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Letters to the editor

Lisa Sleeth and Jim Butterworth

On Aug. 9, the Vail Symposium hosted a preview screening of our forthcoming documentary film, “Seoul Train,” to approximately 250 people, a standing-room-only audience. Many thanks for the success of this event go to the Vail Symposium and, for promoting the event beforehand, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, KZYR the Zephyr and TV8. Most of all, we thank the Vail community for the amazing response we received, and for rallying behind a cause concerning people on the other side of the world. You are helping to make this film the best it can be, and together we can make a difference in the lives of so many!We appreciate you all.Lisa Sleeth and Jim ButterworthMinturnLet’s talkMy name is Fletcher MacNeill, and I approved this message.Dear Senator Kerry:The world is at a very dangerous point in time and our government, under the Bush administration – run by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and others – has almost painted us into a corner with the unprecedented unilateral war on Iraq. We all know that this war has produced many causalities in the armed services and untold innocent civilian lives. At the cost of billions of dollars, many of which are going to Cheney’s favored company, Halliburton. And it isn’t over!It will take a Solomon to unravel the situation, but something has to be done. At the recent Democratic Convention, something was hinted at by Kennedy’s speech of “having a dialogue” with other leading countries in the world about this war and perhaps to find a solution. This is something about which Bush has burned his bridges prior to our going to war, destroying his ability to communicate with the other major powers. I would like to hear Senator Kerry address what plans he may have to mitigate much of the damage which has been done by the war and how we can all work together to help the Iraqis find a solution to the horrible mess we caused. Then we can get to the important matters concerning America and direct the billions of war dollars to our country.Most Americans have no idea of how complicated our government is, especially in the realm of international diplomacy and the intrigue it demands. Richard Clarke’s book “Against all Enemies” gives us a brief lesson in that matter. John Dean’s book “Worse Than Watergate, The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush,” also gives a clue as to the machinations of powerful men and their insatiable drive to puff themselves up on the pretense of leading the world to great glory. You’ve got to win.Fletcher MacNeillVailWe survived!Lori Ann and Dwight Mertens, former Vail Valley residents, SURVIVED a Category 5 hurricane (Hurricane Charley) in southwest Florida. We just wanted to let our friends in the Vail area to know we are OK. We lost a lot of things, but we are alive and doing good. The phones down here are still being worked on, but you can call Lori Ann Mertens at her office at Prudential Village Realty at (941) 629-6000. Please let our friends know we are doing fine down here. Everyone knows we came down here for the fun, sun and excitement. I believe on Friday, Aug. 13, at approximately 4 p.m. EST, we found the excitement. It was the wrath of Hurricane Charley. It has been wonderful down here the last three years, but I know that Charlotte and Lee counties will rebuild and work together as a big community and get through this all. Love and peace to all in the Vail Valley. Lori Ann and Dwight MertensPunta Gorda, Fla.System at faultWouldn’t it be wonderful if we had a nominee for president who was capable of uniting this country? I mean, George Bush is despised by too many, and John Kerry is being castigated by many others. Following the election, neither one of them has any chance to attract the admiration or support of a substantial majority of us. Unfortunately, both of them are products of a political process that makes no attempt to find common ground. Our two-party system seems to thrive on being ugly and divisive. As a result, whoever wins an election doesn’t really emerge with broad support.But imagine if someone with intelligence, honesty and charisma were elected without the stigma of being a partisan Republican or a Democrat. Then perhaps a vast majority of us would react to our president positively. We might not agree with all of his thinking, but if he were honest and intelligent, we might often say that “he’s my president and so I’ll go along, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.” Perhaps if John McCain had run as an independent he could have done it. Surely, if elected, he would not have gotten congressional approval for all of his programs, but there might have been acceptable compromises, and we citizens might have been in agreement, and our nation would have been all the better because of it.Unfortunately, our third party, or independent candidates, have been zealots whose platforms were not very attractive. But maybe what we really need is a moderate independent candidate, with lots of appeal who can inspire us to pull together or at the very least not alienate us from each other and from our government. David Le VineVail Colorado


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