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Letters to the Editor


Dear Editor:

When asked if President Obama was helping to reduce racism, Bob Dylan said, “I don’t have any opinion on that. You have to change your heart if you want to change.”

But how do you change the collective heart when some brains seem so far from reality. Forty-nine percent of Republicans in North Carolina when asked whether Romney or Obama deserves the most credit for bin Laden’s death said the question was too complex.

Really? Come on, does mankind deserve the right to self govern when so many prove time again they completely lack logic, can’t divorce themselves from their tapes and are plainly fodder for Carl Rove’s machinations?

So, why do we do and say things for the “good” of whatever? I’ll bet you have also wondered why so many political and religious groups spend so much time, effort and propaganda abusing and suppressing women. Maybe a better question is why do women support them (Stockholm syndrome)? Well, Naomi Wolf may have stumbled on the answer. Beyond the global unconscious understanding of women that their “real” role is maintaining the species (bit of humor here) is the chemical reaction (pleasuring and empowering) within a woman when she believes she controls the ability to have pleasurable sex. Could it be their reproductive organs are hardwired to the brain? Oops, can’t have that. What to do? Quick, let’s make up some nonsense and call it religious morality. An even stranger reality is women, not men, are the primary teacher of mores, traditions, religion, cultural/sexual roles, etc.

It’s an absolute wonder mankind has got this far from the tree and cave. Not to worry, we’re only here 6,000 years.

Dave Blake

Red herring

Dear Editor:

Lately, it frustrates me greatly that so many people (voters) are unable to grasp the Big Picture, and, instead, dwell upon the relatively trivial items in the overall political and strategic situation of our country’s position in the world.

For example, we fall for invented worries about food stamps, “The War on Women,” spearheaded by Miss Sandra Fluke, a keynote speaker at the Democrat Convention, whose apparent promiscuity was costing her so much that she needed taxpayer assistance to pay for her contraceptives. (One would have thought that she was Joan of Arc.) And, of course, the Republicans’ love of dirty water and air, global warming and the evil Bain Capital (into which 12 states have placed their pension funds, along with 10 universities, including M.I.T., Cornell and Notre Dame, to the tune at least $424.6 million dollars). California State Teachers’ Retirement System spokesman Ricardo Duran wrote in the Aug. 12, Boston Globe, that they have pumped some $1.25 billion into Bain. (Do your own research.)

All of these are simply red herrings to keep the voters from seeing the larger problems we face.

I recently saw the movie “2016: Obama’s America.” It contained a ton of information. (I had the irrational urge to “pause” it, turn on the theater lights and take notes.) In a nutshell, here’s my summary of it:

Obama (the one occupying the White House) has a huge “Anti-Colonial” chip on his shoulder, passed to him by his father and nurtured by his mother, after his father abandoned them, and other named socialists and communists, at whose knees he was instructed.

He sees the white, European cultures who colonized Africa, Indonesia, India and other third world countries, as having stolen their natural resources and used them to increase their own wealth and technologies. Obama (the younger), therefore, intends to strip the wealthy in this country, give it back to the poor, from whom the wealthy stole it from in the first place, and further strip the wealth from the U.S., who he sees as guilty by association. The movie presents statistics on how he has progressed in that area. He intends to reduce the U.S. to a status equal to that of a third world country. The movie goes on to forecast that, by 2016, the U.S. national debt, under Obama, will reach 20 trillion dollars, at which point we will topple over the edge into economic oblivion. His mission, accomplished.

At that point, none of those phony, trivial things will have any importance or meaning for you at the grocery store: There will be nothing on the shelves, and you won’t have anything to buy it with, even if there was.

Additionally, take a look at a world map. Note the size of the region going up in flames in the Middle East. Obama’s reaction to it is Carteresque.

Duane Branson


Dear Editor:

Pagosa First claims a victory for the community on Wal-Mart. While the dust has still not settled, pending an appeal to town council, Pagosa First has delayed the process long enough to get meaningful concessions from Wal-Mart for our community — in spite of the town and county governments trying to take shortcuts to push this through.

The Wal-Mart we are possibly getting is vastly superior to the base-model Wal-Mart that the town government was ready to accept. Wal-Mart has offered other design concessions like better landscaping, better screening, better lighting, and it appears a much-improved drainage plan to ensure that parking lot runoff is cleaned up before draining into the wetlands and Pinon Lake.

With Pagosa First providing a conduit through which the people can focus and amplify our voice, the Wal-Mart we will get is far better (although still not ideal) than it would have otherwise been.

