Beam us up
This letter is in response to last week's cover story, "Anxious for the Apocalypse." Bedfellows have never been stranger (or more untruthful to each other about their real motives). Here we have so-called Christians who are supporting right-wing politics in Israel because it suits their convoluted interpretation of the Bible, and then we have Jews, who know that the Christians expect them to eventually either convert or perish and who nevertheless accept the support of what clearly is their enemy -- for obvious short-term reasons.
Along the way, the secretary general of the United Nations is conveniently transformed into the anti-Christ, while the European Union is projected to join the dark forces battling for control of the world. Beam me up, Scottie -- there is no intelligent life along the Front Range (nor in Washington, D.C. where these strange people supposedly occupy the Lincoln bedroom on a permanent basis).
Every single day, the evening news talks about this drive to help poor children go to school, that drive to help the families of soldiers serving in Iraq, or a hundred other drives for helping the needy right here in our back yard, and these so-called Christians think they have to go all the way to Israel in order to find a worthy cause to support. Is anybody paying attention here?
Mr. Lerner meanwhile, while understanding that these Christians are not really out to help the Jews, wants all Christians to feel "appropriately guilty." I assume he means that because of the Inquisition, there is a debt, which will continue to eternity. Sorry, Mr. Lerner, but you can't have it both ways this time. You either take a clear stand against this nonsense and risk losing the most vocal support Israel has in this country, or you go along with the Christian Zionists and then you perish (or did you say you wanted to convert???).
-- Peter Brebach
Rock and a hard place
I thank you very much for your July 10-16 story regarding the health-care crisis in this country. This crisis of those uninsured is often not revealed in the media, particularly from the angle you chose to come from.
As a cancer survivor at age 32, obtaining sufficient health insurance coverage has been very difficult to say the least. Also a stay-at-home mom, I obviously cannot receive health-care benefits from an employer and my husband is owner and sole employee of his small business. I cannot obtain coverage privately, as I am immediately rejected due to my medical history. I am grateful to now have health-care coverage through the state program, Cover Colorado. Though I pay a high premium and have a very high deductible, I am relieved to know that in catastrophic circumstances, I would have coverage.
So again, thank you for your direct and honest reporting. This story touched me personally and though the truth in this case is unsettling, it truly was a breath of fresh air.
-- Jenny Finn
We can never forget
Cate Terwilliger provided a wonderful historical account of the Ludlow Massacre and the desecration of the monument ["Almost like they massacred them again," June 26-July 2]. Her craft is indeed at a very high level.
The monument was sculpted 85 years ago. Many of the details of the work are lost to history. There is a need to collect the best photographic close-ups available so that a repair or replace decision can be considered. An incredible bonus would be finding photographs of the Costa family, believed by some to be models for the sculpture, taken prior to their deaths in the flames and the gunfire.
The next step in repairing the damage belongs to the United Mine Workers, and we wish them much success in their efforts. It is no secret that union mining in Colorado has been hit very hard, and it will require a considerable effort to publicize the desecration, and to further acquaint this generation with the vital history that Ludlow represents.
I do not in any way speak for the United Mine Workers. But as a 32-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, now retired, I cannot let the Mine Workers face this arduous task alone. I have established an e-mail list for historians, union supporters and others who wish to preserve and promote the Ludlow memory.
We will use e-mail to explore and promote the history of the incident, discuss issues related to the recent archeological dig, and, while not directly participating in the collection of donations, we will try to provide whatever support we can for restoring the monument after the vandalism.
Interested readers may learn more about this e-mail group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ludlowmassacre/.
-- Richard Myers
Hand in pocket
Wow! A big news story is the national debt that will run up a deficit in the next fiscal year of $455 billion, and it's going to be a whole lot more! What really bothers me is the passive indifference that there is about this enormous amount of money by most of the general public, those in government and some economists.
The most important question about the deficit that goes unasked and is ignored. This question is: Deficit spending means that the Feds are spending money that they don't have so, where are they going to get this money?
Well, I will tell you where the most of the money comes from. They will pilfer most of it from the people's trust funds (such as Social Security, Medicare, transportation and many others) that are controlled by the federal government. This process begins at the congressional budget office by cooking the books with special-issue non-negotiable bonds to these trust funds. These bonds are nothing more than worthless IOUs because they are written by the government for the government, Therefore the fiscal burden of paying back this enormous amount money will once again fall upon we the people -- directly, indirectly and through government schemas. This process will eventually, if not sooner, cause a great hardship on most Americans.
Congressional Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) aptly put it this way: "Every day Republicans are charging billions to the nation's credit card and slipping the bill into your pocket." This is a true and an accurate assessment of what is happening.
The best way to put a stop to this action is for the people, through a grass-roots effort, to let Congress and the president know that it's not appropriate to engage in this pilferers practice.
Protect the wild
I strongly support strong protections for roadless areas. I know I am not alone in my passion to protect what little wild lands are left. It is imperative we keep pristine areas in our national forests free from logging, mining and drilling.
Currently more than 1.7 million Americans submitted official comments on the Roadless Rule, and over 95 percent of the comments were in support of the strongest protection possible for our roadless areas.
The Roadless Rule is important because it will maintain current public access and recreational opportunities -- including hiking, camping, hunting and fishing -- while preserving critical habitat for more than 1,500 species of fish and wildlife, including many threatened, endangered or sensitive plant and animal species.
-- Steffen Mehnert
Does anyone believe that if President Bush had family members or loved ones in harm's way, he would be issuing challenges to the anti-American forces in Iraq to "Bring 'em on?"
-- T.E. Marshall
Via the Internet
The savage treatment Clinton received at the hands of the conservative-dominated media contrasts sharply with the kid-glove approach toward Bush. Just imagine if Clinton had been responsible for any one or more of the following:
1. taking a full month's vacation just before the 9/11 attacks, at a time when warnings were coming into the White House about al-Qaeda plans to use airliners as flying bombs;
2. conducting a war in Afghanistan without eliminating Osama bin Laden and without any substantive plans for reconstruction;
3. alienating most of our allies and taking the pressure off al-Qaeda by launching a pre-emptive war on Iraq on the basis of grossly inflated estimates of the imminent danger from that country, and then failing to eliminate Saddam Hussein;
4. presiding over 2 million lost jobs and responding by pushing through tax breaks primarily benefiting the wealthiest Americans;
5. pushing the economy from a huge surplus to a huge deficit, just at the time when we should be preparing for the immense impact of the impending retirement of the baby boomers.
Can anyone doubt that Clinton would have been raked over the coals for such a record? And yet Bush rides high in the polls and is praised for his leadership. May heaven spare us from any more such acts of "leadership."
-- James J. Amato
Are we in hell yet?
Every day, when I read the news I just end up just shaking my head. How did it ever come to this? Could this really be the same country I was born and raised in? Lately, I wonder: Did we all die and go to hell? Some alternate reality where Satan rules the White House? Where the innocent are persecuted, and the guilty rewarded? Where everything is turned upside down, and the masses overwhelmingly approve? Can there be any other explanation?
Perhaps I am in hell, and you aren't even there.
Then again, if you are reading this, perhaps you are in hell, too.
-- Thomas McCullock