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Hate in politics, Standing Rock, dumping the good ol' boys, and more 

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Message of hate

I watch the ads on TV and this is what I observe: A Democrat or independent talks about their policies and what they will do for you. But Republicans have a strategy that doesn't seem productive. "I hate my opponent, so you should vote for me."

My question is this: Why should I vote for someone who has no policy, just hate for their opponents?

Look at Congressman Scott Tipton's ads for example. He has not said anything but how much he hates Gail Schwartz. He has said nothing about himself except "I'm Scott Tipton and I approve this message." Gail did run an ad stating what she would try to do.

Now look at the Trump ads. They just say something like "I hate crooked Hillary, and you need to hate her too." Should anything come up, Republicans try to shift the blame to everyone else, like Trump blaming everyone else for the scandals that belong to him. Hillary is no saint, but neither is Donald Trump!

Scott Tipton has nothing for me. I don't elect candidates for their hate! Message for Republicans: If you want any votes from me, you have to earn them! If you want to work for me, you must tell me what you intend to do, as hating your opponent gives me no information about your ability to do the job.

— Doug Harvey

Woodland Park

Dear Mr. President

I sent this to President Obama: I am writing about the appalling situation at Standing Rock. Yes, I am a climate activist. Yes, I oppose the DAPL. You must also if your actions are to match your words about stopping climate change.

This missive is about our indigenous people taking a stand against a pipeline, a stand to preserve our water (yours too), a stand against what is in reality apartheid. The people are in prayer and unarmed peace. They represent Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Jesus and everyone who has been nonviolent in protest to make our world better. This group, this force of peace is being met with militarized, intimidating — no, terrifying — violent, unconscionable aggression.

The federal government is our government, the government of the water protectors at Standing Rock. This government placed them out on that prairie and has forced them to be dependent on you. Now is the time for that dependence to be rewarded with support.

President Obama, if you actually care about the people you lead, this is your moment to shine. I'm not talking about the owners of greedy, planet-destroying corporations as people. The water protectors are people. They are your people, the children, young women and men, older folks with families, wise men and women who have seen many years, each and every one your people. If you are a leader who cares and has the courage to act, please get the U.S. government down to Standing Rock with any and all force necessary and stop what will most assuredly become a massacre of our fellow citizens, if you do not act now.

— Robert and Kay Parker

Coaldale

Time for change

The Indy was spot on in your endorsements for the races for El Paso County commissioner seats. For the first time in recent memory, voters have an opportunity to put two very bright women on the Board of County Commissioners who understand what strong moral character means.

In District 3 (west side of the county from The Broadmoor to Manitou Springs to Palmer Lake), the most intelligent choice is Electra Johnson. Her resumé as an urban planner fits perfectly with the county's needs. She understands the issues of clean water, planned growth, open space, affordable housing and compassion for the homeless.

In District 4 (Security-Widefield, Fountain, Ellicott and points east), the best candidate is Liz Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum is a successful business owner with understanding of the issues facing small entrepreneurs. Rosenbaum has a long history of civic involvement. Her dedication to women's rights and family justice make her much more qualified than her opponent.

The fact is, the same group of political insiders has governed El Paso County for the past 50 years. It is time to dump the "good ol' boys network." Electra Johnson and Liz Rosenbaum are two very qualified candidates who represent our future. They deserve our votes.

— Michael Seraphin

Falcon

Accountability

I appreciate the coverage published on the dishonesty in research-based sciences ("Project Censored," cover story, Oct. 26). I am in college earning my degree to become a research scientist, myself. I grew up being given medications for depression, bipolar and/or anxiety. These things do not prove to be conditions that I have as an adult.

One of the most severe side effects of medications I was prescribed as a minor was beginning to go blind. Over three months, my vision got increasingly blurry until I could not focus on my hand at an arm's length away.

At the age of 16, I was freaked out and told my parents. They took me off the new wonder pill pushed by my psychiatrist only months before, and my vision slowly returned and corrected itself.

It is extremely important that pharmaceutical companies be held responsible for a lack of ethics in conducting research.

The repercussions of unforeseen or undocumented side effects are frightening.

— April Slawson

Colorado Springs

Having it both ways

The Gazette recently co-sponsored a forum at which the pros and cons of Proposition 106, the legalization of physician-assisted suicide, were debated. State Sen. Michael Merrifield spoke in favor of the proposition and outgoing Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt gave the opposing view.

Rep. Klingenschmitt repeatedly used the term "murder" when referring to the procedure. One would have to conclude that those physicians who would provide this service would therefore be murderers. Such irresponsible, inflammatory rhetoric has no place in a legitimate discussion, and serves only to fuel the kind of violence witnessed at a local Planned Parenthood, resulting in the death of three innocent individuals.

Klingenschmitt quoted from the Hippocratic Oath, "First do no harm," in chastising those physicians who, in response to their patient's request and in accordance with strict criteria, might choose to assist in providing a peaceful and honorable death.

In fact, that quote does not appear in the Hippocratic Oath, nor does it appear in the Osteopathic Oath, which I took upon my graduation from medical school some 44 years ago. However, I can say with certainty that many of my colleagues would consider the prolonging of unbearable pain and suffering as "doing harm."

Finally, Klingenschmitt quoted The Ten Commandments from Exodus, "Thou shalt not kill." Given that rationale, I would expect him to be vigorously leading the fight to abolish the death penalty in Colorado. Instead, I'm reminded of the 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not holdeth thy breath."

— Sidney D. Rubinow, D.O.

Colorado Springs

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