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Targeting the mayor

Regarding last week's Public Eye, it seems strange to me that Mayor Rivera would not have much to say against the "National Alliance."

He seems like the type of person that the neo-Nazis would want to target, considering that he is Catholic, Chicano and a mayor. I hope it doesn't take another disaster to give the government a heads up on those people.

-- Donald Pelton

Colorado Springs

Give the bear back

Geez. Is nothing sacred to the kidnapper of the teddy bear? [Kenneth Cleaver, Consumer Correspondent, July 3-9.]

Please refrain from threatening KRCC with such a heinous crime. I faithfully listen to the jazz show every night --spring, summer, fall and winter, through good times and bad.

Please give the bear back; he has medical problems. And lay off the jazz show. There is so little to listen to on the radio. Not all of us want to listen to Britney radio.

-- Elizabeth E. Osborne

Via the Intenet

Live responsibly

I appreciate Kevin Griffis' article in the July 10-16 issue regarding Americans living without health insurance "Want health insurance? Move to Iraq."

However, either Mr. Griffis failed to provide complete information of Ms. Guericke's situation, or the logic of her choices is confusing. He stated that the most affordable health insurance Ms. Guericke can find "is about $200 per month," and that just one visit to the ER this past winter cost Ms. Guericke $4,000. Why wouldn't she pay the $200 per month for health insurance knowing that it would have saved her $1,600 in just one visit?

Further, the lack of responsibility by the 25.3 percent of Americans earning between $20,000 and $29,000 per year who choose not to pay for health insurance is alarming, as is the large percentage of Americans between the ages of 21 and 35 who also choose not to pay for health insurance. These statistics simply reflect the lack of responsibility taken by our fellow citizens.

Solving this problem is not about greater involvement by the U.S. government, it's a matter of taking responsibility and by recognizing the impact our choices can have on our neighbors. Living in this country is not about rights and entitlements; it's about responsibilities and rewards.

--Jason Huntley

Colorado Springs

It's a sad world

Kudos to Kevin Griffis for reading my mind; he hit the nail right on the head!

All week I have been thinking about the lack-of-health-insurance issue, and the fact that we are attempting to set up Iraq with a great education system and excellent health care. And all of this while people living in Dubya's back yard are homeless, uneducated, and have no health insurance. It makes me sick! It's not that the Iraqi people don't deserve to have good things. But shouldn't we deal with our own country's people first?

I have been uninsured since January. I called several insurance companies in town to see if I could find some reasonably priced coverage for myself. However, I was told that if you take any type of medication related to mental health, i.e., antidepressants, that nobody will give you individual insurance. I had taken an antidepressant for more than 10 years of my life at that point, and therefore I was told I was not going to find coverage unless I were employed by a company that offered group insurance. Since then I have gone off my medication because I cannot afford to pay for it. So not only are average Americans screwed out of insurance, but those with mental-health issues are screwed twice. It is wrong and it is discriminatory.

That said, I also completely sympathize with Kim Guericke and it breaks my heart to hear that she fought for this country and she has not been taken care of. No doubt in the long run it would be cheaper for the government if everyone were insured. Unfortunately it seems that the more important issue in our country is being viewed as the super-power of the world.

Our lack of insurance and proper medical care is much more of a threat to our humanity than Saddam Hussein was, certainly as we have found with the lack of evidence supporting the war in the first place. It's a sad world when one's political agenda is more important than taking care of the people of ones country.

-- Shayna Richardson

Colorado Springs

Global health

Should the city sell Memorial Hospital? John Hazlehurst correctly pointed out in the Outsider last week that it has to be approved by a vote of the citizens. So, even though I agree that it is time to sell Memorial, I am more than happy to trust the democratic process.

The City Council has three parking garages, two golf courses, one commercial property and one city-owned airport. These should all be privatized before Memorial is sold. The cash raised by these sales could be used to lower the debt of the city, improve the bus system, and begin some of the road improvements that are needed.

