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Guns won’t decide the race
(Re: “Clinton and Obama play with guns,” Danish Plan, April 24.) Paul Danish opines without foundation. He states that Reagan Democrats will decide the next election, yet the 1 percent Republican edge in the last two presidential elections was due entirely to the participation of the religious right. That’s the fun loving group that Reagan invited into the Republican Party and that has clearly controlled its agenda for the past two and a half decades. Think restricting your rights to privacy and mandating a Christian-based government, and you’ll pretty much get their future plans.
Pay attention to the past two years of activist Supreme Court decisions, and it is reasonable to assume they are in the process of getting what they want. Yes, there is a highly motivated, small faction of the populace that has joined in with Falwell and Dobson and who think it is their constitutionally protected privilege to carry a gun (not a knife or a club or a sharpened stick — which, according to their arguments, are the weapons equivalents of guns) into any place they go. That’s fine, as long as they only shoot each other with their equivalents of sharpened sticks.
As a gun owner, it is clear to me that only a dope would want to carry a gun in public — concealed or not. It is also clear that the Second Amendment nowhere states that self-defense is an entitlement in the “right to keep and bear arms.” Paul must be getting that interpretation from some portion of a Bill of Rights that has not been made public. Or from his cited source, Tanya Metaksa, who was filmed by the FBI dancing with an AK-47 assault rifle at the fortress of David Koresh in Waco, Texas. She is so extreme that even the NRA asked her to leave, despite the fact that she was paid by them to lobby Congress.
I don’t think it’s really necessary to reflect on what a great job this Christian/NRA alliance has been doing with their influence on the government for the past eight years: “We hold these truths to be self evident.” The NRA’s sway over government is faltering. An Oklahoma bill passed by that state’s legislature would have allowed college students to carry concealed weapons on campus and into classrooms. The bill was later rescinded after testimonies from Oklahoma universities administrators. They all stated that it would be impossible to maintain a teaching staff if their students were attending class with firearms in their backpacks. The miracle of commonsense somehow prevailed. Let’s all hope it continues.
Fortunately, George W. Bush has done more to dissolve this Hell-made alliance than the Democrats ever could. Hardcore Republican friends have told me that they will vote for anyone without an “R” after their name in the forthcoming elections. Gun toters all, they say it has nothing to do with gun rights. They are motivated by an awful economy, a lack of jobs, a president that has declared himself king and an obliteration of civil rights. So much for the Reagan Democrats. This election will hardly turn on gun owners.
Wine, or beer or cider?
(Re: “Wine or beer?,” Cuisine, April 24.) Why shouldn’t the answer be “Cider or perry?” No, not the fizzy alco-pop six-pack ciders, but real, dry, quality cider, perhaps regional. A good cider offers all the character and complexity of a wine, but with half the alcohol. Plus, we’re in an area suited to apples, so why shouldn’t we celebrate local produce?
For your pairing challenges (beer vs. wine), try instead:
Sushi and... Blossomwood (Colo.) “Laughing Pig” Perry. (Perry is made from pears just as cider is made from apples.) Perry is delicate but not timid — just what sushi requires — and costs about $12
Sirloin steak and... Bellwether (N.Y.) “Heritage” Cider. Substantial body and just a hint of residual sugar, with tannin to keep it all in perspective. It’s rich and costs about $12.
Glazed ham and... Blossomwood (Colo.) “Five String” Cider. Dry with substantial oak barrel character to confront the smokiness of the ham and runs at about $10.
Scallop ceviche and... Etienne Dupont (France) Organic Cider. Sparkling, festive, a gentle mixture of sharpness, sweetness, but enough tannin that it’s never cloying.
Dick Dunn/Hygiene, Colo.
War funding up again
In the next few weeks, Congress will be voting on whether to continue funding the occupation of Iraq. Congress has the power of the purse; it could stop the occupation tomorrow if it wanted. No more money, and the president would have to withdraw the troops. The Democrats claim they can’t do anything because of threats of a presidential veto. Not true. The Dems could just refuse to send Bush a funding bill. No funding bill, no veto. Pretty simple.
Worse still, the Congressional Democrats, hoping to make funding the occupation a non-issue in the 2008 election, have devised an Iraq “out of sight, out of mind” plan for the American people. Instead of giving President Bush the $102 billion he has asked for to keep the war going until sometime later this year (but before the election), they’ll give him $172 billion now for the rest of 2008 and part of 2009. Under this plan, they won’t have to vote on the funding again until after the election.
The Democrats figure that by November we will forget that they, who were elected in 2006 on their platform of ending the war, have continued to give President Bush the funding he wants.
Because Americans are noted for our short historical memories, we’ll forget the 4,052 U.S. dead, 23,000-100,000 U.S. wounded and 1.2 million Iraqi dead. We’ll forget our shattered reputation around the world. We’ll forget the devastated Iraqi infrastructure, society and economy. We’ll forget the $3-trillion price tag. Voila! What a plan!
To their credit, in December 2007, 140 Democrats, including Colorado’s Diana DeGette and Ed Permutter, voted against funding the occupation. The rest of the Colorado delegation, including Democrats and Republicans, has voted for all funding bills since 2003, including in December 2007.
If we want the war to end, now is the time to call Sens. Allard and Salazar and Congressman Mark Udall at 202-224-3121 and tell them “no more funding for occupation; bring them home.”
At least Carter’s trying
With all the recent attention given to former President Carter meeting with Hamas to discuss a peace process (and being ridiculed for it), one can’t help but wonder... Why are so many on the right seemingly doing their level best to promote violence?
First, on a local level, we have Douglas Bruce assaulting a photographer, then making inflammatory remarks towards migrant workers, and if that weren’t enough, he goes on to suggest that a revolution in Mexico would solve illegal immigration.
The same week, we have the self-described “journalist” Rush Limbaugh using our public airways to promote riots in Denver during the Democratic National Convention, as well as instructing his loyal followers to commit what could very well be described as voter fraud and other legally questionable actions that he proudly calls “Operation Chaos.”
I, for one, wonder if he’s even a registered voter himself because, the fact is, he never bothered to participate in our country’s elections until he was called on it by the media (when he was well into his 40s).
Other draft-dodging radio hosts and public figures who have been flag-waving and cheerleading the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and (coming soon to Iran) have all been so-called conservatives, e.g. O’Reilly, Savage (aka Weiner),Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rove, Michael Reagan, etc. What’s up with these guys (and gals, like Coulter and Malkin)?
With all the nukes out there, and a host of people angry and/or nuts enough to use one, most sane folks would hope that peace would be at least considered before going off the deep end and promoting more war(s). At least President Carter is trying. I wish we could say the same for folks in the “Republic” Party (to paraphrase our friend Rush).
May God bless you, Jimmy. You’re a good guy and a true Christian.
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