Letters to the editor
July 21, 2007
George Bush relates the Iraq War to the American war for Independence. He has a point but his perspective is warped. The year 1776 saw England as the world’s power. It had great wealth, a prime disciplined army and navy led by competent, tried, war-hardened career officers and great resource territories.
King George III intended to impose his muscle upon the American Colonies and to do less would be weak. If the Colonies were allowed to pull away from the English Empire a domino affect may result with other territories to follow. Reminds one of our attitude in South Eastern Asia during the Vietnam War era. The American Colonies were independent of each other and lacked ability to raise or sustain a standing army. Citizenship was diverse. There were English Tories, American Patriots and others who lacked affiliation, and still others who catered either side for self-benefit. The Colonial Army drew upon marginal men who lacked other means. They were highly diverse in nationally and race. It was an integrated army with white and free colored serving side by side. Military integration did not happen again until the Korean War.
During our War for Independence, England outsourced by hiring German mercenaries to support its army. The mercenaries owed no allegiance and their only ideology was money. I don’t know how this relates to our government outsourcing services in Iraq but feel there is a connection.
To be an English prisoner of war during the American Revolution was to be shoved into the hold of a prison ship void of ventilation, sanitation or sustainable diet. There is proof we have mistreated Iraqi prisoners.
The Dutch, French and Spanish held England in low opinion and in doing so provided some aid to the colonies. Today the United States is held in low world opinion. After all, Russia, German and France didn’t believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction but we couldn’t wait. Now it seems Iraq has become a training ground for terrorists.
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The colonies uniting into a nation did not happen until the conclusion of the Revolutionary War. It took negotiation between the colonies by intelligent representatives.
George Washington was elected president, a most remarkable person. He stated he would make appointments only by merit and not favoritism. Think of Washington’s appointment of Alexander Hamilton’s to the Treasury. With a quill pen and ink Hamilton was able to calculate the cost of the Revolutionary War in six months. Hew also set up a monetary system and a federal bank. All of this without a computer mouse or keyboard in his hand.
Today the news informs us about the amount of money presidential candidates are able to raise in campaign contributions. Perhaps it would be more informative for the voter to know who is donating and why? What does the contributor expect in return?
Great presidents are the reflection of those the president has gathered around the office as advisors and cabinet members. Think back to the Revolutionary War and King George III of England being surrounded by advisors who weighed their counsel in terms the King desired.
I do not believe the Iraq war to be all that similar to America’s War for Independence and saying so doesn’t make it so. I do believe office appointments made by future presidents should be by merit, ability and not favoritism or political affiliation. One would hope the president would seek and receive direction from the best informed without a self-serving agenda. This nation should be willing to accept the best in both domestic and national policy.
Common courtesy a thing of the past at concerts
Having been to several outdoor concerts recently I am very confused.
Presumably people go to these concerts and these venues to enjoy the music. However, most of the time there seems to be so much talking going on it is extremely difficult to hear the performers.
My husband and I attended the Chick Corea and Bella Fleck concert at Red Butte last month and people talked through the entire event. Tickets were $55 for lawn seating. I heard people continually asking others to be quiet so they could enjoy the music. The talkers never stopped and the music goers left prior to the end of the concert since it was very difficult to hear or enjoy it.
We were at Pink Martini in Deer Valley last weekend and I was amazed, there was a constant hum of discussion thruoghout the entire performance. My husband politely asked a gentleman three times to please be quiet so we could hear and the third time the man asked, "Oh, am I talking too loud?"
Perhaps I am just getting old. But it seems as though common courtesy is a thing of the past. People no longer consider it rude to talk through things with no regard for those around them.
Park City disregards police officers
As the hearing date closes Aug. 3, 2007 at 2:30 p.m., this is an excerpt from me to federal court:
"Yet again, Park City shows a shameless disregard fro their police officers by trying to blame the incident in Miner’s Park on them, in order to escape liability in this manner before the court."
