Email letters, August 4, 2014
Hobby Lobby’s religious beliefs selective at best
While some Daily Sentinel readers and the male members of the Supreme Court feel that the owners of Hobby Lobby should not go against their heartfelt religious beliefs about providing certain portions of health care for its employees, my research shows that these beliefs are selective at best.
While shopping at Hobby Lobby, I noticed that many of the products sold in Hobby Lobby are manufactured in China. It is well documented that air pollution and lead poisoning in Chinese manufacturing areas are at dangerous levels, especially for children.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Chinese people have no say in the selection of their leaders and are a one-party system that imposes sanctions, fines and forced abortions on rural women who have broken the one-child law. Domestic violence and employment discrimination against women are rampant in China. Only 2 percent of Chinese women have access to contraception. The Chinese government continues to thwart the independent women’s rights groups that petition that these issues be addressed.
Back here in the U.S., Hobby Lobby’s corporate managed 401K-investment portfolio includes a large percentage of companies that manufacture products that induce abortions. These investment funds also include insurance companies that cover abortions, abortion drugs and emergency contraception.
What kind of religion ignores environmental destruction, punishes women, and supports its retirement fund from the very industry that they brand as unconscionable? Corporate religion?
Lastly, why does Hobby Lobby believe that they should have any control on what employees do with their work compensation? Health insurance is not a benefit. It is compensation for work.
As for me, my conscience tells me not to shop at Hobby Lobby.
Chamber thanks community for contributions to 4-H Fair and Livestock sale
Sunday’s Daily Sentinel carried a large thank you at the end of the Lifestyles section that recognized the businesses and individuals who supported the annual Mesa County 4-H Fair and Livestock sale.
The weeklong event concluded with the largest livestock sale in the history of Mesa County. This outstanding event was made possible by the investment and generosity from our local businesses, and folks associated with the energy industry. The generous financial contributions by our community’s long standing local businessmen and women, coupled with energy related operators
provide a way for these youth to invest in their secondary education or their vocational field of choice. These businesses know that an investment in 4H and FFA youth will pay dividends for our community and our country for decades ahead.
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce Livestock Marketing Committee, we are very appreciative of the support of our local businesses, and the investment by the energy industry. Thank you to all who attended, and for those who missed this year’s sale, we look forward to seeing you next year.
Co-Chairman, Chamber of Commerce Livestock Marketing Committee
Reader applauds Sentinel for producing substantial, quality product
Having recently visited another Colorado city with a newspaper circulation volume that I would guess to be equal to, or larger than the Sentinel’s, I was rather stupefied at the poor quality of that newspaper. There were a few short AP reports, some community stories and little news that could be considered substantial or investigative in nature. It seemed that the main purpose of that newspaper was to obtain revenue from full-page ads.
The Daily Sentinel does a great job offering a lot of important state, regional and local news and often takes the time to investigate, vet sources and get opposing opinions. The latter is possibly the most valuable feature the Sentinel offers.
The reader letters, entertainment, sports, historical articles, health care, human interest, business and other sections stand head and shoulders over that other newspaper I encountered. A person can absorb lots of useable information in a short time in the Sentinel’s newsprint format. I find it much more visually powerful than the small snip-its seen one-at-a time on a computer screen.
The Daily Sentinel is an important part of my day and I laud the management and staff in making efforts day after day not to disappoint.
CIA Director may deserve chance to prove credibility of his apologies
While subsequent revelations may prove Senator Udall and the Daily Sentinel (“Change of culture needed at CIA”) correct in calling for John Brennan’s resignation/removal as CIA Director, both may be guilty of a premature “rush to judgment” while begging the ultimate question as to who would be better suited and more motivated than Brennan to doggedly effectuate that “change of culture.”
First, we continue to operate in a polarized partisan environment wherein vestiges of the lawless Bush administration continue percolating up to the surface of public awareness – only to be historically and hysterically blamed on the Obama Administration.
Thus, second, the actual subject matter of the CIA’s spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer files were its source documents for a report on CIA misconduct during the post-9/11 Bush years – including torture, rendition, and secret prisons. Thus, no one had more motivation to “spy” on the Committee’s activities than Bush-holdover CIA officials whose complicity might be documented in the Committee’s report.
Third, while “[t]his grave misconduct not only is illegal” and arguably “violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers,” Bush/Cheney’s “grave misconduct” arguably constituted “war crimes” and violated both U.S. law (prohibiting torture) and the Geneva Conventions (concerning the treatment of captured combatants).
