Email letters, Oct. 15, 2012

Nuclear power too pricey

We don’t want any more subsidies for expensive, unsafe nuclear power or dirty coal. We do want a clean energy economy and more jobs. The candidates are not talking about climate change and the need for energy independence without breaking the bank. Progress on energy efficiency is already cutting down on our electricity needs and is the most cost-effective solution while creating more jobs. Wind and solar provide many jobs, and wind is cheaper than new coal per kilowatt-hour.

One of the most expensive forms of new electricity is nuclear power. Power companies won’t build them unless they get loan guarantees and charge ratepayers ahead of construction to cover cost—$8 billion per reactor! That’s electricity we don’t need.

WAYNE FLICK
Cimarron

Democrats share blame in mortgage meltdown

Holly Von Helms blames the GOP and the tea party for our country’s financial problems while conveniently ignoring the fact that, to further their social agenda, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters, and Barney Frank and other Democrats required mortgage lenders to give loans to people who would never be able to make the payments. This was the underlying cause of the financial problems.

President Bush tried to fix this problem but was stonewalled by the Democrats who were getting sweetheart loans from these same lenders. Helms, like most liberals, believes that compromise means that the GOP should just do what the Democrats want without ever considering that the Democrats might also have to include some GOP ideas.

I suggest that Von Helms also follow the facts and train her ears to hear the truth. I cannot imagine anyone that can’t see from Obama’s own statements and the radical people such as Valerie Jarrett, Van Jones and Jeremiah Wright with whom he surrounds himself that Obama wants to lead our country into a progressive socialist society.

RICHARD BLOSSER
Grand Junction

Obama fans unclear on why he should win

I have asked several Obama supporters why I should vote for him. The usual answer is “because he is for the little people.”

However, when I asked them to explain how he has helped “the little people” when thousands of them have lost their jobs and homes and are paying twice as much for gas and other things because of his policies, they just can’t explain this phenomenon.

BOB STRONG

Montrose

Sentinel was right to endorse Robinson

We wanted to add our voices to those who consider Dan Robinson’s work in the community as admirable and exemplary. While many in the community may not understand, it is wonderful that Dan Robinson abides by his moral, ethical and professional responsibility in accepting and doing pro-bono work.

The recommendation of Robinson by The Daily Sentinel shows well the work Robinson has done for the benefit of many in the community. It is refreshing to be able to vote for a candidate willing to work with those on all sides of the political spectrum for the betterment of our community.


JOSE and BLANCHE LUCERO
Grand Junction

Scott Tipton’s approach to economy unrealistic

Scott Tipton’s ad about Sal Pace fools few. Fact checkers know that the $715 billion President Obama “took out of Medicare” was a savings used to fill the donut hole and extend the life of Medicare another eight years. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would put Medicare in trouble in 2016 instead of 2024. Perhaps, like his cohorts, Tipton wants Medicare to be privatized while pretending to support it.

It is understandable that Tipton needs to deceive because he has done little to produce jobs. The CBO says that passing Obama’s job bill would produce 2 1/2 million jobs, but the president might get credit. He prefers to spend his time jousting with windmills that have no chance of becoming law.

Tipton believes in trickle-down economics instead of increasing jobs and demand. Equal pay for women is a bridge too far, as is fixing the one down the road. When the country needed solutions, he provided only ideology.

The real conundrum Tipton wants us to believe is that decreasing taxes for the wealthy, and thereby increasing our national debt by trillions, is somehow being financially conservative.

If he supports Gov. Romney’s idea to increase the defense budget by more trillions without a real cause, we have to wonder how it will all be paid for. Doubtless programs and taxes affecting the middle class will be hit the hardest. Getting rid of Big Bird will not do it.

They want to put Social Security on vouchers, let Medicare explode in 2016 and drop the mortgage tax deduction, thereby killing the struggling housing industry. This ideology just does not work.

