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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor,The following conversation appears in Lewis Carroll’s “Through The Looking Glass:””When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.””The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.””The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”This exchange between Alice and Humpty may be pertinent to words and phrases that we have encountered during Mr. Bush’s tenure. Consider the following:Extraordinary rendition, Halliburton no-bid contracts, enhanced interrogation, warrantless surveillance, Abu Ghraib photos, black sites, extreme sleep deprivation, budgetless war, Blackwater mercenaries, waterboarding, preemptive strikes, stress positions, no-rights detentions, etc.If you are comfortable with everything on the above list, you may want to skip to the next letter to the editor. Meanwhile, I am uncomfortable with them, and I suspect it’s because the moral and ethical implications of actions that lie behind them are nagging at me. Among other things, I’m afraid that when my grandchildren eventually ask, “What did you do when you heard such words?” I’ll have to say, “Not enough.”Humpty can smirk into the camera and declare, with great sincerity. “We don’t do torture” as long as he is free to say, “Torture means what I say it means, nothing more, nothing less.”In a democracy, the answer to Humpty’s question should be, “The people are to be the master.” We need to examine the words being fed to us, ask hard questions and beware of people who make words mean so many different things. We need to be informed voters. We need to be our own deciders. So far, we are still free to write letters to editors, to candidates, and to elected representatives, expressing concern, distaste, dissatisfaction, and/or outrage with things we know to be wrong. If we are not willing to do that, we would do well to keep in mind the words of Edmund Burke:”All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”John Palmer Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,I missed the introductions at Friday night’s football game, Nov. 2, 2007, and was hoping someone could tell me why our National Anthem was sung in Spanish before it was sung in English?Betsy McManusGlenwood SpringsEditor’s Note: Prior to that game, the National Anthem was sung first in a Navajo rendition recognizing the Native American heritage of one of the Glenwood Springs players.


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