In response to last week's cover story, "Tough love": Homeless Pikes Peak's Bob Holmes has come up with a wonderful plan for the homeless. Holmes wants to say, "Here is your official ID card. You have arrived and don't need to do anything further for benefits..."
Next year maybe there will be a card for A.H. (almost homeless), and the following year maybe a card for the M.C. (middle class).
This idea could have only been born in a conservative, narrow-minded atmosphere that seems to exist with some of the leaders in many of our cities.
-- Troy Thomas
The dilemma faced by those who wish to collect information on the users of city services and taxpayers' monies (versus those who find the idea of ID cards for the homeless discriminatory) can be easily resolved.
Simply require all persons who use city services and taxpayer funds to present an ID card. Granted, when the police and fire departments check out your credentials before investigating your burglary or arson, this may cause a little delay. And your kids may resent having to present an ID card to use a city park.
But what the heck -- that's the Colorado Springs spirit isn't it? Nuthin' free for nobody, nohow!
-- Virginia Leininger
Line of traffic
As if it weren't enough that we must live through 25,000-plus vehicles a day (many of which are single, tandem and triple tractor-trailer trucks) driving through the residential district of Nevada Avenue, we now have tractor trailer trucks parking in the residential district of Nevada Avenue!
When we complain, we are told that there is nothing that can be done, that Nevada Avenue is still designated as a state highway and the truckers can do as they please.
When will Nevada Avenue be designated as a residential street?
-- Richard McKeown
Things to do
As a registered voter and a citizen of Colorado, I am very much unappeased by the actions of Governor Bill Owens.
One of the things I miss most when I travel outside of Colorado is the beautiful environment we are privileged to live in. Protecting our environment should be one of the most important actions on the "Things to do" list of our government.
I assure you, if governmental proceedings continue as they have, my vote will not be cast for the environmentally ignorant!
-- Tessa Carey
They're your rights
Well, the truth is out now, isn't it? The true nature of Governor Bill Owens' political ties and agenda has come to the forefront for Colorado voters and citizens. We now know that the governor's allegiance lies with his political cronies and contributors, and not with the will of the people of Colorado, the state legislators, the Constitution of the United States of America and, certainly, not along any moralistic guidelines, Christian or otherwise.
The delayed timing of the governor's vetoes on Senate Bill 230 and House Bill 1342, which would have prevented private eminent domain encroachment on citizens' property with regard to the "Superslab" toll road project, could not have been more perfect in terms of attempting to prevent a veto override. The governor's statement about "leaning" towards a veto until the time was perfectly suited to developer Ray Wells' desires was absurdly politically predictable and totally reprehensible.
What happens when the financial backing by Mr. Wells falls through? Will Colorado taxpayers be saddled with the tab for this outrageous boondoggle? More than likely, that will be the case. Quite frankly, I don't want my taxes doubled to pay for Mr. Wells' gold-plated Edsel.
If you're a Colorado voter and you haven't had your voice heard yet on this issue, then it's time to get involved and let your state legislators know your views about the unconstitutional use of private eminent domain.
If you think this can only happen to a few landowners in the sparsely populated areas east of the Denver Metro area, then think again. This could happen to you. If you're just plain scared of unregulated big business or runaway government, then get involved! They're your rights! Use them or lose them!
-- Kurt Malerich
A pair of duds
Junior Bush's way of thinking is normal for the average Bible thumper. To sacrifice one life to save another is morally wrong.
But being "under God," we can sacrifice over a thousand GIs and thousands of men, women and children for a lot of damned lies and the whim of a bunch of politicians.
No wonder we are in the mess we are.
How do we pick a pair of duds like the last two to run for president? I heard more logic out of Al Sharpton in five minutes than I did from Bush and Kerry in over a year of their flapping lips.
-- Frank Camp
Bow and worship
What has happened to my religion? The "live and let live" nature of it; the "judge not 'lest ye be judged" doctrine of it? It seems the evangelicals have overrun not only my religion, but the Republican Party.
I say let them have it. They both, in their turn, will be seen as one in the same: as thinking themselves higher than The Creator by taking it upon themselves to judge their fellow human beings, a providence preserved only for Him; for foisting their view of morality upon all of us, believers or not, for our own good; for shaping, for generations to come, the course of this country through the appointment of radically religious, socially conservative judges who will tell us for the next 50 years that we must bow and worship as they see fit.
How must they feel, the citizens of America? The Jew, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the deist, to be treated as second-class citizens in their own country simply because they choose to believe differently than the politically powerful evangelical Christians? Don't I have a right to exist and to be treated equally under the law?
