Email letters, April 15, 2013

After slapping girlfriend, Brainard loses public trust

No woman ever “deserves” to be slapped by a man, especially to the point of creating a bruised, “black eye.“
The use of physical violence to resolve conflict is a form of bullying and is not an acceptable manner of discipline in the United States in 2013.
 
No child “deserves” to be slapped, or any other person for that matter. In failing to perceive this basic fact, Brainard has lost my public trust, and I respectfully ask that you decline City Council elected office.

BILL HILT, MD

Grand Junction

Colorado’s urban sprawls also harm environment

Some people in Colorado want to stop the drilling in Colorado because of the environment or the deer and elk herds or sage grouse. These are all good reasons, but what about urban sprawl created by people building houses in the mountains and people building houses down by waterways and in elk breeding areas.

When we think about it, a drilling rig is there for maybe 30 days and then it leaves. They work over the well and put it into production. Then there’s only the well left with a pumper to check on it.
The way I see things is a drilling rig is temporary the threat to deer and elk herds is minimal compared to building houses in the mountains and increasing the number of people into these areas.

But then when we think of a land use plan, they always come up with how best not to use the land or only for special interest groups that have their own agenda that doesn’t always work for everyone’s best interest.

So, in the best interest of Colorado lands, we need to limit the urban sprawl in the mountains, the closing of public land, the gun regulations and the oil and gas regulations Colorado is passing, which will also affect Colorado.

And, if Colorado wants to rely only on recreation to sustain it, then we need a land-use plan that works for all of Colorado.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Questionable data used in recent gun violence article

The press has gotten so compliant in printing anything anti-gun and the gun banners so lax about covering their tracks that your article “Study: Gun violence worst where gun laws weakest” (April 3) contains some laughably obvious red flags.

A state-by-state comparison might be valid if every state had uniform crime rates and gun laws. But that’s not true of even one state, let alone all of them.

Illinois has very strict state gun laws, but Chicago has even stricter laws than the rest of the state, and much higher crime rates, as well (the opposite of the study’s conclusion and true in all 50 states). By averaging the rates and laws, the “study” creates the illusion that the laws are weaker in Chicago and the crime rates lower than they actually are.

The inclusion of suicides might be OK if a significant number of Americans were committing suicide because they’re despondent over the availability of guns. But there is no evidence whatsoever that’s true. The suicide rate in Alaska (noted as the worst state in the “study”) is much lower in the summer than the winter, but Alaska’s gun laws aren’t stricter in the summer.

There is no honest reason to include suicides in such a “study.”

But the term “gun deaths” is a dead give-away. If there are two similar states, one with strict gun laws and 100 murders a year, 20 of which were committed with guns, and the other with lax gun laws and 50 murders, 22 of which were committed with guns, they just report that the state with the lax laws had a 10 percent higher “gun death rate.” That kind of qualifier is just another way to hide data and produce a false result.

PAUL KELLY
Delta

Rally against Rick Brainard’s admitted actions

I just finished attending a small but enthusiastic protest rally held at City Hall. I will say this requested resignation (or vacating the election) is very apropos based on the admitted and reported statement(s) made to police by Rick Brainard. However, he has also indicated he has no intention of stepping aside! The man is apparently very “full of himself.”

So, my suggestion to all in attendance of the rally and others that were not able to attend is this: Go to the next and all subsequent City Council meetings and continue to remind the council (during public comment session) of this event and the overall request for Brainard to resign, if he so elects to stay.

Just imagine how lengthy each council meeting(s) will be if all stand to speak at all council meetings until he finally steps aside. Seems as though council would not be able to get any real city business done? If you are passionate about this, this is the way to drive the issue.

BOB WEIFFENBACH
Grand Junction

Students, teachers should no longer be sitting ducks

I am a mother, grandmother and former elementary school teacher with District 51.

After attending the School Board meeting concerning preventing school attacks such as Sandy Hook from happening here, I’m concerned that more needs to be done.

Options discussed included: increased training for spotting people at risk for committing these type of crimes; fencing school grounds; screening everyone who enters; and just hoping for the best. None of these offer much protection.

With a lack of funds to hire 44 armed officers to protect each of our schools, the only practical alternative is to allow teachers and staff who volunteer and who are screened and trained to carry concealed weapons to protect themselves and the children.

This has already been tried successfully in Texas and Utah for years without any of the dire consequences predicted by opponents. Already, 245 teachers in Colorado have received free training from the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners for concealed carry.

The lives of our children and teachers lives are precious to us. We can’t afford to let them be sitting ducks for killers and do so little to protect them.

These attacks nearly always occur in “gun-free zones” that provide killers with easy targets and little resistance such as the theater in Aurora, schools and shopping malls.

I have a 90-year-old friend who lives alone. A sign in her yard warns, “This home is protected by Smith and Wesson.” It’s very unlikely she’ll be troubled by any break-ins.

The same principle applies to discourage for school attacks. The time to act has come. It’s our moral responsibility to protect our schools.

DIANE COX
Palisade

Budget battles likely to cramp King’s firefighting legislation

So, Steve King wants to pass legislation to eventually get $30 million to fund a firefighting fleet of airplanes. I agree that is an important request here in Colorado.

