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Liberals at work

To Rich Tosches: At the rear of the April 18 paper, I happened upon your piece ("Showdown at PPFC corral," Ranger Rich), and after reading it, I could not restrain myself from writing you a brief reply. I typically ignore lazy, elitist commentary like yours.

You were probably assigned to attend that stinking meeting by your editor, and naturally you were all "wee-wee'd" up about it. Correct? I mean missing happy hour and all ... so rather than trying to find anything informative for the reader, you resorted to "Lazy Liberal 101 ... Bash, Trash and Opinionate."

In that half-page, you managed to trash: Republicans, Doug Lamborn, Robert Blaha, guns, the Second Amendment, illegal aliens, Mayor Steve Bach, fishing, hunting, Christianity, Uncle Remus, George Zimmerman, the Constitution, Plato, God, the Ten Commandments and dogs! (Good God, man! Isn't bashing one or two subjects a bit more in-depth enough? I'd like to know what you really think. I'd like to see your actual "reasoning.")

It is much easier to sit back on your lethargic liberal haunches and look at the world through your bleary, dismissive eyes, pronouncing your "Ranger Rich judgments" on the world. Wouldn't it be more productive to at least try to insert an idea for improvement in your article? I mean, you have the space and America is in crisis. Lack of jobs, fiscal insanity, class warfare, Obama's failed attempt at governance ... I could go on but I have something productive to do — the dishes!

I hope you'll take my attempt to wake you seriously. The world is on fire and you are napping and bitching! Please be a tiny bit of the solution! Or, is that job only for the lowly, gun-toting, Bible-thumping right-wingers like Lamborn, Blaha, Uncle Remus and me?

— Cathy Gardino


No need to stay

I am a native of Colorado Springs, and one of the few left. I have been to many other areas of the country and have appreciated them for what they are. What has bothered me is how many times I have returned here and felt like a foreigner in my own land.

There are so many of you here now from some other place. Please don't get me wrong, because I am not racist and I appreciate different cultures. I understand some of you have come here to escape somewhere that wasn't desirable. I also realize that growth means progress, and this has not been the only spot to have gone through it. I know this scenario has occurred all over the Southwestern region of the country in the last 20 years, but it seems you have chosen this place to give your hardest blow.

Over the years I have seen more and more of the same: You came here on a vacation and decided to stay, along with your bad driving and arrogant boasting about "where you are from." You were transferred here by the military or a corporation and you have driven up the economy. You are a spoiled college kid who came here on your parents' money because you wanted to attend school in "Colorado."

Being a tourist or moving here for whatever reason does not give any of you the right to disrespect me and other natives, treating us like the strangers, while you go on and on about how life was where you came from.

The Rocky Mountains are great, but not a good enough reason for you to ruin the place! Have some respect, and if you can't, please go back whence you came. Also, the NFL team here is the Broncos — not the Patriots, Bears, Raiders or whatever!

— J.D. Shaffer

Colorado Springs

Bronco pessimism

I can't believe the praise and love John Elway is getting from Colorado sportswriters for the Denver Broncos' 2012 draft ("Broncos' big-time draft recovery," End Zone, May 2). You guys should have been excoriating Elway for the worst Bronco draft class in its history.

Derek Wolfe was given an NFL combine rating of 47.5, the lowest of any player in the first five rounds. Matt Johnson, drafted by Dallas in the fifth round, was rated 49 and played at Eastern Washington. Elway said he was going after impact players and wound up with Derek Wolfe, Osweiller, Malik Jackson, Ronnie Hillman and Omar Bolden. The only player that might break into the starting lineup is Bolden, and he had serious injury problems.

Jackson was running second string at Southern Cal before transferring to Tennessee. Hillman struggled against better teams and is too small to be a blocker in the backfield. Osweiller is 6-foot-7 and will probably get killed due to his frame, and even if he is good they don't expect to use him for three or four years.

Elway passed on great impact players in the draft and instead got Wolfe, who should have gone in the fifth round or later; Osweiller, who may not play for four years; Hillman, a small running back who may or may not be able to play NFL-caliber ball; and Jackson, a backup at USC.

You could have put a blind man in a dark room and he could have picked names out of a hat and had a much better draft than Denver, and yet you guys are praising Elway as a genius.

Elway and Fox will be revealed as idiots in the next couple of years. There is no possible way with the murderous schedule they have this year that they can make the playoffs.

— John Moss

Colorado Springs

Change the world

How does seeing a news story on the cause of poverty make this transplant to your splendid mountains, anti-poverty, human-rights fighter feel? The article "Paychecks and balances" (cover story, April 25) makes me feel "thrilled" to my core. It fills me with hope that the media out here might be leaders in enriching the attributes of our society.

Our society is work-based. So the traits and treatment of our workers are upmost in the value of our community. The hours and sum total of our work a key to the peak of our humanity, knowing that "without adequate rest (or income), recreation, nutrition, and time off to just be (human), people get dull and stupid," as highlighted in the written critique.

People react better when they have recreation and vacations, to accompany their greatest tasks. That also means the capability of paying all their bills covering the needs of life.

It means workers being able to afford the basics, as well as the relaxation of being human. The U.S. Labor Department admits to only a small percentage of all workers making a livable wage. That results in millions in poverty making less than livable wages. This is just as important as how many hours we have off.

