Dear Bill, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. While I agree with the process of the mil...
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), enacted by Congress, defines the military justice system and list...
Ramblin’ around the corral with Bob Sweeney Tis the holiday season and time to renew old friendships, ma...
I watched part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City and marveled at the creative balloons. ...
The celebration of Thanksgiving historically has been a time for families to gather around a table filled with...
Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus which causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea, commonly...
BY JOHN CARSONMEMBER CU BOARD OF REGENTS The University of Colorado Board of Regents recently approved a civic...
Ramblin’ around the corral with Bob Sweeney After publishing The Villager newspaper in our world h...
Happy Birthday to The Villager newspaper that moves to volume 38 this week as we have completed that man...
Last week, I was honored to accompany a group of Aurora citizens and local elected officials on an eight-day t...
Dear Bill, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. While I agree with the process of the military justice system I applaud President Trump as the military’s Commander in Chief for intervention with Navy Seal Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher.
I also served in the U.S.Army as a tank platoon leader and gunnery instructor. Never sent to Vietnam, very bad place for tanks. “War is Hell” and we have strict rules, but we’re trained to destroy the enemy.
I think many of the rank and file military service members, past and present, applaud the president’s support of a highly skilled combat veteran SEAL in a combat situation. The President has their backs!
The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), enacted by Congress, defines the military justice system and lists criminal offenses under military law. The law requires the President of the United States, acting as commander-in- chief of the Armed Forces, to write rules and regulations to implement military law.
The significant difference between the civilian justice system and the military justice system is the unique requirements for military commanders to ensure “good order and discipline” among the military personnel under their command. The UCMJ provides a unique set of rules and standards that guide our soldiers in their military service to make appropriate decisions during regular duty and combat operations.
Last week President Trump intervened in a military justice case and usurped the proceeding of military courts to pardon a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes in Iraq. This action, according to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, cited the president’s intervention as “shocking and unprecedented” and criticized him by saying, “the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.” Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher had been charged with murdering a prisoner of war and then posing with the body which is a violation of the UCMJ and the Geneva Convention. Shortly after Secretary Spencer raised his concern over the presidents intervention in the military court proceeding, he was fired by President Trump.
While I was serving in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, I heard many rumors of atrocities committed by both the Viet Cong and American servicemembers, but it wasn’t until I returned to America that New York Times reporter, Seymour Hersh, reported the horror of the massacre at My Lai.
On March 16, 1968. Army Lt. William Calley ordered the men in his infantry company to kill all the older men, the women and the children in the small Vietnam village of My Lai. Over 351 civilians were the victims of this unbridled savagery. Was it not for a courageous Army helicopter pilot, Major Hugh Thomas and his crew, who landed his aircraft between the advancing soldiers and the frighten villagers, that the death toll would have been even larger.
After efforts to coverup the massacre by military officers failed, Lt. Calley was the only individual charged by a military court which ultimately convicted him of murder and sentenced him to life in prison. However, President Nixon intervened and reduced the sentence to three years of confinement at his home.
For decades the Uniform Code of Military Justice has been responsible for enforcing the “good order and discipline” and providing an honorable code of conduct by which our members of the armed services must follow and provides a set of rules that clearly informs servicemembers of the consequences for violating those rules. It also provides an explanation of all the due process rights afforded them.
The military command staff has raised concerns over President Trump’s intervention into the military justice system and fear that it will harm the commander’s abilities to dispense fair and impartial judgments when deciding on cases coming before them.
I agree with those concerns and urge the president to no longer intervene with our military justice adjudication procedures.
A soldier’s loyalty cannot be gained by bending the rules, rather “good order and discipline” is gained by following them.
Tis the holiday season and time to renew old friendships, make new friends, honor our faiths, and prepare for what will be a very exciting new year – very challenging, especially on the political front.
I’m starting out December by climbing on the scale to see what lie this device produces this month. Mmm, not too bad. Down from last month and last year but still more than it should be. I’m not sure what is best, “Peace of mind” or “Perseverance,” meaning, should you just enjoy eating all of those holiday morsels, or should you use some restraint? I know my belt would fasten easier and my knees would feel better if I was 20 lbs. lighter, but does that really matter when looking at a tray of cold shrimp and carved prime rib? I think not!
