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No is no

I just finished last week's cover story, "ME ME ME."

Unlike its author Martin Booe, I do have two children.

Just like Martin Booe, I think that a lot of today's parents need a flat hand firmly applied to the backs of their heads. I can't imagine what these people must be thinking, that they'll somehow damage their children by teaching them manners and common courtesy?

I could not, with a straight face, claim that I have two perfectly behaved little angels. But they do know how to behave in public, especially in restaurants. They know where yelling and running is acceptable and where it is not, and they know that disobeying Mom or Dad is a first-class ticket to a timeout, at the very least. And they didn't glean this knowledge from the formless ether of the cosmos ... we taught them.

Sure, it's hard sometimes. You have to stand right over them to make sure the timeout is completed. You have to take away the crayons, the TV remote or the Nintendo. You have to leave the social setting where you are having fun but your child cannot cope. You can't let them go out and play until the room is clean or the homework is finished. You don't let them throw food or announce something is yucky (or looks like a scatological nightmare), either at home or in public.

If they're bound and determined to have a tantrum, you bite your knuckles and let them throw it -- but not in public, and then you reassure them that you love them, but pitching a hissy isn't going to net them a Malibu Barbie, a new Hot Wheels car or a later bedtime.

In other words, you have to say no and stick to it. How else is your child going to learn that sometimes, in this life, you gotta eat the green beans if you want to get the ice cream?

-- MB Partlow

Colorado Springs

Control your children

Thank you for addressing an issue that is so critical in our society. As a childless woman in her mid-twenties, I have often been asked why I don't like children. Reading Martin Booe's insightful article made me realize that it is not the unruly children that I dislike, but rather the irreverent parents who refuse to take control and discipline their kids.

Just last week, while waiting in a doctor's office, a 2-year-old sidled up in the seat next to me. I quietly continued to read my magazine. Next thing I knew, the child deliberately struck me with his stuffed animal. His adult companion smiled and cooed, "You don't even know that woman." No apology. No reprimand. No discouragement at all.

Is it any wonder, then, that children misbehave?

Thanks again for publishing something so relevant.

-- Kristine Milligan

Via the Internet

Said it all

I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed last week's article on parents and kids.

It states the very thing I would love to say, but you said it all for me.

Keep on writing!

-- Tonya Cinnamon

Via the Internet

Hand to butt

Oh dang! I'm writing a letter that doesn't mention illegal immigration even once. (Not counting that sentence.) But I can't help myself.

Martin Booe's cover story "Generation ME ME ME" was both funny and sad. I've never worked my courage up to accost the parent of a child making everyone miserable by telling them that their idea of "time out" (i.e., ignoring anti-social screaming) is just teaching the child that they can impose their feelings on the general public.

I'm of the older generation whose solution was to take the child out into the car and administer hand-to-butt. That only had to be done once, with the oldest child. He passed on the news via big brother grapevine to the other three kids.

As to Kathryn Eastburn, here's the deal: If you ever, ever even think about replacing her, I will fly over from California and you don't even want to think about what a dangerous old lady will do to you. Tongue-in-cheek aside, you have the best stable of regular writers that I've found in any paper I read online. Please pass that on to your advertisers.

-- Barbara Vickroy

Escondido, Calif.

Acting out

The most egregious example of inappropriate behavior in a public place lately that I can think of is the vice president of the United States on the floor of the Senate, telling the senator from Vermont to "f**k yourself." And then, in true "me, me, me" fashion, he later said he "felt better" for having said it.

Never mind the inappropriateness of the remark in the U.S. Senate, never mind the soiling of the office of the vice president, the dumbing down of the entire tenor of congressional debate and decorum. The important thing was how he "felt."

Maybe it was his permissive flower-power parents, or maybe he's just an a**hole.

-- Paul Weeks

Colorado Springs

Bible thumping

Brian Vicente asks, "Whom does Hefley truly represent?" ("Saddened, not surprised," Letters, July 22) and since this is a biblical issue I'd like to give a biblical answer.

Supporting the biblically evil practice of caging humans for using cannabis, which Christ God Our Father said is good on literally the very first page of the Bible, is disobedient to Christ God Our Father who said to love one another. Supporting cannabis prohibition biblically represents evil. You cannot love your brother and cage him for using what is good at the same time.

Obey Jesus Christ, love one another, receive the spirit of truth. But disobey and you will not receive the spirit of truth. Is that why Colorado Springs Congressman Joel Hefley doesn't know the truth?

