E-mail letters, May 18, 2010

Obama disparages
nation’s police officers

President Obama last week made some nice remarks last week at the Police Day
Memorial. Isn’t that special? Those words would have meant something if he
did’t take every opportunity during the rest of the year to slam or
slur the police.


No. 1: The Harvard professor incident, in which he said, “The police acted Stupidly.” This after stating that he didn’t have the facts of the case, he just automatically made the assumption that the police are stupid.

No. 2: Recently, about the Arizona Immigration Law, he said, “a Hispanic family that goes
into a store for an ice cream is subject to harassment by the police,” implying that the police are wannabe Gestapo agents.

Has he read the law? Doubtful. Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t. I have, it took about 10 minutes.

I’m a 39-year veteran of law enforcement and I deeply resent having a commander in
chief who is so prejudiced about a segment of society dedicated to the protection and preservation of this society and nation.
Rob Baughman

Sheep industry should
face problems, stop blame

This is in response to the Bonnie Brown’s May 16 letter to the editor, “Sheepherders’ bill
collapsed due to bad data.”

The sheep industry, not unlike the oil drilling and financial industries, is loathe to acknowledge any need for regulation of its business. The industry is entitled to its opinion. But rather than argue the merits, it has pursued a relentless attack against Colorado Legal Services.

Colorado Legal Services works with sheepherders to address their legal problems. It is difficult for such herders, from faraway foreign countries working in very rural areas, to even reach our office. When they do, they usually come to us through another agency, such as the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Homeland Security, the Peruvian Consulate or even local law enforcement agencies. We have talked to sheepherders who have lacked sufficient food and water. Some sheepherders have called and said that they have been denied access to medical care.

As a nonprofit that helps farm workers, sheepherders make up a small percentage of the farm workers we represent. But these sheepherders keep calling because the abuses unfortunately continue. Yet the industry would rather label their complaints as “erroneous” or “bad data” and sweep them under the rug and continue business as usual.

The sheep industry apparently believes that by doing its job, CLS is engaged in an “over-zealous attack on the industry.” Rather than blame CLS, the legislation failed because of the lack of good will of the industry to take a hard look at its problems and address these labor and human-rights issues.
Jennifer Lee
Managing Attorney
Migrant Farm Worker Division
Colorado Legal Services

Sheep industry refuses
to acknowledge problems

I wish to respond to Bonnie Brown’s comments in her May 16 letter to the editor,  “Sheepherders’ bill collapsed due to bad data,” regarding the the reasons for the
failure of HB1407 to pass this session in the Colordo Legislature.

Firstly, the intentions of the Sheep Herder Taskforce from its beginnings more than two years ago has been to improve the working conditions of the sheepherders in the state of Colorado. The issues of low pay are not “inaccurate portrayals of herders being treated unfairly and poorly” as Ms. Brown incorrectly stated.

It is an unfortunate fact that the legal (and average wage) of range workers is $750 per month. Numbers do not lie.

Brown contends that the CLS report contains information that was “incomplete and often inaccurate.” Does Ms. Brown pretend to be unaware that sheep ranches are registered in Colorado but running sheep in Utah and Wyoming? She knows better than anyone that doesn’t change the fact that they are Colorado registered businesses.

The researchers stand by the results of their investigation and invite the wool growers to identify one misstatement on the part of the compilers. I doubt that Rep. Daniel Kagan needs Colorado Legal Services’ advice on the law, being a defense attorney himself.

The decisions on the campaign were made by CIRC and its coalition members. CLS members were invited to testify by Rep. Kagan. They, at no time, “directed the campaign,” as Brown contends.

The intentions of the bill and the CLS report have never been to “eviscerate the sheep industry,” as Ms. Brown suggests. But, why should workers in any industry in the United States be expected to earn an average of $2 and hour? Is the sheep industry special? Those in the industry apparently think they are.

Why should workers be expected to have no rights regarding receiving consular contacts from their countries of origin, retaining their legal documentation, getting paid their agreed wages without deductions without their knowledge? Why is it so harmful to the wool industry to provide them a means to communicate through cell phone or other devices, in case of injury?

