Category: Magical thinking

Why the Republican candidate for 3rd Congressional District, Laurent Boebert, is batsh*t crazy

In May, 2020, Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for House Representative in the 3rd Congressional District (our district), was a guest on an online right wing political talk show called “Steel Truth” hosted by Ann Vandersteel.

Republicans’ lies are turning deadly

House Rep. Scott Tipton, State Senator Ray Scott and Mesa County Commissioner Rose Pugliese all were recently outed in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel for spreading false information on social media that was put out by Colorado Counties, Inc.

The false story went like this: Governor Jared Polis was intentionally withholding federal funds intended for local governments under the Coronavirus relief bill approved by Congress last month, and he was going to use those badly-needed funds to balance the state’s budget instead, forsaking people in rural Colorado who desperately needed the funds.

They didn’t read the bill

In truth, the bill Congress approved designated relief funds only to state and local governments that serve populations of over 500,000 people.

The CARES Act states:

“A unit of local government eligible for receipt of direct payment includes a county, municipality, town, township, village, parish, borough, or other unit of general government below the State level with a population that exceeds 500,000.”

“Exceeds 500,000” means eligible units of government must serve a population OVER 500,000.

County Commissioner Candidate Janet Rowland endangers public health with misleading, Q-Anon-linked posts on social media

Rowland posted this article from a media outlet based in Luxembourg to support her view that there is no significant risk of catching Coronavirus from grocery shopping. The findings of the German doctor cited in this article have not been published in any peer-reviewed journal. Meanwhile, least 30 grocery workers in the U.S. have died from Coronavirus so far. 3,000 more are out sick with coronavirus symptoms.

Mesa County Commissioner candidate Janet Rowland (R) has been posting misleading information about Coronavirus on her campaign Facebook page that is linked to the nutty beliefs of the conspiracy theory QAnon, and that contradict the messaging of public health authorities telling people what they need to do to stay safe and minimize spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Western slopers who fail to grasp danger of Coronavirus are threatening public health

Post on the Grand Junction Community Message Board on Facebook yesterday by Anita Heffalump, who has since changed her name on Facebook to “Anita Hippogriff”

 

Local resident Anita Heffalump alarmed members of the community yesterday by posting an event on the Grand Junction Community Message Board Facebook page that urged people to physically gather to protest public health authorities’ stay-at-home order aimed at protecting people from the pandemic spread of COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by Coronavirus.

Coronavirus currently has no no treatment, no cure, no immunization available to prevent it, and is killing people throughout the globe at an alarming rate. The only tool available to reduce transmission of the new virus and save lives during the pandemic is to distance ourselves from each other by staying home as much as possible.

Oklahoma is just the beginning of what life will be like under Republican rule

Oklahoma Republicans just passed a mind-blowingly strict law that makes abortion illegal in virtually every circumstance, effectively terminating the right of women in the state to control their own bodies and reproductive fate.

Oklahoma wasn’t alone in this, either. Other Republican-dominated states are also enacting extremely strict laws that effectively make abortion illegal, with some banning the procedure as soon as a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Republicans base these laws on their belief that a fetus is a fully legal person entitled to all the rights and privileges that all legal American citizens enjoy.

But if actually put into effect, what do these beliefs really portend for life in America?

Sen. Ray Scott sponsors bill to eliminate price break for low-income energy consumers

Colorado State Senator Ray Scott

Last week State Senator Ray Scott embarrassed Mesa County residents and made a fool of himself by actually saying out loud on the Senate floor that climate change has led to “massive improvements” in our climate.

Now Scott is co-sponsoring a bill, SB 19-250 (pdf), that will deal a blow to low income people served by Black Hills Energy, the gas and electricity provider for residents of Pueblo, Canyon City, Ordway and Westcliffe. Scott’s bill would do away with a two-tiered rate structure Black Hills Energy put in place in 2017 to help low income energy consumers by giving them more protection from a state-approved rate increase that happened that same year.

The Chamber’s North Ave. Name Change is One of a Long String of Losing Proposals

Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce President Diane Schwenke

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce is driving the effort to rename North Avenue to “University Boulevard.”

Oh, boy. Here we go again.

This proposal is just another one in the chamber’s long track record of pushing ill-fitting projects onto Grand Junction citizens, whether they like them or not. The chamber’s proposals typically range from unpopular to disastrous and almost invariably go down in flames. The promises they make about their proposals’ costs and outcomes often contain misinformation, too. So who can blame people for not supporting yet another one?

One Day Left to Keep Trump from Getting Your Voting Information

The Trump administration has made a breathtaking and invasive demand to all 50 states demanding they turn over personal information on every individual registered voter in the country. The administration wants names, addresses, birth dates, political party affiliations, records of elections in which people have voted and the last four digits of people’s social security numbers.

