Monthly Archives: June 2014

Is Hickenlooper really capable?

June 23, 2014

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

 

The disappointing governing of Governor Hickenlooper

 

This last weekend I spent an enjoyable evening and day with some of my peers in the Colorado Hunter Education program. We meet periodically to offer our input on the program and receive training to enhance our performance as instructors.

 

It is not surprising that an overwhelming (but not unanimous) number of my fellow instructors hold the same beliefs that I do regarding Colorado’s overreaching gun control laws that were passed last year. It is also not surprising that our evening conversations included the recent address made by Governor Hickenlooper at the meeting of the County Sheriffs of Colorado in Aspen.

 

For the last week Gov. Hickenlooper has been trying to walk back some of the comments he made to the sheriffs. He should have realized from the get-go that these law enforcement experts deal in the difference between fact and fiction every day and they quickly recognize the efforts of someone that is trying to make fact out of fiction.

 

When this whole gun debate was taking place last year, it became an established fact that Gov. Hickenlooper communicated with Mayor Bloomberg of New York. In fact, the bloggers at CompleteColorado.com requested the cell phone records from Hickenlooper’s office and confirmed that Bloomberg and Hickenlooper talked twice on March 2, 2013 and that one of those conversations lasted 12 minutes. They talked again on March 19. In April spokesman Eric Brown confirmed those conversations. But, fast-forward to last week, and Gov. Hickenlooper stood in front of a room full of sheriffs and said he had never talked to Bloomberg about the gun issue.

 

Almost as upsetting is the fact that, in a failed effort to patch things up with all the sheriffs that disagreed with the gun bill, Hickenlooper tried that old Obama tactic of blaming someone else, in this case some unknown staff member. He said he “felt conflicted” about signing the bill that limited magazine capacities, but did so because one of his staff made a commitment to do so, and he felt compelled to sign the bill. Thanks to Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell, many of us knew about the governor’s comments almost immediately after he made them. Because of Spruell’s Facebook posting, the governor will have a hard time backing up too far.

 

Two things bother me here: First, it is upsetting that Gov. Hickenlooper would even try to pass off an easily refuted statement such as his not talking to Bloomberg. Second, if he is making such monumental decisions because a staff member wants him to, what does that say about his ability to actually “govern?”

 

One other thing: I just read a quote from State Rep. Rhonda Fields. Fields is from Aurora and thought that the magazine bill would prevent more of those stupid mass shootings. I can understand her passion, although I think she is wrong, but what she said when asked about the commitment from a staff person only heightens my concern. She said she never received any commitment from anyone on Hickenlooper’s staff. It brings to mind Sir Walter Scott: O, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2014

 

 

 

 

Share the road and the rules

June 16, 2014

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

Driving me crazy

 

There are some things that are just not worth worrying about; but I do. There are some things that I can never change; but I try. There are some things that need saying once in a while, just so I can maintain a little sanity.

 

My focus right now is on the use and misuse of Colorado’s streets, roads and highways.

 

Just for my own peace of mind, I recently confirmed that Colorado still produces the Driver Handbook. This is a small publication mostly intended for those who are either getting a driver’s license for the first time or renewing the one they have. I am guessing that very few of those renewing have looked at this book for many years.

 

First of all, I want to call attention to Section 12 of the manual, Sharing The Road, and in particular sharing it with bicycles. You see, I am more than happy to share the road. I just want the bicyclists to share the traffic laws.

 

In this section we learn that, “Motorists must be on the lookout for cyclists and anticipate sudden and unexpected moves from them.” We are also told that, “Bicycles travel in the same direction as motor vehicles and are entitled to the full lane when traveling at the normal speed of traffic.” If we refer to Section 16, we find that bicycles are legitimate forms of transportation and considered vehicles and that bicyclists have the same rights and duties as motorists. We also learn that those bicyclists can be ticketed for not obeying traffic laws. Yeah right!

Ask your local police officer how many tickets he or she has issued to bicycle riders lately. I will let you ponder the rest of Section 16. The entire manual is available as a PDF from www.colorado.gov.

 

So, on to my next point of contention when it comes to traffic laws and regulations: Right of way. That same manual describes in detail the concept of right of way and explains that the law requires who must yield and does not give anyone “right of way.” I will guarantee that there is no instruction in this section (10.2) that tells anyone to stop at a four-way stop sign and start waving other people on, when those others are merely trying to obey the law and yield according to safe driving practices. More often than not, those doing all that waving are doing it from behind a tinted windshield where other drives can, depending on the lighting, barely see what all the motion is about. Sometimes I think maybe there should be a required sticker on the sun visor, along with the seatbelt and airbag notices, which includes the right of way rules of the road. That way some of these so-called drivers could flip down the visor and refer to the proper rule. Even with that diversion, traffic would probably move more smoothly.

