Email letters, Feb. 8, 2012

Spehar was correct about Bradford episode

Hats off to Jim Spehar whose Feb 7 column shows he “nose” the true situation in the Bradford episode. He particularly nailed it with his reference to what I thought was an unbelievably early Sentinel editorial jump into the fray. My immediate feeling on that write up was to wonder if such an action signaled that editorials were destined to soon become front-page headline news.

I am quite satisfied with my Daily Sentinel subscription and look forward to the paper each day, but an editorial like that one tends to give me pause.

And Jim’s Wasilla-speak was perfect. I hope we don’t lose him, if he perhaps should go on tour.


Romney is a proven ‘fixer’

What is wealth envy? In our country the top 10 percent of federal income tax payers pay two-thirds of the tax bill. That’s higher than in any of the industrialized nations, to include socialist Sweden. Yet, the rich don’t pay their fair share? The rich are rich because they built businesses and created jobs. We should not be demonizing them.
Along comes a rich presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, whose father was the president of American Motors and went from that to serve three terms as governor of Michigan. During the presidential debates in South Carolina, Mitt was successfully attacked for being rich by Newt Gingrich who demanded he immediately release his tax returns. Mitt did before the Florida primary and he went on to convincingly win that key swing state.

Mitt was a successful entrepreneur in his own right. He is a proven “fixer” at anything he does, to include the 2002 Winter Olympics. As the governor in Massachusetts, he worked with a legislature that was 85 percent Democrat and created a $2 billion budget surplus. Imagine what he can accomplish working with the likes of a Congressman Ryan. 

Mitt Romney would be the only president in modern times who spent most of his career in the private sector. A leader with experience in the private sector is just what this country needs to prosper again. Prosperity helps everyone. It beats wealth envy.     


Media is no longer a government watchdog

We often see The Daily Sentinel quote our 236-year-old Constitution by referring to our First Amendment rights: Congress shall make no law abridging ... freedom of the press.

We worry about inclusiveness, however, in election years when sharp opinions provide temptations for a publisher to skew their own political views over opposing ones. It’s fair game to do so editorially, but not in credible reporting.

I’ve encountered a quote published 20 years ago (1992) which startles me, taken from a book that exploded as number 1 on The New York Times Bestseller List, remaining there for 54 weeks and selling 2.5 million copies — still a record — and I’ve never seen it mentioned in any newspaper.

Here’s the direct quote: “The media are now considered just another part of the arrogant, condescending, elite and out-of-touch political structure which has ignored the people and their interests. People are beginning to view the media not as a watchdog against government, but as an institution itself engaged in the abuse of power,” page 273.

Thanks for letting us compare opinions 200 years apart, and as timely as today.


Corporations have too much power and control

I support the Occupy Movement. The Supreme Court rulings that money equals speech, corporations are people and the Citizens United decision allowing unlimited anonymous donations to enter our political campaigns, means I have infinitely less free speech than money can buy. Add the Grover Norquist Tax Pledge and I feel our democratic rights are threatened.

There is blame to go around. President Bill Clinton repealed Sorbane-Oxley and set this whole Wall Street collapse in motion. The Democratic Senate is on the brink of allowing the banks to escape penalties. This isn’t fair, but if it is class warfare, it is warfare against the poor and middle class.

Resistance to corporate power has long been the American way. In colonial days, the British government allowed a completely unregulated corporation to rule India. This East India Company was permitted a monopoly to sell tea to the colonies at an exorbitant price. The Boston Sons of Liberty occupied the ships of the East India Corporation and threw the tea overboard. I’m sure the founding fathers, who were careful to have powers balanced, would be appalled at special interests ability to buy power, some of them would undoubtedly be Occupiers today.

This independent grandmother prays the Occupy Movement can raise a loud enough voice on these issues that my grandchildren don’t have to live under a wealthy corporate aristocracy.


Grant wrong about support for Planned Parenthood

Bill Grant’s story on the “Komen Foundation blunder” opened with the line, “A shock ran through women of every political persuasion when the Komen for the Cure Foundation announced it was terminating its long support for Planned Parenthood.” That was a fine example of hyperbole. A more apt headline would be, “A wave of disgust ran through Marjorie Haun, a woman of conservative persuasion, when she opened the paper to read Grant’s uninformed article.”

