Printed letters, September 1, 2013

Panhandling is a nuisance in our community, but the answer lies not in laws or giving citations. The answer lies with educating ourselves about panhandling.

When you see a panhandler on the street with a sign, you may feel sorry for that person for being down on his or her luck, mentally ill or just passing through. The truth of the matter is that all three are valid assumptions. What you might not know is that giving them money only encourages them to ask for more, with nothing in return to the community.

We have many resources in Grand Junction that offer help. Not one person needs to go hungry in our city. Homeward Bound, the Community Food Bank, the Rescue Mission and Catholic Outreach, among others, all offer food, clothing and shelter for those who ask. The Veterans Administration can also help with housing veterans and help them get food.

When you see people standing on a corner with a sign saying, “Hungry, will work for food,” or something similar, it is rarely the case. These people probably know where the charitable organizations are, and if they won’t go, it may be because of the rules imposed upon their freedom or lifestyle choice.

Here is our challenge: Instead of giving money, let them know they can get meals and shelter at the Homeward Bound, Catholic Charities and Rescue Mission, and then they have a real choice. If you must give money, please give it to a charity that you support in the effort to stamp out hunger and homelessness.

I know of no charity that offers your donation back to panhandlers to help them buy alcohol and drugs. I cannot say the same for giving money directly to panhandlers.

If you direct them toward facilities where the food and shelter are, they can make the choice. But with no money being given directly to them, they will either move on to an easier city, or they will take advantage of what’s offered here. Either way, panhandling will end.


Grand Junction





New sidewalk near school 
is unrelated to 2012 accident

I love the way The Daily Sentinel can spin a story any way it wants. The reporters and editors should be dizzy from all that spinning.

Thunder Mountain getting a sidewalk nearby has nothing to do with the girl getting hit a year ago. District 51 has yet to change its busing boundaries, and no changes really resulted from that incident.

In true Sentinel fashion, however, something that is totally unrelated becomes the focus of the story.

A better headline would be “New neighborhood starts construction on F½ Road, Thunder Mountain Elementary to benefit.” The new neighborhood has to have a sidewalk and that’s why it’s being put in.

And, yes, it’s great for those who live east of the school. But let’s not forget that both incidents in the last two years in which children were hit in that area were caused by kids unsafely darting out into traffic, not by driver irresponsibility.

Hopefully, kids will use the sidewalk and not dart on and off it, have pushing matches, etc. Responsibility is on the part of all, not just some.


Grand Junction


National debt, federal tyranny 
put U.S. at critical crossroad

I believe that our nation is at a critical crossroad. Our rush to socialism and abandonment of our Founders’ wisdom and capitalist principles have left us as the greatest debtor nation in history.

We can no longer afford to be the world’s policeman and provide all Americans a middle-class income, regardless of their personal efforts or achievements. Our total national debt and unfunded liabilities now exceed an inconceivable $100 trillion — and growing.

It is time for our people and public officials to deal with this reality and rethink both our foreign and domestic policies. Since we can no longer afford to attempt to force democracy worldwide, our foreign policy should be oriented only to protect us from those overseas challenges that endanger our freedoms.

We are on a 20-year losing streak in the Middle East, and it is time to cease fighting a war we can neither afford nor win.

At home, we must rein in our tyrannical central government, return power to our individual states, shed the statist “One size fits all” philosophy and return to the individual thinking, innovation and local experimentation that made our country great in the first place. Repealing the 17th Amendment would be a good start.

Consider the musings of John Stuart Mill: “The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.”

Finally, we must become fiscally responsible, pass a balanced budget amendment and build our national priorities to fit within that budget. This is indeed a difficult task, but unless we make these changes, and quickly, we will surely experience a national economic collapse, and the world will lose its only real example of a country based on individual freedom and liberty.




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