Email letters, Sept. 6, 2012
Taylor Elementary sidewalk another reason to change presidents
Your article on the sidewalk at Taylor Elementary is one more reason for a change in the presidency.
Too many restrictions by government are taking the initiative away from local people. We need to make our own decisions as per our needs.
Don’t let big government intimidate you, Palisade. If I had the money, I’d build your sidewalk.
Take some time for research before trying to cast an informed vote
Registered independent voters and independent-minded Republicans and Democrats should not be swayed by the crush of TV ads paid for by huge bundles of money from unions and especially corporations (now “individuals”) and by the mega-rich. They have no accountability due to the conservative Citizens United decision. Also, think of all the bridge repairs (jobs) and college scholarships going down the tube.
At least the candidate-endorsed commercials give us a face. But how much basis in fact do any of these ads have? Some are close to slander and others little more than half-truths. We all need to check these ads out, separate truth from lies and build a file from which to make an informed vote.
But look where? Tough to choose a source that leaves its bias at the door. Try Politicfact.com; it seems well respected and has short synopses and longer versions on each topic/claim and cites respected sources. Snopes.com is good/interesting on “myths” and garbage that floats around on the Internet.
To decide what parties and candidates will do if elected, voters should make lists of what legislation each party has adopted since the market crash of 1929, actually pertinent, but at least start in Clinton’s presidency and after 1995 when Republicans gained the House. Then from 2001 to 2007 when they had the presidency and Congress and could pass whatever they wanted. Now answer the question. Was the budget and debt addressed? These were the “good old days” that Republicans to which want to take us back. Is this where you want to go?
Now do the same for Obama and what Democrats were able to pass from 2009 to 2011 while battling a severe recession and before a Republican House arrived in 2011 to block every effort to move the country ahead, as Obama and most economists requested. Their only plan was to win in 2012. Now the question is, is what has been passed and proposed for passing by Obama the direction you want to go?
Also, remember that politics has been defined as “the art of successful compromise.” Which candidates are most likely to do this best? Enough of the stonewalling. We have problems in need of a solution by leaders of both parties working together.
Do your research; make a gut check and vote.
Free-willed people need arms to keep government in check
Gail Collins of the New York Times had a column in The Daily Sentinel Aug. 30. She addressed the issue of the mentally ill having guns. This is indeed a problem and the authorities are working on this issue with things such as background checks.
There is no way we can protect ourselves from this small percentage of mentally ill people. This is something we have to live with as a free country.
Our Founding Fathers instituted the Second Amendment to protect us from government. The Second Amendment reads, “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
Webster’s definition of tyranny is “oppressive power by government.”
If there were oppressive power by government, the Founding Fathers intended an armed force to be necessary for the security of a free state. This force being called a militia certainly wouldn’t be under the control of the government as the National Guard is, but a free-willed people that would keep the government in check.
Also, Alex Chaves stated that he spend $400 on robo-calls to ask voters to request Jared Wright to step down. This points out his dissatisfaction with Jared.
I want to point out my support for Jared, as I have spent $6,000 to support him and matters of like mind. Don’t let these naysayers sway you in your vote.
ALAN R. STORY
Ryan Budget unfair to poor, vulnerable people
When Paul Ryan introduced his controversial budget last year, I was appalled. The plan not only called for radical cuts to many services important to middle-class Coloradans, but it planned to raise taxes on our already over-burdened middle-class as multimillionaires receive huge new tax breaks.
As the Ryan Budget was being discussed in the House of Representatives, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said the budget fails to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve the poor and vulnerable people.”
Some 60 Catholic social justice leaders released this statement: “This budget is morally indefensible and betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation, and a commitment to the common good. A budget that turns its back on the hungry, the elderly, and the sick while giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest few can’t be justified in Christian terms.”
Despite this, Scott Tipton still pushed the bill through the House. Fortunately, the bill failed in the Senate. However, with Ryan’s addition to the Romney ticket, the Ryan Budget has a new life.