HARRY MCDONALD
Grand Junction

Biden in debate evokes memory of addicted beggar on street

I was in a parking lot, ready to get into my car and drive to a friend’s house to watch the vice presidential debates. Riding his bike up to me, a young addict asked for a buck and a half to get a bus ride home. He played out his role with a winsome, appealing and practiced delivery. I was being suckered. He knew it and I knew it. I gave him the money. We played out our parts on life’s little stage. It was only $1.50. I could afford that.

The televised debate had many similarities. For example, I watched the discussion of the Libyan tragedy with all its conflicting scripts being played out on the political stage. Evidently, Biden’s role for this scene was to play the wronged, but innocent, ingénue. “Our intelligence told us it was because of that mean video…” (Although debunked within the first hours, the false spin played out for weeks at the United Nations and on various talk shows.)  The administration also plowed huge amounts of American cash to broadcast apologies to the Mideast. So, Obama’s administration didn’t know beforehand about this growing Middle Eastern meltdown.

A sucker such as I might have bought into Biden’s winsome, practiced performance except that he suddenly switched roles. He started talking about Iran and foreign security. He played the heroic statesman, telling Congressman Ryan in supercilious terms that he and his great buddy, “ Bebe,” know full-well what Iran’s timeline is.  His theatrical voice thundered across the stage: “Trust me!” “Don’t worry!”  “We know!”

Maybe Biden’s practiced performances were a little stilted or his vignettes didn’t mesh, but I couldn’t shake the picture of beggars locked in their own pathetic roles strutting across Shakespeare’s stage. Fool me twice?  Shame on me! 

GAIL SCHULTZ

Grand Junction

Cover-up on Libyan attacks stems from re-election efforts

When President Obama first heard that Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans were killed at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, he sprang into action, continuing his campaign in Las Vegas. He did take time out to apologize to the Muslim world for the “crude, disgusting and reprehensible” video that allegedly led up to the atrocities at the consulate.

He then directed White House spokesman Jay Carney to disseminate false information to the White House press corps and America that the entire incident was fomented by this vicious video and that “no credible or actionable intel was available which might have prompted extra security at the consulate.”

Hmmm, our leadership at the White House and State Department must not have been apprised that the anniversary of 9/11 might actually fall on Sept. 11 this year. Likewise, they must not have been aware that several other Al-Qaida attacks had taken place in Benghazi in the months prior to Sept. 11.

To further cover their collective tails, the White House sent out Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to give nice talks on five TV shows the Sunday after 9/11, and Hillary Clinton gave a nice speech.  Both of them relentlessly claimed that the “incident in Benghazi was all the sudden result of a short YouTube video released in July, and that there was no evidence of a ‘planned, organized terrorist attack,’” even after the president of Libya himself stated the day after the attack that it clearly was a “planned, organized terrorist attack.” And, of course, Obama himself did have time to go on The View two weeks after the attack to once again state that “we are still investigating,” but that it appeared to be a reaction to the video.

We subsequently learned two critical pieces of information. 1) The White House was informed by our own intel within 24 hours of the attack that it was clearly a planned, organized terrorist attack and 2) Ambassador Stevens had in fact been requesting extra security for months ahead of the attacks, and he was fearful for his life. The latter was substantiated Oct. 10 in congressional testimony by Eric Nordstrom, regional security officer, and Lt. Col. Andrew Wood. They testified that they had been requesting 12 agents for the embassy for many months ahead of the attack, and that all of their requests had been denied.

It is clear that Obama and his loyal followers have placed the importance of his re-election well above the lives of real American heroes by 1) knowingly leaving them exposed to a serious life-threatening environment and 2) making every attempt to cover it up, all for the sake of being re-elected.

And did we ever hear any of them refer to the ruthless torture and murder of four brave Americans by scores of cowardly Islamic terrorists as “crude, disgusting and reprehensible.” the way that they described the video?

DON BOYLES

Grand Junction

Regulate market for marijuana to curtail drug dealers’ influence

As we get closer to Nov. 6, rhetoric is heating up on Amendment 64 and opponents of regulating marijuana like alcohol say the effort must be stopped to reduce youth marijuana consumption.

