Email letters, June 3, 2013

Monument association encourages attendance at meeting

Many thanks to the Sentinel for the editorial on Sunday, May 26, addressing myths abut the Colorado National Monument. Many inaccuracies about the potential damage in designation of the monument to a national park are floating around the community, and we appreciate the paper setting the record straight.

If people have questions about the changes, they are welcome to attend the Colorado National Monument Association’s annual meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at the Lincoln Park hospitality suite. We’d like to meet you and answer your questions.

JACK CONNOLLY

Treasurer, Colorado National Monument Association
Grand Junction

After blocking of oil shale development, middle class suffers

Regarding the article in Wednesday’s Sentinel about how the environmentalists are again threatening to sue the BLM over oil shale – really?

These fringe extremists have already hijacked public policy and the legal process, and they have essentially eviscerated a promising industry with their first ridiculous lawsuit. Now they are back to take another swipe at the people of rural northwest Colorado?

This same East-Coast-backed consortium of professional lobbyists and lawyers first leveled a lawsuit several years ago – financed by those of us who work at honest jobs for a living and pay taxes through the overly abused Equal Access to Justice Act, because a well-developed plan for the management of oil shale didn’t fit with their kindergarten-level understanding of economics, science, ecology and what energy policy ought to be.

Unfortunately for the people of the United States, especially the middle-class families and small business owners of the Western Slope of Colorado, the new Interior Department, headed by President Obama’s hatchet man Ken Salazar, dutifully obeyed and wasted millions more of our dollars in cooking up a justification to eliminate 90 per cent of the best oil shale land in Colorado from development.

Now, they have worked with the same special interest groups to rewrite the rules to make leasing of even the few remaining scattered acres virtually impossible.

And yet, even this is not good enough for the Sierra Club’s fat-cat financial backers and their hapless local pawn groups, as they have decided to find yet something else to sue the BLM over regarding oil shale – using, again, our money to do so.

With the sequester causing apparently so much damage, wouldn’t our tax dollars be better spent on something other than paying special interest lawyers to cripple an industry that could potentially create hundreds of jobs and millions in revenue?

MARJORIE HAUN
Grand Junction

Administration must give truthful answers to simple questions

“It just doesn’t matter” seems to be the administration’s battle cry. Why do we care, I can’t remember, I would have to look at my notes and get back to you — what notes? If, as Hillary and others profess that it just doesn’t matter, then why can’t a truthful straight answer be given to some very simple questions?

Where were you when terrorists were attacking Benghazi?
Why were troops that were ready to deploy told to stand down? Why were requests for more Marines denied? Why were our soldiers left to be slaughtered with no backup given?

Then we get to Eric Holder. Now caught in a lie, on the record, perjury to a congressional committee. Why are members of the press being singled out? Why are groups of conservative voters being illegally singled out?

Anybody who can look at these overwhelming piles of facts and still think voting for this administration was a sound decision isn’t someone I want making decisions for me.

Just like it isn’t their job to create jobs, it isn’t their job to tap my parents’ phone, it isn’t their job to attack private citizens with the hammer of the IRS, it isn’t their job to persecute private citizens going about their day. So, why are they doing these things? Fear of free citizens showing them to be corrupt?

RICHARD BRIGHT

Grand Junction

Holder should not be railroaded out of his position


When the Senate confirmed Eric Holder, he became the most qualified attorney general in U.S. history. Appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan and serving as acting attorney general under President George Bush, Holder had credentials both as a prosecutor and judge that were unimpeachable.

However, when Holder dutifully challenged Arizona’s “papers please” immigration law, he became an anathema to the virulent right (incited by the NRA) – which branded him as “the most corrupt” attorney general in our history, while conveniently overlooking the genuinely “corrupt” legacy of his Republican predecessors.

Darrel Issa then tried to blame Holder for the “Fast and Furious” operation – which he unknowingly inherited from Republican Michael Mukasey (who failed to mention it).

When Holder invoked the Voting Rights Act to oppose Republican voter suppression efforts in Texas, South Carolina and Florida, Issa’s “oversight” committee held him in contempt of Congress — even after Holder provided more than 1,000 documents and President Obama invoked executive privilege to abbreviate Issa’s pointless partisan circus.

