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Fill 'er up!

In reply to the comments by Bob Becker and the actions by the Air Quality Control Commission ("Into the ether," News, Dec. 7):

Let's wait until the emissions problem is beyond the point at which it can be fixed before we try to fix it (again). El Paso County took a huge step backward, instead of moving forward, by banning emissions testing.

I like to think that this town has a progressive, environment-protecting mentality, since we're surrounded by such beauty and have thousands of people who recreate in and around the mountains, streams and parks every week. And with the increasing number of people residing (and driving) in the Front Range, El Paso County has now clearly shown its blatant disregard for the environment.

But what do I know? I'll just spend the $25 that I would have spent in 2007 on my emissions test to fuel up my gas tank and drive through the mountains, so I can also contribute to the rising problem of global warming.

I remember the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," but this decision takes the cake. In El Paso County, we say, "If it ain't broke, let's break it."

Ryan Kohler

Manitou Springs

Missed opportunity

The same day as the Indy ran its friendly profile of Doug Lamborn ("Rarin' to go," News, Dec. 7), the Gazette ran a story on the highest-ranking soldier killed in Iraq: Lt. Col. Eric Kruger, father of four, resident of the Springs.

Doug still wants that plum position on the Armed Services Committee. He says he has our area's priorities in mind. The sad thing is, Doug didn't mention a word about Iraq, where so far 31 and there will be more by the time you read this letter have died this month alone.

For someone who says he's "pro-life" (maybe that's just life in the womb), and someone who wants to be on that powerful committee, Doug should speak out and commit to real ideas about the Iraq war. The true heroes of this war, many of our area's bravest and finest citizens, are sitting in a shooting gallery created by our president's failed policies and Congress' limp oversight.

As Bush dawdles and Doug gushes, our soldiers bleed and die. The Indy should have pressed this most important issue. If our soldiers don't survive the shooting gallery in Iraq, they will never be able to train at Fort Carson, something Doug thinks is the highest priority he should have.

Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

Hunt 'em down

Thank you for your article, "Horrible, just horrible," (Public Eye, Dec. 7). Many dead and dying animals were found in Calhan, according to the article. I am very upset to read that live animals are still on the property.

With animals in such bad conditions, all of the animals should be taken. If dead and dying children were found on the property, all of the children, including healthy ones, would have been removed. I hope authorities seize all of the animals on the property and vigorously pursue cruelty charges.

William McMullin

Mt. Morris, Mich.

Cooking up trouble

Now that Malcolm Allyn has informed us that steam is dirty ("Big dirty steam," Letters, Dec. 7), I expect the Indy to inform us to stop steaming our vegetables.

Dick Standaert

Colorado Springs

Defending Douglas

Roger Armstrong in his Dec. 7 letter, "Calling for help," wrote the following: "We need to win this [School District 11] recall election so that we can mobilize our El Paso County resources to defeat Douglas Bruce when he comes up for re-election."

I suppose that's important to a "progressive" to defeat Mr. Bruce, as he stands in opposition to everything they want. Mr. Bruce supports individual liberty over unlimited government power. He strives to make the government accountable to the people instead of letting that government run wild. He has the audacity to think that the government should stick to a tight budget in tight times, just like the taxpayers have to do.

Yes, such radical concepts have no place in El Paso County government.

We need an unlimited county government that can do as it will with its citizens and tax them as much as it needs to, no matter how much those silly taxpayers cry about it. Yes, to achieve the progressive dream for our county, Douglas Bruce and his heretical ideas must be stopped. By all means, let us unite to bring about that progressive dream for our county and get rid of Mr. Bruce and his dangerous ideas.

Doesn't that madman understand what America is all about?

Scott Graves

Colorado Springs

Freedom in sovereignty

In the Dec. 7 edition of the Indy, Jean McDowell of Pueblo writes about the plight of the prison population ("Down on lockdown"), ending with, "We need to find better solutions and alternatives to crime besides prison." On this I agree, and there are solutions to this mess. Among those is personal sovereignty.

You see, this country was founded on the principle of governance by consent, not coercion. As the Declaration of Independence says: "to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, and derive their just powers, from the consent of the governed."

Expanding on that principle is the following: "There, every man is independent of all laws, except those prescribed by nature. He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellowmen without his consent." Cruden v. Neale 2 N.C. 338 (1796) 2 S.E.70.

This is one reader who feels that unless you have done something to endanger the life or liberty of another being, then you have not broken any law that you can be held accountable for. Only the most violent offenders should be put behind bars, as well as those who do anything that endangers another's life or liberty.

Only by ending the cycle of violence, taught by certain religious leaders who shall go unnamed, and teaching people how to govern themselves can we begin to restore the constitutional republic for which the flag of this country stands. We need to stop the insanity of judgment.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged." Does that sound familiar, people? We got into this mess by giving away our right to govern ourselves. The only way back is to restore that right and stop kowtowing to the El Paso County (or any other) court.

Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Mind control

Whenever the working press does a story on UFOs, ghosts or any other kind of paranormal events ("Ghoul, interrupted," cover story, Nov. 30), you can always count on the "skeptics" to trot out the tried and true quote: "No conclusive evidence of the existence of anything supernatural or spiritual has ever been found by anyone studying the question from a serious scientific viewpoint" ("Sensory issues," Letters, Dec. 7).

