Stop the Pinon Canyon Expansion



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logansackett
February 6th 1960  (Age 57)
Male
Colorado Springs

Visit my photo galleries,
especially my granddaughter!

In case you are interested, these are some of my favorite entries or entries that tell a lot about me:

Intro Pt. 1

Intro Pt. 2

Big Herbie, Little Herbie

Evil Boy Scouts

Job Hunting

Pronghorn Antelope

1984

How and When to Ban Books

100 Things

How We Got Roo

Dead Drunk

Resolutions

Reiterator '06

Carter gets BLOWN UP!
Books I love:

1) The King James Bible – God
2) Have Spacesuit, Will Travel – Robert Heinlein
3) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress – Robert Heinlein
4) Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy(all 5 books in the trilogy) – Douglas Adams
5) Ride the Dark Trail – Louis L’Amour
6) Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
7) North to the Rails – Louis L’Amour
*) A book I hated but think everyone in the world ought to read is 1984 – George Orwell.


Thank you President Bush for preserving life!

http://www.feministsforlife.org/

Please visit:
Herb's Humor

Herb's Friends

Also:
Check out the attacks that the Boy Scouts of America receive because of what they believe and teach!

Scarbrough's Garden. These are the kind folks that are going to help me grow a Savannah Melody Daylily!
Scarbroughs Garden


My award from Daveman.
looks just like me except the desk is clean.

My second award from Daveman looks just like five asterisks:
*****


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Herb Thiel

Friday, April 27, 2007
This Is It or Movin' On Uuu-up

As of this post I am going to go into the account field and change from automatic renewal to non-automatic renewal, which should mean they will no longer bill my account and this blog will become a free, advertising supported one again.  From November of '04 until now I have been a Blogdrive customer, but now it's time to move on.  I am not going to delete my account completely and will still maintain my memberships in the Blog Mafia and Blog Police but this will no longer be my main blog and you might as well not look for me to be here too much as I am ready, now, to move.  My visits to you guys should be back to, er, as normal as ever, as will my updates.

My new digs are at http://herbthiel.com/ and my new blog is the same url.  Those of you who have me linked, here, please make a change to either one.  I am excited about the potential there.  It is not very close to perfect yet, though and that has been the big holdup, really.

Anyway, please stop by and see the new digs, sign the guestbook, (If you signed it before, I apologize that I had to delete it.  I wonder who will be first?) leave a remark on the tagboard and please feel free to comment on the blog.  Ideas?  Suggestions?  Requests?  Please let me know.

And remember, the good book says, "What goes around usually gets dizzy and falls over."

Oh, P.S.

If you've been there before, also make sure you refresh the page.


Posted at 4/27/2007 3:44:48 am by logansackett
Comments (17)  

Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Ugghh

Uuugghh.  *Rouses to being poked by Daveman with a stick*  Aaarrgggghhhh.

The Blog Mafia I can handle.

Even the Blog Police.

But the IRS?  I was up until 12:30 doing the stupid taxes online.

"It's income tax time again, Americans: time to gather up those receipts, get out those tax forms, sharpen up that pencil, and stab yourself in the aorta."
Dave Barry(?)

Remember, the good book says, "If you have a lot of tension and you get a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children."


Posted at 4/17/2007 11:44:10 am by logansackett
Comments (5)  

Sunday, April 08, 2007
How's It Going -- Ehhh --

Dear Fans, Friends, Fiends and Foes,

I hope this communication reaches you in the best of health.

I am back.  Sort of.  I didn't want you all to think I had pulled a D-Man disappearing stunt and/or had fallen off the face of the Earth, so here is a note about what's up, so far.  Several things have happened at roughly the same time.  As some of you will recall, I have been working on creating my site, herbthiel.com, which had started to make some small progress.  In fact, I loaded the original pages I had written with notepad way back when and started working on my blog, photo album and guest book page software and considering about whether to add a forum when I was left in the unenviable position of having to move computers.  I managed to get everyone's files moved nicely with the use of a crossover cable and networking.  I should say everyone else's.  Yes folks, somewhere between there and here I had a major brain dump and lost my files.  I was able to recover most of them by using "System Restore" but the ones that I wasn't able to save were all the HTML I was working on for herbthiel.com.  The folders and images are there, but none of the text files.  This was very disheartening.

