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Letters to Editor

DUI

Dear Editor:

Raising the debt limit to solve the budget crisis is like raising the blood alcohol limit to solve the drunk driving problem!

Washington has been DUI for a long time. Gonna give ‘em more booze?

Sincerely,

Duane C. Branson

Sign

Dear Editor:

So the Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center thinks travelers coming from the west can’t find them and they need to open a second office by City Market.

Instead of spending this kind of money, did anyone consider installing a highway sign on the west side, saying, “Six miles to Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center in historic downtown Pagosa Springs.”

Phyl Daleske

Safety

Dear Editor:

At almost any time of day or evening, one may observe people walking, running or riding a cycle along Pinon Causeway. It is a heavily traveled road by many, including fast moving cars and trucks.

Several days ago, I observed a family on bikes riding to the side of the road as far as the gravel drop of grade would allow. Two cars patiently followed along, but were unable to pass due to on coming traffic. A fast moving red truck hauling an empty trailer carelessly passed the group of cars and bikers. A child was very close to being hit as the driver of the truck continued on much faster than the speed limit allows.

Problems are many along this stretch of road deemed as one of the busiest in the county. We have a speed limit which is not enforced. There is a yield sign that is rarely obeyed due to both enforcement and confusion. It is placed very high and the traffic is traveling so fast on the curve that most either ignore it or do not see it. Someone who depends on vehicles to stop is going to get rammed and perhaps killed. My family crosses this intersection daily, but I fear for others not aware of this situation.

I understand that at some point the county and PLPOA were to have a walking path on this section of road but ran out of funds. I would like to challenge them to reconsider a plan to perhaps save someone’s life in the future. This is the only road linking a whole section of Pagosa Lakes to the main shopping and recreational area. Bicycles are rented in the nearby area to encourage tourists to travel this unsafe area and it would make sense to complete this section to make it family friendly.

At the very least, I would hope that some patrol and ticketing would help make people aware of the need to use this road, not as a raceway but a neighborhood access road.

Respectfully,

Patricia Francis

Social Security

Dear Editor:

I see from the website that, in addition to writing “Food for Thought,” you are also the managing editor for The SUN. I read your last column with interest and agreed with your pronouncements on the senseless celebration of guttony which seems to have fascinated many TV viewers. I also agree with your assessment of the poor quality of TV and other entertainment in general. The dumbing down of the American public starts in our schools which we refuse to fund adequately, sending our children to over-crowded classrooms taught by exhausted and sometimes underqualified teachers. It is true that our children have been educated to the lowest common denominator, not knowing what excellence really is. I can agree with you on all your criticisms of the lowering of our values and our acceptance of mediocrity. I also agree that greed has ruined our vision, and that the media have been more than cooperative in elevating the lavish and wasteful lifestyles of the wealthy to the lofty altars of worship and adoration they receive from all those below who have no hope of obtaining anything close to what those people possess. I can agree with all of this, but I do not and cannot agree with your hostile and unfair references to older, retired people as “withered and selfish” leeches who are draining the youth of today of their meager earnings! Let me just inform you that my husband paid into Social Security over 40 years, then died suddenly without ever collecting a penny! I worked and contributed to Social Security for 30 years. Because I am a widow, I receive a portion of my husband’s SS, but not a penny of my own! Retirees are not wasteful, greedy, or unconcerned about others. Many of them are your community volunteers; they are your parents; they are your grandparents. And, if they are not living with you, it’s because they are frugal enough to be able to make it on their own with the fixed income they receive from the Social Security insurance into which they paid for a good portion of their lives. If they are fortunate, they may also have a supplemental pension into which they paid during their working years. From where does your hostility come? The Social Security system would be having no financial problems if our government had not “borrowed” from it to pay for expenses for which it was never intended. Don’t blame seniors and retirees for the country’s problems. We are the ones who worked to make the country strong. It is those coming after us who have dropped the ball by making money and material goods their gods, not participating in elections, taking no interest in politics, and allowing the worst examples of leadership to take control while they go to the NASCAR races. If you asked any young person on the street to name one Supreme Court justice, they probably couldn’t do it. Ask one of them to name the Secretary of State. Bet they can’t. Instead of demonizing seniors and retirees, you should be looking for ways to motivate the young to take their country back from the greed and selfishness of Wall Street that has engulfed it.

