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Making everyone happy

I have seen several letters recently protesting the Manitou Springs fruitcake hurl and the senseless waste of food that it entails and I believe that I have a solution that will please both the fruitcake tossers and the homeless/hunger advocates.

In my short time here, I have noticed that Colorado Springs harbors an overabundance of fruitcakes. Why not toss the county commissioners? Or Dr. Dobson and the rest of the Focus on the Family staff?

We could even pick where we want to toss them to, like send the county commissioners back to 1789 France so that they could lose their heads, or send Dr. Dobson to Salem, where he could burn witches to his heart's content.

How about the entire staff of The Gazette? Can we hurl them all the way back to the Dark Ages? I personally would love to hurl Chuck Asay, their alleged editorial cartoonist, to the Deep South sometime around 1840, before Lincoln freed the slaves. I'm sure he'd be much happier there.

-- Ed Fields

Colorado Springs

Gas 'em up

I just thought you would like to know how thoroughly amused I was with the haikus and the comics of your Jan. 2-8 issue. I especially liked all the slams at Bush and others who would benefit from watching 2-year-olds resolve their conflicts.

And to think all I do is scream at CNN in the morning when I hear the latest idiotic mess the Texan gets into in the name of American people.

Thank you ... I am sure there will be more to come in the future. I bet my gas card on that.

-- Jena Davis

Cañon City

See you in the funnies

Can someone there please refresh my memory as to which page the Comics 2003 started in the Jan. 2-8 issue? Was it page 8 or page 13? Thank you.

-- Kurt Hudgens

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Mr. Hudgens' confusion is understandable. While the comics began on page 13, a two-page news story beginning on page 8 detailed El Paso County's legislative delegation, including the cash they have taken from special interest groups, and whose agendas they have pushed.

The price of freedom

In response to the Jan. 2 issue: All I can say is thank God for the Independent! Certainly, you live up to your name!

And thank God for people like Tom Tomorrow, John Hazlehurst, Terje Langeland, and especially Col. Dave Hughes ["Rotten for a Long Time," Your Turn], for standing up to increasingly oppressive and fascist government on all levels!

I appreciate the Independent for bringing these courageous people's contributions to us. They haven't scuttled the First Amendment (yet)! As Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

It's true we deserve what we get; so let's deserve better (government)!

-- F.A.Hutchison-Dalrymple

Colorado Springs

Sticks and stones

What kind of unimaginative boobs do you employ? Having read John Dicker's Dec. 19 review of The Two Towers, I was shocked and dismayed to find that he more or less considered it a homoerotic fantasy. It's this kind of idiotic (and self-serving) drivel that gives reviewers such a bad reputation.

To address you, John, I suppose that all "buddy" films ever made are nothing but flamer-fests. Mel and Danny in the Lethal Weapon series were obviously hot for each other, as were Butch and Sundance. How did I miss that?

Apparently you have your own sexual issues to work out, Johnny-boy. I've met you and seen your hairstyle and the way you dress, so that has to be the explanation. Why else would you pick on what the rest of us seem to be enjoying?

Have you ever bothered to pick up the books and actually read them? On the rare chance that you have, where did you get the idea that Tolkien was writing about two homo-halflings that were just looking for an excuse to sneak off into the trees for a quick romp?

Why do reviewers like Dickhe... Dicker feel the need to find a hidden message or meaning in every movie? What happened to just having fun? Ever had fun at a movie, John-boy? Probably not. You're too busy trying to think of something bad to say about what you're watching.

Did director Jackson take some liberties with the story? Yes. Did it bother me or detract from my enjoyment of the film? No. I'm willing to bet just about everyone else feels the way I do, or else why would it be No. 1 at the box office again?

Get a grip, John-boy. Next time you're sent out to watch a movie, try to relax and enjoy it for once. Join the rest of us that go to the movies to have fun. You'll find that people are actually reading your column before using it to line the birdcage.

-- Mark Deschain

Colorado Springs

John Dicker's best friend responds:

Dear Mr. Deschian,

Thank you for bravely stating what I, my friends and my mother have been saying for the last 10 years: John Dicker is gay! I have been trying to convince him of this since college and yet he still won't admit it.