 "How," you say, "How could you just 'lose' all you stuff?"  Well, it wasn't "all" my stuff, just my templates and html files.  Well, perhaps I'm not blisteringly brilliant like some bloggers I could name.  Of course I had not put them on the CD I have labeled, "Back It All Up Herb!"

Then, adding to my woes, I had the cable internet connection disconnected.  Janet had been paying for it, but there is no way in the world I am paying almost sixty bucks a month for the internet.  Plus, in the business section of the Gazette they had an article about people getting disconnected from this very company for overusing their connection!  I guess I thought that you have a high-speed connection because you use the internet a lot, don't you?  It's nice to have, there is no question, and if I had a TV they had a special package where my TV and internet could be combined for about sixty bucks.  I went back to my original dial-up provider although I may consider DSL at some point in the not-so-distant future.  VBS.net is only 9.95 per month and for an additional 3.95 you get an accelerator program that works fairly well.  Here's the strangest thing, live people answer your phone calls in English and fix your problem right away!

This computer that my friend Bro G. made for me from scratch from scraps is nice.  It is a little dumber than Janet's but smarter than the one I had been working on before, whose motherboard passed from this life.  Like that one, it has a 1G processor, 512mb Ram and this is where something else nice happened.  He salvaged what parts he could from my old (old) one, including the 60 gig hard drive with all of my very original files on it.  I am still missing the HTML that I had been recently working on, (yes I understand that I can FTP them back down, but not the ones I was experimenting with) but my other stuff from before is salvaged.  Another good thing is that I now have a full version of Office 2003 including Publisher, which I may cop out and use to make herbthiel.com.

Having the dialup, I have decided to forget about IE 7 or even 6 and have gone to the Mozilla Firefox browser.  What I have done with the tabbed browsing is divided the copious blogs and websites I read every morning into several folders, "blogs to always check no matter what," "more blogs to check no matter what," "mo' blogs yet" and "still mo' blogs."  I just click on the "open all in tabs" button and go fetch a cup of coffee.  With the accelerator it isn't too bad, really.  One of the things it does is "dumbs down" the graphics on non-secure sites so they load a bit quicker and if there is a picture you just have to see in detail, such as the handsome and popular Daveman, you can do it by a right-click.  Not saying IE 7 swiped the idea or anything, but I had never seen them do that until version 7 and it is a lot slower on my machine.  I suppose I should try all the major browsers because they all read a web page slightly differently and I will want to see how my page appears in each.

In case you were wondering about my final decision, I went with godaddy.com for hosting and name registrar.  It was easier for me to use them to do both.  Their prices are good, but sometimes the interface is a bit convoluted as their job is, of course, to sell you things and as always one should remember the Caveat Emptor, "Let the buyer beware."  Not that they tried to rip me off or anything, they didn't, but I didn't need everything that came up that they suggested, and just because they suggested it, doesn't mean I needed to buy it.  For example, I won't need some of the business protection software until later on, so I could remove it from the basket but I kept one of the privacy products.  I liked their total flexibility and besides all that, Danica Patrick, car-racing heroine extraordinaire, is one of their spokespersons.  But I shopped them several times before I decided.

What this all means to you, my faithful friends, is, "I'mmmm baaaaaaccccckkkk..." I hope, as always, to start updating more, but I haven't left.  You are also welcome to go and look around at herbthiel.com even though it is nowhere near completed yet.  See how the guest book works, check out the blog software I got from wordpress.  I haven't used it yet, but I have it on there.

One other thing this means.  I am rapidly running out of excuses for not moving the computer from its temporary site to my desk, which Margaret has vowed in no uncertain terms that I SHALL clean before anything goes on there.  I am in trouble here as longtime readers will recall my previous efforts at rehabilitation.  (If you saw the screen print of my computer desktop, then you know what my desktop looks like.)

Another change I had to deal with was my Bible software.  I have used Quickverse 6.0 Deluxe for a long time, but I didn't have the CDs handy and Bro. G put E-Sword on this machine.  It is very nice, but the interface is quite different from what I am used to.

Please remember, if you go and visit the herbthiel.com site that it is still skeletal.  I really want to find a nice tagboard or tagboard script of some kind that will be similar to what is here.  I like it when people tag me and it does remind me to do something, anything.  Well, anyway, that's what's new.  I did think it was funny the other day, after someone worked so hard to make me stay at Blogdrive that the highlighted profile led to a blog with an entry that linked to the person's new website.

