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Jon Horton should apologize

Jon Horton, whose letter to the editor appeared on June 23, should get his facts straight. According to several respected rumor-checking Web sites, the story about Jane Fonda passing off notes that subsequently led to the death and beatings of American POWs is considered to be false. and both studied this story and have concluded it is false. Included in those analyses is a statement from a POW who supposedly was involved in the alleged incident. He states that the incident never occurred.

Jane Fonda apologized for her actions; it's time that Jon Horton apologized to Jane Fonda for continuing to spread this false story. On the other hand, I doubt we'll hear an apology from Jon Horton, as it is likely his real motive is to continue to vilify Jane Fonda. Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity both continue to spread this false story. Wow, spreading lies! Isn't that just like right-wingers!

-- Peter Billington Colorado Springs

Jon Horton apologizes

In reference to my comments about "Hanoi Jane," I have looked at the urban myth info offered in rebuttal and, in the face of that, would like to sincerely apologize to Ms. Fonda. As I wrote, if she is truly contrite about her actions, I accept her apologies. I do have a couple of personal apologias, though.

One: The urban myth started way before 1999, because I heard it from Viet vets in the early '80s, so it may have taken some time for it to get any real traction.

I was one of those vets who was welcomed home by "protesters" who threw animal and human feces on the buses taking us from our final military base to a civilian airport for our flights home. Two of the men on my bus traded in their domestic plane tickets for return flights to Thailand. Both of them have returned home only for funerals of immediate family, then have gone back to the families they made in a distant land that accepted them.

My family has been in this country since the mid-1600s, my maternal side in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and my paternal side in the Roanoke Colony. From the French and Indian Wars through the present adventure in Iraq, our men have fought in each and every war. And I was the only one in that long line of vets who had to hide the fact of my service. Whence my choler.

-- Jon R. Horton

Colorado Springs

The big time

We're happy and sad that Rich Tosches has accepted a job with the Denver Post, because his insightful, entertaining columns will surely be missed. What a wonderful opportunity for such a talented writer.

When we first started reading his articles in the Gazette, we thought for sure that there must be a mistake. How could this liberal-minded genius be writing for that paper? Then, no more Rich until we picked up a copy of the Indy one day -- and lo and behold, there he was again. Now he's made it to the big time!

Congratulations and good luck, Rich! We'll miss you!

-- Ray and Patty Pettus Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Lucky for all of us, Rich promises he will continue to contribute guest columns to the Independent twice a month.

Sticking together

Your June 16 cover story, "Safe Child Syndrome," was fraught with bad advice.

With author Beth Hawkins' thesis being that parents hover too much today, she appears to be ignorant of the notion that families who play together stay together.

Stopping in the classroom and helping your child with his or her coat is one way to build connection. As an adult and a feminist, it warms my heart when my host or hostess takes my coat and hangs it up. Is there something wrong with extending and teaching this welcoming courtesy to a child?

Hawkins takes issue with parents attending their children's events. I would inform her that we're not playing a competitive game when we do so, and that something other than worrying motivates us to attend sports events. We are actually enjoying ourselves at track meets and other sports.

Finally, a parent applauding a child who taunts a dead animal, as she says she does of her child, grieves me.

-- Janice E. Black Colorado Springs

Ten hut!

John Hazlehurst's "Outsider" column on June 23, "Christian Soldiers March Onward," was generally persuasive in its depiction of the rank-and-file of our military professionals.

His statement that begins, "Officers, most of whom have attended the service academies..." is, however, not accurate. Take a look at the Web site of the USAFA Personnel Center and you will see how few active duty officers are produced by our Air Force Academy. At the 10-year service mark, for example, when cadets have completed both Academy and specialized training service obligations (such as pilot training), only 17 percent of all officers are Academy graduates.

I suppose taxpayers should be happy that we only have to provide about 900 quarter-million dollar officers to the Air Force each year. The service is to be thanked for accepting so many cheaper ROTC and OCS officers, who make up the bulk of its officer corps.

Are the numbers similar for the Army and Navy?

-- Richard H. Milton

Colorado Springs

We are in denial

I really appreciate John Hazlehurst's June 23 take on Tom Minnery's Gazette op-ed. I hope that, unlike Senator Dick Durbin, he does not feel the need to apologize or backtrack when someone gets hysterical about his pointing out in his "logical conclusion" the echoes of '30s Germany that hint at what could happen here. We are in denial!

