The trouble with labels, Tamara |

The trouble with labels, Tamara

Don Rogers

Oops, who’d a thunk it? Tamara can’t hardly find anything to disagree with me about. We’re trying. But I’m not quite so conservative as she and her predecessors at the helm of the Vail Trail have tried so hard to paint me. That or maybe she’s really a middle-aged male, in drag.Flag burning? We both know if the symbol of our land needs a law to protect it, America’s got real problems – and not from the occasional nut who burns it.Gay marriage? Good God, could there possibly be a more complete waste of time in these troubled days than to worry about that? The only thing more moronic is talk of a constitutional amendment. Illegal immigration? We both know walls are pure folly when nearly half the illegals overstay their visas, and the cost of construction is ridiculous. Besides, for all the hollering, the United States has a gazillion jobs to fill and these low-wage workers keep the economy from completely overheating. Match the visas to actual available jobs and work out a reasonable guest worker program. That ain’t even difficult.War in Iraq? Even I’m beginning to see this has been folly not only in execution but the idea in the first place. Took me awhile, so give Tamara and her buds credit on this one.Crossroads? Too obvious. Even Tamara got that one.School bond in fall? Tamara sounds more reluctant than I do in our e-mail traffic across the hall here in Eagle-Vail. (You don’t seriously expect me to meet with her face to face, do you? Not when we’re trying so hard to pretend we don’t even work in the same building!) I’m ready to study up with the thought the school district does need to build some schools for the future. She’s thinking more about better use of what they have. Hmmm, maybe there’s a possibility here as an actual question for the voters appears.Ginnturn? Maybe she’ll follow a previous Trail editor’s position that spotting up Battle Mountain, some truly beautiful wildland in direct view of the Holy Cross Wilderness, with yet another gated community is a great thing. Never mind that this position is completely at odds with the Trail’s support for buying a gravel pit in downtown Edwards as “open space” at a high cost for very low open-space value in comparison to outer properties very much like Battle Mountain.But the Eaton Ranch debate has long been settled, and even I don’t want to talk about it anymore. She supports the idea of a little property tax on Eagle County landowners to support early childhood education. Promising, but alas, I’m not so sure I’ll oppose that. My theory is that government should step in on the community’s behalf where the free market proves incapable of handling a challenge.By that standard, I can tell you I strongly oppose government subsidizing new development in this area rife with them. I think boards get sucked, maybe suckered, into deals whereby in the long run they see the promise of more revenue in return for helping projects along perhaps a bit soon. But the community’s quality of life in non-material ways is exactly advanced that way. Development here is trundling along at a fast-enough pace without government aiding and abetting.As a consequence, our challenge with, say, affordable housing is worsened, creating an arena where government perhaps does need to get involved. Thanks in part to government getting involved where it shouldn’t, basically from officials outsmarting themselves.There’s another thought, too: Quite possibly America’s greatest gift to humanity was public education. Our gains have been amazing as a direct result of educating our generations this way. For all the gnashing of teeth about this, we may well save Mexico from itself by educating a growing share of their children, too. In turn, that will help America. But we’re learning that education delivers benefits when begun earlier, and so American education needs to start earlier. That means early childhood education. And that probably should be supported like K-12 schooling.How conservative does that strike you, Tamara? Each Thursday, the editors of the Daily and the Trail offer Point-Counterpoint. For Trail Editor Tamara Miller’s side, see the Vail Trail today or visit http://www.vailtrail.comVail, Colorado

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