Email letters, July 5, 2013

Who gets to decide
who enjoys free speech?
George Johnson’s letter caught my attention because of the passion with which he wrote. I’m not entirely sure which float in the parade he saw as “politically charged filth.” But I have no doubt he felt offended by something or someone. I would also suppose that whoever provoked that passion feels vindicated. They were in a parade so they are not shy people, not your basic spectator.
If I understood Mr. Johnson correctly, he is in favor of censorship and the parade organizers are the people he trusts to impose it, except in this case, they goofed by allowing the “filth.”
It appears to me that like Johnson, our current government wants a monopoly on deciding who the enemies are and who the friends are. They will gladly tell us who should enjoy freedom of speech, as opposed to those who cannot be trusted with that freedom.
With all the data mining the various agencies are engaged in, the government has more than enough evidence to support their judgments.
Interesting discussion for Independence Week.
Grand Junction

Action is needed now
to combat climate change
Regarding The Daily Sentinel article on President Obama’s climate announcement last week, this is an issue we can no longer hide from in denial. It is an important that we tackle climate change now for our future and what we leave behind for our children. This is also very much an economic issue.
I run a small business here in western Colorado that is greatly dependent on the folks who come to visit and enjoy our beautiful state.
In Colorado, there is no doubt that we are feeling the effects of climate change firsthand, just like many other places in the country that are experiencing crazy storms. But here in the arid West it takes the shape of drought and more and more wildfires every year. Our below-average snowpack years are becoming a serious issue. The health of our forests are becoming a serious issue. Our businesses depend on people coming to visit Colorado for its mountain havens and beautiful recreation opportunities. And, increasingly, our customers are the folks that want to live and work here for the quality of life and access to the outdoors.
But, if we lose our quality of life we lose our businesses. That is the one promise that doing nothing about climate change can guarantee us — we will lose our quality of life. We know that our economy has grown in certain areas because people want to live and visit somewhere with the clean air and clean water and access to public lands that we have. If we keep trashing our public lands, our air and our water for dirty, non-renewable energy development, we lose the main driver we have going for us here.
The fires aren’t decreasing any time soon. The drought is becoming the new normal. The impacts of climate change are real, they are tangible, they are here and they are bad for business. Something needs to be done about climate change and our carbon emissions.  Poll after poll shows that this is what the American people want. I ask Congressman Tipton, Sens. Bennet and Udall, Gov. Hickenlooper and other local elected officials to start putting energy development on equal ground with conservation of our outdoors, as President Obama said: “We can’t just drill our way out.” We need to do something about climate change. Our jobs and futures depend on it.
Rumors Coffee and Townie Books
Crested Butte

Music is too loud, incessant
at GJ Rockies games
The other night I attended a Grand Junction Rockies game and I found myself completely assaulted by the music that is incessantly playing throughout the game. Not only does the music play between innings, it plays between each batter. Its loud, much of it is bad and it plays so frequently that you can’t even carry on a conversation with the people you go to the game with.
This night, my friend would ask me a question or make a comment and I would have to wait until the music stopped playing before I could hear myself speak.

I’m thinking during the game: Does the management think that the games are so boring that they have to entertain the fans during every single minute of the game? What about those of us who just want to come and enjoy a baseball game and enjoy the nice weather?

This assault of the senses at sporting events goes on at ballparks for professional sports all across America. It’s the loudness and frequency of the music and the big flashing scoreboards assaulting our senses on a nonstop basis. You would think that in small town Grand Junction, one would escape all that.

And then it’s the quality of the music. It’s terrible for the most part. Many of us are older baseball fans and to have to sit through today’s bland and insignificant music is a real trial. I heard one bland modern country song four times during the night. It was the SAME song! Play more of the organ music as that at least gives you more of a feeling of being at a baseball game.

My experience that night really makes me not want to come to future games or at least limit the number of games I go to. Overall, I did not find it to be a pleasant experience.
Grand Junction

Delay in employer mandate
won’t hurt Obamacare
Kudos to the Sentinel’s editors for preemptively debunking (“Temporary time-out for part of Obamacare”) the partisan poppycock of columnist Josh Penry (“President’s retreat on Obamacare shows big government doesn’t work”) and Dave Kearsley (“Dems want to celebrate only “Dependence Day’”).
As the Sentinel explained, explanations for delaying the “employer mandate” provision of ObamaCare range from the conspiratorial to the straightforward – encompassing both Penry’s and Kearsley’s prematurely expectant glee that a one-year delay in enforcing an administratively cumbersome provision presages the impending “train wreck” so eagerly sought by Republicans and promoted by their cynical attempts at repeal and/or sabotage.

The “employer mandate” in Richard Nixon’s (1974) and Bill Clinton’s (1994) health care proposals compelled employers to pay for employee health insurance. The “employer mandate” in “Romney-care” and now “ObamaCare” imposes a nominal “penalty” on some employers for not doing so ($2000 to $3000 per employee per year, versus annual insurance premiums averaging $16,000 per employee).

Because all employers with 200+ employees already provide health insurance plans, only employers with 50 to 200 employees are subject to the “penalty”. Because 95 percent of those employers currently provide health insurance plans (which may or may not comport with the minimum specifications of the Affordable Care Act), only some 5 percent of those “smaller businesses” would be affected by the “penalty.”

The administration’s decision to delay this provision in response to legitimate concerns “shows that [the Republican-controlled Congress] doesn’t work” – because it won’t even consider proposals intended to improve ObamaCare and/or facilitate its implementation.

