Email letters, Sept. 17, 2012

Sales tax would be fair if kept out of certain hands

I see the people are worried about Stagner getting out in Rifle after 10 years. They still need a translator? They should be able to speak and understand English by now.

How about the federal government charging a sales tax on everything and to everyone? This would be a fair tax, but how would you keep it out of the fat cats’ hands?

GERALD NELSON
Clifton

Win-win solution needed for monument, community

Scott McInnis is perplexed that the National Park Service denies permits for bike races on Colorado National Monument? NPS lands aren’t managed using the multiple use principle, nor are they managed for economic stimulus. Per Congress, the NPS mandate is to “preserve and protect” parklands and wildlife, to provide for human enjoyment, and for scientific research. The NPS isn’t flying in the face of Congress; the race denial is in line with its congressional mandate.

The NPS is always under pressure to allow commercial agendas within NPS lands. Stakeholders operating in NPS lands can become powerful financially and politically, resulting in NPS management decisions which compromise the integrity of the natural resources they manage. For example, the relationship between NPS and private industry in Yosemite has resulted in a quasi-urban environment there.

The Trojan horse at Colorado National Monument is the beloved non-profit bike race. Money is to be made here for profit and non-profit alike. Physical impacts can be mitigated; less simple to mitigate is influence that stakeholders would gain over new economic territory and the NPS. NPS management of annual races, fundraisers, etc. would draw limited resources from the core tasks of land, wildlife and visitor services.

“Our community” didn’t request use of Rim Rock Drive, as no consensus exists. Adequate pressure could not be brought to bear upon the NPS to compel a change of mind. Congressman McInnis had chances to influence NPS legislation. The race proposal and the committee to examine the park status issue indicate “various interests” probing to see if headway can be made on agendas outside the legislative arena.

Political controversies are struggles between competing future visions. Low support for change in park status and for the bike race possibly indicates concerns about unaddressed possible negative impacts to our beloved park.

McInnis doesn’t suggest these proposals would enhance the precious resources of Colorado National Monument. They appear essentially exploitative in nature. Because we cherish our park, broad support won’t develop for plans that may result in possibility of park degradation. If a win-win aspect were demonstrated for both the monument as well as the community, a supportive consensus might emerge. That’s actually what we do in western Colorado.

STEVE FERRIOLE
Glade Park

Set international example by subduing bigotry

What values was Mitt Romney espousing when he castigated President Obama for what he perceived to be an apology to terrorists? Is free speech a value? If so, does that mean bigotry is also a value because it, too, is free to speak?  Or does it mean Christian bigotry is more acceptable than Muslim bigotry?

Yes, we Americans have the right to be bigots and speak of our bigotry, but we do not have the right to incite mayhem and murder. And anyone in our day and age who thinks it’s OK to so profoundly insult such a touchy world is either profoundly stupid or intending to cause mayhem and murder. Free speech as a right is not necessarily a value.

Why is it wrong for anyone, diplomats or not, to apologize for bigotry?

If we want other countries to be like us, shouldn’t we promote what is best in us? Isn’t that the way to teach that all men are created equal? Shouldn’t we teach that animal characteristics such as bigotry be subdued rather than valued?

It doesn’t matter that the bigotry is religious, racial, ethnic or social. All of it causes unequaled death and destruction. Humanity will never be better or special unless we subdue it.

EILEEN O’TOOLE
Grand Junction

League of Women Voters to offer information at final Farmers Market for this year

The League of Women Voters of Mesa County invites everyone to participate in our democracy and help keep our community fair, vibrant and strong.

The League will be at the Farmers Market Sept. 20 to hand out information and register voters. Look for the Vote411.org banner with complete voter information on the election of 2012. This site is designed to list all national, state and local candidate races, with information specific to Mesa County on ballot issues, as well. Our nonpartisan mission is to get election information out to the public.

We encourage everyone who is qualified to vote this year. Watch for the LWV Voter Guide to be published as an insert in The Daily Sentinel on Friday, Oct. 12 with Kids Voting of Mesa County. We look forward to a fair and informative election season.

TANYA TRAVIS
President
LWV of Mesa County

Embassy deaths proof that foreign embassies are not protected

I just finished listening to the secretary of state and the president speak at a ceremony to honor the return of the bodies of our ambassador to Libya, two Marines and a foreign service employee.

I was struck that neither the secretary of state nor the president acknowledged the failure of our government to protect our embassies abroad. Foreign service is not a combat assignment. We should only have embassies in countries with which we have sufficiently positive relationships to assure the country will protect our embassy or we provide enough military presence to insure no group within the country will assail our sovereign presence within that country.

Secretary Clinton and President Obama spoke as if our Foreign Service people were casualties of a war instead of a failure of the host nation or us to protect our embassy. They did announce that we will increase the security at our embassies. But this is closing the barn after the horse is gone.

