Email letters, Sept. 24, 2012

Find out how candidates would vote on PERA issues

With the election coming, public employees and retirees need to be aware of what the candidates know and how they would vote on PERA issues. During the last legislative session, seven bills as well as three initiatives were introduced. If passed, they would have weakened and/or eliminated our retirement package that we are paying for as we do our job. 

The sponsors would have us believe that PERA should be reformed, effectively ignoring the comprehensive legislation enacted in 2010 that returned PERA to long-term sustainability. Their efforts would weaken and eventually dismantle a system that has worked for more than 80 years.  Contrary to their arguments, PERA has never been and never will be a burden to the Colorado taxpayer. When a public job is required, a public employee is hired to do it, and a shared contribution to that employee’s retirement is enacted.

PERA payments are a critical source of reliable, predictable income and provide an automatic economic stabilizing effect on state, regional and local economies, especially in economic downturns as these monies provide important stimulus in market activity.  When a household receives PERA benefit payments, it represents an infusion of income into the local economy that creates a chain of economic activities whose total impact is greater than the initial benefit payments. 

The question that every candidate should have to answer to get our vote is, why weaken and eventually eliminate an economic stabilizer that is vital to every business in the state, generates $230 million in tax revenue and creates more than 23,000 jobs?

Colorado School and Public Employee Retirement Association

Air show had fast planes, but auto traffic out of parking lots moved at snail’s pace

The air show had poor event planning when it came to parking. We parked in the far-east dirt lot (the one inside the perimeter fence) on Saturday. When it came time to leave, we left early to try and beat the rush. We sat in that lot for 45 minutes before we even started moving.

When we made it down to the lower lot, it was almost completely empty. They let all the cars in the lower lot out first. I don’t know if this was because there were no parking sentries or what. To top it all off, when we finally met a guy directing traffic by the street, he was only letting out five cars at a time in our line compared to 25 in the other.

I don’t know what the event planners were thinking, but this was not acceptable when there was only one way out of the lots. I think opening up more avenues of exiting would have been prudent.

Grand Junction

Bullseye:  Letter on foreign aid was right on target

The letter in The Daily Sentinel on Wednesday, Sept. 19 that was headlined, “Who decides how much and to whom we give foreign aid” was right on target.

Also, who decides how much our current president is allowed to spend and how much has he spent since taking office? This should be public information and printed in all newspapers. “Who decides?”


Grand Junction

BLM invites public to meetings on Piceance Basin development

On behalf of the Bureau of Land Management, I’d like to invite you to one of several public meetings about managing oil and natural gas development over the next 20 years on a large part of the Piceance Basin, a place rich in both energy and wildlife resources.

The BLM’s White River Field Office in Meeker recently released a draft plan outlining multiple alternatives for managing the expected increase in oil and natural gas development on 1.7 million acres of federal mineral resources in Rio Blanco County, southern Moffat County and a small part of northern Garfield County.

The White River Resource Management Plan Oil and Gas Development Amendment looks at the potential impacts of this anticipated development and proposes various options for mitigating those impacts. With most of the area already leased, BLM’s task is to find innovative ways for managing this increasing development while minimizing impacts to wildlife and other sensitive resources.

The plan and supporting documents are available online at You can learn more and have your questions answered at one of the open-house meetings we will hold throughout the region.

Stop by anytime between 4 and 7 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds in Meeker, Sept. 25 at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Weiss Building in Rangely, Sept. 26 at the BLM Colorado River Valley Field Office in Silt, or Sept. 27 at the Clarion Inn in Grand Junction.

We’ll have brief presentations at 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. each night and a wide variety of specialists available to tell you more about the draft plan. We’ll take written comment at the meetings, or you can take the information with you and provide comments later. The public comment period closes Dec. 14. 

Field Manager
BLM White River Field Office

Will pride goeth after a fall from power?

Just wondering: If Barack loses, will Michele not be “proud” to be an American again?

Grand Junction

Romney’s tax returns not of interest

I’m pretty tired of hearing about Mitt Romney and his tax returns. Generally I couldn’t give a rat about a candidate’s tax return. As long as the IRS isn’t going after them, I figure they’re working within the law.

I guess I came to that viewpoint after Bill Clinton took his famous $5 per pair of used underwear deduction and still got elected. Twice.

