Printed Letters: September 27, 2017

The United States is a nation of immigrants

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the citizenship ceremony up on Colorado National Monument, as a close friend was becoming a U.S. citizen after living here on the Western Slope for more than 20 years. I found it to be a moving experience as the new citizens shared their stories with the audience.

They were from over a dozen different countries, and all were bringing their unique gifts as they joined the fabric of our country.

Their stories reminded me that we are a nation of immigrants. My own grandfather emigrated from the Netherlands during The Great Depression in search of a better life. He integrated into the mainstream culture by learning English, yet also retained his Dutch language and customs in his home with his family. He began life in Chicago selling ice in the summer and coal in the winter, eventually building a trash business for himself and his sons.

In the midst of the current hue and cry about immigration, I believe we would all do well to take a moment and look into our hearts, reflecting on our own backgrounds and also on the gifts immigrants bring to our culture. These are people, first and foremost, recognizing the opportunities that are offered to them here. I support the DREAM Act, offering young people brought to the U.S. as children a path to citizenship and full participation in our democracy, and I urge you to do so as well.

SHARI VANDERVELDE
Grand Junction

Football players should put money where their knees are

While I do not agree with the practice of taking a knee or remaining seated while our national anthem plays, it is the right of every person in the United States to do so. One can only hope that, while these people are protesting, they are also remembering and thanking those thousands of men and women who have fought and died, and those who are currently serving to give them that right.

Yes, our country has some big problems right now. Why not put some of the millions of dollars these athletes are making to help solve some of these problems? Help out inner city kids, donate to foundations that build homes, protect women and children, and put body cams on police. There are many more useful ways to protest than being disrespectful to our flag and our country at large. After all, you haven’t decided to pack up and go elsewhere to live and work making millions playing a game. These people should be putting their money where their knee is.

PAT STEELE
Fruita

Will 3A and 3B solve issue of 165-day school year?

Until I see or hear a concise and logical reason why the children in District 51 only go to school for 165 days a year while the rest of the state goes for 180 days and see the detailed plan on how 3A and 3B are going to address this specific problem, I will not vote for 3A or 3B.

RICHARD BLOSSER
Grand Junction

Sport has become the religion of choice for the unthinking

Let me quote a friend: “What we have is a group of coddled little boys dressed up in men’s bodies, being paid much more than anyone is worth to play games and believing that their thoughts and feelings are the only ones that count.”

And the majority of the people have made gods of these imbeciles. Sport has become the religion of choice for the unthinking. I will suggest that the same mentality applies to the entertainment industry as well. I would defy any of these prima donnas to go out and get a real job in real life. My guess is that 99 percent of them would not survive a week, or less, working as a cop, firefighter, military, farmer or many, many other occupations.

If this thought steps on anybody’s feet, so be it.

LARRY M. HEAD
Hotchkiss

Education also comes from working in the marketplace

Higher education does not always come from colleges or universities. It comes from working in the marketplace. Our country prospered not only by theory, but also by vocation and apprenticeships.

As a teenager, a kid should know how to drive, get the mail, vacuum the floors, cook a meal, hem a dress, fix hair, and talk to strangers. Even Einstein had to start with the basics; you have to get beyond theory.

Like the old saying, “Any job worth doing is worth doing right.” The computer can’t do everything.

JUNE HARBIG
Grand Junction

School buildings are not what make for good students

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and when I started school in 1951 I went to the only elementary school they had, which had been built in 1741. I did not realize at that time I was deprived and that it was impossible for me to learn anything because the building I was in was 210 years old. It was not run down because it had been properly maintained. I listened to the teacher and did my work. After dinner my father always went over my homework with me and made sure it was done and that I understood what the work was teaching me. When we moved here, I met people who had gone to one-room schoolhouses here in this county and they were bright thoughtful people.

The point is that a building does not make good students; parents who work with their children at home on their schoolwork and make sure that they go to school make good students. Top-heavy school administrations which poorly maintain the buildings they already have and want more and more money to build more buildings where students are not learning what they need to know is not the solution. Fancy programs are not the answer either. Parents who work with their children at home to understand the work are the answer.

RICHARD GERHARDT
Fruitvale

The U.S. is a secular 
country, not a theocracy

Some people carry on with the belief that the U.S. is a Christian nation. The U.S. Constitution is clear that it is not and makes no mention of God. Still, we have things like “In God we trust” on our coins and many choose to say “under God” when reciting the pledge of allegiance. The coins and the added under “God” thing in the pledge do present a sort of conflict, yet it does not change the way our laws are executed.

The reality is that we are a secular country, not a theocracy. A U.S. judge, at any level, is required to make decisions based upon the laws of the land, not by consulting the Bible or any other religious doctrine. Their oath of office is very specific in this area.

