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Obama's 'Enemy No. 1' ...

I am so disappointed in a culture that promotes "war on women." Women's health is paramount to having a healthy society. It bothers me that people would use politics to prevent women from receiving the health care that they need.

Yet, that is exactly what happened in Texas. The state of Texas de-funded "Planned Parenthood," and the response from the Obama administration was to withhold federal funds for health care to Texas.

This leaves poor women and their children without health care to make a political point. There is definitely a war on women in our nation, and it is President Barack Obama who is Enemy No. 1 to poor women who rely on the government for health care for themselves and their children.

— Fr. Bill Carmody

Respect Life Director

Diocese of Colorado Springs

... unless it's the GOP

Why are these self-righteous, white, Republican men taking on a all-out war against women? These men are against women's health care, Planned Parenthood, basic women's rights and equal pay. These Republicans claim not to be Islamic, but they are for Sharia Law.

I have been married to a bright, beautiful woman for 49 years, I have three smart, lovely daughters, and I have five wonderful granddaughters. I feel I must stand up for and protect them from these misguided, self-righteous, abusive, white male Republicans.

The Republicans' hero, Bill O'Reilly, rants against women's rights, and he is the clown who paid millions of dollars for sexual abuse to a female associate. The talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh, absurdly describes a Georgetown University law student as a "slut" and "prostitute" — for advocating health coverage that includes contraception. The GOP candidates all have stumbled as they have tried to separate themselves from — but not offend — Limbaugh.

Women make up 50 percent of the electorate, and most real men support their wives and daughters. This is a war against women we will win in November.

— Leon Rodriguez


Child's play

The article "If you dream it..." by Chet Hardin (News, March 8) stated that Colorado Springs is one of only eight most populous cities in the U.S. without a children's museum. (Denver and even smaller Pueblo have one.)

Yes, Pueblo's Children's Museum was voted by Child magazine a few years ago as one of the top three children's museums in the country.

Hopefully the city of Colorado Springs can do as well. Give it your best try. I wish you the best in your endeavor. In the meantime, come to Pueblo and visit one of our nation's top children's museums.

— Edward Sajbel


Versatile venue

The Independent's preview of Cirque du Soleil's Dralion in the Feb. 16 issue ("Stage alchemy") was well-done, whetting my appetite for what I thought would be a good show. My family and I saw it a few days later for my mother's birthday at the World Arena.

We felt that the performance was fabulous — spectacular aerial stunts, great costumes, global flavor and diverse music! But I was struck by how cool it is that we can also watch the Colorado College Tigers play a great game of hockey in that very same arena.

The organizations that came together to fund and build the Colorado Springs World Arena were smart to create a venue that is flexible and accessible. A place that hosts such diversity in entertainment is a great part of our community. Shows like Dralion give our city an international feel, and Tiger hockey gives it a hometown feel.

So I'm just writing to say keep up the good previews, and thanks, Colorado Springs!

— Luke Blong

Colorado Springs

Romney's rhetoric

Willard Mitt Romney doesn't realize how war-weary the American people really are. Does he want to march into Tehran and plant the stars and stripes atop every mosque? When Americans demand the freedom to determine their own future, does that same freedom extend to other sovereign nations?

Sure, Iran might develop a single nuke, one-fifth of what North Korea might have, and one-thousandth of what Israel might have, but Iran is aiming it at the country that has been systematically assassinating its scientists with Mossad special ops on motorcycles with magnet bombs, à la James Bond.

If Israel wants to stand its ground, I'm sure it doesn't need any help. We have armed them well. Plus, why should we borrow more money from China to get embroiled in another quagmire?

I humbly suggest a modern Exodus. The Jews displaced by World War II should demand reparations. The Nazis kept meticulous records. If the farm that was stolen from your family now sports a skyscraper, it's yours. It's time to go home and get some Shalom.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Israel, unadorned

Karen Rose's letter ("No nukes," March 15) was articulate, precise and consistent. I would like to present, in the same way, an opposing view.

We should not stand with Israel just because they claim "they stand with us."

• The Israeli occupation, invasion, attacks, casualties and blockade of Gaza are justified by, in the words of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, "the right to self-defense and to exist," a right not only of Israel but of Palestine.

• Israel's responses have not been "measured," but hypocritical. A country that has the fourth-strongest military in the world and which illegally possesses hundreds of nuclear warheads, but refuses to admit it or abide by international laws regulating nuclear nations, has no right to criticize other nations developing nuclear weaponry.

• The United States and the international community should not praise Israel unreservedly, but should condemn it for its violation of the Nuremberg Principles and international treaties.

