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Letters to the editor

Arthur Kittay

Unfortunately, peace between the Arabs and Israel is no closer today than six months ago before the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza. Reports from Arab ruled Gaza indicate that anarchy prevails in the territory.Fatah gangs, belonging to the party of Palestinian Arab Authority leader Abbas, are running rampant in Gaza. Al-Azhar University in Gaza City has been shut down after gunmen belonging to the ruling Fatah party beat the institution’s president and some of his aides. The attack took place on Wednesday when some 20 gunmen stormed the offices of university president Dr. Adnan al-Khaldi and forced him to flee after assaulting him.This attack was not the first of its kind on the university. Earlier this year another Fatah group stormed the campus and threatened to lynch the university president, who managed to escape unharmed.The attack coincided with a report published by the Palestinian Arab Authority showing that the armed wing of Minister Abbas’s Fatah, Aksa Martyrs Brigades, was largely responsible for the continued state of lawlessness and anarchy. Figures released showed that Fatah gunmen were involved last August in 20 incidents of lawlessness, while Hamas came in second with only 18 violations. The number of Palestinians killed in domestic violence since the beginning of the year was higher than those killed by the IDF, the figures showed. If Abbas cannot control his own party how can we trust him to make peace?In another sign of growing lawlessness, a Palestinian man was killed and two others injured in armed clashes between rival Fatah gangs in the town of Kabatya near Jenin. The victim was identified as Ala Sabaneh, a policeman who was wanted by Israel for his role in terror activities. Residents said the gunmen were local members of rival factions of the Aksa Martyrs Brigades.Supporting a Palestinian Arab state is support for anarchy in the Middle East. There is no rule of law and no support for the present regime. To continue support for another Palestinian Arab state is to allow the world terrorists, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Iranian autocracy and others a place of refuge.President Bush should end the folly of supporting Palestinian Arab autonomy.Arthur KittayEagle Ask themOK, so we have a woman named Harriet Miers nominated to be a justice of the Supreme Court. Her most important qualifications seem to be that George Bush has known her for many years and she goes to church on a regular basis. Doesn’t seem too impressive. Nonetheless, during the month of November, following a great amount of posturing and theatrics by our U.S. senators, she probably will be confirmed. And between now and then, we will be inundated by the opinions of politicians, religious leaders, newspaper columnists, and the representatives of various special interest groups.But wouldn’t it be interesting if we could also be treated to the thoughts of the current members of the Supreme Court? After all, these are seven men and a woman who have been there and done that. They are also the eight people who will directly interface with Ms. Miers.What do they think? Are they concerned that she may be ineffective because of her lack of experience? Do some of them believe that her nomination belittles their own judicial qualifications and knowledge? Do any of them worry that she may merely support the agenda of Mr. Bush? Or conversely, do any, or all of them look forward to her confirmation, her viewpoints and ultimately, her contributions to their decisions? In essence, it would be really enlightening – and great fun – to know whether each of the current justices is ecstatic, luke warm or opposed to her selection. Obviously this wish will not be realized, but it would be really cool if it could be. Too bad that the system doesn’t give us the privilege.David Le VineAnd your point?You printed a commentary written by Michael Cacioppo on Oct. 14, titled “How stupid are you?” in which he urges voters to vote no on referenda C and D. I would like to remind your readers that Mr. Cacioppo is the same man who sued the Eagle County School District a few years ago in an attempt to prohibit teachers from receiving raises which we as taxpayers had approved through a legal vote. The lawsuit was dismissed by the courts, but only after thousands of taxpayer dollars were wasted defending the legality of the vote.I urge your readers to form their own opinions of these two referenda based upon a complete set of the facts rather than trusting the biased, one-sided, and anti-anything-government findings of Michael Cacioppo. The fact that the Vail Daily would allow Mr. Cacioppo its valuable space as a forum for his egocentric and half-informed blabbing is astounding! At least Mr. Cacioppo can still speak out and now has the benefit of an editor who can correct his grammar.Joanne ScarpinoAvon Heard here firstRecently I listened to a 30-minute interview that featured Ben Livingston, a 77-year-old retiree of the military who has a master’s degree in cloud physics from the Naval Weapons Center and Navy Post Graduate School in California, a degree he later used in the battlefields of Vietnam to create excesses of rain to slow down advances of Korean and Vietnamese troops. He simply used the same technology involving silver iodine back in the 1960s that our friends at Vail Resorts rely on for cloud-seeding today. He goes on to say that in the mid-1960s he was hired by the government to see what type of effects he and his team could have on hurricanes. By seeding the outer most front quadrant of certain hurricanes they were able to reduce wind velocities and rain amounts by close to 30 percent in some and only 8-15 percent in others. This was later verified by third party companies out of California. Mr. Livingston now helps operate Weather Modification Inc. out of Fargo, N.D., and says employing his company for the entire hurricane season would only cost $25 million a year. That dwarfs even the amount that our government has given the Carnival cruise line company to have three of their boats stationed off of New Orleans for evacuees and people in need sitting half empty. The government hasn’t exactly been screaming for Mr. Livingston’s help. You can look at http://www.water.utah.gov/waterplan/uwpff/Chp-06c.htm to see the successes that Utah has had with weather modification in increasing their rainfall and snow amounts. Tavius Sims Avon Thanks for helpThanks very much to the dozens of volunteers who have donated their time and efforts for a successful conference center campaign. The response from the community has been nothing short of overwhelming – 100 folks braved the early morning cold to attend our kick off rally and over 25 people have participated in our volunteer phone bank and mailing efforts. These events are not only important for informing Vail voters about the Conference Center but also represent the spirit that makes this community great. Thanks for your continued energy and passion. Keep up the good work.Mike GriffinVail, Colorado


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