Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Bob Anderson’s letter, “Look past hate for Bush.” Mr. Anderson refutes Bush’s critics by quoting headlines indicating an upturn in the economy.

I’ve always thought headlines aren’t intended to provide facts, but rather to appeal to the reader. From this perspective, the headlines were obviously effective. But as far as providing a synopsis of our quality of life under the Bush administration, I’m afraid they fall short.

The headlines focus on the gross domestic product and consumer confidence. The GDP is often used as an indicator of our economic prosperity, but unfortunately this statistic gives economic value to things such as toxic waste, incarceration, pollution, etc.

On the other hand, the GDP does not put any value towards volunteerism or parenting, for example. By studying the GDP, you’d never know that from 1970 to 2000, income inequality rose 21 percent, that Americans without health insurance rose from 11 percent to 14 percent, or that teen suicide jumped 33 percent.

Admittedly, this is not Bush’s fault; it’s ours for not paying attention to the right indicators. But unfortunately Bush’s priorities are not improving many, if any, of the social consequences of economic growth.

One other thought: Calling those who disagree with Bush “irrational” and “delusional” is a lot like calling war protesters unpatriotic. It stifles free speech, and with Ashcroft at the helm, we need to protect what civil liberties we have left.

Dan Richardson

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

Steve Smith’s quarrel with Colorado Animal Rescue (CARE) and its residents is disturbing.

He calls the judge’s ruling a “travesty of justice.” So then does he believe that justice is to put selfish ideals before a generous service? I believe that justice is found not in a matter of time and expense, but in acts of selflessness and compassion.

CARE provides our community with a humane safe haven for homeless animals and contributes to a decrease in the stray animal population.

There are approximately 50,000 puppies and kittens born daily in the U.S. alone, and of them around 13 million are euthanized annually. A mind-boggling one animal is destroyed every 1.5 seconds. The service that CARE provides is indispensable!

Smith is complaining about daytime disturbances. I and many others are disturbed day and night by sirens, the train, traffic, barking dogs and other rumbles of society. However, I understand that I am co-existing, not just existing.

Nonprofit organizations, such as CARE, struggle enough, and it is incredibly selfish that an individual will go to such great lengths to undermine a positive community service for their own personal gain.

Mr. Smith, please weigh the priorities here, not just for yourself, but for all parties involved; especially the animals who don’t have a choice or say in the matter.

Melody De Los Santos

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

Big in the news these days is the dishonesty and devious behavior of business leaders across America. Wall Street has been reeling and investors’ confidence is shaken. If our society is to prosper, we must teach the fundamental principles of honesty and integrity, beginning in the first grade.

The failed campaign to pass a “tax override” called initiative 3B is an example of the problem. The school board and administration of Re-2 waged a campaign filled with misinformation.

They blackmailed teachers by making wages contingent on passage. They used students and recent graduates to hand out literature and make phone calls. These young people do not pay property taxes and are obviously biased or brainwashed.

They continually played the child card, inferring that you hate kids if you vote no. They buy big athletic buses and send principals to Florida for “retreats.”

Questionable ethics and a skewed sense of values coming from school leadership is frightening. I don’t need a 14-year-old to tell me how important it is for teachers and parents to model integrity, fair play and ethics. That should be patently obvious. The Re-2 board has a long way to go to win our confidence.

Russ Talbott

New Castle

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