Printed letters, January 27, 2013

The Grand Junction BLM office released its new resource management plan this month. My initial review confirmed the numbers in The Daily Sentinel Jan. 15.  Of the 1.2 million acres the Grand Junction BLM manages in this RMP, 868,100 acres will still be open to motorized use on designated routes.

That sounds pretty good, until you look at the details. One small detail not in the paper is that nearly half of the 868,100 acres are only open for administrative use, which means they are not open to the public. Only permitted gas companies, cattle ranchers, hunting guides and law enforcement will be able to access these routes.

Here are the facts I derived from Appendix M in the RMP, in regard to Alternative B that the BLM has chosen for now as its preferred alternative.

✓ Currently, we have 3,322 miles of public motorized routes to enjoy in the Grand Junction BLM District (this does not include county roads). Alternative B would reduce it to 1,111 miles of designated motorized routes. That is a loss of 2,211 miles or a 67 percent loss of access.

✓ Currently, 442,600 acres are open to cross-country motorized or mechanized travel, meaning people don’t have to stay on designated trails. All alternatives would reduce that to zero, except for intensive motorized-use areas.

✓ Currently, we enjoy 12,500 acres of intensive motorized use areas in the Grand Junction, Fruita, Orchard Mesa and Whitewater desert. This would be reduced to 5,400 miles under Alternative B. This is a reduction of 57 percent. The Whitewater Hill OHV area would be closed to intensive use.

I think the impacts to our local economy, elderly, handicapped, recreationalists and families in the area will be enormous. They are closing down our freedom to explore, which is one of the reasons many of us live in the Grand Valley.

BRANDON SIEGFRIED

Grand Junction

Teachers also informally use 
Zinn’s slanted history book

I wonder if Bill Grant and Steve Phillips are aware of how often U.S. history teachers “informally” use Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States,” with its anti-American slant?

I’m sure they will also be adding Oliver Stone’s new “Untold History of the United States” to their list.

MARCIA NEAL

Colorado State Board of Education

3rd Congressional District

Grand Junction

 

  Founding Fathers deeply 
invested in faith in God

There is great debate as to whether or not creation or evolution (both of which are theories) or other vogue topics should be taught in school. However, I have my sights on the preposterous idea that this country was founded by men who were simply “guided by Enlightenment principles” and that belief in God had no bearing on their moral compasses.

Bill Grant is a historical revisionist, much like the tag he slapped on the ” ‘historians’ of a different sort” he derided in his recent column.

The Founding Fathers were deeply invested in their faith in God. Benjamin Franklin — who people like Bill Grant would most likely call a deist and who was notably one of the least religious of the Founding Fathers — while attending the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787, said this while addressing convention leader George Washington: “I have lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs the affairs of men.” (James Madison recorded the entire speech.)

This is not a “primary source” that I am using to “bolster” my “preconceptions.” In fact, a plethora of speeches, sermons and writings of the Founding Fathers proves their undying conviction that God was intimately involved in the founding of this country.

So, if Grant wishes to mold the future of education into an amalgamation of secular thoughts and theories, that is his prerogative. However, it is not his prerogative to change the story of the founding of this country to fit his irreligious secular dogma.

CODY DAVIS

Fruita

How gullible does writer 
think U.S. taxpayers are?

In a letter to The Daily Sentinel on Jan. 18, Jim Crittenden said there is a common misperception that a vote to raise the debt limit is not a vote to increase government spending. Instead, he said, raising the debt limit merely allows the U.S. Treasury to borrow money to pay for spending that Congress has already approved. Seriously?

Let’s say someone acquires a mortgage much larger than he can possibly afford. Of course, one can’t have a great big house without a brand-new car, so he goes back to the banker. Then, after committing loads of money for loads of things that are very important to him, he realizes he needs health insurance that covers everything and has a zero deductible. So, he signs off on that, as well.

One month into this spending spree, the bills begin to arrive after all the money has departed. So, he goes to his banker to request a debt-limit increase. He explains to the banker that he is not planning to increase his spending. He simply wants to pay his bill after running up the tab.

Will the taxpayer — I mean, banker — fall for it? Possibly. It all depends on how gullible the banker is.

GARY YEAGER

Grand Junction



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While it is locally unfashionable and usually futile to question the popular myth of America’s divinely-inspired historical perfection, Bill Grant’s expose (“Radical right-wing history has no place in School District 51’s curriculum”, January 23, 2013) demands the attention of SD 51’s supporters and those who would relocate to the Grand Valley planning to enroll their children in our chronically under-funded public schools.

Note, first, that Marcia Neal—our elected representative to the Colorado State Board of Education – appeals to familiar nativist parochialism by implying that any U.S. history text or television series that exposes the warts of our political development is somehow “anti-American” (“Teachers also informally use Zinn’s slanted history book”, January 27, 2013).  A true educator – absent evidence of factual inaccuracies – would regard Zinn’s and Stone’s “slant” as factual fodder for teaching the essential skills of critical thinking. 

Similarly misguided is Cody Davis’s retort (“Founding Fathers deeply invested in faith in God”, January 27, 2013).  Contrary to Davis’s contrived misinterpretation, Bill Grant’s “revisionist” history accurately insists that “this country was founded by men” who were guided by Enlightenment principles while hortatively citing their religious beliefs – not that the latter had “no bearing on their moral compasses”.

In 1787, our Founders were politicians seeking to replace the decentralized framework of the Articles of Confederation with a more centralized federal government.  Opposed by the “anti-Federalists”, they garnered public support for the Constitution by appealing to “divine guidance”.  Even with no knowledge of “Darwinism”, they also prohibited any religious tests for public office.

“Enlightenment principles” sought to transcend centuries of internecine warfare and intra-Christian intolerance.  Pilgrims and Puritans were persecuted by other “Christians” – and killed Indians and each other in God’s name.  That is why our Constitution implies a “wall of separation” between Church and State – which is about to be retested in our Supreme Court in connection with “ObamaCare”.

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