Email letters, October 10,  2013

Republicans are irrational on major national issues

Scott Tipton and his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives are blocking a vote on a bill that would end the government shutdown. Whether or not you agree with the bill, it is wrong to block it from coming to the floor for a vote. Now we are hearing some Republicans say that defaulting on the national debt wouldn’t be such a bad thing. Are these people crazy?

First they dismiss the advice of the scientific community on a wide variety of issues. Now they dismiss the advice of economists and business leaders on managing our nation’s finances. The last time Republicans threatened to default on our nation’s debt our borrowing costs went up and it added to our national debt. Now they are threatening to do it again and further increase our national debt.

Is anyone surprised that the political party that dislikes government also happens to be the one that’s the worst at running it?

JIM CRITTENDEN
Grand Junction
 
Shell simply relocated to areas more welcoming

Jim Spehar could barely contain his glee over another employer pulling up stakes, while displaying his incomprehension of how business and the economy works.

Shell did not abandon its oil shale project in order to reinvest in other endeavors – it just moved the project to countries where jobs, economic growth and energy development are more welcome. Earlier this year, the oil shale industry was devastated by a retooled Environmental Impact Statement that, among other things, made it all but impossible for any company to capitalize on successful research and development investment.

Shell made the only decision that the government left available. This may be what Spehar and his folks at the Sierra Club consider “an evolving marketplace.” but to the rest of us it is a vindictive government agency, allying itself with a powerful special interest lobby, singling out a specific industry and imposing on it an unsustainable regulatory environment in pursuit of an agenda.

For all of their talk of “progress” and of being pro-science, the leftist community sure seems regressive in this case. If the federal government would have just stayed out of their way, or at least have been reasonable in its approach to oil shale development on federal land – instead of kowtowing to the Luddite, anti-everything lobby – who knows what technologies could have grown out of oil shale research? The applications might very well have spread beyond just freeing up an enormous domestic energy source which could have weaned us completely off Middle Eastern oil.

Now, of course, we may never know. But thanks to Ken Salazar’s vindictiveness, Spehar’s cheerleading and the deafening silence from Gov. Hickenlooper and Sens. Udall and Bennet, maybe we will be able to ask the Jordanians, hat in hand, for some technological help in the near future.

SARAH YOUNG
Grand Junction
 
Let democracy work

No one wants Obamacare; that is why the website to sign up crashed. If you disagree, get elected in a free, open election where everyone gets a vote.

Republicans fear Obamacare because it hinders the insurance companies from setting rates. They fear free elections because they can’t win. Gerrymandering is their style so they can win elections. Let democracy work!

DANIEL H. HARRIS

Fruita

Handful of anarchists tries to destroy the United States

What’s petty is having a snit over a bicycle race. What’s a tragedy is Republicans shivering in their boots while a handful of anarchists destroy the United States of America. My ancestors did not serve in the Revolutionary War in New Jersey to allow a future bunch of cowards to turn this great country over to a bunch of megalomaniacs. For crying out loud, elected congressmen and women were/are signing contracts to serve certain wealthy individuals when these same legislators are supposed to be doing the people’s business.


I am very much aware of the disdain many people have for individuals deemed to be inferior for whatever reason is festering in their psyche. This type of thinking is very much alive and well in this area. At a concert on the Redlands earlier this year I was intensely queried about where I lived. After learning that I live in a part of Grand Junction that didn’t suit the sensibilities of the person asking me the many questions, that person just got up and moved to another location at that venue after commenting, “I didn’t know that people outside this area came here.”


I am thankful that I am old enough (and worked hard enough in my lifetime) to have Medicare coverage. I don’t have to depend on people like the Redlands person. I do, though, have to worry about the cowards and anarchists.


For what it’s worth, I am a “white” woman that apparently had one, maybe two, Native American ancestors about 300 or 400 years ago. The genetic material for my facial features has been dormant for a long time. I’ve had family in what is now the United States of America for a very long time.


SHEILA JOHNSON
Grand Junction

“Reformers” film unfairly slams school board of Douglas County

The showing of “The Reformers,” Brian Malone’s extended-cut, anti-school reform campaign ad, revealed several ironies. The film asserts that schools and school boards should not be partisan, yet the decidedly partisan Mesa County Democrats sponsored the showing. Malone also indicated that he will provide Democrat Scott Beilfuss with DVDs of the movie for local distribution.

