Printed letters, Sept. 13, 2011

I do not have MSNBC on Dish Network. I was able to watch the Republican debate last week on the Internet through Politico.com. It was a spirited debate with some differing ideas on how to solve the many problems the government and the people have in these difficult times.

There was not one Republican candidate who was disrespectful or who portrayed a negative view of our country or American corporations. I would trust any of the Republican candidates to do a better job of solving the nation’s problems than President Obama.

They were upbeat, not negative about America, they explained what private business can do given the opportunity and direction to solve the unemployment problems without government bailouts.

I hope Obama was watching and will try to adopt a positive viewpoint of the people and businesses of America.

RICHARD MCBRIDE

Grand Junction

Tea party nominee will mean Obama’s re-election

After watching the GOP presidential primary debate, it’s obvious the tea-party wing of the Republican Party is in firm ideological control, at least for now. But just who are these people?

Since shortly after its emergence, a number of academics have been studying those who claim adherence to the tea party’s philosophy. Their findings are interesting.

For instance, tea partiers tend to generally be older, white, wealthier and more likely to be evangelical. They are also more likely than other Republicans to be registered to vote, to have contacted a public official or to have donated to a campaign.

In addition, the research indicates tea party supporters are more likely to be “reactionary” conservatives who strongly oppose change.

Of particular interest is research regarding the oft-repeated charge by some that the tea party harbors racist tendencies.

In a research paper entitled “Partisan Polarization and the Rise of the Tea Party Movement,” Alan Abramowitz of Emory University states:

“In a multivariate analysis, racial resentment and dislike of Barack Obama, along with conservatism, emerged as the most important factors contributing to support for the Tea Party movement.”

Part of me wants the grown-ups in the Republican Party to nominate a moderate to run in 2012, but part of me delights in the possibility the tea party will nominate one of its own, thereby ensuring the re-election of Barack Obama.

E. MICHAEL ERVIN

Grand Junction

Halting tar-sands pipeline is critical for the climate

The nation is buzzing with talk of one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in recent history. Over 1,200 people, clamoring for a voice in our convoluted political system, got arrested in Washington D.C. to give President Barack Obama a clear message: We won’t stand for extreme energy or the Keystone XL pipeline.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would be used to transport oil from tar sands, an unusually dirty fuel. In Canada there is an area approaching the size of England that has been strip-mined, the forest bulldozed, the surface scraped off, the earth beneath pulverized and washed with undisclosed chemical solvents, using too much fresh water and with too little regard for the people in communities downstream, where rare cancers are cropping up at alarming rates.

Throw in the fact that it takes large amounts of energy — in the form of natural gas or nuclear power — to mine and process tar sands oil.

The climate is spinning out of control as we speak, and the costs are high. Can we afford to continue to use a fuel that produces two to three times more greenhouse gas pollutants than conventional oil?

We are a growing movement; strong, organized, decentralized and empowered to fight because we must. We will continue to put our bodies on the line because non-violent direct action is the best tool we have when our elected officials turn a deaf ear on good research and sustained public comment.

Not only will we stop the Keystone XL pipeline, we will do anything it takes to shut down all existing and planned tar sands operations. This means no tar-sands mining in Utah. We simply cannot afford to entertain such a dangerously foolish notion any longer.

SARAH STOCK

Castle Valley, Utah



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