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Smell the coffee
Philip Sargent attempted ("Boycott Starbucks," Letters, April 5) to make great waves over Starbucks' recently professed support for deleting DOMA's narrow definition of marriage from the federal playbook.
I believe in free speech and freedom of association for everyone, and I understand that Mr. Sargent's views — however narrow they may seem to people of my worldview — stem from what is most likely sincerely held religious beliefs. So I don't care to call for a counter-boycott or question Mr. Sargent's right to engage in his boycott.
But I wish to point out one thing to him: Over 640,000 people "signed" (electronically) a thank you to Starbucks for its public stand in favor of same-sex marriage. In contrast, at the time of this writing, fewer than 30,000 people have "signed" Mr. Sargent's favored Dump Starbucks petition. I think the sheer disparity in these numbers indicates that Mr. Sargent's boycott is a mere drop in the bucket for Starbucks, and that Mr. Sargent's traditional worldview is fast fading from the conscience of the American public.
I feel confident that a large number of people will, in time, join Starbucks in saying "good riddance" to a worldview that on the one hand professes a belief in freedom of religion, and on the other hand believes it is the proper place of the federal government — indeed, any government — to intrude into a deeply spiritual, and fundamentally private, bond between two loving people.
— Tim Canon II
In his letter, Philip Sargent says, "Many in our community ... would be deeply offended to know that a portion of every cup of Starbucks coffee they buy is being used to lobby in favor of same-sex marriage."
Phil, if ignorance is bliss, you must be experiencing some serious Nirvana, God bless ya. The LGBT community also believes in marriage, which is why we're so fervently lobbying for that right. Let's face it, the track record of heterosexuals is nothing to be proud of. If marriage is such a sacred institution to you guys, why do nearly half of your marriages end in divorce?
Face it, Phil, you are on the losing end of this battle. With or without Starbucks' help, it is only a matter of time before same-sex marriage is legalized in this country.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to make a beeline for the nearest Starbucks and order the most expensive item on the menu. (Thanks for the heads-up!)
— Christopher M. Curcio
Women in charge
A lawyer, a lobbyist and a politician walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Hello, congressman."
I enjoyed John Hazlehurst's article ("GOP: Local women's club," City Sage, March 22) on how more women are getting involved locally in politics, and was especially happy for his description of us "youngish" 50-year-olds. For far too long, women have stood by while men took spots in every legislative body. Actually we were working, raising families, doing 90 percent of the housework.
We do have quite a few women serving in El Paso County. And yet, statewide and nationally, the amount of women in office is abysmal. In the world, we rank far down the list of women leading in government.
At the recent Denver Women's Legislative Breakfast, all the women on the panel (from both parties) noted the constant struggles they had with the men in the state House and Senate. And as much as women hold fast to their convictions — conservative or liberal — it's noted that 80 percent of the time, women can agree on 80 percent of what needs to be done. Even better, we get it done.
So why don't we get more qualified women running for office? I believe they are fed up with politics as usual and the inability to get anything accomplished. Republicans aren't the only ones against women. Our rights on both sides continue to dissolve in front of our eyes. You'd think that after all this time, we wouldn't still have to be defending basic women's rights.
We need women's voices. We need more women to appreciate the sacrifices of our great-grandmothers to simply have a voice and to vote for those values that move women forward. We need more women to seriously consider running for office.
I just hope we can get some who aren't lawyers.
— Vikki Walton
Stacking the deck?
I was duly elected to the delegation representing my precinct to the 5th Congressional District Republican meeting on Friday the 13th. I was rather outspoken concerning my disappointment with Rep. Doug Lamborn.
"Tar baby" comments aside, I stated my chagrin at Doug's no-show for the State of the Union address. I feel our elected leaders should show a modicum of respect to our president even if they disagree with his policies. I was excited to support Robert Blaha or anyone who is not Doug Lamborn.
Well, I guess I went too far. My name does not appear on the list of delegates for Friday.
How many other delegates opposed to Doug are experiencing this "glitch"? Is Doug himself behind this gerrymandering? I don't know.
Notably, none of my GOP brethren were particularly supportive of Willard Mitt Romney. They just really hate Obama. I'm convinced the party of Lincoln suffers from thinly veiled racism.
— Kenton Lloyd
Hating the hate
Joan Christensen's letter ("Out with Obama," April 5) begs for a response, as obviously the right-wing media machine has hit a home run with its hateful, destructive agenda.
President Obama was elected by citizens who saw the choice between an intelligent young man with ideas, hope and energy versus an aging warhorse with the poor sense to select a self-aggrandizing, airhead running mate, and who would have continued the disastrous policies destroying our nation — not because of "affirmative action."
Historians already tell us that Obama had a more productive first year in office than any president since FDR (Google "Obama's accomplishments"), his ambitions for a better America cut short by an obstructionist Republican movement. Accusations of fascism and communism, or Obama being a non-citizen, a Muslim or "anti-American" are propaganda fodder for the ignorant to subjugate themselves to the Republicans, whose confused policies clearly revolve around more profits for the rich ... period.
How quickly they forget (or ignore) the Bush administration's removal of checks and balances, the blatant decimation of the Constitution, two unnecessary wars and a massive drug bill, all unfunded, giving tax breaks to the wealthy and lowering the capital gains tax, never vetoing a spending bill, and taking us from a surplus-blessed economy to the massive debt they incurred to create/enforce policies that caused the 1 percent and Wall Street to flourish, the middle class to suffer, business to fail, people to lose homes, our economy to crash, and nearly every nation on the planet to hate us.
