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Moron watch

I was recently reading the Independent and saw the article on gaming systems ("Game over," Jan. 25). I thought it was a good cover.

When I read "Bonus level," however, I couldn't help but ask myself: Is it at all possible to send a Wii remote soaring through a television? I can believe that it would put a hole in a sheet-rock wall, but televisions aren't exactly sheet rock! I have beaten the crap out of a television with an aluminum baseball bat before, and didn't put so much as a crack in the screen.

With that said, I havetobelieve that this source was either stretching the lines on thispreposterous story, or had been a victim of the same crime. Perhaps we are a nation of brutal gamers, but leave it up to a dumb ass to not know where his own ceiling fan is located.

This story is very humorous, and should be rather embarrassing for the moron that almost lost his fingers in a video gaming accident. I think you should do an experiment on the force it takes to bust a TV screen. (Sounds fun, huh!?) Then you should experiment on how much marijuana it takes to forget where an oscillating object, with the potential removal of limbs, is located.

Just kidding. But thanks again for the article.

Chris Prince

Colorado Springs

Questions first

I feel I must respond to the recent announcement that the Colorado Springs City Council is going to ask the voters for a 100 percent pay increase.

Before I give my vote for any pay increase, I would like answers to a few questions.

1. When I e-mailed Mayor Lionel Rivera with concerns about streetlights, neither he nor his office bothered to respond one way or another. Is this the type of non-communication the constituents can expect from the mayor's office, or any other office of the council members?

2. There are several major roads, as well as freeway sections, that have streetlights in place that are never on. This places pedestrians at great risk. Also, the freeway portions are not currently under construction with the COSMIX project.Again, I have to ask: Why have streetlights if they are not going to be used?

3. The lane striping on our city streets, and again, the freeways, is faded or non-existent. I have found myself on many occasions straddling between two lanes because I cannot tell one lane from another. This is especially noticeable when the roads and highways are wet.

Before I give my vote to increase the salaries of the City Council members, I hope they will take the time to address these problems, in addition to other problems I am sure the public will bring up.

Brian Lund

Colorado Springs

Off-base ad

It was with great sadness that I came upon an ad for Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence on page 18 of your Jan. 11 edition, asking fellow neighbors to "snitch" on each other for profit or self-interest.

As a new member of the Manitou community, I am disturbed far more then I can express that the Independent would propagate such a damaging ad for what I presume is for profit. If you published this ad for free as a public service, then I am even more disturbed.

After 9/11, many Americans gave up many civil liberties in the name of feeling more safe. Our e-mails are read, our phone calls are monitored. We allow the government to come in and take our children with not so much as an anonymous phone call. We allow the government to take away from communities by cutting all funding for after-school activities, or much of anything having to do with the arts, or any activity that isn't a sport.

We allow the government to over-police us. We allow the police to search and seize with no probable cause, because we have sat on our hands and let things go by and they don't need a probable cause anymore. We allow illegal roadblocks for search and violations because we have all forgotten how to get angry and fight.

We are all in the mindset of, "It does not affect me, so why should I care?" Well, one day it will affect you, and you will have no recourse. One day, the government will go after something you cherish, some perfectly acceptable hobby or pastime. Because you would not fight for others, there will be no one left to fight for you.

There will not be anything I can do, if I see that ad again, other than to never in my lifetime read the Independent again. That I can do.

Lisa Russell

Manitou Springs

Embrace a republic

In response to Michael Adams' letter "Who's in charge?" (Jan. 25): I totally agree. We must change our form of government from a democracy, which does not respect the rights of the individual to exist as sovereign, to a republic, which does.

In a democracy, only the "state" is sovereign. We should be a republic, as the writers of the Constitution envisioned.

For those of you that really don't know what the difference between a republic and a democracy is, perhaps this simplistic explanation will assist: Democracy: 32 wolves and 28 sheep get to vote on what they want to eat, and the majority (mob) wins. Republic: 32 wolves and 28 sheep get to vote on what they want to eat; however, the wolves cannot vote to eat the sheep. It is only in a republic that "government by consent," as is written in the Bill of Rights, can exist.

Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, among others, recognized that if "We the People" let the petty tyrants run amok and force us into accepting a "democracy," this great nation would fall into chaos and disorder would prevail. It looks like they were right.

Funny that our president says we are in a "war on terror" and yet does nothing to silence the religious fundamental terrorists among us.

