Letters to the Editor
This originally was as a letter to CU’s regents.
I am writing this letter as a proud CU graduate and alumni voicing my concerns about history professor Churchill’s comments associating 9-11 victims to Nazi war criminal Eichmann. What is disturbing about professor Churchill’s comments is the amount of bigotry he shows.
The people who died in the murderous attack on the world trade center were innocent people from more than 84 different countries, including the U.S. In addition, the firemen and Port Authority policemen were heroes that gave their lives trying to save others.
Eichmann, on the other hand, was a member of the Nazi secret service, who helped round up Jews, Christians, homosexuals, gypsies, and any other “undesirables,” who disagreed with the Third Reich.
We should do a much better job in helping the poor, especially the American Indians. We should also do a better job in protecting the innocent such as those that have died in the Iraq war.
The past century has taught us that if it were not for the determination of the U.S. and its allies, Hitler and his Nazi friends, like Eichmann, would have taken over the world. Imagine the plight of the American Indians under the Nazis.
It is my hope that people keep in mind the number of great faculty that teach at CU. This includes a faculty that has one of the highest numbers of Nobel Peace Prize recipients of any university in the world.
Unfortunately, judging from his knowledge of history, professor Churchill is not one.
CU graduate, 1982
For me, the most shocking part of the Ward Churchill affair was the revelation that only 7 percent of the university’s operating budget comes from state coffers. Colorado Republicans have long had a “starve the beast” approach to public education (Sen. John Andrews, who would like to be our next governor, has even stated that his “final solution” would be 0 percent), but I did not realize that they had succeeded in diluting the state’s contribution that much. To remain a valid and viable institution, the university, with the president’s role more and more to appear “well-dressed but always hat in hand,” has become dependent on donations, corporate sponsorships, and ever-increasing tuition hikes.
“Back in the day,” as my son would ascribe my years at CU, the minimum wage was $1 per hour, but, with the school truly state supported, in-state tuition and fees were only $143 per semester. While the Legislature’s recent granting of enterprise status to the university has been viewed as a positive step, clearly this slippery slope to privatization is making the university, and quality education, increasingly an elitist institution, which may have been the goal all along.
Which brings up the role of the regents. Presumably public officials elected to oversee the operations of the university, they appear more a cocktail party floating aloof over the grit and grime of the school’s struggles. None of the recent scandals have penetrated their teflon bubble, and their level of supportive pro-activity has been of the “tsk, tsk, pooh, pooh, and my, my” variety, but then maybe they see themselves as only 7 percent involved. Allowing all the hammer of criticism to fall on Betsy Hoffman was reprehensible on their part.
The President’s numbers don’t look all that good for Colorado, even though it went “red” for him last November. Mr. Bush’s proposed 2006 budget will cut $420 million in state and local funding for homeland security, including a whopping $17.8 million cut for Colorado. This will take police and firefighters off of our streets.
The new budget would also require many veterans to pay a new $250 annual “user fee” for the VA health care system, and would double the prescription drug copayment for well over 400,000 Colorado veterans.
Mr. Bush’s budget also cuts the very same community and rural health care programs he hyped during the campaign, even though more than 152,000 Colorado residents have lost their health-care coverage since he took office. And by continuing to underfund his own No Child Left Behind Act, Mr. Bush will force Colorado to face a shortfall of $137.1 million, leaving behind more than 27,000 of our children.
Mr. Bush also intends to cut Colorado clean water programs by $3.1 million, and will make other deep cuts in various hazardous waste cleanup programs.
Finally, Mr. Bush’s budget will leave us more than $427 billion in the red, thereby increasing each Colorado family’s share of the federal debt by $38,339.
Wow, just think what might have happened had the state gone for Sen. Kerry.
Americans have realized many physical, emotional and social health benefits since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. “Roe v. Wade” ended the proliferation of “back-alley butchers” who were motivated by money alone and performed unsafe, medically incompetent abortions, which left many women dead or injured.
Abortion will happen whether it is legal or not (55,000 illegal and unsafe abortions are performed every day around the world). Legal abortion allows women who are at risk of severe health and social consequences of unintended childbearing to end their pregnancies in a safe manner.
It is no coincidence that the health and well-being of women and children suffer the most in states that have the most stringent anti-abortion laws.
Wanted pregnancies lead to healthier pregnancies, children and families, and that benefits society. The ability to control our own fertility is a fundamental human right.
Decisions about childbearing should be made by a woman, in consultation with her family, her doctor and her conscience, not by the church or government.
I would like to thank GMA for respecting a woman’s legal right to choose whether and when to bear children, and for providing a full range of reproductive health services.
RFTA is seriously considering tearing up 13 miles of the historic railroad between Carbondale and Glenwood to put in a hiking and biking trail. In 1997, the $8.5 million corridor purchase was funded like this: Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, Basalt, Snowmass Village, Aspen, Eagle and Pitkin Counties contributed $3.5 million, the Colorado Department of Transportation contributed $3 million from ISTEA (Federal funds) and $2 million came from Great Outdoors Colorado. (New Castle recently joined RFTA as a stakeholder, bringing the total of “RFTA communities” to eight.)
As you know, all of us in the RFTA communities are sales-taxed to support the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority: Since all of us are being taxed, shouldn’t all of us be able to enjoy this tranquil and scenic corridor? If the RFTA board caves in to pressure to sell the rail for scrap, only hikers and bikers will be able to enjoy our corridor.
On the other hand, if the RFTA board listens to the petition we are circulating, they will commission a citizen task force of trail and rail supporters to develop a plan that will allow the corridor to be shared by hikers, bikers and small, friendly rail vehicles. The petition is available at the Glenwood Railroad Museum at 413 Seventh St. (the Amtrak station) open six days a week, noon to 4 p.m. (closed Wednesday).
It’s a matter of fairness and equity!
Western Colorado Chapter,
National Railway Historical Society
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