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Legs ran and noses sniffed

OK, as faithful Indy readers, my household always has opinions and running commentary on some article every week -- usually an agreement, chuckle or clarification, all which make for lively dinnertime banter and an occasional letter. But this week I'm writing to thank Rich Tosches for his column of last week, "Ode to Max."

Over the years, we (my family) have seen many (both quantity and variety) dogs come and go. As each one passes on to, what I firmly want to believe is Dog Heaven, I always make an effort to remember him or her in some way.

Lately we have had a couple of cremations and sent faithful ashes flying over the mountains where legs ran and noses sniffed. It is always the hardest thing to do, to make a decision for a beloved friend who cannot or will not make the decision on their own. Dogs have a way of just hanging on -- they want to remain loyal and stay forever. Even when they can no longer lift a head they manage to wag a tail.

So thanks Rich, for holding the laughs and getting your tongue out of your cheek this week and eulogizing a friend. I know there are many of us who share your grief and have a few stars of our own out there -- Phoebe, Bo and Dryfus are a few of mine.

There is a wonderful little book, For Every Dog an Angel; I forget the author's name, but I recommend it to everyone who has ever loved and lost a dear dog.

And to Max -- have a great flight to those stars ...

-- Tobi Steinberg

Colorado Springs

Breathing room

In response to the story in the Aug. 26 Student Survival Guide about signing up young voters, I personally do not feel that groups such as The New Voter's Project and Paddle for the Presidency realize what effect they have on their target, or what they are doing when they rally for the youth votes.

Their plan to receive more votes is going to backfire, and even less of the youth they are targeting are actually going to vote. This is simply because they are not just asking for votes or trying to educate us on what we are voting for, they are harassing people for their votes!

I am a registered voter, yet I cannot go to the grocery store, to school or to concerts without someone jumping on me about voting the second I approach the entrance. I am sick and tired of this "assault" that has been launched to get my vote.

If you push too hard one way, most youth in the age bracket of 18-24 years old will turn and go the other. If you want the youth demographic to vote, step back a little and give us some room to breathe.

-- Ganae Wortham

Colorado Springs

Growing up to a job

I enjoyed reading Kara Luger's Aug. 26 article about choosing a college degree simply because it reminds me how narrow-minded some people can be when it comes to choosing a degree and/or career.

Every chance my parents get, they ask me what I'm going to be when I when I finish college and is it going to get me any place past busing tables at Denny's or cashiering at Target. The argument they use is that nobody they know that has any type of degree in the arts or thereabouts has a decent job that will pay the rent, utilities, etc.

I disagree. The people who are creating beautiful artworks, unique sounds in music, and intriguing works in poetry and writing stand a chance in the workforce just like everybody else. Even though the answer to the question, "What am I going to be when I grow up?" is still a scratch on the head and an "I don't know," I know that there is still hope for me yet -- and that doesn't include busing tables at Denny's or cashiering at Target.

-- Kelly Wyche

Colorado Springs

Where's the dignity?

The Republican National Convention is over, and George W. Bush's "leadership" was showcased -- leadership resulting in 962 U.S. service members killed and 6,690 wounded in an unnecessary and counterproductive war that is creating jihadists faster than we can capture or kill them at a cost of $1 billion a week.

One billion dollars a week could be spent on supporting homeland security or domestic programs. Under Bush, the number of Americans living in poverty increased in 2003 for the third straight year and those without health coverage rose an additional million people to 15.4 percent of the U.S. population.

Instead of showing courage like Nancy Reagan, Bush severely restricts stem cell research. He is not compassionate or respectful of others by wanting to write discrimination into the U.S. Constitution on a policy his own vice president personally disagrees with.

How can we trust George W. Bush when he flip-flops on issues such as nation building, U.N. relevancy, full funding for No Child Left Behind, support for veterans, Osama bin Laden as a No. 1 priority, causes of global warming, fiscal responsibility, and the winability of the war on terror?

George W. Bush said he would restore dignity to the office of president. Where's the dignity in using the lives of others in order to hang Saddam Hussein's pistol, a war souvenir, on the wall of the White House study as he has done?

-- Gary Dean

Colorado Springs

A waste of time

As a student, I have witnessed the many trials that the American nation has been through these past few years.

In response to "Of peace and politics" (News, Aug 26-Sept. 1), I disagree with all these protesters going across the country and marching for peace. These peace protesters are actually hurting America in a way that they don't recognize. Not taking political sides, but they discourage the leadership of our current president.

Sure you get many people that disagree with you being a leader and what you do, but the constant pressures and the uprisings that these people cause is unhealthy. Peace protests here in America usually turn out to small riots and fights. Peace protests make the protesters look hypocritical and cause nothing more but pain, anger and resentment.

