Email letters, September 3,  2013

In light of domestic issues, Congress must vote no on Syria

We can’t negotiate meaningful bipartisan solutions to our current debates on health care, the wages we pay our workers, a concise federal energy policy, Wall Street reform, funding of education, federal taxing and spending, the direction of our economy or many other important social issues. Why then can Congress and the American people “unite” around the use of military force, once again, in a foreign country’s civil war?

They say the recent use of chemical weapons is the “real” reason for bombing targets within Syria. So, the recent killing of thousands of citizens before then must have been all right because no chemicals were used.

We now call men and women in war “assets,” not people. This weekend that the Defense Department said 20,000 assets had been moved into the area. I guess when people get killed our “assets” go down. Another word spin just like “shock and awe.”

Why can Republicans and Democrats come together and approve the bombing of Syria this week? Why do we think that external events are a bigger threat to our freedoms, than our egregious internal problems? Maybe it is because we still haven’t been humbled enough to acknowledge that we are facing a deteriorating culture and economic way of life not seen since the Great Depression, not from events outside our borders but from those within them. The past economic meltdown and anemic recovery seem to have taught us nothing about humility.

Americans have an abject denial that we are not the world’s leader in most important areas. The use of our “military industrial complex” is a red herring, to divert Americans and the world away from our real problems?

This week we may choose to move a little closer to our ultimate destiny, as the old aphorism says: Nothing fails like success.

If Congress votes no, it may not prevent war with Syria, but it will definitely make it much harder. Our leaders have not voted together for anything meaningful in the last few years. Let’s hope they are consistent with their recent track record — not only for our country’s sake but also for the safety of the world.

Most panhandlers too lazy to work, should leave town

On Sunday morning I was parked in the Walmart parking lot at 2545 Rim Rock Avenue while my wife was doing our weekly grocery shopping.

While watching the people coming and going from the store, I noticed a man and a lady, estimated to be in their early 30s, exiting a car parked in a space behind me. 
The lady, moderately well dressed, walked to and entered the store. Her male companion, who was very unkempt, with filthy, long hair, etc. walked toward the store and sat for a time under the building overhang to the right of the entrance/exit doors.

After several minutes he returned to their vehicle, a mid-size sedan about five years old with Colorado tags.

He opened a rear door of the sedan, allowing his “sympathy” dog to jump out.  He also removed a moderately large piece of cardboard that turned out to be his “panhandlers” sign.  Walking, he left the parking area to sit, with his sympathy dog, at the corner of the Walmart parking lot access road and Rimrock Avenue.

He flashed his sign at us as we left the parking area.

While I agree with some of the content of Chip Page’s letter, “Give to local charities, not to area panhandlers.” which was published in The Daily Sentinel Sunday, I have little sympathy for any panhandler. In my opinion, most of them are too lazy to work.

And, from my perspective, while the various charitable organizations are doing some good, they are mostly enabling the panhandling community. For example, a person does not have to be homeless to get a meal at Catholic Outreach.

I would gladly contribute to a fund to purchase bus tickets to get the panhandlers out of our town.

Grand Junction

Beware of services offering free credit scores
SCAM: Do not contact any service offering free credit scores. My last Discover Card statement contained a charge for $29.95 from OTLScoresense. I called the 800 number and was offered a hookup to a “hot male.” (I’m 86 — couldn’t handle one, anyway!)

The Discover Card rep got a Scoresense rep on the line. There’s no available phone number. Further checking found it is a site in Texas that has “customers” to whom they sell any information you give. After a heated discussion, I was assured the charge would be removed and my record destroyed. I am waiting to see.

I could not get an address from the clerk, went to their website and could find NO PLACE to make a complaint or write a letter. Beware.

Grand Junction
Colorado legislators fail to check in with constituents on key issues

Seven in the House of Representatives and two in the U. S senate represent folks in Colorado in the U.S. Congress. From time to time, our two senators and our representative favor those of us who wish with e-mail newsletters. It is fascinating to read these, as in most cases we learn where their priorities are.

This writer has always been under the impression that these folks are to represent us in Washington. All too frequently, however, our two senators seem to be preoccupied with issues at the national level rather than those here at home.

