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Not just a pretty face

There are several reasons the front-page article "Code Pink" (March 23) is unworthy of the level of reporting typically appearing in the Independent. These reasons include a woeful lack of knowledge and apparent bias on the writer's part, and an obvious lack of research on Mary Kay, Inc.

1) Mary Kay consultants do not pay commissions to their recruiters or sales directors. Mary Kay's corporate office issues commission checks from company profits. This is what distinguishes Mary Kay's dual marketing business design from other "multilevel" or "pyramid" companies. The dual marketing concept is studied in graduate-level business degree programs nationwide, including Harvard University's Business School.

2) The author, Grace Hood, neglected to mention Mary Kay's product repurchase program, which allows consultants to obtain a refund of 90 percent on product purchased within the previous 12 months including the cost of the $100 starter kit.

3) There are no quotas for the majority of Mary Kay consultants.

As for the evangelical Christian flavor of Mary Kay culture, this Christian influence is one of the aspects that makes Mary Kay generous as a corporation, both to its sales force and in its donation of over $1 million in Hurricane Katrina relief and an annual $4.7 million to cancer research and domestic violence prevention. No one in Mary Kay has ever asked me to do anything, good or bad, in the name of God.

Four and a half years ago, starting a Mary Kay business was my escape from the dissatisfaction of a library systems job at School District 11. My Mary Kay business affords me the flexibility to contribute to our community. I am active on the board of directors at Citizens Project; I have delivered lunches for Meals on Wheels weekly for the past four years, and volunteered for the El Pomar Foundation's Emerging Leaders Program, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Pikes Peak Library District and the Business of Art Center.

The Independent has financially supported many of these organizations, so in a sense, you could say that Mary Kay is indirectly furthering the endeavors of the Independent.

Una Ng-Brasch

Independent Beauty Consultant,

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Colorado Springs

Dregs of society

I am an out-of-state subscriber to the Independent. I am also a federal prisoner serving a lengthy sentence in a maximum-security penitentiary.

I am surrounded by the dregs of society on a daily basis, and it isn't always easy. There are a lot of stupid, violent people in this environment, but one thing everyone gives to each other is common respect.

In "It's sick. It's just wrong." (March 16, News) I was appalled! Me, a prisoner, a dreg of society! I have seen these stories on TV, and now in my favorite paper.

Hello, Pastor Phelps! There is something in this country we call respect! Respect for the dead. The dead who fought for this country proudly and honorably. Respect for the family and the friends who have suffered a loss and deserve to say goodbye in peace. It's called respect, sir, and a man of God should certainly understand that. Politics do not belong at a funeral.

If you disagree with the war, or anything else in this country, then go to Washington and protest on the president's front lawn. Do not disrespect those who fought for this country to protect that very freedom that grants you the rights you wake up to every single morning of your life.

It's sick. It's wrong. It's disrespectful. Certainly, if the dregs of our society can understand this, a man who claims to represent God can comprehend such.

Randall D. Tomlinson

U.S. Penitentiary

Marion, Ill.

Vantage point

I want to let you know how much I enjoy the Independent. From my vantage point in Queensland, Australia, it is refreshing to read such a balanced publication. I'll have to read all of the articles and perhaps send in my views pro and con.

Don Smith

Upper Kedron, Brisbane,

Queensland, Australia

The sky is falling

If I understand the immigration issue correctly, our Chicken Little leadership is telling us the latest sky-is-falling issue is to beat back the tidal wave of illegals. These insidious immigrants are stealing our jobs and suppressing the average wages for, well, you know, all those fine jobs. Thankless jobs they've filled for decades without collapsing our economy, by the way.

It's also common knowledge that the primary benefactors and patrons for our diligent government representatives would be the captains of industry, who are busy suppressing unions, those socialist organizations that inflate wages and costs, and exporting jobs to foreign locales to stay globally competitive, lowering labor costs by paying immigrant-level wages without benefits.

"If you can't bring the immigrant to the job, then take the job to them," would make a good motto for American manufacturers nowadays.

Dan Marvin

Colorado Springs

Puff on this

The past two issues have had letters from readers who disapprove of the smoking ban, based on how it's a violation of the rights of personal property owners.

Yes, the owners of these establishments do have rights as property owners, as we all do. However, they give up certain rights once they open to the public.

If we listen to the logic of these readers, we should not only allow smoking, but we should also consider allowing the owners of these establishments to discriminate based on race, creed, gender, etc. They own the property, right?

