Email leters, Aug. 5, 2011

Cutting defense will not serve us well

One of the least discussed aspects of the recent debt ceiling legislation is the extreme and mindless reduction in defense spending, especially acute if the super Congress spending reduction targets are not met.

Defense spending does not occur in a vacuum, but is based on executing an overall foreign policy as determined by the State Department and the president. Military spending is developed on an analysis of the international threat to our national security based on this overall national foreign policy strategy, which includes a myriad of factors, not just military action.

Unfortunately, our huge intelligence complex continues to fail us. It missed the 9/11 attacks and the lack of Iraq weapons of mass destruction a decade ago. And again, it totally missed the current globally destabilizing uprisings across the Muslim world. Our planners deserve better intelligence.

The directionless Obama/Clinton “Can’t we all just get along” foreign policy has put our national interests at great danger around the world as we project a paper tiger image to our adversaries. Also, by following the discredited Keynesian economic model that failed disastrously during the 1930s, Obama has destroyed our economy.

As we continue to act as a nation in decline, we must at least keep our military sufficiently strong to protect our people and maintain our national sovereignty. The world’s collectivist dictators will continue to probe and attack our ever-weakening positions.

Our economic strength and resolve to remain a Republic are waning. We need a new, more efficient and focused economic and foreign policy that strives to protect our national sovereignty, not all the peoples of the world. Only then can we make an intelligent and informed decision on how to allocate our limited national resources for our military defense.

Are we to become Americans again, or simply be citizens of the world? We can’t be both.

Road crew was fast and efficient

I’d like to commend the road crew who so quickly and efficiently resurfaced and striped North 1st Street in the area of Independence and Orchard a week or two ago.
Grand Junction
Tipton’s approach to debt crisis used common sense

I want to thank our Congressman, Scott Tipton for his balanced and common sense approach to the debt ceiling and budget crisis. While this country could not be allowed to default on its financial obligations, President Obama couldn’t have been given what he wanted — a debt increase free of any responsibility to cut spending, or trivial cuts at best. Doing so just continues our steady march to the edge of the proverbial cliff.

It is imperative that Congress reign in runaway spending, oppose tax increases which will further weaken an already anemic economy, and lay the groundwork for spending constraints to prevent these dire situations in the future. Since President Obama and our Democrat senators love to blame the budget crisis on the previous administration, I would propose both our House of Representatives and our Senate to look back 10 years, (both the past & current administration) and see that there are plenty of places to trim the spending to a reasonable level.

Congressman Tipton gets it, and I applaud his actions over the past weeks.  Congress must take appropriate steps to ensure our economic prosperity in the future.  Only the House has passed a budget, and it was the only chamber seriously and proactively addressing the debt crisis.

It’s time for Harry Reid and President Obama to stop the patronizing rhetoric and join Congressman Tipton and the House of Representatives in a real plan of action.

Grand Junction

Spending must be decreased

The tea partyers are being called every name in the dictionary, from terrorists to kidnappers. The common sense thought that one must live within one’s income appears not to be understood on the left. Yes, we go into debt to buy a home or to make a large purchase. But, we allocate our income to cover those debt payments. 

We cannot pass an ethereal debt increase unless we have an income increase. Were it not for the tea partyers, we would just keep the borrowing ad infinitum and never look back. At least now we are forced to look at the debt carefully and will have to make some hard choices. It comes down to some painful shared sacrifice. There really is no free lunch.

Now some will argue that we need only to push tax increases on people with incomes over $250,000.  That is “rich?”  Get out from under the rocks. There are many, many tax code loopholes that can be plugged. The thousands of pages of tax code can be simplified, and many a favorite ox is sure to be gored in the process. So it goes, but we need to live within our means.

Columnist Jim Spehar and others seem to think the government is a job creator. Was our education system worse before 1980, when the Department of Education was created?  How did we ever come to discover and develop so many technologies before that? Education now has some 4 to 5,000 employees, with a $69 billion budget. We also now have the creation of the “Green Ribbon School” program to “recognize schools that are creating healthy and sustainable learning environments and teaching environmental literacy” (aka Global Warming?).

