Email letters, July 2, 2012
Once again Americans overreact to change
The slaves have been freed; the sky is falling. Women have the vote; the sky is falling. Federal income tax; the sky is falling.
The Civil Rights Act, schools are integrated; the sky is falling. Social Security and Medicare; the sky is falling. Gays in the military; the sky is falling.
Affordable healthcare for all including those with pre-existing conditions and very expensive diseases; the sky is falling. Really?
MARTHA BARRETT SCOTT
Tilting from tax to mandate back to tax again
At first I didn’t understand how Obamacare affects me.
First, it was not a tax; it was a mandate. Once approved, it is no longer a mandate; it is a tax.
However, now we are being told that even if it is a tax, it will save us money. Hope that makes everyone feel better.
Obama speech to blacks termed ‘pure racism’
I just watched a short video of Obama imploring all, repeat all, blacks to vote for him just because, basically, HE is black.
This is sickening pure racism in all its hateful glory. Just imagine a white president imploring all whites to vote for him or her. I am disgusted to an extreme.
Healthcare hypocrites howl over Supreme Court decision
What a feast for hypocrisy watchers! The Affordable Care Act passes the “mandate” SCOTUS test. The howls of protest are ever louder. A secondary howling subject is the very fact that the “undeserving, lazy slackers” will get subsidies to buy their insurance with the cost being borne either through taxes on us all or in the premium cost of whatever insurance you choose to have.
In any event, almost nobody can go through life without healthcare insurance. It is, or at least should be, protection from financial ruin and the extension of your life as much as possible.
The very same howlers accept the fact that their car insurance does pretty much the same thing and the state certainly mandates that. Not the same? You can choose not to drive, or you can go without insurance until you need the protections provided by the insurance, or the cops catch up with you. Car insurance protects you in the name of also protecting the public good.
I don’t think anybody would disagree that the public good is best protected when everybody has health insurance. Individuals are protected and society is protected through a more healthy populace without the need to use emergency rooms for primary care—very expensive primary care— the cost of which we all see in higher premiums to support those who either can’t afford either insurance or out-of-pocket medical costs or choose to go without insurance and gamble they won’t need it.
I’ll buy their wish for going without insurance at all or for inadequate coverage and the all-important choice when we close the doors to any opportunity to get services and demand, up front, the ability to pay in one fashion or another.
Isn’t that what the howlers want? Pay up or die. Don’t saddle me with your “irresponsibility.”
Tired traveler thanks two hometown heroes for rescue
I dumped my motorcycle late Thursday evening while attempting to make a U-turn on Hwy-50 on the outskirts of your city. I was attempting to return to the city to find a motel to spend the night.
It fell in the lane of oncoming traffic into town, and it fell in such a way that no lights were showing. The first man who stopped apparently saw the incident and stopped to help immediately. Shortly thereafter another car approached and made an emergency stop as it was within feet of running over the motorcycle (and me). He, too, stopped, and the three of us were able to right the bike so that I could continue my search for a motel to spend the night after a very long, tiring, all-day ride.
Even though I thanked both of them several times, I want to congratulate the community of Grand Junction for the concern and assistance of the first two persons on the scene when sadly most would just drive by without a second glance.
I don’t know their names, but in my book they saved my motorcycle and me from a likely disaster with their quick action. They know whom they are, and they should be justifiably proud to have lent assistance at a most dangerous situation. We were all on a very dark section of Highway 50 beyond any streetlights to expose the situation.
The community of Grand Junction should be justifiably proud of the actions of these two men, putting themselves in danger as they came to the assistance of a total stranger.
Court’s Obamacare decision heightens need to vote to shrink government
Regardless of whether one agrees or not with the merits of Obamacare, the decision on Thursday by the US Supreme Court should scare the wits out of everyone. Boiled down, the court said that a penalty is a tax and thus, is constitutional.
So, if the government decides to penalize you for a) drinking a 24 oz. soda b) buying a foreign car c) not using a fluorescent light bulb d) buying a gun with more than a 10-round magazine e) fill in the blank, it’s constitutional and you must comply. What does that do to our freedom that we supposedly cherish? Can they not make us dance like a puppet on a string?
