Email letters, April 28, 2014
Bundy needs to study U.S. history
Rancher Cliven Bundy has made so many ignorant comments that it’s hard to know where to start.
So, I will single out just one of his comments — that ‘”Negroes” were happier and better off under slavery because the family unit was intact. Wow! Um … of the many horrors of slavery, one of the most painful was the constant separation of families – spouse from spouse, child from parents and sibling from sibling. One state, Alabama, put a law on the books requiring that children be kept with their parents. All the way up until age five. And even at that, the law was routinely ignored with no repercussions.
No, our families were not kept intact. They were rendered apart by their white slave owners – Bundy’s ancestors. And if he desires to understand the dysfunction of so many black families today, look to his history. I’d be happy to spend time with him to help him in his obvious struggle to understand that American history of which he seems so profoundly ignorant. Although, I do suppose that technically he is correct that families were not torn apart.
You see, slaves were not allowed to actually become legally married. That would have implied that they were humans with actual rights. So, they just took spouses and had their own nonlegal, and non-legally binding ceremony. So, they didn’t legally even have families. But being an expert on the Negro, Bundy already knows that.
Oh, and by the way, I’m a Negro, a decorated combat Marine and a retired BLM park ranger. Like virtually all of my Negro counterparts, I have never sat in the front doorway of a public housing project nor been sentenced to prison — and I pay my taxes. Odd, huh?
Taxes, by the way, which seem to allow Bundy to be on federal welfare with his free grazing. Probably allowing him to spend time sitting lazily in his front doorway. Ain’t the government wonderful?
I wish Bundy a nice day. I also suggest he study up on his American history.
If Common Core proposal cannot improve teaching and learning, it should go
Columnist David Brooks opines in the April 25 issue of the Sentinel that “common core standards [are] clearly superior to old mess of public education.”
Let’s assume that he is correct about the current effectiveness of public education, probably so. The balance of his column is pure drivel if i have ever read such. He tell us about the original source of Common Core — that it is not a federal effort. Take away federal money, and we would see an immediate departure of Common Core, exactly like so many other federal education programs.
Here is a simple test of any proposed school improvement effort: Tell us exactly how the proposal will improve teaching effectiveness and student learning. Apply this test to Common Core. If answered honestly, it will be gone, and it should go.
Taxpayers and parents (students, too) should demand that without a satisfactory answer to that simple test Common Core will be a thing of the past. Why, because the answer is nonexistent.
FRANK ROGER LITTLE
Harmon’s article illuminates fatuousness of Gardner’s policy positions
Gary Harmon’s timely article – “Senate hopeful gets earful on Russia policies” – exposes the fatuousness of Cory Gardner’s policy positions.
First, “jobs have been at stake in western Colorado” since President Obama’s “American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (the “Stimulus”) expired in 2010.
Since then, House tea party Republicans – including Gardner – have refused to even vote on the “American Jobs Act of 2011” (and 2013), preferring to waste their time on 51+ votes to repeal Obamacare to twice threaten default on the national debt and to shut down the government in a fit of ideological pique.
Second, it is disingenuously cynical to blame “Obama’s lack of good policies” for the risk posed to Reynolds’ profits by economic sanctions imposed on Russia, when the need for sanctions was precipitated by Vladimir Putin – with whom Reynolds apparently still wants to do business, despite his aggression in the Crimea and Ukraine in violation of the United Nation’s charter and international norms established by two bloody World Wars.
To Gardner’s credit, he later opined that “sanctions could be a necessity” because “people are dying in Ukraine – perhaps hearkening to “NeoCons’” calls for military involvement, which could disrupt Reynolds’ exports even more than sanctions.
Obama has deployed elements of the 173 Airborne Brigade Combat Team to NATO allies Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and he sent additional naval assets to the Black Sea, while NATO is “ramping up” for military action in Ukraine.
Apparently, Gardner also supports allowing U.S. companies – like Reynolds – to avoid paying U.S. taxes on profits left offshore, while refusing to close the loophole that allows U.S. companies shipping American jobs overseas to expense the entire cost of doing so.
