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The most important thing

Michael de Yoanna's news article about abortion at Memorial Hospital in last week's issue focuses very strongly and negatively on the politicization of abortion.

Everyone cited in the article seems to agree that to drag politics into the issue is somehow repugnant, and they either condemn their opponents for playing politics, bemoan the politicization of "a woman's interests" or loudly protest their innocence of any implication in the dreadful affair.

The only problem is that abortion is a political issue, and it should be. I want abortion to be the most talked about, most protested, most media-covered issue of this or any election. Iraq and the economy? Screw them! Both sides of the abortion controversy claim to be protecting human rights, and the preservation of human rights and freedoms is by far the most sacred task of a free nation's government. It's more important than national security, it's more important than the economy, and it's sure as heck more important than the exact sequence of events on a muddy river in Vietnam years before I was born.

It is only through politics that we can make policies, and it is only through fair, correct policies that we can have a shot at achieving what the government of this nation was founded for: justice for all.

By all means, let's "play" politics instead of whining about politicians, and maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to make some positive change in this country.

-- Luke VanderHart

Colorado Springs

Get your own station

In response to Cyndy Kulp's diatribe in last week's issue against contributing to KRCC because Mario Valdes, their station manager, has a policy of issue neutrality, I say: Get your own radio station!

Withholding contributions to KRCC is a lousy idea. Why? Because they are the only FM station in town that has freeform music, gleaned from the minds of their usually stellar DJs. You just can't get music like this anywhere else on the air in Colorado Springs. Or Denver, to be frank.

Mario's policies make good business sense to me. He is aware of the market in which he presents programming, and that the liberal left is not in the majority here. Rather than politicize his station, he has chosen to take a road that gains him the most advertisers and listeners. Yet, mainstream though one may think of this policy, he still offers alternative content and NPR, making for a quality college radio experience. His staff is beyond compare. This station deserves the support of this town. Also, Mario makes the best gin and tonics of anyone that I know; this talent alone makes him worthy of my donation.

Being a radical lefty myself, I would prefer to see Pikes Peak Media focus on securing a station of their own rather than trying to put KRCC out of business. I'll help you get that going, Cyndy, but please, KRCC is a vital part of keeping Colorado Springs a non-Fast Food Nation.

-- Cris Stoddard

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The following two letters are in response to last week's news story about the anti-abortion trucks cruising around Colorado Springs.

Double standards

So let me get this straight, seeing Janet Jackson's breast for two seconds is bad; stuck in traffic with your kids, next to giant pictures of aborted fetuses is good?

Don't you love it when they point out their own hypocrisy?

-- Andrew Tobey

Colorado Springs

Hitting the road

Perhaps I should circulate downtown in a truck with posters of the gory death and destruction visited on our soldiers and the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan.

With posters of fat cat corporate abuses, rip-offs, and congressional pork subsidies that go to companies with P.O. boxes in the Caymans.

With posters of crumbling public schools and plummeting achievement that show after four years of education reform.

With posters of America's marginalized working poor in sweat shops without basic necessities, health care or educational opportunity, and whose numbers are swelling into the millions.

With posters of environmental devastation and malformed fetuses that are victims of toxic waste.

With posters of outsourced jobs and laid off workers, and the slashing of pay and benefits of those we fail to truly value: firefighters, police, teachers and soldiers.

With posters of murdered children because the right of a gun maker to profit on automatic assault weapons is sacrosanct.

With posters of disenfranchised minorities, women and LBGT communities, and the class tensions that serve to divert attention from them.

With posters of death and destruction wrought by U.S. trained and supplied death squads in Latin America.

With posters of bankrupt government social programs and soaring deficits to grease the military industrial complex.

With posters of industry lobbyists appointed to regulatory agencies and of phony-baloney junk science.

With posters of maimed immigrant workers in agriculture and meat processing plants who have no voice because of the threat of deportation, but whose jobs none of us would do.

With posters of the new Patriot Act-approved version of the Bill of Rights, and each of the good old boy Supreme Court justices that can affirm it.

With posters of "disappeared" persons into the black hole of Homeland Security detention centers.

Shoot, this is gonna take a fleet of tractor trailers, so that "after seeing this, voters can figure out who to vote for." Provided we get to vote at all, that is.

-- Dan Marvin

Colorado Springs

Strong cup of joe

Harold Gilstrap ("Sip up dears," Letters, Sept. 23) sounds like a "Bring 'em on" kind of guy, who drinks black coffee, Texas strong. His futile attempt at a manly-type letter typifies so many of those who strutted right along with top gun Bush across that aircraft carrier under the huge banner prematurely proclaiming, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. You remember that carrier stunt don't you? The one the GOP won't dare use as a campaign ad?

Gilstrap's letter isn't burdened by many facts; he says Bush does what he says. Really? Then why has Bush flip-flopped on almost every issue except tax cuts? Here are just a few.

