These Are the Times That Should Try Our Souls
In 1776, Thomas Paine published a series of pamphlets under the title "The American Crisis." His first line was: "These are the times that try men′s souls." That line was followed by the equally important thought: "The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." My soul is troubled about whether the voters of Huerfano County will shrink from the service of their country and give in to narrow issues and prejudices.
The crisis facing America today is no longer the threat of continued British rule. It is not even simply the financial crisis that has captured the headlines in the last few weeks. It is a crisis of our identity as a people who began and have maintained the most democratic and responsive form of government and society in world history.
For more than 200 years, our nation has been the beacon for freedom-loving peoples around the world. Our system has provided the model and opportunity for the disenfranchised, but hard-working, immigrants to come to our shores in order to create a better life for their children. Indeed, with some exceptions, until recently we have had every right to feel pride in being Americans.
Over the last eight years, however, our moral, political and economic dominance in the world has taken serious, history-changing hits.
I was raised in a small, poor village in Wisconsin in a county similar in many ways to Huerfano. I understand how easy it is to go on about our daily lives without thinking too much about what the rest of the world thinks about us. Today I am a retired Army officer and have worked in government agencies at the highest levels of our national security establishment. One of the things that "tries my soul" the most is the thought of how our nation′s military security has been eroded. One of my sons is fighting in Iraq for the third time. He should be fighting in Afghanistan.
Unless you have traveled in foreign countries and have seen first-hand how anti-Americanism has grown over the last eight years, you may not understand my concerns about how the moral, political, economic and military power of our country has slipped. I cannot find rebuttals to counter foreign accusations about the new American imperialism and unilateral, unjustified military adventures that have actually decreased our national security.
It is natural and right for all of us to think first of ourselves and our families. What we must realize, however, is that what happens outside our immediate zone of concern has a direct bearing right here at home. If large segments of the world continue to have contempt for the United States and its recent diplomatic and military policies, it will lead to dangerous situations where we may be pulled into military and economic conflicts that we are not prepared to handle.
As Americans going about our daily lives here in Huerfano County, we often cannot see the forest for the trees. In a world that has become so small, we must regain our position as a moral standard bearer and live up to the dream that flourished at the birth of our nation. The American cowboy attitudes of the last eight years don′t hack it in today′s world. The consequences of such attitudes have already found their way into our own security, our everyday lives and our pocketbooks.
Certain things are obvious: the price of gasoline at the pump; the cost of medical care; the loss of our sons and daughters in combat; the frittering away of a national budget surplus into the largest debt in American history; home foreclosures; the obscene picture of corporate executives walking away from failed companies with golden parachutes worth millions and millions of dollars, while workers and investors lose their jobs and retirement pensions; and the humiliating decline of the dollar abroad.
Will either Obama or McCain definitely solve all the problems America is facing today? Not likely.
But this is an election that may decide whether we have a chance to rescue America from its precipitous decline, or continue to dig a hole from which we may never recover. This is an election that should not be won on one-issue politics. The implications of this election are bigger than any of us, bigger than whether our next president is a Democrat or a Republican. Huerfano County voters are no less intelligent and concerned for the future of America than voters anywhere else in our country. We realize that one must not vote for a candidate simply because he suffered torture in a POW camp, is or is not a woman, is white or black, is for or against a woman′s right to make her own decisions on abortion, who supports or doesn′t support making our social security partly dependent on the stock market, who is a good orator or reads from a text. We must consider which of the candidates is most likely to bring a fresh viewpoint to governing our country and who is most likely to consider the implications of American behavior at home and abroad.
The souls of all true patriots in Huerfano County should be troubled. We must open our eyes and ears so we can understand the urgency of this election. Will we stand by our country in November so that, as Thomas Paine wrote, we will "deserve the love and thanks of man and woman," as well as that of our children and grandchildren?
