essential to testing the validity of a premise, namely that the Elizabeth Schools needs a tax increase, I wanted to present several arguments against the tax increase that the Elbert County Clerk might have found had he attempted to include any.
        The first concern that should be raised against both 3A and 3B is that, while being substantially similar to the previous proposed tax increase, none of the concerns raised about that failed tax increase have been addressed.
        That the School Bus Fleet is aging is not in doubt. However, the last go around, students and parents raised questions about whether or not the buses were still usable, and whether the replacement of those buses was cost effective.  Rather than simply provide the economic analysis to support their position last time, the abusive language that these citizens (and students) received seemed to paint an image of a secretive and hyperpoliticized culture of paranoia in the Board, one which has been alleged to have contributed to the inability to retain qualified teachers and driven some students into homeschools and charter schools. 
        It was my misfortune to also meet with the abusive language from some of the Board members (as well as threats).  And persistent inquiries into the identities off those anonymous students and citizens who asked questions about the necessity for busses helped me understand why these citizens wanted to be anonymous – something I confess I had raised an eyebrow at. 
        While one boardmember was blocked from a conservative blog (elbertcounty.net) for cyberbullying, the Herald has no such policy for the reason of exposing the nature of people.  Bullying should not be tolerated – at the ballot box.  There is folly in entrusting bullies with money and power.  Any organization which is non-transparent, and hostile in its defense of its opacity, should not be trusted.
        The culture of hostile opacity runs deep.  Another citizen began benign inquiries following questions he developed after attending a School Board meeting to better understand the budget.  He was severely met with threats of imprisonment, banned from attending public meetings, and from appearing on school premises.  Though the Air Force veteran was not frightened of jail or prosecution, he was profoundly disturbed by the propensity of the Board against citizen oversight or participation.
        Similarly, no one will deny there are leaking roofs.  But that these may have been caused through an incompetence of the School Board, which was alleged to have permitted inferior construction with insufficient safety clauses against such inferior construction or sufficient warranty, and did not properly allocate funds to maintain those roofs, does not presently inspire trust.  Yet, it is hoped the Board learns. 
        As to the additional security requested, no one wants a school shooting, or any dangerous environment for the children.  But the Herald discovered that the Board and Superintendent were using their present security powers to monitor email, telephone and other communication made by staff and students, without warrant or apparent necessity, and possibly for political purposes.  The program is undertaken under the pretense of protecting children against predators, but without any specific or even general threats of predation.  I could not obtain any data on number of times the monitoring was undertaken, for what reasons, against whom, or the effectiveness of deterrence or interruption of child predation because of the hostile opacity of the Board.  While I cannot confirm the political use alleged in tips, I cannot deny the possibility that the allegations may be substantial, either.
        The hostile opacity extends to their own, as well, and Mr. Richardson’s noble attempt to open and clean the Board has met with painfully little result.  The culture of corruption is deep in Elizabeth Schools.  That there exists some of that culture today is difficult to deny, and I must conclude the Students and citizens deserve better.  Yet, after examining the reasons against voting for 3A and 3B, I must advise you to “vote yes.”  Don’t penalize the students any more than the School Board has already done.  But if you don’t want to be voting “yes” again in a few years, give Mr. Richardson better help on the Board.

What do you think? The Clerk has already given great reasons to vote "yes."  Tell the Herald why you be voting "yes" or "no" on 3A or 3B.

