Motivated by human need, contributors around Thanksgiving donate to charities and food banks. They fund religious organizations that shelter homeless people. On Thanksgiving Day morning, some citizens staff soup kitchens in urban parks.
Government helps, too, when personal altruism alone can’t serve dire human needs. When the Salvation Army runs low on resources, governmental agencies step up to bolster social services for the destitute.Learn more »
The first thing that you must realize is that the system was not designed for your benefit. A few centuries ago or whenever the hell it was someone realized that the promise of security, safety and a bunch of other fringe benefits was enough to attract a certain portion of the population to trade a predictable amount of time (hours) in exchange for a bit of money.
Thank goodness, I suppose, that someone was at least willing to move in this direction. Prior to that, the great business people of the human race were enslaving each other for profit and growth. What should truly horrify you is how recently developed civilizations have relied on slavery to drive business. In some context, similar behavior is still happening all around the world. Even in developed countries like our own, it took war, protests and significant legislation to get worker rights to where they are today.Learn more »
As the years go by, it seems to get more difficult to be thankful for things I used to be thankful for. For instance: I used to be thankful for shag carpet, five-cent beer nights and the ability to ski on 210s not very well.
I got a little older and lost a step. I couldn’t run the fast break on the basketball court more than twice in a period. I became much better yelling at youngsters rather than being one. I was thankful for that because all the time, there were no barriers and I knew I was in control of everything. Hell, my body was perfect and my mind was not worthy of others’ sentiment, beliefs or experience. (Or, look in the dictionary and you’ll see a picture of “the young and restless as the world turns around me.”Learn more »
The greatest gift you can give someone is this: A childhood.
This has little to do with wealth, education, social standing or anything like that. We know the lottery of birth adds an element of luck, of course. The currency here is love, though.Learn more »
When the cupboard is bare because of hard times, we feel as if “a wolf’s at the door.” It’s tempting, then, to gripe because we have nothing for which to give thanks.
During difficult days, children’s literature written with a humorous twist offers coping lessons. Thanksgiving with the Tappletons, a book for youngsters, pictures a grim Thanksgiving for a family of wolves. It teaches the key to gratitude when a plump turkey and pumpkin pie with ice cream are missing.Learn more »
In 1985, three Stanford University researchers conducted an experimental study looking at people’s perceptions of media coverage.
The researchers recruited university students from both sides of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict (targeting the pro-Arab and pro-Israeli student associations) to watch six segments of national media coverage on a 1982 event known as the Sabra and Chatilla Massacre in Beirut, Lebanon.Learn more »
Radical Islam will dominate geopolitics for the next 50 years just as Soviet Communism dominated geopolitics for 50 years after World War II.
Anyone who’s ever stood waiting to take their shoes off at the airport understands that Islamic terrorists have already altered our way of life and eroded many of our liberties; and matters will get worse before they get better.Learn more »
The Paris attacks came as a surprise to many, yet not to others including myself. I’m stunned a similar scale event didn’t happen sooner, especially from Algerian based militant Islamists. There have been rumors of various Islamist plots directed at Paris targets since 1994, when members of Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group hijacked an Air France plane and attempted to fly it into the Eiffel Tower; their efforts were thwarted after French CT officers stormed the flight during a layover in Marseilles. My immediate thought after learning of the attack was an al-Qaida, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb or ISIS operation. The answer was revealed on the 14th when the Islamic State claimed responsibility. The operation was especially ominous since it revealed ISIS possessed an operational capability beyond the Middle East.
ISIS’ Paris operation may change Europe and the Middle East’s strategic environments.Learn more »
Here’s what sort of bothers me about this whole ISIS nonsense: The descriptions apparently preferred by the worldwide TV media.
We are constantly told these are well-trained, well-planned, Internet-savvy, highly coordinated professionals being led by a “mastermind” to create worldwide fear among all who refuse to follow the “one true God” known as Allah.Learn more »
My wife and I are grateful for our several trips to Paris. We visited this City of Lights two weeks before the carnage swept through a cafe and restaurant, plus a music hall and a soccer stadium.
