Email letters, February 7, 2013

Beware of slick wording of Measure B, vote no

Do not be fooled by the Grand Junction City Council’s slick wording of Measure B. It is not about giving you $4 back or prioritizing future city projects

Measure B is another money grab for hundreds of millions of dollars by the council. The council should follow TABOR guidelines. Let us vote on each project. The council should not take blanket approval to keep our TABOR money. And it should not use certificates of participation to do whatever it pleases, just like it did on the Public Safety Building, costing $32.7 million and twice voted down by Grand Junction citizens.

What’s more, every council member violated Colorado State Statutes defining acceptable methods of providing public notice when publishing the Jan. 11 retreat agenda void of the actual topics discussed: tax increases on developers, avoiding TABOR refunds, indebting taxpayers, airport, Brady Trucking, Matchett property, marijuana outlets and more.

Is it a coincidence that the very next week after this retreat the council voted, with very little public input, to adopt Measure B?

Note to City Council:  No more hidden agenda items. Leave TABOR alone. And, take on no more debt with certificates of participation after citizens say NO.

If the council cannot live with answers from citizens, it should not ask the question.

ARTHUR GARDNER
Grand Junction

Grant should at least consider that God is first cause of the universe

Bill Grant is a champion of science and history and a bastion of rational thought, right? Hardly!

Bill uses the likes of science and history as a bully pulpit from which to preach his doctrine. I would love to hear a thoughtful dissemination of the errors of the intelligent design theory (aka creationism) or why evolution, the big bang theory, the “multiverse” theory or any other theory scientists have cooked up seem like rational alternatives to the “religious” theory of intelligent design.

What is so unpalatable about the first cause of the universe being God—who exists outside of space and time? Why won’t Bill even consider it?

I wonder if he is afraid to answer that question due to implications that it might have. Maybe he is afraid of being excommunicated from the scientific community for being too open-minded.

CODY DAVIS
Fruita

Murder of Navy SEAL illustrates society’s need to better address post-traumatic stress disorder

The murder of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in Texas was a tragedy on many levels. The saddest perhaps is Chris’ family; it is collateral damage from Chris’ life and a war half a world away.

The event shines a spotlight on something touching many communities today, post-traumatic stress disorder. We should emphasize “stress” because PTSD is a label, an incorrect one. This condition is NOT a disorder; it’s stress brought on by what these young people have witnessed. It’s scared them for life and created a mental injury that no physician’s pills can cure.

We’ve all no doubt wondered why Dad or Uncle Charlie wouldn’t talk about Normandy or Vietnam. The fact is, we didn’t need to hear any of that stuff and wouldn’t have understood it, anyway. You see, the part we need to understand is that many times what they need is friendship and the company of their own kind, warriors who’ve been there, lived it and saw the same unspeakable horrors.

Chris was killed doing exactly that for a fellow soldier, sympathizing with his pain, trying to offer friendship and including him in “guy” things. He was truly a hero, one to be admired for his unwavering service to the country and then trying to right the wrongs he and his killer received on its behalf. Chris’ honor and dedication compelled him to continue that task, even though it cost him his life that day.

This problem can’t be solved with bureaucratic programs that don’t work. For centuries soldiers have been used up and then cast aside like trash. The puppet masters of war may improve body armor and weapons and how to kill people, but still can’t fix the mental scars of combat. Consequently, returning soldiers, many who would have died in years past, come home with restored bodies and broken minds.

What Chris’ killer did was a crime—a tragic, senseless crime—yet understandable in a warped sort of way. I believe his actions were the direct result of neglect and a blatant misunderstanding of his condition. His numbers are growing in America each day, as we become more war weary and complacent. As we ignore the problem, it spreads and grows like a cancer.

It’s nothing new and has existed for centuries. Soldiers have always fought and died and then come home to neglect. I suspect they’ll continue to do it, too, because of their courage, honor and dedication to God and country and because our politicians are too busy getting reelected to worry about their neglect.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction

Reaction to school violence shows that local entities can better solve problems than DC officials

The anti-gun lobby is at it again with its version of “Do Something” disease. As usual, its members have misdiagnosed the Sandy Hook problem as one of gun ownership rather than a cultural and individual mental health problem. Destruction of our Second Amendment rights is the driving force for their efforts, not the oft-heralded reduction of relatively few mass murders by mentally ill people every decade.

If they were truly concerned about the safety of our children, they would focus their efforts on the daily murders in Chicago and other major American cities or on the elimination of 4,000 daily murders allowed by the progressives’ abortion policy. How many billions of precious taxpayer dollars will be wasted on this ineffective and politically motivated misdiagnosis?

In a republic, one size does not fit all. It seems as if our school superintendent and local police chiefs have preempted the bumbling bureaucrats in Washington and have already taken appropriate action to protect our school children. Proving again, that those who live on the banks of the Uncompahgre are at least as intelligent as those living on the banks of the Potomac. It is solid evidence that most problems can be better and more efficiently solved at the state or local level, rather than in a distant and ill-informed Washington, DC.

Priorities are important in both our personal lives and in our public policy endeavors. We all live in the shadow of our moral decisions and share in the responsibility for the public policy of our governments.

May God have mercy on us all!

HANS CROEBER
Montrose

Unique numbering systems effectively fight voter fraud

Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler banned the use of ballot control numbers being printed on ballots last August. He did so because he claimed that “credible evidence” showed that when serial numbers (or any other unique numbers) were printed on ballots they could be used to identify the voter who cast the ballot.