Thus, fourth, just as “insiders” made General Eric Shinseki (the only senior official to publicly question the Bush administration’s pollyannic “planning” for the Iraq War ) a scapegoat for that debacle and their budget-cutting neglect of the VA, so too would they now make Brennan the scapegoat for the “culture of recklessness” within the CIA – which was actually “fostered” by his predecessors and facilitated by Bush’s lawyers.
Fifth, perhaps equally alarming (given Manning’s “WikiLeaks” and Snowden’s NSA disclosures) is that the CIA “got caught” – suggesting a pervasive incompetence in our intelligence establishment that threatens our national security.
Meanwhile, despite his apparently naive belief that no one in the CIA could be so stupid, Brennan himself ordered the CIA’s IG report that identified the culprits. Thus, perhaps Brennan deserves a chance to prove the credibility of his apologies by forcefully pursuing accountability wherever the evidence leads.
IRS transgressions more concerning than CIA hacking
Sunday’s editorial (“Change of culture needed at CIA”) dumped all over the CIA for hacking into the computers of the staffers of the U.S. Senate Select Committee. Oh my, how dastardly of them. The Senate and House principals and staffers are the largest leakers of classified information in our government. Sen. Udall called for the resignation of CIA Director, John Brennan. Personally, I have no issue over that incident.
Try as I might, I could find no such fiery editorial over the transgressions of the IRS. That, to me, is far more a tragedy than the CIA’s hacking. But, President Obama said there’s not a “smidgeon” of evidence of IRS transgressions in dumping on perceived conservative groups with overly complex data requests. Talk about who needs a “culture change.” Does Sen. Udall have a comment?
EPA’s proposed guidelines will positively impact Grand Valley air quality and economy
I strongly support the EPA’s proposed guidelines to control carbon pollution. We see firsthand in the Grand Valley the negative impacts of air pollution on health and quality of life. During our infamous winter “inversions,” the local emergency rooms can attest to the increase in suffering by local residents.
In addition, carbon pollution contributes to climate change. We can’t simply adapt our communities to deal with the destructive impacts of climate change to our health and the increasingly more frequent extreme weather events we’re seeing. The EPA’s proposed guidelines are a balanced, positive step towards addressing these problems. Within our lifetimes, we’ve seen tremendous success of the Clear Air Act in reducing smog and pollution to the health and economic benefit of all.
The main argument against the Act back in 1970 is the same one used against new proposed carbon limits: it will be bad for our economy. Yet, for more than 40 years, our economy grew while the Clean Air Act worked to protect Americans’ health and reduce the haze in the skies. Old technologies give way to newer, better technologies — that’s the way of the world — and economies adjust and grow because of that. Let’s take this opportunity to grow our economy by getting a jump on clean technology development.
Internet and television monopoly plans out of control in pricing
Well, it looks like T-Mobile, with Iliad’s help, will break the back of cell service plans here in the U.S. Now, if only someone or some foreign firm would come in & break the monopoly of Charter and other TV/internet/land line combination plans that are out of control in their pricing. How about letting us chose & pay for just the channels we watch and stop paying for 50 channels that are worthless?
Bradford’s fracking letter distorted purported facts
While Gail Bradford’s timely letter – “Want to regulate fracking? Learn to live without energy!” – touches on valid themes in the on-going statewide debate over indiscriminate hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), it also distorts purported “facts.”
Thus, first, even if “no one in the energy industry wants to harm anyone,” its record is replete with unintended “harm” – e.g., leaks, spills, fires, explosions, and earthquakes.
As a result, informed segments of the public remain rightly skeptical of the oil and gas industry’s perpetually Pollyanna propaganda touting fracking as “entirely safe” – particularly when conducted in the vicinity of especially vulnerable locales.
Second, Bradford properly points to the implicit tradeoff between the market price and profitability of fossil fuels versus the cost-effectiveness of importing and/or conserving them to protect other valuable Colorado resources.
However, while Bradford sarcastically depreciates wildlife, ski resorts, and fishing lodges, most Sentinel readers recognize that Colorado’s outdoor environment is itself a unique and invaluable economic asset that should not be sacrificed on the altar of “fracking.”
Third, Bradford’s contention that “everyone [in the energy industry] is very willing to follow strict regulations” is manifestly false. At every level of government, the energy industry strenuously resists “strict regulation” of its activities and regards fines for non-compliance – when detected – as just another “cost of doing business”.
Moreover, Bradford’s claim is further belied by the fact that – under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 – “fracking” remains inexplicably exempted from the regulatory regime otherwise applicable to “underground injection wells” under the Safe Drinking Water Act and from the definition of “pollutant” under the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts.
Meanwhile, entirely benign “fracking fluids” are routinely used in offshore drilling (where toxic “fracking fluids” are prohibited).
Therefore, some Colorado communities understandably seek to exercise more local control over their own public health and safety.