I think of myself as a cynical optimist, i.e., while I always want and hope for the best, it probably won’t happen. A few months ago, “60 Minutes” exposed the fact that members of Congress have the royal privilege of using information they acquire in the course of their work to make “timely” transactions in the stock market, netting them far more than their stated salaries and benefits. A person of moderate means, if elected, can serve one or two terms and, in the meantime, become a multi-millionaire. Many have. Insider trading is legal in their case, definitely illegal and punishable in ours.
Of course, exposing this revelation created an outrage, or so it seemed, that the public would demand action. Immediately several Congressmen and Senators signed onto a motion to correct the situation, i.e., they sent it to a House committee where the Republican majority dutifully killed it on arrival. End of that.
Now there is a movement to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision declaring the personhood of a nebulous entity called a corporation. This decision — abetted, it’s been learned, by a large gift to the wife of one of the Justices — permits a corporation to contribute enormous amounts of money toward the election of political candidates whom they feel will reliably support their philosophies, interests and aims, thus drowning out opponents who lack or can’t raise the money needed to state their case. In effect, this decision says the Public Good be damned; the right of “persons” to buy the government for their own purposes has been guaranteed by an “activist” Court.
While Congress and the White House together (supposedly) govern, the Supreme Court rules. The only way to return the will to the People is through a Constitutional Amendment coming either through the Congress or the state legislatures. Both the Republican and Democratic Parties in Archuleta County have put this issue forward in their platforms for the national election in November, but if those politicians perform as they did in that insider trading affair, there’s little hope left for democracy.
Citizen groups have formed all over the country similar to Money Out of Politics locally to petition governing bodies at every level to take up this call, pass a resolution telling the state legislators and Congressmen where they stand. Here, the BoCC passed such a resolution. The Pagosa Springs Town Council won’t consider putting it on its agenda. It comes up to the people, then, to press the politicians, nail the candidates for election at every level as to where they stand and what they will do on this issue of the People’s Rights.
Otherwise, my pessimism tells me our democracy will consist only of being able every two years to participate in a federal election to continue this corruption.
Excellent articles by Jim McQuiggin in last week’s Pagosa SUN on the mid-month Town Council meeting (Mixed bag at mid-month council meeting) and the front page article about the Wal-Mart design review (Public process questioned as Wal-Mart plans unveiled).
The incidents McQuiggin reported are only the latest chapter in a long history where the town deliberately excludes the people they supposedly represent from the public process.
Pick your favorite issue: Reservoir Hill, Wal-Mart, the geothermal heating system, the agreement between Pagosa Sanitation General Improvement District and PAWSD. Everywhere I go there is frustration and unrest about one hot issue or another that causes folks to question what is going on in Pagosa Springs in town government.
Lately, I, along with many others, have been attending a lot of town meetings to help show that the citizens are interested and concerned about the seemingly arbitrary decisions being made by the town these days. I had hoped that my presence along with other concerned citizens provided a little reminder that we are the ones that elected them.
But instead of being more thoughtful about their decisions, explaining their actions and soliciting input from the public, they seek to deliberately exclude us. Indeed, they seem fearful that letting us participate in the process is a threat somehow. A threat that must be “handled” with hastily passed resolutions that severely limit our ability to participate or video-record a public meeting so that more of the public can actually see for themselves what is going on in important town meetings. What are they afraid of? What do they want to keep from the greater public? It makes one wonder what is going on in Town Hall backrooms.
Last week was a rough week for me and for some others that tried to ask reasonable questions or express concerns in town meetings. I was cut off by town officials several times and my respectful questions were left unanswered. I saw the same thing happen to others.
In fact, at the Wal-Mart design review, after sitting patiently through three hours of Wal-Mart droning on and on about how they picked the colors for the outside, the “unique” building design, etc. when those of us who were left were finally allowed two minutes a piece to make comments or raise issues, I was asked to sit down before I finished because the issues were deemed not relevant for the Design Review, yet later in the meeting, the board members themselves raised many of the issues I had intended to address.
I especially liked Jim’s comment about how the Constitution’s Bill of Rights provides for free speech, yet our town government seeks to silence us.
If you are concerned, please write, e-mail or call your town council member, the mayor and/or David Mitchem. Or write a letter to the editor and share your concerns. Nothing will change if we stand idly by. Let them know that the winds of change will soon blow if they fail to represent us.
What is great theater? Here’s my definition: The combination of an excellent script, an excellent director and excellent actors — a combination that draws your whole being into the performance — so much so that when it is over you find it difficult to leave your seat. It’s a unique and treasured experience that stays with you long after the play is over.
And that is exactly what I experienced last Sunday afternoon at Thingamajig Theatre Company’s production of “Doubt: A Parable.” I must admit that I have not seen either the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, or the 2008 movie, and that I only had a general idea of the subject matter — priests and young boys. So I didn’t compare the performance I saw with those in the award-winning play or film.
I judged Thingamajig’s production on its own merits. It was superb — their finest theatrical production to date. The character-driven script by playwright John Patrick Shanley gifted the four-member cast with an opportunity to show off their acting chops more so than any previous Thingamajig production.
