In "Donkey Kong" (cover story, Jan. 4), David S. Bernstein makes a number of points, some of which are based in fact, not partisan conjecture. However, the temptation to embellish the facts just was too great to resist.
Any student of American and world politics only has to look at the factual record to understand what has happened and what this portends for the future. The 2006 midterms are a result of American dissatisfaction with the conduct of the war in Iraq. Virtually every poll, public opinion survey and man-on-the-street interview strongly suggests that we, the American people, with the attention span of a gnat, want the war to end.
Back to Mr. Bernstein's issues.
The makeup of the House and Senate fluctuate all the time. There have been and will continue to be shifts of power and control in both bodies this is an indicator of national mood, not the well-thought political strategy we are supposed to believe it is.
Statehouse control is being overestimated. If we look back into the record, the number and makeup of statehouses has never had much input to national policy.
"Not enough married-white men": Spoken like a true racist heterophobe. The demographics indicate a loss of "traditional" family structures. The National Minority Business Forum recently concluded a five-year study that demonstrated a clear shift of political allegiance, once success i.e., money has begun.
The modern world: If we accept the precept that experience means nothing, that we must all embrace every element of techno development. Are we not discounting our aging hippie population?
How about this for a concept: We agree that we aren't going to agree about everything. We each do, what we each think we should do, and the rest of us shut the hell up.
Just a thought
Concerning the Iraq war:
Merge, don't surge (a paraphrase of "make love, not war").
One offensive word
Reading the article "Gone in a flash" (News, Dec. 21), I was shocked to get to the second-to-last sentence. Why did Ashley Boudreaux deem it necessary to add the "F' statement into the article? I didn't need to be reading along innocently and run into that. That is a violation of my rights, too.
So many people seem to think that the "F' word is just part of society. No, it's part of a low-class mentality one that everyone does not want to participate in.
Religion in uniform
A searchlight is now being shown on the evangelical Christian right's invasion of the loyalty program at the U.S. Air Force Academy. For the past decade, we have heard lame dissembling by the Christian right, trying to counteract the American doctrine of separation of church and state. With religious sectarian wars raging in Iraq, we can now all see clearly how essential that genius doctrine, carved out by our forefathers, is to sustaining peace, democracy and equality for all our citizens.
The critical battle for restoring that separation has now been joined at the academy. Chief among those who object to proselytizers commandeering government property (plus those Christians who do not condone aggressive religious "marketing" tactics) are American soldiers and veterans who recognize that separation of church and state is a unique and valuable all-American doctrine for which they fought.
Religious divisiveness now being engaged in at the academy by some of its highest officers is a breach of their obligation and of damage to our military. Ben Franklin said, "We must all hang together or we shall surely all hang separately," and a commander of our troops in Iraq recently said, "The reason my soldiers fight is for one another."
Let those who honor the service and loyalty of our current soldiers and veterans of every religious conviction recapture what has been taken by the over-lording of one particular religious sect. Officers and non-commissioned officers who proselytize on government property and evangelize on government time should be cashiered, or reduced in rank if they do not immediately desist in those non-military, divisive sectarian practices. We will have a better trained and more unified Air Force if they would say "Wilco," and mean it.
Running on what?
Last week, the local news reported that Mayor Lionel Rivera and the (never elected, but appointed) councilman at-large, Bernie Herpin, were going to seek second terms. I asked my wife, "What kind of Kool-Aid could they be drinking?"
If it is not clear to you, Rivera's administration is now showing adjunct incompetence in its ineffective and broke snow removal services. This, on top of the fact that the city's violent crime has suddenly and unexpectedly spiked upward, while Denver and Pueblo's continues to fall.
Excuses and political dodging aside, the answer to why this is happening is quite simple: Rivera and this one-party city council have gutted our essential services budgets for the sake of their pet projects.
Herpin and Rivera are tied at the hip politically. Last summer, I witnessed them at what was a community picnic that fronted for a Rivera, Kyle Fisk and Herpin rally. I recalled that Herpin publicly complimented the city's west side, its residents and businesses greatly. But then after his speech, the real Bernie came out in talking with a few of us when discussing the character of the west side. There, he personally told us that the west side and central parts of the city were "full of character, all right all of Colorado Springs' fruits, nuts and liberals" were there!
