Access to academy not that easy
Y'all come! Really?
I read the invite from Lt. General Jay Silveria (An Invite to visit academy, Sunday, Sept 10) and was surprised and encouraged. He is inviting the community to participate in the Air Force Academy activities, and he made it sound so easy to access all the wonderful things the AFA has to offer.
Yes, he made it sound like access is easy - NOT! I was invited to be part of a summer camp program last year and after completing required paperwork, I had to stop at the security center just outside the gate, be screened again and wait for the young lady to come from her building to escort me back to her building [library] where the camp was held.
The access is not easy.
I always feel like I will be asked for my first-born's birth certificate to get past the gate. Lt. Gen. Silveria mentioned that the AFA Cadet Chapel is the most popular man-made tourist attraction in Colorado, which is true, extremely beautiful, but access not always available. I never am sure that we can get on the academy on any given day - high security issues!
My walking group has attempted access a number of times only to be told that we cannot hike the trail on that day because of restrictions. Yes, biking the beautiful roads is safe and easy - once you get on site. I understand that the football program is a big money maker for the academy, thus the almost free access on Saturdays for the games.
I am optimistic that when I visit the academy this next week with friends from out of town we will be greeted with a smile at the gate and will access with minimal time delay for screening, as we accept Lt. Gen. Silveria's offer to bring the community to "our academy."
A betrayal of conservative values
In his Sept. 3 guest opinion piece, former state treasurer Mark Hillman took me to task for calling out Republicans who've raised our taxes. Mark's a great guy and correct when he called me a friend and an ally, and we'll stay that way. But I was disappointed that he didn't tell the whole story.
Mark didn't mention when Republican legislators like Jerry Sonnenberg, Owen Hill and Polly Lawrence crossed party lines and worked to pass the Senate Bill 267 tax increase, they went around the voters to do it.
In the quarter century of my political activism, this massive tax and debt increase is the largest betrayal of conservative values I have witnessed by Colorado Republicans.
Mayor John Suthers and the El Paso County commisioners have put separate tax increases on this year's ballot.
While I might not support the proposals, let me sing the praises of your elected officials who at least respect you and our Taxpayer's Bill of Rights enough to ask the voters first.
By its very design, SB-267 was made to avoid voters, even though it straps our families with $550 million a year in new taxes and $2 billion in new debt. Polling showed that if asked voters would, of course, reject it.
I've come to expect Democrats to support this type of dishonest cash grab (by labeling a tax increase a "fee") but I find it unforgivable when our Republican leaders do it.
I am also disappointed that they are telling constituents this sell-out was for our rural hospitals.
Only around $20 million, or a mere 31/2 percent, goes to rural hospitals. Are we to believe the only way to find $20 million for rural hospitals, out of a bloated $35 billion state budget, was to raise taxes and deny voters their right to consent on it?
We should thank the courageous Republicans who stood up to Democrats and special interest pressure and voted no. They are heroes.
As many of the tax-loving Republicans wish to seek higher office, voters should be made aware of those who voted to reject TABOR, to reject the idea of voter consent over increasing taxes, and to reject the Republican value of restraining government growth.
Jon Caldara, president, Independence Institute
Religious tests defy the Constitution
The editorial about Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Bernie Sanders promoting a religious "test" for many of President Donald Trump's nominees is really shocking. They are U.S. Senators who swore to defend and uphold the Constitution!
They both seem to not know much about the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence. The second paragraph of the Declaration states "We hold these truth to be self-evident that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights....."! Amendment 1 to the Constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
Have these two senators even read what these two founding documents say?
Our country was founded by men coming together, praying for wisdom to write these very documents. These senators are promoting religious tests which trample all over these nominees' rights.
The very scary part is if they can use these "religious tests" on these people, where will it stop? Will the left want to go after any pastor who teaches against abortion or gay marriage?
Are they aware pastors have been arrested in other countries for going against the official state positions?
I hope the rest of the senators will completely reject any of these ideas completely. Sadly, many on the left want to get rid of our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.
What they are blind to is these documents also protect their right to say what anything they want, often attacking our country.