Email letters, August 20, 2014
Reader counters Olivias’ opinions on Shooter’s Grill
Today is August 19. Mr. Olivivas wrote his e-mail August 12, right after the story regarding Shooter’s Grill in Rifle. A couple of things: It might have been to print Olivivas’ e-mail while the story was fresh in the minds of those who read it, not a week later, with other pressing stories taking our attention, and the Shooter’s story in the rear view mirror, so to speak.
I doubt many people will care one way or another that Olivivas was “uncomfortable (and almost sick)” over the attention that Shooter’s Grill received. According to him, it is not good PR for “similarly dubbed Rifle.” Really? I would think Rifle would benefit as well from a standpoint of their tax base, based on the additional business Shooter’s does as a result of said attention. That people come to Rifle to have a meal at Shooter’s simply because it exists, or just to say they’ve been there is a plus, any way it is looked at.
Olivivas mentions many places in the world where “toting firearms is seemingly casual and ubiquitous” but he leaves out Mexico, and the murders being committed by the drug cartels, that carry openly and threateningly, not only to Mexicans, but also to Americans. Some of those arms have been supplied by America, via “Fast and Furious”, but that is yet another story.
He ends by questioning the belief in Jesus and Christianity of the owner’s, wondering if anyone else senses the “strong odor of mendacity and hypocrisy.” He then states he might make a gift of a “painting of Jesus Christ, teeth bared in a fierce grin, wielding a sword.”
If he is so uncomfortable with exposed guns, why would he go to Shooter’s? Are we to believe Olivivas is a painter of such repute that Shooter’s would want one of his paintings? Why the sword? The passage where others are instructed to “sell their cloaks and obtain a sword” notwithstanding – Olivivas seems to be made ‘uncomfortable’ by guns – to the point of being “almost sick.” He hasn’t yet realized that the exposed ones aren’t the ones he has to worry about – it is the ones concealed by criminals with bad intentions.
He should stay away from Shooter’s, and I dare say Shooter’s probably won’t go out of business because of the lack of his business.
DAVID F. ZULIAN
One-party government in Mesa County has negative consequences
A one-party state often fails because of corruption, lack of accountability, cronyism, self-dealing, lack of ethics, inefficiency, arrogance and inflexibility. A one-party government helped to bring down the Soviet Union and many other countries.
Much of the western slope consists of one-party counties. Look what this situation has brought to Mesa County:
•Two ethically challenged legislators, both former cops, one indicted for felonies.
•An airport no one wants to come and manage, still troubled by lack of transparency and arguably illegal meetings.
•Party operatives who all will say they support term limits, but trade government offices around to avoid those same limits.
•A sheriff’s department and a university where no one seems to know that one of their employee’s was well connected politically, and worked so many hours, including his legislative job, that he must have a time machine.
•A university run by a former Republican legislator that is slipping further and further down in national rankings and graduating a pathetically small number of students, but building lots of buildings and promoting sports instead of academics.
•Ambitious young people who leave for better incomes elsewhere. Who wants to stay where incomes are 80% of the state average?
•Economically, Mesa County lags behind the rest of the state, especially those areas governed by Democrats. Only one other major county (Republican El Paso County) is also lagging behind all the large Democratic ones in recovering from the Great Depression. Conservative Mesa County has more crime than liberal Boulder County.
The same results are seen nationally. Democratic states are richer and healthier than Republican ones. When a Democrat is president, the country grows significantly faster and the stock market goes up much more than when a Republican is president.
Want more of the same? Vote for the same party that has misgoverned this region for decades. That’s the definition of insanity.
Sentinel readers should be struck by irony of Tipton articles
Sentinel readers should have been struck by the laughable irony of Greg Ruland’s report (“Tipton SCORES with small biz”) and Gary Harmon’s accompanying “Feds damaging economy, county board tells Tipton”).