“The Reformers” is basically an attack ad portraying the conservative Douglas County School Board as ruthless, uncaring bullies, whose reforms are enraging parents, harming students and driving away teachers. Other than anecdotal statements from activists and angry union members, it offered no evidence to support its claims.

Facts are stubborn things, and despite the film’s hyperbole, student achievement in reading, writing, math and science, concurrent enrollment and AP credits are up by every metric in Dougco. Malone omitted an April 2013 Magellan Group study that shows significant majority support in Dougco for reforms initiated by the Douglas County school board. The film also failed to mention that “teachers leaving in droves” was akin to typical teacher turnover, and that the positions that opened up when a few teachers bolted attracted thousands of applicants from across the country.

The clash between the Douglas County School Board and its foes is fundamental. Malone and those who support his anti-reform efforts don’t believe in choice, diversity or sustainability. They fear the choices offered by free-market competition in education. They fear diversity of thought and resources when it comes to what parents and students can choose from. They fear the sustainability of cost-cutting measures that lead to more streamlined services. And, ironically, folks who would call themselves progressive, fear change.

These are times when budgets, of necessity, must be reined in. Reality has caught up with public education. Schools will not be sustainable without reforms, and a little competition is good for everyone.

MARJORIE HAUN
Grand Junction

Sentinel ought to stop running letters from climate-change deniers

I’m sure the staff of the Sentinel is aware that the Los Angeles Times is no longer accepting and printing letters to the editor from climate change deniers.

The Times’ letter editor, Paul Thornton, explains: “Scientists have provided ample evidence that human activity is indeed linked to climate change…. The debate right now isn’t whether this evidence exists (clearly, it does) but what this evidence means for us. Simply put, I do my best to keep errors of fact off the letters page; when one does run, a correction is published. Saying ‘there’s no sign humans have caused climate change’ is not stating an opinion, it’s asserting a factual inaccuracy.”

Every publishing business owner has the right to run his/her business as he or she sees fit. However, I would suggest that the Sentinel consider the above policy. Presenting opinion as settled fact, when it is in fact inaccurate or incomplete, does not enhance the reputation of the publishing house.

For instance, a letter write today stated, “Once again the liberal media have chosen to ignore the polls of the American people that clearly showed that most Americans do not want Obamacare.” The statement was correct as far as it went. The writer did not include the portion of the poll that obviously damaged his argument.

Forbes Magazine published an article on Sept. 30 titled “New Poll: Only One-Third Of Americans Support Repealing, Defunding Or Delaying Obamacare.” The article stated, “Polls consistently show that Americans aren’t happy with Obamacare. They think the law will make health care more expensive, and decrease its quality.

But a new survey of 1,976 registered voters finds that only 33 percent believe that the health law should be repealed, delayed, or defunded. 29 percent believe that ‘Congress should make changes to improve the law,’ 26 percent believe that ‘Congress should let the law take effect’ and see what happens, and 12 percent believe that the law should be expanded.

The bottom line? Voters are skeptical that Obamacare will live up to Democrats’ hype. But they also believe that it should be given a chance to succeed.”

Facts instead of bloviated opinion —  what a breath of fresh air.

GENE SPINNER
Grand Junction

For significant savings, shut down DC

Data from 2006 showed that more than 34.7 million people visited the top 10 national parks. The average cost to visit a national park is $25 per vehicle. Therefore, the top 10 parks take in more than $867 million each year or $72.25 million per month. The average pay for a park ranger is $31,000/year or approximately $2,600/month. All this means that the income received from visitors would pay wages for more than 27,900 park rangers, or more than 2,700 rangers for each of the top 10 parks.

I don’t know about you, but if I had 2,700 park rangers looking over my shoulder, I doubt I could enjoy a national park. So I ask, who’s kidding whom?  Why has the government closed the parks?  In reality the parks belong to, and are owned by the American taxpayer. I think we have shut down the wrong thing. We should be shutting down Washington D.C. That’s where the real saving are.