This City of Lights dazzles when onlookers see its sights by bus. We boarded Bus 69 near the Eiffel Tower. Its route zigzagged across the Seine River to the Right Bank, near sites that came to be epicenters of terror. In a string of attacks, Islamic militants slaughtered 130 people, left 350 as casualties — with 99 of this total gravely wounded.Learn more »
We should all truly celebrate. Two years after the governor’s executive order, we finally have a Colorado Water Plan that lays out measurable objectives and metrics to help guide us toward a secure water future.
In the face of future challenges that include population growth and climate change, Colorado’s first-ever water plan is a call to action to all Coloradans to work collaboratively to ensure we protect our scarce water resources by using and developing our water supplies in the most efficient and responsible manner possible.Learn more »
Most indicators in the 2015 Vail Valley Workforce Report show slight declines in perception of our economy.
All the actual markers are up — by quite a bit. Sales tax revenue. Real estate transactions and dollar volume. Building permits. And unemployment is way down. It’s looking really good, in fact.Learn more »
I keep getting asked to help explain to friends what I think is happening and what to do about this endless war.
It’s not that there’s an Illuminati that makes the decisions on how the world is run. It’s just that like the person who likes the corner office and parking spot, our representatives like power. And corporations like profit and need to keep representatives there working for their end game.Learn more »
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
HIT: From a reader to the idea of a ski instructors union at Beaver Creek. “They could use a united voice.”Learn more »
Last week (and at long last), the Colorado Department of Education released statewide results of the new English language arts and math tests students took this past spring. Individual student, school and district-level data will be made public in December.
The statewide results of the tests (known as PARCC, after the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) didn’t surprise many people who follow education policy. As expected, we saw a massive drop in the number of students deemed as meeting expectations, large (and widening) achievement gaps in all the familiar groups, and the expected large number of students who refused to take the exam was finally confirmed.Learn more »
It was all going to be so simple.
I sat down at the computer last Friday around noon, mentally prepared to start a column about the silly yet infamous Starbucks Christmas cup issue, when the news came on TV from Paris.Learn more »
The other day I was reading an article advocating for government mandated paid maternity leave. Normally this isn’t a topic I would comment on; after all, my wife and I are a bit outside the demographic where this subject may be an issue. However what piqued my interest was how this relatively obscure writer made clear that government mandated paid maternity leave was a part of the “new” American Dream.
The writer’s interpretation of the American Dream is certainly her business, and I’ll address that in a moment, but first let me opine that if a private enterprise voluntarily chooses to offer paid maternity or paternity leave to their employees, I say God bless them and all those who benefit. However, government mandated paid maternity leave is a different matter entirely.Learn more »
Thomas Jefferson defined himself as a “Virginian” in his writing and conversation. He fiercely protected local identity and refrained from calling himself an “American.” Jefferson’s colleagues likewise defined themselves, referring to home turf and delineating personal identity as a resident of New Hampshire or Pennsylvania.
Because these patriots were suspicious of getting lost in foggy national identity, they pursued local control in governing. Their preference for stay-at-home governance gave George Washington fits. During the Revolutionary War, state legislatures lagged in sending Washington’s Continental Army badly needed recruits. They declined requests to raise taxes in support of a standing national army.Learn more »
Today is America Recycles Day, and we pay homage to all who sort and set out the bins, with the accompanying question: “Honey, is today our recycling day?” Every single can or bottle makes a difference — so thank you recyclers for doing your part!
That said, we have work to do. Every day about 200 tons of waste is delivered to the Eagle County Landfill. Over 60 percent of these materials can be recycled or composted, but less than 20 percent of our total waste is currently diverted or recycled. More than 80 percent of our total waste — 160 tons every day — is buried in the landfill.Learn more »
As president of the Cordillera Property Owners Association, I wanted to reflect on a number of positives that the Vail Valley may not know about us.
With more than 7,000 acres, Cordillera offers five neighborhoods, four golf courses, multiple restaurants and spectacular mountain views, all combined with an impressive list of activities and amenities.Learn more »
The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association newsletter. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.