The deaths of these people are sufficient testimony that we are not protecting our embassies abroad. That our nation’s foreign policy leaders blame the deaths on an anti-Muslim movie is sufficient to conclude they are incompetent not only to sense what security is required at our embassies but also to conduct the foreign policy of our nation with which they are charged.

ED ARNOS
Grand Junction

Embassy staff in Cairo responds appropriately

Regarding Josh Penry’s column in today’s paper, he is badly mistaken and unaware of the facts of the events taking place in Cairo and Benghazi. There was no apology by anybody: not in Cairo and not in the White House or state department. Public servants died in the performance of their duties, and all Penry can come up with is thoughtless, baseless pandering to the right-wing jingoists.

Here are the facts from the Atlantic:

6:11 a.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets:
“The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims—as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.”

11 a.m. 9/11/12. At 5 p.m. local time in Cairo, demonstrators begin to assemble outside the U.S. Embassy.

5:58-59 p.m., 9/11/12. @USEmbassyCairo tweets in three parts: “1) Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. 2) Of course we condemn breaches of our compound, we’re the ones actually living through this. 3) Sorry, but neither breaches of our compound or angry messages will dissuade us from defending freedom of speech AND criticizing bigotry.”

7:51 p.m., 9/11/12. Reuters, citing Libyan government sources, reports, “An American staff member of the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has died following fierce clashes at the compound.”

10:09 p.m., 9/11/12. The Romney campaign releases a statement “embargoed until midnight tonight” from Mitt Romney condemning the administration and the attacks: “I’m outraged by the attacks on American diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt and by the death of an American consulate worker in Benghazi. It’s disgraceful that the Obama Administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.” The U.S. Embassy statement from Cairo was issued before the attack in Libya.

10:25 p.m., 9/11/12.The Romney campaign lifts the embargo on its statement, which now comes on a day historically seen as a time to refrain from the most pointed forms of political combat, in honor of those who died.

You will note that embassy staff in Cairo made a proactive effort to address the concerns of the Egyptian people, not as an apology but a statement of condemnation of the ignorant ranting of a crazed few that we Americans put up with daily. After a day of continuing tension and a breach of the compound, embassy staff again made it clear the continuing position of the United States is to defend freedom of speech and criticize bigotry.

In this I’m totally behind the folks in the embassy. I have this apology for Josh:  I’m sorry you’re a putz.

DIANE WOLFE
Hotchkiss

Consider carefully price of showing ‘resolve’


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 George 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. cannot only influence and/or shape world events, but indeed control them. No idea has proven more profoundly dangerous to our national security.
I
n 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 Oct. 3 and 4, the events dramatized in “Black Hawk Down” resulted 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 4,400 Americans killed in action, 32,000 wounded and at 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
Grand Junction

Obama campaign designed to obscure a failed presidency

In 2008 Barack Obama spoke of changing the world “from what it is to what it should be.” These words are found in the first sentence of Saul Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals.” The full paragraph reads: “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be.”

Machiavelli wrote “The Prince” for the Haves on how to hold on to power. ‘Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-nots on how to take it away.”

Before Barack Obama catapulted from relative obscurity to the presidency of the United States, he had trained and worked as a “community organizer” for Jerry Kellman, Alinsky’s successor.

Obama’s class warfare rhetoric pitting the poor and middle class against the “rich” or the “wealthiest Americans” follows Alinsky’s definition of the community organizer’s role:

“The organizer dedicated to changing the life of a particular community must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many people to the point of overt expression. … An organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which people can angrily pour their frustrations … When those prominent in the status quo turn and label you an ‘agitator’ they are completely correct, for that is, one word, your function – to agitate to the point of conflict.”

Everything in the Obama campaign of 2012 is designed to distract from a failed presidency; to divide our country by economic status, age group, race, religion and gender lines; to stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; to rub raw resentments and fan latent hostilities “to the point of conflict”—all to hold on to his political power.

Beneath his inflammatory rhetoric, Obama offers no solutions for the nation’s problems.

VIRGIL R. PULLIAM
Durango

Indicting an entire faith based on the actions of a few is wrong

I would like to take a moment to address the events throughout the Mideast, events that are undoubtedly spreading to other parts of the world.

On the pages of The Daily Sentinel and in its online edition, blame has been spread for the brutal invasions of our embassies and consulates -— some of which is directed at the policymakers who have decided to placate an intractable foe — the same adversary who killed thousands of innocent Americans 11 years ago.

Yet, some of the blame on the pages of The Daily Sentinel has been directed at “Evangelical Christians” for their supposed “intolerance” of Islamic beliefs. Certainly, there are some who claim the title of “Christian” who engage in hateful acts against Islam. Yet, the vast majority of believers in Jesus Christ are living out His words that direct us to love our enemies, to pray for them.

