Printed letters, October 17, 2013

Missing from otherwise thorough reporting on suicide were studies linking this tragic choice to the despair felt by gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. LGB youth are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

I bring this to our community’s attention because there are LGB youth in our community who suffer alone in silence, bullied not only by peers, but also by the rhetoric of adults, including some who speak from the pulpit.

Homosexuality is not a choice. Our children are aware of their differences at a young age. They need unconditional love and acceptance to safely navigate through society’s prejudices and fears.

A study published in the journal, Pediatrics (April 18, 2011) notes: “When communities support their gay young people, and schools adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that specifically protect LGB youth, the risk of attempted suicide by all young people drops, especially for LGB youth” (Mark Hatzenbuehler, Columbia University).

Thanks to the “It Gets Better Project” .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), and the quickly changing attitudes across our nation, LGB youth feel valued and can plan for a future of happiness and fulfillment. However, the most important and enduring support starts at home and in the community.

JO LYNN PHILLIPS

Whitewater

Pro bono fundraiser
was a great success

The Pro Bono Project of Mesa County held its third annual “LawLawPalooza” fundraiser last month and thanks to all the community support, it was a great success.

The Pro Bono Project is an independent nonprofit that helps pair local lawyers with the clients that need them, but who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. Through the Pro Bono Project, local lawyers provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to those in need. But, that service would not be possible without the generosity of the Grand Valley.

Although the economy is believed to be improving, the combination of recession and low interest rates have hit nonprofits, including law-related nonprofits, particularly hard. At the same time, more and more individuals need help navigating through a complicated legal system.

So, it is with great appreciation that we thank our host, Springhill Suites, musicians Jeff Pine, the North 17th Street Band and all those who donated to the silent auction.

With the community’s help we look forward to continuing our mission of providing access to justice for those in need, including victims of domestic violence.

JASON P. BAILEY

Grand Junction

 

Killing innocent civilians
has become a sad routine

I’d like to comment on Hans Croeber’s letter from Oct. 3. I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion that we should not get involved in any more military actions in the Middle East.

However, I take issue with some of his reasoning. He says we shouldn’t get involved because it requires guerilla warfare that we can’t win because our Christian values don’t allow us to kill innocent civilians. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that killing civilians has become routine for us.

The estimates for Vietnam are 195,000 to 430,000 civilians killed, and there were at least 100,000 killed in Iraq. Both of these conflicts were civil wars in which we justified our involvement by lying. There’s no other way to state it.

The so-called “Gulf of Tonkin incident” has long been discredited, so much so that today know one knows who even made the original claim that our ship was attacked.

And, no, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. But Dubya had to try to outdo his daddy, so off we went.

JERRY HALPIN

Grand Junction

 

Miraculously, no one was
hurt in Tour of the Moon

I live near the top of Little Park Road. I drive it daily and bike on it often. Regarding the recent Tour of the Moon bike ride, what I witnessed was a disaster waiting to happen.

As I was cautiously driving down Little Park Road that day, well aware there was a ride taking place, bike riders were taking up the entire lane, crossing the double yellow lines and zigzagging across both lanes in order to make it up the steep hills.

Riders were stopped in the middle of the lane, standing in the road. One rider even waved for me to slow down.

I was traveling as slowly downhill as the bike riders were riding uphill. On a blind hill, a SAG wagon was stopped in the wrong lane while a rider fixed a flat tire, instead of moving the riders to a safe pullout 100 yards up the road.

Vehicles traveling the road had to maneuver around bikes stopped on both sides, creating hazardous situations for miles.

There appeared to be no course monitors present to enforce rider rules. It’s a miracle a bike rider wasn’t hurt or there wasn’t a vehicle collision.

GREG HEWITT

Glade Park

Community needs to consider

suicide rates for LGB youth

 

Missing from otherwise thorough reporting on suicide were studies linking this tragic choice to the despair felt by gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. LGB youth are five times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.

I bring this to our community’s attention because there are LGB youth in our community who suffer alone in silence, bullied not only by peers, but also by the rhetoric of adults, including some who speak from the pulpit.

Homosexuality is not a choice. Our children are aware of their differences at a young age. They need unconditional love and acceptance to safely navigate through society’s prejudices and fears.

A study published in the journal, Pediatrics (April 18, 2011) notes: “When communities support their gay young people, and schools adopt anti-bullying and anti-discrimination policies that [ITAL] specifically [ITAL] protect LGB youth, the risk of attempted suicide by all young people drops, especially for LGB youth” (Mark Hatzenbuehler, Columbia University).

Thanks to the “It Gets Better Project” .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and the quickly changing attitudes across our nation, LGB youth feel valued and can plan for a future of happiness and fulfillment. However, the most important and enduring support starts at home and in the community.

JO LYNN PHILLIPS

Whitewater

 

Pro bono fundraiser

was a great success

 

The Pro Bono Project of Mesa County held its third annual “LawLawPalooza” fundraiser last month and thanks to all the community support, it was a great success.

