Email letters, June 13, 2014

America continues to pay for Iraq War

I’m sadly thinking of all the American and Iraqi lives lost and the billions of dollars that have been spent over the last thirteen years as a result of the Iraq War and the huge continuing costs associated with our overwhelmed VA hospitals. What purpose has this served?

Today, Iraqi cities are being taken over by Sunni militants who want to turn Iraq into an Islamic state. Iraq is now in complete and utter chaos. Is the current state of affairs supposed to be better than the era when Saddam Hussein was still in power? Was this supposed to be the democracy that the Bush neocons wanted to install in Iraq and that was supposed to create a domino effect in the Middle East?

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that the Iraq War was all for naught. And many veterans and their families are paying an unnecessary but huge price.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

King’s experience does not equate with expertise

If you are the “chicken little” type who is so fearful that you would gladly trade your constitutional freedoms for “police state” protection, then Steve King is your man for Sheriff. Anyone who has followed King’s exploits since he came into political office are aware that he has time and again offered up bills to give law enforcement more powers at the cost of our constitutional rights. Thankfully, they were thrown out of committee due to being unconstitutional. King’s past shows a consistent support of increased police power at the cost of constitutional rights.

Maybe you have noticed that King’s most vocal supporters are other police, sheriffs and law enforcement. One of those supporters is our own Sheriff Hilkey who on his website, makes note that he will not issue a concealed handgun permit to anyone who has a medical marijuana card. He supports his action by stating that marijuana is against Federal Law. Maybe so, but it isn’t
illegal in Colorado and it shows that Hilkey too likes to pick and choose how his enforcement model violates the rights of Colorado citizens. Birds of a feather flock together.

Supporters claim that King is experienced but, as anyone knows, experience does not necessarily equate with expertise. For an example, look no further than many of the talking heads that support him. I think it was great forethought that the office of sheriff does not require candidates to be from law enforcement. After all, the President of the United States is not required to have been a soldier. Pennington is our best choice.

QUINCE MARTIN
Grand Junction

Reader questions fulfillment of Pennington campaign promises

I’ve been hearing radio ads supporting John Pennington and, while the soaring rhetoric scratches my libertarian itch, I still wonder how exactly he plans to fulfill his campaign promises. 

Specifically, how would he “stand up to” the federal government when it comes to oil and gas drilling on public lands?  Does he plan to slap handcuffs on BLM staffers? Does he plan to erect roadblocks at the forest service office? Provide armed escorts for drilling companies to drill wherever they want? It doesn’t make any sense.

He’s probably a nice guy but, clearly, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. 

EMILY PEARSON
Grand Junction

Important to know what sheriff candidates truly stand for

It is important for residents of the Grand Valley to know that the two individuals who shot and killed two Las Vegas policemen and then desecrated their bodies by laying “Don’t Tread on Me” and Swastika flags over their dead bodies attended the Bundy debacle in southern Nevada.

The “militia” that gathered in support of Bundy did their best to foster hate and fear. They fostered hate for our government and fear of the people who are sworn to serve and protect us. A retired sheriff from Arizona was there and in front of national news cameras was seen and heard announcing, “We’re going to put the women out front, so when they are shot, the world will know.” That same man introduced and supported Pennington at the Mesa County Republican Caucus.

Everyone will have a chance to cast his or her vote for sheriff soon. It is more important now than it ever has been to know what the person you vote for stands for. We give our support to Steve King. We know he is an experienced lawman. He has earned a chance to lead an agency that protects all the citizens of this valley.

A very large amount of outside money is being spent in Colorado to convince us to elect a few less than qualified people, most of whom have a far different agenda than “protecting” our safety and well being. Our vote isn’t for sale. We hope yours isn’t.

PENNY AND JIM CREASY SR.
Grand Junction


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And we hear again from Jim Ciha.  Jim is concerned about our ‘overwhelmed’ VA Hospitals, due to the number of veterans wounded in the middle east conflicts.  Jim sounds a little anti-war to me.  I don’t know if he is a ‘vet’ of any kind, so I don’t know just how he would determine our VA as ‘overwhelmed’.  I think it is in the perception of the term ‘overwhelmed’, which looks to me like lack of oversight.  You know, the ‘oversight’ legislature builds into any law or legislative process - that is a non-starter.  Lack of
oversight that allowed Fast and Furious, the INS snooping, the IRS to make it hard for non-profits, Benghazi, and a host of other debacles under the present administration.  Vets were sacrificed (put on hidden waiting lists) so administrators could get their bonuses.  Who had oversight?  Why, the very people who were to receive the bonuses!  Did they get their bonuses?  You bet!  Due to the “rules of engagement”, fewer military people have been wounded, or KIA in the ongoing wars than in Viet Nam, yet the VA is to be called ‘overwhelmed’.  We have been losing Vets from WWII at a rate commensurate with those being wounded in these two wars, yet the VA is ‘overwhelmed’?  I don’t buy it.  Follow the money, and you will discover the ‘real’ reasons for the hidden appointment lists.  As a Vet myself - I have had nothing but great care from our local VA in Grand Junction.  If the ‘hidden appointment lists’ turn out to be a fact here in this VA Hospital, I will be surprised.

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