Printed letters, Jan. 12, 2010

Thanks to Richard Reid, the notorious “shoe bomber,” we have had to take off our shoes every time we fly for the past several years. OK, it is what it is. But now in light of the Christmas Day “underwear bomber,” what will the Department of Homeland Security mandate?

I know it sounds silly, but will TSA now check our drawers, have us remove them for further inspection, have us turn our heads and cough?

Coming soon to an airport near you, a full-body scanner that leaves nothing to the imagination. TSA workers, focus ... focus. If implemented, I will feel like showing up at the airport in a robe with a grocery bag full of clothes, walk through the naked-chamber-of-shame and get dressed on the other side.

Profiling has been going on for decades, but to make it look more politically correct, 80-year-old grandmas in wheel chairs, women with children, pilots and flight attendants get frisked to show the diversity of screening. To whom? Does it feel like al-Qaida is winning on this front?

Good solutions that have come forth are reinforced cockpit doors, crew training, pilots with guns, and, of course, the passengers. Pre-9/11, passengers would just sit there and let the hijacker divert the airplane, land and let the authorities meet his demands. Now, we have a passenger-corps that is aware and reactive.

We have been very lucky, but our luck may be running out. The frequency of “man-caused-events” has escalated. The Dutch passenger, Jasper Schuringa, who tackled and restrained the “underwear bomber,” should get a medal for bravery by averting a disaster. President Obama should be indebted to him. Had this not been stopped and the airplane destroyed and hundreds killed, his presidency would be done.

No one has been fired to date. Obama says “the buck stops with me.” OK, then go fire yourself. If not, start acting like an American President. Stop the apologies.


On Jan. 15, 21 of our finest, bravest young men and women from the Grand Valley will leave here, bound for Fort Carson and then a battle ground half way around the world. They’ll join nearly 200 others from various posts nationwide, to comprise the 282nd Engineering Company. For many of them, this will be their first combat deployment, and many of us pray it will be their last.

But, facts are facts. War is war and a reality, grim though it may be. We, here, can only give thanks for these youngsters who serve on our behalf. Give thanks, pray for their success, safe return and support them during the long hard job ahead. Their success ensures our freedoms.

Prayer and support don’t hurt for the families they’re leaving behind, either.




According to Wikipedia, PETN, the explosive the Christmas bomber was caught with, is easily detectable in the hair of people handling it. The highest residue retention is on black hair and some residues remains even after washing.

I suppose this means passengers have to get their hair mussed from now on, and if PETN is present, static electricity might set it off. All based on one incident yet to be fully explained.

The photo I saw in Time magazine of the incriminating container they found under his clothes was a man’s molded athletic protection cup. So you know what that means — even more intensive, intrusive examinations.



Five Mesa County elected officials returned their pay to the taxpayers. Barb Brewer and Monica Todd, by giving to “their favorite chairity,” did not give back to the county and taxpayers and probably will get more back on their own personal tax returns.

Sounds good though. They are the real politicians as far as I can see.



I originally sent this letter to members of our congressional delegation in October, 2008, after I had just quit listening to the House debate the bailout:

It’s all pretty much boiled down to about the same political rhetoric, with varied phrasing, I’ve heard in all crisis times since I voted for FDR in my sailor suit, back in ‘44. The general tone is saying, in pretty clear politicalese, “Common, Boys! We gotta do something, even if it’s wrong! We gotta get outta here and go get re-elected! We can come back and patch it up after November.”

I expect they pass sompthin’. It’ll be pretty bad. It won’t fix much. It’ll be expensive — for taxpayers, not politicians, because we’ll probably vote most of them back in November, then they’ll come back with a truck load of excuses and blame!

I heard very little mention of the causes of the present crisis but I’d say that there were really only two very basic causes for the economic conditions that brought this situation on. First, our President Bush seriously reduced the national income by cutting taxes for selected income groups. When this caused him to be short of money to fight a war and run the nation’s business, he became our all-time champion borrow-and-spend president, borrowing over $9 trillion from foreign countries—China, Japan, Argentina and several others. (Pay-as-you-go ain’t for him!) That’s $9,000,000,000,000! There’s 31,557, 600 seconds in a year of 365.25 days. At $1 each second, it would take 2,851 centuries to pay off $9 trillion.

Who pays it? How? Somebody, sometime, has got to raise taxes.

That much debt drives the value of our dollar so far down in the world market that it must result in severe inflation here, That inflation alone made an economic crisis almost unavoidable.



Thank you to Gov. Ritter for being a crusader for our health, wildlife and environment. During his tenure, he was assertive and stood his ground in protecting these precious necessities. He faced mega-sized oil and gas corporations with dignity and integrity. Corporate gain for these companies was not his first charge. Life and health issues were.

Once, just once, I would like to see the oil and gas companies put health, wildlife and environment first. It is transparent that money is the name of the game.

I am not a Democrat and certainly don’t agree with many decisions Gov. Ritter has made, but I will always respect him in this arena. Who will continue to uphold this virtue?



Polling, we’ve all become accustomed to it, but how reliable is it really? And who conducts these polls? Can we trust that they aren’t slanting them in some way? These are questions I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, when I noticed I was hearing frequently poll number given by one company and only that company and in only one place: Fox News. And I wondered why I — a pretty dedicated researcher of political trends and movements — had never heard of that company.

Then in the Jan. 7 edition of The Daily Sentinel, I noticed that two very conservative writers, Jay Ambrose and Rick Wagner, in their columns referred to polls done by that same pollster, and that made me suspicious. Who is this Rasmussen follow those sources are so fond of? If they believe in fair and balanced reporting, why aren’t any other polls mentions? And I think the Sentinel editors, having given that pollster extra recognition by publishing the opinions of those columnists, should give their paper’s readers an explanation of where they stand on such issues and why. It would be the fair and balanced thing to do.



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