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I cannot agree with the CSPD's answer to ending human trafficking through "john-shaming" ("Springs Police shine a light on johns," News, April 8). Nor can I support any collaboration by the Indy in this entrapment ploy. This approach can only cause more problems than it solves.
The pimps and prostitutes simply move on to greener pastures, while those singled out and scapegoated for a society-wide issue are unimaginably hurt. And this says nothing of the damage to their families. Is piling more suffering upon suffering a solution?
Truth is, the vast majority of us know nothing else about these men whose "mugs" have been posted. Perhaps some need counseling, help in overcoming an all-too-easy addiction in this hyper-sexualized culture. Perhaps some were just lonely and desperate for companionship. For others, a visit to "the world's oldest profession" may be a lifestyle choice.
Victims? Are we to believe that all who prostitute, whether on the streets or the Internet, are being forced against their will? We don't have to look too deeply to find an honest answer here. Still, if they are compelled there for money, what does that say about opportunity (or lack thereof) in this oh-so-top-heavy economy in which we are all entangled?
No one in their right mind wants to be a party to human trafficking or worker exploitation. But who is an innocent "customer" here? After we clean up the business of sex in the streets, do we then target the Internet's lonely, horny, or just plain human, customers? And purchasers of vibrators? Certainly those accommodating gizmos are made for pennies a day by exploited workers in some Third World/developing country.
Point is, if we're in a hole, it's due to the whole. To shame one end of a market chain — itself deeply enmeshed in a much bigger system of trafficking and exploitation — is no solution.
— Dean Frankmore
To the 61 percent ...
Only 39 percent of our voter population voted in the April 7 city election. That is just pathetic. The surest way to see that things remain the same is to do absolutely nothing. So, thanks for nothing to the 61 percent who could not be fucking bothered. Don't let me hear your bitching and complaining about the state of our union — you forfeited your right to bitch by forfeiting your privilege to vote. Shame on you!
— Christopher Curcio
Who's hunting Helen?
Is anyone in this town interested in finding out who is orchestrating the witch hunt against Helen Collins? Even though the recall election failed — as it should have — local media is still on the bandwagon.
I have lived in District 4 for almost 25 years and am a former Neighborhood Watch captain. I can count on one hand the people in any branch or level of city government I have contacted that have shown the slightest interest in what goes on in this district. Ms. Collins is one of those five. I am constantly amazed at her level of involvement. Plus she votes based on her constituents' votes and is not the usual puppet to further some other district's agenda. For instance, District 4 overwhelmingly voted against flood mitigation. To my knowledge, Ms. Collins has replied to questions or issues immediately.
Why so much interest in "slum" properties out of state? We all know we have plenty of them right here in beautiful Colorado Springs! In my subdivision, dozens of properties have absentee landlords. The properties are overseen by local property management companies. Neighbors often have to contact the out-of-state owner to get anything done. Ms. Collins probably relies on the same type of companies to manage her out-of-state properties.
Who are the people bent on getting rid of Helen Collins and why? Is it because District 4 finally has a Council member that is actually doing the job in an appropriate manner? What do they have to gain? I know what they've lost, the usual puppet member.
If you're going to interfere in government by and for the people, stand up and identify yourselves!
— C.M. Verburg
On April 8, the Gazette, owned by Philip Anschutz, ran a front-page photo of our well-respected former mayor and current mayoral candidate Mary Lou Makepeace in a spontaneous and unstaged moment. Her opponent was in a very well-prepared photo-opportunity photo. Both photos were taken on election night, April 7.
I feel this photo was no mistake. It was pure propaganda. Since Anschutz supports and endorsed Suthers, he forces his employees to publish photos like these.
First of all, my sympathies to his reporters and journalists. I can only imagine the restraints on their professional integrity. Second, our local newspaper should not be his bully pulpit. One look at Colorado Springs will tell anyone that whatever we are doing has not worked. Our potholes remain, our parks are compromised, our downtown has not flourished. In actual fact, we are the only town in Colorado that has not enjoyed a healthy recovery since the recession. With people paying for influence we are about to go down the same road.
When "influence" is owned by the 1 percenters, our very town is being bought buy them. The Gazette has proven this fact. The recent Gazette "perspective series" on marijuana demonstrated this a few weeks ago. A wife of a doctor who treats addiction, who is not even a paid staffer helped author this debacle.
Next we will be told to change the name of our town to "Anschutz Town." There is nothing subtle about his influence in this town, from the invasion into Bear Creek Park to earn money for The Broadmoor, which Anschutz owns, by providing horse rides daily there, to his endorsements, to headline-grabbing photos in his newspaper, designed to undermine good people with good intentions.
— Brooke Squires
It is disingenuous for Fr. Bill Carmody to equate LGBT people with the KKK ("Fear and loathing," Letters, April 8). The entire point of the KKK was and is to devalue certain groups of people and harm them. That is not and never has been the point of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our communities.
We generally want to live good lives, contribute to society, and be treated as respected and valued citizens. I don't in any way support threatening to burn a business down, but I understand the pain and anger of once again having one's well-being devalued (in the name of religion or for any reason). And this has happened to LGBT people for centuries: Other people don't believe our own accounts of our lives, make assumptions about us, discriminate against us (as the "pizza couple" were prepared to do), and attack and murder us.
Indeed, if Carmody were not so prejudiced against LGBT people and dismissive of our well-being, he would see that we are usually more like Catholics, back when Catholics were under assault, than we are like the Klan (who, incidentally, also have a smaller history of violence specifically against LGBT people). LGBT people usually receive threats rather than making them, and thousands of us are violently attacked every year, even to this day.
But then, it's clear that Carmody does not respect LGBT people, or he would call us what we call ourselves, rather than speaking contemptuously of "homosexual rights" supporters and "homosexual promoters."
So don't accept Carmody's parallel between LGBT people and the KKK too quickly. History and social context makes it clear that the parallel is wrong and itself a sad example of prejudice.
— Amanda Udis-Kessler
That dog won't hunt
In response to Fr. Carmody's "Fear and loathing" letter: I do not condone what a couple people did in response to the Indiana pizza parlor owners' statements regarding refusal of service, but comparing "homosexual promoters" with the KKK is a dog that won't hunt, Father.
How many gay teens have been kicked out of their homes in the name of righteousness? How many transgendered folk have been beaten within in an inch of their life, if not past the point into the grave? How many queer folk have lost their jobs, been treated like second-class citizens and been snubbed by "good" Christian" people?
False claims of religious persecution hold very little water in the United States when good men, women, teens and children are being physically and mentally harmed by "well-meaning" Bible black tyrants who are losing nothing but their power.
Comparing a persecuted minority to a tyrannical hate group is unethical and, dear Father, I hope you have time to see your confessor to repent of your uncharitable and un-Christian accusations.
— Thom Andreas
In "Get the message?" (News, April 8), the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition was misidentified as the Colorado Freedom of Information Council. We regret the error.