Being in a hurry I am sure that I have made some errors in this entry, but I wanted to get it out so you all wouldn't worry about me.

Happy Easter, too.  The Good Book says, "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."



Currently reading:
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer (P.S.)
By James L. Swanson



Posted at 4/8/2007 7:22:43 am by logansackett
Comments (6)  

Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Where I Am

Hi There, Fans, Friends, Fiends and Foes!  Thanks for stopping by.  I am in the process of switching out computers and transferring data and it is taking a while.  So if I don't stop by and say hi, (I only ever update occasionally anyways) that's where I am.  It'll be a few days.  I'm also working on some other stuff to show you when I get a chance.

Remember the good book says, "Moving computers can be a booger-bear."


Posted at 3/27/2007 2:26:09 am by logansackett
Comments (6)  

Saturday, March 24, 2007
Pinon Canyon Online Petition

I sent an e-mail to every address in my book with the link http://www.pinoncanyon.com/petition/index.php

This is an online petition to help the folks I told you about on Feb 22(http://herbthiel.blogdrive.com/archive/243.html).  If you sign it, you must follow the instructions exactly.  It isn't long or arduous.

Please.

Thank you.

Remember, the good book says, Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set.


Posted at 3/24/2007 2:59:37 am by logansackett
Comments? Anyone?  

Saturday, March 10, 2007
Break For A Weird Meme

I am taking a minute to catch my breath from my first round in the Pinon Canyon expansion opposition.  I have a bone to pick with some representatives, which you will hear about as this all unravels.

But for now, Beeba tagged me with a weird meme.  "Name 10 weird things about yourself."  Now I had thought that when I did the "100 things"  you guys would have had enough, but, okay.

I asked my wife and my teenage daughters to help me with this.  (I knew better than to ask Janet or Carter.)  Margaret came up with 6 but the girls only came up with 4!  "You're just a pretty normal guy, dad."  "Yeah, you know, you're a, well...you're a dad guy."  The implication, which you cannot hear, is that all dads are weird and I know some of their friend's dads and they are just as normal as me.  I don't know whether to be proud or disappointed.  Anyway, this was kind of hard, especially since things I think are weird may not be weird or may not be weird everywhere or to everyone.  With that caveat out of the way, here goes:

Margaret's List:

1) My eyebrows, or should I say my uni-brow, sticks straight out of my face.
2) I can wiggle my ears.
3) I'm left-handed (which to me does not count, but she insisted it was weird).
4) My toes point out when I walk.
5) I like to shop.
6) I wrap presents well.

Abi and Tabitha's list:

1) I sing in the Shower
2) I yell, "Clear the coast!" when I am getting out of the shower and sneaking into my room.
3) I like German Potato Salad.
4) I have a weird sense of humor.

So now, my own own list would be:

1) I spread butter on saltine crackers and eat them a sleeve at a time.
2) I can spell, "onomatopoeia" without looking it up.
3) I am a perfectionist.
4) I like to use a "mug and brush" when I shave.
5) I read Shakespeare for pleasure.
6) I still have (and still wear) a tie I bought in 1977.
7) I can milk a cow (not weird everywhere).
8) I have an Indian blood brother (not weird everywhere).
9) When nobody is riding with me in the car I sing at the top of my lungs.
10)  I have a strange aversion to insects, they bug me.

So there you have it, kids.  I won't necessarily tag anybody, but I sure would appreciate it if YOU would do it.

Remember, the good book says, "My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I just couldn't concentrate."


Posted at 3/10/2007 6:41:20 am by logansackett
Comments (8)  

Wednesday, March 07, 2007
What I Did and a Note About Automobiles

The Colorado House State, Veterans, & Military Affairs met at 1:30 pm yesterday at the state capitol, 2000 E. Colfax, room 112, up in Denver to discuss Wes McKinley's and Ken Kester's bill (HB07-1069) to "Withdraw Consent for Eminent Domain Use."  Regarding the Pinon Canyon Expansion http://www.pinoncanyon.com/ .  I don't know what happened yet as I haven't gotten an e-mail yet and the state website is not updated.

What I saw as action I could take was I called the five representatives that seemed should be the most important to me, the 3 on the committee from El Paso County and the Committee Chair and Vice-Chair.  Got voicemails on all but one, so I left messages using my own little script.  I used a script because I didn't want to get nervous (if you can imagine such a thing) and leave something out, but I also didn't want to use a downloaded script from anywhere because I didn't think it would sound like me.

"Hi there Representative So&So.  I would like you to know I am interested in HB07-1069 not only making it out of your committee, but also passing.  While I am not in your district, you do represent El Paso County (or "are a representative in the legislative process) and I hope that you will represent my interest as a tax-paying, voting, legal citizen of Colorado in the matter."  Then I left my contact info, stating I did not really require a callback as long as this happened.

I then sent a follow-up e-mail to each one.  The e-mail was written hastily and contained many errors because I rushed through it, then copy and pasted it and sent it to the various members.  I reluctantly post it here.  I say reluctantly because it is full of typos and such.  My letters in the future will be better crafted, but as I said, I was in a hurry because of the close proximity of that meeting.  I had originally thought I had two weeks.

"Dear Representative Liston,

I called your office and left a voicemail, but wanted to e-mail you as well.  Please ensure that HB07-1069 not only makes it out of committee, but passes, as well.  Even though I am not in your district, as a tax-paying, voting, legal citizen of Colorado and resident of El Paso county, I am hopeful you will represent my sentiments for this bill and will work to prevent this egregious misuse of the doctrine of Eminent Domain.

Even Brigadier General James Milano of Fort Carson, while extolling to virtues of our receiving 10,000 more troops and a (theoretical) 1.9 billion dollar economic boost to the area, stated in a radio news broadcast on KVOR 740 AM on March 1, 2007 said, "We have more than sufficient training capabilities for this many more new soldiers..."

Please do not let this crime happen in our state.  The Army has many alternatives, Fort Irwin is already "wired for sound" as it were, as is Fort Bliss/White Sands Missile base.  The Army also already owns large tracts of property in Nevada and Arizona.

The impact on the economy of that area, as well as on the culture and way of life; the historical, archaeological, anthropological significance of the area cannot and should not be overlooked.  Besides, when people come to Colorado as tourists, they do not come to see our fine military installations and even if they did, they would never get to see this.

Thank you,

Herbert C. Thiel
Address Here
Colorado Springs, CO  Zip Code
(999)555-5555 cell
(999)555-5555 home
herbthiel@gmail.com
http://herbthiel.blogdrive.com/
"Among the natural rights of the colonists are these: First a right to life, secondly to liberty, and thirdly to property; together with the right to defend them in the best manner they can."  Samuel Adams

"Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing."  Calvin Coolidge

"Mine is better than ours."  Benjamin Franklin"

I know I probably would have done better to slow down or use one of the canned letters from the website, but I wanted it to really be from me.  Next time it will be from "wordsmith" me, though.

I did not request replies so I probably won't get any, but you will see them here if I do.


Coming soon, I will keep my promise to Beeba and post 10 weird things about myself.  I'm having a hard time keeping the list that short, but we'll see.

Note to Jerry, who in his March 5th entry said,

"Cars for the most part are better then they where in the 60 and 70 everyone has power windows and keyless remote entry; that is everyone except for me.  And I suppose if I where dating I would like to have the opportunity to go to a drive-in in a car with a big old bench seat instead of those grab*** proof bucket seats they sell these days. All things considered though, I think that cars are better today."

I find myself wishing I had one of those older cars from the 60's and 70's.  Any of 'em were easy to fix compared to today.  You didn't need a computer that costed $49.99 every time you hooked it up to tell you what was wrong with it, there was room in the engine compartment to work on it and they were made of steel.  Honest-to-God American steel.  When I did auto claims for big-name insurance company (and also in real life) I have seen the results of anything later 80's and newer versus one of them old tanks and the '72 Cadillac Coupe Deville always beats the '99 Ford Probe.  Take your new cars and keep 'em and give me one that, if it don't work, I can fix it with a piece of baling wire and binder twine.  One that might cost a thousand bucks to fix at a shop that in the old days you could fix in your driveway for a couple hundred.  I hate the way my van thinks I am too stupid to lock the door on my own and is constantly locking things I don't want locked.  And if I want to take the chance that driving 3 blocks down my little side street at 15 MPH to the 7-11 and not put on my seat-belt then I shouldn't have to listen to a clanging bell all the way there.  3 blocks can get pretty long and my '76 Chevy Pickup never treated me like that.  There again, the little plastic crank handle, when it breaks doesn't cost the several hundred dollars to fix that a motorized one does and you could fix it yourself.

I have to run, but remember, the good book says, "All your base are belong to us!"  Or was that a lame video game?


Posted at 3/7/2007 4:52:58 am by logansackett
Comments (3)  

Monday, March 05, 2007
Quick Note To Coloradans

Note to Colorado Readers

Tomorrow, 3/6/07, the House Armed Services Committee is reviewing HB 07-1069,  sponsored by a Republican Senator, Kester and a Democrat Representative, McKinley, which would withdraw Colorado State support for the use of Eminent Domain for the purpose of expanding the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site.

I plan to be on the phone a lot with every member of the committee (or their offices, most likely) and everyone who represents El Paso county, asking them to support this legislation to the fullest.

On KVOR 3/1/07 Brigadier General James Milano said they were "...Welcoming 10,000 new troop.  We have sufficient facilities and training capabilities for them..."

So what do they need more for.

Please contact them:

The members of the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee and their office numbers are:
 
Chairman: Rep. Paul Weissman -303.866.2920       Rep. Cheri Jahn - 303.866.5522     
Vice Chair: Rep. Nancy Todd - 303.866.2919         Rep. Jeanne Labuda - 303.866.2966
                   Rep. Rafael Gallegos -303.866.2916     Rep. Kent Lambert - 303.866.2937
                   Rep. Bill Cadman - 303.866.5525         Rep. Larry Liston - 303.866.2965
                   Rep. Terrance Carroll - 303.866.2909   Rep. Kevin Lundberg - 303.866.2907
                   Rep. Edward Casso - 303.866.2964
 
 
To reach them by mail at the Capitol use the following address:
 
200 E. Colfax
Room 271
Denver, CO 80203
 
To reach members by email use the following format:
 
FirstName.LastName.house@state.co.us

El Paso County Senators and Reps:

TOM WIENS
Colorado State Senator, District 4
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Capitol Phone: 303-866-4869
E-mail: tom@tomwiens.com

 DAVE SCHULTHEIS
Colorado State Senate, District 9
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-4835
E-mail: dave.schultheis.senate@state.co.us

RON MAY
Minority  Caucus Chair
Colorado State Senator, District 10
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-2737
E-Mail:
senatormay@ronmay.org
 
JOHN MORSE
Colorado State Senator, District 11
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6364
E-mail: john.morse.senate@state.co.us

KENT LAMBERT
Colorado State Representative, District 14
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2937
E-Mail: rep.kent.lambert@comcast.net
 
Bill CADMAN
Minority Caucus Chair
Colorado State Representative, District 15
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-5525
Email: bill.cadman.house@state.co.us
 
LARRY LISTON
Colorado State Representative, District 16
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Capitol Phone: 303-866-2965
E-mail: larry.liston.house@state.co.us

MICHAEL MERRIFIELD
Colorado State Representative, District 18
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2932
E-Mail: michael.merrifield.house@state.co.us

MARSHA LOOPER
Colorado State Representative, District 19
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2946
E-Mail: marsha.looper.house@state.co.us

 AMY STEPHENS
Colorado State Representative, District 20
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2924
E-Mail: amy.stephens.house@state.co.us

BOB GARDNER
Colorado State Representative, District 21
Office Location: 200 E. Colfax
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303)866-2191
E-Mail: bob.gardner.house@state.co.us

For other areas, please look them up and call asap.

Thanks.

As the Good Book says, "When a man is in the right and keeps on coming there is nothing that can stop him."  Or was that Chick Bowdrie?


Posted at 3/5/2007 4:33:56 am by logansackett
Comment (1)  

Thursday, February 22, 2007
The Takers

Some things are right or wrong because of the nature of the issue, not the politics of it and there are some things that affect us all or could affect us all.  One of these problems is the abuse of a doctrine called "Eminent Domain," sometimes called condemnation, expropriation or, most accurately, "taking."

While researching this I discovered that the actual doctrine of Eminent Domain is basically that a government has the right to "take" property it deems necessary for the public good.  It has always been the right of sovereign nations to do this and such a standard practice that the founding fathers did not address it in the Constitution.  Fortunately, George Mason of Virginia opposed the Constitution because it had no "Declaration of Rights," stirring up a debate that gave us the first 10 amendments, commonly called "The Bill of Rights."  And, like so many other of our rights, these founders had the foresight to include a clause in the Fifth Amendment saying "...nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."  We see by this clause that the practice was known and they sought to address it.  This and the 14th amendment, ratified in 1868, guaranteeing, "...No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

This entry was begun as a rant about a privilege which governments, even our very own government here in the United States, see as a right.  I suppose it may be, perhaps has to be, but it seems that in a free and Democratic society such as ours, the public, "We The People," ought to have a voice in such matters.  This is often not the case and it is often abused.  Yes, even here, in our country, even in the very state of Colorado.  As I was doing my homework for this entry, I discovered there are 10,000 documented cases of "Eminent Domain Abuse" in this country and one is right here in my own backyard.  One of the biggest land grabs in history is being attempted right here in Colorado. 


http://www.pinoncanyon.com/

 The U.S. Army is currently trying to take half a million acres, 418,577, to be exact, or 654 square miles (or 261,610 Eastern U.S. square blocks for you city dwellers), with the idea of eventually taking a total of 2.5 million acres, or 3906 square miles, an area roughly the size of Delaware, Rhode Island and Washington D.C. combined.  The Pentagon had originally put a moratorium on major land acquisitions like this but surprisingly enough waived it for the Army.  I thought I would go to the Army's website and see what they had to say about it, but the press release only states that the Army is going to purchase this much (418,577 acres) land.  Their site does not mention their further reaching plan or that there are ranchers that do not want to sell.  There are people who have been on the same piece of land for 5 generations.  And what if the land is not for sale?  The Army spokesman said in a news broadcast on KVOR that they have not and will not rule out getting the property by any means, including the condemnation and eminent domain process.  In other words, they will take what they want.  (Notice that sentence ended with a "period?"  Yep.  They will take what they want.  Period.)  Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi got it right with the title of his recent column, "Land Grab Gives Army Bully Image."  Because that is exactly what is going on here.

The Army is not only trying to take private property but is destroying a way of life as well.  I cannot describe in one blog entry about eminent domain what the great-great grandfathers of some of these men went through to build these ranches or the culture of the West.  If you want to understand the spirit of these men, you can read fictional accounts in almost any book by Louis L'Amour.  "Galloway," "The Daybreakers" and "Ride the Dark Trail" come specifically to mind.  While they are fiction, they do capture the character of these people.  Before the wagon trains, before the Santa Fe Trail, before Horace Greeley's admonition, "Go West, young man," there were the ancestors of these men and women in Southeastern Colorado, opening the way for this great nation to expand.  Great way to pay 'em back, I guess, "Oh, sorry, Mr. Pioneer Rancher's Ghost.  You helped make this country what it is today, thanks, but we're going to steal your land back now."

I have always been a big fan and supporter of the Army.  As any one who has ever stopped by this blog knows, besides having stinky feet, I consider myself a Flag-Wavin', Right-Wing, Gun-Totin', Hetero-Christian-Pro-Life-Love-The-Army-Support-The-Mission-Conservative, but what they are about to do here is wrong and abuses a power that should be administered sparingly, when at all. 

 While some of the ranchers are willing to sell, many do not want to and many can't, because potential (private) buyers back out when they find out what the Army is trying to do.  My question is also, "What is the public good?"  Who are "The Public" and how will they benefit?  Shouldn't the people who actually live in the area, the citizens of the towns and counties that are affected, be considered part of "The Public?"  Whose good?  The good of the Army, maybe, but that's about it.

The Army claims they will be bringing in 10,000 soldiers and this will help the Colorado Springs economy, but I would like to know, since the average private only makes $18,000 a year, which is at or below poverty level and certainly not addressed in the minimum wage bill just passed (figure frequent 20 hour workdays here and then divide the 18,000), will this be a real big boost to the economy?  Probably not, except that there will be more pizza delivery drivers and convenience store clerks as most people in the Army need other jobs to support their families.

So, five generations of work, not to mention that the area is full of places of

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
historical
,
 
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
archaeological and anthropological
significance.
 
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
One of the largest sets of dinosaur tracks is in the area as well.

Wagon tracks from the Santa Fe Trail are still visible here (the grass hasn't grown back over 100 years later) so, ecologically and environmentally, what will happen if tanks start maneuvering here?  Of course the Army will promise to protect these things, but what about the livelihoods of the ranchers and farmers in the area and the small towns and small businesses that depend on them?  What about the previous promises the Army has made?  The Pinon Canyon website, details how well the Army kept them.  Read the Pinon Canyon website; talk to some veterans or most any Indian about how well the government keeps its promises even when you keep your side of the deal.

