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Under the Christmas tree

Will some doomsday weapon be slipped into an American port on a container ship? Seems as likely or as unlikely as any other paranoid scenario dreamed up in the name of patriotism this year.

But according to news reports, the major importers are pleading poverty over the expenses of increasing inspections.

As if they couldn't just pass another little price-hike onto the consumer. I spend little enough on imports (not counting petrol) and I could sure cough up that bit of change. Beats the heck out of abridging civil liberties and spending a fortune on listening devices to fish for suspicious trigger-words on communications networks, and it's a damned sight more practical than terrorizing the entire world with our weapons of mass destruction.

But hey, we didn't invent gluttony; we just perfected it, and who wants to be the only parent on the block who didn't pile a mountain of imports under the holiday tree?

If we don't want to have an endless succession of war veterans going berserk we'd better start building a society in which domestic production is viable, and productive labor is rewarded more than marketing sleaze.

-- Slim Wolfe

Villa Grove

Zap that spam

I work at the Cripple Creek Welcome Center and one of my duties is to answer e-mail from people interested in visiting or moving to the Cripple Creek area. I get a lot of spam (Viagra will improve your life! Get your low interest mortgage here! Miracle pills will let you lose 100 pounds in a week!).

I also get quite a few offers (at least one a week) from Nigerians who want to split their millions with me. Last week's Independent article on the Nigerian bank scam was very informative, but you left one thing out.

If a potential victim of the Nigerian bank scam wants to report the offending e-mail, they just need to forward said e-mail to

419.fcd@usss.treas.gov. Make sure you mark your e-mail "No Loss."

Keep those Indys coming up to Cripple Creek. It's a refreshing point of view in this overwhelmingly Republican county.

-- Steph Hilliard

Cripple Creek Welcome Center

Here's a new idea

Concerning a new jail: Our city rulers are so very eager to spend millions of taxpayers' money to build a new jail when there is one available already -- the mental institution in Pueblo.

There are many large buildings, completely empty. I tried to visit a really crazy schizophrenic lady once; it was almost impossible to find the office. Finally, when I walked into an empty building, there was a lady at a desk. After some time I could find out that the patient had been sent to a nursing home in Colorado Springs. She had been at Pueblo for a short time only, like all the others.

They get some pills and are released, those poorest of the poor. If they do something wrong, if they steal some bread when they are hungry because nobody tells them about a soup kitchen, they are thrown in jail ... . So the sane conclusion: Use the empty asylum buildings for a jail right away and save millions of taxpayers' money.

I rest my case.

-- Gertrude Albertson

Colorado Springs

Rally 'round the cause

I would like to thank the many people who worked so hard to defeat Amendment 31 and voted to keep the bilingual option for children in Colorado, and to keep punitive provisions aimed at teachers out of our constitution.

Although we can all be proud of having rejected Amendment 31, much work remains to be done. We need to ensure that existing bilingual programs are strengthened and improved, and that viable and effective options are offered for parents who believe that immersion would work for their children.

As we continue to work in our schools, we need to make sure we do this not just for the good of our own children, but for the success of every child.

In the fight against Amendment 31, many groups came together for a common cause. I hope that as we move forward we rally around the cause of common good, and channel our energy into fighting the inequities we may see in our schools, striving to create nurturing school communities that embrace all the children, and finding effective ways to combat the social issues that are the root causes of differential rates of academic success.

-- David Russi

Lafayette

The law of The Operatives

It's hard not to feel terribly helpless against the "well-organized band of Republican Operatives" -- I live in Senate District 11 and House District 18.

It was depressing enough to see GOP Chairman Chuck Broerman and his band getting away with their campaign of theft and vandalism of people's legally placed yard signs (and then have to watch a spot on Channel 11 news which featured Broerman, himself, alleging vandalism to Republican signs). Predictably, even in the face of rock-solid news about Broerman and Ed Jones, their agenda still handily prevailed.

In view of the tenacity, influence and apparent immunity from the law of The Operatives, I am extremely worried about the handling of the 1,000 to 3,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted -- certainly there will be no effect on the Senate District 11 outcome (unfortunately), but I worry greatly about the effect on the House District 18 race.

