Email Letters: November 11, 2016

Turn arrows might be more effective than roundabout

I am a resident in the Redlands and I think the roundabout is too big of a leap for an intersection that has had about four wrecks a year for the past four years. These wrecks are caused by people taking risks when making left-hand turns because there is only one left-hand turn arrow. I think that CDOT should try to add the turn arrows to all the directions at the intersection and see if the number of accidents goes down. There are times when I have to wait through five green lights to go from Redlands Parkway to South Broadway heading east. When I finally go through the intersection it is unsafe because there is no left-hand turn arrow.

KYLE KING
Grand Junction

Democracy and economic opportunity being undermined

I learned in school we live in a democracy. They lied to me.

They mentioned the Electoral College in passing, but I didn’t learn until later how often it has thwarted democracy. It happened twice in the 1800’s, but until 2000 that was something from the dusty past.

As I write, Democrats won the popular vote in six out of the last seven presidential elections. Those wins have been cancelled twice. Hillary Clinton led by approximately a quarter million votes on Thursday. Estimates are she will win the popular vote by more than 1.5 million when
absentee and provisional ballots are counted.

Of 45 presidents, four (9 percent) of presidents were not the people’s choice. Two of the last three. Those presidents do not feel legitimate. Chosen, but not democratically elected. Actually, these presidents were “losers.”

The House of Representatives has been gerrymandered, usually, but not exclusively, by Republicans. People vote for a Democratically controlled House, but get a Republican one. Through Republican efforts, massive amounts of money from oligarchs have been funneled into elections. In return, Republicans promise to repeal taxes that affect oligarchs and cement their place as a unique American nobility. $100,000,000 was spent on tiny New Hampshire’s Senate race. In a truly democratic election, Congress may have been Democratic.

Long ago, the United States led the world in democracy, but no more. Our tax and wage policies were admired for allowing the poor to ascend the economic order. Equality of economic opportunity is another form of democracy.

Many voted for change Tuesday. They may not get the economic change they wanted. Democracy and economic opportunity is being undermined. Like it or not, Hillary Clinton was the voters’ choice, but an archaic constitutional provision is subverting popular perceptions we live in a democracy. The election was rigged.

GENE GOFFIN

Glade Park

Parker’s recent column struck the wrong note

Columnist Kathleen Parker, consistently failing in her attempts to out-cute Maureen Dowd and Gail Collins of The New York Times, informs us back-handedly that we are not U.S. citizens. Rather, we are amorphous “indigenous peoples” by virtue of living outside the Washington Beltway. From her self-appointed perch within that swamp now targeted for draining, she clues us in even further that Trump didn’t win the election from Clinton. Clinton lost it to Trump. And Obama, even though not a candidate, also lost it to Trump.

Thank you, Ms. Parker. Now just remain calm and get to a place where you can’t harm yourself. A padded room would be fine. I’m sure ObamaCare has a filing code for Beltway-itis.

BUD MARKOS
Grand Junction

Roundabouts reduce crashes, move traffic more efficiently

The folks in the Redlands should feel fortunate that they have so many traffic engineers as neighbors. Roundabouts reduce crashes and move traffic more efficiently. How are the people fighting this project going to feel if they win and then there’s a fatal crash at this intersection?

RICK RIPLEY
Glade Park

How will Trump, Republicans, improve and create a less costly ACA?

It’s nice to hear that Obamacare will get attention in the new administration. There are many things that could be done to deal with the problems that have arisen. Or will the technique be trashing the program?

Do Republicans agree with the objectives of the program; nobody refused coverage because of pre-existing conditions, nobody’s coverage dropped because of developing a costly illness, nobody’s expense bankrupting them and, above all, affordable coverage?

The rhetoric we’ve heard seems to navigate around whether there is agreement with those objectives. The fact is that some 20 million people have coverage now that they couldn’t get before.

I get a kick out of all the talk about medical expenses being too costly, particularly having to do with the ACA. Trump and the Republicans can do something about that fact? Do they realize that a major political concession was made in developing the ACA, which involved using existing insurance companies? Other than the Medicaid portion of the program – which is relatively small – all expenses are covered by for-profit insurance companies. They made optimistic estimates of what their costs might be before the program was launched and they turned out to be wrong.

