<![CDATA[Colorado Springs Gazette RSS - opinion]]> http://gazette.com/rss/opinion Wed, 02 Sep 2015 17:51:12 -0600 Zend_Feed http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss <![CDATA[VIDEO: The Great Marijuana Debate]]> http://gazette.com/video-the-great-marijuana-debate/article/1558561?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/video-the-great-marijuana-debate/article/1558561?custom_click=rss

Marijuana legalization was debated Friday in Steamboat Springs at the Freedom Conference.

Participants included Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor Wayne Laugesen, Mason Tvert, director of communications with the Marijuana Police Project, and Fox News contributor Mary Katherine Ham.

Watch a video of the debate above

Read an article by Steabmboat Today here.

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Wed, 02 Sep 2015 14:58:31 -0600
<![CDATA[EDITORIAL: President should honor Alaska's other wish]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-president-should-honor-alaskas-other-wish/article/1558552?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-president-should-honor-alaskas-other-wish/article/1558552?custom_click=rss In 1901, six months into his second term, President William McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist terrorist. Sixteen years later, Congress officially named the tallest mountain in the United States in his honor - Alaska's Mount McKinley. Democratic President Woodrow Wilson signed off on it. This week, the name was changed.

To be sure, McKinley was worthy of having this mountain named after him. He was a Civil War hero, a Union private who rose through the ranks and was at one point promoted on the battlefield as high as the rank of major. He saw more actual combat than most veterans of most wars. He fought at Antietam, among other major and minor battles, and even had a horse shot out from underneath him. He then served in

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]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 04:15:16 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Arming teachers; Planned Parenthood; changes in society]]> http://gazette.com/letters-arming-teachers-planned-parenthood-changes-in-society/article/1558551?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-arming-teachers-planned-parenthood-changes-in-society/article/1558551?custom_click=rss

Getting tough on crime

I agree with the editorial "Gun control a dead issue" dated Aug. 31. It's time that we got back to using common sense on what the real problem is and how to fix it, and it is not by gun control. Law-abiding people want their guns to protect their families from the criminals. First and foremost, we need to get back to the biblical principles of God's law that this country was founded on. Parents need to know those principles, live by them and teach their children to obey them.

When someone decides to kill someone, by whatever method, and we have certainly heard of all the ways that can be accomplished even without a gun. The real problem is that we have lost our will to actually punish the criminal

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]]> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 04:15:12 -0600 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Don't question state CEO's big raise]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-dont-question-state-ceos-big-raise/article/1558471?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-dont-question-state-ceos-big-raise/article/1558471?custom_click=rss

Just behave, state treasurer Walker Stapleton. Go along with the established governing class. Don't ask questions. Toe the line and allow politicians to help fellow politicians. To do otherwise - to work as a defender of public funds - is just plain "asinine" and "stupid."

That's the message made clear last week by Lynn Turner, one of three governor-appointed members of the board of directors of Colorado's Public Employees' Retirement Association.

Stapleton has shown a commitment to defending the public interest against questionable agendas of the governing class. He was a front-line warrior against the proposal for a $1 billion tax increase, deceptively promoted as revenue for classrooms and teachers. Voters trounced the

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Tue, 01 Sep 2015 10:01:03 -0600
<![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: The New Jim Crow revisited]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-the-new-jim-crow-revisited/article/1558464?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-the-new-jim-crow-revisited/article/1558464?custom_click=rss

After John Walters wrote a Weekly Standard article on President Obama's commutations of incarcerated drug offenders, he was asked to take a look at Michelle Alexander's dreadful but influential book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

Together with his Hudson Institute colleague David Murray, he has written the important essay below on the book. The full essay is available online at gazette.com. Walters and Murray write:

This book (hereafter, TNJC) is careless. The carelessness produces misdirection and it undermines the argument. Facts are stretched, the scholarly apparatus is weak, and the core argument is often contradicted by its own evidence.

Nonetheless, TNJC is a very popular book.

