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Politics defined

To the Editor:

Re: the 12.27 Outsider:

If knowledge is power, is politics a manipulation of knowledge?

-- Luke O'Neill
via the internet


Spirit of the times

To the Editor:

In the spirit of college athletics, please allow me to name for you this year's current Bowl game listing. (There are many; I apologize if I miss a few.)

Galleryfurniture.com Bowl, Jeep Seattle Bowl, Music City Bowl, Culligan Holiday Bowl, Motor City Bowl, Sylvania Alamo Bowl, Insight.com Bowl, Outback Bowl, AXA Liberty Bowl, Main Stay Independence Bowl, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Sega Sports Las Vegas Bowl, Capital One Citrus Bowl, SBC Cotton Bowl, Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, Toyota Gator Bowl, Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl, MicronPC.com Bowl, GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl, Jeep Oahu Bowl, Nokia Sugar Bowl, Wells Fargo Sun Bowl and Visit Florida Tangerine Bowl.

Now let me suggest one more to play here in our lovely Invesco Mile High Stadium ... STUPIDGREEDYCORPORATION.COM BOWL.

-- Mark Wright
Colorado Springs


Makes her think

To the Editor:

Thanks so much for bringing back Domestic Bliss. As a single working mom raising two kids, Kathryn Eastburn's insight, wisdom and humor have helped bring my life and struggles into perspective. She makes me laugh, she makes me cry, but most of all she makes me think. I like that.

-- Morgen Thomas
Colorado Springs


Those Washington wonders

To the Editor;

Recently a proposal by Sen. Harry Reid to equalize disabled veteran benefits was cut from the 2002 Defense Authorization Bill. Reid's proposal called for disabled military veterans to collect both full retirement pay plus disability pay, similar to how military disabled-retired federal employees now collect their full retirement amount. Honorably discharged military retirees are the only ones who are required by law to pay for the disabilities they received while serving their country.

The "Washington Wonders" claimed, "They couldn't find the money to fund the initiative, estimated to cost $41 billion over 10 years"; however, the "defense bill endorsed the principle of full benefits for service-disabled military retirees." But then the "Wonders" funded $26 million to assist Boeing, millions to a Mississippi shipyard, and more millions for crapshoot pork projects around the country. And annually they give $15 billion to their favorite charities, Israel and Egypt, and billions more around the globe. However, for our disabled vets, they can't find the money.

Big talk, no action.

-- Eugene Standish
Colorado Springs


The results you want

To the Editor:

Just getting it straight. After excluding all the places where women are represented in the media, a "non-partisan" group finds that women aren't represented ["Wartime Media; No women allowed," Your Turn, Dec. 27]? This only piques my curiosity. Are the left-handed over- or under-represented? What about existentialists? And I think an immediate study regarding the overwhelming majority of television broadcasting using blatantly colonialist English language in the United States occurs is long overdue.

And would the same study find women excluded prior to 9/11? If you set the conditions so that you are assured of getting the results you want, it would seem that proving your point becomes pretty easy.

-- Bryan Mullinax
Monument


More on fluoride

To the Editor:

Bravo to Phil Stahl for presenting a clear picture of fluoride and its detrimental health effects ["Fluoride's Spin Cycle," Your Turn, Dec. 13]. In my upcoming books on the environmental triggers of autoimmune disease, I also describe the role of fluoride in both inducing and perpetuating thyroid disorders. Stahl gets my vote too for his assessment of the CDC, an organization too politically driven to be effective. A better resource is the Environmental Health Science Division of the National Institutes of Health, a group more honest in its appraisal of fluoride. Let the debate continue. The threat of fluoridating our water supply is not something any of us should take lightly.

Elaine Moore, author of
Graves' Disease, A Practical Guide
Sedalia


Wake up, Colorado Springs!

To the Editor:

I have lived in Colorado Springs as a single mother with three children for 10 years. I have been able to obtain our "local" newspaper everywhere but I am finding it more and more difficult to locate the Independent.

