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Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

A recent letter writer, once again, takes a cheap shot at America’s first ally, France. Is the writer not aware of the decisive role of the French in our war for independence from Great Britain? Does he forget the wonderful gift from France of the Statue of Liberty in 1886?

While in Europe, President Obama acknowledged some of the less-than-admirable actions of the American government. Definitely a good and long-overdue thing to do. Our neighbors in the world appreciated that. As for schools in Afghanistan, recent reports are saying the Taliban has destroyed or closed hundreds of schools, especially ones which allowed teaching to girls. And since America invaded Afghanistan, they have steadily increased their share of the world’s opium to something like 90 percent. It is not a simple world.

Just wondering if the writer has ever checked the origin of his surname; it looks remarkably similar to the region in France called Provence.

Patrick Hunter


I feel compelled to reply to a letter relating to gun sales in the April 10th issue. Gun sales have increased significantly over the past six months. Just ask any of the thousands who purchased one why.

They will tell you they fear their Second Amendment rights are slowly eroding away, and they will continue even more so with the Obama Administration. President Obama has surrounded himself with some of the most anti-gun people alive today. They want to control people. One of the ways to do so is to take away the guns.

If a person wants to protect themselves or their family by whatever means necessary, they should be able to do so. Guns should not be legislated to the point they are only affordable by the wealthy or the government. Our forefathers gave us that right with the Second Amendment. We cannot count on law enforcement to protect us entirely. They cannot always be there when there is a rape or life-threatening situation. Most times, they can only clean up and file a report afterward. The bad guys have guns and they always will. Good, honest citizens need to be able to equal the odds and be able to protect themselves. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

I must applaud John Gardner for writing his article in the April 1st issue. It was not absurd at all.

John Gorton


RE: Mr. Oelke’s comments concerning the tea parties held across the country on tax day. The tea parties were not about taxation without representation, they were about out-of-control government spending ruining your kids’ and grandkids’ financial future; their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The mantra of blame it all on Bush is really getting old. Congress writes the bills and passes the legislation. Congress has been controlled by Democrats since the 2006 elections. Should Bush have vetoed much of that legislation? You bet.

Obama’s future budget and bailouts will triple taxpayer debt over the next few years. That is the object of the protests. Your elected representatives are not doing the people’s work, and the people are sick of it.

Concerning Mr. Oelke’s comments about socialism, I find them laughable. According to Marx, “socialism is a stage of social and economic development that will replace capitalism and will in turn be replaced by communism.” China is a communist state. Russia (a remnant of the Soviet Union, a failed communist state) has not determined for sure what it wants to be, but it could be a combination of socialism and capitalism. Will it work? No way.

I do not want to live under either one of those types of government. Our Republic and its constitutional form of government are what made this country great. Just as the Bostonian’s did in 1773, we need to let our politicians know we are not going to stand by and see it destroyed.

As to Mr. Oelke’s comments about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, I do embrace it. I have paid into the tax system for over 50 years. As much as I would like to refuse what I may or may not be entitled to, I would probably become a burden on the system rather than remain a productive part of it. It is difficult to get around town without using my share of the streets and highways. If I could, I would.

“Capitalism is the unequal distribution of wealth, but Socialism is the equal distribution of poverty.” – Winston Churchill

Bob Anderson

Glenwood Springs

Stalin said, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” The laws which protect the integrity of our elections have been eroding for years.

According to University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato, in his book “Dirty Little Secrets,” ignorance is precisely how election systems are compromised.

The ACORN scandal during the election in 2008 should have us all furious. The ongoing close races which have followed should have us, more than a little, suspicious. In Washington State, the same kind of garbage went on there in 2004. These same absentee-ballot issues skewered election results and, in one county alone, investigations proved felons voted even from their prison cell. Also election officials admitted they penciled in boxes, if the voter left that choice blank.

Solutions exist. First, ensure criminal prosecution of voter fraud will be enforced; and second, legislative reforms are needed: vote-by-mail should be stopped. (I use this method, and am loathe to quit, but”) It has not increased voter participation. Should be only for those truly unable to get to the polls on election day.