The logic here doesn’t add up. With our underground market, kids’ access to marijuana is maximized. According to a nationwide Columbia University 2009 survey on drug abuse, 23 percent of kids ages 12-17 reported being able to obtain marijuana within an hour. The same survey found that kids believed marijuana to be as easy to get as cigarettes and the majority believed it easier to obtain than alcohol.

The most recent NIDA survey, after medical marijuana was adopted, indicated that Colorado bucked a national increase in teen marijuana use and actually decreased use from 24 percent to 22 percent. Does regulation work? Apparently, yes.

Conversely, an illegal market, while well intentioned, creates ease of access for kids. It’s likely the person who is selling weed will also be selling meth. Considering the naïveté of youth, kids are sure to be drug dealers’ main targets. The seemingly attractive lifestyle of getting high and hanging out making money with a bunch of partying high school girls seems great. The reality of violence and degeneration begins after it’s too late.

Our illegal marijuana market is youth’s gateway into the abyss of underground drug dealing; this must be stopped. We should prioritize establishing a regulated market for adults while ensuring that penalties are severe for those who transfer marijuana to minors. Pretending that the illegal market restricts access to marijuana for teens fits with our intentions but contradicts reality.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, Amendment 64 legalizes hemp production in our state and directs the legislature to create a regulatory infrastructure to take advantage of our currently imported $450 million hemp market. Vote yes on 64 and support dealing with reality.

DAVID L COX
Palisade

US was close to war in Cuban missile crisis

It is perhaps appropriate that the 50-year anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis occurs just as we are debating the nation’s potential vulnerability to a new nuclear crisis—Iran. People younger than 65 probably have no memory of the fear and uncertainty of that October 1962 near-catastrophe. Let me try to bring the feelings closer by repeating some of the news items of that time.

Oct. 14, 1962. An Air Force U-2 reconnaissance flight piloted by Maj. Steve Hoyer finds indisputable evidence of Soviet medium-range ballistic missiles based in Cuba. Other U.S. aircraft find Soviet Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle bombers and other planes at Cuban airfields.

Oct. 15, 1962 (Sunday) Presidential assistant McGeorge Bundy appearing on ABC-TV’s Issues and Answers denied that the Soviets had any offensive weapons in Cuba, just while the Kennedy White House was figuring out how to respond. The small group of advisers nearly panics as members realize their decisions can lead to the unthinkable.

Most witnesses report that JFK never lost his composure and did not flinch from challenging the Soviets with a blockade to prevent their ships from reaching Cuba, itself an act of war. “The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are. The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” —John F. Kennedy

Oct. 24, 1962. U.S. ships of the blockading force are in position at sea in accordance with the president’s Oct. 22 order to quarantine Cuba as a result of the missile crisis. The force includes the attack carriers Enterprise and Independence, the antisubmarine carriers Essex and Randolph and shore-based aircraft carriers that are to conduct air patrols in their assigned sectors. Strategic Air Command forces and U.S. missile sites are also placed on high alert, while other aircraft and ships join the Navy in the search for ships approaching Cuba.

Oct. 27, 1962. Maj. Rudolph A. Anderson Jr. is fatally shot down as he pilots a U-2 over Cuba.

Oct. 28, 1962. The USSR agrees to remove its missiles from Cuba; the U.S. will move its own missiles stationed in Turkey. On the following day, USAF reconnaissance Voodoo aircraft confirm the Soviets dismantling their missiles.

“The two most powerful nations of the world had been squared off against each other, each with its finger on the button. You’d have thought that war was inevitable.”—Nikita Khrushchev

“We were eyeball-to-eyeball and the other fellow just blinked.”—Dean Rusk

For a very long time most Americans didn’t know how perilously close we came to disaster those 13 days of October 1962. That is why films that tell the story are so irresistible. This Thursday, Oct. 18 a film called “Commander in Chief: Inside the Oval Office: Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis” is to be broadcast. Consult your listings.