The film which is being blamed by al Qaeda sponsored groups was produced by rogue individuals and promoted by those on the far, far, far fringes of Christianity. To bundle the actions of a few who have warped the teachings of Christ to justify hatred —- something that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus —- in with the rest of us who serve Jesus Christ is ludicrous.

It is also ludicrous to indict an entire faith, Islam, for the murderous actions of a few who have warped its teachings. The editorial staff of The Daily Sentinel needs to take a stand on this issue. To indict Evangelical Christianity for the sins of those who are only marginally related to it is an affront to the majority of believers who live its teachings in quiet peace. It is truly intolerance of the faith that built this nation: the world’s beacon of tolerance and acceptance.

STEVE HENDERSON

Grand Junction

Marcus shows partisanship in latest column

In Sunday’s edition of The Daily Sentinel Ruth Marcus, Washington Post Writers Group, attempts to take Mitt Romney to task over his position that the State Department was wrong in apologizing for the First Amendment freedoms protected by the U.S. Constitution. She also fails to point out that Hillary Clinton took a similar position in an attempt to clarify the Obama administration’s position and only served to confuse the situation more.

She then went on to charge Romney of falsely accusing Obama of apologizing for America. Once again she gets it wrong, as I can easily document with five events:

1. April 3, 2009, Strasbourg, France: “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

2. April 6, 2009, Ankara, Turkey: “Another issue that confronts all democracies as they move to the future is how we deal with the past. The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history.”

3. April 17. 2009, Summit of the Americas, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago: “While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

4. April 20, 2009, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Va.: “Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes. That’s how we learn.”

5. May 21, 2009, National Archives, Washington DC: “Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. … I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight; that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions. Instead of strategically applying our power and our principles, too often we set those principles aside as luxuries that we could no longer afford. And during this season of fear, too many of us — Democrats and Republicans, politicians, journalists, and citizens — fell silent. In other words, we went off course.”

The fact that these examples alone happened so closely together is evidence of a concerted effort, his intent to “fundamentally change America” as he has put it. He has consistently set about to weaken the USA around the world because as he has repeatedly put it he “is a Citizen of the World” (emphasis added) and has been indoctrinated since childhood that a weakened America will be better for the world. It has become part of his DNA.

I wholeheartedly encourage taking our politicians and leaders to task, and there are dozens of reasons on both sides to do so, but blatant partisanship such as Ruth Marcus displays belongs at the Huffington Post and not in a quality newspaper such as The Daily Sentinel.
STEPHEN FULLERTON
Grand Junction

Apology extended about president, not for him or to him

This is not an easy task, but someone has to do it.

I have accepted this challenge, because I know from speaking with many others that I represent a great number of people who share the feelings that I’m going to express.

Throughout his administration, Obama has spanned the globe expressing apologies for our great nation, as if America had much to be regretful about. There are many of us who take issue with these insinuations and exaggerations; however, our views fail to get any degree of exposure or publicity that matches the president’s “bully pulpit power” along with a liberal national media performing as his cheering section.

So, in behalf of the proud American citizens who love this country for its exemplary history and its extraordinary humanitarian track record, I am compelled to express apologies for the many unnecessary and unwarranted apologies that Obama has needlessly expressed.

Let me make this perfectly clear, I am apologizing “about” him, not “to” him, nor “for” him for all his heedless words and actions. My apologies are “about” a president who is not expressing the “will of the people” whom he was elected to represent.

Although he may not be sorry for his actions, we are. Our great nation deserves praise and recognition, not apologies, for its historical role of protecting the world against tyranny and aggression.

We have every reason to be proud of our country, as well documented in Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation.” My generation “gets it!” Unfortunately, many of our citizens in subsequent generations have been misinformed and misled, not only by the media, but also by the “omissions” and “spin” that have been put in the teaching, or lack thereof, of American history in our school systems.

Fellow Americans, let’s ignore the Obama apology rants and take pride in our country by praising its virtues and being thankful for our blessing of citizenship.

Let freedom ring! God bless America!

RICHARD DORAN
Parachute

Time to call a spade a spade

Just so like many Democrats, Ruth Marcus can’t see the truth behind the smoke of partisan politics.

Obama apologized all over the place for the United States. Didn’t she really watch or read any of those
foreign soil speeches?  So, she chastises Romney’s comments, but doesn’t have anything to say about our commander in chief campaigning off in Las Vegas and not even knowing the names of the murdered Americans.

Fact:  Hillary and Obama rolled out the red carpet for the terrorists gaining power in both Libya and Egypt.