Some see Vail’s overflow parking as a measure of success; others see it as an unpreparedness to deal with Vail’s needs. For some, the availability of 15 days of overflow parking in the winter and summer (assuming that Vail is successful in again obtaining summer parking rights) is a justification for not doing anything else. Some would even expand frontage road parking beyond current limits, maybe with no limits, as a way to solve Vail’s parking needs and eliminate the necessity of having to make any further investment in parking facilities. Unfortunately, the parking problem has grown worse, in part because economic growth initiatives have not been coupled with increases in the supply of structured off-street public parking. However, one thing does seem clear. The founders of Vail would have never countenanced what has happened.Learn more »
Hundreds of millions of people have read the Hollywood sign as they came in for a landing at Los Angeles International Airport. In the early days of the sign, the 1920s, it read Hollywoodland and was illuminated by thousands of electric light bulbs. Each letter was approximately 40 feet high and made of sheet metal attached to telephone poles. The light bulbs illuminated hopes and dreams of the Southern California settlers.
I was lucky because we lived within 2 miles of it and I made a lot of bicycle trips up there. As I understand it, this sign was financed by real estate developers and as I watched the fall and gradual decay of it over the years, I have long ago almost forgotten the motion picture stars that came up with the money to refurbish it. The monstrous sign was virtually in the center of Griffith Park, probably the largest public park in a metropolitan area anywhere in America. It was full of fire roads carved on the side of a hill of decomposed granite. As a youngster, I have no idea how many times I rode up there, but it was a lot. The first time I ever saw ice formed on the ground was on one of those roads and so I rode my bicycle back home, got my ice skates and had a nice afternoon skating while looking down on Los Angeles basin.Learn more »
The Oct. 15 editorial by Don Rogers entitled “Our two valleys” makes an erroneous assumption. Mr. Rogers states that students “living in poverty” might have parents that “do not fully understand the value of an education in America.” Given the focus of the article, he must be referring to Eagle County’s Hispanic/Latino community. I would like to know how Mr. Rogers came to such a conclusion. What evidence might he provide to support this claim? Consider the following:
The Edwards campus of Colorado Mountain College is serving 270 students who are studying English as a second language this semester, fall 2015. The vast majority are members of the Hispanic/Latino community. It is projected that the ESL program will serve 600 students during the academic year 2015-16. Additionally, 40 Hispanic/Latino students will work to earn their General Education Development certificate during this academic year. These numbers reflect a 29 percent increase over the previous academic year.Learn more »
Last summer, when CDOT announced a new bus service from Glenwood Springs to Denver, I should have been happy. The Bustang meant fewer cars on the road and more public transport options. And I would have been happy, if on the same day I read about Bustang service I had not come across a story on Japan’s new maglev train setting a new world speed record of 373 mph. The Japanese already have the Shinkansen, I whined to myself. Now the estimates are that by 2027 their maglev will whisk passengers between Tokyo and Nagoya (a distance of about 160 miles) in 40 minutes. DIA to Vail could have been even faster.
I tried not to obsess about the Japanese and their maglev but the Vail Daily unknowingly encouraged me with their latest iteration of “Hits and Misses.” One “Hit” in particular: “To continuing efforts to make the I-70 trip into and out of the mountains faster and safer.” I agree, which is why I will be closely following the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition.Learn more »
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to email@example.com to be included.
HIT: From a reader to veterans. He included this: “A veteran — whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve — is someone who, at one point in their life wrote a blank check made payable to the United States of America, for an amount of “up to and including my life.” That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it. — Author Unknown”Learn more »
Editor’s note: This week’s column is co-authored with Dr. Eric Olsen, principal at Red Hill Elementary School in Gypsum.
Later this month and into December, Colorado will release the results of new tests students were given last spring called the PARCC exams, for the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. PARCC is an interstate collaborative focused on developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and math. The Common Core is not without controversy. Its main purpose was to develop a set of more challenging and consistent expectations for students across the country. The PARCC test is a way of measuring progress against these higher expectations.Learn more »
Of today’s 322 million Americans, about 22 million are veterans. These are the men and women, who years ago, in the prime of their young American lives, put on a uniform and went to serve on active duty in the armed forces of the United States.
These young people got a haircut, put on a uniform and then gave two or more of their formative years to the military — the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or the Coast Guard. First, they went to basic training, then advanced individual training and then occupational training. They learned to drill and march, they learned to shoot and clean a rifle, they learned to crawl through mud under barbed wire, but they also learned some excellent occupational skills. Today’s military has more than 800 listed occupations. So, besides basic combat skills, they learned at least one or two skills which they could then use when they left the military. Some learned computer skills, some learned to cook. Some became nurses or policemen, some became mechanics, drivers, pilots, swimmers, microwave or radio specialists. Some became astronauts.Learn more »
Numbers are important, as are words, and none make a bigger headline splash nowadays than those ranking particular things, such as Vail being in the top 10 for “Ski Magazine’s best ski resorts” each year.
