I have been pondering the article regarding the building inspectors' concern for waterless urinals ("Circling the drain," News, Nov. 20). I have been a proponent of these for a number of years now.
There are a number of distributors of waterless urinals. There is now a device that fits in existing urinals that limits the flush to twice a day with the same results.
Are they clean? The porcelain or plastic does not collect the bacteria any more than a flush device. The problem with buildup comes when abrasive cleaners are used on the surface.
The complaint of the smell is dependent on how often the unit is cleaned and if the catch is clean. There are mechanical traps that are functional and reduce the odor. If the urinal is cleaned on a daily basis and traps are serviced regularly, there is no smell. A good peroxide-based cleaner works wonders.
Something to think about: How many bacterial particulates are spread from flushing? Is it the urinals that are smelling or the floors and walls around the receptacle that add to the odor?
When I read letters like "Libertarian menace," (Nov. 6) I always wonder whether or not the writers actually believe the things they are saying. They may: Anti-free-market conservatives have put a great deal of effort into misrepresenting their mercantilist program as "libertarian" free-market capitalism. Then again, they may know better.
At the bottom line, though, it really doesn't matter. All you have to understand to judge such notions accurately is that in America, a country founded at great cost on liberty, people can actually say, with a straight face, that they find something "menacing" about the actual implementation of liberty.
Patrick L. Lilly
Clearing the air
After reading Jeff Wright's Nov. 6 essay on "free markets" and "free trade' and Bob Powell's rebuttal on Nov. 20, what seems most in dispute is definition of terms. Freethinking and honest dialogues are the foundation of a free society, and hats off to the Indy for providing a forum.
Capitalism has many forms: fascism, communism and free markets. Take these definitions and decorate them to taste: In fascism, corporations own and operate the government. In communism, the government owns and operates the corporations. Free markets are neither.
In free markets, labor and capital compete freely for profits. The government referees without taking sides, promoting honest dealings and protecting the public from fraud and unsafe products, maintaining equilibriums between supply and demand while promoting healthy money flow.
If capital gets too greedy, labor can't afford to buy products, prices collapse (deflation), margins are squeezed and corporations grovel for bailouts. If labor gets too greedy, product pricing becomes prohibitive (inflation) and corporations grovel for bailouts.
Problems are magnified when government stops refereeing and cheats both sides simultaneously, we get the worst of all models: crony capitalism, symptomatic of today's bailouts.
To argue "free trade" vs. "fair trade" misses the point. What the "free markets" are shouting is that our economy is way out of balance, and the only solution is to renegotiate balanced trade agreements for manufactured goods on a country-by-country basis.
I have written extensively about the federal government's drift away from its constitutional moorings over the last 40 years, culminating with President Bush signing the patently unconstitutional mortgage takeover bill.
This anti-constitutional orientation infects all three branches of the federal government and sadly both political parties, though I would judge there is a much greater dose with the Democrats.
We the people, through our states, own the Constitution. We do indeed have standing. The federal government does not own and is not a party to the Constitution. The states wrote it and created the federal government to serve the needs of the states, not vice versa.
A final thought from Thomas Jefferson, the liberals' favorite Founding Father:
"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." And his personal motto (original to Benjamin Franklin): "Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God." God save the Republic!
Kyle Clayton Akers
I have to wonder why it's only the man's responsibility if the woman gets pregnant. I'm pro-life and could never have an abortion; however, in my opinion if the woman chooses to engage in sex, she should share the same amount of responsibility as the man she chooses to engage in sex with.
If you don't want to get pregnant, take precautions. In the 21st century, we have things such as condoms, oral contraceptives and, if need be, abstinence.
I am a young unwed mother, and I accept just as much responsibility for the birth of my daughter as her father does. I love her and would not trade her for anything, but I do not blame him for her. I was a willing participant.
I would hope women would stop blaming each other for our choices and stop acting like meek and helpless little girls. Take responsibility for your own actions and realize that no one controls your life or decisions, except you.
First vs. Fifth
Mitchell Andrews' letter ("Damage assessment," Nov. 13), which reads as if it was written by Karl Rove, was much like what Gen. Gustav Jodl said when he surrendered on behalf of the Third Reich, arrogantly demanding we honor the Germans who only supported their leaders. Reverence for fallen heroes is one thing loyalty to a noble cause or a good man ... But seriously, we're talking about Bush and Cheney here.
