Email letters, July 18, 2013

Library supports broad spectrum of views

It was interesting to see KREX’s story Monday evening that the Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers had made a substantial donation to the Mesa County Public Library. This donation, of course, represents the WCAF view,
seeing the library as an integral part of our community, and with the donation indicating support of the library’s all-encompassing mission to all viewpoints and needs of our varying community members.

When I consider this donation (as a member of the group), I realize we want to recognize our library providing a reading and research entity available to all beliefs and questioners with currently available media.

Hopefully, even with my “Pollyanna” view of the above, our local resistance to anything representing a researched consideration of alternative thoughts to the locally prevailing attitude of being against everything needs much consideration.

Apply this to current decisions needed on several levels. I would be interested to learn whether there are any other organizations attempting to speak for our citizens, particularly in matters of restrictions applying to community and religious activities that have made any support (financially) to our library. There are organizations that desire an uninformed populace and nonparticipating citizens.

WAYNE WESTERSON
Grand Junction

Jason Kemp made sacrifice for Fourth Amendment rights

I treasure my memories of my son, Jason Kemp. Love does not diminish. It grows stronger.

It may be 50 years before our family is reunited because violence was a permanent solution to a temporary problem on July 20, 2010, when Jason was shot to death in his home.

Law enforcement can do better than this. With resolution and duty to protect Colorado citizens’ Fourth
Amendment rights, de-escalation training can save lives.

As a result of his death, implementation of change has come. Hope is stronger than despair, because we remember Jason. We are thankful for his sacrifice so that we, the people, live safer, nonviolent lives.

CONNIE JEAN KEMP

Pooler, Ga.

New residents cite downtown as enticement to live here

My wife and I have just completed our first year in the Grand Valley after relocating from the Tucson area. It is still somewhat annoying to be constantly asked the question, “Why Grand Junction”?

Viewing with fresh eyes, we can point to the incredible beauty of the surrounding mountains and desert, the actual presence of water in the rivers, outdoor recreation
minutes away, etc.

But without one key factor we might have passed on Grand Junction, and that is the wonderful downtown with its farmers market, and, of course, the Avalon. Our first weekend here as full-time residents was spent at the Avalon enjoying Straygrass and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Without this architectural gem and cultural focus, we might not be here. We await with impatience the reopening of the Avalon, the diamond of downtown Grand Junction.

JIM HEWITT

Grand Junction

Uproar over Zimmerman case misplaced in light of bigger tragedies

I continue to shake my head as I watch the fallout from the not-guilty verdict on George Zimmerman. People are being assaulted, churches are claiming open season on blacks, ambulance chasers like Al Sharpton are calling for marches in 100 cities coast to coast, politicians like Hillary and Harry Reid are all ready pandering for a vote, and the Congressional black caucus is putting together multiple pieces of legislation for review.


All this over the death of one young man, while however tragic doesn’t come close to the carnage seen on the mean streets of Chicago.  They have suffered more than 250 murders and more than 700 nonfatal shooting this year alone, and, yes, the majority of the victims were black! Where have all these “concerned advocates” been on this subject?  Does the death of a black person only matter when it’s committed by a white person, or half-white in this particular case?


We have seen the media misrepresent the facts (wow, there’s a shocker), doctor 911 tapes, doctor police station video, innocent elderly couple’s addresses tweeted out to the masses, black supremacy groups putting bounties out, and now post verdict we have a U.S. senator saying, “it isn’t over.” He’s using his power to send in the Department of Jusice… what a reputable group that is!


We continue to separate and segregate the people of this country, whip up frenzy to secure votes, and take every opportunity to point a finger at someone else.. … .oops, look at the time!  Need to run off to my rally, because nothing cries out for justice like looting a Wal-Mart!


KRAIG MEYER

Grand Junction

George Zimmerman case was about ‘old-fashioned self-defense’

The Daily Sentinel will be getting lots of responses to Bill Grant’s question, “How many Trayvon Martins must die before ‘make my day’ laws are repealed?” The fact in this case is the defense to the killing of Trayvon Martin was not “make my day.” It was old-fashioned self-defense. Why make this about “make my day”?
I do agree that this case should give everyone pause before they use deadly force. You never want to get caught up in the system if you can avoid it.  “Make my day” provides protection from intruders by protecting us from having to explain to authorities why we didn’t feel we could flee our own homes.

In the hood, in inner cities, the ability to defend oneself is limited to gang membership and illegal guns. The most dangerous cities are in the North and have liberal mayors and gun control. I feel bad for the kids left to deal with life in the hood. Liberals seem unable to give them the protection they deserve.

It is not 1964. In the summer of 1964 I rode a bus from the Northeast to Florida to visit with family. I have to tell you the race situation was scary. We have come a long way since then. both the attorney general and president are black.

The problem today is blacks on blacks’ crime. The facts cannot be denied, only obfuscated. Forget about changing the subject and let’s work together to help kids in the hood.


DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa

Farm subsidies constitute corporate socialism

On June 20, the House rejected the “Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act” (HR 1947) – the 2013 “Farm Bill” – by a vote of 234-195 (with 172 Democrats and 62 Republicans voting “Nay”).  Democrats opposed that “Farm Bill” because it cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) – Food Stamps—too much; Republicans, because it did not cut Food Stamps enough.


On July 11, the House passed a “new and improved” Farm Bill (HR 2642)—which at least temporarily eliminates the Food Stamp program entirely – by a partisan vote of 216 Republicans to 208 Democrats.  Scott Tipton voted against the earlier version, but for the latter one – thereby proving himself to be just another Republican hypocrite.


Local Tea Partiers would be wise to realize that farm subsidies constitute the purest form of “corporate socialism” in our economy – with millions paid annually to agribusinesses (not small farmers) to protect them from the vagaries of the sacrosanct “free market.”


While Republicans claimed that the earlier bill would save some $20 billion by tightening eligibility requirements for Food Stamps (thereby reducing “fraud and abuse” in SNAP), that “savings” was actually larded onto increased farm subsidies in the latter version.


Reportedly, the various agricultural support programs are fraught with more “fraud and abuse” than SNAP, but the House Ag Committee (upon which Tipton sits) hypocritically embraced such chicanery by increasing payments to wealthy farmers (including a fellow Republican Committee-member who has received some $3.5 million in such payments).


While dubious subsidies to cotton producers distort markets and violate international trade rules, “fiscally conservative” Republicans generously extended such largesse for two more years – and authorized $165 million in annual reparation payments to Brazil for doing so.


How much of this inane Republican “sausage” will survive a conference committee with the Senate remains to be seen.



BILL HUGENBERG

Grand Junction


Wake up, America!

I was at a period in my life that I had the time and inclination to read all 2700+ pages of the Healthcare Act.

I blew up on a regular basis during the time it took to paw thru that surly bugger. “Are you nuts” I think was my
most-used terminology when I would come across something outrageous, like personal and business mandates. Ponzy scheme, Ponzy scheme I would shout and point at the screen.

First of all, anybody that can read this pile of poop and think to themselves, “Yeah, we gotta get us some of dat” is a fool. The only people that would begin to infer this is anything other than a plan to make voters indebted to current administration probably can’t read in the first place.

There are more opportunities to steal from the public in this atrocity than you can shake a stick at. I feel much the same way my great, great, grandfather did when the white man asked him to lay down his weapons and live on a reservation in Oklahoma. He said that was the only time in his life he ever gave up and he never wanted me to feel that pain. I haven’t yet and don’t plan on ever giving up.

Wake up, America, our leaders aren’t leaders. They are masters at creating crisis to put you off your game and then obfuscate the truth with foolish statements you are supposed to believe?

I don’t believe Hillary on Benghazi, I don’t want the government and especially the IRS doling out my healthcare, and I sure won’t give up my constitutional rights without one hell of a fight.

Do as the Democrats will do. Vote early, vote often and don’t be afraid because the government’s here to help you.

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

If worker bees such as Snowden can mine data, NSA out of control

We sacrifice our own privacy for the benefit of everyone. We would like to think that because of it, NSA foils many operations every day. If you have nothing to hide, then why worry?

It is now apparent that NSA is out of control if worker bees can mine data. That’s Snowden’s point. The secondary point is, that he’s an embarrassment to NSA. If NSA’s Snowden were malicious, he’d have kept quiet and sold out to the highest bidder.

Taken one step farther, if he’d have sold information to other interests, then he would be liable for prosecution. He, along with several others from NSA, have been harassed and broken by bully tactics, not for selling data, but for exposing operations. Quite a difference.

So, does NSA foil any operations? Publicize them. How do such people as the older Chechnyan brother from the Boston Marathon bombing get by NSA when in hindsight it was obvious? It shows that the handling of data is arbitrary, sloppy and ineffective.

This is critical. Without controls in place, NSA and its data are up for sale. The bidder could be a paranoid president who would make Nixon’s enemies list or Stalin’s purges look trivial.

Data could be sold to al Queda, or any private or national interest. Data could even be controlled by organized crime or some other unforeseen special interest.

The cool thing about this is that it could be done in the open under the auspices of public good … like a witch-hunt or subverting a president such as George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

So, pooh-pooh the liberals who don’t see the obvious and damn the conservative prosecutors who want to hang Snowden. Let us NOT mistake those who may sacrifice their lives, their liberty and their sacred honor as traitors.

FRED STEWART

Grand Junction

Bruce Hornsby show fabulous, even at crowded Mesa Theater

On Tuesday I witnessed one of the best shows I have seen in Grand Junction. In difficult circumstances Sandstone Entertainment and the Riverfront Commission managed to relocate the Bruce Hornsby concert to the Mesa Theater.

There were threats of high winds and thunderstorms that would have cancelled the outdoor concert as it was originally planned. To play it safe, they relocated the show.

Yes, it was crowded and warm, but when all was said and done, hundreds of people enjoyed a fabulous performance. Why didn’t you interview those people instead of the few disgruntled people who didn’t appreciate what it took for that show to take place?

I guess the glass being half empty is better news then the glass being half full.

CHRIS BUCALO

Grand Junction



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