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Get off the dole

After reading last week's news article about Sen. Ed Jones, the obvious question that comes to mind is: Was it just blacks who voted for Ed?

I think what he is doing is past due and to imply otherwise would suggest that the blacks who did vote for him only had their own agendas in mind and to hell with what his other constituents think.

For the sake of discussion, let's move past the '50s and '60s, and address the present. Where is the discrimination? Why did Sen. Jones have to consult the "black leaders" before submitting legislation? Shouldn't he have consulted our Asian and Hispanic population? Let's not forget the rest of the colored people the NAACP supposedly represents ... hmmm?

I feel Jones' proposal does address an important issue of when is it time to wean from the government teat. Is a century not long enough for special treatment and "programs" to bring the blacks to a level playing field? Again, let's not forget the other minorities that were left out of this equation (but I'm sure that was just a slight oversight).

I will interpret Sen. Jones' message to say, "Get off the dole, stop whining and get in the game with the rest of us!"

-- Rick Thurston

Via the Internet

Up to the parents

This letter is in response to the parents who wrote last week about vouchers and District 11 schools. As a single male with no intention of having kids anytime soon, how are these vouchers going to be paid for? I don't think it is fair for me to have to pay so parents can send their kids to private religious schools.

And remember, the private schools don't have to take kids. They pick and choose the best, brightest and least troublesome kids. This is no solution for the kids who need it.

Carla Abers wrote, "You should talk to the parents of the 94.2 percent of black D-11 students who failed math." Why do you think they failed math? Not the teachers' faults. It is the parents who did not raise their kids to care enough about their grades.

And Pamela Staley wrote, "The teachers' union condemns those poor, dumb parents who do not go in the schools to volunteer." How many parents actually volunteer? A very, very small percentage. The rest assume that the teachers will force their kids to do homework. But the teachers can't, or they could get sued.

It is up to the parents to make their kids do homework, just like it is the parents' job to make sure their kids are potty-trained, that they brush, and that they even go to school. It is laziness on the parents' part to not reinforce what the schools are teaching.

-- Geoff Kramer

Colorado Springs

Terrorizing teachers

An open letter to our educators:

This American citizen wants to apologize to all teachers in the United States. This administration's education secretary has horrified and deeply embarrassed me. Using the term "terrorist organization" in the same sentence as an organization that represents our nation's teachers, is, in my heart, unforgivable and profane. On behalf of a grateful student, I once again apologize.

-- Tamela Gebauer

Colorado Springs

Unpack the baggage

John Dicker may be correct in saying that one can't see Mel Gibson's Jesus flick "untainted by one's own spiritual baggage" [Film review, "Jesus, Mel!", Feb. 25-March 3]. Isn't that the case, though, with any movie or book? I like Dicker as a movie critic and would rather be exposed to his spiritual baggage than that of some mega-church preacher. I wish that he had written his own review of the film.

-- Lowell Morgan

Monument

Horror or fantasy?

Concerning Mel's new movie, I have one question. When the video is released, will it be found in the horror or fantasy sections of the store? Maybe it will be stored under the counter with the other "snuff movies." However, I propose a making a new section titled "Creation Science Fiction."

-- Biff Morehead

Leadville

Warmongering wimps

I've rarely witnessed anything as hypocritical or disgusting as the Republican attacks on Sen. John Kerry's anti-Vietnam stance. Kerry served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970. He was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Combat V, and three Purple Hearts for his service in combat. He earned his view of the conflict the hardest way possible.

Let's look at his political opponents. What do George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, Tom DeLay, Bill Frist, Dennis Hastert, Dick Armey, Rick Santorum, Trent Lott, John Ashcroft, Jeb Bush, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, Ralph Reed, and Rush Limbaugh have in common, besides being conservative Republicans? Not a single one of them saw action in Vietnam -- or any other conflict. And yet these chickenhawks-warmongers who didn't serve have the audacity to wage through their minions a smear campaign against a genuine hero.