Homeland security

9/11 commission

Nation building

Not negotiating with North Korea

Campaign finance reform

Gay marriage

There are many more, but not enough room here.

He says Bush's convictions do not depend on focus groups and polls. This is false. Bush, like all presidents, uses both. He is right when he says Bush governs on principles and core beliefs, unfortunately neither has been good for our country. We are now the most despised nation in the world and our credibility is shot.

He demeans hugging a tree. Well, I'd rather hug a tree than shake hands with a CEO who would chop them all down.

As for "ripping the unborn out of their mother's womb," as Gilstrap so ruthlessly portrays a woman's choice: I wonder if he would leave the unborn in his wife's womb if it were endangering her health or life or if she were raped by someone with AIDS?

He says kids are trapped in government schools. How so? It is parents who choose to put their kids in public schools and no one is stopping them from sending their kids to private schools.

So sip up yourself Mr Gilstrap. Enjoy your Texas strong black coffee. Drink a lot of it, maybe it will wake you from your fantasy view of the worst president in my memory and my memory goes all the way back to President Franklin Roosevelt, the greatest president in modern times,

-- Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

People, not goats

Oh, Rich [Tosches]! I'm so disappointed! You clearly haven't thought this Fort Carson goat issue all the way through.

Yes, we are at war. Have been for a while. We probably will be for a long time. I understand the need to train medical personnel to immediately treat and stabilize wounded soldiers. The argument lies in the method of teaching those skills.

Sure, there are simulators, but I think we all agree that it's impossible to "replicate actual bleeding combat wounds" with a machine. I mean, we want the best training for our soldiers, right? Enter the goats. They used to use dogs, but found goats are less "popular." I'm no doctor, but I would have to say I think a goat's anatomy is slightly different from a human's.

So what do we do? All the arguments seem to say that practicing on goats is better than nothing. I'm sure it is. Better than no training,

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the best way to train medical personnel is on real live human trauma victims. Gosh, you might ask, where do we find trauma victims? Short of calling open season on convicted felons and City Council members, where are we going to find bleeding humans?

How about the emergency rooms and trauma centers? By having military medical personnel observe and assist at human trauma centers they become experienced in all manner of human wound/trauma care. They'd probably learn a lot more about human medicine there than shooting a goat in a field.

Other countries agree. Britain, for example, trains their military medical personnel in human trauma centers. Their medics have actually worked on living, breathing humans. Training on animals is considered archaic and not good enough for their soldiers.

As a taxpayer, registered voter, and parent I am very disturbed by the fact that the United States, the most powerful country in the world, with billions of dollars at the disposal of its military, doesn't think as highly of its own soldiers, our children. Contact your legislative representative and tell them no more Billy Goats Gruff!

-- Cat Reineke

Colorado Springs

Tell the real story

Please publish the whole story about the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA)!

Interesting that your Indy Outsider column (and the local daily's Sunday Metro section article) talk about the state of our roads, but do not talk about that censored topic: the impacts from development.

The major roads, that about 12 years ago (that's about TABOR time) were just fine. RTA (and reality) says those roads need to be widened for increased capacity.

Some of these RTA "non-growth projects:"

Baptist Road: $15 million worth of capacity widening

Marksheffel Road: $35 million worth of capacity widening

Austin Bluffs Parkway: over $52 million worth of "capacity improvements."

Woodmen Road: over $40 million for capacity, Meridian Road $18 million, Curtis Rd $12 million.

Yes, we now need those improvements. But why? What caused this massive "capacity need"? Because we tore down our old houses and moved somewhere else?

No.

Because developers built new homes for additional residents, and our city and county governments did not request the money for road expansion caused by adding over 50,000 new homes! Did they think these homes had no residents, or these residents would never travel more than five miles from home? Why were these additions allowed with no accommodations for our increasingly and known congested roads?

Now, not only are we asked to pick up the tab for this capacity problem, but we will continue to do so because the practice of not billing for expanding these roads persists with our local government policies. This ensures the need will happen again on our path to over one million planned area residents.

Governments think residents will keep paying, similar to the $300-annual utility subsidy each city household keeps paying to underwrite the underfunding of new residence tap fees.

Local governments think that growth at any cost is just fine. Even with TABOR, taxing residents (and certainly utility billing) is easier than billing developers. Why? Because they think residents don't know the truth.

I would expect you, our much beloved John Hazlehurst, and the voice of truth, the Independent, to publish the cause, the entire story and the whole truth.

A faithful reader and resident of 23 years,

-- Dick Anson

Colorado Springs

Sign-jinks

This letter is addressed to the person(s) who steal my John Kerry yard signs.

What are you afraid of? Do you not believe in the American ideal of free speech, political expression, and personal property rights? Does the expression of my political support impugn yours? Are you not secure enough in your own beliefs to tolerate those that may be different? There are plenty of other countries in the world where perhaps your belief system would align itself: try Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and any number of theocracies.

-- David Adair

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: For more on sign-stealing high jinks and midnight commando raids, see this week's Public Eye on page 12.

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