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Violence vs. love

Thank you, Cara DeGette, for challenging the age-old assumption that domestic violence has anything at all to do with "love" ("The myth of a killer in love," Public Eye, Nov. 15). I, too, was horrified to read the same old "regurgitated" platitudes, explaining away and making excuses for abusive behavior.

Dating violence/domestic violence is about entitlement, power and control. Period. "Love" is used as an excuse to justify jealousy, isolation, humiliation, intimidation, threats and violence. Obviously, the victim in this case knew she was in danger. That is why she called for help. Clearly, she had "dumped" him for a reason.

Most abusers, by the way, make a point of looking good to the outside world. That way, they get to feel good about themselves while still abusing their victim. "See! I'm a good guy. I only get this mad at her. It's her fault that she makes me so mad!"

And there's the added benefit of confusing the victim. "Everyone else thinks he's such a nice guy. There must be something I'm doing wrong to make him so mad at me!" That's why it seems so "out of character" when abusers commit assault, murder and suicide. The abuse has been kept very private. You'd better keep "our business" quiet. Or else.

Yes, this story is a tragedy. These stories are always a tragedy regardless of the age of those involved. All the more reason to name it for what it is, and to be clear about what it isn't. It is violence. It is not love!

Virginia Lee
Colorado Springs

Misguided reporting

Kudos to Cara DeGette for having the courage to speak out on the recent teenage murder-suicide. I agree that it is misguided to call Andrew Brown's murderous actions a result of his "love for his girlfriend." What twisted definition of love is that? Sounds more like obsession to me which has nothing to do with love.

Domestic violence continues because our culture keeps feeding the myth that jealousy, domination and revenge are the results of someone's love. Wake up, people that is not even close!

Love includes respect, integrity and honor, and I can't find a way jealousy, domination and revenge fit in with that.

S. Bigus
Colorado Springs

What taxes buy

Your city of Colorado Springs taxes pay for $912,000 in fines for the utility department violating the IRS tax code on issuing bonds (in 1991, 1994, 1996 and 1997); you can thank William Cherrier, Colorado Springs Utilities financial services general manager.

Your Stormwater Enterprise fees (taxes in disguise) pay for Environmental Protection Agency fines on discharges and years of neglect to Fountain Creek drainage-area maintenance, repair and new stormwater-structure construction at today's inflated prices.

Your taxes pay for six-lane, landscaped (I'm sure these are water-saving), meandering boulevards from Marksheffel Road to the Powers thoroughfare, feeding into four-lane streets at Powers. Why not build four-lane streets; then, when the traffic counts rise, add the extra lanes? Maintenance costs Stetson Hills already requires major asphalt wear-surface repairs, etc. and snow removal on the extra lanes will be wasted for years until the traffic count increases.

Your taxes will supplement Frontier Airlines for years for the gain of 225 jobs and "... maybe some new flights in the future." Frontier Airlines is going to be cash-strapped, just like the rest of us, during the recession. (Inflation will cut consumer spending; consumers will take fewer vacations; higher fuel cost will increase ticket prices, etc.) No property-tax revenue for a $20 million Frontier building, no sales tax on purchase of materials for the building, airport revenue to build the new taxiway and apron to the building, plus extension of utility infrastructures (water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, natural gas and electricity) to the building.

These would amount to multimillions of dollars, during a year of city budget shortfalls and miscalculations. And the city is positioning itself to ask voters for a tax increase, blaming TABOR for the problems.

And the county does the same, building three-lane concrete bridges on two-lane gravel roads, etc.

Robert A. Kalkowski
Colorado Springs

Adding the source

Because Mr. Michael Dell alleged last week in his response ("Another chance," Letters, Nov. 15) to my letter ("Bad Odds," Nov. 8) that I was "overboard" with my cited numbers and was quoting them "out of context," I feel it is necessary to let your readers know that my original letter referenced the source of my information on criminal recidivism rates, which the Independent chose to edit out of the print version.

So for Mr. Dell and anyone else that may have felt I was simply pulling these numbers out of the air, the official source is from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics' 2002 study titled "Trends in Re-Entry in the U.S.: Recidivism."

While it is admittedly limited in scope, it is the closest thing to a national recidivism study conducted by the BJS, and covered two-thirds of all released convicts in the United States at the time.

Brad Marcozzi Stroh
Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The source was deleted from Stroh's original letter to make it fit our 300-word limit.

On bad presidents

Dwight Underwood ("About Hillary," Letters, Nov. 15) says Hillary Clinton is not qualified to become president. First, the qualifications are you have to be 35 and a native-born registered voter. Second, we have elected or advanced a number of men who seemed qualified but have dumbfounded us with what they have done in office.

