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I've come to the conclusion that conservatism is just another name for schizophrenia. They are always paranoid that they are somehow being persecuted, even when they are in the majority, persecuting everyone else. When the Feds rule against discrimination, they screech it's a violation of "sovereign" states' rights. But when voters of their state legalize medical marijuana, these very same people screech that it's a violation of "sovereign" federal law.

As for the budget debacle, it has led to a local outpouring of anti-incumbent sentiment. It's unlikely that any present Council members will be re-elected next year. It is also assured that any candidate who dares to imply tax revenue should actually be used for the good of the citizens will undoubtedly be labeled a "socialist" and lose to yet another round of conservatives identical to the ones who got us into this mess.

The majority of Colorado Springs voters are conservatives, and they will reliably vote against their own best interests as long as the proper trigger words are used in the campaign. Those who talked about "mind control" in the 1960s had no idea of what could be accomplished by combining it with the authoritarianism of the Right.

Finally, I have to wonder what the IRS will think of Ted Haggard's new lottery church. How can it be considered a tax-deductible charitable donation, if one is tithing in hopes of hitting the jackpot?

—Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

Defending churches

This is in response to Bernadette Young ("Churches for all," Letters) and Rich Tosches ("Pastor Ted," Ranger Rich) in the June 10 issue concerning Ted Haggard and churches. It's not surprising to me that they both had an anti-church, anti-religious, anti-Christian bent to their articles. I understand the skepticism.

Bernadette's rantings would have been an interesting read had they not been so intolerant and misinformed. After admitting she doesn't know "whatever the heck" Ted is doing, she proceeds to mock the new donation aspect of the church (as does Richie) from what was shared in the media. Of course, any church that takes up an offering has to be a part of the "capitalist pig version of Jesus H. Christ Inc." according to her (and Master Tosches).

Ms. Young is concerned about well over "500 so-called churches" popping up all over the place with uncredentialed or unqualified ministers. What a claim ... so, prove it! How many pastors of churches in Colorado Springs have not been to a Bible college or a seminary or have received religious training? How many have just "leaped out of bed" and said, "Voila! I'm a preacher?" Most local ministers I know have bachelor's, master's and even doctoral degrees.

I don't need to quote Tosches' snide editorial humor as he basically repeats the same theme as Bernadette: Preachers (especially Ted) are hucksters only out to take your money ... the church is a money-making corporation out to hustle the evangelically-challenged ... blah, blah, blah!

What's ironic is Ted Haggard is out to change that whole concept by giving away money to those truly in need, who are hurting, who need a break and a second chance. Time will tell. In the meantime, for you cynics, let the new root produce the fruit!

— Rev. Tom Pedigo

Colorado Springs

Bennet's connections

Colorado College President Dick Celeste likes to tell the story of how he once changed Michael Bennet's diapers. This sounds like the cute account of a past baby sitter, only Celeste was a special assistant to the ambassador to India at the time and would later become Ohio's governor. (So, how many future governors have changed your kids' diapers?)

Now, one can hardly help being well-connected. Or born rich. Or being tapped to be Denver's school superintendent. Or being appointed and anointed by the governor to fill an interim senatorial spot as Bill Ritter did for Bennet even though he didn't win support when Ritter asked the Colorado people who they wanted. Talk about a bait-and-switch maneuver! So, how's he looking out for us?

Bennet has received millions from corporations and voted NO on breaking up the mega-banks (Brown-Kaufman amendment). In contrast, Andrew Romanoff was elected speaker of the Colorado House for four years.

Romanoff refuses to take any corporate donations; he wants to represent us, not them. Bennet is working hard for Wall Street and corporate interests.

— Lowell Duncan


Stumping for Buck

Regarding "Our Senate conundrums" (Publisher's Note, June 10), Ken Buck is very careful to only point out policy differences between himself and other candidates. He never makes dishonest smears as others do.

10. Buck will vote in terms of the Constitution. He realizes unless we return to our founding principles, our country will not survive.

9. Buck always takes a commanding lead in appearances. He thinks and speaks extemporaneously and without prompting.

8. Buck entered uncharted territory in Weld County by cracking down on illegal immigration and identity theft.

7. I have been discouraged with Republicans, but I was stunned by Buck's honesty and down-to-earth demeanor. He had no canned answers.

6. Buck is only 50 and has the potential to gain significant position in the Senate. We need people like Buck and Sen. Jim DeMint. Even just a handful of true Americans can turn the tide in this country.

5. Buck has already sworn his allegiance to principle over party. He is pro-growth and pro-taxpayer. The issue is strength of character.

4. Buck has been all over Colorado, many times.

3. He leads both Democrats, and is now leading Norton by double-digits.

2. I believe either Republican would try to serve constituents, although at present, Buck's opponent refuses (on Facebook) to answer any difficult questions respectfully submitted to her. They get deleted. My experience with Sen. Bennet, in particular, is that he ignores my communications.

1. Coloradans will be proud of Buck. He has been honest and strong throughout. He is responsive to questions and will discuss anything.

Bonus: I don't know if any of the candidates have presidential aspirations, but if one were to rise to the top, it would be Buck. I hope the Independent continues to watch him.

