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An inspiration

I have never, in my life, written a letter to the editor. But, after reading "Ms. Fat-so" in the Oct. 9-15 issue, I just have to say thank you so much for printing this incredible article by Heidi McDonald.

I was literally fighting the tears as I read. Her story is so close to my own. I understand the heartache of being "just friends" with the boys I knew in high school; the agony of shopping for clothes; the struggle to eat healthy while on a budget; the desire to exercise but lacking the energy to do it; and the emotional roller coaster of trying to explain to my children that I am OK just the way I am.

Let's all take inspiration from Heidi and accept that we all come in different sizes and colors and that's what makes this world beautiful.

-- Olivia Hickerson

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Ms. Hickerson is the Independent's sales coordinator.

The War on Divorce

I loved the Kenneth Cleaver item in last week's issue. It provoked a very revealing response from our esteemed state representative, David Schultheis. You can't get this kind of stuff during election campaigns!

Respectfully, I have to disagree with Mr. Schultheis. He's underestimated the depths of the problem, and the means necessary to correct it.

Why wait for a doomed marriage to hit the rocks? Let's extend pre-emptive policies to the obvious criminal spawning grounds that we call broken marriages. I advocate that we require government approval, in triplicate, prior to couples announcing their engagement. We'll turn matchmaking into a government agency, and name it the HomeTown Security Agency.

Government monitoring of the engagement period would confirm, or deny, the marriage of the couple.

To encourage compliance, common law marriage and cohabitating will be expressly forbidden by law. For extra revenue, and prosecutorial leverage, we should require tax stamps for extramarital sex.

I see all kinds of positive derivative economic effects of our War on Divorce. Think of it. We could not only help create even more jobs in our leaner government, but also boost a variety of private industries, which would more than offset the unemployment of prison officials and marriage counselors. An increasing quality of life would make the Springs an attractive community to emigrate from around the United States, thus continuing to fuel our sprawl ... ah, growth, and expanding the taxpayer base. All this for, perhaps, only pennies per day!

It might not be popular at first, but it's for the well-being of our community. Remember, you're either with us, or you're some kind of pinko-subversive.

-- Dan Marvin

Colorado Springs

Once and for all

This letter is in response to Don Fahrenkrug's Oct. 2-8 letter to the editor, in which he suggests Bible-thumpers like himself should be physically separated from the mainstream.

From the 70 percent of us who think alike: Yes, I think we will take you up on the offer to choose which 70 percent of the country to inhabit. We'd like to claim all the land that has not been paved, burned, deforested, strip-mined or otherwise raped by your 30 percent. After a couple of generations we'll probably be able to occupy your land anyway, since you will all have killed each other off with your beliefs, thankfully after soaking up most of the nuclear radiation you've dumped there.

Thanks for your suggestion, as it will allow us to live in peace without the nagging feeling that people are being killed in our names every day, and we can get down to finding out how different and unique the individuals who make up our 70 percent actually are, making decisions that benefit us all, hugging trees, each other, things like that.

I can't really think of a better definition of "ultra-radical" than sorting the entire population of a country into two groups and then suggesting a "once-and-for-all" solution. Besides, according to the merit-based system you propose, the indication is that your 30 percent may never place at the top, that is, the true majority, so maybe it's time for you to try something else.

Oh, by the way, in claiming our 70 percent of the United States, we'll start with your house, so if you could be out by 6:30 p.m. today, that would be great.

-- M.A. Christian

Pueblo

The big picture

Local Council #3006 of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Colorado Springs members attended a Sept. 6 voucher conference titled "Vouchers: The Big Picture," on the campus of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). It was presented by the Center for the Study of Government and the Individual, an elitist group headed by James A. Null, former city councilman and mayoral candidate.

The conference actually became a political forum organized by conservatives to push the agenda on vouchers for poor and low-income children in School Districts 2 and 11 in El Paso County. The panels were made up of mostly Republicans, a few token Democrats, a self-avowed socialist, two African-Americans and many Anglos, but no poor white people, and it lacked Latino participation.

