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The United States of Benefits

Isn't it weird that in the USA our flag and our culture offend so many people, but our benefits don't?

Michael Galvis

Woody Creek

Help Aspen’s federal workers

Aspen is a special place that obviously caters to the well-to-do. While we have the government shutdown, we should be paying our federal government workers through interest-free loans. They should not go without pay while providing valuable services to our community. These loans would be repaid in full as soon as the shutdown is ended.

Eric Simon

Snowmass Village

Beware of reckless driver

I would like to praise and thank Officer Curt Donaldson of the Basalt Police Department for his time and kindness in assisting me after my hit-and-run accident around 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in front of the Roaring Fork Club.

His professionalism and thoughtfulness was most welcoming as I was a bit shaken up, as one can imagine, but very lucky to be here. The driver of the silver SUV with an out-of-state license plate was speeding by me, swerved into the left turn lane and changed his mind and swerved into my car with such speed; it sent my car across all the three lanes of oncoming traffic lanes. Luckily I managed to steer into the driveway of the Roaring Fork Club without getting hit again.

If anyone witnessed this, please contact the Basalt Police Department as this driver needs to be taught a lesson before he kills someone.

Margi Crawford

Basalt

Mounting evidence against fluoridation

Mounting evidence against fluoridation

Aspen is an amazing place.

We have Nobel laureates present here. World-class athletes compete here. The best musicians perform here. World leaders participate in think tanks here.

Yet, with all of the enlightenment that the citizens are exposed to, the residents and leaders of Aspen choose to put a neurotoxin in our drinking water.

The Children's Health Defense Fund recently published an article condemning artificial water fluoridation as "A Forced Experiment That Needs to End."

Hundreds of dentists have signed a professional statement which calls for an end to fluoridation. Indeed, more dentists are questioning the practice. They realize that fluoride is a toxin that most people don't need. There are safer alternatives.

A leading neuroscientist, Dr. David Bellinger, published a review "Environmental chemical exposures and neurodevelopmental impairments in children." In his review he reaffirms the damage of fluoride to the nervous system and the impact it has to lower the IQ of children.

Leading neuroscientists are recognizing that doses of fluoride have the potential to lower the IQ in children. Government authorities and others ignore the most recent research.

Other health conditions — such as thyroid conditions, cancers and arthritis — are being linked to fluoride. More research is associating other metabolic diseases to environmental toxins.

There is nothing ethical or legitimate about adding a neurotoxin to public drinking water.

How much longer can such an enlightened town and its citizens consent and continue this hazardous practice?

In health …

Tom Lankering

Basalt

Poor form in Mueller investigation

The Mueller probe is an abuse of office. To protect against unfounded investigations, the Justice Department doesn't open criminal investigations without (1) citing the criminal statute involved and (2) having some verified evidence of the crime. Justice ordered Robert Mueller to investigate "any links … between the Russian government and … the campaign of President Donald Trump." (Order 3915-2017). That doesn't describe a criminal investigation; no crime is specified in the order.

Justice used the ruse of a "counter-intelligence investigation," which can be initiated on mere suspicion, without specifying a crime. But the investigation is a criminal investigation. How do we know?

For starters, Mueller, a career prosecutor, leads the investigation. Further, dozens of other current and former career prosecutors staff it. If it were a counter-intelligence investigation it would be led by an "intelligence analyst" from the FBI (over 40 percent of FBI investigators are intelligence analysts who focus on intelligence and counter-intelligence) and staffed with intelligence analysts. FBI agents confirm prosecutors don't run or staff counter-intelligence investigations because they don't know how to do counter-intelligence. Finally, Mueller was appointed as a "special counsel" under 28 CFR 600.1. That regulation authorizes appointment of a special counsel only for "criminal investigation."

Because it had no evidence of a crime (we know because no crime was specified), Justice couldn't officially open a criminal investigation. But they did it anyway by calling it something else. That is abuse of office. Haters of the president think this is just great because they hate the president. How will they feel when the shoe is on the other foot?