Few left-wing journalists still don’t seem to care that there is a purposeful teardown of the U.S. going on.
Yes, Ruth Marcus, the foreign installations should have indeed been prepared for retaliation on 9-ll.  Muslims can murder, decapitate, torture and deliberately seek to kill anyone they consider Infidels, but then we should apologize for saying anything about Islam. 

Come on!  Can’t we get realistic—forget political correctness and partisan politics and call a spade a spade?

CAROL ABBOTT

Parachute

Administration’s ‘tepid’ response to attacks raises concern about more

Our embassies are under attack, an ambassador and three embassy staffers are murdered in Libya; a mob in Egypt commits an act of war by invading and occupying our embassy in Cairo. Our president meanwhile skips an intelligence briefing to attend a fundraiser and hasn’t time to meet with the Israeli prime minister.

In the meantime the diplomatic corps apologizes for hurt feelings of Muslims. As if one individual’s insulting “The Prophet” justifies murder of those not involved. (Just for the record one of “The Prophet’s” wives was nine.)

Islam is a totalitarian culture that does not understand personal freedom or responsibility. Islam isolated itself centuries ago because it believed it had nothing to learn from the West; as a result it completely missed the industrial revolution and relegated itself to the dustbin of history.

They produce some oil, developed by westerners, intolerance, poverty and terrorism. When they feel insulted, they know no response other than to attack someone who represents a better way of life.

Their population is held in check by jealousy, brutality and hatred. They do not like us because we have a much better way of life and we are not Muslim. When they attack, they do so with great violence because that is their culture.

The latest Americans murdered by Islamists were in Afghanistan when an Afghani guard post came under fire. U.S. troops responded to their rescue and were murdered by the guards. These attacks have little to do with any stupid movie, rather they are the result of the domestic politics of a backward culture trying to hold onto or gain power. Should one wish to experience a real war on women, simply choose and travel to any nation basing its legal system on Shari’a, Islamic law.

The attack on our embassies was met by such a tepid response from the White House that I couldn’t help but remember Jimmy Carter and his utter incompetence in handling the Iranian hostage situation in November 1979.

Perhaps a better term for our president’s engagement is indifference. We are not loved, liked, feared nor respected as a result of the administration’s indifference, inaction and apologies. As a result, we are certain to be attacked again.

KENNETH BROWNLEE
Grand Junction

It’s time to revisit the original intent of Constitution and amendments

Floating around are comments that we have lost our country as we knew it or are in the process of doing so. Think about this:  The U.S. Constitution and federal courts are no longer viable concerns. Just examine the recent executive orders from the White House. Just about every concern that would require a congressional or judicial decree has been bypassed by an executive order. Does this mean “Let the king rule!”  Heaven forbid, please.

Some are insinuating that the current administration is the cause of this. If history is examined you will find that for at least the last 50 years or more (and other isolated cases before that), executive orders have been issued by nearly every president, regardless of party. A gradual taking control by the executive branch is now climaxing.

I have been classed as an extreme radical for my thoughts, but here are some anyhow. I say let’s go back to the late 1700s and start all over with the original intent of our Constitution and amendments. Throw all of the rascals out, regardless of party, and start afresh with stricter controls on our elected officials. Nullify and void numerous and various laws/regulations that have helped cause such a mess. Radical thoughts, yes, but we have to do something.

Realistically what can we do?  Vote intelligently and not be lemmings.

LARRY M. HEAD
Hotchkiss

City would benefit more by beautifying waterfront

Your chamber of commerce would have you believe that a business can buy a piece of riverfront land and subsequently claim the right to have the property rezoned to suit their industrial needs. That is to say, one industry trumps the vision and planning of an entire city.

Your city council, somehow, finds it in the best interest of its citizens to concede to industry, forever, right smack in the middle of your once-trashed-now-rehabilitated riverfront.

As a member of the downtown business community, I am fearful of a city that can bless industrial zoning into existence next to a landmark park and river that happens to be the soul of its being. I am fearful of a city that thinks less of all the businesses that have already invested in being downtown and that would prosper immensely from thoughtful development of the riverfront and a corridor linking downtown. I am fearful of a city that can’t hold onto its own vision. Businesses, beware!

The city’s ambition is to become “the most livable city west of the Rockies by 2025.” Show me one city in the 21st century that has prospered by placing industry on its waterfront, and I will show you 50 that have benefited more from developing waterfronts and natural assets into the amenities that bring citizens, new business, and visitors to the thriving soul of the city.

I invite anyone with a stake in celebrating Las Colonias Park and Amphitheater (theater, symphony, recreation, businesses) to join me in turning around the damage that our council and chamber would wish upon this city by reintroducing industry on the river.

Make no mistake; this was our city council’s error to rectify. It now rests in your hands to vote on the future of a city and its river in April.

DAVID CALE

Grand Junction



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