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Tue, 01 Sep 2015 08:43:36 -0600
<![CDATA[A realistic approach to Iran]]> http://gazette.com/a-realistic-approach-to-iran/article/1558463?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/a-realistic-approach-to-iran/article/1558463?custom_click=rss

Foreign policy debates rarely get away from being reflections of domestic political conflicts, but they are also usually based on unstated assumptions and unacknowledged theories.

That's true of the struggle over the Iran nuclear agreement, even if raw politics is playing an exceptionally large role. There are many indications that Republican Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Susan Collins (Maine) might in other circumstances be willing to back the accord. But they have to calculate the very high costs of breaking with their colleagues on an issue that has become a test of party loyalty.

There is also the unfortunate way in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has chosen to frame Congress's vote as a pro- or

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]]> Tue, 01 Sep 2015 04:25:12 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Anti-gun publicity; not part of the working world]]> http://gazette.com/letters-anti-gun-publicity-not-part-of-the-working-world/article/1558399?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-anti-gun-publicity-not-part-of-the-working-world/article/1558399?custom_click=rss

Resurgence of anti-gun publicity

There seems to be an increase in anti-gun publicity in the media and other news outlets. Some episodes have occurred in isolated places where we would never hear of ... like a small town in Louisiana for instance.

And of course the gun haters make the most of those cases. At the same time, in many of those episodes, had there been one or two other persons there with a good gun and knowledge of how to use it, the bad outcome may have been reversed.

That often happens. Many of us learned to use guns in the armed service.

The Second Amendment in our constitution gives individual citizens the right to own guns. And there are many instances recently in which there are attempts to

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]]> Mon, 31 Aug 2015 04:05:02 -0600 <![CDATA[EDITORIAL: Law enforcement is a dangerous challenge]]> http://gazette.com/editorial-law-enforcement-is-a-dangerous-challenge/article/1558363?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/editorial-law-enforcement-is-a-dangerous-challenge/article/1558363?custom_click=rss

Friday night, a Harris County, Texas, deputy sheriff was shot, execution-style, while refueling his patrol car. The only motive appears to be the badge he was wearing. It was a senseless, tragic death. Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, had a wife and children.

Wednesday, a Louisiana police officer responding to a call about a stabbing was fatally shot. His name was Henry Nelson, and he was simply doing his job.

Last Monday, Sgt. Peggy Vassallo was struck and killed by a vehicle while assisting another driver after being involved in an accident. A vehicle, traveling at a high speed, swerved around her police car and hit her. She later died at an area hospital.

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]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 04:20:10 -0600 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Climate change is a national security issue]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-climate-change-is-a-national-security-issue/article/1558362?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-climate-change-is-a-national-security-issue/article/1558362?custom_click=rss

Climate change imperils what is most significant to us in Colorado Springs: national security. With the large military presence in Colorado Springs, I'm surprised this hasn't been at the forefront of our local climate discussion. The projected impacts of climate change could be detrimental to military readiness. Climate change will inevitably strain military resources at home and abroad and may limit our ability to respond to future demands. Policy and research organizations, such as the Truman National Security Project, have concluded that climate change acts as a "threat multiplier," with more frequent and severe weather events destabilizing regions with weak governments and poor infrastructure, pushing them to near constant social and

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]]> Sun, 30 Aug 2015 04:20:07 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Alternative health plan; led down the wrong path again]]> http://gazette.com/letters-alternative-health-plan-led-down-the-wrong-path-again/article/1558314?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-alternative-health-plan-led-down-the-wrong-path-again/article/1558314?custom_click=rss

An alternative health care plan

With the candidates vying for votes by proposing shutdown of Obamacare and complaints about the Veterans Administration's foul-ups, I have wondered why no one has proposed just expanding the military Tricare program. This program provides quality care, access to doctors and medicines and seems to be running just fine according to their congressional report (available online). Fees are part of the program, with rates for single, families and a "prime" program with no co-pays. If the military treatment facilities normally visited cannot accommodate one's condition, a referral to civilian providers is done. Seems to work just fine with minimum fuss for both patients and providers.

