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Sugar and spice

I certainly agree with author Cynthia Cerny's advice for a woman to pursue passions and interests until she finds "the one," as reported by John Dicker in last week's Personal Space.

I meet many disgusting male creeps all the time.

However, I and several of my buddies age 40 to 61, are super, kindhearted gentlemen who also haven't found "the one." We've met plenty of disgusting female creeps as well.

Let's turn gender swords into ploughshares, and try to be people who are "sugar and spice and everything nice."

-- John E. Anderson

Colorado Springs

Men are stepping out

Most people don't yet consciously realize that this change is happening. The men of this movement are individually, openly and quietly sharing their unique stile of nurturing, empathy and love with their friends and families.

Men practice their often-sacrificial roles with pride and an undisputed dedication to their community. When a nation or tribe is threatened by overpopulation or invasion its men march off to war risking the mutilation of their mental, physical and spiritual body. The trades available to men are often hazardous, threatening life, limb, health and their mental stability.

Men live, work, hunt, fish, fight and play for their family and community; a role practiced with blind love. Men's blind dedication to this role has left them with a rigid stereotype of being unemotional, aggressive and callous.

Often when young or grown men step outside this strict stereotype to show feelings they are persecuted as a sissy.

We are stepping out of the rigidity of the distant, unemotional, masculine model that hinders the development of our humanity. Men as individuals are realizing that they are more than just emotionless mammon providers and community protectors. They are taking advantage of a new freedom, the freedom to choose to nurture without persecution.

Women are starting to realize they are more logical then they have been lead to believe. Men are starting to find they are more emotional than they have been allowed to express. Our world is changing; we are finding that we are more than our cultural paradigms have allowed us to be.

-- Rob Sharp

Manitou Springs

Give them a break

Thanks for that very important update in the article, "Mental Health Break" [News, April 10-16]. These services are sorely needed

-- Mary Zesiewicz, M.D.

Colorado Springs

Where are the weapons?

Does no one else find it curious that Saddam Hussein apparently went to his demise without unleashing those horrific weapons of mass destruction that the administration assured us he possessed in such mind-boggling quantities?

Is it possible that this brutal dictator who gassed his own people had a sudden attack of conscience when it came to doing the same to Americans? I don't think so.

We can dismiss the possibility that Saddam had no opportunity to use his weapons, because he had plenty of advance notice of the war and we know that he survived the first "decapitation" attempt.

Either he did not have those weapons, or he had them but feared to use them, in which case deterrence worked. Either way, the administration's rationale for starting this war looks highly suspect. I think President Bush owes the American people and the world an explanation.

-- James J. Amato

Woodland Park

What price victory

I've been pondering when victory did or will occur in Iraq. Did it occur in the moment that the statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled to the ground by Iraqi civilians and U.S. Marines while the world watched cheering on television?

Did it occur when we all awoke on Passion Sunday morning to the welcome news that seven U.S. POWs had been found alive?

Will it happen when the nations of the world unite to rebuild Iraq's public infrastructure destroyed by two wars, twelve years of weekly U.S./Britain bombing runs through the no-fly zones and as many years of economic sanctions that left 60 percent of the civilian population dependent on the Oil for Food program?

Will we feel victorious when we realize that Iraq didn't possess any Weapons of Mass Destruction capable of harming American armed forces or the U.S. homeland?

Will victory occur when Iraqi civilians are no longer killed by the flying shrapnel from precision bombs or unexploded cluster bombs, shot in the crossfire of street battles, have enough food and water to survive, and can safely send their children off to school again?

Will we feel that victory has finally been achieved when the majority of our U.S. forces are once again home with their beloved families? Or will victory not occur until, after possibly years of education and massive social change, the Iraqi people install their first democratically elected government?

There was never any question that the U.S. and its coalition partners would win this war for the military might of this country is without parallel in the history of the world. Let us pray that the Bush administration is sincerely committed to its slogan of "winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi people.

Victory is not just about military superiority; real victory, with all of its messy, time-consuming investments, will take time.

-- Ruth Roland

Colorado Springs

No respect for benefits

As our nation fights a war in Iraq that is certain to result in disability and death for young Americans, the Republican majority of the House Budget Committee in March approved a federal budget that reduces funding for veterans health care and benefit programs.

The proposed budget cut $844 million from veterans' health care next year. Over a 10-year period the GOP is proposing a cut of $9.7 billion in veterans' health care.

By a nearly party-line vote, the House Budget Committee Republicans defeated an amendment offered by the Democrats that would have restored the proposed $844 million for veterans health care and added a billion dollars to the Veterans Administration budget.

Fortunately for vets, in the full House a motion by Democrat Rep. John Spratt of South Carolina was passed on April 1. Spratt's motion rejected and scrapped the budget cuts as of this writing, for current and future veterans proposed by Republicans in the House Budget Committee.

Don't forget that the Republicans in the House Budget Committee are the same ones that have wrapped themselves in the flag "in support of our troops" but voted against the veterans that bravely fought in past wars.

But, considering that the vast majority of current Republican leadership avoided the draft during the Vietnam era and did not serve in uniform, it is no wonder they haven't any respect for veterans' benefits.

-- Steve Plutt

Lake George

Mixed by messages

I enjoy reading your paper and the liberal views you hold regarding politics.

I will state, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, but I hold strong affiliation to neither the left nor the right wing of government. In fact, I feel that in this time of war, whether we like it or not, both sides are acting as ridiculously selfish children.

Personally, I believe this war is unnecessary for America's well-being. I do think the president's arguments about terrorism and Hussein's possible link to the Al Qaeda are shoddy attempts at rationalizing. As for Iraq's possible weapons of mass destruction, shouldn't we have proof before we attack? (As of today, none have been found)?!?! Part of me believes the only reason the president chose to wage this war is for the sake of the economy -- war almost always causes an economic boom after-the-fact.

Now, I do believe this war is necessary for the well-being of Iraqi citizens. Saddam is an evil, maniacal, sadistic man. Those people experience more horror in their everyday lives than those of us born with the silver spoon can ever comprehend.

Children there are encouraged to grow up to be suicide bombers, to die for a man who cares nothing about them. I recently watched an Iraqi children's program, similar to the Mickey Mouse club, in which children were singing songs about becoming martyrs for their country. One little girl, not older than five, sang about her blood covering the ground in the name of the Jihad.

I open the papers daily to read the right wing spouting nonsense about terrorist attacks and then I open the Independent to read nonsense about how evil this war is and how horrible our president is. I read about protesters carrying signs saying things like "Shoot your commanding officer!" and I wonder, what in the world is wrong with this country?

How is the liberal view any better when they encourage death, even in jest? Why can't the Republicans fight this war for a righteous cause, such as saving a country, rather than selfishly finishing off something Daddy started? This debate is almost as inane and ironic as the "pro-life, pro-choice" debate, in which those pushing the rights of life for the unborn shoot and kill the doctors.

What stand shall I take? Do I scream insults at the president, impale his mask on a microphone, degrade our brave troops? Or do I join the conservatives and support the war effort in the name of "Homeland Security"?

Neither, thank you. I believe war is a necessary evil. Remember the bombings in Afghanistan not a year before? Though blood was shed, those women and little girls can now proudly attend school, unveiled. There is hope beaming from newly mascaraed eyes. Centuries of abuse, degradation, and terror are finally being broken.

So, I think I will instead pray that the innocent civilians of Iraq benefit from this. I will hopefully look to a future filled with freedom from real terror for those babies. And I'll pray that Bush is not re-elected.

-- Skye Olsen

Colorado Springs

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