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Find him a home

To the Editor:

I am sorry to say that Tom Huffman was elected from my district ("Medical Alert," March 14 and 21). What an embarrassment. He does not represent me at all. How about a recall election? Perhaps he could work with the dinosaur collection at a museum. He should feel at home there.

-- Jean Brauns

Black Forest

The vulture has landed

To the Editor:

I think the name of the arts gossip column "Culture Vulture" is perfect.

I conjure an image of vultures circling high over the dead corpse of culture in this stinkin' desert.

Yours very truly,

-- Atomic Enron

(AKA Atomic Elroy, AKA Tom McElroy)

Colorado Springs

Mentored by the Duke, not Moses

To the Editor:

Mr. Jackson thinks I form my opinions from by borrowing them from Charlton Heston (Letters, March 14). I will have him know that I had these opinions from the early 1970s when I only knew of Mr. Heston as an actor and had no idea of his views. I happen to get more of my views from heroes like John Wayne, if he must know.

If Mr. Jackson would learn how to read properly he would have noticed that my letter came in two parts. The patriotism connotation did not refer to guns but only to the teaching of patriotism and the Pledge of Allegiance. The portion pertaining to guns had only to do with how the Democrats are so willing to deny citizens their constitutional and God-given right to protect themselves.

What a joke of him to compare our patriotism with that of Nazi Germany and to say that to my being a Jew is further insulting. No Mr. Jackson, if America were like Nazi Germany or a communist state, Jewish or not, I would not be patriotic. I would be rising up with my firearms as the resistance did in WWII.

Government surely should stay out of all our hair as the Founding Fathers prescribed. However, teaching children about our country, its history and respect for its laws and love of country for what it is happens to be a worthwhile investment in the future of our children. Maybe children would grow up to be more responsible and respectful of others.

If that is government interference then accuse me of hypocrisy. The word "force" is a terrible word to use for it is not force but teaching and according to him all school subjects would be called force.

-- Steve Levine

Florissant

Missing synapses

To the Editor:

When I heard President Bush ask all Americans to donate 4,000 hours of their time toward volunteer causes, I thought to myself, "What in the h*ll is going on in Washington, D.C.?"

If you take away time for work, sleep, family, home, school and personal time, I would be very surprised if the Average Joe could volunteer seven hours per week to this end. By pumping some numbers through a complicated series of numerators, denominators and such, it would take almost 11 years to come up with 4,000 hours which, by the way, is only 9,140 hours less than President Bush was AWOL from his Air National Guard unit.

What we should do is donate all of our fruit to the White House, because it is apparent that the cognitive processes are not happening over there.

-- B. Koleno

Colorado Springs

A family newspaper

To the Editor:

With increasing regularity, local religious moralists are attacking the Independent for their perception of its editorial policies, personal ad section and overall "liberal" content.

As concerned for the morality of Independent readers as these moralists appear to be, one would think that they would attempt to get their own house in order before seeking to pass moral judgment on others.

In addition to its dismal human rights record, the majority American religion, Christianity, has for decades been beset by sexual, criminal and moral dilemmas.

The occasion of child molestation, sexual assaults on children by persons in a position of trust, child endangerment by illegal stripping and baptism of children, rape, theft, fraud, embezzlement and murder in the mainstream Christian establishment is sickeningly high.

The Catholic Church, in one Diocese alone, had over 80 priests charged with crimes against children or sexual assault on parishioners. To make things even worse, vast cover-ups of these heinous activities were found to exist in the church hierarchy.

Yet I am not familiar with even one similar charge against the Independent, its staff or management. I am also unable to find any article in the many editions of the Indy that I have read that encourages, abets or condones such activities.

It also occurs to me that those who have participated in such awful crimes are the very ilk who denounce publications such as the Independent and eschew their editorial philosophies. This indicates they must have obtained the ideas for their criminal activities elsewhere or thought them up all by themselves.

-- Richard Baker

Colorado Springs

Tasty fare

To the Editor:

While I take great exception to several elements of Mr. Fowler's argument ("The Hippie is dead. Long live the Hippie," Letters, March 14), the glaring pothole (no pun intended) in his logic is one I have seen so often I have given it a name. In my mind's arena of public debate I call this the One Way Camera. The record of events it produces comes with built-in filters that selectively obscure any unpleasant details that might detract from or fail to support whatever specious collection of words is featured therein.

For instance, speaking purely hypothetically, a visionary acting out of righteous indignation might be portrayed as a criminal (possibly linked to terrorist conspirators?) were he or she observed possessing and ingesting a controlled substance. But, through the automatic eye of the One Way Camera -- scenes of furtive movement inside the Volkswagen with a questionable taillight are relegated to the digital cutting-room floor.

Thus, another nice person has learned their lesson and all's well that ends well. Besides, if it's good enough for the leader of the free world it ought to be good enough for a simple public servant or his spirited daughters!

All malicious joking aside, Mr. Fowler has unwittingly spotlighted the strongest argument for decriminalization of those substances, which the legal system describes as controlled. Focus for a moment on a society where one person can admit with almost moronic impunity to doing the same thing, which sends another to prison. It's "Scatter Pattern Justice," which ain't no justice at all.

Further examination of this dynamic must lead to the tragedy of the down and outward spiral, which fills the prisons and homeless shelters.

Even a member of that extinct "culture" which Life magazine dubbed (I can't stop myself!) "The Hippies" could have sussed that line from reel to creel.

I think it was L'ao Tzu (or maybe Crash Murphy) who said "When following your line to the water, look beyond. Don't be surprised to find yourself angling around a baited hook, looking a lot like lunch."

Bon appetit!

-- Anne Kennedy-Rackham

Colorado Springs

It just keeps growing

To the Editor:

We already know that Coloradans overwhelmingly support the right of seriously ill people to use marijuana for medical purposes, but a recent poll shows that support has grown since Colorado's medical marijuana initiative passed in 2000.

According to the poll, administered to over 1,000 adults by the Lucas Organization, 76.9 percent of Colorado voters "strongly support" or "somewhat support" the state law allowing "seriously ill patients to use and grow their own medical marijuana with the approval of their physicians." This is a big jump over the 54 percent of voters who supported the initiative in 2000. The poll was conducted in three other states with medical marijuana laws, which also show increased levels of support since their laws were passed.

The poll results also indicate that Colorado voters would favor expanding the law to allow medical marijuana distribution by nonprofit medical clinics (72.7 percent) or the state government (64.4 percent).

An initiative to enhance the distribution of medical marijuana to the seriously ill could be on the ballot in 2004. Coloradans have already taken the first step by providing legal protection to people suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and other terrible illnesses. Making sure sick people can easily obtain their medicine is the logical next step.

-- Kristin Oechslin

Marijuana Policy Project

Washington, D.C.

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