Placing Aviva Chomsky’s article on the front page was a wise decision. A brief stroll around this year’s Altwheels Alternative Transportation and Energy Festival in City Hall Plaza demonstrates that clean, renewable energy is not just a hippie fantasy. It is possible, and there are many alternatives to burning coal and destroying towns. Along with your Cape Wind articles, the Phoenix has shown that progressive Massachusetts types apparently prioritize resistance to Cape Wind turbines, while diligently making monthly energy payments to bulldoze remote farming communities in Guajira, Colombia.
What is most nauseating in the case of the razed town of Tabaco, in the Guajira peninsula, is that a minuscule portion of the profit that a company such as Dominion makes would undoubtedly cover the costs of relocating the residents. Gabriel García Márquez’s Macondo workers were dwarfed by el señor Brown and his team of lawyers in One Hundred Years of Solitude. What chance do José Julio Peréz and the people he represents have while Bostonians pat Dominion on the back, blindly cranking up the AC when the thermostat tilts 73 and the heater when it plummets to 71?
More bulldozing in Colombia will be coming if multinational corporations get their way with the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the US and Colombia. Just as the Cerrejón open-pit coal mine has benefited some, but as a whole is a destructive and unfair activity, the FTA will devastate Colombia in the long run, further undermining the national economy. A few farmers will assuredly be able to sell more corn and exotic fruits, but the FTA will overwhelmingly fill the pockets of a handful of wealthy Colombians and multinationals. As it stands, this FTA would trump the Colombian Constitution.
Is this the arrogant message Massachusetts residents wish to send to the devastated Wayuu and Afro-Colombian communities, as well as the rest of Colombia?
Co-Director, Boston Area Spanish Exchange (BASE)
More bad medicine
Thank you so much for researching the case of my dear cousin, Dr. Joseph Zolot. He and I came to the US in the late ’70s to start a new life. We did very well; he in the medical field, I in engineering. You could not find more patriotic immigrants. We worked hard to learn the language and to contribute to the society that has been our home for so many years. We believed that bad things only happened to bad people. But the past six months have been a nightmare for Joseph and his family and friends.
My parents have told me about the so-called physicians gang in the former Soviet Union, which, in the early ’50s, decided to teach a group of prominent Jewish doctors a lesson by trumping up charges of plotting to harm high-powered government big shots. Needless to say, the doctors were powerless to defend themselves once the steamroller went into motion.
The story of my cousin seems to me a wicked, weird reincarnation of that. How is it that, in a free and democratic country, the government can come in, declare a doctor to be guilty, and take away his license, office records, etc., without giving him a fair chance to answer questions, to clear up any misunderstandings, and to argue in his defense before any decisions have been made?
Again, thank you for bringing attention to his case.
In “Moldy Justice,” Harvey Silverglate and Jan Wolfe described a 1914 Massachusetts statute as “prohibiting couples from getting married in Massachusetts if they are not residents of the Commonwealth.” In fact, the statute actually prohibits the issuing of marriage licenses to out-of-state residents who can not legally marry in their home state.