-- Name withheld upon request

Colorado Springs

War? Hell, yes.

I was a volunteer that went to people's houses and tried to get registered Democrats to vote. Many refused to vote for our party due to the fact that we had people like Walter Mondale in it who are like you -- peace-at-any-cost people.

It's sickening when even Syria can see the need to attack Iraq that the far left of this party shot us down. Hell, yes, we want war with Iraq.

You have printed articles from the worst of our party -- the cowardly antiwar people. Many of whom are drug users and should never speak to anyone but their parole officer anyways (sic).

Saddam will lose the war but his main victim will be the Democratic Party whose leaders didn't understand that the majority of Democrats revile anti-war protestors, drug users and the far-left college professor types. Those sickening men who say they are Americans yet spread a doctrine in which the U.S. deserves Sept 11.

The '60s generation managed to help the Vietcong very well who slaughtered many "enemies of the people" -- over 30,000 at one city alone.

They also left us with the drug culture. Civil rights and women's lib -- which most hedonistic men really didn't support anyways (sic).

If North Korea attacked South Korea, many college professors would call up the Independent and say we must help the new revolution. Going too far left is a big mistake especially in war time; the press is no longer infiltrated by communists like it was in the '60s, men who idolized Chairman Mao, who was responsible for 80 million deaths. Quit sticking to the "party line."

Don't support college professors who pass out anti-American leaflets; we need change but not a damn revolution. Especially not from men who disgraced themselves not only in the '60s but ever since, these communists with BMWs.

-- Patrick Dobey

Colorado Springs

Moaners and whiners

I am writing this in response to the letter in the Nov. 7-13 Indy called "Whither the Democrats."

While the letter's authors, Mr. and Mrs. Drisgill, sound like your good-hearted, conscientious and well-meaning citizens, I feel compelled to write in and give another perspective.

First off, they should be disappointed in Tom Daschle. He is a power-hungry, class warfarewaging, overly embittered Democrat who has lost a lot of power. His party should be upset too. He and his other party leadership have spent the last two years doing nothing but complaining as well as obstructing critical legislation (Homeland Security) and judicial appointments, and criticizing the president in a time of war (not smart).

The Democrats have done nothing but complain and moan about the state of this country instead of offering any feasible solutions to those problems. In fact they seemed to try and show why we should not vote for them (Wellstone Memorial). Americans want to move forward and get things done in the face of new threats. The Democratic leadership showed that they are living in the past and care nothing about progress. That is why they lost.

Secondly, the case for the impending attack on Iraq is evident every day. They have spat in the face of the UN and their own people. President Bush is simply being principled in the application of American foreign policy, instead of trying to be the popular U.S. president and build a false legacy (Bill Clinton).

Thirdly, and most importantly, it is the height of liberal insecurity to worry about an increase in hatred towards America if we attacked Iraq. Newsflash: These people hate us already. Personally, I could care less if the people who were dancing in the streets at the sights of planes slamming into the side of the WTC or the Pentagon don't like us.

In fact, I think it would be appropriate to show them what happens when you attack America. What we need to do is make a statement: "If you attack America, you are going to pay a price so punitive that your grandkids will be afraid to even think about it."

-- Doug Dollar

Loving Urban Sprawl

in Springs Ranch

Calling on Athena

Perhaps I am hopelessly nave, but I believe the severe stress of these times represents a golden opportunity to evolve toward a more harmonious, creative and truly satisfying life.

As traditional institutions come under increasing threat, the invitation I see is to make a 180-degree turn and come home to the unifying peace of our own soul, the Being within ourselves that has always been our greatest treasure.

In my mind this goes beyond divisions of race, culture or religion. The being-ness back of all life forms is huge, and if we listen to it, I believe we will find, as many brave people have discovered, that a fountain of courage and wisdom is available to us.

For Ulysses, it was the goddess Athena who guided him and sometimes saved him from disaster. But whatever word we use to name the divine intercession that waits in the quietness of our soul, the important thing is, it is there, and it will bring us through whatever lies ahead.

-- Christopher Foster

Loveland

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