E-mail letters, January 12, 2011

Mesa county deserves
officials who act like adults

Once again we find Commissioner Craig Meis in another act of childish behavior in his wish to taunt Commissioner Steve Acquafresca.

Is there no end to acts of self-serving and childish behavior this man will go to?  Are not the taxpayers of Mesa County entitled to three commissioners who all act like adults?  It would seem that we only have two out of the three.

But then I guess those of us who dislike Meis’s poor behavior, including The Daily Sentinel, are just picking on him. Or so he says.

I guess we are. We thought we were electing a responsible adult to that office. Since Meis does not have the good grace to resign with all that has come to light in the last few months about him, I for one would welcome a recall petition.
Richard Gerhardt

It’s time to discard
BCS football championship

This is an open letter to the BCS:
“If any man should call himself a champion, let him prove it in battle or on the field of game.” Imagine if that quote were altered to read “…let him prove it by poll or popularity or by mathematical regression equation.”
Once more, the BCS system has deprived devotees of college football the satisfaction of knowing who the champion really is. This is not to suggest that the Championship Bowl game was not thrilling or that it didn’t involve two extraordinary teams. Those facts are self-evident. But many fans are left wondering, as they have for several seasons: Who is truly No. 1?
At best, advocates can argue, “the data suggests, to a reasonable degree of statistical probability, it is_____¬¬¬¬¬___________” (fill in the blank with your favorite team). 
The outcome of regular season and bowl play this year has again demonstrated that the AQ Conferences should not be so automatic and that teams from the mid-major “Little sisters of the poor” conferences should be given a more equitable opportunity to compete for the title of “Champion.”
A playoff system is most straightforward way of addressing these issues. It would avoid the seemingly interminable layoff between regular and end-of-bowl season games for some teams, would reduce the number of meaningless, also-ran “bowl” games, would remedy the inequitable allocation of monetary resources to preferred conferences, and would promote a “last-man-standing” opportunity for one team to claim that they are, indeed, the best. The beneficiaries would include players, schools, conferences, and fans.
The BCS system, for its good intentions and its undeniable improvements from previous systems, has missed the mark of its creation. The system is flawed and should be discarded.
John Gustavson
Grand Junction

Arizona shooting doesn’t
justify losing our rights

It is hilarious to me to see the left scream about how violent, hateful speech somehow caused the shooting in Arizona. Just for the record, I don’t care.

I don’t buy the premise that I should lose more and more of my rights, on the chance that curtailing our God-given, constitutional right to speak our minds, will possibly keep violent people from being violent.

I don’t believe that anyone cares one whit about stopping this kind of thing. I believe that they are using this to gain more control of us. Odd how, when a Muslim shoots or tries to blow up a bunch of people, the same voices call for tolerance and calm. But, oh how the rhetoric changes when it is us.

As far as I am concerned, there is no reason or event sufficient to remove any of my rights (OK, the ones that are left). What happened in Arizona was terrible, and it should raise a lot of questions. But what about questions about the shooter and the fact that there was no security at the event.

As long as humans exist, these kind of things are going to happen.
Ralph Santos

Spehar’s arguments
not supported by facts

In his Jan. 11 column, Jim Spehar trots out a few of the predictable liberal talking points on the tragic shooting in Arizona last weekend.

He suggests the shooter may have been driven to this heinous act by a map drawn up by the Republicans in the last election showing rifle-scope crosshairs on various states. He fails to mention the fact that Democrats, in the 2004 elections, produced an almost identical map targeting various states. Any rational person realizes these are simply campaign maps targeting certain states for more intense campaigning.

He also would have us believe conservative radio talk shows poisoned the shooters mind and led him to violence. There is not one single shred of evidence to support this claim,
or that he ever even listened to talk radio. In fact, “Mein Kampf” and the “Communist Manifesto” were on his reading list, not really popular reading for a conservative.

Politicians and media people of all stripes describe politics in terms of war and violence. Politicians have “war chests”, for their “campaigns” in “battleground states.” President Obama said in 2008, “if they bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun” in terms of a political battle.

By all accounts, this shooter was a very disturbed, mentally ill person who was ready to explode at any time. Anything could have set him off. For Jim Spehar to try to politicize this tragedy is a good example of simplistic, shallow and lazy journalism. Hopefully he will take the higher road the next time.
David Foster
Grand Junction

People deserve to reap
what they pay to Social Security

This is in response to a recent letter writer who thinks that in order to save Social Security, payments should be made to only those who really need it.

Using the writer’s logic, let’s pretend that instead of forking over payments to the government all those work years, remembering that the more you make the more you fork over, you put your money in a savings account at the bank. So, years later, you retire and look forward to taking a nice trip with some of your hard-earned savings. You go to the bank to withdraw funds, but are told, “Sorry, you can’t have it. We have clients who need your money much more than you do.”

The writer also needs to be reminded that Social Security payments are already means- tested (Do you really need it?) at tax time, with those having investment and/or pension income having to give back as much as 25 percent of their Social Security income in taxes.

The system is a mess and there’s really no way to fix it that will be fair to everyone. If a bank had handled the Social Security savings trust the way the government has, some people would probably be going to jail.
Sue C. Hughey
Grand Junction

Hoefer and staff should
remain at Piñon Grill

Our luncheon group of 20 ladies has enjoyed the hospitality and cuisine of the Piñon Grill at Tiara Rado once a month for over four years. The food is appealing, the menu is adequate, the service is excellent, and the price is reasonable.

Steve Hoefer and his staff always make us feel welcome, even during very busy golfing days. We often stay and chat an extra hour after lunch. Many of us go there for lunch on our own and with other friends.

We hope that Hoefer and his staff will continue to provide food service at the Piñon Grill.

Mary Beggs
and 12 others

Sometimes, finding fault
is entirely justified

In the Jan. 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel, in the “Student of the Week” article, an uncle passed on this “best advice” to his nephew: “Find fault with no one. Get over the thought of condemning people and things. People and things are all right. Let them alone and enjoy life.”

While this uncle may be a fine, caring person, one would find it hard to believe that he has never, in the course of his life, found fault with anyone and never seen situations in life worthy of condemnation. History is replete with examples showing the folly of such thinking.

Neville Chamberlain hesitated to “find fault” with Hitler. Many in the German church found no fault with him. Even many Jews were slow to admit the rising horror.

Is there no fault to be found with persons and things such as 9/11, genocide, child and spousal abuse, financial shenanigans that cause economic meltdowns, the pornification of our children, and society generally, through a pop culture that shows contempt for the very moral and social fabric that makes for a healthy society?

Would the uncle’s advice be comforting to the families of victims in the recent massacre in Phoenix?  Should the innocents in Mexican towns, caught in the crossfire of drug cartels, smile and say, “Well, people and things are all right”?  Should we simply “enjoy life” in a society where the meaning of marriage and the sanctity of life are under constant attack?

Perhaps the uncle simply meant to encourage his nephew not to be a self-righteous prig, always looking to find fault with others, and never seeing the good in them. After all, Jesus reminded His followers to “get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see more clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Too often, however, some have misused and abused this teaching as an excuse for passivity in the face of injustices and cruelties that wreak havoc in home, community, and world.

Frankly, nothing pleases the spirit of tyranny and evil more than to be “let alone” and accepted into the mainstream of life. Or, as Psalm 12 puts it, “Wickedness freely struts about when what is vile is honored among men
Bill Forbes



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