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For 'clean' fracking
The recent U.S. increase in oil (and natural gas) production is due to hydraulic fracturing technology — fracking.
We are regaining "energy independence," which is politically important, and that is in addition to the fact that there are billions of capitalistic dollars to be made and in-country jobs to be created, by fracking. It's a local issue because new "fracking-driven" wells are being drilled in El Paso County.
There are environmental horror stories about ground water and aquifer contamination from fracking. Many are true. However, it is bad environmentalism to simply oppose fracking. There is too much of both money and geopolitical gain to be had.
Think of no more American lives lost in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. No national politician — be he Democrat, Republican or otherwise — will be able to resist big money, local jobs and not having to kiss OPEC ass, foreign-policy-wise, for the price of a bit of regulation and placating of the environmentalist subset of our electorate.
There are other good and sufficient ways to ensure that fracking is done "cleanly." All of these are expensive and require rigorous engineering discipline. The important thing to remember is that "clean fracking" will NOT happen unless we insist that it happens.
Another thing: Colorado's state regulations (and our local regulations, so far as we can yet tell) are a sham that will not ensure "clean fracking."
If you are an environmentalist, I urge you to engage your friendly local naïf politicians, and insist on "known good," clean fracking regulations. In any case, be aware that naively opposing fracking in general is "spitting into the wind." The wind does not care and you end up with spit on your chin.
— David Carew
Blaming the victims
As the Colorado Springs City Council considers an ordinance to ban panhandling, isn't it time our community's religious leaders take up the subject of the morality of criminalizing poverty? Business owners downtown and on the west side are clamoring, apparently, for police to make their homeless go away, as if the economy and war's deprivation are less to blame than their victims.
Of course I'm still waiting to hear pastors speak out in opposition to torture, extrajudicial assassination and war, but you'd think sermons addressing Christian charity would write themselves.
— Eric Verlo
Race to the bottom
In reference to the letters in late October and early November that said people will not vote for Barack Obama because he is black, how does the letter writer explain the 53 percent of Americans who voted for him in 2008 and re-election this time?
I voted for him in 2008 because he promised transparency in government, to rescind the Bush tax cuts, stop the outsourcing, reward companies that stayed in America, bring the troops home, reduce unemployment and the debt. (Bush plunged us into $3 trillion debt in eight years; Obama raised it to $14 trillion in less than three years.) I began having doubts last time as he selected his cabinet and said Ronald Reagan was his role model.
I voted against President Obama this time because of his track record, which didn't bother others. I'm tired of hearing the race card played.
— Barbara Faber
Cease and depart
Concerning your very timely article "Seize and desist" (cover story, Oct. 31) the voter suppression movement really got under way at the direction of ultra-conservative activist Paul Weyrich more than 30 years ago. He was unashamed of his very un-American core philosophy that clearly stated how much he despised true democracy:
"I don't want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. ... Our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down" — Weyrich, 1980.
"True the Vote," a tea party-affiliated group, is the latest incarnation of voter suppression: Despite scant evidence of voter fraud, it had planned to deputize a million "poll watchers" to challenge voters at the polls in this election. (It should be noted that apparently, only Republicans engage in this shameful tactic!)
Voter suppression is yet another tentacle of the evil that seeks to assure that the economically disenfranchised do not participate in American "self-government." Since it would take hundreds, if not thousands, of ineligible voters in any given district to change the outcome of an election, "voter fraud" would take extensive organizing to be effective!
— Jerry Newsom
The Hightower threat
Too bad Art Linkletter isn't around to write a book: Old Folks say the Darndest Things. He'd be a trillionaire writing about Jim Hightower's weekly dialogue.
Romney may be guilty of corporate plundering, but poor Jimbo is guilty of intellectual plundering. What is suspected criminality in investing in voting machines ("Mitt's creepy Halloween trick," LowDown, Oct. 31), and not suspect in buying his Dead Fish books? He is wittingly infesting minds, or the comedian in him is entertaining. Which one, Jimbo?
Romney's voting machines apparently were tampered with for Obama, with an engraving inside the machine of "666." Poor Jimbo doesn't get it that he's guilty of intellectual promiscuity. Jimbo, retire your mind and your body will follow. Give some of us a break.
— Joan Christensen
Apoplectic: of a kind to cause or apparently cause stroke as in an apoplectic rage; also: greatly excited or angered.
Hegemony: the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group.
These are my new favorite words of the week. They perfectly define the GOP and the right's feelings, and the cause of those feelings, after last Tuesday's re-election of President Obama.
Mitt Romney's camp was reportedly "shell-shocked" by the election results. They were so confident in the outcome, Gov. Romney apparently didn't even bother to write a concession speech. Oops! Live by the bubble, die by the bubble.