Sure, we were a disappointing No. 7 for the 2015-16 season, but that pales in comparison to last week.Learn more »
“It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men” — Samuel Adams.
They are all around us. The men and women slowly changing the way we live typically don’t realize they are doing so. They only know that itch. A hangnail that they just can’t leave alone. A nagging truth. It burns deep in the back of their heads. A waking dream. Smoke rising over and over and over, slowly taking shape.Learn more »
Vail Daily column: Unresolved issues for candidatesNovember 8, 2015 —
Amid the pomp and circumstance of pre-election puffery, many questions have yet to be answered by any of the candidates, all speaking to government, and the size thereof. Often we hear comments, primarily from the GOP, about “big” government, and the examples of mismanagement, willingly broadcast from Fox News.
There has been an ongoing dispute about the very role of government, S.T. Karnick of Outlook magazine says: “The question is whether government should be about mandating the distribution of resources to the public, or creating a framework in which people are free to go about their business without coercion by others.”
DEA: Drunken parties appear to be prevalent in Washington D.C., culminating in forceable drive-throughs at the White House. Where is the fun-factor here?
Secret Service nightmare in Bogota: For Democrats, just as history dictates, there appears to be a predilection toward misconduct with women, whether it be John Edwards, Anthony Weiner, Gary Hart, Bill Clinton or Mark Sanford.
The drones on the White House lawn, and security breaches therein, haven’t helped the agency’s reputation either, despite the appointment of a new Secret Service director.
IRS: Civil service is an honorable pursuit. It shouldn’t, though, allow criminals like Lois Lerner to be held responsible to targeting conservative groups to then be moved laterally to a less-sensitive job in the administration. To then have the Justice Department mandate that there will not be criminal pursuit of this obvious politically driven assault on the GOP insults most bi-partisan-folks’ intelligence.
Social Security online breaches plague the IRS. Many of my friends have had their IDs stolen; and tax returns filed in their name. The IRS has no sympathy for this, mandating that errant return amounts be returned back to them, with interest. Investigations have revealed that IRS computers are still using 10-year-old browser technology amid claims that the White House denies them funding to upgrade. (Any excuse for not calling Lifelock, either?)
Lavish parties are not beyond the realm of possibilities for the IRS based on the videos taken in Las Vegas, financed by the increasingly agitated taxpayer. Bonuses paid to the most aggravating miscreants poured gasoline on the fire of public discontent, forcing review of a corrupt, mismanaged bureaucracy.
EPA: Look no further than Colorado to reveal Incompetency — note the capital “I”. Effluent from old gold and silver mines was allowed to leach into rivers near Durango; clearly the fault of incompetent EPA employees. Further study confirms this abomination, yet no word about employee accountability (i.e. dismissals).
HHS: Health and Human Services scarcely redeemed their moniker with the Ebola crisis. Obama spent billions in Africa in Liberia, home of the relocated 1892 slave population (a plan devised by Lincoln as a repatriation measure; it failed, by the way). Tents and medical triages were supplied but unused as the local infrastructure was inadequate to manage the transport and logistics. The White House was advised about this, but chose to continue, anyway, in pursuit of political points with blacks and international sympathizers.
Department of Justice: See “Fast and Furious” casualty ex-Attorney General Eric Holder.
Will candidates address these issues should one be elected? The promise to do something about problems isn’t enough anymore. Each debate participant gets enough time to elucidate on one problem ... please. Explain how and where will the money come from? (Please, Bernie, not the rich, again?) Who among the middle crony tier will be appointed as the czar of DEA, IRS, HHS, and all the other three-letter words, and what, if anything, will they bring to the party? (Not in Las Vegas, though.)
Karnick says, “What the public has been clamoring for in the past two elections is a government that protects them from evils, but doesn’t attempt to run everybody’s lives, one that isn’t so eager to take money from a diminishing number of people, and ‘spread it around’ to others.” And until such a government is in place, further political, social and fiscal turmoil seems inevitable.
Ronald Reagan also once said, famously:
“Big government doesn’t solve problems, it subsidizes them.”
Food for thought.
Pat Mitchell lives in Edwards.