Jim Holbrook has lived in Huerfano County for ten years. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Okay, I’m really tired of reading the one sided accounts of Obama. This guy is going to ruin our wonderful country with his Muslim ideals. People need to wake up and hear what this guy is saying. First, he was making a speech and referred to our 57 states. When did we get the other 7 states? Did you know there are 57 Muslim states? Do you think that was a slip? I think this guy is a Muslim and wants to have our country invaded by the Radical Muslims. Second, he was being interviewed on TV and made the comment about his Muslim religion. The guy interviewing him had to tell him he meant his Christian religion. Obama stammered and said “Oh yeah”. This guy is scary!
Economic Reform!!! All Obama wants to do is raise our taxes. Did you know he wants to raise taxes on Social Security? The elderly are having a hard time as it is. Now they’re going to have to pay more taxes on what little they get. This guy wants to tax everything!!! I personally do not want my taxes raised. Affordable health care? He wants this to be a Socialist society. Do you know what that means? Remember Hitler?
History does repeat itself and if this guy gets into the White House he will be the next Hitler. The Radical Muslims want all Americans DEAD!!! They want to take over the world. Go to obsessionthemovie.com and learn about this fact.
The Republicans do not have a destructive foreign policy. They want to stop terrorists. It’s the Democratic Party that doesn’t want to stop the terrorists, otherwise Clinton would have gotten bin Laden when he had the chance.
My question to all who say they are Christians and still support this guy is how can you be a Christian and believe in abortions and same sex marriage? This is an oxymoron. Abortion is murder. (I believe one of the Ten Commandants is Thou Shalt Not Kill).
Same sex marriages are an abomination to God.
All Christians and Americans should vote Republican. Vote for the True American, not the make believe American.
It is election time again and I hope you are as interested as I am in ensuring that Huerfano County continues to have strong leadership. Our future depends on everyone participating in this election to show our Commissioners that we care about how they govern. We have been lucky that in recent years we have had people willing to step up and take on the responsibility for moving the county forward. I am writing to ask you to consider the candidacy of Steve Perkins. Steve has been involved in a number of community organizations over the last five years since he became the hospital administrator at Spanish Peaks Health Care Center. He has brought additional health care services to the County and lobbied to improve health care services for all. Steve has participated in organizations in every part of the County and has been a consistent supporter of cooperation among these groups. Just a few community projects I know personally that Steve has supported include the Fox Theater, the public libraries, and the Northlands annexation. He resigned his position at the hospital in order to work full time for the citizens of the county. I have worked with Steve on the Tourism Council and appreciate his consistent positive attitude in support of Huerfano County. And I have seen him roll up his sleeves and do whatever is needed to accomplish the task. Steve Perkins definitely deserves your consideration when you go to the polls. Think about what you want for your community and who you feel will work on your behalf.
George W. Birrer
For the past two years the Democrats have been in control of both the Senate and the House. They could pass any legislation they wanted because they had the majority of votes. Yet, all they have done is cry about the Bush Presidency causing more and more division in Washington rather than taking care of the country’s business. Two years ago Republicans (including John McCain) brought to the attention of the Congress the crisis that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in. Republicans warned the Democratic controlled congress about these orgnizations bad practices and if something was not done to correct their greedy business practices they would collapse and take “main street” with them. The Democrats said there was nothing wrong with either of these orgainizations saying no need to fix something that is not broke. CHECK hearing records if you doubt this.
Today the House controlled by Democrats failed to pass the economic buy out bill blaming the Republicans. Don’t be fooled, the Democrats had the votes to pass the bill but friends and associates, of Pelosi voted against the bill.
There is only one right choice for President to get us out of this bipartisanism promoted by the Democrats and that is “the Maverick” John McCain.
As a woman in these United States of America the land of opportunity for all I can no longer be silent regarding the outrageous attacks on a vice presidential candidate that happens to be a women. She has been criticized from the way she dresses to personal attacks on her family. American women should be appalled at the treatment this young woman is receiving. It seems that those who are spreading this mean spirited mendacious gossip and innuendos have nothing better to do. It is blatant defamation of character.
