Printed letters, July 5, 2013

In response to the Harold Cherry letter to the editor of July 1, some facts are in order.

Predators are an important link in the ecological chain. Natural predators cull the weak and sick and serve to improve the genetic line of the prey animals, as well as keeping browsers from overgrazing their territories.

Conversely, man — the ultimate predator — takes the strongest and fittest out of the genetic pool. Now, which would any thinking person suspect of weakening the herds that are so important to our natural-resource base?

I write as a librarian emeritus at the Entomology, Fisheries and Wildlife Library, University of Minnesota.


Grand Junction

Columnist was off target 
with article about guns

Jim Spehar would be downright amusing if he weren’t so predictable. It does get rather tiresome, though, reading his opinion pieces as he tries so hard to come across bipartisan but in the end fails so miserably. His article in the July 2 edition of The Daily Sentinel was no exception.

When he mentions the county sheriffs who, in his words, “are challenging rather than enforcing duly enacted laws,” he once again belies the actions of the county sheriffs. I don’t recall any of them saying that they would not enforce the laws regarding gun control. In fact, almost to a man they specified that it was their sworn duty to uphold said laws. Most said they didn’t agree with them in recognition of the Second Amendment.

As usual, Spehar pretends to be all for gun rights, while all the while denigrating those folks who actually want to uphold the Second Amendment, going so far as to even call them “silly.” I’m sure our forefathers didn’t think the Second Amendment was silly, and they certainly didn’t sophomorically compare it to a penile implant.

Most telling, though, was his quote of Thomas Jefferson: “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.” I’ll quote the part that he left out: “I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”

Spehar so adeptly partially quotes Jefferson but, at the same time, chastises, admonishes, castigates, etc. , those who would exercise the very rights he is talking about.


Grand Junction


Dems want to celebrate 
only ‘Dependence Day’

July 4 was Independence Day, or Dependence Day, depending on your view of the role of government.

The best example of our slide into government dependency experienced a setback. Employers were given a one-year delay, until 2015, to implement Obamacare mandates.

The reason for this is it provides cover for Democrats who voted for Obamacare to get re-elected in 2014. Obamacare is a mess. Democrats know it, including Sen. Mark Udall.

Up until now, few people could understand this law. It will not be until they actually feel the full pain of its implementation that ordinary people will appreciate how bad it is for them. It is why Democrats keep putting it off.

Younger people, the demographic whose members are the strongest supporters of President Obama, are the ones who will be hurt most.

You almost have to laugh. There was a phony war on women that was a centerpiece of the president’s re-election campaign. Republicans didn’t want health insurers to be forced to pay for birth control pills. What was the cost, $10 a month? Now many of these same young women and their male partners will be forced to pay hundreds of dollars more per month for their health care. They don’t have freedom to make a choice. That’s a real war on both young men and women.

Hopefully, we will vote to return to the path of independence in 2014.




Responsibility required
when it comes to voting

When reading about or listening to people complain about how our civic leaders are doing a terrible job, whether on the local or federal level, it leaves me scratching my head in puzzlement.

How did those civic leaders get into their position in the first place? They were voted in, that’s how.

Until the voters of our great nation realize they alone have the power to put the people in office who will actually work for them, and also have the power to keep the people out of office who are interested only in their own self-indulgences, then the only option left for citizens — aka voters — is to complain.

Before every election, each of us has a duty to ourselves, to our fellow citizens and our country to perform due diligence on those running for public office. If it’s a position that gives decision-making power that will affect us as a whole, then we are obligated to keep the wrong one out and vote the right one in.

This is not about being a conservative or liberal. It’s our right as a free people. Tthat’s what our country was founded on. That’s what independence stands for. Voting is a privilege and an honor only if those voted into office will work for the country and keep it strong. Our leaders represent us all, not just their favorite few. Our country is only as strong as its people.




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Kudos to the Sentinel’s editors for preemptively debunking (“Temporary time-out for part of Obamacare”) the partisan poppycock of columnist Josh Penry (“President’s retreat on Obamacare shows big government doesn’t work”) and local lemming Dave Kearsley (“Dems want to celebrate only “Dependence Day’”).

As the Sentinel explained, explanations for delaying the “employer mandate” provision of ObamaCare range from the conspiratorial to the straightforward – encompassing both Penry’s and Kearsley’s prematurely expectant glee that a one-year delay in enforcing an administratively cumbersome provision presages the impending “train wreck” so eagerly sought by Republicans and promoted by their cynical attempts at repeal and/or sabotage. 

The “employer mandate” in Richard Nixon’s (1974) and Bill Clinton’s (1994) health care proposals compelled employers to pay for employee health insurance.  The “employer mandate” in “Romney-care” and now “ObamaCare” imposes a nominal “penalty” on some employers for not doing so ($2000 to $3000 per employee per year, versus annual insurance premiums averaging $16,000 per employee)..

Because all employers with 200+ employees already provide health insurance plans, only employers with 50 to 200 employees are subject to the “penalty”.  Because 95% of those employers currently provide health insurance plans (which may or may not comport with the minimum specifications of the Affordable Care Act), only some 5% of those “smaller businesses” would be affected by the “penalty”.

The administration’s decision to delay this provision in response to legitimate concerns “shows that [the Republican-controlled Congress] doesn’t work” – because it won’t even consider proposals intended to improve ObamaCare and/or facilitate its implementation.

Indeed, some Democrats would eliminate the “employer mandate” entirely—by allowing employers to convert health insurance premiums to commensurately increased wages and salaries, thereby freeing employers from those administrative and financial costs while enabling their newly “independent” employees to purchase their own personalized plans from ObamaCare’s health insurance exchanges.

Meanwhile, Kearsley willfully ignores the real “war on women” being waged by mostly white, male Republicans in Texas, Ohio, North Carolina, and elsewhere.

To Judith:

You are right about describing the problem and our obligations as voters. However, to inform ourselves as voters, we run a gauntlet of monied ads and an ingrained “support the team at all costs” attitudes. The recent chamber orchestrated elections being an example. Where were the media that could have provided the background stories? The needed 3rd party analysis! Why does the the media participate, without question, paid ads and press released story material?
Removing the money is one thing that could help voters, but there is still a basic problem with media’s participation as a third party, and the voter’s acceptance of bad representation based only on a ‘team loyalty’ concept. This last element is seen in the fact that ‘reality’ TV shows can then make lying, stealing,etc. acceptable behavior, if it is “a game” and the reward is enough.

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