Our letters section and your opportunity to weigh in and be heard. Send us your thoughts and profundities. You can contact us here.

Dollars to donuts

Dear Editors,

I write in response to Bradley Harrington’s letter in the Dec. 9 issue of theTelegraph titled, “Social security – less for more.” In his letter, he claims, essentially: “[g]overnments can promise; capitalism delivers.”

The first logical assumption: tax rates should correlate to steep returns on investment in Social Security. If one wants better (but riskier!) returns, one should go play Wall Street or buy a house to rent out.

Also, according to Harrington’s letter, capitalism made calculators more powerful and cheap and in the process contributed significantly to the GDP of the U.S.  If capitalism can deliver, how come the industry hasn’t made a car that runs on cheap electricity or other fuel, is safe at high speeds, and costs less than $300 a year to operate?

Anyone care to calculate how many products have had the same route to this supposed substantial contribution to GDP as calculators? How about those products like SUVs or plastic bags that have effectively become more expensive to operate because of environmental cleanup or health care mitigation made necessary?

And dollars to donuts, it’s not the U.S.’ GDP that made much of the money from cheap calculators, but China’s, Japan’s and other Asian nations.’ Not that these nations don’t deserve the wealth.

My central point here is that yes, capitalism delivers, but it’s small-minded not to question for whom it does so, and at what wider costs to everyone affected.

– Paul Gibbons, via e-mail

Farewell to the old ways

To the Editors,

Several oil and gas companies filed a lawsuit recently alleging drilling delays due to stricter wildlife and other protections for our public lands. These protections are in place in part because of efforts by sportsmen – and are supported by a majority of Coloradoans.

Moreover, any argument that leasing policy reforms will squeeze oil and gas companies off public land doesn’t square with facts on the ground. Nearly 44 million acres of public lands already are under lease, but only 12 million are in production.

Interior Secretary Salazar has helped to ensure that oil and gas leasing on our public lands is balanced with hunting, angling and other public uses, requiring scientific review, more public input, and that consideration be given to potential wildlife habitat impacts. Hunters especially appreciate these commonsense reforms during big game hunting season.

And we’re not alone: According to new polling released by the National Wildlife Federation, the vast majority of Coloradoans support more protections for our air, water and wildlife, rather than a return to the old way of rubber-stamping habitat-decimating leasing and drilling. Let’s keep it that way.

– David A. Lien, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, via e-mail

Heaven on Earth

To the Editors,

 My friend Suzanne Tyrpak and I went out for Noel Night, and it renewed so many memories of why I love Durango so very deeply after more than 30 years. Seeing old friends, greeting new faces, fresh smiles, great food, colored lights. The Festival of Trees, in the train station, brought back memories of when my husband, Ron, and I

held one of the nine years of the Snowdown Snowball fund-raisers, when the whole town dressed in costumes and fancy clothes and shoes that got covered in soot. But we didn’t care because of all the fun we had being together as a community, raising money for great local causes and dancing to Ron’s music, with a whirlwind of excitement when the bellydancers showed up! Seeing and hearing the excitement of the Polar Express roll down the train tracks, whistle blowing, steam flowing, while children, dressed in pajamas, stood in line, tingling with the excitement of riding the train with the real, live Santa Claus. What a thrill!

  It was so magical visiting the many art galleries and stores with all their wonderful offerings, and then, walking over to the Durango Arts Center to enter a world of amazing local talent with a great story, songs and dances (written, directed produced and choreographed by Dinah Leavitt Swan and Terry Swan) that lifted our spirits even more. Laughter, song, dance, sharing as human beings with all our insecurities and blemishes, renewed with hope and trust!

   Over three decades, Ron and I would walk the streets of Durango (on the rare nights he wasn’t performing), at Christmas time. We would giggle and hug (and kiss) beneath a huge fir tree glittering in light, and marvel at how it felt to be so blessed that we lived in a ‘REAL’ Disneyland, sometimes sticking our tongues out to catch the sweet coolness of snowflakes.

   My beloved has passed on, but the magic of Durango lives on, and Ron’s spirit still dances and brings music to this town in his heart, flying through the soft snow of a “powder” morning at Purgatory (DMR), catching snowflakes on his tongue with a joy that lives in heaven for us all. And each and every person who lives or visits here is deeply blessed in ways that heaven only knows, but our hearts get sparkling glimpses of what heaven on Earth can be like just by the gift of being HERE!

