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Too much police privilege

Dear Editors,

I wish I could be a cop. You can raid people’s homes without fear of losing your job! Six months after the shooting of a 99-year-old woman in search of drugs, the Atlanta Police Department has stopped seeking as many search warrants, partly because the two officers involved lied to a judge to obtain the warrants.

It doesn’t take much to realize that this can and does happen here in Southwest Colorado, not only here but statewide. It can be said that in the Atlanta case, the police stopped seeking as many warrants because they are being watched more closely now than prior to the killing. That is the kind of oversight that we a lacking here in Colorado. Let’s not forget that an individual from the Southwest Drug Task Force extorted sex from a meth case suspect, and let’s not forget how quickly this was swept under the rug. I even received a mildly harassing response from the head of that department.

This behavior only comes about because these men who enforce our laws think they won’t be reprimanded with proper police oversight by the community. This kind of behavior can be stopped, but then again this is Durango and it is hard to get you people gathered around an issue.

The sole purpose of the police is to “serve and protect” not to surveil and harass. It is up to our community to realize that this is a much bigger problem than is commonly understood. It is our money, and right now it is not being spent wisely. It will get worse before it gets better.

– Spencer Fuller, via e-mail

P.S. Let’s take a tip from Routt County and disband our drug task force. No progress is being made for thegrand amount of money being spent.4

Another G.O.P. scandal

Dear Editors,

Five hundred of the “missing” White House e-mails, declared unavailable for congressional hearings into the firing of nine U.S. Attorneys, have just turned up. Karl Rove’s staffers e-mailed these documents to the wrong address. They were then forwarded to BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast. He has sent them on to Congress.

On May 14, DemocracyNow.org aired what some of these missing e-mails were about: obstruction of justice and disenfranchisement of minority voters.

C-Span is the only media outlet covering the hearings into the demanded resignations of these U.S. Attorneys, all of them with excellent performance evaluations and no prior notice that their jobs were in jeopardy.

Since the firings, the president and Attorney General Gonzales have publicly stated that some of the attorneys were forced to resign because they were not doing enough to suppress “voter fraud.” When the attorneys were asked about this charge, the response was “voter fraud” is bogus and they were not inclined to use their positions for political purposes.

The administration then declared the reason for the firings was “poor performance.” This reason was disproved in the congressional hearings.

As these hearings continue, there are serious consequences for high level Bush Administration officials, including Alberto Gonzales and Karl Rove. Some of their assistants who were personally invited to the firings have themselves resigned after learning of the congressional investigation. They, and their bosses, have been involved in turning our Justice Department into a political pay-off job mill.

The truth behind the firing of these attorneys is this administration wanted to use their jobs to reward political hacks who needed actual job experience to spiff-up their resumes toward running for public office in the future.

The appointment of Karl Rove’s special assistant to U.S. attorney in eastern Arkansas, one of the fired attorneys’ former positions, then his sudden resignation five months later, is a perfect example of the secret activities of the White House and Justice Department.

Tim Griffin, research director for the Republican National Committee (RNC), was chosen by Karl Rove to be his special assistant: White House deputy of political affairs. He was put in charge of Rove’s scheme, the “voter fraud” task force. A hoax on the American people to spark fear that criminals were voting or trying to vote, thereby creating a need for a national I.D. for voters to participate in the 2008 election. Major cities and minority neighborhoods, areas that traditionally vote Democratic, were the main targets of their efforts of intimidation and voter suppression.

Among the 500 “missing” e-mails were details of how legitimate registered voters had their ballots challenged and thrown out by the RNC, just as the “voter fraud” task force planned.

The Election Assistance Commission has estimated that more than 3 million voters in the last election had their ballots challenged or destroyed. The voters involved never knew their ballot was not in the final count, and that their civil rights had possibly been violated in the process.

Here is how some of the “missing” e-mails describe the scam: One of the targeted places for voter disenfranchisement was the Naval Air Station in Florida. Numerous African American service people were sent a notice to their homes stating that their addresses needed to be confirmed for verification. When those notices were not returned, their names and voter information were placed in a report compiled for the RNC. The voter was never given an opportunity to explain about their address “change.” They were never notified. Most of these service people were in Afghanistan or Iraq.

The election was held. The military voters sent their overseas ballot to be counted. At this point, the RNC stepped in with their special report and challenged certain ballots, then made sure the contested ballots were not counted, but destroyed.

This was one of the various ways Tim Griffin accomplished his “voter fraud” task to prevent minority voters from having their voices heard. The perfect crime…the victim never knew what happened.

Another way to keep registered voters from having a ballot was to declare they had brought the “wrong I.D.” to their polling place. The EAC estimates that 250,000 potential voters were denied a ballot in the 2006 election, 3 million ballots were not counted in the 2004 election and at least a half million absentee ballots were thrown away and never counted.

The voters targeted in these schemes have been labeled in political rhetoric as part of the nationally rampant “voter fraud.” It is a criminal offense to try to vote illegally, but current information shows only a handful of voters, and a slightly larger number of election officials, have been charged with election fraud. The other 99.5 percent were never arrested or charged with any crime. But then, why pursue the claim? The people disqualifying these voters have already accomplished their goal: to keep them from voting or having their votes counted.

When the “missing” e-mails surfaced, Tim Griffin knew his criminal activities had been exposed. He resigned his much-coveted U.S. attorney job June 1.

With these “missing” documents now in the hands of congress, the investigation, hearings and lawsuits shall soon follow in this new G.O.P. scandal. One lawsuit has already been filed against President Bush by former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias of New Mexico.

For more information, pull up the May 14, 2007 program on DemocracyNow.org or tune into C-Span for the hearings.

– Susan Troen, Durango

Did I Find The Meaning?

The question I am asking is this: What justifies success?

The person in question, or societies’ guess?

I am not a genius, not even a master

Of deciphering the mysteries of life we are after

But here, for you, my reader, I will try

To give a little meaning, to this endless disaster

Of searching for purpose, happiness, and laughter

The connections made in life

And being good to your wife

Find what is more important

Than a triumphant role of the dice

While playing the stock market vice

Yeah it would be nice to be rich

But I am sure the rich wish

That life would, upon one’s reflect

Have more to show than a pitch

For their new product, oh yes, the public to hitch

The elites’ pointless laws, and their endless greed games

I know they are all just one and the same

Do good for all, not just for one

What did they do to deserve their fame?

I think they are all pretty lame

Now that we know what success is not,

I will attempt, for you, to take a long shot

That is the way to give some real meaning

To this term many have not

But I sure do think about it a lot

Striving for Honesty, Love, and Gratitude

Mixed in with a Pro-Vibe Attitude

It will take you much further, further indeed

Than measuring the latitude

Of your checkbooks’ statitude

Take your time on this ride, take in what you see

Feel like yourself and try to feel free

You will realize then there is no sense stressing

About getting from point A to point B

It is not really that hard, you will see

And finally one more thing to be said

About what to do before you are dead. . .

Find something you love, and always pursue it

If you can, find someone to pay you to do it

Those lines, I think I heard them before

But this poem, you know, they just seemed to fit it

And I needed two more lines to finish it

For myself, of course, I’ll take writing

Because nothing gives me more joy than scribing

Lines on the page, to open up minds

Hopefully one day I will be driving

My life off these words before I am dying

Find success for yourself, your dreams from within

Because you are the one who must live with them

-Tim Wenger

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January 25, 2024
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January 26, 2024
Paper chase

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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows