Letters to the Editor

From the week of October 7, 2004

Congressman Mark E. Udall
Eldorado Springs

What a Pane!

The man who got Liberty valance: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Shattered Glass," in the September 23 issue:

Wayne Laugesen's "theft" of some rotten windows is a textbook example of necessary civil disobedience. City lawyer Gordon says the issue is "whether there's an excuse not to play by the rules this community has established." That excuse is called "Liberty." To preserve Liberty, citizens must disobediently resist the tyranny of elected officials, bureaucrats and the majority that are particularly commonplace in Boulder.

City staffer Hedgecock told the homeowner, "For preservationists, the retention of historic material is inherently valuable." But the Boston Tea Party showed us that it's not what preservationists or tax collectors want that matters; it's what preserves Liberty in the face of tyranny that's of supreme importance.

"Going Granby" serves to remind bureaucrats that they are not immune from the consequences of their tyrannical acts. Unlike Granby, Laugesen's only casualties were some rotten windows and bureaucratic egos, both of which deserved destruction. Edmund Burke said, "All that is required for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." I say doing nothing in the face of evil is evil itself.

The only offense here is "Contempt of Bureaucrat." But contemptible is what these bureaucrats are, and disobedient contempt is all they deserve.

Scott Weiser

Windows on the weird: Wayne Laugesen wrote, "Every broken window was a score for fatherhood, husbandry and God-given liberty." Husbandry? Don'tcha love the smell of bologna in the morning?

Since chances that the hated windows would actually be reinstalled were next to nil, and instead they would likely have been put to some other use, Laugesen's publicity stunt in smashing them falls considerably short of the heroic. As for the dangerous lead paint, which is harmful only when ingested, thanks to Wayne this lead is now in a landfill, where it has a chance to enter the groundwater and thence wind up in the bodies of poor, innocent little children.

"I am patient with stupidity," Edith Sitwell said, "but not with those who are proud of it."

Yes, Wayne crossed a line. He has made the crossing of this line his stock-in-trade. It is the line between sense and nonsense.

Earl Noe

Quit It!

Ashes to ashes: I really enjoyed Laura Bond's "Smoke Detector," in the September 16 issue. My wife and two sons have asthmatic reactions to cigarette smoke, so we have challenges going out to eat or doing other activities where smoking is in the vicinity -- unless we're talking smoked meat, in which case we sit as far from the bar as possible to enjoy the food! Combine this allergy and our religious views toward the prohibition of tobacco, and you can probably guess where we stand on Amendment 35 and similar issues.

Having never fallen under the influence of nicotine, I can't fully relate to Laura's struggles to give up the poison. However, I was captivated to read her candor in admitting how she wishes to quit and how many times she has attempted to do so. I found her admissions both brave and compelling.

Please know that at least one reader admires Laura's honesty and efforts to give up smoking, as well as the ability to write a fair article concerning an issue that affects her in a direct and personal way.

Lucas M. Robertson
via the Internet

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