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Emotional reading

Thank you for sharing your personal memories of Lou Smit with the public ("Whatever the case called for," Your Turn, Aug. 19). Your article was so well-written — I laughed and I cried.

Unlike you, I never had the opportunity to meet him — except through his appearances on television and the books on JonBenét — and his demeanor on air gave the same air as your experience. Once you met him, you felt like you'd known him forever.

He will be missed by so many, not least of all the victims.

— Rebecca Taylor

Colorado Springs

Meeting Smit

Lou Smit was already a legendary police officer when I joined the Sheriff's Office in 1980. So I was pleased when then-Sheriff Harold "Red" Davis appointed me as the department's intelligence officer. I would be assigned to CSPD where I would meet the person I'd heard so much about.

A month or two later I still had not met Lou Smit. His partner, John Anderson, along with Smit, had addressed the Springs police academy. I recalled Anderson's friendly smile and outgoing demeanor, but Smit had not made an impression.

Finally, I commented to officers that I still had not met Smit saying I "haven't seen anyone who looks like Super Cop." In my first career in Shreveport, I headed a large detective office. I knew how solving high-profile murders could cause a cop's ego to go sky-high.

In Smit's case, I couldn't have been more wrong. Slight, balding and with a shy smile, he seemed embarrassed at the attention I paid him. He wore an off-the-rack but otherwise unremarkable suit. Quiet and polite, he also wore loafers and off-colored socks.

I later learned about the major-case investigation packet he and Anderson invented. I learned about his faith and how suspects he sent to the penitentiary became his friends. They sometimes called him and he would drive to Cañon City to visit or pray with them.

But it was the victims Lou identified with most. He "stood in their shoes" to see that justice was done. Of all the police officers I have known, Lou Smit will be missed the most. His was a life to be emulated.

— Capt. Jere T. Joiner (Ret.)



About that logo

Thanks for letting me know about Woodland Park's new logo ("Irony illustrated," News, Aug. 19). I must agree with Chris Konczak's assessment regarding the highway bypass that's been on the state's books for at least 20 years, if not longer.

Because of the through traffic, Woodland Park is the least pedestrian-friendly town I've ever been in or visited; it's not inviting, even to residents. I absolutely won't go into the commercial center just a scant five-minute walk away unless compelled to; on those rare occasions when I've had to walk through town to pick up my car at my mechanic, I find the noise of the traffic deafening and the fumes from the trucks and cars make me physically ill.

In my personal opinion (and professionally as a former municipal and rural planner now retired), rather than a new $20,000 logo, the town's money (and therefore mine) would have been better spent lobbying for the bypass.

— Jean Garren

Woodland Park

'I've got mine'

Thank you so much, Mr. Tim Canon ("Basic economics, revised," Letters, Aug. 19), for responding to my letter debunking your letter on how unemployment checks let those "lazy people" keep on being lazy. These darn facts just keep getting in the way of a productive discussion.

First, you say that giving to the unemployed who then directly spend that money into the system does not create a multiplier effect of $1.60 per dollar spent. In good times you are right, because the amount people will save of that dollar is hard to determine. But when someone is unemployed and will spend that dollar on stuff like food, it's really not that hard.

Second, you write, "Each unemployed person has a reservation wage — the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job." You once again leave out a very important part of this equation: time. You are right that when someone has just become unemployed they will look for a job at the same level and pay. But as time goes on, this "reservation wage" becomes smaller and smaller.

Anyway, it has been fun playing in the sandbox with you, but I'm getting a little tired. The real story here has nothing to do with economics but everything to do with compassion. There is a group out there in the "I've got mine and screw everybody else" category. As Americans, we are better than that. We help when people are in need. When I see an engineer delivering pizza because he could not find his reservation wage, that's wrong.

No need to respond, Mr. Canon. I'm moving on to the world where the facts are not stretched to fit an ideology and we help our fellow Americans.

— Edward Smith

Colorado Springs

What goes around...

To the ***hole in the gray car who menaced me on my bicycle on Galley Road: You've had your last free pass, buddy-boy. Instead of reacting as I did and have before, by verbally questioning the virtue of your mother and flipping you off, I will concentrate on your plate number, and possibly a phone-photo for evidence, to turn you in to the law for aggressive ***hole driving.

I'll immediately pull off the road and make the call so there'll be at least a chance they'll get you before you arrive at wherever it is you're going in such a hurry that you've lost all concern for human life.

Also, after this most recent incident, rather than timidly staying as far right as possible, as I was doing when you threatened my life, I'm going to more fully occupy my lane. And if you ride my *** or invade my legal three feet of space when passing, it's gonna be road rage charges for you, every time.

I urge all bike riders to adopt this attitude and join me in helping to get these jerks off (or is it jerkoffs) the road and maybe even locked up for a while. That'll slow 'em down. And oh yeah, sorry about that stuff I said about your mom. I know it's probably not true.

— Name withheld

Colorado Springs

Not changing

Re: "The true test," Letters, Aug. 19: This Humanist Korean conscript never prayed and finds no reason to start because of your mistaken, unproven, flat-earth-mounted-on-corner-posts, and then Earth-centered-solar-system, theosophy. Which continues to be in error to this day. Also, the ass (both types) are mainly in the Bible, and both types are known to talk.

