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Filling the void

Kudos to J. Adrian Stanley and the Colorado Springs Independent for an in-depth article ("A little goes a long way," cover story, July 21) that balanced tough facts with tender compassion. The story also provides additional inspiration to the efforts of Odyssey Hospice in its food drive for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado.

Anyone who brings Odyssey Hospice non-perishable foods (canned goods, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, boxed meals, etc.) from their home, neighborhood, church or business to benefit Care and Share is eligible to win a luxurious free dinner for two worth $150 at the Melting Pot restaurant. Just bring items to 5526 N. Academy Blvd., #108, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with your contact information before Aug. 26.

We will also distribute food bags and barrels to our health care partners, such as local nursing homes and other health-care facilities, with a food prize for staffs and residents. Our parent organization, Gentiva, has organized food drives for the past seven years and collected more than 166,000 pounds of food in 2010.

To learn how you can help us gather an abundant August harvest to aid the powerful work of Care and Share in 31 Colorado counties, please call me at 573-4166. Thank you for lending your support to our crusade for Care and Share at this time of crucial need for many families and individuals.

— Rebekah Shardy

Manager of volunteers, Odyssey Hospice

Colorado Springs

Work left undone

Congress has finally voted on the debt ceiling. The debate was contentious, lengthy, and political in every sense of the word. The legislators now leave Washington for five weeks' vacation.

During the weeks that preceded this vote, the other business that faced Congress went unfinished and remains unfinished until their return in September. Workers are now being laid off, income for many is on hold, and people are concerned about paying their debts. This is due to the fact that Congress failed to address any other business except the debt ceiling vote.

Does anyone find the fact that they are now gone from Washington for five weeks to be utterly inexcusable, and maddening?

Congress is supposed to "represent the people." Leaving unfinished business that directly affects the livelihood of many does not "represent the people." I am disgusted with the politics of the debt ceiling vote, but I am appalled at the fact that the legislators have left for vacation with so much unfinished business.

— Margaret Garrett

Colorado Springs


Tale of two reps

On Monday, I witnessed history made. Congress voted to pass the budget bill. True heroism was forefront: Rep. Gabby Giffords of Arizona, tragically shot in the head at a town hall meeting in January, appeared and cast her vote. This was heroism and statesmanship at its finest.

Coincidentally, our own congressperson, Doug Lamborn, referred to our president as a "tar baby." This act was racist at best and at worst cowardly and un-American. Mr. Lamborn should be ashamed.

— Biff Morehead

Colorado Springs

Know your role, Doug

As I write this, I am reeling over the comment Doug Lamborn made about President Obama. I am sure by now this audience is aware of the derogatory, bigoted name he used in referring to our president; I can't even type the epigram it is so repugnant.

How many more times will we hear a politician issue a statement retracting a comment they made, and the American people are supposed to forget it ever happened? One doesn't use a label in a spontaneous conversation unless it is in their vocabulary. How can one excuse their "slip" when it comes out so easily when speaking?

As an educator I can do my best to be a role model for the students at my school. Sadly, there are few role models in the political venue that children can look up to and respect. Both parties should be ashamed of their public behavior; what are they teaching the young people of our nation?

We are all responsible for educating our youth, and it can be done as easily as being a person of decency, someone who shows responsible behavior, who demonstrates compassion, kindness and respect for others. We should be outraged by comments such as the one made by Doug Lamborn. If you are old enough to vote, make sure you demonstrate your disgust, and when another election comes around, use your power to let politicians know you will not tolerate this behavior.

— Jeanne Kleinman Williams, M.A. CCC-SLP

Speech-language pathologist

Colorado Springs

American destiny?

As I listened to news of our possible default, my thoughts were drawn back to a book I read several years ago by Kevin Phillips called American Theocracy. Before the conservative element of our village rises up in arms, I want to point out that Phillips is a former Republican strategist.

Phillips points to several common factors that led to the downfall of great empires from Rome to Great Britain. They were an excessive global outreach (colonization); church-driven, ultra-conservative domination of politics; stubborn dependency on a single natural resource, to the point of stifling innovation; and a debt-driven economy that favored the development of a disparate distribution of wealth.

In all the empires noted by Phillips, what transpired was an inability to govern for the overall good due to the absence of any effort at compromise. Failure to act collectively triggered stagnation and decline.

At the time I found the book disturbing, as Phillips adeptly pointed out that America was on a similar trajectory. I set the book aside and promptly forgot it. I now realize that was a huge mistake.

