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Bible belt

In response to last week's Public Eye about the Gazette's distribution of New Testaments in last Sunday's newspaper, I am absolutely appalled at the Gazette's obvious disregard for the people's right to freedom of religion. While I understand Colorado Springs may be a conservative town, and the Gazette a conservative newspaper, the distribution of Bibles clearly oversteps the boundaries of decency and consideration.

Upon this disgusting show of disrespect for those who choose other faiths and those who choose none at all, consider at least one customer lost.

-- Nicole Harris

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: We received an outpouring of response regarding the Bible flap. See this week's Public Eye on page11 for more.

Touching lives

The service your newspaper provided for The Good News Foundation is fantastic [Personal Space, Nov. 25].

Reporter Dan Wilcock and photographer Sean Cayton were very, very professional. Mr. Wilcock's interview with me touched so many lives. Between Nov. 25 and December, The Good News Foundation has been provided with over $10,000 in monetary donations and goods.

Out of all the media support that we have received in the past 10 years, nothing has compared to your newspaper and the personnel.

Thank you so much. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.

-- Albert Wallace

Executive Director

The Good News Foundation

Colorado Springs

The best disinfectant

I hereby confer knighthood upon Sir John Hazlehurst as the only journalist covering the Convention Center War [Outsider, Dec. 16-22].

Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Our city of mostly decent poor folk might actually benefit should our filthy rich oligarchs actually do something right for once.

Sir John seems to have named most of the Fat Cats:

The Broadmoor hotel. Too bad they wouldn't run a competing downtown center; they know how to make money. When CC grad Edward Gaylord bought it, he fired everyone making over $3/hour.

Rocky Scott, whose Economic Development Corporation hasn't done a single thing for us jobless peons since the '90s. His lip service is backed up by Jeff Smith of Classic Homes. Also on this team are such gold diggers as a "lawyer-developer."

Please, Sir John, I'm 63, so don't scare hell out of me with such terms! It's almost as bad as politician-developer, or just developer.

Anyway, keep informing us unwashed about the gruesome proposal.

Gee, do you think if the prosperous City Council members double their salaries from $6,000 it might attract genuinely intelligent members who could properly control the project?

Don't bet on it. "There's nothing surer: The rich get richer and the poor (taxpayers) get poorer."

-- John E. Anderson

Colorado Springs

Wake-up call

Your Dec. 9 news article headlined "Spy network" by Michael de Yoanna is but another piece of evidence that:

1) The First Amendment rights so bitterly fought for and defended by our founding fathers is being dangerously eroded by a growing neocon movement that is committed to a narrow ideology rather than the broad scope of freedom supported by our Constitution; and

2) The mainstream news media is being cowed by the bellowing echo chambers of the right-wing press, a press that is not informing the American public sufficiently to make that public aware of important issues in the national debate.

The tactics mirror those used by the NSDAP of the late 1920s through the 1930s, and the Cold War controls of the former Soviet Union, according to David Brock (The Republican Noise Machine) and John Dean (Worse Than Watergate).

Let us pray that the American people wake up and become active in retaining the ideals of freedom we used to be so esteemed for throughout the world. If we don't, we will be in the same position of the German people of 1938 -- suddenly awakened to the fact that their leaders had stripped their constitution of the inalienable rights granted all free people, but too late to do anything about it without being suspected of "treasonous behavior," which would result in a quick trip to oblivion in a labor camp.

Our corollary to such institutions is being arrested on suspicion of terrorism, fully outlined in chilling detail in the Patriot Act, an act that no legislator who signed it had read in full.

-- Allan Edwards

Via the Internet

Police need oversight

At a recent City Council meeting, the formation of a Civilian Review Board of Police Actions and Procedures was recommended. Currently, three-quarters of large cities have a process whereby the police are not given carte blanche over their dealings with the citizenry.

The abuses to our civil rights have been mounting over the past few years and the media appears to have been giving the police a free pass. Since the issuance of the Patriot Act and our misled, illegal invasion of Iraq, those who dissent have been tear-gassed, arrested, blocked from protesting, and placed under surveillance. Often, the tactics used are illegal under national and international laws.

By and large, the complaints against these actions fall upon deaf ears. It appears the police need not provide rational justification for their actions because they are the police and know what is best.