This is a lie that has been repeated so often that it has become a truth. Dr. Allen Hynek was a scientist who was hired by Project Blue Book to debunk the existence of UFOs. It did not take long before the inventor of the "Swamp Gas Hypothesis" made famous in a Michigan UFO flap in the 1960s became a believer in the reality of UFOs.

The other tactic is to drag out the names of debunkers, beginning with James Randi, who make their living destroying the reputations of people whose only real crime is that they are special. The skeptics are not really skeptics. They are already convinced that scientists would be wasting their time in solving these mysteries!

I was a skeptic about the existence of UFOs. As a skeptic I got involved in investigation, which is what skeptics ought to be doing! When I found myself staring up at a UFO for three hours with the Clarks Summit Police Department in Pennsylvania on Jan. 16, 1992, my skepticism turned to awe, wonder and finally belief. I don't need "alleged skeptics," the government or the less-than-amazing Randi to tell me what or how to think!

George Wolkind

Colorado Springs

In the vacuum

In response to "The literal approach" (Letters, Nov. 9), I would like to mention that the words "politician" and "leader" should not be confused. A politician is someone who uses the faculties afforded them in order to win office, and it is that level of faculties that makes them ideal to represent those who enable them to get into office.

In my opinion, the basic problem with our political system isn't the politicians. I feel it lies with the small, but influential, groups of people who have usurped political power in the vacuum left by the general populous who are too indifferent to vote, such as Mr. Inman. Ordinary citizens can overcome the power of small influential political groups by educating themselves with facts, not emotion, and creating grass-roots door-to-door campaigns that would stand to benefit the majority. I believe it takes effort, not indifference.

Kevin Ryan

Colorado Springs

Where were you?

On Nov. 4, a Palestinian ambassador named Afif Safieh was speaking about the peace process, to a church of approximately 100 people, here in Colorado Springs and there was no news coverage of it at all. With a dignitary in town, we should have had all of the media there. Diplomacy in the Middle East is simple, but not easy when the Middle East seems to be the last priority for the United States. For example, where was the media that evening?

When asked about what he thought the Palestinians should do to end their plight and oppression, he responded with a very interesting answer. He said that the Palestinians should end it with non-violence strategies, and with American diplomacy. Could he be the next Martin Luther King Jr.? Could the Palestinian conflict end the same way apartheid did? With a Nelson Mandela?

The American friendship with Israel should have resulted in a strengthening of Israel's inclination for peace, compromise and respect for human rights. Instead, we have supported and funded a failed political and military strategy. Together, our two nations have sown misery throughout the region over the years, and we are now reaping the ugliness. It is no defense of Palestinian and Lebanese terrorists to point out they both thrive in the absence of real prospects for peace, and sow injustice.

Our country's influence should be used to moderate Israel's reaction, and start over with new prospects. After all, we are really in control of the puppet regime.

Cynthia Lang

Colorado Springs

Cannibiz

Whenever a pharmaceutical company comes out with a new drug, optimistic articles are written that give hope to those suffering from a myriad of illnesses. Coverage of the medical opportunities provided by the active compounds in marijuana rarely makes it to the media, but are published in the peer-reviewed, scientific literature. It is important to provide this information to the public so that the next time they have an opportunity to vote on the "SAFER" alternative, they will be better equipped to make an intelligent choice.

We now know that THC is a "superior inhibitor" of the biochemical pathway that is believed to lead to Alzheimer's disease. Similarly, it has recently been demonstrated that cannabinoids can reverse arteriosclerosis in mice. Multiple sclerosis sufferers appear to be defective in responding to brain damage by producing protective endocannabinoids, as has also recently been demonstrated for those suffering from migraines.

Considering that cannabinoids also protect the heart, relieve pain, promote appetite and sleep, lower body temperature, kill cancer cells and act in the same manner as current treatments for diabetes, it is not surprising that legislators in both parties keep this easy to grow plant illegal. It would cost the pharmaceutical companies billions. They might not donate as much to our political prostitutes.

Dr. Robert Melamede

Associate Professor and Biology Chairman (retired)

Biology Department

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs


TAKE ACTION

Help Santa's Angel Tree of Colorado make Christmas brighter for local families. Donate toys, children's snow boots, jackets, diapers, bedding, towels, CDs, DVDs, kitchen items and food through Saturday, Dec. 23. Call Lori at 266-3156 to arrange item pickup or drop-off.

Give a child a chance to read by donating books to the sixth annual Bring a Kid a Book Drive going on through Sunday, Dec. 24. Use drop boxes on the CSU-Pueblo campus or call 719/549-2257 for pickup of large donations. Books will be distributed to elementary and middle school children in Pueblo.

Join The Salvation Army in hosting the 16th annual Community Holiday Dinner at five locations, including The Salvation Army (908 Yuma St.), Odd Fellows Hall (575 S. Union Blvd.), Marian House (14 W. Bijou St.), Fountain Valley Senior Center (5745 Southmoor Drive) and Manitou Springs Town Hall (606 Manitou Ave.) on Monday, Dec. 25. Call 636-5266 to volunteer.

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