Email letters, March 4, 2014

Most citizens of Colorado and nation did not want Obamacare

We, the great unwashed, are again graced with another re-education session by Michael “Now That We’ve Passed It You Get To See What’s In It” Pramenko. (Daily Sentinel, March 2).

This time it’s Obamacare Section 1332’s fabulous flexibility. Who knew? According to our Dear (Medical) Leader, 1332 “remains a true opportunity” and “represents a door left wide open…that would allow states to develop an innovative plan that works better.”

Wow! What took us common slugs so long? Perhaps it‘s the realization that the door is only open wide enough to accept any “innovative” plan that at a minimum “covers as many people, provides similar protections and doesn’t increase the federal expenditure on health care.” Restated in non-fed code talk, “it’s still my way or the highway,” with the government slamming that wide-open door right in your foolishly naïve face
if the Obamacrats don’t like the proposal.

Pramenko rails against Obamacare opponents, asking what alternatives they offer. Before answering, consider that more than 60 percent of Colorado citizens and the citizens of the country as a whole DO NOT and NEVER DID want Obamacare.

Consider that it was based on lies about what it contained and how it would operate, including “you can keep your plan; you can keep your doctor.” Consider that the whole scheme is so admittedly flawed and has been changed by fiat so many times that it makes a mockery of “a nation of laws, not men.” 

Within that uncomfortably real framework, a fair rephrasing of Pramenko’s question might be, “What’s your alternative for implementing this plot, anchored in outrageous lies, that you don’t want now and never wanted in the first place?” The answer then becomes self-evident.

BUD MARKOS
Grand Junction

Obama fails on world stage, as well as on home front

Issues of substance were not a focus of President Obama’s 2012 campaign, except for his defense of Obamacare. We now know that defense was a bunch of misrepresentations. Hard to believe it, but Harry Reid wants you to believe that all the Obamacare horror stories are made up. Harry Reid is the price paid for Democrat control of the Senate.
Add to his many domestic messes this president’s failures in foreign policy. The more intelligent and informed of our citizens remember the debates before the election when Obama made fun of Gov. Mitt Romney for pointing out that Russia represented the greatest geopolitical threat to our country. Who now thinks Romney was the one out of touch with reality? I’m sure Putin was very happy when this president was re-elected.

Americans want the first black president to succeed. They desperately wanted to believe him and gave him four more years to get the job done. That freed him to be who he really is, the most left-leaning president in recent history.

To clean up his many messes, it will first take removing the obstacle of Democrat control of Congress. It’s not too early to begin to get back on the right track by promoting business and in doing so good jobs. Renewed economic growth will also put the fear of the U.S. back in our relations with Russia. Only the naïve believe Putin (the bully) respects anything but superior power.

DAVE KEARSLEY
Mesa

Local BLM office lacks exclusive legislative authority

I appreciate Bill Grant’s interpretation of our legal rights-of-way on public lands.  Unfortunately, his column once again lacked any legal facts.  
 
Just like water rights, legal ROWs on public lands and private lands are defined by law.  On federally managed public lands, the first thing to be determined is what level of legislative jurisdiction has been ceded (given) by the state, to the federal government, on the area in question. The cession of legislative jurisdiction on public lands within a state is required under Article 1, Section 8, Clause 17, of the U.S. Constitution. This constitutional requirement supersedes any congressional act, past or present. The BLM would have us believe that the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 gives it exclusive jurisdiction over all public lands.  However, FLPMA, Section 701, reveals that FLPMA does not alter any level of federal or state jurisdiction.  FLMPA, Section 701 goes on to reveal that nothing in FLPMA limits a state’s criminal statutes or police powers.

Research by the Public Land Access Association, reveals that 97.2 percent (23,237,501.4 acres) of our public lands in Colorado are held by the federal government in proprietorial interest only.  This means the federal government has not obtained any measure of the state’s authority over our legal ROWs.  Since the federal government lacks exclusive legislative jurisdiction on most public lands, the state of Colorado retains police powers and legislative jurisdiction over the public lands and the ROWs on those lands as defined in the Colorado Revised Statutes. 

An RS 2477 Grant is a federal statute that protects our legal ROWs established on unreserved public lands, prior to Oct. 21, 1976.  In Colorado we must look beyond federal statutes and review the Colorado Revised Statutes to further define our legal ROWs.  Specifically, CRS 43-2-201(e), CRS 29-20-104, and CRS 43-1-202 define most legal ROWs on public lands in the State of Colorado.  

Unlike Utah, which requires 10 years of public use to establish a legal ROW on public land, Colorado has no such time constraints to establish a legal ROW of public lands.
Since the Grand Junction BLM Office lacks exclusive legislative jurisdiction within the boundaries of the Grand Junction Travel Management District, it cannot legally vacate a legal ROW as defined by federal or state statutes.  Colorado Revised Statute CRS 43-2-303 reveals that only an elected board of county commissioners can vacate legally established ROWs on rural public and private lands within Colorado. 

