Reading the situation
Thank you, Rep. Doug Bruce. Your political strategy was brilliant. Rep. Marsha Looper's bill was wallowing, and it was doubtful that it would pass. Yet, after you called immigrants "illiterate peasants," the bill flew through the Legislature with flying colors.
I couldn't have come up with a better strategy to ensure its passage. If you had kept your mouth shut, the bill would likely have failed. Yet, by pretending to be against immigration, you have ensured that legal immigration for migrant workers will become a reality.
This will help immigrants feed their families. This will also help Colorado farmers save their crops that would have been lost because no one was willing to do that type of work.
Thank you again, Rep. Bruce. This is a win-win for Colorado and immigrant workers.
Fr. Bill Carmody
If even elected officials in public discourse are entitled to offend others as long as they use accurately descriptive language, I suggest the following:
"Characterized by exaggerated self-importance" and "a person who amuses others by ridiculous behavior" equate to a charming phrase to describe Rep. Doug Bruce: Pompous Buffoon.
Perhaps we can now end our embarrassment by referring to him thusly and dropping any reference to his elected position.
A very recent news story reveals that the Bush administration has again issued a whole new set of euphemisms to mask the worst blunders of its policies. Unquestionably, the Bush Team has mastered the art of using soothing, bland, comforting language to describe the horrible events ensuing from its actions.
Here are a few of the best:
Rough patch: a recession or depression, as in "the rough patch America went through in the 1930s."
Liberal: A person who wants to take excess money from the wealthy by force (taxation) and give it to the poor (see: Robin Hood).
Insurgent: a person fighting on his own soil against a military invasion ("George Washington would have been hung as the leader of an insurgency if they had caught him.").
Harsh interrogation: torture ("Joan of Arc was harshly interrogated at the stake.").
Collateral damage: Dead children and women (as in, "Too bad about that collateral damage today, Sarge.").
Iraq: Former nation.
John McCain: A presidential candidate once "harshly interrogated" after causing some "collateral damage" in Vietnam.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
The moral of the story: Read carefully, and use this handy lexicon.
A star is born
Thank you for printing the excellent letter by Fritz Mann ("Commies and fanatics," April 17). I laughed so hard I spit hot coffee all over my paper.
Clearly, this is a rare comedic talent at work. The first pejorative-filled paragraph, full of delightfully campy tidbits like "blame America first," "left wing fanatics," "commie-socialists," "liars" and "traitors" (that treacherous 70 percent of the population that opposes the war) got me chuckling.
The next paragraph that suggested that what this administration calls "a democratically elected government" (you know, that crowd that controls the Green Zone) would capture, torture and execute those that disagree with them, got me crying.
But the last paragraph sent the coffee flying through both nostrils. Fritz said, "If the Bush haters had not chosen to divide this country in their lust for power and vengeance, we'd have already won the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."
This is funnier than anything I've seen come out of Steven Colbert's mouth since his show's inception. Clearly, Fritz has a long and promising career in show business. Bravo!
We were disappointed with "SDS: Shiny, happy pipeline" (News, April 17). Instead of examining the importance of Southern Delivery System, the reporter focused on baked goods and "glossy" posters.
Planning for our water needs is a responsibility we take very seriously. SDS is extremely important to Colorado Springs. We can't maintain our quality of life or healthy economy without it.
The article quoted an "anti-growth advocate" as suggesting SDS seems to be "throwback to a bygone era when people didn't think about limits to the West's water supply."
We're keenly aware. As the only Front Range city not located near a major river, getting water here is no easy task. We pioneered using treated wastewater for irrigation in the 1960s, and our per capita residential water use is the Front Range's lowest.
The state demographer estimates our population will reach 800,000 by 2050. SDS won't create that growth. It will enable us to have enough water to meet our needs as it occurs, just as the Homestake pipeline, built and paid for by Colorado Springs in the 1960s and '70s, delivers the water we all depend on today.
Half of our future growth will come from our own children and grandchildren as they have their families. Another significant portion will come from expansion at Fort Carson and other military installations, a major contributor to our economy.
