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Where's the beef?

Paul Songy's five sentences ("Sex offenses," Letters, March 3), although quite provocative in their own right, did very little to support any claim that he may have made. If President Obama isn't supporting the Constitution, give us (i.e., the readers) at least one example, please. Blanket statements tend not to be very persuasive.

You go on to attribute former President Clinton's status as sex offender and the subsequent cover-up that exonerated him to Obama's lack of Constitutional support. Did I read this correctly? I have another question. Have you read the Constitution?

Although you have the Constitutional right to think that same-sex marriage is morally and biblically wrong, the Constitution makes no reference to morality or biblical suppositions. Sorry.

In your closing sentence, you claim to support the "American Center for Law and Justice to help protect the Constitution." From what, exactly, is the ACLJ protecting the Constitution? Protecting it from being read?

— Brett Coddington

Colorado Springs

Clarifying DOMA

In his March 3 letter, Mr. Songy attacks President Obama for failing to support the Constitution, due to what I assume is the president's recent decision to no longer defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court.

Let's be clear: As of this writing DOMA is still the law of the land, and is still being enforced as such. The administration has previously defended DOMA in cases brought in circuits where prior rulings established its constitutionality based on a "rational basis" review.

The lack of such precedent in the 2nd Circuit, where the current case is being tried, allows the administration to argue that Section 3 of DOMA should face a more stringent level of review to pass muster, a test they believe it fails and are therefore declining to pursue further.

What has Obama done right? Merely argue for a discriminatory law he disagrees with when he is duty-bound to do so and against it when he no longer is. That doesn't sound like a Constitution-shredding tyrant to me; that sounds like a president.

— Aaron Vinje

Colorado Springs

Silently passive

When did we all become such consumers that we lost respect for work? When did we lose pride in being American? When did we quit standing up for the rights of citizens and human beings?

Across this country, workers are under attack. Wisconsin's governor and Legislature say the problems of the state are solely the responsibility of public employees and teachers who are robbing the state with high salaries and funding packages without government knowledge, until just right now.

And this occurred without citizens' knowledge, so I guess there was no government, no oversight and no democracy in Wisconsin until this governor took office. The government accepts no responsibility. Their only solution: blame the people working hard for the state.

I find this confusing and illogical. But this is occurring across America and it is all coming down to how bad, how lazy, how stupid the American worker is, just saying "Yeah, that's right." There's no outcry for the disrespect and the slap in the face to all Americans. The American Worker is responsible for the failure of the American Dream. Are you going to take this without a whimper?

This same cry has been ringing out in corporate America. Our workers are so bad and incompetent the only option for business in America is to send the work oversees. You may think corporations are not hiring and training workers. American corporations have been hiring millions of workers; they are just not hiring American workers. They are hiring American CEOs and executive staff for millions of dollars. But the workers who make the goods are paid low wages and work in poor conditions.

Americans don't mind a bit; they sit quietly and do nothing. They don't speak; they don't say a word.

— Nard Claar

Colorado Springs


Cookie monster

A unionized employee, a Tea Party member and a corporate CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle is a plate with a hundred cookies on it. The CEO reaches out and takes 99 of the cookies, then says to the Tea Party member, "Look out for that union guy, he wants a piece of your cookie."

And so it goes! The Dire Wolf may be on the other side of that door.

Worker Bees are fine as long as they don't have any rights or dignity. "Let them eat cake!"

— Dave Joss


Labeling Van Jones

I used to consider the Independent a fair voice. Which I consider especially important given the blurring of lines between entertainment, opinion, and journalism becoming prevalent in today's age.

Then I read Bill Forman's "Energy star" article (Cover story, Feb. 24). You could not have published a more misleading, skewed or more disingenuous article. Ever. Van Jones' downfall was not due to one regrettable remark in 2009 — people make mistakes like that all the time. Rather, what brought Van Jones down is he is a radical communist who has advocated the violent overthrow of the government.

You don't need to take my word for it; a cursory search of Google and YouTube would prove that to most reasonable people. Shame on Bill Forman for not conducting the most elementary of research. There's no room for interpretation, spin or blamestorming when one can watch the words come directly out of Van Jones' mouth.

— Chris Widdick

Colorado Springs

Follow-up questions

Don McCullen ("Sex, kids and Sanger," Letters, Feb. 24) challenges Margaret Sanger's legacy. He needs to reference Bernard Asbell's book, The Pill, a biography of the drug that changed the world.

Sanger and Katharine McCormick (who financed the entire project) created the "pill" from many existing scientific discoveries when males couldn't understand why women would not want 18 pregnancies (per McCullen's letter).

If you are truly anti-abortion, wouldn't you applaud Sanger's part in the pill that decreased abortions?

Secondly, why do you link sex and consequences? If that were true wouldn't there be less sex and less people?

Except for STDs, men usually have no consequences for sex. Is a baby just a consequence and shouldn't it be a planned treasure? Isn't a population of 7 billion as reported by the January 2011 National Geographic a problem? How would no birth control affect resources in 20 years? What would be those consequences?

Do you really think Planned Parenthood encourages people to have sex? David, Solomon, and Henry the Eighth were pre-Planned Parenthood and did not have to be encouraged to have lots of sex with lots of partners.

Have you heard of hormones? Did you know that premarital sex was about the same percentage in the 1920s as the 1960s (Asbell)? Who says "a women's natural role is to create and carry to term"? What about raising them, affording them and wanting them?

