Email letters, October 25,  2013

School board race ‘purely partisan’

Well, it’s confirmed. The District 51 board election is purely partisan. The Republican women endorsed a slate of candidates, and now the Republican Party has an ad in the Sentinel endorsing the same candidates. In addition, both the Sentinel and the Chamber of Commerce have endorsed John Sluder, one of the Republican endorsees. This must mean there is a particular Republican way of education.


It’s no secret that the current right-wing members of the board are in the minority and are hoping to get a least one more of their kind elected so they will have a majority for voting and, better yet, have a complete Republican board if all their candidates are elected. So, what is the Republican way? It’s also no secret that it appears they favor more charter schools and even vouchers for parents to send their kids wherever they choose. This is claimed to offer more “freedom and choice.”


Public schools are charged with accepting all kids, regardless of economic, religious, ethnic and racial backgrounds and including those who are handicapped. Charter schools are alleged to provide a better education. Some do, some don’t. Vouchers, Republican favorites, are a way for affluent parents to be reimbursed for the education taxes they pay. There are very good public schools, and there are very bad ones. In essence, though, the Republican way of education is segregation so that their little darlings don’t have to deal with “those people” and anything that might complicate classroom décor, such as handicapped kids.


Most educators say well-educated, dedicated teachers and small class sizes lead to the best education. Do those things cost more? Funny how those things and segregation tends to indicate that those who are at the bottom economically get the leftovers. Does that lead to excellent PUBLIC education?


JOHN BORGEN
Grand Junction

Ihrke’s letter showed clear bias against coal producers

Wow, how can you allow Heidi Ihrke’s letter to be posted in your paper without a qualifier? Ihrke’s letter praises the EPA on its stand against carbon output of coal power plants on the premise that it aids in the promotion of new small businesses. Ihrke never mentions her bias in this stand: She operates High Noon Solar. Her company is a direct competitor to the coal-power-generation industry.

How can you not know this? You have printed letters from her in the past? You posted her email a week ago on your web site, and still you posted it a week later in print form without any qualifier as to her bias. Shame on you!

I’ve sent you letters before and have always made it clear that I work in the coal industry. Now let me get on my soapbox.

During a recent trip to Utah, one is exposed to the bustle on the Wasatch Front. Want to know why? Cheap energy, low power costs. Why do you think Twitter, Adobe and others that have huge operations have established bases in Utah? Why do you think the huge NSA “spy” facility is in Utah? All these folks rely on computers, huge computer systems, which are huge power consumers. So, why Utah? Utah produces power from coal. The power is cheap.

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that cheap reliable power is a draw for any business large and small.

So, dear editor, please do your homework. I would not have any issue with Ihrke’s letter other than she should have made it clear whom she really represented in her letter, the anti-coal solar industry.

Finally, folks, get out to the Friends of Coal rally next week in Denver.

JENS LANGE
Paonia


Over last 100 years, nation has slid into a socialistic democracy

Exactly 100 years ago our federalist system and individual liberties were seriously compromised and the course of American history altered.

In December 1913 the Federal Reserve System became law, based on the idea of smoothing out the effects of the 19th century “panics” (recessions). This essentially put monetary policy into the hands of “big banking” with limited government control. To this day, this law remains controversial with many economists blaming the length of the Great Depression and the Great Recession on incompetent Federal Reserve policies. It is relevant to note that the value of the dollar from the time of the founders until 1913 was almost constant, while from 1913 to today it has lost over 95 percent of its value.

In February 1913 the 16th Amendment was ratified. It started out small with 7 percent taxes on all individual incomes exceeding $500,000 ($10 million in current dollars). Obviously, only the very rich were affected, but over the years greedy government has extended this tax to the vast majority of wage earners. This has led to the progressive notion that all income belongs to the federal government, and government decides how much of it you will be allowed to keep.

In April 1913 the 17th Amendment was ratified. It changed the election of senators from the state legislators to the individual state voters, eliminating an important constitutional separation-of-powers, thus making the members of both the U.S. House and Senate elected by the same constituency. It is quite certain that if the Senate were still responsible to the state legislatures, unfunded mandates would never be passed down to the states. And, that the federal government would not have been able to accumulate so many of the powers that the founders had allocated to the individual states and to the people.

A century of the applications of these policies has turned our country from a republic to a socialistic democracy with the associated loss of individual freedom and opportunity.

HANS CROEBER  
Montrose  

Senate immigration bill will only attract more illegal immigrants

In Monday’s paper, Sen. Michael Bennet, one of the “Gang of Eight” (RINOs & Democrats), makes his plea again, for what amounts to amnesty for illegals, walking lockstep with this administration, in an effort to get Congress to pass this monstrosity. The executive order for the “dreamers” just wasn’t enough.


Either he has conveniently forgotten recent history, or the wording has been changed, so that “We, the People” will not see it for what it is. We went down this road in ’86. President Reagan signed an amnesty bill, written by Simpson/Mazzoli, that included “strict enforcement measures” in order to gain passage. We all know how that turned out – Reagan got stiffed on the enforcement portion, and the result was 12 million “admitted by government”  illegals in our country. Amnesty in ’86, according to former Sen. Simpson, “didn’t work, but did bring 3 million people out of the dark.” That bill was a “one-time” amnesty bill (what a laugh) that did nothing other than bestow amnesty on at least 3 million illegals, not to mention sponsored family members. Costs went up at an exorbitant rate for American taxpayers, due to the 12 million “new” illegals that followed.


The “Gang of Eight” would foist that very same scenario on “We, the People” with a few different wordings and promises, and expect us to swallow it yet again. No, thanks!  We have laws – we are in fact, a “Nation of Laws.” (Except for those laws the present administration feels he doesn’t have to follow)  How about we enforce the laws already on the books, for a change?  You want to come to the U.S. in an effort to gain opportunity?  We welcome you, when you come here legally. You make an effort to take care of yourself, learn English, (that’s what we Americans speak, here in America) and follow our laws.


Bennet should know that it isn’t ‘dysfunction’ holding up immigration reform – it is the constant lies being told, and the innuendo, about what ‘reform’ will do for our country. He is “willing to talk about changes to the bill – but not piecemeal.” That’s a “my way, or the highway” approach, much like Harry Reid’s and the White House’s approach to the ACA and the debt ceiling. Bennet says:  “The White House gave us principles that he would support, and those principles, we consistently embedded in our legislation.” That is surely double-speak for:  “We walk lock-step with this administration.”


While this Senate-produced bill will not reform immigration, it will surely attract 30 million or more this time, to wait for their amnesty. How on earth will that reduce the deficit by $900 billion, pray tell?  He is absolutely right on one thing in his article:  “(The Senate) doesn’t have a monopoly on wisdom.”


DAVID F. ZULIAN

Grand Junction

Mikolai has weighed in against school choice

I have heard many ads for school board candidates. Most discuss how they will help improve education, encourage “multiple pathways to graduation,” etc.

Recently, however, it was disturbing to hear the radio ad by incumbent Greg Mikolai. It claims his opponents would be controlled by interests on the Front Range and that Wall Street (huh?) and private profits would control the education of our children. This makes no sense and is a thinly veiled attempt to discredit the reform candidates due to an unsolicited angel donation from the Front Range with, as one candidate put it, “no strings attached.”

What Mikolai’s rhetoric shows, however, is that he has weighed in solidly against school choice. In the past years the survival of District 51 choice schools has been threatened. Scenic and Vision, both high achieving schools with large choice attendance, have been fighting for their lives. District 51 also has a key choice concept called “Multiple Paths to Graduation.” Students who have dropped out can find one of these paths, which will enable them to graduate.

Ask yourself this question, “Do I really want a member of the school board who is against school choice?” Shouldn’t parents and kids have enough options within the school district so they don’t have to go to costly schools outside the district? Shouldn’t the district get more funds by attracting and keeping students? Vote for the candidates who will protect school choice: Sluder, Lowenstein and Kanda.

SUE KUPELIAN
Grand Junction

Investing more money in GVT is worthwhile

I bet we’ve all once in our lives have taken a bus or some form of mass transit to get to where we needed to go. The Daily Sentinel’s recent article on Grand Valley Transit proves that mass transit is the way of the future.

Not only is it needed but also it is necessary to invest funding to expand and improve GVT. For those who say it’s not worth it I say they need to take a closer look.

ERIC SEVERANCE
Grand Junction

Medical disaster looms

The circumstances surrounding Obamacare are slowly growing from a train wreck to a potential medical and financial disaster. We are tearing our current heath care infrastructure system apart before we have anything to replace it with. (Health care revenues are 16 percent of our GNP.)

This is similar to a western pioneer taking down his tent before he builds his cabin.

Nonmedical employees are already being terminated or not hired in anticipation of a law that has been passed but not yet put into effect.

“As bad as it is, we have to make his plan work, said a prominent democrat.”

I have to agree; in another year we may not have a health care system.

Even with its faults, America currently has the best health care in the world. The Obama administration is risking our present system by trying to replace it. We are already starting to see the deterioration and erosion in the present medical environment.

Obama should be proud of his efforts: thousands of people are currently losing their jobs, thousands of insurance coverages are being cancelled, and the price for insurance is going up.

Don’t worry about the computer glitches; they will have those fixed in a couple of years.

WILLIAM F. MCKNIGHT
Grand Junction

Government is supposed to serve citizens, not the other way around

On Jan. 20, 2009, the beginning of the Obama administration, the national average price of a gallon of gas was $1.84, diesel $2.27. Today, the average price of gas is $3.65/gallon, diesel $3.91. All consumer product prices have increased dramatically, with the price of fuel being a major factor.


Since the Obama administration took office, our national debt has risen from $7 trillion (all national debt incurred before Obama) to $17 trillion, an increase of $10 trillion. The Obama administration continues to give away billions of dollars to nations who hate us. But still, five years, $10 trillion!  Where has it all gone?


The Obama administration continues to station our troops (nearly 180,000) in more than 150 foreign countries. For what purpose?  Are we now the “police force” for the whole world?  Bring them home!


Obamacare is a socialist process designed to destroy capitalism and the middle class population. The control and regulation of Obamacare has been given to the Internal Revenue Service, one of the most inept and corrupt federal bureaucracies in our government. Created to fail?


Government produces nothing, no product/commodity. Government was formed to serve us. Not the other way around. Government has no earned income, just taxes, fees, and fines. Constitutionally, our government is to provide for the common defense of our nation. Period. There are presently at least 456 federal government “control” agencies/ bureaucracies. Within each are as many as 45 sub-bureaucracies!  Get my point?


I blame both Democrats and Republicans for the sad condition of our government. Both have discarded/ignored the basics established in our Constitution. Both are to blame.


Is there any hope for our country, or do we just wait until our government fails? Worse yet, we fall into another civil war. One or the other is likely to happen. Is that the intent?

JOHN H. ROSS
Montrose

Both Colorado senators had opportunity to keep government open

On page one you report Sens. Udall and Bennet are now seeking to delay the deadline for Obamacare. On page two you report that Sen. Bennet has also launched a “Coloradans Don’t Quit Tour” (apparently to remind all of us that the government shutdown had nothing to do with Udall or Bennet). Both reports failed to mention that a few weeks ago each had an opportunity to keep the government open in exchange for delaying Obamacare. Both refused to do so.

