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Lingering question

Why did Tim Leigh take away the opportunity for Memorial to continue on as a unique Colorado Springs medical asset?

In the most pragmatic scenario, the University bid is superior to the other "third party" bids. The key to its success will be how the arrangement is put together. If the current Memorial resources are allowed to participate in the process and advise on the significant operational and cultural issues regarding construction of the lease and ancillary agreements, and the negotiation is conducted by wise people with honorable intentions, many goals outlined by the 2010 commission will be accomplished.

A disturbing question still remains: Did Tim Leigh deliberately re-grade Memorial's ranking to prevent its bid from being considered competitive?

During this evolutionary process, it has been clear that the city of Colorado Springs has been positioned to be either the gateway, or simply the doormat, for expansion into the southern Colorado health corridor. As a result of Leigh's action, Denver will now be making decisions on health care for Colorado Springs.

Is there anyone out there who might be interested in a write-in campaign for Memorial? I know I would sign it, to allow Colorado Springs voters to have their voices heard.

— William "Bill" Murray

Colorado Springs

New requirements

I agree with Amanda Marcotte ("Airing dirty laundry," cover story, Dec. 8) that criminal or predatory behavior on the part of the elected (and campaigning) elite needs to be brought to light. One has to question whether the men who engage in hypocrisy can even begin to understand or care about women's issues! I, for one, doubt it.

Therefore, I propose that, in addition to having to provide proof that they were born (not hatched) on this planet, in this country, all political candidates need to provide proof of having passed a sex education course!

I believe most voters are nauseated when the politicians' bimbos and bastards come prancing out; not only to ruin careers and credibility, but to undermine the parties to which these phonies belong! Maybe we ought to pay these politicians on commission! When they do something to benefit society, they get paid.

While we're at it, could we also be informed as to each candidate's IQ?!

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs

Tebow to an atheist

What does an atheist like me think of Tim Tebowing? About as much as a student silently praying for a good grade during a test.

I really like Tim Tebow. He's unconventional, a dazzling athlete with "miraculous" moves giving us exciting football. What's not to like?

Pro football is part sport, part show business and all meat-grinder, and athletes in most extreme sports go into it knowing they almost certainly will be permanently damaged physically and "old" by 35. You admire their bravery but question their career choice.

Many athletes and performers pray beforehand as a good-luck ritual. No one logically believes any god can answer the competing prayers and make both win every time. And some philosophers have remarked that if a god answered your prayers without fail, you would be more powerful than god himself, ordering him around!

For all I know, Tebow, when scoring and looking down at the grass on one knee, might be tying his shoes. When he points up at the sky, maybe he is like so many others signaling "We're No. 1!" Much like my own experience driving around town, with other drivers honking and signaling me with their fingers that I'm No. 1.

If you don't want to see silicone-packed cheerleaders, don't watch. If you resent seeing anyone praying, stay away. If you dislike witnessing young men getting busted up and carried off the field, don't buy a ticket.

Atheists, as well as the ACLU and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Mikey Weinstein, get it right by drawing the line at government. Our government must never promote any religion over and above any other one. Do anything you want in your private property or business, such as pro football. But keep your religion out of my government, please.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs


Dangerous legislation

With the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress has passed the most domestically impacting piece of legislation in my lifetime. President Obama stated all along that he would veto this bill due to its blatant disregard for the Constitution, but he has caved in to political pressure and pulled his threatened veto.

This bill would authorize the military to wage war against the American population in the name of protection from terrorism. An International Business Times article states, "In other words, the Pentagon is afraid that with the dissemination of the Internet, the spread of information or ideas "not consistent with U.S. government themes and messages" could be too powerful and dangerous to national security."

So much for free speech. The military could detain American citizens on American soil without notification or charges.

"What we are talking about here is that Americans could be subjected to life imprisonment," said Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn.

How can anyone call themselves a Democrat or Republican and support the political system that has just passed this type of legislation? How can we stand behind a president and work to promote his agenda when he allows bills like this to be passed and signed without any argument? I have been a registered voter and Democrat since I turned 18. I am a member of the local party and even ran for political office under the ideals that I believe it represented. I have supported and volunteered to help on campaigns, and have shouted in the streets to support candidates and ideals.

It is not lightly that I am choosing to change my party affiliation to Independent because I cannot morally or patriotically support the efforts of our president and specific members of Congress to destroy the fundamental principles that our freedoms are based upon.

— Jonathan T. Dooley

Chipita Park

Checking facts

If Mr. Neil Nelson ("A bald appeal," Letters, Dec. 15) wishes to find his roots in Plato and Aristotle, there are a few facts about their world he may wish to consider:

1.) Between 32 percent and 40 percent of the population of Attica (where Athens is) were slaves and not citizens; 2.) only male citizens over the age of 20 had any political privileges; 3.) women, if they were not slaves, and particularly high-born women, had no economic or political rights and were essentially confined to their houses; 4.) the years between Socrates (469-399 BCE), whose words and philosophy Plato (a bachelor, c. 427-347 BCE) purports to reflect, and Aristotle (384-322 BCE) were fairly well peppered with wars; 5.) Socrates was put to death for "corrupting the youth" by asking questions designed to make them think for themselves; 6.) Aristotle himself was the tutor of one of history's, and the world's, greatest military conquerors, Alexander the Great; 7.) unwanted babies of all classes, most often female, were routinely exposed in the temple or dumped to die or be picked up and raised as slaves.

