Email Letters: November 14, 2016

The Electoral College is an anachronistic, imbalanced system

One sentence gave me great pause as I was reading the Nov. 11 editorial: “Rural voters punch above their weight in this system and that’s a good thing.” Actually, that system is an anachronistic thing called the Electoral College, which is the result of Hamilton’s attempt to put the selection of a president into the hands of a more responsible elite, and out of the hands of the (less responsible) voters. But this system hasn’t worked as intended almost from the beginning. Instead of each elector choosing a separate candidate, states quickly figured out they would have more clout if their electors all agreed to vote for one collective choice. When Hamilton saw this distortion of his plan, he tried, but failed, to correct this unforeseen perversion of the Electoral College. So we are still stuck with it today, although we did find the courage in 1913 to pass the 17th Amendment, which allows a direct popular vote for U.S. Senators.

The main problems stemming from the Electoral College are votes of different states are not given equal “weight.” Elections seem unfair when the winner of the popular vote doesn’t win the electoral vote (as in 2000 and 2016). An unbiased outsider could easily conclude that our system really is “rigged” due to our Constitution. Less populated states benefit at the expense of more populated states. Because each state is allocated two electors plus one from each U.S. congressional district, Wyoming voters have 3½ times more electoral “weight” than California voters.

A plan, called the National Popular Vote Compact, currently exists which tries to change this outdated system. States that vote to join, as 13 already have, agree to cast all their electoral votes for the winner of the popular vote. When 12 more states adopt this compact, our country will win a direct vote for the presidency and we will have a more equitable democracy.

JUDY WEST
Grand Junction

We really need to talk about the bigotry in the open

Apparently a protest is only a protest if you disagree with the subject. Patrick Mosbey says conservatives accepted the results of the last eight years and everyone now should too. They did? What I witnessed was massive numbers of bigots disrupting everything both inside and outside the government. They were so incensed so constantly and so threatening with all the gun buying that they even attended public meetings and Obama’s speeches with their manhood in their holsters.

Well, you now have what you wanted in a president. The thin-skinned guy who constantly whines about disagreement being so “unfair.” One can only hope he can learn some of the acceptance, grace and dignity of Obama.

I personally don’t think Trump is what he’s displayed. I doubt his business would flourish if he treated associates like that. I’m willing to give him a chance and hope I’m pleasantly surprised. Although the Koch brothers now own our government, I don’t think they or their extreme right wing Republican Party will be able to control him, even though it seems they are at the moment.

I agreed completely with David Brooks’ column in Sunday’s paper. Both parties are a mess and Trump may not stick with it. But we really need to talk about the bigotry in the open – all the bigotry. The white power rhetoric is even more disturbing now.

We all need to calm down. But the party of Lincoln needs to study Lincoln. White power people hated Lincoln. They killed him.

And upset protesters who didn’t vote are too late to matter. I would suggest protesters start now planning both the next vote in two years and the one in four years.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

Reducing speed limits at Redlands intersection may be solution

The editorial defending the Redlands roundabout spouts a lot of numbers, statistics, and predictions calling this a public safety issue. I, and many Redlands residents, feel that simply reducing the speed limit on the approaches would mitigate any safety issue without impacting traffic flow, and, as you have pointed out, free several million dollars up for a higher priority project elsewhere, of which there are many.

The inconvenience of construction has never been the main bone of contention. A lot of the population of the Redlands and users of the intersection believe that if there is nothing to repair, don’t repair it (and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!).

PAT CLARK

Grand Junction

FREE Foundation corrects misperceptions in recent article

This letter is to correct some misperceptions in the recent Sentinel article with the headline “District 51 students learn about finances.” The Western Slope Economic Leadership Conference that was held on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at the Colorado Mesa University ballroom was an event attended by approximately 150 juniors and teachers from 10 high schools in western Colorado, plus home educated students. Many students rode two hours on a bus to attend the all-day conference.

The Freedom & Responsibility Education Enterprise, a local 501c(3) organization devoted to teaching young people about America’s free enterprise system, financial literacy, and economics in conjunction with the Foundation for Economic Education in Atlanta, Ga. sponsored the one-day conference. Two nationally recognized speakers, T.K. Coleman from PRAXIS and Doug Bandow from the Cato Institute, headlined the event, joined by local leader, Betsy Bair. The students were challenged to develop effective communication and leadership skills as they learned how free markets and entrepreneurs solve problems more effectively than command and control tactics.

The five board members of the FREE Foundation, organized in 2013, volunteer to teach a 12-week economics class for middle school students at Caprock Academy, sponsor scholarships to the Economics for Leaders summer camp, and host an annual Economic Leadership conference at CMU for juniors in high schools in western Colorado. The third annual Western Slope Economic Leadership Conference will be held in Nov. 2017 at the CMU ballroom.

