Email letters, September 5,  2013

Heighten enjoyment of football by placing dumpsters on field


In his column on new football rules (Aug. 30), Josh Penry bewails the imminent “dispensation” of a new “targeting” rule. The word Penry was groping for is “implementation.” The prime definition of “dispensation” is “exemption,” the exact opposite.

Penry claims, “You can learn a lot from a society based on the state of play on the fields of athletic competition.” But he offers no examples.

Scots toss cabers and invented golf. What can Josh derive from these activities?  Englishmen and Pakistanis stage world championships in cricket. Penry must see some similarities in the psyche of these two nations that has been lost on the rest of us.

Poland has produced a significant number of world-class mountaineers. Australia has very few, though neither nation possesses any alpine geography. Something in the water?

As for blocking below the “waste,” an exercise Penry favors, it actually might add to the fun to watch football played with a few dumpsters placed on the field.

My thanks to Penry for an unintentionally funny column.

DAVID L. MCWILLIAMS
Grand Junction

President Obama’s drawing of red line no valid reason for Syrian intervention

Our country is perched on the precipice of making a disastrous decision to pursue a military intervention into a country that is in the middle of a religious and sectarian civil war.

Our president made a ill-advised decision a year ago to draw a “red line” on the use of chemical weapons, and now that it has been crossed, he feels his honor or reputation is at stake, so he wants us to once again become involved in a military conflict that has absolutely no vital strategic interest to the citizens of our country.

His administration is stretching all credibility to make a case for this action, on some sort of a high moral standing. What about all its humanitarian compassion over the last two years when more than 100,000 lives were lost, with nothing but some dithering on the part of Obama?

Each and every one of us needs to contact our senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennett, and our representative, Scott Tipton, and let them know that we are not in favor of any military action in Syria. It may be one of the most important phone calls you can ever make.

LARRY KONTZ
Montrose

Private, not public, sector must grow to speed recovery

You get many blank stares when you debate supply-side versus demand-side economics. An example of the thinking of “demand-siders” is “You didn’t build that business.” Of course, businesses develop to meet a demand, but the primary source of that demand is the wages of workers, not government slush funds. Sure, in bad times the government can prime the demand pump, but that does not provide sustainable healthy growth and the true source of demand, jobs. Government can become a drag on an economy.

In the past four years we have seen the demand-siders in control; the result of that effort has been unquestionably slow growth and growing debt, to the point of nearly sinking our ship. Government spending does create demand, but is that demand healthy and sustainable? Where the shift is to government planning over free markets, as in socialist states, the inefficiencies become clear. Do we want to become like many European countries we see today? The demand-siders, “liberals,” do.

Those most negatively impacted by the Obama economy are his strongest supporters. Young, single women and minorities have fared the worst. During this recovery median black income fell by $4,000, Hispanic households by $2,000 and female-headed households by $2,300.

The government will not reverse this trend. It will take stronger growth in the private sector, and that will only come when growth in government is slowed. That is supply-side economics. I call it common sense.

DAVID KEARSLEY
Mesa

Belief that school board elections are nonpartisan ignores reality

“It’s what’s best for the kids!”  How many times have I heard that?  The problem, of course, is that we don’t always agree. And while it’s true that school board elections are nonpartisan, we can’t ignore the issues. Anyone who insists he or she is nonpartisan is ignoring reality.

Some disagreements are theoretical. The math wars, which have been going on for practically forever, are a good example. Traditional method of memorization and drill, or the “new” method, which has students seeking familiarity with mathematical concepts?  Always a good subject to arouse passion. Personally, I don’t understand why both methods can’t be used, but I am then reminded that I am not a math teacher.

Some are philosophical. Building students’ “self-esteem” and, perhaps, harming their psyche by using a red pencil, and the whole area of promotion vs. retention are continuing disagreements.

And, in our increasingly contentious relationships, some are political. Insistence on teaching global warming (excuse me … climate change) as an incontrovertible fact, rather than asking students to gather evidence on both sides of the issue and form their own conclusions, is political!

A strong American history curriculum with emphasis on the constitution vs. Howard Zinn on the evils of our founders is political. Identifying the teaching of Social Justice as a positive trait for   quality teachers (as DPS recently did) is political.

When the infamous Breakfast After the Bell bill was making its way through the Colorado Legislature this past year, numerous superintendents spoke to me about their opposition (and I had no idea to what political party they belonged), and when, in spite of local control violation and the obvious message of distrust of local district motives, it passed, that was political.

Almost all of the charter school votes we have taken at CDE resulted in 4-3 votes in favor of the charter. That, too, was political.

We all, state and local, realize that we have a duty to see each student receive the best possible education. However, we are burying our heads in the sand if we continue to maintain, “It’s all about what’s best for the kids!”

MARCIA NEAL
Grand Junction


Obama has scant international or domestic support on Syria

All morning the talking heads have been dancing around the facts of Obama’s present Syrian problem.

As I see it, and what they’re carefully not saying is, he cannot get U.N. support because of Russia’s veto power on the Security Council, he clearly doesn’t have the juice or talent to persuade major western powers (save for France, but so what?) to join him in some cooperative action, and he didn’t dare take unilateral action because he would bring down a load of national wrath on his head and that of the Democratic Party.

So, once again appearing weak and indecisive on the world stage, he cops out by going cap in hand to Congress to get its support and, if successful, thus will be able to claim the “will of the people” without ever having to consult the people themselves. Why don’t the so-called political pundits just say so? I’m so tired of the media pussyfooting around political egos.

