Printed Letters: September 27, 2016

You Said It complaints should have attribution

The You Said It pieces in The Sentinel offer anonymity to those writing or calling in to make remarks. I consider those who criticize a specific person in writing or directly refer to an obviously known person to be cowards. If you are to complain about or denigrate someone you should own up to your comments.

Using You Said It to thank some unknowns, to the writer, is quite acceptable, and a way to praise someone or a group for good deeds.

Complaints should have attribution. Thus, I sign this as my own.

CREIGHTON BRICKER
Grand Junction

Reasons for supporting Trump focused on what he will not do

In response to “Which letter to the editor do we believe?” I respect one who states his/her position. I find no satisfaction discussing important issues with one who wears out the “?” key, looking for a “gotcha.”

I, too, have changed my mind as to whom I support in this election. Dr. Ben Carson was, and is, my first choice. He has a good mind, has tact, has compassion and has courage. However, the political process eliminated him and Ted Cruz. Now, along with Dave Kearsley, I support Donald Trump.

My reasons for supporting Trump, regrettably, are focused on what I believe he will not do.

Trump will not be actively hostile to the coal industry. One only has to drive on the parkway and see the endless lines of idle railroad locomotives that used to be driven by idled train crews and hauling coal produced by idled miners. Hopefully, a conservative government will provide incentives to promising alternative energy concepts, rather than destroying existing business.

Trump will not import “refugees” and provide them with more benefits than to our veterans and seniors, in return for their vote.

Trump will not degrade our military further and will not tolerate taunting tactics by foreign units involving our aircraft or ships at sea.

Trump will not further increase taxes and regulations on business. I expect a more conservative government will provide incentives for manufacturing to return to the U.S. I am a product of the industrial Midwest and, as an engineer, experienced good income, good benefits, good housing and safe neighborhoods to raise our family while working “at the plant.”

RONALD BRAUKHOFF
Grand Junction

We should appreciate Tipton for his support on local issues

A recent column in The Daily Sentinel had several accusations against Rep. Scott Tipton. One of the familiar attacks was the refrain that Tipton wants to sell off our public lands. Ms. Konola supports this claim by saying Tipton voted against a recent amendment by Jared Polis on the appropriations bill.

Anyone who follows politics knows that “riders,” as they are called, particularly on an appropriations bill, is often a non-starter that can sink the entire appropriations process. Polis’ amendment stated that the use of funds from illegal land sales was illegal: a pointless and redundant political ploy. One vote against an amendment is not indicative of his general philosophy on public lands.

Tipton sponsored legislation to designate Chimney Rock as a national monument and fought to designate the Hermosa Creek area as the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection area, with more than 38,000 acres of designated wilderness area.

He has sponsored bills to protect our national forests from wildfires and protect our water rights.

Ms. Konola ends her article, “amused” and accusing Tipton of crushing community banks. I am not sure which bill she is referring to, but one of Scott Tipton’s signature pieces of legislation is the TAILOR Act, designed to grow our community banks and local credit unions by tailoring regulations to the business model and risk profile of institutions, relieving them of the more onerous requirements of Dodd-Frank if they are not considered a systematic risk.

While Scott Tipton has been in Washington passing laws to protect our public lands and create common-sense financial regulation, Gail Schwartz has been lobbying for a carbon tax, something she admitted to supporting at the Club 20 debate this month. A carbon tax would only add onto the increasingly high utility rates we have been experiencing in Colorado. I appreciate Scott Tipton’s support on these important local issues.

SAM SUSURAS
Former Grand Junction Mayor
Grand Junction

It’s ironic for Trump Jr. to speak on wildlife conservation

How ironic and typically crude of the rich son who so enjoys the blood sport of trophy hunting to visit our area and hold forth on wildlife conservation.

But then, nothing about the Trump family surprises us anymore. His father equates killing animals on safari with playing golf.

CLAIRE DENZLER
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Ronald Braukhoff’s Tuesday letter (“Reasons for supporting Trump focused on what he will not do”) aptly demonstrates the desperation of those who support the least qualified candidate to ever seek our presidency – by imputing to him their own policy preferences in mindless disregard for the facts.

Thus, first, by embracing a “Drill, Baby, Drill” policy on federal lands, Trump himself would be “actively hostile to the coal industry” by exacerbating the free market forces that have produced a glut of low-priced natural gas and decimated that industry.

