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
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...