• The international community should cut off ties with all terrorist organizations but failed to do so as the United Nations, when it recognized an independent State of Israel when requested to do so in 1948 by the Jewish Agency consisting of three terrorist organizations, Lehi, Irgun, and Haganah. Those organizations assassinated the U.N. representative there and later, as a nation, sunk the USS Liberty in international waters, killing 34 Americans. It should now, in turn, recognize the request for statehood of Palestine over Soviet-style, Cold War-like vetoes of the U.S. and Israel.

• The U.S., which toppled Iran's democratic Mosaddegh government in 1953, should make it clear that it will hold Israel accountable but should not use Karen Rose's phrase "by whatever means are necessary" against Israel as she would have against Iran, but only those means that are just and legal under the rule of law.

— Bill Durland

Colorado Springs

Unsound decisions

Your March 15 news article, "Ready for take-off," says the Army's decision to station a Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Carson has already been made. You are almost correct.

Many have mistakenly assumed that the Environmental Assessment (EA) was our opportunity to participate in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. But the Army's decision was made, without any public meetings, as a result of the earlier Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS).

The decision to bring 113 helicopters, 2,700 troops and 24,000 annual flight-hours to our region is a done deal as far as NEPA is concerned. There were no public meetings for the PEIS because, according to the Army, they already received comments in 2008 as part of Grow the Army. Regarding the decision to bring a CAB to Fort Carson, we had our chance; not as part of the current EA process, not as part of the PEIS process, but four years ago.

But all of those depend upon the 2007 Transformation Environmental Impact Statement, which was successfully challenged in federal court and vacated by court order. So, the whole structure built upon it is nothing but a house of cards.

But it's not too late. The final determining factor is funding. Our elected representatives still have to appropriate money to make it happen. If Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet decide not to abuse flawed NEPA documents to justify the abuse of our land and airspace for military expansionism, they can still pull the plug on the CAB.

We can tell our senators that we don't want our lands and skies used to further militarize our state.

Udall and Bennet have an ethical and economic choice to make. If we remain silent, the corporate defense contractors will be the only voices that our senators hear.

— Doug Holdread



Troublesome Scotts

There must be something about Scott(s)...

There must be something insidious, sinister, menacing — indeed dangerous — about politicians named Scott: Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin who abuses voter rights in that state, and Colorado's Secretary of State Scott Gessler, who is once again attempting to do the same!

In fact, one might think Scott Gessler is behaving like Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany when Goebbels ordered the burning of books, heralding the "Theses of Luther" and invoking the need to purify German culture and demand universities be centers of German nationalism. Or initiating "Kristallnacht," wherein the Nazis broke the windows of the shops of Jews, mostly immigrants; same which became a precursor to killing, arresting and incarcerating Jews in concentration camps. Sound familiar?

Is this what our holier-than-thou Scott Gessler wants by asking Homeland Security to assist him in his "voter cleansing" Colorado? I think so. It is time for Scott-the-Colorado-Gestapo Gessler to go, using the same process as Wisconsin citizens are using to "cleanse" Gov. Scott Walker!

— James M. Hesser

Colorado Springs

Fuel for fire

With the economy on the upswing, Republican presidential candidates have no better story to concoct than President Obama's failure to reduce gas prices. Despite economic experts stating that any president and Congress have little effect on gas prices, the story seems to be gaining traction.

Yes, gas prices hurt the economy. Economists agree that every 10-cent rise in gas equates to $11 billion in disposable income being pulled from consumers' pockets. This impacts people with marginal incomes the most. Economists also admit the U.S. now competes in a world market that, frankly, is willing to pay more for gas than we are. Other countries pay upward of $9 per gallon.

Recent reports show that, even though U.S. demand has dropped and domestic production is at a four-year high, gas prices continue to skyrocket because U.S. companies have tripled their fuel exports. That's because they can make a higher profit on exporting gas. Corporate profits rule! The only action the president and Congress can take is to regulate exports, which isn't part of the Republican agenda of free enterprise.

About the Keystone XL pipeline: In testimony to Canada's Parliament, executives from Keystone admitted most oil to be processed in Louisiana refineries would end up being exported. They also stated that gas prices in the Midwest U.S. would probably go up at least 10 percent as the pipeline would open new, cheaper exporting markets for their products.

So let's get real. Unless we want to regulate the gas and oil industry, we must compete at the pump with China and India. We can never drill enough to bring down what other nations are willing to pay for our gas and oil. Newt Gingrich's new pledge of $2.50 gas is the only pipe dream out there.

— Merl Will-Wallace

Colorado Springs

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