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Letters to Editor

Pink slime

Dear Editor:

Again the press is in overdrive with hype and innuendo. Pink slime is a myth and was drummed up to cause hysteria with the many uninformed consumers out there.

The media has been spreading a lot of myths about what “pink slime” is. The image spreading on the Internet is actually mechanically separated chicken, not beef. Read more about the top 7 myths of pink slime on the website below. Please educate yourself and take all hype with a grain of salt. Please visit this website to find out the true science-based facts about beef production — This website was just launched by one of the companies who makes LFTB, Beef Products, Inc. (BPI).

Patti Buck


Fatal flaw

Dear Editor:

In the late ’60s I voted for Jimmy Carter. I was an engineer; logical, mathematical mind. I, like most in pursuit of the American Dream, was totally focused on the success of my employer; “ask not what your employer can do for you, ask what you can do for your employer.” A work ethic guaranteed to succeed. Politics were not on my agenda.

When Clinton became president, I discovered that we, “the most prosperous nation in the world,” were in debt. I assumed it was a few million dollars. This was long before Google and the Internet search engines; and before the congressional records, budgets, deficits, debts, and even the Constitution was readily available. All I could find was politically biased half-truths which are dangerously misleading. I’m an Independent. The books and records are now my source of information; if it’s a “.gov” site, it’s probably official raw data “for the record.” When I finally discovered that the debt Clinton (and Congress) inherited was $4.188 trillion, I was shocked. I knew the value of a trillion. In the last few months, I’ve polled 46 educated persons, “how many million in a trillion?” I received five correct responses, seven wrong answers, and the rest “I don’t know.” An e-mail recently informed me that 15 trillion (our debt is over $15 trillion) grains of sugar would require a swimming pool to contain it; I thought “preposterous,” so I made a measurement and calculation. The pool would be 5’ deep, 30’ wide, and 154’ long.

By the way, I’ve heard several liberals say Clinton left Bush a surplus. Bush inherited a debt of $5.727 trillion from Clinton, so Clinton incurred deficits totaling $1.539 trillion over his eight years. Gingrich (who was House Speaker four years in the Clinton administration and had the constitutionally-defined primary responsibility for the budget) claims four balanced budgets. I believe that, but Washington rarely adheres to any budget.

To complicate the issue, most Americans and media persons don’t know the difference between “debt” and “deficit.” Last November, I read a newspaper front page bold font heading “Debt Reduction Super Committee Stalled.” People read that and think Washington is going to reduce our national debt. There was no “Debt Reduction Super Committee,” it was a “Deficit Reduction Super Committee” and any reduction in the deficit raises the debt.

The national debt ceiling has been raised 63 consecutive times over the last 48 years. When I asked myself how we could be $15,535,929,855,785 (the debt as I write) in debt, my conclusion is that the founders put a Fatal Flaw in the Constitution when they gave Congress the authority to, “borrow Money on the credit of the United States.” When the Democrats want to spend, and the Republicans refuse to raise taxes, they “compromise” and agree to borrow the money. No arguing or deadlock. Both parties smile and get their wishes and our grandchildren will some day wonder where we were when this was going on.

Harris Bynum


Dear Editor:

We all have a choice with Wal-Mart coming to town. We can view this as a problem or an opportunity.

Several years ago, I tried to pull a permit for a man who had just built a beautiful new home. I wasn’t able to get the permit, so I called the man up and told him.

He laughed, and said, “A problem is simply an opportunity that hasn’t been found.”

A week or so later he called me up and he had gotten the permit. When I went to his home to meet him and sign the contract for the work, holding up his pen before he signed, he looked at me intently and asked, “Joel, are you going to make a profit on this job?”

Wow! I’d never been asked that question before.

I replied, “I certainly expect to.”

He responded by telling me that he wanted anyone who worked for him to make a profit. I was shocked. I thought a lot about that for the next couple of months. Finally I sat down and wrote him an e-mail and asked him where his business principals originated from. A few days later, he sent me back a two page e-mail that told about his business and how the Karras Negotiating School of the Win Win philosophy had greatly influenced him.

I couldn’t afford to go to the seminars, but I bought the book and read it. Since then, I’ve bought numerous other books about business and read them.

In the last four horrible economic years, our business has almost doubled in gross sales each year. Has it been easy? No. Do we still struggle? Yes. We’re preparing for the coming good years with additional equipment, personnel and technology.

The overarching surprising message from these books is that companies are much more profitable if they first have a passion to be the best in whatever they do and develop that culture within the company. The companies that put profits first never made as much profit as the companies that were passionate about what they did.

When I think about walking into Goodman’s downtown, I realize Wal-Mart will never touch the service and inventory that Goodman’s has. I think of Lucero Tire. If Wal-Mart sells tires, they won’t able to take our business when Bernie flat out takes care of us.