Grant makes assumptions that do a disservice to women of every political persuasion. In polls as recent as 2010 and 2011, women in America indicate that a majority consider themselves pro-life (“The Year of the Pro-life Woman,” New York Times, Jan. 12, 2012), with pro-lifers edging out those who consider themselves pro-choice with 48 percent to 45 percent.

Second, Grant mistakes the cheers that ran through conservative, pro-life women when the Komen Foundation announced their withdrawal of support from Planned Parenthood, for some kind of shock.

The disappointment and shock came only when the bullies in the mainstream media, the rabid pro-abortion lobby, and 26 pro-abortion senators pressured Komen to reinstate their graft to and organization whose main focus is abortion and contraceptive services.

It is true that pro-abortion forces rallied behind Planned Parenthood, which makes most of its money from abortions and contraceptive services, and their donations increased. Conversely, after Komen stood up against Planned Parenthood, their donations increased by 100 percent, until they caved, that is, and reinstated their fiscal relationship with largest abortion provider in the United States. Very few women seek services other than contraception and abortion through Planned Parenthood. And even then, they can only receive referrals for mammograms since Planned Parenthood does not actually perform them in their abortion clinics.

Bill Grant is irresponsible in his assumption that somehow women of “every political persuasion” support the activities of Planned Parenthood. The truth is that most of us don’t. There are sufficient loudmouth pro-abortion types who manage to distort the true picture of what most women in America value and prioritize.

Grand Junction

Romney should take questions at public appearances

I attended the rally in Grand Junction for Gov. Mitt Romney on Feb. 6 and was sorely disappointed that there was no question and answer period. I later found out that the candidate has not taken questions from the audience at any appearance since early January (a strange way to campaign).

The undelivered question I had in mind was twofold: “Gov. Romney, given the importance of scientific literacy and science-based policy decisions in the 21st century, what is your position on biological evolution and human descent? Second, what is your assessment of the quantitative evidence (as published by the IPCC) for global warming and the probable anthropogenic contribution to same in the form of greenhouse gas emissions?” Any waffling or outright denial (which I suspect would have been the response) on the scientific validity of these two issues would have exposed the obvious; the good governor is not intellectually fit to be the leader of the free world in these complex times. And I suspect his three opponents would give similar answers.

So anti-scientism will have little effect on the Republican nominating process. Hopefully, the general election process will be a different matter.


No one party has all the answers

Recently, I was interviewed by a delightful Daily Sentinel reporter regarding my political views while attending a campaign stop by Gov. Mitt Romney in Grand Junction. This event, and my concern for what I think is right, prompted me to think deeply about and share with you one of my concerns regarding political campaigning in general, and which I failed to mention during the interview.

From my experience as a government analyst and liaison officer with the military, I have seen first- hand how people and groups with differing opinions often tend to gravitate to extreme positions and to doggedly defend those positions as time goes on. This seems to be a normal tendency when one is faced with conflicts of opinion. Once an extreme position is taken, it is difficult to move back to what is normal, real and right as it may show weakness or the proverbial “flip-flop.” What may start out as minor, or at least negotiable differences of opinion, frequently digresses to polarized extremes. In time, that nice person who has some good ideas becomes this unreasonable person with no understanding of right versus wrong.

Perhaps many of us can relate to this in our own lives. Certainly I can. But more importantly, perhaps our politicians should put the cap of reason on their heads and openly and plainly acknowledge that although there are differences between political parties and people within these parties, there are reasonable opinions on all sides and that no one party or individual has all of the best answers.

Let’s stop the bickering and get down to incorporating the best ideas and practices from all sides to move this country forward.

Grand Junction

Luke listened to concerns regarding bus terminal

I wish to thank Laura Luke for taking the time to listen to citizen’s concerns regarding the proposed Greyhound Bus terminal at the 24 1/2 Road location and passing these objections on to City Council, the Grand Valley Transit Authority and the planning commission which resulted in a resolution to not include the Greyhound terminal in its plans for this area.

We need more elected officials like Laura who take the time to listen. Great job.

Grand Junction


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