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Poor white guys

These are difficult times for us middle-aged white men. For the first time in our country's history, one of our own is not president. We've been labeled as surplus goods. Our jobs have been downsized, right-sized and outsourced. We're unfashionable, unhip and uncool. We're considered insensitive, inappropriate and politically incorrect. Except for pharmaceutical companies and beer distributors, advertisers won't market their products to us. We're not the right demographic. Attractive, middle-aged women like Demi Moore prefer younger men.

Angry white, middle-aged, ornery men feel under siege. We believe our core values of self-reliance and pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps are threatened. Never mind that most of us aren't even sure what a bootstrap is. To paraphrase Bill Clinton: The era of middle-aged white men is over.

What do we do? If we're a conservative Republican congressman from South Carolina, we stand up on the floor of the House during a presidential address to a joint session of Congress and shout at the president. We go to congressional town halls with our faces red and shout down anyone who dares to disagree with us.

During these trying times, please show some compassion and understanding to the angry, white middle-aged men in your lives. We need it.

— Mike Wall

Colorado Springs

Make the case

Reference the commentary by Ralph Routon supporting the Measure 2C tax increase (Between the Lines, Sept. 17), I am surprised by how much of a city and Republican mouthpiece your paper has become. Frankly, I would consider supporting a tax increase only if someone, anyone, could explain in detail, in both the Independent and Gazette, how the money would be used.

To my knowledge, a detailed explanation of how any new taxes would be utilized has not been published. We have only received so-called endorsements and horror stories of impending doom, to include massive city job cuts, should this huge tax increase not pass. Mr. Routon obviously does not like Douglas Bruce, and that bias does not sway me to vote for the tax measure; in fact, it might lean me more toward Bruce's Measure 300.

If the money is simply going into the general fund to be spent on anything deemed necessary by Council, it will be a poor use of my tax dollars.

I am really tired of the pending doom circulated by the Independent, and unless specifics are provided regarding 2C, I will vote against it. Since I feel the enterprises were created to bypass voter approval, and feel voters should have the right to vote on them, I tend to support Measure 300. Citizen voters deserve the right to determine their future and that includes whether they should be taxed further.

The city needs to quit playing PR, political and economic games. I suggest reading Politics of the Budgetary Process by Aaron B. Wildavsky. I do not reside on the sidelines, as Mr. Routon implicates citizens and organizations are doing, and I surely do know the "consequences" of throwing money at a city with no strings attached.

— Neil L. Talbott

Colorado Springs

Thanks to COPE

A cold wind howls, bringing rain and sleet, as I type warm and comfortably in the Old Colorado City library donated long ago by the wealth and wisdom of Andrew Carnegie. Again I am reminded of my good fortune, my job and the needs of our community.

Project COPE, the fund established by the Colorado Springs Utilities to assist families in need, helped 3,443 households last year. Utilities, coupled with some corporate sponsors, matched the donations of about 2,500 kind-hearted customers to bring comfort to less-fortunate households during the cold Colorado winter. Within the pool of 184,708 residential customers, I am sure we can afford some more tax-deductible donations.

COPE is part of a more comprehensive plan that includes food, rent and budget counseling by local nonprofits, which gives most a hand up and not a hand out. Colorado Springs has been very good to me and this is one of the ways I give back, by helping others we help ourselves. Donate $5 each month by checking off on your monthly utility bill and help someone receive warmth and comfort we all deserve.

— Karl Knapstein

Colorado Springs

Where's the data?

Editorials are nice, but ...

If you want my vote for 2C, some transparent reporting into the city activity would be better. Asking for a tax increase implies to me the city is only spending money on projects that are government essential services and cannot efficiently provide those services at the "right" level with the current budget. Please help me get some "independent" and detailed reporting on the city finances to determine if this is true. The city's Web site does not do it.

Without better and more detailed data, I will assume this request is just about politicians unwilling to make sensible choices with our money.

— Phil Kerchner

Colorado Springs

Left left out

I just enjoyed the "One nation under FOX" (cover story, Sept. 10) account of the right-wing organizing success in our local community. Imagine finding this group of militants right here in Red Neck-istan.

Good hit, Indy!

One question I had: Stuck in the middle of the story was a picture of about 30 liberals. Friends tell me it was taken at Lamborn's laughable town hall. So why did the Indy focus on the neverending stream of rightees in town, and yet blow off the small but very unusual presence of liberal activists in Colorado Springs? I guess career paths and media norms reach all levels of the industry.