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, a Republican, plans to turn the information right over on July 16 without any argument.

But there is one thing you can do to stop the Trump administration from getting your personal information: ask the Mesa County Clerk to make your voter information confidential.

CO U.S. Senate Candidate Darryl Glenn: Pregnancy Resulting from Rape is a “Gift from God”

Colorado’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, Darryl Glenn, addressed a group of people in Jefferson County in 2015, telling them that pregnancy resulting from a rape is a “gift from God.”

Glenn is running against Democrat incumbent Michael Bennet.

FFRF Warns Delta County School District to End Shelly Donahue’s “Sex Ed” Talks

Donahue with her bag of spaghetti, which she uses to illustrate what girls' brains are like

Donahue with her bag of spaghetti, which she uses to illustrate what girls’ brains are like

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has sent a letter (pdf) to the Delta County School District’s attorney warning that Shelly Donahue’s “sex ed” talks in schools there violate laws that prohibit religious proselytizing in public schools and require specific information be included in public schools’ comprehensive sex education courses.

Andrew Seidel, staff attorney with FFRF in Madison, Wisconsin, wrote to Aaron Clay, legal counsel for the Delta County School District 50J in the two-page letter that:

“Shelly Donahue’s biography on her website prominently includes her personal ‘salvation’ story and how she came to accept Jesus and the Holy Spirit into her life. While discussing her relationship with her ex-husband, Ms Donahue writes that ‘I believe that because Dave and I didn’t begin our relationship with a foundation of Biblical purity, we never connected heart-to-heart.’ That belief, and her subsequent desire to ‘fill that hole in [her] heart,’ led Ms. Donahue to develop her abstinence-only program. She also claims that a preacher and divine intervention healed her brain tumors. Finally, she proclaims, ‘I am passionately committed to Jesus Christ as the ultimate answer to ALL things, including teen sex.’ Her sex education program relies on her religiosity, not science, medical training, or specialized knowledge of the subject. Her website includes several videos of her TALL Truth presentations, which feature emphatic references to her religious views, but no discussion of STIs or contraceptives, which are essential, and state-mandated, elements of sex education.”

Seidel points out how easy it is to discern Donahue’s religious agenda from her website, and says that it is “well settled that schools may not advance or promote religion.” He cites several nationally significant legal cases in which rulings have reinforced this legal point.

Seidel wrote that,

“…In this case, it would have taken only a cursory glance at Ms. Donahue’s website to verify her religious agenda. Merely skimming her ‘About’ page reveals her inappropriateness as a speaker on sex education. It is difficult for us to understand how this event could have been approved. Your community undoubtedly possesses many secular experts who have experience, training, certification and/or degrees and would be delighted, usually at no cost to the district, to discuss the topic of sex education before your student body, and whose presence would not raise constitutional red flags.”

Slap Down! Mesa County Commissioner Scott Mcinnis Rebukes Ultra Right Wingnut, Defends All the Good the Federal Government Does

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis verbally slapping down an ideologically pure ultra right wing nut who spoke before them multiple times on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016

Mesa County Commissioner Scott McInnis verbally dressed down an ideologically pure Mesa County ultra right wing nut who spoke before them on Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, who urged them not to accept federal funds to fix a dangerous flood area along I-70 where one person has already been killed

In a jaw-dropping political turnabout at Monday’s (2/8/16) Mesa County Commissioner meeting, the county’s farthest ultra-right wing nuts out-right winged the regular right wing nuts, resulting in arch conservative Commissioner Scott Mcinnis strongly defending — yes, defending — all the good the federal government does for Mesa County citizens and our quality of life.

The fireworks started with a discussion of whether Mesa County should accept a $2.1 million grant to build a detention pond in Bosley Wash at the bottom of the Bookcliffs. The wash has been the site of several flash floods in recent years resulting one person getting killed, several private properties being repeatedly covered in mud and silt and massive mudflows pouring over I-70.  Bosley Wash endangers a total of 200 properties near the base of the Bookcliffs between Clifton and Palisade.

Why We Need to Reject Religious Accommodations at Work

cornerinjailBy definition, religion consists of sets of beliefs based on myths, fantasy and superstition.

If we accept one person’s religious beliefs as valid, we must accept them all, no matter how crazy they may be.

But if we act on this principle and start honoring all these various beliefs (and even the more mainstream ones) in workaday life, mayhem will result.

To see how this bears out, just take the principle to its logical extensions:

A woman goes to medical school and becomes a heart surgeon, then decides to become a Jehovah’s Witness who believes blood transfusions violate her religion. Honoring her religious belief at work would sacrifice patients’ quality of care, and could cost lives.

