Letters from the week of April 9
The Department of the Interior's new head, Ken Salazar, is a good man who won't sell us out. But he needs to fire all the bad apples right off and maximize transparency and policy — because every four or eight years, the same wolves are back to scuttle everything but greed.
Gene W. Edwards
Thanks, Alan, for your characteristically thoughtful, well-researched and well-written article. You accurately portray Ken Salazar as a more decent and fair-minded person than most politicians — and most who have preceded him at Interior. I agree that he will, within the limits of his power, do a much better job than most at striking a reasonable balance between environmental concerns and the obvious necessity of developing oil, gas and coal fields within his jurisdiction.
I would add, however, that no one should imagine that he and Tom Strickland have assumed leadership of the agency because they are a serious threat to the extremely powerful interests that have long enjoyed undue influence with Interior. Neither is a true reformer or advocate for the little guy. Both come from a stable of politicians or operatives from both parties groomed with fat partner shares and held in reserve by Hogan & Hartson; Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck; and other bag men for Big Business and Big Government.
Erik Obsorn is nothing more than an unethical, immoral and corrupt liar, cheat and thief inspired by nothing less than sheer greed at the expense of everyone around him. He deserves every minute of a minimum 24 years in prison to think about all the pain, suffering and misery he has caused people, as well as forfeiting everything he has gotten illegally.
And Jared's article is right: He is not a stereotypical asshole. But in the same light that money can't buy character or class, not matter how much you gussy it up, an asshole is still just an asshole.
Jared, thank you for this story! Thank you for the cover page! If ever there were an SOB, con artist, pathological liar who needed your attention, you found him! Oh, how I wish that every sub he late paid, short paid, lied to, cheated and bullied could read this.
Name withheld on request
Editor's note: As Jared Jacang Maher reported on the Latest Word blog, during his court appearance on April 2, Erik Osborn revealed that he has a new attorney, Charles Fife, and no longer needs a public defender. But because Fife needs time to get up to speed on the case, Osborn's trial has been moved to August 3.
Regarding Jason Sheehan's review of Root Down:
In Aussie slang, the word "root" is slang for, erm, fornication. Thus, it would be totally appropriate to say that this restaurant was aptly — if accidentally — named. Though I suppose, given a menu offering items like tofu pie, "Rooted Up" might be a better fit.
Editor's note: Dozens of people have commented on Sheehan's review; here's a sampling. "The food is like going to a barber shop school for a haircut." And "Why are you so caught up on Root Down, anyway? Do you feel it's your job to slander a restaurant just because you're all cranky about it? Get over yourself & move on. The only thing with poor taste right now is your writing." For more, go to www.westword.com/2009-04-02/restaurants/the-food-at-root-down-gets-a-thumbs-down/.
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