Printed letters, Dec. 5, 2010

START Treaty is important security

Charles Krauthammer, with Washington Post Writers Group, is presented by The Daily Sentinel as an intellectual, yet his views on the new START Treaty presents him more as a crazy Republican ideologue.

“Good grief,” he says, the START treaty has no priority and is currently useless. Then he claims, “arms control is not necessary.” Pretty naive for an intelligent man.

Any reduction in nukes is good for the economies of the world. How many have gone hungry for the sake of nukes, both here in the United States and in other parts of the world? Check what is happening in Iran and North Korea. How many millions are impoverished there for the sake of nukes?

Krauthammer begins to write stupidly when he says that in post-Soviet times, the Russians are no longer a threat. He suggests that if the Russians want to spend themselves into a penury creating a bloated arsenal, they should do it. It doesn’t take much to realize that, as nuclear arsenals increase, the more likely their use and the more likely the sale of such weaponry to other countries. It only takes one rogue nuclear bombing to create havoc and great suffering in the world.

Krauthammer says that Obama insists that the new START Treaty is important as a step toward his dream as a nuclear-free world. “Where does one begin?” he asks. Dumb question for an intellectual. You have to begin by getting rid of two, ten, a thousand and then more.

But why does he assume the extreme? Nuclear-free may be a wonderful ideal, but not likely and he knows this. “A world without nukes would be the ultimate nightmare,” he claims.

If we get rid of our nukes, the outlaws, the crazies, the rogues and psychopaths will have them. Again he argues the extreme. This is tiring.

He says the new START Treaty is 90 percent useless and 10 percent problematic. He then claims that President Medvedev of Russia has insisted on no major advances of U.S. antimissile deployment as a condition of the entire new treaty. Yet we know that Russia is working with the United States on a missile defense system for Europe.

Aren’t we in a world of hurt if Krauthammer is to become our new renowned seer and futurist?

JOSE U. LUCERO

Grand Junction

DREAM Act will benefit all of us

In January we remember Martin Luther King, Jr. and the epic speech that lit a fire for civil rights nearly half a century ago. This month, our Congress will consider voting on an issue closely connected to that dream: the DREAM Act.

King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed … I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I have a dream that one day all youth in this country will be able to pursue higher education without being judged by the immigration status inherited from their parents.

My nieces are bilingual, straight-A students who have straddled the cultural divide their entire lives, and volunteered in their community. They work in restaurants and nursing homes to pay their way through college with a smile on their faces, while many American college students have never even held a job before graduation.

These “dreamers” know hard work and value education. They are frustrated by their lack of opportunities to better prepare themselves to join the workforce. They are youth full of potential but empty of hope.

Both the House and the Senate are considering versions of the DREAM Act now. If passed, students brought to the United States as kids without proper documentation could apply for temporary legal status, and eventually obtain permanent status and then citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military. This would open the door of opportunity not only for “dreamers,” but for all of us who would collectively benefit from their contributions to our economy.

NICOLE BERNAL RUIZ

Fruita

Extending drilling ban won’t create more jobs

I see our president has extended the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska ban on offshore drilling for another seven years. So much for creating jobs.

He says he wants a more environmentally friendly fuel. Let’s see him run his limo or Air Force One with a solar panel or windmill.

BOB UHL

Grand Junction

Work at fairgrounds benefits a small group

It certainly isn’t easy for the Mesa County commissioners to draft a budget for 2011 when revenue has dropped so much. To eliminate 10 deputy sheriff positions seems drastic, as this will have some level of negative impact on every citizen in the county.

Maybe things are so tight that this was absolutely necessary. Recent news reports suggest differently. The commissioners have approved spending more than $750,000 to make improvements to the equestrian facilities at the county fairgrounds. These improvements will be paid with a loan. To benefit a very small number of citizens, all of us will get to pay for years and years and the interest costs as well.

It seems to me their priorities are way out of line. If we cannot afford necessities, we absolutely cannot afford this luxury.

In Washington, D.C., this sort of decision is called a pork-barrel project, an unnecessary project that benefits a small group at the expense of all taxpayers. I believe the same term should be applied to this expenditure and these commissioners.

JOHN M. LEANE Grand Junction

Ending ban on gays will have no benefit

Too bad the editors of the “already captured press” haven’t listened to Dick Black, a former combat Marine officer and U.S. Army lawyer who served in the Pentagon under Clinton.

He noted they didn’t find evidence of homosexuals being bullied for their sexual orientation — but did find 102 courts martial for homosexual assaults on other service members or on children in a four-year period.

Black noted that 1,160 retired generals and admirals wrote Congress asking that we retain the ban on homosexuals in the military. Former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmidt has reviewed the Pentagon report and published the answer to several key questions.

I cannot agree with what either Secretary of Defense Robert Gates or Admiral Mike Mullen have said — that this can be done. They misrepresented what the Pentagon report said.

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said on FoxNews that gays have served in the military for decades and there hasn’t been a problem with our military being the finest in the world.” I agree with what she said. I also insist she has not given any reasonable cause to change either the policy or the law. After all, as she notes, they have served for decades with “no problems.”

And, as the former military officer Dick Black notes, change will cause disruption and there will likely be an increase in cases of soldiers raping other soldiers.

If Congress forces this change, there will be no benefit, only harm done.

ROBERT BURKHOLDER

Fruita



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