-- Brett Rosenberg
No end in sight
I'm an angry, grieving mom. One of those without political power or financial wealth, who love their children just as the rich and powerful love theirs.
Who among those in power who began the war on Iraq would send their children into combat? Yet they use ours as pawns in egregious, un-American ventures.
Anger toward those who ordered the war is fitting. They use the idealism of our children for personal gain; play on the fears and gullibility of Americans; shift guilt to others; are devoid of shame and unrepentant about causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries. The carnage they began has no end in sight.
American deaths are rationalized as patriotic heroism and other deaths as collateral damage. The lives of many have been diminished, including those without personal loss who realize that when death bells toll, they toll for all of us. When Americans display pride instead of anger at the tolling of death bells caused by our own government powerful, my anger changes to grief.
-- Mary Jacqueline Adams
A nationwide study of 12,829 children ages 9-14 found that drinking cow's milk leads to weight gain, even after adjusting for low-fat milk, other dietary factors and physical activity. The study was conducted by the prestigious Harvard Medical School and Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital. It is published in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
The percentage of overweight children has more than tripled since 1980 to an estimated 16 percent, and overweight children are likely to grow into obese adults. Consumption of cow's milk and other dairy products containing saturated fats, cholesterol, excess proteins, hormones and other contaminants may lead to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic ills.
Moreover, most African-American and Asian-American children are lactose-intolerant and subject to cramping.
Two years ago, the National Dairy Council launched a $200 million "3-A-Day" campaign to promote cow's milk for weight loss and to counter the National Cancer Institute's successful "5 A Day" program encouraging consumption of wholesome fruits and vegetables. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid recommends two to three dairy servings to promote calcium intake.
However, green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice and soy milk supply large amounts of readily absorbed calcium. They also contain vital nutrients, few calories and no harmful ingredients.
These items are readily available in every supermarket. Let's give our kids a healthy start!
-- Caleb Caldwell
All are guilty
The propaganda that professional groups send out to the media often is treated as "news."
But behind the scenes, professionals, using targeted focus groups, concentrate on setting up weak straw men to represent opposing views, and put words in their adversaries' mouths with partially true arguments. Then they have their side make a mockery of the opponent.
Government? Industry? School boards? Politicians running for office? Advertisers? Nonprofits? All are guilty!
All citizens become cynics or fools, or, at best, people overwhelmed with researching all the half-truths.
A local TV station puts out a developers' puff piece stating that our area's growth is caused by our own children (with IRS and census numbers quite the contrary), and don't respond to phone calls or e-mails from experts who disagree.
The daily "news"paper prints an article stating that growth pays its way, when audited city reports state the contrary. That paper knows reality but does not search for the truth or opposing views.
What is the public to do?
Call, write and complain! Declare that you know a half-truth when you see it. Quit participating in the dumbing down of America and stop allowing "white" lies in the media to go unchecked.
Tell the media you want to hear both sides from true representatives, not shills putting words in others' mouths, or puff pieces passing as news. Or, as Joe Friday said, "Just the facts, ma'am."
-- Dick Anson
Good news, bad news
I am moved to write about media and politics after watching an inspiring speech by journalist Bill Moyers, broadcast on C-Span, closing the recent National Conference on Media Reform in St. Louis.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a tax-funded organization that oversees PBS and NPR, has a new Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kenneth Tomlinson. A Republican, he monitored Mr. Moyers' PBS program, "NOW", on behalf of the White House. It now is off the air.
Mr. Moyers is an acknowledged liberal, but on his program, he presented thoughtful journalism, allowing both sides of issues to be completely presented. His criticisms of current government policy led to his ousting by Mr. Tomlinson.
The problem with this series of events is that we all need Mr. Moyers on the air. Most political journalism today takes its cues from the politicians. Once an official brings up an issue publicly, then we see "experts" from both sides of the political question give short sound-bites and basically agree to disagree. The broadcaster feels that it is giving the public a chance to make up its own mind in this process.
This is a big problem for the American public. Where do we find in-depth journalistic inquiry? Where are journalists driving the public discourse with careful investigation? They aren't around, because we now have giant media conglomerates that can't afford to challenge the political establishment. Instead, they take their cues from government officials. Our exposure to important information is being limited by this situation.
The good news is that newspaper readership is down and viewer ratings of the evening news are down. The American people are turning to the Internet to find their news. We recognize the narrow scope of the mainstream media and until they step outside the box, we will continue to look elsewhere for the truth.
-- Jeremy Van Hoy