Praise the Goddess
I've enjoyed your Advice Goddess column very much. The letters' titles, which I think Amy chooses, and the pull-outs, which maybe the Indy chooses ("The elephant in the red satin push-up bra," Sept. 27) it's all good.
More than anything else, it's Amy's combining erudition and humor. Deconstructing Freud on the one hand, turning readers on to Miller and Kanazawa's ideas on the other ... both utilizing and deconstructing pop psych with the aforementioned elephant and the scare quotes around "preference" and "better than that" ... all the while mixing in varied-brow vulgarities, if you will, such as "boobage" and "bigguns" ... it's fun, it compliments the reader's intelligence and it delivers buckets of real-world value.
Also just plain wisdom. "Knowing what's mature and being satisfied with what's mature are two different things," and "Deception usually needs to partner with self-deception to succeed. Desperation greases the way," and many more through many columns.
The Advice Goddess's bent is both cool and heavy, and her combining the two encourages me about people generally. And about advice columnists.
Doug hearts Rush
C-SPAN was on the other day in the background, and suddenly our illustrious Rep. Doug Lamborn was recognized by the speaker. I immediately had to stop what I was doing and pay attention. What was so important for Lamborn to speak on the record? Was it about Pikes Peak or magnet-school grants?
Not at all! He was defending the talk-radio bully icon, Rush Limbaugh! Lamborn proceeded to use his entire one minute to declare that Rush Limbaugh, a Vietnam War avoider, is "one of the strongest supporters of our troops and an outright defender of the mission, purpose and individual courage."
Limbaugh, self-admitted carrier of the administration's water, and his speech had to be defended as above reproach and rebuke.
Here was our district's freshman congressman, so highly regarded that his own party leadership left him off the Armed Services Committee, defending Limbaugh, who now has the audacity to label some veterans, who openly disagree with "his" Iraq policy beliefs, as "phony soldiers."
Lamborn seemingly believes only those veterans who agree with Limbaugh are "real soldiers." Therefore, he must be defended on the floor of the House, because any rebuke of Limbaugh is an infringement on Limbaugh's freedom of speech. Is that not the same kind of freedom of speech condemned by Congress regarding the moveon.org ad?
Lamborn's defense of Limbaugh could threaten his top-rated congressional standing in protecting family values with the Christian Coalition of Colorado. Limbaugh is thrice-divorced, now single, and is a known carrier of Viagra (a prescription in someone else's name) on trips abroad. Come on, why does a single man needs Viagra when traveling abroad?
More interestingly, reading the transcript, Limbaugh seems to hold that Republicans who disagree with the current Iraqi policy are not really Republicans, either.
Talking about keeping the faith in hypocrisy!
A Springs first
"Preventing St. Patty's Day II" (News, Oct. 4) reported some interesting points from a three-day seminar on nonviolent activism and civil liberties. But to get a minimally accurate account of what took place, one would need to have been there over the three days and 12 hours of sessions. Its planning was not dependent on the St. Patrick's Day arrests, nor was it designed to leave out the past, because "history is prologue."
Sixty people signed in, and for the first time since I've been planning and speaking at nonviolence seminars (about 40 years), local government, police, media, peace and justice and civil-liberties activists wound up in the same room talking and listening to each other.
The real benefits were in the details. Some 20-plus people came to all four sessions, which were designed to be a mini-refresher course for some and new enlightenment for others, or at least to promote better understanding, we hoped, for all. Giving up 2 days over one's lifetime for peace does not seem farfetched.
The good news is that the seminar was a first, and insightful comments and expressions were offered by well-known personalities. I got a chance, at age 76, to put my two cents in, as did a very stimulating and highly energized gathering of Colorado Springs folks.
In this age of excessive presidential power, surveillance, detention, rendition, torture and loss of civil liberties, it is well to reflect upon the words of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: "To secure these rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) governments are instituted." It's not, and never has been, the other way around. I might add, peace is not only the end, peace is the way. After thousands of years of institutional and retaliatory violence, it's time to make peace our dance and best chance!
Two too many
To continue this farcical trial against the two St. Patrick's Day Parade litigants ("The St. Patrick's Day Two," News, Oct. 4) is a waste of money and resources. This is an obvious attempt to intimidate the two into not suing the city in civil court, and that's much worse. That's not what our courts are for.
