Email letters, February 7, 2014

Mesa students trodding boards with Bull found him wonderful

I just wanted to say a few words about the late Richard Bull, former star of “Little House on the Prairie,” who died Feb. 3 in Los Angeles.

I had the extreme pleasure of working with Bull in 1984 when Mesa College (now CMU) did a production of “The Lark,” directed by Maggie Robb.

In the ‘80s the Mesa College Theatre Department was host to many a famous guest artist, and I thank William S. Robinson and staff for having the connections and the drive to bring them to Grand Junction so that students could have real-life learning opportunities. Grand Junction has been host to many a star.

I was the sound operator for the production and found Bull to be a consummate professional and a welcome addition to the show. He was ready to help the students in every way possible. He was always available and always kind.

It was a wonderful learning experience that I have never forgotten. Rest in peace, sir; rest in peace. You are fondly remembered by many.

Mesa College Theatre, Class of ‘87
Grand Junction

Reliable contraceptives, economic downturn primary causes of declining abortion rates

Thursday’s Sentinel editorial – “Good news on abortion” – diplomatically begs the question “why,” while positing a false equivalency between “the entrenched anger on both sides.”

Most Americans agree that early-term abortions should be legal, safe, and more rare. In fact, 89 percent of induced abortions occur in the first trimester (i.e., before viability).

“Those on the anti-abortion (and “personhood”) side” seem motivated by religious conviction that abortion (and even contraception) is morally repugnant and equivalent to “murder.”

Such extremism engenders “anger” because it ardently seeks to impose religious dogma on those who reject those beliefs, it encourages tactics (including assassination of legal abortion providers) that violate and/or threaten the fundamental constitutional rights of “disbelievers,” and it hypocritically advocates public policies that would actually make abortions illegal, less safe and more frequent.

Moreover, because the decline in abortion rates paralleled a decline in pregnancies, the Sentinel’s editors were overly generous in lending any credence to the pretension that anti-abortion “education” and/or “political fights” (by the same folks who also preach “abstinence” and oppose age-appropriate sex education) had any effect on the decline.

Rather, both the Guttmacher Institute and the Center for Disease Control identify two primary causes of the decline in “unwanted pregnancies” (now “only” 50 percent) and thus abortions:  the wider availability of reliable contraceptives and the economic downturn.

The Affordable Care Act expands women’s access to free preventive care (including contraception), but its virulent opponents adamantly oppose that and Planned Parenthood – even though both make a greater practical contribution to reducing abortions than do the antics of “pro-lifers.”

Fortunately, the continuing recession is apparently causing more couples to carefully reconsider the economic ramifications of unplanned parenting.

Unfortunately, and contrary to Mike Huckabee’s insults to women, the fact that 50 percent of pregnancies are still “unplanned” means that more men need to exercise more control of their libidos.

Grand Junction

U.S. Senate has it figured out

Apparently some of the Democratic senators in Congress have figured out how to keep President Obama away from them. So, what’s your secret, guys?

We could all use a dose of that after ruining the economy, directly contributing to the job-loss situation on a grand scale and blaming it all on somebody else after five years of efforts?

Gee, somebody wouldn’t let him do what he wants when the things he has gotten away with have wrecked an otherwise efficient system? The State of the Union address was an hour-long rant on how bad things are and how he hasn’t gotten his way? Yet everything he whined about he brought on by his direct policy? Huh? Democrats don’t understand the concepts of “don’t pull a snake’s tail,” and “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.”

It is not the government’s job to create jobs, we don’t want to work forgovernment, and we want to have the freedom to do our jobs. Isn’t it nice that we now have the freedom to look for three jobs to make almost the same income we had working one, with benefits?

Hey, Nancy, I don’t want to follow my bliss. I want to provide for my family in a good job on which I can rely.

Grand Junction

Liberal ideas have not worked well

Spot on, Lloyal Anderson. I had never looked at it that way, but your letter nailed it. Liberals’ idea of paradise is prison!

Look how well their plan has worked in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, Korea, Venezuela and so on. If the Libs have their way, we will be added to this list.

Not good news for my grandkids and great-grandkids, who will never know freedom to live free and make their own decisions.


Is present economic system in America fair?

I wrote a letter to the editor, published Jan. 28, concerning a column written by David Brooks, about the unequal and growing distribution of wealth in the United States. John Wood wrote a response to my letter published Feb. 5, headlined, “Nation has too few ‘ants.’ too many grasshoppers.’”  Say what?

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I have an elephant
Can you swim?

Just like this “poem.” there is no rhyme or reason to Wood’s letter.

His metaphor about ants and grasshoppers is ridiculous, and his self-righteous anti-government, and worn-out “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps” diatribe makes little sense in today’s world of growing economic disparity between the very rich and the rest of us. He repeated the same tired bromides concerning poverty and the Americans who struggle.

Some statistics: With the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” (government programs!) continued and supported by Richard Nixon, along with the growth of private-sector union density, by the mid-1970s the poverty rate declined to 11 percent, roughly half of what is was under President Eisenhower. Today, after years of destroying government poverty programs and changing the tax system favoring the rich, much of the benefits of economic growth flow to the top 5 percent and more so to the top 1 percent of Americans.

It is not as if we did not produce wealthy Americans in the 1970s; it is just that through government programs and equitable taxes, we distributed generated wealth more proportionately and fairly.

Legal scholar Peter Edelman notes that, “poverty was cut in half from 1959 to 1973, reconfirming the positive effect of anti poverty programs and a fairer tax code than we have today.”

Presently, 46 million Americans struggle to survive on an average of $19,500 or less for a family of three, while corporations have amassed trillions presently sitting idle while paying their corporate executives, making up the top 1 to 5 percent obscene compensation.

These disparities are also reflected in Colorado. Stated in an article in The Daily Sentinel on Feb. 6, “Income inequity in Colorado grows,” quoting a report from the “Colorado Fiscal Institute.”  “The incomes of the poorest 20 percent of Coloradans fell from 11.7 percent from the 1990s to the 2000s ... while the top 20 percent richest Coloradans saw their income increase around 14 percent ... (and this), “does not account for capital gains which further distorts income inequity.

So, it is not a question of people being lazy; it is a question of fairness. Is our present system the America we want? I think not.


Voters urged to support efforts of JJ Fletcher, David Cox

Ryan Call’s comments on the David Cox 3rd Congressional District candidacy were outrageous. Call, as the state chairman of the Republican Party, is supposed to remain neutral. I guess he doesn’t need to follow the rules.

However, this is the new Republican Party, where we do not want contested races or challenges to incumbents. Call wants the party to act more like the Democrats in these things — keep the infighting under wraps.

The real message is the fix is in. If you are not among the GOP elite, don’t even think about running as a Republican.

Unfortunately, this runs down to the local level, where Mesa County Republican Chairman Lois Dunn told House District 54 candidate JJ Fletcher that he should not run against Rep. Jared Wright, because he would lose.

This is the attitude that drove me to change my voter registration from Republican to Unaffiliated. Our party leaders should be encouraging participation by candidates in the process. Instead, they are more interested in fixing the elections for the chosen few.

Lest you think the Democrats are any different, try to remember the last contested race a Democrat incumbent in Colorado has faced.

I encourage all conservatives to re-examine their ties to the Republican Party. If they are still in the party, they should be demanding the resignations of Call and Dunn. I encourage them to change their party affiliations. They should neither give money to the party nor lend it support.

The citizens of Colorado deserve a choice in their candidates and their political parties. What they have now is Democrat and Democrat Lite.

I challenge the voters of Mesa County to challenge the status quo and support the efforts of JJ Fletcher and David Cox.





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