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]]> Sat, 29 Aug 2015 04:05:04 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Wondering about city leadership; opinions on several issues]]> http://gazette.com/letters-wondering-about-city-leadership-opinions-on-several-issues/article/1558244?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-wondering-about-city-leadership-opinions-on-several-issues/article/1558244?custom_click=rss

Wondering about leadership

I appreciate our elected officials. The work they do is arduous and thankless. However, I'm left wondering about leadership when I read that our City Council is considering an ordinance that limits where people can sit. Really? This seems to me a senseless act of targeting our city's homeless and indigent population. Until we, as a community, are willing to do the hard work of addressing our city's joblessness, lack of affordable housing and access to mental health services, we will face problems associated with loitering and "seating." Assessing fines on people, who by the way can't afford to pay the fines, is treating a symptom, not curing a disease.

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]]> Fri, 28 Aug 2015 04:05:03 -0600 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Coal companies should pay their fair share]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-coal-companies-should-pay-their-fair-share/article/1558179?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-coal-companies-should-pay-their-fair-share/article/1558179?custom_click=rss

It's no secret that our mountain communities are being hit hard by climate change: we're facing drier winters, decreased snowpack and more severe wildfires, and are struggling financially to adapt to these changing conditions. But what is less well known is that coal companies have been adding insult to injury by underpaying on their royalty payments from coal leased on federal lands, neglecting to pay the fair share on revenues that could be used to improve our schools, roads and local infrastructures.

Coal companies have been exploiting the system for years, but nothing has been proposed to address this problem - until now.

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]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 04:05:22 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: Making sitting down a crime; good people do exist]]> http://gazette.com/letters-making-sitting-down-a-crime-good-people-do-exist/article/1558178?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-making-sitting-down-a-crime-good-people-do-exist/article/1558178?custom_click=rss

Making sitting down a crime

It would seem that a sharp divide is prevalent amongst the folks of Colorado Springs. There are those who feel that a new proposal for a law criminalizing sitting on a planter is harsh and discriminatory. And on the other hand, there are those who feel that the folks who do sit on planters are a nuisance and a hindrance to the city's economic growth.

I believe it is quite obvious who this law would be targeting: the homeless. How can we on one hand say, "Well, we need to help the homeless. We need more programs, more ways that they can reintegrate into society." Then something likes this pops up, making sitting down a crime.

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]]> Thu, 27 Aug 2015 04:05:14 -0600 <![CDATA[GUEST COLUMN: Improve notice procedures in times of emergency]]> http://gazette.com/guest-column-improve-notice-procedures-in-times-of-emergency/article/1558116?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/guest-column-improve-notice-procedures-in-times-of-emergency/article/1558116?custom_click=rss

Unless you live on a mountaintop, we all live downstream. And we all need timely notice of dangerous spills and emergencies.

The Aug. 5 release of approximately 3 million gallons of orange mine waste into a tributary of the Animas River has triggered a variety of calls for action, including expanded efforts to clean up mine waste, condemnation of old mining practices and criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency. The more vocal criticism centered on the EPA's response time and methods to notify local and state officials, as well as downstream water users particularly in New Mexico. The New Mexico governor reported that she received notice from the Southern Ute Tribe, not the federal agency in charge. Other officials stated

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]]> Wed, 26 Aug 2015 04:10:05 -0600 <![CDATA[LETTERS: A recipe for continued failure; importance of immigration reform]]> http://gazette.com/letters-a-recipe-for-continued-failure-importance-of-immigration-reform/article/1558115?custom_click=rss http://gazette.com/letters-a-recipe-for-continued-failure-importance-of-immigration-reform/article/1558115?custom_click=rss

A recipe for continued failure

I know that courts need to follow to the letter of law, punishment, but the Erin Lanosga case leaves me heartbroken. This young woman made a tragic decision to drive while intoxicated. She made a tragic decision to not insist that her brother buckle up in the car. A 19-year-old generally has not developed the skills behind the wheel of a car to overcorrect something on the roads (ice, rain, etc.) This family has suffered a great deal (the loss of a son and now the incarceration of their daughter).

The purpose of the penal system is to one, punish, but to offer provide rehabilitation. I don't see how being sent to prison for two to six years does either of these things.

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