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The We and Me of life

In her letter to the editor of July 7, Ms. Linda Sorensen of Peyton, who is commendably working on her Masters Degree, asks the question, "What the hell is happening in this world?" in regard to her driving experiences. The answer is: The all-important center of the universe, little "Me," taking precedence over the greater "We."

We have the opportunity to make small things happen in this world, for better or worse. As an example, we have the power to "allow" other drivers who desire to change lanes to do so safely, and to flash our lights with typical Japanese courtesy to signify that the other human being is safe to occupy the lane. We can give up three car lengths or a tenth of a second of our lives to perhaps brighten up the day of someone who might have been having a very dismal day -- and is it worth killing another person to assert your legal "Me" right to deny access to a safe lane change?

As to the emotionally challenged who exhibit their immaturity by "honking, hollering and flipping one another off," they speak eloquently for their level of social development, no matter their years in or out of a classroom. We cannot control the actions of others, but we are empowered to control ours.

In Japan, when we come to a stop (while using our headlights) we show concern for the comfort and safety of the other drivers by switching to parking lights until traffic proceeds. We do not uncaringly blind our fellow drivers. We should feel pity for the inconsiderate/uncivilized driver in the large vehicle that allows his headlights to shine into the car ahead of him at a stop. Why? Because that person is exhibiting the uncaring, mean-spirited "Me"-first philosophy of the uncivilized.

We take the opportunity to extend courtesy to strangers because we are genuinely caring, civilized people. Back in Hawaii it is the Aloha Spirit, in Japan it is the Good Face and in my native land it is the American way.

Let us take the opportunity to make someone's day a little better and help spread the joy of living in Colorado.

-- Jacob A. Rathman

Colorado Springs

Big tough guy

In a news story last week about undercover police officers focusing on bicyclists and the homeless downtown, you quote Colorado Springs Police Detective Olav Chaney as saying, "We're hitting the transients so hard that they're getting very frustrated."

Terrorists will never strike Colorado Springs knowing we've got big tough guys like Chaney here. Then again they might, given the statement's low level of intelligence. How did Chaney ever make detective?

Maybe he'll be homeless someday and learn how it feels.

-- John E. Anderson

Colorado Springs

Lie is a lie is a lie

Does anybody find it curious that the right wing's defense of Karl Rove (i.e.: "He didn't technically reveal the name of a CIA agent, he merely stated it was Mr. Wilson's wife") is reminiscent of another time, when these same people were criticizing Clinton for saying oral sex wasn't technically "having sex"?

It's curious that lying about oral sex is an impeachable offense, according to this crowd, but that Bush's claim that he spoke with Rove -- with a quick assurance he had nothing to do with this -- and the subsequent criticism because of his reluctance to now comment on the affair is "just a partisan attack by liberal Democrats." Does anybody remember the Republican refrain: "A lie, is a lie, is a lie"? Except, apparently, when it comes from one of their right-wing darlings.

Yet another illustration of the utter hypocrisy of a party more concerned about peoples' genitals than with who is screwing the country. Just imagine if this were a Democratic administration; they'd be foaming at the mouth about how liberal Democrats were traitors who hated America and hated freedom. But now that it's one of them, let's wiggle out on a technicality? Wow!

-- Alan Sindler

Colorado Springs

Even more disgusting

After listening to the news today, I am pissed. You see, I have family in the military, currently active and veterans, so I get very upset hearing about flag burning. I know people get upset at our government, but do they realize how much it hurts people that have fought to defend that flag? How low do you have to be? How callous not to see the pain it causes? And why are they are so stupid they cannot find a better way to communicate their ideas and frustration with the government?

I simply have no sympathy or respect for any American that chooses to burn our flag! But there is a group of people even more disgusting to me: Americans who want our government to amend our Constitution to make it illegal to burn a flag.

Burning our flag is already wrong and I will berate any idiot that goes out and burns a flag. The reaction of Americans is the right punishment for this act. It is a very sad day when we need our government to punish these nitwits. We damn well better be able to stand up for ourselves, and our country! The day individual Americans cannot speak for themselves against those that insult our country, no matter how horribly, is the day we no longer deserve to be called "American."

-- Jeff Klagenberg

Moss Beach, Calif.

Pay per view

This is in response to the June 30 letter regarding funding for NPR and PBS, etc. In our democracy, those who consume should be the ones to pay.

