A necessary evil
Bill Durland ("Harming vs. healing," Letters, Sept. 24) mentions the recent Senate approval of spending for the Afghan war and the Pentagon.
I remind you of Vietnam. The U.S. pulled out of Vietnam precipitously, and 800,000 to 4 million (there was no reliable way to count at the time) people in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, etc., were murdered at the hands of dictators. Is this what you propose? The slaughter of innocents? The Taliban and their ilk are the same kind of people. I would recommend spending more money in Afghanistan and Iraq on power stations, telephone and network systems, roads, fresh water systems, schools, hospitals, etc. The faster we can build a stable Afghanistan and Iraq, the faster we can bring the troops home.
Mr. Durland said the military is a "socialist" program. I respectfully disagree. There is not a stable nation in the world that does not have a military. These nations are republics, socialist states, communist states and every other system. A military is a necessary evil. It is a false comparison to pit the military budget (a necessary function) against health care (an optional function of government). How can we possibly cover 30 million or 50 million more people without adding more health care professionals and without rationing?
Finally, Mr. Durland mentions equal protection under the Constitution. If we all have equal protection under the law, why do some folks pay a higher income tax rate, while others pay less? And while we discuss the Constitution, remember it is supposed to limit the power of the federal government. In it, you will find "provide for the common defense." You will find a postal system, but you will not find any mention of a federal health care system.
— Dan "Bear" Kelley
Freedom of what?
Why is FOX News allowing people like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh to tell outright lies that create division and violence in our country?
This is unadulterated propaganda. It's not free speech, but hate speech, and it threatens the life of our president and many of our citizens. Isn't there some kind of law against that?
Glenn Beck is using hateful rhetoric to stoke racial fear and paranoia. This isn't news or even good entertainment, but it is creating a very dangerous atmosphere that is not healthy or productive. In fact, it's deadly.
Over 60 major companies have stopped advertising on Beck's show, but that hasn't stopped the haters. It's time for FOX News to be accountable and report actual news for a change. Maybe they could save innocent lives.
— Sharlene White
Santa Fe, N.M.
Regarding Mike Wall's plea for the "Poor white guys" (Letters, Sept. 24):
Many of Wall's fellow citizens do have compassion for those poor ol' "angry middle-aged white guys." We know that you have been victimized by Greedy Old Politically Connected Primarily White Guys in the brokerage firms, who robbed you of about 40 percent of your 401(k).
By outsourcing or downsizing your jobs, the CEO ensured his salary would exceed the average wage of employees by 500 percent. Of course, the board of directors pressured the company's management to cut costs, allowing the stock price increase to feather their portfolios. The required cost-cutting hit your wages and increased your share of health care coverage by 8 to 15 percent. If you were one of the lucky ones still employed, you were left working your job and the guy's job next to you, who got the axe.
The thing your compassionate citizens are confused about is: "Where are you directing your anger?" It looks like you should be directing it at the fat cats who actually ripped you off — not the guy in the White House who is trying to mop up the mess left for him.
— Karen R. Davidson
He didn't create polio?
In "Our national right-wing celebrity" (Sept. 17), Ranger Rich claimed "from what I heard from the stunning gathering of some 500 avid Malkin followers, [her book] contains startling evidence clearly showing that Obama kidnapped the Lindbergh baby ... and assassinated Archduke Ferdinand to trigger World War I." Typical for left-wing journalism, Tosches makes it all up.
A casual glance at the index of Culture of Corruption would show Malkin never mentions the Lindbergh kidnapping or Archduke Ferdinand, but why let facts stand in the way when you want to demonstrate the stupidity of Malkin's fans? Had Tosches read Malkin's book, he might have discovered her statements about corruption of the Obama administration and its congressional associates are true and supported by source citations.
Additionally, Tosches is upset that Malkin "wrote an actual book saying the U.S. internment camps during World War II were a terrific idea and the 112,000 Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans who were forcibly relocated to the camps should stop their damn whining." I've read In Defense of Internment, and the book does not say "the camps were a terrific idea."
The book does state: (1) many Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans served in the Japanese military, rather than the U.S. military; (2) Japanese nationals and Japanese-Americans in Hawaii actively assisted a Japanese pilot whose plane couldn't make it back after attacking Pearl Harbor; (3) after interned Japanese were moved to better facilities, we billeted our own troops in camps the Japanese had occupied; (4) Japanese were free throughout their internment to go anywhere in the U.S. as long as they stayed outside the "exclusion zones" (essentially along the East and West coasts), and (5) Germans and Italians in the U.S. were similarly interned and restricted. Malkin's statements are supported with cites.
— Harry Pool
I am so proud to live in a city whose police have a waste-not, want-not philosophy. Instead of wasting confiscated weapons by destroying them, they are recycling them so that they might be used for, well, doing the things guns do best: kill people.
This assures that they will not want for crimes to solve, and victims to care for. And with luck they may be able to confiscate the same guns again before they make somebody's day, wound an innocent shopkeeper, or kill the child who found it in the drawer.
Then they can recycle them again with another weapons garage sale. All this for an average $100 per weapon. How much is your life worth? But wait, guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Right. Wacky people with guns.
— Joseph Liberti
City must pass 2C
I have heard that if people knew where the money from Measure 2C would go, they might vote for it. Let me enlighten them.
Mill-levy increase is a misnomer. It increases property taxes gradually over five years but does not increase the city's ability to spend more. It is designed to halt budget cuts needed to balance the budget.
