What I’ll say when I’m president

Essay by Jim Stiles

Modern Life – November 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine

Jimmy Carter once opened an address to the nation with these words: “Tonight, I have some unpleasant news for you.” His chances of re-election vanished soon after. And so, I dedicate my acceptance speech as your new president to Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the United States and the last honest politician:

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Fear and adrenaline can cause a ranger to kill

Essay by Jim Stiles

Recreation – November 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine

WHEN CHIEF RANGER Jerry Epperson hired me to be a seasonal ranger at Arches National Park in Utah so many years ago, I wasn’t sure what my duties were supposed to be. So it seemed like a good idea to ask.

Epperson smiled wryly and said, “A ranger should range.”

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When Jesus Spoke to the Burning Bush

Essay by Jim Stiles

Politics – January 2004 – Colorado Central Magazine

Originally Published in the Canyon Country Zephyr

NOTE: What follows is clearly a figment of my fatigued imagination. I am not a biblical scholar; I am probably not even a Christian as most religious organizations would define it. But I grew up going to a Protestant church and, even as a child, can remember being confused by Christianity’s apparent dual message. In the Gospels, Jesus spoke of love and compassion and, uncompromisingly, he spoke against violence, anger and hate toward our perceived enemies. And yet, Christians are always fighting against each other, against other religions, against any perceived enemy. And it’s always done in the name of the man who created a religion out of the concept of pacifism.

This piece of fiction will probably enrage narrow-minded, conservative Christians who will call it blasphemy. And it will enrage narrow-minded knee-jerk liberals who will see it as some violation of the separation of church and state (“Did you see the new Zephyr? It’s turning it into a Bible Study Newsletter!”)

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There goes the neighborhood

Brief by Jim Stiles

Development – April 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

One contentious issue in Moab, Utah, is “Cloudrock” — a luxury development atop a mesa overlooking town. It has inspired these observations from Jim Stiles, publisher of the Canyon Country Zephyr there:

Since the Cloudrock development was first introduced to the citizens of Grand County, its promoters have been trying to convince us that the ultra-high-end luxury lodge/condo/home project will add needed revenues to our tax base….

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