Printed letters, May 20, 2011

We take issue with the local tea party representatives’ displeasure with former professor Ward Churchill’s upcoming speaking engagement in Grand Junction. Tim Fenwick, calling Churchill’s visit “an egregious act towards our valley,” raises the question: Whose valley? Does the tea party believe it owns our valley? Do members think they speak for everyone in the valley?

Fenwick goes on to say that Memorial Day is for remembering people who died at the hands of our enemies. So true. Thousands of precious American lives have been lost in defense of our country, and we can be sure not all of them were conservatives.

They came from all walks of life and myriad points of view. They died defending our country and its Constitution — all of the Constitution—including the part about freedom of speech.

Tea party official Rose Pugliese said, “People may not agree with our speakers, and they don’t protest us.” The reason one doesn’t see many dissenters at tea party rallies is that rallies are often conducted with teeth bared, and many devotees might have guns in their pockets.

Are people who live in “our valley” free to speak only one viewpoint without fear of intimidation and violence?

Why are the tea partiers and their conservative friends intent on silencing those who don’t agree with them? Is an opposing point of view so frightening that they cannot bear to hear it?

Is freedom of speech allowed for only one ideology? Is this narrow, oppressive view good for America?


Grand Junction

Ward Churchill Vincent gave life for this country

Ward Churchill speaking in Grand Junction on Memorial Day is very ironic to me, the reason being that in November, 1943, the U. S. Marines invaded the island of Tarawa, which was held by the Japanese.

The Marines and Navy suffered heavy casualties, with 1,687 killed and 2,296 wounded during the three-day battle.

One of those deaths was a young man from Santa Paula, Calif., a doctor in the Navy attached to the Marines. His name, as I knew him, was Ward Churcill Vincent.

Lt. Ward Churchill Vincent and others of the military who gave their lives, did so to preserve the right of all to freedom of speech.

The irony, as I see it, is Ward Churchill is invited to speak in Grand Junction on Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor our fallen heros like Lt. Ward Churchill Vincent, who gave their all for us.



Letter writer misinformed on waterboarding, torture

M.E. Johnson, whose letter to the editor was published May 18, apparently is an avid reader of the leftist Huffington Post.

Nobody was “waterboarded 180 times” in the interrogations leading to information regarding Osama bin Laden.  There may have been 180 “pours” (limited to six per session) which equates to 30 sessions. They were limited to a maximum of five sessions in any 30 days, with no more than two in a 24-hour period, plus many other limitations and cautions.

Vietnam POWs are not in agreement on whether or not waterboarding is “torture.”  Sen. John McCain has one opinion, while a Medal of Honor winner has another. My POW friends say there is no universal agreement in their ranks.

POWs were indeed “tortured” and many have the lasting after-effects to prove it. Waterboarding leaves none, in my opinion.

Johnson goes on to propose ridiculous extensions of “legal” torture use for any infraction whatsoever, crime or not.

Only the interrogators and the myriad intelligence analysts can put together the pieces that led to bin Laden’s demise. I do not believe that coffee and donuts every morning and eight hours of sleep would have gotten any information whatsoever.

My only agreement, if you want to call it that, with Johnson is that I would gladly break arms and pull toenails if I had my wife or child’s kidnapper, who was threatening to kill if I did not pay. And I would serve my time gladly on that exchange.


Grand Junction


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