Meanwhile, it will take three to five years for American liquefied natural gas to reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian supplies.
Re-elect Mark Udall.
Photo unwisely depicted malnourished horses
I grew up with horses, having spent my childhood and teenage years (during World War II) working full time with these marvelous beasts. My plans to make this my life’s work were interrupted by something called Korea.
Needless to say, my love of horses tells me that the horses on the front page of Friday’s paper are malnourished to the point of abuse, e.g. the droopy eyelids and ears and the sunken flanks. Western Colorado is still horse country, and it seems to me your choice of story was not a wise one.
EDWARD C. LOSHBAUGH
Taxpayers are footing bill for high schoolers in college
I read the “Credit without the card” article on the cover of Thursday’s Sentinel, and at first it looked OK.
Then I got to the paragraph that said, “The student has to take those classes at a college that has agreed to partner with the student’s school district to pay a negotiated price for that student’s tuition and fees. The district uses money allocated per student by the state to pay that amount — $6,021 this year to pay tuition and fees.” The article also stated that 19 other students applied, which would be a total of $114,399.
I believe that one way or the other that money is provided by taxpayers which is probably you and me. The state has no funds of its own — only what it takes from us. Somehow I am not liking this idea. Of course, it helps his family; many families are paying for it.
Restrictions on state lands exceed those on federal lands
There has been much talk lately of the states taking over management of our vast currently federally managed lands. Whether in support of the trespassing Cliven Bundy in Nevada or to plump up state coffers from resource sale and lease, a lot of folks are in knee-jerk support of such an idea. Perhaps people should stop and think before plunging in.
The lands the state currently manages are operated under far more restrictions than most federally managed lands. State Land Board lands are generally accessible only to the leasee and managed as his own (Bundy would like this) with very limited public access on a few parcels during hunting seasons.
State Parks require payment of an entry fee with onerous regulations restricting public use. State Wildlife Areas also require the payment of a fee (Habitat Stamp) and are posted with a detailed list of regulations and prohibited activities, including camping. While these areas have their place in the public land management scheme, few public land users would want the vast tracts of currently federally managed land operated this way.
Our federal land management agencies do a good job of managing these expansive and endlessly varied tracts. They consider multiple uses from resource extraction to recreation in a balanced manner that considers impacts of any resource use on all resources. Yes, the federal government can get heavy-handed, and we all will find disagreement with their decisions from time to time, but generally they make decisions based on resource management objectives.
We all receive financial, aesthetic and recreational benefit from the current management and should use caution when calling for change — we may get what we ask for.
National Park Service should continue to oversee monument
The reason why we have a National Park Service is to manage our national parks in the national interest. But Scott Tipton wants to see a Colorado national park that is managed from the “bottom up” with an advisory board packed with local cronies and economic interest groups.
This was never the intent of the Organic Act of 1916. which created the National Park Service, and it will tie the hands of any reasonable park superintendent. If we think we have a world-class attraction that will attract outsiders to the Grand Valley, then we should be providing world-class management.
We don’t need representatives from the oil and gas industry or the chambers of commerce telling NPS personnel how to do their jobs.
If Tipton is such a proponent of local “bottoms up” management, perhaps he should consider making Colorado National Monument into a city or county park. Then all local residents with their own personal agendas can have their fingers in the pie.
Comment about ignorant South blithely slams entire region
Sunday’s Sentinel included Jim Ciha’s letter in which Ciha blithely stated the entire Southern U.S. is “woefully ignorant.”
What next, letters in which writers claim that all blacks are thieves and crackheads and Mexicans are all drug cartel members and dope dealers? I’ll bet the folks that own businesses in Colorado ski resorts would love the letter reprinted in Southern papers.
Blaming radio talk shows and Fox News is far too simplistic
I was reading the editorial page when I ran across a letter to the editor by Jim Ciha headlined “Manipulative politicians can control ignorant population.” The letter needs another point of view.