At 75, I have vivid and emotional memories still of that time. I was the duty officer in a high-readiness engineering combat battalion just outside Washington D.C., with a wife and two small children at home in Alexandria, Va. Our unit was preparing to be airlifted to the front lines with all our bags and weapons packed and shots, wills and equipment prepared as Kennedy told the nation of his decision.

GEORGE E. CORT
 
Montrose

Sentinel endorsement overlooks salient facts

I have no problem with newspapers making editorial statements of endorsement for political candidates. I do have a problem when they do so, as the Sentinel has done for Mitt Romney, when they blithely overlook so many of the important facts that should be considered.


For instance, our president is not a king. Not much can be accomplished without the cooperation and participation of Congress. The minority leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell, stated at the outset of the Obama administration that his objective and that of all Republicans would be getting rid of Obama and doing nothing that might be considered an positive accomplishment for the administration. He, and Republicans in Congress, followed through on that promise.

The Sentinel suggests that leadership could overcome problems of political partisanship. Virtually all Republicans have signed a pledge that they will under no circumstances vote for anything that could be construed as a raise in taxes. So what, you say?

Those that renege on that pledge would be targeted for defeat at the next election, so says the originator of the pledge, Grover Norquist. Norquist considers any tampering with benefits for special interests in tax law as being a raise in taxes. All of the above brings doing anything positive for jobs improvement and dealing with deficits and debt to a screeching halt.


What about jobs? The Sentinel conveniently overlooks the fact that our jobs problem is directly related to a lack of consumer spending. Consumers are buried in debt, some are jobless and many, if not most, are uncertain of their continued employment. I guess Congress and the president could mandate that you to spend more money in the economy. Does that meet with your approval?


Health care? The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, designed Obamacare. Romney got it approved for Massachusetts, and it’s working.


JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Clinton started mortgage mess

What is this election really about? It is not about the economy, jobs
and healthcare. I do not want another four years of my country being led by a Marxist and socialist. Obama is a Marxist.

Look what is happening in Europe, is this what you believers of Obama really want to happen here? It will be with socialized medicine and programs.

So you want it “fair.” Life is not “fair.” If this is about sharing and being fair, then we should have a “fair” tax that all people pay, even the 47 percent. Get rid of the tax code and everybody pay their “fair share” in sales taxes.

Even those evil corporations will have to pay. They do buy products to run their companies, such as paper, pens, furniture and equipment. Stop with the emotional “Oooh, he is such a great speaker” thing and really look at what he is going to do to transform our country into a socialized mess.

If you want to blame someone, blame President Clinton. He started the “everybody should own a home” program, with the liberal lending rules. Who in their right mind would borrow 120 percent on a home?  Apparently a lot of you. Now we have this mess to clean up.

STEVE MENZIES

Fruita

Americans need to know now

There is no reason why the American people cannot have a meaningful report on what happened in Libya. Let’s not forget we had four Americans assassinated!

Stop all the politics and BS, and give it to us now!

L.W. HUNLEY

Grand Junction

Give readers more local news

The editorial staff of The Daily Sentinel would better serve its clientele by conversations about local politics only and not extending beyond those who serve in this valley or serve the state. I’ve never agreed with a paper endorsing a political stand on the national level. To date, the Sentinel has been very even-handed in publishing journalists’ and national opinions from all across the political spectrum to voice their positions. That is what I, as your reader, want to see so I can arrive at my own opinions.

While I can understand the desire and temptation to add a recommendation for president, the reality of it is that it reads as trite compared to the intense and deep arguments that currently exist on both sides of the political fence.

I personally don’t care whom the Sentinel endorses for president. I care far more deeply that our paper pays attention to our local news and candidates since we all live and play here in the Grand Valley. In the future, please stay away from endorsements for national office and bring your journalistic focus to the home front.

MARY HERTERT
Fruita

After election season, will Sunday TV just be boring
?