The end of the year brings New Year resolutions. In past years I would regularly go to an athletic club and work out at least three times a week; rarely missing more than several days at a time. It was always amusing during the first weeks of January when the club would suddenly burst with new members working out profusely. Then, like the air flowing out of a deflating balloon most of the new crowd disappeared and it would be the same old crowd with maybe a few new faces.
Where I reside, we have great walking trails and paths. One neighbor, retired Army Colonel Larry, walks at least two miles each and every day and his wife usually accompanies him. He is slender as a rail, and he has adapted to this lifestyle of discipline.
Going back to dieting at the holidays, it tests one’s discipline. Publisher Gerri, head of this newspaper, has iron-willed discipline and courage. She makes wise choices at the buffet table and rarely snacks. Junk food is are not on her menu and she has always maintained her weight and figure. If she has a weakness it comes to the dessert table featuring cookies and cakes, there she is really tested. I think it comes from her mother being an excellent baker of pies, cakes and cookies.
For me, I can stay away from the dessert table, just pile on the prime rib, gravy and mashed potatoes. I’ll diet in January.
My friend Dan Ritchie of DU fame has told me about his fasting and even gave me a “Younger Next Year” booklet to read. He goes without food for three days and does this annual cleansing ritual. Dan is keen of heart, mind, and knowledge. What a wonderful and amazing president he was at The University of Denver. Once walking with him across the DU campus he would stop along the way and pick up discarded candy wrappers. It was his University and he made it what it is today.
Back to the topic of food. While attending the grand opening of the new Alpine Bank in the Alpine/Kentwood building on Belleview, I enjoyed a wonderful buffet breakfast catered by Brennan Price of the Urban Egg just up the street in the Belleview Square complex on the corner across from the new Ruth Chris steakhouse.
I became a breakfast fan of Urban Egg and watched their growth and success. They concentrate on cleanliness and the restaurant is spotlessly clean and tidy. Amber and Rachel are there to welcome a steady flow of morning diners who enjoy their delicious menu and a great selection of healthy egg dishes. Brennan has moved up in the business and is now operating a number of Urban Eggs establishments.
The restaurant closes at 2 p.m. every day but makes the facility available at night for events with food service and an open bar. They have wine-paired dinners and chef-inspired menus. If you’re looking for a location for a holiday party, contact Brennan at 720-482-4070. Otherwise, just go there for breakfast with open parking in the garage behind the restaurant and see the quality operation for yourself. “Dogs are welcome with well-behaved owners,” the sign states on the outdoor patio fence. This venue might work for your group party.
Christmas comes on Wednesday this year. Falling in the middle of the work week makes this a challenging time for many people.
Some business firms who don’t do retail or food service may take the next two days off. Monday and Tuesday will be frantic for business folks and late holiday shoppers.
The same schedule exists the following week for the New Year festivities. We’ll be publishing the newspaper on Friday and going to press on Monday so we will need notices, news, and ads earlier for that two-week span.
Climb on your scale now, and see what you weigh, do it again on January 1. Maybe we will have to walk with Larry.
I watched part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in New York City and marveled at the creative balloons. Soon we will have the Rose Bowl parade in Pasadena, CA. The creativity spirit of Americans is almost unbelievable in what we as a people and nation can accomplish.
Americans celebrated Thanksgiving and for the most part happy, and sharing love of country, careers, and family.
We always have the flow of immigrants who arrive at our borders and shores who for centuries flexing their muscles and brains to create a driving work force for themselves and those who have come before. We stand on the backs and shoulders of our forefathers who founded and pioneered the American presence on this new frontier. Granted there were thousands of Indians living on this land before any white man ever set foot on the eastern coast shores. Most of the world was settled in the same way from Genghis Khan and countless conflicts over land and religion. Most recently the largest land mass borders shifted with the dissolvement of the Soviet Union.
Hitler would have expanded Germany across all of Europe and he made his fatal mistake in attempting to add Russia to his portfolio.
What made America great was taking British law and giving it a free enterprise Magna Carta twist. Early Americans were blessed with a magnificent unspoiled huge range of mountains and plains filled with flowing rivers and natural resources that even included gold and silver, something that the Spanish inquisition forces sought centuries earlier in Latin America. The plundering of the Incas and the Aztecs destroying the century old prosperous civilizations. I haven’t heard any concepts of repatriation for Latin American citizens from Spain.
