Email letters, July 9, 2012
Ask ‘homeless’ what they prefer to be called
I really appreciated the focus and front-page coverage on Tuesday, July 3. As a cyclist, I appreciate the camp cleanups along the river trail, as well as the preservation of private property for community sanitation/health reasons and river quality. As an aside, I also wonder about animal pets in “camps” and their required immunizations for disease protection.
I believe the term “homeless” is a perfect word for those who wish a hand up back into a lifestyle lost. “Homeless” implies a desire to have a home and be a part of community with commitment.
After years of volunteering with programs to help others, I have come to the understanding that some people lumped into this group are choosing to live off the grid in an alternate lifestyle. We already have words in our language for those choices. On private land they are squatters; on trains they are hobos; on roads they are drifters; and in cities they are transit-ants.
I recently visited Ireland where such people are called and call themselves travelers; however, these people use trailers instead of tents. In looking for a new term, I would ask these people what they call themselves and utilize words we already have in the language we speak.
THE REV. SUSAN E. MCKEON
Oil industry support of Avalon a worthwhile idea
A recent Sentinel opinion piece by Krystyn Hartman encouraging development of the Avalon Theatre is timely and worthy of serious consideration.
Calling her readers to notice Houston’s marvelous venues built there over the years is appropriate. Some who live in Houston and enthusiastically support the arts in many forms take issue with their home being called “the oil patch.” but the label is suitable and commonly used because the oil and gas industry is what generated the wealth for huge contributions from companies and successful families in the energy business.
The result is on par with old money in the northeastern U.S. that has built and provided for opera houses, playhouses, symphony halls and art museums.
Hartman is correct that development of the Avalon is a sort of litmus test to see if the citizens of Grand Junction, Mesa County and surrounding areas are ready to support a modest and practical performing arts center.
Success of the Avalon may encourage deeper corporate and personal pockets to appear in the future with contributions for an even more pleasing scheme. Why not The Grand Encana Theatre or The Haliburton Performing Arts Centre?
What a fine opportunity to make the Avalon and its performances become vital assets for Grand Junction! Perhaps some presentations can be used as part of an expanded curriculum for public and private schools, bringing fine performing arts to students.
The doubters of this proposed project at the Avalon might be surprised, too, at the support they garner from neighboring towns and counties that are quietly cheering on this limited but noble project. Believe it: All will benefit.
President, Congress, voters all at fault for loss of freedom
After a battle against tyranny, taxation and omnipotent leadership, here we are again struggling to hold on to our freedom. Our president is, of course, to blame for the vigorous push he has given to socialism, but even more at fault are our congressmen who have kowtowed and refused to stand up just to keep their positions.
Serving this country as an elected representative is no longer possible for the “common man.” Both sides of the aisle in Congress have become much like powerful unions in that re-election comes before anything else, as well as enjoying the tax-funded privileges that Washington D.C. bestows. If you continue electing these wealthy elite, nothing will change.
The second tier we need to fight is protectionism and exclusion practiced by both political parties from the county to state and federal levels. Outsiders to the “club” have a difficult time finding support. I refer specifically to the last general election in which District 3 had a great contender and true fighter for our traditional values, but was dismissed in favor of the club member who turned out to be a “rhino.”
An intelligent young woman is vying for the same position on an Independent ticket, but is already being trashed by the leadership of the major parties. The voters are at fault for following the distorted news of the major networks and voting for the same sorry candidates year after year.
Focus on character and values rather than a party label. Political apathy and lethargy will turn us into government slaves.
Wisconsin transplant notes natives’ failure to comply with water restrictions
I want the reader to understand that I write as an observer. I am not a critic. We have an abundance of them.
My wife and I retired to this wonderful valley in the late 1990s from southern Wisconsin. She still has a farm there. Water is comparatively abundant but we had periods of draught. Irrigation systems were few.
We were aware that we were moving to desert climes and that we should heed the problems of draught, perhaps even severe ones.
Saturday afternoon we were blessed by wonderful rain. Yes, we are one of those who have a lawn that represents considerable investment in infrastructure and cost of water and energy to pump it, but we closely monitor what we use. Our system is now turned off for at least five days.
In the past, as we drive from our home to the center of the city, we will see our city and native neighbors not observing the same restrictions that we place on ourselves.
Liberal talking heads should admit sticking to a script
The liberal talking heads this Sunday should be commended for always going back to the talking points script they are handed every day.
