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The birth of a police state

Fellow Citizens,

What have we noticed of current events that affect our notion of this once great nation? There were police videotaping peace demonstrators for the sole purpose of creating a visual database, the privatization of our police & military forces for corporate benefit and, we should note, the Taser has replaced diplomatic, rational conversation.

Halliburton does NOT release chemical formula data so that a nurse might benefit from proper treatment. No data is to be found in the MSDS databases, nada–zilch-none. They fire the field person for seeking treatment and, hence, bringing this issue to light. Reading between the lines it’s: Keep quiet or else.

The stock market is EXACTLY the same as 7½ years ago. The REAL purpose of war is the transfer of wealth! Where does the money go? Qui Bono?  Halliburton goes from $10 to $50 per share, and big oil hordes cash by the trillions. Banking consolidates.

Public schools are mandated to teach rote and be less tolerant of critical thinking. Our children learn to devalue human life in so many ways and to kill quite readily. Genuine values of life are left for the bumper sticker treatment.

Naomi Wolf observes the erosion of democracy, and she further points to the 10 items that any regime requires to enter into a “police state” whereby corporations control the government (i.e.; Hitler, Mussolini, Pinochet, et al): 1. Invoke terrifying internal & external enemies; 2.Create a Gulag; 3. Develop a thug caste; 4. Set up an internal surveillance system; 5. Harass citizens’ groups; 6. Engage in arbitrary detention & release; 7. Target key individuals; 8. CONTROL THE PRESS; 9. Promote: Dissent = Treason; 10. Suspend the rule of law.

None other than Ben Franklin noted that all governments become stale and corrupt and require a revolution of sorts every 200 years or so. It would seem as if we are late to this party although the efforts of the 1960s came close.

As our government falters, let us bring our true and decent values off of the bumper sticker and into our daily lives. Let’s look out for each other and maybe change the direction of our government.

– Lenny Papineau, Durango

Duncan a hands-on candidate

Dear Editors,

Having attended the forum for the candidates for district attorney, we are convinced that David Duncan epitomizes everything this community could want in a DA. David has lived in this area for more than 30 years, raising a family, running a business and seeing first hand the changes our community has undergone. His hands-on experience dealing with the emerging challenges we face includes working with interstate agencies involved in complicated drug-trafficking cases and prosecuting more than 1,000 felony cases himself in six years as a prosecuting attorney.

Having known David Duncan for more than 20 years, we have been impressed not only with his professional excellence but also with his unfailing personal integrity. This community is lucky to have a candidate this uniquely qualified. This is one of those occasions when a candidate’s experience, ability and integrity make him the clear choice.

Mark your calendars for Aug. 12 and help elect David Duncan our next district attorney.

– Norman and Suzi Gottlieb, Durango

Risberg represents change

Dear Editors,

I write to encourage all Democrats to vote for Todd Risberg in the upcoming Democratic Primary on Aug. 12. Early voting is available now at the County Courthouse. I have worked as a prosecutor and defense attorney in our area for the last 10 years. During that same period of time, Todd Risberg has served as a prosecutor, attorney and judge in our Judicial District. Todd’s opponent, David Duncan, has spent the last six years as an attorney in Farmington except for a two-month stint as a prosecutor in Pagosa Springs. That brief employment ended with his resignation.

Frankly, our criminal justice system needs a change. Many violent crimes call for vigorous prosecution and incarceration. However, many other offenses beg for alternative justice resolutions that address underlying issues while still protecting the community.

Mr. Duncan has stated that there is no distinction between drug users and drug distributors. He has promised vigorous prosecution of marijuana cases. That prosecutorial philosophy does not reflect our community values or address the serious criminal justice issues we face. Todd Risberg knows our community and its values. Todd’s hands-on experience with our justice system will allow him to make changes that are long overdue. Please vote for Todd Risberg on Aug. 12.

– Joel Fry, via e-mail

The costs of a new water district

To the Editors,

What will LAPLAWD cost you?