I can guarantee you that if there had been a female VP candidate on the other side, I doubt if anyone would have brought up anything about the disgraceful antics of her spouse while he was in leadership.
In all fairness can we honestly ask ourselves how proud we would be if our own daughters had achieved the accomplishments of Sarah Palin? Would we be appalled if our daughters were treated with such disrespect? Shame on the people in this country that have taken these insults as fact. Good family people that gleefully enjoy the assassination of character that is happening to this upstanding young woman and her family. This unfair treatment of Sarah Palin and her family is beyond decent objectivity. It is down right despicable.
As women we should be excited that we now have someone that we can have our daughters and granddaughters look up to and even aspire to be like. She has had executive experience both in her city and her state. She has had on the job training. She is the first lady of Alaska. I might ask the question, how many of you had any experience when you became a wife, a mother or applied for your first job? You had on the job training, as we all have.
I am proud to say that I will be voting for the team that can keep America on the right track. Cast your Vote for the right team – McCain/ Palin .
Carol Belt – experienced wife, mother and grandmother
I got to meet Barack Obama at Mountain Range High School, in Westminster on Monday. The rally was fun and the crowd was even more enthusiastic than usual. The number of young people was inspiring and the spirit was infectious. We patiently waited as Senator Obama was 45 minutes late to the podium because he was on the phone with both Treasury and Congressional leaders. He said he had insisted that the proposed bailout benefit and protect hard working Americans and not the Wall Street gamblers. Senator Obama brought us up to date on the economic crisis and the real consequences of 26 years of voodoo economics. Trickle down doesn′t work, he told us, and it′s time for a fundamental change of philosophy. We agree.
After the speech there were probably 50 of us, including Susan Kalman, Marna Brister and myself, that were invited to meet the Senator and have our pictures taken. We didn′t get to sit down and have dinner but I did get to watch him up close. He was as warm and genuine as any man I′ve ever met. But it was a spontaneous gesture that he made that meant the most to me. In each of the group pictures that were taken the people in the front were kneeling down. After each picture was taken Barack took the time to reach out his hand and help each and every one of them to their feet. To me, that simple gesture, besides demonstrating his substantial physical strength, was a statement of what he wants for all of us. He wants to help us back on our feet, as individuals and as a nation. The hand that he reached out to us was warm and supportive. I believe that that is what this man truly is.
This simple, brief meeting has convinced me of the rightness of my commitment. Barack Obama is what he seems, an honest, caring human being who understands the desires we all share for security, health and peace. There′s been enough greed and avarice, enough lies and killing. I am going to vote for real change. I hope you will too.
David Gnaizda, Chairman
Huerfano County Democratic Party
In the September 18th letters to the Editor, Mr. Gnaizda asks, “Think people, who got us into this horrendous mess?”
Mr. Gnaizda also proclaims it was Republicans who “pushed our great country and the world into the Great Depression”.
The truth is that the Great Depression and what we are experiencing today could have been prevented were it not for fiat-currency via the Federal Reserve. Just who is responsible for giving us the Fed?
In 1913, it was the Democratic Party who had control of the White House and both chambers of Congress. This enabled President Wilson to win congressional passage of measure to set up the Federal Reserve and create a federal income tax. What the Federal Reserve has given us since 1913 is the loss of 95% of the dollar’s purchasing power and an unrestrained, overbearing Federal government.
Lord Keynes wrote: “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.
Mayer Amschel Rothschild said, “Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
Our founding fathers attempted to protect us from the sort of tyrannical power and control spoken of above. Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution says, “The Congress shall have power… to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin;” and Section 10 makes clear that: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”
Congress foolishly relinquished its right to control the nation’s currency in 1913, and now seems all too eager to commit yet another blunder by granting even more control to the unelected powers-that-be running the Federal Reserve. Meanwhile, our enemies eagerly await our economic ruin and are prepared to exploit it. Voters cannot afford to be distracted from the real cause of our plight, and those who refuse to look beyond their personal agenda will be utterly unprepared for the consequences our nation is sure to bear.