But I have a complaint with Hazlehurst's list of folks Minnery is disrespecting. Unitarians and Jews are not the only people of faith for whom Minnery does not speak. "Christian" is not a synonym for fundamentalism. I object to it being used as if it were, just as I refuse to presume that all liberals are the "bad guys." Too often gutless, but not bad.

-- Barbara Huber

Colorado Springs

Standing behind The Man

I heard the President's speech last week, and despite the gloom-and-doom scene presented by organizations like, I agree with the President's plan.

The same liberals who brought us failure in Vietnam by demanding a "timetable for withdrawal" and an "exit plan" are now suggesting we follow their sage advice with Iraq.

I don't think so.

-- John Taylor

Colorado Springs

No war for oil

Enough war -- peace is never won by waging war. I have had it with this barbarian president who can only say the same things over and over in the most simplistic terms. Please hear this, Mr. Bush: No more of your oil wars at the expense of our children's lives!

-- Steven Elliott


A few good men

In reference to last week's "IQ" about the state of the war in Iraq, I just wanted to say that the problem of recruitment is bigger than most of us think.

My brother, Army Specialist Daniel Jaramillo, decided to become a recruiter. Not because it seems like the best job for him. He wanted to avoid going to Iraq for a third time, plus the Army thinks that having younger recruiters might help them out.

A native to Colorado Springs, Dan joined the Army after high school. He joined because he felt it was his civic duty. He's now 24 and looking for a few good men and women to help alleviate the problem of a dwindling military force.

He first went out to Iraq with the 3ACR out of Fort Carson, and then again with Fort Riley, two weeks after he returned the first time. Both tours were a year at a time. As he recruits from Pueblo, he is struggling to find anyone who is willing to volunteer to help out the Army at this time.

His weekly calls to me are more and more sounding like a desperate car salesman looking for the drop. He knows that they rely on him so our men who are overseas can come home for a bit. He knows because he gave up his own leave time during his tours just to let other guys go home and see their families.

We need everyone to put forth their part in this war. Even though my brother and I don't agree with the reasoning behind this war, we know that we need to support the guys out there. If our politicians are so patriotic, why don't they promote the military more and more? Our soldiers feel deserted, and I don't blame them one bit.

-- Michelle Jaramillo

Colorado Springs

Road to sainthood

The Catholics are busting their butts to get Pope John Paul onto the path of sainthood. They are making up miracles and exaggerating him as being more than just a man.

If the Catholics are doing this for Pope John Paul II, it makes you wonder how many other saints were really saints. In my book, Pope John Paul II would have been a saint if he had gone to Iraq and stopped the Bush regime from this horrible disaster.

-- Leon Rodriguez Denver

Eyesore for everyone

Our environment is not unlimited. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. We all can see in El Paso County alone what the short-sightedness of government can do: The housing developments are despicable, an eyesore for everyone.

We need to conserve water, energy and open space for our future (which looks very bleak indeed). It is very obvious that Gov. Owens is being pressured by developers and industry and not doing what the people who supported him (and whom he represents) really want.

-- Helen Lima

Colorado Springs

Go back to Missouri

You know, I am really tired of the way people drive around here (El Paso County). Stupid hillbilly from Missouri in a big white shiny truck with a septic tank in the bed, pulling a trailer, cuts me off; and when I honk my horn at him, he flips me off. I beg your pardon, Hillbilly, I was in my lane! Go back to Missouri!

And the gumby in the convertible Miata next to me yells, "You didn't let him in!"

"I don't have to let him in. I'm in my lane."

"It's the nice thing to do."

You, who were on my ass all the way to Fountain from before Academy. Perception! I was in my lane.

And the old man in the shiny sedan who could only go 45 in a 55. I guess he "can't drive 55."

And last Thursday night -- you see, I am out on Thursday nights. I go to school, working on a Master's degree. On Highway 24, where it goes from two lanes into a single lane, a jerk in a teal S-10 cuts me off and then flips me off when I honk the horn. Then he sits on the side of the road and follows me to Judge Orr Road, where he speeds up like he's going to hit me and turns right onto Judge Orr and flips me off. What the hell is happening in this world?

And the Woodmen Safety Improvement Project. Hello!! It's still only a two-lane road, people! Cidiots = city idiots who move to Falcon to get out of the city. In your quest, you are creating what you were trying to escape.

Hang up and drive! The life you save may be your own. The last place to be alone besides the bathroom is your car. Why screw that up with a cell phone? I don't want people to find me. There, I feel better now. Thanks.

-- Linda Sorensen


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