E-mail letters, Jan. 20, 2010

Candidates need more than a killer smile

Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to a very bright young man named Ali Hasan. He is a Republican candidate running to become our next state treasurer.

Mr. Hasan seemed to be a vibrant young man full of enthusiasm and a killer smile, dimples and all. However, there were a few things that stood out during his speech that made me wonder about exactly what his qualifications for this position were.

I Googled his name and came up with quite a few Web sites and, in reviewing a lot of information about him, not one thing stood out to me that would qualify him to become state treasurer.

He is young and claims he runs a filmmaking business, but I could only find two films which he has made, which are documentaries and not money-making adventures. One movie has won a lot of awards, but again that does not mean he knows anything about running a company’s finances, payroll, etc.

I also could not find anything telling me where his money comes from, as nothing in his past suggests to me that he has a “real” job of any kind that would finance his film making business. However, his parents are quite wealthy and I wonder if he still lives at home?

He is a new college graduate, but he does not have any degrees in business, finances or any kind of money management whatsoever.

Mr. Hasan is going to have to show me a lot more of himself and tell me more about his qualifications before I would even consider voting for him. This country was bamboozled once by a flamboyant person with no qualifications to run our country. I was negligent a year ago by being complacent about what was going on in this country, but I will not be so again. We all need to do our research when voting for anyone.


Officials threaten to cut vital services

Why is it that whenever there is something on the ballot that cuts out a small portion of the numerous taxes we pay, our local governments always threaten they will have to cut street maintenance and public safety to accommodate it? How come we never hear them say, “If we don’t get this money, we are going to have to cut funding to the golf course or the stadium or the art projects”?

The services we really do need and want are used as blackmail against us, in order to keep funding the things we don’t want or need, or can’t afford, but that our elected officials find to be more important than what they were actually elected to do.

Extraneous things have taken precedence over basic services.

Amendments 60 and 61, and proposition 101 will strengthen the economy of the people, rather than the spending power of the government. Don’t fall for the blackmail.



Democrats need to suck it up

To the Democrats of Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., I say, “Suck it up. You lost so now you need to dance to the tune being played by the will of the people.”

The last poll I saw showed 46 percent of people nationwide disagree with what’s happening in Washington.

You are not going to get any cheese with your whine.



Headline propagates Senate-seat gaffe

In reference to The Daily Sentinel’s Jan. 20 front-page headline, “GOP wins Kennedy’s Senate seat:” Am I to commend your sense of humor or admonish your naivety?

Practically all the world knows that the now-famous, foot-in-mouth news commentator, editor, teacher and advisor to presidents, David Gergen, made the mistake of referring to “the Kennedys’ seat” when questioning Scott Brown in one of the Massachusetts senatorial race debates with Martha Coakley.

In the words of the now-famous Senator-elect Scott Brown, “Well, with all due respect, it’s not the Kennedys’ seat, and it’s not the Democrats’ seat, it’s the people’s seat.”

Thank you, Daily Sentinel, for keeping the Gergen gaffe alive in your now-famous headline.



Populace is tried of liberal socialists

All the letters, phone calls, e-mails, Tea Party and Town Hall messages that we, the people of Colorado, sent to Sens. Udall and Bennet fell on deaf ears.

We gave them ample warning that their continued support of President Obama’s liberal socialist agenda would imperil their careers in the U.S. Senate. They didn’t listen. They voted for Obamacare.

The recent special senatorial election in Massachusetts shows that the predominantly conservative electorate is fed up with politicians like our two senators here in Colorado.

I wonder if they both now realize that they are lame ducks and it is time for them to look for new careers?



Bill will protect our children

Every student deserves to have a safe place to pursue his or her dreams through higher education in Colorado. Parents who send their precious children to Colorado colleges and universities also deserve to know their children will be safe.

Would it surprise you to know that there are no uniform requirements for Colorado higher education institutions to talk with incoming students about campus safety and the proper response in critical incidents on campus?

We are running legislation this year (HB-1054) to ensure students in Colorado’s higher education institutions have access to critical life-saving information.

This bill will mandate that all higher education facilities in our state spend 45 minutes within their existing new-student orientation program explaining to students what safety protocols are in place at that specific college or university. There will be flexibility on the part of each institution as to what method they use to share the life-saving information and the specifics of what they cover.

Details aside, educating college students on keeping themselves alive in the event of a critical incident is our responsibility to our children and to the citizens of Colorado.

We are hearing from some of the largest institutions that they may not support this bill, saying that it is not perfect. It has been said that perfect is the enemy of good. Let’s hope that Colorado higher education comes down on the side of good for the health and safety of our children and the next generation of Colorado citizens.




Government needs more like Palin

I think we all need to read Sarah Palin’s new book, “Going Rogue.” When people do, they’ll surely see that former Gov. Palin is a truly great American.

