Tag: Extremism

Rick Wagner’s column illustrates problems with conservative thought

Rick Wagner’s column in the October 16, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel

In his column in the 10/16/2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel, local lawyer and perennially annoying right-wing political columnist Rick Wagner asks why Proposition CC on the current ballot is identified using double letters. “Have we run through the alphabet once already?” Wagner guesses, apparently attempting to infer something negative about the state ballot. He doesn’t answer the question, and is content to not to find out the real answer.

This demonstrates a common problem with right wing argumentation: They are an incurious bunch and think information doesn’t matter. Don’t know something? Gloss over it, make a joke, make some incorrect innuendo. No one cares, no big deal.

Wagner thinks his readers should just take his word for whatever he says.

Swastika scrawled on Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction

Swastika graffiti painted on the Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction.

Graffiti of a swastika was found yesterday, October 10, on the section of the Riverfront Trail just west of High Country Court in Grand Junction. The symbol is an emblem of far-right nationalist movements and is used by Nazis and neo-Nazis. It is widely considered a symbol of hate. The image was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. in yellow spray paint and was found on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that follows shortly after the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana. The graffiti was reported to the City, who passed information about it to the Parks Department, which is in charge of maintaining the Riverfront Trail.

For more documentation of the hate culturein Grand Junction, search on the term “hate” in the search box located to the upper right side of this post.

State Senator Ray Scott cites full-on wacko nutbag source in tweet on climate change

Ray Scott’s September 17, 2019 tweet citing NaturalNews.com, a conspiracy-theorist website that rivals InfoWars

One of the most dangerous things about Colorado State Senator Ray Scott is that he can’t tell the difference between credible sources, authoritative sources of information and paid promotional research or websites known for trading in wacky conspiracy-theories.

Case in point: On September 17, 2019 Senator Scott posted a tweet saying “NASA admits that climate change occurs because of changes in Earth’s solar orbit, and NOT because of SUVs and fossil fuels.” To support this claim, Scott cites an article published by a website called “NaturalNews.com.”

So… what’s the problem?

NaturalNews.com is not anywhere close to being legitimate scientific website. In fact, it’s the polar opposite. It is described as “a conspiracy theory and fake news website” that hawks dietary supplements, promotes alternative medicine,” makes “tendentious nutrition and health claims,” promotes “fake news, and espouses various conspiracy theories.” NaturalNews.com is as far from an authoritative, legitimate science-based website as you can get.

Grand Junction mosque’s new sign vandalized

Two Rivers Mosque’s new sign after vandalism

On August 31, the Islamic Center of Grand Junction unveiled a colorful new sign installed in front of its new Two Rivers Mosque at 8th and Gunnison Ave. and held a community barbecue to celebrate. About 50 people attended the barbecue, and it was an afternoon of peace, friendship and great food.

Not three weeks later, the sign was vandalized beyond all recognition.

Sen. Ray Scott’s tweet opposes progress and planning for future

Ray Scott’s tweet lamenting planning for the future, and indicating he can’t wait for such folly to end

Is Republican State Senator Ray Scott concerned about Colorado’s economy and workforce?

It sure doesn’t look like it, judging from his twitter feed.

On September 4, Scott posted a tweet that said “2022 an’t come fast enough.” It was his response to an announcement that Governor Polis had just created a new government office to deal with pressing new problems facing Colorado’s workforce. Scott’s tweet referred to the year when Governor Polis’s first term in office will be over.

Sen. Scott tweeted his disdain Governor Polis’ newly-created “Office for the Future of Work,” announced September 4.

Sen. Scott either 1) failed to investigate the need for this office, or he 2) doesn’t care what’s going to happen to Colorado workers in the near future if we fail to plan for coming trends.

One more thing about commissioner candidate Janet Rowland…

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) advocated a program that paid women with drug addictions $300 to get sterilized

Former Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland, who has already had two terms in the recent past and is now running for a third term, has given Mesa County voters plenty of reasons not to elect her again, but here’s another one, and get ready. This one is kind of creepy.

In 2008, Rowland promoted a program that paid drug-addicted women $300 to get sterilized so they couldn’t reproduce. The program, called Project Prevention, targeted its advertising mainly at women, and 37% of the women who had been sterilized under the program were African-American. In 2009, African-Americans made up just 12.4% of the U.S. population.

