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Ideology-free radio

With Amy Goodman appearing in town and KRCC's Fall Fundraising Drive upon us, it's a good time to ask: Are we getting the quality programming that we need and deserve from KRCC?

There are so many wonderful politically progressive shows that aren't carried locally by KRCC. They include Goodman's highly acclaimed show Democracy Now!, the environmentally-minded E-town, which KRCC used to carry, and a new one I discovered on New Jersey Public Radio called the Diane Rheem Show, which is sort of like Fresh Air but addresses contemporary policy issues.

These excellent shows aren't heard in Colorado Springs because KRCC's director violently opposes any program that has an "ideology," as if we, the listening public, are not smart enough to discern what we do or do not believe.

While I love KRCC's freeform and jazz shows, I am really, really tired of the middle-of-the-road, bland pabulum talk shows that the management insists on feeding us, in search of "ideology-free" radio. They are not being responsive to the needs and wants of the members, who are supposed to have some input and influence.

I suggest that we let our dollars do the talking during KRCC's fund-raising drive. Save your money to invest in a satellite system, so that you can import the shows you want to hear from public radio in other cities. This way you won't be held hostage to the narrow-minded program philosophy practiced by KRCC's management.

-- Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

Tuning in

It isn't a real powerful signal, but us liberals in Colorado Springs can actually hear Air America radio! It's a Boulder station at 760 on the AM dial. Most car radios should get it and if you tune carefully and are in the right spot, your home, radio should get it too.

-- Jeff Eichengreen

Colorado Springs

Goat-kills an outrage

I am appalled, saddened, and outraged by Rich Tosches' column of last week, "Target shooting." As I was reading, my mouth dropped open, and all I could think was, "What is this country coming to?"

I absolutely agree with Gayle Hoenig's message to "please, please protest this atrocity against animals." Any truly compassionate human being would see this as a revolting and repugnant crime of deliberate cruelty to animals. How can our society support committing such deplorable acts that corrupt our moral character of this country?

As a citizen of the United States, and resident of Colorado, I am disgraced by the actions of the Army that do nothing more than harming innocent animals by hurting or killing 150 goats. At the same time, I find myself wondering how our society can support this erroneous war. After all, the primary reason this inhumane action toward these defenseless goats is happening is because we are having soldiers injured and killed because of the war in Iraq. As Rich Tosches clearly stated, "Goats must be sacrificed to save a soldier's life."

No one wants soldiers to be injured or killed, and it is unfortunate that they are caught in the unjustness of all of this, but don't we have enough killing going on in our world, without having to add to this innocuous occupation?

Rich Tosches, how compassionate of you to be so audacious in supporting this brutality.

-- Tammy Wuerth

Colorado Springs

War against homelessness

After reading Cara DeGette's blast at Bob Holmes of Homeward Pikes Peak (Public Eye, Sept 16-22), I did a little checking. She had not attended the City Council meeting that Mr. Holmes presented his ideas at, nor did she talk with Mr. Holmes before writing the column. Has the Independent been reduced to gathering its news from Gazette articles?

I would urge Ms. DeGette not to "wage war against Bob Holmes" (and a number of others in our community) but to "wage war against homelessness." Notice I said "homelessness" not "the homeless." I would ask Cara to educate herself about this issue further, at the upcoming Sept. 27 Annual Homeless Conference here in the Springs.

Our homeless services are cooperating and collaborating like never before, thanks in large part to Homeward Pikes Peak and Bob Holmes. Part of this process is clarifying the difference between "helping" and "enabling." We are creating "avenues of escape" from homelessness for anyone who wishes to leave the streets of our city. The Urban Peak Youth Shelter will be opening in a little more than month, for example. Homeward aided them in obtaining funding.

"Homelessness" is an unhealthy condition that any community should "wage war" against.

"The homeless" are a diverse population that mostly wants to change their circumstances. Yes, there are a few, self-proclaimed "tramps" who voice no desire to change their lifestyle and are quick to demand that the handouts keep coming. They are few in number but visibly impact our downtown area. While our agencies always have the door open should these folks choose to make a change, just why should they support this very unhealthy lifestyle? Homelessness is bad for the community and bad for the individual who is homeless. Our service providers are getting better at "helping" and keener in avoiding "enabling"; Mr. Holmes' proposal is a possible step further in both arenas.

-- Matthew Parkhouse

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The author is on the board of directors for Homeward Pikes Peak. The bimonthly City Council meetings, as well as the city's planning and utilities meetings, can be watched live on television on Adelphia Channel 18. The council meetings, which are also rebroadcast during the week, can also be viewed live online at

www.springsgov.com . For more on current proposals involving the homeless, check out the news story on page 8.

Millions of barrels

I enjoyed Dan Wilcock's article on biodiesel coming to Colorado Springs in last week's issue. It is heartening to see at least a modicum of energy consciousness in an era where H2s and other behemoth vehicles dominate the highways and parking lots.

