Email letters, February 25, 2013

Ranks of those with hands out continue to grow

Are we truly doomed as a nation or is there hope for America?

We took a giant leap toward socialism during Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four terms (the reason presidential term limits were put into place). Many programs initiated with the best of intentions turned into harbors of government corruption as well as social dependence.

Social Security, which started out as a way to force people to plan for their own retirement so they wouldn’t be dependent on the government in their golden years, was undermined during the Clinton administration when it was added to the general fund and replaced with IOUs as a way to show a balanced budget.

Now it is called an “entitlement.” We baby boomers have paid into this our entire working lives. It is not an entitlement; it is a retirement plan that we were forced to pay into through a government program. We had no choice.

Welfare had the best of intentions to help America recover from WWII, but with no termination date and liberal applications of the program, it created a class of citizens who are now totally dependent on government for their very subsistence.

Since the 1930s, we have used the philosophy of “give a man a fish” instead of “teaching a man to fish” and now, thanks to Obama’s economic and domestic policies (plan?), we have a rapidly growing population that is standing in line to receive its “fish” with no desire to learn how to bait a hook.

Free housing, free food, free money, free medical care, free phones. (Are we freaking stupid, or what?) If they got a job for $9 or $10 an hour and lost all their government benefits, would they be better off?

Responsible, taxpaying, middle-class families that are trying to live the American dream of getting ahead by the philosophy of “an honest day’s work, for an honest day’s pay” are continuing to go through layoffs, followed by repossessions, followed by foreclosures while the masses with their hands out continues to grow.

I hope people soon wake up. If not, it was a great country … while it lasted.

Grand Junction

We need to rebuild country

Rush recently said, “For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed of my country.”

Should we be ashamed? No, nothing has really changed.

There have always been those who oppose limited government. During our revolution at least 50 percent of our citizens didn’t support the fight for independence. The poor were only interested in survival, and they didn’t own guns.

Tories, the elite of their day, thought Europeans knew best. It was successful farmers, tradesmen and business owners, the majority of makers of their day, who led our revolution. They saw the opportunity to create a great nation and did it.

I get Rush’s point. The president resembles a cult leader. He can be mesmerizing, but a solid 50 percent of us are not under his spell. We saw it in the 2010 elections. When you get folks to focus on the dangers of the government borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends, responsible voters get it.

The president can’t effectively cast his spell on congressional elections. We saw this even in 2012 when he was on the ballot.

It took great sacrifices to create this nation. Take comfort in the fact that enough makers remain who will rebuild this country once we hit the debt wall we are building with our deficit spending.

It has been too easy for us the past 50 years, but that is ending. Sacrificing to rebuild this nation will replenish national pride, too. We’ll have built it.

Turn airport roads into gun-free zones

I have a solution for the unbudgeted overtime that the Grand Junction police department has to pay for politician that visited Aspen.

Just make all roads leading from our airport gun-free zones. Problem solved!


Grand Junction

Pediatric doctors support gun policies to protect kids

Though I respect Dr. Schroeder’s opinion expressed in his Feb. 22 letter to the editor titled, “Adults should be armed to protect kids in school,” his views do not reflect the views of all pediatricians.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ statement before the Senate Judiciary committee Feb. 22 supports the Second Amendment while advocating for the prevention of all childhood firearm injuries and deaths.

In 2008-2009 an average of 55 children died per week in the United States. The AAP supports “policies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the destructive effect of guns through strong gun safety legislation that bans assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requires universal background checks, and mandates safe firearm storage.”

In addition, the AAP supports increased access to mental health for both prevention and to help children exposed to violence.

These policies support our rights to be responsible gun owners while protecting our children from harm as best we can.


Grand Junction

Oil giant Saudi Arabia invests in green energy

While the Sentinel was singing the praises of fossil fuel on the front page Saturday morning (2/23), the Saudi were busy pursuing renewable energy – big time.

That’s right, one of the largest oil producers in the entire world, the national oil company of a country almost entirely driven by fossil fuel production, is pouring billions and billions in solar and wind power.

While the Western Slope keeps beating that dead oil shale horse, insisting that this time it’s real, the Saudi are moving forward with plans to install 54 gigawatts (that’s 54 billion watts) of solar and wind power by 2032.