— Jim Colson


Different pains

Elaine Wind ("Terrible ending," Letters, July 29) stated you can take your pets to the Humane Society to "have them put to sleep quickly and painlessly." I worked with an animal rescue group for years while the director saved a half-cent per animal for euthanasia: No. 1, no calming agent beforehand; and No. 2, an injection to give a heart attack and stop their breathing. How is that quick and painless?

I am 57 with severe arthritis, fibromyalgia, fourth-stage kidney disease and an unrepaired broken knee. I've had five heart attacks, and I'm still alive and walking. (If anyone should have "gone down," it should have been me.) Each one of those heart attacks was not quick and painless. Hello...

— Sondra Key

Colorado Springs

Exit strategies

So, did you hear the one about the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jew and atheist trapped in a burning building? Well, it seems that the ... never mind, just feel free to furnish your own punch line, or consult Bill Schaffner ("The true test," Letters, Aug. 19), who apparently has a keen insight into the human condition.

I would love to take Mr. Schaffner up on his proposed bet, but I have a feeling that neither he nor I would be able to convince Larimore Nicholl to be trapped in a burning building with a voice recorder to capture his last words. I can't speak for Mr. Nicholl, and I would love to say that the thing I would do in that situation is pray my atheist ass off, but it wouldn't be.

Praying just wouldn't make it onto my to-do list. I'd be putting all my effort into making my escape, probably right alongside those Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish asses who would also be running for the nearest exit.

— Lenny Mazel

Colorado Springs

Ask forgiveness

While reading Larimore Nicholl's article ("Inside the mind of one atheist," cover story, Aug. 12), I was reminded of another retired professor of philosophy who recalled teaching a course on atheism. That professor noted errors in reason (e.g., misapprehension of causality) committed by well-known atheists.

Professor Nicholl says "the idea of god is used 'as a pretended explanation for all that science has not yet explained.'" The observation that humans create "gods" is in fact made in the Old Testament. Science has to do with knowledge. (Check its etymology.) Unless the individual is hindered by materialistic blinders, one's quest for knowledge can include not only the natural realm but also its Creator.

Professor Nicholl presents the problem of evil and asserts that "evil absolutely disproves any gods ..." (Is it not the height of hubris when a creature assesses the morality of the Creator?)

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?" dates to ancient times. The answer was articulated in Antiquity, which to paraphrase might be God doesn't settle accounts in October. To quote the New Testament, "... because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

To all who acknowledge evil exists, I recommend seeking forgiveness through that man who was raised from the dead.

— Brian Tucker


Foxhole reality

Bill Schaffner, with his "no atheists in the foxholes" statement, commits the ad hominem fallacy of implying that, deep inside, all atheists are not only believers, but believers in his God. And that, in extreme situations, they would pray to this God for help.

This is counter to the actual facts. Many are the tales of believers who have, because of the extreme situations they are in, come to reject the belief in a God. Or the atheists whose rejection of belief in a god is unaffected by the situation they are in.

Vietnam vet Philip Paulson wrote, "I suffered through horrifying moments, expecting to be killed. I was convinced that no cosmic rescuer would save me. Besides, I believed life after death was merely wishful thinking. There were times when I expected to suffer a painful, agonizing death. My frustration and anger at being caught in a dilemma of life-and-death situations simply infuriated me. Hearing the sound of bullets whistling through the air and popping near my ears was damned scary. Fortunately, I was never physically wounded.'"

Paulson was not only an atheist when he entered the foxhole, he remained one throughout the war.

I am sure the atheist/foxhole makes Schaffner feel better, since it paints atheists as weak, but it does not reflect reality.

— Gary S. Hudgens

Colorado Springs

Healing the healers

We are so saddened to hear of the death of Dr. Ted Eastburn ("No explanation," News, Aug. 19). His death is a great loss to his family and to our community.

One can only wonder at the stress and pressures doctors must surely face amidst the often-frenetic pace of their working lives in this fast-paced world. Who nurtures the doctors who are responsible for nurturing and healing their patients? Where in the medical world is there concern and support for the healers?

Surely they need a stillpoint, a place of peace from which to reflect and draw strength, as we all do. But do their schedules permit this? How can we as a community offer support for the helpers in our midst, should they need it?

Sorrow over losing Dr. Eastburn in this way impels me to ask the questions of my community and of the medical world itself.

— Onorina Vedovi-Rinker

Colorado Springs


Forbidden topics

As a helpful guide for newspaper editors and entertainment directors everywhere, here is a list of the Top 10 Things We Don't Want to Think About:

• The Domino Theory, used as the main justification for the Vietnam War, was a false theory.

• Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

• Most rich people never suffer too much from recessions, depressions or wars, so they're still rich.

• What "collateral damage" truly means.

• Jobs "outsourced" in the past decade are desperately needed here now.

• The deterioration of the quality of life in Colorado Springs.

• Adam Sandler movies.

• The Sex Pistols musical group.

• Ted Haggard.

• Douglas Bruce.

Put these out of your minds completely.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

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