Rest assured, Pagosa First will continue to advocate that Wal-Mart stay on track to become a truly responsive and responsible corporate “citizen,” a good neighbor, by asking that they move forward on a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) immediately. Durango has one, so why can’t Pagosa Springs? This CBA, at a minimum, should address the eventuality of a dark store should Wal-Mart not find small Pagosa Springs financially viable, or if they choose to close this store and build a bigger one elsewhere around the community (like they did in Cortez). It seems that the town should have learned by painful experience that this is a hugely important item to address. We should also ask for contributions to the Town-to-Lakes Trail, at least from town to Wal-Mart for safe bike and pedestrian access. We should demand they adhere to the dark skies ordinance with lights out at 10 p.m. And, let’s get all of their promises (i.e. fertilizers and pesticides will not be stored outside) in writing through the CBA.

Pagosa First has done the job that the town and county governments should have been doing before they invited Wal-Mart into Pagosa Country.

Susi Cochran


Dear Editor:

Seventeen years ago, Dan Appenzeller had the idea to have a folk festival in Pagosa. Over the years, he, Crista Munro and many volunteers have transformed Reservoir Hill into a unique musical venue. This secluded hideaway is surrounded by forest and provides camping areas for festival goers, beautiful views and some of today’s best folk music. This family-like affair just drew around 3,800 people per day, many of them children.

Why do visitors come to Pagosa on vacation or just drive through and decide to buy property? I have met many, including myself. Probably because of what it has to offer that is unique and beautiful. If visitors wanted carnivals, they probably would not choose Pagosa. I suspect carnival rides are necessary when you have nothing else to offer.

Phyl Daleske


Dear Editor:

Our sympathies are with the families of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and the other three Americans who lost their lives during last week’s attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.

At such a grave moment, Mitt Romney could have helped console and unite a nation in grief, as politicians of both parties did after the 9-11 attacks. Instead, he launched a premature and entirely false attack on the president, accusing him of “sympathizing” with the murderers and apologizing for American values. Romney’s comments were based on a statement the president never made. He issued his hasty condemnation of the president before the deaths of our diplomats had even been announced and broke with a tradition of unity at the time of national tragedies. There has been bipartisan criticism of Romney’s hasty judgment and politicization of this tragic event.

Of course, this heated rhetoric from the Republicans is nothing new. They do not believe in measured diplomacy as a way to solve international problems. Some are even criticizing our role in the Arab Spring that toppled a number of cruel despots, because these despots oppressed Islamic militants, as well as all the rest of their citizens. I guess democracy around the world is not a Republican value.

Our task now is to consider carefully which of our candidates has shown the studied temperament to be our commander in chief. I personally applaud President Obama’s rejection of the denigration of all religious beliefs and his statement that “we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.”

What other conclusion could there be?

Becky Herman

Fair or flat

Dear Editor:

This country is broke. How long before the total failure of the economy?

It is more obvious every day that a new approach is needed. The economy needs a stimulus that works, instead of throwing tax dollars at wasteful efforts.

Two solutions have been proposed: the fair tax and the flat tax.

The fair tax would give every employee and business in this country their full paycheck and completely do away with the present income tax system by replacing it with a consumption tax. Think what a stimulus this would be.

The flat tax would not do away with the income tax. Federal taxes would continue to be deducted from every paycheck.

Now I ask, which one would be an effective stimulus for the economy?

Roy T. Newsom

Granbury, Texas

The choice

Dear Editor:

I want to explain some of the reasons that I am supporting Sal Pace over Scott Tipton for the 3rd Congressional District. First, Tipton supported designation of Chimney Rock as a National Monument by President Obama under the president’s authority under the Antiquities Act. Good for him. This Act has been used dozens of times by both Democratic and Republican presidents, beginning with Republican Theodore Roosevelt. However, at the same time that he encouraged President Obama to declare Chimney Rock, which he knows is very popular in his district, Tipton co-sponsored legislation to take away that very same authority from the president. He is one of 12 co-sponsors of House Resolution 817, which makes the president’s power to declare national monuments under the Antiquities Act subject to approval by Congress. Congressman Tipton’s resolution would essentially repeal the current federal law that authorizes the U.S. president to designate, for example, the Chimney Rock site a National Monument without getting Congressional approval for that declaration, certainly a political uncertainty. So, Chimney Rock is fine because it could help Tipton get reelected, but no other area of the nation should get that benefit. Hypocrisy?