A devoutly religion 911 operator believes everything happens according to God’s will. Your house catches fire and you call 911. The religious operator answers, is your neighbor and recognizes you and your address. She knows you occasionally use alcohol, and based on the comings and goings at your house, has conclude that you regularly have sex on occasion even though you aren’t married. These activities violate her religion, and she honestly believes the fire at your house is God’s punishment for your sins. She does not alert the fire department because she dare not interfere with God’s will.

Your house is toast.

You get the idea.

We’ve already seen how the Kentucky County, Clerk Kim Davis’, religious belief against equal marriage have caused her to deny citizens’ their civil rights.

Just because a crowd of people mass in support Kim Davis by gathering in front of the jail she is being held in, and prominent Republican politicians make a show out of of visiting her in jail doesn’t mean she is right.

She is wrong. People who believe she is right need a thorough lesson in the purpose and value of a secular government and separation of church and state.

In the U.S., Ms. Davis is welcome to follow her faith any way she likes in her personal life, but as an elected public official, she is required to law carry out all of the duties her job requires in full accordance with the law or step down.

 

Historic First: Montrose, CO Atheists Protest “National Day of Prayer”

Atheists protest National Day of Prayer in Centennial Plaza, adjacent to Montrose City Hall

Smiling atheists protest National Day of Prayer in Centennial Plaza, adjacent to Montrose City Hall, while religious people hold hands and bow their heads in prayer in the background.

For the first time in history, secular citizens in Montrose, Colorado turned out to protest the town’s “National Day of Prayer” event.

Each year, Montrose holds a public prayer event to commemorate the “National Day of Prayer.” This year’s event was at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at Centennial Plaza at South First Street and Uncompahgre Ave. The plaza is adjacent to the Montrose City Hall.

As people gathered in circles to hold hands, bow their heads and pray to a god or gods, secular citizens sat peacefully nearby, holding signs that said,

Do you believe:

A snake talked?

A bit of fruit conferred knowledge?

Disease is caused by demons?

Witches exist among us?

God watches you, even in your bedroom?

Then you don’t have a case for calling Atheists “strange!”

and

If prayer actually worked, then

NO ONE would die of cancer

POLITICIANS would get wisdom

WORLD PEACE would come

Reason works, magic doesn’t!

 

and

There is no GOD in the Constitution. Thank you Washington, Madison, Jefferson and Franklin

Hard-Core Evangelical Christian Group Has its Way with District 51

Permission slip sent home for kids to attend evangelical Christian "Good News Club" events at Tope Elementary.

Permission slip sent home for kids to attend evangelical Christian “Good News Club” events at Tope Elementary.

Many Grand Junction-area citizens are wondering how a group like the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF), whose mission is converting as many children as possible to Christianity, could hold Bible study classes for elementary school-aged kids in taxpayer-funded public schools in School District 51, which tries hard to avoid endorsing specific religions. The Good News Club (GNC) says it is just trying to improve life for children all across the country.

But critics of GNC argue that the Club is really bad news for kids, because it purposely strives to make them feel guilty and shame them with lesson plans that describe Jesus’ death in vivid terms and tell children they are personally responsible for it.

The website GoodNewsClubs.info, contains direct quotes from from GNC’s lesson materials:

“The Lord Jesus suffered terrible beatings, then He was cruelly nailed to a wooden
cross, where He bled and died…  As Jesus hung on the cross, God punished Him for
your sin and your deceitful heart.” Patriarchs, p35.

“He chose to die for you. As the nails were driven into His hands and feet and His blood flowed out, God was punishing His Son for your sin…. Jesus was willing to die this awful death… After Jesus suffered and died for you, He was buried in a tomb….” Life of Christ, Book 2, p30.

“First you need to agree with God that you are a sinner and are separated from him because of your sin. Be sorry for your sin and ask God to change you…” Paul: God’s Servant, p. 44

The Clubs tell children that they are desperately wicked and “deserve to die.”

Clueless Colorado House Rep. Ray Scott Denies Climate Change

In this 2013 video, Colorado House Representative Ray Scott, a climate change denier who represents Colorado’s western slope, argues against increasing the amount of renewable energy required from rural electric co-ops to 20% within the next 6 years. The bill, SB 252, was ultimately signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Scott says “We have better things to do.” and “We’re going too darn far.” Incredibly, he further states,

“I have people in rural Colorado who say ‘You know, I don’t have a problem with renewable energy. I have solar panels on my house, that’s fine.’ But they’re having a hard time getting their mind around fields of solar panels in a field, or wind generation facilities out in the plains that they’ve never seen before. And if we’re really environmentally conscious, why would we want to look at those things? They don’t even make sense to me. I know I’ve driven through places in Utah and California and said, ‘Oh my gosh. All of this just to say we are changing something that we’re not even really sure we’re changing, based on studies that make no sense and the science is not necessarily true?’ “

According to NASA, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the last century are very likely due to human activities. Most leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.