Small steps such as biodiesel prove that there are feasible and practical ways out of the quagmire of war and environmental exhaustion that our dependence on fossil fuels has led to. One small criticism: the U.S. daily consumption of crude oil is closer to 20 million barrels a day, not 20 billion, as reported. See the Department of Energy's Web site for the numbers at www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/ international/petroleu.html

-- Joshua Graae

Colorado Springs

Absolute power corrupts

Much of the positioning in El Paso County politics appears directed toward creating a single party representation at the state and national level. This is a position I oppose.

When I read in the Indy several months ago that Mike Merrifield is the only Democratic lawmaker in all of El Paso County, and that "his Republican colleagues have declared it a top priority to stop him from being re-elected," I had to shake my head in disgust. What the Republican lawmakers are really saying is, "There will be no debate, no exchange of information, no compromise. We know everything there is to know."

Well my friends and neighbors, you've heard the phrase "absolute power corrupts." There is a good reason that our government has been set up with checks and balances. We need both parties; we need both voices. We need discussion, exchange of information and compromise. No one knows everything there is to know. We also need to have a strong minority party voice to keep the majority party honest, to call them on their inaccuracies, short sightedness and outright fabrications.

I urge all El Paso County voters to support Merrifield in his bid for re-election as state representative for House District 18. Mike is well respected in his district and has served it faithfully.

Republicans, do you truly believe that your elected representatives are so incorruptible that no one needs to be keeping an eye on them? Do you believe that they are so all-knowing that they couldn't benefit from hearing a different perspective?

-- Anna Lord

Green Mountain Falls

Parroting the party line

I simply must respond to Kay Wright's remarks in last week's IQ feature. She repeats the propaganda of abortion opponents, saying that a pregnant woman has a third-trimester abortion simply because "she doesn't want the kid."

I am always amazed that people believe such inflammatory misinformation about the so-called "partial-birth" abortions! Obviously Ms. Wright has no children of her own if she thinks a woman can carry a pregnancy for almost nine months and then callously decide to end it on a whim. And it's apparent she has never read case histories, or she would know the heart-wrenching stories of women who regretfully terminated much-wanted pregnancies using this procedure -- a procedure that helped preserve their fertility to have further pregnancies.

The term "partial-birth abortion" is not a medical term, but is chosen by abortion opponents for its strong emotional impact as they describe the method in horrific terms. (Try making even a heart operation sound pretty!)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), an organization of 44,000 physicians dedicated to women's health care, has concluded there are circumstances under which this type of procedure would be the most appropriate and safest procedure to save the life or health of a woman. In their opinion, only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances, can make this decision.

The bill President Bush recently signed into law is so vague that it could prohibit other types of abortions as early as 13 weeks into pregnancy. Proponents resisted any attempt to add an exception for the health of the woman. Wisely, three court decisions have now ruled this law unconstitutional.

But abortion opponents will continue trying to outlaw all abortions. And women like Kay Wright will continue believing their propaganda.

-- Janet Brazill

Colorado Springs

Lose the hysteria

I am disgusted by these "fetus" trucks driving around. It's offensive and nonproductive.

I believe in the right to an abortion, but that doesn't mean I'm for it. Making abortion illegal would only hurt more people and cause more problems. The United States tried to outlaw alcohol by making it illegal, and we see now that changing that law didn't work.

I keep hoping that those who appose abortion would come to see that through education about sex and birth control we can continue to reduce the numbers of abortions, without the hysteria.

-- Robbie Hobein

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: For more on this topic, check out the news story on page 9.

Not their fault

I'm a former Colorado Springs resident who still reads your paper online since I left. I'm writing in regards to several recent articles on the presidential election.

I'm sick and tired of the Republicans repeatedly implying that they're the only ones who "support our troops." The idea that if you don't support the war you don't support the troops is ridiculous! Everyone supports our troops. They are putting their lives on the line for all of us and the war isn't their fault.

After quite a bit of searching online I finally found the perfect answer to the yellow "support our troops" ribbons being distributed by the Bushies. A blue (the international color of peace) ribbon that says "bring our troops home" at www.troopsribbon.com.

Now we all understand that we can't just walk away from the mess we've made in Iraq, but our goal should be to finish it up as soon as possible, because what better way is there to support our troops than to bring them home to their families?

-- Colin Ernst

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Sip up, dears

Come on you whiny Kerry Kool-Aid drinkers. You can't stand a president who does what he says and has convictions that do not depend on focus groups and polling.

Imagine that, a president who governs on principle and his core beliefs. Core beliefs, something not exhibited by the left except maybe when hugging trees or ripping the unborn out of their mothers womb in the name of choice.

Choice, something not available to parents of kids trapped in failing government schools but available to 13-year-old girls without their parents' knowledge or consent.

Sip up dears, Nov. 2 is right around the corner.

-- Harold W. Gilstrap

Melrose, Fla.

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