I find myself in an unusual position where I must again defend the police officers and point out to the court that the fault in this incident in Miner’s Park, where Mr. Travis’s constitutional rights were violated, falls squarely on the elected officials and the city attorney of Park City government. This was not some random mistake by the police officers that day. The police were merely enforcing longstanding unconstitutional policies, customs, and procedures by misapplying the commercial code Title 4 LICENSING, to original Artist Mr. Travis. Far from being a simple mistake, it was in reality standard operating procedure in that city. It was just surprising when plaintiff knew enough about his civil liberties to stand up against Park City’s longstanding policies. Since the Park City government is into the business of judging the relative merit of art, it finds itself doing exactly what it is prohibited from doing, evaluating art on its content. The police officers and code enforcement officials were merely doing their job as defined by their City Council mayor. It was not the police officers or code enforcement officials that should be held to blame for the incident of Mr. Travis being rousted from Miner’s Park. The blame for this incident rests squarely upon the policy makers working in City Hall. It is just as I have said before; much like the "Grinch" that stole Christmas, Park City has successfully destroyed opportunities for grassroots participation and interaction in the arts. Having done so, they are no engaged in selling the arts back to the community in the form of their city-sanctioned art festival events being held in public fora.
I can only hope that this court understands the huge consequences to the arts and artists in the state of Utah that will result from the ruling in the case. Nothing is less than the artistic fate of the Plaintiff as well as artistic opportunities for the countless artists of all ages and skill levels for generations yet to come are at stake and will be effected in dramatic ways as a result of this court ruling.
Bryan L. Travis
Bell’s gas station owner tells owner tells his side
Prompted by a letter to the editor regarding the proposed gas station project, I would like to respond similarly to the famous commentator Paul Harvey — "And now for the rest of the story."
Dad built the gas station in 1971 when there were no more than three or four homes in Silvercreek. Long-term residents remember the gas station serving for years as the unofficial post office. They remember long, cold winters when roads were not plowed and the station was used as a place to drop off the family car, switching to snowmobile to finish the ride home.
Bell’s gas station served as the unofficial school bus stop. When parents’ schedules didn’t match their students, the children were welcome inside, out of the weather, sometimes for hours. A candy bar was lost a time or two. A subsequent lesson taught to the student by the store manager, all done with care. Over the years a few things may have aged, but deep down the same neighborly feelings exist.
Recently, the county approached us with a request to consider upgrades and changes to our site in conjunction with a UDOT proposal. We were asked to look at building and restroom expansion, landscaping, and signs. The proposal was to bring trees, shrubs, and picnic tables to the area and allow designated parking that residents could use. We also considered reducing, organizing, and modernizing signs, along with an overall clean up of clutter.
Ideas have been submitted that we feel meet the requests including expansion and refacing of the building and gas canopy, removal of the large red price sign, organization of parking areas, and installation of curb and landscaping.
I hope that the community will support our efforts to bring the Silvercreek gas station up to date as a more organized, attractive place. Informal visits on site with residents have returned positive responses with few exceptions. Please feel free to drop by the location, let us show you the ideas, and give us your feedback.
Thank you for your attention.
Spin casting only bait fishing to "elitists"
Regarding "Fish with the Bisch" in the July 7-10 issue Dan Bischoff — sorry Danno, you’re wrong. Spin casting is not bait-fishing and is considered "flies & lures," and is completely legal in the Provo waters. You were torturing fish. That’s right — torturing. You take a five-pound brown on a 4x tippet, in current, and I’ll watch you nearly kill that trout just getting him to the net. Next, you put your paws around him, fight to remove your No.18 fly, and then spend five more minutes to revive your nearly killed trout. Yep, that’s in tune with nature, all right. Think about your elitist attitude next time you are reiving your almost dead trout.
Now try fishing one-eighth ounce jigs representing a bait fish in the river. Using four-to-six pound test, no barb, I can land a five-pounder, quickly without "almost killing " the bruiser. The release is simple and quick. I can, with a quick twist, remove the hook. No reviving necessary because I didn’t "almost kill" him. And the bonus, Danno , I didn’t even have to put my paws on him. You might know what human hands do to trout skin?
You know the skiier/snowboarder quandry? If you’re a skiier I bet you scoff at snowboarders, too.
Good Samaritan at the skate park
On Sunday, July 15 my son crashed in the skate park and was knocked unconscious. Although I was just a few feet away with my younger son, I was completely unaware that this had happened. Two guys were close by; one named James went to my son immediately and sent his friend to find me. I was there within minutes and called 911, but James never left his side. He stayed and comforted him until the paramedics arrived (within about one minute of my call, by the way). I want to sincerely thank James and the Park City ambulance squad, especially Pete for their kindness and professionalism. My son has no recollection of being at the skate park that day, only a "nice guy in a grey helmet" (James) and Pete the ambulance guy. My son is healing thanks to you and will probably be right back out there in a few weeks, even if I make him wear two helmets and every pad I can buy! Thank you very much.