Email Letters: October 18, 2016

Recent column didn’t exhibit Spehar’s usually sound logic

I’ve long respected Jim Spehar’s opinions. Whether or not I agree with the views, Jim usually exhibits sound logic in his regular columns. He often backs up contentions with data and examples. However, in a recent story about the “lesser of two evils” in the presidential election, he labeled “the hard core religious right” as the “most un-Christian of Christians.” I imagine Jim has data or a list of examples to endorse this view. Perhaps he’ll share some in a future column.

Grand Junction

Amendment 71 is a slam-dunk for Western Colorado

Matt Soper’s editorial opposing Amendment 71 was offensive to anyone following the debate. Amendment 71 is a slam-dunk for Western Colorado. How else can you explain why virtually every leader from all sides – from the local GOP, to John Salazar, Bernie Buescher, our Republican county commissioners, Sen. Ray Scott and Rep. Don Coram – are all strong backers of Amendment 71? 71 isn’t a partisan issue. It is a Western Slope issue, and we should vote yes.

Here is what we know about the current process of amending the constitution in Colorado: (1) Colorado has the easiest constitution in the United States to amend; (2) because the requirements for amending the constitution are the same as those required for amending statute, special interest groups have grown fond of trying to put their preferred policies in the constitution where they exist effectively forever; and (3) Denver and Boulder totally dominate the process of amending the constitution in both the signature collection phase and during voting.

What results from all this is a sort of tyranny of the majority from Denver and Boulder. If they like an amendment, it gets into the constitution, the rest of us be damned.

Anyone who has studied our constitution –- especially a young lawyer like Matt Soper – should know that a constitution exists to protect the rights of people from mob rule and special interest interference. As long as the process of amending the constitution can be easily manipulated by one interest group, our rights and our system of government is not safe.

That is the elegant beauty of Amendment 71 – it would require those trying to change our constitution to show a small modicum of support statewide. If a group can’t, they can always change statute through the initiative process by the same rules as today.

Soper’s column was an insult to the people of rural Colorado. Amendment 71 protects our voice and our constitution. Western Colorado will rise up in huge numbers and support it. Vote yes on 71.


Grand Junction

It’s a trap to always look for agreement when reading news

Kudos to the Daily Sentinel for printing the opinion of Kyle Sullivan in the Oct. 14 edition. I am hoping others in the public see the irony in our local paper quickly publishing a rather scathing editorial that takes it to task for lack of fairness. It is obvious from Mr. Sullivan’s recitation of that tired litany of Democratic/Clinton failures that he gets a volume of news somewhere. Could his source be that paragon of fairness and equitable reporting: Fox?

Though I don’t always like the tone of Charles Krauthammer’s writing, or the weight of George Will’s, I read their pieces with true relish because they help me flesh out and cement my own opinions. Substantive writing of any tenor reminds me what a trap it is to always be looking for agreement when I read.

So, where Mr. Sullivan thinks he has made a thoughtful, principled decision in canceling his Daily Sentinel subscription (really?), I see a somewhat sad, knee jerk move. And, though Mr. Sullivan will no longer be receiving the local paper, I suspect he will read my response. I liken him to the smoker attempting to quit; he no longer buys his own, but the addiction remains… and he will bum from others.


Grand Junction

Excuses are being made for some outrageous political opinions

Well hallelujah, a George Will column that I didn’t have to slog through what he was trying to say, while showing off his vocabulary, which we all know is extensive, so he didn’t have to prove it. So now we actually know where he stands in this difficult election, and don’t have to guess at it, and then guess wrong.

This seems to be a time when excuses are being made for some outrageous political opinions that are coming from folks who ought to know better. I’m reminded of a letter I wrote to this newspaper in March of 2003, that was published in April, in which I said it was obvious that we were going to be dragged into a war in Iraq, by people who should have known better. And I wondered why a nobody like me, who lived in Nowheresville, could figure that out, when people who had more formal education than I’d ever had, were happily dragging us into a nightmare.

Remember all the flags and bumper stickers there were all over town, and how delighted the owners of some of the vehicles they were plastered all over were about going to war – and where are they now? Well, some of them are trying to blame it all on Hillary, while conveniently forgetting who got them there, and it wasn’t a woman, or our current resident who was born in this country and who didn’t have a rich daddy who could buy him anything he ever wanted, including a presidency.


Examples of when America became no longer great

In his letter published Oct. 6, Roger Fulks states that the Trump/Pence campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” made him wonder, “When did America become not great?”

This question becomes much easier if we try and figure out exactly when we were a great country. Was it back when our presidents respected the Constitution and enforced the laws of the United States instead of finding every possible way to circumvent them? Or was it when we had a congress willing to perform the duties of minding the purse strings and limiting the president to his constitutional powers? Perhaps it was when we didn’t have such a destructive foreign policy that treats our allies as enemies and rewards our adversaries. Or maybe it was back when presidents don’t lie to us about keeping our doctors and our health insurance premiums going down? Or was it before we committed to sacrificing our economy on the altar of global warming. Excuse me; I guess it should be “climate change.” Or was it when the IRS wasn’t used to shut down political opposition in order to win a second presidential term? Or perhaps it was when the Democratic Party didn’t put forth a presidential candidate who belongs in jail?

It might have been back when we had presidents and leaders who tried to unite our country instead of dividing it by means of race, economic class, ethnicity, and gender. Or it might have been when we could count on the FBI and Justice Department to enforce the laws of the United States. Or it may have been when we had a competent commander in chief who didn’t forecast our military withdrawal schedules ahead of time, thereby giving the bad guys plenty of preparation to come in and fill the vacuum.

Maybe we should just say, “all of the above.”

Grand Junction

Roundabout worth the inconvenience for end users if it’s done right

In regards to the proposed roundabout at Broadway and Redlands Parkway: It’s great to be active in the community, especially if the concerns are heartfelt and not just reactionary or emotional. Sometimes government rubber stamps projects without letting the public have sufficient input.

Roundabouts have proliferated in the past 10 years. The concept is that they can move five times the traffic volume than just stop signs alone. There is always a certain ambiguity if several lanes are incorporated in the roundabout. Right turns on a roundabout could and should be done without right turning traffic having to enter the roundabout at all, by adding an outside right turn lane.

Inconvenience during construction? Look to Glenwood Springs replacing the downtown bridge that will take two more years of detours. Safety? Presently crashes occur every other month. Expense? It’s a Federal highway safety grant.

Bottom line: it’s worth the inconvenience for the end users if it’s done right; otherwise, it’ll be left to another generation, if then.

Grand Junction

A Clinton presidency would be characterized by consistent dishonesty

The story is told that as a lad George Washington cut down a cherry tree in his father’s orchard. The satisfying end to the tale is that little George confessed to his misdeed and was forgiven because of his honesty. I would overlook this failing and vote for him as the greatest leader our country has ever had.

I, personally, don’t care about mistakes political candidates made decades ago. The best I can do is judge them based on recent actions. I hate thinking about four or eight years of a presidency during which each utterance must be examined for validity. This would be a Hillary Clinton presidency. She is lying even now on a daily basis. Donald Trump is far from being a perfect candidate but he hasn’t been proven to have the deceitful and consistently dishonest habits of Mrs. Clinton.



Tipton is a sellout; vote for Gail Schwartz

As a thirty-plus year resident of the Roaring Fork Valley I’ve seen many controversial issues, but one very notable exception was the way that the entire community came into agreement against oil and gas drilling in Thompson Divide, a local watershed and haven for hunting, ranching and recreation. Everyone was united, from ranchers to radicals, Rs to Ds, hikers to hunters, dirt bikers, mountain bikers, and snowmobilers and cross-country skiers.

This broad, non-partisan support prompted Senator Bennett to introduce legislation to protect this valuable landscape. All of our local municipal and county elected officials joined in support, including Governor Hickenlooper. Only Scott Tipton actively opposed this effort, choosing to side with his largest campaign funders and Thompson Divide leaseholders against the interests of his constituency. Whose side is he on?

