Printed letters, Dec. 9, 2011
BLM-Koch land swap benefits only one man
The front page story in the Dec. 5 edition of The Daily Sentinel makes it sound as if I want Bill Koch to buy property that Tom Chapman owns to achieve Koch’s land exchange east of the Paonia Reservoir.
What I told the reporter was that Koch has yet to put up any land of value for the 1,841 acres of high-elevation elk habitat that he wants from the BLM. The three square miles of BLM land provide great access to an additional 40 square miles of Forest Service and Wilderness land. The BLM land would also give Koch almost total control over one of Colorado’s premier elk herds.
In exchange , Koch is offering just short of 1,000 acres of sagebrush near Sapinero and in Utah, plus two steep rights of way on McClure Pass, a long way from his estate-subdivision east of Paonia Reservoir. To add further injury, Koch will build a second trail, parallel to an existing trail along the base of the Raggeds, so that mountain bikers don’t have to share with other users. The second trail was the price Gunnison County exacted for its support of the exchange. It is opposed by the Forest Service because it will damage the land.
Tom Chapman was part of a small group that stopped Koch’s deal last year. He was helpful, but I’m not endorsing his or any other property. This proposed exchange should go away. There is no public value here. It benefits only one man.
Partisanship, poor ethicsmark many in Congress today
It is necessary to comment on the whining of the Republicans who, according to news, want to keep the congressional boundaries as they are, which means Republicans take all, as they complain that those horrid Democrats might have a better share of influence if the new, proposed map is approved. Do independents and Democrats need to learn this art of complaining, when they don’t get their way? Then, more of us need to comment on Congress being exempt from insider trading.
Did anyone listen to recent comments on CNN by 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft about Congress being exempt from insider trading while others can be arrested for the same. He noted that in 2008, Republican Congressman Baccus traded bets on the losses he knew were coming due to insider information about the banking crisis. Then former Speaker Nancy Pelosi bought stock from Visa just before a bill in the House was defeated that would have hurt credit card companies. Former Congressman Dennis Hester came to Congress worth several hundred thousand dollars and left as a multimillionaire, all due to insider trading. Current Speaker John Boehner and his cohorts are among those whose fortunes have been building.
No wonder so much is spent on campaigns to win seats in Congress, no wonder suddenly corporations are now considered individuals as Romney called them recently as he campaigns for nomination.
Former Democratic Congressman Brian Baird tried for several years now to introduce legislation to stop this unfair and unethical practice. All of this wealth oozing around the congressional halls makes the reports on the rise in homelessness within our country, families living out of cars, kids exposed to all sorts of abuse due to being homeless. Congress is truly out of touch.
Why is it that partisanship allows the whining, the lack of ethics, lack of compassion for our own citizens and dirty politics to continue?
Profiling is all right when it comes to security
The recent incident of the 85-year-old lady in a wheelchair who refused to go through the airport scanner because she was concerned about the function of her defibrillator and was required to remove her pants to pass security is a sad statement on where we are as a society. The only reason this poor woman was forced to experience this humiliation is because the fanatics on the left are more concerned about profiling than with national security. Give me a break.
Every other country in the world uses profiling, and we do too. The difference is that here in the United States, for every person who meets the profile, two who obviously do not must be singled out so there can be no basis for a lawsuit. Children, traveling with the typical, middle-class American family on holiday, being searched and older Americans being put through this humiliation are ridiculous.
Regardless of what some may believe, our intelligence services, which are not beyond criticism, are second to none. They can predict, with a high level of confidence, which type passengers our airport security needs to concentrate on and I’m sure that they pass this on to them. But in order to avoid costly litigation, security personnel have to process passengers with little or no risk through the same procedures as those meeting the profile package.
Will common sense ever prevail again?
Front-page advertisements are not welcome to reader
Advertising on school buses, benches, and other public locations may be a necessary evil, but I strongly object to The Daily Sentinel’s front page ad for Ashworth Estate and Coin.
Leave the ads off the front page.