This is one reader who feels it is time to hold ourselves to a higher standard, the standard set in the Constitution and the subsequent Bill of Rights. If we stop acting like coerced sheep, and start acting like the sovereign beings we are, perhaps then we will finally be free of tyranny, slavery and oppression. Until then, expect corruption, greed, etc., to continue unabated.

Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Ditch the last-ditch

President Bush plans to escalate the war in Iraq rather than respond to national sentiment against the war, expressed so strongly in our mid-term elections. We must encourage our newly elected representatives to use their political capital to end the war in Iraq not allow it to be escalated.

The war was misconceived, immoral and illegal from the start. We must not allow it to continue, worsening loss of life, resources and reputation. The president used fear to manipulate us into this war. First, he claimed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction intended to be used against us. Then he tried to convince us there were links between Iraq, al Qaeda and 9/11. When these proved to be lies, he changed the reason for the war to liberation and democratization of the Middle East.

Pre-emptive war is illegal, condemned by all international law. It is also immoral. Jesus spoke of turning the other cheek, not killing your neighbor because you fear he may wish you harm. Pre-emptive war was not even debated here, likely because our representatives were afraid of appearing soft against our enemies in the wake of 9/11.

Our presence in Iraq is contributing more to the problem than the solution. We are despised by the majority in the region and seen as an occupying force. More troops will result in more resistance. Is it worth the cost? We have lost thousands of soldiers. For each one killed, there are 10 physically disabled. For each one physically injured, there are 10 who carry psychological scars. We have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this war, and the continuing costs will follow us for decades. Think of all the good that could have been done with such wealth.

After 9/11, the world was with us. Since the Iraq war, most of our allies have turned against the U.S. or remain silent. And our enemies have huge justification to recruit forces against us. Are we safer now?

Please encourage your representatives to oppose the war and Mr. Bush's last-ditch attempt to save face at our expense.

Helmut Tingstad


Give peace a chance

In the State of the Union address, the "decider-in-chief" asked for the American citizens to give his escalation of war a chance.

Why won't the "decider-in-chief" consider giving peace a chance?

War is death, conflict, hostility, suffering, pain, chaos, terror, anger, hate, fear, waste, destruction and hell. War is what a country will declare on an enemy when it has been attacked or terrorized.

Peace is friendliness, calm, order, security, cooperation, diplomacy, love, confidence, trust, honesty, concern for all children and helping others so they can help themselves.

Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on 9/11. The war should be in Afghanistan against Osama and his terrorists, where they are preparing for another opportunity.

From 1967 to 1970, I was in Vietnam, in another unnecessary war. Where was the "decider-in-chief" at that time?

Leon Rodriguez


Time for action

Much of President Bush's State of the Union address had to do with Iraq and to protecting the American people. It seems to me fear was used to continue to gather support for Iraq and his war on terror.

Fear, a tactic often used. Well, what about our country's energy crisis? Seems pretty scary to me. Our current energy situation is serious. Mr. President said we "need to solve problems, not leave them for future generations." I couldn't agree with him more!

We need to take action now. We must invest time and money into research and technology of renewable and alternative energies. Ideally, it would be great if this was all, but our nation is addicted to oil and natural gas. We can't just expect to quit cold turkey. To reduce our dependence on foreign oil we need to, safely, open up our country's land and resources for domestic exploration.

Step by step, we will start to bring our nation closer toward energy independence. The president had one thing right: We do need to take action now, and not leave problems of today for future generations.

Greg Archuletta


Fine 'em, dammit

Over the past few weeks, I listened to people on the local news and in person bitching about how their streets have not yet been plowed. I don't believe the city promised them clean, dry pavement no matter what the weather conditions.

I often wonder if the people who are so quick to criticize city snow removal are the same ones who will not get off their lazy butts to clear their own sidewalk. Residents are supposed to clear their sidewalk within 24 hours of a snow, yet on a recent walk to the Citadel, half had still not seen a shovel! You can bet their driveways were spotlessly clean though gotta get that car out!

Many businesses hadn't touched their sidewalks, either, in spite of what I am sure is an enormous insurance liability. If the city would start fining residents and businesses that don't clear their sidewalks, that money could be used to help fund snow removal services.

Jacques Sears

Colorado Springs


Our cover story last week ("Game over," Jan. 25) should have identified Fritz Mason as store director of Game Crazy, located at 1624 N. Academy Blvd. The Indy regrets the error.

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