Printed Letters: July 7, 2017

Caption makes dubious claim about coastline

Thursday’s edition came with a striking photo of sandstone and water with a caption that claimed Lake Powell’s coastline exceeds the length along the West Coast of the continental USA. Folks who sell their work product by the word should recognize the difference between continental and contiguous.

Too often writers ignore the reality that Alaska shares space on the same continent as the lower 48. Editors who fail to correct the faux fact share the shame. Add the length of Alaska’s Pacific shoreline to the original sum and you’ll find there’s no comparison. Geography class must no longer be required for you wordsmiths.

JOHN HESSLINK
Grand Junction

Gender identity is latest show of leftist politics from bench

Once again a proper progressive judge — this time of the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon — has proven that leftist politics from the bench is a curious combination of notions, beliefs and goals. An Oregon resident expressed before the court a desire to be identified as neither male nor female, with a personal choice reflected on their driver’s license. Apparently the traditional demand that a person choose between male and female is insufficient for these intrepid soldiers of the avant-garde. The judge agreed.

There is some legitimate academic question as to whether or not anthropogenic climate change is, as its true believers call it, “settled science.” But that conclusion is not specious in this matter of sexual identity. Neither rigged data nor extraneous computer model extrapolations are at work here. There is no question as to whether a human being is one of two categories. That is, one either has two X chromosomes or one X and one Y chromosome. A tiny few surviving humans have anything different, hence the term, binary.

How do we placate the confused who wish to “identify” with something other than this pervasive choice of nature? In a legal sense it’s quite easily done. After proper state legislation is enacted, birth certificates and driver’s licenses issued should have two boxes under sex identification. The primary box, for statistical and scientific identification purposes, should list the two chromosomes inherent at a baby’s birth. The secondary box should be left blank to await entry by a parent (in pencil, of course), or simply ignored and left blank for the child to complete upon some whim later in life. For the driver’s license, an office of reliable bureaucrats can decide categories and codes for the second entry. That would be a good read, I’m sure.

ALAN METCALFE
Delta

Public should be able to view native fish under protection

As a frequent visitor to Grand Junction, I appreciate the cooperative effort that is being made between the city and various other agencies to restore and enhance the area alongside the Colorado River. In bicycling along the “hike and bike” path there, I recently noticed several signs that picture and briefly describe four species of native fish in the river that are being protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

I enjoy observing all types of wildlife, including fish species such as these that are not “sport fish” of the type that people normally catch while fishing. In fact, considering the high level of turbidity in the Colorado River and the bottom feeding habits of these fish, it is unlikely that anybody other than fishery biologists would ever see them, except in photos.

The web site http://www.coloradoriverrecovery.org lists 13 federal, state, and private organizations working to ensure the survival of these fish in a multitude of ways that are described in detail there. There is no indication of the cost of this effort — most of which is borne by the general public through taxes or diminished economic uses of water from the river. Nevertheless, from the scale of the program, the cost must run into millions of dollars per year, and the success has been very limited due mainly to predation from non-native fish that are impossible to effectively control in such a large river system.

I generally support the protection of endangered species — particularly ones like eagles that people enjoy viewing even if they have no commercial value. But this massive effort to save fish that hardly anybody ever sees illustrates how the Endangered Species Act fails to adequately balance the benefits to the public versus the costs to the public.

In this case, the least that should be done to increase the benefits to the public would be to provide an aquarium tank where people could readily view live specimens of these fish. Since there is no zoo in the Grand Junction area, a logical place to do this would be at the Colorado Visitor Center in Fruita, which is close to both Interstate 70 and the Colorado River. Similar facilities should be provided in other popular parts of the watershed.

CARL TED STUDE
Carbondale


COMMENTS

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Mr. Metcalfe appears to be an individual who appears to be obsessed with the subject of sex and anything having to do with it.  He is not alone in being consumed by that obsession, and they should place that entire subject of “sex” in proper context.  Those that don’t remind me of teenagers who, believing that they have discovered something brand new, can think of nothing else.  Anyone claiming to be any type of mature adult should have learned to move on, something which far too many appear to have neglected to do.

Perhaps he has never come to the realization that all of us, believe we know more than we actually do, believe we understand more than we actually understand and comprehend far less than we believe we do.  That leaves any type of “wisdom” way beyond our grasp.  Such is the case with this issue as well.

Mr. Metcalfe gets all upset (shorts in a bunch) because someone in Oregon wishes to be identified or labeled in a certain way, and the judge agreed with him/her. 

In my humble opinion that is up to that particular individual and neither my business or any other individual.  Why such as Mr. Metcalfe would get so upset about it simply befuddles me unless he has set himself up as some type of guru on the subject and lays claim to the right to define others and what they should be, or claim to be.

Perhaps Mr. Metcalfe should do what some of us do.  We allow others to have their own lives and define themselves whichever way they want.  With some of it we do not understand and do not agree but, unless it causes harm to someone else, we have learned to mind our own business. We have difficulty enough, and find our own lives challenging enough, without getting involved in the personal lives of others, never mind attempt to define or engineer them to our specifications.

A species, even the human being, does not exist only to be “seen” or “viewed” for someone else’s pleasure. 

Otherwise, we might just as well place a human being in a cage, or look at mummified remains in a glass enclosure, so that others can look at them and say, “That is/was a human being”. 

Perhaps Mr. Stude, as well as many others, should get rid of their “museum” mindset.

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