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Dave Wallace: The perils of democracy

As summer tapers off and another Labor Day holiday has come and gone, we realize once again the dog days of summer are fading fast. The midterm elections will soon be here, and we will have the opportunity to vote for a number of representatives and ballot measures. We should all be thankful for the democracy we have and the system that will ultimately determine the ballot outcome, or at least, this is what we are led to believe.

Let us travel back in time to the closing of the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787. Ghosts of American patriots and British soldiers have been roaming the grounds around Freeman's Farm and the Bemis Heights for 10 years now, since the Battle of Saratoga, which is known as the turning point in the American Revolution. As Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, "What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?"

"A Republic, if you can keep it," Franklin replied.

The Founding Fathers were very familiar with the forms of government throughout history of the world, and this knowledge laid the foundation of our nation and the establishment of the republic, where the governing power of elected representatives would be regulated and restricted by the Constitution. These laws were designed to protect the rights of all citizens, majority and minority alike.

Even though many individuals believe our Country was established as a democracy, nothing is further from the truth. Democracy is government by majority rule, which is closely related to anarchy's mob rule. The rights of the minority are always at risk with such a system.

History is not necessarily being forgotten; no, history and the knowledge our Founding Fathers left us is intentionally being negated. Our Founding Fathers knew very well the perils of democracy.

John Adams, second president of the United States, said, "Democracy never last long, It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There has never been a democracy yet that did not commit suicide".

Scottish historian Alexander Tytler stated, "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government; they ultimately collapse over loose fiscal policy and are always followed by a dictatorship."

On the darker side, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Mao Tse-tung all noted how democracies were essential paving stones in the path leading toward socialism.

The U.S. Army training manual of 1928 described a democracy as follows: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meeting or any form of direct expression, results in mobocracy. Attitude toward property is communistic, negating property rights. Attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate, whether it be based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and the impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences. This results in demagogism, license, agitation, discontent, and anarchy. By 1952, this manual had conveniently been rewritten.

Let us look ahead to November. Ballot measure 73, which would amend the Colorado Constitution, promotes a progressive state income tax beginning with an annual income level of $150,000. This proposal does not affect everybody — no, 92 percent of Colorado taxpayers will not be affected at all. This devious and underhanded initiative is playing the majority against the minority. This is a prime example of mob rule and is precisely why our Founding Fathers established a republic and rejected democracy.

This measure, and others alike, are the force which railroads our country toward a socialist state. Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on a runaway train; the time has come to sand the rail and pray we are not too late.

Dave Wallace

Craig

The Haven: Celebrate National Assisted Living Week

This month, we celebrated National Assisted Living Week. This year's theme, "Capture the Moment," reminds us to seize the day and continue to find purpose in life. Residents at The Haven Assisted Living Facility in Hayden certainly give purpose to those who work here.

It can be very difficult for older adults to leave their homes, but it often is necessary to keep them safe and also prevent isolation and loneliness that can be just as detrimental to their health as physical injury.

We are grateful we can be part of helping our residents make the transition into a new caring home, where they receive compassionate care and are able to make new connections. Our small facility allows us to spend the time to get to know each of our residents and customize care and interactions to maximize their gifts, interests, and health.

We understand that senior years can be laced with loss — loss of friends, independence, capabilities, and what we know as home, but we believe this time is also an opportunity for renewed happiness and love. We feel honored to be able to play a role in helping each of our residents open a new page in their lives while reflecting on the joys and remarkable experiences that make up their personal histories. We gain as much from them as they do from us.

Thank you.

The Haven Assisted Living team

Hayden

Melissa Dowd: Veterinarian’s compassion deeply appreciated

I would like to say a very heartfelt thanks to Dr. Wayne Davis and his staff for their care and compassion during a very painful moment in my life. The sensitivity Dr. Davis showed me over the loss of my dog went above and beyond. They even sent me a condolences card!

This sort of thoughtfulness is becoming rare in our society, and I thank them for taking the time to pass on some kindness.

Melissa Dowd

Craig

Edward Packard: Trump, Tipton, and American democracy

Jeff Sessions met twice with the Russian ambassador, which he failed to disclose in a Congressional hearing. He had no choice but to recuse himself from matters arising from the unanimous conclusion of our intelligence services that Russia criminally interfered in the 2016 elections and is an ongoing threat.

It fell upon Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to appoint a special counsel to conduct an investigation, which, together with related prosecutions, has in the course of 16 months yielded indictments of about 25 Russians and indictments, convictions, or guilty pleas of, among others, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, former deputy campaign chairman, former national security adviser, former long-term personal lawyer, and former campaign foreign policy adviser, and probed numerous contacts, meetings, and transactions between Trump associates and Russians operatives or oligarchs closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump vehemently opposes the investigation and wants to end it.