Along with tax hikes for the middle-class, the Ryan Budget would lead to the end of Medicare as we know it. In order to cover tax breaks for millionaires, the plan would cut spending for Pell scholarships and veterans’ services and reduce investments in clean energy and medical research. As for jobs, Romney’s campaign admits that the plan would cost the U.S. more than 1 million jobs. How can even Scott Tipton support such a plan?
Sal Pace opposes the Ryan Budget and the radical ideas it represents. He believes in protecting Medicare and would fight for an all-of-the-above approach to cutting the deficit.
The choice is clear. On Nov. 6, I will vote for Sal Pace for Congress.
Seniors need to understand ramifications of both Ryan plan and Obamacare
In reference to Dr. Pramenko’s criticism of the Romney/Ryan plan to reform Medicare, let me start by noting that his early and continuing support of Obamacare, which we all know is very unpopular. However, Medicare is popular as a senior health safety net, but will be bankrupt in 10 years, meaning we have 10 years to fix it.
Obama already started his Medicare reform by taking $716 billion from Medicare and transferring to Obamacare to help make it “budget neutral.” Meanwhile, it is expected that some 30 million more people will be added to OC, while neither it nor Medicare has any provision to add to the already shrinking supply of doctors. Are seniors nervous?
To ease seniors’ fears about the obvious problems ahead, including Dr. Pramenko’s scare, Romney/Ryan will keep Medicare unchanged if you are nearing retirement age (55 or older) or are already on Medicare. Then changes will have to be made to make Medicare sustainable for the future.
Future seniors who are under 55 now will have when they retire a heath care choice: the new, sustainable Medicare completely paid for by the government or a check (voucher) to purchase an equivalent safety net from a private company (the second lowest bidder or a choice of the lowest to keep the difference) in the hope that government-private sector competition will reduce costs. Note that the Medicare prescription drug program is run entirely by private companies, and 10 years later it has run 30 percent under original budget projections.
Two weeks ago, also on the commentary page, David Brooks of The New York Times addressed Medicare reform in his column, “Romney-Ryan is the only one that will truly reform Medicare.” He wrote, “If you believe entitlement reform is essential for national solvency, then Romney-Ryan is the only train leaving the station.”
For now, my advice: If you have a physician, keep him/her close. If you don’t, get one while you can. And vote as if your future, and that of your kids and grandkids, depends on it!
STEPHEN A. SAMUELSON, MD
Should these private businesses be ‘governmentized’?
Privatizing government services and operations is very popular since Ronald Reagan introduced the concept. If government isn’t functioning acceptably, then privative it. However, there is a private service that is so pathetic it should be taken over by the federal government.
For those individuals whose address includes a fractional number such as ¼, 3/10 or 5/8, this service is unable or unwilling to deal with such numbers. These three businesses deal with critical personal information including bank account numbers, social security numbers and individual credit ratings for millions of people. These three businesses can destroy a responsible person’s credit rating with their bungling of personal information.
The three businesses are TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. They provide credit reports and ratings to mortgage companies, banks, credit unions and credit card companies. They affect an individual’s interest rate for loans and even if an individual’s loan if rejected. We are surprised such incompetent businesses can survive so long.
Even though we have lived as the same address for more than 30 years, these three credit rating businesses (private – not government) reject our legal address. When requested by mail, the credit businesses will provide credit reports to us with the wrong address. The local post office does a great job in getting our mail to us, even when an incorrect address is provided. When we send an address correction, the credit businesses still do not correct their own records.
We just tried to get our credit reports online, and they rejected our legal (and only) address. We tried to get our credit reports by phone, but we didn’t get a live person. Just try to get a robot to comprehend a fractional number – especially a credit reporting agency’s robot!
We recommend “governmentizing” their services if they continue to reject legal addresses. They must be competent in providing a very important service.
Problem of concussions not as minor as Penry thinks
In his August 31 column, former minority leader of the Colorado Senate Josh Penry contends that we are “close to becoming the land of the weak.” As proof of this societal drift toward “pervasive spinal atrophy” he points a finger at the “most poignant current example,” the “torrent of hype and hysteria about concussions.”
