Printed Letters July 14, 2013

In the July 9 issue of The Daily Sentinel a headline read, “Paltry funds play with fire.” Why is it always assumed by left-leaning government autocrats that fire mitigation must involve government funding or intervention?

The negative impact of the Colorado Roadless Rule of 2001 and the incessant prattling of the environmentalists have made it nearly impossible for the proper mitigation of dead timber in Colorado forests.

This astoundingly shortsighted doctrine that says in part, “Roadless areas are important because they are, among other things, sources of drinking water, important fish and wildlife habitat” has resulted in just the opposite result.

Devastating fires occur that are magically blamed on some sort of fictitious man-caused global climate change and have overwhelmed the environment the do-gooders want to protect. Watersheds are damaged as a result of fire debris runoff and critters lose their habitat. Prohibiting the private mitigation of the forest in Colorado and the ongoing drumbeat of “government has no money” to “properly budget” for catastrophes are facts that miss the point.

When one waits for a bloated government to “do something,” one is going to wait a long time. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., and the rest of his government-dependent paternalists think that more money and bigger government are the answers. It’s time for government to back off and give people the freedom to manage their own affairs and their forests.

DON DAVIDSON

Montrose

 

Snowden’s exposure of spying
makes him modern-day Revere

In the month of June, a great man with love for this country and concern for his fellow Americans released a mountain of incriminating documentation and evidence regarding the unconstitutional and illegal spying and surveillance from our government over you and me.

In the past 15 years our massive security forces and their powers have swelled to the size and creation of many governments within governments.

These organizations are filled with a large, unknown number of agents and operatives, acting like third-grade girls who feel more empowered with the number of “secrets” they hold.

The end result of all this spying makes people feel more afraid and more insecure than ever.

It is a conundrum to me to wonder why we regular Americans feel so weak and powerless and apathetic to continue to accept the lies and waste of a government that has continually been proven to be corrupt.

Snowden did what he thought was best to strike a blow against the real criminals. Because of this, he is labeled a terrorist and criminal himself by the almighty media complex. To me, he is a modern-day Paul Revere.

TIM MENGER

Whitewater

 

Human judgment, high tech 
safest combo for landings

Alan Metcalfe’s letter in the July 10 Sentinel regarding aircraft autopilots needs some rebuttal.

The media almost always initially presents erroneous “facts” regarding an aviation accident or crash. One result is remarks similar to Alan Metcalf’s comments regarding the use of autopilots in aircraft.

I happen to know a little about autopilots (an electromechanical device based on the same technology as your home computer) after several decades of aiding in the design of and being responsible for the sales of many real-time computer systems (including those that got man to the moon in the late ‘60s).

I also have spent a few thousand hours as a pilot in aircraft cockpits ranging from piper cubs to highly automated Gulfstream business jets.

Yes, some of our more modern airliners have the capability for the “autopilot” to land the airplane – provided that the autopilot is working properly, the airport in use is equipped with the proper instrument landing system and. of course, the instrument landing system is operable at the time the airliner wishes to land.

With that said, I certainly hope that no airline will ever require its flights to land on a regular basis using that technology rather than the cockpit flight crew.

I’ve read the SFO crash press coverage. My viewpoint may be different than most that know nothing about aircraft operations, but it appears to me, at this juncture, we have a “pilot error” condition that caused this crash.

A somewhat similar crew versus highly automated airplane incident occurred over the South Atlantic Ocean when an Air France airliner was lost along with all aboard because the flight crew was distracted by technology and didn’t pay complete attention to what the airplane was actually doing.

Had the strangely scheduled, somewhat inexperienced B-777 Asiana crew been following what used to be standard cockpit protocol during landing in which one pilot is flying the airplane and the other is verbally calling airspeeds and altitudes — as well as monitoring the landing pilot’s actions — the SFO crash probably wouldn’t have happened, no matter what the crew’s B-777 experience or the amount of automation built into the aircraft.

The next time Metcalfe’s home computer decides to stop working (or, more relative, not doing what he thought it should), he should sit back and say to himself, “Better here than on final at SFO!”

TOM HOWE

Hotchkiss



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