So, what do you do if the U.S. Army says that they need your property and will get it by any means including stealing it (I was always taught that if you "take" something that doesn't belong to you, that's stealing), even though your family has been there since before the wagon trains?  Since before the area was even a territory of the United States?

The hope that we have lies in the fact that besides being a Democracy, "Of the People, By the People, For the People," our country is a Representative Republic.  The Army, while being an authorized arm of the Government, is not the Government.  Go right now and check out http://www.pinoncanyon.com/ .  Give it a thorough going over.  The site offers a comprehensive look at what is going on here.

There are a number of representatives who are conscientiously working to define more carefully how this power may or may not be used, but they won't know it's important to you unless you tell them.  The great thing about the Internet is that you don't even have to get up from where you are at right now.  You can visit the U.S. Senate, The House of Representatives, the Whitehouse and the Supreme Court in mere seconds.  State, county and local governments also have websites which you probably have used.  You can be an activist and never have to leave the comfort of your computer desk and find out how your specific elected officials feel about this issue.  Ask 'em.  Then ask what they are doing about it.

I apologize that this is a longer entry than I have done in quite a while, but it is important to me and I think it should be important to everyone else, too.  Please consider putting a link to http://www.pinoncanyon.com/ on your websites and e-mail it to everyone you know.  I encourage all my readers to write about this problem or the problem of Eminent Domain Abuse, especially the ones that agree with me.  Hahaha!  That was just a joke, but you know, I seldom if ever "tag" anyone with meme's so instead, please give this some consideration.

Remember, the good Book says, "Thou shalt not steal."

Photos used by permission of http://www.pinoncanyon.com/ and hosted on http://photobucket.com/


Posted at 2/22/2007 3:33:10 am by logansackett
Comments (8)  

Thursday, February 08, 2007
No Scam Zone

A couple of weeks ago we had a huge apartment fire that burned for three days and destroyed 135 units in near-zero weather.  Firefighters with ladder trucks plucked 62 people from balconies while many others had jumped and tossed their children down to neighbors.  The building, which had recently been inspected, was built in the 60's before a lot of the modern fire codes were in place and went up like a box of farmer matches.

Gazette Slideshow

AP News Clip

It was 5 alarms and took a battalion of 100 firemen, many of whom responded within 3 minutes, over 72 hours to put out.  It was in a busy, built-up part of town and it is much to the fire department's credit that the damage was contained to the one building of 135 units and a church.  If you look at the slideshow and/or video you will see that it is a miracle that only two people were killed.  31 people were treated at the hospital including a firefighter who sprained his ankle slipping on the ice and many hypothermia cases from standing around in pajamas when it's 8 degrees.  Still, it could have been a lot worse, which the arsonist, who was mad at his girlfriend, was hoping.  First degree murder of two people he didn't even know.  The fire forced some residents to leap from balconies in their nightclothes.  Firefighters plucked 62 people from windows.  The place was destroyed partly because CSFD put people's lives first and saved all but two people.

Now, because of one man's foolish anger and stupidity, 2 people are dead and almost 200 people have lost everything they ever had.  These were poor people, squeaking by from week-to-week, who couldn't afford renter's insurance.

One of the many things that makes me proud to live in Colorado Springs, CO, is that, even though the city has grown (In some cases irresponsible growth, but that's an issue for a Colorado Springs blog) to quadruple the size it was when we moved here 18 years ago, it has always had a small-town feel.  People come together and help.  We are a giving community and whatever and wherever the disaster; hurricanes, tsunamis, 9/11, earthquakes or whatever, there is always a radio station(s) or newspaper or TV station(s) or church (es) that will start a drive to take donations to help victims.  There are always so many ways to offer help.

Janet, Margaret's sister, who is relatively new to the community, is not aware of all of this yet, so when a pair of high school age girls came to the door carrying a coffee can with a picture of a small child on it, the old softies, her and Grandma, gave them some money.  They were told, "We're from Coronado High School Student Council and we're trying to raise donations for little four year old (Insert some name here) who lost everything in the Castle West fires," immediately their soft little old hearts were crushed.  "That poor baby!  No toys or clothes!  Oh my!  Oh my!  Here.  Here's some money.  It's all we have, but you take it!"  Thank goodness it wasn't payday.