“Recall Polis” campaign violating laws to gather signatures – county passes Resolution prohibiting taping signs to their buildings

The Recall Polis people at 4:00 p.m. on 8/29/19 violating the law by setting up shop in a public park without obtaining the necessary permits from the City Parks and Rec Department.

Upset citizens have been contacting the City of Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Department and the Mesa County Elections Bureau left and right to complain about the “Recall Polis” campaign violating laws by putting up tables and signage in places that require permitting or where it is prohibited by law.

In the photo above, the Recall Polis people had set up their operation at Spring Valley Park on Patterson Road, a public park. A reader sent the above photo and complained to the City about it, upon which G.J. Parks and Rec Department responded:

 

Beware electing Janet Rowland as county commissioner again

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) once compared same-sex marriage to bestiality on a state-wide talk show, drawing condemnation from around the nation.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County Commissioner.

Yes, again.

She’s already been a Mesa County Commissioner — from January, 2005 to January, 2013 — but that doesn’t mean her being commissioner again is a good idea. It arguably is not a good idea. From her previous two terms, we have an abundance of experience with her and know what is in store if Janet Rowland gets another chance to be Commissioner. 

So let’s take a look at the past and see what it tells us.

Morally and ethically challenged

Certainly Janet has done some good things through her career, like trying to address child abuse and finding homes for foster kids. While those endeavors are laudable, we also need to take into account all the things she’s done that have set a poor example for kids, and our entire community and that have harmed the County.

Plagiarism

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, and while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a guest columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several articles for the Free Press until one day a sharp reader noticed Janet had lifted most of one of her columns word for word from a government-published pamphlet, and brought this information to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

 

Feb. 3, 2007 column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Janet Rowland plagiarizing a guest column she wrote for the G.J. Free Press.

The Daily Sentinel reported on Rowland’s plagiarism on February 3, 2007:

A Mesa County official has plagiarized a government substance abuse booklet in her two most recent columns in the Grand Junction Free Press, that newspaper’s editor confirmed Friday.

The majority of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s Feb. 1 column in the Free Press, titled “The importance of a strong parent-child bond,” was lifted verbatim from a 2006 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publication titled, “Making a Difference: Talk to Your Teen About Alcohol.”

A reading of Rowland’s unattributed column and the text of the booklet revealed the two are virtually identical. The only differences were found in the column’s first sentence and its lead into several bullet points.

The editor said if Rowland had been a staff writer, she probably would have been fired.

 

Janet’s first reaction to the plagiarism charge was to claim she couldn’t even remember writing the columns. (Denial.) When that failed to tamp down the controversy, she next said the information she used in her columns had been intended for “mass duplication anyhow,” adding that if people wanted to make what she did out as something evil, that was THEIR prerogative. (Sour grapes.) Next, she blamed the plagiarism on others, saying she had included the necessary attributions in her column, but Free Press staff had edited them out. (Lying and blaming.) Free Press management quickly produced the emails that contained the articles exactly as they had received them from Janet for publication, showing that they contained no references or attributions.

Job openings with the county pay $87,500/year plus benefits and require no experience

Salaries for each of the three Mesa County Commissioners for the month of June, 2019

Mesa County has two job openings right now that pay $87,300/year gross salary with additional generous perks and benefits, and that require absolutely no experience and no required level of educational attainment. That’s a pretty good wage in Mesa County for someone with no experience and no particular educational attainment, since the wages here are so low compared to the rest of the state. (The average weekly wage in Denver in the last quarter of 2018 was $1,414. In Mesa County it was $895). The opening is for two new county commissioners. The only requirements to be county commissioner — literally — are that you have to be a minimum of 18 years old and have lived in either County Commissioner District 1 or District 3 for at least one year. That’s it. In case you don’t believe me, the photo above gives the salaries for each of our three county commissioners for just one month — the month of June, 2019. The information was printed in the legal notices in the Sunday, August 11, 2019 issue of the Daily Sentinel. You can see the minimal requirements for the job yourself posted on Mesa County’s website. Multiply the above salary by 12 to get your new annual gross salary if you land this job ($87,500/year). Oh, and did I mention it’s also free to apply? You can even have a criminal record and it’s okay. This position can be held for up to 8 years.

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.