Two very recent newsletters dealt with the immigration (amnesty) issue and with voting rights. Sen. Bennet is a member of the so-called Gang of Eight, while Sen. Udall concerns himself with recent Supreme Court decisions about voting rights. There are, of course, interests here at home concerning amnesty, but Bennet refuses to comment on the effects of amnesty on those of his constituents who continue to be unemployed. There are hardly (if any) concerns at all here in Colorado about voting rights. I know of no instances where Colorado citizens are denied the right to vote.

My point is, however, neither of our two senators ever learn the desires of Colorado constituents about these two issues or any other. The congressional six-week recess is coming to an end, and we’ve not seen hide no hair of either senator or Scott Tipton, as well. Tipton has done many town hall meetings (even close by) during the recess but none here in Grand Junction, the fourth largest city in our state. T

The consistent claim by Bennet and Udall is that their senatorial votes represent the interests and desires of their constituents is ridiculous and a total fabrication. When is the last time that all three (individually) were here in Grand Junction for a full-fledged town hall meeting? It would seem perhaps that fear dictates travel destinations.

Another rare, and vital, opportunity now presents itself for all three to learn of the desires of their constituents on the Syrian affair. I’ll certainly let them know of my opinions on this matter, but the prospect of them showing any interest of how Coloradans feel is slim indeed.


Grand Junction

John Justman column perpetuates sense of victimhood on West Slope

This letter is regarding the Sentinel column, “Free-market policies aid county, not green energy subsidies” by John Justman in Sunday’s edition.

While the column is full of mistakes and inaccurate data, it also perpetuates a very lingering attitude of many residents living here that the rural West Slope towns (e.g. Grand Junction) and its people are “victims” of mandates from Denver and D.C. Woe are we! I have found throughout my career that most mandates or regulations are pretty much earned.

As long as we (those that do) continue to exude this attitude and another very prevalent local attitude, anger, I am thinking about something I was taught a long, long time ago; “Don’t be thinking and wishing for things you do not want; they just may come true for you.”

Justman’s comments may “ring the bell” to many here; however, they will do nothing to help foster a relationship with “the other side,” as I have heard the Denver Metro referred to by many. And that, too, may be just fine with some people; however, Mesa County is not the “United States of Mesa” and leadership (both county and city) should just knock it off.

This county, or any other Colorado county, as pointed out in a letter to the editor on Aug. 28 by B. Smith, is not financially (as well as some other services) capable of fully supporting itself without state and/or federal assistance.

To sum this up, I wonder what kind of hypocritical or guilt feeling(s) Justman has as he deposits and spends his (our/taxpayer) $200,000+ in federal farm subsidies he has received, or possibly he intends to repay us all? Once again, John, “Don’t be wishing…” Oh, and also remember that old value, “Don’t throw stones at a glass house.”

Grand Junction

Events in Syria echo those in Iraq under Saddam Hussein

There are many similarities between what is happening in Syria under the rule of Bashar al-Assad and what transpired under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Both were/are ruthless, oppressive dictators who used chemical weapons on their own people (1500+ Kurds for Hussein).

When Bush was confronted with this issue, he sent troops in with a clear mission to dethrone the despot — an action the liberals were quick to condemn. According to Obama’s 2008 campaign, the war in Iraq was a farce and the “real” war was in Afghanistan. Really? What IS our objective in Afghanistan? Fighting the Taliban? To what end? As soon as we leave, they will still be fighting to have things as they were thousands of years ago.

Meanwhile, against the objections of military leaders, we pulled troops out of Iraq too soon and sent them to fight Obama’s war. You don’t hear anything out of the liberals about Afghanistan, though. After all, it was sanctioned by their “king.”

So, now Obama is faced with the SAME circumstances Bush was and his response is: We’ll “punish” Assad by sending a few cruise missiles his way. And, by the way, we’ll let them know ahead of time, so they can move their military assets and probably, like Hussein, stage some civilians near or at the target sites.

I am convinced the ONLY reason Obama is taking any action at all is because he “drew a red line” on the use of chemical weapons, which was probably just an attempt to upstage the Israeli prime minister, and now his ego must be fulfilled. We cannot afford to continue policing the world, but if military action is to be taken it must have clear objectives, which implies there is an end once the objectives are obtained.

We have an administration that never learned how to play checkers now playing chess on the world stage (with real lives at stake), and it doesn’t even know how the pieces move.