Take a look at history and what happened during World War II. When Hitler was killing tens of thousands over in Germany, did America take action? Yes, they sure did.

Presently, America has taken action because information and facts told them that not only Hussein was harboring terrorism, but also their leader was killing massive numbers of people and burying them in mass graves. Germany wasn't our war and Iraq isn't ours either. But to help the world and make it a safer place, we need to put a hold to these evil leaders so they won't expand their power.

Nearly 1,000 American troops have been unfortunately killed in this war. World War II in Germany cost tens of thousands of more American lives than this war has. Not to mingle with history but these are facts. Did thousands of Americans ever complain about putting a stop to Hitler's evil regime? Why should we complain about ending the evil regime of Hussein?

Protesting will not work and has yet to show that it has ever really changed the course of history in our country. President Bush will not change his mind with the protester's opinions by backing out of the war. These protesters are just wasting their time instead of working at jobs and improving our economy. The United States of America is great because if you want to voice your opinion, you vote.

-- Zachary Timura

Colorado Springs

Had to stop

I tried, but I just couldn't make it through all of George W. Bush's acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention last Thursday night. It was like eating a heavy German meal. I had to stop before I became sick from overconsumption.

However, a few scraps of not-truths and outright lies did make it through to my consciousness.

1.) This is not Clinton's recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research -- the bottom line of all things recessionary, no matter how much Bush tries to ignore it -- states that the recession began in March 2001, three months into W.'s term.

2.) Bush's tax cuts, as first proposed, were in a time of budget surplus, and meant to give people back their money. They were never intended to be an economic stimulus. If Bush had really wanted to stimulate the economy, he would have weighted the cuts more to middle-income people.

3.) The Iraq war was utterly unwarranted. Lack of postwar planning has produced a country in anarchy, with billions of dollars unaccounted for and Halliburton cheating the Army for everything from fuel, to meals, to laundry service.

4.) A growing economy? Discouraged workers stand at a historical high, and the 144,000 new jobs this month are not sufficient to meet the number of new workers. By way of contrast, the Clinton economy averaged more than 200,000 new jobs a month.

5.) An estimated 1.3 million people have been added to the poverty rolls this year alone. Note that this figure has increased each of the last three years.

6. ) 1.4 million more Americans are uninsured this year, a number that has also increased each of the last three years.

Sorry, this administration has a wretched record on every policy that should matter to Americans: the economy, deficits, the national debt, Iraq and the environment. Bush and the Republican Party are not the purveyors of hope but rather the merchants of mendacity. It's time for the country to wake up and vote him out of office.

-- Joe Sciallo

Colorado Springs

To the slaughter

I forced myself to watch Dick Cheney give his address to the sheep last week. Could he have possibly have been any more smug? Remember these are the guys that gave us Watergate.

-- J. Sowell

Colorado Springs

BushCo in action

People, we just have to be smarter than this. The economy is a wreck, we have trade and budget deficits where none existed four years ago, that nightmare in Iraq (to the tune of $177 million per day -- they have a ticker up in Times Square you know), and what is the issue on every lip? Events that took place 35 years ago halfway around the world.

Now that is really ridiculous. But not for BushCo. Every word Kerry utters in self-defense is one less he has to use on the real issues that will make or break the country. These "news" stories are of no more importance to your everyday life than who lost the Franco-Prussian War -- presuming of course that you keep your kids away from Michael Jackson and don't marry Scott Peterson.

-- Brent Koleno

Colorado Springs

Who counts the votes

Check this out:

The voting machine manufacturers are Republicans.

The voting machine testers are Republicans.

The testing process is entirely secret.

The machine software is secret.

Swing states that include Florida (fraud in 2000) are using electronic voting machines that are manufactured, tested and run by Republicans.

Quote from Joseph Stalin: "It is not important who votes, it is important who counts the votes."

Republicans have learned well.

-- Leon Rodriguez


Eat to live

Former President Clinton's coronary bypass surgery should be a wake-up call for the millions of Americans whose chosen lifestyles elevate their risk of heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, more than 60 million Americans suffer from heart disease and nearly 500,000 die each year. The lifestyle risk factors are a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol, smoking and lack of exercise.

Scores of studies in the past three decades demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that replacing animal fat and meat in our diet with vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains lowers substantially the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

These diseases account for 1.3 million American deaths annually. A plant-based diet contains no cholesterol or saturated fat, but ample fiber, proteins, vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients for a long and healthy life.

Choosing a wholesome plant-based diet is a snap these days. Every supermarket carries a rich variety of veggie burgers, soy dogs, soy-based lunch "meats," microwave-ready dinners, dairy-free ice cream and a huge selection of vegetables and fruits. All we need is the will to live.

-- Charles Graham

Colorado Springs

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