Grand Junction may soon lose its only secular hospital

A previous blog discussed why Mesa County residents should be glad to have an alternative to a Catholic hospital in the valley and why it is so important to people’s health to have a secular hospital option available for medical care. But our valley’s one non-religious hospital option may disappear, and soon.

In October 2018, Community Hospital and Centura Health Network signed a letter of intent to merge. It provided each party with a 120 day-long window to evaluate the deal and decide whether or not to go ahead and finalize it.

Those 120 days are almost up, and a final decision on the merger must be made by February 10th.

New form of harassment: weaponization of classified ads

Online version of the malicious Nickel ad

Utilizing a novel form of harassment, someone put a malicious classified ad in the January 3 edition of The Nickel Classified Ads saying our house was for sale “by owner” at a lowball price, and that there will be an open house Jan 11-13. Whoever placed the ad used our numeric street address and included a verbal description of our home. They did not include a phone number in the ad.

We found out about it after a realtor came to our house with the hard copy of the ad in The Nickel in hand and showed it to us.

Billboard raises awareness of Republicans’ dangerous dalliance with Putin

A billboard on I-70 B takes aim at the Republican Party (also known as the  “Grand Old Party” or GOP) which is quickly becoming “the party of Trump.”

The billboard is in front of Rimrock Marketplace on I-70 B and draws attention to Republicans’ alarming acceptance of President Trump cozying up to authoritarian dictators who disregard human rights.

The billboard will soon be moving to an even higher spot where it will be displayed to passers-by 100 percent of the time, instead of in 8-second increments rotating with 5-6 other ads. Stay tuned!

Grand Valley Business Times repels Democratic business owners

Placard proposed to be displayed by businesses that advertise in the Business Times.

The Grand Valley Business Times (GVBT) has long been a source of business news in Mesa County, usually focusing on helpful items like what new businesses are moving in, the newest  soups at Zoup, and which authors will be appearing at the downtown bookstores. In his latest issue, though, the paper’s owner, Craig Hall, used his editorial column to denigrate and insult Democratic and progressive business owners in the valley, and criticize women who seek to control their own reproductive destiny.

The Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce takes off it’s fig leaf

Grand Valley Drainage District pipe choked with weeds. (Photo credit: GVDD)

If there is a shred of doubt left that the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce exists only to promote it’s own political ideology, it dispelled that notion today with an ad in the Daily Sentinel endorsing the Grand Valley Drainage District (GVDD) Board candidate notable for being the remarkably far less qualified person for the seat.

The Chamber endorsed the less-qualified candidate for one reason only: she opposes the fee imposed by the GVDD in 2016 to raise funds for crucial improvements needed to the Grand Valley’s stormwater drainage system. Residents pay an extra $3/month. The fees assessed to businesses are higher because their larger “big box” buildings and paved parking lots create far more polluted stormwater runoff than homes, burdening the valley’s drainage system more than residences do. The drainage system, designed in 1915 primarily to collect agricultural seep from fields, is already in bad shape and needs improvement and expansion to cope with the valley’s change from primarily a rural/agricultural area into an urban area. If runoff exceeds the amount of drainage capacity we have, the result will be flooding, property damage and damage to other important infrastructure, like roads.

Milo Yiannopoulos’s Grand Junction show cancelled

Milo Yiannopoulos

Grand Junction has been spared a potentially embarrassing and costly problem. A show by white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled for April 14th at an undisclosed location in Grand Junction has been cancelled. The website for the event, “A Night with Milo, Grand Junction” says tickets to the Grand Junction event are no longer on sale. No more details are provided. The tickets had been priced at $40-$109 — expensive for any event in Grand Junction. Yiannopoulos was also supposed to appear in Las Vegas the night before the Grand Junction event, but that appearance has also apparently been cancelled.

Great news, and another win for Grand Junction’s growing liberal/progressive community.

 

How the President’s racism affects the western slope

President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”

Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely express their racism and xenophobia.

It doesn’t take, “like, a genius” to understand there is nothing adorable about being a “Deplorable”

 

Many ardent Trump supporters happily call themselves “deplorable,” making fun of a point Hillary Clinton tried to make during her 2016 campaign that many Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic.

Members of Trump’s “Deplorable” contingents across the country, including those locally, typically deny they are any of these things, yet the Facebook pages of “Deplorables” groups (Trump supporters across the country who have personally labeled themselves “Deplorables”) do in fact reveal a strong component of sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic thought runs within these groups.