Email letters, Feb. 22, 2012

Congress is to blame for problems with Social Security and Medicare

When are we going to grow up? Do we need constant entertainment like that provided by former senator and buffoon Alan Simpson at a luncheon recently? Simpson says we desire the truth from our leaders and then he proceeds to spout off his version using crude and simplistic sophomoric statements. A Will Rogers or Mark Twain he is not.
 
The Daily Sentinel feels strongly about the Simpson-Bowles recommendations for deficit and debt reductions. It was put together by Simpson, a man who has lived a life of privilege and never wanted for anything and Erskine Bowles who has lived a similar life with time spent in the financial industry, the very industry whose shenanigans have created the biggest bust since the 1930s.
 
Simpson apparently had a lot to say about entitlements as a huge threat to our republic. The Sentinel also seems to have that fixation. Both Social Security and Medicare loom large in their minds as the potential downfall of our society. Both have a dedicated revenue stream and are represented to citizens as their programs for which they are specifically paying into over their working lives. Yes, they are entitlements. What else would you call them? They both need financial course corrections. Are their reimbursement levels too lavish or are the contributions not sufficient to sustain the desired benefit levels? Social Security, particularly, is only a problem insofar as the reserves we have been building up have been borrowed and spent by Congress. That’s a problem with the program?
 
If Congress really wants to fix the programs, they can do so easily. The problem is that maybe half those in that body are of a mindset that says, “I’m doing fine and don’t need those programs which are essentially nothing but giveaways to lazy slackers. I’m not going to pay for that.”
 
JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Majority of Americans believe in Christian values

Cranston angry residents and the school board were no match for a federal judge recently in regards to a prayer that had been on the wall of a school auditorium for 49 years. He had stated the principle of government neutrality in religion. The only problem now is that non religion is the religion of the courts, the ACLU and the media. Their goal is to neuter America, I feel.

They are out to mock, subvert, pervert, corrupt, debase and extinguish your beliefs. The beliefs and values upon which this country was founded. Beliefs which are held by the majority of Americans.  God and faith are being banished to one’s own bedroom to be spoken of in only hushed tones. The National Day of Prayer was called by the first Continental Congress in 1775 when it asked the colonies to pray for the future of the nation. The country was founded on a principle of freedom of religion, not freedom from religion and the Constitution’s free-exercise clause states that Congress can’t “prohibit the free exercise” of religious practice. It is like quarantining worship to secret, closed door meetings.

The young lady of the article in the faith section states, “I have alway been told that if you pray, God will be there when you need him.” “And it didn’t happen to me.” Her only problem is she expected God to say yes at all times. Maybe He was trying to grow her faith by having her ask over and over. He can also say no or wait. We live in such a “droid, 4G” world is that immediacy is expected in all aspects of our lives.

If she wants to become an atheist, so be it, but the majority of Americans are God believers. Maybe we should start an organization borrowing letters from another, NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Christian Principles. Or better yet read an interesting book by an athiest S.E. Cupp, “Losing Our Religion.”

JIM ZUBACK
Grand Junction

Why all the ads for the Airport Authority?

Why is the Grand Junction Airport Authority spending serious money on large ads in The Daily Sentinel, many in color, many prominently mentioning the name of the manager? Why are they running ads on television? It can’t be to drum up more business or to get an edge on competitors. Think about it. If you are planning a trip, you’ll decide whether to use a particular airport on the basis of cost and convenience. And seeing a flashy ad about an airport is unlikely to change your mind. Moreover, the airport already has a monopoly on commercial jet service in the area.

It’s much more plausible that these ads are intended to improve the public image of the Airport Authority rather than for any obvious business purpose.

The Airport Authority operates under the “Public Airport Authority Act,” which is a part of Title 41 of the Colorado Revised Statues. The law states that airport authorities are a “... subdivision of the state, exercising essential governmental powers for a public purpose.” Nowhere does the law mention public relations campaigns, self-promotion or general puffery as activities that airport authorities should be pursuing.

The Grand Junction Airport Authority exists to provide services related to air transportation. Certainly maintaining and improving the airport does require money. But spending money on self-promoting ads does not make the airport a better, safer or more convenient place. And it raises the question, “Is there some reason why we should not feel good about the Airport Authority?”

CHARLES BURCH
Grand Junction

Law breakers should not gain citizenship

Illegal is illegal Why all the dancing? The Democrats have aways pandered for the hispanic vote, dancing around the fact that the illegals have gotten here by thumbing their noses at our laws. Gaining citizenships should not be allowed when you are breaking the laws of the country you want to become citizens of.