So why shouldn't an owner not allow African-Americans or Muslims, or maybe gays, into their establishment? They could also employ only white males or pay less than minimum wage. Heck, let's throw out OSHA and laborregulations altogether. It's their property. Why should they have to be concerned about their employees' safety on the job? Let's also throw out the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disabled people don't need to visit bars, right?

I don't buy into the reasoning that these businesses will fail economically. While they may see a temporary dip in business, do we really think that regular patrons of these establishments will stay at home forever? I am an ex-smoker, and I was overjoyed that the bill passed. Now I and my friends will frequent some of these establishments more often!

Deb James

Colorado Springs

Time to smoke

Why, in God's name, do we not have Thank You for Smoking in our theaters? It's really all I wanted in life, and I can't seem to find a place to watch it. I suppose I'll have to drive to L.A. to catch it. In any case, thanks for always being the highlight of my Chipotle experience 1-pound burritos and unfiltered, local CS Indy goodness. Write on, dear friends, write on.

Bryce Crawford

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Patience, dear reader, patience. The film Thank You for Smoking opens this Thursday, April 13, at Kimball's Twin Peak Theater downtown. Call 447-1945 for show times.

Going it alone

It is extremely disappointing to learn that the United States will not be running for a seat on the new United Nations Human Rights Council. This hardly seems consistent with the State Department pledge to support the council and to make it "as strong and effective as possible."

The Human Rights Council was established on March 15 by an overwhelming 170-4 vote in the General Assembly, with the United States, regrettably, in the minority. Anyone can nitpick over perceived flaws in the constitution of the new body, but no one can deny that it represents an enormous improvement over the existing commission. This shortsighted decision will prevent the United States from playing a leading role in shaping the new council to its important tasks. The "likely" intent of the United States to seek membership next year is a feeble response that ignores the reality that the majority of the council's most important decisions will be made in its first year, while the United States is sitting on the sidelines.

This unfortunate misjudgment by our leaders can only reinforce the perception in the rest of the world that the United States prefers to go it alone when it cannot have its own way. And that perception, whether fair or unfair, threatens to become a disastrous hindrance in the global fight against terrorism.

James J. Amato

Pikes Peak Chapter,

United Nations Association of the USA

Woodland Park

Not what Jesus meant

How dare the Catholic Church set itself up as the moral authority on abortion, while at the same time it is protecting pedophile priests? How can it profess to care so much for unborn children, but ignore living children who are molested, and even protect their molesters?

The Colorado Catholic Church is opposing bills in the state Legislature that would lift the statute of limitations for lawsuits against sex offenders and their employers, because that could require the church to reimburse past victims of sexual abuse by priests quite a large sum. They used a recent Sunday service to ask congregations to sign protest cards (25,000 of them!) against these bills to give legislators. In doing so, the church was forcing every signer to become complicit in the abuse, a new low in morality.

Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput complains that these bills target the Catholic community. Well, perhaps they do. They are an attempt to obtain some measure of justice for the victims after the church let such moral depravity exist and grow, unheeded, for years. Records show that offending priests were often moved to new parishes, where many continued to molest youngsters.

Surely, that is not what Jesus meant when he said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me"!

Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

Panic time

If a girl or a woman has unprotected sex through foolishness, innocence, forcible demand or in "the heat of the moment" there is no way for her to tell immediately if an egg has been fertilized.

Must she then wait through a panicky period of time until an EPT announces she is (or is not) pregnant? Is not that female person entitled to take steps immediately to prevent implantation of that possibly fertilized egg?

Perhaps not in the view of Gov. Bill Owens, or many other "Make a mistake, pay for it for the rest of your life" adults! In my view, though, prevention of accidental pregnancies trumps righteous indignation over "immoral actions."

Prevention of accidental pregnancy should prevent many abortions of more viable fetuses; emergency contraception, as provided for in HB 1212, would offer that choice and must be approved.

Deirdre LaRouche-Donnellan

Colorado Springs

The real thing

Here is my pick for School District 11's "What's in a Name?" solicitation to name one of its new elementary schools: The Coca-Cola School.

Coca-Cola is the world's most recognized trademark. Surely this has better name recognition than naming a school after a state or national dignitary.

This name should be used because the Coke corporation helps fund D-11 schools. It should be used because D-11 is proud to have an exclusive contract with a company that promotes not only local, but global dental decay, obesity and diabetes. "D-11: Great Choice." It fits.

Bruce Hamilton

Colorado Springs

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