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Letters to Editor

Glass houses

Dear Editor:

Jim Sawicki continues to bemuse me with his latest opinion piece of “Me smart- you stupid.” (Re: “Stupid people” letter of 10/15/09.)

Jim suggests a government intent on moving us to socialism, but offers no examples. He raises the specter of a “shadow of doom over America” without any substance to consider. He characterizes the modern politician as a “knave with a smooth voice” as though all politicians have evil intent.

The efforts to reform our health care systems and stimulate our economy were present in the prior administration and continue to be debated in an effort to fulfill government’s responsibility to “promote the General Welfare” of our citizens. To call a politician “knave” for communicating effectively is just as inappropriate now as when Ronald Reagan was president.

Throughout our history we have argued the relative benefits of having less regulation, thereby allowing business free rein to prosper under our capitalistic philosophy versus having more regulation to protect broad groups of citizens at risk for exploitation. Placing reasonable restraints on business activity is not socialism as long as government does not own or administer the means of production and distribution of goods within our country.

Protecting citizens from corporate misconduct is an appropriate governmental function, and does not create a welfare state as long as the individual citizen remains responsible for his own well being. Where, Jim, do you see the “welfare state” in the pending healthcare legislation? Impugning people who seek reasonable protections is simply mean spirited.

Our nation has been well served when political issues were hotly debated ending in legislation that represented some compromise between opposing views. The fear mongering and unsubstantiated castigations Jim offers are not enlightened, helpful or productive.

I wish Jim no ill will. He is a citizen entitled to express opinions no matter how repugnant. Still, Jim periodically chooses to wrap himself in the flag of patriotism, and therefore I call him forth to honor his oath to defend and support our country by offering specific ideas or concerns for us to consider.

Jim asks how Bob Dungan would interpret his commentary.

I don’t know Bob, but it would be hard to see how any interpretation could be derived given that Jim’s letter said nothing, offered nothing, substantiated nothing, nor concluded anything of substance to interpret.

Stupid people, Jim? Perhaps before writing again you might consider “People who live in glass houses should not throw stones” or “Stupid is as stupid does.”

I beseech you to discontinue your use of our local paper to spread fear and gloom for no purpose other than your own self aggrandizement. You can do better, and you should to properly honor the oath you took many years ago.

Jay Davison

Shop local

Dear Editor:

I had an experience with the local branch of a national bank that I feel I need to pass on in order to let people know the importance of shopping locally. The names in my correspondence with the bank have been changed to avoid the possible unpleasantries of a libel suit.

Dear Ms. Stibble:

My letter addressed to John Stump was actually a copy of the original letter sent to Mary Verde, president of the local branch of your bank in Pagosa Springs. Why you haven’t talked to Ms. Verde is an illustration of the real question that begs an answer from you; do you even care about my complaint?

The facts are this: I had a payment due on my L.O.C. that has always been deducted from my checking account, automatically. I admit to forgetting to deposit enough money in my account to cover the payment. I simply forgot. No excuse there. I did deposit $1,161.00 to the account, still not remembering that my payment had been due the day before. Nonetheless, to cut to the chase, your bank bounced nine of my check card purchases during a 24 hour or less period for a total of $305.

Let me preface this with the fact that we live in a small tourist and construction driven economy that is fairly moribund, i.e., dead in the water. I am a carpenter, and to lose this kind of money over a mistake, after being a customer of the bank for so many years, not to mention the many thousands of dollars in interest that I have paid to your bank was, succinctly, offensive.

I went to the bank to request that all the fees be rescinded. I talked to “corporate” and they withdrew three full fees and $20 of the fourth fee. Why $20 and not the whole thing? Only you know why. I then left a message for Ms. Verde asking that the other fees be erased and left my cell phone number that contained my voicemail greeting. A greeting that was somewhat risqué but humorous (to most people I know. Maybe I run with the wrong pack, who knows?) Ms. Verde took serious umbrage with the message and told me so, using the professional vigor formerly reserved for the door to the bank, back when they pitched no doc lines of credit and credit cards, like a used car dealership. The fact is she would only rescind two of the charges, in particular because of my greeting, and her assertion, (through another employee), that the three remaining fees would come out of the “bank’s budget” (read: $105 from my account from the day before). I let her know that a few lines in a voicemail greeting using somewhat vulgar lingua franca were far less offensive than the bank’s refusal to rescind my fees. And that “the bank’s budget” is a lie. It’s my money. That’s it, in a nutshell.

Your bank has come to represent just another national bank with a somewhat creepy odor. I’m not impressed with the bank locally and when stuff like this happens it makes me wonder about the solvency of the business in general. If I had five grand, I’d bet against it — hence my decision to bank locally from now on. FYI, all the local banks tell me this type of thievery is not their style.


Joseph Gilbert

Up With People


There are those who have been asking, “How’s Naquita?” Well, as of Oct. 20, she had arrived with Up With People in Vanersborg, Sweden. She will be in Cottbus, Germany, on Oct. 24. and in Poland on Oct. 30. She will be in The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden (again) and Finland before the end of the tour on Dec. 8. The schedule is moving fast.

I can’t believe she has been gone three months. She enjoyed six weeks in Mexico and sang a solo part en Espanol for the show in Mexico City. There were over 2,000 people present. She is working hard and 12 hour per day schedules have put her under the weather a couple times. Please continue to pray for her safety and well being. We are so very proud of her. She is experiencing things of which some of us only dream.

I’m continuing to raise money for Naquita’s Up With People experience. Thanks to all for the constant support and encouragement you give our family. You know who you are — Wednesday Jazz, you guys are a blessing to me.

