E-mail letters, January 24, 2011

Gessler should be
applauded for initiative

The Daily Sentinel sure likes to pick on some people whenever possible, such as new Secretary of State Scott Gessler.

A front-page headline above the fold on Jan. 22 announced that Gessler “plans to moonlight” “20 hours a week [my emphasis]” for supplemental income. The article then goes on to say that Gessler hopes to work 20 hours a month — that is 5 hours a week — doing legal work that does not interfere with his official duties. He has asked the attorney general’s office whether he can do so.

Is the Sentinel not editing its own headlines?

The secretary of state’s job is not a 24/7/365 proposition as the Sentinel implied. If Gessler can legally put in a few hours a week to earn extra income for his family, so much the better. I applaud his initiative.

Would you rather see Gessler urge the Legislature to raise his salary at taxpayer expense? Or perhaps you would prefer all office holders to be independently wealthy?
Christa Taylor
Grand Junction

Gessler should try to live
on a retiree’s income

Poor Scott Gessler!  He cannot live on $68,500 per year!

He should come out here to the boonies and try to live on one-fourth or one-third of that amount, like the old fogies who are on a fixed income, dependent on the economy’s rise or fall (mostly fall) must do.
Larry M. Head

Philadelphia abortion case
is no isolated incident

I would hope the recent news about the abortionist in Pennsylvania — he doesn’t deserve to be called a doctor — will reveal to all the horror of abortion. How many other women died or were left traumatized by their experience in that horror chamber?

To him, it was all about the money and nothing more. This is not an isolated case.

Planned Parenthood wants you to believe that they care for the woman. That lie is exposed in the recently released book, “Unplanned,” by Abby Johnson, who was formerly a director of Planned Parenthood and witnessed first-hand an abortion she was asked to assist with.

We must defund Planned Parenthood. We must insist our tax dollars do not go for abortion funding in the health care law.

Hair salons and tattoo businesses are more regulated. Is this the choice offered to women?
Patti Brown
Grand Junction

Don’t let children take
assets of elderly parents

In regards to the Republican decision to eliminate the free breakfasts for low-income children, I suggest that there is another change that can be made that would probably save far more than making little children go hungry.

Require that adult children be responsible for the care of their elders in those situations where adult children have impoverished their parents so that they can get Medicaid coverage for nursing home care.

In some cases elders are also getting other benefits that are paid for by taxpayers, such as food stamps, other housing, etc. while their children are utilizing the assets that the parents acquired in their lifetime.

As an elder, I expect my assets, such as they are, to be used to pay for my care to the extent possible. There is talk here and there about the greedy geezers, but the really greedy ones are the boomers who, by hook or crook, latch on to their parents’ assets and force them into poverty
S. Miles Johnson
Grand Junction

Sen. King displays
economic illiteracy

The column in the Jan. 23 edition of The Daily Sentinel by Steve King, our newly elected state senator, makes one wonder what kind of economic illiterate we have elected. Or does he just have an agenda that depends on the economic illiteracy of the electorate?
All taxes are paid by the citizenry. We do so either directly or indirectly through the price we pay for things. Taxation is evil? It is a confiscation of property rights? Is buying a car evil? The price you pay is taking away part of your property? You are either buying something you want directly or through government
All businessmen, large and small, hire people only with the expectation that doing so will increase their profits. Profits make our capitalistic system work. They are a necessity. Taxes not paid potentially increase a businessman’s profit. They also decrease government revenue. You either pay them in some other way or government expenses must be decreased. The businessman, on the other hand will only hire someone else if his profits can be further increased.
Sen. King appears programmed to spread the dogma that somehow you will benefit from what is good for someone whose primary motive is profitability, not hiring people. We have all been sold a bill of goods in the last 30 years that enhancing profits for those with money will trickle down. It hasn’t happened and the great middle class is worse off for it. A great redistribution of wealth has taken place; up, not down.
The Chamber of Commerce’s mission is to help businessmen succeed, keeping them profitable. They are very influential in elections. King is their guy and any benefit he can be to you is only coincidental. He’s not about employment. He’s about what government provides, who benefits and who pays for it
John Borgen
Grand Junction

Health care reform law
will cost taxpayers money

The Daily Sentinel has not been listening.

Recent editorials imply that Obamacare can be improved with a few changes here and there and would be the best thing for the American people. This bill is 2,562 pages long, which our senators and representatives did not read. Never mind that it is written in lawyer speak. The party in power ignored all suggestions from the party in the minority and had to resort to bribery with taxpayer money to get it passed. They also ignored phone calls, e-mails, faxes, health care rallies, tea parties, town hall meetings and all of
the people who vociferously opposed this plan. On a few occasions, they used paid union people to disrupt the opposition.

I took the time to watch the debate on CSPAN. The Democrats sounded like whiney children. Their tone is both defensive and obnoxious. Surely, you heard Rep. Cohen. All of the Republicans stated their case, which included free market solutions such as tort reform, ability to purchase insurance across state lines, and a patient-doctor relationship that isn’t handled by a government bureaucrat in between. The Republicans also object
strongly to the idea that government can force them to buy health insurance. Since when is this constitutional.

