E-mail letters, Jan. 31, 2011

‘Business as usual’
usually favors Dems

In his Jan. 30 commentary, Denny Herzog expresses his concern that Rep. Scott Tipton is simply going to continue with “business as usual, just from the right side instead of the left.” Herzog fears that Tipton will stick to the right, just like his predecessor, John Salazar stuck to the left.

Perhaps it’s just my conservative bias, but my observation of political business as usual is as follows: When the Democrats are in power, they run roughshod over the Republicans and govern against the will of our mostly conservation nation. And when the Republicans are in power they cave in to the will of the minority Democrats and step
from the right-wing box to the left-wing box with RINO regularity.

I don’t hear much condemnation of partisanship when the Democrats are forcing liberalism on us. But when the Republicans are in charge, partisanship is a terrible evil that must be avoided by allowing the Democrats to force liberalism on us.

Maybe I’m wrong, but if Herzog’s version of business as usual were accurate, there would be no grassroots Tea Party Revolution. If the tea party can help Scott Tipton be what Herzog calls “a right-wing version of John Salazar” we could avoid the frustration of business as usual.
Gary Yeager
Grand Junction

City’s acts worrisome
regarding private industry

We are very concerned the way that the city of Grand Junction is conducting business lately.

City Council members made the unilateral decision to have the fire department handle the ambulance business in town. Then, after they purchased numerous ambulances
and trained personnel, they decide to put the ambulance service out for bids.

What is going to happen to the ambulances and personnel if a private company wins the bid? This seems like a big waste of taxpayers’ money if a private company gets the bid. The city wanted to extend its control over our lives and now, for some unknown reason, the council has decided to have the city government act like it is supposed to act and possibly let private industry handle business it was designed to handle.

The same situation is occurring with the food-service program at both city golf courses. City officials want the city to handle what private industry was doing and doing very well.

We would like to ask the city to think ahead a little bit ,consider the long-term effects of its actions and also how long the city wants to do private industry’s job.
Bob and Mary Kline
Grand Junction

Real civility needed
to tackle tough problems

Is expecting the character of public debate to become more civil in this country a pipe dream or a possibility? The vicious character of public discourse certainly provides a smokescreen that enables us to avoid the need to work together in a time when we are confronted with mammoth issues that have no easy answers. Is it easier to focus on the rhetoric than the issues?

Truth is that if we can ratchet down the tone of our public discourse from neighborhood meetings and homeowner associations to Congress, we will be more likely to get things done and experience a more “perfect union” in the process.

Civil conversation is a problem in our country today, as is remaining civil while conversing. Morris West, Pulizer Prize-winning novelist, describes the nub of the problem:

“I have learned … that language is a two-edged weapon. It can be used as freely in the service of tyranny as of liberty. It can be used to elevate and to debase, to tell a truth or promote a lie.

“However, the argument goes much further. In a civilized society, error must be expressed as freely as truth, else how shall we distinguish one from the other? Liberty must be defended in flawed cases. Justice must be dispensed to those who seem least to merit it. The rights of the shabbiest persons must be those most strongly defended.

“We must never forget that tyranny begins by a deliberate diminishment of dignity. The political prisoner is stripped before the interrogators. The function of the torturer is not only to hurt but to debase. The function of the propagandist is to create scapegoats by caricature.”

We are in a time when meaningful problem-centered exchange is desperately needed. Anything short of this extends the problems we face for future generations to tackle. Is this what we want? Are we about the process of “spending our children’s inheritance” as the RV sticker proclaims, or do we care enough for future generations not to “spend” precious time bickering and pointing fingers but tackling the real problems (and I don’t mean “spending or not spending”) that cast a pall over the path ahead.
Allen Simons

Free-market policies
have been disastrous

A syndicated writer and others make the assumption that reducing union wages and benefits and outsourcing jobs to $ 4 per day foreign laborers creates wealth for U.S. businesses so that they can create more jobs and wealth down the road. This is akin to saying if the American South could have maintained its black slavery culture think of all the new riverboats and plantation mansions that could have been built with more slave jobs later.
The writer also lauded the fact that cheap-labor goods make them affordable to low-income Americans. I guess the writer misses the fact that the American workers’ consumption is propagating their own demise — sort of like an animal chewing on its own legs because it doesn’t have enough to eat and then dies because it can’t walk to find food, anymore.
Supply-side and free-market economic philosophies need to be thrown in the trash can. The former has been aptly called “voodoo economics.” Can you imagine the calamity for organized football in the U.S. if a “free game” policy was adopted by eliminating the referees?

