E-mail letters, Aug 10, 2010

Proposition 8 was invalid
no matter who sat as judge

The Daily Sentinel’s editorial asserting that Judge Walker should have disqualified himself from ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 is based on a misunderstanding of the relevant legal standards.  If such vague, generalized suspicions of bias were enough to disqualify a judge, no black judge could decide a civil rights case, no Christian judge could decide a case concerning the separation of church and state, and no female judge could consider cases concerning sex discrimination.
Beyond that, heterosexual judges would be equally susceptible to suspicions of bias.  Heterosexuals are currently unjustly enriched because, while gay men and lesbians are taxed at the same rate, they are not eligible for the hundreds of economic benefits contingent on marriage. In addition, opponents of gay marriage have argued that allowing homosexuals to marry would reduce the prestige or value of the institution of marriage. Many heterosexuals clearly felt that that they have as much to lose if Proposition 8 was invalidated as gay people had to gain.
Perhaps The Daily Sentinel could contribute more to the debate over gay marriage if it tried to dispel the absurd idea that if we remove the social stigma and economic penalties from being homosexual, then large numbers of people who are now presumed to be heterosexual will seek same-sex relationships.

Denying gay people the right to marry is both punitive and pointless, and it was Proposition 8’s lack of any reasonable connection to a valid state objective that would have required any judge with integrity to invalidate it.
Irene May
Grand Junction


How did we lose the values
our nation was founded upon?

I was wondering why Colorado Day, which is the first Monday in August, was never mentioned in The Daily Sentinel. Also, Beetle Bailey was the only place in the Sunday paper that mentioned the surrender of Japan.

Why are these patriotic holidays so forgotten? This is why I can write a letter to the editor and why you can publish a paper. Our fallen soldiers earned us this freedom.

While I am on my soap box, I think all people who run for office of any kind, from small town to county to state to federal office, should have to read the forming of our Constitution to remember what our great country, the USA, was founded on — mainly hard work, little pay, honesty and good morals.

Where did we lose this?
Su Dodge
Olathe


With true impartiality,
judges’ orientation won’t matter

Regarding The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 6 editorial arguing that Judge Vaughn Walker should have recused himself from the Proposition 8 case in California because he is gay and the case is a “bellwether case involving gay rights,” I am confused as to the reasoning behind the call for recusal.

The editorial’s presumption of impropriety is itself an example of the kind of social and legal inequality such cases attempt to redress. If a judge cannot hear a case due to his or her sexual orientation, do not heterosexual judges have similar vested interests, and should not these jurists also recuse themselves?

The assumption that one’s sexual orientation negates one’s ability to rule impartially makes no more sense than arguing that a black or Asian or Hispanic judge should recuse himself from hearing a case involving racial issues, or that a woman should not hear a case about abortion law.

When we truly have impartiality in the justice system, we won’t be asking ourselves whether the jurist is gay or not gay, but whether the decision itself is constitutionally sound.
Maureen Neal
Grand Junction

Political change won’t come
from inside party system

Now that the primary elections have come to a close, I find myself not a Democrat, Republican or “Tea Partier,” but rather a political agnostic.

While there are some things to believe, there is much more to doubt. It is believed that the ruling parties have created a dysfunctional system in which governance has become impossible, in which representation of the voter is not achievable, and created solely for the purpose of self-perpetuation and self-enrichment.

While much is said about what our forefathers intended, many people seem to overlook the obvious. I doubt that our forefathers intended for: 1) Campaigns to be funded with millions in potentially anonymous contributions; 2) The creation of a permanent political class to replace those “citizen statesmen” who serve a term or two and then return to the private sector; 3) Campaigns that begin one year into a four-year term, and 4) The current lobbyist system which corrupts an already morally bankrupt system.

I do believe that true change and adjustment will not come from a member of either of the major parties; the fact that they are members of such makes them an immediate insider upon election.