BRANDON SIEGFRIED
Grand Junction

Student of the Week apparently was taught Marxist ideas

I hope everyone took a good look at the “Student of the Week” on March 3 in The Daily Sentinel. Each week this column gives an insight into the type of education that goes on right here in our community and not just ‘somewhere else.’

In this case, the poor student was misled in a serious and egregious way. Aside from being taught inaccurate information concerning the “Cold War,” the bigger problems here are the lack of thinking involving moral equivalency and a lack of moral reasoning.

I wonder if this student has ever (in the classroom, not the real thing) been exposed to the consequences of real evil? Apparently the lessons that she was taught were that the “equality” espoused by the Marxists and the ideas of freedom in America were somehow equivalent and were both “right.” Apparently, logic never surfaced in this discussion in any
significant way.

Where was the lesson on the reality of “equality” under a real Marxist regime? Private property is confiscated, people are imprisoned and many are killed. In the 20th century, more than 100 million real people died from the consequences of this kind of thinking.

Is this the equivalent of the freedom that we experienced here that was enjoined by virtue and faith? Is there no way now to distinguish among Stalin or Mao and Mother Teresa? Is there also no way to decide between evil generated toward a mass of people who have no intrinsic worth and seeing people as individuals who have essential worth because they are “endowed by our Creator”?

If this is what passes for a 4.4 GPA student on her way to Harvard, then do not forget this lesson when your local school system comes asking for another tax increase for the funding of education. Do we really want them to get better at this type of education?

TERRY BRIDGMAN

Grand Junction
 
Three inconvenient facts are ignored

“Conservatives” – including our own Congressman Scott Tipton – still insist that “spending is the problem,” but disingenuously ignore three inconvenient facts.

 
First, by cutting taxes for the wealthy while waging two wars on credit, Republicans both deprived governments of needed revenues and added $4+ trillion to the national debt.

 
Second, with both government spending and revenues already at historically low levels relative to the size of our economy, and with international crises looming, it should be increasingly obvious that — while “spending is a problem” — revenue is “the problem.”

 
Moreover, third, a major component of “spending” is “tax expenditures” – “giveaways” in the tax code encompassed by the rubric of “tax reform.”  During the 2012 presidential campaign, Republicans rhetorically espoused “tax reform” as an alternative to increasing tax rates – but then (intimidated by Grover Norquist’s anti-tax “pledge”) rejected any specific reforms that would raise revenues as being the equivalent of “tax increases.” 

 
Sentinel readers should grasp Republicans’ fundamental dishonesty by considering the magnitude of annual “tax expenditures” (in $ billions) they still refuse to “reform”:

 
            Indirect subsidies to fast food industry (Food Stamps, etc.):                   $   243
            Special tax breaks and loopholes for corporations in IRS code:                   200
            Direct federal subsidies to corporations:                                                       100
            Statutory special tax treatment for hedge fund managers:                              83
            State and local tax subsidies to corporations:                                                 80
            2013 increase in special tax breaks and loopholes for corporations:               67           
            Mortgage Deduction for those with incomes over $100,000:                         54
            Mortgage Deduction for second homes:                                                           8
            Special tax subsidy for corporate jets:                                                              3
            Treating corporate criminal penalties as a “business expense”:                       1+                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                        $    839+
 

Moreover, minimal taxes on financial transactions and/or carbon/methane would generate at least $161 billion annually.  Thus, Republicans’ mindless anti-tax ideology is costing all levels of government, the economy and the nation’s future some $1 trillion per year.
 

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

                                         
Members of Congress should do the right thing, support our veterans

Our legislators have no qualms sending our men and women in uniform into harm’s way. We who served and those who continue to serve do what is expected in service for our country, even if it means giving our lives. Eventually we become veterans.

Some of us at some point need help from our government, usually in the form of VA benefits. Senate Bill 1982 would have included disability compensation, pensions, survivor benefits and education, vocational training rehab, opening of new VA clinics and medical facilities and cost-of-living adjustments for military retires … naming a few benefits.

SB1982 is titled: Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits, a Bill to improve provisions of service and benefits to veterans. The bill failed passage in the Senate by a vote of 56 to 41; needed were 60 Yea votes. All Democrat senators voted Yea. The bill failed because of the Republican vote of Nay.

The disagreement was due to $21 billion budget spread out over 10 years. Our veterans are not worth the dollars. Where does that place the veterans? They still have to continue to beg for VA benefits.

Where is the accountability when it come to veterans’ benefits? It seems many of our legislators do not understand accountability. Must veterans continue to carry budget cuts on their backs?

There is still an active House Bill HR-543, The Vietnam Agent Orange Act for Blue Water Navy. Will this bill fail, as well?

We used to be able to count on our elected House of Representatives and Senate who would send us off to war. We counted on them to do the right thing when we would be in need of help, no more. So, what happened?

All Americans should contact their respective members of Congress and advise them to do what is right for our veterans.

JOHN J. BURY

U.S. Navy, retired
Media, Pa.


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