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The Cheney factor

Bob Nemanich ("Impeach or not?" Letters, July 26) makes a wonderful point for holding President Bush in contempt (for bending the rules of our Constitution to fit his needs/wants) or impeaching him!

I would love to see him ousted! The sad reality, though, is what our alternative to Bush would be: Dick Cheney. Oh my God! Think of the hell we'd be in then!

I wouldn't wish that on us (the U.S.), or anyone else, for that matter! Bush has done a good enough job at ticking the whole world off! All wecan really do at this point is pray things don't get any worse for us at home and abroaduntil the next president is voted into office. Is it January 2009 yet?

Jill Crouch
Colorado Springs

Massive abuses

In the letter "Impeach or not?" the author, Bob Nemanich makes a very good point about political neocons using their religious or personal views to constantly subjugate the Constitution upon which the laws of this nation are supposedly founded.

However, I would bring up the fact that it is not only the current president that is abusing his power. The president and everyone all the way down to the lowest member of the House of Representatives have constantly abused their power, ignored the 13th Amendment, as well as Article 2, Section 18. So why stop at impeaching the president?

If we are going to hold the president in contempt of Congress, then all of Congress should hold itself in contempt of the Constitution and therefore should be subject to impeachment. If we are to restore the republic that is guaranteed in the Constitution, then we have to cease acting like typhoonic, out-of-control 2-year-olds and start acting like the sovereign beings we are.

Personally, I don't care if you use heroin, cocaine or meth, as long as you don't endanger my life or others doing so. Your life is your life; live it as you see fit. Just make sure I can do the same without your morality or religion getting in my way.

Dwayne Schultz
Colorado Springs

Bad information

I was thoroughly entertained by Wanda Beliz's assertions ("Idiot in a barrel," Letters, July 26). What proof do you have that the oil contracts are going to cheat the Iraqi people? The last person that bilked the Iraqi people was Saddam, in the U.N.'s Oil for Food program.

Per cnnmoney.com on April 5, "And Iraq's big oil contracts go to ... Companies from China, India and other Asian nations are seen getting the first contracts. But don't write off Big Oil just yet."

If the U.S. left, the insurgents would take over Iraq. The Iraqis fighting are the ones who want to take control al-Qaeda, Muqtada al-Sadr, etc. Wake up and smell the coffee, Wanda.

Where did you get the idea that Bush liberated Iraq because Saddam was changing currency? You must have missed the memo about WMDs and Saddam's non-compliance to U.N. sanctions.

Per the New York Times on May 12, hardly a conservative newspaper: "The Shiite militia groups hold sway around the rich oil fields of southern Iraq, which dominate the country's oil production, the State Department official said. For that reason, he said, the Shiite militias are more likely to be involved in theft there than the largely Sunni insurgents, who are believed to benefit mostly from smuggling refined products in the north."

As far as the Caspian Sea pipeline situation, Unocal entered into an agreement with the Taliban in 1998. Due to the civil wars in Afghanistan, Unocal backed out. This is way before Sept. 11, 2001.

I will concede one point: Bush has done a lousy job getting the job done. I do support him going into Iraq.

Get your facts straight. Quit reading MSM.

Gail L. Vaught
Falcon

Activism works

If you're inundated with online petitions, and frankly tired of them, and wondering just how much good they do (especially with Doug Lamborn as our congressman), you are not alone!

I was deleting many such calls for action, believing they wouldn't do what we need them to do affect the votes of our representatives.

But last week, Richard Skorman, former City Council member and local business owner, spoke to the Dems Club, representing Sen. Ken Salazar. He was very informative on issues and gracefully took the heat from a vocal and somewhat critical group that was often not happy with Salazar's many conservative votes.

One crucial point Skorman raised made me rethink my position regarding online petitions. He made it clear that when our senator does not hear from us regarding an issue any issue he thinks the issue isn't important to us and so votes only according to his own opinion; or, worse, votes in accord with the conservative constituents he does hear from!

When he does hear from progressives, it lets him know the issue is important to us. Skorman made me realize how important it is for us to sign those petitions, send him letters and make phone calls. Salazar still may not always vote the way we want, but at least he's more knowledgeable about our positions.

