Email letters, May 16, 2013

Key issue in BLM plan is if anyone ultimately gets access to land

After reading Bill Grant’s column about the travel plan proposed by BLM, I had to respond. My question to Grant is, “What restrictions have the county commissioners put on the ‘alternative’ voice you are supporting?” It seems to me they have invited all parties to present their positions and argue their proposals. As usual, Grant has missed the entire focus of this BLM plan. It is not about who would get the most access to our public lands, but if anyone would ultimately be allowed access.

The only plan on the table that does not impact access for one special group or another is the existing plan. The restrictions the existing plan has effected are understood and accepted by all parties. BLM has been successful in pitting one group against the other to arrive at a new plan that will ultimately give it more control over all users. Regardless of which side of the recreation ball you are on, you are going to lose something or maybe everything.

I know Grant is normally left-of-center with his columns. That is fine with me. I enjoy his commentary. However, I have also personally experienced the wrath of BLM on public lands throughout the western United States. I am not aware of any plan BLM has put in place that has increased or enhanced access to public lands. How many of you remember the Sagebrush Revolution of the ‘70s? BLM works for us. Leave it alone.

JAMES O’MALLEY
Grand Junction

It is time for articles of impeachment

There now emerges enough evidence of this administration’s corruption that make it impossible for it to continue. Therefore, those that support this regime must also be complicit in that corruption.

This being so, I must ask why Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall haven’t proposed impeachment yet?

MICHAEL J. MCINANEY
Grand Junction

‘Gang of Eight’ proposal prompts questions on immigration issues

I applaud the “gang of eight” senators who have been working to draft a beginning to overhauling our immigration system. However, I have sent queries regarding some issues that I have not seen in the published drafts with no response:

1. Seems that most of the immigrant rights groups and the demonstrations want instant legalization and are not particularly interested in paying fines, paying back taxes, learning English or waiting and working on the other requirements. How will these folks be handled if they do not step up and start the process?

2. How will the U.S. stop others who try to cross the border after these laws are passed? When will we say that “enough is enough” and get tough on illegals?

3. There are already laws about overstaying visas. How will these people be identified and treated?

4. Border security has to be a lot better than it is now. Many of the illegals are “mules,” bringing drugs across and cash or ammunition back. What will be the way to stop them? They have no interest in becoming citizens either.

5. And, most importantly, how will the U.S. citizens who hire these illegals be treated? Big, big fines would sure be a start.

I am not anti-immigration, but know lots of former citizens of other countries who are completely disgusted with the U.S. looking the other way, after they spent so much time and effort to be citizens here.

ELIZABETH ZINK
Grand Junction


Grand Canyon Watershed deserves designation as national monument

The Grand Canyon Watershed is a magnificent area held dear by local Arizonans and Americans across the country. The one-of-a-kind. wild, rugged cliffs, deep canyons and grasslands are home to many rare plants and animals, as well as a wealth of recreation opportunities. It is a place worthy — and in need of — permanent protection. There has been resurgence in interest in uranium mining, putting the Grand Canyon Watershed and the water supply of millions of people at risk.


Permanent protection could secure recreation opportunities, the natural beauty and economic potential of the Grand Canyon Watershed, while respecting existing uses.  President Obama should designate the Grand Canyon Watershed as a national monument.


WAYNE FLICK
Cimarron

Higher-ups shouldn’t plead ignorance of poor decisions by subordinates

I am so sick and tired of the repeated claim by the secretary of state, the attorney general and the president that they were not aware of decisions being made in their departments/administration. Fast and Furious, Benghazi, AP investigation, IRS audits, and on and on ad nauseam.

They are, according to the people in charge, bad decisions by low-level employees. Seriously?

These are not decisions on whether the office should have a “casual Friday” or how long breaks should be. These are major decisions that affect lives and policy. The next time a response to why a decision was made is “I don’t know” the follow-up questions should be, “Why don’t you? Is the department not under your direction? Why are major decisions being made in your department without your knowledge? If you don’t have control over your department, then why are you in charge?”

Now the attorney general is playing some kind of Clinton “it depends on what is, is” response by declaring that he had recused himself from the Associated Press fiasco? Unbelievable! This is a proclaimed major investigation that he himself said had the highest national security implication he has ever seen and he has the cajones to say that he had nothing to do with the investigation?

What exactly is he responsible for? Apparently, as little as the secretary of state and the president.

GLENN MENARD
Grand Junction

Political organizations ought not to masquerade as social welfare organizations

Kudos to The Daily Sentinel for Thursday’s coverage of the continuing IRS scandal:  Gary Harmon’s “Area group caught in IRS dragnet, member says”; Ruth Marcus’ “IRS complacency on tax-exempt rules overshadowed by political scandal” and the AP’s “GOP, Dems push Holder over subpoenas to the AP.” 


As local tea party member Kevin McCarney impliedly admitted, the Western Slope Conservative Alliance has always been an overtly political organization. Moreover, it reportedly claimed to have non-existent, tax-exempt status when soliciting funds at its functions.


As Marcus explained, federal law mandates that only entities “exclusively” engaged in “public welfare” activities are entitled to tax-exempt status. In 1959 the IRS redefined “exclusively” to mean “primarily” – so tax-exempt groups have been “allowed to engage in partisan activity as long as it constitutes less than half their operations.” 


Thus, the real question remains this:  What “social welfare” activities has the WSCA performed that ever entitled it to tax-exempt status? Apparently, the WSCA believes that its very existence serves the “public welfare” – thereby depriving the phrase of any real meaning.


Because the tea party’s dominant themes were bashing government and complaining about high taxes (even though Americans are among the least-taxed industrial nations, with the lowest overall tax rate since World War II), it is perhaps understandable that some IRS workers in Cincinnati took umbrage (which does not excuse their illegal conduct, if any).


Ironically, the FBI is investigating possible violations of the Hatch Act – which prohibits partisan political activity by federal employees – involving an area of the tax code that was to be free of partisan politics ab initio.


Therefore, as Sen. Bennet’s spokesman aptly noted, the ultimate outcome of all the investigations should insure that “political organizations do not masquerade as social welfare organizations and take advantage of the tax-exempt status that comes with it.”


BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

‘The big boys don’t play fair’

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics,” Will Rogers has been quoted as observing July 15, 1923. Note the date he wrote this in his column. Then, as now, no greater truth of the recent events can be rendered.

I was always the kid who wanted to play by the rules, even when the coach and Dad weren’t watching us. I would call my fouls in basketball, baseball and football, and the other kids didn’t always appreciate it. Remind anyone of Washington, D.C., at the moment?

It seems those in charge were cheating in many organizations of government, and somebody finally had a conscience. It catches me as something that breaks the paradigm of politics when Gen. Petraeus refuses to lie about the Benghazi attacks and very soon thereafter is exposed by an FBI source for having an affair on his wife.

The big boys don’t play fair. I’m surprised they haven’t dreamed up that Sean Hannity is part Chupakabra or some other strange claim to fame.

Now we have a release of all 100 emails that is supposed to be the answer to all questions? I’m pretty sure I can do 100 emails (and have) just on the failed efforts of this administration to do its job, let alone hundreds of people talking about illegal subterfuge and obfuscation of justice at the highest levels of government?

It’s not government’s job to create jobs. Just get out of the way and business will take care of business if you don’t overtax, over regulate or try to “over-idiot-proof” the entire village. I’m pretty sure if this were the other party, the court of the press would have had a judgment already. I told you guys they were coming! Social parasites are everywhere.

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction



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