CIRC had one paid lobbyist, while the wool industry had several. That fact is probably the greatest determinant of the failure of the bill. The stranglehold that this industry has on the Legislature and its intentional obfuscation of a simple issue of fair treatment of workers and, what the industry proposes is “a desire to harm a Colorado industry ” is what has enabled this issue to continue to fester.

We invite the public to read “ Overworked and Underpaid” at
Tom Acker
Western Colorado Justice for Immigrants
Grand Junction

America is losing
its moral compass

Now that the heated debates are over, the general public has been attempting to get answers from Congress relating to the health care bill that was passed. Those leaders in favor of this bill call themselves “progressives,” which is another name for “liberal.” Progressivism is in direct opposition to the ideals upon which the foundation of America was built.

Liberals are secularists who are masters in dividing society according to race, class and ethnicity. This is evidenced by our present administration’s socialist/marxist philosophy on economics.  The ultimate goal is to deprive Americans of liberty, prosperity and individual worth. Members of the administration are ethical, moral and religious relativists who reject truth from the facts of history and are trying to force their ideology upon society. They are deceived into believing in the goodness of mankind and that government is inherently good.

The American people have been the world’s greatest benefactors mainly because we have rejected liberalism. We have been rich in liberty, freedom and love for others because of biblical Christianity. We cannot become liberal as I’ve described it because if we do, we will go the way of Europe.  Europe was unable morally and ethically to stand against the bankrupt philosophies of fascism and communism. Today Europe has no real constitutional government or moral compass.

My wife and I have been to Europe 17 times and have visited relatives who lived in Russian controlled East Germany. They are now liberated from communism but are fearful that America is headed toward their socialist condition. If we go that way, it would leave Europe with no protection from the looming despots who look for any signs of weakness and take advantage of it.

Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule the people groan.” The groaning has begun.
George Mollick

Don’t allow government
to make decisions for us

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about all I can take of government expansion. It was bad enough before Obama. Now it’s insane.

I do not want the government telling food companies how much salt they can put in my food. I don’t want the government making restaurants pay for scientific research (and therefore having to raise the price of my meal) so they can prominently publish the nutritional information of my meals. I know a Big Mac and French fries are loaded with fat and calories, and anyone not smart enough to know that is probably not smart enough to make decisions by looking at a calorie-defined menu.

My health care is none of the government’s business. It is between me and my doctor. I do not want my health records in a government database. I do not want the government telling my doctor how much he can charge. If he can’t charge enough, he won’t be there when I need him.

What gives government the right to make these decisions? We do, by being silent! So speak up!

And I say “Hurray for Arizona!” At least one government is looking out for its citizens.
Angie Many

Sentinel opposes anything
that Obama proposes

“We understand that Kagan was acting in her role of an attorney asserting the interests of her client, whether or not she agreed with the client’s views.” What part of The Daily Sentinel’s own words in in the recent editorial do the editors not understand?

In other times, the paper has advocated that Supreme Court justices be free of ideological bias — even though Roberts and Alito were obviously not — and susceptible to the conservatives favorite term, “judicial activism.” In other words, legislating from the bench by following ones own beliefs in rulings rather than following precedent and the Constitution.

Ms. Kagan has not inserted her own beliefs in acting as attorney for the country, the Congress and its legislation. What sort of twisted logic suggests that somehow Kagan is deficient because of doing her job on behalf of the Congress? Ms. Kagan demonstrates that she will not let her own beliefs intrude on what she was sworn to do. Why would she not do the same as a justice?

An entire column filled with Republican “oppositional research.” What leads the Sentinel editors to feel that Ms. Kagan might not agree with her own words: “When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues, the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce”?

And by the way, about one third of the justices historically have not had previous judicial experience, some of who are recognized as being among the most influential and significant.

Why not save the column inches and just state that if it is an Obama appointment, the Sentinel opposes, just as it would be for any other name in the hat? Great legal minds are not welcome. Mediocre right-wing zealots are preferable to the “fair and balanced” Sentinel.

John Borgen
Grand Junction



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