en It’s hard to compare counties’ tax rates <p> In his Jan. 20 letter, Tim Wheeler states that I suggested he fabricated his mill-levy figures. In fact, in my Jan. 13 column, I wrote his claim was &ldquo;unsubstantiated,&rdquo; which is considerably different. In a serious debate, it is critical to use accurate language not only to facilitate the understanding of the observers but also to lend credibility to the debater&rsquo;s position.</p> Vox <p> More commercial development</p> <p> won&rsquo;t solve county revenue loss</p> <p> Editor:</p> <p> I read with interest Bob Poirot&rsquo;s letter regarding the future of Clear Creek County and replacing revenues lost from the Henderson Mine.&nbsp;I consider Bob a friend, and while I know he cares about our county, I think his suggestion to broadly increase development everywhere possible is misguided.</p> Voting rights should be sacrosanct <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> It would be fair to state that our Founders were not exactly egalitarian democrats, at least in terms of how we define democracy today. Yes, they wrote the Constitution that begins with the seemingly all-inclusive phrase &ldquo;We the people&rdquo; and signed the Declaration of Independence that proclaims that &ldquo;all men are created equal.&rdquo;</p> Democracy threatened by infighting <p> What I found interesting at the State of the Union address last week in addition to what President Obama had to say were the visuals. On the dais behind Obama sat Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. They provided a study in contrasts: Biden upbeat and engaged; Ryan dour and disconnected. One optimistic; the other doubtful, even pessimistic. You would have thought the opposite would have been true given their ages, a spread wide enough to be father and son.</p> <p> A picture worth more than a thousand words.</p> A realistic — not pessimistic — view of 2016 <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> There was a sardonic political cartoon recently in which the battered 2015 old man, wrapped in bandages and leaning on a crutch, greeted the new babe of 2016 and said, &ldquo;If you think it was rough for me, yours will be worse.&rdquo;</p> <p> My life philosophy is to focus on the positive and fight through even in the worst of times, but in this case, optimism seems unwarranted. Call it my inner pessimism or my refusal to live in a fantasy world viewed through rose-colored glasses.</p> Make sure history doesn’t repeat itself <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Recently, I wrote about how statements made by leaders can lead to violence, even when not intended. Then I specifically correlated false claims about baby body parts made by Republican presidential aspirant Carly Fiorina and others with the Planned Parenthood shooting.</p> A time of year to live fully each day <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Dec 23: Americans scurrying around, anxious they missed someone on their list. And probably have, though he/she is someone not on their list. But who ought to be. Himself. Herself.</p> <p> The anxious, overwrought segment of the American populace that is paranoid about personal safety and angry about their wants not being met is growing. They identify terrorist threats and attacks as their greatest concern. They conflate their wants with their needs. They deny responsibility for their failings, instead point fingers elsewhere. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s not my fault that I &hellip;&rdquo;</p> Terrorism knows no race, ethnicity, religion <img src="" alt="" title="" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> With our national overheated debate on mass murders and terrorism raging, it would be wise to take a detached, more cerebral analysis of the problem. First, it is important to understand that while acts of terrorism usually if not always result in mass murders, not all mass murders are acts of terror. And the issue of guns, especially ones capable of withering fire, is tangential, not cause and effect.</p>