Sincerely,

Joy Losee

Rationality

Dear Editor:

Hopefully, by the time this letter is published, at least a few Republicans will have realized that the Tea Party represents only a minority of Americans and will have compromised on a rational solution to the debt ceiling crisis. However, even if the crisis has been resolved, the past few weeks represents one of the most disgraceful and depressing chapters in our political history, at least that I have seen on my 68 years on earth. A small group of naive and untested House Republicans placed narrow and partisan ideology above our national welfare, driving all sense of reason from the dialogue. My way or the highway is not the American way of governance! Sadly, this parochialism drove even potentially reasonable Republicans toward the abyss of financial collapse out of sheer political panic.

One question I have is why the Tea Party is so fiercely opposed to any revenue increases, even on billionaires? Could it possibly be because much of the funding for organizations that promote Tea Party philosophies comes from billionaires — the Koch Brothers, the Scaifes, Steve Forbes, the Waltons, the Coors, the Mellons, and many others, as well as Big Oil, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other large corporate interests? I am certainly not saying that the Tea Party movement doesn’t also get contributions for average Americans. But, with such mega-bucks support from moneyed interests, I am skeptical that this would not influence the movement toward the self-interest of the wealthy (and often, paradoxically, against the real self-interest of the average Tea Partier). And what do Tea Partiers expect that these billionaires will do when their taxes are cut? Invest in job creating businesses here in the U.S.? History does not support that fantasy! Rather, the last time around, they invested in risky hedge funds, precious metals, offshore tax havens, Indian and Chinese conglomerates, and corporate jets. None of this creates jobs (or at least not here). Ironically, it is the average American who actually spends whatever money he or she may make. That’s where the jobs will be created.

I’d like to close by looking at that icon of Conservatives, Ronald Reagan. Reagan signed some sort of tax increase every year from 1981 to 1987. Included among these was the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, which was the largest peacetime tax increase in history. So, I guess even an icon can compromise! Of course, Reagan would have no chance of being elected as a Republican today. Nor, for that matter, would Eisenhower, Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and probably even George W. Bush — way too moderate and impure of doctrine for the Tea Party. I can recall the Republican Party of Nelson Rockefeller, Henry Cabot Lodge, Chuck Percy, Ed Brooke, Charles McC. Mathias, Richard Thornburg, Lowell Weicker — my mother’s Republican Party. Those conservative, yet wise and realistic Republicans have been branded with a cynical name today — RINOs — Republicans in Name Only. Heck, even Barry Goldwater was moderate compared to this current crop of ideologues. And those other Republican idols, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt? Are you kidding?

John Porco

Slugs

Dear Editor:

So far, government spending is way up over last year, although there may have been some spending cuts to a few small programs. Republicans have a majority in the house and yet the government still hasn’t reined in the spending? Conservatives are not satisfied with the meager cuts and are upset with the strong resistance made by Democrats whenever any cuts are even suggested. Strong feelings of dissatisfaction are playing out in the political scene.

I see it this way … if I was offered the choice between a slug sandwich (the Democrats position) and a Subway $5 foot long (the Republican position), I would definitely go the foot long; and remember ... size does matter!

However, a “compromise” kinda sounds like a $5 foot long full of slugs. I find that really hard ta swallow. Especially since Obama hasn’t seen to ensure that a budget was passed in over 800 days!

Looks like the Democrats are lovin the fact that their EPA-led takeover of the American energy sector emerged unscathed after serious threat. By the time Obama’s done he will have taken over auto, health care, energy, Internet, and state control of land. End result: Socialist States of America.

We must never give up, nor ever give in! According to the Constitution, the government cannot govern without “the consent of the governed.” They do not have my consent. And I have no intention to storm DC to object, using my Second Amendment rights. But it would not be a good idea to try to come on my turf and attempt ta dictate to me. Just leave me alone; I’ll fend for myself.

The concept of our right to be left alone dates back to a 1928 Supreme Court wiretapping decision, Olmstead vs. the United States, in which Supreme Court Justice Brandeis (hardly a conservative) said, “The protection guaranteed by the amendments of the Constitution is much broader in scope. The makers of our Constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred as against the government the right to be left alone ... the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized man.” In short, we are tired of government creeping, crawling and slithering into our private lives; out with the “progressives” (Socialists), and in with the Constitutional Conservatives!

An observation: Ya know, and I could be wrong, but it’s readily apparent ta me that Obama is losing or has lost his former “cool” demeanor. Do ya think he’s read the handwriting on the wall and realizes he is losing his battle to bankrupt America? Let us hope he does not burn down the Reichstag as Hitler did or caused to be done on February 27, 1933, the pivotal event in the Establishment of Nazi Germany.

Jim Sawicki

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