What's it all mean?
I was caught by surprise when I read "Wasted away" (cover story, Feb. 17). On p. 21, you highlighted a pull quote: "EVERY human life has worth." (Emphasis yours.) Given your publication's support for abortion rights, shouldn't you have qualified that statement with the phrase "... unless it isn't yet born ..."? Or does your print emphasis indicate the dawn of a philosophical change on your part?
— Joe Oppelt
Sex, kids and Sanger
Fred Kormos really went over the top this time ("GOP: anti-women," Letters, Feb. 17), claiming that the GOP is anti-woman just because they don't support a "woman's right to choose."
It's such a shame that we have not continued to challenge the legacy of Margaret Sanger. She might have been distraught over the loss of her mother due to her 18 pregnancies (11 of which were successful births). Sadly, Sanger only became bitter and angry over the woman's natural role to create and carry children to term. To this end, she encouraged parents to kill their youngest child and to remove from society those who are not productive.
Following Sanger's example of sex with no consequences, the organization she founded, Planned Parenthood, encourages people — especially our children — to have sexual relations. And if all else fails, we have abortion services for backup.
We are willing to destroy our next generation just because an "unplanned" child was created in the heat of passion, and that time of passion was more important than the consequence that came out of that sexual act. Even in the cases of rape or incest, it was the perpetrator who is guilty, and not the child.
The conservative, if not the GOP, understands that life itself is finite, brief and sacred. We are only here for a short time and what we do today will affect the future. Because of this, we understand that there are more important things than the right to abort your pre-born child.
It we don't accept and understand this, then our society will fall just like other societies who murder their offspring in the name of convenience and/or the gods they worshipped.
— Don McCullen
Whose side are you on?
On most issues the Republicans and Democrats fight each other. Now it looks like the citizens of Colorado are the bad guys. There is a bill in the General Assembly (SCR-1) that will make it harder for citizens to petition the government and amend the state constitution. The job of elected officials is to work for the citizens of the state, not against us.
Exactly what special interest groups are they working for, and why don't they trust us? We have enough restrictions on our freedom from the federal government. Now the state wants to add even more restrictions.
— Bill Moss
Capitalism on trial
The question of income distribution in a competitive free-market system is like trying to decide where to sit down in a cactus patch. Whereas government employees earn defined benefit retirement plans, with health care for life, and 75 to 100 percent of their highest three years' salaries, with perpetual cost-of-living inflation adjustments (on top of possible Social Security benefits, military retirement benefits, post office retirement benefits, etc.), and these benefits are a contractual obligation as protected by the courts, the private sector has no such guarantee.
If unions have "collective" bargaining rights, they pale in comparison to the power of the Congress to receive automatic annual salary raises by Act of Congress, unless members of Congress vote to turn it down.
The power of the government to impress and enforce its own largesse at the expense of powerless minimum-wage earners pales only in comparison with boards of directors who hire their CEOs with built-in golden parachutes and severance packages more generous than Fort Knox, which are paid out only after the CEO demonstrates incompetence, but before the corporation declares bankruptcy, leaving not only the shareholders and bondholders in the lurch, but defaulting on private-sector employee retirement obligations.
In the case of government employees, what is theirs is theirs, and yours is theirs, too. In the end the only legitimate solution to this grand mal seizure of the economy is to recognize that we may have to rely on computerized economic modeling in the future to craft income distribution across occupations, resources and industries, rather than relying on greed from every corner of the economy to come out and duke it out with the other competitors in the ring, which only unjustifiably rewards the bully, as the sense of ethics long ago deserted the capitalists.
— Peter Dunn
Nova no more?
Holding government responsible for open and honest transactions doesn't seem like a partisan issue. We want our federal government to support a system that investigates all levels of government; an integral part of that system is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In other words we need an investigative agency to "redress our grievances" that is not beholden to corporate sponsorship. That people continue to vote against their own interests is Orwellian.
How embarrasskin' that Congressman-for-Life Doug Lamborn spearheads the shuttering of an inarguably beneficial media outlet: Rumpole of the Bailey? Cookie Monster? Fresh Air? Nova? The Blue Plate Special?
I'm reminded that the first place junta leaders go is the media outlets. I will concede that the CPB is left-leaning, but I have a news flash for the haters out there: Journalism is inherently liberal. Yeah, that's what they do — look at the powers-that-be with healthy skepticism.
On a related note, how great was President Obama's interview with Bill O'Reilly? That is a mirror image of the kind of hard-hitting questions from cynical professionals that we want our leaders to answer. Isn't it pathetic that Lamborn is a closed shop and caters only to his base? Can we simply pass an amendment to ban all people named "Doug" from holding any office in the Springs?
Public radio and television are a bastion of good taste, eclectic programming and long-form interviews. They fundraise a substantial portion of their budget and clearly have a broad base of support. This is an arts, news and local programming organization that is the best of where we want our tax dollars spent.
Roughly $6 million will be lost in Colorado if CFL Doug gets his way.
— Frank Case
Get on the bus
I attended the mayoral debate at The Broadmoor's Colorado Hall last Thursday, Feb. 17. I wanted to ask the candidates about public transportation in Colorado Springs.
