Letters to the editor
From: “The Assassination of Julius Caesar (A People’s History of Ancient Rome),” by Michael Parenti:”In word and action, wealthy Romans made no secret of their fear and hatred of the common people and of anyone else who infringed upon their class prerogatives. History is full of examples of politico-economic elites who equate any challenge to their privileged social order as a challenge to all social order, an invitation to chaos and perdition. The oligarchs of Rome were no exception. Steeped in utter opulence and luxury, they remained forever inhospitable to Rome’s democratic element.””In Act II of Caesar and Cleopatra (G.B. Shaw), Lucius Septimus refuses Caesar’s invitation to join his ranks and prepares to depart. Caesar’s loyal comrade in arms, Rufus, angrily observes: ‘That means he is a Republican.’ Lucius turns defiantly and asks: ‘And what are you?’ To which Rufus responds, ‘A Caesarian, like all Caesar’s soldiers.’ But Shaw has Caesar interjecting: ‘Lucius, believe me, Caesar is no Caesarian. Were Rome a true republic, then were Caesar the first of Republicans.'”That response invites the dissident query … how Republican was the Late Republic (about 133 B.C. to about 40 B.C.). More than 2,000 years after Caesar, most students of the period have yet to bid farewell to the misapprehensions about the Republicanism embraced by Lucius and most others of his social set. They have yet to consider that republicanism might largely be a cloak for oligarchic privilege – as it often is to this day – worn grudgingly by the cities as long as it proved serviceable to their interests.””Here is a struggle between the plutocratic few and the indigent many, the privileged versus the proletariat, featuring corrupt politicians, money-driven elections, and the political assassination of popular leaders. I leave it to the reader to decide whether any of this might resonate with the temper of our own times.”In view of Parenti’s assessment, it is worth observing how Vail, in particular and America, generally, evolved after, say, 1980.Art AllardVailToo seriousI am writing this letter after reading the angry letter about only having one newspaper in Vail and how bad everything was here. It sort of reminds me of the stories, both past and present, with people venting about their grievances. In the 1980s, when I moved here, the major topics of discussion were employee housing and high gas prices in Vail. Later on I recall the anger of one Michael Cacioppo regarding the Eagle River pollution and contaminated pit next to the school in Minturn, to the point where he took his family and left town. Fast forward to the debates over the roundabouts. I remember hearing that the fire trucks in Vail would not be able to navigate through them for emergencies. Then we had the tons of comments about the Wal-Mart flagpole. Now it’s the Crossroads project, or lack thereof. While everyone “fights,” the retailers are moving to Edwards.Back to the guy who doesn’t like our only newspaper. You have to read our paper with a sense of humor. Most recently the front page had a picture of a young man fly casting. The caption said he was fishing on the Gore Creek in Eagle-Vail. That’s funny. Richard Carnes tries to be funny, but Matt Zalaznick, that’s funny. The full page ads promoting an event that has long since past, the stock market results or the TV listings for the wrong days, etc. The ever-present letters from Democrats blasting the Republicans and vice versa. Have one of these letters ever caused someone to change parties? Does everyone know that Arthur Kittay is pro-Israel? The longer you live here, the more you see the humor.I for one am thankful I no longer live in a big city with a couple of big newspapers that report accurate things that are scary and depressing. Take time to enjoy another glorious fall while we wait for another great ski season in one of the greatest places on Earth to live. Or don’t!Ron HerbingerBeaver CreekEditor’s note: The fly fisherman was at the confluence of Gore Creek and the Eagle River, near Eagle-Vail but more properly identified as Dowd Junction.Not amusedAlex Miller’s flippant account of the VMS Home Tour fundraiser was inexcusably rude. It was insulting to a group of nice people who were doing something good for children. Most of the homeowners are full-time residents who are kind enough to allow 500-plus strangers browse through their homes to aid a scholarship program. They certainly did not deserve to have their beautiful homes referred to with such terms as “unforgiving,” “no heart,” “mine structure” and “raspy carpets.”I worked eight hours that day and watched people flow through the house with smiles, enjoying interesting features and gorgeous homes. They were virtually all pleasant and friendly, and many asked about the scholarship program and Vail Mountain School. I must have missed your face. I would certainly have noticed a sour, negative and ungracious person.I am proud that my home has been also in a home tour for the school and it would have greatly offended me then to have anyone publicly criticize my family’s home in the local paper. That an assistant editor would do so is astounding.It is intimidating to have your home opened to strangers, but you do it for the kids. It’s about the kids, Mr. Miller, and trying to help. Your comments were tasteless and inappropriate. Susan WashingAvon Citizens of MinturnI am a little disappointed that the Minturn businesses feel a strained relationship with its residents. Over the past seven years, it has been citizens who have played an active role in making a difference in the town. The Minturn Visioning Committee, a group of volunteer citizens, helped to create market and manage the Minturn Market. Fundraising for the new, Town Park was undertaken by community activists. And the valley’s first community radio station, Radio Free Minturn, will start broadcasting soon, thanks to the determination of residents and music enthusiasts. Minturn does not have enough critical mass to support its businesses and many of the town residents do not have extraordinary amounts of discretionary income to dine out and decorate their homes and gardens. The town may not be business friendly, but the citizens most certainly are! Liz CampbellMinturnVail, Colorado
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