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Our jet-setters, homage to an Air Force hero, and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Jet set indeed

I would like to thank the Indy for the article "The jet set." The particular situation involving El Paso County commissioners is a microcosm of a larger problem in this country. Elected officials across the land have access to tons of public money; Washington, D.C., being the worst/biggest example.

I'm sure it is quite tempting to dip into the trough as they see fit. County commissioners may try and justify their travel "needs," but please, I don't need an update from the Pentagon per Commissioner Darryl Glenn, while the roads I try and drive on resemble those in a Third World country.

Serve the local public, please; that is what you were elected to do. Also interesting/too bad that commissioners Amy Lathen and Dennis Hisey couldn't find time to respond.

Shake it up, people; elect citizens who are truly concerned with trying to improve local conditions; not "jet setters" taking advantage of easy money to travel for so-called public purposes.

— Dave Naumann

Monument

Encore performance

Bill Maher will be in our village on Friday, July 17, at the Pikes Peak Center. His last visit was in July 2012. As a reminder to all our citizens, Mr. Maher donated all his proceeds that evening to help with the Waldo Canyon Fire victims. Thank you, Bill. Welcome back to Colorado Springs and El Paso County. We have legalized recreational cannabis since your last professional call and hope you enjoy yourself while visiting us. Thanks again. You're a fine human being.

— Brian Jamieson

Manitou Springs

That sound of freedom

Let me tell you of a friend who just passed. Bill Andrews and I were Air Force Academy classmates and friends. We learned to fly on that Academy runway some of our citizens complain about every few years.

We fought in Desert Storm. Bill's experience was unique in the frequency of his combat actions and the resulting level of his decorations. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses (third after the Medal of Honor), one for leading his four-ship to save a trapped Special Forces team while armed only with cluster bombs. They put those area weapons so close that it jellied the earth around our troops, all of whom got home.

Bill's luck ran out later and he was shot down. He continued directing his wingmen away from missiles while hanging in his parachute and, with a broken leg, continued while the Iraqis fired at him on the ground. He was captured, escaped and was captured again. That's his Air Force Cross story (first after the Medal of Honor).

Bill just died from brain cancer at only 56. It may have been caused or exacerbated by the radiation absorbed during years of flying jets. I'm dealing with likely radiation effects now.

That flight training operation, like the Academy's fundamental mission, may sometimes appear irritating or optional. America hasn't suffered the invasions that torment much of humanity; peace allows complacency. Few of the defended know students and instructors have died in the Academy's flight pattern just as in every other phase of training.

So I offer Bill's story as a glimpse at what's really going on in the air north of the Springs. Please ask yourself: What would American life be without airmen like Bill willing to suffer as he did to stand between us and evil? Personally, I smile when cadets fly over our property.

— Ed Herlik

Colorado Springs

Other alternatives

Sales taxes are regressive taxes. I'm hurt, retired and low-income. Charge those who use the roads.

I don't drive. Yes, the fire department uses the road but I DON'T DRIVE. Increase car registration fees, increase gas tax, increase property tax, charge property (even business) for road improvements based on liner feet.

Do not increase sales tax!

— Dr. Iggy Thompson

Colorado Springs

Sharing the blame

Reading the recent objections by Bill Schaffner ("GOP and social issues," Letters, June 10) to Larimore Nicholl's support for "socialism" rather misses the point. By shifting the argument to "Republican vs. Democrat," Schaffner allows the inclusion of all the shifts that have occurred within those two parties over time.

Nicholl is not praising either party. He is describing the broad goals of a social agenda, i.e., citizens working together through an elected government for a common purpose. Both national parties have advocated over time for programs beneficial to the average citizen, from the end of slavery through Roosevelt's "New Deal," to the ACA of today. All of these successes have been achieved by people putting the "social" welfare of their fellow citizens ahead of their own.

When either party has sought only success for the moneyed, or business elements, it has in this context been more capitalist than socialist. For Nicholl to praise the latter today might seem to be in support of Democrats, which is only because today Democrats are more in sync with the long-term "socialists" in this country and abroad.

I have no doubt whatsoever that if by some astonishing transformation the Republican Party began to advocate for the general welfare, rather than just for those who already have it made, Schaffner would not reply in opposition to this same letter from Larimore Nicholl, whereas Nicholl's letter would still be just as valid.

— Bruce Budy

Westminster

Different outlook

I wish to take issue with Bill Schaffner's June 10 letter. He talks about many great things that the Republican Party has done over the last century and a half, starting with the Emancipation Proclamation and including women's right to vote and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The problem I see with all of this is that the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower is not the party of Ted Cruz, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin.

A person like Abraham Lincoln would be seen at best by today's Republicans as a RINO (Republican in name only.) This Republican Party has become all about getting as much money for the wealthy as possible so they can donate even more to the party and keep the money rolling in.

Lincoln was not anxious to send our troops into war, like Sen. Tom Cotton is. Lincoln did not order his army to fire the first shot at Fort Sumter, but waited until the Confederates had fired the first shot.

An essay available online, "War Is a Racket" written by Gen. Smedley Butler USMC (Congressional Medal of Honor winner), talks about how he got horribly disgusted with waging wars for the benefit of U.S. corporations like our present Republican party wants to do.

The prices have gone up since 1935 when Gen. Butler wrote it, but unfortunately, the type of people he railed against are still with us.

— Donald Pelton

Colorado Springs

Cleaning the mess

Apparently, Mr. Schaffner wiped his ass, mailed the toilet tissue to the Colorado Springs Independent, and they put it in their paper.

I'm reluctant to pick up another copy of the Independent in the future, lest I get more of this shit on my fingers.

— Phillip DeBlanc

Colorado Springs

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