Because I use the local bus system, I left early — to catch the No. 4 in front of The Broadmoor Hotel. Note: The last bus to downtown Colorado Springs from The Broadmoor Hotel departs at 5:41 p.m. The debate was still in progress when the last bus departed for the downtown bus terminal.
I wish the mayoral debate would have been located in a more convenient area, so that many more individuals who take public transportation could have attended. (I spoke to many of the attendees and they told me they lived in the following areas: Rockrimmon, Briargate, the Broadmoor and areas east, around Powers).
How many candidates ride the Mountain Metro bus? That is the question. And what is the answer?
Let me advise all the candidates prior to the vote for mayor: Spend at least one week using the public transportation in Colorado Springs to become familiar with the issues related to various bus routes.
— Janice S. Moglen
The folks in Colorado Springs like to poke fun at our neighbors in Boulder. You know how it goes: the People's Republic, etc.
But the truth is while we languish down here, Boulder is moving ahead. Their unemployment is lower, there are frequent news stories about the high-tech start-ups taking shape there, and creative, resourceful young people want to locate there. So, Mr. Candidate, why is that happening and what are you going to do about it as mayor?
I attended the mayoral "debate" at The Broadmoor the other night, and I believe just about every candidate wanted to leave a legacy that included keeping young people here in the Springs. They perceive the problem with attracting and inspiring young people to make the Springs home.
The issue has everything to do with the way Colorado Springs is perceived — the kind of living and working environment we have. In The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida tells us "the key to economic growth lies not just in the ability to attract the creative class, but to translate that underlying advantage into creative economic outcomes in the form of new ideas, new high-tech businesses and regional growth." To be sure, there are creative people and innovative businesses in our city, yet there is not the critical mass of innovators, the collaboration and excitement on the scale we need.
We have Colorado College and UCCS. We live in a beautiful city in a beautiful setting — more beautiful than Boulder — so why are they outpacing us? Why are cities like Portland and Austin ready to prosper? Let me give you a hint, Mr. Candidate, it has little to do with dirt-cheap taxes.
— Ed Brady
No Gesslers here
Re: Pam Zubeck's article "Two jobs, two salaries" (News, Feb. 17), I believe there needs to be some clarification. I don't believe that she or Luis Toro, director of Colorado Ethics Watch are comparing "apples to apples."
"The lack of transparency" as stated by Luis Toro most certainly applies to Secretary of State Scott Gessler. At no time during his campaign did Mr. Gessler ever state that the salary paid to the Secretary of State was insufficient to meet his family's financial obligations. Mr. Gessler was certainly well aware of the salary of the office prior to running. For Mr. Gessler to state after the election that he would need to seek outside employment was, at best, disingenuous to the voters of Colorado.
Commissioner Sallie Clark's ownership of Holden House and Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams' law practice were known to the electorate prior to seeking public office. As long as Ms. Clark and Mr. Williams spend their time working for the residents of El Paso County and are fulfilling the requirements of their elected positions, then what they wish to do in their "spare time" is their prerogative as far as their personal businesses are concerned.
Ms. Clark and Mr. Williams never hid the facts nor shied away from their outside businesses. Neither came forward after the election like Mr. Gessler to state that they needed to seek outside employment. There is no conflict of interest in the public performance of Ms. Clark's and Ms. Williams' positions and their private business ventures as the disclosures were made to the electorate prior to voting.
Just for the record, I am a registered Democrat.
— Joan Lucia-Treese
This has instantly turned from a long-brewing complaint letter into one of thanks. On Feb. 17, for the first time in the 10 years I've been reading your paper, I was able not only to get through, but also to enjoy, Seven Days to Live. The pictures were appealing, the colors subdued and inviting, and I actually read every entry. The layout, picture and graphics choices until now had made concentration extremely difficult for me, so I've usually just turned the page.
Obviously, this may say more about me than your artists' talent and expertise, but thank you anyway.
— David Shahan
Agree to disagree
Gee whiz, just when I thought I could crawl back into my bunker, here comes another shot off the port side from Mr. Bob Nemanich ("Feeling civil," Letters, Feb. 17).
His careful reading and critiquing of my "Open debate" letter of Feb. 3 would be flattering to those of us who crave attention and validation any way we can get it if it wasn't so tedious and pedantic. Where was he when I needed him and was struggling through Freshman Comp?
Apparently, Mr. Nemanich has fallen into the same trap of distortion and denial of facts that he believes is only inhabited by his less liberal brethren, which probably includes anyone he deems either too stupid or too biased to see his worldview.
In Debate 101, they told us that the purpose of debating was to persuade or convince, not to render the other party insensible from waves of purple prose. They also said that "if you write/speak too much, it is a sign of not being able to justify your position."
My advice to him is to lighten up and to realize that beliefs do not necessarily equal truths and that there is more than one valid side to a debate. That is the forum that the Indy provides its readers — not a platform for one side only, nor for slinging personal insults, but to allow the citizens to speak their minds, whether we agree with each other or not.
— Geraldine Russell
In "Wasted away" (cover story, Feb. 17), a reference to the University of Colorado School of Medicine should have noted that the school is in Aurora, not Denver. The Indy regrets the error.