Email letters, January 18, 2013

After vote to legalize pot, Jensens’ deaths unsurprising

Why the large headline in the Thursday Sentinel?  “Affidavit: Sex while sons roasted.” How naive of us not to expect it. We should congratulate ourselves.

The two kids dying while their mother and her lover were having sex and smoking pot is what “We the People” voted for last November. It’s called recreational marijuana, and there is no better example of it than this.

Embrace it; get used to it. Until we get the law changed and learn how to deal with drugs and their associated mental impairment, catastrophic incidents such as this are not going away.

Grand Junction

Firefighters who saved hunter put their own lives on line

Tremendous thanks go to firefighters who rescued the goose hunter who fell through the ice in the middle of the Colorado River. They saved his life by risking their own.

Excellent training, the correct equipment and nerves of steel are required to execute this sort of rescue. Whether it is running into a burning building or jumping into a frozen river, our community has great firefighters who constantly train for worst-case scenarios.

So, thanks to Ryan Jordan, Capt. Gus Hendricks and the rest of the rescue crew for saving a member of our community. Someday it might be you or me they come after.

Grand Junction

Choice of words in banner headline tasteless, insensitive

What a disgusting, insensitive and tasteless banner headline on the front page of the Thursday Daily Sentinel.

It was more like what one would expect from the National Enquirer than a local publication and printed only to further sensationalize the thoughtless, irresponsible, wanton behavior of a mother that resulted in the tragic death of two little innocent tots.

I feel sure I’m not your only reader who felt sickened by your choice of words.


Grand Junction

Health providers must report those treated for drug, alcohol disorders

Politicians are at it again with the “assault weapons/magazine bans,” giving lip service to gun violence without addressing the real problem or finding real solutions. I am a staunch defender of the Second Amendment. The problem is not with my 20-round tube magazine on my 1960s era .22 rifle. It is the lack of control over mentally unstable people — period.

I support background checks at gun shows and private sales because that is where many criminals obtain firearms. As for background checks being required when giving a firearm to family members, that is a backdoor attempt to register and find old guns that go back in families for generations.

The bottom line is that all the background checks at gun shows and restrictions on assault weapons and magazines will solve nothing. Look at crime in New York City, Washington D.C. and Chicago. These three cities have some of the strictest laws and some of the highest crime.

What is needed and required to make any difference is mandatory reporting by all medical personnel and medical facilities for ALL individuals treated for drug, alcohol and mental disorders and even DUIs. These people should not be automatically banned from owning firearms, but immediately investigated to see if they are stable enough to have or to obtain firearms.

I can imagine the ruckus by the ACLU over these people’s rights and how it will hinder people from seeking treatment. What about my rights to live in safety?

Politicians on all levels of government must get serious about the real issues causing violence in America for things to change. Until then, we can all give ourselves group hugs, drink the Kool-Aid and tell each other how wonderful we are. Oh, that it was so!



Linking gun control to Hitler lacks historical substantiation

In their penchant to defend the tenets of the Second Amendment, gun-rights supporters become apoplectic at the slightest suggestion of a modicum of sensibility in further gun legislation. Recently, they have reemployed the argument that any hint of gun control is reminiscent of Hitler, who not unlike certain persons in our government, wanted to take away all firearms. That argument is fraudulent and unsubstantiated.

History tells us that gun ownership was banned following the Treaty of Versailles (1919), but the German Weapons Law of March 18, 1938, enacted by Hitler’s National Socialist government, relaxed gun restrictions and put into effect a firearm licensing scheme, thus supporting and encouraging gun ownership, as opposed to restricting it.

It lowered the legal age for gun ownership from 20 to 18, extended the period a weapons permit was valid, eliminated a previous limit on the number of guns a person could own, and did away with a previous requirement of permits for long guns. (Under Hitler, even Jews could own guns.)

The NRA has been a practical, viable organization since its inception, and it may one day return to its prominence if it goes back to its roots:  providing instruction in the proper, productive use of firearms. An extreme element within the NRA, however, may now be alienating many citizens, and, I suspect, not just a few members.

Grand Junction

Consider regulation, monitoring, conservation and ownership when drilling for gas

Regarding gas drilling, these things should be considered:

Careful regulation and monitoring

A strong presence of regulating agencies so that all drilling sites are monitored and all violations addressed will help to prevent contamination of air and water.