ALEX CHAFFETZ
Grand Junction

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant

There is considerable misunderstanding and/or lack of scientific training regarding the belief in “Carbon Pollution.” There seems to be little understanding of basic science to label carbon dioxide (CO2) as carbon pollution. CO2 is a clear, odorless and harmless gas that is essential for plant life. All plant life would die if suddenly there were no CO2 in the atmosphere. The fact is that plant life would thrive if the CO2 amounts were increased from the approximate level of 400 parts per million (ppm) which exists today to perhaps 700 ppm.

We are already seeing some of the results of no sound energy policy based in no small measure on misinformation regarding CO2. We will probably see more problems in the future perhaps leading to brownouts and blackouts. There have also been very noticeable increases in electrical power price rates caused almost entirely by the green energy mandates that are so prevalent. What have we gained from these actions? -  NOTHING but a less reliable electrical power grid.

I would encourage Heidi Ihrke, author of the letter with the headline of “Small-business owners back new carbon pollution standard”  published Oct. 24) and everyone to study scientific facts and remove the delusion surrounding this travesty and false information in regard to CO2.

Helpful sources of factual information include the following nonprofit organizations: The Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), the George C Marshall Institute, Washington, D.C – .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) , The Heartland Institute, Chicago Illinois – http://www.heartland.org, Science and Environmental Policy Project - .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and perhaps the world’s most-viewed site on global warming and climate change – wattsupwiththat.com (Anthony Watts). Please take time and study the facts from the above references and other reliable sources.

WILLIAM H. SNYER
Cedaredge

Members of U.S. armed forces deserve nation’s gratitude, respect

The members of Palisade American Legion Auxiliary Unit #50, would like to express our sincere appreciation for the men and women who served in the United States armed forces.

Thank you for serving this great country. Thank you for protecting us. Thank you for the security we have and feel here at home. We know you sacrificed much for your country and all of us. And though you may no longer wear the uniform, we know you’re always on call to serve and protect the freedom and security of the United States of America.

The American Legion Auxiliary supports and honors the sacrifice of those who served by enhancing the lives of our veterans, military and their families, both at home and abroad.

We invite everyone to pause today to remember those who have fought for our freedoms.  Thank you to all who have so bravely protected us.

Learn more about the American Legion Auxiliary at http://www.ALAforVeterans.org.

JULIE DOMINGUEZ -AYSSE
Unit President, Palisade American Legion Auxiliary Unit #50
Palisade



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John Ross’s on-line letter – “Government is supposed to serve citizens, not the other way around” – proves the truth of Mark Twain’s famous observation that:  “There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies, and statistics”.  Ross is a “damn liar”.

Average U.S. retail gasoline prices reached their historical peak of $4.11/gallon in July 2008, during the administration of Republican President George Bush – having more than tripled from a low of $1.31 in October 2002.

With the onset of the financial crisis and economic collapse in September 2008, retail gasoline prices plummeted to $1.61 – due to lack of demand – by early January 2009, before rising steadily and reaching $3.96 in May of 2011.  Since then, as the economy continues to recover while shifting to alternative energy sources, average national gas prices have actually fallen to $3.32 (not “$3.65”).

Similarly, the national debt inherited by President Obama was already $11.8 trillion (not “$7 trillion”) – including $2.7 trillion in accounting changes he imposed and Bush’s FY 2009 budget deficit of $1.4 trillion (the largest in U.S. history).  Moreover, as The New York Times reported, of the $6+ trillion in debt incurred under President Obama, only 10%-20% is atrributable to his policies, while the remainder is attributable to inherited Bush policies and the economic effects of near-Depression.

Finally, as anyone who has actually read our Constitution and its Preamble would know, our government is empowered to accomplish much more than just “provide for the common defense of our nation.  Period.”

In sum, Ross relies on contrived gasoline price statistics, misrepresentations of national debt figures, and a disingenuously selective rendition of our Constitution to assign equal blame to Republicans and Democrats “for the sad condition of our government”.

Had Ross not started from such woefully false premises, perhaps he might have reached more accurate conclusions.

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