Monthly Archives: September 2016

A Teaching Opportunity – You Bet

September 26, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

Before I even get started, let me be perfectly clear: I support all aspects of the Constitution of The United States. I support the freedom of speech and the right to assemble as much as I support the right to keep and bear arms and the right to be secure in your person and your residence. That said, freedom of speech does not include saying things that put other people in jeopardy. The right to assemble does not include violating other people’s rights by closing down an interstate highway and the right to keep and bear arms does not mean you can use your arms against anyone you choose just because they may disagree with your ideology.

On September 8, I was once again embarrassed on the part of my State of Colorado when Brandon Marshall, a linebacker for the Denver Broncos, refused to stand up during the playing of the National Anthem. Of course, Marshall is not really a Coloradoan. He came from a high school in Nevada that refined his skills as a football player and sent him on with a lucrative scholarship to a Nevada college. He said he was “taking a knee” in solidarity with Collin Kaepernick, who also refused to stand during the ceremonies at am earlier pre-season game.

Now, the Aurora Central High School football team, or at least 10 or 15 of them, are also refusing to stand and salute our flag.

I have been following these stories because they hurt me down deep. Oh, I am not suffering from actual physical pain, but rather from the pain of spirit, seeing these misguided actions belittle what our nation is all about. Believe it or not, these people are in some cases supported by those they are openly offending. One disabled veteran on social media informed all her “friends” that she is more offended by people like me thinking that I speak for her.

Another social media response I found interesting was one that fully agrees with me, saying, “The aspect of this that bothers me is that the protests aren’t directed at something that is endorsing the actions being protested. The United States does not endorse or mandate the discrimination that is taking place…”

Another person identified herself as a mother and said she supported the actions of the Aurora school, saying that they should use this as a learning experience.

Okay, then, let us teach them. Let us tell them how the flag came into being. Let us talk about that day in June of 1777 when the Congress provided that the flag of the United States shall consist of 13 alternating red and white stripes under a union of 13 stars, white on blue, representing a “new constellation.” (That is a metaphor, for those of you are and teaching that may not recognize it as such.) Let us talk about the discussions that took place whereby those brave revolutionists sought to rescue people from the tyranny of an omnipotent king.

Let us teach them that the evolution of the flag began with those 13 stars and stripes and went to 15 stars and stripes in May 1795 and that our country soon realized that adding a star and a stripe for each state was not practical. In 1818 the flag reverted to 13 stripes, representing the original 13 colonies and added five stars to the field representing the addition of Tennessee, Ohio, Louisiana, Indiana and Mississippi.

There were times when the official flag stayed for several years or added just one star, but the nation was building and embracing those who desired the freedoms that the flag represented. When Texas became a state in 1845, the star representing this large former republic was no bigger that any of the others. It simply represented the equality of each state.

Of course, that 38th star, officially added to represent Colorado, which became a state in 1876, has a special place in my heart. I can see that star on today’s flag as being the fifth star in the seventh row and that is where I see the pain. I see my family that literally goes back to those days of revolution and now is represented by eight generations here in Colorado. I see those heartfelt words of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay as they authored The Federalist Papers in preparation of ratifying a constitution that guaranteed the rights of the people and recognized that the people had to grant power to a government, not the other way around. Let us teach those poor Aurora students a little more about what those Founding Fathers had in mind.

Let us teach these uninformed youngsters that standing for the presentation of the flag with the National Anthem is not a form of worshipping an object, but rather the recognition of the fact that they (the students) are not living in an entirely different world; a world they thankfully will likely never have to live in because those that went before them recognized what it takes to develop a true representative republic.

Let us teach them that allegiance to this country is not a form of bowing down to the government, but rather acknowledging the fact that we, as a people, must stay strong and not let government and tyranny rule our lives. Yes Mother, we should use this as a learning experience. I just hope and pray they will not be learning the wrong things. Our country and our freedoms depend on it.

Remember, I only send out these missives via email to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting in a weekly email, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016

 

 

 

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The yes and no of amending Colorado Constitution

September 19, 2016

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

I have long opposed the process by which an amendment can be added to the Colorado Constitution. Amending the Colorado Constitution should be as least as difficult as amending the U.S. Constitution. The Founding Fathers recognized from the get go that it must be that way.

 

The amendment process in Colorado has long been known for being one of the easiest in the nation. Currently, all a person or a special interest group must do is gather a certain number of signatures. There is no requirement that those signatures come from all over the state; just that they meet the quantity threshold. It is possible, and has been demonstrated as possible many times, that an amendment can be placed on the ballot by garnering signatures based only on demographics rather than statewide desires. Under this mechanism canvassing only one or two counties that have a high number of people who are known to support a given idea can result in the required number of signatures.

 

Because of the current procedure, I have advocated that we vote yes on Amendment 71. Frankly this amendment made it on the ballot under the current system and I am the first to acknowledge that not all proposed amendments are bad. This one I think is necessary and its necessity is demonstrated once again by the proposed Amendment 72.

 

Amendment 72 on it face seems to be a good thing. We raise the taxes on cigarettes, bringing in an estimated $315 million into the state coffers and the money goes to finance programs to encourage people to stop smoking. It also has that all-important “do it for the children” element. But, if we look deeper into the amendment we can see that only about 20 percent of the money goes to those programs. More that 50 percent of the money is earmarked for programs that are not yet determined and the remainder (about 27 percent) is designated for grants that, as of now, have no guidelines. In effect passing this amendment fills a purse full of cash for the use of lawmakers who will respond by using the money to fund pet projects that will get them re-elected. And, the worst part of it is that, in order to repeal it, we will have to pass another amendment to the Constitution.

 

As for Amendment 72 having any success, all we need to do is exam what is already being done. Colorado has already diverted over $1.6 billion in tobacco taxes to programs that are completely unrelated to the use of, or the prevention of the use of tobacco.

 

The long and the short of it, as far as I am concerned, is that the voters in Colorado need to approve Amendment 71 and soundly reject Amendment 72.

The Colorado Constitution is already a jumbled mess. We don’t need to make it worse.

If you would like to receive Connotes in an email each week, simply send the request to coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list. I do not share your email address with anyone and I use a system whereby your address is not revealed to anyone else on the list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2016