First of all, SCORES (formally, the Service Corps of Retired Executives) was officially launched by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) in 1964 (under Democratic President LBJ) – and still receives funding from that “overreaching” federal government.
Second, SCORES affords an instructive example of how public-private partnerships can “create jobs” – returning “$47 dollars to the U.S. Treasury for every federal dollar that was appropriated to the association” – but Republicans have been trying to eliminate the SBA since 1996, while President Obama increased funding for it under both American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.
Third, both “Tea Party” Congressman Scott Tipton and our like-minded “conservative” County Commissioners still advocate the same failed economic policies – “tax cuts fix everything” – that resulted in the destruction of 200,000 small businesses in 2008-2009.
Fourth, both Tipton (expressly) and our County Commissioners (impliedly) still rely on “The $1.75 Trillion Lie” to insist that federal regulations are “damaging the economy”, when in fact they are protecting the diversity of our agricultural and outdoor recreation sectors from being further diminished by these officials’ “drill baby drill” mentality.
Fifth, Tipton’s sophistry is exemplified by the “Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act” – which might protect those “small businesses” subject to $100 million in costs and would allow the “Tea Party”-controlled House to micro-manage regulations promulgated by federal agencies under statutory authorities expressly granted by previous Congresses.
Finally, as suggested by the spectacular turnout of 30 usual suspects, it was apparent to all that Tipton was being recognized for merely “showing up” and rendering the same “constituent services” routinely expected of every Congressman.
Contrary to Kearsley’s opinion, Sen. Udall gets results for clear-thinking Coloradoans
Perpetual Republican apologist Dave Kearsley is at it again – spinning a string of world events into an incoherent partisan narrative that oversimplifies the complexities we face.
Thus, “at some point the evidence builds up and becomes hard to deny.” Republicans’ “true agenda and the results are now becoming clear to a solid majority of Americans” – having made a mess of our economy and the Middle East and obstructed President Obama since January 2009, they “etch-a-sketch” that history and blame it all on Obama.
“In foreign relations,” for example, “we are seeing the cost of” George Bush’s misguided invasion of Iraq, of his failure to adequately fund the VA, and of his inability to negotiate a “status of forces” agreement before bequeathing his mess to President Obama.
Given the obvious political dysfunction perpetrated by GOP obstructionism and the “Tea Party’s” ideological disdain for governance and ignorant disregard for sound fiscal policy (including adequate revenues), “Putin [rightly] saw pushing the restart as [self-inflicted] weakness” – wherein extreme partisanship undermines both our military and economy.
“The results in just these two examples [of Republican policies] are genocide in Iraq and what may be the beginning of a new cold war”. Fortunately, in contrast to Bush/Cheney and the NeoCon “hawks,” Obama/Biden are determined to “not do stupid stuff” again.
Meanwhile, “in the domestic arena”, Bush “maxed out our ‘China credit card’” by twice cutting taxes while fighting two wars and enacting Medicare Part D entirely on credit, then bequeathing President Obama the largest national debt and annual budget deficit in history (not to mention the financial crisis and a near-Depression).
Nevertheless, despite Republican obstructionism, the economy has gradually recovered, annual deficits have been cut, and Kearsley no longer proclaims, “The sky is falling.”
Likewise, the ACA “tops the list of” the most successful health insurance reforms in our history – already benefiting at least 24 million Americans.
The EPA protects our water and air quality, even though “fracking” remains exempted from adequate regulation. President Obama’s purported “abuse of executive power” is yet to be litigated – and the Constitutional remedy is impeachment. Bring it on.
Indeed, Sen. Udall would never deny that he has been a proud supporter of President Obama’s domestic policies, a dogged critic of the NSA’s vestigial surveillance programs, and a determined advocate for and protector of women’s right to control their own bodies.
Consequently, Sen. Udall’s campaign contributors include thousands of individual donors who oppose both polluters and extremist ideologues – like his “Tea Party” opponent Cory Gardner.
