My answer to Froma Harrop’s question on the Opinion page of the Gazette June 8, “Must we care if you don’t get the COVID-19 vaccine?” is a resounding YES. The fastest way we will get out of this worldwide pandemic is if everyone who is eligible gets the vaccine. The excuses of various friends and neighbors notwithstanding, it’s not just about YOU personally. Getting vaccinated protects all of us, because unvaccinated you may not get very sick yourself, but you can pass it on to others, and even more importantly, the more cases we get the more likely it is that the virus will develop new and more virulent and more communicable variants — and then we’re all in trouble. So please, if you’re eligible, get vaccinated. It is your patriotic duty.
Boot ’em out
Democrat legislators at the Denver Capitol are most surely hard of hearing! Didn’t hear the taxpayers when they voted “NO” on the gas and oil issues in 2018. Didn’t hear the taxpayers when they voted against fees without asking our permission (Prop. 117 in 2020).
Now they are planning an end-run around taxpayers who are collecting signatures to reduce property taxes. Proposed legislation, ahead of the statewide vote of taxpayers, would wipe out this citizen’s “right to petition the government,” making it invalid. So no property tax reduction for you!
Any legislator or governor, voting or signing this legislation, should be “booted out” of office ... but wait, I read about proposed legislation that would make it harder for citizens to recall elected people. They really don’t want to listen.
Where are the censors?
It came to me, as I was working out and listening to a mix including Radiohead, Car Seat Headrest and The Rolling Stones: America continues to fail! We must be better at erasing and preventing those things that are offensive to society. The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar” and “Some Girls” (oh, my goodness, what they say in that song!) must be stricken from history and removed from any future purchases. Frankly, most music and lyrics need to be banished. Just think about what Eminem is willing to spout, and Lil Yachty? Ugghhh, all of those holiday songs!
While we are at it, I really cannot believe that the movie “Holiday Inn” is allowed to be shown every December. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire may have brought some happiness in 1942 to a war-torn world, but there is no place for such garbage today! It must go, never to be seen or spoken of again. And all those Crosby/Hope “Road To” movies; they make Dr. Seuss look innocent, and we know THAT is not true. Let’s stick to the violent, law-breaking depictions like the 37 “Fast and Furious” films. Those are innocent enough. Still, to be safe, theater, films, TV and most books need to be gone. If we are going to do it, let’s do it right!
It seems that Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” vision of the world was right on, except for those pesky people that wanted to keep certain literature and individualism alive. Shame on them!
Let the filibuster stand
The filibuster isn’t simply an antiquated device that must be eliminated so that radical reforms can be quickly implemented. It’s a tool by which the “tyranny of the majority” over a minority can be avoided. It can be used to delay or to force deliberation and debate of poorly worded or ill-considered legislation. And that’s a good thing, because America was not meant to be a simple majority-rule, winner-take-all and shaft-the-minority kind of government. That’s one reason for having three branches, each constructed differently with differing powers and the lawmaking body divided into two houses.
A recent letter writer, wishing for the death of filibuster, asked “What is power if not to help people?” She might ask that about other governments that used their power to send masses of humanity to the gas chambers, gulags and “reeducation” camps. Whether power is good or bad depends upon how it’s wielded. If it’s used to simply roll unopposed over an ideological opposition, as that writer wished, it’s a terrible use of power. Even if it’s painted up and sold to change life “for the better.”
Legislation “making progress for the American people” depends on one’s point of view. What one group sees as progress and beneficial, another may see as perhaps reckless or unfairly benefiting a few to the detriment of others. And it’s so very easy to slap a “good for America” label on even the most egregious multi-thousand page volume of obfuscation.
Remember this: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. When the tide of political power next changes, as it does, will there still be such ardor for the new majority to use its “rare opportunity” to override the minority without opposition? I think not. Be careful of what you wish for, for you may get it and regret it. Let the filibuster stand.
H. Wayne Hall
We need the filibuster
I would say this to Barbara McIntyre: There are more than a few Democrat senators in Congress who are interested in “protecting the filibuster.” In fact, 26 Democrats in the Senate in April 2017 signed a letter to leadership asking that the filibuster remain in place. The reason: Donald Trump was in office and wanted to abolish it. So much for “making progress for the American people!”
Is the current situation “a once in a lifetime opportunity?” In the early Obama years, Democrats controlled Congress by much greater numbers than they have today and barely managed to pass Obamacare while neglecting minimum wage, comprehensive climate action and voting rights.
If the writer thinks that this “could dramatically change American life for the better,” then I submit that at least half the nation might find it for the “worse” because we are so split in politics today. If the Republicans were to win back the Senate and/or House of Representatives in 2022, there would be many who don’t support the filibuster today that would quickly change their tune!
The filibuster is a political tool, not “an antiquated procedural norm.”