Letter to Editor;
We judge the merit of a man by his actions and his words, but sometimes the merit of a man can be judged by who his enemies are and their words and actions as well. A better example could not be found than Colorado’s own Mark Udall, now running for the Senate seat vacated by Wayne Allard. Mark Udall has shown by words and deeds his concern for the welfare of Colorado, America and the people. In his run for the US Senate, Mark is facing an unprecedented onslaught of attack ads bought by special interest groups from outside Colorado, that have little respect for facts and none for truth.
Nearly a dozen of these self serving groups have spent a total of $13 million on misleading attack ads to this date, and the worst is still to come. So bizarre are some of these attacks that Mark has set up a website to instantly debunk these lies and deceptions. That website is http://www.markudall.com/content/debunker, so use it every time one of these ads runs to learn the truth and discredit these scoundrels.
Incredibly, these deceptive TV ads work, slowly, cancer-like, they eat away at voter confidence. That this many self serving, out of state, special interest groups are spending such vast sums of money in this race to run these deceptive ads is proof positive Mark Udall is doing something right. Beholding to none of these groups means Mark is a man of honesty and integrity and a servant of the people, not big business, big politics or any other group. Each attack ad should be viewed as a banner proclaiming Mark Udall is his own man and is beholding to no special interest group but to the people he will represent in Washington.
Let’s show these outsiders that insulting our intelligence with deceptive ads is not the way to get our vote, but honesty, truth and hard work are values, we still believe in and will reward at the polls.
Let’s inform ourselves of the truth, register to vote before October 6, and get out the vote for candidates who will improve our fortunes, not the fortunes of big business and the wealthy.
Please rethink your philosophy. When you preach hopelessness and helplessness you become an agent, a promoter, of the reality that you profess to despise. If anyone was convinced by your logic they would give up their community responsibilities and join the apostles of pathological greed. Now imagine the opposite. Imagine the real creators of this country′s great wealth, the workers and people of conscience joined together in the simple belief that things could be better; better not for a select few, better not just for themselves, but better for everyone.
Dorothy, this country was not conceived of as a static state, immutable and unchanging. Humanity has never stopped evolving, physically, socially, morally or politically. Even the great challenges of slavery and universal suffrage were left to future generations to correct and resolve. We have choice. We have the ability to organize. We have the vote. President Lincoln said that the Civil War was fought not just to free the slaves but to prove to history and the world that democracy could survive and flourish. If we give up we have forsaken our inheritance. If we surrender we will leave a legacy of ashes. If we yield, history will never forgive us. When we prevail we will have done our part as the rightful heirs of the American Revolution.
I do not believe in a cult of personality and I agree that no individual, no politician or political party will defeat the forces of darkness that now control our government. We can only succeed if we work together to reclaim power from the sociopaths. Join us in our millions. We will prevail. It is our country, our world. Never, never, ever give up. Dorothy, only you have the power to change the world. Only you have the power to change your mind.
As far as what the Democrats now control remember you need a minimum of 60 votes in the Senate to get anything to the floor for a vote and you need 66 votes to override a Presidential veto. If you want to get something done in Congress vote for Barack Obama, Mark Udall and John Salazar. Give us real control.
David Gnaizda, Chair
I have been reading a lot by David Gnaizda and would like to present the opposing point of view.
I have been both a Democrat and a Republican. I am aware that no one political party has all the right answers.
The biggest difference between most AMERICANS is their choice of political party! We all want what is best for the country.
Republicans are not the only liars, and crooks in politics! Granted, they have their share. BUT, they are not alone!
