Meeting our own worst enemy
To the editor,
Even with defense cuts, the U.S. will outspend the rest of the world in military spending, and we are still leading the world in military technological advances.

China is still a long way from being a threat to the USA with 11 aircraft carriers. The Chinese bought an old, rusting Soviet aircraft carrier hull without an engine that had to be towed through the Bosporus over two years.

 That carrier is small, has no catapult technology and relays on an upward slope at the end of the runway for takeoff. They use it mostly as a learning tool and are many years away from producing a carrier of their own. If so, it will probably have to be commissioned to the South Koreans. What is China going to do with a million man army? Are they going to swim across the Pacific? How many men can a U.S. atomic bomb kill? The Chinese have no military ambitions against the USA, they are doing just fine emulating economic capitalism. They have been around for 6,000 years, and all they have to do is wait a few more years until we bankrupt ourselves (like the Soviet Union). They will continue to give us rope (money that is) so we can hang ourselves.

North Korea’s people are starving and soon, so will its large army. Their new leader knows this and has already offered to dismantle their atomic technology for food. If they had serious intentions of attacking the South, they could have done so a long time ago – it is all bluster and posturing to gain concessions from the West.

Iran has never said it will attack the West, and even if they do produce an atomic bomb, it would be insane to even try to deploy it, and they know it.

 Israel has 200 atomic bombs that can be deployed from the air or from submarines and could completely annihilate Iran. The Soviet Union, with tens of thousands of atomic weapons knew this too, which is why the Cold War never turned into a hot one.
The U.S. would never allow a military base by a foreign power in Venezuela, and Chavez, who may not be around much longer, knows this – remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?

Russia is an autocratic dictatorship; it is NOT a communist country. In fact, the old Bolsheviks are trying to regain control again. The people are free to demonstrate against the government, something that never happened in the old USSR without landing in Siberia. Russia has only one aircraft carrier and the armed forces are in disarray. It is a country with a population of 160 million that is dwindling fast and has serious problems with its neighbors. If they ever had any intentions of attacking the West, they would have done so when they were a power to be reckoned with.

The Secretary of Defense and other government officials testifying before Congress stated that the biggest threat to the U.S. is the economy – that is, spending ourselves into oblivion.

Sit back and take a deep breath – we have met the enemy and it is us.
– Carlos Kummel, Durango

What the 99 percent really wants
Dear editor,
Conservatives and their stooges at Faux News appear to be delighting at the apparent demise of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, otherwise know as the 99%. Fortunately, for the majority of Americans, they’re mistaken. Yes, the 99% have been evicted from most of their encampments, usually through extremely violent and unconstitutional measures, but they are regrouping, not retreating and certainly not dead. Recently, they’ve agreed upon a declaration, Petition for a Redress of Grievances, listed below:
- Elimination of the corporate state
- Overturning the “Citizens United” case
- Elimination of all private benefits to public servants
- Term limits
- A fair tax code
- Health care for all
-Protection of the planet
- Debt reduction
- Jobs for all Americans
- Student loan debt refinancing
- Ending perpetual war for profit
- Emergency reform of public education
- End outsourcing and currency manipulation
- Banking and securities reform
- Foreclosure moratorium, mortgage refinancing and principle write downs
- Review and reform of Federal Reserve banking system
- Ending the electoral college and enactment of uniform federal election rules
- Ending the war in Afghanistan and care of veterans
- No censorship of the Internet
- Reinstitution of civil rights including the repeal of the NDAA
- Curtailing the private prison industrial complex

What reasonable and sane person could not find even just one of the above tenets to agree with? I’d guess most Telegraph readers would probably agree with almost all of them. Seems like common sense to me. Heck, even the Tea Party, as misguided and misinformed as they are, should be able to concur on several such as #3, 5, 8, 11 and 16, hopefully more. Please visit for more information.

I assure you the 99% movement is not dying. If it is, I’m afraid our democracy will also.
– Thanks, Bill Vana, Durango

Pay raise better spent elsewhere
To the editor,
Last year, Colorado Republican legislators voted to drop funding for school meals for children in hunger, saying that Colorado could not afford this program. Public outcry ended the Republicans’ policy. This year, Colorado legislators had little problem voting to grant themselves a raise. We may all deserve raises. Yet if we ignore and enable the conservative policies of plunging the most vulnerable of our population ever deeper into risk while rewarding privilege, we do so at our own peril.
– Ann T. Johnson, Durango

Elect commissioners by district
Dear Ed,
How often does a letter to the editor or an editorial start out, “We don’t want to be like Telluride?”  

The Town of Telluride elects all three San Miguel County commissioners, despite the fact that the opposition usually carries the majority within the district precincts. Sorry folks, in respect to electing our county commissioners, we’re exactly like Telluride.

Progressives like Shan Wells are opposed to HB12-1159, which calls for the election of commissioners on a district basis. His opposition is understandable given the results of the 2008 county commissioners race. In district 3, Wally White and Harry Baxstrom opposed each other to represent the Bayfield area and most of the east side of the county. District 3 includes precincts 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26. Baxstrom defeated White in every precinct in the district by a whopping 4,949 votes for Baxstrom to 2,956 for White. To be fair, early voting results showed White with 3,069 to Baxstrom’s 2,381, which still gave Baxstrom a total margin of 7,330 to White’s total of 6,025.

While there is no data breaking out the results of early voting in Bayfield vs. early voting in Durango, it’s reasonable to think that Baxstrom carried the win on ballots cast at the Bayfield Town Hall given the vote count in the District 3 precincts.

So, the next time you meet a progress that’s opposed to HB12-1159, ask him or her why they’re against fair representative government.
– Dennis Pierce, Durango