Some of the current consequences of climate change, according to NASA and a majority of scientists, include loss of sea ice, longer and more severe heat waves, and accelerated sea level rise.

13 Insane Republican Arguments Against Upgrading the Colorado National Monument to a National Park

LIES, LIES, LIES -Opponents to changing the Colorado National Monument into a national park posted this photo on their website, "Friends of the Colorado National Monument," to warn that lack of access will ensue if the Monument becomes a national park. The photo's caption says it was taken at the entrance to the "Kapalua National Conservation Area." No such conservation area exists.

Mesa County Republicans who oppose changing the Colorado National Monument into a national park posted this photo on their website, “Friends of the Colorado National Monument,” to warn that lack of access will ensue if the Monument becomes a national park. The photo’s caption says it was taken at the entrance to the “Kapalua National Conservation Area.” There is no such conservation area.

Name a simple, cost-free way to boost our area’s sagging local economy and put Grand Junction on a lot more tourist maps.

That’s right, it’s upgrading the Colorado National Monument to national park status.

The push to turn the Monument into a national park has won widespread support from a broad spectrum of the community, and for good reasons.

The Monument has all the natural features it needs to qualify as a national park, and making the change would clarify what tourists are looking for. Right now, tourists think the Colorado National Monument is a statue or a commemorative plaque. If the Monument were called a “park” instead, it would clarify what they are heading to see. Also, as a national park the Monument would draw more travelers from the airport and more tourists off I-70, boosting business at local hotels, restaurants, coffee bars, rental car companies, gas stations, art galleries and other businesses.

Sounds like a good idea, right? That’s because it is. And for that reason, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership endorses it. The Chamber of Commerce has supported it. The Grand Junction Visitors and Convention Bureau says it is a “clear opportunity to attract more visitors.” Even the Western Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association supports it. The Daily Sentinel supports it, saying “Studies show that monuments which become national parks don’t necessarily see a big increase in the number of visitors. But they do see a change in the types of visitors, with more people coming from outside the immediate area, staying longer in the area and spending more money.”

So if upgrading the Colorado National Monument to a national park is such a no-brainer and it would do our area so much good, why isn’t the effort going forward full throttle?

G.J. Mayor Rebuked for Openly Backing Fraudulent Use of Federal Funds

Sitting Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras reportedly backs the fraudulent designation of a new airport building in order to keep the federal funds that are to be used to complete its construction.

Sitting Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras  backs the fraudulent designation of a new airport building in order to keep the federal funding obtained for its construction.

Former Grand Junction Mayor Bill Pitts, speaking during the public comment period at the February 5th City Council meeting, charged current Grand Junction Mayor Sam Susuras with supporting dishonest behavior by former Airport Director Rex Tippets and asked Susuras to voluntary step down from the airport board. Pitts referenced a February 4 article in the Daily Sentinel that said the Grand Junction Airport Board voted to change the designation of a building currently under construction at the airport to reflect its administrative purpose instead of its original designation as a new terminal building. All Airport Board members except Susuras recently concluded that Tippets, who was fired December 17, 2013 amid financial fraud allegations, had purposely mischaracterized the building to federal officials to get funds for construction.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) agreed to fund 65 percent of the $6 million building as long as it would be a new terminal, but would not help fund an administrative building.

Susuras has said the conclusion that Tippetts mischaracterized the building to the FAA is not valid. Susuras also stated his belief that former airport board members who served during the period now under investigation for fraud were “visionaries” for trying to expand the airport.

Pitt’s statement to Council is as follows:

“I’d like to call your attention… to an article in today’s paper of Airport Board hopeful faults panel’s credibility.”

I attended the last Airport Authority meeting — which I’ve been attending quite regularly for several years — and at that meeting there was a discussion about changing the name of a building and returning funds to the government which were obtained, as I understand it, fraudulently.  It is the opinion of our representative to the Authority, Mayor Susuras, that we keep the funds under the false pretenses under which it was received, and I take this as an insult to our community that such representation would made by our City Council that we retain funds from the federal government of several million dollars, that were obtained fraudulently, to change the name of a building, and I suggest that Mayor Susuras step down as the representative of City Council on the airport authority and suggest strongly that the Council appoint somebody to the Authority that can stand up for the credibility of the community which he represents.”

Mayor Susuras, whose term on the Airport Board expires in May, 2014, carried on with the Council meeting as though nothing had been said.

See the video of the meeting here. You can skip directly to the Citizen Comments part of the meeting about eight minutes in to the video, and Mr. Pitts is the only person speaking during the comment period.

Additional coverage: Bill Pitts publicly asks mayor to leave Airport Board, KREX, Feb. 5, 2014