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The devil's bargain

Thanks for Michael de Yoanna's Sept. 29 article "Doing what Sam says," from one of the few people left who refuses to do "what Sam says." I'm afraid, however, that his critique is far too timid, and much too late.

We are not in danger of losing some of our freedom to the current regime's policies. Our freedom, our Republic and our democracy are, in fact, already gone and ended. The abuse you detailed of Mr. Brandon Mayfield is just the tip of the iceberg, just the one we've found out about. Only a fool would believe that other people haven't already been subjected to similar treatment, and only a prize fool would believe that such incidents won't increase dramatically in the future.

This is not an "age of terror." It is an age when the government has finally softened up the American population sufficiently that the bogeyman of "terror" can be successfully used to scare people into voluntarily relinquishing their own rights. It's working like a charm.

Now is when anyone tempted to go along with this devil's bargain should read Hermann Goering's boastful testimony at Nuremburg, about how pitifully easy it was for the German Nazis to manipulate "public opinion" to make it appear that the "will of the people" was driving the decisions that the rulers had made, for their own purposes.

Bush and his cronies are now taking America down exactly the same path, and most of the population is willing to go along. Note that on the list of "our freedoms" which Bush says "they" hate, is not included due process of law.

With due process of law now dead, it seems certain that America will come to exactly the same kind of ruin that Nazi Germany did -- no matter how many countries it temporarily occupies in the short run.

Great cover, though.

-- Patrick L. Lilly

Occupied Cheyenne Cañon

Near Colorado Springs

Schoolyard bullies

Has the local Republican inner circle just recently discovered that public school boards exist? Judging from the flurry of endorsements flowing from Republican members of the state Legislature and the local party executive committee, you'd think they never noticed the public school system before now.

Come to think of it, since their attention has been primarily focused on charters, private schools, tuition tax credits, privatization and vouchers, they may not have realized that the overwhelming majority of our kids attend their neighborhood public schools.

Haven't we learned our lesson from two years ago, when Governor Owens made the first gubernatorial endorsement ever of local school board candidates? That 2003 election yielded us Eric Christen, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell.

Their cronies in 2005 are praying for the same sort of knee-jerk, party-first reaction by the local citizenry, and they're simply "too busy" to attend a candidates forum to explain just what brilliant new ideas they have in mind for District 11. But trust them, every member of the local Republican aristocracy says, because they're loyal party members.

And who are the villains in this election, according to the El Paso County politicos? Those sinister liberal unions, like the Colorado Springs Education Association. But what the Republican power elite fails to recognize is that the teachers' association is made up of the very same teachers to whom we entrust our kids every school year. They're the ones who are in the classrooms, with our kids, every day. They're the ones who don't want our kids turned into laboratory rats, just to see if some unproven "reform" might work in Colorado Springs.

And the opinion of these teachers should count for something, certainly more than the opinion of political party hacks who, in all likelihood, can't remember the last time they stepped foot in a public school classroom.

So when the vast majority of teachers in District 11 support John Gudvangen, Tami Hasling and Sandra Mann, we should listen. This election needs to be about our kids and our schools, not party politics.

-- Larry Seaver

Colorado Springs

This is outrageous

What the hell is going on with money people, including out-of-state dough, trying to buy seats on our school boards?

Why is it only the Indy on top of this? Where is the Gazette -- or is it in cahoots with the pro-voucher folks like Steve Schuck and the zillionaire Amway theocrat, Dick DeVos? Where are the local talk show loudmouths -- or are they going along with the charade, too?

I know Schuck and his crowd spent thousands last election, resulting in the installation of school board members poised to pave the way for taxpayers footing the bill to send public school kids to private schools, but I didn't know they were trying to take over all the city's school boards.

This is outrageous! School board elections should be limited to the school neighborhoods, and the millionaire religious zealots should butt out. It's bad enough that money has taken over almost all American elections, but money buying school board elections is un-American.

I have this feeling the mansion-on-the-hill folks (that would be Focus on the Family) are in on this takeover, seeing how they want religion in public schools, particularly creationism -- oops, I mean "intelligent design." Is that a buzz phrase or what?

Religion belongs in the home, heart and church, period. It's time to take our neighborhood schools back, and one way to do it is to get the money the hell out of school board elections. Too bad the Indy is the only media in town who cares.

-- Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

Effective communicating

To all those Republican politicians who've had their robotic phone machines dialing my number (all from California area codes), over and over and over this week, to tell me who to vote for in the upcoming school district elections: I want to assure you, your annoyance has convinced me to vote AGAINST your candidates.

-- Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

When things work

I've just read the Sept. 29 Outsider column titled "The first principle of warfare," and I agree with many of your sentiments. However, I thought I should point out a recent experience of mine that speaks to the perception of government doing things to us rather than for us.

I live on the west side, on 22nd Street. Until recently, the posted speed limit was 30 mph, which, of course, meant people came flying down our narrow street at 40 or 50. In July, I finally got fed up with this. We have many children and elderly folks in the area, not to mention beloved pets. I e-mailed our city council member, Jerry Heimlicher.

Jerry has been on our street several times -- ever since the first big sewer backup in January 2004. Remembering how narrow 22nd Street is, he readily agreed to help.

The wheels of our bureaucracy turn slowly, but they have turned. By the end of August, we had a brand new 25 mph speed limit sign on our street, and the police have been actively enforcing it since then.

I've paid my share of speeding tickets over the years, but a few weeks ago, I actually went out and thanked the police officer on our street who was writing tickets. I suppose you could say my perspective has changed a bit.

The moral of my story is that sometimes, government does work for us. Perhaps these times are few and far between, but occasionally they do happen.

Perhaps this is cause for us not to be overly pessimistic.

-- Don Bailey

Colorado Springs

That's nice and all

Harriet Miers may be a good friend to President Bush. That's nice, and that's all. Now let's move on to nominating an experienced jurist to the highest court where so much of our country's direction stems.

-- DeAnne Dingwall

Colorado Springs

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