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Letters to the editor

David Le Vine

I offer this letter as an opportunity for my Republican friends to engage in a bit of objective analysis. I only suggest that you honestly answer the ten questions below. The evaluation following the questions merely reflects my personal thoughts and you are certainly free to disagree and make your own evaluation regarding your choices.Are you concerned regarding the possibility that Mr. Bush manipulated the data in order to obtain support for the war in Iraq? Do you think that this war was a mistake?Are you concerned about the increase in our national debt and the fact that our “kids” will pay a great deal of money just to cover the interest? Are you concerned about the fact that foreign countries now hold a huge share of our government’s bonds and that our interest rates and, in fact, our financial health is therefore captive to their investment policies?Are you concerned with the data that clearly shows the widening financial gap between the wealthiest of us and the middle class?Do you think that congress should pass legislation that increases the minimum wage ( $5.15 per hour ) so that it provides a “decent” compensation?Were you concerned by Mr. Bush’s unilateral withdrawal from the (Kyoto Protocol) agreements regarding the reduction of global warming?Are you concerned about the the lack of leadership, or of any progress, towards achieving, and enforcing, a reasonable immigration policy? Are you concerned regarding the intrusion of religion into political decision making?Are you concerned about the fact that our great country’s fine reputation has suffered throughout the world? If the answer is “No” to every question, then you don’t even bother to read or listen or think.If you answered “Yes” to between one and five of the questions, then you are a dedicated Republican.If you answered “Yes” to between six and nine of the questions then you are a thoughtful Republican and a potential Democrat.If you answered “Yes” to all 10 of the questions then you really are a FLAMING LIBERAL. Congratulations!David Le VineIt’s timeLet me state that I am now neither a Democrat or a Republican or as some would call them the party of no solutions and the party of poor solutions. I am an independent and fit into the category of most Americans – one which believes in some of the ideology of both parties, but not all of either. Radicalism from both sides of the aisle has landed me in the middle.What is worse: “I never had sex with that woman!” or having an aircraft carrier turn around near shore for a photo op landing to declare the war was over in Iraq? That was two years ago with no end now in sight for the war and many more American lives lost since that declaration. It has been stated by some in authority that it may take as long as 12 more years to exit Iraq. …Being a Marine Corps veteran, it always amazes me that so many of those who are most adamant about us being in Iraq are those who have never served in the military, never fired a shot or had the opportunity to kill or be killed. For those of you in the military and their families and loved ones of those in the military, please understand I have nothing but love and respect for you. You are on a much higher plane than those of us sitting at home, whom you protect. You have and most assuredly deserve our heartfelt love and appreciation. Please come home safe and soon. You are the ones who give me the right and opportunity to express my thoughts freely. I understand that. Thank you from the depths of my heart. I must confess that I oppose the war in Iraq. There is no direction by our leaders (either party) for a real exit strategy. We have to do better than “maybe 12 years down the road.” We are in a country with centuries of conflict that we are not now or ever going to solve by sacrificing our loved ones in the name of spreading democracy. How does one change a centuries’ old culture with bombs and forced democracy?I know, I know, it’s a step-by-step process that takes time and we are getting rid of despots, warmongers and tyrants. Just look at the lineup of those poised to take Saddam’s place in Iraq to lead them to democracy. Perhaps Osama will once again emerge to lead Iraq to democracy. Yup! The same Osama we have not yet located, the same Osama who helped engineer 9-11. I guess 9-11 was a good excuse to go to war with Iraq even though Saddam or Iraq wasn’t hijacking those planes or hiding weapons of mass destruction. Thinking they did or might have apparently gave us enough reason to send our children to war.Please do not get me wrong. We must of course combat terrorism and our way of life. Don’t for one second accuse me of being sympathetic toward terrorists or their ideology. I served my country and I am an American. I will defend my country and its principles to my death. I support our troops. I do not support those who led us to Iraq and cannot now lead us out.Sept. 11 aside, would the recent London bombings have occurred if the war in Iraq wasn’t occurring? It would appear as if Iraq has become a rallying point for terrorists from throughout the region as they pour into Iraq. You will have to be the judge of that one.Bottom line: Our military and financial resources could more than likely be put to better use in fighting terrorism globally than used to fight a war and bring democracy to an impoverished country that has no likelihood of ever attacking America. Personally, my resources would go toward the North Korean problem. They have nuclear capability and no love for Americans.While watching the G-8 summit recently and all of our world “leaders” standing on the stage, it struck me once again.It’s time to elect a female president of the United States. (And no, I am not advocating any female for that position.) Women get things done, they seem to reason better, listen better and they do not have that “penis complex” to get in the way of that reasoning. I do not see females strut to a microphone trying to look like something they are not. Women usually have an answer when they step up to the microphone and when they don’t, they usually get an answer.If you really want to get serious about democracy, the United States being a world leader again, respected by the world again, elect a female to be president.You see, it’s the female who carries that child inside of them for nine months, that suckles that baby, that cries with them, cares for them, encourages them. They take every breath that child takes from the moment they are conceived.They are there when the flag-draped coffin comes home to them.No one, absolutely no one, suffers more than a mother does during times of war. Mom wasn’t there when her child, her husband, brother or sister took their last breath, uttered their last words and shed their last tear. They couldn’t