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'Zinger' reporting, flood-damaged parks, government shutdown and more

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Zing me

Wow! Page 13 of the last edition — what a zinger ("Under the microscope," News). The best-documented exposé of the excess use of outside investigations by our city.

The comments of past city managers really didn't pull any punches, either.

— Colleene Johnson

Colorado Springs

Niceties or necessities?

Recent flooding across Colorado Springs has damaged many of the surrounding parks ("Trails, parks remain closed after floods," News, Sept. 25); estimated damages are $6.5 million. The city has asked for help from the federal government to allocate extra funding to rehabilitate the flood-damaged parks. In light of our government's financial problems, I do not think the federal government should pay to rebuild our parks.

In America we are used to enjoying our niceties, when in reality we only require the necessities to survive. One could argue that we need things such as policemen, military, schools and hospitals to survive and function. City parks on the other hand, are just one of the nice things for our entertainment and pleasure. So while our government is spending in excess of our nation's debt limit, we need to help our government be more responsible with our money.

Parks in Colorado Springs are heavily used by local residents and visitors, 114 of which are mentioned by the article for volunteering to help restore Palmer Park. What is stopping the city from asking for more volunteers to donate time and resources toward restoring our parks? I think the nice things in life are worth working and waiting for.

— Tyler Whitney

Colorado Springs

It's a savings!

I am in desperate need of economic re-education.

Yesterday, ABC News informed me that hundreds of millions of dollars will be lost to the American economy due to lost productivity resulting from the partial government shutdown. I was unaware that government produced anything! I've been under the delusion that government represents an expense/obligation borne and funded on the backs of those who actually do create and produce.

It therefore follows that any shutdown would actually be a savings to those who bear the burden of paying government's obligations. You see, I have long subscribed to the notion of Walter Williams, Edmund Burke and other great thinkers who note that government cannot give one dollar's worth of benefit to one person lest it first takes it from another person, through the power of taxation.

To be sure, government can print and borrow to meet obligations, but that debt must still be satisfied by Americans even if they are yet unborn. I had thought that only in a socialist system, where government controls the means of production, could a limited shutdown be defined as a disaster! Apparently I've been misguided all my life!

To further complicate matters, I've discovered that our Constitution and form of government has changed and no one told me. At a news conference last week, our president declared that we live in a constitutional democracy.

Silly me, I thought we lived in a constitutional republic, because our Constitution guarantees us a republican form of government.

On second thought, it is not I who is in need of re-education, for my only wish is for our government to stay within the boundaries set forth by constitutional authority. But I fear that mine is an increasingly minority opinion.

— Len Bentley

Colorado Springs

'Our basest faults'

Congress is setting a great example of American democracy for a waiting country and a watching world. Maybe it is a stretch to think people could be self-governing, since we are seeing that some can be so obtuse to their place in history that they are willing to take the whole process hostage.

It is worse than complete disregard for the institutions that have weathered two centuries of tests to such a grand vision. It is an affront to the other Americans we see around us every day. People just like us who have a stake in this country and have voted to claim that stake.

Instead we have another test of our government, but this time it is more dangerous because it is derived from some of our basest faults, avarice, disrespect, and often, blind hatred.

— Mike Clow

Colorado Springs

Hope in Halter

Pity the community that is "served" by the unfortunate combination of the Gazette's editorial board and Congressman Doug Lamborn. The Gazette's decision to mention the toilet paper shortage at the Air Force Academy in their silly headlines Friday morning represented a missed opportunity to highlight the serious impact on cadet education that is occurring as a result of furloughing the Academy's civilian faculty and staff.

Additionally, while the national press has pointed out the increased vulnerabilities to our national security brought on by the furlough of DoD civilians, the Gazette has glossed over this inconvenient fact, which is even more surprising given the important presence of the Schriever, Peterson and Fort Carson military installations in our very own community.

For those moderate Republicans (not to mention the growing number of Independents and Democrats) who are tired of tea party favorite Doug Lamborn's comfort with repeatedly taking us to, and now over, the brink, there is hope in Irv Halter, an Air Force Academy graduate and retired two-star general, who will be challenging Lamborn in the next general election.

Colorado's Fifth Congressional District would be much better served by someone like Halter, who deeply understands national security in a way that Lamborn, a lawyer with no past military service, simply can't. National security is no joke and must come before tea party ideology.

To repurpose a phrase used recently by Speaker John Boehner, "This isn't some damn game."

— Aaron Byerley

Colorado Springs

Our ruined vacation

Rep. Lamborn: We are taking a long-awaited vacation to several national museums and monuments in the central United States. However, thanks to your lack of leadership and disrespect for compromise, we will not be visiting any of these for which we have always paid our taxes. You, however, will still be paid.

What a sham and a shame you are! Have you no conscience whatsoever? If this is all about no healthcare for millions of Americans, why don't you agree to have none yourself?

— Kathy Brady

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Lamborn has announced that he will not accept a paycheck until the shutdown has ended.

A funny freedom

Every year since 1995, two U.S. bastions of "free-market" conservatism, the Heritage Foundation with financial assistance from the Wall Street Journal (now owned by FOX News owner Rupert Murdoch), have ranked all the nations in the world according to what they measure as each nation's level of "Economic Freedom." This year the U.S. broke back into the Top 10 economically most free nations.

I can't wait to see the 2014 listing, because each year that I have been tracking this, all of the other nine nations that beat the United States have one advantage in common.

Can you guess what that is?

If you said "universal health care" and are at one of our city's watering holes, then get the person next to you to buy you a drink.

That's right, these two giants of American conservatism, which almost daily decry the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in the U.S. as socialism, agree that the nine nations ahead of us are economically freer, and thus better bets for your investments, despite the fact that all of the top nine nations have government universal health care systems ranging from single-payer systems to mandatory health care insurance with a public option!

Worse yet, the U.S. will still not match the government involvement of these nine in public health care even if and when "Obamacare" is up and running in all 50 states!

Go figure.

Then when you are finished trying to explain it all, help end the massive healthcare brainwash in the U.S. that, despite our great comparative advantages, allows the U.S. to spend and waste far more per capita than any other nation in health care delivery, yet provides some of the industrial world's least desirable overall results.

— Jonathan H. Reilly

Colorado Springs

Clarification

"Debate club" (News, Oct. 2) stated that with the passage of Amendment 66, the state would "ask" many school districts to hold elections to approve higher tax rates for local education. What the state may actually do is prevent some districts that decline to ask for higher tax rates from seeking some other types of tax increases in the future.

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