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Battle lines

In response to Donald S. Branum's complaint about "the Air Force Academy band partnering with New Life Church for a program", he sounds like a tactical page out of Mikey Weinstein's Military Religious Freedom Foundation. There are so many untruths in his letter that it is difficult to pick out the most egregious ones.

First, New Life Church does not have a "discriminatory attitude toward the LGBT community" as the church invites anybody and everybody to worship with them. Nor does New Life "require that one adheres to its strict evangelical Christian worldview." An usher doesn't stand at the door and question you or card you for evangelical proof, nor has the senior pastor demanded adherence or berated any one group.

Branum's citing of a "specific regulation" (again, a Weinsteinism) is open to interpretation on a variety of levels. Don't liberals also realize that the First Amendment has a second part to it concerning "religion" that says that Congress, or the government, can't "prohibit the free exercise thereof." It's sad if it wasn't so humorous that this writer says with great paranoia, "As a Pagan, I would not feel safe within New Life Church."

Don't you remember, Donald, they have armed security there? Plus, your feelings of "safety" are highly subjective and irrational. Your ilk want to secularize our society and certain vocal groups are determined to make it so.

— Rev. Tommy Latham

Colorado Springs

Making change

Sometimes I'm puzzled by the obvious. As a young teen, we were always looking for ways to make money. In August the county fair opened for a seven-day run, a big deal because it was a big fair and everyone looked forward to it.

Lots of boys my age went to the fairgrounds looking for a job. I landed one working in a french fry/Italian sausage joint. You arrived in the morning and ran the potato peeler and french-fry cutter, then worked on cutting up peppers and onions, then inside serving until the fair closed at 10 p.m. My friend Jim worked across the midway running a game of chance and other odd tasks. We both walked or hitchhiked back to town each night. We made the same amount, about $50 for the week, but I got to eat free!

Here is the interesting part. We both ran the places by ourselves at times. The boss was there to help during busy hours. There were three requirements: Be a good worker, make correct change and count the money back to the customer — no credit cards then! In my second year I got $60 for the week, a $10 raise!

Jim was pretty good at math. I got a C once and figured the teacher made a mistake, as this was my high-water mark. Yet, we could figure the amount owed, do the math in our heads and count back the change! So now, with computers, smartphones and cash registers, why can't the 7-Eleven clerk or the Wally World checkout woman count my change back to me?

Whatever you do, NEVER throw in small change to get an even dollar amount back. It will result in a meltdown and you won't get home for two hours.

— Len Bentley

Colorado Springs

Agri bots

Robert Heinlein had a great little plotline where the government would pay a life's wages to a worker who could invent a machine that would make his job obsolete.

Word is getting around Latin America of the impending Trump wall. We should allow Mexican electrical engineers to stick around long enough to roboticize the farms. Get ready to pay $20 for a salad during the upgrade.

Naturalized Americans would never do field work, but we love gadgets! Personally, I would rather rely on a quasi-slave race that is immune to a Carrington effect, but that's just me. The sun hasn't melted every copper wire in the country in over a century. It's just not a real concern.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Romney's hypocrisy

I had to chuckle when Mitt Romney hypocritically demanded that Donald Trump release his income tax returns. Donald is using a bogus claim he cannot release them because he is being audited, and he has told several media people the returns are none of their business.

Romney released his 2010 return and a 2011 estimate. He finally released a "summary" of his taxes for several years, but not the actual returns.

I (and others) opined that Romney would not release his 2009 return because it would show that he paid a large fine on his return. The IRS had an amnesty program that year that would only fine, not prosecute, those who revealed overseas accounts that the IRS did not know about.

I believe Trump will not reveal his 2009 income tax return for the same reason. He paid a large fine for having secret overseas accounts that he revealed to the IRS to avoid prosecution, just like Romney.

If Trump releases his returns and it is revealed that he pays little or no taxes because he uses every trick (like Romney and many other wealthy people) to (I think) cheat the federal and state governments out of tax revenues, he will shown as just another chump tax-dodger.

— David M. Justice

Colorado Springs

Not on Trump's side

President George W. Bush was less the "decider" he claimed to be than a puppet until Katrina opened his eyes to the fact that, as he was told, "when God's in his heaven, all's right with the world," is not the cure-all his "Holy See" (Republican evangelists) pretended it to be.

Barack Obama as president-elect at first disappointed me for attempting to preserve rather than turn away from his inheritance. Eventually he did and became a president who reestablished the dignity of the office. Obama will be remembered for his decency and steadiness against the Republican Party, especially Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Republicans are pushing the envelope now because they intend to reverse much of the agenda that has served us well these last eight years.

Donald Trump is the presumptive GOP nominee who will run against Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. The difference is that Democrats have neither a McConnell, Trump, Karl Rove or evangelists who dictate the way that party should be governed.

Clinton and Sanders each have experience in government; Mr. Trump does not but admits to being worth $10 billion, has his Trump-craft and pilot to take him where he wants to go, as does Tiger Woods.

My impression however is that, as an impresario, Trump's judgment may be warped in favor of his success in making money contrary to the judgment essential to keeping the peace. Vietnam cost America more than 52,000 dead, but today is a model to be emulated. The Middle East is a hotbed of disaster where Sunni and Shiite Muslims have been unmercifully at each other because they cannot agree. Our involvement will not solve their problem, but could exacerbate it.

In the final analysis, Donald Trump seems not to be the best choice for president.

— Kenneth G. Ramey

Paso Robles, California

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