The Montrose Press reported that at the Montrose County Republican Women's luncheon Aug. 17, U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton said, "I've been very disappointed with Attorney General Sessions (recusing himself from matters relating to Russian interference in our elections)"; "Eliminating himself from the equation, I think, is counterproductive"; "as long as (the investigation) has gone on, it ought to be coming to a conclusion"; "it has morphed to the point where we're going off on rabbit trails"; and the president "probably could" end the investigation.

Trump and American democracy are at odds. It's obvious which Tipton thinks is more important to protect.

Edward Packard

Montrose

John W. Forgay: Fill the Boot campaign huge success

This past weekend, Craig Fire and Rescue participated in the annual Fill The Boot campaign to support the fight against muscular dystrophy. Again, it was a great success, thanks to the generosity of the community and to many who were just coming through Craig. These donations raised more than $8,000 for MDA.

Several people took a moment to express their thanks to the tireless work of the firefighters who protect our community. To those men and women of the department, I salute your dedication to the fire service and your community, and despite a very busy few weeks, you still took time to be part of such a worthy cause. I also want to thank the board members and family volunteers for their help. I am proud to be a small part of such a wonderful group of professionals.

Thank you.

John W. Forgay, president

Craig Rural Fire Board of Directors

Stephanie Einfeld: Rubber Ducky organizers offer gratitude

We want to thank residents and businesses for making our fourth annual Craig Rubber Ducky Race on Aug. 4 a success. This year, we held the race in conjunction with the Moffat County Hot Air Balloon Festival. It was great to see so many families come for the balloon launch, then stay to watch rubber duckies bob down the river. It was a beautiful morning, and we are grateful to festival organizers for including the Rubber Ducky Race in their event.

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets, sponsored the race, and volunteered to help bring the pieces together. Your support reflects the kindness and generosity of a community that understands the importance of hospice and the compassionate end-of-life services we provide. This event ensures we have dedicated and experienced hospice staff and resources to provide the best care to all patients who need us throughout our large rural region. We are proud to have provided this service in Moffat County for more than 25 years.

Stephanie Einfeld, CEO

Northwest Colorado Health

 

Gar Williams: Good news, bad news

The good news and bad news is, last week, the president announced that his administration would be rolling back pollution regulations on coal-fired power plants. In the next sentence of this same announcement, he stated the regulation of coal-fired power plants would be left to the individual states.

On the surface, the president’s announcement sounds great, because it gives more regulation of local power plants back to the states.

Everyone in Moffat, Routt, and Rio Blanco counties — and the remainder of the Western Slope — should be extremely concerned about this announcement, because we depend on coal and fossil fuels industries for a very large portion of our economy.

The Colorado’s governor’s race may be the most important event affecting our future economy for the next 50 years. Jared Polis, on his website, states: “It is up to states like Colorado to chart our course for energy freedom. For our climate, for our national security, for our health, and for our economic growth, we need a bold goal of 100-percent renewable energy. As governor, I will work with all involved parties to accomplish our statewide clean energy transition by 2040, while saving Coloradans money on their utility bills and creating green energy jobs in Colorado that can never be outsourced. I'll collaborate with everyone willing to contribute to achieve this goal. This has been my exact approach in Congress. For instance, I teamed up with Rep. Frank Gosar (R-AZ) to streamline permitting procedures for solar, wind, and geothermal projects on public lands. Working with Republicans, Democrats, and other constituencies to cut red-tape and compliance costs around clean energy projects is an important and necessary bipartisan route to success. I look forward to forging these kinds of partnerships as governor. ”

This candidate represents the ambitions of the Eastern Slope and believes that what is good for the metro area is good for all of Colorado. The Eastern Slope and the Western Slope have very different economies and equally different ways of life. This candidate is against our fossil fuels, coal, gas, and oil.

If you are a friend of coal, work in the coal oil or gas industries, have a relative who works in these industries, work for a business that provides services to these industries or their employees, or support our local economy and the economy of the Western Slope, then consider what this philosophy will do to Moffat County’s economy and what your vote will mean in November.

Please register and vote in this most important election in years.

Gar Williams

Craig

Pat Jones: Organization thankful for support

On behalf of Love INC of the Yampa Valley, I would like to thank the community for making our sixth annual Back-to-School Fair a great success.

Our major sponsors, The Colorado Trust, Wal-Mart of Craig, and Central Park Management, supplied the bulk of resources needed, both financial and physical, to create an event that reached nearly 250 children and their families.

Community members and groups, such the Memorial Regional Health, and businesses like Styles 5th Avenue, Pepsi Beverages Company, Fun and Crazy Party Planners, and Elkhead Supply, also contributed supplies, services, or funds needed to complete the day.

