Tea Party truths
It is very disappointing to read the letters to the editor regarding the Tea Party on April 15. There are way too many myths floating around.
First, this was organized as a non-partisan event. If those of a certain political persuasion want to label the tea parties somehow, so be it; but the fact remains they were organized as non-partisan events. The protests were an attack on out-of-control spending, not President Obama. Sure, Doug Lamborn was there, but he didn't receive a warm reception. Unfortunately, Lamborn decided to talk in bullet points and use his speaking opportunity to campaign instead of addressing the real issues facing this country.
My motivation for attending the protest is based upon the federal government spending over $4 trillion since August 2008 (who was president then?). That is $4 trillion we don't have and the next couple of generations don't have. In fact, the federal government has been operating at a deficit for generations, including the Clinton years. The myth of a surplus in the '90s is rooted in the notion that the government spent less than planned and took credit for what was supposedly saved.
The problem with this logic is if one is operating at a loss, a supposed surplus is still money one did not have in the first place. There was not an increase in revenues vs. expenses. I guarantee anyone if you ran your personal finances the way the federal government operates, you would either be out on the street or in jail.
— Chris Widdick
Not funny, sexy or cool
I attended a burlesque show at the Bijou Bar last Saturday night. The line was at the door and the bar was full ... it seemed like it was going to be a great night.
Lola Spitfire and the gang were well into the routine when my friends and I showed up around 11 p.m. The act on stage was odd at first glance; a guy dressed up like a monkey is not what I would consider sexy by any means. At second glance, I realized it actually was a white guy in blackface, afro and a diaper being whipped by a woman dominatrix.
It was clearly a throwback to the days of racial incitement. The "monkey" was playing an accordion and dodging the whip, only to be killed at the end by a fake gun.
After booing from the mixed-race crowd and yells of "Racism!" and "Disgusting!" from the audience, the act was allowed to continue in its entirety.
I took it upon myself to confront Lola Spitfire about the act. She proceeded to claim artistic license for the show and was completely unapologetic for the offensive and dangerous display. She told the bouncers to throw us all out of the bar for trying to cause trouble.
The Bijou staff was great, and did not kick us out. Yet, the absolute disregard for appearances and the racial insensitivity of the performing group were astounding. I do not consider myself overly sensitive to performers pushing the envelope, but this was beyond bad taste. I am embarrassed by and for them and feel that these situations can become dangerous in the wrong setting. Racial incitement and derogatory humor are not funny, sexy or cool.
I am saddened and deeply offended that this is not taken more seriously.
Shame on us all.
— Alison Blackwell
Editor's note: Bijou Bar is next door to the Colorado Springs Pride Center, which now is involved in following up on the program last Saturday. Pride Center executive director Ryan Acker confirms what took place, saying, "But now the door is opening for a positive dialogue, and to provide people who were involved the opportunity to become more educated. Sometimes the most well-intentioned things can go wrong. We really hope this will lead to a positive outcome."
I think the answer to the Texas secessionists is obvious: The United States should just give Texas back to Mexico.
Then build a giant wall to keep the illegal Texans from sneaking back into the USA!
— Thomas McCullock
Don't trust anyone
Regarding "TABOR tyranny" (cover story, April 9), I agree with TABOR. I have no love for Douglas Bruce, whose emotional maturity is that of a 3-year-old.
But face it, 2 + 2 does equal 4. You state you can't add two rates of change. I don't know and most readers don't know. We only learned to add in middle school. If you don't add rates, how do you do it? You neglected to tell your readers that.
How come firefighters suddenly have to work double duty because the city wrote off seven "vacant" positions? Either they were working double duty when the positions were vacated or someone has been shelling out salaries to unfilled positions. Either way, you don't suddenly put in overtime because someone at City Hall wrote off positions that existed only on paper. I will skip proofreading the rest of the article.
Where is our taxpayer money really going? Coffers are empty and government blames taxpayers. If taxpayers are guilty of anything, it is trusting their government, and that a leopard would change its spots. Trusting that given a strict budget, government would actually be thrifty.
TABOR should have also dictated spending of government revenue, not just acquisition. Politicians can't grasp that it is taxpayers' money, not theirs. TABOR was enacted to rein in a government that didn't understand that.
