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Opinion

  • While there might be debate as to the order of the Bill of Rights — Did James Madison prioritize them? — for our purpose, it is striking to note the Second Amendment, which is about the need for a strong militia bearing arms, comes long before the Eighth Amendment that declares cruel and unusual punishment taboo. 

  •  Call him an aggressive progressive. In his full-throated declaration of progressive values in his inauguration speech, President Barack Obama eloquently states the case for modern liberalism. No apologies here.

    Obama draws upon advances made throughout history to make the case that our ascent has been an ongoing progression from the notion that the status quo is good enough.

    He emphasizes it was “together” we moved forward and only together can we keep building that “perfect union.”

  •  Twenty years as a volunteer firefighter in Idaho Springs didn’t define the life of Irv Krueger, who died earlier this month, but those two decades of formal service and countless days of service since his retirement made our community much richer and safer.

  •  A forest fire raged on one side of a mighty river. At the river’s edge were a scorpion and a fox. They both faced imminent death. The scorpion said, “I can’t swim. Please let me ride on your back to safety on the other side.”

    The fox replied, “No. For surely we will get halfway across the river, you will sting me and we will both die.”

  • Vox

    Editor’s note:Because part of the Evergreen Fire Protection District lies in Clear Creek County, both sides of the current controversy over construction of a fire training building in Bergen Park have asked that opinions on the issue, and on the current effort to recall the district’s board members, appear in the Courant.

     

    Those opposed to training building

    in Bergen Park are selfish, misguided

    Editor:

  • Vox

     Sylvia Brockner’s bird pudding recipe

    Editor:

    I must say that I look forward to Sylvia Brockner’s informative and charming articles and illustrations. She has opened my eyes to nature and the animals that live around me. 

    When Sylvia mentioned bird pudding in a recent Courant issue, I wanted her recipe. Thanks to editor Ian Neligh and contributing editor Deb Hurley Brobst and, of course, Sylvia, I can give it a try. Here is her recipe:

    2 parts beef fat, melted

  •  Are we still #UnitedInOrange?  was half laughing myself silly when the game ended the evening of Jan. 12. 

    You see, my deadline for submitting articles to Ian is Saturday morning. So, I get the opportunity to speak on anything up to that time, and it looks brilliant. That is, until the Broncos lost miserably against the dreaded Ravens. 

    Well, at least now you know that uniting “for” one particular thing is just as flawed as uniting “against” another. 

  •  The United States military passed a major milestone in 2012. For the first time in recent history, military suicides exceeded the number killed in combat. The military suicide rate has increased steadily over the past five years, exceeding the national average of 11.1 suicides per 100,000 people. 

    Even more alarming, veterans discharged since 9/11 have had the highest suicide rate of all, estimated at between 22.9 and 31.9 per 100,000 people.

  • The heated debate over the role of guns mirrors the divide in which we still are mired. The sides arise from two disparate world views: pragmatism versus social-political-economic ideology and religious fundamentalism. 

    Pragmatists are not wedded to a particular set of beliefs. They tend to be forward-looking, progressive problem-solvers, willing to put all options on the table. Ideologists, who often seek the cover of philosophy, are purists, unwilling to deviate from secular or religious dogma.

  •  I was wrong. Many times I have written about how divided we are and how I will not participate in the division. However, this morning as I write this column, I realized that we are truly united … United in Orange. 

    Yes, it is Broncos playoff season and regardless of the outcome of today’s playoff, we are United in Orange. There is even a Twitter hashtag #UnitedInOrange to tweet your feelings about the situation. Fortunately for me, I have the chance to speak to you in this paper about the playoffs. 

  •  The question before us with regard to the death penalty is its efficaciousness. Coolly and deliberately, it’s incumbent upon society to review its purpose, history and practicality.

    The death penalty is the most extreme and final consequence for a crime, usually murder. There’s no undoing its implementation, for once one is dead, one is dead. There’s no chance of undoing that “oops” or making it right vis-à-vis restitution. 

  • Three weeks ago, I committed to you to not co-opt the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., by talking about the Second Amendment. However, I cannot say the same about virtually every liberal columnist, talk-show host or pundit. Before the first victims were buried, their message has been out there, and it has been uniform across all media. You might have heard it. They say, “Now is the time to have the conversation about gun control.”  

  • The cultural war is over — that is, if one limits the particulars to same-sex marriage, a woman’s right to control her own body and similar social issues.
    Ongoing skirmishes continue on those fronts from religious cultural warriors who believe they have a direct line from God, know His Will and thus feel obligated to enforce it, but in the larger society, we’re moving forward.
    Battles on different fronts might not seem part of that war, but they, nonetheless, correlate to the ongoing struggle for the soul of America.

  • Perhaps good can come of the more-than-horrific mass murder of 20 of our most innocent Americans and their teachers. As a retired a teacher, I “get it,” as does every current and retired teacher when it comes to what teachers do: first protect your charges even at the cost of your life. 

    The children — what can one say? Their slayings tear the heart out of every decent human being.

  •  Happy New Year and welcome to 2013. I hope you do not have triskaidekaphobia because you’re going to have the number 13 in your life for a whole year. Personally, I am not afraid of the number 13, especially since I ran for House District 13. 

  • Research shows that coming home from a long deployment can cause more stress than the deployment itself. Although the return is viewed with great anticipation, changes at home can be significant. 

    Expect everyone to be a little different. Loved ones have had new responsibilities and have made their own decisions. Don’t feel hurt if they did well on their own. Be proud. 

  •  The simple fact that you are reading this column indicates that the world did not end on Dec. 21, 2012. Christmas has come, and it has gone. We now face the New Year and all that 2013 has to offer us. 

    Over the last few years, we have all had many sufferings and hardships. The economy has tanked in a way that our generation has never seen. We have suffered through the most venomous of political seasons. Recession, depression and despair have been all around us. 

  •  The massacre of 27 people in Newtown, Conn., has ignited a national conversation about the intersection of gun control, mental illness and school safety.

    First, Americans, at the very least, can insist that the national ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004 be reinstated and require background checks on gun purchasers at gun shows. No hunter needs an assault weapon for a successful hunt. And why shouldn’t purchasers at gun shows be subject to the same checks as other buyers?

  •  In August, I wrote a two-piece series on the Aurora theater massacre. 

    On Aug. 1, I asked, “The larger question for us as a society: Have we seen enough? Or are we willing to continue to say, ‘Mass shootings are the price we pay for personal liberty’? ”

    On Aug. 8, I wrote, “I am sensing the horror of that day two weeks ago is wearing off as we fall back into our daily routines, denying the reality that already there are young men — 18 to 24 years of age — plotting the next mass shootings.”

  •  The word is out: The War on Christmas is over. I’m unclear whether it was a surrender or a cease-fire, but, by consensus, Christmas has won so overwhelmingly that it has, as Jon Stewart noted, wiped out Thanksgiving. Black Friday has given rise to Black Thursday Night so much so the NFL evening game is facing stiff competition.