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Monkey Business

Politically corrupt/politically correct

On Feb. 7, the Upper Black Squirrel Groundwater Management District will hold an election to fill a vacant board seat in District 2. Doug Woods and Gary Lake were the only ones to obtain the required amount of signatures in their districts – 1 and 5, respectively – to win seats on the UBS. No one in District 4 garnered enough signatures, so the new board will fill that position after the elections.The UBS governs the water supply in the Upper Black Squirrel alluvial aquifer and the Denver Basin wells – the water that supplies Falcon and surrounding area wells.The criteria for board membership: Candidates must have owned land in the representing area (east of Meridian Road – exception is the Falcon Town Center) for the last 20 months. Board candidates had to collect enough signatures to equal 15 percent of the number of people who voted in the last election, or 26 signatures.So, it appears that Woods and Lake are in. But I am wondering about the board’s objectivity in making decisions about water issues. Doug Woods owns land as a trustee in Meridian Ranch, and is a member of the Meridian Ranch Metro District. His only investment in water in the area: the housing development. Woods lives in San Diego, although he did register to vote here, and he does pay taxes here.However, why would someone who lives in California serve on a water board for Colorado? Is an alignment with Meridian Ranch a conflict of interest? There are intergovernmental agreements among Woodmen Hills, the Cherokee Metro District and Meridian Ranch Metro District – how can Woods vote on anything related to water? Is he there to protect the interests of his district?I haven’t talked to Woods, so he hasn’t had a chance to defend his interests. And, unless he tells me he is moving here, I don’t know what he could say to change my mind.I did speak to Gary Lake from Ellicott – District 5. Gary raises cattle and works as a technician for El Paso County Telephone. He’s lived in Colorado for 27 years, and he’s been active in his community. He’s also involved in some development.Gary just termed out of the Ellicott school board. He said it’s difficult to get someone interested to serve on controversial boards, like water and school boards.However, he said “quality of growth depends on people making good decisions.” How do they make good decisions when there are special interests to protect? There may be a certain conflict of interest, he said, but being a conservationist is vital to one’s livelihood as well. “You can only cut the (water) pie in so many pieces,” Gary said. “I believe some diverse viewpoints can be a good thing. The harder thing is to have a decision not go your way and then have to get behind it and make it policy.” He cited a few times he abstained from voting while he was on the school board.OK, so Gary makes a good point, but I still don’t buy the idea that someone who lives out of state is an acceptable candidate for a water board (or any other board) in another state. I don’t care how much of his livelihood is embedded in development in this county. His intake of the water table is not. Woods will never be directly affected by a lack of water.It still reads “politically corrupt” to me.On another note:It’s Black History Month, and I think it’s great we celebrate all the cultures that make up America. I grew up in Indiana – about three hours from Chicago. I loved going to Chicago – there were pockets of Italians, Polish, German and Irish people in overlapping neighborhoods. Whatever their heritage, those people were proud to call themselves Americans, not Irish-Americans or German-Americans, but Americans. Not African-Americans.OK, I am now making a politically INCORRECT statement: I think the term African-American is separatist, elitist and nothing more than a media-driven attempt to keep another term – politically correct – alive and well.Former President Teddy Roosevelt, in a speech he gave to the Knights of Columbus in October 1915, said, “A hyphenated American is not an American at all.”He also relayed the following in his speech: “The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality.”Jesse Jackson presented the term African-American to the public a few years ago, and somehow the media latched on, and, poof, it became politically correct to reference blacks in America as African-Americans. According to Wikipedia, the online dictionary, political correctness is a “term used … to describe real or perceived attempts to impose limits on the acceptable language, terms and viewpoints in public discussion.”Well, in this case, the political correctness of using African-American does impose limits – limits that thwart our attempts to rid this country of prejudice and exclusion involving any race.The term even has black people arguing. According to a Los Angeles Times article written by black author John McWhorter, Alan Keyes, the black Illinois Republican who lost the senate race to black Democrat Barack Obama, contended that he was the real African-American. Obama’s father is from Africa, but Keyes said the real African-Americans are “people with a history of subordination.”Here’s what else McWhorter had to say in his article: “It (African-American verbiage) sets us apart from the mainstream. It carries an air of standing protest, a reminder that our ancestors were brought here against their will, that their descendents were treated like animals for centuries.” And I talked to one of my friends in Indiana who has a close circle of non-white friends. She asked a couple of her black friends how they felt about the African-American term. They had no problem with the word “black.” Besides, why must we reference people by the color of their skin?My ancestors are Irish and French, but I am white by skin – American by birth. I do not want to be disconnected from what is my birthright – why should anyone else?

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