Now it looks like we may have to back off TABOR to get out of this mess. Perhaps. We just need to make sure that down the road, we still have the power to control them.
Which brings me to something slightly different. A rose by any other name smells sweet and a skunk by any other name still stinks. A tax by any other name is still a tax: Stormwater Enterprise.
— Andy Kryseski
J. Adrian Stanley, the story's author, offers this response: Let's say Town A had a population of 100 people and it grew by 10 percent last year. Town B had 10 people and it also grew by 10 percent. Using our middle-school math skills, we know Town A grew by 10 and Town B by one. Together they grew by 11 people, or 10 percent. However, using the TABOR logic of adding rates of change, we would conclude the towns' population grew by 20 percent, or 22 people. Oops. This is essentially what TABOR does, only with a much more complicated equation.
Second, there's a big difference between dealing with a work vacancy in the short term (which we all do on occasion) and being asked to work two jobs permanently. Third, if you're a direct democracy sort of guy, by all means, dig in! Read the city budget! Run for elected office!
Can't stop now
We now have proof of the criminal actions taken during the Bush administration. This makes criminal prosecution of Bush officials for torture and war crimes an absolute necessity.
Prosecution is not retribution; it is the maintenance of law and the repudiation of torture and other illegal acts. If we don't prosecute the people who wrote and enacted the illegal torture laws, we are condoning them. If we don't hold accountable the people who lied to us about why we needed to get into a war that has destroyed the lives of millions, this makes us guilty as a nation for the perpetration of criminal actions.
What kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world if we do not hold our own citizens responsible for committing war crimes? It certainly does not make our country safer. In fact, it does just the opposite.
— Sharlene White
Santa Fe, N.M.
I think our Pioneers Museum is the most beautiful building in the Springs. The staff is beyond exceptional; the gift shop second to none — in short, it is the best the city has to offer. That is why I have been a happy volunteer for 10 years, until now.
I received a letter with new volunteer rules, and I am absolutely outraged at the invasion of privacy, requesting my Social Security number so a records check can be made by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. We are told to give our number only to medical institutions and to banks.
Is anyone else bothered by this?
— Colleen F. Johnson
The dirtiest work
There's a standard, a psychological finding used to determine when somebody is a serial killer and whether he is worthy of the death penalty. Prosecutors don't need it in many cases, but they do the testing and make the determination. It's a level of sociopathy wherein one has a fetish for causing pain, or even death, and becomes sexually aroused by it.
The same standard can be applied to torturers. Those who do the "dirty work" themselves, and those who direct their actions, such as George Bush and Richard Cheney. Their clones John McCain and Sarah Palin as well, and those who, knowing the bastards were engaged in these unholy perversions, supported them anyway.
The standards for determining "torture" and "war crimes" used to convict Nazis, and lately Saddam Hussein and his friends and family, also convict Cheney and his meat-puppet Bush ... and the people who support them. People like Bobby Jindal and Newt Gingrich, Palin, and the people who voted for them.
I'm told this is overly harsh; people say stupid crap like, "The torturers keep us safe." But the only way a torturer can accomplish his job is if he or she enjoys it. On an extremely basic sexual level.
Torture, like serial murder, is a vicious form of rape. Torturers keep us safe? Are you sure? Do you really want to trust the future governance of our nation to perverts who get their rocks off by killing or hurting people?
The only substantial difference between them and the dude strapped to a table with a needle in his arm: They have the support of "our" government. And enough people who are stupid enough to support them unconditionally.
For those of you who do support such actions, there's an excellent description from professor Ward Churchill:
— Jonah Elijah Brown
I just arrived home from Mazatlan, Mexico. You wouldn't believe all the city bus routes in that beautiful, large city. They go absolutely everywhere.
Sell some large city buses that are never crowded and replace them with smaller buses. It will save on gas, and we could have more bus routes, especially in residential areas. Yes, you might have to hire more bus drivers, but wouldn't that give you more revenue if you have more people using the buses?
Make sure bus routes are not duplicating others. Have them cross more, so people can transfer to another bus.
— Name withheld by request