The Indy's Town Hall Meeting was sadly misnamed. Better "Town Hail!"
Not one of the presenters questioned the Fort Carson expansion. Maj. Gen. Mixon summed it up in his opening: "I've never seen a community more positive and supportive."
City Manager Lorne Kramer is "not concerned at all" about growth of 25,000-plus. The city will grow anyway, he pointed out. Hello! What about our water woes? What about traffic gridlocks? What about two-year waiting lists for affordable housing?
Fountain Mayor Jeri Howells says there's "no problem," and the Town Hall turnout showed support for Fort Carson. Never mind that the Pion Canyon expansion opposition was raucously present in an after-meeting session. This rancher-led resistance got no face-time in the public meeting. And no mic was available for us townies who oppose the local expansion.
If the "big" changes in Congress signal a shift in policy, why assume this training buildup will continue? Who will question an economy lockstepping to a one-note dirge? Where are the environmentalists to question "sustainability" of ever-expanding land grabs? Shall we destroy our home to save it?
A welcome wagon does not a town hall make. John Weiss I like the hat. But you need a new T-shirt: "Welcome authority."
Pep and circumstance
The Wednesday, Nov. 15 supposed Town Hall Meeting actually a military pep rally was not a dialogue, only positive spin regarding more troops coming to Fort Carson.
Your article on the same topic ("Incoming," News, Nov. 9) at least hinted at problem areas.
As a peace activist and volunteer with the homeless for the last 24 years, I see lots of concern areas not enough low-cost housing, good-paying jobs or health care now.
If Maj. Gen. Mixon's prediction about at least a 10-year continuance of the "global war on terror" is true, where is the concern for the families and community of the soldiers returning maimed and with PTSD? One article I read ("BRAC to school," News, Nov. 9) mentioned that Fountain-Fort Carson School District doesn't plan to hire more counselors! What? With children of parents gone to war, returning in who-knows-what condition, or getting killed?
My understanding of economics includes a need to diversify. The city that depends only on military is not healthy. There is much more I can't help but wonder. What if equivalent resources were put into the work of peace: diplomatic and nonviolence trainings, education in the cultures and languages of the world? Or in solving the causes of war: poverty, lack of tolerance, need for water, energy and food resources?
What a different world! This city, folks, is out of balance we have sold our soul to the military.
Esther L. Kisamore
Mailing it in
I direct my comment, most specifically, to the registered electors of Colorado Springs School District 11.
The heavy lifting has been done. It's time now to look for and complete your mail-in ballots to recall Eric Christen and Sandy Shakes from their positions as members of D-11's board of education.
Let's all vote (en masse) to "end the chaos" by replacing Christen and Shakes with two highly qualified candidates: Charlie Bobbitt and Jan Tanner. All ballots must be returned by the deadline of Dec. 12.
Harlan E. Nimrod
Well, there's a media whore in Michael de Yoanna's story on Mike Jones, but I think it might be the reporter.
People are funny: You can go out on a limb and do what's right, and everybody's glad you did it so they don't have to. But if you profit somehow for your trouble, suddenly some people start to begrudge.
So, Mike Jones has had some media attention; he's taken some gigs and allowed this whirlwind of activity to change his life in some ways. What should he do? Bring this story to the press, set all this in motion and then start shooing guys like you away, adopting some sort of Garbo-esque "I vant to be alone" stance, hiding under scarves and sunglasses and letting reporters and columnists talk about him and not to him? Take you, for example, Michael: How badly would you have assassinated this guy's character if he hadn't spoken to you willingly and treated you well?
The story you wrote describes a man who did what he thought was right at the risk of great personal expense, and is now coping gracefully with all of the weirdness that has been thrown at him since. Which interviews should he take, do you think, and which ones make him a whore? He has to endure the backlash as well; how do you figure he doesn't have a right to everything that comes his way from this?
Here's the real truth, from your own keyboard: "Nice guy, nice home. No revelations. So, what story did I get? Here's the best I've come up with ... "
So there you go. There's enough in this story to write a book. If you couldn't figure out how to get 600 words out of it without stooping that low, maybe journalism isn't your thing.
It is hard to believe that Michael de Yoanna ended his column titled "The surreal life" (Daytripper, Nov. 16) with a disgusting insult. It read, "Here's the best I've come up with: Jones' days as a prostitute may be over, but he's slid seamlessly into the role of media whore."
Now, I ask Michael de Yoanna: Like hundreds of others, weren't you the one who requested Mike Jones' interview? Sorry, I am confused. Who is the prima donna, and who is the media whore that is earning a living by scavenging on other people's stories?