— Gary Betchan

Colorado Springs

Bring on secession

The next time anyone from Texas or South Carolina sounds off about leaving the Union, can we just let them go?

And, by the way, Joe Wilson: Thank you for having set back Republican efforts to reach out to the African-American voter by about 40 years.

— John Birkhead

Colorado Springs

Harming vs. healing

Without debate, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved $128 billion for the Afghan war and another $508 billion for the Pentagon. That's $636 billion, in one year, not counting hidden expenses for the CIA, for a military system, which is one of the very few "socialist" U.S. systems, along with the Post Office and Congress members' health care.

Yet a majority of Congress failed to support President Obama's public option, universal health care, equal services program because it is "socialism" and costs too much at $90 billion per year. Socialism is defined as "mandatory government ownership of the major means of production." Obama's program offers a choice of competition under the capitalist enterprise system between many private insurers and one public entity.

It seems we are always willing to pay more to kill human beings than to save them. When will this "Christian nation" begin to practice the fundamental Christian principles of love of enemies, good Samaritan ways, and sharing our public services with everyone, rather than greedily accumulating wealth for ourselves?

Health care is a human right. Democracy is our chosen form of government, which guarantees to all our citizens the equal protection of the laws. Isn't that our moral responsibility to each other now?

— Bill Durland

Colorado Springs

Save the autistic

To President Obama: We woke up today unsure of which issue to tackle first. Should we go after federal laws to protect our children from being punched, suffocated, or locked in rooms at school? Or should we allow the harmful restraint and seclusion to continue?

Should we try to prevent the next seizure today? Or worry about where millions of disabled adults will live after their parents are dead and gone?

Should we shout that autism is treatable and preventable? Or nod when mainstream doctors say we're wrong?

Should we worry about the children who will have violent meltdowns today? Or the ones who can't stop hitting themselves? Or the ones who don't ever sleep? Or the ones who can't point to what hurts, so all they can do is scream? Or should we help the mother who is threatening suicide on this day? Or pay for the funeral of the father who committed suicide yesterday?

Better yet, maybe we should help the families who are bankrupt because health insurance doesn't cover autism?

Then again, skyrocketing divorce rates in the autism community really need our attention, along with the fact that "autism" is just a word some guy came up with 70 years ago to describe a new, rare mental condition that we're finding is actually more environmental.

Or should we worry today about how the autism community is overwhelmed and under-resourced, and how the swine flu's nonexistent pandemic is receiving overreaction and "fast-tracked" focus while autism's already-existent epidemic gets slow-tracked solutions and profound under-reaction?

How much longer do we have before the hope for America's children is gone?

— Joy Whitcomb

Colorado Springs

Artists ignored

Colorado Springs made history this month, but no one from the Independent, Gazette or TV reported the news. Why?

Over 350 artists from all over the country and a few from Europe, including the most prominent living representational artists, came to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center for a five-day master artist teaching series. The event, sponsored by American Artist, was called Weekend with the Masters. The magazine chose to contract with the FAC for the first-ever event.

Participants painted the vistas of Glen Eyrie, gardens of The Broadmoor, and still-life props and figures in classrooms. There were lectures and demonstrations from master artists including Richard Schmid, Scott Christensen, Scott Burdick, David Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Mary Whyte, Susan Lyon, Stephen Quiller, Skip Whitcomb, Dan Gerhartz, Kevin Macpherson, Jeremy Lipking, Frank Serrano, Joseph McGurl, Timothy Clark, Jacob Collins, Quang Ho and others. Anyone in the art world would know the names.

Hayden Hayes Gallery hosted some of their work for the public to see and buy. A gala benefited Cottonwood Center for the Arts' young masters and mentorship programs and Bemis School of Art. The FAC's membership should have been invited.

The FAC was a fine venue. Locals would be proud our museum and art school could house this event; however, it's confusing why the FAC did not contact the press, or why local media chose to ignore it. As my art historian friend said, maybe it has to do with the lack of serious attention associated with "representational" versus contemporary art.

Representational art is here to stay. I hope the FAC will show more enthusiasm for the current representational movement and promote these local events in the future. If they ever return.

— Bette Ann Albert

Pikes Peak Watercolor Society

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The Independent published Listings items in June that solicited participants for the September seminar, but was not aware of any accompanying public events.


In our 2009 Dish issue, David McDonough was incorrectly identified as co-owner of Adam's Mountain Café. Though David works there, his wife, Farley McDonough, owns the restaurant independently. The Independent regrets the error.

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