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All pals now

I liked last week's Public Eye. What do these Republican hypocrites think of Bush Senior's choice of Dan Quayle, or Nixon's choice of Spiro Agnew (the worst V.P. in history), or Eisenhower's choice of young Richard Nixon in 1952?

In every primary in both parties, every candidate (including Bush) stupidly says negative things about the opponents, but all is forgotten after the election. Bush sure said a lot of crummy things about McCain, but now it is buddy-buddy.

-- Ralph Verno

West Chester, Pa.

Wants more mail

Re: Last week's Public Eye. Like Naomi Walsh, I (a lifetime Democrat) got a mailer from the Republican National Committee, which was promptly returned (using a little of Bush's billions) in their post-paid envelope. I included a few choice words about Dubya and where the "sun don't shine," just to pick up their day a bit. Hope they send me another one ...

Keep up the good work! The Indy is the only thing worth reading any more!

-- Gary Morse

Colorado Springs

Records unavailable

Cara DeGette did a great job on the Bush rsum and I have forwarded it to quite a few folks. It is very interesting that you can obtain military records dating back to the Revolutionary War but you cannot obtain George W.'s records because they were accidentally destroyed. Powerful politicians are capable of many tricks.

The Independent is very lucky to have DeGette, Rich Tosches and John Hazlehurst on its staff.

-- Robert Wencl

Colorado Springs

Tragic but predictable

The loss of the Pikes Peak Center as a county entity is tragic but was predictable [News, July 8-14]. Of note is the comment from Susan Green of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic stating that higher rental fees would spell the demise of the orchestra.

It was the Colorado Springs Symphony and their unrelenting policy of having a nine-month season that kept other venues out of the Pikes Peak Center, monopolizing the hall and eventually leading to the demise of the symphony. Had the symphony paid the same rental rate as commercial venues, I am certain that their season would have been shortened and financially responsible.

The events that led to the dissolution of the symphony and the current state of the Pikes Peak Center had been predicted in the early '90s by some members of the Pikes Peak Center and symphony board of directors. The real tragedy in all this is the loss of jobs for an excellent Pikes Peak Center staff, which, throughout all of the turmoil caused by the symphony, tried to hold the place together and walk a fine line between pleasing the general population and preserving the business side of the hall.

--Peter R. Brumlik

Past chairman and artistic director

Pikes Peak Center

Upholding the Constitution

Regarding all the letters about vouchers and the bill created to use vouchers, the vote in the state House of Representatives was 33 to 32.

All Rep. Mark Cloer said, when asked why he voted no, was that he swore to uphold the Constitution, and this bill was unconstitutional. Thank you to the 33 legislators who voted no, for not selling out the people of Colorado.

In order to run a civilized society, there needs to be some form of structure. Our government is set up of the people, for the people and by the people. The Constitution is that structure. If we the people don't like the way the Constitution reads, then we have to make our concerns known so that it can be changed, not ignored.

If we have no regard for the law, what are we teaching our children? Our kids learn first by example. We need to teach our children that the ends don't always justify the means. There is a proper course of action to take, and it is not to simply ignore what the people have placed on the Constitution. School vouchers are such a drastic change, I feel that the legislative body needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with something to send to the vote of the people.

The phrase "no child left behind" has been misused to promote vouchers. What is being suggested is to increase taxes to send a few kids to different schools. We don't need higher taxes that may leave more children poor. What has been overlooked is that we do have school choice! You can send your child to any school in Colorado, public or charter, for no additional cost.

We need to understand that breaking the law will not help our kids.

-- Rose Beschorner

Fountain

They'll be back

How curious is it that many pro-voucher advocates showed up at the Board of Education meeting on June 23 to cheer on what they hoped would be the implementation of a voucher system for D-11?

Curious, because the proposed resolution wasn't even listed on the original meeting agenda. Even more curious, because when it was slipped into the revised agenda two days before the meeting, the real topic of the proposed resolution wasn't even addressed; the proposal was innocuously entitled "Educational Services to Meet the Needs of Every Child."

Could it be that the proponents of vouchers on the D-11 Board tipped off their supporters, while keeping everyone else in the dark? Board members Eric Christen, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell tried to slide this past the rest of the board and the general public during the school district's summer vacation, without any kind of public notice or public comment. Luckily, they were defeated this time; but they'll be back.

