Email letters, April 2, 2012

What is liberal and what is conservative?

Reinhold Niebuhr, esteemed Christian theologian of a few generations ago, begins his two-volume work on the Nature and Destiny of Man with this observation: “Man has always been his own most vexing problem. How shall he think of himself?”  

In light of that observation, I wondered whether it was coincidental or intentional when on March 29 The Daily Sentinel placed on the same page two articles, with accompanying photos, highlighting those extremes which are human mercy and human cruelty. One photo shows a tiny puppy, supported by gentle human hands, nursing a bottle while fitting comfortably inside a coffee cup. Another set of photos contrasts the before and after effects of acid thrown on a woman’s face.

According to the AP article, this despicable act “highlights the horrible mistreatment many women face in Pakistan’s conservative, male-dominated culture.” Male-dominated, yes. But conservative? A more accurate description would be: abusive,
male-dominated society. Radically evil deeds are not the monopoly of the conservative branch, regardless of societal context.

In a recent edition of the Journal of Medical Ethics, two medical ethicists out of esteemed Australian universities wrote an article, “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” They explain: “What we call ‘after-birth abortion’ should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.” These, er, ethicists, acknowledge such a procedure is tricky business, needing to be done before the infant develops “those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”

Since pro-choice is generally understood as a liberal position, we have here exemplified the extent some on the left are willing to define pro-choice. Yet, I suspect many self-described progressives would not consider the practice of after-birth abortion as, well, “progressive.” 
God, speaking through the prophet Isaiah, warns, “Woe to those who call good ‘evil’, and evil ‘good’ ”. However, due to our fascination with attaching self-justifying political or religious labels to the moral issues of the day, perhaps another woe would be fitting: “Woe to those who call conservatives ‘evil’ and progressives ‘good’ or, vice-versa.”



Issues being discussed in Fruita’s mayoral race

Some issues raised in the Fruita mayor’s race merit clarification. The City Council did not vote to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Fruita. In November, 2009, neither Colorado state law nor the state Constitution permitted municipalities to ban dispensaries.

Fruita had no restrictions regarding dispensaries. Attempting to ban dispensaries at that time would expose the city to potentially costly lawsuits. The Council voted to amend the Land Use Code to strictly regulate dispensaries, the only legal option available. These regulations were sufficiently restrictive as to discourage any dispensary from locating in Fruita. The only application that reached the City Council was unanimously rejected when the applicant failed to comply with the application requirements.

Consumption-based residential sewer rates are not a new idea. The entire Council is in favor of consumption-based residential rates. However, the city staff pointed out the technical difficulties of implementing such a system for over 4,000 residences, and suggested we begin by implementing consumption-based rates for our less than 200 commercial businesses. The entire Council agreed, with the expressed intent of including residential customers when feasible.

Every election another candidate makes statements about getting another grocery store in Fruita. I believe Mayor Henry and Councilor Buck met with executives from Kroger about expanding the existing City Market or building a new store. We met with consultants from Denver, who explained the business model supermarkets follow indicates Fruita’s current population will not support two stores, and no amount of discussion will persuade them otherwise.

If Councilor Moss believes he can bring a new grocery store to Fruita, why has he not done so in the four years he has spent on the Council?

Fruita City Council Member

Will new road design fit the needs of the area?

Does the new road design come with a wildlife fence since it’s federally funded? As for public comment, it sounds like it’s already built.

As far as new truck stops, the Acorn is already out there. What I’d like to know is if this new design doesn’t work, who’s going to pay to fix it? The City Council, county commissioners, CDOT or the people of Mesa County.

I think before they build it, they should see if it fits its needs. This would
be a new concept for these elected officials.

Grand Junction


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