From my window… County busy with holiday fun; why the U.S. is No. 1

Memorial Day was quite enjoyable around Rio Blanco County with the towns nearly deserted but area activities — mostly outdoors — keeping a lot of people from leaving the area for the three-day weekend.
Kenney Reservoir and Lake Avery were quite busy with the first full weekend for anglers to get out on the water. Wind didn’t interfere with the anglers or the boaters to any great extent.
The golf courses at Rangely and Meeker looked fairly busy, but nothing is better than 80 degrees and no wind to someone on the links.
The roads and highways throughout the county were busy over the extended weekend, and for the first time I’ve seen this year, out -of-state vehicles were almost as common as those from Colorado.
What a great way to welcome the summer, and what a great way to honor those uniformed men and women who gave us Memorial Day by giving up their lives in service to this county — a nation they obviously believed in.
While this nation may be divided like no other time in the past — with possibly the exception of the Civil War — we must remember that these men and women gave their lives so we can now enjoy the freedoms offered this holiday and every day of the year, allowing us the freedom to do what we want to do, where and when we want to do it and how we want to do it.
Our nation is stronger than the two-party system. Our nation is made up of those who will fight for what they believe in, and I believe that while there are some rather large potholes in the road at present, this county will reunite in its aim to continue to be the best nation on this earth.

Want to know why I think this country will continue to be the best nation on this earth? Want to know what I think is the one key to this nation’s future as seen by our forefathers?
The checks and balances.
No one person, court or legislative body has full control to impose its beliefs on us as a nation.
Congress is there to approve or disapprove or to act or refuse to act regarding what the president or members want.
The president is there to veto whatever it is that he disagrees with that was passed by Congress. Congress can, by a two-third majority, which is mighty tough to do, override the president’s veto.
And the court system, most notably the U.S. Supreme Court, can shoot down the president’s plans or Congress’s legislation.
Who controls the U.S. Supreme Court? The president nominates the members of this nation’s high court and Congress must approve that nomination.
The Congress can rework legislation that is deemed unconstitutional, but that work is also subject to the president’s veto and the Supreme Court’s test of constitutionality.
Is it vicious circle? Yes.
Doesn’t it prevent complete control by any of the three estates of the government — legislative, judicial and executive?
And aren’t all three of these captive to the unofficial fourth estate — the press?
I learned many years ago, at the onset of my career in this business, one fact that rings true today. Rule 1A of public service is “Don’t get into a battle with anyone who buys ink by the barrel.”
Such is the printed media.
Can that power of the press be abused? You bet it can. It has been and will be once again.
But in the long run, the entire system of check and balances has a way of working out.
Congressional leaders have failed to follow the rules and been cast out of office. The electorate also determines who goes into office in the first place.
The president has, in the past, been caught, literally, with his pants down (no names needed), after involvement with burglarizing the offices of the other party (again, no names needed), or deliberately lying to the residents of this nation (too many names to include).
There are nine members of the U.S. Supreme Court, and those members tend to run their own checks and balances on each other. Yes, a single president may appoint more than one member, but never has a single president appointed a majority of members.
The bottom line is, we have a great system of checks and balances in this country.
Anyone who believes that one individual is responsible for all the good or all the bad or that one party is the salvation and the other is Satan is probably pretty delusional.
It isn’t that way. It hopefully never becomes that way.
And the sooner that all sides of an issue sit down to talk about what is best for the residents of this country, this county or even certain neighborhoods, the better it will be for all.

Teachers are an interesting lot.
I have considered myself good friends with more than 100 teachers during my time in journalism, and what a diverse group of individuals they can be.
Nearly all were quite intelligent, they were dedicated to helping the students and they had their hearts in the right place.
Many of them, while their intentions are good, are also the type who would complain if you gave them a world-class, gourmet, five -course meal at their last supper — or, as they used to say in the Old West, “They’d complain if you hung ‘em with a new rope.”
Few things, according to them, are run correctly at school and, it seems, the administrators are perceived to be idiots. Few teachers I have known have ever had great things to say about their bosses, and, yes, quite a few are whiners.
I have a world of respect for teachers. But there isn’t enough money on earth to pay me to teach a class, particularly at the high school level.
When I was a high school student in the ‘70s, the words “respect” and “discipline” had meaning — even at the public high school.
Nowadays, teachers are powerless, parents back up their “little angels” like they are incapable of doing any wrong, failure is not an option if mommy or daddy don’t agree with the teacher, and there is generally no retribution for disrespecting, cussing at, flipping off or otherwise mistreating teachers.
I mean nothing against teachers. They do great things for our children and they, unfortunately, have come to replace many parents and guardians in leading these children in the right direction — in addition to their classroom duties.
I believe there are real problems at our nation’s schools. The TELLColorado survey, which we have excerpted the past three issues of the Herald Times, indicate that there is a pretty fair amount of discontent at the Meeker schools as well.
But I think the survey has to be taken for what it is. A chance for teachers to voice their discontent, which they seemed to do without regard to their targets. They took shots at the administration, they took shots at their fellow teachers, and, in some cases, they took shots at the community.
And as one caller to the Herald Times asked this past week, “We now know how our teachers feel about the schools, but my real concern is how well educated are our children?” That is what is important to me…”
God bless the teachers. Their life is not an easy one.
But it seems from the TELL Colorado survey that a few instructors AND administrators might want to ask themselves what it is they really want out of teaching/education and ask each other what they can do together to improve each other’s outlook and effectiveness.
After all, and like it or not, the bottom line is the education of our children!