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Keep it holstered
In response to Kirsten Hughes' letter to the editor on dog shootings and leash laws ("Leash of our worries") in the Feb. 11 issue:
I'm not a dog owner, nor am I afraid of dogs freely enjoying the Earth as we lucky humans do, but I was incredulous reading Ms. Hughes' letter. In it she states that, "The shootings are a symptom of the overall problem — irresponsible dog ownership." Wow! In response to the shooting of three students in North Carolina recently, would Ms. Hughes say that this is a symptom of a problem of irresponsible parking habits?
Shooting dogs (or people) because of some perceived threat or inconvenience should not be viewed as an appropriate response in any universe. I don't care how disenfranchised one feels, or how empowering that gun is, find a better way. Living in a civil society means finding non-violent ways to express your concerns without killing the loved ones of others.
This guy (yes, I'm presuming) needs to get a grip — and not on his gun.
— Adrian Abineri
Hiding in plain sight
What should Colorado Springs do, now that we are challenged with political interference from an out-of-town entity whose actions are disruptive and unpredictable? And where's all their money coming from?
Colorado Springs Government Watch (CoSGW) was formed in October 2014, with Monument as their principal office address. Denise "Dede" Laugesen has proclaimed to be the executive director and spokesperson. Records suggest Dede lives in Monument, and is not a Colorado Springs voter. Her group's stated purpose: "to ensure government is open, ethical and accountable to the public." It's classified as a 501(c)(4) "social welfare organization."
Out of the blue in November, Dede and the CoSGW aggressively targeted two of our elected City Council officials, demanding not only CORA records, but also their personal emails, and threatened to sue. These lawyered-up fishing expeditions fizzled; evidently yielded nothing newsworthy, or surely we would have heard about it.
But CoSGW pressed on anyway, supported a recall of our city councilor and, according to records, paid a business $14,122-plus to collect more than 3,000 of their 3,007 reported total signatures.
None of our City Council members are accused of criminal activity. We all have our differences, but I don't like our City Council treated like dirt. Who will be targeted next?
501(c)(4)s have been controversial in the past few years. They can influence local politics without disclosing the sources of their special interest money — donors' identities and motives are hidden. This selective political intrusion into Colorado Springs through an extraordinary venue enabling their own secrecy — the 501(c)(4) — is appalling. All while spewing "openness" and "accountability."
Regarding 501(c)(4) the IRS says: "Political activities may not be the organization's primary activities." But political activities are CoSGW's primary focus, evidenced by their webpage content and political manipulation.
Editor's note: The Indy emailed Laugesen to confirm her city of residence, but did not hear back by deadline.
Where the guns are
I would like to give letter-writer Gary Casimir a list of businesses that allow carrying concealed handguns on their premises ("Gordon's guns," Letters, Feb. 4). Companies must post a sign that says "no guns allowed" before they can ban people from carrying concealed in their businesses. Very few companies have these signs, so this means the overwhelming majority of businesses are allowing people with guns on their premises.
If Mr. Casimir wants to avoid these stores he may have to live without most products we all enjoy, but if he is dedicated to his cause, no toilet paper is a small price to pay.
— Ron Coleman
Keep us safe
I'm confused! There is so much hype regarding possible terrorist attacks in America. Colorado Springs is particularly vulnerable because of all the military installations and schools here. Yet the higher-ups keep threatening to close, or reduce the number of personnel, at Fort Carson.
Why is the military sending us mixed messages? How is that supposed to help the good citizens of Colorado Springs feel safe and protected in their own homes? How about the security and safety of our Americans around the country?
We have experienced the support of our local military through so many trials. We need them, not just for their economic contribution, but for their protection.
— Faye Green
Swords to plowshares
There's understandable consternation among area politicians, businessmen and military people over impending cuts to the military budget and possible drastic downsizing of Fort Carson and other installations.
But the brute fact is that the American military is an obsolete giant. Warfare has radically changed, and is now conducted from afar by geniuses sitting at computer terminals. Witness the Obama government shutting down North Korea's computer system temporarily in retaliation for the hacking of Sony. And the U.S. and Israelis sabotaging Iran's nuclear centrifuges using computer viruses.
No need to kill anyone anymore. You can get what you want without killing. Superior hacking, satellite spying, infiltration of organizations and cells, freezing "enemy" banking assets, interdicting their supply lines of all types, putting political and worldwide pressure on them, interfering with their communications, and various economic sanctions succeed. The nation that out-thinks the others will win.
But if the obsolete military is cut, what happens to the Fort Carson soldiers (I was one), the other military employees of all kinds, their support industries, the ancillary income to businesses in cities with bases — income which is incalculable?
Military employees enjoy well-paying, Big Government, tax-supported jobs with good benefits. We need to make sure these people and businesses are covered as the military giant is trimmed. How? By giving exactly the same pay and benefits to all, at exactly the same immense tax bill, as is done today, in other types of government jobs.
Everybody knows what must be done: Fix dams and bridges, upgrade the national parks, shrink classroom sizes, repair the infrastructure in every way. The public transportation system lags far behind Europe's. Expand preschool options for all children. The list goes on. There's enormous work to be done. Moving in this direction would be the latest instance of "beating swords into plowshares."
— Larimore Nicholl