Email letters, Feb. 16, 2012

Marks’ lawsuit is not premature

While it is seldom prudent to dispute anyone who buys ink by the barrel, the Feb. 15 editorial, “Marks’ lawsuit on ballots is premature” was misguided.
 
Contrary to the editors’ implication, Mesa County Clerk Sheila Reiner has never identified any state or federal law that mandates the local procedures which create and exacerbate the threat to voter anonymity and the secret ballot. Why not? 
 
Rather, during recent discussions with Mesa County Democratic Party leaders, Reiner conceded that most objectionable local procedures were for her administrative convenience — not required by statute or rule.
 
Fortunately, Reiner could likely extricate herself from Marks’ federal lawsuit by consenting, first, to randomize opened mail-in ballots after batch counts are machine-verified (as local Democrats have formally requested); and, second, to timely adopt clear policies and implement practical plans to minimize the proliferation of combined ballot styles, avoid precinct splitting by special districts and eliminate the small district problem — which would also likely reduce burgeoning elections costs.
 
Unfortunately, while the Sentinel editorializes that Marks’ lawsuit is premature, it may already be statutorily — but not judicially — too late to implement some remedial measures (other than randomizing) in time for the 2012 general election.
 
So, looking forward, Reiner should consider reducing the number of precincts to the minimum allowed by statute (so precincts are geographically larger, encompass more voters, and require fewer ballot styles); redrawing precinct boundaries to fully encompass as many special districts as possible (so there are no “precinct splits” and thus even fewer ballot styles); and conducting elections for some small special districts on separate ballots rather than adding them to the combined ballot.
 
Meanwhile, legislative proposals to limit public — and thus the Sentinel’s own — access to election records are counter-productive because they conceal problems and undermine both the transparency of and public confidence in elections.         
 
BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Men should not determine what women do with their body

Why do so many people believe that women should live through their fertile years as a baby factory to accommodate any male inclined to mate with them? In earlier days, a young bride could expect to give birth to a child about every 15 to 18 months. If she married at age 20, that was about 15 children by the time she was age 50. This bride was not allowed to vote and all she had was a dower interest in her husband’s property. Her husband owned everything.

As far as the value of a child is concerned, we don’t have to look very far as to what that might be. To the Mesa County commissioners, it is much less than the short-term value of a gravel pit. Citizens tend to value the short-term excitement of sports activities more than the long-term value of education. The concepts of a living wage and affordable medical coverage are unacceptable. Those that molest and rape children are often protected by individuals that place a higher value on the status of the molester.

In my opinion, no male has any right to determine what a female must do with her body. A woman can choose to be a baby factory if she so wishes, but what other women decide is none of her business.

The answer to the question above is that a growing segment of society is attempting to appease their deity by sacrificing today’s fertile women and girls by forcing them to have children; children who society is generally inclined to trash.

SHEILA JOHNSON
Grand Junction

Support industries that create jobs

I think it’s time to put all the cards on the table. In 2001, President Clinton, with the help of environmental groups and data nearly 30 years old, cleverly crafted a quiet piece of presidential ruling.  This rule is now known as the Clinton Roadless Rule. I think a better name for this is “How to create a wilderness area without the approval of Congress.”

In order to designate portions of our public land as wilderness areas, complete with all the environmental protections provided under the law, Congress must pass legislation specific to the area under consideration And we all know how fast Congress works. Yet, in his eleventh hour, as President Clinton was leaving office, he designated over 4,000,000 acres in Colorado alone as “roadless.” This move effectively treats this acreage as a wilderness area.

This move is exactly what organizations like WildEarth Guardians, Earth Justice and the Sierra Club utilize in their efforts to curtail any development, use or enjoyment of our public lands. Their agenda for the use of public land is completely out of touch with mainstream America. Yet they have found a method to manipulate the system to achieve their goals. According to their web site WildEarth Guardians even want to eliminate cattle grazing on all public ground Whose land is it? I believe it belongs to the people of the United States, not these so-called environmental groups.

A recent article in the Colorado Independent discussed the decision by the Forest Service to overturn approval for an underground expansion of an existing coal mine in western Colorado. This mine employs over 350 people and influences another 1,000 support jobs. 

The article explains how this approval would weaken the protection for bald eagles, among other animals. WildEarth Guardians is quoted, “I guess they got what was coming to them, it’s certainly a setback.” Considering this, I think it is fair to ask WildEarth what their position is when it comes to wind farms and their decimation of eagles? It appears that the wind industry has been exempted from the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act enacted in 1940. In 2008 a study of the wind turbines at Altamont Pass, California alone was killing 80 golden eagles per year. In addition, another 10,000 birds and raptors, of which nearly all are protected under the MBTA, are being whacked every year at Altamont. The impact that wind turbine operations have on birds dwarfs the so-called impact that an underground coal mine will ever have on, even one eagle. But, this is not the agenda of any of these three so-called environmental groups.

