Green New Deal is dangerous to our country

Randy Fricke's opinions on Bernie Sander's GREEN NEW DEAL sounds great but there is not enough money in the world to pay for it. He also fails to mention the fact that if the U.S. produced NO green house gases it would only have about a 5% effect on world pollution. That seems to me to mean we pay trillions but effects the problem by only less than 5%. Until the other large producers of pollution get on board the problem won't be solved. Sanders and Randy Fricke should put their efforts toward WORLD pollution, not joshing us that we alone can fix it! He also should look at other socialist experiments across the world to know what he would be living in with a Sander's world. It all sounds great but living it and ignoring the facts is dangerous to our country.


Grand Junction

Thursday's side-by-side columns were enlightening

Thanks to The Daily Sentinel for printing the editorials by Marc Thiessen and Cody Perry side by side in Thursday’s edition. Thiessen not only points out the foolishness of President Trump’s intent to sit down with Taliban terrorists at Camp David, but also reminds us of two of former President Obama’s more egregious policy mistakes. Perry reveals interesting aspects of the proposed relocation of BLM management from D.C. to Grand Junction and other sites in the west. I always suspected that this was a dopey notion, and now I’m sure.

If you haven’t read these editorials, you should, and if you have, read them again. O.K, so they're just opinion, but you may be enlightened.


Grand Junction

Raise top income tax rate and see what happens

Democratic presidential candidates calling for a 75% income tax rate brought to mind that France raised the top rate there to 75%. Funny things happened. The rich moved out, foreign investors stopped investing, resulting in fewer taxes being collected. The top tax rate was reduced to 45%.

There may be a lesson there.


Grand Junction

Who did it?

Are airplanes to blame for the 9/11 attacks or are the hijackers who flew them? Are cars to blame for many deaths on our highways or are the drunk drivers who drove them? Are matches to blame for the loss of arson victims or are the arsonists who lit them? Are knives to blame for stabbing victims or are the attackers who used them? Are guns to blame for mass murders or are the persons who pulled the trigger? Are clubs to blame for beating victims or are the thugs who wielded them? Are pressure cookers to blame for blowing up bystanders or are the terrorists who turned them into bombs?

There is a common thread here and yet far too many of our citizens and state and federal justice departments fail to see it. Objects do not commit crimes but some people do. And yet many of these same people are released time and again instead of being locked up for most or all of their lives. Why is this so difficult to comprehend?


Grand Junction

Beware the scammers

Getting a lot of scam calls these days on both my home phone and cell phone. Beware! They say they are “federal agents” or “your Social Security account is suspended,” or my all-time favorite, “there is a warrant for your arrest.” All cleverly designed to get your personal information and separate you from your money. Legitimate agencies never ask for money or personal information over the phone. The scammers also spoof caller ID, so you can’t really be certain who’s on the other end. I simply let it go to answering machine. If it’s legitimate, you can call back.

I am retired Western Slope law enforcement. I don’t know how many times I had the sad duty to tell someone, “I’m sorry. Your money is most likely gone forever.” These criminals are frequently overseas, effectively beyond the reach of American authorities. One of their favorite tricks is to ask people to go to the store and get pre-loaded debit cards or gift cards to “clear up the warrant” or to “unlock your Social Security account.” They then ask for the card numbers, and poof, your money is gone.

This relentless bombardment by scammers is increasing to an epidemic. For them, it’s a “numbers game.” If they call enough people, enough times, they are able to perpetuate their frauds. The FTC reports that people lost $1.48 billion (that’s a ‘b’) last year to fraud – a massive increase.

Scammers prey on peoples’ fears and lack of knowledge of how the system works, and constantly refine their tactics and techniques. In this digital age, they have multiple means at their disposal to reach their tentacles into our lives (the results frequently being drained bank accounts or identity theft). Let’s remember to keep strong passwords, be extra cautious on social media, be alert to these calls, get a robust anti-virus, and buy a good credit monitoring service. For about 10 bucks a month, the peace of mind is priceless.