Simply put, under Obamacare, health care will not be improved, costs of health insurance will rise, not decrease, and the overall cost of the bill will be higher.

I recommend you read, “The Truth About Obamacare.” This is a new book written by Sally C Pipes, president and chief executive officer of the Pacific Research Institute and is known for her expertise on health care and economic issues.
Linda Gregory
Grand Junction


Dealing with federal debt
may cause rioting in cities

What has happened to our country? We owe other people and others countries more money than most of us can comprehend.

One thousand billion dollars equals a trillion dollars. Our debt is 14 times one thousand billion dollars!  And that doesn’t count the many trillions in unfunded liabilities our grandchildren and their grandchildren will have to come up with in future years.

For a history of the growing of this debt read Glenn Beck’s book, “Broke.” Beck is an excellent historian. He documents how the debt grew from almost nothing before the Great Depression to the astounding current amount. Surprisingly, it grew even during periods of prosperity, during the Reagan years, and the years of “surpluses” credited to President Clinton. That was due to the insatiable appetite for spending by Congress.

The last part of “Broke” is sobering. The solution is going to make a lot of people mad.
We may see rioting in our bigger cities (not Meeker) because sacrifices must be made, and some, like the lowering of pensions, will anger a lot of people.  Among Beck’s recommendations are a balanced-budget amendment, term limits for congressmen, and the approval of a line-item veto.

It may already be too late, but it behooves all of us to lean on our representatives in Congress to reduce the size and cost of the federal government
Dick Prosence

Be worried about commissioners
assuming day-to-day control

Mesa County residents should be terrified of even the most remote possibility of the Mesa County commissioners managing day-to-day operations (The Daily Sentinel, Jan. 23).

Take, for example, the shake-up at the Mesa County Health Department in October spearheaded by Commisioners Craig Meis and Janet Rowland.

Over the last decade, Family Planning and the Immunization Clinic have been rated excellent by state inspectors. The dedicated employees have provided great woman’s health care, STD treatment, birth control and immmunizations, affordably through state and federal grants. In addition, the staff have been willing to work below competitive wages that are offered in the private sector.

However, in mid-October, Meis and Rowland, backed by the Board of Health, eliminated approximately one-third of the medical staff in family planning and the immunization clinic. In addition, a person without adequate qualification was appointed as the director of nursing.

The saying, “We reap what we sow” is never more appropriate. Family planning is down in patient numbers by one-third. The immunization clinic is paralyzed, failing to adequately provide the community with a flu clinic last fall and preventative immunizations to county residents. Key jobs within the health department from the bottom up, continue to be eliminated indiscriminately. Where are the cost savings?

This 30 percent reduction in patient volume means less federal and state grant dollars for Mesa County and more emergency room visits.

Two of the three county commissioners’ decision-making should alarm the community and cement the notion that a commissioner-run system is a bad idea. Craig Meis and Janet Rowland have clearly shown short-sighted, uninformed, management ability and their actions have harmed the county irreparably.
Brad Briner
Grand Junction

Laws for mental illness
hinder rather than help

I have a daughter, in her 40s, who has been disagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and anosognosia (she does not believe she is mentally ill but others are). At this time she is in a state mental hospital in Texas. The fact she is in a mental hospital is only by the ghrace of God and nothing I have done.

As her parents, we have no legal rights over our mentally ill daughter. Our daughter, as a mentally ill person, has all the legal rights to make decisions for herself even though she is mentally ill and cannot function in society.

As her parents, we could not have gotten her committed and/or help without her consent and approval in Colorado and other states as well unless she showed danger to herself and/or others. In other words first due harm to one self and others and then your situation can be taken into consideration and maybe helped.

She ended up on the streets and in homeless shelters (much danger to herself) in Dallas,  and finally after being taken to the hospital many times (at least five) by the police for disrupting the peace (fighting/arguing with others) she was finally accepted long-term in the state hospital last January. Many of our homeless people are mentally ill and they have no place to go.

It took her two years to get her located in a hospital. She did have to endanger her life and others before getting there. These laws for the mentally ill are not helping, but creating much turmoil in society and communities as well. Many people don’t know these laws exist unless they deal with mental illness in their families.

In recent months, I was finally given permission by my daughter to speak with
doctors and know of her status in the hospital. Her father has not been given permission by her and cannot speak with anyone at the hospital. If she decides to take me off of her list of people allowed to speak with doctors and social workers, then I can no longer discuss her care with those caring for her or speak to my daughter.

There will be more shootings such as the one in Arizona unless major changes are made quickly by our society with the laws toward the mentally ill. These laws are not helping but hindering. There needs to be much more education to the public on the mentally ill and the fact that those having mental illness need help just as much as those who have a long-term illness such as cancer.  This information needs to go to our representatives and senators and anyone who can help make these changes.
Phyllis Henley



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