For someone who did not experience the Big Boom to the current bust spectacle in Colorado Springs, your Aug. 7 Tenth Anniversary edition was fascinating and at times incredible, with all the multiple jacked-up personalities, the economic and political "coalition" gangs, et al.
Alas, Virginia, the big bad bear is back and few seem to notice.
So, can you feel my anticipation regarding your subsequent edition Colorado Springs 2020: Imagine a Big City (Aug. 14-20)?
I assumed that it would be a spoofy take on the same old suspects, public and private, who perennially yearn for the big-city "utopia!"
However, after a few paragraphs, I literally thought that I was reading an insert, a public relations cum advertisement, paid for by the above coalition suspects.
Then I noticed that the writer was ... the A&E editor of, not the Gazette, but the Independent! For shame!
You good people aren't going to start losing it here, are you?
-- Denis Hanlon
Barbara Huber's Time to Grow Up (Your Turn, Sept. 4-10) column is typical of the fatuous moral preening found on so much of the political left.
By asking of the Muslim terrorists "Why do they hate us?" she is saying that they had some justification for what they did and the 3,000 people murdered on 9/11 somehow deserved what they got. The logic of her odious reasoning is inescapable.
But if Ms. Huber really wants to know why the Muslims hate us, she can start with the fact that they hold a 1,000-year-old grudge based on wars between Christian Europe and Islam. That's why they refer to Westerners as Crusaders. But for a more detailed answer, Ms. Huber can read The Future of Iraq and The Arabian Peninsula After The Fall of Baghdad by Yussuf al-Ayyeri, one of Osama bin Laden's closest advisers. (Al-Ayyeri was killed in a shootout with Saudi police in June.) In that book, al-Ayyeri says, "It is not the American war machine that should be of the utmost concern to Muslims. What threatens the future of Islam, in fact its very survival, is American democracy." He declares war on all secular democracies, which he says will "make Muslims love this world, forget the next world and abandon jihad."
In Iraq today, there are only two sides. (So much for no link between Iraq and al Qaeda.) "Here we have a clash of two visions of the world and the future of mankind," al-Ayyeri continues. "The side prepared to accept more sacrifices will win." (You can read more about al-Ayyeri's book at www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/4879.htm)
So, Ms. Huber, now you know why they hate us. What are you going to do about it?
-- Tom Neven
Over the top
I've listed the percentage increase for each utility service mentioned in a recent newspaper article.
36 percent natural gas
7 percent electricity
15 percent water
20 percent wastewater
all total, if approved, 78 percent!!!!
These rate hikes are outrageous, and obviously made from greed and/or poor management.
I dispute these increases as a Colorado Springs resident and utility customer.
-- Scott Depew
They are alive
In a recent Independent, John Hazlehurst says we've been duped by the Karl Roves and Newt Gingriches of the world, and Jim Hightower says the public's democratic powers have been looted by Thieves in High Places. Similarly (but not in the Independent), Michael Moore blames it all on Stupid White Men.
Yes, human values are being steadily supplanted by corporate values. But to blame the elites, the people at the top, the CEOs and so on is a mistake.
Suppose you could wave a magic wand and replace your top 500 elite bad guys with Ralph Nader clones. The replacement would be a minor perturbation to the vast, entrenched and interlocking matrix of businesses, government and media that, more and more, defines our world. Your Nader clones wouldn't fit in.
Executive boards, stockholders, and, most of all, their own inability to align with the corporate order would ensure their prompt replacement. You'd soon be back where you began. If you're unconvinced, consider this: You know in your heart that your 500 bad guys are not world-class thinkers. They're just not smart enough to change the world.
And yet it is difficult to shake the idea that someone is responsible for the crappification of society lamented by Hazlehurst, Hightower and Moore. So here's the scoop.
Corporations are organisms. They are, in effect, alive. They are not run by CEOs. They run themselves. They have their own unhuman values and, yes, their own unhuman thoughts. They are smarter than we are. And they evolve faster.
Indeed, in the past few decades, they have evolved from somewhat ludicrous vendors of commercial products into smooth, hip and effective inculcators of corporate values.
We humanist types are screwed. We've experienced a series of defeats over the past two decades. Hazlehurst, Hightower and Moore aren't helping matters, despite their good intentions. Rich vs. poor is a sideshow. Republican vs. Democrat is a sideshow. The relevant conflict is between the human race and these things that have taken over.
