Email letters, Sept. 14, 2012

Council correctly asks for Brady Trucking vote

As a member of the council that initially ruled on the Brady Truck zoning request, I must rise in defense of the current council’s decision to ask the community’s opinion. Public input on important issues is always valuable, and this issue is worthy of a citywide discussion.

As a community, we have spent tens of millions of dollars cleaning up a riverfront area and envisioning a restoration of wildlife habitat and expansion of recreational and commercial activities along the river. The issue is not about the landowner, but rather the land use. Brady Trucking will be a fine steward of the land.

Unfortunately, if and when Brady ever moves on, the land will carry forward whatever zoning is established. A new owner will have the ability under certain conditions to reopen a rendering plant, store hazardous materials, start a junkyard or engage in many other non-compatible uses along the river.

The choice is whether we wish to return to the profitable industrial uses of the past or honor the clean-up efforts and require uses compatible with parks, recreation and wildlife.

The discussion is about what we want our community to look like 20 years from now. The council is correct in asking the community that very question.


former mayor
Grand Junction

Middle East violence erupts, administration’s critics blamed

Embassies under attack. Americans being murdered. Our only ally in the Middle East not welcome to meet with our president. And yet for three days all the mainstream media and liberal talking heads want to talk about are Romney’s comments.

They obviously have determined that when all else fails, blame Romney or Bush or anyone else who dares to criticize the administration. Disgusting!

Grand Junction

First Amendment rights of moviemakers, Romney under attack

What kind of foreign policy is Obama following? He says he does not have the time to meet with the prime minister of Israel, but he has time to fly around the country trying to raise money, appearing on David Letterman’s TV show and meeting with the president of the Muslim Brotherhood from Egypt.

He is also planning to give the Muslim Brotherhood $1 billion so they can buy submarines from Russia. Next he has the American Embassy issue an apology for an American who is making a movie about Islam.

The apology states that Americans should not be making a movie that may insult Muslims. This is a direct attack on the moviemakers’ First Amendment rights. Now they are attacking Mitt Romney for speaking out against the attacks and murders of four Americans by the terrorists. The administration and its media friends say the Romney should not be talking about the tragedy.

This is also an attack on Romney’s First Amendment rights. It is scary where this is heading and how anyone who speaks out is attacked. Please remember all of this, come November.

Grand Junction

America’s enemies take advantage of nation’s weak stance in world

We have four embassies under siege, with an ambassador and others dead, and in none of the video clips I have seen is there a police or military presence by the host country trying to control the chaos.

If another country’s embassy were assaulted in the U.S., we would muster our forces to protect that country’s sovereignty.  One can only assume that the governments of those countries are condoning the acts. And we are giving them foreign aid. Why?

The timing of this is not coincidental. Ever since Obama went on his apology tour of 2009 expressing sorrow for the arrogant involvement of the U.S. in world affairs, our enemies have known that we are at a weak point in history and are taking full advantage while they can.

Our only true ally in the region is asking for America to be strong and to stand up to the increased threat and aggression, but our so-called “leader” is too busy campaigning to provide any kind of leadership when it is most needed.

Our enemies are not stupid and watch American politics closely. They have decided that their best chance to succeed is now, before the election. The Quran plainly states that the “infidels” must be converted or killed and the Muslim population has attempted world domination throughout history. 

But they are not alone. Besides the Persian quests throughout the centuries, there have been the crusades that killed many to spread Christianity, During the Inquisition Catholics were intent on torturing and killing any who were not of the Catholic Church. There have been millions (perhaps billions) who have been killed in the name of God who, in many religions, professes, “Thou shall not kill.”

Of course, none of this is about God at all. It is about power and greed. There are a lot of “big fish in little ponds” with visions of grandeur and some world influence has to rise above it all and provide some stability. While we have overstepped our bounds on many occasions, the U.S. has been this rock of stability for years. Our rock is crumbling.

Grand Junction

Tipton better understands how to create jobs

One of the more worrying moments from last weekend’s Club 20 debate between Congressman Scott Tipton and challenger Sal Pace occurred when the congressman questioned Pace on his work experience in the private sector.