A Mr. Kearsley submitted a letter claiming that poor Christians are being oppressed because the ability of a judge to make decisions based upon our laws has been questioned when some have openly indicated they would allow their religion to take precedence or written things that describe transgender children as “Satan’s plan.” He claims there is a connection between morality and Christianity. Do these supposedly oppressed Christians have a problem understanding the U.S. Constitution? There is no evidence to suggest that religion leads to morality any more than no religion does.

The Christians are free to practice their religion at home, in their church or in their neighborhood but when they want to practice it as a guide for government rule they are the oppressors. It has been proven throughout history time and again. There is no “secularization movement” as claimed by Mr. Kearsley. People who accurately understand the laws of the United States know that we always have been a secular country.

ROBERT FISK
Delta

Western Colorado Contractors Association supports 1A

The Western Colorado Contractors Association board heard the presentation regarding the proposed Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A.

After seeing the breakdown of concerns that prompted the proposed sales tax measure, Western Colorado Contractors Association would like to support the Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A for the following reasons:

• By implementing a sales tax measure that will meet the current needs of our public safety officials, Mesa County would be able to create a safer environment and a lower crime rate that is more attractive to businesses and families looking to move into the area. Growth in the community leads to additional infrastructure and development in the area, which creates more work opportunities for our area businesses.

• Increased presence and public safety response times would eventually result in decrease of crimes including areas of construction-related sites, equipment and businesses.

• An adequate budget source would be established to maintain efficient public safety departments that will not be taken from previously established resources or reallocated to other areas.

Western Colorado Contractors Association supports the 2017 Mesa County Public Safety Measure 1A, and will encourage community members to consider supporting this measure.

SHAWNA GRIEGER
Grand Junction


COMMENTS

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Mr. Blosser, have you ever run a business. If so, did you plan every expenditure of money you hoped was coming in? Once again we have one of the locals trying to make what appears to be a reasonable statement creating a smokescreen for the fact that he simply doesn’t want to spend more money on taxation. He has whatever level of education he enjoys and either his own parents paid for it or more likely all taxpayers at the time paid for it with their taxes. He had ihs chance to vote on the board members that run the District and he also can attend board meetings. Did he do those things? I don’t know but I do know additional money won’t corrupt our district officials. Not with the amount we currently spend per student. Stand up and be counted, Mr. Blosser,  but not with the phony reason you are offering trying to make it appear that you are a “reasonable” man. From the time you can support yourself until you die your are responsible for paying taxes, heavily to support those who are coming up behind you. If you choose you also participate in electing fellow citizens to run the district. If you feel they are not doing their jobs and are leaving you with insufficient information take it up with them. You’ve done that , right? Or is your mission to make it appear that you are a reasonable man that merely doesn’t want to help making this a reasonable place to live and have students learn as much as possible? You’ve got yours. It’s somebody else’s problem, assuming it is even a problem at all, right?

Pat Steele, it appears that you need some basic instruction in economics. Athletes are paid whatever the owner of the team chooses. He is able to do so depending on the income he has. That income comes from attendance at games and broadcast income. Citizens choose to spend their money on products advertised on TV and attending games. Where, in this money tree, is there room for forcing anybody as to how they spend the money they earn? Taxes or merely not attending games or watching them on TV. The public controls what those rich competitors make. The public controls how they spend it. Same goes for you. You decide or everybody does with taxation. Your point is to force athletes how to somehow spend what they earn? You can do that but it will have to be in taxation of specific levels of earning, not just athletes earnings. Do you want to discourage athletic contests? How about musical concerts? Membership in associations in groups such as NRA or Planned Parenthood?
Discourage spending of participants by not encouraging watching them or endorsing what they do. The public determines how money is spent. Do you want the public to determine how much you make and how you spend it? Civilization needs some level of taxation. The rest is yours. Do you want to control that? Simple, either don’t participate in supporting the activity or not. People are supporting athletes earnings through the popularity of the “show”. Our system, capitalism, and the magic of the market determines wages. Don’t support. The money goes elsewhere, maybe even to things you do support.

Such as Pat Steele and Mr. Larry Head are much more emotional resorting to them as selfish and spoiled.  Steele states that they should put their money where their mouth is. 

Well, if Steel looked more carefully, the individual might well find that they do in various social programs in their communities.  One must ask how much of an effort such as Steel do in that regard, if anything.  Perhaps Steel is waiting for others to do it because they consider themselves too busy or important to do so.

Mr. Head resorts to name calling and characterization of them as spoiled.  Well, if they were that “spoiled” and “selfish” they would not risk loss of income or reputation to bring to our attention the social injustices we see in this country.  They would demonstrate solely for themselves and their interests.  Some of us wonder if such as Mr. Head have the courage to do the same or, if his being more concerned with himself, and his personal and parochial interests, actually lacks the courage to do so?