Despite the clamor in Washington, the vast American populace is alive and well. Great enthusiastic crowds are witnessing countless football games and massive holiday crowds are rushing through our nation’s airports for brief family holiday visits. We truly are a land of prosperity and promise for all who wish to play by the rules, get a job, and work hard at their level of education and job skills. Many immigrants who arrive at our shores are talented musicians, doctors, military veterans, and teachers. They will find a safe haven in our cities across America.
There is a vast wealth diversion in America ranging from street people to billionaires. Capitalism is not the fair enterprise system but the free enterprise system. Some are fortunate to be born with wealth, others with great brains, and some with handicaps. We all have to play the hand that we’re dealt from our parents and backgrounds. But how we play that hand determines the outcome. I’m concerned that a growing number of largely younger people want the government to play the hand for them. The rise of socialism is frightening, and recent history shows us the failure of this form of government in our backyard with Cuba and Venezuela.
There is growing poverty and unrest around the world. The Middle East is lacking jobs and opportunity for their citizens. Only the oil countries have prospered, and those oil wells won’t pump forever. The disparity of wealth in the Middle East is volatile.
Like the old Roman Empire, we should heed the threats from the northern borders and the ever-seeking pleasure of the populace. We have ever rising national debts that can destroy our nation from within with financial ruin of our financial institutions and the collapse of Wall Street.
The discord in Washington should be disturbing for people of both political parties. The rise of a third party of progressive socialists is more than alarming and the movement towards tax and spend measures will only increase. This to an alarming national debt.
Are we dancing on the deck of the Titanic?
The celebration of Thanksgiving historically has been a time for families to gather around a table filled with the bounty of the year’s harvest. A juicy browned turkey, cranberries, golden mashed potatoes, delicious wine and the warmth of a fireplace crackling with the fragrant smell of pine. It was a time for extended family to gather and share the blessings of the ending year.
Generally, the Thanksgiving celebration was hosted at grandmother home. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and a variety of other relatives would travel great distances to share in the bounty of the harvest.
Thanksgiving moments were captured on the cover of the Norman Rockwell’s paintings displayed on the Saturday Evening Post’s cover. The grandfather was pictured carving the enormous turkey and a dining table surrounded by sons, daughters and the excited children. It was a treasured moment of the nuclear American family.
For many American families that pristine moment has been lost.
Divorces, losses of significant family members, estranged family relationships and great distances has unfortunately reduced a number of family members who share the warmth, love, and significances of this important celebration.
Table conversation range from slightly humorous to emotionally draining. Yet it also provided opportunities for reconciliation amongst family members all the while providing opportunities of strengthening family bonds.
Unfortunately, as the table settings reduces, and family shrinks that opportunity of reconciliation and forgiveness may be lost forever.
To all, have a great Thanksgiving and embrace the opportunity to express your love for all your family members.
Norovirus is an extremely contagious virus which causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea, commonly known as a stomach bug or food poisoning. Outbreaks are common as the virus spreads easily from one infected person to another or through contaminated foods or surfaces.
A norovirus outbreak recently closed 46 schools in the Grand Junction area, sending thousands of students home until after Thanksgiving to allow the affected schools to be disinfected. There are 150 to 200 such outbreaks each year in Colorado, most commonly in nursing homes but also at schools.
While norovirus is mostly an inconvenience, there are other infectious disease outbreaks occurring in American cities which are far more consequential. Specifically, in “sanctuary cities”, which have become hotbeds for pestilence and contagious diseases. What are sanctuary cities?
These are cities or counties that have laws or ordinances that obstruct immigration enforcement and shield criminals from ICE by refusing to allow law enforcement to comply with ICE detainers or denying ICE access to interview incarcerated aliens. In other words, these locales protect and shield illegal aliens from federal immigration agencies and the law.
Colorado has plenty of sanctuary jurisdictions, including Denver, Aurora, Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties, and Mesa County, home of Grand Junction. Other sanctuary cities include large west coast enclaves such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle. What diseases are visiting these once beautiful cities and why?
Measles and mumps, common in countries where many illegal immigrants come from, are making a comeback in US cities. There is also typhoid fever, typhus, hepatitis A and tuberculosis on the rise in these cities. Los Angeles has had several cases of bubonic plague, a historic disease now making a resurgence due to mountains of trash and a rat infestation in LA.
