Email letters, February 12, 2013

It’s time to put the brakes on Federal Highway Administration

It is totally ironic that the Federal Highway Administration has added thousands of miles to the so-called “National Highway System” when it is currently unable to properly fund modernization of thousands of miles of obsolete roads. The only highway of “national interest” on the map with Sunday’s Sentinel is I-70. The others are primarily of local or regional interest only.

FHWA is a federal agency that should be abolished, or, at least, drastically reduced in authority.  When I went to work for its predecessor, Bureau of Public Roads, in 1948, its staff members were playing a valuable role in highway development in our country. They were leaders in research, development of highway standards and coordination between state highway departments.

Now FHWA’s major role is dispensing federal gas tax money collected in the states back to the states and spending billions of dollars in this process. Its responsibilities should be limited to research and advice.

The time has come to abolish the federal gas tax. States would have the prerogative of raising their gas taxes to make up for lost revenue. State transportation agencies are staffed with professionals capable of directing highway design, construction and maintenance in their state. They do not need a federal agency looking over their shoulders.

Apparently, adding many miles to the national highway system would beef up the role of FHWA and allow it to continue the waste of taxpayer dollars. 


DICK PROSENCE
Retired District Engineer, CDOT
Meeker

After Benghazi, forget about making 3 a.m. call

Remember the old campaign ad regarding who would be best to answer the “3 a.m. call”? Well, after Benghazi and several other “crises,” apparently there is no one that will answer that call.

I feel like we’re all Benghazi now and no one is coming.

PATRICIA PAIZ
Grand Junction

Public office holders swore to uphold Constitution

This may come as a shock to some of you politicians who feel public opinion is the sole arbiter of constitutionally guaranteed rights, and, if so, then it would be in your best interests to learn your job description.

When you ran for public office, won the election and took the oath of office, you promised voters that you were the best person for the position to see to the needs of the infrastructure.

Included in your oath of office was a promise to uphold, protect and defend the Constitution.

At no point is there an exemption that would allow “consensus,” or “public opinion polls” or “what-ifs” as an excuse to violate your oath of office.

Now this next part is going to be a real shocker.

Legislated law can NEVER supersede constitutional law. You knew that going in, or, if you didn’t, then you lied to the voters in exchange for their votes. That would be fraud, and everybody knows that you would never lie in exchange for something of value under false pretenses.

If you choose to write a bill that is in direct conflict with the Constitution, that choice would be an act of conspiracy to violate the Constitution. Any person who works on the writing of the bill would be a co-conspirator.

IF that bill is presented for a vote, each vote in favor would be a deliberate and intentional violation of your oath of office, as well as an act of TREASON against the people, the Constitution and America as an ideal.

Now, many of you have long careers in public office, complete with public records that could be researched for a pattern of criminal acts to undermine the Constitutions of both the state and U.S. Constitutions over a period of years.

Many of you could be looking at life sentences with no chance of parole, and the people may not be amenable to supplying a cushy place for you to live out your lives.

Not many people like being lied to then stabbed in the back by self-serving corrupt politicians.

DREW DICKEY

Clifton

Women have rights to gun ownership, but also societal responsibilities

Monday’s front-page article – “Women gun owners give rising voice to firearms debate” – offers ample food for thought as Congress mulls how best to reduce gun violence.


First, given the gender of most gun massacre perpetrators in the U.S. and the frequency with which women are violently victimized by males, a cogent argument could be made that only women should have access to firearms. Alas, the Second Amendment grants “equal protection” to abusive males, too.


Second, the “rising voice” of female gun enthusiasts – consistently couched in terms of self-defense—remains substantially more rational than the rants of male extremists who insist that they must be heavily armed to fend off “The Government.”


Third, as our Supreme Court affirmed in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, women also have a constitutionally guaranteed individual right to be secure in their homes and persons by “keeping and bearing” – at least—handguns.


Fourth, women’s involvement in highly publicized mass shootings is also revealing. The Columbine massacre was abetted by a young woman who bought guns for the underage shooters. Might she have acted differently had “straw person” purchases been a federal criminal offense—as under the proposed gun trafficking law?


The Sandy Hook massacre was enabled by a mother’s purchase of a Bushmaster “assault rifle” – to which her mentally unbalanced son ultimately gained access – and ended with her own demise and that of six female educators and twenty first-graders. Might she have acted differently had the manufacture, sale, purchase and/or possession of – or, at least, the failure to properly secure—such weapons been banned under federal law?


Meanwhile, renewal of the Violence Against Women Act is stalled because some oppose granting tribal courts criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian batterers of Native American women on tribal lands. Arm them?


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Streets are city’s turf, so feds should hit the road

I have two questions about the streets in Grand Junction. First, under what authority does any entity of the federal government have the right to decide that city streets are now under their jurisdiction?