Ask either of those individuals if they believe in “free speech” and they will undoubtedly answer that they do.  However, what they are really arguing is “Yes, I believe in free speech, but not if the speech of others makes me uncomfortable.”  Thus they have their own self-serving definition of what “free speech” actually means.

Now, perhaps these two individuals are individuals who, when someone does or says something (pushes one of their emotional buttons) feel compelled to “snap to”, and expect others to do the same.  That is because they have been conditioned to do so, and cannot do otherwise.  And, as that is what they do, they expect everyone else to do the same.  And, that being what they are as well as lacking the courage to be otherwise, such individuals become infuriated with anyone who chooses to do his/her own thinking and act or speak out upon their own convictions.

Mr. Head, you are more or less making the same point as Pat Steele. Do you want to decide how you spend your money or let the public do it with taxation? Do you want enjoyable things that you like to see or attend? You’d like to see more money spent on things that support civilization and living harmoniously together? Taxation is the answer or convincing those who have it to spend it on the things you prefer. Complaining about someone else’s way to support a lifestyle won’t get it, particularly demeaning it. Either don’t support that that is offered or contact your elected rep to support the things you want supported. That’s the economic and political systems we live with. An autocratic dictator might get you the things you want. And, then again you might not appreciate what else you get.

Why am I not impressed with the opinion offered by Shawna Grieger about wanting a “safe community” for commercial activity.  The reason is that while such people do “rant and rave” about crime, they don’t recognize it for what it really is, nothing but something which runs much deeper, selfishness and greed.

It is quite evident, and has been for decades, that what is most important in most people’s lives are material things, money and things (no matter how it is obtained).  There are many examples in the headlines every day, not only of the “crimes” committed by the petty criminal, but corporate crime which all too frequently is “excused” or dismissed, where the perpetrators are not only not held to account, but actually benefit from them (leave with bonuses or other financial settlements beneficial to them).  So, when the young see that, what are they then going to do?  They will follow that example.  “Hey, if it worked for them, it can work for me as well.”

The cause of crime is that people no longer respect one another as human beings.  In fact they no longer see, either themselves or others, as individual human beings.  They look at themselves and consequently others, as “this or that” (usually as roles they play in life), but never as human beings.  That is something which becomes readily evident in almost any extended conversation with many (if not most) individuals.

Thanks to Delta’s Robert Fisk (“The U.S. is a secular country, not a
theocracy”)  for confirming my previous critique of Dave Kearsley’s unprincipled “conservatism”, malevolent Republicanism, empty-headed Trumpism, and self-righteous religiosity (“’In God we trust’ is being challenged”) – which is precisely why the magical thinking and hypocrisy of “In God we trust” should be challenged (Roy Moore notwithstanding).

Contrary to Kearsley’s belief in divine inspiration, throughout history, religion has been used to explain what humans could not yet comprehend about the natural world they lived in.  Over time, evolving religious beliefs encompassed familiar cultural principles of morality, ethics, and law which shared one thing in common – some version of the Golden Rule.

Inherent in many religiously-hidebound cultures were those who questioned or doubted the self-ordained priests when their prescriptions and/or prophesies proved unreliable.  Some were crucified, others were burned at the stake, and many were tortured by the Inquisition (all in the name of “Christianity”), and some recanted to save themselves.

While the U.S. Constitution is arguably “based on Judaic/Christian values”, the Founders (albeit nominally “believers” in Providence) were well-aware of the atrocities committed by European “christian” sects against one another – even in the Colonies.  Thus, the very purpose of the Establishment Clause was to secularize our government by keeping it out of religion - and vice versa.  While Kearsley pays lip service to Constitutional protections for “other religious beliefs and atheists”, he fails to recognize that the First Amendment—as Fisk aptly notes—was intended to thwart (“oppress?”) zealous Christians who would subvert it.

Thus, more recently, Senators Feinstein (Jewish) and Durbin (Catholic) had good reason to question Trump’s federal judicial nominee Amy Barrett (Catholic) about her personal commitment to “orthodox Catholic dogma” – which irreconcilably conflicts with American women’s constitutionally-protected right to choose an abortion (at least, prior to “viability”).

In effect, the 14th Amendment sought to secularize the Golden Rule by guaranteeing “the equal protection of the laws”, but self-proclaimed
“Christians” have abused their religion to justify slavery, segregation, and discrimination against women, gays, and now transgender citizens.  Thus, it’s high time we returned to “E Pluribus Unum” (From Many, One).

It’s not even 10 am and our perpetually unhappy local progressive leftists have already “enlightened us” with almost 1800 words of drivel that I won’t be bothering to read. It’s good that it gives them something to do.

Dear RA:

See today’s headline: “Atheist student [Cidney Fisk] sues Delta schools” for more enlightenment about religious drivel and christians in action.