Without SDS, we will eventually run short of water, requiring strict and potentially permanent water restrictions, causing rates to increase dramatically. Without SDS, we would be forced to pursue more expensive alternatives.
As proposed, SDS would bring water to Colorado Springs, Security, Fountain and Pueblo West, using water rights we already own. Our preferred alternative is the most cost-effective solution among hundreds we've examined. It's environmentally responsible. And our future depends on it. For more, visit sdswater.org.
SDS project director
Colorado Springs Utilities
Ummm, what? I've read with support and interest the Gazette op-ed page since returning from Dallas five years ago. It has shown to be in line with my conservative views. But what is this drivel about cutting "educrats'" pay ("Cut jobs first, close schools next," Gazette, April 23)?
No matter how fine the building, or amenities, without quality (read: sufficiently paid) educators, we may well have to close the country. (Check the current popular communication modality, rap, and consider the need for quality teachers.) And pity poor Johnnie who has to go a few more blocks to school and make new friends. Gee.
Then the thought hit me: OMG. Not just omg; but O..M..G..!! Dougie Bruce has joined the editorial staff and is writing for the Gazette. (Please tell me it ain't so.)
Cut salaries. Result: Fewer teachers, crowded classes, more troubled learners and dropouts, but lower taxes!! Smacks of "illiterate peasants," doesn't it, Dougie? (Where do I sign the recall?)
The letter "Logical progression" on April 24 is in no way logical. It's a blaring example of comparing apples to oranges.
It is laudable that children of any age are concerned about ecology, endangered species and the very future of our fragile planet.
Earth's environment is a major part of the legacy we bequeath to our youngest generation. The subject spans all age brackets. The fact that these youngsters are speaking their mind through the time-honored practice of letter-writing is commendable.
However, the idea of the sanctity and protection of traditional marriage between a man and a woman is an adult subject to which children should not be exposed.
Would that letter-writer espouse marriage education in elementary school? Would he be comfortable knowing that a teacher is presenting statistics that prove a divorce rate of over 50 percent?
Would he approve if the lesson plans included male and female anatomy, sexual arousal, intercourse and the reproductive process? Would he be elated that children would be discussing homosexuality and why those people do not deserve to marry because of the nasty things they do with each other? Would he not be suspicious of an educational institution exposing innocents to such a topic?
If that is the type of curriculum he and those who agree with him think is permissible in, say, a Christian school, then we're in worse trouble as a nation than I had imagined.
Joseph F. Pennock
All for oil
It is good to hear that Fort Carson has plans for becoming a less resource-intensive installation by 2027 ("Gang Green," cover story, April 20).
But it is impossible to miss the irony of the Independent's decision to spotlight the United States Army defender of our oil-intensive lifestyles as a champion of conservation and sustainable living.
According to energy expert Robert Bryce, writing in the Feb. 25 issue of The American Conservative, "the average American G.I. in Iraq uses about 20.5 gallons of fuel every day." For all of Operation Iraqi Freedom, that amounts to over 3 million gallons of fuel per day.
According to Bryce (and I agree), securing Iraq's oil (and not its freedom) "was the foremost strategic focus for the U.S. military in Iraq."
It is both tragic and comic, then, that "nearly every drop of [the] fuel [used by the military in Iraq] is imported into Iraq." You read that right. The military is importing almost 3 million gallons of fuel per day into Iraq in order to fight a war that was launched, primarily, to secure access to cheap oil.
Vice President Cheney once famously described the American way of life as "non-negotiable." By "American way of life," Cheney surely had in mind the high-consumption, car-dependent and generally wasteful lives that all of us lead. After all, President Bush himself declared that we are "addicted to oil."
So instead of celebrating the marginal energy savings we hope to realize from Fort Carson's techno-futuristic plans for eco-friendly G.I. showers and solar-powered Army gear, perhaps we should all consider voluntarily changing our lifestyles so that we do not need to burn 3 million gallons of fuel every day, in Iraq alone, supporting our addiction.