It is also worthwhile for all of your readers to read (or re-read) Plato's Republic, then ask themselves where America fits in his hierarchy of government types.

— Jean Garren

Woodland Park

Tribute to Hitchens

It can be a lonely existence when you decide, against all odds, and in opposition to a zealous majority, that it is wiser to hold reason above dogma.

The tribe of the non-believer is small. We find ourselves too often hunkered in corners, shy about our beliefs, and constantly paralyzed in disbelief by the hysteria and hypocrisy that abounds all around us.

We derive no comfort from the prospect of a Great Protector or a divine Righter of Wrongs. Wrongs simply exist. And they can be devastating and unredeemed. Justice, then, is a pursuit left entirely unto the delicate and fallible hand of man.

For inspiration and comfort, we lean on our champions — those among us who have found the voice to say what we all inherently knew but were too afraid or inarticulate to voice ourselves.

Our little tribe of skeptics finds itself today one fewer in number. We lost a champion for our side in Christopher Hitchens. We neither seek, nor do we expect, any reward at the end of life for having lived with honor and purpose. It is futile, then, to wish for one of my greatest heroes to rest in peace. When the lights simply go out, there can be only peace.

As Slate reported, Hitch, only days before he died, reaffirmed that he hoped to be fully conscious and awake as he passed away, "in order to 'do' death in the active and not the passive sense."

Christopher Hitchens need not be made into more in death than he was in life. But he was brave — and in his absence, would that the rest of his tribe find just a little bit of that bravery.

Thanks for everything, Hitch.

— Jeff Steen

Cripple Creek

Different slogan

I could not understand why Colorado Springs needed a brand, but since they chose to pay for one and "Live it up!" hasn't been too popular, I suggest "Give it up!" That comes from last year when Mayor Lionel Rivera and the City Council decided to give up $42 million in jobs assistance.

From a Denver Post article by Susan Greene, Council and mayor felt they should refuse the money and suck it up, which meant less bus service, grass in city parks left to die, and on and on.

But I guess they made their point, maybe on the backs of the people. I guess "Suck it up!" would also be appropriate.

— Lois Martinez

Colorado Springs

Indy advice

Why did I wait so long to say thanks for getting John Hazlehurst back on board? He seems able to cut to the chase without getting ugly. His style is a good read, and you know when he writes of something he was there. Not just taking someone else's word.

Please do whatever is needed to get Kathryn Eastburn back on deck. If not weekly, can't you beg her into an occasional article?

Then say goodbye to your Advice Goddess — she writes to those that think like a silly 14-year-old boy. Then it takes her forever to get it said.

Throw a few serious issues at Ranger Rich. He did an informative sum-up of water issues some time ago.

At over $200 a year, the Gazette is terribly overpriced for the fact that you only get the opinion of the ultra-conservative far right. Also they re-run stories and pull articles from the Denver paper. The Gazette needs to get sold or die on the vine. Colorado Springs deserves a credible daily newspaper.

Please continue to allow everyone a voice, and thanks for Mr. Hazlehurst.

— Lola Nafziger

Colorado Springs


Closer to utopia

In the Dec. 8 Letters, Wilson Reynolds ("Trash concept") discussed the duplication of trash-hauling service throughout the city. His concerns are valid, but the suggested solution requires too much government intervention.

Under that proposal, I may be in an area of the city assigned to a hauler with whom I do not want to do business. Or a hauler may be assigned to an area where customers are more likely to be delinquent on payments. Further, it would require the city to set uniform service rates so that one area doesn't get better pricing than another.

The free market could solve the problem. A hauler could offer special pricing to a whole neighborhood if an adequate percentage of the neighborhood signs up with that hauler, and even greater price incentives if larger percentages sign on. Perhaps one customer in the neighborhood could be the local point of contact, and in return the hauler would give free service to that customer. If another hauler wants the business in that area, they could offer even lower rates.

This would create collection efficiencies and cost-per-customer savings for the haulers, and some of those savings would be passed to the customers through the special pricing structures, making it a win-win for both the provider and the customer.

A proposal like this allows the free market to prevail. I challenge local haulers to give this idea some consideration.

— Joe Oppelt

Colorado Springs

More compassion?

Writing about Jamba the elephant ("Jamba finds new life at our zoo," Ranger Rich, Dec. 15), Rich Tosches displays his compassionate, gentle side. Sometimes I wish he would display it more often toward the human beings he writes about.

— Jeff Gatlin

Colorado Springs

Traveling man

At a time when our economy is in shambles and millions are unemployed, Congressman Doug Lamborn decided it was the right time to take a trip — to illegal West Bank settlements. We have to wonder how such a trip applies to us, to Colorado, and to his work. Lamborn is not a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. He didn't go to such settlements to condemn them, as our own government has done for years. No, he went in their support.

Israel has occupied Palestine for 64 years and to further expand its borders, the Israeli government continuously confiscates land from the Palestinian people to construct illegal settlements. Every time Israel builds these colonies, the size of the future Palestinian state shrinks. The international community, including the United States, denounces such acts, understanding such moves create serious obstacles to peace.

Lamborn has legitimized illegal actions and given them credibility, a move that goes against American foreign policy. Instead of taking such trips, we expect Lamborn to fight for the American values of freedom, justice and dignity enshrined in the Constitution. And, as an elected official from Colorado, we expect nothing less than for him to make unbiased decisions, keeping all points of view in mind.

— Bill and Genie Durland

Colorado Springs

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