Therefore, contrary to Kearsley’s babble, Sen. Udall gets the results clear-thinking Coloradans appreciate – so “Udall is their guy.”
Tapia would represent interests of 3rd C.D. better than Tipton
Kudos to Gary Harmon (“Congressional challenger Tapia touts cross-party cooperation”) for aptly chronicling Abel Tapia’s ample qualifications to “ably” and honestly represent the interests of the 3rd C.D. in Congress.
In contrast to the incumbent – “Tea Party” lemming Scott Tipton (who inherited the family business and was thus “born with a silver trinket in his mouth”) – Tapia is a civil engineer and a self-made successful businessman with uniquely varied experience as a true public servant (not an ideological “lap dog” like Tipton).
While Tipton typifies why “Congress has been stymied by partisan issues” – threatening to jeopardize the “full faith and credit” of the U.S., voting to “shut down” the federal government, voting 50+ time to repeal/defund the Affordable Care Act, voting to deport 700,000 “Dreamers” who know only the U.S. as their home, and voting to sue President Obama for delaying the “employer mandate” after Tipton himself voted to delay that mandate – Tapia offers the “fresh air” of sober policy-making and bipartisan cooperation.
Both as a company-founder and as a legislator, Tapia has actually “created jobs” – not just talked about it (like Tipton and the do-nothing “Tea Party”-controlled House).
Both Tapia and Tipton advocate an “all of the above” national energy strategy, but – unlike Tipton – Tapia opposes unnecessary subsidies to the most profitable industry in the history of the world and continuing regulatory exemptions for “fracking” from provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act.
Tapia also supports Governor Hickenlooper’s efforts to craft a workable compromise between the statutory imperative (and consequent pro-industry bias) of the Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and the fiduciary duty and inherent right of Colorado’s local governments to protect the health and safety of their publics.
Unlike nativist Tipton, Tapia supports comprehensive immigration reform that would, first, “secure our borders” and rationalize our temporary visa programs (and implement mandatory E-Verify), before instituting a “pathway to citizenship” that includes paying a meaningful fine, learning English, and going to “the end of the line.”
Tipton’s voting record proves that he doesn’t represent the interests of the 3rd C.D. – so we should send Tapia to Congress.
Harmon article failed to mention Tipton’s misrepresentation of water rights bill
Gary Harmon’s report on Congressman Scott Tipton’s “Town Hall Meeting” in Fruita failed to mention Tipton’s misrepresentation of his own “water rights bill” (H.R. 3189).
After falsely implying that ski operators have an unrestricted “private property interest” in their water rights for snow-making, Tipton failed to mention that (for 31+ years now) the Forest Service has required ski areas to surrender snow-making water rights to the U.S. as a condition for obtaining permits to operate on federal lands it administers, so that the right acquired under Colorado law to “beneficially use” public water originating in National Forests remains dedicated to that original purpose.
Since 1983 (under Republican President Ronald Reagan), Forest Service permits required ski areas to title snow-making water rights in the name of the “United States” – ensuring that such water rights “run with the land” and cannot be privately transferred or sold for other purportedly “beneficial” (commercial) uses, to the potential detriment of successor ski operators, local communities, graziers, and/or the national forests themselves.
For twenty years thereafter, Reagan’s common sense policy was inconsistently enforced (but not “waived”), and some Colorado ski areas obtained water rights without so titling them.
In 2004, Republican President George Bush’s Forest Service began requiring joint ownership of those water rights with the “U.S.,” but “grandfathered” older non-compliant permits. In 2011, President Obama’s Forest Service sought to restore consistency to that sensible policy by requiring compliance as a permit renewal condition.
Similarly, in rhetorically asking “Should it take an act of Congress to be able to rescind something that no one in Congress ever voted for?” Tipton pandered to gullible locals’ apparent ignorance of the fact the previous Congresses routinely passed laws that expressly charged the executive branch with the task of formulating implementing regulations in compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act.