Bill Clinton is concerned about his image in history. If history EVER gets around to evaluating his tenure in office, I hope they remember his FABRICATION about a "tax break" for the "middle class".
To work for Civil Service, applicants are required to "have a high level of integrity" i.e. "HONESTY". (you didn’t know that did you?) How many sniper attacks did Hillary Clinton evade???
Barack Obama claims six years in the United States Senate. John McCain has six terms in the Senate. Obama has one term in the Peace Corps. McCain served twenty-two years in the Navy. Obama served none!
McCain was trained as a leader in one of America’s best leadership schools, the Naval Academy at Annapolis. Obama has no comparable training or experience.
This is how to evvaluate a candidate for public office. Charm and charisma will go a long way in life for a used car salesman and an insurance broker. But when choosing the next leader of the free world, who would you rather have in charge: Mr. Charming with no substance; or a man with more trials in life than most of us and has been tempered by the fires of war?
A former Democrat
With all of the talk, blame and comparison going on as to what’s happening now with the Great Depression of 1929, I thought I would clarify some points as to whose to blame for what.
The Bull Market of 1927 and the Depression that followed represented speculative rather than investment values. Americans reduced their investments and loans in Europe to buy stocks. Europeans sent their own funds to America for this purpose. In addition, credit over extension, inflexible prices, inadequate income of American families, and abuses in the banking system permitted dangerous credit inflation during prosperity. Sound familiar? (Since 1900. Barck and Blake. 1974. Macmillan Publishers. pp. 296-299)
During FDR’s administration, three major controls were put into place: Federal Reserve Banks were given authority to curb speculative credit expansion; commercial banks were prohibited from engaging in investment banking or maintaining security affiliates; and, the FDIC insured depositors against losses. Also, price controls were put into effect. (p.353)
However, in 1947 President Truman removed price controls sparking inflation (pp. 534-537) Wasn’t Truman a Democrat? During the Reagen administration, foreigners were buying up land and businesses in this country. Gradually, Congress began removing the controls on banks; and, President Clinton signed a bill that made it possible to borrow money to play the stock market. Incidentally, he’s also credited with making TV stations go digital.
George Bush SR. shot himself in the foot by failing to support the Family Leave Act and restricting limits on credit card interest. As for Bush Jr., that’s another letter.
In short, no one party is entirely to blame. We’re all guilty. Whoever is elected is going to inherit the mistakes of the past. The only real change is going to be toward Socialism, and that’s a path from which there is no return.
To: Huerfano Journal
Re: Get your facts correct David
Say, David Gnaizda, you surely do need a lesson on what’s going on. Private industry is not under the scrutiny of any government agency the last time I looked. The government has absolutely no control over private corporations and their “golden parachute”. Nothing. These are private corporations. I am not saying that the private corporations or the lobbyists are not bringing government officials but get your facts straight. It is the lack of honest facts that get us into trouble to start with and all of this started with Clinton. I’ll have to state that Bush wasn’t great and will go down like Jimmy Carter did (another Democrat). Economic disaster will happen no matter who or what gets in. Just don’t state that Obama is some sort of saviour. His “taxing the rich to give to the poor” is the worst scenario I have ever seen. Who is he kidding. You. When you get a Democratic president and a Democratic congress in power – watch out. Where is your favorite guy getting his money for his campaign? Print that next time. I am not for the Republicans either…I am for a more educated, interested group of United States citizens. Follow our constitution. It is simple and clear. I hate this lobbying BS….special interest groups…..we have poorly educated kids; poverty abounds; veterans living on the street who fought for our freedom and yet who drives the best cars, has vacation homes, great health plans? How long does it take all of you to wake up? We are being taken for a ride so the “rich can get richer”……Obama is at the top of this list. You, David, do not mislead people. This is the beginning of politics at its best.
Wake up & smell the roses.