Second, I want to highlight Tipton’s last-minute flip-flop on a bill to help with wildfire prevention. This happened at the very same time Colorado firefighters were battling several major blazes, including the High Park Fire outside Fort Collins. Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado offered a brief amendment to a Republican public lands bill to give the federal government authority to contract with states to remove beetle-killed trees. “We need to have that done to prevent forest fires in the future. It’s as simple as that,” Perlmutter said during debate in the House. The amendment failed on a near party-line vote. Coverage of the 15-minute vote on C-Span showed a handful of Republicans initially voting yes and then suddenly voting no. The Congressional Record showed that Tipton, along with Colorado Rep. Mike Coffman, switched their votes from yes to no with less than a minute left in the roll call. Tipton then derided the amendment as a cheap political stunt. However, this fails to explain why he was for it before he was against it. Are beetle killed trees not an issue in Colorado?

After this flip-flop, Sal Pace said, “There is possibly no issue more timely and crucial than the subject matter of forest fires and fire prevention, and it’s completely reasonable to ask my opponent why he turned his back on his Colorado values.”

As minority leader in the State House, Sal has a proven track record of efficient leadership to get things done for the people of Colorado. He is running for Congress because he is tired of the partisan gridlock in Washington and wants to see something being done for the people of western and southern Colorado. I urge a vote for Sal Pace for Congress.

John Porco


Dear Editor:

One of the people who rode the Tea Party bandwagon into office in 2010 was Scott Tipton. Over the past two years, the district that sent him to Congress has had the time to see just how these ultra-conservative, anti-government, elected officials conduct themselves in office and serve the needs of constitiuients.

The track record is not a good one. He has voted against job creation and for reduction in services. I will give Scott credit for spearheading an effort to enhance the ability of small hydro-electric projects to move forward, but at the same time, he voted against extending tax credits for other alternative energy like solar and wind, which has hurt start-ups in Colorado like Vestas. The most odd thing he did was try to get the authority of a president to designate monuments through the Antiquities Act reniged, while at the same time pledging support for the president to designate Chimney Rock as a national monument.

Colorado, as a state, defied much of the Tea Party agenda back in 2010 by electing a Democratic Senator and Democratic Governor, both of whom have served well in their capacities. More moderate Republicans were elected to the Colorado State Legislature, and as a result tough decisions were made in a bi-partisan way — thanks in part to the leadership of people like Sal Pace.

Now Sal wants to bring that same kind of openness to Congress. He wants to be able to work with colleagues to bring back the reputation Congress once had as a bi-partisan body where things got done. He really wants to work to end gridlock, while at the same time assuring constituients here in Colorado are served by Washington instead of the other way around. Sal Pace is a fair-minded leader this state needs to send to Congress, and as a result I support him.

Rodney B. Proffitt


Dear Editor:

Regarding Muriel Eason’s recent letter supporting the local business community, I’d like to say a big ditto!

Our local businesses truly are the lifeblood of our community, for the many reasons that Muriel outlined in her letter. Chief among them: a greater percentage of local payroll, double the local business-to-business procurement of goods and services, business profits staying in the community, and a greater amount of giving to local charities, among others.

The 3/50 Project ( provides some simple guidelines for supporting local businesses: 1) Think of three local business that you’d like to see stick around, 2) Go to each of those three businesses and buy $50 of products/services from them. 3) Repeat on a regular basis. It’s that simple. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. Compare that to only $43 returned when spent at a national chain.

Oh, one thing to bear in mind when you purchase items on the Internet: Zero dollars go to the local community. That’s right, zero, zip, nada. I try to remember this when I’m tempted to save a dollar or two buying something online, and instead support that local merchant. Plus, I often get the instant gratification of going home with the item instead of waiting a week or so for it to arrive.

Remember: When you support local businesses with your purchases, you truly are supporting our local community.

Kurt Raymond


Dear Editor:

I think it’s only just beginning to dawn on Obama, Axelrod and that crowd what’s happened to them. Till now, they’ve been lying to themselves and everybody else. They’ve created this false universe, a cocoon of alternate reality in which they live. They’re being forced out of that. Now the Republican ticket is systematically dismantling the ideas and policies of Obama’s record. The regime has no defense but lies and smears. They don’t have substance. They won’t give up on the Bain Capital nonsense or the Romney-kills-union-guy’s wife stuff. But it will look like the desperation it is.

We all know the liberal playbook. But now there is a conservative on the ticket, a bold, unapologetic, small-government conservative who knows how to deal with that playbook. There is now a ticket that knows how to answer the playbook ideologically.

Now is the time to communicate the conservative ideology, to communicate its principles. Instead of dividing up the electorate into demographic slices, you express your ideas to all. That’s how you compete for votes everywhere — minority, Hispanic, what have you.