Unfortunately, we haven't heard the last from the voucher proponents, despite the defeat of all the various ballot initiatives advocating vouchers and despite the recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling that the latest voucher law is unconstitutional. This small, very well-financed, vocal minority can't take "no" for an answer, and they will continue with the "guerilla warfare" campaign that was promised months ago by Christen.

The latest attack in this "guerilla warfare" is squarely aimed at Board President Sandy Shakes. The gorillas (sorry, "guerillas") feel Shakes deserves criticism because she had the courage to vote her conscience, instead of following the instructions of the big-money interests like Steve Schuck that helped Christen, Cox, Breazell and Shakes get elected in the first place last November.

Rather than being publicly criticized, Shakes should be commended for her courage in helping to stop these underhanded maneuvers last month. Shakes (and the majority of the board) did what is best for kids ... all kids, not just those handful of kids whose parents want them sent to private schools at public expense.

That may infuriate those big-money special-interest campaign supporters and the pro-voucher bunch, but there are thousands of Colorado Springs citizens who commend Shakes' actions, and tens of thousands of D-11 schoolchildren who will stand to benefit from the board's vote.

-- Thomas J. Watson

Colorado Springs

God help us all

Last week, the secretary of homeland security and the director of the FBI met behind closed doors with the Senate to discuss the imminent threat to America from al Qaeda. New intelligence has suggested that al Qaeda intends to hit America's seaports, railroads and other targets in the near future. The intelligence reports are considered reliable.

Immediately following that meeting, the Senate session began, with Democrats wanting to work on the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill, which would send funds to the first-line defenders like firefighters and police.

This would give much-needed money and equipment to those who defend America from al Qaeda. Considering the imminent threats brought to the Senate's attention this would make sense, to stop all other business and concentrate on the immediate security needs of our country.

The Republicans rejected that appeal -- to force a vote on an amendment to the constitution to ban gay marriage.

God help us all, they hate us that much.

Colorado Springs is the bedrock of religious extremists. Please come to Colorado Springs PrideFest on this Sunday, July 18. The extremists are willing to risk the security of America, to vote on a ban of gay marriage. This is how ridiculously intent they are on this amendment, and how much they hate the thought of equality for gays and lesbians. Please, help us show our strength in numbers.

-- Carolyn Cathey

Colorado Springs

Duck and cover

So, Tom Ridge comes on the radio and says, "We have credible information that al Qaeda is planning to do something sometime to some people somewhere in an attempt to disrupt the upcoming election." Not his exact words, of course, but the message remains intact.

I asked myself, "What in the h*ll is this guy saying?" Well, I came to the conclusion that some high-ranking al Qaeda members must have been sitting around and thought that, with Bush's tanking approval rating and likely defeat this fall, they would do the one thing that would allow him to keep his appointment and continue to sack the Muslim world. George Bush would be the sole beneficiary of a terrorist attack.

Think about that, and while you do, think about this. What do all those terror alert color codes mean? What do you do at, say, orange? This whole thing stinks and I am disgusted.

-- Brent Koleno

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The following letter to the editors of the Gazette was forwarded to the Independent in response to the daily's July 9 lead story,

Gazing into the ball

When I glimpsed the Gazette's large-type headline, "Al-Qaida targeting U.S. elections" across your newspaper's top fold I couldn't believe my eyes. Do the Gazette's editors have an inside source in the terrorist network? A crystal ball perhaps?

When Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge was asked when, where or how, he just shrugged his shoulders. However, judging by the grammatically incorrect headline, one may surmise that the Gazette editors intend to mislead readers (or those who just glance at the headlines) by stating this conclusion without any evidence whatsoever.

Of course al Qaeda wants to attack us. That is not in question; but how in the world does one intuit their prime motivation is the outcome of U.S. elections? Answer: one can't.

To be accurate, the Gazette should have added in smaller font that it was a "supposition offered by a Bush Cabinet official" -- an official who has time and again come out to frighten Americans with vague, unsubstantiated, "non-specific," and even "old news" warnings that seem to conveniently occur precisely when needed by the beleaguered Bush administration. Could it be that our self-proclaimed "war president" is also at war with the American voter? Manipulating the media and, in the Gazette's case, depending on those to favorably spin for them, the White House may be attempting to suppress voter turnout, thereby influencing the outcome of U.S. elections. That just couldn't be. Could it?

-- Steve Bottoms

Colorado Springs

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