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Hoax from start

David Le Vine

Why don’t each and every one of us just admit the obvious? The entire Iraqi “thing” has been a hoax and a disaster from the beginning. George W. Bush wanted to depose Saddam for Lord knows what reason. Karl Rove probably figured that it would help Mr. Bush get re-elected, Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz have been looking for a war for many years, and there you have it! The first phony justification was “weapons of mass destruction.” The next was links to Al Qaida. Then we were fed some “create a democracy” baloney. Now we have an interim Iraqi government and we will continue for awhile longer to have wonderful young Americans die while we remain there to provide “security.”But now Mr. Bush’s exit “strategy” is in place: First, try to convince the United Nations to bail us out. If that doesn’t work, we can hope that the new government will realize that our very presence is causing most of the violence and that they will ask us to leave. If so, you can be sure that we will comply. Who knows what form of government will ultimately emerge?This president and the members of his administration have brought about thousands of American and Iraqi deaths, created chaos, diminished our great country’s reputation and spent upwards of $200 billion. It’s time to admit that the whole affair has been a fiasco and send Bush back to Crawford, Texas. But much more importantly, let’s bring our valiant men and women home now and then do our best to pick up the pieces.David Le VineA classic On May 19, the Eagle Valley Chamber of Commerce held the Eagle Valley Spring Mountain Bike Classic in Eagle Ranch. The race was the first held independently by the chamber and will not be the last. It was an exciting race with over 160 passionate racers throughout the valley. With the assistance of many talented local mountain bike enthusiasts and the community, we were able to run a very successful first race. The EVCC would like to thank our race committee, our sponsors and all the volunteers who helped made this race a success. A special note of appreciation needs to be extended to John Bailey, who spent many an hour working on the course and answering race questions; and to Charlie Brown of Mountain Pedaler in Eagle for his advice and creating the Dirt Boomers (over 25 kids raced under 6). Next, we need to thank WECMRD and two of their outstanding employees, Jim Sanders and Sheryl Rebitzke, for their expertise. We also had great assistance from Dave Kavanaugh and his many volunteers from Centurytel, Linda Marner of EVCC, Adam Lueck of Altitude Racing Management, John Edwards of KZYR, Dan Kurtanich of D2 Custom Footwear and Brian Rooney of Highline Sports & Entertainment. Also, we need to thank our sponsors Vail/Summit Orthopaedic Sports Medicine, Kevin Shriver of Stucco Works, Bob Senn of SPI, Bill Sullivan of Culligan Water and the great folks of G.H. Daniels. The Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, the Town of Eagle, BLM and Vail Mountain Search & Rescue should be recognized and commended for their continued support of community events. And of course, we need to extend our greatest appreciation to Eagle Ranch for hosting our event. There were numerous volunteers not named, but please remember that we could not have run a successful and safe bike race without you. We appreciate everything everyone contributed to this fun and exciting community event!Kris McKinneyEagleKid gloves Don Rogers, thanks for your candid comments on Ronald Reagan. If we truly have a “liberal media” today as some claim you wouldn’t know it from the Vail Daily, local radio, or The Denver Post. I continue to be amazed at the kid gloves with which the media handles George W.’s un-presidential floundering and more recently how the media has soft-pedaled their reflections on Ronald Reagan. Of course, George W. Bush beside Ronald Reagan pales in comparative stature. I came of age during the Reagan years, which may help explain why I feel conflicted about his legacy. He seemed to wipe away the messiness of the world with his outlook. Many of my peers were caught up in his “Morning in America” vision. He had a contagious teenage spirit for his advanced age. I think the actor and communicator realized that most citizens didn’t want to talk policy, they wanted to feel good again. He brought Hollywood-star stature to the Oval Office, and he talked a lot about values. He was a tough act to follow. President Reagan is given considerably too much credit for the fall of communism in Russia. Yes it was a “victory” for capitalism and democracy, not for superior military prowess. As always, his timing was superb. Ike knew from U-2 photos in the 1950s that the Soviet Union was weakening into a paper tiger (albeit with nuclear capabilities). The imploding Soviet economy and an ill-advised, expensive foray into Afghanistan did far more damage than the threat of Star Wars. Leave it to the ex-governor to put money in the pockets of California defense contractors when a defense buildup was least needed. The most that can be said of Reagan on the world front is that he was enough of an isolationist to not start a war of containment. He let his enemy tire and fall. Bush could have treated Saddam Hussein that way and had the world behind him still. Reagan was more image than substance, but most of us didn’t care. While his underling James Watt talked tough on environmentalists, little was actually done. The Bush administration has quietly done much more damage to our collective health and the environment in rolling back 30 years of environmental and EPA protections, laying a black carpet down for the energy special interests. Before and since 9/11, the Bush administration has done everything it can to undo treaties and generally step on toes around the world. Much more magnanimous, Reagan will be remembered for his friendship with Margaret Thatcher. Bush will be remembered for starting the “shadow government” and for rushing into the Middle East where a long list of his predecessors had tip-toed cautiously. Bush has no flair like Reagan, but he has eagerly taken the country into war and into deep debt utilizing a kind of “Father Knows Best” mentality. Bush will not be a tough act to follow.Reagan, the man, had a fatherly way about him that America sorely needed, and it was no coincidence that he personified the 1950s, an era about which many Baby Boom Americans harbor a deep longing and nostalgia because they remember it as children. Reagan helped pull government back from the social obligations and compassionate New Dealism of the Boomers’ parent’s generation. Baby Boom Americans in the ’80s wanted to be unfettered by global or local do-goodism anymore. After Vietnam and Watergate, they were understandably cynical about government. They had their own children. Boomers wanted to get rich and they didn’t mind going into debt to feel rich. Few judged Reagan harshly for running up the federal deficit. His trickle-down, supply-side economics was a perfect fit for a jaded country tired of social responsibility, ready to “move on.” It was time to feel good again, and Ronald Reagan made us feel that everything was going to be OK. I really liked him for that.As the Bush administration dives into our civil liberties today, I long for a Reaganesque distant father figure who could let America go to sleep at the wheel again. He’d do a lot less damage.Jon StavneyEagleTo the pointVail downhill mountain biking season is right around the corner!Tony CalabreseVail


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