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The raw life

Thank you for the awesome article ("Rah, Rah, Raw," cover story, June 11). It's about time we had a comprehensive story covering raw food — both affirmative and negative opinions.

While raw food is the way it originally came packaged, the human body has, through so many generations of digressing from the original lifesource, changed and "evolved" (as some would put it) so that a raw diet may not work for everyone. This depends mainly on genes; not just your more recent ancestors, but what kind of culture they originally came from, what their region ate. If your ancient ancestors ate a lot of cooked food, that would have started the change in physiology that far back.

Consequently, if they ate mostly raw, pickled and sun-dried foods, your ancestors would not have the same digestive system as those of the cooked-food consumers. I am lucky enough to have come from an Italian family. And while we are now known for our pasta and sauce (as well as meatballs, I suppose), we are also known for salads, fresh fruit, sun-dried tomatoes and a number of pickled things.

I'm just so glad you took the time to write an article to educate the masses. Not many people have heard a great deal about raw food, and when they do it's usually the raw-eggs-and-meat approach.

— Rebekah Stockwell

Colorado Springs


In reference to Fr. Bill Carmody's letter ("Anti-anti-abortion," Letters, June 4) concerning the death of Dr. George Tiller, I found it reasonable and heartfelt. But the responses (Letters, June 11) coming from Marsha Abelman and Janet Brazill were typical of the faulty logic and emotional vindictiveness of the left. I'm not surprised as both of these ladies have been contributors to the advertorial in your paper that promotes the Freethinkers and their secularist worldview.

Abelmann chastises Rev. Carmody for his lack of "common ground" while she crucifies him by framing her language and supposed rationale around the Inquisition and the Crusades. And, of course, Ms. Brazill upholds Margaret Sanger, who was a eugenist and Hitler's dolly. But what is disturbing is the thread running through both of their letters that somehow pro-life people "caused" or are responsible for the murder of the abortion doctor. The only one responsible is the murderer!

If pro-lifers and Christians are supposed "fanatics," what should I call these zealous agnostics for the anti-religious cause? Rationalists?! Abelman says, "I see no ethical distinction between those who whip up passions and those who act on them." So the gay rights movement, pro-abortionists, radical feminists, anti-Christians and liberal leftists who "whip up passions" are ethically guilty, according to her logic?

OK, I'll submit to her logic if she will as well!

— Rev. Tom Pedigo

Colorado Federation for Decency

Colorado Springs


Imperfect match

As a retired teacher, I have a few thoughts for Earl Asbury (Letters, June 11) concerning Bentley Rayburn being qualified to be in public education. I am unable to understand how having been a "commandant" of a weapons school and a war college is in any way related to skills needed to lead public education. Perhaps the gang-bangers would have an interest in weapons skills, but I am at a loss to see how a third-grader would benefit from this highly desired experience.

I have seen firsthand how well the military adapts to the educational system. I covered for a military-to-education individual teacher who just walked out on his high school English class in February. He didn't understand how to grade, how to control a classroom, how to follow curriculum, and how to use correct grammar, let alone teach it. The kids thought that he was a complete joke. Believe me, he is not the first, nor the only one.

Putting Bentley (we are egalitarian in education) in the position of Falcon School District 49's superintendent would be the same as putting me in charge of a battalion in Iraq. I too have a "good IQ," am a "conscientious leader" and have good educational "judgment." Of course, I would soon decide to put posies in the guns, and take my troops on a field trip to Iraqi archeology sites, studying ancient civilization's war tactics.

It is, however not my goal to destroy the military, as it is the goal of Rayburn and his ilk's intent to destroy public education. We need both. How about we home-school-train our troops for war, just as Rayburn home-schooled his kids?

D-49 and Rayburn have the same goal. Therefore I predict he will be just one more superintendent du jour.

— Janie Knickerbocker

Colorado Springs

Solar vs. coal

Colorado Springs Utilities' solar electric rebate money ran out during the first few months of this year. No additional money was provided. CSU seems to think that solar electric should be able to stand on its own without subsidies, and that solar electric is not economical.

All conventional sources of electricity have been heavily subsidized for 50 years. So if solar electric, a clean renewable energy, is not subsidized, then the playing field is skewed, as it has been for decades in favor of dirty, nonrenewable energy sources.

Utilities' citizens advisory committee was unable to locate any study on the health effects of CSU's coal-fired plants.