They should just say every time after they respond, “This is a recording.” Example: When told the current job numbers are very discouraging, they immediately want to talk about the former president and 2008.
Another example: When the discussion turns to job creation, they immediately want to talk about Gov. Romney from 2003-2007. When will someone point out that most of us are more concerned with what is going on NOW, not five to 10 years ago?
Hi and Lois comic strip reflects poor U.S. education system
With sadness I read the comic Hi and Lois, which ran Sunday, July 8.
Not only did the children not know who George Washington was - America’s first president, a great military leader and a patriot willing to sacrifice everything for the cause of freeing this nation from the tyranny of a foreign king - but the so-called parents didn’t know either.
So much for the education system. No doubt they would be more impressed if they knew Justin Bieber slept there.
Current health care system has major financial inequities
Inflamed respondents to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) don’t seem to grip the fact that existing insurance policyholders, HMO members and direct-paying persons are paying dearly in our current lousily structured health care system.
Hospitals have a societal obligation to treat uninsured/non-paying persons (free-loaders by choice, pre-existing medical conditions or financial circumstances) when they have a medical problem and go to the emergency room and/or end up as inpatients.
Hospitals have to increase their prices to recover the bad debts of these people. This raises premiums/medical bills 20- to 30 percent to everyone else. Preventive care services could have even eliminated some of these costs, but much of our health care system is merely after-the-fact reimbursement or has big deductibles that don’t cover initial preventive care each year.
Private, for-profit insurance companies load another 15- to 20 percent of NON-HEALTH CARE costs into our insurance premiums: million-dollar CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, corporate jets, sales commissions, lobbyists etc.
Then physicians and other medical services providers also have to deal with dozens of different insurance/HMO/governmental entities to get pre-approval of treatments, process claims etc. This requires delays, additional office personnel and procedures, and thus an additional 10- to 15 percent loaded into everybody’s bill.
Most all of the above “extra” percentages for policyholders, direct paying persons and employers in our current system could have been eliminated with a single-payer “Medicare For All, Paid by All” system.
Instead, Obamacare was the politicians’ compromise. It addresses some issues, mainly getting the freeloaders (both current and future) to “pay in” and/or obtain care and mandating preventive care.
Unfortunately, Obamacare kowtows to the continuation of parasitic middleman and for-profit insurance companies. Act provisions that restrict profit margins of insurance companies won’t help. Anybody forget Enron’s doctored books or think corporations can’t manipulate their accounting data?
The upcoming state insurance exchanges seem silly, too. I can show you “auto exchanges” that will help you obtain the least expensive car from anywhere in the United States, but that doesn’t guarantee that your cheap car won’t have hidden problems and your seller will guarantee the car without a legal fight.
Health insurance companies won’t be doing “lower-price GEICO” type TV ads as competition to bring down insurance prices, either. Instead, they will be doing “cherry-picking” specific-media marketing that gives them young healthy male customers, not diabetic older women.
“Medicare For All, Paid by All” especially with non-profit HMOS (such as our renowned local system) negotiating, coordinating and providing Medicare and other services through private-enterprise medical entities will eventually be our only salvation. Unfortunately, politics may make it 10 years before the public and government ever understand that.
Social Security system structured like a Ponzi scheme
All government activity is force, and the larger the government, the greater the force. Big government and statism cause wealth redistribution, malaise, conformity and thus dependency. Limited government and capitalism function on free market principles and encourage individual liberty, ingenuity, wealth creation and thus independence. Carefully note the difference.
Consider Social Security. Government forces the working to pay for the pensions of the retired. There is no Social Security fund accumulated over the years to draw from, so what occurs is a direct transfer of wealth, month by month, from the young to the old. Just as in any other Ponzi scheme, no wealth is created, and later participants get nothing, as will likely be the case with Social Security.
Now consider those working in the capitalist system who are motivated to save and create nest eggs for their later years, Their savings will be deposited in banks and other financial institutions that invest that money in commerce and business. This creates more economic activity, jobs and wealth, thus expanding the economy. The young have greater economic opportunity and ability to save for their retirement, and the elderly have their own earned retirement. Everyone wins.
Studies tell us that people with pension programs save about one third as much as those who don’t. Thus, it can be determined that Social Security participants contribute two thirds less to the growth of the economy than do those with no government retirement program.
As is almost always the case, big government interference in the free market reduces total system wealth and associated happiness. Our current Social Security system is structured such that the government has tricked us into eating our children’s seed corn. How disgraceful! Big government, once again, demonstrates that it is the king of unintended consequences.