Email letters, May 23, 2012

Excerpt from poem illustrates Memorial Day’s true meaning

A lot of Memorial Day commercial hype is going on these days. It is really the time when we all should remember what this day really means. An excerpt from “For the Fallen,” a poem by Laurence Binyon says it much better that I could:

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted.
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

10th Mountain Division, WWII
Grand Junction

Veterans should be spared increased Tricare premiums

I see that the White House is pushing for increasing Tricare premiums, essentially cutting benefits for veterans with 20 or more years of service.

Let’s put this into perspective: What they are saying is that serving your country for 20+ years (literally putting your life on the line at times) is less valuable than the Latino vote where an illegal immigrant can go into an emergency room with anything from a bullet wound to a cold and pay nothing.

WTF? (And I don’t mean Welcome to Fruita!)

Grand Junction

Primary purpose of school is learning, not political activism

I see from the news the issue of “same sex” partnerships continues to cause controversy. This time it’s spilled over into a high school, where an Ohio youngster was compelled to wear a T-shirt to school stating, “Jesus is not a homophobe.”

School is an inappropriate place to display that kind of statement or any statements at all. The main purpose of public school is learning, not political activism.  If schools can ban “gang” colors at school, why not controversial statements like that too?

A more clear case in favor of school uniforms cannot be made. And, the needless expensive litigation that surely will follow is a sad example to set for kids.

Grand Junction

Hickenlooper ought to veto SB 155, independent commission should be established

The Daily Sentinel’s recent editorial (“Manipulative process taints a ballot bill” on May 17) and Bill Grant’s column (“Gov. Hickenlooper should veto this flawed election reform bill” on May 23) demonstrate why a gubernatorial veto of SB 155 is necessary but not sufficient to restore the integrity of the secret ballot in Colorado.

Underlying the controversy over public access to voted ballots and the linkage of voters to their ballots is the pernicious influence of money in politics.

As former Secretary of State Bernie Buescher noted, Colorado’s election system is overly decentralized and sorely needs more standardization and supervision.

Colorado elections are currently conducted by 64 county clerks and recorders (61 of whom are elected Republicans).  Through the Colorado County Clerks Association, the clerks consistently resist all efforts – including those of Republican Secretary of State Scott Gessler – to limit their prerogatives as independently elected statutory officials.

“Most disturbing”, as former State Rep. Kathleen Curry recently wrote Gov. Hickenlooper, while the CCCA is nominally funded by dues paid by member counties (i.e., by taxpayers), its “lobbying dollars are coming from the electronic voting machine manufacturers.”

Thus, the CCCA – including Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner – has a profound conflict of interest when it comes to protecting election integrity, being beholden to the very vendors who have the most to gain from election nontransparency.

This explains why the CCCA and Reiner seek to impose a “blackout” period to deny public access to voted ballots until after an election is certified, while refusing to fix the real problem – locally discretionary procedures that enable election officials to link a voter’s identity with his/her voted ballot, in violation of the Colorado Constitution.

That is also why Bill Grant’s call for an “independent commission” to examine and eliminate that threat to free and fair democratic elections in Colorado is most timely.


Grand Junction

Will Manning live up to all the hype?

I have been a football fan for most of my life. In grade school in Arizona our school was so small that each player played both offense and defense, and there was not much grass on the field.

In 1962 while I was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base, the Denver Broncos were starting up and at the time a season ticket was pretty cheap. So, I became a season ticket holder. In fact, I kept those tickets till my divorce in 1978 when I was told to give them to my soon-to-be ex-wife. Instead, I just let them lapse and no one got them. But enough of that.

I’ve been watching Peyton Manning and listening to all the hype on how good he is and what he can do for the Broncos. Yes, he is sharp, and he does have a good throwing arm. But my thoughts go way back to Craig Morton who also was sharp and had a great arm. After Craig took the Broncos to the Super Bowl and got hit, what happened? 

My question to all of you is: What will happen when Peyton Manning gets hit? Do any of you out there think that Payton Manning will live up to his contract?



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