But King and his Tea Party cohorts have now influenced economic policy in this country to such an extent that it has led to sequestration in which we don’t have money for anything important.

Thanks to King and the Tea Party, we now have the regressive Bush tax cuts that have been made permanent with the help of Obama and the Dems, no less. Instead of letting the Bush tax cuts expire and letting the Clinton era progressive tax cuts go into effect, we now have no money for King’s important projects such as firefighting aircraft, needed infrastructure repair, higher education or national parks, which are among the many important projects we could be funding.

Instead, we are now going to have ongoing budget battles every year, trying to wring out any drops of federal funding for projects and departments about which we all care. It will be interesting to see how far this era of austerity lasts, especially when members of the GOP such as King can’t get funding for their preferred projects.

Europe has started to reach its breaking point with austerity, and I’m guessing we will not be far behind.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

Abide by basic American tenets, give Brainard his day in court

It seems to me that in the case of Rick Brainard, many of us have forgotten some of the basic tenets of our republic. The first and foremost of those is that one is innocent until PROVEN guilty of an offense. The second is that we are each granted due process in legal cases.

I don’t know what occurred with Brainard, but it is apparent that the editorial staff at the Sentinel has forgotten about these two tenets as have many others, including at least two members of the current city council.

The report I read was that the girlfriend had been yelling at him. Had the tables been reversed, and he was the one yelling at her and she struck him, my guess is that he would have been accused of verbal abuse in a domestic violence case against him. He couldn’t win, it appears to me.

Why was she not arrested for initiating the altercation through her verbal abuse? None of us know what occurred, but I would suggest that instead of trying and convicting him before he even gets his day in court, that we allow the process to work and see what comes of it.  He may just be innocent.

DON PETTYGROVE

Grand Junction

Bill Clinton lucky he never served on Grand Junction City Council

I do not know if Rick Brainard is guilty or not, but I do know that Bill Clinton is very lucky he wasn’t a Grand Junction City Council member.

Brainard is alleged to have abused a woman; Clinton was proven to have abused a woman. Brainard is guilty without a trial, while Clinton received a myriad of pardons.                                     

RICK L. COLEMAN
Grand Junction

Mainstream coverage on taxes is slanted

Let’s see. Mitt is maligned for only paying 15 percent in taxes, the president is praised for paying about 19 percent. In the meantime most middle income Americans paid about 23 percent.

Another example of fair mainstream media coverage!

L.W. HUNLEY

Grand Junction

Freedom rally folks could learn valuable lesson from youth group

While the participants at the so-called “Freedom Rally” were ranting about individual rights, taxes, gun control and the onerous forces of government this weekend, the young teens in my daughter’s Methodist youth group were out in the community helping seniors with yard work, house cleaning and other chores with which they may have needed assistance.

This is the kind of substantive, positive energy a community needs to grow and prosper, not the whining and posturing of a disenchanted few who want the freedom to do whatever they want regardless of the circumstances to others.

Instead of wrapping themselves in the flag, they could be spending some time helping those people who perhaps don’t have the freedom to do the things they used to simply because of age, not political inclination.

GREGORY GNESIOS
Grand Junction

Coolidge was last Jeffersonian president in the age of progressivism

Imagine a time and a president who when he left office had a smaller budget than he inherited, and with a budget surplus, as well. And, during his administration the economy expanded at 3-4 percent annually, job growth proliferated, wages sharply rose and there was a dramatic increase in the standard of living for all. There was such a time and man: 1923-1928 and President Calvin Coolidge. How different are our times and leadership today!

How was this economic miracle accomplished? I believe it was by the persistent leadership and incredible integrity of the severely underrated Calvin Coolidge. “Silent Cal” believed in the American people and the Constitution and not in government interference in the economy. He was a budget hawk and stated, “I believe in budgets. I want other people to believe in them.” He had 235 meetings with his budget director during his five years in office. How far from this concept has the Democrat Senate strayed, finally producing a budget after more than 1,400 days?

Coolidge informed the voters, “I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy.” He also said, “We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic of under developed people, or of a decadent generation.”
Do we not now see extreme carelessness with our public trust and treasure at every level of the Obama administration? Integrity and honesty are a cipher. Nothing that this administration says can be believed, and its shibboleth seems to be that we can spend our way to prosperity, an economic impossibility.

The key to Coolidge’s success was his understanding of individual freedom and economics and his scrupulous honesty. Is there now a man in all of Washington with these qualities? It seems very doubtful.

HANS CROEBER  
Montrose

Government wants to take away rightfully earned Social Security benefits

The only thing wrong with the government’s calculation of available social security is it forgot to figure in the people who died before they ever collected a social security check! Where did that money go?
Remember, not only did we contribute to Social Security but our employers did, too. It totaled 15 percent of your income before taxes. If you averaged only $30K over your working life, that’s close to $220,500. Read that again.

Did you see where the government paid in one single penny? We are talking about the money you and your employer put in a government bank to insure you and I that we would have a retirement check from the money we put in, not the government.

