Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I recently commented on the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress recently. It’s another 2,000-page bill containing who knows how many new laws that restrict Americans’ freedom that was passed and probably never read by the politicians.
In fact, as of Jan 1, 2012, a total of almost 40,000 new laws were placed on the books. Americans represent 5 percent of the world population, but we have 70 percent of the world’s lawyers. About 1.2 million to be precise. I guess the lawyers see this as job security. By the way, most politicians are lawyers.
A list of some laws we live with, courtesy of WhistleBlower magazine:
In Alabama, it’s against the law to wear a fake mustache in church.
In Arizona, it’s illegal to allow donkeys to sleep in bathtubs.
In California, it’s against the law too shoot from a moving vehicle at wildlife unless it’s a whale.
In Idaho, it’s against the law to fish on a camel’s back.
In Kansas, if two trains meet on the same track, neither can proceed until the other has passed. Huh?
In Maine, it’s illegal to step out of a plane in flight. Duh!
In Minnesota, it’s illegal to cross state lines with a duck on your head. Really?
In New Jersey, it’s illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while committing murder. Makes sense.
In Washington, there is a law banning lollipops.
Then we have ObamaCare, the Dodd-Frank financial reform act, the Defense Act mentioned above, the EPA, and the proposed rule by the Labor Department to limit the work kids under 18 can do on the family farm, such as drive a tractor or work with livestock. It’s more regulation at the whim of career politicians who only care about themselves and their re-election. Where will it end?
“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and to take precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.” – James Madison
The story in the March 3 Post Independent about Shell’s exciting progress on oil shale development is some of the best news our community has heard in years. It goes to show what human innovation and technology can accomplish when allowed.
Among other things, this news shows the frailty of the environmental extremists’ argument that oil shale is impossible to produce on a commercial scale, or, as often heard at forums on the matter, that the industry is perpetually 10 years away from commercial development.
These successes by Shell point to a great future for American energy independence, as well as for our part of western Colorado. The dedication by companies such as Shell to the development of this enormous and hugely valuable resource means the potential for both economic stability and prosperity for the region. Northwestern Colorado has the opportunity to again be the center of American energy production for years to come.
In light of this exciting news, we should all urge the federal government to do all that it can to enable these companies to continue in their pursuit of commercial development of the largest oil deposit in the world, for the benefit of not only our local community but the nation at large.
Much will be written and discussed about our community’s gateway over the next couple of years.
As the Glenwood Springs Post Independent has reported, the state Highway 82 Grand Avenue Bridge is currently being studied through an environmental assessment to provide a safe, secure and effective connection from downtown Glenwood Springs across the Colorado River and I-70 to the historic Glenwood Hot Springs area.
Funding for this project comes from the Colorado Bridge Enterprise effort to rehabilitate or replace poor-rated bridges.
The environmental assessment process will be underway through 2013 and I want to remind members of the community there will be numerous opportunities for public input. We encourage questions and comments as this extensive public involvement process continues over the next two years. Ee hope the community will get involved and learn more about the study, the alternatives and related impacts.
Every step of the process is being reviewed by several state and federal agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration, to ensure consistency and compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
Please read more, get meeting dates, ask questions and provide comments at http://www.coloradodot.info/projects/sh82grandavenuebridge.
Joe Elsen, Region 3 East Program Engineer
Colorado Department of Transportation
Much of what James Kellogg wrote about the Obama budget in his March 6 column can and will be argued about ad infinitum, but he asserted at least three things with which I heartily agree:
“Power is fortified by a welfare state full of indentured voting blocks.”
“Taxpaying Americans end up holding the dirty end of the stick.”
“Spending cuts and entitlement program reforms … jeopardize votes.”
But Mr. Kellogg also missed some important things. Taxpaying Americans and welfare indentured voting blocks are essentially the same constituencies, once we realize that “welfare” includes not only Medicare, food stamps and Social Security, but also tax loopholes, industrial and agricultural subsidies, bloated weapons systems and countless other government programs.
Currently at issue is how much to gore whose ox.
Democrats would gore Wall Street more than Main Street. The reverse holds for Republicans. Both tout traditional economic growth as a viable goal, refusing to acknowledge the high likelihood that our planet cannot continue providing ever increasing material wealth for an ever increasing human population.
Why is this inconvenient detail so absent from mainstream political consideration? Because mentioning it to the likes of us jeopardizes votes, and in a democracy, leaders cannot lead to where we refuse to go. Political pandering is built into democracy and we voters decide what our leaders have to pander to.
If we hope to leave our grandchildren a viable, much less a better world, we have to reconceptualize prosperity, happiness and economic growth in ways that do not call for material possessions far in excess of basic needs. This is certainly possible, but will require widespread ingenuity, wisdom, courage, cooperation and selflessness.
Of these qualities, ingenuity already appears abundantly manifest. We had best cultivate the others with deeply felt urgency, because our political leaders, regardless of party affiliation, cannot deliver the economic fantasies that we have been demanding and they have been obediently promising us every few years. Unlike politicians, columnists such as Mr. Kellogg can help lead by holding our feet to the fire of inconvenient facts.
I have come to expect a fair and balanced editorial policy from the Post Independent. Although our community has a wide range of strong opinions, the paper’s editorial page has clearly tried to be balanced and fair.
The March 5 cartoon was a giant step backward. Its insulting depiction of women and its support of the immature and attention-seeking views of Rush Limbaugh were surprising and upsetting. The cartoon sunk to the lowest level of the contraception debate, revealing misogyny, ignorance and childish humor.
I found it profoundly insulting and appreciate your apology. I look forward in the future to more careful editorial scrutiny so that my intelligence, trust and respect are not taken for granted.
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Garfield County commissioners want to get a better sense of the local economic impacts of the state’s new oil and gas regulations that came as a result of the 2019 passage of Senate Bill 181.