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This letter is a thank-you for Matthew Schniper's cover story "Trading places" from Feb. 26. I found the article of great interest as he described Yobel International's proposal that basic business training can stabilize individual lives, and then subsequently stabilize the lives and futures of families and small communities.
I attended Yobel's presentation of their trip to India a few days after reading the article and was further intrigued, as they provided compelling support for the effectiveness of their program.
I am writing now as I have recently returned from Yobel's exposure trip to Costa Rica. Admittedly this trip probably should be considered a Yobel "Light" trip because the environment was urban San José, with safe water and wi-fi at our hostel, as opposed to rural India. But needless to say, after experiencing the training techniques and materials and, more importantly, the trainees' response to the training, I am a believer that this platform has the ability to create lasting change in people's lives.
Our entrepreneurs came eager to learn, but many were afraid to share their dreams. Through Yobel's program of creating trust, small-group interaction and activities, I got to know these amazing people as they built their confidence and gained knowledge to take their businesses and dreams further.
While I know that training 35 people in a tough area of San José may seem like a raindrop hitting an ocean of need, I do believe that the ripple is real and lasting, in my life and theirs. I wasn't expecting to have such a meaningful experience when I picked up that Independent issue. Thank you again.
— Karin Cannizzo
A socialist lie
The July 9 issue of the Independent contains a Noted item titled "Free summer school meals" (News). This article illustrates the true nature of the socialist left, which is unwilling to honestly portray the situation.
The left either actually believes handouts from the government are "free," or they are unwilling to be honest regarding from where these handouts come. Why not be honest and give credit to the taxpayers who are actually paying for these "free" meals?
We all know that disadvantaged children require good nutrition for their growth, but wouldn't it be better to have a thriving, market-based economy, free from crippling government regulation and excessive taxes, in which all families are prosperous enough to provide for themselves, instead of having to depend upon government handouts?
It is our duty as Americans to assist the needy who will always exist under any economic/political system, but the only true solution to poverty is prosperity, which is not possible under the rule of corrupt, self-centered politicians. The Independent must increase the level of honesty in its writing and give credit where credit is due. The taxpayers deserve recognition for providing the funding for these "free" meals.
— Jim McClellan
I really appreciate that the Indy is covering the story about the initiative to label GMOs in Colorado ("Oh no, 'GMO,'" News, July 9). I am a current petitioner myself and so often I run into people who have no idea what a GMO is, or what is happening legislatively. I appreciate the correct definition and clarification of what a GMO is, and I am glad that the Independent, a news source for many young Colorado Springs residents, is covering a topic so pertinent to our future.
I just wanted to write and say good job and I hope that the more this issue is covered the more people will be willing to contribute and sign our petitions.
— Lauren Burgess
CoPIRG intern, Colorado Springs
Shame on the clerk
Discussing same-sex marriage with my 86-year-old close friend last Thursday, we watched the news as three renegade Colorado county clerks flouted the slow-moving justice system, issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
He turned to me and said, "Geez, when I grew up you were taught that if you found out someone was gay, you were supposed to punch them" — this coming from an open pacifist — "and now we are at the cusp of society welcoming them completely. What a turnaround in a lifetime."
We then went through his personal transformation; he was uncomfortable with gays being officially married, as he thought it would diminish his marriage and commitment, until five years ago, when he and his wife befriended a lesbian couple who were neighbors here. He found out how personally harmful institutional inequality toward LGBTs was (and remains), especially their well-earned financial welfare. He was moved that they were no different than them, taxpayers, accomplished professionals of status and responsibility, good citizens penalized as second-class citizens.
He inquired, how I had grown up. It was different — I wasn't fearful of gays who were open in the late '70s at Indiana University. The present cultural drama seems no different than during my youth when desegregation and busing was being played out. Desegregation then became the law of the land, and soon same-sex marriage will be the law as well.
And like desegregation in Birmingham, Alabama, it will happen even here. Kudos to the clerk in Boulder County forcing the moral issue in Colorado, and shame to our El Paso County clerk for being no better than George Wallace when he stood in front of Alabama University's schoolhouse door.
— Bob Nemanich
You could replace four members of Brazil's soccer team with the Jamaican bobsled team, and they still would not give up seven goals. They threw the Germany game as an act of protest against the military-dominated government spending so much on hosting the World Cup and Olympics, instead of on law/order, or helping ease the tremendous poverty in which so many Brazilians live.
The team took away the government's ability to say, "The country may be pretty effed-up, but at least we brought home the World Cup." This was a heroic protest that came at great personal cost to the athletes, and great emotional cost to the nation — but might be a turning point in the fight for economic justice in Brazil, and internationally.
— Gina Douglas
A 'surreal silence'
Lack of criticism in the Western media over the bombing in Gaza of the unarmed and occupied Palestinian people (children, elderly and handicapped included) is surreal. We criticize all the atrocities taking place in the Middle East, but when it comes to the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, there is a surreal silence. A famous philosopher once said, "To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
— G. Yenne