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Letters to the Editor

Better side

Dear Editor:

What does our DNA, gays, women voters and demographics have to do with the Republican/Tea Party indulgence in pathologically racial and homophobic partisanship, mixed with ideological and religious hubris? More than we’d think.

Let’s connect the dots. First, DNA. Do you actually choose your politics? Is it nature, nurture and/or intelligence? A 70-year study of twins, both fraternal and identical, has established that genetics substantially determines whether you will be a conservative or liberal. About 60 percent of your politics are formed at conception (DRD4-7R gene), 40 percent is nurture and the latter can be modestly affected by personal disaster.

So, it makes some sense that the most inexplicable of human conundrums exists, i.e. a religious “Lincoln Log” Republican. Further, we get a hint why there are Republican Women’s Clubs where they pay homage and fealty to dead-end bodies of politics, religion, health issues and economic status. Regardless of genetic dictates most women, gays and a few straight men are “wired” to access both their thinking and emotional brains simultaneously, so these groups should have a leg up on the pressures of social evolution, religion and peer compliance versus genetic dictates.

For me, the most hopeful of these groups are women voters. Regardless of their genetic instructions, they have a better ability to sort BS from fact. I’d give them the 40 percent-plus over men. So, how big is this plus? According to The New York Times, “The election had the largest gender gap in the history of the Gallup poll, with Obama winning the vote of single women by 36 percentage points.” Even Karen Hughs, G.W. Bush’s White House advisor said, “If another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue.”

So, what does all this have to do with Republican party pathology? A lot. Body language may say it all; remember the last time you met a dedicated Republican party member? Wasn’t he the most religiously righteous, clear-eyed, stare-you-in-the-face standing on tiptoes with raised eyebrows kind of person? Well, their political time may have passed, but woe be the day when they recognize that most of their “individual” decisions are metaphysical. Granted, the economy was our current main issue, but a singularly one-dimensional group is ultimately doomed to failure. Their definition of freedom is limited to cannibalistic economic success untouched by compassion or stewardship. The presidential election result reflects the better side of Americans and our future.

Dave Blake

Formerly noble

Dear Editor:

Eleven score and sixteen years ago our forefathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

We have recently been engaged in a great national election, testing whether this nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. This nation has met in a great electoral contest. The result of that contest is that this formerly strong and noble nation now lies slain, and its citizens now subjugated, in spite of those who gave their lives so that this nation might have lived.

Earlier in our history, it was altogether fitting and proper that they should have done this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this election, for this contest has signaled the end of this formerly great nation. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled to preserve it, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will note, and long remember what happened here, in spite of what our founders did here. It is for us, rather, to be dedicated to restoring the work which our forefathers so nobly advanced. It is for us to be dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here are determined that these dead will have not died in vain, in defense of lesser men than themselves.

Until then, this nation, under Obama, has given birth to a new era of tyranny — and that a government of the corrupt, by the weak, for the parasite, has sentenced the formerly noble United States of America to perish from the earth.

Duane Branson


Dear Editor:

The CDC (Community Development Corporation) seems to have become one of the best games in town, helping local businesses start/improve/grow and engaging new creative programs and events. Ask Rich Lindblad about “crowd funding” or Morgan Murri about his planned huge athletic event.

The many creative, intelligent residents who attend these meetings are also providing energy and development ideas. Obtaining the old City Market property is one example.

It’s also encouraging that these monthly meetings (first Monday, 5 p.m. at the Quality Resort) are usually attended by town councilor David Schanzenbaker and county commissioner Michael Whiting.

Phyl Daleske


Dear Editor:

(This space left intentionally blank.)

P.S. Jim, your job is safe. Take care buddy.

Ron Levitan

Asheville, N.C.

Work hard

Dear Editor:

Dear friends and neighbors,

I just wanted to say a quick thank you for all the support that I received over the past 12 months leading up to Election Day, Nov. 6. None of this would have been possible without support from family, friends, contributors and voters. I am grateful to have you on my team and extremely thankful for your continued support.

Since I started my public service, I have had the pleasure of meeting with teachers, parents, small business owners and employees throughout Archuleta County. They have educated me about the issues that matter most in our community and I will keep working hard to meet those issues head on.

I am very grateful to continue to have the opportunity to earn your trust and to be your voice on the Archuleta Board of County Commissioners.

Clifford Lucero


Dear Editor:

Another election has come and gone with what seems to be renewed hope among many people. Hope that perhaps now things will change.

Unfortunately, being in a state of hopefulness never creates change. As long as one does nothing else but be hopeful, one will continue to be in a state of hopefulness. Hope never has and never will change anything. It is a stagnant state of being that looks to something outside itself to make things change, like many now look to politicians.

Sorry, folks, but politics is business, change is personal. It requires something from the individual to facilitate the change. The world will never change as long as the people occupying it don’t change. The world is not something outside of you. You are the world. If you really want change in the world, then you will have to change first.

The truth is we spout off about how much we want things to change and yet we ourselves are not willing to change. Therein lies the root of the problem. It is time to awaken out of our slumber and take responsibility for our own lives, our own change and thereby change the world. To see the change you must be the change. It’s as simple as that. So, if you really, really want change, realize just hoping for change will never cause change in the world but you, living the love you are, will.