While the Western Slope seems to reject and ignore the abundant solar and wind sources we have available here, the powers-that-be insist that dirty, high-carbon, environmentally devastating, water wasting, natural gas wasting oil shale is the way to go. This time it’s real.

The Western Slope could potentially be a hub of renewable energy with our abundant solar and wind resources ripe for the taking, but our leaders insist that ripping up our beautiful landscapes that generate billions each year in recreational revenues, in search of that elusive oil shale boom is the way to go.

Meanwhile, a country full of easy-to-produces, cheap, conventional oil is blazing a trail toward renewal energy.

Who’s going to come out ahead in the long run?



Voters must elect those who actually wish to govern

An article in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (2/23, Lengthy Impass Looms on Cuts) refers to “political risks” of our politicians in the sequestration issue.

We need to elect individuals who will govern and not expect to make a career as a politician. These folk are expected to take risks and to enact legislation to move the country forward instead of into stagnation.

The president is out campaigning for his position: more taxes. The Republicans say they’ve raised taxes and now want spending cuts. The Democrats are worried that the “sequestration” will not hurt the citizenry as much as they, the Dems, have been telling us.

Who is running this country?

Will no one stand up and propose legislation that reduces our growing debt by both reducing spending and raising taxes?

Maybe we citizens are getting what we have created—monsters in Washington, D.C.

Grand Junction

Paper should provide context in regard to energy industry’s claims

In a Feb. 23 article on the Energy Expo and Forum, oil shale expert Jerry Boak dismisses criticism of oil shale development’s huge water appetite by comparing its water usage to ethanol production.

The high-producing ethanol states are not west of the 100-hundredth meridian, where agriculture is dependent on irrigation and water supplies are already under huge pressures. Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois and Indiana not only produce a lot more corn for ethanol than does Colorado, they also have a lot more water.

We’d expect attendees at this event to hype oil shale and disparage renewables. But is it too much to ask for some context to industry claims when they are published in the newspaper?


Grand Junction

Sentinel article on suicide could have included vital information

As a resident of Delta County, I often pick up a copy of the Sentinel. Saturday’s paper had an article regarding the unusually high suicide rate in Mesa County.

Recently a previous co-worker of mine lost his wife to suicide, and the anguish he is going through is immense.

My question is a simple one. Why didn’t the Sentinel give a “help” number or website at the end of the article?



Politicians seem to think they deserve firearm protection, but rest of popular does not

The Colorado House recently passed four bills that ban gun magazine capacities, that repeal current law allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons of self-defense on a college or university campus, that impose a “gun tax” for a background check when buying a firearm, and that criminalize the private transfer of a firearm.

I would probably consider these to be common sense gun control measures and would encourage the Senate to support these freedom-destroying measures if the only thing I knew about firearms was what the incredibly misinformed media had told me.

However, those with accurate knowledge of firearms and how they have been, and are being, used by law-abiding members of society know that firearms are used to prevent tragedies far and away more often than to perpetrate tragedies. Passage of these four measures will make it more difficult to prevent tragedies.

The vast majority of people who oppose the right of law-abiding Americans to bear arms have never even fired a gun, and practically everything they know about firearms is wrong. Because they’ve been misinformed, they feel safer when the good guys are disarmed.

Although misinformation is dangerous, many politicians have accurate knowledge of firearms and their usage to prevent crime, but have other reasons for wanting to disarm law-abiding Americans. The fact that these laws will make life more difficult for the law-abiding and less difficult for law-breakers is a price they’re willing for someone else to pay.

It’s obvious these politicians know that firearms prevent crime because concealed firearms constantly surround them. But I suppose if they want, they can decide that they can have firearms to protect themselves, but we can’t. After all, it was a free country.

Grand Junction

Assault weapon not necessary for defense of home

Supporters of the “right to keep and bear arms” fail to consider the reason for the Second Amendment. It starts with “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state…”

Webster defines militia as “a body of citizens enrolled for military service.” Towns wanted the citizens to be able to defend their towns quickly should the British or any other group attack. Citizens were encouraged to keep a musket handy, not an assault weapon.

This need no longer exists because we have local enforcement bodies and national defense teams.

The ownership of guns should be regulated, and no one needs an assault weapon to defend his or her home.


