E-mail letters, Feb. 1, 2011

Let’s eliminate subsidies
for all forms of energy

Do two wrongs make something right?  How about adding a wrong to an existing wrong — does that make it right?  “No,” is the answer to either question and yet this is what Adele Israel advocates in her “Sustainability” column.

Adele responds to criticism that renewable energy cannot survive without subsidies by insisting that, since fossil fuel industries are subsidized, it’s only fair that renewable energy industries be subsidized. This is akin to saying in the 18th and 19th centuries that, since slavery exists in Europe and Africa, it should exist in North America. In either case the addition of a wrong does not make it right, although certainly, the slavery example is a far greater wrong.

A better way for Adele to level the playing field between fossil fuel industries and renewable energy industries is to call for the ending of all subsidies. Then watch the renewable energy industries flounder. Oops!

The truth is, renewable energy cannot compete on a level playing field with fossil fuel energy and that is why no one supporting renewables is calling for an elimination of all subsidies.  It is far easier for those advocating renewables to confuse the issue with calls for someone else’s money to fund something that the general public knows to be folly.  The best decisions regarding the viability of fossil fuel energy or renewable energy will be made by a market place devoid of subsidies. Let’s try it.
Rick L. Coleman
Grand Junction


Centralized authority is
crushing education system

As a concerned citizen watching a whole generation of kids enter society with woefully inadequate educations, I took great interest in The Daily Sentinel’s Jan. 30 editorial, “Choosing to Change Public Education.”

I noticed that the author asserted that, “Our system of local control allows for thousands of education laboratories around the country to experiment simultaneously with different educational ideas.” If only this statement were true! Unfortunately, it is not and it does us a disservice by conjuring a false image of the actual functionality of the system.

In reality, Colorado’s Legislature has delegated curriculum choice to district school boards, with certain stipulations from the State Board of Education, which then hands down their choices to the individual school administrations.

This means that amongst all 40 of District 51’s elementary, middle, and high schools, there are no curriculum differences. Does that sound like an incubator of diverse educational opportunity? How about diversity of thought and background? It sounds to me like the same one size fits all system that has created our educational deficit.

I also felt like the statement regarding “dedicated students with involved parents” having the ability to get a quality education within our broken educational apparatus is correct, but little more than stating the obvious: Good parents can ensure their kids get a good education. This attitude does little to move us out of the swamp of centralized authority that has crushed American economic and social dominance.
David L. Cox
Grand Junction

Why all the fuss
about exceptionalism?

The Feb. 1 column by Kathleen Parker about American “exceptionalism” is a topic that makes you wonder just what kind of people we are.

I was always thought that doing the right thing entitled me to be proud of my accomplishments.  If what I had done was meritorious or “exceptional”, that was for others to judge. Arrogance and bragging was unseemly.

I grew up in a time when you gained self-esteem by doing the right thing and were productive and got along well with others. The feeling was that if you had to brag about what you felt were accomplishments maybe it was because they weren’t really all that great in the eyes of others or maybe it was to obscure some things that weren’t very admirable.
Today it seems some feel a need to feel better than anybody else and even go to the extreme of relating the word to patriotism.

Until recently, we have led the world in economic terms and been the capital of materialism. We have freedoms not enjoyed by the majority of the inhabitants of the planet. We have had a remarkably democratic society, albeit still with different degrees of freedom based on economic and ethnic status. As a nation we have helped others in times of need, sometimes altruistically but often out of national security considerations.

So why the discussion about exceptionalism? Is it related to the obsession of the baby boomer generation and their progeny with self-esteem? There have been dominant nations and tribes throughout history. Is dominance synonymous with exceptionalism?

We have decided that an overwhelming number of characteristics of our nation have been “good” for us and far outweigh the “bad”. Is that really for us to determine and brag about? Do we have a national “self-esteem” problem? Or an insufficient introspection problem?
John Borgen
Grand Junction



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