Just say 'no' to Dr. No

 

My thanks to Arnold Hamilton, Denver Nicks and Ray Ring for having the journalistic guts to call out two of the most inept and unproductive members of that elite legislative body derisively referred to as the "Dead Poets Society" (HCN, 11/8/10). Even in a body where incompetence is the expectation and the norm, I can think of only a few other states whose senators could meet the measure of the dynamic duo from Oklahoma for obstructive proficiency and vacuity of purpose.

Now, like the suddenly infamous Koch brothers, Tom Coburn and his thick sidekick, James Inhofe, the inveterate climate change denier and William Jennings Bryan throwback, are finally receiving some well-deserved notoriety.

I'm confounded by what residents of the Sooner State choose not to understand in the multi-layered contradictions between the ideological posits of their two posers and the facts on the ground in their own lives. I have no doubt that in his delusional grandiosity, "Dr. No" views himself as a messenger from God. But at some point even low-information voters have to sense some kind of disconnect between what they see and hear. In the ongoing saga of Tom Coburn, he and Inhofe want to run roughshod over more than just the West.

I've always been troubled by the piteous images and photos of Okies driven from their homes by the dust storms of the 1930s. Entire families were devastated by a system fueled by greed, rendering them invisible and unworthy of the most basic human compassion. And who was it that endured the vitriolic taunts of "traitor" to begin building a network of safety nets for the disinherited and dispossessed? It was FDR. But that's old news today. Now, Oklahomans have their mindsets framed by snake-oil salesmen that they continue to re-elect every six years. For a state that produced icons like Will Rogers and Woody Guthrie, it's been a steep downward slide. We all have the right to elect our representatives, but because of the obsolete rules of the Senate and the sheer number of its denizens resting comfortably in corporate pockets, the malignant obstruction by shills for hire stops all progress in its tracks.

I feel deflated. I fear I'm beginning to lose faith in our elected officials.

Harry Koenig
Pueblo, Colorado


High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Communications and Outreach Associate Position Opening: www.westernlaw.org/communications-outreach-associate ************************************************* Location: Western U.S., ideally in one of WELC's existing office locations (Santa Fe or Taos, NM, Helena,...
  • FREELANCE GRAPHIC DESIGNER & PROJECT COORDINATOR (REMOTE)
    High Country News (HCN) is seeking a contract Graphic Designer & Project Coordinator to design promotional, marketing and fund-raising assets and campaigns, and project-manage them...
  • FILM AND DIGITAL MEDIA: ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF INDIGENOUS MEDIA, CULTURAL SOVEREIGNTY AND DECOLONIZATION (INITIAL REVIEW 12.1.21)
    Film and Digital Media: Assistant Professor of Indigenous Media, Cultural Sovereignty and Decolonization (Initial Review 12.1.21) Position overview Position title: Assistant Professor - tenure-track Salary...
  • REAL ESTATE SPECIALIST
    To learn more about this position and to apply please go to the following URL.
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • CENTRAL PARK CULTURAL RESOURCE SPECIALIST
    Agency: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department Salary Range: $5,203 - $7,996 Position Title: Central Park Cultural Resource Specialist Do you have a background in Archaeology...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    Come live and work in one of the most beautiful places in the world! As our Staff Attorney you will play a key role in...
  • ARIZONA GRAZING CLEARINGHOUSE
    Dedicated to preventing the ecological degradation caused by livestock grazing on Arizona's public lands, and exposing the government subsidies that support it.
  • OPERATIONS MANAGER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo (friendsoftheinyo.org) is seeking a new Operations Manager. The Operations Manager position is a full-time permanent position that reports directly...
  • WATER RIGHTS BUREAU CHIEF
    Water Rights Bureau Chief, State of Montana, DNRC, Water Resources Division, Helena, MT Working to support and implement the Department's mission to help ensure that...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
  • DEVELOPMENT & OUTREACH ASSOCIATE
    Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is hiring! Who We Are: The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council (SEACC) is a small grassroots nonprofit based out of Juneau, Alaska,...
  • DESERT LANDS ORGANIZER
    Position Summary: Friends of the Inyo seeks a Desert Lands Organizer to assist with existing campaigns that will defend lands in the California desert, with...
  • IDAHO CONSERVATION LEAGUE
    Want to help preserve Idaho's land, water, and air for future generations? Idaho Conservation League currently has 3 open positions. We are looking for a...
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • EVENTS AND ANNUAL FUND COORDINATOR
    The Events and Annual Fund Coordinator is responsible for managing and coordinating the Henry's Fork Foundation's fundraising events for growing the membership base, renewing and...
  • EDUCATION DIRECTOR
    Position Description: The Education Director is the primary leader of Colorado Canyons Association's (CCA) education programs for students and adults on the land and rivers...
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...
  • WATERSHED RESTORATION DIRECTOR
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...