Andrea Lyle


Dear Editor:

The night of Nov. 6 should have been a lesson to our friends on the Right. Despite weeks of living in complete denial regarding what Nate Silver and other number geeks were saying about the race, conservatives remained locked in their hermetically-sealed echo chamber, choosing gut feelings over the facts — and were cold-cocked by the truth when Ohio went for Obama.

As MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said the following day, conservatives, “… are going to need to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside if they do not want to get shellacked again.”

Frankly, I don’t see that happening. In the days following the election, the GOP continued to deny climate change, held fast to the chimera of voter fraud, vilified immigrants, opposed marriage equality and pressed for the dismantling of the social safety net, seemingly oblivious to those issues that led a majority of Americans to reject Republicans. Rather than wondering how they got it so wrong, the GOP continued to embrace their base (and baser) elements, not rejecting the birther lunatic fringe. Not one chastised the idiots who claimed that Osama bin Laden’s death was a fraud. They couldn’t even own up to the fact that not one, but two (failed) senatorial candidates tried to redefine rape in defiance of medical science and simple common sense, not really a surprise given that almost 60 percent of Republicans reject evolution.

Yet, instead of engaging in significant soul-searching or seeking some semblance of self-awareness, conservatives instead wrapped themselves back up in their magic Snuggies and blamed the “takers,” opting to raise the ante by painting the 52 percent who elected President Obama for a second term with Romney’s pejorative 47 percent brush.

Failing to acknowledge that a systemic effort by teabaggers to intimidate minority voters and party functionaries to suppress Democratic voting had backfired miserably (actually motivating those voters to go to the polls), conservative pundits expressed dismay that minorities and young people were willing to endure nine-hour waiting lines in order to vote for Barack Obama.

What conservatives don’t realize was that last Tuesday was not just a strategic failure, but an ideological one. The “takers” that the GOP so dismissively renounces aren’t lazy ne’er-do-wells, but hardworking Americans who, under a system of income disparity unrivaled since the Gilded Age, struggle to support their families, often needing some sort of government assistance. Those “takers” believe that it’s time top earners start paying their fair share in taxes and that the financial services industry should be regulated and that it’s finally time our country joined the rest of the developed nations in providing citizens with healthcare. They believe that success is built on all our backs, but should reward the person who made their dream a reality.

In future elections, the GOP will not only learn that it burned its bridges with tens of millions of voters but, more importantly, it has moved into an ideological wilderness that does not reflect the values of 21st-century America.

Jim McQuiggin

Peoria, Ariz.


Dear Editor:

I just realized who I am.

I am an elderly rural white guy, and a Republican, too. I voted for O. How can that be? Here is my hypothesis: I am pathetically trying to fend off death by voting with the kids. They’re waiting for us to die. If I demonstrate that I’m one of them, maybe they won’t kill me.

Jim Milstein

New Uraniborg (formerly Pagosa Springs), Colo.


Dear Editor:

On Saturday, Nov. 3, I walked into our post office and was shocked at the amount of discarded junk mail that was spilling out of the trashbins onto the floor and all over the counters.

Since I could hear postal employees behind the wall of PO boxes, I assumed bins would be emptied and the overflowing mail would be cleared up sometime that afternoon. On Sunday, the next day, I returned to find a sea of discarded junk mail all over the floor for the whole length of the corridor, 50 times worse than the day before. My jaw dropped at such a sight in our hometown post office.

Then I noticed a lone female figure feverishly filling black plastic bags with the trash. It was Joanne Irons. She had already filled and tied eight bags, but had still only tackled a tenth of the mess.

I asked her why she chose to do this and her response was that it was so shameful to see such a mess in our post office, she felt she had to do something about it. While we spoke, a tall blonde lady came in and, dropping everything, began helping her as well.

I am not writing this letter to ask why the post office had not arranged to accommodate the disposal of seasonal increases in junk mail, or why our citizens continued throwing their trash on the ground instead of taking it home, or, indeed, why there was so much junk mail in the first place. No, I am writing to ask you to tell Pagosa Springs, what many already know — that Joanne Irons is a model citizen and sets an example for us all.

Chris Pike


Dear Editor:

When I stopped listening … “If you don’t have enough money to pay for college, borrow it from your parents.” (Mitt Romney.)

That one statement summed it all up. He doesn’t have a clue about working families. I lost both of my parents when my children were of pre-school age. Among my father’s final advice to me was this: “Whatever else you do for your children, be sure they get a good education.” My father’s wealth was his wisdom, not much money.

Over the years, our family was like most — living from payday to payday, nothing left for “savings.” We were young, worked hard, provided basic needs and vacations were always camping ones. But, we always put their education first and throughout their public school years, all three were honor students, very responsible. But, there was no money for college and my father’s words were still with me. We could help them a little; they took summer jobs, but without the federal student loan program, our little family would not have had the opportunity to include an educator, a physician and a company CEO.

Our children are the American Dream and they have been and are good taxpayers and contribute heartily to their communities — a huge return for that federal loan which was paid in full a few years after they graduated.

Patty Tillerson

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