E-mail letters, Aug 6, 2010

Individual mandate gives
Congress unlimited power

The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 5 editorial, “A Mandate for High Court Action,” regarding the individual mandate in the health care law, made a strong case that the Supreme Court take up the issue as soon as possible because of the serious effects the mandate will have on all Americans.

We completely agree with the assertion that the mandate is at the very heart of the health care legislation and, in order for our country to move forward with health care reform, the Supreme Court must address whether or not the mandate is constitutional.

If the courts hold the mandate to be constitutional, it would be an unprecedented amount of power given to Congress. If Congress can force individuals to purchase health insurance, what’s to stop them from forcing us to buy any other product? Do we really want the federal government to have this much power over our individual lives and decisions? Giving the federal government this much control is simply not in the best interest of our nation.

This is the reason why 20 states including Colorado, and the National Federation of Independent Business, which represents approximately 350,000 small businesses, filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare law.

We’re hopeful, on behalf of small business and all Americans, that our case will get to the U.S. Supreme Court swiftly and that the justices will agree that the individual mandate is a gross violation of our constitutional rights.
Karen Harned
Executive Director
NFIB Small Business Legal Center
Washington, D.C.

Look at Arizona law
from fresh perspective

For all the fair-skinned people out there who think profiling wouldn’t be a problem with the new Arizona immigration law, try changing the “profile” to a perspective that many here in Colorado seem to be deathly afraid of.
Hypothetically, what if a law were passed to crack down on right-wing militias and that said “anyone who owns a gun would create enough suspicion to warrant arresting any gun owner until the legality of that possession could be checked out.”  Now that would create protests regarding profiling.  And yes, I know these groups aren’t illegal.  This is hypothetical.
A long time ago, I had a teacher who said being able to argue for both sides of an issue creates the best debate.

American employers have always wanted the cheapest labor, beginning with slavery and indentured employment, then moving into Irish, Italian, Jewish, Chinese and Mexican immigrants. (One can marvel that American Indians have usually been walked away from any type of slavery or servitude.)

Then unions came along and better working conditions.  During the 1950s, it was shameful that American migrant labor prevented child an American citizens to migrate around the country working as farm laborers.  And Americans wanted more money, so Mexican labor was encouraged.
Now, it’s shameful for an American citizen to not have a college degree and the lowest American citizen must earn at least $20 per hour, but much of corporate America doesn’t agree with that attitude, which is why we have illegal immigration.  They aren’t taking our jobs.  We’re just too spoiled and pampered and corporate America is still living the 18th century dream.  The old Pogo quote rises again:  “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Eileen O’Toole
Grand Junction

Harmon is hardly unbiased
when it comes to climate change

One assumes that a reporter tries to be as accurate and unbiased as he can. Gary Harmon has failed in that regard in his repetitive rants against man-made climate change. While these rants occur in Harmon’s opinion column, it’s not clear that every reader will distinguish these very biased beliefson Harmon’s part from his news reporting, which appears to be generally

Harmon has no idea whether society contributes to climate change or not. Neither do I, nor does almost everyone else the average person is likely to discuss the issue with. The global climate is an extremely complex technical subject. Only those who make climate their primary subject of study and spend many hours examining the relevant questions have meaningful opinions. Roughly 90 percent of these experts believe that human activity makes a significant contribution to changes such as the melting of the polar ice caps and receding glaciers.

The simplest evidence that people might be causing the average global temperature to rise is the steady increase in temperature which began with the industrial revolution. Although changes have been gradual so far, the lurking danger are the methane clathrates frozen at the bottom of the ocean. These are same compounds which froze in the cap vent of one of the early attempts to stop the BP oil disaster. There are large quantities of these clathrates frozen on the floors of the ocean. If the ocean temperature rises enough to release the methane into the atmosphere there would likely be widespread species extinction.

The cautious, conservative, approach is to assume that human activity is significantly contributing to climate change and take appropriate steps to reduce our carbon footprint. I’ve always had the impression that Harmon was a conservative, but his comments on climate change are not.
Jack Kingsley
Grand Junction


Postal Service is competive
in most aspects of business

What was the point of the imaginary scenario in The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 6 editorial about the Postal Service? It said: “Imagine a private business owner who said: “My competition is offering a service that is better than mine in many ways, is certainly faster, and customers seem to prefer it.
I’m losing business, so I’ll raise my rates. That should fix everything.”

The facts are that the Postal Service provides services in the competitive markets with double-digit growth because its service is faster, reliable, secure and in many cases less expensive. Don’t confuse the services we support. Our losses are in supporting universal service in letters. Our
competitive markets are with UPS, Fed Ex and — surprise!— newspapers.

Your poetic freedom as an editor is valid, but you have a societal obligation to write responsibly. That scenario has no value but to incite the illusion of inept management of the Postal Service. As a newspaper operator and a competitor of the Postal Service for advertising revenue, it would be respectful as private business owner to play fair, recuse yourself and not use your medium as a bully pulpit.
Randy Root
Sterling, Va.


Social Security problems are
‘Republican misinformation’

Republican misinformation, backed by the largest media in an apparent attempt
to appear unbiased, has again resulted in false news. This paper, if it wishes to be balanced in coverage, needs fewer conservative columns and more progressive columns such as today’s NYT Paul Krugman article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/06/opinion/06krugman.html?_r=1&hp;

The Aug. 6 edition of The Daily Sentinel has a headline proclaiming Social Security to be a serious
problem. Anyone who reads Krugman understands how misleading this information is, yet it’s there inflaming an already angry public.

Krugman deals in facts, not innuendo, and has over the years been proved more accurate in his predictions and assessments than most economists and all conservative opinion writers.
Charles Ashley
Grand Junction


Judge’s sexual orientation
was not a factor in case

The Daily Sentinel’s Aug. 6 editorial was the most ridiculous piece of commentary I have read in recent memory.

Judges are just that. They are elected or appointed to judge an issue of law. Using the editorial’s reasoning a judge who is an avid sports fan should not judge a case about anti-trust, a heterosexual judge should not judge cases of divorce, A black, Hispanic or any other minority judge should not decide cases about discrimination, etc.

The fact that the proponents of Proposition 8 had no objection to Judge Walker’s assignment says a lot about them, and him. After reading the editorial I came away with the impression there was a lot of homophobic reasoning at work in the composing of this opinion.
Al Amirault

Closing auto dealerships
was a definite mistake

A recent report by Troubled Asset Relief Program   Special Inspector General Barofsky (appointed by the Obama administration) has been virtually ignored by the major media. That report dealt with the administration’s decision to force GM and Chrysler to close 2,000 dealerships.
Closing those 2,000 dealerships cost an estimated 100,000 people their jobs during this recession. The closures were made despite GM’s assertion that closing dealerships would not save the manufacturer one cent and could, in fact, cause the loss of customer loyalty and sales, especially in rural America, where potential buyers would have to drive to areas with more brands available.
The report also found that the decisions about which dealerships to retain were based on three factors: They were recent appointments, key wholesale parts dealers or minority — or woman-owned dealerships. So many dealerships in rural areas, where those businesses supported small economies and local organizations, were closed simply because they were owned by white men.
That decision yanked the Dodge dealership from Hellman Motors in Delta. We bought our last pickup, a Dodge, there. I will not buy another Dodge because I now have to go to Grand Junction for Dodge service.
Our next vehicles will be Fords. Ford did not take bailout money and it offers local service. GM (Government Motors — the administration now selects its CEO and board members) and Chrysler have lost my business because Obama, using racial and gender preferences, caused profitable dealerships to be closed.
Angie Many



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