I don’t think the definition of illegal has changed for at least a century. Entry to any country illegally is still against the law. There shouldn’t be any way to gain citizenship when you begin the process by breaking the law.

DANIEL SHINSKEY
Grand Junction

Immigrants should enter this country legally

What part of this word don’t people understand? There are hundreds of thousands of people who have entered this country legally, worked hard and made a good living. Why all of a sudden is there a group of people who think we should cater to their needs? This country offers it legal citizens a lot of rights, but there is not one that says you have the right to enter this country illegally. That means they are breaking the law in this country, which means they don’t have any rights in this country, let a lone the right to be in this country.

If they are trying to better their life, they should start out on the right foot and enter this country legally. Sure it costs money, but who said freedom was free. There are a lot of veterans who would tell you they have paid a high price for freedom and their rights.

CURT CLAUSSEN
Grand Junction

Highway administration should give up miscellaneous program

Charles Quimby’s comment on my letter that recommended that the federal gas tax be eliminated and that the role of the Federal Highway Administration be vastly diminished stated that my contention that billions of tax dollars could be saved was untrue since the their total budget for fiscal year 2012 was only $441 million.

However, in his testimony to Congress on March 30, 2011, Victor Mendez, FHWA administrator, asked for $70 billion for FHWA of which 42.8 billion would go to “federal-aid highway” program. This portion would be passed back to the states, unless of course, the cost of administering that portion of the program.

The difference (70-42.8=27.2) would fund the numerous miscellaneous programs run by FHWA. This is where a lot of our highway funding goes. As long as FHWA exists in its present form, they will never give up these miscellaneous programs.
 
DICK PROSENCE
Meeker

Grant misrepresented Santorum’s comments

One would think that Bill Grant would understand the meaning of the word “rhetoric,” given the reckless abandon with which he engages in it on a weekly basis. However, perhaps not, given how incorrectly and, in all likelihood, intentionally he has misrepresented Rick Santorum’s past and recent remarks.

Mr. Santorum has absolutely nothing requiring any further explanation in regard to these widely misquoted remarks that have been purposely and egregiously taken out of context by Mr. Grant and others. Had these remarks been quoted in their entirety, they would have been seen to be self-explanatory, clearly and completely understood in the rhetorical context in which they were made. As any grade school student knows, the term “Satan” refers to a concept of fundamental wickedness, or evil, in the rhetorical sense, as much as it refers to a mythical horned creature that inhabits the underworld. This is something one would safely assume is known to a retired academician, as well; however, perhaps Mr. Grant missed that class.

Likewise, Mr. Santorum’s much ballyhooed remarks in regard to Mr. Obama having subscribed to a theology not related to anything biblical were made in the rhetorical sense, referring to the widely popularized notion of environmentalism as being a modern form of primitive earth worship, remarks that had absolutely nothing to do with, and had no connotation in regard to, the nature of Mr. Obama’s traditional religious faith.

Mr. Grant’s critique of Rick Santorum’s views regarding “mainline” Protestantism is laughable and totally ahistorical. It is precisely the historical Protestant religious, cultural and political heritage that freed the minds of men from the shackles of religious dogma, true, but not from its underlying, fundamental truths, truths that formed the context, or vessel, within which a remarkable philosophical flowering occurred, the ultimate expression of which in terms of a blueprint for a self-governing, free society, is that unique and marvelous document known as the U.S. Constitution.

Mr. Santorum’s remarks about the cultural decadence, or wickedness, or yes, evil, inherent in, if not responsible for, America’s current state of decline, are no different than those made by previous politicians such as Abraham Lincoln, who regularly invoked biblical themes of good and evil in describing the existential threat to America of a different but equally dire and moral nature, over 150 years ago.

That Mr. Grant would so willfully and blatantly misrepresent what Rick Santorum has said reveals nothing about the latter but everything about the former, who like the Associated Press reporter, Charles Babington — whose wildly distorted misrepresentation of Mr. Santorum’s remarks appears on the following page of today’s newspaper, are nothing more than mouthpieces for the Obama administration and its tyrannically secular, statist and fundamentally undemocratic agenda. They are shameless propagandists one, and all. That the Sentinel would blithely publish such trash makes one wonder about where its intentions lie, as well.

AVROM E. HOWARD
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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“God and faith are being banished to one’s own bedroom to be spoken of in only hushed tones.” Where I live there is nearly a church on every corner.  People seem to talk about what they want to, and in their normal outdoor/indoor voices (depending on the circumstance, naturally).

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