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Letters to the editor

Benjamin M. Schmidt

Dear Mr. Cacioppo: As a 23-year-old supplanted mountain worker from Wisconsin, I feel obliged to express my opinion of your “Liberals oppose Constitution” commentary Dec. 29. I am not a liberal or a conservative, rather a pragmatist who obviates party lines to see a less opaque picture of America’s social issues. It is important to me to offer another side of these issues, ones that will undoubtedly take much time and effort to resolve. We must be rational people when it comes to these topics, and the following is my take.You wrote “a liberal judge who dictated that New York transit workers don’t have the right to strike. … This violates the workers’ 8th Amendment right not to have to perform involuntary servitude.” That liberal judge was upholding New York law, the “Taylor Law,” which disallows transit workers to strike. According to the New York State Public Employees Fair Employment Act, “The Taylor Law establishes impasse procedures for the resolution of collective bargaining disputes, and prohibits strikes by public employees.” In regards to the negotiations, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican mayor of New York City, said “You can’t break the law and use that as a negotiating tactic. This is unconscionable.” Being the strict law-abiding citizen that you are, Mr. Cacioppo, it seems rather hypocritical that you would support breaking the law, or would you support it on the basis that it was a liberal judge who made the ruling? You must have the facts before you make such a charge. It is ignorant to be too quick to criticize. Mr. Cacioppo. If you lived in NYC at the time of this strike and you counted on the transit system to get you to work, to the grocery store, to get your kids to school, do not pretend that you would support these strikers. That is an asinine argument. It is apparent that there are problems with the way the Metropolitan Transit Authority handles employee issues, but the largest city in America should not have to suffer because of it. Fiscal responsibility itself would not condone such behavior on the behalf of an economy. That is why the Taylor Law exists. You should look into it.The topic of needing a license to carry a gun is not one for liberals or conservatives; rather it is one for rational human beings. You posit that the “unconstitutional requirement of licenses as privileges to carry a gun wherever or however” is an infringement. If someone is legally qualified to carry a gun, concealed or not, then it should be so. These licenses that purportedly defy the Constitution are created so that ex-cons are not running around with AK-47s underneath their clothes. It is a background check, a social insurance policy, if you will, that protects you from those who are not capable of safely owning a firearm. Another thing, why is it, Mr. Cacioppo, that you need an M-16 or an Uzi or a Howitzer to protect yourself? These guns are so unnecessary that they most certainly should be placed on a strict ban. We have police for a reason. What militia is coming after you? I have no problem with small arms. It is when you get into submachine guns where the line must be drawn. It is for the good of the community and the country to rid civilians of these vulgar weapons. Ah yes, the “murdering of unborn babies.” Quite the liberal pastime, isn’t it? So, liberals are, according to your commentary, “depriving the unborn child of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” In reality, when a fetus is aborted, it is for the sake of the mother and that unborn child. There are explicable reasons for abortion: the mother’s life was in jeopardy, the mother was raped, the parents would be incapable of supporting sufficiently the growth and “prosperity” of that child; it is for these reasons and more that the pregnancy was not carried out full-term. What happens, Mr. Cacioppo, when mothers have these children when incapable? They immediately begin their lives under difficult circumstances. How many American leaders were born under abject poverty? Compare that number to how many criminals were born under those conditions. This is by no means my supporting of abortion. No one supports abortion. I support the choice, the judgment of the mother as to whether or not she can raise a child. I want the best for you, the best for me, the best for them. I want you to take the Bible out of your hands for a minute and think pragmatically, not theologically, about this issue. Think about the social implications of what bringing a person into this world at a completely inauspicious time would do to that person. The mother most certainly would have had the child should she deem herself fit to support it. This isn’t a case of murder with impunity. People aren’t eager to slaughter their children. There are reasons that the mother deems unsuitable for the birth of that child. Above all and most importantly, it is not your child. It is not your choice. From one who proclaims “true freedom,” why do you wish to deny it? Let that family make its own choice. Mr. Cacioppo, it would seem that you have forgotten the very essence of our country. Church and state were never meant to be one. America was formed because those colonists did not agree with the Church of England and its failure to comply with the ideals set forth by the Reformation. Thus there became an inherent need for the separation of church and state in the new lands where these men decided to settle which, as you know, became America. We are a democracy, not a theocracy. The founding fathers of this country incorporated this belief in democracy into the creation of America. Our public schools are unattached to religion, our courts are unattached, yet our people are free to express themselves however they want to outside those institutions. That is the beauty of America. Worship however you wish, but don’t push your beliefs onto those who do not want to be a part of them. It seems ironic that a strict constructionist such as you can call part of the 1st Amendment a “bogus argument.” Well, that bogus argument dictates the parameters within which we live. And thankfully, those parameters are wide.Mr. Cacioppo, please stop pointing fingers and exacerbating the divide that exists in this country. It is always someone else’s fault, isn’t it? Well, we all comprise this great country of America and we need to find a way to work together to make this place as great as we all know it can be. It won’t be easy. We must be rational people when it comes to topics like these. We can bridge this divide; we must bridge this divide, this red vs. blue that has permeated our country for years. It can be done, but we must be diligent and try to work together.Benjamin M. SchmidtThe best!My husband and I come to the Vail area each year, and enjoy immensely the entertainment on offer. This year, we had been very disappointed with the standard of singing, and entertainment. That is until we came across The Club in Vail. We wandered in off the street to hear a guy called Kip Attaway singing and playing the guitar and thoroughly entertaining the people there. We stayed for three hours, being entertained by a variety of songs, some very funny, some classics. We just wanted your readers to know of Kip, and recommend them to get along to The Club there to hear him. We believe he is the best talent in the Vail Valley this year.Pat and John GregoryVail, Colorado


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