Grand Junction

Uranium program needs thorough evaluation

Although The Daily Sentinel’s July 31 story about the Department of Energy’s uranium leasing program quoted a government official saying that “it’s absolutely untrue” that a lawsuit from conservationists compelled the agency to conduct a new Environmental Impact Statement, it seems clear that an EIS was issued in the middle of a lawsuit to demand one.

Actually, ordering the study is a win-win opportunity providing a thorough review, coordination of local, state and national agencies and the possibility of creating a long range, comprehensive plan for clean up and monitoring of uranium development that the Department of Energy has neglected for too long. The uranium leasing program affects a vast swath of the Western Slope and has monumental implications for our future.

Of course, a full and thorough Environmental Impact Study is needed to understand the interaction of unreclaimed and future uranium mines, unprocessed ores and radioactive wastes. The need is so obvious that Gary Steele, the VP of Energy Fuels who wants to build a uranium mill in Montrose County called it a “thoughtful endeavor.” Focusing coverage of this issue on the DOE’s attempts to deflect responsibility for the lack of real analysis in the past misses the point of how important this upcoming public process is to move the into the future.

Please attend the 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Montrose Pavilion Monday, Aug. 8, and let the DOE know how important it is to thoroughly evaluate the impacts of the uranium leasing program and to meet its legal and moral obligations to conduct a proper Environmental Impact Study before making decisions that will have a permanent impact on the unique lands in the Dolores and San Miguel watersheds.

Grand Junction

Families should stock up on money for a rainy day

As of this writing, the stock market is tanking for the 9th consecutive day primarily because the major banks and Wall Street are madly accumulating cash as a hedge against the rapidly collapsing U.S. and world economies. Over $1.5 trillion in wealth has been lost in the market since the debt ceiling vote proved the U.S. government is fundamentally incapable of effective governance.

There is an old, accepted rule that the average American family should keep at least 6 months expenses in the bank for unforeseen circumstances. Considering the extremely perilous times we are living in, I think it prudent to consider keeping at least 8-12 months (or more, if possible) of expected expenses in cash in a safety deposit box.

It might also be wise to reread “The Grapes of Wrath,” just in case the worse happens.

Grand Junction

Safety and compassion are essential when dealing with homeless

In response to columnist Jim Spehar’s question posed in his July 19th column, “Compassion or condemnation?”: Safety, compassion and balanced policies from our city.

First and foremost, this needs to be about safety.  Safety for our children and for those of us who want to enjoy our public spaces. But I don’t feel safe. Last October, pregnant at the time, I was running on the riverfront trail with my 3-year old beside me on her scooter when out of nowhere we were blocked on both sides by intoxicated transients. We froze, while these two men had a shouting match in front of my 3-year old, and tried to escape without getting harmed. Talk about scary. I haven’t been back to the riverfront trail since and the recent article mentioning the riverside encampment of 60-80 transients has reaffirmed that decision.

Second, this needs to be about compassion for our neighbors who need it most. Many of us in the community support our outreach organizations for this very reason. Personally, I gave a warm coat last winter to a homeless man during a storm. I later saw that same man outside of Redlands Liquor with a bottle of alcohol standing across from another homeless man wearing the jacket, which he had obviously traded for booze. Not everyone wants help.

Finally, this issue requires us all to show some common sense and pursue balanced policies from our city. We should build on the good work the HOT team is doing and ask our non-profits to continue to play a role in the solution, but enforcement of our laws and ordinances absolutely must play a role.  Otherwise, what is the message that we are sending lawbreakers? Without enforcement the message, of course, is that lawless behavior is acceptable.

Safety.  Compassion.  Balance.  That’s what we’re asking.

Grand Junction

Tipton is a breath of fresh air

I wanted to send this letter in support of how Congressman Scott Tipton has handled the debate on the debt ceiling. Mr. Tipton has shown a level head throughout this process, and even though I was unable to take part, I know that he held a town hall over the telephone recently so he could hear from his constituents on this issue. This is a breath of fresh air, as his predecessor was not accessible, and friends in my community often complained they didn’t feel like their voices were being heard.

Congressman Tipton was correct when he recently stated we need to “get our budget back on track with real debt and spending reduction.” Those goals are in line with the majority of the American people. I know in my family we can’t spend more money than we have in the bank, and have to budget accordingly. I’m not sure how this deal will play out, but I’m proud to have a Congressman who is fighting for us and representing our interests rather than his own.

Grand Junction


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