They say tragedy strikes in threes and, in three cases involving Colorado children, tragedy has enjoyed judicial sanction.
Mesa County District Judge Richard Gurley ruled that little Lileigh Lehnen was much too young to be considered a real person when she died a few hours after birth from asphyxiation caused by a careless driver in a head-on collision with a car driven by her then-pregnant mother.
A 4-year-old assault victim who, now as a teenager, enjoys her less-than fulfilling childhood, further enhanced by the knowledge that her perpetrator, in a recent 9th Judicial District case, will be getting a 12-year sentence, roughly corresponding to the loss of years betwixt and between a memory no child could ever forget.
Finally there’s Grand Junction’s own Debra Slaughenhaupt, the pedophile grandma, convicted in late 2007 of Internet sexploitation of her two grandchildren (one disabled). She’s enjoying her freedom today thanks to what I call the “boo-hoo” defense (which created no jail time for this grandma.) Mercifully her grandchildren are protected from future visits, and the Internet will now have one less visitor.
Surely I’m not alone in my outrage. Help me funnel our respectful comments to colorado.gov; let our governing body know that we need Jessica’s Law (25 years to life for sexual battery against a child under 12; second offense, life).
As for Judge Gurley, the victim of his ruling is just one of many who continue to be silenced at the bench.
Alas, we liberals concede, despite losing the popular vote, George W. Bush emerged as victor from the 2000 election. Mr. Herbst’s response to Eric Olander’s letter, applying only a thin mask over his obvious rancor, suggests that “radical liberals” hold against our great president, with “unrighteous judgementalism” his professed devotion to Christianity. Mr. Herbst conveniently disregards the latest polls that show President Bush’s approval rating hovering at an abysmally low 31 percent. If Mr. Herbst is correct, 69 percent of the country must be “radical liberals.”
It isn’t the president’s adherence to Christian faith that cultivates my thorough distaste for his administration; it’s his willingness to launch this abhorrent war, in which thousands of our nation’s young men and women are being sent off to fight only to return irreparably maimed, both physically and psychologically. It is estimated that one in three returning Iraq veterans suffer from PTSD and, as ABC news reported in the summer of 2007, the army has been routinely denying these veterans the simple grace of disability benefits, claiming they had “preexisting personality disorders.” This treatment (or lack thereof) of our veterans is utterly unacceptable. As the war tally adds up, one has to scratch his head in wonderment at why a greater percentage of the estimated $3 trillion isn’t being spent on the health care of our homecoming soldiers.
Besides the inanity of Iraq, I grow increasingly alarmed and even disturbed by this administration and its willingness to bend and even break our civil liberties as defined by the constitution. The repulsive Patriot Act grants the government access to your medical records, financial records, and even secret searches of your home and personal property without probable cause. Even if we have nothing to hide, this Orwellian abuse of power should be alarming to any who cherish the founding principals of American democracy.
George Bush, and all those who support him, should be embarrassed and ashamed by the negative stink cast upon our country and the entire world by this administration, and should demand that our next president be held to far higher standards.
In regards to John Herbst’s letter of 3/21, I must agree with him that Mr. Olander went a bit overboard, putting the old Hollywood actor in hell with Hitler. However, I must protest Mr. Herbst’s continued lauding of our pathetic president.
George Bush began his eight-year debauchery of the U.S. with a multi-trillion dollar surplus. Currently, he is leaving our children a 9 1/2 trillion I.O.U. Republicans used to be fiscally responsible, they didn’t wage “pre-emptive” wars while cutting taxes.
Amid dire warnings of mushroom clouds and bogus bonding of Hussein in 9/11, Bush invaded Iraq on the pretense of looking for WMDs. When that proved false, he spun out justification into removing one of the world’s worst tyrants. The same tyrant we armed when he was our ally against Iran.
Too bad tyrants sans oil aren’t worth Bush’s bother, or King George might have delivered democracy on the point of a bayonet to Sudan and Darfur.
That little jug-eared chickenhawk hid out in the National Guard when it was a safe haven from Vietnam. Now that gutless wonder has found the courage to needlessly sacrifice 4,000 of America’s finest.
George Bush should pray his god has a wicked sense of humor. After all, the former Ivy League cheerleader would be a much better playmate for Adolf than Ronnie Reagan.
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