Grand Junction

Hardworking farmers should kick back, go on food stamps

It is widely acknowledged the U.S. has an obesity problem that is only getting worse.  Exacerbating this problem are the some 48 million Americans who get food stamps so they can have free food.  Free food and no activity make for excess weight. 

The solution is obvious.  All that has to be done is for hardworking farmers to do what others are doing in increasing numbers—take advantage of all the freebies government cannot afford but still offers, stop working and go on food stamps.  With no food being produced and more people getting it for free, we will start becoming very thin very fast.

Grand Junction

Signing Taxpayer Protection Pledge verges on sedition

The behavior of Republican members of the U.S. Senate, House and some state legislatures borders on sedition. Webster: Sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization that tends toward disloyalty to one’s country or its government. It’s regarded as one step short of treason.

Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell keeps repeating: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” He requires all Republican senators to support this obstructionism by voting NO to anything Obama wants, such as more jobs. It’s loyalty to the Republican Party and disloyalty to the welfare of the United States.

Ninety-five percent of all Republican congressmen and senators have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in which candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases, while the nation gets deeper in debt. Grover Norquist, a lobbyist who holds no elective office, authored the pledge. Members of both houses of Congress are elected to represent the people in their districts or states. Signing the pledge breaches that trust and is disloyal. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan signed it.

Several states are attempting to change voting laws by requiring officially approved picture ID to vote. This will make it difficult, if not impossible, for many American citizens to vote, including the elderly, the poor and some college students. Republicans knowingly make these dishonest and disloyal changes because historically those affected vote for Democratic candidates.

These Republican leaders don’t deserve to be in office. Unthinking foolishness is voting the party line when you know it’s wrong. Wisdom is doing what you know is the right thing to do. I cannot vote for anyone who practices disloyal behavior. I will vote for candidates who hold the welfare of the United States before party loyalty.

Grand Junction

Hike up coverage of West Coast college football

When the University of Colorado recently joined the reorganized PAC-12 conference, I thought we would be getting good coverage of West Coast football.

Not only has this not happened, but also today’s article titled “Buffs battle back to upset Huskies” made me realize that the Sentinel’s sports department has no clue about football west of the Utah line. Washington State teams are the Cougars, and University of Washington teams are the Huskies. Ten other teams are in the conference, and at least three of them are nationally ranked.

How about giving the PAC-12 some coverage of their games and even the conference standings?

Grand Junction

Romney would use astute business skills in presidency

I just had to comment on Sunday’s (Sept. 23) article about how Romney’s 2011 tax return showed he and Ann paying $1,935,708 in capital gains tax. Bravo for them!

The comparison between Obama and Romney just shows how astute in business Gov. Romney will be as our president. Obama is working in the public sector where one’s income is fixed, whereas, in private industry one’s income is not fixed.

Everyone, please vote for Mitt Romney. He is our country’s only real hope and promise.

Grand Junction

Campaign invades every facet of life

Oh! Joy of joys. The media is blaring that Colorado is one of eight key swing states again. For most folks, the election can’t come soon enough. It’s ironic that the very people who profess to care about overspending are overspending to get elected and stop the overspending

Swing-state status looks like both blessing and curse, though. A blessing for the prestige of having voters who figure large in November. A blessing for the tourist industry what with all the media attention. A blessing for TV stations making mega-bucks running those repetitious political ads.

But, it’s a really big curse to the folks not politically inclined. To them, this campaign is a nuisance, maybe even an invasion of privacy. Every facet of life. Driving anywhere in a car, one’s vision is flooded with yard signs and billboard propaganda, messages and slogans. TV, radio, even the Internet have ads. It’s nonstop, wall-to-wall, pedal-to-the-metal “BS” with another month to go.

Makes you wonder why they spend so much money to irritate voters when most knew whom they were going to vote for all along.

Grand Junction

Women who fought for equality should accept private responsibility for birth control

Really, women! This is what it has come to? The women’s movement saw you fighting for equal pay for equal work—rightfully so—and equal rights in other areas. You marched, demonstrated, burned your bras and demanded the right to open your own doors! “I Am Woman! Hear Me Roar!” Remember?

You yelled your ability to stand on your own and be independent—as good as any man. Now you want help paying for your contraception choices? You want other people to pay for your recreational sex liability? Hmmm. I find that very odd. If you, as an individual female, have a male interest, whether a husband or a one-night stand, it would seem to me to dictate then that the two of you take on that responsibility and expense. Then you can rightfully claim equality.