As for your assertion that Frodo and Sam's relationship is not homoerotic, I can state with absolute authority that you are wrong. I am a homo and I found the relationship erotic. Homo + erotic = homoerotic. Case closed.

That said, let's focus on what we can agree on. We need to get John Dicker out of the closet! Write me at to discuss strategies and make fun of his hair.

-- David Melito

Hollywood, Calif.

A laugh a minute

Kudos to West Side Post Office staff ["Going Postal," Personal Space, Dec. 26-Jan 1 issue].

What a joy to see some well-deserving folks get recognition. Just makes me sad I didn't think of suggesting that their praises be sung!

I never mind waiting in line at my local P.O. on the West Side because I know I'll be entertained and welcomed with a laugh and a personal greeting. I've also noticed their kindness and patience with the elderly and with anyone who seems in a rush. So often today a person waiting on you doesn't even look at you and then offers the less-than-heartfelt "Have a good day."

It's refreshing to deal with the people at the post office who define the word "service." Thanks to all of you who put some pizzazz into your jobs!

-- Gwen Koehler

Colorado Springs

Shooting the messenger

I would like to take Jim Hightower to task for his column from your Dec. 19 edition where we find him shooting the messenger in Bob Dole for telling us the truth -- we are responsible for our own retirements.

Jim is no fan of Social Security privatization, but his arguments are built on error. He has misrepresented privatization in multiple columns by saying it requires investment in the stock market.

No one would be asked by the government to invest in stocks. People will have the same options they do in 401Ks and IRAs, including I-Bonds (4 percent and indexed to inflation) and 30-year treasuries (over 4.5 percent, triple the 1.5 percent that the current Social Security program nets participants).

Someone starting out today, putting 7 percent into a private retirement plan each year throughout his career, and earning a steady 4.5 percent would likely end up with a million dollars (in today's dollars). Even if those dollars are devalued by inflation over the years, it amounts to far more than Social Security would ever provide.

Further, privatization would eliminate a great inequity of the current program. Today Social Security terminates benefits upon the death of the recipient. A lifetime's contribution is wiped away if the worker dies a year after retirement, for example. A private plan would pass the accumulated value to one's heirs.

Perhaps Jim doesn't like the idea of privatization because he doesn't understand it. Maybe I helped him with this letter! With some accurate understanding of the issue, he wouldn't have to resort to beating up Bob Dole effigies to participate in the privatization discussion.

-- Joe Oppelt

Colorado Springs

You won already

To the El Paso County Republican Party and Gov. Bill Owens:

I understand that there is a time limit for campaign signs to be displayed. I would assume, as we enter the New Year (just about two months after the election), the signs should be well gone by now ...

Unfortunately, in my neighborhood that is not the case. After an attempt to contact the local Republican headquarters to ask about sign removal -- as I am sure they were mandated to post political signs -- I am reaching out to you for help via a letter to the editor.

The people of the Pikes Peak park area would like to see the Bill Owens signs removed from our street corner and neighboring field. Someone finally made their way to the area to bring down the Ed Jones signs, but neglected to step one foot to the right and remove the Bill Owens signs as well.

As we have shown the utmost patience, when can we -- the constituents of my neighborhood -- expect this litter to be retrieved?

-- Najasila J. Campbell

Colorado Springs

He wants solutions

The Indy is good at pointing out the problems with unchecked growth and urban sprawl. It does not, unfortunately, even try to analyze possible solutions, or to note there are problems with the most commonly proposed solutions.

There are basically three ways to restrict growth. First, you can cut the number of housing permits. Result: Existing housing prices are bid up, and the poor get hurt.

Second, you can restrict new roads and other infrastructure development. The results are the same: Existing home and apartment costs are bid up, and the poor get hurt.

Third, you can mandate higher density (smaller lots, etc.). In this case, the wealthiest homeowners build outside your jurisdiction to get more space, taking their tax base with them. Accordingly, there is less money for government services. The process is different, but the results are the same: The poor get hurt.

See the pattern here? It's fine to protest what you see as a problem, but let's read about some workable solutions.

-- Matt Bille

Colorado Springs

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