— Valarie Murphy


Prejudging our pick

It is easy to know the Indy will always support the Democratic candidate, regardless of their qualifications. The Indy will make the easy decision of which candidate will beat their GOP rival. If you use that logic, the Indy will quickly select Romanoff. Sen. Bennet hasn't cast an independent vote this past year. He follows the party line. At least Romanoff didn't get caught agreeing to drop out of the race just to take an appointed position within the Obama cesspool.

I suspect the Indy will pick Jane Norton as she is a GOP insider. She will be much easier to beat than Ken Buck, a true conservative and friend of independent thinkers and voters. Buck supposedly has the Tea Party movement behind him. He claims to have "grass-roots" people on his side and is more of an unknown in political circles. That alone makes Buck more dangerous.

Hence, the Indy, mouthpiece for the Dems and left, will name Romanoff as its chosen candidate.

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

(Editor's note: For the record, the Indy has endorsed at least a handful of Republicans over Democrats in recent years.)

Ignore the anger

In response to Anna James ("Culture shock," Letters, May 20), your letter saddened me as I could relate. It's difficult to understand why people are acting as you described, and we seem to see more and more of it, but there are several ways you can deal with this.

First, don't close your eyes to the good, caring, well-mannered people. They are all around you. They are not loud and voracious because they are at peace. They have no need to draw attention to themselves.

Don't give those other people your energy; they are degrading you and displaying bad manners. They will eat it up and leave you without energy.

They speak for themselves and are a problem unto themselves. I deal with similar people every day in my workplace. I pray to my Creator to protect me from troubled spirits, so I can work more efficiently (I'm a nurse) and without distraction. It helps me function better and not be drawn into that negative environment.

You sound like a very gentle, caring person. Hold your head up. You are a light in the darkness. We won't survive as a race unless people stop being so full of greed and hate.

Those people you spoke of have nothing to offer you until they are ready to change. Rise above and carry on.

— Nancy Eaglewoman


Pay attention

My purpose is to inform the public of what is happening in Washington while oil spews into the Gulf of Mexico.

Multiple attempts to pass legislation aimed at lifting the financial liability caps imposed on oil companies have been blocked by senators motivated by special interests instead of the American people. The current cap of $75 million was set under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Please keep in mind BP enjoyed an average profit of $67 million per day for the first quarter of 2010.

My goal is not to vilify Big Oil but to support legislation that holds companies accountable for mistakes and provides impetus for enforcing safety regulations on current and future rigs. Eliminating caps would pose no significant cost increase to consumers as oil produced in the Gulf of Mexico accounts for only 2.3 percent of global production.

It is easy to feel helpless while watching this disaster unfold. Instead, please write our senators in support of legislation to ensure a disaster of this kind will never repeat itself.

— Andrea Storrs


GOP spenders

Regarding "Say hello to a good buy" by Pam Zubeck (News, June 10), it appears the party of "tax and spend" is none other than our own local Republicans. The "ample discussion" regarding the issue commissioners Sallie Clark and Amy Lathen allude to has certainly not reached all citizens in El Paso County, and the citizens ultimately will have to pay through the nose for the unanimous decision by the Republican commissioners.

The $25 million seems like a good deal until you factor in the $11 million finish/remodel and the $75-$109 million in principal and interest payments. That does not sound like a good deal. The commissioners also have not decided who will move, or what to do with vacated buildings (many in sorry shape).

Where is the planning? And why aren't the citizens who have to pay for this getting the pros and cons before the decision? It appears taxpayers are once again getting the shaft from poor county leadership. The only citizens who suggested the matter be postponed for more public input were Public Trustee Tom Mowle and state Rep. Mike Merrifield.

It is now obvious who really represents the public's interest. Remember, the county was in dire financial straits not that long ago. Now the commissioners have OK'd a 25-year debt, and managed to dodge voter approval by going through a front organization, El Paso County Facilities Corp., that will own the property.

Where is the fiscal discipline and real voter input? By the way, Republicans, if you dislike the Obama administration so much, why are you financing the deal through the Obama administration's Build America Bonds program?

— Neil L. Talbott

Colorado Springs


Profanity police

Your June 10 issue had movie reviews by MaryAnn Johanson, Tricia Olszewski and Justin Strout. The bad taste shown in the three reviews really bothers me.

Johanson says, "Who cares what the Asian ass-kicking is called?" Olszewski says, "... the sprinter herself immediately calls bullshit on this 25-year old memory." In the photo caption for Strout: "... somehow this A-Team kicks ass."

Is it so difficult to use the English language with a modicum of good taste? Call it a powerful movie, a great movie, a movie you should see, but a "kick-ass" movie is simply gratuitous use of meaningless slang. And as for the "bullshit," wouldn't it be just as effective to say that the character rejects the memory?

Reading these reviews is like being with a little kid who has just learned some swear words and uses them to impress everyone with his newfound wisdom.

I know that the Indy caters to a young, educated and literate crowd, but it would be nice to actually be literate instead of trying to impress by shock, which isn't even shocking anymore.

— Chuck Robinove



Last week's Between the Lines column ("HRC tells us about Council") was unclear about how Councilor Sean Paige voted on reviving the Human Relations Commission. Paige voted for the proposal, which was approved 6-3.


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