Catholic leaders called upon to reexamine women’s roles

Violet Stevens brought up some interesting issues in her letter on Feb. 21. One important issue she failed to mention is the shortage of priests.

I believe it’s time for the Catholic hierarchy to reevaluate the role of women in the church. The religious women, sisters and nuns, do realize that being ordained to the priesthood is definitely a spiritual calling. The sisters do not feel an entitlement, nor is it just a secular job, as she mentioned in her letter.

Nuns have taught our children, and they are counselors, missionaries and administrators of schools and hospitals. They are in the trenches with the poorest of the poor.

There is a critical shortage of priests. Can we afford to go on as we are? Let us begin to use the valuable resource we have, the religious women who have always served us well.


President should save taxpayer money by speaking from Oval Office

I wonder if anyone considers the fact that every time the president jumps on Air Force One to go to a photo op and make a 30-minute speech we have to raise taxes to cover the cost of government that it costs us taxpayers about a half million dollars.

Now, I understand he is considering a national tour to promote that agenda. After all, is there anything he can say at these so-called necessary trips to take his case to the people that he couldn’t say sitting at his desk in the Oval Office?


Grand Junction

Cost of machine points out Medicare’s waste of money

More than five years ago, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. Treatment required a CPAP machine and oxygen generator provided by a local company that billed Medicare monthly.

The CPAP was apparently mine after 18 months. The oxygen generator was billed for three years, and I assumed it was mine, also. Both of the original machines are still being used.

The company has started a new three-year monthly billing for the oxygen generator. It advises me it is permitted to bill for the machine for three years, followed by no billing for two years. It then can bill for three more years. I don’t know what is permitted after that.

Its billing started in January for $250. Medicare authorized $177.36. Medicare pays 80 percent ($141.89), and I am responsible for 20 percent ($35.47). This means that Medicare authorizes the company to collect $2,128.32 per year or $6,384.96 over the next three years.

Adding that amount for the first three years, they will have collected $12,769.92 over an eight-year period and still own the machine. Medicare will be out $10,216.08 and my supplemental insurance will have paid $2,553.84.

I began to wonder just how much the machine cost. I got on the Internet and quickly discovered the machine is available with free shipping for less than $900. Medicare verified everything was done as Congress requires.

Medicare does not permit one to purchase the machine and submit a bill, as far as I could determine.

Based on the above, no wonder Medicare is going broke. I’m 80 and not certain I have the energy, time and knowledge to investigate what is an obviously stupid waste of money. Bet it could make a newspaper and reporter get famous.


Motorists already have plenty of access to public lands

Recently the Colorado Mule Deer Association hosted a sportsmen’s presentation in Grand Junction on BLM roads/trails. Its members are apparently of the opinion that, “Being able to drive into an area that has had a … road or ATV trail is critical for hunters and anglers.”

We should all endeavor to remind our fellow hunters that motorized overuse and abuse is one of the biggest threats to public lands habitat and hunting in Colorado and nationwide.

In fact, today only 8 percent of the National Forest acreage in Colorado lies beyond one mile of a road (only 4 percent for BLM lands) and there are enough Forest Service roads in the state to go from the Kansas border to Utah and back 17 times.

As CPW District Ranger Derek Padilla recently pointed out, “There are too many roads and not enough secluded spaces to separate themselves from human presence. Without (those spaces), the elk move elsewhere, which nobody wants.”

As hunters know from boots-on-the-ground experience, more roads and OHV trails mean elk migrations are hindered, mule deer populations suffer and trout-spawning habitat is negatively impacted. That means fewer hunting and fishing opportunities. Consequently, public lands agencies should err on the side of closing more roads and trails, and ban exceptions for motorize game retrieval.

If you are unable to figure out how to get an elk or deer out of the woods without putting it on a vehicle, then you have no business hunting for one. Most forests in Colorado, appropriately, disallow off-route motorized game retrieval.

Traditional Bowhunter magazine editor T.J. Conrads said, “The use of ATV/ORVs on federal lands is not a right: it is a privilege, one that has been abused … causing detrimental effects on the land, wildlife habitat, and other users of the land.”

Co-chair, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
Colorado Springs

Sentinel deserves praise for winning state awards

Congratulations to The Daily Sentinel staff on winning a general excellence award and other top awards from both the Colorado Associated Press and the Colorado Press Association. (Feb. 23 and Feb. 24 articles).

