Letters to the editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the editor


Wrong issue?

I am responding to the article “It’s the Constitution, stupid,” by Dan Smith, published in the Vail Daily on Friday, Feb. 20.

Dan’s focus is a bumper sticker on a car driving around the valley that reads, “Illegitimate President, Illegitimate War” and he observes that the driver who is displaying this sticker has obviously never read the Constitution of the U.S.

He then explains, oozing condescension, that U.S. presidents are elected by the Electoral College, not the popular vote.

The title of his piece suggests that the driver is stupid, and his piece ends calling him a “jerk.” Dan’s tagline makes it clear that we should accept his view – he teaches political science at CMC.

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Dan made a serious error. He made up an argument, attributed it to the driver, and then demolished it with irrefutable logic. A great way to win an argument.

The problem is that this may not have been the driver’s argument at all. There is nothing in the bumper sticker to suggest that the driver was objecting to the Electoral College-popular vote disparity. This argument technique is spurious.

Perhaps the driver thinks the election of President Bush was illegitimate for an entirely different reason.

It all came down to Florida as to who won – George Bush or Al Gore. Florida’s secretary of state was Katherine Harris (R) and she had organized a massive purge of Florida’s electoral roles before the 2000 election.

Thousands of people who had every right to vote, and who tried to vote, found that they had been thrown off the rolls for no valid reason and so could not. Surprise, surprise.

The people who had been purged were predominantly from poor neighborhoods, the very places where Gore could have expected strong support.

It was not a comfort that Katherine Harris was also co-chairwoman of the Florida Bush campaign, dedicated to electing George Bush.

So we still have the question: Was Bush’s election legitimate? Some clear-thinking, fair-minded people might well conclude that it was not.

It is surprising that Dan Smith should write such a piece. It commits one of the very errors he should be teaching his CMC students to avoid.

Further, his article is immoderate, bludgeoning, strident.

Is Dan teaching our students to engage in decent and thoughtful political discussion, or what? His example does not suggest so.

Tom Hopkins


Oh, relax

The things I read in my local paper never seem to amaze me. Every day it seems some patron of our famous little valley is groaning about some trivial little thing.

Who cares if the new Miller Ranch bridge lights look like a bunch of giant bug zappers? Who cares if Adam Aaron got an $8 million bonus?

I’ve lived in this great valley since 1992, which makes me a rookie by some standards and a local by others. (It depends on who you ask.)

And all I have to say is bring back the old days!

Does anyone here remember when the four-way stop signs used to work perfectly? Does anyone remember when the Great Race meant celebrating Vail with an annual day of silliness?

All I see these days is everyone bitching about someone or something else. Always so serious. When did the life-loving attitude of this valley change?

Let’s remember to be KIND to each other. Is that so hard?

Will it really kill us to slow down 5 mph on the roundabouts? It makes life for the other guy trying to enter so much nicer and really what’s the rush? The world is round!

And what’s all the talk about snowboarders and skiers hating each other? We are all sharing the most beautiful place on earth and we make up some reason to see each other as the enemy. Retarded!

Let’s try to remember to love your brother and your sister.

I telemark. I like riding up with boarders on the lifts. I offer to let them have the inside or outside seat because it’s more comfortable for them, they can adjust their board. It’s not hard.

Let’s all try to remember a time when we moved here because this beautiful place has a beautiful pace. Growth brings the hustle and bustle of more people to this valley and that’s inevitable.

Vail is corporate. Like it or not, this fact seems to directly contradict the slower pace of life here. All we can really control is our attitudes.

So let’s try, as the citizens of the Vail Valley, to make this a nicer place to live. Take a large breath of the clean Rocky Mountain air and relax.

The greatest people in the world live here. I have faith. We can do it. We might find that the Vail Valley will grow forward into the future while the smalltown mentality has stayed. Take a chance. I think we might all like the results.

Chet Aziah



This letter is in response to the letter “Too Crowded,” by Karla Berman, in Sunday’s Vail Daily. Karla tries to jump on the bandwagon and blame the Front Rangers and their cheap passes for overcrowding.

Karla, do you ever ski Vail on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday?

Sure, Vail is crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. I have lived here for 15 years. It is always crowded on weekends.

Sure, a lot of the crowds come up from the Front Range, but many come from right here in Eagle County. Once the weekend is over, these crowds go home, or back to work, and Vail’s slopes are almost empty for the rest of the week.

Speaking of destination skiers. Why don’t you get down on them for all coming at the same time?

Every year President’s Week is always really busy in Vail. Why don’t these fools come the week before or after to even things out? The true ski bums realize this. They take jobs that allow them to ski on weekdays.

Most people are not ski bums. They work Monday through Friday, and take their vacations when their kids have time off of school. So we get crowds at certain times of the week and year.

To suggest that Vail Mountain is always congested is misleading. Using this faulty argument to condemn the Front Rangers, and their “cheap” season passes is simply wrong. Everything happens at the same time in this town. Always has, and probably always will.

The challenge is to find a way to spread out the business. So instead of skiing on Fridays and Saturdays, and bitching about the crowds, come up on a weekday. Encourage the out-of-staters you meet to come a different week, instead of fostering discontent.

I work in a destination hotel. Most of my guests told me that Vail Mountain was not very crowded over Presidents Weekend. Vail did restrict a large portion of passes over the weekend. Vail also offers discounted passes to almost everyone, either in the form of a pre-purchase discount, or some type of pass program like Peaks, or The Perfect 10. These aren’t just offered to the good folks in Colorado.

By the way, what kind of pass do you have, and how much did you pay for it? Are you part of the problem, or the solution?

I am going skiing now. It’s noon on Sunday. I’ll be willing to bet that I don’t stand in line for over five minutes today. It’s going to be lots of fun!

Chip Bartsch


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