In 2011 the legislative body of which Penry was once a member passed the Jake Snakenburg Youth Concussion Act (Senate Bill 40) named after a Denver area high school student who sustained a concussion playing football that was not immediately detected. Upon taking a typical hit in another game a week later he died from what is known as “Second Impact Syndrome.”
The law imposes several requirements applying to any public or private school or private club or recreational facility sponsored athletic activity that involves youth ages 11 through 18. The first requirement is that coaches get approved training about concussions and how to recognize them. If a student athlete is suspected of having sustained a concussion. he or she must be removed from the game immediately. According to the law, the youth cannot begin a graduated return to play until medically cleared.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. Most occur without a loss of consciousness and are usually not life threatening.
Fortunately, approximately 80 percent of those sustaining a concussion are symptom-free within three weeks if managed properly. The first step is always complete physical and cognitive rest until symptoms begin to decrease.
Although Penry may not agree, the above injury prevention measures have nothing to do with weakness. Many athletes, for example, know that concussions can happen and that recovery and return to play is best insured by recognition and proper response. At the society level, many also know that taking an injury prevention approach to concussions saves lives and money.
Push for control of guns meant to curtail power of citizens
As I scanned The Daily Sentinel Sunday morning I noticed on the front page, above the fold, yet another AP editorial masquerading as a news story. Its headline was, “Politics of guns too quiet for some.”
I suppose you ran this front-page editorial in order to gin up controversy. Or, perhaps, the editors of the Sentinel favor gun control. One way or the other, here are a couple of things to consider:
The clear intent of the Second Amendment is to allow citizens to own and possess weapons of military utility. The language, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,” isn’t there by accident. At the time the Bill of Rights was adopted, all able-bodied men of military age were considered part of the general militia, and were encouraged – and sometimes required – to own and be competent in the use of military-type weapons.
That is still a good idea. The founders wanted our nation to be an armed camp because the world was full of evildoers. It still is, and an armed citizenry skilled in the use of weapons is still our best protection against the bad actors of this world. Not only external threats, but also threats to freedom that might arise from the overreaching of our own government.
The push for gun control has little to do with public safety or crime. In reality, it is almost entirely about changing the balance of power between the citizen and the government—in favor of the government, of course. And that can’t be accomplished until we serfs are no longer able to challenge a strong central government by force of arms.
Thus the continuing pressure to disarm us through gun control laws. Terrible crimes involving firearms are just a convenient selling point.
Questions regarding termination of pregnancies transcend party lines
As the 2012 presidential and congressional races heat up, we have already seen patterns that have been repeated in debating the conservative versus liberal viewpoints. One issue is that of the legality of abortion.
One party has proclaimed that the other party has even “declared war on women” by calling for an end to legalized abortions. While it can and will continue to be argued that it should be each woman’s “right” to end a pregnancy, this argument usually ignores the right of the developing in-utero human to live his or her life.
There are libertarians, conservatives, liberals and progressives, along with doctors, nurses, veterinarians, biologists and other scientists, that understand the biological fact that life is a continuum and that each new life begins its journey at conception. This is a biological fact, not just a political or a religious viewpoint.
Understanding the “pro-life” stance means understanding that life begins at conception and that the decision to “terminate a pregnancy” is a decision to end a life. The question becomes then, “just when is it justifiable to end that life”? This should not be a Republican, Democratic or even a woman’s issue; this is a human issue.
JOHN ANDREWS, DVM
Fenn tips hat to Scott
Not many things during the 2012 election cycle have brought a smile to my lips, but an incident during the Mesa County Patriots picnic Saturday not only made me smile but gave me a good belly laugh, as well.
The Mesa County Patriots is a Constitutional/Libertarian-leaning organization. It provided a forum during its picnic in Palisade for all of the local candidates to speak about their platforms and why they are running for political office.
Ray Scott, the Republican candidate for Colorado House D55, spoke briefly; he was followed by the Libertarian candidate, Virgil Fenn, who is running for the same position. Fenn is an instantly likable fellow, sporting a long white beard, granny glasses and a farmer’s hat.