Grand Junction

As rest of world refuses to act, U.S. should not involve itself in Syria

Why does the whole world wait to see what the United States will do when something bad happens in some other country? We need to butt out and wait to see what the rest of the world is going to do about Syria. This is not our battle as none of the others were either. If the president wants to battle the country, then he should take his gun-toting buddies with him, jump onto a plane, go over there and settle this issue. If he can’t do this, then we need to mind our own business and wait to see what the rest of the world will do to settle this conflict.

Grand Junction
Large companies more interested in bottom line than in their employees

Ah, those conservatives …  got to love ‘em. This letter is in response to Richad Blosser’s criticism in The Daily Sentinel Aug. 30 of my viewpoint on low-paying jobs and how it’s affecting Middle America.

I made no mention of corporations not providing jobs; on the contrary, they are our largest employers next to the federal government. I was pointing out the fact increasingly their workers are now coming to them through employment agencies and are paid a low wage. Many times these “temps” previously worked for the same company in the same position or department, as full-time employees at a higher pay rate before being caught in the “downsizing” game.

Large companies aren’t interested in how members of the middle class pay their bills; they’re only interested in how they do in the stock market to keep their stockholders happy and to push their financial officers to continually find ingenious ways to increase the bottom line. Using employment agencies is one of those ways.

You don’t need to always look at happenings in our world through political eyes; there is more to life than a conservative or liberal way of thinking. Why, reading Josh Penry’s column in The Daily Sentinel Friday on football and how we are all turning into wusses, I found myself completely agreeing with him, and there cannot be a more conservative person on this planet than Penry. It’s easy to read in a neutral frame of mind if you put your mind to it.


Giving monument park status won’t guarantee more tourism

National parks are the “best of the best” in their unique and outstanding natural features. Denali, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier and Crater Lake, to name a few, are examples of our best. They are generally remote from many urban areas and are large in size, and they have features that are not found elsewhere.

If the natural features of the Colorado National Monument can compare to the best, then it is worthy of designation as a national park. However, if its natural features are similar to other areas in the region, it should remain a monument.

National Park Service statistics show that both the Sand Dunes and Black Canyon have decreased in annual visitors since they were designated parks while the monument has continued to increase during the same period. Thus, upgrading to park status is no guarantee of greater tourism numbers translating into local economic gain.

If the primary reason for changing the monument to a national park is now focused on a perceived economic gain for the area, then there is no reason that all monuments should not be upgraded to park status to benefit their local areas. But that may not be a given.

Potential economic gain should not be the deciding factor. Giving the monument national park status may not put it in the “best of the best” category in the opinion of future visitors, which may have a negative impact on the local area. Make the change if it truly meets the values that the best have to offer. Being a great monument is not all bad.


Recreational trails by canals would complicate water management

Are you aware, irrigation water in western Colorado is a very precious commodity. So, if you were running a business, would you welcome general unrestricted access by the public to your operation and facilities?

If you did so, would you find impacts during emergency situations and normal operation that would affect your ability, safety and costs to provide the necessary services involved? Perhaps you would have situations with the public that you would have to police and encounter liability problems, all for the fun and access of the public. And what about their safety in an environment with water?

So, if your ditch easements go through many, many front yards and backyards, your shareholders in these areas would welcome access by the general public at all hours of the day, with anything they wanted to do, no matter how this affects your security, peace and quiet, and perhaps your personal property and livelihood. Why would you let someone diminish your property rights?

Frankly, there is nothing wrong with a “common sense” realization that public access does not always mix with every liberal idea and, as such, the trail development on irrigation ditches. These trail planning efforts and money need to be concentrated in other areas, not irrigation provider ditches.

We are already blessed with many existing trail opportunities in our area, and these can be enjoyed by anyone. There are also many other opportunities for future trail development, probably more so than any place I have ever been.

However, this is western Colorado, and the flow of irrigation water over the 100+ years is precious and worth protecting at any costs. Our future challenges with adequate water for all of the state are enormous. Please do not complicate our efforts with recreational trails on the very lifeblood lines of our valley. You need to support and respect the irrigators’ efforts to continue to “green” this wonderful valley in the lifestyle we enjoy.

Board President, Redlands Water & Power
Grand Junction


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