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Opinion

  • Sometimes I wonder whether we use the right nomenclature to describe the basic political divide in America. We see “liberals” on this side and “conservatives” on that side, with Democrats generally representing the former and Republicans the latter.

    But a compelling case can be made that the political landscape is really more sensibly divided into those who believe government should have a limited role (libertarians) and those who prefer government to have a more active role (statists). 

  • I am now a permanent resident and registered alien after 10 years of struggle. The alien part notwithstanding, to a poet like me, this is like saying, a bird authorized to sing, a dog authorized to bark, and a mother to suckle her young.

    Andrei Guruianu, a Romanian immigrant poet, said this about his poem, “Alien Authorized To Work”:

  • At what point will we finally have enough surveillance cameras? It’s hard to go anywhere without being watched by at least one, and often several, closed-circuit eyes in the sky. On a typical five-minute walk in downtown Denver, you don’t have to look very hard to find 20 or more cameras. They’re on lampposts, the sides of buildings, on ceilings, atop traffic lights and along walls.

  • Every community needs a cheerleader like Angela Bassano, the most enthusiastic supporter of Conifer and its many nonprofits. Having a fund-raiser? Need silent auction items? Want to move a road? She can make it all happen.

    While some may call her “Mayor,” I choose “Cheerleader” because Angela is not only enthusiastic, she is vocal. Her infectious energy is spread not just by example but with all kinds of verbal exhortations to, as she says, “Get up off your butt and participate.”

  • Women. More specifically, suburban women. Most specifically, independent and Republican suburban women.

    Now that we’ve made it through the primary process and have a race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat between Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck, it looks to me like the key to victory in this year’s race will be unaffiliated and Republican women voters from the suburbs.

  • So it’s come to this. In perhaps the most favorable Republican year since at least 1994, scandal-plagued GOP front-runner Scott McInnis can’t even close the deal on his own party’s nomination, much less the general election. 

  • Abby Posner has leapt from the gold pans of Colorado to the “Frying Pans and Freeways” of L.A. Many know this former local artist from her solo career as a singer/songwriter. The high caliber of her musical talent began when she studied guitar under Kevin Alumbaugh at the Evergreen School of Music. I have friends who still remember her inspired performances with the Kamikaze Kids, an ‘80s theater group conducted by Clear Creek’s Jimy Murphy.

  • In the week following the Sept. 11 attacks, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette attended religious services at both a Jewish synagogue and an Islamic mosque. Her visit to Temple Emanuel coincided with our Rosh Hashanah services, which are very well attended, and Rabbi Steve Foster, the spiritual leader of the congregation, welcomed her publicly and made a point of telling everyone in attendance that she was attending the mosque that week as well.

  • Negative attacks, they say, have long been part of politics. In “Going Dirty: the Art of Negative Campaigning” by David Mark, we’re told that in the 1828 presidential election, Andrew Jackson’s political allies nicknamed John Quincy Adams “the Pimp,” a reference to “a rumor that while he was ambassador to Russia a decade earlier, he had coerced a young woman into having an affair with a czar.”

  • From county commissioner to Colorado governor, Jeffco voters face very crowded ballots this year, and as the primary election approaches on Aug. 10, our opinion pages will no doubt become more crowded as well.

    Before the usual avalanche of political letters to the editor — and the subsequent phone calls asking why some letters haven’t appeared — I’d like to review our policy.

    • All letters must be accompanied by a verifiable name, along with information that allows us to contact the author.

  • Looking back on the just completed “Arts Alive Evergreen,” it’s remarkable how many opportunities to participate in the arts there are in a community of this size.

  • Did you ever have a really great teacher? Someone who changed your life?

    I’ve been lucky to have more than one. In elementary school, I wasn’t the easiest kid — you could say I was pretty tough. These days I’d surely be diagnosed with ADD (actually, to say I had an attention deficit is a huge understatement). But Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Ballangee stuck with me. It would have been easy to ignore this rowdy kid, but they put in extra hours, helping me learn what I couldn’t have learned on my own. I’m grateful they did.

  • Legal access to marijuana in Colorado seems to be a constantly moving target. As new medical marijuana laws go into effect in our state, a number of other things are coming together as well.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering a more flexible definition of post-traumatic stress disorder at virtually the same time as the state health department is being asked to add PTSD to the list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana could be prescribed. If both these things come to pass, it would liberalize access to medical marijuana for PTSD sufferers.

  • Wake up, America: Even France gets it

    Leaders of the world’s 20 industrial economies recently met in Toronto to discuss global economic problems, including the worrisome developments in European sovereign debt. The meetings resulted in a group statement announcing a concerted effort to reduce government spending.

    “Advanced economies have committed to fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize or reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016,” G-20 leaders announced last week.

  • One of Congress’ fundamental responsibilities under the Constitution is budgeting. With large majorities in both houses of Congress, the only hurdle Democrat leaders have in developing and garnering support for the annual budget resolution is themselves.

    Yet, this past week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer officially announced during a speech that Congress will make no attempt to develop and pass a budget this year.

  • By any account, Colorado has a robust citizen initiative process. Both by law and practice, we are asked to vote on more proposed constitutional amendments and initiated laws than people in other states.

  • There’s something singularly awful about watching the worst environmental disaster in our country’s history and knowing that, with all of America’s wealth and technological prowess, nothing has been done to prevent the ongoing catastrophe that threatens an entire way of life.

  • Long before the earthquake that devastated Haiti hit in January, aid to the island country was in vogue in Evergreen. The latest chapter of the story is a heartwarming tale about how compassion and culture can help ease a terrible situation.

  • The new government in Great Britain is wasting no time getting down to business. Shortly after taking power, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition announced spending cuts totaling about $8.2 billion. According to The Economist, “this is a small first step on a long journey.”

  • When legislative budget staffers were looking into ways to balance the state’s budget during the 2009 session, they happened onto the fact that Pinnacol Assurance, the quasi-public agency that serves as the insurer of last resort for workers’ compensation, had reserves in excess of half a billion dollars more than appeared to be necessary. When legislative leaders suggested taking some of the money to address budget issues, the reaction from Pinnacol, business interests and Pinnacol customers was swift. They said the state should keep its hands off.