In a world based upon work, all workers should make enough first to pay their bills, then relax. This is paraphrasing U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, who said to the effect that "no one working for a living should be in poverty."

I say no working person should feel like a worthless, replaceable cog in the owners' profit-making machine. I also think the writer should receive a Pulitzer Prize for this article. Thanks to the Independent for bringing factual knowledge to its readers.

— Jan Lightfoot

Colorado Springs

The truth hurts

Regarding Roger Weed's letter ("Personal challenge," May 2) attacking the previous week's article about the 40-hour workweek, research data collected 40 or 100 years ago doesn't get stale with age. However, if Mr. Weed is a "churn 'em and burn 'em" employer, no study done yesterday, today, or tomorrow is going to convince him to stop overworking his employees if he is happy with the results.

— Daniel Arcelay

Colorado Springs


Built-in disadvantages

Sara Robinson's "Paychecks and Balances" is right on the money in describing much of the 2012 American workplace. Unfortunately, the far-right propaganda machine has also been working overtime for the past 30 years to persuade many of these same workers to think, act and vote against their own economic self-interest, and to enable the unmitigated supply-side "trickle-down" economic regime that has contributed to worker abuse and exploitation.

One might think it would be extremely difficult to convince an American worker, struggling for 50 or 60 hours a week at one or more jobs, and who may never see the north side of $60,000 (or $50,000) a year, to embrace conservative supply-side economics, worship rich "job-creating" entrepreneurs and demonize unions, all while enduring flat pay, diminishing benefits, eliminated pensions and outsourcing of jobs. Yet the right wing has improbably managed this task.

It appears that many American workers today are too apathetic and brainwashed (as well as exhausted) to push back against employment abuses. But such abuse is no more inevitable today than it was in 1890. Some employers will exploit their employees because they can. It will require a rebirth of a labor movement or its 21st-century equivalent, together with a rise in public consciousness such as occurred during the Progressive Era, to rebalance the playing field.

— Norm Bangeman


Differing views

Though he is to be commended for his ability to use a thesaurus, perhaps Jeff Faltz ("Mental halitosis," Letters, April 25) might want to consider that padding his dusty, right-wing-talking-point-riddled letter with big words does little to make his claims more credible.

Yes, the financials do speak for themselves. By all commonly accepted economic benchmarks, the economy is recovering and is significantly improved from January 2009. President Obama has brought the country from a net loss of almost 8 million jobs from 2007 to 2009, to over two straight years of net private-sector jobs growth. Then there is the success of the auto industry bailout. How is the economy not better? In Mr. Faltz' world, apparently better = failure.

As for Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act doesn't take effect until 2014. Considering the delivery system is through traditional insurance companies, and tens of millions more Americans will be purchasing coverage, ACA will likely be a boon rather than a bust. As for the mandate, it was the contribution of Republicans and touted by Mitt Romney. I guess "not even happened yet" = failure.

The Fast & Furious "fiasco," as Mr. Faltz puts it, is not unique to this presidency, as evidenced by Reagan's Iran-Contra fiasco and GWB's Abu-Ghraib/Blackwater fiascos.

And though he gives no specifics of President Obama pandering versus authentic resolve, I would suggest Mr. Faltz ask Osama Bin Laden or Muammar Gaddafi how authentic his resolve was. He'll need a medium to do it, however.

The rest is, of course, partisan silliness. Mr. Faltz can call off the dogs since the hunt is over. He already has the formula for mental halitosis. It's called low-effort thinking, and his letter is a masterful demonstration of it.

— Patricia Roth

Colorado Springs

All or nothing

Among the entry-test criteria for the high IQ societies, including Mensa and Intertel, is an ability to correctly use analogies as well as appropriate vocabulary usage. Jeff Faltz would likely fail conveying either aptitude and hence not make the mark.

Let me then clarify for Mr. Faltz that there is a difference between entertaining a "myopic nirvana" about a leader's accomplishments, and correcting outright misrepresentations (which Joan Christensen made). I "heaped" no "accolades" on Mr. Obama but rather gave credit where it was due, including: 1) providing a stimulus that most economists agree spared us from much more parlous consequences, 2) eliminating Osama bin Laden, and 3) bringing an atmosphere of mutual respectability to international relations (contrasted with Dumbya's 'my way or the highway' dictates).

Let me also make clear — to disabuse Faltz of his fantasies — that there are many ways that Mr. Obama hasn't come close to meeting my expectations. These include: not providing a large enough initial stimulus (Paul Krugman and others assert it ought to have been at least $1.4 trillion); erring by having too many tax cuts (1/3) in the stimulus; leaving his health care law in the hands of Max Baucus et al, instead of boldly fighting for a public option; continuing the wasteful nonsense in Afghanistan; setting up a "deficit committee" with the likes of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles; putting Social Security and Medicare up for potential cuts to appease austerity fetishists.

The above points are made to show I'm in no way the ga-ga zombie that Faltz portrays. As a pragmatic realist I'm prepared to recognize accomplishment where it is due, and also withhold 100 percent praise when I object to a policy.

Faltz loses any credibility by seeking to dismiss everything Obama has done!

— Phil Stahl

Colorado Springs

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