I do pray for term limits, public funding of campaigns, a return to ethical conduct, limited campaigning and the rise of a new class of citizen statesmen who serve for the good of their nation, not their personal betterment or the good of cronies.
Jim Hoffman
Grand Junction

 

Columnist offers important
view of medical marijuana

I would like to both thank and congratulate Penny Stine for her thoughtful and courageous column on the dangers of unchecked proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries. Penny made some excellent points, backed by both personal experience and scientific research, about why society at large and, more importantly, our elected city and county officials need to seriously regulate and restrict access to medical marijuana. 
Penny is not advocating for blanket removal of all dispensaries. She is rightfully advocating that if medical marijuana is truly deserving of the name it should be subject to the same requirements that all other potent “painkillers” are subject to, not the least of which is acquiring it through a legitimate prescription from a legitimate doctor through a legitimate pharmacy.
I hope that any parents who think their child has already or may have the potential to experiment with marijuana (and let’s face it, that’s pretty much every child out there) will clip her column and give it to their child to read. That’s what I did. And I ask our city council and county commissioners to listen to people like Penny — she has another side of the story to tell.
Lynn Lickers
Grand Junction


Taxpayers shouldn’t pay
to send cleric to Mideast

Have the people in our State Department lost their minds? They plan to pay the expenses with our money to send a cleric to the Mideast to raise money to build the mosque in New York City that no one wants?
I expect every member of Congress to strongly object for this improper use of tax payer’s money.
I am waiting for a response from Sen. Michael Bennet, as I have e mailed him, called his Washington office and his Grand Junction office expressing my objection to this use of tax money.
Dave E. Brown
Grand Junction


We have hundreds of new laws
that law-breakers will ignore

There are 165 more laws for Coloradans. Wow, wouldn’t it be nice if we could enforce
the laws that already exist in our state and nation. More laws for the law-abiding citizen, which, ironically, don’t affect those who feel the law does not apply to them.

We can apply this to illegal immigration, which by the way, is not just Mexicans. Working in Miami you find Hatian and Cuban illegals. Working in Boston you find illegal Scotts, Irish, and Englishmen, and working in Aspen, you find illegal Australians, and New Zealanders. If you go to the West you have the illegal Asian population. Add all of those people up and we have a disaster fiscally.

More laws for the people who are habitual DUI drivers, killing people with a rolling two- ton gun. Hey, we have stricter laws for those AFTER they kill someone.

Don’t get me wrong, laws that use common sense are great. Yes we need consumer protection. It took long enough for that. We need laws to protect people from themselves. Sat belts is a good one. I agree that is makes sense we use them, we don’t need people ejecting from vehicles after they lose control from speeding while the roads are icy. It
creates another accident!

I am sorry, it would just be nice to see our national and state leaders enforce the laws we already have and actually convict the people who seem to be habitual and don’t contribute to a working society. I really could care less about their feelings, the needs of
the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Mike Parker
Fruita


What leader has guts
to halt Ground Zero mosque?

In what way does the intention to build a mosque at the site of the 9/11 attack differ from, say, sympathizers of the original Nazi Party attempting to build a beer hall at Auschwiz? In either case, the motivation would be identical: Representatives of the perpetrators wish to erect a shrine to the everlasting insult of their victims.

By what twist of mind does approval of zoning for this mosque ever become even a remote possibility? Is the American concept of tolerance so mindlessly myopic that it cannot see through radical Islam’s patently transparent agenda? Or is it just that the
media coverage of the issue has so compounded confusion as to prevent those with the power to deny the zoning the will to act?

These questions are not directed solely towards the citizens of New York City. To the contrary, NYC just happens to be the point at which this nation was attacked and as such the resolution of the issue is of national concern.

I suggest the next American hero truly worthy of the appellation will be that man, woman or group who has the position to influence the outcome of the question and the guts to prevent this insult from becoming a reality — politics, political correctness, blind and moronic tolerance be damned.
Bobby Johnson,
Parachute, CO

 

 



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