On Oct. 31 at the Parish Hall on Lewis Street I am planning a fund-raising dinner of green chili chicken lasagna, calabasitas, salad, dessert and drink. The cost is $12 per adult and $6 per child. Costume up and enter in drawings for some great door prizes. I am cooking for 100 people, first-come, first-served. Hopefully you can help us run out. Doors open at 5 p.m., see you there.

If you are unable to support this Halloween Dinner, but would still like to donate, you would be greatly appreciated. You may send donations to:

June Marquez, PO Box 2388, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.

You can keep up with Naquita’s experiences on Facebook under Naquita Rae Rivas; she would love to hear from you.

Thanks once again Pagosans; you are making dreams come true.

June Marquez

Beautiful people

Dear Editor:

My husband and I discovered beautiful Pagosa Springs five years ago and have been vacationing there ever since with our two boys. We currently live in Houston, Texas. We were fortunate enough to purchase our second home in Pagosa this past July. (I know, I know … more Texans! I’m sorry, but if you lived in a concrete city the mountains would be calling you too!)

I was so proud when my parents decided to visit our new home for the first time in September. On the second day of their trip my father had a massive heart attack while driving just outside of town. My mother took the wheel and immediately drove to Pagosa Mountain Hospital while Dad chewed two aspirins. The wonderful staff at PMH worked on Dad before they rushed him by ambulance to Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango. He went directly into surgery and received two stints to repair the blockage in two of his main arteries. Dad spent four days at Mercy and four more days at our Pagosa house before he was able to fly back home to Texas.

Dad took the most beautiful pictures on his trip. They were of the nurses and doctors that took such beautiful care of him. My parents were shown incredible kindness by our new neighbor Bobby Glenn and by the hospital staff member that ran into my parents at the grocery store. The ladies at the Pagosa Visitor’s Center helped Mom make new fight arrangements. I know that these may seem like ordinary acts to many of you, but all of these beautiful people made my parents “vacation” extraordinary.

Thank you to my second home community. Know that you are in good hands with Pagosa Mountain Hospital and Mercy Regional Medical Center nearby. Because of you all (and two aspirins) I will be wishing my Dad a happy 71st birthday on Oct. 29.

Most fondly,

Jim Cellner’s daughter

Kandi Meisinger

Words matter

Dear Editor:

My friend and mentor, a Cree Medicine man, once said that words are magic. The very idea that by making sounds or using symbols such as the written word to paint pictures in the minds of others is magic. And that we get to choose whether we practice white magic or black magic, whether the pictures we paint are true or false.

Words matter because they convey values so it’s important that we understand what words mean. Socialism is a word being tossed around a lot in regard to health care, insurance and finance reform efforts and those tossing it around do so in a negative way designed to to create fear and prevent reform from taking place. Socialism is a theory of economics characterized by equal access to resources for all individuals with a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended.

Some people are using the word “fascism” in the same way and at the same time that they use “socialism,” but they are not the same. Fascism is a system where a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election. According to Benito Mussolini, one of the inventors of fascism, it should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

Democracy is a system of government where the people govern and in the U.S. it’s through elected representatives who should be insuring that the will of the people prevails.

What we have today is a form of fascism because Wall Street, insurance companies, big banks and other international corporate interests control both major political parties.

Mussolini, the WW II dictator, also said” Democracy is beautiful in theory; in practice it is a fallacy.”

Was he right?

Abe WalkingBear Sanchez

Canon City, Colo.

America haters

Dear Editor:

Recent SUN letter writers who defended Obama’s health plan and called Republicans America haters are invited seriously to consider the following facts.

Democratic leaders were so totally bewildered by the millions of opponents who attended tea parties, rallies and marches that they could respond only with vilification. Then, they relegated further Senate action on health bills to behind closed doors, monitored by the White House, and negated Internet efforts to publish the contents so we could not read them. Obama promised clarity, but delivered opacity. Those seeking moral and spiritual guidance on the issue are referred to the National Conference of Catholic Bishops who strongly oppose the bill just approved in committee.

Most of the Czars appointed by Obama are avowed or purported Marxists determined with Obama to change our country. Republicans, who really love the Christian values of our founders and the Constitution, managed to oust the Green Czar, an admitted Communist, are working on Jennings, the “Safe School” Czar, to resign after intending to impose a homosexual agenda on all public schools, and next will undoubtedly target the Communications Czar, Anita Dunn, who on a televised show told school children that her main inspiration is Mao Tse Tung, who massacred 65,000,000 people and urged suicide as a means of reducing China’s population. One of Obama’s chief advisors appeared on a Muslim TV channel run by a terrorist to support Islamic rule. Aren’t these the real America haters?

The liberal press, which strongly promoted Obama’s candidacy, now excoriates him for his indecisiveness and lack of leadership. His approval rating is plummeting, especially on foreign policy, and, according to a Gallup popularity poll, Hillary Clinton now scores higher than Obama.

An economy AT&T/Yahoo Internet poll (ongoing), stating that Obama’s progress with the battered economy is praised and criticized, asked how well his efforts measured with respondents. As of Monday, Oct. 19, 3,716,100 responded:

• Extremely well, right direction — 9 percent.

• Fairly well, long way to go — 9 percent.

• Not well, plans hurting more than helping — 80 percent.

• Not sure/no opinion — 2 percent.

Ben Stein, a Jew, in a statement to CBS Sunday Morning bemoaned the fact that we should worship celebrities, but not God, encouraged the restoration of Christmas manger scenes to public places, and quoted Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne, who was interviewed by the Early Show’s Jane Clayson, who asked her how could God let something like hurricane Katrina happen: “I believe God is deeply saddened … but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools … government … and lives. And being the gentleman that He is, He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

We all need to beg God not to leave us alone, but to guide our country and us to elect leaders who will restore our country to what our founding fathers meant it to be.

Eugene Witkowski