Admittedly, penalties and taxes have always been used to modify human behavior but never in our history with the result of such a massive expansion of government. The country is being smothered by regulation and legislation from Washington to the point where it scarcely resembles what we had 50 years ago, shoot, 25 years ago. We are on a slippery slope that this country can never recover from if it isn’t stopped.
Thursday it was clearly demonstrated that the judicial branch has conspired with the legislative and executive branches to grow the size and scope of government. Since our politicians will not shrink our government, it is up to us to force them to do so. This can only be done with our votes; regardless of party, we must all demand smaller government, watch what the politicians do and throw out those that don’t actively pursue smaller government. We have to be the responsible ones because right now the politicians are negligently driving the bus over the cliff.
The following data from the Bureau of Labor statistics should help clarify the problem of the growth of government. The federal average yearly wage in 2008 was $66,591. In 2010 it was $81,258 or a 22 percent increase in two years. The private sector saw a 9 percent decrease in wage growth for the same time frame. By the way, don’t forget, “the private sector is doing fine.”
So people, vote to shrink government or watch the greatest country ever known crash when the bus flies over the cliff; sadly, it’s almost there.
RICK L. COLEMAN
City should consider success of Montrose Pavilion, fund facility other than Avalon
I appreciate the letter suggesting the Pikes Peak Center as an example of what this city needs as opposed to an expanded Avalon Theatre, though the Pikes Peak Center appears to be much more than this community needs or could support.
We don’t have to look that far from home for a modest and achievable arts/music center. Consider the Montrose Pavilion; picture it expanded 50 percent more than its original size with a spacious, comfortable concert hall, conference rooms, convenient parking and other modern amenities.
Grand Junction draws from surrounding communities and deserves a better facility to offer our guests and us. I am disappointed that hard-to-come-by funds are being thrown at the Avalon project, which I suspect is someone’s pet.
Will Americans now be inclusive or exclusive?
There has been (and will continue to be) much written and said about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding the Healthcare Reform Act pejoratively known as Obamacare.
Once the wild histrionics have subsided, we hope that we can come to accept the notion that we are a civilized people who embrace the notion that ALL individuals have the essential human right to access basic medical care. Sometimes, we just have to have faith that such a principle is not wrong and move forward.
It may be a bumpy road. It’s kind of scary, too. What is this going to do to our taxes? No one has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do! Will people take advantage of the public goodwill? Changes may need to come in the future to perfect this piece of legislation. Remember, the Social Security Act was not popularly welcomed in its time (Socialism! Communism!), yet we have come to accept it.
It is good to remind ourselves that while we are a nation of individuals, sometimes radically so, we are capable of coming together for the common good. Let’s all just take a breath. This is a historic moment when we can choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing—to be inclusive or exclusive.
We believe we will choose to do what is right because that is who we are.
JANE & ANDY GOLDMAN
Those of all beliefs, gay or straight, deserve equality, tolerance
Richard Doran and many others would seek to present themselves as virtuous individuals on the issues of gay marriage or domestic partnerships. In their arguments, they will often use terms such as “gay agenda,” and “in my day,” as if somehow theirs was the most virtuous and moral generation that ever existed.
As a senior myself, I know full well that such was not the case. No generation ever is that virtuous, and none is greater than any other, as each faces its own problems and challenges. Those who believe otherwise have either never really looked at themselves, have not kept up, have been hiding from the world or, like Rip Van Winkle, have been asleep for most of their lives. None of those is the least impressive.
The issue of gay marriage or domestic partnerships is fundamentally not a “gay agenda” at all. It goes much deeper than that; to the absolute right of every single individual to be whom and what he/she chooses to be and do what he or she will with his or her own life. That means in body, in mind, soul (for those who believe in souls) and freedom of conscience. No other person has any right to any of those of any other, either in whole or in part. That is an issue of human rights, and one not subject to anyone else’s approval, either individually or collectively.