The FOX noise machine had been adamant about ignoring the polls, declaring that they were skewed by liberal media. The GOP and FOX's internal polls were more accurate and reflected the true spirit of the electorate. The Romney team drank the Kool-Aid, as did loyal FOX viewers.
As Malkin, Coulter, Limbaugh, Rove, Morris, Barnes, Barone, Hannity, Huckabee, Cavuto, et al, all trumpeted the demise of the Democrats, a funny thing happened. Romney listened to them, and a majority of voters didn't. Talk about hegemony.
The ironic thing is, most of them, except Romney, now have four more years of job security, slamming the Obama administration. Heck, it has made most of them rich.
Under-reported, but especially interesting to me was the effort put into the campaign by President Clinton. He spoke until he was hoarse, even on election eve. And where was President George W. Bush in support of the Republican candidate? He was rubbing elbows with the global investing elite, including billionaire Richard Branson, at a conference in Romney's favorite tax shelter, the Cayman Islands.
As a keynote speaker. I hate to say this was "rich" with irony, but no other word fits. Mitt can attend next year.
— Craig S. Chisesi
Fun with pundits
I really don't know what thrills me more the day after our president won re-election ... knowing all those billionaires lost millions, or Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity having a bad day at their respective radio stations!
I just couldn't resist listening very briefly to both their radio programs as I drove around prouder than ever of my Obama/Biden bumper stickers. They both were in disbelief that the majority of American voters could be so stupid ... that we must have cheated some way ... suppressed the white vote ... told too many lies about Romney and Ryan ... absolutely hilarious!
I want to thank the Independent for truly being the sane voice in this community during the election and always. Every single one of your articles dealt with the truth ... however painful it was for both sides. Your in-depth coverage of the local people running for office, as well as your take on the national scene made me not want to miss any issue.
Thank you Ralph, Pam, John, Rich ... your whole staff, for continuing to give us progressives hope that there is another side to Colorado Springs!
— Elaine Brush
Listen to the voters
On Nov. 6, the residents of El Paso County (71 percent) and the residents of the State of Colorado (74 percent) voted overwhelmingly in favor of Amendment 65 (limiting campaign contributions and spending, and urging federal legislation that will do the same).
On Oct. 23, City Council reviewed the revised campaign finance ordinance. Paragraph 5.2.201 says, "To best serve the interests of citizens, Council enacts this part 2 for the purpose of promoting public confidence in government through a more informed electorate. Because this part 2 does not limit the amount of contributions to a candidate or a committee or the source of those contributions, contributions may be accepted in any amount from corporations and other business entities and from labor unions."
Council, the people of El Paso County and Colorado have now told you they don't want corporations and other groups buying our elections or officials. We don't want big money making it impossible for local candidates to run for office. Citizens United is the law of the land, albeit, in my opinion, bad law that will hopefully be nullified very soon.
Change the language in the ordinance to discourage these types of contributions! Insist on a permanent link to a city website (updated daily) so that human beings can easily and instantly check who is bankrolling every candidate and every group. Do everything you can to fight this nefarious influence.
We would be well served to remember Lincoln's words from the Gettysburg Address, "that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Sadly, it is about to do just that.
— Mary J. Talbott
Red, orange and blue
It hasn't all been smooth and easy so far, but to be fair "Bronco Bama" did inherit quite a mess. All things considered I think he's done a great job, and it's obvious now that most people agree.
One of his biggest challenges has been getting everyone on the same page; we'll see how that goes in the second half. It looks like they're starting to pull together now that he's taken a few hits and gotten back up, and that huge come-from-behind victory didn't hurt. He's fostered stability, hope and slow, steady progress and I think we all needed that.
I know it's early, but I am concerned about what will happen in four years. Will there be a suitable replacement ready to take the reins? He'll be a hard act to follow.
For now I'd like to see Eric Decker for treasury secretary and maybe Von Miller for secretary of defense, with the wise old Brandon Stokley as secretary of state. But it's not up to me — I have to just hope he makes the right decisions and sticks to the game plan. We're all counting on him.
— Steve Suhre
Release the collars
I want to reply to the article in the paper that when pastors preach politics from the pulpit that they're breaking the law ("State, meet church," News, Oct. 10). As usual, people don't understand separation of religion and government.
Our Founding Fathers came over here to get freedom of religion, and didn't want a government run by religious laws. They have every right to preach in their church, but they have no right to go outside the church and enter into the actual political elections.
All religions have a right to preach their beliefs in the churches and religious houses. What we don't want is like Islam, where the religion is the law and everyone has to live by the religious beliefs. That was why our forefathers left.
If you don't like what the pastor is preaching, or who is preaching, you have the right to leave the church and find one you like. That's what's called freedom of religion.
— Rodney E. Hammond