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Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: What education can and should be; points to ponder

Letters Published: February 24, 2014

What education can and should be

Thank you for your article, "Presidential Address", about David Wallace. I have known David Wallace for over 15 years and had the privilege of working with him for seven years.

He does an outstanding job with any of the historical figures he portrays and really makes history come alive for students.

After he retired from teaching, he made "guest" appearances in my classroom many times and each time the students were excited for him to come. It didn't matter if he was in character or if he came to tell them about John Kennedy. They always looked forward to him coming and learned many things about history. In fact, of all the historians I have known and learned from, I have not met anyone who has the historical knowledge that Wallace does (including my college professors)!

It was a wonderful story about a very knowledgeable historian. He is a great example of what education can and should be.

Kristen Walker, Colorado Springs

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World far too serious all the time

Re. Drive thru and fast food options.

This is an entertaining column. We enjoy it even though we rarely go for fast food. Just a bit of whimsy in a world that is far too serious all the time. So health nuts, back off and let the rest of us enjoy the column put forth in an amusing, informative way.

Bette Fall, Colorado Springs

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Watch city council very closely

When the City Council of Colorado sits down and decide what to do with Martin Drake Power Plant, we should watch them very closely to see it they do their homework. The big question seems to be what is more important, cheap energy or the environment?

I would hope they consider that China and India are building four new coal power plants every week. China gets 68.7 percent of their power from coal as compared to 47 percent for the U.S. Less then 15 percent of the plants in China have desulphurization systems.

If the U.S. eliminated 100 percent of coal emissions today, world emissions would be back to their same level within four years as a result of China's growth alone.

This information was obtained in minutes on the Internet, but it alone should make it clear that the council will not have saved the world if they close Martin Drake. The environmental impact of Martin Drake is a grain of sand on a beach in the overall scheme of world air quality. If asked, the people of Colorado Springs will go with cheap energy.

Bob Mulvaney, Colorado Springs

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Majority does not always rule

Responding to Byron York - "Political rhetoric of the Virginia marriage decision," Feb 19.

I'm grateful to York for his key quotes from the U.S. District Court decision overturning Virginia's constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, as approved by a majority of the state's voters in 2006. This decision closely follows upon virtually identical district court decisions in Utah and Oklahoma.

Thankfully, we do not live in a country in which the majority always rules. We have a Constitution that, though sometimes slowly and fitfully, protects the fundamental rights of minorities from the potential tyranny of the majority.

The Supreme Court has recognized repeatedly that marriage is a fundamental right protected by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment. The right to marry is inseparable from our rights to privacy and intimate association.

In a unanimous 1967 decision (Loving v. Virginia), the Supreme Count struck down Virginia's ban on interracial marriage despite the ban's existence since the colonial period, a ban then still existing in 16 states. Had this ban been put to a popular vote, it would no doubt have been overwhelmingly affirmed.

As noted in a 1943 Supreme Court decision: "One's right to life, liberty and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." [W. Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette.]

A final quote from the Virginia district court decision, taken from a 1996 Supreme Court ruling: "The history of our Constitution is the story of the extension of constitutional rights and protections to people once ignored or excluded." May we all take pride and comfort as freedom rings anew in successive generations.

Bill Oliver, Colorado Springs

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Some points to ponder

How high is up?

No matter what you say or do, or don't say or don't do, you are going to offend someone.

Why is it the more government we get, the more problems we have?

In any form or level of government, the sole criterium for success is to have a larger budget this year than last year. Nothing else matters.

A penny saved is government oversight.

Why do people consider the lonely and solitary activity of entering data into an electronic device as "social interaction"?

Mine is the last generation to have it better than my parents.

Words and ideas are cheap. It is reality that is so expensive.

How old would you be if you did not know your birth date? (Hint: It changes daily!)

Growing old is not for wimps.

Did you ever notice the Roman numerals for 40 are XL?

The Supreme Court is not final because it is right. It right because it is final.

Would a religion exist if there were no followers?

(How high is up? Why, twice halfway, of course!)

Roger Weed, Colorado Springs

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