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Good letter, Jim. I would add that one of the roles of government is to provide services and amenities that the private sector can't. That can certainly have economic benefit (i.e. have a net positive effect, as Jim suggests), by bringing tourist and tax dollars to the community. But it also has a benefit for the community, and there is value in that even if you can't put a price on it. People in Steamboat are lucky to have access not just to great skiing (delivered via a private company) but also to less-varied but much less expensive skiing (on a city-owned hill), tennis, skating, golf, parks, trails, playgrounds and so on. Those are reasonable amenities for the government to support and provide. The money comes from our tax dollars, but collectively, our spending on them benefits the group and does not require a hard ROI. Not everyone takes advantage of all the opportunities--I don't play golf or ride single track, but I do skate and my kids play tennis and hockey, and they loved the playgrounds when they were young. But as a community we are all better off for having those assets. It's why people live here. Without them, we are not Steamboat--we are just a small rural town 90 miles from a major city center. This is what gets lost in the "run government like a business" calculation; some things aren't meant to be run like a business, for profit. They are meant to be investments in our health, well being and happiness.
"They do not understand that the birth of this nation is based on the moral principle of self ownership and freedom."
You realize, of course, that those principles applied only to white men, right?
To the Pilot's editorial team: Will you please also cover all the other budget discussions that took place? Apparently, there was some issue concerning the funding of the tennis center, and we know there is already interest in the ice rink... please, please cover these other issues and let your readers know what other city facilities and programs are under discussion for cuts or additional budget. Thank you.
A natural-born citizen is generally defined as someone who was granted US citizenship at birth--either by being born in the US, or by being born outside the US to citizen parents. However, there appears to be a wrinkle here: a special section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that applies to “Birth Abroad to One Citizen and One Alien Parent.” Under that provision, Cruz only qualifies for American citizenship if his mother was “physically present” in the United States for 10 years prior to his birth, five of which had to be after she reached the age of 14. The only definitive way to prove Eleanor Cruz’s 10 years of physical presence would be with documents such as leases, school registration, utility bills or tax records. So far, Cruz has not released such evidence--or renounced his Canadian citizenship.
The Dems passed the ACA -- a messy, flawed bill, but it went through the usual process of committees, debate and votes, and it was passed by both houses of Congress, POTUS signed it, it's law. The Republicans said it was unconstitutional, so it went to the Supreme Court. Okay, that's how the system works. SCOTUS reviewed the law, said it was, in the main, constitutional. The Republicans still don't like it. Okay, that's in the system too -- what you do then is convince a majority of the voting population in the next elections to give you majorities in Congress and the presidency, or veto-proof majorities but not the presidency, or you don't get majorities, but convince some of the Democrats to go along, then you vote the law out, change it, whatever. That's how our system works.
What you don't do is shut down the national government or hold the US financial standing hostage until the other side agrees to change a law you don't like. That is a failure to follow the due process laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution -- documents and processes that the Republicans say they hold dear, but do not seem at present to support in actual fact and actions, because a vocal minority has convinced the majority of the party that it's better to shut down government and wreck the nation's credit rating rather than accept this one law. Lunacy! The point of a free, democratic system is that everyone gets their say, and then the decision is made, and you move on, win or lose. You do not break the system because you lost a vote.
Why in the world should the Democrats "negotiate" away anything under these circumstances? Whether one likes the specifics of the ACA or not, it is currently the law of the land, passed through proper legal process and declared constitutional. That is the fact. The Republican actions are trying to rewrite the law through threats and force, outside the constitutional process.
The biggest issue I have flying out of Hayden is with reliability. More flights in the off season would be nice, but nicer still would be knowing with reasonable confidence that the one flight that IS scheduled will actually take off. Obviously, no one can control the weather, but it appears that the majority of issues have to do with management by Republic Airlines. Until that gets fixed I will continue to drive to DIA. (And for what it's worth, I am an LNB employee who works for a company based in San Antonio.)
Scott, the CBO estimates that tort reform will save about $11 billion over the next 10 years, including the savings in unnecessary tests performed "to be safe." That's obviously a nice chunk of change, but it's not going to fix the $2.7 trillion we spent on healthcare in 2012--a number that is growing all the time. Greedy insurance companies and the pay-for-play structure of our system have far more impact on costs that malpractice, or its threat.
Brian, look at today's blotter.
Gotta agree with Mark on this one, Scott. The airlines ought to know a heck of a lot about their customers, but United's IT systems are decades old, merged now with equally aged systems from Continental (and the two don't play well together). Their ability to leverage Big Data is poor. Beyond that, they (and other airlines) ignore basic management principles, like giving front-line employees the power to make decisions on behalf of customers (to name just one). So that, even if they HAD the info, they almost certainly wouldn't use it effectively. (United can't even get their website to allow multiple bookings on the same flight to be connected, to indicate that the different record locators represent real people traveling together, for instance; that has significant implications for re-booking, seat changes, and so on.)
As to subsidizing flights, I agree with you on the tourism side, but on the location-neutral side, it's a matter of investment--no different from a community deciding to pay for high-speed Internet, strong schools, a killer library, and so on. I don't travel as much as Mark appears to, but I am already sick of the drive to DIA--which I am forced to do to avoid the hassles documented here, and experienced first hand by me in the past. If I were a more frequent traveler who could take my job and move anywhere (which I can), I would think twice about Steamboat, and that has long-term implications for the economy. LN employees tend to make good salaries, have families, and spend $$ and time in their communities. We want them. Having reliable air service is a part of getting them.
I thought the photo was beautiful. It captured the grief and sadness of the event, but it also showed enormous humanity, to see Mr. Kirlan, despite his own enormous grief, comforting his son's best friend. I saw it and cried, but that is certainly appropriate given the events. I don't know Mr. Kirlan and I didn't know his son, but for me, the picture was worth well more than 1000 words.
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