E-mail letters, March 26, 2010

Suthers’ lawsuit is
political grandstanding

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is indeed a political grandstander.

Instead of wasting taxpayers’ money fighting a misguided and politically motivated battle to prevent health care reform in Colorado, he should focus on the
real criminal justice issues in the state.

As of now, Suthers is unopposed in his 2010 reelection bid, but we can only hope that this latest blunder will prompt someone — Republican, Democrat or independent — to challenge him. Colorado deserves better.
Barbara Gallisath
Grand Junction

Grant could have written
similar column on Obama

The headline on Bill Grant’s column on March 24 could have been: “President Obama should serve the U.S., not Democrat party.”

To paraphrase some of his thoughts: There is obviously nothing political in the fact that Obama consulted only with the Democrats in drafting this bill and
obtained only Democrat votes. No Republicans were asked to contribute and no Republican votes were obtained. There is nothing political about bribing
lawmakers with promises of kickbacks, special deals, etc.

First, this started as a “health care reform” bill. Then it became a “health insurance for all” bill. Then it became a “condemn the greedy insurance company” bill. Then it became a “70,000 people die each year because they don’t have health care” bill. (If this last is so, why don’t benefits begin until 2014? By that time 280,000 people will have died because of lack of health insurance. Have we no compassion for them?)

There is certainly nothing political about 223 Democratic members of Congress voting for a bill that, by self admission, most had not even read. And finally, there is nothing political about Pelosi repeating her favorite mantra, “WE won the election, you lost, get over it.”

This was democracy in its saddest hour. In the face of convincing evidence of an all-out attack on the Constitution of this country by this administration, Obama should drop the pretense that he is serving the people by riding roughshod over their wishes.
Michael Lowenstein
Grand Junction

President’s plan forces
personal responsibility

I support the president’s plan. He intends to drag us (kicking and screaming, in some cases) to a personally responsible position. We are going to have to get health insurance just as we have to get car insurance.

The reasoning behind both these requirements is the same: If you may be the cause of some large financial expenditure you need to make sure that expense falls on no one else but you and your insurance company. As it stands, those of us who are insured pay monthly for those who are not.
Peter Forte’

Do lawmakers really
care about citizens?
We are so fortunate to have lawmakers who care so much about us that they have now passed legislation to mandate fast-food restaurants to post calorie counts on all food served.

This will definitely help with the obesity problems of our youth and adult population. I’m sure they will be blown away at how many calories a Big Mac has and will order the salad from now on.

Yes, our lawmakers have the greatest of concern for all of us. The recent passage of the health care reform bill is proof. They have even voluntarily excluded themselves from the bill because they know it is just too good and too expensive for everybody. Admirably, they have sacrificed for us, the people and are staying with their old health care and giving us a new progressive plan.
Some say that the lawmakers are just looking out for themselves and pass the laws they do just to gain more power over the American people. When asked why it will take so long for the Health Care Reform laws to go into effect John Dingell (D-Mi) said “The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.” I say thank you Mr. Dingell, the people are out of control in America. Just look at how much fast food we are eating.
The Constitution is obviously an antiquated old piece of paper totally out of pace with our progressive society. That is why Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla. said that “There are no rules, we make them up as we go along.”

Well, there’s got to be some rules Alcee. They might as well be yours, thanks.

The best evidence of the love our lawmakers have for all of us is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s quote: “We have to pass this bill so we can find out what’s in it.”

Thank you Congress.
Neil Riddle
Whitewater, Co.

New legislation offers
new chance to get insurance

I wanted to write and publicly thank Congressman John Salazar for supporting and voting in favor of the health care bill.

I am a longtime resident of Grand Junction who developed osteoarthritis in my hips. After I retired and sought a replacement for the group medical insurance plan provided by my employer. I was denied health insurance because my medical records indicated “advanced osteoarthritis.” Even though I could afford to pay premiums, I could not buy insurance.

After a year of limited coverage I was accepted by my wife’s group plan without preconditions. Now, in 90 days, because of the health care bill, I will be able to purchase insurance from a private, for-profit, insurance company through an interim high risk pool until the insurance exchanges are available.

Now my wife is free to make whatever employment decisions she wants without considering our health insurance. It’s about time.
R. Jefferson Smith
Grand Junction

‘Smart and engaged’ young
should worry about Obama

I found myself amused by the article written by Denny Herzog, referencing his daughter and other young people as being “smart and engaged” and noting that this is the reason that they don’t like Sarah Palin. Some of them are almost concerned enough about the economy to be Republicans, but feel that things are too complicated to resort to jingoism.

Amazing analogy.

One would clearly have to be suffering from chronic tunnel vision, as well as “don’t confuse me with the facts disorder,” to not see the recklessness with which the Obama administration has handled the economy and national defense over the past year,  let alone the corrupt manner in which the very unsavory health care bill was passed (against the will of the vast majority of Americans.

Then there are the blatantly broken campaign promises (lies) of Obama: debate on C-Span, posting bills on line for five days before signing, “saving or creating 3 million jobs”, keeping unemployment below 8 percent, “no lobbyist in my administration,”  “no earmarks,” “reaching across the aisle,” “changing the way we do business in Washington.” There is also his apologizing to the world for all the sacrifices and the good that America has done around the world.

