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Covering the military

The Gazette has reached the absolute bottom in its coverage of war training at Fort Carson. In a series of three articles they start off by depicting training with howitzers as fun and games, "boys with toys" if you will. The second in the series was even more gushy in describing a day of tanks and Bradleys blasting away. Lots of explosions, big gun flashes, helicopter assaults, etc. Then the capper, a story on a full-scale war exercise involving everything from rifles to F-16 jets. The latter was an actual spectacle with civilians brought in to marvel at the pyrotechnics.

There is even a boast about a visiting princess from Jordan joining the cheering crowd.

This is not journalism but an attempt to totally sanitize war. Makes great recruiting material aimed at adventure-seeking young men and women.

Contrast that with the Independent's excellent report on the private mercenary training being conducted in our local high country. "Collateral Damage" (News, June 6) is reporting at its best. The Gazette trilogy is its mirror opposite.

— Bill Sulzman

Colorado Springs

Ruffled feathers

Ancient rainforests around the world and especially those in Sumatra are faraway places for most of us, but the function they perform for life on earth is invaluable. It seems that the company KFC is grinding up these ancient forests to hold the remains of dead chickens for the obese population of America to appease our endless appetite for junk food.

These forests provide clean, oxygenated air and perfect habitat for many remaining and endangered species of plants and animals. They must be protected at all costs. Please let your local dead chicken dealer know that he or she must find a better way to offer this product to customers. Perhaps including more recycled content in containers would help greatly, or reusable containers that could be returned for a deposit refund and sanitized by KFC for reuse.

Solutions, anyone?

— John Chamberlin


Following California

All politics are local! If you don't believe me, take a look at California where a Democrat governor and legislature have driven the once-great state to the brink of insolvency.

As three-time elected Gov. Jerry Brown likes to point out, California has the world's seventh-largest economy, which means that when the citizens run out of money to grab, it will be one hell of a collapse, much larger than Greece.

We in Colorado have a Democrat governor who is attempting to rule against the will of the majority of state residents to curry favor with California expatriates who wish to bring the standard of living down to what they were used to in California with a whole bunch of "freebies" and "benefits" paid for by our taxpayers.

Gov. John Hickenlooper is asking us to pay increased taxes to provide for in-state tuition and health benefits for illegal aliens, same-sex marriages and other special interests that represent extreme points of view and subservience to an out-of-control federal government led by Barack H. Obama.

RINO politicians in the state Legislature who, with the Democrats, backed "Cap and Trade" in 2010, "Amycare" in 2011, and other job-killing legislation are leading our great state down the path of California, must be removed from office before they can completely destroy our economy.

This is your job as residents of Colorado. Just say "NO!" to the people who have moved here from California and other states, who have brought the left-leaning, liberal beliefs that you can have a "free lunch" and send the bill to our taxpayers.

Remember that you hold the "keys to the kingdom" in your hand when you vote in November.

— Martin Wade


Bruce's next battle

Cheers and gratitude to the sagacious Rich Tosches ("Bruce's life on the inside," June 6), for repeating the alarm that convicted tax-fraud Douglas Bruce has been released from jail again. But for once Tosches did not go far enough. The scary thing is that Bruce may be now living in a neighborhood near you or me, which is truly chilling. Is there a Tax Offender Address List?

He is a threat to our children as well as adults, since all tax-cheats take desperately needed money from revenues paying for school lunches, school buses, schoolteachers, after-school programs, and the like. It's nothing less than taking food from kids. And less taxes mean more dangers, due to less police, less firefighters, less restaurant inspectors, and the other things that keep our children safe. Do I want him in my neighborhood?

There's vast argument and hubbub over whether tax-offenders can ever be rehabilitated. The judge who sentenced him the last time intimated that Bruce might never be a changed man, possibly not even, as Bruce brags, comparable to Gandhi or Mandela. The judge sentenced him to lengthy parole with extremely close financial supervision. I agree with her that he may not be able to cure himself, and I think he may be addicted to tax-hating for life. No hope for him. I once thought he was smart, in a cunning sort of way. But we all know what they call someone who acts as his own lawyer in court.

So I'm with Tosches and in disagreement with Gazette editorialist Wayne Laugesen, who wrote that Bruce in jail would simply hone his tax-evading skills, and "have the last laugh." I'm thinking that the IRS, who now are investigating Bruce on the federal level, will have the last laugh.

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Go home, Doug

Doug Bruce is not Messrs. Gandhi, Mandela or King! These are all individuals with compassion, caring, empathy, character, integrity, honor, morality, goodness, decency, truthfulness and respect. Doug Bruce has none of these qualities. Mr. Bruce is: cold, indifferent, uncaring, untruthful, disrespectful, corrupted, excessive, devoid of moral fiber, decorum and graciousness; plus, a depraved, pathetic, wretched, sad, angry, foolish old man.

Mr. Bruce is: a convicted felon and can no longer practice law!

Can the most avid of his supporters imagine, for one moment, if all the allegations, Mr. Bruce alleged took place while he was incarcerated had an iota of truth; that his attorney would have not filed charges against the Denver County jail; sued the county; and had those alleged to be responsible for such allegations brought to trial?