Second, what steps can be taken to remove this authority from them? City streets belong under city control.

MICHAEL LOWENSTEIN
Grand Junction

County commissioners come to the defense of Second Amendment

Justice Antonin Scalia is a conservative. What he said of the Second Amendment in Heller suggests he will interpret any future legal case in accordance with our Constitution.

Some 1,100 current and former Special Forces soldiers signed a letter in defense of our Second Amendment. And they cited two legal decisions, one in 1939 and the other in 1997, as well as Heller. (Note: The NRA published an excellent review of Heller of which some seem ignorant.)

But the intent of the Second Amendment was that the national government was prevented from writing laws that infringe upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms. Two Supreme Court decisions, 1939 and 1997, suggest (as does Thomas M. Cooley Constitutional Law, 1880) that those weapons included were those common to the defense of the individual, or the community, or of the United States.

The question has been asked, “WHO decides what is lawful and constitutional? Marbury v. Madison (1 Cranch) 137; 2L.Ed.60 (1803). Justice Marshall—even Thomas Jefferson—wrote that the case was being suggested as declaring judges as final arbiter—modern myth seems agree with the beguiler.

But I find it an abuse of Justice Marshall. For in Marbury he clearly declares “... it is apparent that the framers of the Constitution contemplated that instrument as a rule for the Government of the Courts, as well as for the legislature. Why else does it direct the Judges take an oath to support it? ... A law repugnant to the Constitution is void and the Courts as well as other departments are bound by that instrument.”

Constitution.org/ussc/005-137 a.htm Article VI of our U.S. Constitution suggests Marshall told it true. This Constitution (not what any judge or court say they think it means, or wish it meant, or might have meant). And the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof: (this a secondary or adverbial clause the Constitution determines which laws are not void). Even treaties are subject to our written Constitution.

The Constitution answers that question who decides… If the Constitution says it is supreme Law of the Land –- and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby – it seems to me when anybody suggests that some judge or some court is final arbiter (or can say what the Constitution means) is that person speaks contrary to our Constitution and contrary to what Justice Marshall declared in 1803.

It is the Constitution that is supreme, NOT what some judge or court opines, and, as Joseph Story noted in his Commentaries, the Second Amendment is the “palladium of the liberties of a republic…”

Note:  Our Constitution declares a republican form of government guaranteed (Article IV sec.4). As our own state Constitution provides for the right to keep and bear arms, that the county commissioners have acted in defense of our Second Amendment very much fulfills their oath, despite the contempt shown them by the enemy of our Constitution and rights.

ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER
Fruita

Board of Commissioners adhere to oaths of office

Our Mesa County Board of Commissioners astonished everyone yesterday by actually staying true to their oaths of office, and, in a stunning turn of events, drafted a resolution to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States!

It’s funny in a sick way that the Constitution of the United States, the first charter of laws EVER to regard all people as equal under the law, has become controversial. Sadly, liberals for decades have hacked away at the Constitution with its Bill of Rights, debasing its authority by calling it a “living and breathing document,” “outdated,” and “written by dead white guys.”

Thank you, Steven Acquafresca, Rose Pugliese and John Justman, for standing up against the Constitution bashers. And thank you for your special attention to the Second Amendment and the unequivocal proclamation, “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Despite the assaults on our founding principles, they still deserve to be defended by all our leaders. The Bill of Rights is our tether to liberty, and since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School murders and the subsequent anti-gun hysterics that have followed, the Second Amendment has proven to be a powerful unifying principle.

Mesa County has had a solid group of pro-liberty, constitutionally minded conservative activists for a long time, but their numbers have swelled immensely since the president and other reactionary politicians started to threaten, legislatively and rhetorically, the rights of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves. There is nothing more basic than the human instinct to protect home, family and earned property.

Most Americans regard any threat against the Second Amendment as a threat against their lives. Americans understand this at a gut level, and because our right to defend ourselves against the criminal element in society and tyrants in the government, is the insurance policy for all other rights, people of all backgrounds, professions and social demographics are stepping up and becoming politically involved in defense of the Second Amendment.

You cannot protect innocent people by disarming innocent people. I’m sending out a big Thank You to our Mesa County Board of Commissioners and all other county boards in Colorado who have adopted similar resolutions supporting our Second Amendment rights.

It’s like a breath of fresh air to see politicians who actually understand the Constitution and the primary role of government, which is to protect the liberty of the individual.

Law enforcement agencies have no duty to save your life when a criminal threatens it. Realistically, the police and sheriff’s deputies’ jobs are to gather evidence at the crime scene and arrest offenders.

God blessed Americans with the rule of law that makes us the first responders when lives and liberty are in peril. The right of law-abiding people to keep and bear arms is the best way for individuals to protect their own liberty.

MARJORIE HAUN
Grand Junction

 

 



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