Trusting souls.  Gullible.  They didn't ask where Coronado is (way over on the West side of town) or even to see their ID.  She didn't know that this is not an acceptable way to raise funds in this town and on the rare occasions when it is done, children (and the parents who go with them) are instructed on how to identify themselves, etc.  When Margaret heard about it she called Coronado to confirm what we both knew, that it was a scam.  "This is not a normal way we do fundraisers."  Neither Janet nor Grandma could give a reasonable description of the girls and so the matter was chalked up to experience and used to lecture on what to do in the future.

A week later Margaret happened to be working for Mrs. Neighbor-On-Top-Of-The-Hill when the doorbell rang and Margaret answered the door.  Standing right there at the door were what turned out to be the same two smiling, cheerful young people.  Well, one looked bright and cheerful and one seemed kind of worried and agitated and didn't say much.

"Hi there!  We're from Coronado High School Student Council and we're trying to raise money to help 4 year old Little-So-And-So who lost everything in the Castle West fire."

"Coronado, you say?  What are you doing over here?"

"Oh, we're going all over town."

"What's your name?"  Worried girl looked even more nervous.

The girl gave her real name to Margaret and said she had just moved here from Alabama a week ago.  Margaret, playing her cards close-to-the-vest as it were, did not openly question how she got elected to Student Council, then.

"How do I know you're from Coronado?"

The girl opened her jacket and proudly displayed a Coronado t-shirt.

"Uh-huh.  Well, (girl's name goes here) I don't think so."

"But the people across the street are bagging up some toys right now."

"Um.  No.  You have to leave now."

The more you know Margaret, the more you will know that there are three things you must never, ever do.  Don't ever lie to her, don't play her for a fool and don't try to harm someone she cares for, friend, relative or client.

I returned from my errand to pick her up at Mrs. Neighbor-On-Top-Of-The-Hill's house and there was steam rising from the top of her head, lightning flashing from her fingertips and fire shooting out of her eyeballs as she told me what had just happened.  Mrs. Neighbor-On-Top-Of-The-Hill didn't want to call the cops herself as she feared someone returning to get her back.

"This little (long pause while she searched for an appropriate word) Girl-Who-Gave-Her-Real-Name thinks I'm stupid!  How many people has she hit in the last week, like Janet and Grandma or Mrs. Neighbor-On-Top-Of-The-Hill?  And then to tell me she moved here from Alabama a week ago and is on the Student Council of a high school that is not even around here?  Mrs. Neighbor-On-Top-Of-The-Hill probably would have given her money, too, if she was able to answer the door and I wasn't there."  Along with assorted other fumings, ventings and vituperations.

Margaret talked to Janet and verified the description of the two girls, and after a brief call was again placed to the principal at Coronado, who does NOT have any student with that last name at all (but did have a police officer standing there) a call was placed to the El Paso County Sheriff's Department.  I don't recall the officer's name and don't want to go look for it, but it was a redheaded female officer I shall dub O'Toole.  A very professional woman, but you could see why, even though she was professional, redheads and the Irish have a reputation for anger.  Margaret told Officer O'Toole the whole story with Janet and Grandma verifying details.

"And you gave them money?"

"Um, yes."

"How much did you give them?"

"Four dollars."  A collective "whew" went up all around.  We hadn't known how much she had given them and were afraid to ask.

"Well, I'm going to check with the local schools and see if they have any students registered under this name."  We knew at the time that the girl must be stupid, but not that she was stupid enough to give her exact real name.

We received a message a little later in the day, "Officer O'Toole calling.  We have both girls in jail.  Since your sister gave them money and they represented themselves as a charity that doesn't exist, they are charged with felony fraud, which automatically requires us to take them to jail.  They confessed to everything.  You and your sister will likely be asked to testify if the case goes to trial.  Would you be willing to testify?"

Um.  Yeah!

Remember, The Good Book says, "Thou shalt not steal."  It also ought to say, "Don't mess with Margaret!"

P.S.

   I haven't changed my mind about moving, but having received excellent advice from several sources I am taking my time on deciding.  I appreciate everyone's help, thank you so much.  Thank you, too, for stopping by and reading my stuff.


Posted at 2/8/2007 8:06:04 pm by logansackett
Comments (6)  

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