Email letters, April 27, 2012

People should have to work to pay back student loans

I listened with interest to the arguments of the perpetual campaigner President Obama in Boulder on April 24 — and other colleges this week — and his proposal to keep the interest rates for college student loans low as part of his effort to buy more votes in November at the expense of the American tax payers.

When I was in college in 1961 through 1968 and earned a BS degree in mathematics and a MS degree in physics, there was also a program to pay for college and a federal program to help pay for the operations of the federal government. At that point in American history, both programs were called work. My work all year round in more and different jobs than I can remember paid for my college bills, living costs in summers and during the school year. I also paid taxes to the federal government on my earnings to help support it and everyone prospered, me the most because I learned how to work and be successful.

I suggest that the federal government and President Obama get out of the student loan business — and a lot of the other businesses they have entered into — and give back to the average American our freedom to be successful and work and learn on their own.
 
ALLAN WISE
Glade Park

Focus on negotiations instead of bringing peace to Afghanistan

One year after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, I’m concerned that our government is still pursuing the same failed war strategy in Afghanistan based on bringing peace through fighting and war.

As the United States and Afghanistan negotiate the terms of their relationship for the next decade, I would urge Congress and the president to abandon the failed war strategy in Afghanistan and focus on political negotiations that includes all parties to the conflict.

I hope that Rep. Tipton and Sens. Bennet and Udall will support an end to the war that takes this approach.

WAYNE FLICK
Grand Junction

Family of Kemp thankful for support despite outcome of trial

Even though the jury trial for Trooper Lawyer did not end in the way we had hoped, we did enjoy the city of Grand Junction while there. Everyone we ran into, whether grabbing a bite to eat at the City Market during breaks in the proceedings or enjoying the shops and artwork in the downtown area, were pleasant and helpful. 

We also appreciated the kind words and support, prayers and hearing their concerns regarding law enforcement in Colorado. The time and energy the 12 members of the jury put in listening to the testimony and deliberating on the case is much appreciated. We thought it was hard sitting in court, but none of us would have wanted to be them.

We may not have gotten the results we had hoped for, but Trooper Lawyer has to live with his decisions of that night, as we have to learn to live without our nephew and cousin.
 

And as Keith Kemp, Jason’s father, said, “You just keep plugging away.” We will eventually see Justice for Jason.

LEANNA FRANKLIN and
the aunts, uncles and nephews of Jason Kemp
Kewaunee, Wis.

Old Testament also support slavery, concubinage and stoning pagans

Sen. Renfro was quoted as saying: “Our founding fathers were very clear in what they said about morality and religion ... How would you define marriage differently except being between a man and a woman like our Constitution talks about?”

Let’s be very clear about the errors in this statement. The Constitution does not define marriage. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as the “legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” but DOMA is not the Constitution.

The founding fathers had divergent opinions on anything and everything, including what the document they had created meant. They are not clear, collectively or individually, about morality and religion.

After all these years of studying the founding era of the United States, I should cease to be surprised that politicians call on our American past to try to justify their positions. However, it will continue to bother me since, as the politicians do this very thing, they get the history wrong.

It shouldn’t surprise me since it matches the selective way politicians call on the Bible to justify their positions. I have also read the Bible.

Politicians say that they cannot support civil unions because they are Christian. These politicians go back to Old Testament passages that may (or may not) condemn homosexuality. Those same books in the Old Testament also support slavery, concubinage, and stoning pagans to death (one translation reads “with stones” which seems redundant). In choosing just to oppose civil unions, these senators use a very select reading to support their lack of acceptance of rights for gay and lesbian people. By using a very select reading, they are saying, “I am a Christian in this way when it suits my purpose. I am not a Christian in this other way because it does not suit my purpose.”

Can we now say slavery is wrong, and that the clothing and diet restrictions are no longer necessary? Can we disapprove of stoning to death people who practice other faiths and plural marriages for the Old Testament patriarchs? Or are all those other things that also appear in those same pages exceptions, but the lack of support for civil unions the rule?

SARAH SWEDBERG
Grand Junction



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