I don't expect others to pay for my food, clothing or shelter. Neither do I expect others to pay for my radio listening or TV watching. To expect others to foot the bill for your own consumption is socialism. Please understand, the government has no money -- only what it takes or prints. You are using the guns of government to take money from me to pay for what you want. And then to think that only your view should be expressed on these publicly funded venues is untenable.

You want me to pay and then not have my views expressed? Give me a break! And speaking of the government having no money, not only does it have no money, it is seriously in debt. That means that not only are you not paying for your consumption, you are expecting my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren (who knows how far this debt will go) to pay for your current consumption. This is immoral! Pay your own way!

-- Carol Fouse


Hold your breath

A few minutes ago I quickly turned off a PBS program designed to inform the whole wide world that there is a gasoline plant in Louisiana that, if terrorists exploded it, would release gases that kill you when you inhale. Thank you, PBS, for broadcasting that to the whole wide world. I'm pretty sure that once we address that one last little vulnerability, we can all relax. Or maybe we can find a pearl diver who can teach us all how to hold our breath for long periods.

-- Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

No comparison

I find it interesting that Colorado Springs keeps comparing itself to Cincinnati for city workers' pay schedules. Let's look at what size Cincinnati really is.

For starters, they have over one million people living in and around the city. They are the original home of Proctor & Gamble and G.E. Aircraft Engines, just to name two well-recognized companies. There is the University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, four teaching hospitals (not including the satellite branches), two stadiums with major football and baseball teams, and a downtown area that Colorado Springs' downtown would fit in a corner of.

They have an airport that resembles a small city because it is a Delta Airline hub. Cincinnati was built on seven hills with the Ohio River dividing it from Covington, Ky., so the view is beautiful, with riverboats and water.

They also have poverty, crime, projects, prejudice, riots, high unemployment, high property taxes, city income tax and a failing public school system.

We need to be proud of whom we are and not use them as a budgetary equal because Colorado Springs is not in the same league, thank God.

-- Marianne Casimir

Colorado Springs

The art of the park

I read your July 7 article on the newly named "America the Beautiful Park" with great interest, and also with some astonishment, for it appears to me that your usually keen perceptivity has somehow missed some very important aspects of this great new urban park.

Of course, many of your observations are quite accurate, especially those that point out the large gap between what was originally planned and what actually exists today. It is true that the millennium fountain, the other water features, kayak run, bridge, climbing wall, amphitheater, etc. are a long ways from existence.

But there is a whole element of the original master concept that you have completely failed to mention. I am referring to the many arts-related activities resulting from the efforts of the original Confluence Park Depot Arts District Association.

As one of the original community members of the park planning committee in the late '90s, I can assure you that the arts aspect was included in the park's master vision from the beginning, whether in the actual park or on the outskirts, whether publicly or privately supported, or both.

I am amazed you did not notice, among other things, the existence of the Cottonwood Artists School and Studios, which occupies the large red brick building right there at the northeast entrance to the park. To update you a little: In January of 2004, jumping in with heart and hope, the small, privately held Cottonwood Artists School put together a group of artists and was permitted by the city to lease this abandoned building.

Additionally, in the gas department building area, there is a Farmers' and Artists' Market that is open every Saturday from spring through fall.

And I can't help but notice that America the Beautiful Park is also hosting, this very month of July, the "pARTy in the Park," a two-week celebration of music, performance and events.

This type of art/park combination was indeed a part of the original park master vision. It is successfully happening and is generating interest and excitement and energy.

-- Debra Rose

Colorado Springs

Finding the trail

I see a lot of bicyclists riding up and down 30th Street between Garden of the Gods Road and Fillmore Street. This section of road does not have a bike lane. Therefore, it's dangerous for the riders and causes a lot of anguish for drivers.

I myself am a biker ... I'm not a "biker hater." I want to let these riders know that there is a trail not 100 feet from the street they are riding on! They can enter the trail at the north end of 31st Street, by Rock Ledge Ranch, and follow it all the way to the gas station at Garden of the Gods Road and 30th Street. It's totally safe, and it doesn't hinder cars. Seems like a win-win to me.

Being that the trail is far more scenic, and less smelly than the road, it's actually a win-win for the rider and a win for all the drivers. A win-win-win. The trail can also be entered from the entrance to the Garden of the Gods as well as from the aforementioned gas station when heading south. There's even a bridge to ride under 30th Street.

Whoopee! Use the trails, please, for everyone's sake.

-- Joe Mullally

Colorado Springs

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