Letters to the Editor
Vail Daily, Vail Colorado COAiders, abettorsWhat a sorry state of affairs. We want shirts and shoes for 20 bucks or less and nearly every other thing we buy for cheap. We expect chickens for less than a buck a pound and our houses built or cleaned, and our gardens tended (the list goes on) by others for low wages. Few of us will do those things. Fewer want our kids to. Nor can we find enough people from our entitlement-rich society to do so, either. So we import shirts and shoes and all from China or Indonesia or who knows where. Just read the labels. It’s easy to hide the reality of those sweat shops because they are “over there,” out of sight and mind. But we can’t hide meat packers, construction laborers, gardeners or the myriad other service workers. They have to be right here. So we attract people (economic immigrants, like most of our forbearers some generations ago) willing to do those things for less than living wages. Yes, today they are illegal. But we create the demand and the laws that make them so. We incite their “crimes.” We are culpable. It’s not just the immigrant and his or her employer. It’s all of us. So before we brand those who do our bidding as felons and try to hide behind the shocked and angry faces of our self-righteous victims’ masks, we should look a lot harder at ourselves, our expectations, our laws and the consequences. By in large, these immigrants, many with families, are well-intended, hard-working, honest men and women. Some are not, of course. For as long as we create the demand with one hand and force its fulfillment underground with the other, we will continue to create a bias that encourages those who are willing to break laws and discourages those who would not. Organized crime flourished under Prohibition, didn’t it? Wake up Hometown, USA. Right, wrong or indifferent, if we expect goods and services for less than it costs to provide them for ourselves, we must change our laws to encourage those who will to do so lawfully. Either that or pay full and fair prices or do without. All else is duplicity. Sadly, we seem to be getting better at that all the time. Dean KerklingLike a loaded gunMy two cents on the tragic attack on the toddler by a dog: I take the loaded-gun theory. The dog sounds like a loaded gun, like a percentage of dogs are. I say a strong look needs to be taken at dog behavior and psychology, and for that matter, the relative negligence of the owner for having that dog outside, whether on or off property, if there was work to be done on the hot tub, or whatever.In addition to the number of dogs we raised through the years, I worked with a dog team for a season when I was in Alaska. I helped my best friend run and train his team. I also have studied animal behavior, dog behavior, and regret not having the textbook “Animal Misbehavior in Dogs” in my hands right now. (In the words of Thomas Dolby, “Science.”) When I worked for the town of Avon, we also did animal control for a while. Guess who did more?I also was attacked twice by dogs when I was in early grade school. Just got bit in the butt, but not fun. I didn’t provoke the dogs, for that matter.Dogs are not people, but the level of projection among some dog owners is amazing. Dogs are animals. Some animals are friendly. Some are dangerous. Owners of potentially vicious dogs have the responsibility to protect the public, period. You have no expressed right to expose the public to your live time bomb. And dogs do not have human rights; they have animal rights (cruelty laws, etc.).If you leave a loaded pistol in your yard and a 2-year-old pulls the trigger, is it her dad’s fault or the person who left it there?Millennia of dog breeding, the science of genetics, and good statistics clearly show that there are, at the least, general personality trends among the different dog breeds. There are ample bite-by-breed statistics that reflect the ugly side of dog personality. Some dog breeds were bred to have a quick trigger (pits, for example), lower attack thresholds, and such. Neither wishful thinking nor public opinion can change that.But dog behavior is also, well, behavioral. Dogs can be raised to be violent, or to be friendly, and so on.Apply reason and reality to this case. The dog sounds like a dangerous critter. It speaks for itself. I have no sympathy for the owner; on the contrary. But I do feel sorry for dad. You probably figured that the dog was safe if it was outside and not obviously fenced in.M.G. GallagherHead in sandThe Iraq Study Group Report is in and according to Joseph Farah, a Christian Arab/American writer for World Net Daily, it is made up of “two wacky ideas.” To quote him directly, the Baker commission has come up with the following:”Engage Iran and Syria in resolving the Iraq conflict.””Fast-track the creation of a Palestinian state by carving up tiny Israel.”Knowing that Ahmadinejad, the leader of Iran, has publicly called for the destruction of not only Israel, but also the United States, what kind of engagement should we suggest?For decades, Israel has made overtures to the Arabs of the Middle-East. The answer back has been terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians. The unrest in Iraq is the result of decades of oppression by the regime of Saddam Hussein and the support of the various opposing factions by Al Qaeda, Iran and Syria. The unrest in Iraq has nothing to do with the Palestinian Arab war against Israel.Again to quote Mr. Farah, “The terrorists we fight in Iraq today wouldn’t last a week without the direct support and encouragement of the mullah government in Iran and the police state of Bashar Assad in Syria. One of George Bush’s biggest mistakes as president has been to ignore this reality and to play patty-cake with the terrorist enemy.”Best stated of all is the direct quote from Pulitzer Price Winner Charles Krauthammer: “Imagine that there is peace between Israel and the Arabs. No, imagine an even better solution from the Arab point of view – an earthquake that tomorrow swallows Israel whole and sinks it (like Santorini, 1650 B.C.) into the Mediterranean. Does anyone imagine that the Shiites stop killing Sunnis? That Al-Qaeda stops killing Americans? That Iran and Syria work any less assiduously to destabilize post-Saddam Iraq? It’s these obvious absurdities that make the report so dismissible.”Our government needs to get its head out of the sand.Arthur KittayEagleNeed to be on same pageI’ve been hearing about a new DUI policy for the parking structures. According to what I’ve heard, this is the new policy:If you park in the structures after 3 p.m. (Free after 3), and you feel like you’ve had too much to drink, you can leave your car as long as you get it out by 11the next morning. In the morning, you go to the information center, get a card and you can get your car out for free.First I would like to say, that if this is true, it is an excellent policy and a nice move by the town. It offers everyone a safe, convenient option. Normally, if you left your car overnight, it would cost $17 to get it out, which feels like you are being fined for being responsible.Unfortunately, my first experience with this policy didn’t work that way. On Friday night, I left my car in the Vail structure. Saturday morning, I went to the information center and the whole place was locked up (despite the fact that the hours posted said that it opened at 9). There was no one to be found. I went through the toll booth anyway and I was told that I had to pay $17 and there was nothing he could do. He talked to his boss on a walkie talkie and I heard his boss state the same policy as above, but since I didn’t get a card, I still owed $17.I went to the police station. I talked to a police officer and he had a different idea of what the policy was. He said I had to get a card from a police officer at night and that I had to be out by 9, not 11. The police officer and the toll booth operators had different ideas of what the policy is. For the record, the officer did give me one of the cards and I was able to go back to the booth and use it.The reason I’m writing this letter is that I think this is a great policy that is fair and convenient for everyone, but it will totally fail unless all parties are on the same page and doing their part. Eleven is a reasonable time and the cards should be easy to obtain. The information center plan seems perfect as long as we can rely on the fact that someone will actually be there. This policy keeps drunk drivers off the road and doesn’t fine responsible people $17 for making a good decision.If you are really concerned about keeping people safe, you should make it as easy as possible for people to leave their cars. Give people the opportunity to do the right thing.Ron GirottiVail
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