There are many things people do that I do not understand or like, make me uncomfortable or even, at times, actually offend or disgust me. But those, unless they cause actual (not imagined) harm to my own person or to another, I believe to be none of my business. As such, they are not subject to my approval and/or disapproval, no matter how I may personally feel about it
Having thought long and hard on this subject (as well as related matters), this year I am displaying outside my house the Human Rights Campaign flag. It is a very simple flag as befitting its simple and clear message. It is two yellow bars on a field of blue, representing equality—equality as human beings.
Those who can not recognize or accept that message, or who would qualify it in any way and under any pretense (using any type of rationalization) can not possibly understand another flag, one which has thirteen bars.
They need to do what some of us have learned to do, and on a regular basis. It is to go back to the basics.
ROBERT I. LAITRES
Executive order run amok?
If President Obama can grant amnesty to thousands of people and disregard any law he doesn’t like just by the mere stroke of a pen (executive order), then what’s next … declaring himself “president for life” by executive order?
During the World War II era, we called people like this dictators.
Which gang of pirates should guard health care treasure chest?
I believe health care should be handled by the rules of the free market. But then I thought, “Those at the forefront of the free market are the banks and Wall Streeters. Many of these leaders have taken obscene salaries even while their companies collapsed and thousands lost their jobs. Many took government monies to bail themselves out while still making millions and billions. For them, greed was king. Maybe it’s not such a good idea that the free market handles health care.”
So, now I believe the government should handle health care. But then I thought, “Our elected officials are the ones who have amassed trillions of dollars of debt and raised the unemployment rate to more than 8 percent They have built bridges to nowhere, engaged in insider trading, voted retirement pensions for themselves that average Americans could only dream of and have performed their jobs in such a way that they have a 17 percent approval rating from the public. Is it really a good idea that this crowd should handle health care reform?”
So what it boils down to is, “Which gang of pirates would I trust to watch over the healthcare treasure chest?” Frankly, I have zero confidence that either entity would lead in reform with the good of the American people in mind. America may need health care reform, but we’re in greater need of a moral and spiritual awakening.
Healthcare op-ed pieces in Sunday’s Sentinel offer invaluable insights
Two items in Sunday’s Sentinel (Jay Seaton’s “Shrewdness or luck: Obamacare may result in better market-driven system” and Dr. Michael Pramenko’s “Individual mandate is critical for guaranteed health coverage”) require readers’ attention, because they afford invaluable insights into the potential benefits and practical wisdom of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare).
The “American system” of private health insurers arose during World War II, as military materiel manufacturers competing for scarce skilled labor began offering health insurance coverage as a benefit to attract workers and executives. The marketplace responded to that demand, resulting in some 1,300 commercial health insurers today.
However, due to that policy decision, many American corporations are now saddled with burgeoning health insurance costs that make their products and services less competitive in world markets – thereby costing jobs. Obamacare will change that.
Meanwhile, profit-driven insurers maximized “return” by increasing premiums while minimizing costs—avoiding higher risk applicants, denying benefit payouts and canceling coverage to avoid actual and/or potential benefit payouts. Consequently, too many policyholders too often found themselves with no coverage when they needed it.
To legitimize such decisions, for-profit insurers hired physicians to evaluate claims for the purpose of denying them (based on “pre-existing conditions,” etc.). The result was some 1,300 separate “death panels” whose salaries and bonuses – and those of executives rewarded for maximizing profits – further increased premiums for individual and corporate policy purchasers. Obamacare “kills” those jobs by making them illegal.
Unfortunately, missing from Obamacare because of Sarah Palin’s “death panel” meme was its biggest potential cost-saving provision – the Republican proposal to pay physicians for providing “end of life counseling” to elderly patients. Anyone who has observed the process of dying in a hospital versus hospice knows that the latter is both more humane and dignified and much less wastefully expensive.
Roberts’ decision exemplified impartiality, validated separation of powers
I never thought Iʼd hear myself say it: “Well done, Chief Justice Roberts!”
The truth is, as a retired judge myself, I know that without having read every word in the briefs and heard every word argued, Iʼm in no position to determine whether Chief Justice Robertsʼ rulings were correct.
But I can appreciate what appear to be an impartial, non-political decision on Robertsʼ part and a validation of the separation of powers our Forefathers envisioned.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone!