E-mail letters, April 7, 2010

It’s not jingoism
to defend our country

I would like to remind the young people Dennis Herzog mentioned in his column recently, that their idealism is lacking some facts about our history regarding our supposed jingoism when we defend ourselves from aggression.

Ideally, in a perfect world, it would be nice to be appeasers and put our heads in the proverbial sand and mind our own business while people in the rest of the world blow themselves to smithereens. But, when there are radicals trying to destroy our country —whether they be foreign or domestic terrorists — well, to quote from a movie: “Miyagi don’t like fight but, if have fight, win.”

I think it appropo to our fight against enemies, foreign or domestic, as the soldier’s pledge adequately declares. Our country’s history shows our leaders did not want to engage in the beginning of World War II but, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor to paraphrase a quote from a Japanese general, I am afraid they awakened a sleeping giant.

We are fighting an enemy that will keep coming at us. Defending our borders is not jingoistic. It’s prudent. Tea partiers are not racist or jingoistic, we are patriots.
Rafael A. Trujillo

Grand Junction

Congratulations due
to local Census folks

Gary Harmon’s timely April 6 report, “County leads state, U.S. in census response,” affords an appropriate opportunity to give credit where credit is due (even if a bit premature).

First, congratulations are in order to Partnership Specialist Brian Meinhart, who, along with his stimulus-funded partnership assistants (including former Grand Junction Mayor Cindy Enos-Martinez) — has been diligently preparing the ground for a successful Census 2010 on the Western Slope since January 2009.

Second, kudos are in order for the combined Mesa County-Grand Junction “Complete Count Committee,” which — like similar committees in Montrose, Craig, and elsewhere — actively contributed to positive media relations and apparent operational success Kudos also to the local elected officials (including Grand Junction Mayor Bruce Hill, Mesa County Commissioner Craig Meis, and Craig City Councilman Ray Beck) who supported them.

Third, credit must be given to the Grand Junction local Census office, whose managers — despite inopportune leadership changes — have thus far successfully overcome every obstacle (including persistent computer difficulties and adverse weather conditions).

Meanwhile, the Census Bureau has reported to Sen. Michael Bennet’s office that the software problems that prevented the hiring of at least 300 Grand Junction residents in February — and resulted in the aforementioned management changes — have since been corrected.
Even if true, that news offers little consolation to those who were not hired (or to those of us who were fired)!

Locally, the next “event” is the “March to the Mail Box” this Saturday.
Nationally, the real test is “Non-Response Follow-Up” beginning May 1, wherein Census workers will be contacting the 37-plus percent of our fellow-citizens who have not yet returned their Census questionnaires by then.

Hopefully, with so much federal funding to local governments dependent on complete and accurate population data, Mesa County and the entire Western Slope will continue to lead the nation in response rate.

Bill Hugenberg                                          
Grand Junction

County piles on debt
without voter approval

The decision by Mesa County to put taxpayers further into debt without an election is yet another example of the arrogance displayed almost universally by elected officials. It makes no difference if they are Democrat or Republican. Once they get into office, they believe they obtain the wisdom to make decisions that the citizens clearly have reserved for themselves.

The commissioners are two-faced. In the abstract, they go on and on about how much they have always supported the TABOR Amendment. But when they have a chance to show support for what TABOR says, they let high-priced lawyers from Denver figure a way to wiggle out of an election.

The local press is almost as big of a problem as the all-knowing elected officials. Few people know or understand the issue. Yet millions and millions of public debt, not approved by a vote of the people, has been heaped on our children in recent years. And the concept is snowballing. The Daily Sentinel and others have unfortunately chosen to treat this as a non-issue.
Dennis Simpson
Grand Junction

Cut taxes in order
to raise revenues

Democrats, and RINO Republicans must never have taken basic economics. Raising taxes has never, ever, in the history of any country, resulted in more tax revenue for the government.
Raising taxes always lowers tax revenues. It also hurts the economy. When people have less money in their pockets, they spend less, thus resulting in lower sales tax revenue.
Business taxes suffer as a result of the businesses making less due to people not buying stuff. The businesses then can’t afford, or need, as many employees so people lose their jobs. That then results in even more people without money who aren’t buying stuff. Wealthy people buy cheaper homes, and more people rent rather than buy.
Both cases result in less property tax. Less property tax means less revenue for basic local services such police and fire. People drive less and buy less gas, resulting in lower gas taxes, which means less money for roads and transportation projects. The list goes on and on.
History shows, most recently under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, that tax cuts always result in higher tax revenues for the government and a more prosperous economy. The point? Do the math — lower taxes means more money.
Jeremiah Habecker
Grand Junction

Hickenlooper and Democrats
pander for gas-industry funds

I much agree with the sentiments expressed in Bill Grant’s column, “Will Hickenlooper represent entire state or be a shill for big energy?”

Hickenlooper is pandering to the gas industry for political reasons. He probably is seeking their financial support, as well as hoping that they will not heavily support the opposition in the upcoming election. So, will big gas industry money trump the public interest in Colorado this fall election?

Does Hickenlooper really support the position that the gas industry should be permitted to drill everywhere without limits, regardless of impacts on human welfare and the environment?

Or is this the now-familiar Democratic Party strategy of surrender, then negotiate? The premature abandonment of a principled position encourages the opposition to demand still further concessions.

Let’s hope that Western Slope people still so adversely affected by natural gas extraction practices will not be totally left out of the election calculations of the Democratic Party this fall.
Robert Warehime
Battlement Mesa


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