In our little business, we have to compete against Home Depot. No problem. We know our business. We have formed strong relationships with good competitors in Durango and Cortez where we support each other with emergency materials, referrals, advice and encouragement. Confidence and success comes from being the best at what we do.

We don’t have a problem with Wal-Mart coming to town ... we have an opportunity. If I had a variety store, I would contact other variety stores in other towns where Wal-Mart has come in, and find out what they did to be successful. I believe business owners in Pagosa can be more successful, can be more profitable, can hone their marketing skills to provide those of us in our town with even better materials, service and cost. Wa-wa is not the American way. Educating ourselves, having the right attitude, asking God for guidance, and rolling up our sleeves and being smarter and better is.

Joel Hellwege


Dear Editor:

I was recently at the Alpenhaus ski center and noticed a survey on the counter. It simply asked their customers, “Are you for, against, or neutral about Wal-Mart coming to Pagosa Springs?”

I was amazed to see six pages with only one vote in favor and one neutral. People in Pagosa may be divided on this issue, but clearly those who come here to recreate and spend their hard-earned money to vacation here are not. People come here for a unique mountain town experience with incredible recreation and beauty. Has anyone considered the “leakage” that would happen if we lose the tourist base that is essential to our community? We need to creatively capitalize on what makes Pagosa so special, not turn it into what every other small town in America has become.

Beth O’Dowd

Cavern bat

Dear Editor:

Many of the P-Town coffee shop warriors frequently lament, “If only I knew then …” — especially when it comes to political judgment. Over time, with experience and a few hard knocks in life, they stopped falling for the liberal claptrap. Lefty slogans lost all appeal once these folks gained the wisdom that comes from living, from having feet planted in reality and being able to see what was there.

So, let’s git to the heart of the matter. First, I would suggest that the natural state of man, the natural yearning of man is liberty. But I would also suggest the natural state of government over time is tyranny. That’s exactly why they come in conflict, and exactly why the Framers wrote the document that they wrote, and why it’s constantly under attack by these utopian statists. Because utopianism, the promises of these grand schemes, these ambitious programs, these fantasies, these abstractions pushed by fanatics and masterminds, whether they be politicians or journalists or professors, almost like a pseudo-religion, are destructive to the individual.

The target is individual free will; the target is individual sovereignty, yet they are sold as promoting humanity. There are a lot of people who get sucked into this. People, for instance, who are malcontents, who are unhappy with their lives, and who blame it on society. You’ve seen it with this Occupy Wall Street crowd, and there have been others before them, and there will be others after them. They don’t take personal responsibility; they blame it on the system. Others are blissfully walking through life, going to and from their job, and don’t realize this storm of utopian tyranny swirling around them that threatens them. Yet others benefit either through power or financially, by a centralized system of government, more so than in an actual Constitutional republic.

And the “masterminds” as I call them, like Obama in the State of the Union speech, tell us which people are good, which people are bad, which company should be destroyed, which company should be subsidized, and so forth. These masterminds don’t know anything. In fact, they don’t know what they don’t know — and besides, they reject knowledge, while they claim to embrace it. They reject reason, while they claim to embrace it.

The question I have, and what I’m concerned about, is whether there are enough of us left who believe in the American spirit, who believe in individual sovereignty? Or have too many of us already surrendered to the entitlement state, to the propaganda, to the coercion? Have too many of us been conquered by it? Has the American psychology been so completely warped that we can’t get it back? The 2012 November election results will give us a good idea and I think we’ll learn a lesson. Here’s the lesson: unless you embrace conservatism — the true source of yer strength — you will lose.

Maybe the “troglodyte” in Arboles, Mr. Dungan, will enter the fray and properly frame it — or refute it. I’ll perk up his ancient “quills” and return ‘em via Stone Age cavern bat.

Jim Sawicki

Cluster boxes

Dear Editor:

Aspen Springs Metro board is planning to add additional cluster boxes. If you are interested in obtaining a box, call Lisa at 731-2758. Please respond by April 15 so that an accurate number of boxes can be ordered.

Lisa Maranz


Dear Editor:

I recently drove Piedra Road north from U.S. 160. I noted, as I often do, that the telephone/cable TV facility located about half a mile north of 160 continues to become more of an eyesore as the years pass.

The building on the property is obscured by a fence. However, the yard surrounding the fenced building is littered with assorted construction equipment and materials and is very unsightly.

The county website identifies the owner of the property as Wyndham Resorts. A truck on the property displays the name USA Network.

My question is, why hasn’t the county used its negotiating powers to entice the property owner or the lessee of the lot to extend the existing fence to encompass the entire property and, perhaps, put a sliding gate across the entrance? Certainly one of the entities mentioned above occasionally comes to the county for permission for “this and that.”

Bob Winners

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