Have you noticed how watching the Sunday programs is beginning to move from simply boring to biased “filler” until the football games come on?

Once upon a time, they offered differing views on current events. But now, more and more, they seem to be flooded with “excuse makers” and campaign barkers.

Non-partisans don’t stand a chance, and only teenagers come up with more creative excuses. They are informative. Though. For example, I’ve learned the “talking points” of the two major parties. Solutions are never discussed, only excuses. Only now we all know what this or that party thinks about it.

Boring, but biased. Maybe after the election they’ll return to being just boring.

AL CARLEY

Grand Junction


Journalists should respect singing of national anthem

Congratulations to the CMU football team on its win Friday night against Fort Lewis.
There was an early act of disrespect that should not be repeated. During the singing of the national anthem, a photographer in a red jacket replaced his hat and began photographing a blonde female reporter/photographer in a tan trench coat who seemed to be conducting some sort of a recording with a microphone.

All this took place in the northwest part of the stadium while the rest of the people in Stocker Stadium were standing in respectful silence to hear the anthem.
This disgraceful act of ignorance and indifference should not be repeated. What could have been so important that this very obvious pair of violators could not have conducted after we paid respect to our country?

GINNY MCGRIFFIN
Grand Junction

GOP unfairly blamed

Congratulations to Holly Von Helms. She covered most all of the libs’ talking points in her letter published Oct 11.

1. The financial collapse had nothing to do with the Dodd/Frank bill even though the libs were in charge of the House and Senate. It was the GOP bad.

2. For the first time in American history the opposing party wanted to take back the White House. Libs would never do that. GOP bad.

3. How can anyone in his or her right mind believe the president is leading us down the path of a “Progressive Socialist Takeover.” Tea Party bad.

4. Take all the money from “the rich” because they do not create any jobs. Only the government can create jobs. That is “only fair.” Another GOP bad.

5. Von Helms forgot in her talking points how the president killed Osama bin Laden and brought peace to the Middle East. Oh, I almost forgot that Bush made the video that caused the “unrest” in the Middle East. My bad.

WILL EIDSON
Fruita

Ray Scott deserves second term for help to seniors, stance on jobs

Seniors owe Ray Scott a second term; children of seniors owe Scott a second term; and grandchildren of seniors owe Scott a second term. Friends of seniors owe Scott a second term. Why?

Scott successfully fought to protect seniors’ property rights by restoring the Senior Homestead Exemption that gives seniors a reduction in their property taxes. The reduction allows seniors to stay in their home and remain independent. Love those individual rights!

Another reason to re-elect Ray Scott is his ability to persistently ask Gov. Hickenlooper to do the right thing with respect to opening up more oil and gas exploration on the Western Slope. Scott believes the best social program is called a “job. ” So did Ronald Reagan.  It is with great pleasure I recommend re-electing Ray Scott to Colorado District 55.

He has made a difference and will continue to do so by creating jobs in the private sector, which will improve Mesa County’s economy.

DR. BARBARA ANN SMITH
Grand Junction

Voters to be financially stung if ballot item 5B is approved

On Sept.18 more than 50 people of the 23,000 that will be included in the doubling of the district showed up for more information on ballot item 5B proposed by Grand River Mosquito Control. Every $100K of assessed home value would pay an additional increased mill tax equal to $12.04 in home taxes and commercial properties will be $43.88.

So, in addition to my home taxes being raised, if this goes through, any place I shop in the valley will have had their taxes increased by this mill levy and you know it will also be passed on to me.  With this proposed increase in area, it would almost double the size of the district.

We were given quite a speech and told that as of this meeting NO one could now not file any protests or try to opt out of the area and tax increase. There was a form on line we could have filled out before the meeting and they only got about 30 names of those who did not want included.

You could opt out of the area being sprayed, but the tax would still be applied to your home business or land. In the course of the presentation we were told that the city and county were all for this program. The City of Grand Junction many years ago sprayed but terminated this program because it was not effective.