PHYLLIS HUNSINGER
President Free Foundation
Grand Junction


Valley has more pressing needs than Redlands roundabout

I, like many of the residents in the Redlands, have been following and attending the meetings that have been held explaining the “need” for the Redlands’ Roundabout. I have also read the various articles as published by The Sentinel, where an editorial recently admonished us to stop protesting the effort. I found this especially ironic considering the violent protests across the country regarding Trumps historic election. Apparently The Sentinel remains silent on some issues of free speech and not others. But I digress.

Generally, I am for roundabouts, especially in commercial corridors to slow traffic down or calm it as it has been described. In residential neighbourhoods, I have advocated the use of raised speed humps to accomplish the same thing.

They have called this a safety issue and use statistics, such as 26-28 accidents have occurred over the past five years. Over two-dozen accidents seem like a lot until one considers that thousands of cars per day pass through that intersection with some high-volume periods. Per CDOT’s own data, the intersection averages 12,000 vehicles per day. That translates roughly 21,900,000 million vehicles over a similar five-year period. That breaks down to roughly one accident for every 730,000 vehicles. Assuming two cars per incident that results in a percentage of 0.00029 percent of all vehicle traffic. It’s hardly a major safety issue when viewed in this way.

But, if this is a safety issue, where does the Redlands Parkway/CR340 intersection rank in the Grand Valley with respect to accidents?

I think that there are more pressing needs in the valley than a roundabout in the Redlands, especially considering the major investment made in that same intersection just a few short years ago to improve the traffic flow (and safety presumably) as well as beautify the area. Why throw that investment away?

STEPHEN FULLERTON

Grand Junction

Name stenciled in rock would have saddened ‘leave no trace’ Crawford

While the family of Billy Crawford is touched by the intent of whoever stenciled Billy’s name on the rock face at Cold Shivers Point, they are also very sad. Billy was a “leave no trace” Coloradoan. He would tell family and friends to stay on the trail where there are crypto-biotic soils, so we didn’t “bust the crust.” When visiting Chaco Canyon National Monument last spring break, Billy had the eagle eye, frequently spotting ancient pottery fragments, gently lifting them and sharing them for examination, and then those long fingers returned them exactly to the same spot for those who followed to experience. We are hopeful the stencil will wash off with the rain. Billy would never sanction defacing a national park. He would be embarrassed that people visiting from around the world would believe he defaced the park he loved.

If you want to do something for him, perhaps you could approach the park service and see if they might place an information plaque there asking people who are considering suicide from the park cliffs to contact a ranger for help in reconsidering their plan and not turning a place of great beauty into a memorial to tragedy. The plaque could also include the local suicide hot line phone number. Thank you for respecting this national treasure with no further tributes unauthorized by the National Park Service.

CHERLYN CRAWFORD

Grand Junction

Those protesting the election must not have to go to work

All the protesters in the streets in the news following the election must have no work to go to on a daily schedule to keep them busy. And maybe they are in fear of having to go to work for a living and pay into the system, when this new administration takes office.

RAFAEL A. SALAZ

Grand Junction

National security sunk Clinton’s campaign

Journalists and commentators maintain that Trump’s win is a revolt by heartland Americans, voting according to their gene-pool (to quote David Brooks), against the enlightened intelligentsia. Rarely mentioned is the disqualifying behavior of Clinton. Trump is said to be crass, vulgar, a liar, and demeaning to women, while Clinton is merely crass and vulgar, according to a multitude of reports by her security and staff, and a liar, according to the FBI.

Clinton set up a private server in order to hide her activities as Secretary of State, then lied about classified emails to the public, and to the FBI, and deleted 30,000 emails after Congress had subpoenaed them. Then there are her lies about Benghazi. Additionally, her husband was a sexual predator; not only was she aware of it, she attacked his victims. Apparently that doesn’t qualify as being demeaning to women.

Furthermore, leaked emails of John Podesta, chairman of the Clinton campaign, show that as Secretary of State, 1) Access to Hillary was often predicated by a contribution to the Clinton Foundation, 2) Hillary requested a $12,000,000 contribution from the King of Morocco in exchange for keynoting an event in Morocco, 3) Qatar gave Bill Clinton $1,000,000 for his birthday, 4) $6,000,000 was requested from a Saudi Sheikh for a private phone call with Bill Clinton. In other words, U.S. foreign policy was for sale.

Trump certainly has his faults, but Clinton’s acts are criminal. Thanks to the main street media, many voters know little of Hillary’s corruption as Secretary of State, and of her earlier scandals. Journalists continue to claim that Trump was elected because of racism, sexism, and blue-collar ignorance in flyover country. This illustrates the willful avoidance of unpleasant facts about Hillary by East Coast ruling elites.