Franklin Pierce (1853-1857) was drunk the entire time he was president. James Buchanan (1857-1861) was too afraid of hurting anyone's feelings to intervene when Southern states began to prepare for the Civil War. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923) was probably saved from impeachment by the fact he died in a San Francisco hotel room. Later it was discovered his interior secretary, Albert Fall, was selling Naval fuel reserves on the open market and pocketing the proceeds.

Richard Nixon (1969-1974) created an "enemies list" and had the intelligence community trailing and harassing protesters who just wanted to exercise their right to speak freely about the war and leadership in Washington, guaranteed by the First Amendment. George W. Bush got us into war based on suppositions that Saddam Hussein was rebuilding his armory, and ignored information from Ambassador Joseph Wilson. Bush preferred to believe the testimony of a since-discredited Iraqi.

It would be wonderful if we knew in advance what a person would do as president. No political leader of any country has ever come into power saying, "I'm here to get my friends and family rich and ruin the economy." They say they want to continue their predecessor's legacy or they want to fix what he damaged.

There is a lot that needs fixing in this country, and I'm willing to take my chances on a candidate going a different direction. I am 57. Perhaps we can once again see peace before I die of old age.

Donald Pelton
Colorado Springs

Clinton's past

Women voters should resist the temptation to vote for Hillary Clinton on the basis that she is a woman. The first woman president must be more than a mother and wife. She must be a leader.

Has Ms. Clinton demonstrated that she is a leader? Consideration must also be given to her past. Remember Whitewater.

Don Smith
Queensland, Australia

Under the bus

Pity the poor person who loses something on the Colorado Springs bus. It will take so much time to retrieve the lost article. Why? The lost-and-found department is not located at the downtown bus terminal.

To find your lost item, you must go to the intersection of Hancock and Fountain by bus. For the bus riders listed in your excellent news story ("The bus stops here," cover story, Nov. 1), it would be a hardship to take two hours out of their day to ride the bus to where the lost-and-found is located. They are working full-time, physically challenged or elderly. Couldn't the lost-and-found be located downtown?

When asked why the lost-and-found department is not located at the terminal downtown, a person responded that there are too many lost items to fit in the downtown bus terminal. As for me, I lost a scarf last week. Surely, a scarf is small enough to be located in a locked drawer at the bus terminal!

Janice Moglen-Dietrich
Manitou Springs

Southern invasion

Many articles are in sympathy with illegal immigrants, but there's not much about what the problems are with illegal immigration. These people forget what "illegal immigrant" means. They are not supposed to be here.

America has the right and obligation to control immigration. According to Lou Dobbs, we allow almost 2 million legal immigrants, which is very, very generous, as no other nation allows this many. America has the right to control our borders and to say how many people can come into this country.

With this invasion from the south, and with the legal immigrants, no nation can assimilate this many people without disastrous results. We do have the right in this country to protect our sovereignty and protect our borders. It starts with closing the borders, with the boots on the ground. There is no other way to do these things without boots on the ground.

We have 6,000 National Guard near the border now, but with no right to arrest or detain. If they had these rights, it would make a significant difference on the number who cross our border. With 4,000 more National Guard, 1 percent of the National Guard would be five guards to the mile, and would close the borders.

Irwin Bill MacLeod
Colorado Springs

Forgive McCain

I don't get it. The one thing our entire Christian faith is based on, some of our leaders including Dr. James Dobson won't exercise when it comes to Sen. John McCain. That's forgiveness.

Though McCain is the only major candidate in the race who has been consistently pro-life his entire career, has supported cutting wasteful spending and balancing the federal budget, and is best-prepared to lead our nation during this time of war, Dobson and others won't forgive him over something he said years ago and did more recently.

So he called some Christian leaders "agents of intolerance" in 2000. McCain has worked to reach out to those he offended and make amends. Dobson and others also didn't like him co-authoring the campaign finance reform bill because it limited the potential influence Focus on the Family can have during elections.

I'm a Christian and a longtime listener and supporter of Dobson and Focus on the Family, and I'm supporting McCain for president. Rasmussen and FOX News polls show McCain does the best against Sen. Hillary Clinton, whom our nation can't afford to have in the White House.

So I encourage Dr. Dobson and other Christian leaders to demonstrate their faith and forgive Sen. McCain. Then let's all rally around his candidacy and ensure the White House stays in common-sense, conservative hands.

Allen Payton
Antioch, Calif.


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