A few phrases into his speech he basically said, “That Ray Scott, he’s a real good guy. I’m thinkin’ about votin’ for him myself. I just want one other person to vote for me, so it doesn’t look like I voted for someone else.”
The crowd erupted in delighted chuckles. Fenn had endeared himself instantly to a naturally skeptical audience. Scott approached his supporter/opponent Fenn after his speech and clarified that he had said what we thought we heard him say. Fenn confirmed that he had indeed considered voting for Scott.
This must be the first time in the history of Mesa County electoral contests than an active candidate in a political race publicly revealed that he was secretly rooting for the other guy. I’m pretty sure Scott is still wearing the big grin he had at the Mesa County Patriots picnic.
‘Some cry foul’ article left out salient information
It was very disappointing to read the misinformation printed on the front page of The Daily Sentinel Monday. It was immediately obvious that Duffy Hayes wrote the story from what he was being told without extending any effort to verify facts or visit the location and see for himself.
First, he quotes Susan Raymond as saying the chicken house is just past her property boundary. First off, there is a county road between Raymond’s property and the property where the chicken house is located. In addition. the chicken house is 1,000 feet from her property and farther from her house.
She claims she has half a jar of down feathers that blew through her windows. I find that very interesting and wonder just what it takes to propel a down feather more than a thousand feet with enough velocity to enter her house through a window screen. And why isn’t the ground between the chicken house and her window covered with chicken down?
He might also question how someone trained and practicing as a veterinarian, who works with and handles all kinds of animals suddenly gets asthma from a neighbor’s chickens.
If the Sentinel is going to print news instead hearsay, it would be prudent for the reporter to investigate. He might start by at least driving by the operation and seeing where it is and its relation to the Raymond property. He might notice that the chicken house was built with material that blends it with the landscape. He might notice that the area was excavated to keep the profile low and unobtrusive. He might have arranged to visit the chicken house and other chicken houses in the area. He may have interviewed not only those who are against it but also those who are in favor.
He may have researched all the effort the Delta county commissioners went through before they approved the plan. He may have researched all the extra expense and effort that was put into construction so as to prevent any problems. Then and only then he might have been able to separate fact from hype and written from knowledge instead of hearsay.
No ‘travesty of truth’
The Sept. 5 email letter from Lawrence Stelmach, MD headlined ”GOP Convention a travesty of untruth” stated unequivocally that “the GOP convention represents the biggest collection of lies that our political system has ever encountered.” Wow! That is some serious accusation—it certainly warrants careful consideration, and certainly must be well documented.
The letter then goes on to “poor mouth” the GOP, several of the convention participants, George Bush and the Republican Congress, but, in spite of four specific references to “lies,” Stelmach doesn’t offer a single “specific” example or even a make reference to the “lies” upon which his letter is based and the insinuation of “untruths” by the Sentinel’s headline.
Rather than “travesty of untruth,” this letter should have been titled “ liberal bias toward the GOP” because it contained nothing but criticism and accusations. To use a meaningful description, it was totally lacking in substance.
Frankly, I’m glad that it was published. It is a perfect example of the liberal “whining” mindset that includes being overly sensitive, over reactive, overly critical and quick to make false judgments.
Let freedom ring!
Fundamental principles of wind PTC should be understood
John S. Reid (Aug. 29) seems to misunderstand the basics of the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC).
The PTC is a performance-based tax relief with a goal to keep federal taxes low on an emerging, rapidly growing industry. The PTC lowers the federal income tax of owners of wind energy projects based on the amount of electricity the projects actually generate.
The credit amounts to 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour and applies to the first 10 years of operation of an American wind energy project. As a result, the PTC attracts investment and has helped to allow wind power to become competitive with traditional energy sources. Thanks in part to the PTC, technology improvements have driven down the cost of wind dramatically.