In some audience discussion before an intermission, people spoke up and were irked that they received the notice but it had no deadline to file an opt-out. People thought the meeting was for questions and further information to make an informed decision on how to vote or opt out.

Several spoke that they had tried to print the form off and it was not printable. A couple of older citizens spoke up that they were living on fixed incomes and would be a burdened on their already stretched thin living dollars. Several were outright against chemical sprays at all because of health issues. Exactly how does this affect our organic farmers and vineyards? 

This is going to be protected by Tabor which means once in it is hard to get out.

By the end of the meeting the proposal to include the entire geographical area that was discussed was approved by the board and now will be on the November ballot. John Jenkins Ph.D. has written (Free Press Oct. 5), “It cannot be shown that dumping biocides into the environment to control mosquitoes has prevented a single human case of the disease West Nile Virus.” 

And kudos to A. Gamble in letters to the editor in the Sept. 28 edition of the Free Press. She noted that “increasing funding on the grounds of biology of epidemics should be questioned.”

SANDI PARKER

Grand Junction


Colorado could be MJ mecca for stoned skiers, rafters

Mail-in ballots are coming out this week and voting will begin. Why will I be voting against Amendment 64? Here are a few reasons.

It would amend our state constitution to legalize marijuana (in opposition to federal law) for a person over 21 no matter where they live. This would make Colorado a vacation destination for marijuana users. Do you really want the person on the ski slope with you to be high? What about rafting/kayaking on our rivers? Do you really want Colorado to be known for skiing, rafting and pot? That is not what I want!

Another thing, where are all these people going to get their marijuana? Amendment 64 does provide for licensing of cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and stores but do you really think these will keep the drug cartels out of our state?

With my own hands I helped dig the grave and bury a lady who was murdered by drug runners. I have seen with my own eyes the horrors that accompany the drug trade. Please don’t bring those horrors into our state!

Please vote NO on Amendment 64!

BRADLEY BARKER

Grand Junction

Make marijuana legal to better control its use

I have been quite up to now but have to speak up. The proposal 64 should be yes. Why?  It is so easy for kids to go to the marijuana doctor to get a prescription for smoking this. There are lots of kids with so many health problems I can’t believe it. Smoking for asthma—are you kidding?

The kids are learning this and will never be able to work due to this. They will be on welfare their whole life not wanting to work and who wants to hire them?

Doctors are making lots of money off this. Colorado has made lots of money, too, on taxes. This is a fact and has helped Colorado. It is no worse than drinking, it’s less likely for being in the car driving because it makes people lazy and they don’t want to get out and do anything. If we pass this it would put a age on buying and using marijuana, 21 years is good.

At least then they are older enough to handle and understand all consequences on their actions and should be very strict if you get caught. not just a slap on the hand. Now they claim they have pain? Wait until they get to be seniors, hello Medicare and Medicaid. Look out then. Voting yes on 64 is what we should do.

Are we afraid it is going to put the drug lords in Mexico out of business? I, for one, am tired of having this on the street. Let them keep their marijuana. This would bring revenue to people in this country that we need so much.

Since the politicians (who make a whole lot more money than we the people) are not willing to work together with both parties, let them take a pay cut. They sure aren’t worth all they’re getting, and they take lots of time off and spend way too much money on all the extra perks that they abuse. I know I would love to have all these parties and trips made on the money from the American people. Our tax dollars at work—ha, ha.

I believe that this helps people that are truly sick in pain for many other health problems. In the countries that have made it impossible for patients to get their medicine, they have to leave the area to get their medicine or get it from Mexico—hello, drug lords. They are making the money.

I have voted every time when this subject is on the ballot. We the people said yes.

When I found out my grandkid has a medical card. I was shocked. This is not what I wanted to see. At least if we legalized marijuana and put the age requirements, we could control this better and have the bonus revenue for the state that we need.

Vote Yes on 64.

THYRA VINSON
Grand Junction

 



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