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Council election, two faces of the military

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • e-mail: letters@csindy.com

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Move it forward

I didn't think I would see in my lifetime civil unions recognized in Colorado. Colorado has been battered by the religious extremists with anti-gay legislation, Amendment 2 and countless embarrassing moments in the national news. We were called the Hate State. We lost untold opportunities for companies to move to El Paso County because of the extremists who made our city unwelcoming to the young creative talent needed for these businesses. In fact, our talented workers are leaving El Paso County for places higher on the "cool" list, such as Portland, Seattle and Austin.

Now, we have the City Council elections, and we can vote for more of the same or finally change our path.

In the "more of the same" category we have one of the founding fathers of Amendment 2, Ed Bircham, and his cohorts Al Loma, Helen Collins, David Moore and Roger McCarville. It is sad that the daily newspaper even sees these throwbacks as viable candidates. Along with the throwbacks, we have Keith King, who joined the Bircham extremists and co-sponsored a bill to allow companies to deny birth control coverage to women employees last year when he was a state senator.

We can say No More to the hateful, antiquated ideas of yesteryear, and finally move our city forward with the youth and brilliance of Brandy Williams and Jill Gaebler. Please vote for those who are not part of the status quo. It took 20 years to beat Amendment 2 and have equality for all in Colorado. Please don't send us backward with City Council.

— Carolyn Cathey

Colorado Springs

Teaching Deborah

I read the Focus on the Family candidate surveys. I was amazed to read the reply of Council candidate Deborah Hendrix to naming "the political leader you most admire."

Her choice was Lyndon Johnson because he "was literally crucified for his decisions."

I must have missed that. I know two other Democratic presidents were impeached (but not convicted in the Senate): Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Most leaders are criticized, but an actual crucifixion is news. Why did the liberal media cover it up?

Let's ask Deborah some follow-up questions. Did Capitol Hill serve as Calvary? Did the Capitol basement serve as his tomb? Does she even know the difference between "literally" and "figuratively" or "metaphorically?"

This is the president of a school board?

— June Heimsoth

Colorado Springs

No nonsense

I read with interest Pam Zubeck's feature article on the mayor and City Council ("Chris cross," cover story, March 6). Zubeck made a mighty attempt at being fair. The other side features Mayor Bach as an autocratic almost-dictator.

Is that fair? I don't know. What I do know is the current Council has become divided and divisive. Council has been in the mindset of studying each issue to death with committees, outside studies and internal bickering over power between the city staff and themselves.

Bach is a doer and decision-maker. Council is cautious and sometimes afraid to make those tough decisions.

Will it change with a new Council? Soon we will see if those elected are power-hungry people wanting to prove their worth by challenging the mayor. Or will there be some cohesiveness by adding some open-minded members who are interested in moving the city forward? What about all the openness that was promised?

Some Councilors from the last election have stayed hidden in the weeds. A couple have joined the fray without any concerns about political fallout.

Isn't it time to stop some of this nonsense and get back to the Mayor Bob approach? Let's quit looking only at the Martin Drake Power Plant and downtown. What about the Powers corridor? What about Black Forest? What about Mountain Shadows and Cedar Heights?

We need to broaden our scope. There are several means to make rational, informed decisions about our next Council. Spend the time and effort to not only read the Gazette's and Independent's recommendations, but listen and read their positions on major issues. This is a critical time for all of Colorado Springs. Be a part of the process by being an informed voter!

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

Bloat reduction

I just read the Gazette piece concerning the upcoming City Council elections. The questions put to the candidates overwhelmingly focused on social issues.

What if city government had the freedom to concentrate on streets, bridges and trails along with public safety, and only these issues? All schools would be private and Internet-based. Solar-powered Internet stations should occupy a currently vacant building in every neighborhood. All private businesses would be allowed to compete unfettered, and without incentives from taxpayers. Churches would pay taxes on their real estate. Tourism would thrive on the merits of our attractions alone, without millions of dollars paying for TV ads in Texas. I didn't go to Paris because somebody created a slick ad campaign.

This government is bloated beyond belief. We can cut so much waste, and turn on every street light.

Government should get out of social issues. I don't care if you're selling shoes or salvation. Church real estate (some of these holdings are rentals or create income) has enjoyed a free ride long enough.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Party like it's 1956

Although I generally view Jim Hightower's LowDown column as a bit too liberal and inapplicable to current public debate, his "Let's adopt the GOP platform" (March 6) was instructive for those trying to make sense of Washington's inability to address our nation's problems.

Comparing the Republican Party's platform of 2013 to that of 1956 clearly highlights how far to the political-spectrum right they have moved. While an exhaustive study would also compare the Democratic Party to similar measures, such a change in the GOP platform has rendered much legislation inactive.

My question is: Has the American public turned so conservative as well, or does it just not care about what its elected officials do anymore?

— Joel Imrie

Colorado Springs

 

The military's two faces

I'm just going to say it: I'm anti-military. I love my wife, I love Jesus, and I love America, but I do not like the military.

But saying that you're anti-military is sort of like saying that you're anti-business. What sort of business? Multinational corporations running child-labor sweatshops in the back alleys of Indonesia? Or the nice couple who run the deli and special-order weird cheeses for me?

Just as there are very different things that we call "business," there are very different things that we call "military."

We refer to the bureaucrats at the Pentagon as, "the military." I don't much like them because they dream up stuff like, "Future Force" and "Global Reach" and the Piñon Canyon, Multi-National, High-tech, 6.9-million-acre, Weapons-Testing 51st Flippin' State.

We also refer to the command structure at major bases as "the military." I don't much like them, either: the Army brass at Fort Carson who buckle under pressure from defense contractors, and the elected officials who work to advance their corporate economic interests and ensure their own career futures.

But I also refer to the 18-year-old kids who greet me at the Piñon Canyon Open House as "the military." They come, disproportionately, from rural America. They return from combat to discover that most people have paid little attention to the wars. But for them its horrors are a reality that they can't forget. Of course I'm not anti-them!

They often suffer from what has been labeled post-traumatic stress disorder. Like "shell-shock" and "battle-fatigue," "PTSD" is a euphemism which fails to capture the truth. It actually describes the condition of having physically survived hell and being barely able to function in society with the mental and spiritual damage suffered.

There's a big difference between supporting these young people and supporting the military-industrial complex.

— Doug Holdread

Trinidad

Bless the beasts

I was delighted to learn that the newly elected pope chose for himself the name of St. Francis of Assisi, generally known as patron saint of the animals. Indeed, Catholic and Anglican churches hold ceremonies blessing animals on his feast day of Oct. 4.

I hope that Pope Francis will inspire Catholics and all persons of goodwill to show non-human animals the respect and compassion they so richly deserve, particularly when it comes to subsidizing their abuse and slaughter for food at the checkout counter. Joining the Meatless Mondays trend may be a good start.

— Claus Singer

Colorado Springs

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