The Pro Bono Project is an independent non-profit that helps pair local lawyers with the clients that need them, but who cannot otherwise afford an attorney. Through the Pro Bono Project, local lawyers provide hundreds of hours of volunteer service to those in need. But, that service would not be possible without the generosity of the Grand Valley.

Although the economy is believed to be improving, the combination of recession and low interest rates have hit non-profits, including law related non-profits, particularly hard. At the same time more and more individuals need help navigating their way through an often-complicated legal system. So it is with great appreciation that we thank our host Springhill Suites, musicians Jeff Pine, the North 17th Street Band, and all those that donated to the silent auction. With the community’s help we look forward to continuing our mission of providing access to justice for those in need, including victims of domestic violence.

 

JASON P. BAILEY

Grand Junction

 

Killing innocent civilians

has become a sad routine

 

I’d like to comment on Hans Croeber’s letter from Oct. 3. I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion that we should not get involved in any more military actions in the Middle East.

However, I take issue with some of his reasoning. He says we shouldn’t get involved because it requires guerilla warfare that we can’t win because our Christian values don’t allow us to kill innocent civilians. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that killing civilians has become routine for us.

The estimates for Vietnam are 195,000-430,000 civilians killed and at least 100,000 in Iraq. Both of these conflicts were civil wars in which we justified our involvement by lying. There’s no other way to state it.

The so-called “Gulf of Tonkin incident” has long been discredited, so much so that today know one knows who even made the original claim that our ship was attacked.

And, no, Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction. But Dubya had to try to outdo his daddy, so off we went.

JERRY HALPIN

Grand Junction

 

Miraculously, no one was

hurt in Tour of the Moon

 

I live near the top of Little Park Road. I drive it daily and bike on it often. Regarding Saturday’s Tour of the Moon bike ride, what I witnessed was a disaster waiting to happen.

As I was cautiously driving down Little Park Road Saturday, well aware there was a ride taking place, bike riders were taking up the entire lane, crossing the double yellow lines and zigzagging across both lanes in order to make it up the steep hills. Riders were stopped in the middle of the lane, standing in the road. One rider even waved for me to slow down.

I was traveling as slow downhill as the bike riders were riding uphill. On a blind hill a SAG wagon was stopped in the wrong lane while a rider fixed a flat tire, instead of moving the riders to a safe pullout 100 yards up the road.

Vehicles traveling the road had to maneuver around bikes stopped on both sides, creating hazardous situations for miles. There appeared to be no course monitors present to enforce rider rules. It’s a miracle a bike rider wasn’t hurt or there wasn’t a vehicle collision.

GREG HEWITT

Glade Park

 

New York road rage incident

troubles responsible motorcyclist

 

As a responsible motorcyclist and a concerned citizen, I am writing about the incident that occurred in New York City on Sept. 29, involving an SUV driver and some motorcyclists.

I am troubled by the serious injuries caused by the SUV driver and by the actions of some motorcyclists who apparently decided to take the law into their own hands. Some in the media have reported the facts, but others are sensationalizing the story. I urge you to report this incident factually and objectively.

I ride responsibly and do my best to represent motorcycling in a positive light. Those of us who ride support rider education and often raise funds for charitable causes in our community. The safety of all road users, especially motorcyclists, is of the utmost concern to me, and I do not support actions by any road users that violate the law.

Each year, the American Motorcyclist Association sanctions hundreds of well-organized recreational events. At these events law-abiding motorcyclists gather to enjoy camaraderie and spend their tourist dollars in host cities and surrounding communities.

One unfortunate event of this kind, reported frequently by national and local media, can create a false image of all motorcyclists by the general public.

Motorcycling has become an enjoyable mainstream activity, and almost everyone today has a family member or friend who rides. The actions of the motorcyclists portrayed in the video of the encounter in New York City do not represent me, my friends or the vast majority of the 27 million motorcyclists in America.

ORRIN BECKNER

Grand Junction

 

 

Aiding Egypt while cutting vets’

benefits shows backward thinking

 

I have read in the Sentinel that the Veterans Benefits for our brave members of the armed forces are in danger of being cut off due to not having the funds to continue them, also the national parks are closed due to the same

reason.

Farther back in the same edition I read that Egypt’s annual aid was “cut back” to $1.5 billion dollars (that’s billion with a “b”). Who exactly signs the list of what we as a country can and cannot afford?

Seems as if our priorities are definitely backward when our citizens cannot be cared for, but foreigners will get at least most of their allocations.

ELIZABETH ZINK

Grand Junction

 

Only Dems created equal, everyone else pays bill

 

Before all h#$@ breaks loose in America over Obamacare, I just want to make sure I understand Democrats properly. Just because I work hard, give people jobs, did not abandon my wife or children, don’t work for the government

or a Union, am a legal citizen, and don’t want to call Democrats mommy or daddy… I’m supposed to pay 25 to 30 THOUSAND dollars a year for Obamacare while I watch Obama and the Democrats handing it out free to people who vote for them, exempting their union, trial lawyer and business

buddies from Obamacare, and subsidizing themselves, their buddies, and millions of other people’s premiums even though the government has no money! Is that correct, Democrats?