President Obama was elected by a confused, uninformed electorate, although he had no executive experience, no military experience, no business experience, no foreign experience, no experience at all, except being a community organizer, and the experience he gained from the tutelage of radical, anti-American ideologues.

How does that compare to Sarah Palin’s experience? Yeah, the young people referenced by Herzog are “smart and engaged” indeed. Sadly, these smart and engaged young people will only find out how “smart” they really are, once they realize that it is they who will be “engaged” in footing the bill for all of Obama’s reckless spending for the balance of their lives
Don Boyles
Grand Junction

Lessons learned on farm
have served well in life

I wish to comment on the recent article in The Daily Sentinel that included comments from my brother, Melvin Rettig.

I know how hard the work is on that farm and how many hours we had to spend in those fields when I was a child growing up there. We did not even have electric service until I was 12 and Melvin was a year old. We never did have running water or indoor plumbing.

I left at 18, after graduating from Grand Junction High School in 1953. I joined the Air Force and never came back to live on the farm. However many of the lessons of hard work and sacrifice learned there have stood me in good stead as a mother of four and child day-care Mother of 25.

I do travel back to the farm every few years and have noticed many changes. Melvin has done a great job. Our parents would be proud.
Geraldine Rettig Verano
Harrisburg, Pa.

Colorado needs to license
its private investigators

I’m not surprised by Kevin Flaherty’s recent actions as listed in a warrant for criminal trespass, reported in The Daily Sentinel Blotter on March 24.  What I think should be surprising is that private investigators, as an occupation in this state, are completely unregulated. Anyone, from the fully-qualified to the utterly moronic, from those of sterling character to multiple felony convictions, can hold themselves out as private investigators.  Unfortunately, I’ve known the full spectrum.

I’ve been a private investigator since 1990, and received a license in California in 1992.  As part of the licensure process, I had to verify 6,000 hours of experience, take a written exam and have my background checked.

Since moving back to Colorado in 1997, I’ve undertaken more than 1,200 cases, from DUIs to first-degree murder cases. In 1996, prior to my return, I asked a representative of the Professional Private Investigators Association, the leading proponent of licensing in Colorado, what I had to do to transfer my license.  I was told, “When you get your business cards, make sure they put the words ‘Private Investigator’ under your name, otherwise you’re doomed to do something else, until you run out of cards.”

Colorado is one of only four states that have no system of vetting applicants, either by licensing or registration requirements.  Attempts have been made to license or register PIs in this state, but have been met with objections by a contingent of certain retired law enforcement officers on the Front Range, who feel they should not have to comply with such requirements.

Did you know that barbers, hairstylists and cosmetologists are regulated by the state, and require over 1,000 hours of training before receiving a license?  The fundamental reason is that it is “necessary to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare.” The safety and welfare of the public is also compromised by poor service or illegal acts, committed by persons unqualified to be private investigators.  As I like to say: “No one has ever done ‘25 to Life,’ for a bad haircut.”

It’s time for the state’s Department of Regulatory Agencies to take a firm stand on licensing investigators.
Wm. Robert Wall
Private investigator
Grand Junction

Harmon didn’t tell
full story of bill’s language

Is local Republican stooge, Daily Sentinel reporter Gary Harmon, in actuality, the editor of the Sentinel? How else could the position of his incomplete lead article on the front page of the March 24 edition be explained?

The intentions of those who wrote the medical care reform bill relative to the exclusion of coverage by insurance companies of children with pre-existing conditions was clear. The insurance companies, through their lobbying organization, AHIP, combed through the bill and found language that could be interpreted differently than intended and immediately jumped on it. Does that tell you anything about how they are going to deal with their customers in the future—- just as they have in the past?

Much has been made of the thousands of pages of the bill. It was done to try to preclude just this sort of nit-picking. This one slipped through. It was prepared by humans who have been known to sometimes not be as precise as they’d prefer.  Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, quickly reacted and confirmed that she’d immediately go to work to clarify the language.

Always the partisan, Harmon included nothing about the fact that it is a language problem jumped on by the insurance industry and that the administration is already at work to clarify the situation. The impression that Harmon seemed to want to impart was one of a sloppy bill. Maybe. But why the entire story, which was available to him, was not told? You decide.
John Borgen
Grand Junction

Infantile politicians
act worse than children

The actions of the GOP and their leaders for the last year, and more so this week since the president signed the health bill into law, leave one to wonder how these supposed professionals were ever elected.  They have done everything possible except hold their breaths and roll around on the floor to show their disapproval of being on the “loosing side.”

How can passing a law that will give ALL American citizens access to good health care be considered a loss?

It seems to me it’s the Republican Party that should be worried about the outcome of future elections. Who, in their right mind, would elect someone who acts worse than a small child who didn’t get its way? At least you can send a misbehaving child to their room.

We need responsible leaders, not pouting, pompous — I hesitate to use the word — adults. People who are able to work for all the people in this country and not just for their elite corps.
Judith Chapin


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