Letters of Thanks
I would like to thank all my family and friends who sent me flowers, cards and visited me, while I was home after my knee operation. God bless you all
Thanks a million,
The Huerfano County Fair Board would like to thank the following for their support of the 2008 Huerfano County Fair and Rodeo:
2008 Livestock Buyers
Coyote Ranch, Frank and Alene Duzenack, Menegatti Ranch, LaVeta True Value, American Iron and Metal, Walsenburg Sand & Gravel, Midwest Steel, CML Financial Group, Mountain Industrial Power, J.A. Bush & Associates, Community Banks, Petroglyph Operating, Oakdale Gas, Roger Cain, West Peak Ranch, Fuller Western Real Estate, Dennis Parker, High Plains Insurance, Internatl. Bank of Independence Kansas, Bill Sheperd, Pat and Honeylou McConnell, LaVeta Propane, Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Cantrell, Wells Fargo Bank, Big R, Farm Credit, Sporleder Feeds, Cargil Steel & Wire, Safeway, Core Incorporated, D&D Leasing, 1st National Bank of Pueblo, Larry Fuller, Oswell Enterprises, Jose Gandara, Busch Ranch, Century Savings and Loan, Gwen Schofield, Peggy Kelly
2008 Trophy Donors
McConnell Ranch, La Veta Town Board, Frank & Sue Menegatti, Bud & Betty Kreutzer, Mickey & Malea Schmidt, Vernon & Diane Wagenfehr, Dave Reedy, Dominic & Carrie Andreatta, Davis Ranch, Bois-Ortega Funeral Home, Huerfano World, Judith A Hammernik CPA, Reata Realty, River Roundup FCE, Charlie’s Cash & Carry, St. Mary Credit Union, French’s Barber/Styling Shop, Quest Enterprises Inc., Mr. & Mrs. Jack Stroh, Bill & Sally Hix, Teri & Butch Smart, Bobbie & Donald Andreatta, Eugene Heikes Memorial, Anselmo Ranch, Butte Valley Realty, Honey’s Heavenly Horses, Allison & Claire Qubain, Dan & Mary Jo Winslow, Freese Family, Floyd * Norma Lou Murr, Velma Schector, Jim Conley, Huerfano County Cowbelles, Kimbrel Ranch, Walsenburg Insurance Center, Prairie Rangers FCE, Vucetich Ranch, Frances Elley.
2008 Rodeo Buckle Donors Faris Land & Cattle Company, Gary HAnisch, Attorney at Law, George’s Drive Inn, Don & Rhonda Kelley, Ludvik Propane, Myers Ranch, Chaparral Construction, McCay Family, Cuchara Valley Real Estate, Sporleder Feeds, Cuchara Valley Mini Storage, Leo & Katie Sager, 1st National Bank of Trinidad, Weir Trucking, Marvin Davis, Bill & Kristie Smith, Dan, Tammy & Grady Carroll, Joe Grubelnik, Joe Grubelnik Ranch, Friends of 4-H.
Floor Plan Buyers:
Walsenburg Sand & Gravel, La Junta Livestock Commission, Three JP LLC, Joe Petramala
Buyers Dinner Sponsor: 1st Natl Bank Trinidad, Walsenburg Branch
Buyers Dinner Committee: Bobbie Andreatta
Auctioneers: Jake Norton, Bill Mair, Lee Mayo
Ringmen: Frank Menegatti, Donald Andreatta
Sale Manager: Marvin Davis
Sales Clerks: Cindy Jameson, Jill Homerding, Gaye Davis
County Commissioners: Art Bobian, Roger Cain, Scott King. Mauro Farms, Town of La Veta, City of Walsenburg, Sammie’s Restaurant & RV Park, Huerfano Co Stockgrowers, San Isabel Electric, Petroglyph, Bob Freese, Signature Newspaper, Huerfano Co Extension, Show Superintendents, 4-H Club & Project Leaders, 4-H Members & Parents. We apologize to anyone we have failed to recognize.