Indeed, some Democrats would eliminate the “employer mandate” entirely — by allowing employers to convert health insurance premiums to commensurately increased wages and salaries, thereby freeing employers from that administrative and financial burden while enabling their newly “independent” employees to purchase their own personalized plans from ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges.
Grand Junction

Big-box sales clerks no longer
want to help their customers
The sales clerks are gone. They just “went away”, especially at the
big-box stores.
Oh, there are people standing there in the stores I visit,wearing name tags or uniforms indicating they are “employees” of that particular company. But they aren’t really there. They only see me when I get right in front of them and they have no escape route. Then comes the inevitable sigh of resignation…”I guess I am going to have to see what this person wants.”
Since I haven’t been gifted by the Muses with the ability to read minds, I can only speculate where their minds are. But I can
make a pretty good educated guess, frequently depending upon the day of the week. If it’s Monday or Tuesday, they are still at Lake Powell or wherever it was they spent the weekend. If it’s Thursday or Friday, they have transported themselves in time to upcoming weekend activities (I left out Wednesday, your best chance of getting any service).

I strolled into a big-box store the other day, and spied two salespeople standing idly around in that vacuous state of perpetual vegetation that I have come to know and love. I asked them if they sold vacuum sealing systems for food storage. The look was priceless, as one hesitantly advised me “I don’t think we carry those.” At that point, I could have accepted his reply at face value and departed, leaving this person to return to whatever world he occupied while on the company time clock.

But as a lover of pushing the envelope, I cannot pass on such golden
opportunities to force a clerk to earn his big salary (after all, he should have been made CEO on his first day; can’t this stupid company see that great ability in him?). So I said, “You don’t sound very certain.” At this point, I waited with breathless anticipation for the reply, because it is always fascinating and often imaginative (whatever it takes to get rid of this customer, right?). I must admit this was a new one for me: “We don’t have them in my department.”

I stood silently for a few moments waiting for him to check with other clerks to get an answer to my question. Silly me. After realizing that I wasn’t going to get any more “assistance,” I walked to another section of the store, where I found four employees lounging against a floor display, engaged in idle chit-chat. Turns out that they do carry the item I was looking for. Imagine that.

As I left (no sale, by the way, because I won’t financially support such an enterprise), I remember thinking, “If I want to be taken for granted, I can always call my congressman’s office.”

Just one store, right? An isolated incident, right? Don’t bet on it. By the way, the stock of that particular company is perpetually down. I wonder why.
Grand Junction

Recall Brainard effort isn’t
an attack on the Chamber
This is a rebuttal to the letter by Michael P. Anton.
No one can deny that the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce has a crucial influence in developing the positive “decision making and business values” necessary for our cultural and economic climate to thrive. Such an important position is exactly what mandates the chamber and other stewards of our community, culture, and reputation to take an active stance in our current challenges with leadership accountability and domestic violence.
The campaign to remove Rick Brainard from the City Council is not an attack on the Chamber of Commerce. Residents are genuinely surprised at the lack of direct response from many in our leadership.
Last year, there were 49 domestic violence-related fatalities in Colorado. The NCADV reports approximately 1.3 million women are victims of intimate partner assault each year. Almost half of the murders in Colorado are committed by a partner. Is domestic violence good for business in Grand Junction? Will we be the most “livable community on the Western Slope” by allowing ourselves to be known for passively sheltering leaders who have been convicted of intimate partner violence?
Lack of action in the face of injustice further enables injustice.
Had criminal convictions occurred prior to elections, would this
organization, the voters and his party have supported Rick Brainard?
Now that he is a convicted criminal, how will the leadership in this
community support the petition and efforts to remove him?
Grand Junction

July 4 ad was inspirational
and an appropriate tribute
I hope many share with me the timely “patriotic uplift” provided by the July 4 full page “In God We Trust” ad in The Daily Sentinel.
Heartfelt appreciation goes out to the sponsors, Hobby Lobby, Hemispheres and Mardel stores. What a perfect tribute and appropriate message on a day to be honored and treasured by all Americans. The content was “all encompassing.”
The emboldened “In God We Trust” reminds us that our nation was founded on Christian principles, a fact which our founding fathers proudly declared on our capital’s buildings, in documents and in historical speeches. Sections of the ad covered various sources of inspiration.
Presidents’ quotes documented their strong beliefs
Founding Fathers’section further advanced the cause of the believers
Supreme Court Justices validated the credence of former justices
Sections entitled CONGRESS, EDUCATION, SUPREME COURT RULLINGS, FOREIGNERS. and SCRIPTURE offered additional meaningful diversity.
Hobby Lobby’s association with prompted me to visit their web site, which is truly inspirational. WallBuilders’ goal is to exert a direct and positive influence in government, education, and the family by (1) educating the nation concerning the Godly foundation of our country; (2) providing information to federal, state, and local officials as they develop public policies which reflect Biblical values; and (3) encouraging Christians to be involved in the civic arena.
There is no better way of closing than this quote by a man with an extraordinary ability to communicate with “we the people.” Ronald Reagan said, “Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people.”



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For the other side to the ad and Doran’s praise, see:
And for Regan’s quote:
Rights are not god GIVEN, they are granted by a government through structure and/or by men consensually establishing a government that observes them. God, in the bible, when asked by men to have kings, let them have kings. That changed the structure to any rights a man would get would come from a king. Thusly, Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence,”“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are ENDOWED [not ‘granted’ - a. To equip or supply with a talent or quality] by their Creator [not ‘God’or Christ, because TJ had questions and this word would fit with almost all religions or even atheists or other deists] with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; THAT TO SECURE THESE RIGHTS, governments are instituted among men, deriving their JUST powers from the consent of the governed.” The convenience of having a king and not having one is you become a take-over target by other kings. While Regan was good at pedaling borax products, he misunderstood the majority of founders as they said over and again in papers and letters and put in the Constitution a prohibition of congress making law to establish religion.

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