“When was your last full-time job in the private sector?” Congressman Tipton asked. Pace couldn’t answer, of course, because he’s never had one.
After mentioning his (part-time) job as a professor, Pace finally blurted out something about his time as a waiter and dishwasher.

There’s no getting around the fact that Pace is a political operative. He has no experience in the small business world and he’s never created a single job.

How can we trust someone with so little real-world experience to make appropriate judgments when it comes to votes that affect our businesses? Businesses, I might add, that we built.

Scott Tipton has extensive experience as a small business owner. He founded a successful pottery business 30 years ago, and it’s still going strong. He personally knows how taxes and regulations affect Colorado businesses, and his 22 employees can certainly attest to his knowledge of job-creation.

The last thing we need in Washington is another career politician such as Pace. Tipton is the only 3rd District candidate who understands job creation and champions small businesses.


Tipton has better vision of health-care plan than Pace

When asked about health care sustainability at last weekend’s Club 20 debate, Sal Pace’s answer was disturbingly devoid of information. He spent his allotted time nitpicking Congressman Scott Tipton’s record of opposition to Obamacare, but didn’t produce an action plan of his own.

It’s becoming apparent that Pace simply doesn’t have one. That’s bad news for Americans, considering President Obama’s own advisors have estimated Medicare will be completely bankrupt by 2024. Pace supported Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which stripped Medicare of $500 billion and left health care decisions for seniors in the hands of an impersonal board of Washington administrators.

On the other hand, Tipton made a promise to stand up for seniors and he’s sticking to it. By voting to repeal Obamacare, Tipton has made it very clear that he believes in a different kind of reform—the kind that actually works

During his time in the debate, Tipton emphasized the need to ensure we have many choices by creating real competition and driving innovation. He wants to get rid of excessive government regulation and ensure that small business owners can negotiate a plan that better fits their needs.

Tipton truly has stood up for our seniors and our future. Pace’s support of a single-payer health care plan is not right for the Western Slope.

Grand Junction

Tipton will better serve needs of seniors

Does Sal Pace really think a single-payer health care plan is right for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District? When Congressman Scott Tipton prodded him for an answer during last weekend’s Club 20 debate, Pace eventually admitted that he believes a single-payer health care system makes the most sense for our country. In a system such as the one Pace envisions, the government would be the only provider of all health services.

Naturally, Pace supported President Obama’s health care takeover—an act
that took $500 billion from Medicare, which already seems to be on its last legs, and established the Independent Advisory Board, which takes independence away from seniors and makes critical medical decisions for them.

Tipton knows a Canadian-style, single-payer system is wrong for Colorado. He has repeatedly stood up for seniors by voting to repeal ObamaCare, and unlike Pace, he has a real plan for Medicare reform and health care sustainability.  By encouraging innovation by creating a competitive market for providers, Tipton and his supporters have demonstrated that they recognize the only way to ensure Medicare is available for future generations is to make sure the government’s expensive mandates and excessive regulations are removed.

Pace’s extreme belief that the government should have total control over health care is not a good fit for the 3rd Congressional District. Tipton is the only candidate we can count on to continue to support the seniors of today and tomorrow.


Grand Junction

Stolen Valor Act necessary to defend rightfully gained military honors

Local voters who bemoan the absence of bipartisanship in Congress and, particularly, veterans who rightly resent the false claims of charlatans regarding their imaginary but non-existent military service and/or awards, should welcome Gary Harmon’s report in this morning’s Sentinel:  “U.S. House approves reworked version of Stolen Valor Act.”

As Harmon reported, this bill was first introduced by our former Democratic Congressman John Salazar and was signed into law by Republican President George W. Bush in 2005.

After the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Stolen Valor Act as “overbroad” earlier this year, its language was modified to eliminate the court’s objection – and has now passed again by a margin of 410-3.

As modified, the bill invokes the common law of fraud and criminalizes the “intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit” by falsely claiming to be the recipient of specified decorations and/or medals.

As our current Republican Rep. Scott Tipton aptly observed, the revised bill could “better ensure that America’s true heroes are recognized for their valor, not fraud.”

