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Footing the bill
I am so very ashamed of Colorado. A precedent is now set, using an obscure 100-year-old law which had never been used and probably never intended for such a purpose to totally change the democratic process. Senators have been removed over a vote.
Now across the country, all legislative and executive government officials may be afraid to do anything for fear of recall. Don't like a tax vote? Start a recall petition. Don't like a vote pro-choice or pro-life? Start a recall petition. We have become the nation and generation of instant gratification. Who needs to wait for a general election?
These recalls in Colorado cost over a half million dollars, which will have to be taken from somewhere in the budget. What will be cut to cover the cost? Police? Firefighters? School funding? Because it is sure that the corporate entities, out of state to boot, who poured millions into this recall, won't step in and help pay.
And what was gained? If you think you were voting for your Second Amendment rights, consider this. Corporations exist to make money and to do so they need power and influence. They push the limits of the law and the Constitution to maximize their power and profit.
Gun manufacturers are powerful corporations. They exist to sell weapons. Peace and harmony are bad for business. Fear and hatred are good for business.
Corporations have quietly assumed control of the government and the running of this country, and most of us are too blind to see. This used to be cattle country, but is now overrun with sheep.
Missing the point
I am quite glad that John Morse lost the recall election. However, after hearing his words in his concession speech, it still seems glaringly clear that he still does not get it.
Morse is still maintaining that he "did the right thing." Sadly, John, what you still do not understand is that it is not about you. It doesn't matter what you think about gun control. You were voted into office by the people of Senate District 11 to represent them and their views.
You failed in that role as you did not cast votes, nor put forth legislation, in keeping with the majority view of your constituents. That is shameful and you deserve to go. It remains tragic that you still can't grasp that, but at least you're gone.
While cruising down the highway the other day, I noticed the electric sign telling me that is illegal to text and drive. Everyone seems to accept this new restriction on their First Amendment rights because it will save lives.
However, if I owned a corporation or organization that made money from every letter sent in a text, I might try to convince the public that restricting texting while driving was a horrible infringement of my rights. I would ask the NTA (National Texting Association) to help with my campaign to restore texting "rights."
With the money I got from the NTA and other such groups, I could publicize catchy phrases like, "Texting does not cause fatal accidents. People cause fatal accidents," or "When texting and driving become illegal, then only outlaws will text and drive."
I would spread misinformation about how the government wants to ban all texting, and this law is only the start. I might even make up a story or two about how texting while driving actually saved lives.
Ridiculous, you say? This is the mentality that has fueled our national gun debate for decades. And many people are swayed by the propaganda of high-dollar gun lobby groups, and believe their fear-mongering rhetoric. It is this lack of reason that recently ousted two state senators from office because of their support for legislation designed to curb gun violence.
No one wants to take your guns, or keep responsible citizens from buying a gun. Background checks for all gun sales are no more unreasonable than getting a credit check when applying for a loan, or obtaining a driver's license.
So come on, people: If we can give up texting while driving, surely we can amend our gun laws to help save lives.
As for Herpin ...
Well, the National Rifle Association won, two good Democrats lost, but common sense gun control is still the law of Colorado. How long it remains the law is in the hands of voters, and of course, the NRA will have its say.
The Springs will miss Senator Morse, who is in the "one of the few good men" category, while it's impossible to say that about his successor, Bernie Herpin.
I recall Bernie from his letter writing to the Indy some years ago. His issue then as it is now, was guns. He is a gun adulator who inhales guns and spits out bullets. If you could get him away from gun issues, you would find a man whose knowledge of governance, issues and politics is, at best, scant. It's not that he is stupid, but when he stuffs his brains with guns, it doesn't leave much room for knowledge of issues that really matter to most folks.
So, for you who saluted the NRA and voted Senator Morse out and Mr. Herpin in, we shall see what you have wrought. I wish him well because I wish Colorado well, but I haven't any hope that he will accomplish anything worthy of the Senate seat he was given. Hope I'm wrong.
Would you agree that when kids see bullying, they may not know what to do? They may feel depressed or worried. They may be absent because they don't feel safe. They may join in or stay silent so they won't get bullied themselves.
They may stand up to the bully. But, the best thing to do, is get an adult who will stop the bullying on the spot.
The Syrian President, al-Assad, is that bully. He is actively picking on the defenseless. He has faithfully followed in his father's footsteps and has joined the ranks of war criminals who we had wished we could have stopped sooner.
Our strength is one of conviction, not contradiction. We as Americans have strived to fight the good fight without losing focus of our faith or values. We have erred in the past in not holding others (who we had supported) accountable for their use of weapons of mass destruction. That time is past.
There needs to be a cost to this behavior. The only reason a chemical weapon was used against the defenseless, is just that: They are defenseless. And what about the precedent we are setting? Non-action will result in more action. The best thing to do is get an adult who will stop the bullying on the spot.
Good luck and Godspeed, Mr. President. You will be in my prayers.
— William "Bill" Murray
A creative response to the Syrian crisis comes from a physician friend of mine who has spent several years working in the Middle East:
Rather than using only legal argument and political agreement bases for military attack, I recommend considering massive international shaming of those who have used such weapons, presumably Assad. Such an approach should be based upon all the moral bases the world espouses, especially those included in the Qur'an, Bible and Torah and other traditions. This would be a tidal shift in global public consciousness, presumably putting us all on the same page.
I see mostly an upside to consequences and virtually no downside. Such shaming should be started by a "full court press" by the world's clergy, political leaders, academics and medical ethicists (Assad is an ophthalmologist), as well as some ordinary people who have experienced the weapons directly.
Especially in the Middle East and Asia, shaming and saving face have long histories. Let us promote this cultural approach. This also could be a game-changer, a new, powerful tool for international diplomacy, as a principle, assuming there has been full, factual substantiation for weapons of mass destruction having been used.
— Dr. Cara Koch
Assad and abortion
It is truly sad about what is happening in Syria. President Obama states correctly: How can we stand by and do nothing as a government leader uses chemical weapons to destroy his own people? We must do something to curb the destruction of innocent life.
Yet, President Obama, you are the one pushing chemical weapons on your own American citizens. You push RU 486 on pregnant mothers, which is a chemical weapon to the pre-born child. President Obama, you want the government to pay for this destruction of innocent life by Obamacare. You want religious organizations that oppose using chemicals for the destruction of human life to pay for it and do not allow religious exceptions in violation of the Constitution.
We must not stand idly by and do nothing to stop this. Yet, let's start first in America and stop the massacre of thousands of innocent lives by the use of chemicals by stopping the use of RU486 and other abortion procedures.
— Fr. Bill Carmody
Respect Life Director, Diocese of Colorado Springs