Now they are calling the money we put in an entitlement when we reach the age to take it back.
If you calculate the future invested value of $4,500 per year (yours and your employer’s contribution) at a simple 5 percent interest (less than what the government pays on the money that it borrows), after 49 years of working you’d have $892,919.98.

If you took out only 3 percent per year, you’d receive $26,787.60 per year and it would last better than 30 years (until you’re 95 if you retire at age 65) and that’s with no interest paid on that final amount on deposit!

If you bought an annuity and it paid 4 percent per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month.
The folks in Washington have pulled off a bigger Ponzi scheme than Bernie Madoff ever did.

Entitlement, my foot. I paid cash for my Social Security insurance! Just because they borrowed the money for other government spending doesn’t make my benefits some kind of charity or handout! 
Remember Congressional benefits? Free healthcare, outrageous retirement packages, 67 paid holidays, three weeks paid vacation, unlimited paid sick days.

Now that’s welfare, and they have the nerve to call my Social Security retirement payments entitlements? We’re “broke” and we can’t help our own seniors, veterans, orphans or the homeless. Yet in the last few months we have provided aid to Russia, Haiti, Chile and Turkey. And now Pakistan, former home of bin Laden. Literally, billions of dollars! Not to mention the billions of dollars given to the very profitable oil companies as subsidies.  And they can’t help our own citizens in New York and New Jersey.

They call Social Security and Medicare an entitlement even though most of us have been paying for it all our working lives, and now, when it’s time for us to collect, our government is running out of money. Why did the government borrow from it in the first place? It was supposed to be in a locked box—not part of the general fund.
 
WAYNE FLICK
Cimarron

After recent elections, voters must better assess candidates’ character

Is there any characteristic that may make one unfit for service? Perhaps character.

Our character is determined by the nobility of the values that we hold and the courage it takes to live by them. Recently the Grand Valley political scene has shown us two elected officials (Craig Meis, county commissioner, and Jared Wright, state house district 54) who would give us pause to consider the word “character.”

There is now a third party, recently elected city councilman Rick Brainard. Here, the record seems quite clear. In a fit of rage he assaulted his female live-in partner and then initially lied to the investigating officer. When this became public, he took solace from emails and phone calls “of support” and refused to step down.

He was never accountable. There was no ownership of the problem, no public acknowledgement, no remorse, and no self-correcting opportunity for improvement on his part. And, by the way, he also “wants a pass” from the judge.

His core values do not match what our community needs or wants. I would think that he should try to find the courage to apologize to his girlfriend and to the community at large and then resign.

Finally, as voters, we need to pay a great deal of attention to the character of candidates who are running for office. 

C.K.M. WANEBO

Grand Junction

Restore original ‘de jure government

Genesis 1: 26-28: And God said Let us make man in our image’ after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over birds of the heavens, and over the cattle, and all the earth., and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 And god created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them: and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the heavens, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Nowhere in the word of God does God say to take dominion and rule over

1) I, Jody Gail Green, attest to the original Constitution for the United States of America, (with its seven articles ratified Sept. 17, 1787) and the Bill of Rights (with amendments/articles ratified Dec. 15, 1791) is “The Supreme Law of the Land” (Article VI § 2).

This fact was made clear in 1901 by Supreme Court Justice Marshall Harlan (Downes v. Bidwell, 182, U.S. 244 1901) by giving the dissenting opinion:“ Two national governments exist: De Facto and De Jure.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision, Hooven and Allison Co. v Evatt, 1945, confirmed, with finality, the doctrine that there are two “United States.” one under the Constitution, and ONE NOT UNDER THE CONSTITUTION,

This latter “United States” consists of the people or the other entities that are under “federal jurisdiction.” The court stated with sobering candor, that these have no constitutional rights.

DE FACTO

The United States corporation [established 1871]; District of Columbia Organic Act; USC 28 section 3002, No. 15 (a) is lawful form of government that was never ratifed by Congress, nor were the American people ever told of existence.

We, the people, are the authority in Mesa County. The sheriff has the authority given to him by the people to keep all federal agencies out of Mesa County.

The people’s authority is in place. All we must do is to work with and instruct the sheriff what to do and support him with action.  STAND BY AND WALK WITH HIM.

JOB 8: 2-7 2 how long wilt thou speak these things? And how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a mighty wind? 3 Doth God pervert justice? Or doth the Almighty pervert righteousness 4If thy children have sinned against him. And he hath delivered them into the hand of their transgressions; 5 If thou wouldest seek diligently unto God, And make thy supplication to the Almighty; 6 If thou wert pure and upright; Surely now he would awake for thee and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous. 7 And though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end would greatly increase.

State legislatures don’t have any such authority. We must support the sheriff’s and “stay” the Legislature. Remember, sheriffs are elected, and there is no question about their authority to raise a posse, and to enforce our basic rights. The legislature DOES NOT have any power from us to legislate away the “Bill of Rights” (FORBIDDEN).

After thought, what good is the Constitution if we can’t enforce the oath
of office?

JODY GAIL GREEN

Grand Junction



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Why was she not arrested for initiating the altercation, Mr. Pettygrove?  Because she was the one with the black eye.

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