Hopefully, the bill will promptly pass in the Senate (the likelihood of another Republican filibuster being remote), will be expeditiously signed into law by President Obama, and will pass constitutional muster in the Supreme Court should it be litigated there again.

As recent events in the Middle East and North Africa clearly demonstrate, “freedom is not free.”  Those who willingly lay their lives on the line for “duty, honor, Country” should not have their proven commitment diminished by dishonest would-be “heroes.”

Grand Junction

Focus national debate on economy, jobs, national debt

Poor old Bill Grant and other Democrat ideologues would like voters to focus on supposed flip-flops or any other subject than the economy, the debt and jobs. Let’s review what has happened over Owebama’s more than years in office.

In June 46.7 million U.S. citizens used food stamps and over 15 percent of our population was at or under the poverty level. Median household income is 4.1 percent lower than in 2009 when Owebama took office. It was also interesting to note that the current U.S. debt had just ticked over $16 trillion just as the Democrat national convention was starting. More than $5 trillion of that debt had been accumulated since Owebama has taken office, which comes to an additional $17,000 for every U.S. citizen.

According to Team Owebama, “Over the last 27 months we’ve created 4.5 million private-sector jobs.” While the number is patently false, what is even more troubling is the “we created” part of the statement. It is kind of the flip side of the “you didn’t build that” statement. “Who” really created the jobs?

When it comes to unemployment, the recent drop from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent happened because 368,000 Americans simply gave up looking for work and not from the fact that more people were employed. This exodus from the labor pool dropped the labor participation rate to 63.5 percent, or a 31-year low. Simply put, there are fewer Americans working now than when Owebama took office.

For perspective, if the number in the labor force had remained the same, the unemployment rate would have climbed to 8.4 percent. If the labor force were as large as it was when Owebama came into office, the unemployment rate would be 11.2 percent, and, if you look at the BLS’s U-6 number, the rate climbs to around 15 percent.

Finally, in light of all the distortions and outright lies being mouthed by Owebama and his minions, the Democrats had to vote on whether to have “God” in their platform. As disturbing as it was to hear the vote, which sounded 50-50 to me, the most disturbing aspect was that they even needed to vote in the first place. What does that say about the Democratic Party?


Grand Junction




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The latest desperately empty theme in Romney-Ryan’s faith-based campaign asserts that President Obama demonstrates inadequate “resolve” in combating America’s enemies.  According to one Romney adviser (who also counseled Geroge Bush), had Romney been President, none of the turmoil in the Middle East would have ever happened!

Such assertions appeal to a misguided version of “American exceptionalism” – that, “with God on our side”, the U.S. can not only “influence” and/or “shape” world events, but indeed control them.  No idea has proven more profoundly dangerous to our national security.

In 1983, President Reagan demonstrated “resolve” by sending U.S. Marines to “control” events in Lebanon.  On October 23, 1983, 299 U.S. and French personnel were killed by suicide bombers.  While Reagan vowed “resolve”, he withdrew all American forces from Lebanon 105 days later.

In 1990, President George H. W. Bush demonstrated “resolve” by organizing a genuinely international coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait – but not from power in Iraq (fearing unintended consequences).

In 1993, President Clinton demonstrated “resolve” by committing limited U.S. forces to Mogadishu, Somalia.  On October 3-4, the events dramatized in “Black Hawk Down” occurred, resulting in more American casualties.  While Clinton also vowed “resolve”, all U.S. and U.N. forces were withdrawn by March 1994.

In March 2003, President George W. Bush demonstrated “resolve” by invading Iraq, then declared “Mission Accomplished” on May 1, but stood haplessly by as events spun out of his “control” – resulting in 4400 Americans KIA, and 32,000 wounded, at and least $2 trillion in wasted “treasure” (more damage than Bin Laden could have hoped to inflict).

Thus, Romney should be asked “at what price, ‘resolve’?” – and when will he “resolve” to convincingly disavow his Evangelical Christian supporters who – now with American blood on their hands—still revel in fomenting violent unrest in the Muslim world?

                Bill Hugenberg

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