Mr. Hazlehurst seems to believe that if a service or function is deemed essential then it becomes the role of government. The acquisition of food seems to be a major essential service. Using the above logic we should have government-run grocery stores. The marketplace has sufficiently provided for our needs, just as it will for every other essential service. This may explain why we have four hospitals in town with expansion being considered.

Many foreign governments are privatizing their essential services to help fund those needs deemed more important and to encourage private investment. Airports in Asia, Australia and New Zealand have been privatized. Utilities have been privatized in Europe and Latin America successfully. Germany is in the process of privatizing their postal and rail operations. The Czech Republic had the most aggressive privatization program in the former Soviet bloc countries and their economy is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, in the former Soviet bloc.

Privatization is the solution to the many challenges our city faces. It allows for increased individual investment. It allows the market to find the best and most efficient system at no cost to the taxpayers. We can only hope that this City Council has the wisdom to allow human action to inspire the improvements and not human design.

-- Edward Knapp

Colorado Springs

Real Christians love everyone

It's really sad in this day and age that there is so much intolerance still around. I am referring to our Colorado Reps. Marilyn Musgrave and Dave Schultheis pushing as quickly as possible a constitutional amendment for the United States to only recognize straight marriages.

In a recent newspaper article, Rep. Musgrave says that "it has been tradition for over 200 years and a basic tenet of every major religion in the world, not just Judaism and Christianity." Apparently she has not done her homework on other religions, but aside from her ignorance, she also says the majority of Americans do not support the idea of gay marriage. Why? Is it because of the always-given answer from the religious right that it "destroys the sanctity of marriage"?

That is the same thing the Christians said in the Crusades, the Salem witch hunts, and numerous wars: They are trying to preserve values. Most everyone knows this to be a lie, but they can't say their real reason: They hate gays, they hate their lifestyle, and anything they don't agree 100 percent with, they make their holy mission to ban.

The sad thing is that most real Christians love everyone, even the people they disagree with. The religious right fanatics represent a minute fraction of Christians, and yet they are the ones you always hear about in the news. These representatives are horrible examples of the way Christians should be acting, and make all Christians look intolerant in the process.

-- Geoff Kramer

Colorado Springs

In a hornet's nest

My parents taught me to avoid sour grapes. When George W. Bush ascended to the presidency, I was appalled and embarrassed that one of such questionable intelligence and limited foresight (and hindsight) should lead America. Nonetheless, I vowed allegiance, thinking naively that even an unelected president (not the first time) could represent the ideals of our nation, ideals many a revered history teacher passed on to me and to other students.

I have reneged on my vowed allegiance; the reasons fill a large room, the major one hinging on the observation of a respected political analyst, when the president decided to vindicate his father in Iraq: "I fear that President Bush has put his fist into a hornet's nest."

This fist has resulted in the deaths of over 200 Americans, with more to follow. This fist has escalated unwarranted and worldwide hatred toward most Americans. This fist has crippled -- probably for the decades -- an economy and its workers. And the fist list goes on. Who in his right mind would wish to grab such reins in the next election? Such is Bush's plan, or so I suspect.

I could return to my native Italy, work as a waiter and enjoy the peaceful and fun-loving nature of most Italians, who learned much after the fall of the Roman Empire. But I try to believe in an old Italian proverb: "While kings rise and fall, the peasant continues to plow his fields."

As a citizen, a veteran of the Navy and a teacher for over 30 years, I am thankful for America, its diversity, its beauty of people and of landscape, and its freedom, which, sadly, so many take for granted. Not all Republicans are evil nor Democrats virtuous. But I have soured on America's political system, one that disregards more and more the welfare and desires of its citizens. And we have George W. Bush.

Yes, I will be at the polls next time. Many Americans will not be, assuming, like the peasant, that the fields may continue to yield. They may be wrong.

-- Alessandro Salimbeni

Colorado Springs

Correction

Leah Davis Witherow of the Starsmore Center for Local History was quoted in last week's news story "Born Again" saying that Myron Stratton had lived on Weber Street a few blocks south of the United Brethren Church on Nevada Avenue. Actually it was Myron Stratton's son, Winfield Scott Stratton, who lived in the area. The Independent regrets the error.

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