Letters to the Editor, March 14-16, 2012
March 14, 2012
Last week Mr. Thomas Hurd raised valid and troubling points regarding the degradation of our Constitution, and a timely question: "What’s next?" Congress and the administration have clearly answered in the past week. Unfortunately, the major corporate media outlets have largely failed to report on these significant developments.
H.R. 347, passed by a nearly unanimous majority in both the House and Senate, and signed by the President Friday, March 9, makes it a federal felony to cause a disturbance while protesting near any person under Secret Service protection or near any designated National Special Security Event (party conventions, WTO/IMF/World Bank summits, G20, Super Bowls, etc). This is in clear and direct violation of the First Amendment which plainly states, "Congress shall make no law … prohibiting … the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The officials and dignitaries protected by these security provisions are the very people whose taxpayer-funded lives of luxury need to be intermittently disturbed in order for the citizenry to achieve any substantial redress.
Furthermore, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, March 7, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta asserted that the administration looks to the UN and NATO for authority to intervene militarily, in direct violation of Article II Section 4 of the Constitution, which empowers Congress with the exclusive right to declare war. In response, Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) has introduced H.CON.RES.107 which reaffirms the fact that, "the use of offensive military force by a President without prior and clear authorization of an Act of Congress constitutes an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor."
I am not arguing for impeachment, but I do contend that unless We the People stand up against the systemic dismantling of our Constitution, we will face increasingly violent tyranny implemented against us here at home. In the eminent words of Thomas Jefferson, "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." I refuse to remain silent.
Reverend Joel Roth Davis
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No budget? Then stop Congress’ paychecks
Only four times in the last 60 years has Congress passed a budget and all spending bills necessary to fund the government by the start of the fiscal year. Passing a budget is one of Congress’ primary legislative responsibilities, yet it has now been over 1,000 days since Congress passed a budget. Simply stated, Congress isn’t doing its job. If Congress can’t make spending and budget decisions on time, then members should not be paid on time either.
A new citizen movement called No Labels, and its local presence, No Labels Utah, brings together Republicans, Democrats and independents who recognize that we do what’s best for America when we set aside our labels and work together.
No Labels is promoting a congressional bill called No Budget, No Pay (H.R. 3643) (S. 1981). With this bill, congressional appropriations (spending) and budget processes must be completed annually by October 1. Otherwise, congressional pay ceases as of that date until the budget is passed. Members would not receive their lost salaries retroactively.
Please join the No Labels effort by contacting your members of Congress today and invite them to cosponsor No Budget, No Pay.
Salt Lake City
PCMR is playing on the public’s emotions
Park City Mountain Resort and POWDR Corp. are clearly engaged in outrageous and shameful business behavior.
Playing on the public’s emotions with threats of lost jobs and a shuttered mountain to pick up PCMR’s dropped ball and gain an upper hand in negotiations with their landlord is transparent, divisive, and deceitful. Shame on PCMR’s weak and disingenuous leadership for misrepresenting their good employees and the people of Park City.
Don’t lose sight of value of public education
At some level we all have to agree that the access to quality education is a foundation to the strength of our society. And I have been involved in many (cocktail and more serious) discussions that our teachers deserve to be paid well so I can’t be alone here either. But with the current economy and Utah’s education funding model, the issue has hit our community. So it is time to reassess our values and what quality public education provides to families, our local community, and society as a whole (including the long-term investment in our economic success).
Although it is important to openly discuss the issue, please let’s not fall into a trap of pitting teachers against school boards, para-professionals against administrative professionals, taxpayers against public servants, and every variation. The reality is 99% of us are well part of the 99%’ers. My opinion: We should all be rallying for each other’s best interests, living wages, and the interests of our community. We can’t let ourselves lose sight of how important public education is by being divided on this one.
After 21 years, for the first time next year, I will not longer have a child in the Park City School District, but I will always support taxes for public K-12 education.
Thanks, PCSD, for the dedication and commitment of all your staff!
Governor should veto sex-education bill
(This is an open letter to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.)
Dear Governor Herbert,
As a citizen, parent and educator, I ask you to please veto HB 363, thereby preventing a number of youth suicides in Utah.
Yearly, an undisclosed number of young men struggling with sexuality issues take their own lives.
My forty-year-old son continues to credit his life to a high school teacher merely mentioning a statistic abut the existence of homosexuals.
Knowing about "different" others allowed him to deal with his depression and keep going to become a productive member of society.
Would you, like the Eagle Forum, Sutherland Institute, and Representative Wright, deny others this chance?
Jenni Smith stands for our community
I hope you will please consider the following letter with respect to your PCMR/Talisker lawsuit story:
There’s Jenni Smith, goggle-tanned and 32-year-veteran of Park City Mountain Resort, who rose through the ranks to become president and general manager of the mountain we all love. The mountain that feeds our families, just like it did for the miners in the 1800s. There are more than 1,200 staff and some 400 volunteers dedicated to PCMR.
It’s 5 p.m. on the day the lawsuit was filed. Jenni is standing tall and informally telling us employees that "it’s all about you guys and the welfare of the community of Park City."
"We’re going to finish out the season" Jenni said. "We’re going to operate next season."
She’s Horatio at the Bridge. She’s everybody’s Parkite. She stands for what we want this community to be. And in the other corner is Canadian-based Talisker Land Holdings, intent on mining the soul of our town.
"We’re taking the high road, but we’re going to fight like hell," Jeni said. "We’re not going to walk away. We have worked too hard to make this one of the best resorts in the country. This is not about us versus Canyons, who we have a good working relationship with. And we have a great partnership with Deer Valley. This is about us and Talisker."
PCMR ski instructor, Park City
PCMR has option to extend its lease
Talisker, just like its predecessor United Park City Mines Company is being (at least) disingenuous. PCMR has the option granted in the lease to extend for another 20 years. All it has to do is give timely notice and be in compliance with the terms of the lease.
Ray "CJ" Johnson
Ex treasurer, Park City Ski Area