All the evidence needed to see the cascade of misinformation that led to this whole problem, came out in the trial. Misinformation to the police, that there was no permit. Misinformation to the parade organizer that caused him to revoke the legal permit to march. Then some of the police overreacted. The original charges were changed, they were tried, and now the charges will be changed again? That's not what our courts are for.
The jury was hung because they couldn't agree that an obstruction by the Bookman group had even happened. The prosecution made its case and failed to prove it to the jury. The system worked when reasonable doubt was proven.
That's what our courts are for!
Can't eat money
Anthony Lane expresses some concerns about testing for underground gas deposits in the Baca Refuge ("Disturbing the peace," cover story, Oct. 4). He is concerned that this will disrupt the nature of the refuge.
I would like to send this to the people who want to approve of this testing. It's an old American Indian saying:
When all the trees have been chopped down, When all the rivers have been poisoned, When all the fish have been caught, Then you will find that you can't eat money.
When the profits from natural resources are involved, save your breath. It will happen.
I am extremely pleased with the cover article by Amanda Witherell ("Eyewitness snooze," Sept. 27). I am impressed with the research done with each story and being able to give the "bottom line" on each. By design, as the mainstream media in this country is totally controlled, these items have not received the coverage due and won't, with the exception of a news source like yourselves.
I am dearly hoping and praying for more people to read these sorts of news items, thus encouraging more coverage of such things that affect all of us in this land on a daily basis. I wish more people knew about these things. It would slow down the reason why they happen in the first place. Thanks again for doing your jobs and reporting on the unreported or underreported.
Porn and pathology
Porn doesn't tear families apart, people do. No doubt about it, that many people have compulsive disorders, and they should seek treatment. However, blaming the medium doesn't address the underlying pathology. Policy attempts to relieve the ills by banning the medium often prove to be ineffectual and wasteful.
As some others have pointed out in these pages, a compulsion to believe in fairy tales creates a lot of conflict in this world, too. Policy programs to expunge believers, or their beliefs, are disproportionately severe, as we know all too well.
Live and let live, I say.
What is happening to businesses in Colorado Springs? This past week I called three different companies re: quotes or customer-service issues. An auto glass company uses a call center in Columbus, Ohio; a window-covering company uses an answering service in San Diego, Calif., and the worst of all is the Gazette, which has its customer care center located in Fort Collins. Doesn't Colorado Springs have customer call centers that are effective and efficient?
I don't want to deal with a company that doesn't have customer-service people in the city where the customers are located.
Want to know another interesting tidbit? I called about my days of stopping delivery of the Gazette during 2007. We had 17 days away from home, plus 10 more days we were gone at the end of 2006, after paying for the next 12 months in October 2006. Those days were supposed to be added to the time before my subscription expired.
When I called Fort Collins, the young lady said, "We don't really do anything about that. I see where you have stopped the newspaper for 17 days this year, but I can't extend your subscription due date." When I protested, she promised to have her supervisor call me. I'm still waiting.
Duane C. Slocum
Apathy in D.C.
I commend Leon Rodriguez ("Freedoms at CSU," Letters, Sept. 27) for his opinion: The more people who are willing to stand up against injustices, the better. Nonetheless, due to the hypocrisy surrounding the issues that Rodriguez listed, it is apparent that the Bush administration doesn't care about what people say.
The 3,790 fatalities from Operation Iraqi Freedom show how, despite the fact that more Americans have died in Iraq than in 9/11, we will keep sending more over to die.
Another issue is the 650,000 Iraqi civilians who have died during the war. Here we see one of the most blatant contradictions of the Bush administration: When speaking of abortion and stem-cell research, all lives are sacred, no matter how good the cause; however, the death of 650,000 Iraqi civilians amounts to "collateral damage."
Just a few weeks ago, the administration claimed the U.S. would pull out of Iraq only after the Iraqi government exercised complete independence. However, when the Iraqis attempted to exert independent rule by ordering Blackwater out, the administration quickly overrode the decision.
Sadly, it is obvious that President Bush will slog through one more year, contradicting himself, leaving as large a mess as possible, and then deferring all responsibility onto the next president's shoulders.