This mindless assault on industries that are vital to jobs, our economy, and our way of life has got to stop. WildEarth is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Approximately 50 percent of the electricity for the town, and this group, is provided through coal fired electrical generation. Trust me; they are not operating their laptop computers with wind turbines while they pick up birds at their feet.

I would hope everyone will take up the cause and tell these organizations, the Forest Service, and our government that we support the industries that supply jobs, and support the way of life we have come to expect and cherish.  You voice is much greater than these self serving organizations and just as important.

RANDY LITWILLER
Crawford

Not everyone working for responsible land stewardship is an environmentalis
t

In the Feb 7 Daily Sentinel, reporter Gary Harmon identified me as an environmentalist and reported that Rocky Mountain Farmers Union is an environmental organization. This kind of editorializing has no place in a news report. His comment implies that anyone who disagrees with Tipton’s view on water storage projects is an environmentalist” with all the negative associations that term calls to mind.

Rocky Mountain Farmers Union represents family farmers and ranchers. Successful agricultural production depends on wise stewardship of the land, water and air needed to grow our nation’s food. In that sense, all farmers and ranchers might be called environmentalists” but that is certainly not the sense Harmon implies.

I’m grateful that Harmon quoted me accurately, because anyone who depends for their livelihood upon our water infrastructure, as farmers and ranchers do, recognizes that improvements to existing, aging facilities like irrigation ditches is money well spent, and it lacks the drama of fighting for new reservoirs. 

BILL MIDCAP
Rocky Mountain Farmers Union

Islam should not be promoted

I read on Free Republic that a Grand Junction High School Senior has quit the choir because Marcia Wieland selected an Islamic prayer song for them to learn. I salute the student.

Too often our public schools promote crabs in a brine bucket — or sheep — or salad in a bowl being prepared for someone else to consume but our schools seem to have forgotten religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind.

That act of war and the several since like the Ft. Hood jihad that murdered 14 and wounded more than two dozen others teach as much about Islam as our children need to know — unless they are being prepared to be surrendered (in the name of promoting “diversity”).

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER
Fruita

Planned Parenthood is only about padding its bottom line

After reading the letter from Judith Chapin, “Planned Parenthood is a savior to low-income women.” I am truly amazed at her reasoning. She cites a study on the rate of child abuse in children one and under. Other studies show that those same children were abused by the mother’s live-in boyfriend, many sexually assaulted. So, she reasons, the fact that Planned Parenthood provides these women abortions,(I’m glad to hear some pro-choice women agree that Planned Parenthood’s big money-maker is abortion.) these children will not “endure suffering and even death at the hands of their parents ... who are incapable of raising children”. Wow, what does the letter writer think abortion does?

It kills these same children only in the womb by horrible means up until they are full term by the choice of their mothers. Women have the responsibility to know that when they have frequent sex outside of marriage, the consequences most likely will be pregnancy. She even says that terminating these pregnancies, not for selfish reasons, but “they are considering the welfare and well being of the child.” She also admits they are a child. I would call aborting a child murder.

She ends by stating our children will be “devoured in the name of the moral majority.” Devoured is right, but by the evil that is abortion and Planned Parenthood.

Lifesitenews says, “Planned Parenthood, with their money-hungry abortion agenda, has lured women and young girls into their clinics with the promise of putting them first, but Planned Parenthood’s financial standing is all that matters to the abortion giant. The abortion business refuses to acknowledge the physical, mental and emotional damage abortion causes, thus, abandoning women because they are no longer seen as a profit. Planned Parenthood ... is a multi-million dollar company which preys on women to drive up their bottom line.” It points out that “Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast alone performed over 12,000 abortions in 2010 and banked over $17 million — 49 percent of which came form taxpayer dollars.” It’s new director and CEO, Melaney Linton calls their work a “sacred duty.” She replaces the former CEO who earned over $200,000 annually by performing this “sacred duty.”

It is truly amazing how the pro-choice ideology is so mistakenly driven, that they can’t even make a logical argument for their cause.

PATTI BROWN
Grand Junction

Student should not have to sing Islamic song

I am with James Harper in his stand. Islam is not only a religion, but a political conviction dedicated to the end of Christianity and Judaism. Koran: 2;256. No other religion is accepted by his allah except Islam.

DANIEL W. RICHTER
Sierra Vista, Ariz.



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