Discussions and/or questions were not invited from the attendees; however, the audience was allowed to submit questions in writing, which were screened and presented to the panelists for answers and comments. Not all questions were answered. LULAC questions why the conservatives are so concerned about vouchers for poor and low-income students, but they were not supportive of health insurance, nutrition, housing, employment, etc., for poor and low-income people.

Rich and well-financed school districts do not come under the voucher program, so if the conservatives would push for funding to upgrade poor neighborhoods, family support services, health insurance, smaller classes and better pay for teachers in low-income areas, there would be no need for vouchers. We must eradicate poverty and racism in our society.

Under the guise of parent empowerment, the big push for parental choice and other current voucher buzz words, the beat goes on, and Latino and other children are being shortchanged by a cadre of do-gooders who do not understand poverty and its ramifications on educational attainment for poor and low-income families. Hopefully, conservatives will join and include LULAC in their work to make America equal for all.

-- Angelo Christopher

Chair, Education Committee

LULAC Colorado Springs

Fighting for their lives

In a news report from Reuters, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, commander of the ground forces in Iraq states, "The enemy has evolved. It is a little bit more lethal, a little bit more complex, a little bit more sophisticated and in some cases a little bit more tenacious."

Our soldiers, and in many cases family and loved ones, are over in Iraq fighting for their lives and trying to survive, but not in a war. President Bush said that the war is over and we were victorious. But ...

Soldiers are being told they are going to stay there longer than was originally planned (and longer than the required tour in Korea or Vietnam).

Soldiers are being attacked 10 to 20 times a day.

More soldiers have died from attacks after the war than during.

What price do we have to pay to free a country and occupy it when we are not wanted there by the majority in the first place? We, as taxpayers, are paying for each of the soldiers over there. We as taxpayers are paying for destroyed equipment. We as family and friends are paying with the lives of our loved ones.

So, what is the government going to do about it? There is no fund for soldiers lost in "peace-keeping operations" as there was for the families of the attack on 9/11. Oh, yes, the government is also taking away the separation pay of the soldiers, and taking away the hazardous duty pay. What? I guess dying is less hazardous than just fighting. The loss of income for these separated families is over $500 a month.

So what the government is trying to tell them, I guess, is that they (the soldiers) should not care that they are separated from their families or if they are killed or injured. Besides, these are "peace-keeping" assignments, not war. Soldiers are of little value and are expendable.

How can we allow this to be done to our soldiers and their families?

-- Randall Gooden

Colorado Springs

The price of freedom

We here in California deserve Arnold. We deserve the woman-groping, Enron-connected, land developer-funded, violence-pushing actor for governor.

Despite the truth that it was Enron stealing $9 billion that caused our debt, we elect an Enron-connected Republican. It's laughable. We deserve what is to come.

Americans likewise deserve the corporate shills that stole the White House in 2000. Republicans stopped the vote count, and we just sat there staring at the tube as if it were someone else's democratic process being hijacked. Therefore we deserve the multitrillion-dollar debt these oil-drenched, unelected usurpers have gleefully loaded on our backs.

We deserve the worldwide disdain for their oil war. We deserve the "PATRIOT" Act. We deserve corrupt paperless Diebold touchscreen voting machines that make further mockery of our vote. Vigilance is the price of freedom, and we are no longer willing to pay.

Vigilance and desire for truth have been vaporized by the cunning of the corporate media giants -- Republican-owned Fox, Republican-owned Clear Channel and of course, the man who is paid one-third of a billion dollars to keep us voting Republican, Rush Limbaugh. We deserve him too, because even with the bottomless depths of his hypocrisy now exposed, his followers will continue to listen and believe every lie that oozes from his drug-addled orifice. We don't search for the truth anymore, and even when it hits us in the face, we look the other way.

We deserve you Rush. We deserve you George. We deserve you Arnold.

-- David Singelyn

Warner Springs, Calif.

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