Personally, I believe American women are too smart to be suckered by claims of “war on women” and allow that to be what defines their stance this election year. We have a $16 trillion debt and growing. I believe women are intelligent enough to realize that the 21 taxes hidden in the health care bill will cripple the middle class.

I believe women are onto deceitful men and wonder why this president says one thing when he knows the microphone is on and something else when he thinks it is off. Russia is no friend of the U.S., yet Obama was encouraging Putin to wait until after this election when he would have more flexibility to do things Putin wanted. Wise women will ask, “What is up with that?”

I believe smart women will see the vacuum of leadership in foreign policy, previously always filled by the U.S., and understand that the radical Islamists are rushing to fill it.

Clean the White House in November.



Irrational responses to free speech should not squelch it

This is in response to Neville Woodruff’s Sept. 23 letter castigating the Sentinel’s support of free speech and criticism of Muslim overreaction to the recent anti-Muslim video.

Does Woodruff really expect us to relinquish our right to free speech simply because someone, somewhere in the world might take offense and respond in an irrational manner? Yes, the anti-Muslim video was insulting to Islam, but I have a suggestion for radical Islamists: Grow up and get over it. Your version of Islam is less a religion than a totalitarian ideology akin to Stalinism or fascism.

Radical Islamists are not responsible members of world society. They demonstrate total intolerance of any but their own worldview.  They have no respect for individual rights at all. To surrender any of our constitutional rights to cater to such a group is to mock our entire history.

Woodruff claims the attacks on our embassies were “spontaneous demonstrations.” How absurd. Spontaneous demonstrations do not carry out coordinated attacks using sophisticated small arms and rocket-propelled grenades. Our own State Department states that, at least in Libya, the attacks were premeditated acts.

Woodruff concludes by asking how fundamentalist Christians would react if Muslims showed Jesus as a womanizer and buffoon. As a matter of fact, Christians suffer attacks on their religion throughout the Muslim world.  Muslim governments routinely harass, discriminate against and kill Christians in the Mideast, Africa and Asia.  I recall no violent “spontaneous demonstrations” against Islam in these countries. Oh, right, they would be shot down in the streets! 

Indeed, right here in the U.S. Christianity was insulted by the display of a crucifix immersed in a beaker of urine by the artist Andreas Serrano. No outraged Christians stormed the art gallery and murdered the artist or torched the gallery.

Yielding to the demands of primitive, savage, ideological fanatics is fruitless. Giving up any of our individual rights for fear of offending the likes of radical Islamists means we are defeated.

Full disclosure: I am an agnostic and a member of no religious group of any kind.


Weak man, government may be just the ticket

Would we really be that bad off if Obama gets reelected?

I was just sitting here pondering as to what would happen if Obama gets reelected. We would find out how much money we can spend before the huge amount of debt tanks the stock markets, spikes interest rates to double digits and puts the economy into a downward spiral.

I am sure a lot of people would like to know how much debt we can pile on. It would be like a history lesson.

We can relax about being self-sufficient in oil and gas. When the price gets too high, simple, we stop driving. These government people try to make things so damn complicated. Sure, America has more than adequate reserves to be self-sufficient but it is putting it off for the future. A mile not driven today will be a mile saved for tomorrow. We also could sell oil for food and grow more corn.

Think positive. Corn is great: it can be processed as food, liquor and fuel. It is amazing. If you own a cornfield, you can eat, get drunk and have your mother pick you up at the bar.

We don’t have to worry about Iran; Obama is so docile, Iran can build a nuclear weapon and he will not do anything about it. Iran is not stupid enough to attack Israel; all they have to do is wait out Obama. There will be no Iranian war with Israel while Obama is president. What a relief!

Vote for Obama and relax. Take a blip out of history and maybe live to tell about it. Sometimes a weak man and government can work. History just hasn’t given them enough time.

Grand Junction

It’s time for Americans to benefit from domestic energy sources

In 2008, candidate Obama said he would free our country from foreign oil by 2018 through an “all of the above” energy policy, but what has President Obama done to make it so?

He banned offshore drilling in Alaska as well as both coasts of the contiguous United States while he loaned Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez $2 billion to finance his offshore drilling effort, vowing to be their best customer.