RANDY LITWILLER
Crawford

BLM had no need to cancel trail-riding event at Rabbit Valley

It is now apparent to me that the government shutdown is a passive-aggressive way for political extremists to try to punish those they see as opposing their views. The cancellation of the competitive trail-riding event scheduled to be at Rabbit Valley Oct. 12 and 13 was completely unnecessary.

Volunteers had already cleaned, mowed and provided many hours of community service in the past few months preparing the area for the event — free maintenance by volunteers. The BLM received $1,000 for an event permit, and after the event BLM would be paid $5 for each participant. There are no bathrooms in the equestrian area, so there would be nothing for a government employee to do.

As a family that was planning to attend the introductory day Sunday, we are all disappointed. Volunteers were scheduled to supervise the riders and assure post-event clean-up. Is there any way moderates and masters of compromise and negotiation can be elected in November?

CHERLYN CRAWFORD
Grand Junction

Punitive government shutdown reveals disturbing facts

As the punitive government shutdown continues some very disturbing facts are emerging.

1. Closing the World War 11 Memorial is a travesty. Only after an outcry were veterans allowed to cross the barricades to the open-air memorial.

2. With national parks closed we now learn park rangers have been instructed by their superiors to make the shutdown as painful as possible for Americans. For example, public views of Mount Rushmore have been blocked, open-air memorials such as Lincoln Memorial are closed, and even trailhead parking lots on federal lands are blocked. More evidence that the administration is trying to inflict the greatest pain on us. What kind of government does this? This can’t be the United States.

3. The National Institute of Health is shut down, preventing cancer treatments for children. Why are these innocent children being caught in the crossfire of political games?

4. Death benefits for veterans killed in Afghanistan were being denied until there was another outcry.

But alas, President Obama has made one exception. He allowed an illegal alien pro amnesty rally on the Washington Mall this week. This is an abomination. We Americans are fools if we do nothing to stop this madness.

Am I the only person who smells a rat in the way the situation is being manipulated by the current administration?

LYNDA AKERS
Fruita

 
Independence Institute is merely a tool to spread misinformation

It is interesting to see how the words of some “institutes” seem set in stone when in reality these “institutes” are simply tools of whatever political group has “founded” them for its own purpose of spreading false information. The “institutes” are masters at making such false information sound like the truth.

So many members of the public don’t bother to find out what the real truth is as they overlook the motives of such organizations. Take Rick Wagner’s quoting of the Independence Institute in his column in Thursday’s Sentinel.

Founded in 1985 in Golden, the institute claims expertise in “education, the environment, transportation, personal freedom, government reform, local government, and criminal justice.”
It voted against cigarette taxes, denies global warming, publishes false information about that subject, pressured the public to vote against setting up a savings account for education, Amendment 59, and more.

Several media sources concur with Media Matters, which described the institute “as an ogre with an aggressive media strategy and ideological bent.”

“In 2005, the Institute ran afoul of a law requiring registration of issues-based groups, and disclosure of donors,” according to Wikipedia, which added that the institute successfully challenged the laws. “Because of the restrictions to freedom of association implied by the laws, the Institute applied to the Supreme Court for a judgement against such laws.”

“In 2008,” Wikipedia also notes, “the Institute president Jon Caldara was quoted as saying, ‘Now remember, a year from now President [Barack] Obama might make all three activities of smoking, drinking and shooting completely illegal.’”

These are but a few examples of that institute’s biases.

With that record, why would anyone want to cite its ideologies as truth?

VERA MULDER
Fruita

Ohio visitor recommends changing monument to park status

Several friends recommended that I visit the Colorado National Monument on my September trip to the West. They were right - it was amazing.

So why, I asked, isn’t it a national park like the other 11 great parks that I also visited? I was told that it was because of one politician. I don’t know who he is, but I think the people of Grand Junction should be imploring him to sponsor the bill that would make it a national park.

I live next to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Just recently it became a national park, and it has brought lots of tourists and their dollars to the area - we’re the tenth most visited in the U.S. You could be benefiting in the same way if you had a national park.

I look forward to my next trip back to Colorado to have a longer stay at your “monument.”