Clean coal is not at all clean; it is very dirty. It kills, injures and pollutes. Just one drop of mercury can contaminate a 25-acre lake to the point where fish are unsafe to eat; and the new technology that CSU is funding does not remove mercury and many other pollutants. So how much mercury is in CSU's reservoirs, and near the plants? Does anyone know? How many people have been killed and injured to date by the existing CSU coal plants, and how many will be killed and injured in the future? (See

The utilities advisory group's 2008 Electric Integrated Resource Plan draft created a good start addressing the economics of solar electric vs. coal. Federal CO2 cap legislation and stiffer Environmental Protection Agency regulations are likely to significantly increase the price of coal electricity.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jon Wellinghoff says no new coal or nuclear plants are needed; renewables like solar and wind can do it all.

Last year CSU conducted a survey about energy and the future. The results have never been released. Why?

See for details.

— Lotus

Rocky Mountain Solar & Wind Inc.

Colorado Springs

Giving me static

OK, here it is, June 12, D-Day. (D is for digital.) According to a Channel 13 noon news piece, RadioShack customers were scrambling for new antennas, not more digital converter boxes.

What does that mean? It means a stronger signal is needed at your house to resolve those side channels. It is a complex signal and the box doesn't like weak signals. Your picture freezes or checkerboards.

And if you live 30 miles away, where analog signals were fuzzy to begin with, you will get nothing unless you have a superior antenna or cable. Or satellite. Convenient for those providing the "drug of the nation."

Either way, you get to spend more money to receive what has become a necessity to stay informed.

— Tom MacDonald


Energizing Congress

We need to pay close attention to what Congress is doing to the clean energy bill. Big oil companies have lobbied Congress, and changes to the bill are being proposed to keep us dependent on big oil, rather than encouraging creation of thousands of new clean energy companies and jobs.

Clean energy is the way of the future, we all know it and we all want it. No one wants to be dependent on foreign oil, and nobody wants the pollution and dirty skies created by coal energy. No one, that is, except those whose wealth depends on foreign oil. Those wealthy few are attempting to influence Congress to act in their own selfish interests instead of the public interest.

Corporations' only goal is profit. We can never forget that. They must do everything they can to maintain profit margins and the status quo. They have large marketing budgets to convince people and Congress that they are acting in the public interest. They are just trying to survive, and do not want to face the fact that their time has passed. Don't be fooled by marketing tactics and sponsored media news.

Progress does not stop, and companies whose products are no longer useful need to be allowed to fail. It is the natural course of capitalism. New products to solve energy problems are already in existence and are being marketed by small, upstart companies who believe that sustainable, clean energy is more important than lining the pockets of greedy CEOs and shareholders.

These new companies need the help, and it is Congress' duty to care for the greater good and not fill its pockets with big-oil handouts. Congress must recognize these facts while considering the clean energy bill.

— Danette Stafford

Colorado Springs

More awakenings

Thank you for the great reporting about the county clerks ("Rude awakening," News, June 11). The Colorado Voter Group has repeatedly been denied access to conferences and meetings of the Colorado County Clerks Association. Your reporter got in. Bravo.

The article exposes some of what is going on behind these closed conference doors. Clerks are using public funds to pay for their secretive affairs. Vendors are kicking in who knows how much, cash and gifts. State officials meet with the members behind closed doors. Background to legislation is openly discussed.

The public is not permitted to observe the proceedings. Those who think open meetings and open-records laws have brought us sunshine might want to think again.

The clerks association is anti-voter. It works to benefit clerks and vendors, not the people. In addition to these conferences, the association holds secret meetings to develop strategies to influence state officials.

El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink believes "the association helps give small and medium-sized counties a voice in the Legislature." What he does not say is that it does so at the expense of the voters of Colorado. Each year the association spends tens of thousands of dollars on professional lobbyists, meets in backrooms to develop anti-voter strategies, and takes actions that protect voting equipment suppliers from Colorado's open-records laws.

Just this year, the group lobbied for state bills that reduce independent oversight (in other words, transparency); weaken voting equipment standards (verifiability); and trade election security, accuracy and verifiability for cost and convenience. Yet the association refuses to come out into the open and debate the issues that cause the most concern to knowledgeable systems experts.

One needs to ask: Why is the association so opposed to a transparent, verifiable and accountable election system?

— Al Kolwicz


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