Maurice Emmer

Aspen

Aspen Princess: Taking baby steps to navigate this back-breaking labor of love

So my morning went something like this:

I totally lost it with my almost 3-year-old after what has recently become an incessant battle of the wills. I am not quite sure why this tiny human, who has only been on this planet for a relatively short time, is able to engage me in this way, or why it can't be as simple an equation as: "I'm the parent, you're the child, you do what I say."

After losing my temper in a way that made me wonder if I'm imparting permanent damage that will result in thousands of dollars of psychotherapy for the whole family and a bulk rate from Prozac, I threw my back out lifting him out of the car for the illustrious preschool drop-off.

This was long after the dust had settled, and the tears had dried up and we had hugged and kissed and said I love you and promised to be nicer to each other from now and forever, but still. I was already feeling the fatigue from last night's bedtime fiasco. After two hours of reading books, telling stories, singing songs and rubbing his back for so long that I thought my arm might fall off, he refused to fall asleep. Ryan had already been sleeping on the couch for quite some time when I shook him at 10 o'clock, totally exasperated, and told him I'd given up and was taking a bath.

When I finally went to bed around midnight, relishing a few hours alone in front of bad TV with a mud mask on my face, I went upstairs to find Levi, Gertie and Ryan curled up together sleeping peacefully and snoring in unison. I lost at least another half hour of sleep worrying about the whole co-sleeping conundrum, wondering if this was yet another of my recent failures in stepping up to the plate for what is best for my child. Allowing our child into our bed is certainly something I was warned against, and definitely something I didn't see myself doing. To make matters worse, there are two distinct camps on this one, those who believe wholeheartedly that co-sleeping is a nurturing, loving, bonding experience for the family that is very natural, and those who think it's a very, very bad idea for a laundry list of reasons.

I am ambivalent at best, both relishing this time with my little one and the closeness and affection that will surely slip away when he grows older, and also dreaming about just one night of uninterrupted sleep in a bed all my own, ideally in a five-star hotel in a warm climate overlooking the ocean.

What's more, in this crazy, information-saturated world, you can find 8 million articles offer totally conflicting advice. And raising a child in this era — when information and stimulation is being hurtled at you at warp speed and instant gratification is at every turn — is certainly part of the problem. I find it difficult to manage it myself; how in the world am I supposed to be able to navigate this as a parent?

I was thinking about this earlier this week at the gym as we were doing the exercise where you flick those big, heavy ropes up and down. It was the first time I'd ever done that, and the trainer joked that it made her feel bad ass, so I tried to adopt that attitude even though it felt like my heart might explode from my chest and land on the floor in one bloody, convulsing heap. As much as I willed myself to be a tough fitness chick on her way to washboard abs and other muscles that would show if I doused myself in baby oil and stood in just the right light, there was something about the intensity of it that almost made me feel like I was going underwater.

Still, I was very much into these cool exercises at the gym, of this commitment to fitness and wellness I've tried to make as I careen from middle age into being just plain old. Weight training is the key to my longevity and preserving my youth, I decided. It's what would make me strong for my little boy.

When I lifted said boy out of the car and felt the right side of my back seize like someone had stabbed me in the back (Was it God?), I struggled to catch my breath and not to make a scene. I shuffled gingerly past the puffy-coat-clad moms who are half my age into his school like I was 105 years old, doing my best to act like this was a totally normal day and not one when I had come this-close to losing my mind trying to wrangle a tiny pair of socks on my baby-gone-wild and was now in excruciating pain, not quite sure how I was going to make it home considering all I wanted to do was lie flat on my back in the snow.

This was a far cry from the picture I'd had in my head just the day before, of me magically growing 6 inches, losing 10 pounds and strutting around in color-coordinated workout outfits with tops that had complicated strap configurations. I also thought I was so on top of this whole mothering thing. I'd read a few articles, I'd tried a few techniques, I was totally on it. I mean, we're not talking about a wild boar or a serial killer who had escaped from the state penitentiary, but a 3-foot-tall, 32-pound baby boy. My baby boy. My baby. My whole heart. If anyone should know how to manage him, it's me. Right?

Four ibuprofen, one ice pack, a heating pad and a chiropractor visit later I'm still taking shallow breaths. Maybe it's not going to be so easy. Parenting really is back-breaking work.