If you vote “yes” on Aug. 12, 2008, the proposed district will levy an additional 5 mil against your property. That’s the minimum, as there is more sub-dividing. Then there will be more growth.

To have roads, schools, sewer and other infrastructures for these new sub-divisions there will be increased taxes to cover that cost to the county. So how many extra mil will the county need?

If you are one of the residents in the proposed area and want the water district to supply water to your home, then you must pay a minimum tap fee of $4,000.

Now that doesn’t cover the cost of the line to your house. You also will have to disconnect your well or cistern so the two systems can’t commingle.

Oh, you still have to pay for the water you use. If you are a renter, your rent will have to increase so the landlord keeps his profit.

So how much will this water district cost you … ?  Do you know?

– Lynn Swanemyr, via e-mail

Muddying the election waters

To the Editors,

I am having difficulty understanding how the special election for the proposed La Plata Archuleta Water District (LAPLAWD) is being conducted. I have been told that it is not being conducted by the La Plata County Clerk’s Office. I thought election supervision was one of the duties of that office. Instead I have learned that under Special District 32 law, the organizers of LAPLAWD will conduct their own election.

This means that the ballots are in their possession, they have appointed election judges, and they will count the ballots. La Plata County’s only role was to provide a list of eligible votes – which I have seen and know has numerous errors and omissions. Because of the Aug. 12 election date, the county only had a month to compile a voter list.

When Mr. Lunceford was questioned why LAPLAWD pushed for this date instead of waiting until November, giving the county more opportunity to complete a more accurate list, he stated, “the county had many months to compile an accurate voter list.” I question how there were months, when the court order to allow an election was June 5! Did Mr. Lunceford know in advance what the judge’s ruling would be?

Many landowners, including myself, are not on the voter list. I have received misinformation from the County Clerk’s Office about how that occurred. I have been told I can vote a provisional ballot, but I have little faith my vote will really be counted. It seems to me very questionable for an election to be conducted by one of the interested parties to be done in such a hasty manner and not be supervised by the county.

Is this Colorado or Florida?

– Cathy Sanders, Ignacio

A handful of McCainisms

Dear Editors, 

To me, politics is like a contact sport. The playoffs are over and the championship near.

What’s so surprising is that John McCain is still in the game. Consider some of his comments and statements of his staff.

- Phil Gramm, McCain’s main economic advisor, has called Americans “a nation of whiners” whose economic complaints are mostly “mental.” Sounds elitist to me.

- McCain has admitted, “The issue of economics is not something I’ve understood as well as I should.”

- McCain recently referred to the “Iraq - Pakistan border.” Iran separates the two, dumbass.

- In his interview with Katie Couric, McCain said, “Because of the surge we were able to go out and protect that sheik and others. And it began the Anbar awakening. I mean, that’s just a matter of history.”

Really? The fact is, Sunni leaders began cooperating against al-Qaeda months before Bush’s surge began. But, CBS News conveniently spliced in a different quote and did McCain a huge favor by not airing his incorrect version of history. So much for “liberal media bias.”

- McCain has also repeatedly referred to the country of Czechoslovakia. It split into two countries more than 15 years ago. Expert on foreign policy?

- John McCain has said “it would be fine by me if we stayed in Iraq 100 years.”

Barack Obama wants to start a phased withdrawal within 16 months. A vast majority of Americans, along with Iraqis, and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, agree. Can you imagine how Barack will slice him up in the debates?

I smell a setup brewing. The Republicans clearly suck on such issues as the environment, education, human and civil rights, foreign policy, the economy, energy, health care and on and on. But, one thing they’re very good at is winning elections. Lie, cheat, steal, just get elected. Then payback your corporate masters. I predict John McCain will not be running for president this fall. He’ll decline the nomination, possibly sighting health reasons.

Enter Mitt Romney? The new Republican nominee will be headline news. Bright, shiny and polished. New ballgame. I hope I’m wrong.

– Bill Vana, Durango



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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