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Smashing signs

Larry Liston -- or his minions-- appears to be hard at work in this election season ("Midnight commando raids and other yard sign capers," Public Eye, Sept. 30-Oct. 6). I have now had two Kerry/Edwards signs taken, and recently observed from my kitchen window at 5:30 a.m. a man in an SUV swerving deliberately across the street to the opposite lane in order to run over my Ken Salazar sign. (Unfortunately it was too dark to see his license plate number.)

The Salazar sign is reinstated; now to go get my third Kerry sign.

Ah, the land of the free.

-- Beth Brooks

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The Larry Liston mystery is solved in this week's Public Eye on page 23. The original column -- complete with photographs -- can be read online at

www.csindy.com.

The only reason

After moving far, far away from southern Colorado, I get my fix of the Springs news via www.csindy.com. However, I don't care much for politics (yawn) and with my new location, I can't take advantage of the food section so much. So, really, what does that leave me with? Kenneth Cleaver's sassy-pants letters, which have been MIA for the past two weeks. Is he coming back, or will my only reason for reading the Indy be that it's not the Gazette?

-- Pea Weatherfield

Via the Internet

Editor's note: Kenneth Cleaver was cut for space reasons for one week. He appears this week on page12.

Low-oil diet

The crossing of the symbolic $50 mark for a barrel of oil should be a clear wake-up call for national energy policy officials.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, global oil reserves are fixed at around 3,000 billion barrels. Likely fields have been explored and assessed.

Yet, the annual global consumption of 27 billion barrels is growing at 1.6 percent, threatening to outstrip current production capacity.

Our desperate dependence on oil imports precipitated the invasion of Iraq and will lead to future disastrous adventures. Combustion of fossil fuels is precipitating a global warming crisis. Both concerns demand a drastic reduction in fuel use for our cars, our homes and our diets.

Yes, our diets. According to Cornell University Professor David Pimentel, production of animal protein accounts for 8 percent of our national consumption of fossil fuels, nearly as much as driving our cars. It requires eight times as much fuel as production of plant protein. The additional fuel powers manufacture of fertilizers, operation of farm machinery and factory farms, and processing and refrigeration of meat products.

Anyone who cares about world peace and environmental conservation should be aware of the impacts of meat production on their next trip to the supermarket.

-- Charles Graham

Colorado Springs

Style and substance

Before the debates, the common acceptance was that Bush wins on style and Kerry on substance. After watching the first debate I can't understand why anyone would ever vote for George W. Bush.

Bush kept grabbing his stomach and shaking his head like a schoolboy who just doesn't understand how someone can disagree with him. All of this while Kerry looked poised, informed and articulate about the gravest dangers our nation faces.

I want style, but need substance when I cast my vote on Nov. 2.

Fortunately, Kerry has both.

-- Dr. Timothy McGettigan

Pueblo

Looking upward

In response to Adrienne Marie Brown's Your Turn opinion piece of last week:

You must have enjoyed several "40s" prior to the one you sat down with to watch the first presidential debate to get the distorted perspective you did of the event. Which begs the question: Why a reference to the portion size of your chosen beverage? It appeared less a humorous aside than a lame attempt to establish some "street cred" (nice try though).

I agree that Kerry won, but by a rather slim margin, not the "hands down" victory you claim to have witnessed. I am dismayed, though, that you apparently based your decision on the senator's "furious note-taking" and "ability to attack the president."

Note-taking? Since when is that a valid criteria for successful debating? Who knows what he was putting to paper; perhaps it was a tally of all the times he's voted to raise taxes, or decrease spending on intelligence (need a fresh Bic for that list!). And instead of attacking the president, perhaps he'd better serve his platform by stating his actual views on the issues, but that leads to disclosures I'm sure he'd rather avoid.

I commend you for attempting to mobilize young voters, but you then hope Kerry can "hold it down" until the election? Besides sounding desperate (and somewhat oppressive), what is there to hold down? Are today's young voters so ignorant and uninformed that free thought needs to be repressed until Nov. 3?

Here's a novel idea: Why not let these prospective ballot-casters view the candidates and issues and make up their own minds? But wait, then they could potentially scrutinize Kerry's Senate voting record and history of indecision, and abandon the left's agenda altogether.

Better luck next time, but you did have a nice accompanying photo. It's refreshing to see liberals looking upward, instead of hiding their heads in the sand.

In closing, so your book offers suggestions on How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office? Looks like you'll be sitting this election out then, no?

-- Jeff Faltz

Colorado Springs

Bully pulpit

Republican politic: an elephant fable: There's this kid in my school. He's really big for his age, kind of an overweight hormone case, and he has big ears. He seems kind of dumb, is often embarrassed in class, and always lies about his homework.