The Democrats and he will definitely have to pay a very steep political price, individually and collectively, to get a “yes” from Congress. With Congressional support, he still faces a serious dilemma, both domestic and international. Syria isn’t Granada. If Congress says no, then what? He’s back to square one with egg on his face.

No matter what he does, he will not appear strong, decisive and in command. It’s really too late for that, although the Dems will do their very best, with the help of sympathetic media, to spin it and try to make him look a less weak and inept leader. No matter what he does or how he does it, he’s in a no-win situation at home, in the Middle East and everywhere else in the world.

Unhappily, without a resounding public outpouring of support (public, not congressional) this whole Syrian brouhaha boils down to internal D.C. party power politics as usual. And the dead get lost in the shuffle.

T. STREFF
Grand Junction

Jimmy Carter is now second weakest commander in chief

It has been challenging for many of us to understand the Obama strategy pertaining to the Syrian regime.

First, we hear the bellicose “red line” statement regarding “the movement or use of chemical weapons,” then the normal backtracking to more of a dotted red line, once it was clearly determined that chemical weapons had already been used several times.

Then on Sept. 4, he stated, “I didn’t set a red line, the world did.” Hmmm. After two years more than100,000 Syrian civilians have been murdered by the regime. And now, after another deployment of chemical weapons with even greater casualties, Obama vows that he must, under the banner (or guise) of humanitarian purposes, launch an attack on the Syrian regime. Why? Well, because they must be punished for killing 1,400 innocent civilians with chemical weapons.

In other words, when Obama drew the red line regarding chemical weapons, he essentially provided Assad with a default go-ahead to kill innocent civilians by the thousands, so long as they were only killed by means other than chemical weapons, such as shooting, bombing, stabbing, etc. So now, Obama has a plan to attack Syrian forces, providing the world and the Syrian regime, with the type and quantity of bombs likely to be used and the likely targets, and he states the attack will most likely last for hours, not days, then maybe several days.

But the most important thing is that the regime will now have weeks to relocate vital defense infrastructure to avoid catastrophic damages, while Obama chooses to get the support of Congress, you know, the way that he didn’t involve them with the go-it-alone attack on Libya.

It is clear that Obama hopes to gain political cover with a “yes” vote from Congress, as France is the only other ally that he has. And he is thinking that congressional approval will help him out of the box that he painted himself into with his red line. Just how weak, feckless and indecisive can a commander in chief possibly be? Hillary Clinton was right about his inability to “answer that 3 a.m. call,” and Jimmy Carter must be tickled to know that he has now been relegated to the second weakest commander in chief in American history.

DON BOYLES
Grand Junction

As price of gas shoots up, city should reinstall trolley system

We all know that gas at the gas station isn’t getting any cheaper, and I dread the thought of the time when it reaches $10 per gallon. Anyway, I think that the time is right for the reinstallation of a Grand Junction trolley system. I say reinstall because Grand Junction used to have a streetcar system.

Grand Junction does have a good bus system, but all the buses still run on fossil fuels. Eventually this is going to get expensive, either for the city or for the people riding the buses.

ERIC SEVERANCE
Grand Junction

Anti-business federal policies cause cuts in employees’ hours

John Borgen seems to have missed the whole point of my letter to the editor. My point was that Obamacare and the Obama administration’s anti-business policies are causing companies to change the way they employ the people that work for them, such as cutting their hours and benefits.

I agree that we need both companies and consumers that want the products that the companies make to have a healthy economy. Businesses will go out of business if they have products that the consumers do not want, such as Solyndra in California, which was bankrolled by the Obama administration.

RICHARD BLOSSER
Grand Junction



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Mesa’s prolific letter-writing lemming – Dave Kearsley – is at it again (“Private, not public, sector must grow to speed recovery”), spreading nonsense as if it were gospel.
A “blank stare” is an appropriate response to his profound intellectual dishonesty.

Indeed, the depth of Kearsley’s silly sophistry is revealed by his resort to a favorite Repugnican theme from the Romney-Ryan campaign, which took President Obama’s words out of context to falsely claim that he’d asserted “You didn’t build that business”.

What President Obama actually said was “You didn’t build that” – referring to all of the elements of an “ordered society” (roads, bridges, airports, internet, courts, etc.) which governments “built” and upon which businesses depended both for their success and to protect the fruits of their entrepreneurial enterprise.

Kearsley’s next reveals his pathological schizophrenia by admitting that he too is still a Keynesian – conceding that “in bad times the government can prime the pump” to both augment and stimulate lagging private-sector demand.

Kearsely then re-writes history by ignoring the fact that – since 2010 – his ideological “supply-side” soulmates have been in effective control of our slow economic recovery, fear-mongering about deficits and debt, holding the economy hostage to debt limits, destructively threatening government “shut downs”, and imposing needless austerity and sequesters when low-interest government investments in infrastructure and jobs would accelerate recovery.

Because Kearsley starts (as always) from false premises, he reaches false conclusions – even though the structure of his syllogism is impeccable.  Thus, “those most negatively impacted by” Repugnican sabotage of our economic recovery are President Obama’s “strongest supporters” – who rejected Kearsley’s economic poppycock in 2012.

Because “young, single women, and minorities have fared the worst” when Repugnicans pursue “VooDoo Economics”, they likely will continue bursting Kearsley’s balloon.

Because “growth in government” has already been slowed, Kearsley’s “common sense” in these “bad times” demands more – not less—government stimulus.

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