Thank you, forever, Durango … even with our insecurities and blemishes, our spirit shines through, glistening as a most precious jewel beneath these Southwest skies, promising limitless possibilities for all.

Let’s REALLY BELIEVE IN PEACE ON EARTH! It’s just around the corner from Peter Pan’s Neverland and a freckle next to Venus! (It’s actually a “Beauty Mark.”)

– Blessings and Love to ALL! Susan Urban

Kudos to Animas Valley Elementary

To the Editors,

I would like to share with the entire Durango community my complete gratitude and appreciation for the individuals who make up Animas Valley Elementary. For the past three years, I have worked alongside some of the finest individuals in elementary education. The school fosters an inspiration for learning, creativity and community for our students that is commendable and respectable. I wish to bid all the wonderful children, staff and parents a giantfarewellandthank you for being my colleagues and friends.  Our youth are in good hands.  

– Dave Travieso, via e-mail

A victim of social insecurity

Dear Eds,

Life is good in Durango! There has been absolutely no price inflation in the past two years, according to the letter I got from the Social Security Administration informing me that for the second year in a row there will be no cost of living adjustment increases in my SS check. However, the SSA did get my 2008 IRS tax returns and based on my gross (not adjusted gross or bottom line income), my Part B and D Medicare premiums would be increased considerably and deducted from my monthly SS check. Combine this with another $100 per month premium increase on my wife’s health insurance and our monthly health insurance costs have jumped more than 35 percent since Obamacare came into being.

Last week, the deficit committee came up with some ways to cut spending and increase taxes. One of those was to means test SS recipients. The same bleeding heart progressives like Nancy Pelosi (wonder if our tax dollars paid for those crappy face lifts?) and Harry Reid (bought and paid for by Nevada gambling interests and the SEIU) both said that was a non-starter. Yet they’re ready to pound people making over $200,000 on their income taxes. I have no problem with means testing. I have donated my SS income to local charities for a number of years. Quite frankly, my investments over the past 40 years have provided considerably more income than the same monies invested in the government Ponzi scheme called Social Security. Yet, these same progressives dumped on President Bush when he proposed that those under 40 years of age would be able to invest 5 percent of their social security payments in the private sector.

Guess when you get a president that never signed the front of a pay check and that only 8 percent of his inner circle has ever worked in the private sector, job creation is beyond his intellect.

– Dennis Pierce, via email

P.S. I wonder if theTelegraph publisher has experienced two years of steady prices on health insurance, paper and printing costs without any increases?

Military is might

To the Editors:

The Obama administration is contemplating major reductions in the Defense Department budget to help cut into the huge deficits incurred by the President and his Washington cronies. They plan on reducing our conventional military forces and increase special operations units to combat the terrorist threats around the world.

An increase in special operations forces is warranted to target terrorist organizations, including al Qaida, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and other radical Islamic extremists in a number of countries. Additionally, large scale conventional military operations are necessary to pacify areas in host countries that house the terrorists, and staging bases are needed to launch targeted operations against the terrorists.

Let’s not forget about the threats posed by the large ground forces of Iran; the North Korean army poised against South Korea; and the massive Chinese Communist conventional forces available to threaten Taiwan, Japan and other Asian countries. Due to its vibrant economy, which is growing 10  percent annually, China has embarked on a significant upgrade of its land forces and strategic weapons systems, and has implemented a naval shipbuilding program that includes aircraft carriers and submarines. Russia is also upgrading its military.

We need to maintain robust military forces, both special operations and conventional forces, to combat terrorist organizations and deter countries from hosting terrorists, and to oppose the forces of totalitarian regimes in the world that threaten our national security and the security of our allies. History has taught us military weakness is the breeding ground for wars.

– Donald A. Moskowitz, via e-mail


In this week's issue...

July 21, 2022
Wildlife success or deal with the devil?

Land swap approved in Southwest Colorado, but not without detractors

July 21, 2022
Tapping out

The latest strategy to save the San Luis Valley's shrinking aquifer: paying farmers not to farm

July 14, 2022
Hey, good environmental news

Despite SCOTUS ruling, San Juan Generating Station plans to shut down