I know this is a "military" town. I have personally been connected to the military for 30 years now. But I also have found this town prejudiced, racist and biased, and very unwilling to print articles on the "terrorism" in Colorado Springs.

I have raised my two sons and a daughter the best I could here. I have a son who is 28 and has been active duty Air Force for 10 years. He is in Texas preparing his "troops," immature 20-year-olds, to go fight "Operation Enduring Freedom." I have a daughter who is 23. She openly admits to everyone that she has "gay" friends. She is leaving for basic training for the Air Force in January.

My youngest son is 20. Due to getting caught up in the "terrorism" on our streets, he has chosen to spend Christmas in jail.

In light of the events on Sept. 11, I must say, "Wake up, Colorado Springs!" How do we expect mothers here to send our children off to fight in "Operation Enduring Freedom," yet not expect mothers to "defend" their own homes and fight the "terrorism" on their own streets?

No one on my street knows my eldest son or daughter. Yet, every time I leave my home, the "terrorists" want to inform me of the whereabouts of my youngest son.

If we can be brave enough to send our children off to fight for freedom of religion and women's rights in a foreign country, why can't we step out on our own street and fight the terrorism here?

If we are going to send our children off to war, perhaps we should begin at home, fight the war on freedom of speech and religion, and the war on drugs, poverty, homelessness, hunger and runaway teenagers here in this beautiful city, "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave."

-- Orpha E. Nelson
Colorado Springs


Tragedy on both sides

To the Editor:

Mark Schneider's Jan. 3 commentary tells an important story, but only presents a small part of an even more tragic picture. He referred to the movie Promises, and his wish to meet Kifah, one of the Palestinian boys who appeared in it. He was told that "with a few other children, Kifah ... began throwing stones, and the soldiers responded with live ammunition. Kifah ... was killed instantly."

Based on prior reports that often older Palestinians shoot rifles or throw grenades at the Israelis from behind stone-throwing children, I am somewhat skeptical that the soldiers responded to just the stones with "live ammunition." That may not have been mentioned by his informant when Mr. Schneider was told of Kifah's death.

Mr. Schneider's commentary would have been much more complete and effective if he had sought out the other "movie stars," the Israeli children. He reports that the film's Israeli children (Moishe, Shlomo and Daniel) never responded to calls from the Palestinian children. Perhaps they couldn't -- were they still alive? Were they among the dozens of innocent children and teens who were killed during the Palestinian bombings of a discotheque, a pizzeria and a shopping mall?

The Israeli kids weren't taunting or throwing rocks at Palestinians; they were dancing, eating and socializing with other teens. Mr. Schneider refers only to the extensive delays for Palestinians at the border checkpoints.

Most Americans would have appreciated more stringent screening of airplane passengers in the United States before Sept. 11. The movie Promises brought out the tragedy of both sides. The commentary left the impression that the only victims are Palestinians.

Finally, Mr. Schneider says (actually, he speculates) that "Israeli settlers now occupy the Palestinian homes; many villages were bulldozed by Israel -- to try to eliminate any history of the massive Palestinian presence in present-day Israel." He does not mention that all Palestinian schools use text books and maps that show no evidence of there being a state of Israel.

All Israeli cities and towns, even those from before 1948, show only Arabic names and no Israel. Children are taught kindergarten songs that glorify martyrdom, and assignments for older children often ask them to write about how evil Jews are and what the best ways to kill them are.

The Independent's editorial policy of giving a reporter's background is appreciated. By citing who sponsored Mr. Schneider's trip, his limited perspective and one-sided, pro-Palestine commentary may be read in context. If anyone is interested in Web sites that provide other perspectives, they may wish to visit other Web sites in addition to the one cited in Mr. Schneider's commentary, i.e., http://christianactionforisrael.org/whosjeru.html or http://world.std.com/~camera/.

Hopefully, we can all agree that there needs to be a stop to terror attacks on everyone. Then we can talk about reconciling differences. All kids -- Palestinian, Israeli and American -- deserve it.

-- Perry B. Bach, MD
Fountain

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