Because of that “credible evidence,” Gessler is now moving to permanently ban any unique numbering system from being used to thwart fraudulent ballots from being counted as legitimate.

Unique numbering systems for ballots are effective tools for insuring fraudulent ballots are not being introduced into the voting system. The only reason for Gessler to ban them is to insure our ballots are never effectively managed to avoid fraud. This conclusion is confirmed by considering:

1. Gessler has not made the “credible evidence” against it available to the public.

2. If precluding connecting a voter to his ballot (maintaining a secret ballot) were a top priority, Gessler would never allow a mail-in ballot where the envelope contains the full name and address of the voter, as well as the voted ballot.

3. A legal ban on using unique numbering on ballots is the only way to permanently avoid using the technique to prevent fraud. The secretary of state no longer has to present the “credible evidence” against it because it is now illegal.

4. Other states successfully use unique numbering for this purpose.

What follows is a more technical description as to why unique numbering is an effective antifraud tool.

Lottery tickets are subject to fraudulent reproduction because the winning number is announced every day or week, so any fairly clever person could reproduce a winning ticket and present it for payment by the Lottery. But this fraud does not occur because each legitimate ticket has a unique number printed on it by the lottery computer system when the ticket is issued and that number is recorded in the lottery computer. When the winning ticket is presented for payment, the Lottery is not interested in the winning number that was bet, it is interested in the unique number, 12 to 15 digits in length, that the computer knows was printed on the winning ticket at the time it was issued.

In exactly the same way, a computer can create a list of say 4 million unique 15-digit authorized numbers (there are one million billion possible 15-digit numbers from which to choose), one to be printed on each ballot. It is fairly easy to insure that only the voter can know the 15-digit number on his or her ballot.

Scanning equipment can easily confirm that all ballots being counted contain an authorized number and no duplicates and also that all ballots voted plus all ballots not voted contain a unique authorized number and add up to the original 4 million printed. It is possible to monitor and confirm which numbers were sent to which precincts to home in on where fraud occurred.

ED ARNOS
Grand Junction

Governor urged to veto aggressive gun bills

This year our Democrat state legislators will prove what liberal government is all about. District 8 Democrat Rep. Beth McCann and District 42 Rep. Rhonda Fields both are cited as involved with the most anti-Second Amendment bills. Other Democrats are sponsoring other bills (at least eight so far) against firearm ownership.


These two, however, are the most aggressive against firearms and business to include oil and gas. McCann and Senate President Morse even have a bill that applies strict liability against manufacturers, sellers, owners and anyone possessing any semi-automatic rifle. Strict liability is a legal mechanism that makes you financially liable, even if whatever happened is not your fault. If an airliner crashes into your house and you have a semi-auto rifle in your closet, you can be shown to be financially liable.

And there is so much more from further massive attacks on business and our freedoms. What can be done about it? Nothing, because our citizens voted Democrats into the majority in the Senate and state House and we have a Democrat governor. Hopefully, Gov. Hickenlooper will exercise good sense if these bills cross his desk and kill them, because these radical leftist representatives and senators sure won’t.   

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction 

Weapons purchasers should bear costs of CBI background checks

The central question raised by Charles Ashby’s report on newly proposed gun legislation (“Gun-law fight begins at Capitol, “Feb. 6) is:  Are assault weapons more like explosives or like cans of Coors?


Because firearms are “inherently dangerous products” subject to “strict liability” (unless exempted by law) for misuse, Democratic Senate President John Morse sensibly insists that “assault weapons” should be regulated more like dynamite – as under C.R.S. § 18-12-109 of the Colorado Criminal Code and/or under C.R.S. § 9-7-106, requiring the permitting, regulation and inspection of explosives.


According to Republican Sen. Greg Brophy, no one would sell assault weapons (much less register them, like cars) if they were subject to perpetual strict liability – just as Coors would not distribute beer if it were perpetually liable for drunk-driving accidents.


Common sense rejects any equivalence between a ten-plus round magazine and a 12-pack of suds. Moreover, exposing gun manufacturers, sellers and owners to strict liability for their guns’ misuse would also “create jobs”—in the firearm liability insurance industry.


Thus, contrary to Steve King’s refrain, “Hell no – the gun debate is not ‘all just about emotion’” – it’s about the money. Therefore, since King would focus attention away from gun regulation onto the “mental health of the person who walks into those situations,” here is the answer to his question, “What can we be pro-active about to prevent that?” Reverse years of bipartisan budget cutting and devote more public and private resources to the monitoring and care of the mentally ill.


To generate needed revenues, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s entire costs of conducting gun-transaction background checks should be borne by sellers – contrary to C.R.S. § 12-12.1-103. Also, purchasers of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and ammunition should pay a tax surcharge sufficient to fund the revitalization of mental health programs.


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Chamber is not true-blue to own Blue-Band program

It doesn’t speak well for the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce to use out-of-state travel agencies when it advocates using local businesses.

When problems arise, as happened on its recently scheduled Greece trip, no one wanted to be accountable or willing to correct the situation. Dealing with an out-of-town travel agency has been very impersonal and disappointing.

Perhaps if our local chamber had chosen to work with a local travel agency, satisfactory results could have been achieved. And yet, the chamber is continuing to use the same company, Chamber Discoveries out of California, for its upcoming Spain trip.

PAT LACKEY
Grand Junction

Photo conveys that it’s wrong to misspell, but OK to bully

Laughing at someone’s mistake is a form of bullying.

How can we expect our children’s behavior to differ from what is being modeled by a city councilwoman and displayed in The Daily Sentinel?

CAROL BLEHM
Grand Junction



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