Because wind energy has a zero “fuel” cost, wind power can place significant downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. A new study by Synapse Energy Economics looks at the power market in the Midwest (MISO) and found that the more wind you add to the grid, the lower wholesale prices dip and the more consumers save. Moreover, wind power allows utilities to lock in prices for 20 years or more, providing a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices.
Wind is in the midst of growing to support our power needs for years to come. Wind added 35 percent of all new U.S. electric capacity from 2007 to 2011, second only to natural gas. And according to the Department of Energy, America is on schedule to make 20 percent of U.S. electricity provided by wind energy by 2030.
When forming an opinion on the PTC, it’s important to understand these fundamental principles behind it.
Interwest Energy Alliance Consultant
Sentinel biased, inaccurate in its profile piece on Menger, Wright
I feel it is necessary for me to set the record straight.
Charles Ashby interviewed me for the “profile” of Jared Wright that was published in the Sentinel Sunday. What was discussed in that interview and what was actually published were worlds apart. I was misquoted, quoted as saying things that had, in fact, been said by Ashby himself, and quoted as saying things that were not even discussed in the interview. My relationship to the campaign was badly mischaracterized and my past was used as a weapon against Jared.
Though I agreed with the statement, it was Ashby who said that Jared Wright “is a man of character simply because he hired me.” While I do believe that this does say a great deal about Jared’s character, it is not because he hired me. It is because Jared has followed his proclamation of Christian faith with action. He felt I deserved a second chance and did not judge me. Jared did not hire me because of my past, he hired me in spite of it. He was familiar with my work from other campaigns that he and I have worked on and felt that my style and knowledge of the printing industry would be a good fit for the campaign.
The article also says I “am impressed that anyone running for public office would have the guts to [hire me] and then stand by that decision when questioned about it.” First of all, I never made any statement like that in the interview. I appreciate that he hired me but saying I was “impressed” is a gross overstatement. It may come as a bit of a shock, but this is not the first campaign I have worked on. Believe it or not, others running for public office have hired me to do exactly what I have done for Jared: graphic design, printing and web work. Second, as far as I know, Jared has never been questioned about my work for his campaign.
My involvement in the Wright campaign was knowingly and maliciously misrepresented, as well. Ashby wrote that I was “hired to handle various aspects” of Jared’s campaign, implying that I had some sort influence on Jared, his positions or campaign direction. Ashby knew full well that I was hired to build a website and design some campaign collateral like signs, handouts and bumper stickers. Nothing more. I did not write or edit any content, discuss policy or influence Jared in any way, and to imply otherwise, even indirectly, is simply irresponsible and blatantly sensationalistic.
I was initially reluctant to be interviewed. My work on the campaign had been made public several days earlier in website postings, and I believed this interview would be integrated into yet another Daily Sentinel “hit piece” on Jared. I indicated my concerns to Ashby and was told this was a simple profile piece. I was being interviewed because I was a supporter of the campaign and had been seen at one of Jared’s public appearances. Ashby went on to explain that he had been approached by several different people asking him to write a “hit” piece on Jared based on me and my past but had refused because he “felt it wasn’t an issue and there was no story there.”
The simple truth is this: I am a man doing a job. My past has absolutely no relevance related to my capacity to perform that job. Jared hired me because I am good at what I do and I was able to offer very fair pricing for my products and services. Yes, he was aware of my past. No, he wasn’t involved in my case in any way. There is no conspiracy here, no nefarious purpose. I am simply trying to make a living, and he needed someone to handle his print and web work.
I am extremely disappointed in the Sentinel’s efforts to derail Jared’s campaign. I have to say that, if this were indeed intended to be a profile piece, I would hate to have seen what you actually consider a “hit” piece. The entire article was dedicated to a tired rehash of the troubles Jared has faced with a not-so-little dash of my past served up for spice. In a seven-column article, you offered but a single column of actual useful information for voters regarding policy and direction.
By comparison, the profile of Tim Menger was all butterflies and rainbows and offered a healthy dose of position, strategy and endearing everyman anecdotes.
You publish under the guise of truth and accuracy but the real truth is this: You need to zip up; your agenda is hanging out.
W. JEFFREY STEELE