And now he is at it again with his desire to sell off our cherished public lands to private interests. Don’t let this happen!!

Colorado’s public lands are the centerpiece of our identity and the heart of our rural economies. Gail Schwartz has been a true and proven champion of what’s best for Colorado through her work on land, water and energy issues among many others as a Colorado State Senator. Scott Tipton has proven to be exactly the opposite, working against our interests and instead on behalf of his out-of-state special interest funders.

Check their voting records, and please join me and our Western Slope neighbors in voting for Gail Schwartz for U.S. Representative.


Trump’s locker room talk does not rise to level of Clinton’s corruption

I have always respected and admired Charles Krauthammer. His column in your paper Sunday, Oct. 16, however, left me wondering if he has “lost it.” Allow me to quote one paragraph.

“This is not to say that the investigation into the Clinton emails was not itself compromised by politics. FBI director James Comey’s recommendation not to pursue charges was both troubling and puzzling. And Barack Obama very improperly tilted the scales by interjection, while the investigation was still underway, that Clinton’s emails had not endangered national security.”

Excuse me, but locker room talk and campaign “politically incorrect” speech does not rise to the level of corruption and criminal behavior that the Clintons, Obamas and the other Democrats have already demonstrated. From Fast and Furious to Benghazi to the IRS scandal, have you had enough? We do not need any more career politicians. Donald Trump does not speak with political correctness. That is another reason to vote for him. When he steps put of line, as he likely will, you can be sure that the media will let us know. If Hillary does something worse, can you depend on the media to tell us?




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Kudos to the Sentinel’s editors for courageously endorsing Gail Schwartz to represent the 3rd C.D. in Washington (“Schwartz over Tipton”) – recognizing that the incumbent (and his fellow Republicans) have not been doing that.

With Donald Trump scheduled to “whine” to a gullible audience of local “deplorables” in Grand Junction today with more seditious gibberish about “rigged elections” and conspiratorial “corruption” involving “Hillary’s e-mails” and/or the Clinton Foundation, the Sentinel – even if Trump is interviewed by its editorial board –- should take a similarly principled stand (consistent with its previous editorials of August 2, “How long can this charade continue”, October 9, “Step aside, Donald”, and October 12,
“Trump’s locker room is a distortion of truth”) and reject Trump.

Republicans occupy more than half of the states’ Secretary of State offices (and thus oversee elections therein), and many are rejecting Trump’s manufactured hysteria (see:  Nevertheless, Trump continues to demagogue his
“base” in his desperate “scorched earth” effort to undermine the legitimacy of the coming election (in which he will likely “lose
to a girl”), even as his running-mate seems more “moderate”.

Remember, however, that – since even before the Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act – “Red State” Republicans have been systematically attempting to suppress minority voting, and – just this month—Mike Pence himself orchestrated the shutdown of a minority registration project in Indiana after “irregularities” were discovered, potentially resulting in the disenfranchisement of 45,000 mostly Black voters whose registrations are pending.  (Voter registration fraud is usually caused by “production quotas” imposed on low-level staff and seldom results in actual “voter fraud”).

Likewise, the latest “e-mail scandal” involves one sent from Libya on November 18, 2012—and clearly marked “Unclassified” – which career Foreign Service Officer and Undersecretary of State (under both Condoleezza Rice and then Hillary) Jake Sullivan forwarded to Clinton and was later disclosed from her private server.  30 months (2 ½ years) later, the FBI upgraded that originally “Unclassified” e-mail to “Secret/NoForn” – prompting Sullivan’s attempt to negotiate a resolution of the interagency disagreement. There is as yet no evidence that Hillary even knew about his discussions with the FBI.

Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation (in contrast to Trump’s bogus Foundation) is one of the most reputable charities in the world, and is rated even higher than the American Red Cross.

Therefore, the Sentinel’s editors should responsibly abandon their previously stated but now cowardly “no interview, no endorsement” policy, boldly endorse Hillary Clinton for President.

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