Rape and incest seem to be no issue for you. Do you respect girls this much?

Since we stepped out of the trees, women have aborted. Which societies have fallen due to abortion? Is every sperm sacred?

As I always ask anti-choice folks: Why don't you adopt a group of these unwanted kids? I thought so.

— J.A. Knickerbocker

Colorado Springs

Preserving the past

The staff at the Cripple Creek District Museum would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Ute Pass Historical Society in Woodland Park.

Recently the UPHS donated over 70 historical registers relating to the Cripple Creek District to the museum. The ledgers, dating as early as 1861 and as late as 1899, contain records pertaining to property abstracts and mining claims.

The collection is quite significant, especially since it documents all of the mining claims in the District up to 1899 and records land history and ownership well before Colorado became a state in 1876.

We are very indebted to the Ute Pass Historical Society for the good care they have taken of the ledgers, their conscientious documentation of the information therein, and especially for placing them with the Cripple Creek District Museum for future generations to enjoy.

— Jan Collins, director

Melissa Trenary, archivist

Cripple Creek District Museum

Check the facts

Folks need to do research beyond FOX News and gang, who quote conservative-slanted polls in favor of repealing the Affordable Health Care Act. National polls have shown that 55 percent disapprove of the repeal. But, thanks to FOX's propaganda and millions spent for ad campaigns, numbers are shifting to a split.

It's interesting to note that in 2009, 73 percent of Americans wanted single payer and didn't think the bill went far enough.

The Health Care Act allows affordable coverage for all Americans that will actually cost us less because it allows people to seek help before their health problems get critical, as opposed to incurring higher costs that we would all have to keep paying for. Any alternative to the mandate imposes higher costs on those buying insurance because the healthiest opt out and the unhealthy face increased premiums.

Health and Human Services Department predicted that 129 million Americans under 65 with pre-existing conditions risk losing health insurance and denial of coverage if the Health Care Act is repealed. The Annals of Internal Medicine website, established by the American College of Physicians, gives the full picture:

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

12 missteps

The Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs began its Twelve Steps of Courage program to counsel gays who are uncomfortable with their sexual tendencies, steering them away from those tendencies, deeming homosexuality as a treatable condition.

Having a 12-step program for gays that closely mimics Alcoholics Anonymous characterizes them as addicts, guiding them through steps such as admitting their sins to God and asking for forgiveness.

But homosexuality is not an illness or an addiction. Instead of helping each person feel more accepted, Courage would stamp out any thoughts or actions that would be thought of as gay.

Homosexuality has shown signs of relating to genetics, and therefore would not be a choice. One would not design a program for people to become less black or Asian — or homosexual. Gays and lesbians are no less human than anyone else, but they get singled out and treated differently. A program like Twelve Steps of Courage tries to make them believe that what they are experiencing is wrong.

— Yolanda Haynesworth

Colorado Springs

Budget solutions

It's darkly amusing to listen to the continuing chorus of legislators, and pundits, agonizing over the supposed difficulty of balancing their out-of-control budgets. Here's the simple, doable, four-point program for balancing the federal budget.

1. Cut the military about 90 percent. We don't need, and shouldn't have, military bases in 150-plus countries. We don't need expensive, cutting-edge technology for spying on and killing people. We need only a force to protect the American people from attacks. Big savings.

2. Abolish the secret government. Stop spying on everyone in the world. Stop the kidnappings and the torture. Pull 100 percent of the money. Stop the phone tapping and tracking of Americans. Stop the "national security letters." Shut Guantanamo and all the CIA's secret prisons. Abolish the CIA. Big savings.

3. Repeal prohibition and end prohibition enforcement. Stop attacking a new victim every 50 seconds for smoking cannabis. Fire the jack-booted thugs. Repeal the Controlled Substances Act and all attendant laws and policies. Big savings.

4. Cut the federal gulag at least 90 percent. Free 90 percent of prisoners in the bloated federal prison system, most railroaded in for prohibition violations. Reverse the federalization of all law enforcement. Shut down torture prisons like the one in Florence. Big savings.

The only downside will be the unemployment of several thousand people currently consuming tax dollars to perform no useful service or, worse, to terrorize and brutalize Americans and others.

Note that none of these things are part of any establishment politician's prescription for balancing the budget. The same things will work at the state level: Slash the police establishment, slash the prison industry, end all secret operations, and end prohibition. Do that, and "budget shortfalls" will evaporate — and you can still have roads, honest police protection from real crime, and even a social "safety net," at tolerable tax rates, with money to spare.

— Patrick L. Lilly

Colorado Springs

High-priced oil

We know that tar sands oil is the dirtiest fuel in the world, and that tar sands projects create toxic lakes filled with cancer-causing heavy metals and neurotoxins. We know that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would cross pristine land in six states and put almost 30 percent of our country's agricultural water at risk of contamination.

— Danielle Domanowski


Don't cut the future

Responsible cuts to the budget should not include depleting the resources of the institutions that better our communities. Fostering the growth of people around us and ensuring their success ensures success for the collective whole. We can't cheat ourselves out of strong minds and bodies waiting to be tapped. There are things that need to be fixed in new and innovative ways and there is wo/man power at our fingertips ready to make it happen. The tools and assurance need only be provided.

— Elizabeth Binion

Colorado Springs

It's all over

I'll miss Charlie Harper. I won't miss Charlie Sheen.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

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