Calling all whigs
In "The shot blurred 'round the world" (Film, Nov. Nov. 9), Scott Renshaw clearly missed the point of Babel. I suggest that you employ reporters who appreciate films, rather than simply "like movies," for your coverage.
Babel is a film that requires reflection, contemplation and actual thinking (which is a good thing). Its message (which is the lack of communication and its pernicious effects) does not fit neatly into a spoon.
I request that one of the whigs in your office views this film, applies some thought to it, and supplies this reader with a proper response, going beyond the proverbial "I didn't get it."
I have been an avid reader of this periodical for at least four years and respect its work (and positions).
Oh yeah, and what's wrong with "ethnography"? Doesn't this increase our understanding of the rest of the world?
A lifestyle choice
Once again, gays get it wrong. Amendment 43 and Referendum I were not about them. They were about protecting the sanctity of marriage. Marriage has been since the beginning of man and woman, between a man and a woman. There is a purpose for this; it is called procreation.
Now you say because I have this view, that I am intolerant. It is you, Mr. Singels ("The 'I' in prejudice," Your Turn, Nov. 16), who is intolerant. You are asking me to go against my beliefs to validate your lifestyle. You are asking me to spit in my God's face and break his laws to support your lifestyle. When are you going to acknowledge that I am entitled to my beliefs and quit calling me intolerant because I don't support gay marriage?
I could care less that you are gay or who you live with. It is not up to me to judge you. I don't think being gay is a choice made by you. However, your lifestyle is a choice. You either choose to live with another male and engage in sex, or you don't. You do have a choice.
As far as rights, you being gay is not a race or nationality. It is a lifestyle choice, and therefore does not deserve any special rights.No different if a man and woman live together.
Like Rev. Benjamin Broadbent (""An example must be set' but which one?", Your Turn, Nov. 9), I, too, would love to see Ted Haggard accept and embrace his sexuality, own up to his hypocritical behavior and become a major player in ending this ridiculous and unjust war on homosexuality.
However, it is highly more likely that he will end up at some ex-gay camp in Nebraska or Mississippi, undergoing "aversion therapy." With electrodes attached to his nipples, scrotum and penis, he will be placed in front of a big-screen TV playing hardcore gay pornography. At any and every sign of arousal he will experience a healthy dose of electricity in those areas of his body. After about three to nine months of this therapy, his libido will be destroyed and his cure will be announced.
Except for the chronic incontinence (can you say "Depends"?) he can resume living the normal, heterosexual life that he and all of us were meant to lead. Not a bad trade-off, huh? I mean, when you consider burning in hell for all eternity?
Forever our quest
One sickness in our society is the fear of gay people. Jesus would never hate or have to forgive gay men and women. The Bible has been used to poison societies with hate for as long as it's been around.
But healthy people know (as witnessed on Nov. 7, 2006) that truth and justice for all is the American dream, and forever our quest.
Thank you, true Americans, for bringing back my two-party, balanced government! The struggle now begins for respect around the world once again.
A powerful tool
Please respect this as a personal opinion and nothing else. After 22 years in the military as a Vietnam and Desert Storm veteran, I feel I'm entitled to some unmuted diatribe.
We go forward to our wars with all the idealism, dignity and patriotism expected of young people wanting to secure the ideals of freedom and democracy. We are trained to understand the basic concepts of modern warfare: violent death; sacrifice ... personal and familial; and above all, the means to victory. We are a powerful tool of our government.
How is it, then, that our lawmakers and policymakers are so oblivious to the obvious? We cannot achieve a decisive military victory in an abject political environment in Iraq and the rest of southwest Asia. It was demonstrated in Korea, Vietnam and however many earlier wars, upon which I'm too young to intelligently dissertate. We lost 55,000 souls in Vietnam, to eventually capitulate with a political solution and much indignity. Now we're pandering to them for commerce. Are we to repeat this in Iraq?
We and our allies are sending our children to do a job that has neither a goal nor a plan, and yet they die every day for their convictions.
There's no need to rant and rave here about U.S. political corruption, lobbyism and greed. It's an American birth defect. We The People however, can counter this inertia and exercise our will to do what is in the best interests of our nation. It's our country, and we need to take it back.
Yes, I know what you're thinking ... liberal rant. Well, ask the soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen and Coast Guard for an opinion. Not a one will shirk the concept of duty, nor will they assume to circumvent government policy, because they are professionals. Let's help them do the job with a tangible goal in sight, and then we'll see results. Who could ask for more?
Mark G. Brady, Major, USAF (retired)