The honors are well deserved. Keep up the good work!


Longtime, expensive efforts hang on Ref. A. ‘No’ note

As usual the “Referred” measure is written in a manner that is confusing if the taxpayer does not study each word. This incomprehensible question, known as “City of Grand Junction Referred Measure ’” goes to the taxpayers for a vote.

If you want the river to be industrialized again, vote YES. If you want to continue the Riverfront vision started 35 years ago, vote NO.

The stake here is not the property occupied by the Brady Trucking office and maintenance building on the southwest-corner of 271/2 and C1/2, but the property on the river, east of Las Colonias and south of C1/2 road. People not familiar with the issue often misunderstand that. The huge efforts made by so many over 35 years and $100 million in taxes to make the Colorado Riverfront whole again and remove toxic garbage will hang on a majority “NO” vote.

The Colorado River is our lifeline. Having 50 feet for a walkway is throwing good money after bad. I have been working with Brady Trucking to get the City Council to pay for an appraisal for a trade or purchase, which has been unsuccessful. I hoped Brady Trucking would consider a Mesa Land Trustdonation for tax credits and cash to use for their business. They have not campaigned for the industrial rezoning along the river.

A “NO” vote will give the Brady Trucking business leverage to sell, donate or trade the property and actually get something for it. If you vote yes for the ordinance, Brady Trucking will be forever saddled with worthless property not appropriate for their business or anyone else’s during high water, and we will have high water again that will destroy a concrete 50-foot walkway, putting good taxpayer money at risk, again.



After sequester takes effect, thrill will be gone

When I was a kid, one of my biggest thrills was watching first responders race to fires, car wrecks and crime scenes. Of course, back then they were just firemen, ambulance drivers and policemen.

You could always tell who they were by the flashing lights and sirens. I must admit, they still “turn me on” a little to this day.

So, when ABC News released its list of “57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester,” I was naturally interested. But, when I got to number 39 -“First Responder Layoffs,” I was crestfallen. My heart just sank. It’s sad to see them go.

In all my years, though, I had no idea until then that those folks were even paid by the federal government. I guess you’re never too old to learn something new.

I’m really gonna miss all that stuff, especially the flashing lights and sirens. So will my grandkids. Oh well! We gotta start cutting sometime.

Grand Junction



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Dave Kearsley’s on-line letter (“We need to rebuild country”, February 25, 2013) evinces Republicans’ schizophrenia.

In November 2008, when Michelle Obama said “For the first time in my life, I’m proud of my country”, she was vilified by the Right for implying a prior disloyalty.  However, when Limbaugh says he’s “ashamed of my country”, Kearsley, et al. are “mesmerized”.

Kearsley poses a false dichotomy between those who inspired our Revolution against autocratic government and those who “opposed limited government”, when the initial causus belli was absentee government – “taxation without representation”.

Both “patriots” and Tories pursued their respective economic interests, but few (if any) actually “saw the opportunity to create a great nation and did it”.  Thus, Kearsley relies on a teleological fallacy to imply that eventual outcomes were foreseen and intended.

Kearsley also ignores the fact that those same “founders” actually opted for less “limited government” by replacing the Articles of Confederation with our Constitution.  Today’s Republican “elites” equate to the Tories of 1775 – preferring oligarchy to democracy.

Parroting Limbaugh, Kearsley claims that President Obama “resembles a cult leader”,
but the “Country First” rhetoric of those who would have put Sarah Palin “a heartbeat away from the Presidency” remains profoundly suspect.

The 2010 elections proved that, when Republicans resort to exaggerated fear-mongering after eight years of their own fiscal profligacy, many folks can be taken-in by their spin.

The 2012 election proved that, having systematically gerrymandered many Congressional districts, anti-democratic Republicans can cynically distort electoral results.

Arnold Toynbee wrote that “civilizations die by suicide, not by murder”. 

While President Obama’s policies would “rebuild this nation and replenish national pride” without hitting “the debt wall”, Republicans like Kearsley seek to accelerate our economic suicide by “sacrificing” what America built in spite of them – while refusing to make any financial sacrifices themselves.

                  Bill Hugenberg

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