The backbone of the event was organized by The Journey at First Baptist Church's dedicated volunteer, Cindy Reynolds, and her team, who collected the materials, then built the backpacks filled with school supplies that were distributed at the event.

The Craig Police Department, Moffat County Sheriff's Office, and so many other agencies, churches, and Love INC board members and volunteers were present to interact with the children and provide information about their services, while playing fun games!

Thank you to everyone who participated or donated — there were so many, there is not enough room to list everyone. Your help was vital and so much appreciated.

Pat Jones, director

Love INC of the Yampa Valley

John Kinkaid: Reader opposes Amendment 73

Editor’s note: This letter has been edited to reflect changes requested by its writer.

Most everybody knows that our local school district and the county are struggling financially, but I have three reasons why Amendment 73 is a very poor idea. Amendment 73 is a $1.6 billion dollar tax increase, designated for government K-12 schools, that would institute five income tax brackets. In Colorado people currently pay 4.63 percent, regardless of income. Under Amendment 73, the top bracket would go up to 8.25 percent.

Following are my reasons for opposing the amendment.

• We still have Amendment 23, passed in 2000, that ties education spending to the rate of inflation. Amendment 73 hamstrings the state's ability to adapt to changing economic conditions, such as inflation and future recessions. They assumed we wouldn’t go back to the 14 percent inflation rate of 1980 and wouldn’t experience economic downturns, like the Great Recession of 2008 or the Great Depression of the 1930s. The state legislature must have flexibility to fund and balance all functions, like roads, education, Medicaid, parks, etc. The Colorado Constitution now has a hodgepodge of 150 amendments. It's a convoluted mess. The U.S. Constitution only has 27 amendments and for good reason. It's for dealing with fundamental things like the Bill of Rights. But with 150 amendments, our state constitution is now dealing with issues that can and do change. Amendment 73 would make it 151.

• We currently spend money chasing results (academic achievement). That methodology hasn't worked yet. In our society, success and achievement are normally rewarded with money or additional resources. That's because it works. The current educational system has it backwards. The Colorado Association of School Boards, Colorado Association of School Executives, and Colorado Education Association focus on more money to the near exclusion of academic achievement and raising the bar. If some program isn't working well, government is good at throwing more money at it. The answer is always more money for them.

• Karl Marx said, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

A tax system that uses tax brackets is a form of Marxism and class warfare pitting the proletariat "have nots" against the bourgeois "haves.” Colorado already has the correct form of income tax. Everybody has the same skin in the game.  The fairest income tax is a flat tax, where everyone pays the same percentage.

The state legislature should step up and increase funding to Moffat County School District, so that we are no longer disadvantaged compared to the districts that get more per-pupil funding. The current funding formula doesn't treat Moffat County well.  The state legislature needs to "man up" and not cater to special interests. What if there was no formula, and every district got the same amount of per pupil funding?

This letter doesn't begin to address all of the relevant issues or structural problems facing education, but space is limited, and those are topics for another day.

John Kinkaid

Former Moffat County School Board member

The Reed Family: Fond memories of Craig

My family was fortunate enough to spend the last two years in Craig, and I wanted to take a minute to let the community know how much we enjoyed it. Although we moved on, there is so much we will miss.

We have never lived anywhere where the people were so genuinely kind to each other. From the moment we moved in, we were met with nothing but kindness, and it continued until the day we left. One thing we learned was that we should have had a moving sale when we first arrived. We met so many neighbors on our way out that we would have loved to have gotten to know better.

Fortunately, we were able to meet a lot of great people we will miss. As much as we would like to name everyone, I'm sure we'll leave someone out, so I'll just highlight a few.

We had neighbors who would greet us with fresh vegetables from the garden. We had a neighbor who worked at the local kennel, who, upon hearing our dogs had passed, sent us an envelope of pictures she had taken while they were in her care.

We had a neighbor who, while my wife was home alone our first winter, plowed our long driveway.

Tom and Jessie, at Cramer Flooring, were more than the people we bought our flooring from. Dr. Wayne and Jackie at Craig Veterinary Hospital were so amazing, I got choked up saying goodbye. The people at MJK, who we got to know well, were always so helpful with all of our projects. Honey Rock Kennels took amazing care of our dogs and they were always treated as family. The staff at Gino's was incredible, as well. It seemed every time we went in they were running around like crazy, but we always enjoyed our experience.

So many local businesses were full of great people, and we enjoyed getting to know so many of them. In what was really a very short time there, we really felt like part of the community.

I read a lot of negativity about the town, and of course, it is not perfect, but there are so many genuinely good people in Craig.

We would sincerely like to thank the people of Craig for their hospitality during our time there. For all its struggles, it really is a great town.

The Reed Family

Formerly of Craig