Bush policies created the greatest economic and social catastrophe in generations. Even God couldn't heal all those wounds in a mere four years. Turn off the self-serving, hate-inciting entertainers (Limbaugh, Coulter, Ingraham) and do a little honest research!
— Donna J. Arnink
Aaargh! I see Joan Christensen is at it again with more histrionic drivel. This time, she aims her unhinged diatribes at President Obama, perhaps the ultimate embodiment of carefully mediated practicality — yet a bogeyman in the eyes of the right's whack jobs.
Anyway, let's see what Joan offers up this time. She babbles: "Obama spits on our allies and embraces our enemies."
Hmmmm, I wonder why my friends living in the U.K., Germany, Holland and Canada now assert how relieved they are to finally see a "thinking human" in the Oval Office who takes their nations' interests into account. As for "embracing enemies," uh, yeppers, I see how Mr. Obama really "embraced" Osama bin Laden!
Joan: "He is economically ignorant." Actually, a majority of serious economists now admit that the fiscal problems from the 2007-08 financial meltdown were much more serious than originally believed, with nearly a factor two less growth.
They concede that had Obama not engineered (in 2009) the $900 billion stimulus package, we'd have entered another depression, not merely a huge recession.
And there'd still be nearly 15 percent unemployment, as opposed to 8.2 percent.
As for being "anti-American," hardly! I believe Joan needs to aim her sights on the thugs who brought rifles to Obama's health care speeches in 2009-10. You know, the thugs bearing the funny hats and snake flags?
But she saves her worst slur for last, saying, "He was elected by affirmative action because of America's guilty racial conscience."
Uh, noooooo. He was elected because we wanted a sensible, even-tempered and articulate president. Someone who'd make us proud of our leaders, as opposed to shuddering. Not a raving 72-year-old lunatic or his totally unqualified second.
— Phil Stahl
This is not my first rodeo, but for all of the hue and cry about activist judges that is heard in El Paso County, the silence about conflicts of interest that abound in the Supremes taking on ObamaCare is befuddling.
After all, the plaintiff law firm that marshaled the suit gave a dinner in honor of Justices Scalia and Thomas a short time ago. Does it pass the smell test?
More to the point, once Justice Thomas got around to claiming his wife's income, $686,000 over five years — how could that have slipped their minds — from a Tea Party-affiliated group that has strenuously protested ObamaCare, is that not grounds for his recusal?
To be fair, I realize that Justice Clarence Thomas will not ask any questions in the matter; why break his streak of six years and counting without a question?
In addition, Justice Scalia sarcastically noted that there was no way he would read all 2,700 pages of the document on which he would give judgment — my gracious, when would he find time to fly-fish with the recovering Dick Cheney?
Then again, it's probably safer than hunting with him.
The recusals will not occur because Chief Justice Roberts says that each justice has his — or her — best sense of a Code of Ethics, a wink-and-nod agreement among The Robes that has not found its way to paper. The public can complain all it likes, but the Chief Justice has spoken. Shades of L'il Abner.
Activist judges? No — the silence is deafening.
— Steve Schriener
All about the Army
I read a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh signed by our senators, congressional representatives and governor. Basically, the letter is a plea for the Army to take us over. It's a love poem to those who own us.
It salutes the Army's efforts at sustainability on Fort Carson. It praises the city's devotion and investment there. Since 1941 we've been providing public schools, health care, nonprofit "network(s) of care" such as the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and Peak Military Care Network to make sure military families get the highest standard of health care, social services, education and help with reintegration needs.
We make life worth living for the Army.
Lucky Fort Carson, to have a city devoted to providing its every need. What exactly is our return on that investment? It is frequently said by our leaders that without the military presence, this town would go bankrupt. If that's true, we'd better get busy and build a more peaceful support system for all of us.
A city devoted entirely to the military is a city that hasn't considered the consequences.
We do the work. We pay the taxes. We provide the services. And we do all this so that our president can take us to war at the drop of a hat for no reason, and accomplishing worse than nothing. We help send our children to foreign lands to fight and kill people we hate and don't understand, so they can be killed and maimed in return. We help keep the military-industrial complex alive and well.
If we worked as hard for peace as we do for war, we would be financially, spiritually and communally much better off.
As the Quakers say, "There is no way to peace; peace is the way."
— Jo Ann Nieman
This is not about religious freedom. Churches are not being required to pay for birth-control coverage. Insurance companies are being required to offer it. How does that infringe on the religious freedoms of the church?
The government is not mandating lifestyle choices. Do you understand how ridiculous that statement sounds?
The government is allowing women and their families to have a choice without it costing them an arm and a leg. Of course you fall back on the religious argument. You want to gut Social Security and Medicaid; how is that a Christian value? Where is your religion when it comes to the lesser of those in our society?
You are a fake Christian, so don't tell me you are concerned about religious freedoms. All you are concerned about is appearances; and you appear heartless and uncaring. You don't care about individual rights, only institutional rights. I believe the rights of the individual trump the rights of the large institutions, but of course you can't understand that.
— Brenda Dickson
Last week's Reverb column erroneously cited Sean Fanning as the cellist who sat in with the J. Miller Band at the group's album release show. In fact, it was Sean's twin brother, Aaron. We regret the error.