Printed letters, Nov. 24, 2010

Years ago, I joked that someday I will arrive at the airport wearing a robe, carrying a bag of clothes, flash the screener, get dressed in the open and press on to my flight. In my 27 years as a professional pilot, I would not have thought we would be here today.

What angers me most is that we have been manipulated to accept being guilty until proven innocent when entering an airport screening area. I have seen our government go down this ill-conceived reactionary path for 10 years, to the detriment of our rights.

The proactive plan that works best is the one in Tel Aviv. The drill is always the same. I call it “20 questions,” while the screener maintains eye contact. They are looking for signs. They are highly trained. We would call it profiling. I am all for it and it’s what the airlines used to do until they were handcuffed by political correctness.

They have had a great deal of success, considering their location on the planet. The passengers fly with dignity, unmolested and safe.

Some say that American market is too big to implement the El Al method. I contend that there are a few world-class airports that would pose a challenge, but most airports are no larger in traffic volume than Tel Aviv. Considering the billions spent, we can find solutions for the major airports.

Since 1979, those who have attacked America are 18-34 year old Muslim males, not the nun, mother with child, middle-aged businessman or a woman with underwire. Why do we need to be “sensitive” to their feelings while molesting 99.99 percent of Americans?

Common sense has flown out the window and has been replaced with illegal search and seizure. How much more are you willing to tolerate? Your children felt up and/or their naked pictures on the web? For what? Sensitivity to the ones who want to kill us? How much more of your liberty are you going to trade for security?


Don’t use symphony to fund Avalon remodel

Several years ago, a group studied remodeling the Avalon Theatre and reported costs of $13 million-plus.

The Downtown Development Authority decided to do it again. This time it involved the Grand Junction Symphony. They each contributed thousands for the study, but the conclusion was the same. Remodeling would cost millions of dollars

The downtown business people do a great job of trying to attract people to the area with all kinds of events — farmers market, Octoberfest, etc. But the Avalon is too small to be considered a home for the symphony. At best, it can only seat 600. Grand Junction High School auditorium can seat 1,300.

Furthermore, to bring the Avalon up to good modern standards will require stripping it to bare bricks, extending the stage to the south and closing the alley. Another area will be needed for storage and add dressing rooms, not to mention modern lighting, etc.

Mesa State College has the Moss Theater that seats about 800.

Would it be better to put efforts and millions of dollars to build a real auditorium that seats 2,000? The city wants to attract conventions. But our symphony is a volunteer orchestra.  They receive a small stipend, hardly enough to pay for the babysitter.

The symphony budget the last two years has been in the red. The symphony members do a great job and we are so lucky to have them. But, why is the symphony being used to promote and pay for the needs of downtown?

Let’s work hard and build a real auditorium.



How does blocking START II protect American citizens?

Do you remember “Duck and Cover?” If you do, can you explain why the Republicans would want to stop the ratification of START II Treaty?

“Trust but verify” was the original, June 1982 verbal proposal between President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. START I was signed by President George H.W. Bush in July 1991 and was in force from December 1994 to December 2009.

President Obama and President Medvedev signed START II on April 2010 after lengthy negotiations. No president or Cabinet member and few members of Congress have ever before attempted to block the idea of the need for nuclear arsenal reduction and the verification of that reduction.

On “60 Minutes” Nov. 21, it was reported that a Russian arms dealer was captured by the Drug Enforcement Administration. He may have single-handedly sold Russian weapons to Western Africa that have slowly destroyed that area with civil wars.

If this can be done using conventional Russian weaponry, what can the Republicans be thinking by blocking verification of nuclear material from Russia? How can the Senate Republicans think this delay in ratification is protecting me and my family, my community and my country?




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