Many immigrants, illegal or legal, are unvaccinated and American immigration services are unable to screen everyone who enters the US. Countries in Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East where many immigrants come from have a high prevalence of these contagious diseases.
It’s not just inadequately medically screened immigrants, but also a growing homeless population, something seen but not reported, right here in Denver. San Francisco is plagued with the homeless pooping on sidewalks. Add drug addiction and police turning a blind eye to petty street crime and drug use and it becomes a perfect storm of squalor and disease typically seen in only third world cities, not in major American cities. Until now.
I’m not attributing the norovirus outbreak to illegal immigration, homelessness, or drug abuse, but it is a microcosm of a larger and more serious problem that elected officials choose to ignore, whether here in Denver or in the once beautiful west coast cities.
Attempts to curb illegal immigration are characterized as racist or xenophobic. It’s considered compassionate to allow humans to sleep in city parks and on sidewalks and poop wherever they want. We reap what we sow.
The norovirus outbreaks will come and go, but perhaps not so with other disease outbreaks which are far more consequential than a day of nausea and diarrhea.
BY JOHN CARSONMEMBER CU BOARD OF REGENTS
The University of Colorado Board of Regents recently approved a civics education initiative. Like other universities, there is a growing recognition at CU that higher education has a responsibility to ensure graduates are prepared to play a role in maintaining our republic.
When Benjamin Franklin was asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention what type of government had been formed, he famously replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.” In the words of retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter: “You cannot keep it in ignorance.” The future of our republic is in question because many people do not understand the basic functioning of our government.
The CU civics initiative includes new certificate programs, an assessment of civics knowledge among incoming freshmen, an on-line concurrent enrollment course in civics for Colorado high school students, and a constitutional program at our Colorado Springs campus that incudes civics training for high school teachers, a Washington DC studies program and a Visiting Constitutional Scholar.
Impeachment is in the air, so it’s a good time to talk civics. How many people think impeachment means the President is removed from office? It does not. In fact, two previous Presidents have been impeached (Andrew Johnson & Bill Clinton) but continued to serve out their terms. Many people think Richard Nixon was impeached, but he in fact resigned before any formal impeachment action was taken by the House of Representatives. Only the Senate can remove a President from office, and this requires a 2/3rds vote (67 of 100 Senators) and has never been done.
This raises the question, what is the current state of civics literacy? According to a 2017 Annenberg Constitution Day Civics Survey only 26% of people know all three branches of the federal government, 13% know two branches, 27% know one branch and 34% do not know any branch of the federal government or refuse to answer the question.
This may be a particularly important time to teach civics on college campuses where there seems to be a growing notion that speakers can be shouted down or disinvited and certain speech can be silenced. This is accompanied by a sense that political opponents are enemies. In many quarters we seem to have lost the sense that we can still respect those with who we disagree. Hearing different or unwelcome ideas is viewed by some as traumatic. But it is not the duty of university leaders to protect faculty and students from speech they disagree with.
Consistent with the first amendment and constitutional protections for free speech and expression, the university should be a place where there is a vigorous exchange of ideas and where one’s views are challenged. The Founders knew people are not free unless they can express themselves, and they also knew exposure to different points of view is critical to avoid narrow mindedness and the tyranny of the majority.
While universities must take a leadership role in reinvigorating the study of civics, other sectors must step up as well. Fortunately, many in the business community are recognizing the need for more civics education. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation just recently published a study titled: The Business Case for Civics Education. It notes that business leaders recognize that an understanding of civics promotes civil discourse, an essential ingredient in successful enterprises.
As BET Networks President Scott Mills puts it: “For corporations to be successful, to be global, to serve truly diverse customer segments, they actually have to be able to get a diverse array of people to work collaboratively and toward shared goals.” The U.S. Chamber study also notes the correlation between capitalism and wealth creation and successful political systems. As David A. Moss, the Paul Whiton Cherinton Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School notes: “Typically, GDP is highest in countries that have the most stable political systems. So, it’s important never to take our political system for granted, and that means – among many other things – we need to ensure strong civics programs in our schools.”
There is a growing emphasis on sustainability in environmental matters. This is a good thing, but we should also focus on the sustainability of our republic. As James Madison, the father of the Constitution put it; “A popular government without popular information or the means of acquiring it is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
John Carson is a member of the University of Colorado Board of Regents representing the 6th Congressional District.