We just came through a multi-year period with these two bogus philosophies.  They produced astronomical income growth for the richest Americans and record-breaking corporate profits for some industries. Yet they fostered economic collapse, left 26 million Americans unemployed or underemployed. About 43 million now below poverty level and eating via food stamps or soup kitchens

Personal greed doesn’t have inherent reciprocity. The federal government has to step in with taxes, regulatory institutions or policies to provide justice and a safety net to the oppressed. The supply-siders and free-marketers don’t seem to realize that this counterbalancing is the historical under-pinning that has given our currency, economy and country its stature and stability.

If politicians continue to cave in to the anti-government, anti-tax, anti-labor crowds, our federal deficit will actually grow, our infrastructures will crumble, our working classes may become violently disruptive and world investors will flee America. The result will be a catastrophic plunge for our society with the wealthiest taking the biggest fall
Joel Prudhomme
Grand Junction

We are wimps for not
standing up to groups

We are going to lose everything and gain nothing by catering to minority groups that keep trying to alter the country most of us love.

We are absolute wimps to allow atheists, etc., to infiltrate and belittle Christian traditions that are the root of our success. We are political wimps to keep electing the “good ol’ boys.” We are wimps for not upholding our own laws. We are really lazy wimps for not fighting excessive taxation and the overgrowth of government. We are apathetic wimps for tolerating the garbage on our TV screens and movie theaters.

We are stupid wimps for not strengthening our military and leaving borders unsecured.  We are also wimps when it comes to challenging the de-education of our children in public ( government) schools.

How much further down do we have to go before standing up and declaring “Enough is enough!” and then do something about it?
Carol Abbott

Many locals contributed
to Aspen Dance showcase

On behalf of the Aspen Dance Connection, I would like to thank the sponsors and audience for supporting this years’ annual showcase, “PORTALS,” that took place at Moss Performing Arts Center, Jan. 14-15.

We could not have done it with out grants from the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture and Colorado Creative Industries, formerly Colorado Council on the Arts. Acknowledgement by the Grand Junction Commission on Arts and Culture lets the community know that the Aspen Dance Connection presents the highest quality dance
created in Colorado.

We would also like to thank those who housed and fed our dancers and all of the dance studios that brought their students to the two Master Classes in Jazz and Hip Hop.

Grand Junction has become a regional hub for the Aspen Dance Connections’ annual statewide showcase and master classes. People come from Telluride, Montrose, Rifle and Glenwood Springs. The first years’ master classes had 11 and 18 students. There were 23 and 25 per class the second year, and this year there were 45 and 63 students.

Students and performers are inspired by new choreography we present and the opportunity to interact with professionals from all over the state.

We are very pleased that so many Grand Junction choreographers won a place in our showcase. They truly did it on their own merit. We look forward to continuing to bring the best Colorado dance to Grand Junction.
Fran Page
Artistic/Executive Director
Aspen Dance Connection

Fruita Farmers Market
will go strong this year

In order to clear up any misconceptions, the Saturday Fruita Farmers Market will continue this year with some very positive additions. Examples include
early season produce, added vendors who compliment existing vendors, educational events on gardening and lawn care, bakery items, honey, meat
producers, flowers, pottery and other artesian participation. And we are encouraging small gardeners with surplus to participate

The Farmers Market will have extended hours from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. Breakfast and lunch vendors are being recruited with the hope Fruita restaurants will
participate. The location is on the lawn in front of the Civic Center. The city of Fruita is in full support and has committed additional financial
support for promotion and management.

The Fruita Chamber of Commerce has been approached to become a partner with the city and we are optimistic a working arrangement can be finalized. In the
meantime Farmers Market applications can be picked up at the city of Fruita front desk. Vendor fees will remain the same as last year.

In addition, we are planning a community garden, plus the addition of flowers in the downtown planters and in the Kokepelli Business Center. We need gardeners
with ideas and help so if you would like to participate please call. I can be reached at 858-9486 or 260-4080 or you can contact the city at 858-3663.
Ken Henry, Mayor
City of Fruita


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