I may be a Pollyanna, and my time may be past, but I still believe that a clear majority of people who live in this country want America to be what it was as founded. They want it to be made up of those first principles. They don’t want the obummer transformation.

Americans look around at what’s happening and feel frightened. They don’t recognize the landscape, littered with foreclosure signs and boarded up stores. They see unemployment figures and react with shock and disgust.

Unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states in August, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years and a reflection of weak hiring nationwide. This is not the America they grew up in. They don’t want another minute of this.

The task that Romney and Ryan have is a delicate one. Their challenge is to convince people that this is not part of some cyclical economic pattern, but is the result of bad ideas and bad principles held by Obama and the Democrats. Americans are where we are — hopelessly out of work, hopelessly in debt — because the ideas, beliefs, and so-called principles of Obama are anathema to the United States as founded. And, when properly explained, they are anathema to a majority of the American people.

Most voters do not want the Obama mistake to continue. This is it. The country is hanging in the balance. If Obama gets four more years, this is a ball game. We need solid leadership in Washington and the Oval Office — right now. We have the full implementation of Obamacare coming; we have Taxmageddon starting on Jan. 1. We have a million regulatory grenades about to go off in the guts of American businesses.

On Nov. 6, I hope I’ll see a Chick-Fil-A Day times 300 million, with Americans of every stripe marching to the polls with Mr. John Graham (who subscribes to The SUN) out in Tyler, Texas, and all his neighbors; ta throw Obama and his czar thugs out!

Jim Sawicki


Dear Editor:

The 13 September 2012 issue of The Pagosa Springs SUN carried my letter about Vice President Joe Biden’s assertion that while Osama bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive and well. The letter primarily focused on GM stock, which is currently selling around $21 a share; the fact that the share price will have to reach about $45 a share before stockholders can realize a profit from their investment.

There is new information on GM (which is widely referred to by many stockholders as “Government Motors,” considering the government bailout, which cost $50 billion). This information is sourced to what is called the “Bloomberg Report.” Bloomberg is a respected site for business and financial news.

According to this report, the Obama administration, in its continuing efforts to convince the American public that rescuing GM was the right thing to do and to show that the economy is getting better, used a very imaginative accounting method to inflate GM’s car sales for the month of June. It claimed sales were up 16 percent, the best increase since 2008. Wow! Look everybody, look how we are saving the auto industry, said Biden and Obama.

Unfortunately for Obama, Bloomberg, not known for its gullibility (and unlike a good portion of the American public), decided to look into this remarkable sales figure. And, surprise, surprise, it seems that the jump in sales figures were due primarily to a 79-percent increase in GM fleet sales to the U.S. government in June.

Therefore, as Bloomberg notes, “Our tax dollars are being used to pump up GM sales figures ahead of next month’s quarterly report so that our Dear Leader can point to ‘Government Motors’ as a huge success. The incestuous relationship between GM, the UAW and the Regime has never been more glaringly apparent.” A business analyst equated this ruse to setting up a lemonade stand for your kids. You buy them the lemons, sugar, cups and pitchers — and then buy most of the lemonade yourself.

Isn’t it pathetic that Obama and his corrupt minions have to resort to this sort of chicanery to make it appear they have accomplished something? It shows how desperate and shameless they have become. Don’t be fooled by them and throw the bums out in November.

Gary Stansbury


Dear Editor:

After attending the CDC meeting last week, I was concerned to hear the funding for the CDC was in jeopardy. Understandably, economics are tight all around, but funding the CDC is a critical component of moving this community forward and helping to tackle the high unemployment rate. Small business is the engine that creates jobs and small businesses need the help of the CDC. This is not something that can be outsourced to Durango or downsized. Businesses here in town use the CDC services for consultation on a variety of issues ranging from startup to marketing to finance.

What’s wonderful about the CDC and its board of directors is that they are readily accessible and are comprised of talented business people who are dedicated to helping any size or type of business achieve success. Valuable resources, largely unknown to many, are available and easily tapped via the CDC and its personnel and network. With the looming Wal-Mart in our future, we need small business support more than ever. Not every business succeeds, but without help we will have fewer startup entrepreneurs developing businesses in our community.

I have used the CDC services regularly for my small business. I hope other businesses in the community will write in, tell a friend, become a member and attend CDC meetings. Most importantly, though, share your business experiences with our city and county officials in person or by note and make an appointment to attend the county commissioners’ meeting scheduled for Oct. 11. We need this kind of support in our community.

Lynne Vickerstaff

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