In 2008, her political opponents (fearing she was too likeable and electable) told numerous lies, trying to discredit her. By the time people read pages 154-160 of her book, they’ll know the truth totally contradicts her opponents’ claims. She has amazing skills and experience in administration.

With her total lack of the arrogance of some leaders today, she, as Alaska’s governor, chose knowledgeable, experienced people from both parties to work with her. This honest, dedicated woman had the courage to stand up to the corrupt legislators of either party — and cleaned house in Alaska’s state government.

The citizens of this nation need to seek out a hundred or so people such as Sarah to replace a lot of corrupt politicians in Washington, come the 2010 and 2012 elections.



Marijuana should be used discreetly, moderately

I’m a child of the Great Depression and grew up before the Age of Aquarius and the general public’s awareness of marijuana use throughout our society. I was imbued with the 1930s Anslinger absurd diatribe, “Reefer Madness,” claiming marijuana caused the “enraged” user to “rape and kill.” I believed the myths of marijuana being the gateway to serious drug addiction; of it turning normal users into virtual zombies incapable of normal function in society; of it destroying the brain cells of its users and of dozens of other assertions from the 1930s, all evil. All lies.

Once I grew up and became a teacher and learned how to access and use information in a more objective way, the more I became aware of a vast and dreadful fact: The greatest harm of marijuana in our society is the criminalization of its use and the demonization of its users.

In the past several decades, hard evidence has shown the weed to be both benign in its effects and significantly useful in treating a variety of medical problems both physical and emotional. I encourage greater use of marijuana in the treatment of illnesses, pain and depression.

Do I advocate its recreational use? No. Do I object to its recreational use? Not so much, so long as it’s used moderately and discreetly. Do I advocate the use of alcohol and tobacco? No. Do I object to their recreational use? No, so long as they’re used moderately and discreetly. In neither case do I advocate their prohibition, in spite of their proven health dangers. In all cases, it’s not the moderate use of a legal drug that’s harmful, it’s the abuse of the substance that’s harmful.

Having been taught to learn from history and knowing well the dangers of unexamined and blind, fanatical beliefs, I am concerned with the current angst in our state Legislature concerning the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in our state. They seem to think that severely limiting marijuana’s legal availability to a very narrowly defined medical use somehow will make the general use of it disappear. Have they learned nothing from history? The great social disaster of the 1920’s, the prohibition of alcohol, failed miserably to eliminate or significantly reduce the general use of alcohol. It resulted in turning honest citizens into legal criminals and was directly responsible for the birth of nationwide organized crime. This should be worth noting: prohibition results in increased crime.

The recreational and medicinal use of marijuana has been part of mankind’s social fabric predating Biblical times. Marijuana use here and throughout the world will not go away no matter what laws are passed.

In our valley illegal drugs have been available to students in our schools for at least 50 years. My sons attended GJHS in the early 1980s and later told me that any day of the week they could buy marijuana, LSD, cocaine, amphetamines and barbiturates in any amount, right out of lockers in the hallway. Having been a teacher in this district, I can attest to that fact both at Fruita and Palisade high schools, all during the 1970s and 1980s. The schools tried to stop that and to some degree were successful.

And who are these student drug users? They were and are and will be honor students, athletes, musicians, artists, singers, leaders, followers, scholars, dunces, community volunteers, drop outs, college-bound, smart, not so smart and real smart, right-handed, left handed, rich, poor, ethnic, non-ethnic, blue eyed, brown eyed and green eyed, blond, brunette, redhead, black, white, tall, short, fat, thin, male and female.

It’s no different in the adult world. Among millions of citizens of all ages, marijuana has become a recreational drug of choice. And it won’t change, ever. And what evils can be attributed to marijuana use? Only that those laws making it illegal are unnecessary, punitive and harmful. That must stop.

So what to do? Simple answer, easy enough to implement: legalize it, tax it and control it just like our legal drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Let the free market system work and governments large and small will see increased revenues and we’ll all see a decrease in crime. Immediately the illegal marijuana trade, the deaths associated with it and the often violent criminals involved will disappear. That’s a good thing. Most likely, the use of marijuana will decrease somewhat over time since there’ll not be the excitement and enticement of forbidden fruit. That’s a good thing. Law enforcement will be a bit freer to pursue real criminals and have more time for proactive public service in significant matters like neighborhood patrols and traffic enforcement. That too is a good thing.

If you want to know more about the realities of marijuana, seek information at your local library, it’s the most reasonable place to find good information. Don’t count on a major book seller out by the Mall for information; recently they told me that, and I quote, “we don’t carry those kinds of books” [emphasis theirs]. Or, here’s an idea, visit one of the better medical marijuana dispensaries and look over their selection of books and magazines, talk with the people there and learn the realities versus the myths. It will be an enlightening experience. And you’ll become a more knowledgeable voter. That’s a good thing.



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