JAN OAKLEY
Sagamore Hills, Ohio


President, congressmen squabble while citizens struggle


Our congressmen and our president are at odds with one another over money, our money, tax dollars and how to use them. This from an administration that has yet submitted a budget with double the American debt and now wants an increase of a trillion dollars? In the meantime it wants 85 percent of the public to pay for insurance for 15 percent of the public while we are having a damn hard time putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our kids’ heads ….

They do not want me in those closed-door meetings across the table! They might learn something. Like the difference between a Republican and a Democrat.

Let’s use guns as an example that sparks a fire in everybody’s opinion center.  If a Republican sees a gun he thinks two things: I should learn to use one to protect my family from all sorts of dangers in our world, education is good, or I like to hunt.

If a Democrat sees a gun he thinks: I hate guns, they kill people I should make sure that NOBODY ever has a gun again, I will get legislation to take them away from everybody, I will have my will imposed on them because they are ignorant and don’t know any better. I will smite thee gun makers from the face of the Earth! And use somebody else’s money to get it done.

Literary drama aside, Democrats like making people angry and Republicans are tired of having common sense being maligned in the public theater. So, all you Republicans out there, when you feel the anger wallowing up inside you when discussing political issues with a Democrat, just look them straight in the eye and say, “I’m a tea party member” and watch their heads explode.

RICHARD BRIGHT
Grand Junction

If some are suffering,  then all should suffer

Excuse me, but why do you think bike racers should not “suffer” but it is OK for children to be sent home from Head Start, food inspectors to be laid off and workers to get no paychecks while congressmen collect theirs?

I do not agree with you at all on this: I feel if some are suffering because of this foolishness, then all of us should share in that pain. I do not want to break into any parks while my son is at his home with no job, no pay and no end in sight. I do not want Arizona or any state to pay to have their pet places opened while people without that connection have no advocate.

What happened to “working for the common good “or “taking care of the least of my brothers”? Those are ideas that this country was built on – not “I want my part or park or pay to be there – but too bad about the rest of you with no platform – just go without and deal with it.”

NANCY KEDDY
Grand Junction



COMMENTS

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You’ve got to love all the Economics-101, Constitution-101 and History-101 illiteracy manifested in some of the above letters.
For the information-challenged, the Founders’ view that the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights constitute a specific-performance two-party (rulers and subjects) social contract which one of the parties (government) is not free to unilaterally alter by disregarding at whim or strategically (and oh so deliberately) misinterpreting does NOT constitute “anarchy”.
Yadayadayada ... I’m old enough (and worked hard enough) to be on Medicare, too. All those of us over 65 have no choice. What does that have to do with moral hazard and the eternal principles set forth in the story about Aesop’s and and Aesop’s grasshopper? Nada, zip, zero.
As for “taking care of the least of my brothers” (Matthew 25:40-45), you can’t cherry pick one or two scriptures to the exclusion of others. There are also “Thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15),  “If any would not work, neither should he eat” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and “But test and prove all things [until you can recognize] what is good; [to that] hold fast.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21.
The country was not built on stealing from A and giving to B. When the country was younger, a more intellectually honest Supreme Court openly acknowledged that fact in the cases of Calder v Bull, 3 U.S. (3 Dallas) 386 (1798) and Citizens’ Savings & Loan Ass’n v. City of Topeka, 87 U.S. (20 Wallace) 655 (1874).
I kind of like how the Grateful Dead poked fun at scammers in the song “Jack Straw”, where the lyric goes, “We can share what ‘we’ got of yours, ‘cause ‘we’ done shared all of mine.”
An economy is like a big wagon which has pullers and riders. One by one, when the pullers look back at the riders and start believing riders have a better deal than pullers do, they peel off and jump in the wagon. After too many pullers start to ride, the wagon slows to a stop, as the American wagon is now. When that happens, the only thing to do about it is tip the wagon over, dump out all the riders, and start over. As Thomas Jefferson said, men tend to suffer evils while those evils are sufferable. That explains why the wagon only doesn’t get seriously tipped over too often in human history.
Like it or not, leftists, there ARE empirically observable immutable economic laws of nature and there ARE empirically observable sustainable and unsustainable human behaviors, all the wannabe-clever sophistry and talking points in the world notwithstanding.

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