Now that Crossroads is over … |

Now that Crossroads is over …

What is Happy Valley to do?The singular issue that captivated hundreds (yet endured by thousands) for months on end has finally come to a majority-ruled conclusion, so hand-wringing folks are left wondering what subjects they should be upset about next. What life-changing topics will capture the majority of words on this very page and steal space from front page headlines? Will it be dog poop around Nottingham Lake, speed limits in front of Arrowhead, slides in Beaver Creek (oh, the horror), drive-by bear shootings, tax-funded child care, bond issues for quasi-public schools, parking for Not-So-Hot Summer Nights, Avon Post Office pot holes or the threat from Tri Lateral Commission-controlled UFOs?One shudders at the implications of it all.How about stem-cell research? That’s something worthy of continued debate.Last week our compassionate leader was compelled to slam government funding for research straight back into the face of the over 70 percent of Americans who were in favor of it. And some of you out there in readerland were nice enough to point out your personal disdain for government’s intrusion in medical research, therefore agreeing with the president.A few went so far as to reference the Constitution and the “limits” placed upon the federal government, as if those words were carved in stone. I hate to be the bearer of bad news boys, but those limitations have been exceeded ever since the day they were adopted (I believe Franklin was the first to say, “Hey, wait a minute!” before the ink dried), and will continue to be so in perpetuity. It is called change and re-interpretation of a living document, and comes in the form of amendments and other legislation.As society progresses so shall our Constitution.To say the government has no business in modern medical research would be like saying the town of Vail has no business with anything ever done by Vail Resorts. Where would the successful eradication of smallpox and potential purge of polio be without government-funded research and inoculation programs? How about the FDA? Sure, they bungle a great deal, but they also help insure our food supply to be the safest on the planet (look it up). Ever had a hot dog in Mexico and wonder what was actually inside? No, of course not, as that would make you toss up your last three margaritas. What about the U.S. Centers for Disease Control? Would you prefer for that not to exist, or simply hope profit-driven free-market scientist developed cures for potential pandemic scenarios out of the goodness of their hearts?My true fear here is that the government could continue this scary path of basing policy upon personal religious beliefs, and before we know it they would discover a method to ban private stem-cell research for the same archaic reasons.Don’t think it could happen? What about Prohibition? Over 80 years ago the federal government was able to use faith-based reasoning to greatly control the social consciousness, not to mention the late-night libido, of an entire nation simply because a religious minority decided it was in “our” best interest.Common sense and a few choice bottles of Scotch eventually won that battle, and I hope the same happens for stem-cell research.Yet there is so much else for us all to discuss, especially on the local level. Whatever happened to Alberto Vilar? When will the name change up in Beaver Creek? How about Fred Green’s berm or the inappropriately named “Friends of Vail” lawsuit? Those are fun party topics. What happened to the 10-year-old handcuffed at Avon Elementary last March or the Avon Police Department’s stun gun lost in February? Did they find it? When will the personal dirt start flying against Bobby Ginn and why do all the bad guys seem to pick on one particular bank in Vail? When can we finally frolic naked at Eaton Ranch and what happened to the Vail Daily reporter who reported being mugged before her first day of work and promptly left town? What happened to the hiker who disappeared up in Holy Cross last August, and how many bars and restaurants have actually lost business because of the smoking ban (and is it quantifiable)? Who are these commissioner candidates and why should we trust any of them any more than we distrust current members? Why does the town of Avon Web site list their next election as November 2004 when we all know they mean 2006?See what I mean? So many questions and so much time. Let’s just take a breather before we start up again, OK?Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at Vail, Colorado

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