Printed Letters: November 3, 2016

Electing Schwartz helps Western Slope farmers

Farmers on the Western Slope derive our livelihoods from growing our famous sweet corn, onions, hops, and various seed crops. At harvest time, we rely on a robust seasonal labor force to harvest our crops in a timely manner for national markets.

The reality is that there aren’t enough local laborers to do the job, and each year we rely on temporary migrant workers using H2A visas to harvest a multitude of crops. Ranching and agriculture are the largest industries in Region 10 and all face a shrinking labor force.

We need to fix the broken process of hiring and housing immigrant workers. Farmers seeking H2A visas must deal with four agencies — state and federal departments of labor, the State Department and Homeland Security — and backlogs are common. Congress needs to streamline this process to ensure a timely, reliable outcome that farmers can depend on.

Another problem we face involves worker housing. Both the farmers and the laborers themselves would prefer that workers receive a housing stipend to replace the current requirement that the farmer must find housing for the workers. A flexible housing system makes much more sense.

Our livelihoods and your food depend on fixing this broken system, yet Scott Tipton has done nothing to fix the broken system although he’s had six years as a congressmen to do more than “work on it.” We need a representative like Gail Schwartz, who not only listens, but more importantly, “gets ‘er done.” Gail is a doer who has a proven ability to work in a divided Colorado state Senate to overcome partisan politics and make things work.

Let’s “get ‘er done.” Elect Gail Schwartz.


Claim of ‘rigged elections’ 
has credibility

All this talk about “rigged elections” is troubling to me. I am not concerned about the actual vote count, as that seems well controlled. But how we get to the point of counting those votes still bothers me.

After reading Susan Norton’s letter based on discrimination based on party affiliation (Oct. 30) I wonder why only major parties are allowed to be election judges. The unaffiliated voter is the last option for filling election judge positions. People are getting fed up with the two-party system of old and the bitter lines it has drawn between them. The role of the unaffiliated voters keeps growing and will be a major influence on election results. Then the need to provide identification for every aspect of life in America — like driving, purchasing, flying, etc. — except for voting amazes me. Then I add to that the super PACs, political funding, media reporting, investigations, lies and allegations of politics when considering the words rigged elections.

It seems to me likely that the words “rigged election$” might have some credibility.

Grand Junction

Advocacy of Prop. 106 couched in misleading terminology

Your recent advocacy of the Proposition 106 assisted-suicide measure was couched in the same misleading terminology as that used by its authors. And, to so define any life-destroying agent as a “medication” is an egregious misnomer. The correct and truthful term can only be “a poison.”

With my highest admiration and appreciation for most of our fine medical people, any doctor who would promote such an expedient, as that being proposed in the suicide “with dignity” contrivance, shall have betrayed his solemn oath to “do no harm.”

Grand Junction

Sentinel’s recent editorial was self-righteous and hypocritical

I am responding to your editorial, “Are the media biased?” It was so self-righteous and hypocritical it made me want to gag! Why?

Yes, as you said, ” Donald Trump would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for the mainstream media” covering all his lies and bombast as newsworthy information. But then you go on to say that, “Some so called ‘news’ outlets exist not to inform but to inflame, outrage or extract an emotional response (usually fear and alarm) from their audience.” Question: What does The Daily Sentinel do every day when they put stories about mayhem, murder, rape, theft, etc., on their front page and usually in the prominent top right and left columns highlighting this seedy sensationalism as if this should be the primary interest of its readers? I was brought up to believe that a good, serious, objective newspaper put the most significant world and national news that truly affected our lives in these primary front page positions.

Your editorial went on to quote David Brooks saying, “You win attention in the mass media through perpetual hysteria.” Although Brooks’ context was about political conservatism, The Sentinel appeals to readers’ morbid sense of criminal hysteria to sell papers. It is sleazy and emotional sensationalism.

Then, The Sentinel editorial continued with its intellectual, hypocritical shallowness by perpetuating the discouraging “false equivalency” constantly perpetuated by the media by somehow equating Brooks’ criticism of the breakdown of conservatism with, “anti-GOP rhetoric prevalent on HuffPost and MSNBC.” As if FOX news does not have a bias much more distorted than MSNBC.

And, finally, the most discouraging element of your editorial: You stated that, “This election is a culmination of years of marginalizing the media and questioning their objectivity.” Yet, The Daily Sentinel, in this most important presidential election has, to date, not taken an editorial position on the presidential election. You marginalize yourself. You avoid objectivity by not having the courage to take a position in this election. Yes, as you said, “we reap what we sow.”



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When, some use the word “independent” when referring to political affiliations, some of us would ask the following question, one which many either will not or cannot answer. That is because they have never really thought about it.  And, when we talk to all too many of them, we find that what they really mean when using that term, is that they consider themselves “independent” of any type of responsibility to anyone or anything else than what concerns them personally;  i.e. personal or (at most) parochial interests (usually economic) which, the truth be told, then makes them more biased than most affiliated with any political organization.

It is true that those in charge of elections and those who work the process have political affiliations.  However, having worked with many of them, with very few exceptions, most of them recognize that it is their obligation to lay those aside when performing such work.  Now, perhaps Mr. Bullard, and many others, are unable to do that, and therefore assumes that nobody else can then, because he is a “conspiracy theorist” (there are far too many)jumps to the conclusion that elections are “rigged”, reflecting nothing more than the thinking of far too many, which goes as follows:  “If I were in that position I would be doing that, therefore those who are must be doing it.”  That, in case many don’t recognize it, is paranoia based totally upon assumption and yes, ignorance.

Now, if such as Mr. Bullard, really believed that the elections are being “rigged”, he might do better to get more involved and speak to local public officials in charge of the system, learn about it and, if he finds something wrong, work to improve things.
That is what some of us have done, and continue to do.  Anything else some of us consider little else than whining.

In his opinion on Proposition 106, Mr. Jerry Garner either misses several important points, or has chosen to ignore them. 

The first is that just as his life, and every phase of it, is his own, just as is the life of every single individual.  As such, that individual is entitled to do with it, and every part of it, as he will.

The second is that it is not the doctors (yes more than one would be required) who make the decision, nor is it anyone else’s, but the patient him/herself.  It is also the patient, and not the doctors who would administer the prescription that would cause physical life to cease.

The third, and very important point, is that there really is no dignity in pain, much as some have chosen to believe otherwise.  And, by withholding the prescription, the doctors would be actually be condemning the patient to pain.  If one would not allow a beloved pet to suffer, then why would anyone want to force a human being (a loved one) to suffer?  To some of us, that simply does not make any sense.

Such as Mr. Garner may have his own reasons, reasons which he undoubtedly considers noble, for opposing Proposition 106. But, “noble ideals” are all too frequently used to hide or mask reality.

Some of us, despite our personal feelings and opinions, still like to “keep our feet on the ground” so to speak, and not allow ourselves to use our own personal beliefs and/or ideals in any attempt to govern any aspect of the personal lives of others. 

Now, we may attempt to convince others of the correctness of our position, but we do not have the right to take such a decision out of the others hands;  i.e. to dictate.

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