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Where's my Independent?

To the Editor:

Unable to pick up a copy of the Independent at King Soopers for the third week in a row, I made an inquiry, and was told that the owners did not "agree" with the philosophy put forth in your paper and were no longer allowing it to be distributed at their locations. Hmmmmm ...

The Gazette is still available. All the Christian book racks are still in the aisles, and pro-gun, pro-war, pro-sex magazines are still for sale, leading me to speculate: 1) King Soopers agrees with and champions the philosophies put forth in those publications; and 2) that the pressure for censorship was encouraged by our local "Family Focus" group or the Gazette.

Since King Soopers does not make a profit off your newspaper, they probably concluded it wouldn't be a "loss" for them.

They missed the point. It is a loss for all of us. Once a business takes "sides" and begins imposing censorship, one wonders what will be next. Such a business does not serve all its clientele, and frankly, they will no longer serve me. My opinion of King Soopers changed drastically with this decision.

I will drive the extra distance to shop at Safeway.

I encourage your readers to fill out the postage-paid comment forms available at the front of the King Soopers stores, and make their concerns known!

-- Donna J. Arnink
Colorado Springs

The editor responds:

Thanks for your letter. We could not have said it better ourselves.

For the past seven years, the Independent has paid a fee to Distributech, a national distribution company, to have our papers placed at area King Soopers stores. About six weeks ago, Distributech informed us that Mr. Paul Mauser, the General Manager of King Soopers' Colorado division, had asked them to pull the Independent from King Soopers stores. Over the last several weeks, our publisher, John Weiss, has repeatedly called and written Mr. Mauser to ask him why he made the decision to ban the Independent from Colorado Springs King Soopers and to ask him to reconsider that decision.

We are pleased to report that an initial meeting between executives of King Soopers and the Independent has finally been scheduled for next Thursday afternoon, Jan. 11. We will keep Independent readers informed about future developments. For more information, see "Call to Action" at the bottom of this page.


Cut the crap

To the Editor:

What a concept -- that we just cut the crap (Public Eye, Dec. 21).

Dear Malcolm [Howard], how I wish you would. How I wish you would quit whining, blaming, inferring that anyone who does not hold your opinion is dishonest, evil or at the least a doormat. How any one person can know as much as you presume to and not simply burst from all that brilliance (and venom) is amazing ... and disappointing.

May I suggest to you that the majority of the population is tired of hearing and reading about the so-called "stolen" election and of all the evil beings who allegedly stole it. Many of us are also tired of being insulted on a daily basis by the type of person who knows everything and whose fact-free conviction that anyone who holds a different opinion is either stupid, ignorant or brainwashed. Sorry, Malcolm, there are a lot of people on the planet who are able to think, to process facts, to count and even to mark their own ballots, who choose to disagree with you.

So, I agree, let's cut the crap. Spare us your conspiracy-theory and sore-loser rantings. GET OVER IT.

--Geraldine Russell
Colorado Springs

P.S. I have been fighting the battle with King Soopers to bring the Independent back and will continue to do so. I don't agree with some of the columns, but I believe, unlike some of my liberal brethren, that everyone has the right to his or her opinion.


Media bias apparent in post-election coverage

To the Editor:

I'm writing in response to Public Eye by Malcolm Howard for the week of Dec. 21. As I sat in the YMCA reading your paper I felt the need to respond to his many bogus accusations.

First, Katherine Harris has every right to be a member of a political party. Most people are. This doesn't make her a political "operative." If she did something illegal, then press charges!

Second, Jeb Bush did not steal the election for his brother. Jeb Bush was very deliberate in distancing himself from the fray and appeared to genuinely want no part in determining the outcome. Only a month after the election, when Florida was at risk of not having any electors to represent it for president, did Gov. Bush encourage action by the legislative branch, as is his prerogative.

In sharp contrast you have Al Gore saying he wants a full and fair count -- but only pursuing a recount in overwhelmingly democratic-leaning counties, not in republican ones. Gore was not acting on the principle of counting every vote; he was acting on the principal of winning the election by only counting votes in those counties most friendly to him!