Drill rig operators must be fully trained and experienced to reduce the risk of accidents from improper procedures.

Conservation of resources

Limiting the amount of drilling that can occur within a certain period of time will certainly increase the price of natural gas, and this should be seen as a benefit. Strong prices will encourage conservation of natural gas through more efficient use and conservation of water through drilling techniques that are more costly but do not require such large amounts of water. Higher prices will encourage the development of alternative energy sources that do not contribute to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Limited drilling could also reduce wasteful procedures such as venting and flaring.

Allowing unlimited rates of drilling for the enrichment of corporations and shareholders leads to the boom-and -bust cycle prevalent in the extractive industries. Limited drilling extends the benefits of this resource to the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Who owns the resource?

The gas industry should be compensated for its investment in developing this resource and bringing it to markets. It should not be rewarded for practices that are wasteful and pollute our air and water. Passing the burden of depleted resources and damages to the natural world on to our children for short-term gain is shameful.


Liberal elite must realize that nation has spending problem

I have wondered why so many liberals I have met here since moving here from Ohio and Massachusetts are less civil than liberals I’ve gotten to know in other places. It may be that Boston liberals (outside of Harvard) are generally blue collar. I think we see a higher percentage of fairly wealthy liberal elite retiring here in Grand Junction. Your columnist, Bill Grant, is among the academic elite. He’s a former college professor, but he is a gentleman.

I see liberals getting the most angry when they can’t use their usual put-downs. They really do think they are smarter. I’m better educated than most of them, so it’s tougher to write me off, but it doesn’t take advanced degrees to recognize dangers such as having a $16 trillion-and growing national debt. President Obama says we don’t have a spending problem, and liberals think we are stupid? It seems many liberals in the valley do.

Conservatives look for simple solutions, which can be confused with a lack of sophistication. Personally, I like people who cut to the chase. This country has a spending problem. It’s that simple, and liberals better figure that out sooner than later.

I like the idea that is being floated of increasing the debt ceiling every 60 days and making the Democrats be the ones to authorize it. Maybe by 2014 enough people will figure it out. 


Childers should also take responsibility for boys’ deaths

I was appalled to read the article about Heather Jensen having sex while her two sons were in her car dying of heat.  It was just as appalling to me to read about Colten Childers speaking about one of the boys opening a door or window, only to have his mother lock it and go back and have sex with him. 

How self-centered and dumb can one be to not take those poor children into consideration before gratifying oneself?  He should be charged as well, as he knew the children were there, too. 

Does he have children? If so, I hope someone is looking out for their safety.

Grand Junction


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Thanks to local Republican apologist Josh Penry (“I-70 is an example of the sort of grand projects we no longer build”, January 4, 2013) and self-styled “conservative” hector Dave Kearsley (“Bill Grant among academic elite”, January 23, 2013) for reminding Sentinel readers why Republicans’ simplistic approach to complex problems leads to bad policy.

Dave established his dubious bona fides by insisting in early 2009 that the stock markets’ predictably negative reaction to the financial crisis reflected investors’ lack of confidence in President Obama’s ability to deal with it.  Since then, Dave has never admitted the converse – the stock market recovery confirms that Obama, Geithner, Bernanke, et al, knew what they were doing (despite incessant Republican obstructionism).

“Personally, I [also] like people who cut to the chase”.  Thus, as Josh implied and Dave flatly states, “this country has a spending problem” – we are not spending enough now, when borrowing to make productive investments at negative interest rates is sensible.

In fact, according to genuinely credentialed economists (and well-informed “academics” like Bill Grant), we are not spending enough on food stamps, unemployment benefits, alternative energy, and infrastructure projects (see Josh’s I-70 lament).  According to Republicans, we are also not spending enough on school safety and diplomatic security.

Contrary to Dave’s disingenuous mischaracterization, President Obama has never said that “we don’t have a spending problem”.  Rather, he has consistently acknowledged that our burgeoning national debt arises from both excessive spending (on misguided wars, for example) and from irresponsibly but deliberately diminished revenues.

Ample additional revenues for a “balanced approach” are available through tax reform, from reinstating the financial transaction tax, from “cap and tax” (a Republican idea), and from responsible consolidation of our massive post-9/11 “military-intelligence complex”.

“It’s that simple” – and Republicans “better figure that out” before they threaten to tank the economy again.

                Bill Hugenberg

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