Falling prey to fear tactics that promote an "every man/woman for themselves" mentality only fulfills the prophecy. From this day forward I vow to support only those views and leaders who work for compromise and move our country away from these common factors for social and economic collapse.

I invite you to join me in making your voice heard and your next vote count. I still hope we can pull out of this death-spiral, but there is no time for procrastination anymore.

— Will Wallace

Colorado Springs

Simple as this

Republicans are just proving the one point that they make in every campaign: Government doesn't work (when you elect Republicans).

— Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs


Hold me back

Freedom is to a society as green grass is to a cow — very nutritious, but too much can get messy.

A truly kind Vietnamese man who lived a few years under communism before managing to obtain release from that country where, as he put it, they'd come in, take your family member, and no one dare ask whether you'll ever see them again, told me we have too much freedom here. A significant number of Americans know his observation is correct because of freedom's propensity to shout, "Hey, everybody, look at me!" Our modern bids for attention often don't reflect accomplishment or ability; they're only cheap substitutes for self-esteem — and they work about as well as addictive drugs.

The result of our so-called self-expression is the aforementioned digestive problem — a sickness — and it comes from ingesting too much freedom. When the authority — whether parent, teacher or law — says no and doesn't mean it, there's a dear price to pay, easily fatal. We instinctively know this, so why are we afraid to say, "Don't do that. It's cheap, prideful, immature, and inconsiderate ... if you want admiration, do something admirable."

Tattoos. Metal. Subwoofers. Pipes. Too much green grass. America's got the splatters.

— Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

It ain't fiction

One thing I've learned after 20-plus years of living in Colorado Springs: The truth is often stranger than fiction.

Take the debacle over term limits — sure, the county commissioners slipped one over on the public through devious wording on a ballot measure last fall. Commissioners Sallie Clark and Dennis Hisey, who will benefit personally by being eligible to run for a third term in 2012, were among those who voted yes. At over $87,000 in salary per year, these Republicans sure can change their minds quickly about the wisdom of term limits!

Now, enter the Tea Party. Americans for Prosperity, headed by former Republican candidate for Congress, Jeff Crank, turned out their minions for public hearings and claimed the high road, using fancy concepts like "trust," "integrity" and "the will of the people."

The Tea Party may be right on this issue, but does it really have more integrity than the county commissioners? Americans for Prosperity just spent around $200,000 to run sleazy ads against Richard Skorman that distorted his record and stance on issues, and misled the voters with a bunch of buzzwords. The Tea Party is funded in part by the ultra right-wing Koch brothers, and they certainly wouldn't stand for a "liberal" as mayor of Colorado Springs (though Skorman is a moderate).

Both the county commissioners and Tea Party endorse the same type of sleazy, unethical, self-dealing practices that have become commonplace on our local, Republican-dominated political scene. Thanks to both, we now have commissioners running repeatedly, jockeying for positions to keep those fat, taxpayer-paid salaries as long as they can. We also have a mayor who can't set aside his personal biases to provide the leadership to condemn hate crimes.

My, oh my, if only this were not the truth about life in Colorado Springs.

— Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

Glitterati call

I always enjoy reading the letters submitted by Larimore Nicholl and Rev. Tom Pedigo because they express their views so well that they have to be appreciated for their ability to communicate effectively, sincerely and with wry humor. Bravo, guys!

Both are wits as well as gurus; no candleholders to Bill Buckley, you understand, but passable for a part of the country that can boast of nothingness between here and the North Pole except Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and nothing between here and the South Pole except Acapulco.

It would be nice if the Indy could do something really different like host a few "discussions, talks, radical musings" by local intelligentsia and/or glitterati; as Timothy Leary used to call it, "a Night of Stand-Up Philosophy!" Make it inclusive and hone in on an issue that all citizens can relate to, like "Littering, Dumping, Trashing the Town." We can all benefit by making the town look better, and it costs nothing to pick up your own litter.

It costs nothing ... everybody benefits ... it costs nothing ... everybody benefits ... is this too difficult a concept for this altitude? Too controversial for folks who are afraid to read Doonesbury in the comic strips? Too Marxist, too multiculturalist for our strong mayor to comment on? Too weak and femme an issue for rednecks and macho men? Anti-litter ... guess it's not glamorous enough.

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs


On last week's Seven Days to Live spread, Holly Garlow should have been credited as the photographer for the image of Sansara that ran with the story, "Fire dance."

The Indy regrets the omission.


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