give their loved ones comfort, tell them how much they were loved. Who suffers? Please don’t talk to me about the sacrifices we must make in the name of democracy. Talk to me about why we are having to continue to make those sacrifices in Iraq and be honest about it with yourself, really honest.History does repeat itself with war after war, sacrifice after sacrifice. It also seems that when there is war, there are male leaders involved. Who gives men the right to decide who dies and for what reason they die? Who says it’s the natural role for men to lead? Look at all of history with men in charge, the wars, conflicts. God help us all.We need someone who doesn’t use the oval office for sex or for strutting. We need someone who really understands what’s important.Gerry SandbergEagleFamily ZoneThree cheers for the Christian churches who gave us the Family Zone before the fireworks on July 3! As we live overseas, we so want our children to experience American traditions. Our four children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and brought home healthy, happy memories of an American fourth of July.Many thanks to all the great kids and churches who made it possible!Karina TrevinoMexico City, MexicoFundraiserThank you, Vail community, friends, family and the Gallegos Corporation for their generous contributions to the BMHS Husky Hockey Team during the Fourth of July Parade. The money raised will be used to pay for coaches, ice time, and travel to CHSAA scheduled games.Kristena WyattHusky Hockey Booster ClubRough pathAfter reading the Vail Daily article on the Vail Village smooth path on July 11 and deciding I should sign that petition as fast as I could find a sheet on a clipboard, the very same day I ran into Ms. Will at the Wal-Mart. I was upgrading my hand weights by a pound when I turned and saw Ms. Will. I was traveling the box store on an electric cart – a place too vast for me to limp across – with my service dog, Gladys. I exclaimed. “You were in the Daily! Do you have the petition?” Of course Sarah Will did. I signed.What Sarah Will doesn’t know is that almost 10 years ago, when I was first injured, she was and still is my heroine. No matter what had happened to me – a 5th vertebra in hundreds of bits and three herniated discs – if Sarah could race like she did, and win, I could too. I confessed to her that for every breakfast I had at Mac’s Wagon, I slotted a dollar into her tip/fundraising jar. I don’t know many ski instructors that didn’t. Sarah Will was our poster queen.Later, after gently helping my mother succumb to terminal cancer, Lance Armstrong became my next hero. The last Christmas my mom had, she gave me a Hase KettWeisel recumbent trike. “It’s ALL about the bike!” became my mantra. At last, again, I was able to participate in sport in the Valley, and not be a burden to my friends. I could keep up!Lance, Sarah and Gladys.Strong, Will, Alacrity.Gladys is my service animal that opened my world to EVERYTHING – the other two are my idols and heroes. I’m biking. Next, soon, I shall ski.Back to accessibility, Vail/BC were terrific 10 years ago. But oddly, since ADA was passed it’s all been backwards. Ever try to get around the Beav in a wheelchair? Try to circumvent stairs anywhere?Whether you sport a cane, walker, stroller, dog or you just cannot walk that far, this is an unfriendly place. Cripes, ever try to go to the loo at the Ford Amphitheatre on a Tuesday? The wheelchair ramp is a mosh pit.Vail is the realized dream of a bunch of 10th Mountain veterans. Let’s make sure that it is accessible for veterans of all walks of life. Let us make the path smooth.D. Titus BlackwoodAvon Impressive rescuersI am writing to let residents of Eagle County know what an outstanding resource you have in your community in Vail Mountain Rescue Group. We were recently camping in the Holy Cross Wilderness Area when my wife fell while climbing and broke her leg three miles from the nearest road over a rough trail. I was lucky to be able call 911 on my cell phone and VMRG dispatched immediately and was on scene within an hour. With about 10 responders who left their homes, jobs and families in an instant, they were able to stabilize her medically and transport her safely to an ambulance. This took six hours of incredibly hard work, and through it all they were thoroughly competent, reassuring, and upbeat. They asked for no thanks and only wanted to know when we were home safe and sound.I want to thank the all members of VMRG from the bottom of my heart, and to thank the community and the employers and families of these great individuals for supporting them in the important and selfless work they do. This is a wonderful and impressive group to belong to. Jeff ArchambeauCentennialGreat serviceThis letter is to let the public know about a wonderful and creative program offered by the Eagle Valley Library District and to thank the Avon Library for a terrific resource to the community.It is called “It’s in the Bag Book Club Kits.” The library has book bags with 10 copies of a book, as well as a notebook that has reviews of the book, author information, discussion questions, a sign out sheet and other useful resources.They allow the kits to be checked out for over a month, so a book club can hand out books at a meeting, and collect the books at the next meeting. It is an affordable way to start a book club, too.A book club that purchases books can donate them to the library to “recycle” and have others enjoy the books. We have enjoyed several of these kits, including “My Sister’s Keeper,” “The Kite Runner,” “Reading Lolita in Tehran,”and many others.Many thanks to the Eagle Valley Library District for such a great service!Tsu Wolin-Brown (and Anne Agneberg, Cindy Barnard, Alex Garbacz, Debbie Hiland, Amanda Kuhnert, Heather Lemon, Sandra Morgan, Joy Overbeck, Kacee Picot, Lori Walker and Nancy Young.)Made it happenThe town of Minturn had an outrageous Independence Day Celebration and we owe it all to these energetic, generous, fun, talented, young, old and unique people who love Minturn!A heartfelt thank you from the town of Minturn to:The Gallegos Corporation; The Ginn Clubs & Resorts; Coors; U.S. Forest Service and Smokey Bear; Lone Star Security; the Vail Daily; parade organizer Susana Miranda; Independence Day Committee and volunteers; parade entries, especially those “Senior Wheelers” (who plan to take their show on the road); the Eagle River Fire Protection District and Carol Mulson; Jim Funk, explosive engineer extraordinaire; town of Minturn Public Work, Joe and Arnold; the Turntable restaurant; the volunteers from Crusade for Christ; the community who attended!Finally, a huge thank you AND congratulations to Randy Milhoan of Milhoan Studios, winner of the Key to the City Award!Karen EarleyTown of Minturn


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