His parents though, are rich, and he seems to get away with a lot of stuff nobody else can. Like, everyday at recess he goes out and picks on the smart kids and the poor kids -- all of them smaller than him. He makes them eat dirt, sniff his crotch, and usually beats on them.

Every day one of them runs and gets a teacher, and the teacher comes out onto the playground. Every time, this big kid starts crying, tells the teacher that he is getting picked on, and one of the other little kids gets in trouble. The big kid always brags afterward that he got to go to the teacher's lounge and drink sodas for the rest of recess.

I am tired of it, and, come November, hope to get everyone to gang up on him and teach him a lesson. I hope that we can make the playground fun again. If only all the other kids weren't so afraid.

-- Michael Mendenall

Colorado Springs

Right of the right

On last Sunday's Meet the Press, Ken Salazar stated that even if he'd known that all the reasons for going to war in Iraq were lies, he still would have voted for war.

Being an anti-war liberal (and proud of it), there is absolutely no way I can vote for him. He could end up being the deciding vote in a future war resolution against Iraq or Syria, also based on lies.

How in the hell did the Democrats pick a candidate that is actually to the right of his Republican opponent?

-- Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

Bad choices

The execrable performance of Pete Coors and Ken Salazar on Meet the Press gives national exposure to Colorado's declining value in Congress. Surely our political machine could have made better choices for the United States Senate.

-- Robert Irwin

Monument

Try to explain

In the midst of the depressing and scary world we live in, we try to bring some joy and hope to our kids' lives. We may change the channel to protect their eyes, tune the radio to protect their ears, and teach to expand their minds. Still, we are not invincible; in fact we are very vulnerable.

I was reminded of this frailty over Labor Day weekend when my 7-year-old son's bike was stolen. Trying to explain this to him, or why it happened, or who would do it was beyond me. I needed explaining too; I wanted to understand what fun is in ruining the spirit of a little boy. I would like to know how a "new" bike could go unnoticed to a parent's watchful eye or how a parent could think nothing of its mysterious appearance.

I'd like to comprehend how a single parent like myself works hard to provide a safe home for my family, only to have it violated for some ridiculous thrill. I wonder what parent instills into their kids these principles that it's OK to trespass and steal.

I don't suppose we'll ever see the blue bike again, nor do I expect to be compensated for it. I do hope that by expressing my thoughts and frustrations, I'll make someone think twice before they involve a little kid. My loss is not their gain; their guilt is my revenge. I hope whoever took the bike is enjoying it; it brought a lot of fun to our summer; too bad it had to end so soon.

--Cathy Werle

Colorado Springs

Have bill, will send

About eight weeks ago I was minding my own business driving down Southgate Road in the middle of a beautiful sunny day when all the sudden I struck a pothole; not an unusual phenomenon in our village. Unfortunately this particular pothole goes by the alias of "crater."

Consequently, I nearly lost control of my car and drove through the shrubs along the street. Thankfully I was able to regain my position on the road. I watched through my side mirror in horror as my two driver-side hub caps rolled down the street behind me. The curse words spewed from my mouth; I had just purchased these hubcaps the prior week after the old ones were stolen from my car. I knew I was screwed; after all, what are you going to do when you're surrounded by traffic with no way to stop and retrieve the parts of your car you've suddenly lost to the crater?

The next day as I was driving to work, I noticed my poor car was making a horrible helicopter propeller noise. Hmm. A little perspective here: I am a college student who lives far below the poverty line. I purchased this car for $1,000 almost five years ago and have only had to put money into it once since buying it. I am a good driver who has never, in 15 years of driving, had an accident.

Naturally I kept driving for days, then weeks, because I do not have money to repair my car. This past week the noise got so bad that I feared the entire front end was going to land on the pavement below, and thus I finally had to take it to the hospital (which goes by the alias of John Senter Tire).

Here's the wonderful breakdown of the repairs:

CV driveshaft-left, $98.98

Used wheel, $50.00

FW Sealed Brg., $114.67

New tire, $46.93

Labor/Axle shaft assembly, $97.50

Labor/Wheel bearing, $135.00

Thanks to John Senter Tire my car runs beautifully now and it no longer sounds like I'm approaching liftoff. The unfortunate damage to my checkbook due to repairs necessary because of crashing into the crater: $543.08.

To whom shall I send the bill?

-- Shayna Richardson

Colorado Springs

Corrections

A news story last week incorrectly stated that local ballot measure 1B would decrease taxes. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. The proposal, if adopted, would enable the local health department to accept grants and contracts in excess of the current revenue cap, which would reduce the proportion of its budget that relies on local taxes

In 10 Days to Live on Sept. 23, we attributed the Pixies' song "Here Comes Your Man" to their Bossanova album. The song first appeared on the Doolittle album.

The Independent regrets the errors.

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