Printed letters, November 27, 2012

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of racism is “the notion that one’s ethnic stock is superior.” Jim Spehar’s Nov. 20 column with his “humorous take on succession” could meet this definition.

The general tone of the Enlightened States of America Internet piece Spehar cited is not one of enlightenment, but one of elitism, perhaps another form of racism.

To assume that one is better than others just by the way they vote or live is elitist and racist. To equate the Southern states with the slave states and to imply that Alabama or the University of Mississippi are somehow not worthy of being good enough to associate with the “blue states” is a disgrace.

Reconstruction ended 125 years ago, and the civil rights movement was more than 40 years ago. Those “slave states” now have two Latino senators and two governors of Asian descent. The proposed E.S.A. states have one senator and zero governors who fit these criteria.

There are several black congressmen from predominately white districts in the South, but since several are Republican, they do not count?

One other bit of info: If present trends continue, the proposed E.S.A would have a declining population. Many of these states are losing population drastically while the Mountain States and Deep South are gaining residents.

Perhaps these people leaving the E.S.A. just do not appreciate all that Harvard has done for their employment prospects. Adding $83 billion a year in new taxes on the rich could do wonders for a $1.2 trillion yearly deficit, according to Harvard math.

SEAN KENNEDY

Clifton

Nation needs more discussion 
on how to solve our problems

In the Nov. 22 edition of The Daily Sentinel, several things in George Will’s column, plus the letters section and the piece on Fast And Furious, reminded me of something the instructor of a course on writing technical reports emphasized on the first day: the five Ws (who, what, when, where and why) and the one H (how).

We see and hear great volumes of very clear information on the Ws regarding our national problems, but awfully little complete, clear, practical, doable H information — exactly how we “get ‘er done.”

I’d like to suggest something that may be a contributor this shortage. It appears to me that we have developed an elected “royalty class” with some troublesome special privileges.

What about the idea of having the punishment fit the crime? It should include the perpetrator’s position, since the probability of greater damage to greater numbers related to higher status should elevate the severity of any penalty.

Now it appears, especially in our government, that the direct opposite is true. If a president or vice president were caught engaged in illegal activities, should they just be allowed to retire to “senior celebrity” status to become even richer by giving speeches and writing books, or should they face actions such as might befall, say, a used-car company’s board member caught guilty of similar job-related activity?

We could cure malfeasance in public office with our vote, but we don’t. We effectively approve of the work of our elected folk by sending most of them back to Washington every election.

RAY LASHLEY

Grand Junction

 

Latest BLM oil shale plan 
bad for West Slope, nation

We are already starting to see the consequences of a second Obama term: the denial of the largest energy reservoir in the world, located right here in western Colorado, to the American people who own it.

Is anyone really surprised that the BLM waited until after the election to announce its adoption of an oil shale proposal that is even worse for the Western Slope’s economy and the nation’s energy security than expected? Had this news come out before the election, the lid would have been blown off President Obama’s ridiculous claim of supporting an “all the above” energy policy.

Actions speak louder than words, and this president’s actions have quite loudly contradicted what he said during his re-election campaign concerning energy. He said he was for “all the above,” but did nothing to expand American development of our offshore resources and denied America access to cheap Canadian oil by refusing to permit the Keystone pipeline.

Now his Department of the Interior has effectively halted research and development of oil shale, a resource that dwarfs both the Canadian and Middle Eastern oil fields, but that also, unfortunately, is largely located on land under the federal government’s control.

If this is reflective of an “all the above” approach, the list must be pretty limited.

Just what are this administration’s energy policy goals? Increased reliance on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil? Higher fuel prices, so the middle and working classes can no longer afford to drive or heat their homes? Ensuring that Americans will never be able to benefit economically from our own resources?

Maybe Obama and his administration do support an “all the above” plan. It’s just that the entrepreneurs who seek to tap our immense oil shale resources did not pay to be on the list.

MATTHEW MARKAKIS

Grand Junction



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