On the other hand, Obama refused to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline from our Canadian allies, citing as rationale its route through a pristine, environmentally sensitive area. This pristine area, by the way, has had hundreds of miles of underground oil and gas pipelines for two decades. He put regulations in place that shut down 57 U.S. coal plants in 2012, even though our country is the world’s Saudi Arabia of coal. He bought wind power generators from China. Oh, I almost forgot, he sank $1 billion into solar energy companies that are now bankrupt.

I think these actions belie Obama’s “all the above” energy words. It’s time to put Americans back to work, developing our own oil, natural gas and coal. If we need to supplement our resources, we should do so from our Canadian allies, not a Venezuela dictator.

Colorado Springs

Christians would react differently to attacks on Jesus

I am responding to a letter to the editor in Sunday’s paper that was written in defense of the recent worldwide outcry of Muslims over the terrible anti-Islamic film made here in the USA.  The writer told us to think about a Muslim-created video that pictured Jesus in a negative light and then he asked the question, “How would fundamentalist Christians react?”

I am a Christian who believes the fundamental, historical doctrines of Christianity, and I would be must happy to answer his question.

I am 59 and have witnessed many public displays of Jesus that were degrading. Movies that portray Jesus in ways which are unflattering, art works financed by my own government which picture Jesus in contemptible ways.  We do not have to wait until Jesus has been mocked and ridiculed; that has already happened.  The belittling of Jesus began almost 2,000 years ago and has continued from that time until now.

So, how do I react? How do real fundamentalist Christians react? Our sacred writings, the Bible, call for us to love our enemies, pray for those who would use us and to proclaim with love the truth of the Gospel. I would never send my son with bombs strapped to his body to kill those who disagree with me. 





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I believe that it was the US Export/Import Bank that made $2b in loan guarantees available to PetroBras (Brazilian) with the the stipulation that they have to spend the money on US services and products.  I know it doesn’t sound as good as Obama lending Hugo Chavez $2 billion, but…

Contrary to the “conventional wisdom” espoused by a Sentinel editorial—“It’s not the ‘Bain’ of our economy” (May 31, 2012) and Dr. Barbara Ann Smith’s on-line letter – “Romney would use astute business skills in presidency” – Romney’s purported “astute business skills” (as evidenced by his capital gains taxes) and business bona fides at Bain Capital constitute dubious credentials for the job of President.
  In fact, Romney was a “welfare king”—the direct beneficiary of a $10 million loan write-off by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the indirect beneficiary of “corporate welfare” redistributed to Bain Capital through a distorted and unfair tax code, but all in the name of mythological “free enterprise”.
  The financial strategy of Bain Capital was to cherrypick companies ripe for take-over because of their cash-on-hand or fully funded pension plans.  When Bain Capital infused private equity into a marginal or failing business and allowed that endeavor to survive, Romney justifiably made money.  Because of a change in the lax law, profits distributed to partners in a venture capital firm are taxed as capital gains, not “income”.
  However, if that business failed, Bain Capital did not loose its investors’ money (as one would rightly expect in the context of true “capitalism”), but rather made money – having legally absconed with the business’s cash reserves and/or mortgaged its pension funds (which were insured by the federal government and thus by American taxpayers).
  Moreover, taxpayers also picked up the tab for unemployment benefits payable to the hundreds (if not thousands) of former employees who had lost their jobs; for the Food Stamps for which many of those now newly jobless workers became eligible; and for the emergency room visits and other medical expenses incurred by families who had lost their medical insurance – thanks to Bain Capital’s involvement.
  Romney and Bain Capital used financial spreadsheets to maximize profits by targetting “low hanging fruit” – and by “outsourcing” thousand of American jobs.
  The decisions faced by a President of the United States are not so easily reducable to spreadsheets.  Those decisions are addressed by subordinates in the various cabinet departments.  The President deals with only the most difficult decisions – where there may be no “right answers” – and cannot cherrypick the challenges he will confront.
  Therefore, Romney’s purported business acumen and tax-avoiding profit-making does not qualify him to be President.  Rather, President Obama’s proven record of sound judgment and actual presidential experience should prompt everyone to vote for his reelection.  Romney is a self-serving fraud – offering no “real hope and promise”. 

                Bill Hugenberg

Juanita hit the nail on the head.  We all want to screw around but we want others to pay for it.
No wonder this country is broke.
Instead of blaming the government or our neighbors or our past for our troubles maybe we should look at our ownselves.

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