Moreover, the “endless lines of idle railroad locomotives” in Grand Junction portend improved air quality for the Grand Valley, while mile-long trains on the Front Range deliver wind turbine blades manufactured in Pueblo to wind farms in Wyoming.

Hopefully, a responsible Democratic government will end subsidies for fossil fuels and instead provide unemployment relief and job retraining to idled train crews and miners – policies that
“conservative” Republicans (including Scott Tipton) reflexively oppose.

Second, contrary to this oft-discredited internet meme, no one
“imports refugees and/or provides them with more benefits than to our veterans and seniors, in return for their vote”.  Refugees can’t vote until they become naturalized citizens; “mmigration has an overall positive impact on long-run economic growth in the U.S.”; and – per capita—“the children of immigrants . . . are among the strongest economic and fiscal contributors in the U.S. population, contributing more in taxes than either their parents or the rest of the native-born population”.  See:  https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23550/the-economic-and-fiscal-consequences-of-immigration).

Third, Trump will further degrade our military – because he offers no way to pay for a larger defense budget without exploding our National Debt, but will likely expose our volunteer soldiers and sailors to needless dangers by overreacting to “taunting tactics by foreign units involving our aircraft or ships at sea.”

Fourth, by favoring businesses and the already wealthy (like himself), “Trump’s tax plan would raise federal income taxes on more than half of America’s single parents and one-fifth of families with children”, while increasing our National Debt by $5.3 trillion over ten years.  See:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/09/27/fact-checking-the-first-clinton-trump-presidential-debate/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_factchecker-0105am:homepage/story.

Therefore, as clearly demonstrated in last night’s debate, Trump appeals to Braukhoff’s nostalgic reverence for an irretrievable past – but he obviously lacks the comprehension, temperament, experience, and competence to constructively address or Nation’s future.

Those “endless lines of idle railroad locomotives” never hauled coal trains. They are primarily switch engines, used in freight yards and every one of those is at least 50 years old, many even older than that. The gray ones were built by Baldwin, which started out as a steam engine manufacturer and has been out of business for decades. All of them are ancient and need to be obsoleted. Idling those engines saves Union Pacific millions in spare parts alone. UP just took advantage of the slowdown in traffic to mothball some engines that are long overdue for retirement.

Mr. Braukhoff is living in the past. That world in which he was raised, in which he grew up, and in which he worked and raised his family is “long gone”.  He, as well as many other of my fellow seniors, would do better to look forward instead of backwards, as those who do the latter all too frequently have a romanticized version of that past and the role they played in it, as most of it was really a passive one, and most certainly intellectually passive.

Many of my fellow seniors also complain about the failure of subsequent generations and blame them for the state in which this country finds itself.  That is interesting, as it is a well-known fact that any particular generation inherits the values it was taught by the previous one(s). So, if these “seniors” really want someone to blame, they should probably take a very hard look at themselves first.  Most will not do so, not because they can’t, but because of the fear of what they may find.  It is therefore more comfortable to remain where one is.

The gentleman claims that he will support Mr. Trump because of what Mr. Trump will not do.  It has nothing at all to do with Mr. Trump.  The one who really doesn’t want to do anything is the gentleman himself, with Mr. Trump being used as an excuse for doing nothing.

Mr. Braukhoff, as so many do, believe that with age they can forego all obligations and responsibilities to others and concentrate only on themselves;  i.e. My job is done and all I have to do now is play.

There are some obligations which never go away as long as we are alive.  The first is as one human being to another (humanism), and the second, if part of a polity, obligations and responsibility to all members of that polity, and all of their futures.

So, my fellow “retired” seniors, when you speak of “quality of life”, which many of you do, you would do well to ask the following question.  “Am I speaking of the quality of my life, and nobody else’s, or am I also concerned with the “quality of life of other?”  Those who choose the first, for all practical purposes, have withdrawn into a world of selfishness and self-centeredness, having become little else than locust on society, on the body politic, and on humanity itself.

Judging from his past letters, Mr. Bricker and I have very little in common.  However, anonymous sayings, whether they are in criticism and/or praise or groups and/or individuals should always be identifiable back to the individual.  Otherwise, they should be seen for what they really are, empty rhetoric;  i.e. gossip.

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