Printed letters, Jan. 18, 2011

This is in response to a recent letter writer who thinks that in order to save Social Security, payments should be made to only those who really need it.

Using the writer’s logic, let’s pretend that instead of forking over payments to the government all those work years, remembering that the more you make the more you fork over, you put your money in a savings account at the bank.

Years later, you retire and look forward to taking a nice trip with some of your hard-earned savings. You go to the bank to withdraw funds, but are told, “Sorry, you can’t have it. We have clients who need your money much more than you do.”

The writer also needs to be reminded that Social Security payments are effectively means-tested at tax time. Those with investment and/or pension income may have to pay as much as 25 percent of their income in taxes.

The system is a mess and there’s really no way to fix it that will be fair to everyone. If a bank had handled the Social Security savings trust the way the government has, some people would probably be going to jail.

SUE C. HUGHEY Grand Junction

Sometimes, finding fault is entirely justified

In the Jan. 10 edition of The Daily Sentinel, in the “Student of the Week” article, an uncle passed on this “best advice” to his nephew: “Find fault with no one. Get over the thought of condemning people and things. People and things are all right. Let them alone and enjoy life.”

While this uncle may be a fine, caring person, one would find it hard to believe that he has never found fault with anyone and never seen situations in life worthy of condemnation. History is replete with examples showing the folly of such thinking.

Neville Chamberlain hesitated to find fault with Hitler. Many in the German church found no fault with him. Even many Jews were slow to admit the horror.

Is there no fault to be found with things such as 9/11, genocide, child and spousal abuse, financial shenanigans that cause economic meltdowns, the pornification of our children — and society generally — through a pop culture that shows contempt for the very moral and social fabric that makes for a healthy society?

Would the uncle’s advice be comforting to the families of victims in the recent massacre in Tucson?  Should the innocents in Mexican towns, caught in the crossfire of drug cartels, smile and say, “Well, people and things are all right”?  Should we simply enjoy life in a society where the meaning of marriage and the sanctity of life are under constant attack?

Perhaps the uncle simply meant to encourage his nephew not to be a self-righteous prig, always looking to find fault with others, and never seeing the good in them. After all, Jesus reminded his followers to “get the log out of your own eye, and then you will see more clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.” Too often, however, some have abused this teaching as an excuse for passivity in the face of injustices and cruelties that wreak havoc in home, community and world.

Frankly, nothing pleases the spirit of tyranny and evil more than to be “let alone” and accepted into the mainstream of life. Or, as Psalm 12 puts it, “Wickedness freely struts about when what is vile is honored among men.”

BILL FORBES

Whitewater

Columnist adds light to a dreary period

Once again the nation is on a rocky road. We’re trying to come to grips with job losses and the nasty taste of bewildering politics.

Whatever most affects everyone personally is what we are the most focused on. But, then comes a common-sense man who always makes me smile — OK, laugh out loud.

On a recent Wednesday, I beat my husband to the newspaper so I could get my weekly fix — a jovial ray of light in a dreary time.

God bless Steve Beauregard.

LILLIAN PEACOCK

Grand Junction

New college instrument is not really a carillon

Mesa State College recently acquired a new musical device, described on the front page of The Daily Sentinel on Jan. 15. But what to call the thing?

Whatever it is, it’s not a carillon, which makes sound by ringing actual bells. The object described seems to be a cross between an electronic keyboard and a public address system.

Real carillons generally weigh several tons and contain dozens of bronze bells. You play them by hitting levers on a keyboard with your closed fist to make the clappers hit the bells. Usually electricity is involved only to light the music stand on the keyboard.

Ordinary music can’t be played on a carillon, but must be rewritten because the sound bells make has a unique set of harmonics.

Calling my Honda Civic a Ferrari, no matter how often I do it, won’t make it one. And calling an amplified electronic device a carillon won’t make it one either.

CHARLES BURCH

Grand Junction



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