Letters to the editor
The Vail Chamber & Business Association has officially decided not to take a position on the proposed construction of a new conference center in Vail. Currently, there are significant differences of opinion within both the community and our organization in regards to this issue. As a result, the VCBA does not think anything other than a neutral position would be prudent.However, the VCBA would like to encourage everyone in the business community to do their part and educate themselves on this important issue. The prospect of a conference center in Vail has many potential ramifications, good and bad, for every citizen and business in Vail. Every vote will make a difference this November.For more information on the conference center, please visit http://www.vailgov.com. Steve Rosenthal PresidentVail Chamber & Business AssociationAgainst RobertsDespite an extremely busy schedule, I felt it important to share some concerns regarding the prospect of John Roberts being appointed to the Supreme Court.Roberts may be managing to artfully dodge question after question at his confirmation hearings, but he can’t avoid what he’s written in the past.Roberts’ writings as an attorney in the Reagan administration have shed light on his sense of fairness, equality, and compassion – all things that make this country and its people great. As more continues to come out about his record, it becomes more evident that he holds a deep indifference and callousness toward the most vulnerable in our country – something that the American people rejected long ago. He’s a sharp political mind, to be sure. Smart and savvy, Roberts has used his skills as a lawyer to skate around many of the questions that would expose his cold views on fairness and equal protection under the law. But there are plenty of other smart, savvy people already working in Washington who have done nothing to make our lives better, and John Roberts is no different.As an American who believes in moral fairness, equality and compassion, I urge the Senate to reject John Roberts.Scott WinnegradEagleOil’s peak”Experts argue on when oil will start running out” is The Associated Press title to the strange stories and opinions of writer George Jahn in Friday’s Vail Daily. Liquids in a sealed container “start running out” as soon as the valve is opened. Certain parts of the story are both confusing and contradictory, and much is deceiving.The reduction in the oil reserve barrels to be produced over time by Shell a few years ago amounted to nearly a year’s worth of the annual world production. This brought the year of the peak one-year closer than anticipated.The idea that someday production will start running out is probably referring to the date of major and noticeable shortfall of production with steadily increasing demand (possibly this winter,)The finance ministers talking to the OPEC cartel will be one of the least accurate of sources, since they deal in finance, not petroleum reservoir production and decline calculations, and they bargain over how much you want to pay.By reference to Kenneth Deffeyes as an oil maverick, Jahn is a pot calling the kettle black. Proven but untapped oil reserves in the Middle East will continue to be developed for generations, but by the next decade, those reserves will be used by the Middle East OPEC countries for their own population, not for sale at any price outside of their own patch of earth.Due to the many false and inaccurate figures and phrase usage, parts of this text may have been in a foreign language and poorly translated into English. Parts of the article are confusing due to so many varied expert opinions and the many different mixes of measurement, units and rates over a period of time. In my opinion it appears to have no factual basis of authority and should be on an editorial opinion page or in the comic section.The quote from the U.S. Department of Energy is the most startling and accurate: “Oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.”Steve ZorichakVailWon’t doAfter totally fumbling the ball regarding Katrina, good old George comes up with the supreme political solution. We’ll admit that there has been some social and economic injustice, happy up the potential voters by rebuilding the devastated areas, and let future generations pay the bill. The things that he won’t do is raise taxes on the wealthiest in order to pay for the program, nor will he end his stupid war in order to free up the necessary funds. Instead, he says that we’ll just have to reduce the costs of other existing programs. But we all know that’s baloney because neither he nor our Congress will make that a priority. That is fortunate, for if they did, the reductions would come at the expense of the environment, health care, our national parks and education. So what really happens? Our debt gets larger, interest rates will inevitably be higher, our nation will become more dependent on foreign purchases of our bonds, and our children will pay for this administration’s lack of discipline. All because our president isn’t pleased with his low approval ratings and he won’t admit to starting a stupid war, nor to providing excessive tax cuts for the wealthy.David Le VineBush’s choicesPresident Bush came to his job with the objective of applying a business model to run the federal government. I had often wondered whether that idea had merit. Some years ago, I concluded that government and business must indeed have different objectives if only because the latter’s is primarily to turn a profit and government’s objective is far more complex than that. His insensitivity to those who did not share his model for government now finds him, five years into his two-term presidency, without the credibility he needs to govern effectively. Using his own words to describe his circumstances, he’s spent his political capital defending his credibility and hasn’t much left to rally the entire nation, for his conservative base is no longer enough to bend to the tasks facing us. Put simply, the people just don’t trust him not to turn the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast into an enormous pork barrel for his friends, and the war in Iraq into a deeper quagmire and both a huge drain on the national treasury. Here are his choices: He can keep grinding out his agenda, which even some members of his own party have concluded is too narrow and impractical to move the nation forward. He can soften his stance and come more to the center, risking alienating his important conservative base. If he chooses the former, then both he and the nation will have no choice but to wait out his presidency until it expires, then assess the damage and spend the next eight years trying to fix what he’s broken. It doesn’t matter which party wins the 2008 election. Either will face the same challenges. If the responses to those challenges continue to be postponed, fewer and fewer practical solutions will make themselves available. If he chooses the latter, he may yet set the country on a decent course and salvage a legacy beyond the partisan politics and narrowmindedness that have thus far characterized his tenure. Gus Nicholson Vail, Colorado
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