The income from 2C will go to keep 153 city positions, 35 in our fire department and 24 in our police department. The income will keep five community centers open, providing many seniors their only hot meal each day, and places where parents know their children are safe after school. It will keep all city-funded buses on the roads, buses that many rely on to get to jobs, grocery stores and child care. It will prevent eliminating the flowerbed program and closing Rock Ledge Ranch.
While we may survive without our seven public pools, grass in our parks or our Pioneers Museum, do we want to? We may be the nation's 47th largest city, but we live by a small-town mentality. What happens when we have to fence up or rip out our playground equipment? What happens to our children when after-school programs and activities are gone? We all know what happens: Quality of life declines, and so do property values.
We need to break from the status quo and allow fresh eyes to bring new light to our shortcomings. But we need time to figure out where we want to be in five years, and 2C buys us time.
It saddens me that people can take the initiative to write letters, but do not deem it important enough to actually do the research. Let's keep our city a great place to live. Vote yes on 2C.
— Elizabeth Griffin
Lots of questions
Voting to raise property taxes, as we are heading to recovery, seems like a bad idea. Colorado Springs has so much going for it: clean air, beautiful parks, great biking, hiking, running and walking trails. So close to the mountains. What a location.
Pueblo and Commerce City have made such great strides over the last couple of years. How are they doing such amazing things in this economy?
South Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs would have made a great pedestrian mall; instead, now it is just another two-way street.
Our transit system should be expanded, not cut. How does Denver fund its transit system? Has Colorado Springs ever considered light rail? FREX service would be great on weekends.
Where does the revenue from the military bases go?
— Pat Romano
Bankers in control
Nearly two-thirds of all corporations operating in the U.S. paid no federal income taxes at all from 1998 to 2005. Obama's lead campaign donor was the largest investment bank in the world, Goldman Sachs.
The real rulers of the U.S. and the world are the owners of the central banks and international banks, not presidents, congresses or parliaments. The government of the United States is in bondage to a group of individuals who own the Federal Reserve. The U.S. is in the process of handing over to the Federal Reserve the last vestiges of our financial sovereignty. World government is not coming; it is already here.
Thomas Jefferson said: "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies."
Dear "really cool" vehicle owner:
As you cruise the community, many of you have loud stereos playing words that are offensive and disrespectful to the human race. Your freedom of speech is something which family members of mine might be asked to die for one these days, so I wish to help you understand that free speech means you may say whatever you wish to an audience so long as they have the choice to leave rather than listen.
But when you broadcast filth and disrespect to neighbors just going about their daily lives, they are being force-fed. I don't think you'd like somebody stuffing dog brownies down your throat.
Yes! We see you! You learned the challenging art of playing loud profanity! Wonderful! Good for you! Your mama would be proud! But please know this: if we continue to tolerate such insanity, the judgment of God will fall on the head of America, and free speech will become only a failed experiment.
— Jim Inman
Thank you for "Gender blender" (cover story, Sept. 24). It was an eye-opener.
The Bugis of South Sulawesi, Indonesia, believe all things in this world are connected, and universal harmony includes the recognition and acceptance of five different genders: a feminine woman, a feminine man, a masculine female, a masculine man and the bissu, who embody both male and female energies and are believed to be able to communicate with the spirit world.
If only the Bugis' wisdom could reach across the Pacific! Until it does, I would like to offer my services to the transgender community.
No one deserves to be mistreated or discriminated against. All have the right to be whole and happy, and because of that belief I became an EFT practitioner. Emotional Freedom Techniques®, has helped thousands worldwide handle almost anything life can dish out.
I like to think of EFT as an eraser. Have you ever gotten angry (or sad, frustrated, stressed, anxious) every time you remember something nasty someone said or did to you? EFT can erase that negative emotion (or emotions) associated with that memory.
I offer free 30-minute sessions, during which the client and I discuss some negative memories and emotions to be erased. We do the technique together and I teach it as we go along so they may do this easily themselves. Check my Web site: isaboblue.health.officelive.com.
If you have been diagnosed with severe emotional or psychological problems, I'd be happy to meet your therapist to discuss the possible benefits of EFT.
— Katie Hudgens
ACES low for Utilities
The president and Congress have made cap-and-trade legislation, intended to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, a top priority. Recently the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, or ACES.
The Senate may begin work on its version later this year, and this legislation will affect all Americans' daily lives, including a significant impact on your utility bills.
Colorado Springs Utilities does not support ACES as passed by the House. It does not offer our ratepayers sufficient price protections, benefits certain regions at the expense of communities like Colorado Springs, relies on unrealistic targets and timelines, and does very little to address emissions.
A climate bill must protect ratepayers from excessive electricity cost increases; treat states equitably; be based on realistic, workable targets and timetables; and rely on available, affordable emission-reduction technologies.
Reducing emissions is best achieved through continued advancement of renewable energy options combined with developing radical new emissions-reduction technologies for fossil-fueled power plants. Legislation must require availability of these technologies to be effective. ACES simply fails this test.
As utilities customers, you have a huge stake in this debate, and so do we. That's why we're already working locally to help mitigate mandates handed down from the national level.
• Biomass: We're testing pine beetle kill, forest thinnings and other wood products, reducing coal usage.
• Hydro power: A fourth hydro power plant being built in Cascade will provide clean, low-cost energy.
• Solar: We've teamed with local businesses and the Air Force Academy to harness the sun and create renewable energy.
We are fighting to protect our customers from unnecessary costs that harm our system. You can continue to do your part by using only the electricity and natural gas you need.
We have tools to help you do just that. Visit the new csu.org to start today.
— Jerry Forte, CEO
Colorado Springs Utilities