Printed Letters: Aug. 21, 2014

Government handouts to blame in Ferguson
So, who’s to blame for what’s happening in Ferguson? I blame the government. Because we took the “handout” approach instead of offering “hand up” help beginning with FDR’s New Deal, we now have four generations of inner-city Americans that are totally dependent on the government.

With free housing, free food, free medical care, free phones, etc. what possible motivation do they have to provide for themselves?

Many have supplemented their income with illegal activities and have a blatant disregard for authority. While many more African-Americans ( I hate the fact that we hyphenate “Americans”) are seeing the bigger picture and speaking out, there remains a strong culture that will use any excuse to riot, loot, and destroy private property. I would wager a fair amount that none of the looters are business owners (or at least legitimate business owners) or likely any that work for the businesses.

No doubt there are some overzealous police officers, but I can’t imagine any that would shoot a perpetrator for obeying what they are being told to do. With the inherited disregard for authority and the push by prominent black men (they are not Americans in my mind or they would be trying to fix the problems instead of making a living by perpetuating them), they really don’t see any future other than the cycle they are in.

While actually being oppressed by the very government they vote for, they are told — and believe — that they are still slaves to the white man.

Government created this problem and government needs to solve it. However, as long as Democrats are “buying” votes with handouts, I don’t see a change unless conservatives can learn to play give and take within their own party and speak with one voice.

As long as old school Republicans, tea partiers, libertarians, and evangelicals continue to clash publicly, they will never be able to provide for a much needed pendulum swing back to conservative values.

Grand Junction

District 51’s new calendar
 a step in the right direction
David Shrum and others are off base in their criticism of District 51’s new calendar. Shrum feels we need to continue doing the same thing we have be doing for 200 years, even though he is not happy with the results and is ignoring that our world has changed. He feels that District 51 is solely responsible for students having to take remedial classes in college, yet he does not want the District to change. He fails to look at other facts, like many students taking those classes are from home school, private schools or difficult home situations; and more children are going to college than ever before.

Secondly, it is well known and based on years of research (and common sense) that when someone stops learn or practicing something for an extended time (like 12 weeks under the old calendar) they lose some of that knowledge and have to spend time relearning. Shrum feels that is incorrect and that children will lose the same knowledge during a one- or two-week break.

Caprock Academy School has had a similar schedule (actually starting even earlier) and their testing results have been very good. There is a waiting list to get in.

Gone are the old summer jobs for children. Now, most jobs available have schedules that can accommodate high school schedules. Vacations for families never were eight weeks (the amount of time they have off on the new schedule).

Most parents cannot take more than one or two weeks for a vacation at any time. Daycare costs under the new calendar should be the same since not one new day was added (which would be a big help in improving learning).

Most teachers do not work summers, and all colleges now accommodate teachers by adjusting schedules or offering classes on line.

Regarding sport and band camps: Is it the job of District 51 to accommodate those? I am sure that the people running these camps will find a way, since most operate to make a profit (free market).

District 51 must continue to focus on the main thing: educating children. Only in America are sports, music, dances and other things a part of the school culture. If that is what we want, that is a discussion for another time. In the meantime District 51 must find ways to improve learning for all children. People need to face the facts and find solutions. I, for one, applaud District 51, the administrators, and teachers for moving forward

Grand Junction

Penry’s ‘phony war on women’ column is misleading
I am writing to address the opinion piece by Josh Penry on Aug. 1 titled, “The phony war on women.”

Penry attacks every Democratic candidate he can think of, but clearly the title of his piece is misleading, because he says nothing about women, women’s rights or war.

Women in our country continue to make much less for the same job as men. There are laws being proposed and many have passed in our country limiting a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. The major source of resistance to equal pay for women and the sponsors of the reproductive freedom laws, are older white men in the Republican party.

Do you think that Penry knows this? I hope the women in our country know it and will take it into consideration when casting their votes this fall.

Lake City


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“FDR is to blame for Ferguson.”  Now my question is answered, the Daily Sentinel truly will print anything.

Glenn, good points, sorry Peter can’t make those kind of connections. It was reported that the young man shown in the video reaching across the counter and knocking the Asian gent that owned the shop around also wrestled with the officer and tried to take his weapon out of his holster. The officer being about half the size of the “gentle giant” as the press calls him? THIS attitude of entitlement and complete disrespect for the law seems pretty clear? Why isn’t the Asian community protesting? Why didn’t more black officers put in for police jobs and meet the requirements per the law? Glenn’s observance is one of current social structures in large metropolitan areas and reaction of citizens cultured by policies of the liberal left. Personally I would rather teach some one to fish. And yes, the Sentinel will print anything it would seem, look at Hussein Hugenburg’s comments on the Buffalo’d Bill tour of Colorado. Mr. Bright

Mr. Menard.  A truly clueless rant if I have ever read one.

Mr. Phillips, Do you know why the district changed the calendar to begin with?  Or at least the reason they gave parents?  It is so they could schedule intersessions for at-risk and poor performers during those longer break periods.  Do you know that it is voluntary?  Do you know that kids don’t show up even though the teachers are getting paid to?  Do you know this has been tried all over the country and has been proven to be unsucessful?

Glenn Menard’s letter – “Government handouts to blame in Ferguson” – raises crucial questions, including:  what exactly are “old school” Republican” conservative values”?

First, FDR’s New Deal originated Social Security and Unemployment Insurance – which offered a “hand up” to temporarily unemployed workers by easing the financial burden of supporting elderly parents.

Second, Menard falsely asserts that “four generations of inner-city Americans . . . are totally dependent on the government”—thereby perpetuating the racist “welfare queen” canard cynically introduced into our politics by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Third, Ferguson itself is an illustrative “outlier”.  Initially populated as a “white flight”  “sundown town” (where Blacks were prohibited after dark), from 1990 to 2010 the racial mix “flipped” from 75% white to 67+% Black – many of whom were upward mobile Blacks who themselves were escaping the segregated ghettoes of urban St. Louis.

Fourth, Ferguson itself is surrounded by even more Black-majority communities.  Of the 163 people arrested during the recent violence, only seven were Ferguson residents.

Fifth, the “conservative” rationale for “safety net” programs (particularly, Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance) is to provide a counter-cyclical infusion of purchasing power to the economy during recessionary downturns – by enabling millions of otherwise impoverished consumers to sustain thousands of small businesses pending recovery.

Sixth, for too long, the Black residents of Ferguson were willing to trust a “conservative” (the Mayor was president of his college Young Republican Club) white “power structure”  – perhaps (as Menard impliedly suggests) induced by the security of their newly-mixed community to a adopt a dependent and/or “plantation” mentality.

Seventh, consequently, Ferguson became the municipality with the greatest divergence between white/Black population proportions and political representation in the Country.

Then, “old school” regressive “conservative values” showed their bankruptcy when St. Louis County’s militarized police force confronted non-violent protestors with lethal “government handout” equipment.

Now, Republicans adamantly object to voter registration booths in Ferguson.  Hmmmm.

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