Is it possible there is another side to that story?

RA:  Of course.  Time will tell.

RA, consider adding to the discussion, positive or negative, rather than the usual idiot complaints about liberals. All you do is keep adding to your reputation as a know-nothing troll. Another side of the Delta situation? Find out and tell us rather that just implying that the story is not complete. Add something concrete to the comments made by people who actually care. Otherwise your comments and complaints are received as the usual bitching by people who want their name in print but don’t want to do anything about actually adding to the collective knowledge, good or bad, of situations happening currently.

“Otherwise your comments and complaints are received as the usual bitching by people who want their name in print but don’t want to do anything about actually adding to the collective knowledge, good or bad, of situations happening currently.”  Mr. Borgen, I never realized you were so self-aware.

“All you do is keep adding to your reputation as a know-nothing troll”.

ATTENTION MODS:  WHY IS IT OK FOR BORGEN TO CALL ME A TROLL, BUT WHEN Mr. BLOSSER CALLED BORGEN A TROLL HIS COMMENT WAS REMOVED?

RA, if it bothers you then why read it, as you obviously have? I think that’s called hypocrisy, something in great supply in recent years from Republicans. You are one of them , aren’t you? If it walks like a duck, etc.

RA, as you recently commented maybe there is more to it with the troll issue. A second side, so to speak. Tell us about the entire comment that was supposedly dumped. You do know the entirety of the comment, don’t you? I don’t . Explain, if you are able. Or is this just another unsubstantiated bitch?

Just an unsubstantiated bitch like this one, Borgen?
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Printed Letters: September 22, 2017

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Mr Meyers
I have decided it is impossible to deal with the nasty trolls that feel the need to respond to every letter that doesn’t fit their onesided outlook. I feel your pain!!

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When Mr. Blosser complained he was told it was an inappropriate comment.

Some thoughts and observations on today’s printed letters:

1. We are not a nation of immigrants, we are a constitutional republic based upon the rule of law. Where you come from does not matter, how you come here, how you conduct yourself in doing so during and after, and respect for our laws and customs do matter. I believe the answer may be in reciprocal immigration laws.

2. Generally I choose not to bother with professional sports. The disrespect for our anthem is just another reason to not bother. I support a persons 1st amendment right to express themselves just as they may be challenged on their beliefs. In this case the challenge appears to be reduced attendance, loss of viewership and criticism. Actions have consequences.

3. Schools absolutely need to be properly funded, its how the dollars are spent is what concerns many people, myself included. I attended grade school in the 60’s and 70’s in a building that was built at the turn of the century. It was cold & drafty in the winter, bot and humid in the spring and fall. There was no AC and the heat was hot water radiators. But the teachers taught well and taught the key subjects. By the 7th grade I was testing at a 12th grade competency level and there were many more in my class who earned better grades than I. Its not the number of classes offered or the shiny buildings that educate. Its students who understand that they are to learn, teachers who are there to teach, and parents that are engaged and ensuring that they are doing both.

4. If you think things are really unsettled in our nation and we are being torn apart I suggest you watch Ken Burns Vietnam documentary on PBS and see what it was like 40 years ago.

RA, re: your recent post relative to substantiation,“RA, why don’t you substantiate Ms Many’s claims instead. She didn’t, Can you? 
I’m curious. You said you were tired of this site and it’s participants. Why are you still here if you are so offended. More elementary school-level dumb come-backs to make to see your name in print? Kind of Trumpistic, isn’t it?

One other point, and I hate discussing religionb because both sides have a knee jerk reaction:

5. No we are not a secular nation nor a theocratic one. And no, God is not specifically named in our Constitution. Nor is the word democracy or any version of it though many consistently incorrectly refer to our country as a democracy. Nor is there any mention of your right to directly vote in presidential elections, but most incorrectly assume that right is enshrined in the Constitution. We’d all be much better off if our schools taught more civics and the founding documents I believe.

If one individual believes something which is wrong, it is still wrong even when many believe it. 

So, this claim by some of our “modern day fundamentalist Christians” that they have the “right to rule” because they are Christians, is really nothing more than what was once accepted by many, the “Divine right of Kings”, that secular rulers had the right to rule (dominate) others because their authority came from some “god” or “gods”.  It is therefore nothing more than a resuscitation of that old concept in a new form.

As to today’s headline in the Daily Sentinel, it does not surprise me at all, considering the words of a past school board member suggesting the idea of the physical mutilation of young people over which bathroom they chose to use.

I have been in Delta for seventeen years, and am quite familiar with it.  The saying among more than a few, even those who do attend church, would be laughable if it were not so tragic.  It is that many churches are more “centers of gossip” rather than “centers of worship”, something I suspect is true in many other communities as well.

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