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Hello, Andrew?

I like the Indy, but all the whining gets tiresome. Take, for instance, Andrew Hood's Olympic overview (Your Turn, Feb. 14). I was there as a reporter and felt the Games were a splendid experience.

They are much less commercial than Atlanta's Summer Games-and-Corporate Flea Mart. So what if there were lots of corporate sponsors? In America, land of the bathroom billboards, you just come to expect a heavy advertising presence at major sporting events. Hello, Andrew, haven't been out and about the last 20 years? The venues, at least, had no sponsor banners whatsoever. How refreshing!

Downtown parking was high-priced, not because of gouging, but to discourage people from driving into this congested area and instead use the free public transportation. The SLOC did a very good job of creating a comprehensive environmental program that included mass transit for journalists, athletes and spectators. This is something Hood and the Indy should applaud.

Furthermore, the so-called scandals were mostly silly -- with three media reps for every athlete, no minor issue got overlooked. Like condoms for athletes -- hey, that story was done in Sydney. Big deal.

Overall, I found Utahns to be friendly, upbeat and wonderfully efficient. They were no less "hip" than Coloradans, and a lot more pleasant. Overall, they did a great job with the Games. My hope is that their example might actually convince Coloradans to set our sites on a future Winter Olympics. But here in Doug Bruce land, we're probably too self-absorbed to invite the world into our own backyard party.

-- Gavin Ehringer
Colorado Springs

Fish wrap explained

To the Editor:

I wasn't going to waste one of my periodic letters on the extreme, right-wing verbiage of Lynn Feldmann's, "Just More Fish Wrap" [Feb. 7], but I just couldn't contain my conscience.

I begin with Feldmann's conclusion, "Advertisers should wake up, stop wasting their money and pull the plug on this continuous stream of garbage." For those who didn't read Feldmann's letter, it calls the Indy's reporting "garbage." Now, calling someone's reports "garbage" not only reveals an intellectual scarcity of debating skills, but is also typical of how most hard-right folks argue an issue. Read how Feldmann sprinkles the letter with far rightisms -- "leftist propaganda," "left's strident hysteria," "primrose path of liberal thoughts," "tripe" and corks it off with "fish wrap." No need to explain "fish wrap" -- fish wrap explains Feldmann.

Feldmann goes on to claim the Indy's articles are "irrelevant and so unbalanced" that it cannot claim to be independent. Hmmm, wonder where Feldmann gets "balanced and relevant" news -- The Washington Times? NRA Magazine? American Spectator Magazine? The CATO Institute? American Heritage Institute? Rush Limbaugh? Michael Reagan? Mike Rosen? Chuck Baker? None of these except Fox claims balance (which is silly); in fact, [they] boast of their partiality. Rational people are totally aware of the Indy's balanced reporting and know its opinions lean Democrat, but in a county of Republican domination, it is the Democrat's loudest voice. Would Feldmann silence that voice? Perhaps Feldmann should spend some time in Boulder and find out how it feels to be a Democrat in El Paso County.

I won't be nasty and say the only garbage I find in the Indy are letters like Feldmann's, but if I wrote a letter to the Gazette espousing my Democratic views using the prose Feldmann did, my letter would be deleted. I know, for I've had far, far, milder letters than Feldmann's "garbaged" by the G!

-- Phil Kenny
Colorado Springs

Random thoughts

To the Editor:

How ironic ... Is ironic the proper word? In a review about "sexy" books (in time for St. Valentine's Day), Cynthia Heimel says, "Citizens! Never marry! Marriage is a bloodbath!" (I couldn't agree more, personally.) But, then the Bridal Festival insert, full of advertisements with happy brides dressed in white.

I think Tom Tomorrow's "This Modern World" is brilliant!

I appreciate Jim Hightower's information! I knew him in Texas.

The Feb. 14cover ... Very clever! "Hot on the Press!" I instantly flashed to a scene from the remake (Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange) of The Postman Always Rings Twice! I think, however, they did "it" on the kitchen table, not a "press"! But, I appreciate the double entendre.

Finally, to the Christian extremists that live in Colorado Springs: You just aren't sophisticated enough to understand what's in the Independent! You don't know that you don't know. I shall pray for you! In Jesus' name,

-- F.A.H. Dalrymple
Colorado Springs

School gave no help

To the Editor:

We would like to thank you for writing our daughter Kerby Casey Guerra's story on what bullying does to a child ["Almost Three Years," Feb. 7].