-- Stan White


Doth protest too much

As a well-over-60 reader, I was dismayed at John Hazelhurst's recent categorizing of mature people as narrow-minded geezers, especially when he himself is a geezer. Many of my creaky cohorts and I are as baffled by the controversy over all things gay as our sons and daughters are -- in some cases even more so. To paraphrase Shakespeare: Wethinks the anti-gays protest too much.

Is it because the anti-gay rights groups fear that partners of the same gender might shame them by making their marriages last, unlike many so-called "traditional" marriages?

Do they fear that the dreaded curse of being raised by two loving and grateful partners might make their child-rearing a model for the rest of us? And the argument that a homosexual couple can deliberately raise their children to be homosexual is nonsense. Any fervently anti-gay family whose child has come out of the closet must have figured out that children are individuals, a constant source of surprise. So get used to it.

There are worse things -- like murder and politics. Sexual orientation doesn't prevent one from being a positive influence in the community. It's not just about going a-sodomizing.

-- Barbara Martin

Manitou Springs

Ungrateful swine

Humble Doug Bruce?

Doug Bruce has said in his recent mailing and in his speeches, "I humbly ask for your vote" for El Paso County District 2 county commissioner. Is this the same Doug Bruce who was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, "Voters are so unbelievably ungrateful, ignorant and able to be stampeded ..." (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 4, 2001)?

-- Bob Null

Colorado Springs

Raised with love and care

I would like to respond to the letter written by Clyde Lapsley in the July 22 issue.

I am a 14-year-old girl being raised by my gay father and his partner, who I love and consider my stepfather. I was personally offended by Mr. Lapsley's comment that stated, "I don't care if gays marry because they can't propagate the species, but I certainly don't want to see them use their self-styled marriage to adopt children to be brought up to be gays also."

I am not being raised to be gay like Mr. Lapsley thinks all children like myself are. Bigoted comments like Mr. Lapsley's about gay people raising children are what cause people to hate gay men and women when they don't even know anything about them or their lifestyle.

Mr. Lapsley and others like him think that the bad aspect of the gay lifestyle is all there is to it, when in fact there are gay men and women who are just like Mr. Lapsley in every way except that they are gay and he is straight. I believe that if Mr. Lapsley can raise children and can provide them with love and care without teaching them to hate people's differences, so can gay people.

I would also like to say that gay people do pray and the "version of God" they pray to, as Mr. Lapsley called it, is a kind and loving God who loves all his children and will never turn his back on them.

-- Lindsey J. Volz

Colorado Springs

Opening minds

How refreshing it is to have two such open-minded leaders in our community, Fountain Mayor Ken Barela and the retired Rev. Dr. John K. Durham! [See letters, July 29.] Only when we open our minds can we truly open our hearts to those with individual differences.

I am grateful that a member of the clergy recognizes that sexual orientation is genetically predisposed, rather than a chosen lifestyle. In addition, Mayor Barela has earned the respect of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, as he has extended respect to their community.

Kudos to both of you gentlemen!

-- Cynthia Powell

Colorado Springs

Committed to sprawl

The Woodmen Heights development may run contrary to the city plan, if there was one.

If you own the land you own the council. Are they more interested in the noise violations of motorcycles, or in the congestion and sprawl, not to mention the water? Where will the additional water come from? I am already on restrictions and now there will be 5,000 more homes.

And by all means, let's hurry and rush it through so the developers can meet their own deadlines "without putting undue strain on the city's resources."

These people are a joke to all I talk with. I must run in different circles than they do or perhaps they are simply indifferent to what most people feel is happening to our beloved city. Remember that all the open spaces that used to be there were once the pieces that made the Springs special. Take the base of Palmer Park: Thank goodness they approved those houses alongside Union Boulevard so we would not have to look at the park. Or the Houck estate and the hiking and biking that were available there -- oh, I'm sorry, houses there also.

-- Michael Moylan

Colorado Springs

Holding the bag

I cannot understand why construction of new homes continues while the job market out here falls rapidly.

Who is expected to move into these new homes when there are no quality jobs available? Sounds to me like Colorado Springs will be caught holding the bag and the residents will be stuck paying for wasted funds.

If the city were smart, they would be soliciting more companies to move out here to help with our failing economy. Or -- I know this is a big "or" -- why not build mass transit to Denver, preferably trains.

Pros: lower insurance; safer commuting; higher paying jobs. I could continue ...

--Selina Scarpati

Colorado Springs

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