After publishing The Villager newspaper in our world headquarters at 8933 E. Union Ave. for 38 years we have known many Greenwood Village mayors. Ron Rakowsky ranks at the top of the list; and over 200 friends and colleagues turned out at his retirement party at the Double Tree Hotel in October to bid a fond farewell to the term-limited beloved mayor.
It is fairly rare in these volatile political days for elected officials to be so beloved and highly respected. Mayor Ron has earned these honors by his dedication to his duties as mayor, his warm and friendly caring attitude about residents, staff and his work ethic. His wife Margaret has always been an inspiration and guiding light, more now than ever as our beloved mayor deals with challenging health issues.
I have known and respected all GV mayors and especially Freda Poundstone who loved her city and shaped the future of the city during her terms of office. There might not be a Preserve or a Koelbel Library without Freda. Aurora might have crossed the dam and annexed part of the city but not with Freda at the helm. Mayor Nancy Sharpe has gone on to lead Arapahoe County to greatness with her colleagues. What a great congressman she would make.
Anyway, Monday night I filled in for our stellar governmental reporter and former GV council member, Freda Miklin, who was dealing with a son’s relocation, so I attended the swearing in of the new mayor, George Lantz, and council in her absence.
The evening began as council members and family gathered with the old and new mayor for a “last supper” at the council study session room where much of the city’s work is accomplished. Council members were dressed elegantly with suits and ties and wives in dresses and high heels. Key staff members joined the group to honor outgoing Ron and incoming newly elected George.
Promptly at 7 p.m. GV municipal Judge and full Air Force Colonel Elizabeth Shifrin began swearing in the new council members. They took their seats with their nameplates proudly displaying their names. George was sworn into office and he then shook Ron’s hand as the gavel of leadership passed to the new mayor.
There was no new business to perform and city staff passed on reports, making the evening ceremony brief and memorable for all. Families and friends witnessed the ceremony and grandchildren sat on the front row proud of their elected family members.
It is an honor and privilege to be elected to public office and across Arapahoe County newly elected officials are taking council seats.
Local government is grassroots service where constituents can easily contact their elected council members on issues and concerns. Mayor Ron was good listener and therein was his success.
The Villager welcomes the newly elected leaders intertwining with the veteran council members moving forward on many fronts of city government. Traffic is one of the challenges with the ever- growing number of vehicles on city, county, state and federal highways. These elected officials work hard, spending many days and evenings working for their districts and entire cities.
We’ll keep our readers informed on their progress.
Another major highlight of the week was attending the opening night of the Gaylord Rockies Hotel “CirQue Dreams Holidaze” debut.
The miracle new hotel facility in full view of DEN airport is becoming a very successful local entertainment venue and national tourist attraction.
The Friday night performance in the gigantic theatre complex drew a large audience to the theatre in the round. The iconic show featured dazzling costumes, singers, aerial acts of skill, grace and strength. The 75-minute show is perfect for families.
In addition to the Christmas show, the ice carvings at Mistletoe Village, adjacent to the “bubbly” theatre are more than spectacular with winter scenes carved out of two million tons of colorful ice and carved into holiday creatures and scenes. See Rudolph, Santa and elves, a. nativity scene, all carved by artisans frozen in the 9-degree museum style emporium. It is chilly in the exhibit area and all ticket holders are required to don colorful parkas to enter the chilly chambers. My hands became cold in minutes as my smart phone camera captured some of the spectacular ice carvings. This is a world class endeavor and not to be missed. The ICE exhibit and Christmas show are ticketed events. GaylordRockiesChristmas.com
A special treat Sunday was to meet and visit with my neighbors John and Judith Briles, and Mara Purl from Colorado Springs. All best-selling award-winning authors. Judith and John are residents of Heritage Eagle Bend for the past three years. Judith has authored 37 books and Mara a similar number. The trio hosted a double “book launch” at their home on Saturday, and a Sunday morning brunch for friends. Judith’s latest book is “When God Says.” Mara’s “When the Heart Listens.” More Info: Judith!Biles.com/ www.MaraPurl.com
Well we didn’t have to worry for a change about the Broncos losing in the last minute of the game. The Buffalo Bills obviously the better team and the Broncos still showing some promise for the future.
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