-- Greg Weeks
I realize you're receiving payment from the Colorado Federation for Decency to print their column, Take a Right Turn. I also realize that part of your motivation might be to give them enough rope to hang themselves, figuratively speaking.
However, we have enough right-wing, conservative, religious ranting in this city. Let the conservative rag, the Gazette, print that crap. Please consider or think about canceling the Take a Right Turn advertorial.
-- Wanda Beliz
Via the Internet
Check the dates
In his virtual tour of Washington D.C., last week Tom Pedigo pointed out religious inscriptions on public buildings in an attempt to show the Founding Fathers felt there was a religious -- indeed, a Christian -- basis for our form of government. However, a quick check of their construction dates suggests that the Founding Fathers themselves most likely had little to do with them.
U.S. Supreme Court: 1932-1935
Lincoln Memorial: 1911-1922 (Lincoln, incidentally, was born in 1809, which hardly makes him a Founding Father)
U.S. Capitol Building Dome: 1855-1866
U.S. Capitol Building Rotunda: 1818-1824
Washington Monument: 1815-1829
Washington's Tomb, of course, is a personal, rather than public, monument, and while inscriptions thereon may reflect his personal beliefs, they do not necessarily demonstrate his beliefs regarding the basis for public policy.
These buildings more likely reflect the views of architects and Washington officials at the time of construction, not of the founders. Tom would be better served by examining the actual words of the Founding Fathers with regard to laws and liberty. The Federalist Papers, for instance, make no mention of religion in general, or Christianity in particular, as any sort of basis for the policies therein. Thomas Jefferson, in his Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom, wrote that "our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry."
Finally, with regard to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Tom asks, "If we ain't Christian in origin, then how did a crucifix get in a political building?" Answer: Perhaps the same way the Ten Commandments monument got into the Alabama Supreme Court Rotunda -- some arrogant individual put it there. Only this time, other individuals made him take it out.
-- William Thomas
Reveal the truth
Sept. 11 is coming up. Although I sympathize with and appreciate honoring the dead from those horrible terrorist acts, I don't want to relive any of that horror. Please lead by example and report other items rather than rehash what happened three years ago.
We have so many other resultant issues to handle, like the PATRIOT Act, the Bush wealthy tax cuts, the lack of evidence for WMD in Iraq and the lack of mention of Osama bin Laden. There is no lack of subjects to cover that need "uncovering."
Please do your part in revealing the truth. Don't stir up more emotion with a 9/11 rerun.
P.S. Sorry a West Nile mosquito got you. I send you healthy energy and sincere prayers for a swift recovery.
-- DeAnne Dingwall
Editor's note: Dingwall's point is well taken. This week we focus on four brave women who lost their husbands in the World Trade Center and channeled their grief into efforts to get to the bottom of the investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks. The story, by Gail Sheehy, begins on page 17.
We have been hijacked
There have always been and will always be people who attempt to use wealth and power to subvert our constitution and the many qualities that have made our country great. We're seeing this in real time today.
But what disturbs me more than anything is that we, the American people, have accepted the massive corruption, lies and destructive policies that are undermining everything we stand for.
This administration, partly because the corporate media, is giving Bush a free ride. Where are the hard questions? Why all the secrecy and what are they attempting to hide? Why no legitimate investigation into who knew what and when with respect to 9/11?
Why were no planes available to confront the hijacked planes on 9/11?? Why no investigation into the 97,000 names illegally purged from the Florida 2000 election? Why the total disregard for the opinion of the vast majority of experts on global warming? Why no uproar about tax cuts favoring the wealthy, tax cuts that will devastate our nation and our children's lives?
I have been Republican and Democrat over my 63 years and I see absolutely no resemblance between the radical policies and actions of this administration and my understanding of what Republicans stand for. I listen to Rush and Bill O'Reilly but I also read other media. If we would supplement what we get from Fox, ABC, NBC, and CBS with commondreams.org, truthout.org, democracynow.org, and Bill Moyers' show NOW (PBS on Channel 6, Friday nights at 9:00), there would be a shift in the way Americans view this administration.
I am not a Bush hater. But I do feel that the people who put him in the White House and manipulate his every word have hijacked my country.
It's a sad thing when many people respond to the politics of fear. It's even sadder when millions of people are more afraid of their own government than of terrorists. This is not a cyclical phenomenon. This is a takeover of my country. It will not swing back unless we get involved.
-- Bruce Robinson
Light the fire
I just purchased a "Flaming Asshole" novelty candle to send to one of my local politicians to let him know exactly how I feel.
-- Paul Cyr
Via the Internet