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To borrow shamelessly from the immortal Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it ‘is’ the worst of times.” But I write instead of “A Tale of Two Georges” (not cities). (Actually three Georges, if you count the aptly named King George the Third.) In the best of times, our country’s icon George Washington fought against all odds, at risk of certain death should he lose, to help found mankind’s greatest democracy. In today’s worst of times, our current President George W. Bush has in almost every act, worked against our democratic principals.Every school child knows the tale of Washington and the cherry tree. “I cannot tell a lie, I chopped down that tree.” Today’s George not only tells us lies, he has sometimes told us that he thought that was the best course. We have heard there were no illegal wiretaps, or there are no secret prisons overseas, or this country does not torture, or Rumsfeld is definitely the Secretary of Defense for the rest of his term. Or the latest: His former Press Secretary Scott McClellan is now saying the top White House officials, including the president, lied to him about the outing of the covert CIA agent Valerie Plame.While the English King George III’s troops would often take brutal actions against the Revolutionary troops and even the civilians, General Washington took the opposite tact. He demanded that the British troops be treated with complete respect. There would be no torture or mistreatment. Consequently, in critical situations, the foreign troops knew they could safely surrender. In fact, a number of these troops, including some Hessian mercenaries, stayed on after the war. Today’s “King George” started his term by “taking the gloves off.” The Geneva Conventions, the Army Field Manual, and other international standards of decency went into the trash can. And add to that the U.S. Constitution.History has spoken on the greatness of George Washington. What will history say about George W. (not for Washington) Bush? Patrick HunterCarbondale

As I watch Mesa State College continue to grow in enrollment and see the need for new and renovated facilities, it is impossible to escape reflection upon the many ways the college has benefited my immediate and extended family. As a lifelong Western Colorado resident and Mesa College student during the junior college era, it was possible to receive higher education through the vision and leadership of earlier generations and the infrastructure they provided. Western Colorado, Mesa County and the Grand Valley are direct beneficiaries of the gem we call Mesa State College. It is truly amazing when one looks around at the many leadership and service positions occupied by former students who were attracted by Mesa State College and then who have remained in the area. Take a close look. Educational opportunity attracted them, and the quality of life has retained them, enriching all of us. I would encourage all alumni and friends of Mesa State College to join in supporting the vision of the Mesa State Capital Growth campaign. Our contributions will continue to benefit the Western Slope community and provide opportunities for our children and grandchildren. William HanksRedstone

The following is an excerpt from my letter to the Rockettes’ management at Radio City, New York:My wife and I attended the Radio City Rockettes “Christmas Spectacular” while in Phoenix for Thanksgiving. As expected, it was truly spectacular!I can only imagine the immense number of hours of rehearsal required to produce these shows. The Rockettes’ precision performances are absolutely the essence of perfection, and the young dancers in the supporting cast were extremely well choreographed, as well.It was a great show! The Rockettes, as always, danced and kicked “beyond description,” but I am not writing simply about the performers. What really impressed me most was your incredible finale, featuring the “live” nativity scene more realistically than I have ever seen it portrayed. It was deeply moving and the accompanying narration was concise and meaningful in presenting the life story of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.In an era when political correctness has adversely affected Christmas, you are to be commended for making the nativity scene a highlight in this production. What was especially gratifying was the genuine appreciation by the audience. Neither during nor after the show, did I identify a single person who appeared to be offended. The overwhelming applause certainly proved that the vast majority of us want to retain and pay tribute to the true meaning of Christmas. I know that I speak for many in saying please continue your “good works.”Once again, God bless America,Richard DoranParachute


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