 

I was going to talk about “bump-outs” and “round-abouts,” but that just adds to my mental decline. Maybe another time.

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Colorado Senator lending to bad neighbor reputation

June 9, 2014

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

Colorado’s reputation of being a bad neighbor is being made worse by our senator.

 

Last week, I was given some information that was intended to debunk some of Sen. Harry Reid’s phony attempts at campaign finance reform through a constitutional amendment.

 

The information was that Reid and former Vice President Al Gore personally met with Tom Steyer at his home to firm up a deal whereby Steyer, a billionaire super-donor to the Democrat Party, would provide $400,000 in campaign donations, with another $100 million on the table. The larger amount came, according to reports, with a caveat: Keep delaying and ultimately stop the Keystone Pipeline.

 

Nothing about the information surprised me at the time. The meeting evidently took place last February, but was not reported on very extensively. The fact that it was not reported on and the fact that Reid is a hypocrite added little to my base knowledge of how things work. Then, I found out that Reid and Gore were not the only ones at the meeting. There were five other Democrats there, including our own Sen. Mark Udall.

 

With Colorado quickly gaining a reputation of being a bad neighbor because of the marijuana laws and the problems those laws are creating for bordering states, especially Nebraska, it seems Sen. Udall is going to take it a step farther and be part of denying our neighbors in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma the possibility of having some very good jobs that will certainly come with the pipeline.

 

I could almost understand it if Sen. Udall opposed the pipeline because it was going to come through Colorado. At least then he would have some standing, but to throw in with these seemingly corrupt people to halt a project that cannot in any way harm Colorado, and will quite likely help some of us, is ludicrous.

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2014

 

 

The EPA is going nuts

June 2, 2014

By Bob Cox

Some opinions, comments and links relating to what is happening in this great nation and, in particular, in Western Colorado.

 

Many times over the past 40 or so years, I have heard the cliché that there are more fights started in Colorado over water than over unfaithful spouses. My adult beverage research crowd assures me that the saying started at about the same time Colorado became a state, and maybe even before that.

 

While that is somewhat of a joking phrase, it tends to show just how important water is to the people of Colorado. I would be impossible to put a number on exactly how many landowners in Colorado have some sort of dry wash, arroyo or old ditch running through their property. Many people will probably curly their brows in disbelief if they were told that all of these depressions in the earth could be considered to be part of the “navigable waters” of the United States, but every time some government agency extends its tentacles into our otherwise private lives bad things happen.

 

When the Rivers and Harbors Act was passed in 1899, it prohibited anyone from obstructing (building a dam) on “navigable waters” without first obtaining a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. USACOE subsequently described in their code that, “Navigable Waters” are waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, and those inland waters that are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign material into such water, or the accomplishment of any other work affect the course, location, condition or capacity of such waters.

 

As states became states, even prior to the Rivers and Harbors Act, they assumed the ownership of roads and highways as they were constructed for transportation purposes. Included in that assumption for most states was any flowing water that had, for any reason been used for transport of commodities of any sort. So, a Native American paddling a canoe up the Uncompahgre River at any point made the entire river navigable waters. The term has been expanded by one government agency after another. Now the Environmental Protection Agency, under the guise of the Clean Water Act is changing the terminology even more by referring to “traditional navigable waters.” They are in the process of really putting the screws to the ranchers and farmers in Arizona, and Colorado is sure to feel the impact. Their goal is to see to it that every ditch, canal, dry riverbed and adobe arroyo will fall under their jurisdiction through the CWA. The people in Arizona, particularly the farmers and ranchers are right to be concerned and the people of Colorado had better stand up and be counted right along with them. It is time to get back some of the controls that these out of control government agencies are taking from us, one piece at a time. EPA Region 9 administrator Jared Blumenfeld says that the Arizona move does not expand the EPA jurisdiction. Sound a lot like, “If you like your water, you can keep it.”

 

Remember, I only send out these missives to those who have asked for them. I do not share your email addresses with anyone and I use the Reagan email precisely because they don’t share or sell the addresses either. If you are getting this because someone forwarded it to you and you don’t want it, tell him or her not to forward any more. On the other hand, if you received a copy and would like to see more of my ranting, simply drop me a line at coxnotes@Reagan.com I will put you on my exclusive, but growing list.

 

Bob

 

© Robert R. Cox 2014