STEPHEN LAPPIN

Grand Junction

The liberal left is still in denial

We were told that Clinton’s “greatest” weapon against President Trump were his divisive and hateful comments that came across as “un-presidential.”

And on that note, how are all my “deplorable” brothers and sisters out there? Then there’s the one that goes like this: Hillary lost because we all hate women; we’re all sexist, and racist, and homophobes; we’re all toothless rednecks who sleep with other members of the family in the doublewide. Yee Haw.

See y’all in eight years, and in the meantime, why don’t you left-leaners make the taxpayers pay for another “study,” and make it one that reassures you just how smart and superior you surely must be.

LLOYAL ANDERSON
Delta

Comey told the truth and Hillary lied

Comey told the truth. Hillary lied. However according to Hillary, Comey is the reason she lost the election. Apparently she does not have any mirrors to look into at either mansion!

L.W. HUNLEY

Grand Junction

Apparently a lot of Hillary’s supporters are ‘deplorable’ also

Watching the riots, uncontrolled destruction, and hate signs, apparently a lot of Hillary’s supporters are “deplorable” also. Who knew?

J.C. SMITH
Grand Junction

Human consumption of carbon not contributing to climate change

For those of you gullible enough to believe in human caused global warming, please be “fair and balanced” and secure a copy of “Climate Hustle” from http://www.climatehustle.com. It’s an excellent documentary that supports the evidence that human consumption of carbon is not contributing to climate change, including “warming.” The effort to blame global warming on humans is a political maneuver aimed at redistribution of wealth, which will result in severe hardships bring imposed on the people least able to cope with the impacts.

DICK PROSENCE

Meeker

Celebrities ranting about leaving America under Trump administration should stick to their word

To hear all the Hollywood types rant and rave about leaving the country under a Trump administration is just music to my ears. Sharpton, Goldberg, Jackson, Streisand, Cyrus, Cher and a host of good-for-nothing windbags are shooting off their mouths, decrying the country that gave them their extravagant wealth and lifestyle, and then extolling the virtues of Canada, New Zealand, Panama, and Cuba. As if these people have the pulse of the nation well in hand (and the only answers to our nation’s problems) they somehow continue to believe we actually care about what they say, just because it gets mentioned on some obscure website or fish-paper publication. How amusing and entertaining.

For my part, if a vote for president-elect Trump succeeded in getting these arrogant, egotistic, pompous, and so-called “celebrities” motivated to get the (hell) out of my country, I will sleep well in the coming nights. Time will tell if they are people of their word. And my parting shot to the lot of them would be what my parents used to say, “don’t let the door hit you in the rear end on the way out.” Good riddance.

In the aftermath of the election, I am just loving all the misanthropes on the left crooning about their failed presidential hopes. But please, spare us the hand-wringing apocalyptic prognostications. We have been doing this for 240 years – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Suck it up.

RICH WONTOR
Grand Junction

Trump will prioritize objectives and get the job done

Donald Trump has been a developer all his life. That means he understands the need to produce results on budget and on time. He will have two years to deliver results and convince skeptics he was the right choice. If he does that he will then increase Republican control of both the House and Senate.

There is low hanging fruit and he will begin there. He needs to appoint a conservative Supreme Court Justice and get him or her confirmed. He’s a negotiator and he knows Chuck Schumer well. I predict he will be a hands on president, talking directly with those whose cooperation he needs to get it done.

Bringing jobs back to America will be his first priority. Modern communications and transportation insures that globalization will not go away, but you don’t need to throw American workers out with the bath. Changes to the tax code will help. He can bring capital and jobs home that are stuck overseas.

Immigration is a top priority as part of a focus on the rule of law. Securing the borders and deporting criminals here illegally can start almost immediately. Once those objectives are met, he will deal with those here illegally because of lax law enforcement. Exactly how has to be worked out and it has to be fair.

Obamacare is collapsing and needs to be repealed and replaced with something that better meets the healthcare needs of the country. It will work best if the replacement has some bipartisan support. I expect President Trump to be the kind of leader who brings all reasonable people onboard.

Trump as a businessman is not fond of excuses. He will prioritize objectives and get the job done.

DAVID A KEARSLEY
Mesa

Constructive actions accomplish more than protesting

I worked in the Bernie Sanders campaign. Where were you, protestors? Then I worked in the Hillary Clinton campaign. Again I ask, protestors where were you? I know, you all decided that a protest vote was more important then contributing. Well, I have to live with the consequences and so do you. So shut up and sit down.

Constructive actions accomplish more than pouting. Next time, get involved. I know that I will.

DANIEL H HARRIS
Fruita


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