Here’s where the interesting part comes in. In deference to conservative principles, for-profit companies were used. Those companies price their products based on covering lost revenue because of incorrect estimates and then a nice addition for profits. That’s what companies do in a capitalistic system and government is not supposed to interfere with pricing.

So, just how is something going to be done about excessive medical expenses and ACA premiums if companies are left alone to price their products without government interference? Trump and Republicans say they can replace the ACA with a program that achieves the objectives of the ACA and is better. With a magic wand? Does government interfere with pricing or doesn’t it? Sort of a conundrum isn’t it?

JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Voters should have a say in how TABOR refund is spent

The Sentinel has taken the editorial position that promises made to voters are meaningless. Several years ago voters gave permission to the City of Grand Junction to use funds, that otherwise would have been refunded to them under TABOR, to retire the Redlands Parkway debt earlier than scheduled to save on interest costs.

Now things have changed and city officials say that it makes more sense to spend these saved-up funds to maintain city streets than to pay the debt early. The Sentinel sees no reason to go back to the voters because the voters might not agree with the sensible thing to do.

Suppose in April, the city submits a ballot question and asks for approval to use these funds for street maintenance, and, the voters in their wisdom agree to the city’s request. Now suppose that several months later things change (as they always do) again. Now city officials determine that the morale of city employees is much more important than spreading messy tar and small pebbles on city streets, and decide to use these saved-up funds to give huge one-time bonuses to all city employees. This would be OK, right?

WILLIAM VOSS

Grand Junction

Republican leaders attempted to obstruct and de-legitimize Obama at every turn

Disappointed as I am about the results of the presidential election, I have to agree with Craig’s Patrick Mosbey and President Obama that it’s time to “Accept the election results and move on” – hoping that president-elect Trump can somehow rise to the occasion.

Like Mosbey, I don’t recall any peaceful demonstrations or angry riots in 2008 or 2012 either – because in 2008 we were in the depths of the financial crisis and by 2012 it was apparent that President Obama had successfully rescued us from a near-depression.

However, contrary to Mosbey’s revisionist history, Republican leaders did not “accept the results and move on.” Rather, they conspired to obstruct President Obama at every turn and encouraged the efforts of right-wing talk radio and Fox News – and “birther” Donald Trump – to de-legitimize President Obama by spreading abject falsehoods.

The sight of mass demonstrations against Trump in many major cities by “millennials” and women prompts the obvious question: where were they on Tuesday? In “liberal” Wisconsin, for example, over 80,000 ballots “under-voted” for president – picking no one. Apparently, Bernie’s youthful idealism triumphed over political practicality.

Overall, 53 percent of white women (the key to Hillary’s “firewalls”) voted for Trump. So now they are facing the prospects of getting what they deserve – losing health care for themselves and their children, watching their Hispanic nannies get deported, and even perhaps having their sons/daughters come home in body bags from some foreign land.

In the end, it is almost laughable that the tragi-comic saga of Anthony Wiener was the final blow to Hillary’s campaign (his e-mails, not hers). In football terms, after winning the third debate, Hillary went into the fourth quarter with a three score lead and adopted a prevent defense. Trump needed three “Hail Mary’s,” two onside kicks (Wikileaks), and a bad call by the officials (the FBI) to win – and he got them – by hook or by crook.

Thus, even if Republicans didn’t “steal the election,” they did cynically misappropriate a Supreme Court seat by refusing to confirm President Obama’s nominee. Wishful as it may be, perhaps the only way to re-establish Constitutional credibility is for two patriotic Republican Senators (e.g., John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and/or Olympia Snowe) to declare themselves Independents, caucus with the Democrats and Maine’s Angus King, and thereby switch leadership of the Senate and control of its confirmation process.

Don’t hold your breath.

BILL HUGENBERG
Grand Junction

More important than political party is how we treat one another

This is a plea to Trump supporters – family, friends, and neighbors. My heart is breaking for our country. I need your help. Tell me that when you said “make America great again” you didn’t mean “make it white again.” Tell me you don’t want to return to times in America when people of color and women had fewer rights. Tell me that you mean it when you pledge “with liberty and justice for all.”