When we can’t find something locally, let’s not be afraid to utilize online retailers just because of these scammers. A little common sense and caution does the trick.

In the time it took for me to type this, I received two fraudulent calls on my cell phone. I wish I was making that up. They ARE out there!


Grand Junction

Liberal socialists will never be happy

The liberal socialists war on CO2 never ends. Now they're attacking natural gas which is being substituted for "dirty coal" because it is much cleaner. Hell, they'll never be happy. They are protesting geothermal electric power development as well, (one of the cleanest forms of energy) because it involves drilling rigs and they are blaming earthquakes on them. Lets make these socialist greenies live in caves without any access to energy. They can't chop down trees either for wood for fires because they will be causing deforestation and eliminating mother nature's CO2 scrubbers.


Grand Junction

Prop CC is deceiving to voters

This November, Colorado citizens will see Proposition CC on their election ballot. It begins simply “Without raising taxes…” But what does that really mean? Proponents of the initiative argue that Prop CC does not increase the 4.63% Colorado individual income tax rate, therefore it does not “raise taxes”. Prop CC goes on to ask “…may the State keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects after June 30, 2019, but is not currently allowed to keep and spend under Colorado law…” That sounds to me like the State wants to keep more of your money. So how would that work?

We all know the drill. You work hard all year and your employer deducts $2,000 (for example) from your paycheck and sends it to the state. In February you complete your tax return and find out your employer withheld $200 too much out of your paycheck and the State sends it back. You only had to pay $1,800 in Colorado income taxes for the year.

Same scenario as above, but this time your tax return showed that the correct amount of taxes were withheld by your employer. But once the state gets everyone’s tax returns, it determines that as a result of your Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights that is part of the Colorado Constitution (and controls the amount of taxes you owe every bit as much as any other provision of the State tax laws), the state actually did collect too much income tax from you and everyone else and now they owe you a refund of $150. You still only had to pay $1,850 in Colorado income taxes.

But now we have Proposition CC. If passed, the state will “keep and spend all the revenue it annually collects”. That is the $2,000 that your employer withheld and sent to the state. No $150 tax refund now. So, did Prop CC raise your taxes? Maybe not the individual income tax rate, but it definitely increased the amount of money that you paid to the State of Colorado that the state will “keep and spend." In my opinion, that is “raising taxes”. Keep your money and vote No on CC.



Polis agenda seems heavy on telling us what to do

In our local news lately are articles and comments from Gov. Jared Polis and others. The latest thing on the governor's agenda is to get rid of the beef because of the carbon foot print. A couple of weeks ago it was to get rid of the gasoline and diesel powered cars and trucks. He has said he wants to lower health costs. I'm thinking he will install one government-run clinic somewhere with a couple of doctors and every one will have to go there and stand in line for a few days to get treatment. He is deciding what is good for us to eat and what to drive. The next thing will be is to decide where you work and how much money you get to keep. That's just a warm-up for starters. People are just getting pulled in by all the free things the candidates for president are promising.


Grand Junction

Consider Trump your 'wake up fairy'

Interesting year 2019. It's just been eighty years since we almost lost the world to fascism. Decompressing from that era, we may reflect on other worldly events and their anniversaries. One of the most distant is the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the transcontinental railroad linking the country together in 1869. Fifty years later, one hundred years ago in 1919, Dwight Eisenhower lead the first transcontinental Motor Transport Corps from Washington DC to San Francisco. Fifty years hence and fifty years ago, in 1969 astronauts landed on the moon. The world has come a long way in a short time thanks to American grit and imagination.

So 1969 is a good year to reflect on. It represented a peak of American aspiration, but it also measured the depths of depravity, and mindless selfishness. It was once joked that in 1969 JFK's inspiration got men to the moon, but his brother Ted couldn't cross the Chappaquiddick Bridge. What could contrast more, a month after Neil Armstrong's “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”, than to be slipping, sipping, stoning, singing in the mud in Yeager's Farm at Woodstock in upstate New York?... not to mention poor Charles Manson making a mess of everyone's lives in California.

