E-mail letters, April 13, 2011

April 10 ‘Commentary’
section was a good read

Bob “Silvernail” (aka Silbernagel) and staff provided an excellent Commentary section in the April 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel. The editorials were spot on. The columns were all great, including the Civil War history and Denny Herzog’s, who is definitely not one of my favorite columnists. 
However he was defended by letter writer Vera Mulder for his earlier penning of “what he feels are true points about Palin.” I guess that includes the juvenile, fifth-grade playground taunt that Palin is “not bright enough to spell cat, even if spotted the c and the a.”  Well, as long as he believes that, it’s OK.
And thank you, thank you for allowing Gary Harmon to return, even if only for an annual column.  We all, in my age group anyway, have faced that fateful offspring milestone of 18 years of age and the angst that accompanies it.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction

Study of poor conservatives
appears extremely biased

Bonnie Erbe’s column on Richard Florida’s thesis proving blue-collar whites are driving conservatism exposes his bias. Any poll, computer model or experiment can achieve the required results.

In California, I knew poor white Democrats. Here I know white, lower-middle-class uneducated Democrats who believe unions and “free” health care improve their lot; but also educated Republican “creative types” who comprehend leftist ideology and foresee its end result.

Thousands of programs costing billions, an increasingly progressive tax code, entitlements, health care, unions and business regulation strangle GDP. After two generations, wages stagnate, inflation rises and youngsters grow up with it, being used to a lower standard. We’ve seen the beginnings of
socialism and its inevitable end. We don’t learn.

Religious whites with no college see why the Constitution gives states powers to govern themselves while the federal government is to give us a military, judicial system, interstate commerce protection and unified patent protection.

The blue states cited by author Florida have “creative types,” leaning less religious, and educated countries have seen religiosity decline. He says religion makes people afraid of change and
fear an unstable economy and the world at large. I don’t know fearful Christians, just charitable ones who can differentiate the bad changes.

Florida next says “this ideological state of affairs advantages the policy preferences of poorer, less innovative states over wealthier, more innovative and productive ones.” Wait, where’s the white factor? Consider Oakland, L.A. or the solvency of Nebraska.

Florida concludes: “American politics is increasingly disconnected from its economic engine. And this deepening political divide has become perhaps the biggest bottleneck on the road to long-run prosperity.”

Poor Florida sees no prosperity without politicians engineering free-market capitalism.
Gordon Nielsen
Grand Junction

Grant regurgitates Dem
talking points on Ryan plan

Bill Grant’s April 12 column regarding Rep. Scott Tipton’s support of the 2012 Paul Ryan / Republican budget plan is classic left-wing rhetoric that once again flies over basic facts in favor of political theater.

In 2010, the federal deficit was $1.3 trillion, adding approximately $3.5 billion per day to the national debt. (In other words, the “record-setting” budget cuts announced last week “saved” a few days of
debt growth).

I encourage everyone to watch Ryan’s 3-minute “Path to Prosperity” video (Google “Paul Ryan Path to Prosperity”) and read the plan. Far from the Democrats’ talking points Bill Grant so willingly
regurgitates, the plan is a sensible path toward fiscal sustainability. $6.2 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years may sound like a lot, but in the face of trillion-dollar budget deficits sitting on top of a $14 trillion national debt, the plan is a reasonable step in the right direction.

Our nation’s credit card is maxed out. Representatives, including Scott Tipton, who take the challenge on to fix it will make our nation’s future brighter and will be rewarded with our votes, despite the fear-mongering of Nancy Pelosi, the “cut-nothing-or-everyone-will-starve” Democratic
leadership and members of their communications department in the media.
Alex Chaffetz
Grand Junction

Both sides inconsistent
on value of human life

Generally, people on the political left in our country oppose capital punishment but support abortion, while people on the political right oppose abortion but support capital punishment. Isn’t there an incongruity within each of these positions?

A more consistent argument can be made for a right or left political posture if it begins at the same place: Consider the value of a human life.
If the life of an individual human isn’t really too important, then abortion is acceptable, capital punishment is just recompense, euthanasia and assisted suicide — in the interest of dying with dignity — are viewed as quite satisfactory.

If one embraces the sanctity of human life, an argument can be made for respecting life from its beginning at conception through to its natural end. That means no capital punishment or assisted suicide. Rather than order execution of a defendant, juries could only impose imprisonment for life
without parole. The horror of a conviction error could be reversed. (The constitutional powers of executive commutation and pardon would, of course, remain possible.)

Perhaps the only justifiable taking of a human life would be in defense of family or self.

Consider the rationality in this contentious and ongoing argument if political persuasions first define how they value human life, and then carry on a debate consistent with that value.
Alan Metcalfe

Old radios are still needed
for local law enforcement

Recent reports in The Daily Sentinel and other Grand Junction media outlets, regarding the acquisition of funding for new radios for several Grand Valley fire departments, contain misleading and inaccurate information.

Contrary to reported statements that “The Federal Communications Commission has mandated all agencies switch to (the 800 Megahertz) bandwidth by 2012”, there is no such mandate. The FCC is requiring agencies using the VHF and UHF frequency bands to re-configure both their operating licenses and equipment so that they can be used with less space between channels. This is known as “narrowbanding.”

Ironically, it is those rural fire districts that are benefiting from this latest funding that will also have the greatest need to maintain their existing VHF radios. In most wildland fire scenarios on or near public lands, VHF radio represents one of the most important communications links between local fire responders and the vast, specialized resources of the federal interagency fire system. This federal government resource is not making the same wholesale transition that the local agencies are, and it is these “older” frequencies that will provide more interoperability in these situations.

Those administering Mesa County’s public safety radio system may be choosing to abandon these older frequencies in favor of the 800 Megahertz bandwidth, but a significant number of public safety agencies in Colorado that have made this same transition have also chosen to re-license their old VHF frequencies for narrowband use. While the new system is certainly an improvement for day-to-day operations, reports in the media of the demise of these workhorse legacy systems have been highly exaggerated. Response agencies that remain versatile and prepared will reap the benefits when the most extreme circumstances present themselves, as will the citizens they serve.
John L. Linko
Leetsdale, Pa.




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