 

Charge others, but if they try charging you you’ll storm the Capital like you did in Wisconsin. I think the Deceleration of Independence says all men are created equal. But now it’s changed to: All Democrats are created equal, the rest of you pay the bill.” That’s not a foundation that will work in America.

 

MIKE BAMBINO

Grand Junction

 

 

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COMMENTS

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Kudos Mike Bambino.

An interesting way to look at the national debt which Obamacare is going to increase is comparing 16.7 Trillion dollars to stars in the universe.

Our Milky way galaxy is estimated to have between 200-400 billion stars. Some of the larger galaxies in the universe are estimated to have up to 1 trillion stars.

So 16.7 trillion dollars is roughly equal to 16+ of the largest GALAXIES in the UNIVERSE!

This should be a subject of concern for the tax and spend Dems. However, their heads are stuck in the clouds and they can’t rise above them to get a real perspective of the problem.

PART 1. Of political correctness, leftist comedian George Carlin said: “Political correctness is America’s newest form of intolerance, and it is especially pernicious because it comes disguised as tolerance. It presents itself as fairness, yet attempts to restrict and control people’s language with strict [authoritarian] codes and rules. Political correctness cripples discourse, creates ugly language and is generally stupid.” I couldn’t agree more. (Libertarian-leaning comedian Dennis Miller explains his contempt for PC at http://bit.ly/caahcJ)
As a self-ownership and free-speech absolutist who suffered during youth from enough bullying and self-destructive thoughts to understand those things, the LGBT movement loses me when, as a matter of preferred political strategy, it attacks the 1st Amendment by trying to use the force/violence/coercion of government to control what other people think and say.
“Hate” speech and “hate” crimes are moral and intellectual frauds. Fat kids, skinny kids, short kids, tall kids, plain-featured (aka “funny looking” or “ugly”) kids, poor kids with ragged clothing — all are attractive targets for bullying, not just LGBT kids. The fact is, NO person should be bullied or physically assaulted, EVER, not just LGBT kids, other minorities, genders or age/shape/size/color groups.
ALL crimes are by definition rooted in hate; no crime was ever rooted in love. All crimes are by definition attacks (aka sins) against self-ownership. Nothing constructive can be gained by a strategy of special-status victimhood. How can it be a greater crime to bully or murder a short, thin, little white girl than an tall, fat, old black man? How can it be a lesser crime to murder someone because they refuse to have sex with you than because you hate the fact they are gay? How can it be a greater crime for a heterosexual to murder a homosexual than for a homosexual to murder a homosexual? The choices are intolerable ones, morally and intellectually fraudulent ones, self-evidently fallacious propaganda-based straw men. They are, as George Carlin noted, simply stupid.
The sentence, “homosexuality is not a choice” is an unacceptably illogical over-simplification. Are we talking about thought/speech or action? ALL human behavior/action is a choice, including heterosexual celibacy.
If we are talking about homosexual thoughts — a “preference” is thought/opinion — then I offer the fact that one of my favorite writers, openly lesbian humanities professor, Camille Paglia, has said that homosexuality is not a matter of birth, it’s an ADAPTATION which works for some people. Clearly it is an aberration, otherwise humanity would be extinct because heterosexual propagation is the biological means by which the human species perpetuates itself.

PART 2. Arguably the greatest danger in pretending that homosexuality is, like eye color, skin color or gender, a state of being and matter of birth lies in the fact that the fraudulent “hate” propaganda manipulations and demonizations of “the Other” make intellectually honest scientific inquiry into the development of the human personality exponentially more difficult, problematic and unlikely. I find that unacceptable.
In any society which honestly professes the goal of being a free and open society, there must of necessity and definition be a bright inviolable line between thought/speech and action. A free society can choose to criminalize behavior/action. It is not at liberty to criminalize thought/speech. The 1st Amendment forbids it. Nor would any logical mind find it acceptable to do so. A’s right to swing his fist ends where B’s nose begins.
From a pragmatic point of view, it’s a huge mistake to confuse and commingle the ideas of teasing (thought/speech) with bullying (aggressive action). It is not for nothing that my deceased mother used — and many other wise people use — the admonition: “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never harm me.” It’s relatively easy to express ridicule at, and walk away from, mean-spirited words. It is morally acceptable to use whatever means necessary to successfully defend against physical aggression.
Lastly, I believe it is a non-sequitur to assume that because LGBT kids have five times the rate of suicide — even if true — that heterosexual kids have, therefore, ipse dixit, it’s automatically the fault of heterosexuals or the adult “heterosexual community” for not “caring enough”. That seems suspiciously similar to the manipulative “white guilt” promoted for big bucks and votes by professional race hustlers. Heterosexuals are no more of a monolith than homosexuals.
Social balkanization and divisiveness under the pretense of faux love, faux fairness and faux tolerance can serve no constructive purpose. If we can find some intellectual common ground and get past all the political-strategy-based propaganda manipulations — such as “legally” redefining the millenia-old word “marriage” purely to coerce the thinking and beliefs of “the Other” — maybe society can have a very real shot at starting to make genuine progress on the problems suicide-minded people of all ages, shapes, sizes, colors and sexual preferences have.

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