Outlaw “voter enhancement” a “judge,” based on a voter’s other choices, marks a box.

Tighten laws regarding the use of provisional ballots. These ballots must be verified by the elections department before being counted. Missouri has the best provisional law on the books. All states should copy it.

Photo identification and a signature should be required of all voters prior to casting a ballot, whether they are voting by absentee ballot or at the polls. Even Mexico requires this.

Voter rolls must be cleaned up. To do this, all citizens on those rolls should be required to show proof of citizenship and to register in their legal names. Voter identification bills need to be passed in every state.

Strong legislative oversight is needed to implement the Help America Vote Act passed by Congress in 2002, although some provisions need to be reworked.

Our military ballot system needs a total overhaul so these brave men and women can vote.

We must hurry, though.

Juanita Williams


I just read your lead article about Kevin Long and his lost tax refund money.

And while I applaud the efforts of Mr. Eubanks in starting a fund to help him recover the money, I wondered why there was no call in the article for whomever found it to return the lost cash. It is, apparently, considered lost forever.

I suppose it could be sitting in a ditch somewhere in Rifle, but chances are it was picked up by someone who had no idea whose it was or how to return it, or who just considered it their lucky day.

Hopefully your article will prompt this person to do the right thing and return the money. That would be an even more heartwarming story.

Susan Heifer


Regarding Doris Shettel’s letter, “Talbott needs a rebuttal.”

No, Doris you are not alone, wondering if Mr. Talbott’s opinions are just taking up good space. I have found so much fault with his writings I haven’t even bothered to comment until now.

I, too, thought his comments about cancer and his thoughts on supposed cures to be over the top and just plain dangerous. It has been obvious since he started his column his sources of information appear to be from the pulpit, talk show radio, and FOX News.

Yes, he has had a long, successful, life, but his education seems to have been devoid of any real science. By “science,” I am referring to knowledge of facts, phenomena, laws, and proximate causes, gained and verified by exact observation, organized experiment, and ordered thinking. His comments about Laetrille show a complete lack of factual study of cancer.

Having said all the above, I have always been impressed with the Talbotts in their generosity toward the community, more people could take a lesson from them in that regard.

Tom Collins


The Roaring Fork Valley is blessed with countless volunteers who improve the quality of life in this valley and beyond. Spellbinders’ storytellers work to increase literacy and build character in our youth. Volunteers at such cultural venues as the Aspen Music Festival and the Wheeler Opera House ensure our Valley is blessed with the inspiration only the arts can bring. Executive Service Corp’s Executive Mentors help the nonprofits of the Valley thrive. Rotary volunteers provide scholarships to college-bound students. The buddies of the Buddy Program provide inspiring, positive role models that set kids on the road to success. And these volunteers I have mentioned are the merest tip of the iceberg.

Let the volunteers in your life know the difference they have made to you and the community. Send them a note letting them know their impact. Take it a step further and make a donation to their organization in their honor. And the best way to make a difference is to become a volunteer yourself.

Al Dietsch, executive director, Spellbinders


Editor’s Note: National Volunteer Week is April 19 – 25

This letter is addressed to the person or persons who select your cartoons (actually political statements, positions, or endorsements). To insinuate all of the people who peacefully expressed their objections to and frustrations with big government spending on April 15th are the equivalent of the Somali pirates is either sheer stupidity or a perfect example of your biased political leanings. I wonder if you have any idea how many of your readers you have denigrated and attempted to trivialize? I think a retraction would be appropriate. Even Janet Napolitano had the fortitude and good grace to apologize.

These expressions of free speech were directed at both the “W” and the “O” administrations. (Do we still have the First Amendment for everyone, or just progressives and liberals?) I won’t even get into the gun aspect. (Remember that pesky Second Amendment which causes so much angst among the “World Government” believers?) I would hope you could offer all citizens the same respect as you afford to the beautiful Michael Moore/Al Gore types. Respecting free speech does not mean irresponsible speech … especially by the media. You should be held to the same higher standards as are law enforcement, fire/EMT personnel, educators, etc. Oh, and maybe some new breed of politician, also. (Refreshing thought!) You all hold the public trust.

Thanks for your time.

Tom Ashworth


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