Tell me that no man has the right to speak to women this way: “Grab ’em by the p_ _ _y. You can do anything.” Tell me you’ll hold abusers accountable and help end violence against women.

Tell me being pro-life also means you’re concerned about children everywhere and the future of human life on the planet. Tell me that you’ll check the facts and question those who say, “climate change is a hoax.” Tell me you’ll be informed and help care for our common home.

Tell me you speak out when you see name-calling and bullying by anyone. Tell me that you will practice the Golden Rule that nearly all religions include as an ethic. Tell me you know that Jesus was brown skinned, spoke Aramaic, and practiced radical compassion and inclusion. Tell me that, more important than political party or religion is how we treat one another. Tell me that respectful dialogue and compassion can help us heal and create a hopeful future for all children.

DEBRA ALLERTON

Grand Junction

Opinions espoused in Wagner’s latest column sounded like mere blather

Someone in Rick Wagner’s life obviously told him he was cute, funny and smart too many times. Unfortunately, he appears to have believed it. On the other hand, I think he makes George Bush sound like a Rhodes Scholar.

There are (at last count) at least half of the voting population in this country who might disagree with Wagner’s latest tirade, and at least a few out of the other half that might be going “huh?” Many Americans will desperately miss Barack and Michelle Obama and their beautiful young daughters. I personally question when (if ever) we will see a more brilliant and perfect couple in the White House, or a more brilliantly qualified woman than Hillary Clinton willing to buck the male establishment in Washington.

I realize Wagner (like me) is just espousing his own opinions. It is questionable, however, whether or not he realizes that to at least some of us they sound like just so much blather. Some of you will feel that way about this letter. I doubt that either of us cares.

LOIS WYATT

Fruita

New era of social media allowed voters to be informed and make their own decisions

God bless the silent but well-informed majority of voters, who, because of the new era of social media, bypassing the propagandist media, which is in league with the ruling class, enabled we the people, being informed by the various computer avenues and social media, to be truly informed and make our own decisions. God bless Donald Trump, our next president of the USA. God bless America and God bless the people who built it. That includes miners and the mining companies, past, present and future.

LEO M. MCCORMICK

Farmington, N.M.


COMMENTS

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Mr Hugenberg
  Does your bias blind you to the fact that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosia are already plotting how to stop President-Elect Trump and the republicans from accomplishing the things that need to be done. I just wish the republicans had been more sucessful in stoping Obama’s agenda

Mr Goffin
  Clearly you did not pay attention in school.  We were taught that we are not a democracy but democratic republic.  If we were a true democracy the presidents would be elected by the New York, California and the rest of the liberal east and west coast liberal states.  The rest of the nation would be left out.  Our forefathers were wise enough to recognize this and set up our system of government inclucing the electoral college so all our votes would count.

John, Bill and all the other liberals who think they are always correct look to get their names in print.  You LOST the election so get over it.  Donate some time in the community to an organization that needs leadership and help.  Better yet run for an office so we can see how good you really are!

Ron, glad to see that you read my letter. You seemed to not get the point of the letter, though. Trump wants to cut or trash the ACA or at least reduce medical and insurance expenses. Your answer to these questions is —-  what? I’m way too old and infirm to follow your suggestions although you might take up your suggestions for community involvement yourself.

John, I happen to be envolved in the community through my church in a TLC program and with Homeward Bound each month.  What do you do?

Ron,  I lead the organization to get a Redlands fire station. We were successful. I served on a Public Safety advisory group for a couple of years. I was asked to join in a group to consider various approaches to getting improved broadband locally. I served until that group was disbanded. Finally, I was a asked to sit in on the City’s budget process a few years back. I did that and it was very informative and I was told that my contribution added to the process. I have moderated a discussion group for over ten years which is open to anybody who shows up and which discusses everything from the functioning of local issues all the way to global issues. We average about thirty attendees and we’ve had a variety of guest speakers from commerce and media to political office. Enough? I currently have cancer which slows me down a lot but I still do the discussion group moderating every Friday at Main Street Bagels from 9 to 11 AM. You are welcome to attend, as is anybody else that shows up. Any other questions or comments?

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