Printed letters, April 13, 2012

Those were three very interesting letters in the April 8 edition of The Daily Sentinel. The long term cost per kilowatt hour of wind power from existing technology, as Randy Litwiller inferred, may be expected to keep it out of reach of practicality for some time to come. Also auditing Big Oil, per Randy. Fricke’s suggestion, sounds like a fine idea — especially if we included the Federal Reserve while we were at it. 

But I’ve seen Maynard Hesselbarth’s letter a couple of hundred times since I got home from World War II in 1947. Slight differences in phrasing from writer to writer, but the same message, dealing with only one side of the subject, from all. Not even a pretense at objectivity.

According to these writers, guns are always a source of evil. If we just got rid of all legally owned guns, life expectancy in our country would increase exponentially over night.

As you have probably already guessed, I am a long-time member of the National Rifle Association. I have copies of its Journal back to the late 1940s — something over 60 years, so something over 700 copies. Each copy has a section called “The Armed Citizen,” where five to seven reports of lives and property saved by legally owned guns are listed. At a conservative average of six lives saved per copy, that would come out to something over 4,200 lives saved by those legally owned guns in the last 60-odd years.  

My experience has been that the best solutions to any situation come when all sides of the situation are considered. Can’t we give some consideration to the fact that the Second Amendment was second?          


Grand Junction

Math drills don’t preclude teaching critical thinking

In response to Jody Mimmack, Bill Larsen, et. al., in their recent commentary about the new District 51 math curriculum, I am deeply disappointed and angered at how easily they have dismissed my entire career (and a good portion of Mr. Larsen’s as well) as ineffective.

I taught math in District 51 for 34 1/2 years full time and seven years as a substitute. I believe my career was very effective. Their commentary shows that over-zealous, self-righteous administrators and wanna-be administrators who think they have all the answers have lost touch with what goes on in the classroom.

I have never believed that public education is broken, as so many self-proclaimed experts espouse. I believe that we should hire good people in the classroom and then get out of their way.

We should allow teachers to teach using the individual creativity they bring to their profession. The new math curriculum, based primarily on the discovery method, forces many, if not most, math teachers to supplement and circumvent the curriculum in order to try to teach it. My profound respect goes out to them for their efforts.

I don’t believe that students can discover their math, and I believe skills need to be practiced to accomplish proficiency.

The implication that I did nothing but drill, drill, drill is ludicrous and offensive. A good teacher can teach skills and, believe it or not, also teach problem solving and critical thinking.

I believe the new math curriculum was a poor choice for the district and that, given the major expense and irreversibility of it, administrators and others who pushed it are now in full blown CYA mode. In case you don’t know what those letters stand for, I’ll leave it to you to discover their meaning.


Grand Junction


Letter distorted truth about contraceptives and insurance

The letter from the League of Women Voters lady has blatantly distorted the truth in its claim that women are being denied contraceptives by employers who have a religious or moral objection to it. The real issue is the First Amendment rights of religious hospitals, schools and churches whose moral teachings are against contraception, abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization. This not only includes these religious organizations, but also private or self-insured plans that would directly pay for these services, in spite of their moral objections.

In no way are these organizations denying women access to them. These organizations are objecting to being mandated to pay for them when they morally object to them. Birth control is available anywhere now, in almost every pharmacy in America. If you want it, pay for it yourself, but don’t force me to pay for it.

A final note: Since when is pregnancy considered a disease that has to be prevented and therefore considered “preventive health services”?


Grand Junction


We can’t expect president to control gasoline prices

If anyone were to say that beef and lamb prices right now (or peach prices last summer) are too high and the president needs to do something to knock them down, the agricultural industry would be livid. No one resents the fact that they are finally making some money.

Yet, the American public is so schizophrenic that it thinks nothing of demanding the president do something about high gasoline prices.

Folks, gasoline prices are the best model there is of the free-market capitalist system — chicken today and feathers tomorrow. It would be the epitome of socialism for Obama to try to control gas prices.




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