Thus, while there may be as-yet-unreleased information justifying Holder’s departure, nothing in the Sentinel’s editorial (“On the record, time to fire Holder,” May 31) remotely supports that pandering conclusion.

While senior officials routinely brief news editors “off the record” – thereby providing an informed context without precluding further reporting and/or congressional testimony – Holder has become the media’s “scapegoat” for the fundamental conflict between the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the post-9/11 “USA Patriot Act” and the rights of a free press, as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

As attorney general, Holder is sworn to enforce all those laws – and nothing therein exempts the press from criminal liability in the context of national security leaks. Nevertheless, even as the Sentinel flails aimlessly, Holder has ordered a review of Department of Justice investigative guidelines – including revisions offered by the press and FBI in 2004, but rejected by the “Bushies.”

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

Bush-era tax cuts resulted in lack of ‘doing’ in U.S.

Josh Penry laments that we are no longer a nation of doers? That’s pretty funny.

According to Josh, we are not a nation of progress creating things such as the Industrial Revolution, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Glen Canyon Dam, the Eisenhower Tunnel and his beloved Lake Powell.

It’s a laugh because, thanks to people like Josh Penry and the rest of the GOP, we have had the Bush tax cuts in place for the last decade in which hardly anyone pays any taxes. Now we’ve gone even farther with sequestration and are in what could be a long-term austerity program that is even more ridiculous. How is that working for Europe?

You see, Josh, in order to create great things, you have to invest in America’s future, and you can’t do that if people are not paying their fair share of taxes, especially the rich.

When all these great things were being built that Josh now laments are not being built today, Americans were paying way more in taxes, and we had the money to invest in great ideas. However, we would need a progressive tax policy to do that.

But instead, we have the regressive Bush tax policy and now sequestration. The only thing the current GOP wants to talk about in budget negotiations is cuts, cuts and more cuts — all of which will eventually result in America becoming a second-class nation.

It’s become so bad that we can’t even keep up with basic infrastructure repair such as maintaining our bridges (look what happened near Seattle) and our beautiful national parks that now have a maintenance backlog of more than $10 billion. If Josh thinks it’s bad now, just wait until sequestration becomes more firmly entrenched.

Yes, Josh, it’s pretty hilarious to hear you lamenting the very thing your Tea Party cohorts and you have now created. Thanks for making America a nation of dawdlers, debaters and navel-gazers, as you so effectively stated.

JIM CIHA
Grand Junction

Obama’s ‘Chicago-style’ politics give government too much clout

President Obama is the product of Chicago-style politics, where, as in love and war, aggressive attacks are expected. The president in a State of the Union address went so far as to attack the Supreme Court justices as they sat in front of him for their support of political free speech in their Citizens United decision.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that IRS targeted the organizations protected by this decision. We have a local connection, too. Sen. Udall, as did other Democrat senators, wrote a letter to the IRS asking them to target these groups. Why blame IRS? They simply heard their marching orders. 

Chicago-style politics are generally legal, but when you enlist the help of the IRS to intimidate your political opponents, you have gone too far. It is illegal.

It has happened before, most notably under President Richard Nixon. Nixon attacked a few political enemies, not a broad segment of our society, as in this case. Government employees, through their unions, protect the politicians who protect them. IRS has a union that provides funding primarily to Democrat candidates. The last thing the IRS wants is tax reform.


The IRS is the poster child for the danger of giving too much power to government. The IRS is now being given additional power to enforce Obamacare, another morass of regulation nobody can understand. Nobody can understand tax code or Obamacare, which is why this leaves us wide open to abuse by the IRS.

DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa

Community has lost a caring, religious man in Harry Butler

I am so sad to hear of the death of my friend and schoolmate, Harry Butler. Harry was a kind, considerate, caring, deeply religious man who through his lifetime would be a reflection of famed commentator and humorist Will Rogers, who said “I never met a man I didn’t like.” 

I can guarantee you that if Harry could communicate with us right now he would say, “Don’t fret or cry for me; I am the lucky one. I am with God.“ And he is!

JIM SHULTS
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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Words have meaning and I wonder if Marjorie can provide some support for these: “...they have essentially eviscerated a promising industry…”  Otherwise I will conclude she is unaware of them (the meaning of those words).

Also, the suit was settled…so please provide evidence that EAJA was utilized.  Otherwise I file this in my ‘pants on fire’ hyperbolic silliness file.

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