As a moderate conservative, I concur with his assessment about the widespread ignorance of our population and the frustration it creates in a free society. Admittedly, there is much to be done in that regard, but to simply put the blame on Fox News and conservative talk radio is an outrageous assertion. Constructing a stand on one solution to very complex problems doesn’t pay the rent or put someone to work.
The only things the reader takes away from this piece is that the apple of ignorance doesn’t fall too far from the tree and one should reach for the ideal — not empty platitudes.
Theories of evolution and creation can easily coexist
I just finished reading a letter from one of your readers about choosing between creation or evolution. It should be creation ITAL] and [ITAL] evolution.
I graduated from a Catholic college and we studied Darwin — not to discredit his work but to show that his discovery was part of God’s plan when he created the universe. He provided all species with the ability to adapt to their environments, thus increasing their survivability.
As for the age of Earth, I don’t believe it either. It could be 4.625 billion or 3.725 just as easily. The age of 6,000 years seems a little young, but as someone once said, “What difference at this point does it make?”
Act now to spare children and grandchildren dire effects of carbon emissions
The letter, “Report says man-made climate change is debatable,” published April 27, is based on a story in a climate-denier website.
This story can be summed up very simply: A group of retired NASA scientists with no climate science
research experience listened to a few fossil fuel-funded contrarian scientists, read a few climate blogs and put together a very rudimentary “report.” They now expect people to listen to them because they used to work at NASA. They have no authority or expertise in climate science.
Here is first paragraph on NASA’s web page on the causes of climate change: “Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the ‘greenhouse effect.’” NASA also supports the study that says over 97 percent agree that climate change is
man-made. It’s time we stopped listening to denier distortions of the scientific truth and started to take action.
Eight Nobel Prize-winning economists advocate a consumer-friendly carbon tax to transition efficiently to clean energy without economic pain. The details of the plan are on the Citizens Climate Lobby website. Briefly, a steadily increasing carbon pollution tax would be rebated directly to consumers. A “tax swap,” would let the market, not the government, make the switch to renewables as carbon fuels get increasingly more expensive than solar and wind energy.
As they scale up, solar and wind get cheaper. Storage/intermittency problems have been solved. Solar and wind are already becoming cost-competitive, even though their subsidies have been eliminated, while massive, and completely unnecessary multi-billion dollar annual subsidies for fossil fuels continue.
The latest IPCC reports say we have only about 15 years to make drastic cuts in CO2 if we are to avoid “catastrophic” climate change. Do something about climate change before it does something serious to you and your children and grandchildren. We won’t feel the effects of the CO2 being put into the atmosphere for another 30 years. It takes that long to heat up. If we wait that long, it may be too late.
Banning fracking will slice vital jobs, revenue in Colorado
There seems to be a number of misguided Coloradans who mistakenly believe that banning fracking would produce some kind of tangible benefit for our state. Some also claim that while a permanent ban may not be tenable, we should at least ban it for five years or so in order to study the effects of this process – despite the fact that fracking’s effects are already well-documented.
What neither of these schools of thought seem to recognize, however, is that either option would leave our state and local communities in a terrible economic situation.
Researchers at the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder have actually studied both scenarios, and their recently released study, Hydraulic Fracturing Ban - The Economic Impact of a Statewide Fracking Ban in Colorado, shows devastating effects for our state. The study predicted that a statewide ban on fracking would eliminate an estimated 68,000 Colorado jobs and $567 million in yearly tax revenue in the first five years. It went on to show that over 25 years, we would lose 93,000 jobs, $985 million in yearly tax revenue, $316 billion in GDP and $6,000 in annual income for a family of four.
The researchers at CU Boulder went on to conclude that industries outside of oil and gas would be hit hard as well, particularly the fields of real estate, construction and retail.
While those pushing for a ban on fracking may be able to afford the severe economic fallout that would assuredly ensue, the vast majority of Colorado’s workers and families know they can not. It certainly doesn’t seem responsible or equitable to subject a majority of our state’s citizens to the whims and fancies of misguided extremists.