As for the mainstream media machine vs. the likes of Rush Limbaugh, you miss the point. Rush Limbaugh makes no pretense of being objective and unbiased. He is very forthright about his right-wing political views. There is no deception. There is no claim to objectivity. The mainstream media, however, does make a claim to objectivity and they fall well short of it.

Their bias is revealed in subtle and not so subtle ways; from (NPR) Nina Totenberg's voice cracking with frustration as she reported on the Supreme Court's decision to CNN's calling the state of Florida for Gore before the polls had closed, to NBC's handsome photos of Al Gore quickly followed by the nasty photos of George Bush with a boil on his cheek.

-- Ben Fromuth
Colorado Springs


Equal protection for whom?

To the Editor:

In his column dated Dec. 21 (Your Turn, "Presidential survivor"), Steven Hill writes:

"The U.S. Supreme Court also informed us that the Florida hand-count, which sought to count a lot of black votes that were never counted originally because the punch-card voting machines malfunctioned, was actually a violation of the 14th amendment's Equal Protection Clause -- the amendment that is used to remedy racial discrimination. That certainly is an ironic interpretation."

I was wondering when someone would notice this! Indeed, it's much more than ironic; it borders on unbelievable that the court would invoke "equal protection of the law" to uphold the right of state governments to continue using faulty methods of tallying votes. This principle was virtually pulled out of rhetorical left field, and is essentially irrelevant to the real issues and arguments brought before the court.

However, believable or not, it is sadly typical of the many bizarre interpretations of Constitutional principles that have cropped up in recent Supreme Court decisions in order to justify politically convenient conclusions.

It also points up how we are still paying the price for having elected Reagan and Bush back in the '80s. Their court appointees have now performed one of the most valuable services imaginable for the presidents and the party that appointed them: engineering the installation of yet another Republican in the White House (who can now appoint yet another generation of sloppy constructionists to the court, to ensure another Republican president in, say 2016). This helps to protect the incredible anti-rights rulings which they have already made from any risk of being overturned, even after they have all, finally, shuffled off this mortal coil, and the bench.

Before getting too worked up, however, about this court decision, we might pause to reflect that the Supreme Court would never have gotten their hands on the Florida vote count -- indeed, there would never have been any close vote to need recounting -- were it not for the thousands of poor and minority Floridians who were pre-emptively disenfranchised by having been ground up in the insane drug war down there over the last few years and, therefore, labeled as "felons," and legally stripped of their right to vote, for life. Even though the vote in most other states wasn't this close, the number of Americans everywhere being thus disenfranchised continues to increase by thousands every month.

Does this suggest to anyone but me a more efficient way to prevent the never-ending election of Republicans than whining about the predictable (but uncontestable) political leanings of the justices of the Supreme Court?

-- Patrick L. Lilly
Colorado Springs


Call to Action: Let King Soopers Know How You Feel

According to International Demographics El Paso County Winter 2000 Report, 35,900 Independent readers regularly shop at area King Soopers stores. While King Soopers executives are pondering whether to lift their ban on the Independent, it is important that they understand the breadth and depth of community support not only for the Independent, but for the basic American concept of freedom of expression of controversial viewpoints. If the Independent can be banned, what's next? Catholic publications? Gay magazines, black, Hispanic, fundamentalist Christian, Unitarian or libertarian newspapers? Please take a moment to contact King Soopers and let them know of your support for their lifting the ban on the Independent.

You can contact King Soopers by writing:

Paul Mauser, General Manager, King Soopers
65 Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80223
303/778-2209

or

John Burgon, President, King Soopers of Colorado
65 Tejon St.
Denver, CO 80223
303/778-3380

You may also call King Soopers Comment Line at 877/415-4647 (toll free), or fill out a comment card at the King Soopers customer service desk.

Please keep the Independent posted on your correspondence by e-mailing johnl@csindy.com or calling John Lindsay at 577-4545.

We sincerely appreciate your support.

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