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Letters to the editor

Jeff Hopp

I am disgusted and appalled at the recent spate of right-wing distortions floating around in the media. Not only by the accusations of Swiftboat Veterans for (Bush) the “Truth,” but by the misleading use of John Kerry’s “sensitive” war on terror comment by Vice President Cheney. Never mind that all but one of the men who actually served with John Kerry ON HIS BOAT have nothing but praise for his service, including Jim Rassmann, the Green Beret whom John Kerry rescued and who also happens to be a Republican. Even John McCain, whose patriotism and service to this country is unquestionable, has denounced the ads and has urged the president to do the same, stating that it was the same tactics Bush used on him in the 2000 primaries. The hypocrisy of Dick Cheney’s jab at John Kerry’s “sensitive” comment comes to light when you examine previous statements made by the White House, including Cheney himself, concerning the military and the current war on terrorism. In a statement on April 13, the vice president urged the military to not be “insensitive” to the burden the military presence has on local communities in Iraq. Even Donald Rumsfeld stressed the need to be sensitive in Iraq. On Feb. 5, 2003, he said, “We have to be sensitive. To the extent the world thinks the United States is focused on the problems in Iraq, it’s conceivable that someone could make a mistake and believe that that’s an opportunity for them to take an action which they otherwise would have avoided.” This is exactly what John Kerry meant by his statement. The only difference, it appears, is that John Kerry actually means it.All this is a ploy to distract the public from real issues in the campaign. The Congressional Budget Office, headed by a former economic adviser to President Bush, recently came out with a report stating that one-third of the recent Bush tax breaks went to those making above $1.2 million annually. In fact, the report shows that the tax burden to families making between $50,000-$70,000 annually actually INCREASED. The country’s budget deficit is the highest it’s ever been, is swelling, and the Bush administration insists on sticking the hard-working middle class with the bill. This November, do not vote against your best interests by being a single-issue voter. Send a message to the president that you do not support a campaign based on deceit and distortion. The American public is too proud, intelligent, and patriotic to be swayed by muckraking. Give George Bush a one-way ticket back to Crawford. Vote Kerry in November.Jeff HoppGypsumEast Vail bulliesI find it hard to believe the senselessness that some adults in this valley possess. Have you no rational thought? I find it absurd that grown people are unable to cope with the most miniscule of problems. I am writing today – my fellow humans (who are capable of emotion) – about the house being built in East Vail. Why, you may be asking, is a 14-year-old writing about a problem that does not concern him? My answer is this: While it may not be a problem that affects me directly, it is an issue that I fear we will see more of in our valley. I may not be familiar with building codes, preservation laws and things of that nature. But in my mind that is an advantage because I am able to see beyond all of the nitty gritty and into the audacity of the whole argument. When I first read about the new home in East Vail, I found myself in our crowded public school lunch room. I know all of you, with the exception of the private school, trust fund babies of East Vail, remember at some point in your life trying to find a seat only to learn that this seat was being “saved” by another individual. You try to sit but you are promptly booted out. As a school-aged boy I always think, you do not own the seat; what authority do you have to prevent me from sitting? It seems the same sort of circumstance has arisen with the proposed construction of this new East Vail house. I ask you, Slicks, Borgens, Leslies, Ryersons and Ochsners, what authority do you have to keep this house from being built? Obviously if a seat is being so well-protected at the lunch room, it serves some special purpose. The same is true with this prime position of the “rock ridge.” Your ridge provides you with shade and privacy, while the seat provides a friend a seat next to his comrades. The fact that I was there before the person that the seat is being saved for makes me the “owner” of the seat. I earned it fair and square. If it is the only seat left, I am going to take it. Why, if the seat was being saved for you, are you not sitting in it? Why, if you are in such dire need of privacy-shade, did you not buy this rock ridge lot? It does not belong to you. Any benefit you reap is purely circumstantial.Your so-called “East Vail values” are perhaps the most corrupt values I have ever heard of. From where I’m sitting, values are the triumph of good over evil, the substantial and important over the trivial and petty. Can you not see the selfishness in your claim that you are the victim in this oh-so-heinous crime? Your lack of empathy and compassion, you East Vail bullies, is what tears our valley apart. Please, I have read of these meaningless disputes far too often in the last year. The blue-light bridge, the East Vail bubble. Heck, you people even complained about an American flag! I urge you, you wise adults, to look past the diminutive nonsense you are currently at war about. Let me have my seat at lunch. Let the people have their house on the ridge. Taylor Donald, 14EdwardsTough criticI felt very sorry for the father of Kobe Bryant’s accuser – not “victim,” as her father signed. Being the mother of two adult children, I would also be upset not only because my child was saying that she was a raped, but that the defense was going to be allowed a 72-hour window surrounding the incident. … Yes, as a parent I would be outraged – at my daughter for (allegedly) having this history and at myself for not having brought up my daughter with the correct morals to behave in society.I believe this young woman has put a stain on the word “rape.” No woman that has had any sexual relations with a boyfriend, lover or husband surrounding a rape will ever come forward for fear of being exposed and humiliated. … Arlene PosnerWolcottWhat’s with foam?We have been coming to the beautiful Vail Walley for several years over the summer. This year, we were walking along Gore Creek and for the first time noticed foamy air bubbles in the creek. We went as far west as the Vail Nature Center trails and still noticed them. At one point, we even spotted a mass of thick suds caught in a small collection of logs ( just past No. 11 marker on the left). Is anybody else aware of this? Is construction or dumping further east polluting the creek? Charlotte and Norman PlotskyWaste of moneyExcellent column, Mr. Rogers. Although I will admit that I am a cynical person, your column is right on. These charges should have never been filed before the DA completed all of the DNA testing.It’s been my opinion from the beginning that Mr. Hurlbert filed these charges for his political agenda, and I guess that’s why the travesty of justice we have here today, called the Kobe Bryant case, is in the state it is. What a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.Nicki OwensNew York CityNice jobI live in Tennessee and now read the articles on the Kobe case regularly. I will have to say that this past column that you wrote was excellent! (Aug. 15) I have been turned off by a couple of other stories in this particular newspaper because of a seemingly one-sided article, but this one was split down the middle and written very professionally. I don’t normally reply to articles, but this one was done great!Allen Cole


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