The Princess wants to wish her beautiful son a happy third birthday this Saturday. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.

Beaton shows hypocrisy in latest Aspen Times column

Glenn Beaton's column Sunday — "Are we all chavinstas now?", The Aspen Times — raises an interesting question regarding the dichotomy between liberals and conservatives as regards to the economy.

As is always the case, Beaton makes his arguments for the conservative cause. In this case he picks the perfect target: Venezuela. Venezuela pushed socialistic approaches to the economy from the time Hugo Chavez was inaugurated in 1999. However, in recent years, I would argue the experiment of socialism has been replaced by a kleptocracy.

It is the beginning of his column, though, that I find hysterical. Summarizing the simplistic view of Keynes he writes, "Lower taxes, higher government spending and lower interest rates stimulate the economy, at least for a while." I think he sees this as the liberal approach to the economy.

So let me ask a couple of questions.

Which Congress passed the largest unfunded tax cut in American history? The answer is, of course, the Republican Congress that was soundly defeated in November.

Which Congress passed a budget with the largest deficit in American history? The answer is the same.

As a good Keynesian economist (with a PhD from the other university in Cambridge, Massachusetts), I deplore the ignorant ad hominem directed at Keynes by those hypocrites like Beaton who assert their beliefs in conservative values but fail to practice them.

Philip Verleger

Denver

Thanks for paving paradise

Congratulations, Ace Lane, you now have permission from Eagle County to destroy what little we had left in the mid-valley of the small-town, rural atmosphere most us live here for.

I had to laugh at your comment when you stated what a positive your mega development would be for the community.

If overpopulation, pollution, destruction of animal habitat and major congestion are your idea of a benefit for the community, then maybe you should be nominated for citizen of the year.

I think I'll buy a huge billboard on Highway 82 when your monstrosity at the Tree Farm is completed. I'll say. "This daily traffic jam brought to you by Eagle County Commissioners Jill Ryan, Jeanne McQuenney, and greedy land developer Ace Lane." I'll make sure I include all your phone numbers so we can all thank you personally.

Tom O'Keefe

Middle Roaring Fork Valley

Meet Mullins every Wednesday

Ann Mullins is running for mayor. She will sit on the bench across from North Face, on the Cooper Street mall, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday until the March election.

Put her web link on your phone — http://www.annforaspen.com. It's only two pages with lots of white space. It has concise lists of her professional experience and her history of civic involvement.

Read it on your way from your office to her bench. You can expect illuminating replies to many questions.

David Bentley

Aspen

Chem trails aren’t a conspiracy

It's 8:41 on Thursday morning. There are three chemtrails, now acknowledged as solar radiation management or geoengineering, stretching from east to west. They are growing wider, joining and forming a thin overcast. There are only three, while multiple jets with normal contrails buzz to and fro. Once again, deep blue Colorado sky morphed into gray haze.

Since global warming is perceived by many as an imminent threat to civilization, it is dangerously naive to believe governments and those who control governments are going to sit back and simply let it all play out. Let's not forget the military. Some genius realized that whoever controls the weather controls the battlefield. A battlefield they insist is worldwide.

Research deeper than Wikipedia (Chemtrails are a conspiracy theory!) or the MSM (Chemtrails are a conspiracy theory!) reveals ample evidence that particles of metals which reflect sunlight have been injected into our atmosphere for decades in an attempt to control global warming and weather systems. The effects of spraying massive amounts of aluminum into our environment are becoming too apparent to ignore.

The Northwest is the epicenter of both spraying and awareness of spraying. Aluminum and barium in the soil have dramatically increased way past acceptable levels and folks are catching on. There are whistleblowers, experts, obviously polluted skies, soil samples, sick people, dying plants, raging fires (tiny particles of aluminum are combustible, firefighters have never experienced such intensity) and very concerned citizens pleading to be heard all over the internet.

Meanwhile, Alzheimer's disease which is linked to an accumulation of aluminum in the brain, also has increased dramatically, with no officially recognized cause.

Will Kesler

Snowmass