Surprise, presidential candidates are a perspicuous bunch. Many born since 1969, reflect values that … in geologic terms are a discontinuity. They know no better. They have lived in a world where “value relativism” is the norm. By judging everything in the false long narrative of the present, they cannot see the future.

Trump may bumble, but the greater truth is that since WWII, we have been dividing the world we live in into zones of self-righteousness and ideologies. Today it's a world of straw-men. Pull out your man: white-supremacist, racist, communist, socialist, sexist, etc. while ignoring cabals and collusion, not to mention human trafficking.

”Wake up” is the subtext of the Trump phenomena. We have a future to unfold as human beings here on this lovely, rare planet, Earth. Consider Trump your “wake-up fairy."


Grand Junction

Protected banks, colleges are winners in student loan sweepstakes

Rick Wagner thinks the idea of canceling of student loans comes right out of the Soviet Constitution. Actually, numerous debtors were able to discharge their student loans through bankruptcy right here in America. Today, that is no longer the case.

At least Mr. Wagner acknowledges that it is we who have created the problem of student debt. Hopefully, we will be able to solve it without having a generation suffer through decades of student debt with little hope of ever being able to pay it off.

Mr. Wagner has a point that colleges and universities benefit from the guaranteed money and may have “little concern for the quality or employment potential of the finished product.” But colleges and universities are not the only ones to benefit from federally guaranteed money. Let’s not forget who loans the guaranteed money — banks. Since the money they lend is federally guaranteed, lenders have no incentive to make sure the student is going to a reputable accredited school or whether the student even has a chance to pay off the loan after graduation. And now that student loans are non-dischargeable in bankruptcy (thanks, Joe Biden), a restriction not applicable to an earlier generation of debtors, lenders are even more protected. Not only do the banks recoup their initial loan, they get to collect interest as well.

The colleges win, the banks win; the only people getting screwed are the students and the U.S. taxpayers. It makes you wonder, who does government really work for, and who should it work for?


Grand Junction

Challenging the partisan Supreme Court

Marc Thiessen’s Sept. 5 column (“Senate Democrats’ unprecedented threat against the Supreme Court”) should more aptly have been titled “Senate Democrats warn partisan Supreme Court about its unprecedented threat to American democracy” – because that is the thrust of the brief to which Thiessen objects.

Of course, Thiessen never attended law school, while Sens. Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) are all experienced attorneys (Whitehouse and Blumenthal both served as U.S. Attorneys and Attorneys General of their states) – who therefore know better than Thiessen when the Supreme Court goes awry.

The case that prompted the Senate Democrats’ “unprecedented” brief is New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, Docket No. 18-280, which challenged NYC gun regulations that have since been rescinded, but the merits of which the Supreme Court had already agreed to hear during its October 2019 term. Because the case is now technically "moot," precedent dictates that the Court should routinely remand it for dismissal.

Therefore, if it doesn’t, that will send a clear signal that the Court’s “conservative” majority intends to rely on Scalia’s spurious opinion in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008) – reversing 217 years of Second Amendment jurisprudence — and Justice Alito’s directly derivative opinion in McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010) – imposing Scalia’s NRA-inspired rendition of that Amendment on the States, thereby erecting more roadblocks against popularly-supported efforts to enact sensible gun laws that do not violate the Bill of Rights.

Accepting a moot case to rule on its merits would also repeat the travesty of Shelby County v. Holder, 570 U.S. 529 (2013), in which the Court defied its own precedents to grant “standing” to a plaintiff that had not exhausted available remedies under the Civil Rights Act of 1965, thereby enabling the “activist” majority to effectively gut that Act.

Previously, on Jan. 27, 2010, during his State of the Union address, President Obama warned about the corrupting ramifications of the Court’s then-recent decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) – holding that money was “speech” and corporations were “persons.” While Alito shook his head and mouthed the words “not true," subsequent events have proven that former law professor Obama knew what he was talking about, but that the Republican-controlled Supreme Court didn’t.

So, if the Supreme Court won’t uphold the “Rule of Law,” Senate Democrats must.


Grand Junction

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