We hope by speaking out that this will make schools and students who harass and bully understand the pain it can do -- even to the point of suicide.

We understand there will be some people out there who think we are trying to look for a scapegoat for what our daughter did. We know why she committed suicide, as it was in all her journals the pain she was going through at Eagleview. The school did nothing to help her.

How many children commit suicide as a result from being harassed and bullied? One in 13 attempt suicide each year because of school bullying. There is a book called One in Thirteen: The Silent Epidemic of Teen Suicide by Jessica Portner. It brings insight into this alarming subject. Every school should have it in their school library.

Please understand, by us speaking out we are hoping this will not happen to another child like it did for our daughter.

Schools should be held responsible if they turn their back on a child who comes to them for help.

Every student should feel safe in their school.

Thank you for writing this story to make people understand this has to stop in our schools everywhere.

-- Donna and Larry Guerra
Colorado Springs

Take him, please!

To the Editor:

Some things never change.

Take one of our local Republican legislators, Richard Decker. Take him, please!

His favorite bill is back again, which would make illegal the possession of items that can be used to make methamphetamine or other drugs. It was killed last year.

Let's leave the failed war on drugs aside, except to say that it is common knowledge that Libertarians such as myself favor ending drug criminalization and favor treating drug addiction as the illness it is.

Decker wants to outlaw possession of such things as pseudoephedrine cold medications and car batteries because they "might" be used in a meth lab.

That "logic" means that things that could be used for a crime as well as legal purposes, from scotch tape (suffocation) to dental floss (hanging) to the family car (drunk driving) to guns should be outlawed. Coincidentally, that is the entire FAA security policy in one phrase, not to mention D-11's.

How ridiculous. How alarming.

Decker built in a requirement that prosecutors have to prove the items in question are being used for drug production. But the police have no such requirement. They get another weapon to use in civil asset forfeiture (a.k.a. unlawful seizure). Most of those instances never get to court. Once again we are guilty until proven innocent.

This bill expands and intrudes government further into individual lives. This bill comes from the party that claims to want "small" government.

This is "small" government???

The only way to get government out of our lives, wallets and choices is to get rid of those who would unnecessarily intrude upon us.

-- Michael Seebeck
Midway, Colo.

The drumbeat of propaganda

To the Editor:

Consider the Bush budget and the money for "homeland security" and to combat terrorism. If only our government and leaders/politicians had been and would be so quick and willing to spend billions of our tax dollars for more tangible security and to fight other causes and sources of terror for U.S. citizens.

If only they would spend billions to fight the terror of homelessness and hunger, the terror of drug addiction without treatment and the terror of seniors who cannot afford food and shelter and medicine. Surely our health-care system, dependent on private insurance, terrorizes many citizens -- the terror of a mother or father with a sick child and no medical coverage and the terror of millions of individuals with no meaningful access to health care.

Money spent on combating these terrors would produce identifiable, tangible and immediate progress in reducing the level of terror and insecurity for U.S. citizens. Why do our leaders/politicians not find these battles worthy -- and worthy of massive public spending? Is it, in part, because the official "war on terrorism" is more appealing to the police-state, control mentality common to our rulers?

Is it, in part, because this other war on long-standing terrors would not have the advantage of enriching munitions makers and other corporate sources of political graft known as campaign contributions? We should demand that our government spend our money on combating these real problems, which, day in and day out, terrorize our populace.

And, speaking of officially designated terrorism and other "sponsors" of terror, the "American Taliban" is in the clutches of our government and he will be severely punished for his intentions and what he might have done to his country and its citizens. There is no evidence presented that he actually did any harm to U.S. citizens, much less terrorize them.

Then I think of Kenneth Lay and the other Enron profiteers and what harm and terror they certainly have inflicted on thousands of Enron employees. Have these U.S. citizens been terrorized by the prospect of poverty and impoverished retirement? Balance and proportionality are sadly lacking in the media and in public discourse. The drumbeat of propaganda preparing us for more war and more police-state "security" is overwhelming.

-- Steve Flynn
Chipita Park, Colo.

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