Civil rights become dangerously eroded when the police are allowed to wield the iron fist and force the citizenry into the rain and silenced.

The right to dissent is the basis for the founding of our country. There are countless examples of where dissent has led to enormous improvements in societies. We only need to look back on history to see the anti-slavery movement, suffragettes, workers unions, child labor laws, civil rights, and on, not to mention the numerous displays of dissent around the globe.

The police department's actions and procedures against us have called attention to the absolute necessity of citizen oversight.

-- Jonathan Wuerth

Colorado Springs

System failure

Last week in a letter to the Independent, Harlan E. Nimrod said, "There is a great and growing effort to dismantle what most feel has long been the backbone of our republic -- public education."

Is he out of his mind? He, and many others, thinks the backbone of our republic is a system that turns out graduates that are incapable of reading and comprehending a newspaper?

Thomas Jefferson said, "If you expect to be ignorant and free, you expect something that never was, and never will be." As our "public education" system is turning out ignorant masses, I can only assume that Mr. Nimrod wants to see our "republic" become an unfree place -- an outcome that seems to be consistent with the latest electoral results.

Are the solutions put forth by D-11 board members Eric Christen, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell the right ones? Perhaps, perhaps not. But one thing that should be obvious to anyone who keeps an open mind about education in this country, anything would be better than what we have now. In the time we have had the government involved in education, we have declined against all industrialized nations in math and science.

Now to give props where they are due, we are tops in political correctness and environmental awareness, but those aren't the professions that one can feed a family on.

When Nimrod says, "Let's be alert and be sure we elect men and women to fill D-11 vacancies who don't insist upon laying all the problems that plague society at the door of the Colorado Springs Education Association," I can only assume he means people from within the failing system who will continue to go forward with the same failed ideas and screwed-up policies that have brought us to the point where a majority of Americans still think that Iraq had something to do with 9/11.

-- Scott Graves

Colorado Springs

Second Coming

The letter from reader Jeff Lane chuckling that "the well-informed, compassionate Mikes are now James Dobson, Tom Pedigo, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity" might make sense if those are the only people you listen to. These people make cases for their various forms of "logic" in the airless chambers of radio monologues, without input from others. But everything has a logic, even the craziest thinking.

Here in the reality-based community, we get to draw a frame around your argument and include other information -- for instance the fact that Mr. Limbaugh is an entertainer, not a newsperson, and therefore has no journalistic integrity he has to safeguard. CBS was obligated to hold Dan Rather to a standard that neither folks like Whoopi Goldberg nor Rush Limbaugh are held to, and it cost Mr. Rather his journalistic credibility.

Fact: Mr. Limbaugh's opinions are not facts, they ... are ... opinions.

Here's a fact: Rush took a pass on the Vietnam War due to his pilonidal cyst (!) and has been sitting on his duff on a radio program ever since. This qualifies him to say what about anyone else's service?

Fact: Mr. L. has had three marriages. He has what credibility as a spokesman for "traditional family values"? His well-publicized drug addiction and illegal possession of OxyContin gives him what legitimacy to lecture others on law and order, self-discipline, right and wrong?

Sorry, but the statement "Rush Limbaugh is the key to the transformation" is just too weird to qualify as even tortured logic. Poster boy for hypocrisy or irony, but not compassion by a long shot. I hope Mark Twain will be having a second coming too; we need him right now.

-- Kay Johnson

Colorado Springs

Eat your veggies

The year-end holidays are upon us: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, winter solstice. They conjure visions of families gathered by a warm fireplace, opening presents, sharing their love, and ... feasting on ham and turkey. It's the happiest time of the year -- for some.

But, for the millions of factory-farmed pigs and turkeys, our holiday season portends only agony, despair and death after a lifetime of caging, crowding, deprivation, drugging and mutilation.

Each of us can refuse to subsidize such wanton violence and cruelty during this holiday season by choosing plant-based foods that abound in every supermarket. There are fresh fruits and greens and soy-based deli slices in the produce section, veggie burgers, soy nuggets and ready-to-eat dinners in the frozen food section, and a variety of soy-based milks, cheeses and ice creams.

This year, let's have a gentle Christmas. Let's send the message of "peace on earth" to all living beings.

-- Caleb Caldwell

Colorado Springs

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