Imagine if we stayed mute on an issue while conservatives waged a campaign of signatures and/or calls. Salazar would get a lopsided perspective, leading him to vote more conservatively. We have a duty to make sure our side is represented.

Our voice is the only weapon we have, other than our vote. When the election is over, our post-election voice becomes the far more important weapon. Let's keep it oiled and honed.

Jan Hejtmanek
Colorado Springs

Easy math

Here we go again! The same people who oppose abortion are once again showing their ignorance by introducing legislation that would limit people's access to birth control.

This ballot measure defines a fertilized egg as a person, essentially taking birth control to the level of an abortifacient.

This mentality is misogynous and cruel, and it is disguised as being pro-life.

Please think hard about what this kind of legislation would do and how it would affect everyone who needs and wants full access to methods for preventing unintended pregnancy.

Birth control = fewer abortions!

Georgia Moen
Colorado Springs

Vote for the dogs?

In the wake of the Michael Vick indictment, readers may wonder why U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn was among about three dozen lawmakers who recently sided with dogfighting and cockfighting interests and voted against the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act.

This legislation upgrades penalties for illegal transportation of fighting dogs one of the crimes Vick has been charged with from misdemeanor to felony penalties.

Ironically, the Congress upgraded this law and President Bush signed the measure in May just after the alleged crimes had occurred with Vick and his co-defendants. The legislation passed the House by a vote of 368-39, and then cleared the Senate unanimously.

The vast majority of members of Congress supported this legislation to put a stop to precisely the type of behavior that Michael Vick was charged with: participation in a multi-state network of cruel and degrading dogfighting activities.

Humane organizations and more than 400 law enforcement agencies supported the federal bill, yet Doug Lamborn showed his true colors by giving dogfighters a free pass.

Michael Markarian, president
Humane Society Legislative Fund
Washington, D.C.

Family message

We, the family of Jon Smith, wish to thank all of you, his extended family. You treated us so special in our recent visit to honor Jon's memory.

Jon's life was so rich. His love for the mountains, his work, his interaction with theatre, the volunteer firefighters and the Buffalo Soldiers were his testimony.

Much more than that were the people in life that he touched and those who touched him.

There is an old gospel song, "Let my life speak for me," that speaks of a life well lived. We think that Jon's life spoke for him.

We reach out to you, his extended family, with our profound gratitude and love. You are Jon's family and we thank you for including us and blessing us with the celebration of Jon Smith's life.

The family of Jon Smith

Pion vs. portfolio

In response to Independent articles on Pion Canyon and the idea that the military is going back to the drawing board ("The Pion PR offensive," News, July 26):

I first present a statement from the Pion Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition's (PCEOC) e-mail updates at pinoncanyon.com:

"The Army's letter ... does nothing to stop the expansion. It offers nothing butmore empty promises and misleading rhetoric. We have had meetings with the Army; we have an Environmental Impact Statement now that demonstrates the needless destruction and decimation that will occur if the PCMS expansion is allowed.

"The information is there for anyone to see. There are no reasons for further studies or reports; there are no reasons for more opportunities to comment to the Pentagon; there are no reasons for anything they speak of except to provide stall tactics while the process continues to go forward for the Pentagon."

Second, regarding Secretary of the Army Pete Geren's statement, "Our intent is to fully consider potential economic enhancements to local communities, with the goal of accomplishing the acquisition of the necessary property from willing sellers":

The communities are the ranchers. Without the ranchers, there is no community.

Which leads to the third point: Who are the "Pikes Peak area business boosters" who feel the way to more economic prosperity is through military resources? And if we are already getting hundreds of millions of dollars from Fort Carson, why do we need more? Why don't we have a mixed portfolio of economic resources? What about economic resources that build our at-risk food chain vs. the war machine?

Approve novel agricultural approaches in the Farm Bill. Address out-of-date water laws. Support alternatives to mono-cropping and huge corporate food systems.

Spend some time learning about Southeast Colorado Regional Tourism (SECORT) and the joint effort to address economic development in our southeast Colorado region.

Military growth is not needed.

Melissa Marts
Colorado Springs

Correction

In a story last week about artist Spica Stolfus ("Walking the Line," 7 Days to Live), the height of the Christmas tree tower being constructed in Stolfus' backyard was incorrect. The tower is 14 feet tall. The Independent regrets the error.

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