“Doubt: A Parable,” the final production of Thingamajig’s first season, is a welcome relief from much of their first-season fare, which at times was light and silly, replete with bathroom humor. All types of theater are welcome — I just happen to prefer theater with meatier content that sticks with me and makes me think.
Doubt runs through this weekend, ending June 3. Please do yourself a favor and find the time to see it.
Don’t miss this great theater experience right here in Pagosa.
“Doubt: A Parable” by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Tim Moore. Cast: Laura Moore, Anna Hershey, Tim Moore, Sharina Ramsey-Adams. Ticket information: 731-SHOW or www.pagosacenter.org.
This country is broke. Fifteen trillion dollars in debt and growing at more than one trillion annually. Indebtedness, illegal immigration, massive unemployment, and the career politicians in Washington think they can spend our way out of the mess we are in. The same incumbents that got us in this situation are re-elected every two years.
GOOOH is a system for selecting candidates to the House of Representatives that are pledged to stop this madness. Citizen representatives who are not bought by special interest money or big party agenda and will support term limits. The GOOOH selection system has put candidates on the ballot in three states for the US House. Candidates that are under contract that specifies how they will vote on the major issues of today. Help replace the current politicians with someone who will return our government to the Constitutional Republic it once was. www.goooh.com.
Roy T Newsom
Last fall a generous person dropped off some beautiful wooden barrels and other items outside the San Juan Historical Society Museum. We would like to have a name to put with these donations. I would appreciate that person calling me at 946-3137 so we can update our records.
An article in The SUN last week saddened me greatly. Board members behaving badly, e.g., using their resignations to “make a point,” whatever that was, but certainly attempting to raise suspicions about our gifted executive director, Brad Cochenet. This man is a true gift to this community. His vision and leadership have brought highly qualified medical care to this little mountain community as he recognized the absolute importance of a thriving clinic to support that nice hospital. Today, we have highly qualified young physicians with up-to-date skills and knowledge who came here because of the work environment, as well as the natural environment.
I recently assisted a friend who was very sick. Beginning with the emergency room and on to three days in the hospital, I have never seen such kind, caring and professional care as he and his wife received. No stone was left unturned to discover and treat his problem. His wife felt she was treated as a “guest” — concerns for her were part of the stay.
Brad’s leadership and personality affect all who work there. This community could not be more blessed. So, hopefully, these board members who resigned in such a way as to cast doubt will simply get on with their lives, use their politics in more positive ways, and allow the good works to progress in an orderly fashion.
Patty Patton Tillerson
President Obama’s recent approval of same sex “marriage” unfortunately has influenced people to abandon their moral principles. For example, the NAACP stated, “We support marriage equality.” Most black Americans abandoned their opposition to same sex marriage to support Obama. Fifty-three percent of all Americans have also switched to approval.
By doing so, they have put American core values under unprecedented attack and placed their narcissistic self-gratification ahead of God’s law. What is God’s law? Genesis 2:23 reveals that God created man and woman, instructed them to leave mother and father, become one flesh, and fill the earth with offspring (impossible and unnatural for same sex unions). In Leviticus 18:22 ff, God calls such unions “abhorrent.” See also I Cor. 6:9-10 and I Tim. 1:8-11. So, same sex unions are not marriage and have no rights of equality. Also, Obama’s “contraceptive and abortifacient” mandate tramples on First Amendment rights of freedom of religion of all American citizens.
There are many other reasons not to reelect President Obama. The Internet identifies 69 lies and four major categories of un-American, anti-Christian and pro-Muslim activities (verifiable at liberal Snoops): 1) Twenty acts of hostility against people of Biblical faith (e.g., Obama says, “Christians cling to guns of religion,” and “have antipathy to those not like them.” 2) Nine acts of hostility from Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith (e.g., forbidding reference to God or Jesus at funerals). 3) Twenty-three acts of hostility toward Biblical values (e.g., Obama assembled a terrorism directory calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their criminal activities). 4) Nine acts of preferentialism for Islam (e.g., replacing the National Day of Prayer with dinners in honor of Ramadan).
Furthermore, under President Obama’s mandate, at Walter Reed and Bethesda hospitals, new rules are in place: “No religious items are allowed during visits.” A priest cannot give Holy Communion to a dying patient. In Obama’s army, military homosexuality is celebrated and Christianity censured, witches are financed and crosses are scorned, and same sex weddings are encouraged but not international charity, and faith is dismissed. Is our nation destined for destruction from immorality and corruption within as befell the Greek and Roman civilizations?
Here is a final reason not to reelect President Obama. He has replaced the flag on the tail of Air Force One with his campaign logo and slogan at the cost of $500,000 of taxpayers’ money. Whose plane is it, anyway? This is called a “blatant use and personalization of power” and “credits him with a triple A rating: Audacity, Abuse, Arrogance.”
Gallup Poll reports some good news: Pro-choice supporters (i.e., pro abortion or unborn child murder) decreased dramatically from 56 percent in 1995 to 41 percent today, while pro lifers increased from 33 percent to 50 percent. Incidentally, those anti-Obamaists who may fear what Romney might bring about being a Mormon should realize that he is not entrenched in a kingdom as is Obama.