Chunk the Cat 2000-2014

By Hank Braxtan - - - It is with a heavy heart that I write this here, and although it may seem cheesy (even to myself in retrospect one day), writing helps me get it out there. So if you have the interest and the endurance, I present to you the story of my fluffy white cat, Chunk.
        Chunk, who was indeed named after the Goonies character (I was referencing the 80's before it was cool, kids), was not the smartest cat I ever knew, nor the most well behaved as anyone who knew the animal would attest.
        "Stupid cat." Often I would utter that and shake my head.
        I adopted Chunk in the summer of 2000 while I was still in the service of the US Army. Upon finally attaining the rank to move off post (and out of the barracks) I used my new freedom to instantly get what I had been missing since I had left home in 1998--a kitty cat.
        I travelled to my home town of Grand Junction where the local vet had a litter of kittens (wild kittens!) that needed adoption. Chunk hid in the back of the crate (he was not a brave cat), but because of his exquisite white coat, I picked him (despite the efforts of my mom to steer me towards a nicer cat). I've had wild kittens before, they all come around eventually.
        Chunk took some work. For the first two or three weeks he hissed when you got close, or would find new nooks or crannies in my house to wedge himself into. Eventually with enough affection, he lowered his guard and began to purr. But his timid nature would rule his behavior for the first few years of his life as he would hiss and run if anyone approached other than myself. He was the subject of much ridicule by my friends and family. Stupid cat.
Some of that ridicule he brought upon himself. It wasn't just because he was a timid, terrified individual, either. What drew most of my ire and of those around me was Chunk's other behavioral issue: Chunk had long ago decided that he would use the cat box...most of the time. Chunk liked to pee on rugs and under the dining room table. People urged me to discard the animal because of this, but my heart has never easily turned on anyone or anything. So I developed a system of swapping rugs, cleaning with bleach and hot water, or simple green, or nature's miracle, or a number of other agents...none of them every 100% successful. Never did get the system down foolproof, but it was manageable.
        Eventually he became a pretty nice cat, and I blame my wife Arielle for that. A person with one of the biggest hearts I've ever encountered (the other being my mom), she broke through his fear of strangers. The cat actually sat on her lap! He never sat on my lap!
        Soon, Chunk joined his friends Goober 2.0 and Snarf, my two Orange tabbies, in socializing around the various houses and apartments I've lived in over the past decade. They would eat together, munch grass, and occasionally fight. Well, Goober and Snarf would fight (because Goober would pick on his sister all the time), but Chunk would always interject and break things up. Maybe it was because he was three years older, or maybe he just wanted everyone to get along...who knows...he was kind of a stupid cat.
        Chunk moved with me (along with the other two cats and my future wife Ari) to three homes in Denver, and eventually across the country to Los Angeles where I would chase my silly human dreams. Despite some hard times financially and artistically, the stupid cat was always a constant for me.
        Late in 2013, Chunk started having stomach issues. He was put on a "digestive health" diet, which fixed most of his ailments and all returned to normal. But in mid 2014 he began to lose weight, and by September he was down to barely 5 pounds. X-rays and other tests showed nothing out of the ordinary, so once again he returned home and life carried on. In early October his stomach began to slowly swell as his muscle continued to deteriorate. He eventually became very lethargic and wasn't interested in eating. I took him to the vet for what I worried might be his last trip.
        After an exam and a few tests, Dr. Tang came in and sat down next to me, and I knew at that moment the conversation we were about to have. The fluid in his abdomen meant basically three things--liver failure, heart failure, or cancer.
        We arranged to have him put down later that evening, so it could be at home where he would be most comfortable. I brought him inside and released him from his crate and he slowly walked over to where his food bowl was and laid near it. I fixed him a plate of all his favorite foods and treats. To my surprise he actually ate, then started up the stairs to the bedroom. He couldn't make it on his own so I carried him up and laid him in his favorite nap spot. Goober joined and laid nearby, and we all just sat there a while. The doc arrived in the evening, and Chunk had already picked a spot on the floor near the bed where he would take his final sleep.
        This terrified, wild animal that I had raised from a kitten had grown very docile in his later years. He was very calm and even purred as I stroked him. Goober sniffed at his head while the doctor administered the injection. Very peacefully, he slipped away.
        Chunk will be laid to rest at our family pet cemetery "Final Paws" in Grand Junction, Colorado...not far from where he was born.

        Rest in peace, stupid cat...I already miss you terribly.

Commissioner Schlegel protests ADA as unfunded mandate

Bill Thomas, New-Plains.com, reporting from the Elbert County BOCC  meeting of 10/8/14 - - - Attorney Wade Gateley announced that Kyle Fenner would be the interim Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance Officer until a personnel/human resources director is named. The job of the ADA Compliance Officer is to handle grievances regarding access and work issues.

        Schlegel commented that it was an "unfunded mandate" by the Federal Government to pay someone to listen to someone who thinks he's been wronged.

Colorado’s first hemp farm has high quality (0.0% THC) crop

By Aaron Brachfeld - - - Rocky Mountain Hemp said they are “very happy” with this year’s hemp quality, which exceeded expectations at 0.0% THC.  “This was a very unexpected bonus.  Our yields exceeded our expectations.”  Yields exceeded one ton.
                The hemp from RMH is sold for medicinal purposes, and though it has 0.0% THC, it is rich in other cannabinoids.  In previous interviews with the Herald, RMH described how seeds, buds, and even leaves and stalks, are demanded for medicinal purposes.
                Hemp has typically been raised as a fiber crop or food seed crop, but with the boom in medicinal marijuana, demand for Hemp’s CBD and other medicinal compounds has also boomed.

                “We are trying to provide medicine for everyone that needs it,” said Loflin Farms, the operator of RMH.  “My family, friends and sick children are my motivation to keep working tirelessly. Thanks for everyone's support.”