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Pearce’s efforts supported

July 12, 2012 • Dear Editor

Dear Editor:

I always get a grin reading Ellen Wedum’s perceptions of what really happens in the world. Her recent Little Bear fire letter was no exception.

Her expertise on the subject is doubtful beginning with firefighters cutting down “300-foot-tall trees.”

Ms. Wedum might do well to consider the fact that New Mexico has no 300-foot-tall trees. As a matter of fact, the state’s tallest tree is a 156-foot Rocky Mountain White Fir. Our tallest Ponderosa Pine is 114 feet in height. Nope, no 300-foot-tall trees anywhere in New Mexico.

Equally inaccurate is her condemnation of Congressman Pearce — who she blames for a 4 to 5 percent U. S. Forest Service budget cut for each of the past three years. Her conclusion is firefighters are now unable to extinguish forest fires due to Republican budget cuts. I believe she misses the mark on both her facts and her conclusion.

Congressman Pearce has the right to ask U. S. Forest Service officials the tough questions. It seems to me that during the events of the Little Bear Fire a lot of things were done right and some things were wrong. Congressman Pearce seeks answers to help avoid repeating a tragedy in our dry and over-grown forests. I salute both our firefighters and Congressman Pearce for their hard work and dedicated service to our country and community.

In the meantime, I await her next letter setting us all straight on the events of the day.

Yours very truly,

Phelps Anderson

Roswell

Street closures irritating

Dear Editor:

For years we have been going to a friend’s house on Sycamore to watch the Fourth of July fireworks display.

Not this year. We couldn’t get there from here. While there always has been heavy traffic it was easily manageable. But this year with RPD out in full force and barricading every road, there was no way to get there. And traffic was a nightmare.

We started out about 8:20 to get there by 8:30 as we usually do.

Got down Eighth Street to somewhere and it was blocked off.

So we turned around and went back to Union and and went to Second. Drove down Second to Sycamore and turned down Sycamore. At Eighth Street Sycamore was blocked and so was Eighth Street at that point.

We turned west on Eighth until I found a through street that got us to College. But at College and Sycamore the street was blocked both ways so we had to continue down College until we encountered yet another road block and had turn onto some dirt road until we got back to Eighth which was also barricaded. I went around the barricade and back down Eighth back to Union where I was going to turn north to Country Club. But Union Street was blocked off there.

By then it was 9:00 so we just went back home.

Maybe next year if Roswell continues this exercise in traffic control we’ll go a day early, bring our sleeping bags and pitch a tent in their backyard.

I don’t know why the city did this. There never seemed to be problems with traffic flow in past years. Probably some city bureaucrat thought up a “plan” which they implemented and as governments tend to do they mucked everything up.

This was the first time in over a dozen years we missed visiting our friends and watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July and enjoying cake and homemade ice cream afterward. Thank you very much Roswell!

Noel Sivertson

Roswell

Political rancor out of control

Dear Editor:

I want to thank the Alliance for Peace and Justice. It was very kind of them to mention that this is a “Great Nation.” One of the very things that allows it to be great is the right we all have to express our views, even controversial ones. Who could imagine? We don’t all agree on the immigration issues that face this great nation.

There is no way to overstate the important roles that immigrants have played in the United States. I believe that most of us living here are at least the distant grandchildren of immigrants. Mine came from Ireland, and yes, the Irish were discriminated against here too. That being said, we have immigration issues that desperately need to be dealt with in this nation. The president of the United States in his recent executive action, aimed at slowing the deportation rate of young Hispanic people, did little to solve the problem. He didn’t change anyone’s status. He just kicked the can down the road again, and scored a few election year points. Hurrah for him! Come the second Wednesday of November nobody will remember.

We have only to look to our Congress for the lack of action on this (and almost every other) important issue facing our nation. Congress appears to have degenerated into an ideological organization whose members either “are” or “are forced into” pandering to extreme points of view. There appears to be no middle ground anymore. It always seems to be about “who’s right” not “what’s right.” Nothing ever gets done except finger pointing and the filming of soundbites for the talking heads to interpret for us.

We the people deserve better! We deserve to have the kind of governance that we are paying for! We have become a nation that has “faith-based governance.” All sides say, “Trust us, we know what’s best!” That appears to be an adequate definition of “faith based” to me. Most of the evidence seems to indicate that both major political parties lie to their constituents to get elected. How in Heaven’s name can we forget that when we go to vote? Membership in a political party (me, neither side wants) does not imply that you’re right. Both Democrats and Republicans occasionally have good ideas and bad ones too. Even a blind squirrel finds a few nuts.

I suggest that we fire them all. Stop voting for incumbents. Nothing would get their attention faster than a pink slip from us. If we fired them all, then the next group will understand that we expect them to represent us, not well healed special interests of any kind.

Keith Bell is a man I know and respect for his talents. I do not always catch the aim of his cartoons. Sometimes they just don’t hit my funny bone. Political cartoons are, and always have been, meant to stir controversy and thought. It’s a thankless job with 50-50 odds at best of getting it right! Keep up the good fight, Keith!

Thanks for letting me ramble,

Don Donigan

Roswell

Religious freedom

Dear Editor:

The back page of the Roswell Daily Record for July 4 carried a full-page paid ad with quotes purporting to demonstrate that Christianity should be the official religion of the United States. It is refreshing to reflect, especially on the birthday of this greatest country in the world, that the First Amendment to our Constitution (besides prohibiting the establishment of a national religion) guarantees not only that some groups of people have the right to believe and express such things, but also that the rest of us have an equal right not to. (It mystifies me that anyone could really want the USA to be a theocracy. If you want to see what it’s like to live in a theocracy, look at Iran.)

The argument that the Founding Fathers wanted us to have an official religion is demonstrably untrue. They were too smart and too far-sighted for that. The problem is that like virtually all politicians, they often said one sort of thing to people they hoped would vote for them and quite a different sort of thing in private.

It is instructive to read the letters exchanged by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Both believed in a God, in the deist sense, but had little patience with the claims of “revealed” religion. Thomas Jefferson, while admiring the moral teachings of Jesus, frankly disbelieved in his divinity, writing to Adams: “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

This scarcely sounds like someone who would favor establishing Christianity as the national religion. Jefferson believed that people could be good without such things. Adams was much more pessimistic, believing that the masses needed organized religion to keep them well behaved. When Jefferson ran against Adams in the presidential election of 1800, the Adams campaign people lambasted Jefferson for being so irreligious. Yet Adams himself would later write to Jefferson: “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”

In the context of that letter, Adams was suggesting that it would be a wonderful world if people were strong enough of character not to need the props of religion to make them behave. But he made it clear in his letters over the years that he felt he needed no such props himself, as a person who had thought long and hard about morality.

Anyway, one wonders whether it never occurs to proponents of Christian theocracy how many Jews, atheists, agnostics, Hindus and other non-Christians have spilled their blood for this country, so that we could all be free to believe or disbelieve as we see fit.

The world has seen many theocracies, but the United States of America is far greater, far more respectable, far more enduring, and far nobler than that.

Sincerely,

Donald R. Burleson, Ph.D.

Roswell

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