Printed letters, July 19, 2013

I agree with Bruce Many of Eckert. In a recent letter to The Daily Sentinel he wrote about how we have let the government and environmentalists limit logging, supposedly to protect animal habitat.

As a result, the forests are so thick and so full of deadwood that they quickly become uncontrollable infernos.

He is so right. At least the animals would have a chance to go to other trees for safety when loggers are cutting down some trees, but with the fire they don’t have a chance and neither do our firemen, if the wind happens to change.

We need our wood, the loggers need jobs and the animals need a chance. We must thin out our forests for so many reasons.

As Bruce says, smoke spews tons of carbon dioxide, and we all know it’s not good for people to breathe. Those who love the animals so much would agree it’s not good for the animals either.

Please, folks, start petitions, get people to sign them and send them to the representatives.

Tell them that we are tired of fire taking what we could be using. I agree with Bruce. What about you?

BEVERLY KELLY

Eckert

Bill of Rights is unassailable
by any branch of government

Bill Hugenberg’s letter to the editor in The Daily Sentinel July 16 outlines perfectly the difference between the liberal elitism of the left and the conservative point of view.

Hugenberg believes that the decisions made by the Supreme Court regarding the Bill of Rights are infallible, that the government is the ultimate arbiter of one’s rights.

Conservatives believe that the Constitution is a document that spells out what the government is not allowed to do. We believe that those first 10 amendments known as the Bill of Rights are unassailable by any branch of government.

The government was set up so each branch would provide checks and balances on the other branches. No branch of the government was set up to check the rights of the people.

Any time the people’s rights are infringed, be they through the Patriot Act or the gun laws enacted in Colorado this year, the ultimate outcome is the furthering of tyranny in the form of a too-powerful government.

Ben Franklin said it best: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

KEVIN MCCARNEY

Clifton

 

If worker bees can mine data,
 then NSA is out of control

We sacrifice our own privacy for the benefit of everyone. We would like to think that because of it, NSA foils many operations every day. If you have nothing to hide, then why worry?

It is now apparent that NSA is out of control if worker bees can mine data. That’s Snowden’s point. The secondary point is that he’s an embarrassment to NSA. If NSA’s Snowden were malicious, he’d have kept quiet and sold out to the highest bidder.

Taken one step farther, if he’d have sold information to other interests, then he would be liable for prosecution. He, along with several others from NSA, have been harassed and broken by bully tactics, not for selling data, but for exposing operations. Quite a difference.

So, does NSA foil any operations? Publicize them. How do such people as the older Chechnyan brother from the Boston Marathon bombing get by NSA when in hindsight it was obvious? It shows that the handling of data is arbitrary, sloppy and ineffective.

This is critical. Without controls in place, NSA and its data are up for sale. The bidder could be a paranoid president who would make Nixon’s enemies list or Stalin’s purges look trivial.

Data could be sold to al Qaeda, or any private or national interest. Data could even be controlled by organized crime or some other unforeseen special interest.

The cool thing about this is that it could be done in the open under the auspices of public good … like a witch-hunt or subverting a president such as George W. Bush or Barack Obama.

So, pooh-pooh the liberals who don’t see the obvious and damn the conservative prosecutors who want to hang Snowden.

Let us not mistake those who may sacrifice their lives, their liberty and their sacred honor as traitors.

FRED STEWART

Grand Junction

 

Jason Kemp’s death a sacrifice for Fourth Amendment rights

I treasure my memories of my son, Jason Kemp. Love does not diminish. It grows stronger.

It may be 50 years before our family is reunited because violence was a permanent solution to a temporary problem on July 20, 2010, when Jason was shot to death in his home.

Law enforcement can do better than this. With resolution and duty to protect Colorado citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights, de-escalation training can save lives.

As a result of his death, implementation of change has come. Hope is stronger than despair, because we remember Jason. We are thankful for his sacrifice so that we, the people, can live safer, nonviolent lives.

CONNIE JEAN KEMP

Pooler, Ga.



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Kevin McCarney’s letter (“Bill of Rights is unassailable by any branch of government”) mischaracterizes my July 16 letter regarding legal aspects of the County Sheriffs’ “gun rights” lawsuit (which I support).

As Sentinel readers may recall, McCarney is the local Tea Party “leader” who dubiously claimed that his “political” group – disingenuously masquerading as a tax-exempt “social welfare” organization—was illegally “targeted” by the IRS.

Now, McCarney falsely asserts that “liberal elites” and I believe that “the decisions made by the Supreme Court regarding the Bill of Rights are infallible”.  While I do not speak for all “liberals”, I personally “believe” that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written by men and are therefore inherently fallible, that our Founders adopted “checks and balances” in recognition of those fallibilities, and that the “people” constitutionally conveyed to Article III courts the power to authoritatively declare “what the law is”.

According to McCarney, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are so self-explanatory that neither requires any judicial interpretation and mean only what “conservatives” say they mean – replacing a “government of laws” with a government of men who claim that their own self-serving rendition of constitutional language is “unassailable”.  Meanwhile, our Supreme Court has provided ample evidence that its rulings are not “infallible”.

Thus, in defiance of common sense, “conservatives” like McCarney impliedly believe that – had the Founders sagely anticipated the proliferation and potency of contemporary “arms” – they would have written the Second Amendment no differently.  “Liberals” – and the Supreme Court – trust that our Founders were smarter than that.

Consequently, fear-mongering “conservatives” habitually use the word “tyranny” as a meaningless epithet to describe any governmental action they don’t like, while “liberals” accept as valid the Founders’ express Constitutional reasons – as stated in its Preamble – for establishing and empowering our representative government.

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