My thought is that we need to get competent people back into our city government. Those who can ably run the nation's top-ranked livable city safely and fairly instead of the current political hacks who are using it for their own partisan agendas. This is basic stuff and as our municipal election approaches, hopefully the same outrage that took back District 11 can be applied to our city council and mayor's office.
On movies and bisexuality
It was good of David Sheehan to defend James Dobson's comments about the movie Happy Feet ("Leave Dobson alone," Letters, Jan. 4). As if the critics of popular culture with a national radio show and a staff of paranoiacs (see Tom Pedigo below) at their disposal need another spokesperson.
My young grandchildren loved the color, the music and the charming characters. When they're older, if they remember it as a "message" movie, the message will be one of acceptance of others, the interdependence of all people and respecting differences.
Mr. Sheehan is right that James Dobson's agenda is out in the open. We know in advance that he is judgmental and believes he knows what's best for all of us. But is it normal to look for evilin the most innocent of endeavors (a child's cartoon movie, for heaven's sake)? That's a pretty pathetic mission in life. Every book, movie or magazine carries a message. You get what you look for.
And now for Tom Pedigo ("The real hypocrites," Letters, Jan. 4). I'm confused. Is he defending bisexuality?
From the previous unhidden agenda of Focus on the Family, I concluded that the only sexuality that is acceptable is man on woman in the conjugal state, and probably the missionary position. Now in response to articles calling Ted Haggard a closet homosexual, he asks, "What happened to bisexualism? It sounds like discrimination toward another form of sexual orientation to me." Then he goes on to describe Pastor Haggard's long marriage and his five children.
So he thinks bisexualism is OK, or at least a lesser sin?He may become a liberal if he's not careful.
Comcast recently acquired Adelphia. Perhaps a good thing.
However, I and many other subscribers to Adelphia have recently received notice from Comcast that our Adelphia e-mail addresses must be changed. Definitely not a good thing.
Tens of thousands of people in the El Paso County area are being forced to change their online identity. Why do we have no voice in this matter?
I subscribe to numerous online sites for my profession, and those sites identify me by my e-mail address. Online commerce sites, eBay in particular, identify buyers and sellers by their e-mail addresses. These addresses are an essential form of online identity.
If no one can force me to change my postal address, why is it that Comcast can force me to change my e-mail address? Congress has passed legislation allowing consumers to retain their phone number when changing carriers. The same should be true for e-mail addresses.
Who regulates and grants a license to Comcast/Adelphia to operate in El Paso County and Colorado Springs? Are they representing us citizens on this issue? Whom is Comcast serving? Certainly not their customers.
As a confirmed geek, I can say that, technically speaking, there is no reason for this. The incremental cost of maintaining the domain name (adelphia.net) is $10 per year. The incremental cost of maintaining e-mail servers is equally trivial.
I don't get it ... If you agree, contact Comcast and tell them you don't want your e-mail changed. Contact your representatives and ask them to do something to protect your online identity.
On Dec. 29, a gentleman came to the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center and stated that he witnessed a cream-colored wolf dog running eastbound along Highway 24 and thought that it might be ours. We informed the gentleman that all of our animals were accounted for and that we appreciated his concern in this matter. The CWWC contacted authorities to offer assistance, and were informed that indeed there were five wolf hybrids loose.
Since then, the story has grown, and we feel a responsibility to respond to valid concerns that our neighbors may have to their safety and that of their animals. This kind of situation demonstrates dramatically why we believe that private ownership of any wild animal simply doesn't make sense.
The Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center has operated in Teller County for nearly 14 years, and none of our wolves have ever escaped their primary enclosure. Please note the words, primary enclosure. The Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW) requires that the CWWC also have a secondary enclosure around the entire facility as a second line of defense to possible escapes.
The CWWC would like to encourage any of our neighbors to stop by, say hello and see how secure our facility is. Please call us at 687-9742 and say you are a "neighbor" wishing to visit.
The animals in question have all been caught but not without incident. Neighbors of the offending party are concerned about not only their safety, but also the safety of their animals, and are unsure of what action to take. We believe this is an opportunity for Teller County officials to stipulate that the offending party adhere to the same standards the CWWC is required to operate under for public welfare.
Founder, Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
In "Strangers in a strange land" (IQ, Dec. 28), interviewee Tim Boddington was identified as Jim Boddington. The Independent regrets the error.