I suppose they think that it wasn't enough for 58,000 Americans to have been killed in a senseless conflict. Are they saying that John Kerry was wrong to speak his conscience and to oppose the slaughter? Did they want the slaughter to continue? Did they want even more Americans to die in their places?

-- Allan Burns

Colorado Springs

Think positive

I'm very tired of hearing the negative publicity aimed at President Bush regarding his military service. He served his country in the National Guard, which is much more than President Clinton. Why is the media even covering this? They didn't make a big deal at all about Clinton's draft dodging.

Please just let this topic go and focus on the issues and the positive things that have been accomplished during the past three and a half years.

-- Chuck Jelderks

Colorado Springs

Consistency counts

Let me see if I've got this right. On the subject of same-sex marriage, George W. Bush doesn't want the court legislating what the people of the country should have the right to decide. However, when it comes to his own (s)election, he is more than content to allow the Supreme Court to stop the counting of ballots, thus approving of the court legislating what the people of the country should have the right to decide.

What a hypocrite.

-- Amanda Udis-Kessler

Colorado Springs

Throw the dice

Why all the homophobia over same-sex marriages, Mr. Bush? If self-RIGHT-eous America despises our gay neighbors as much as it seems, why not let them marry?

Chances are they'll kill each other the first year.

-- Malcolm Allyn

Fountain

True believer

I may be the only one left, but I believe a great deal the administration has said about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

I believe the CIA report in February of 2003 that said, "We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since to reconstitute its Weapons of Mass Destruction programs."

I believe Vice President Cheney, who said on September 16, 2001, that "Saddam Hussein is bottled up."

I believe the CIA, who said on February 6, 2002, that they are "convinced that President Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to Al Qaeda ..."

I believe Secretary of State Colin Powell when he said on February 23, 2001, "We have kept him contained. Kept him in his box".

I do not believe the reversals of all these positions for the political expediency of justifying a war on Iraq in the name of national security.

-- Mark Lewis

Colorado Springs

Lies and lying liars

Regarding the Bush administration's belated backing of an independent review of the Iraq debacle: It should be obvious to most by now that not only was the intelligence cherry-picked by the administration, the basic assumptions of the administration's members as to the requirements and outcome of the war were selected for their political value, touted by the actors as preordained, and explained away when they failed to materialize.

The success of years of sanctions, and even President Clinton's 1998 bombing of WMD sites, was verified by the U.N. team headed by Hans Blix that was performing inspections immediately prior to the war.

The list of lies is clear:

President Bush lied about Iraq's attempt to purchase uranium from Niger.

Vice President Cheney lied about reconstituted nuclear weapons programs.

Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld lied about where the WMD stockpiles were.

Secretary of State Powell lied about the use of the aluminum tubes.

NSC Advisor Rice lied that no one knew planes could be used as weapons.

Under Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz lied about the number of soldiers needed to secure Iraq.

I could go on all day.

Many people are going to have to admit fault, including the Washington Post, for not realistically assessing the facts and fictions involved in this story. For the sake of our democracy, and the standing of the United States within the world community, all investigations resulting from this misadventure should be open, fully supported by the administration, and executed with haste so as to not affect the election.

Knowing the extreme political nature of how our current White House works, I have grave doubts this will ever happen on their watch.

-- Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

Truth in advertising

I was just watching TV when a Go Army commercial came on. At the bottom of it was the small print "paid for by the U.S. Army. "

Since when did the Army start making a profit to pay for commercial advertisements? Were they using money confiscated from the people of Iraq?

Truth in advertising should force them to disclaim "Paid for by the American public in an attempt to make a boring dangerous job look enticing to young impressionable people who can't get real jobs in today's economy."

-- Greg Horwath

Woodland Park

Clarification

The Colorado Springs branch of the NAACP reports that 85 adults and 15 youths signed in at the Feb. 22 meeting to discuss state Sen. Ed Jones' position opposing affirmative action. In a news story last week, the Independent indicated that more than 50 people were in attendance.

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