They're murderers and thieves, liars, blasphemers and they have to pay other people to commit their crimes for them because they're too yellow to do it themselves. Jodl was, like Bush and Cheney, a war criminal. They are spending their last days in office scrambling to make themselves immune from prosecution.
But they will be punished. They will not get to just retire from public office, nor will they escape retribution for the literally countless murders in the course of provoking a war of pillage against a sovereign nation. Each of the more than 4,000 U.S. military deaths should be one count of murder. Torture, espionage and wrongful imprisonment compound the crimes.
Those who enable or abet ("encourage") such crimes are accomplices, meaning they bear just as much legal responsibility.
Jodl was hanged for his crimes, though he made the same defense as his co-defendants, that he was merely following orders.
If you continue supporting the Bush cartel, you might think in terms of not your First Amendment rights, but your Fifth.
The cyclist psyche
As a driver, I want to lend my support to Bernadette Young ("Rogue riders," Letters, Nov. 27). If cyclists were going somewhere important, they'd be driving.
But why stop at cyclists? I find it sooo tedious to have to slow down at intersections and sometimes actually stop at a stop sign, just because of the presence of pedestrians (another faction of unlicensed and uneducated rogue road users). They, too, "think they are oh-so-cute and special," and "they need to wise up and be educated." That also goes for all those other hordes of the great unwashed who do things that I don't do, and hold opinions with which I don't agree!
As a psychiatrist, I am impressed by Young's acute insight into the cyclist psyche, despite its obvious foreignness to her. And as a cyclist, I would be happy to pay a registration fee, but only if it were to be used for driver education, to bring all drivers up to Young's level of knowledge and enlightenment about other road users.
(Actually, I'm not really a psychiatrist. But I did ride my bicycle slowly past a Holiday Inn Express last night.)
Regarding "Rogue riders" (Letters, Nov. 27), the negative comments about bicyclists are very unfounded generalizations that single out and tend to foster hostility toward bicyclists in an environment where we need to create accurate awareness, and preserve and promote mutual respect. Bicyclists and bicycle commuters make important contributions to our city, helping to save our air quality, reducing traffic congestion and noise.
Also, bicyclists are taxpayers, licensed motorists and pay the Colorado Springs bicycle excise tax, which has been integral to creating our city's trail system, benefiting our entire community.
The vast majority of bicyclists abide by the rules of the road and take all possible safety precautions. I'm sure there are a minority of bicyclists who do not follow the rules. There are also a minority of motorists in their two-ton vehicles who don't follow the rules and pose a far greater danger. This can be seen by the unfortunate numbers of law-abiding drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who have been killed or injured by negligent and unlawful motorists.
More education is always a good thing, but there is no basis for calling out bicyclists.
Two true things
In response to Donald Pelton ("Feel the heat?" Letters, Nov. 27), Barack Obama is the next step in taking this nation toward a one-world government. George Bush did what he did by design and under orders from those who own/control this nation. You can start with the name Rothschild, then Rockefeller.
Mr. Pelton feels the (s)election of Obama was a "repudiation" of my beliefs." Mr. Pelton apparently doesn't know the same folks who control the Republicans, also control the Democrats, Federal Reserve, U.S. government, many state governments, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, just to name a few.
I have found at least two things accurate: 1. Ignorance is definitely not bliss. 2. One must be able to distinguish fact from fiction, and this is a gift from Yahweh.
I pray more people want to know what is really happening, want to be "unplugged from the matrix," and stop getting their nightly dose of manure from the CFR-controlled national mainstream media. With the exception of the Independent and others not owned by a large multi-state/national corporation, we do not have free press in this country. Again, find out just who owns or controls things, especially regarding municipal corporation governments.
In one photo accompanying "Slim hopes at Shady Lane" (News, Nov. 27), Walter Dixon was misidentified as Steve Dennison.
A sentence in "The state of the Independent" (Publisher's Note, Nov. 27) should have been worded differently. The correct wording: "Today, an all-time high of 110,000 adults read the Independent at least once a month."
The Independent regrets the errors.