Doug, go back from where you came – Orange County California – let us have some solace and peace from your foolish ranting and ravings!

— James M. Hesser

Colorado Springs

Servants for all

When a person is elected to hold a job in government, he/she becomes a public servant. This job requires a desire to serve all people, not just the privileged. It should be obvious to them that all Americans do not have the same opportunities. Many people in our country grow up in extremely difficult circumstances with very slim chances to succeed.

Yet we hear outcries from people like former Sen. Alan Simpson, calling struggling seniors "greedy geezers," and Mitt Romney, along with Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, promising to get rid of Planned Parenthood when doing so would cost taxpayers $1.2 billion.

Were they raised in families who put themselves on pedestals, above the underprivileged, considering them undeserving? To be a true public servant requires a servant's heart. From my perspective, many of our elected public servants in Congress today are quite self-serving; indebted to big corporations they call "people," not to the people who pay their salaries.

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

Bloomberg vs. the fizz

New York City Mayor Bloomberg's decision to ban supersized sugary sodas has resurrected the age-old debate over the role of the state in protecting the public health. In recent years, this debate involved bicycle helmets, car seatbelts, tobacco, trans fats, saturated fats in meat and dairy products, and sugar (or more aptly, high-fructose corn syrup). Public subsidies for tobacco, meat and dairy, and corn production added fuel to the debate.

I would argue that society has a right to regulate activities that impose a heavy burden on the public treasury. National medical costs of dealing with our obesity epidemic, associated with consumption of meat, dairy, and sugars, are estimated at $190 billion. Eliminating subsidies for these products, as well as judicious taxation to reduce their use and recoup public costs should be supported by health advocates and fiscal conservatives alike.

Benjamin Franklin claimed that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Ironically, death can be deferred substantially by taxing products that make us sick.

— Carl Silverman

Colorado Springs


Another version

I imagine Mayor Bloomberg's staff meeting went something like this ...

Mayor Bloomberg: Last staff meeting I asked you each to come up with a strategy for raising revenue during this recession. Smith, let's hear your idea.

Smith: I read on the Internet that there are over 1 million 32-ounce fountain drinks sold every day in NYC and I think you should ban the sale of fountain drinks over 16 ounces.

Mayor Bloomberg: Excuse me for interrupting, but won't people just buy two 16-ounce drinks instead?

Smith: That's the beauty of it sir. Convenience stores don't sell 32-ounce drinks for twice as much as 16-ounce drinks. A 16-ounce drink costs 99 cents and a 32-ounce drink costs $1.59. If people have to buy two 16-ounce drinks to get their 32-ounce sugar fix, they will pay $1.98 instead of $1.59 and the city will collect an extra 8.875% sales tax on 39 cents. One million drinks times 39 cents times 8.875% sales tax equals an extra $34,612.50 in sales tax collected every day! That's $12,633,562.50 a year!

Mayor Bloomberg: I like it! We sell the ban as fighting the War on Obesity! It will appeal to my nanny state loving liberal base and it will appear as if I'm supporting Michelle Obama's war on fat and get me in good with President Obama!

Smith: The down side is that there will be twice as many paper cups thrown in the trash.

Mayor Bloomberg: That's not a problem. Just hire more garbage men. That will help the economy, reduce the unemployment rate and get me the support of the Garbage Man Union. I see no down side. Let's run with it.

— Bill Schaffner

Colorado Springs


What kind of country?

As the fall elections approach we citizens hope that they cause people to search their souls to make good decisions about where our country is headed. Unfortunately, in this political season, it seems more like a scramble for the last broken Easter eggs scattered through the field. It feels like we are all grubbing for the last monetary crumbs while many in power stack up cakes and pies in their multiple mansions.

We are reduced to begging for educational funding when that should be one of our highest national priorities. There is more and more disdain for government jobs, as if taking care of our roads and parks and infrastructure is unseemly behavior. To some the calls for less government are just a push for less oversight of clean air and water and financial markets.

As the summer grows warmer we should reach inside ourselves and ask, "What kind of America do I want this to be?"

Do we want a country where the middle-class (including government) jobs are siphoned off so we can live in filthier streets and drive on wheel-shattering roads? Do we want to allow more attacks on teachers and educators, or do we want to live in a country where education and art are encouraged? Where we are pushing to get past our gluttonous use of dirty and dangerous fuels and our youth can still embrace the American dream of a decent job to support a home and family? Or will we allow the country to degrade into an everyone-for-themselves rat race?

— Mike Clow

Colorado Springs

Enough is enough

Bankers and the common persons' lack of actions cause American and European financial crises. Capitalism has been with us since the dawn of mankind. The last five years says expoiting workers does not work. To overcome this economic downswing people should call for an economy of enough. That is where workers are paid more than a starvation wage. They are paid enough to pay bills.

This can be accomplished be reducing the costs of electric, food, health care and rent. I am not talking about the mom-and-pop stores. I am talking about the product made by the companies of CEO, who make an average of $35,000 a day. Like Jim Hightower says, it's time bankers say I have enough profit. It's time to use an economy of enough. This could be the message that nature is trying to tell us.

— Jan Lightfoot

Colorado Springs

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