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A plea to the Tribe

Dear Editors:

The Southern Utes control both our destiny, and our density.

The proposed annexations of large subdivisions to the city of Durango all depend on water from the Animas-La Plata Project. The main reason given for the A-LP has been to satisfy old water rights claims made by the Tribe.

Many years ago when project water was allocated, the Southern Utes were allocated enough water to supply a coal-fired power plant. The 15,000 acres of coal deposits on tribal land, in western La Plata County, are perfect for a strip mine. Hopefully A-LP “light” will not have enough water for the power plant to operate. Tribal spokesmen expressed the need to “develop our natural resources” to meet their financial needs.

Now, the tribe has done an excellent job developing the natural gas on the reservation. I am happy that millions of dollars a day are flowing into the Tribe. It is great the Southern Utes are no longer dependent on money from Washington.

So why must the Tribe expand into the Real Estate Development business? They have a great cash flow with the gas business.

I plead with the Tribe to give up their demand for water from the Animas. Tell Washington to stop the half-billion-dollar project, we don’t need it any more.

The Grandview property would make a nice Tribal park, hunting grounds and wildlife refuge. They could also buy the proposed subdivision in the Animas Valley and designate it as open space. Certainly they could use the tax credits to offset their income.

My first year in Durango was 1973. I had a class at Fort Lewis, “Contemporary Moral Issues.” Art, a member of the Ute Mountain Tribe, was in the class. He told us about what he was taught about morals. There are crimes against nature, crimes against the earth. We are protectors of the world around us. If we take good care of the earth, we will be rewarded by it in ways money cannot compare to.

I thought, “What a great place to live, where SOMEONE has respect for their surroundings.”

-Dave Weidenmiller

Bowling for the White House

(The following letter was sent by filmmaker and recent Academy Award winner Michael Moore to George W. Bush.)

Dear Governor Bush:

So today is what you call “the moment of truth,” the day that “France and the rest of world have to show their cards on the table.” I’m glad to hear that this day has finally arrived. Because, I gotta tell ya, having survived 440 days of your lying and conniving, I wasn’t sure if I could take much more. So I’m glad to hear that today is Truth Day, ’cause I got a few truths I would like to share with you:A0

1. There is virtually no one in America (talk radio nutters and Fox News aside) who is gung-ho to go to war. Trust me on this one. Walk out of the White House and on to any street in America and try to find five people who are passionate about wanting to kill Iraqis. You won’t find them! Why? ’Cause no Iraqis have ever come here and killed any of us! No Iraqi has even threatened to do that. You see, this is how we average Americans think: If a certain so-and-so is not perceived as a threat to our lives, then, believe it or not, we don’t want to kill him. Funny how that works!

2. The majority of Americans – the ones who never elected you – are not fooled by your weapons of mass distraction. We know what the real issues are that affect our daily lives – and none of them begin with I or end in Q. Here’s what threatens us: 2BD million jobs lost since you took office, the stock market having become a cruel joke, no one knowing if their retirement funds are going to be there, gas now costs almost $2 – the list goes on and on. Bombing Iraq will not make any of this go away. Only you need to go away for things to improve.

3. As Bill Maher said last week, how bad do you have to suck to lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein? The whole world is against you, Mr. Bush. Count your fellow Americans among them.

4. The Pope has said this war is wrong, that it is a sin. The Pope! But even worse, the Dixie Chicks have now come out against you! How bad does it have to get before you realize that you are an army of one on this war?

Of course, this is a war you personally won’t have to fight. Just like when you went AWOL while the poor were shipped to Vietnam in your place.A0

5. Of the 535 members of Congress, only one (Sen. Johnson of South Dakota) has an enlisted son or daughter in the armed forces! If you really want to stand up for America, please send your twin daughters over to Kuwait right now and let them don their chemical-warfare suits.

And let’s see every member of Congress with a child of military age also sacrifice their kids for this war effort. What’s that you say? You don’t think so? Well, hey, guess what – we don’t think so either!

6. Finally, we love France. Yes, they have pulled some royal screw-ups. Yes, some of them can be pretty damn annoying. But have you forgotten we wouldn’t even have this country known as America if it weren’t for the French? That it was their help in the Revolutionary War that won it for us? That our greatest thinkers and founding fathers – Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, etc. – spent many years in Paris where they refined the concepts that lead to our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution? That it was France who gave us our Statue of Liberty, a Frenchman who built the Chevrolet, and a pair of French brothers who invented the movies?

And now they are doing what only a good friend can do – tell you the truth about yourself, straight, no b.s. Quit pissing on the French and thank them for getting it right for once.

You know, you really should have traveled more (like once) before you took over. Your ignorance of the world has not only made you look stupid, it has painted you into a corner you can’t get out of.

Well, cheer up – there is good news. If you do go through with this war, more than likely it will be over soon because I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of Iraqis willing to lay down their lives to protect Saddam Hussein. After you “win” the war, you will enjoy a huge bump in the popularity polls as everyone loves a winner – and who doesn’t like to see a good ass-whoopin’ every now and then (especially when it’s some Third World ass!). So try your best to ride this victory all the way to next year’s election. Of course, that’s still a long ways away, so we’ll all get to have a good hardy-har-har while we watch the economy sink even further down the toilet!

But, hey, who knows – maybe you’ll find Osama a few days before the election! See, start thinking like that! Keep hope alive! Kill Iraqis – they got our oil!!

- Yours, Michael Moore





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