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Let's get us one

My wife and I attended the World's Fair in Aichi earlier this year and, like Dan Wilcock, were struck at how amazing it all was (Your Turn, Aug. 11).

The thing that I took from it the most, however, was viewing a lot of the smaller pavilions from the countries that did not have trumpet-playing robots or humongous multimedia displays telling you how amazing Canada is. Nepal (with the world's most amazing bicycle!), Pakistan, India and, most surprisingly, Iran had some wonderful examples of cultures that I may never get a chance to see.

Great article, Dan, and seriously ... let's get ourselves a World's Fair!

-- Anthony Graham

Colorado Springs

Lord of spew

I am beginning to think that John Hazlehurst's recent sewer-spew incident in his basement is meant as a karmic message. John likes to spew crud in every direction regardless of, say ... truth. What a concept! John actually should roll up his sleeves and put down his pen for a change and get in the in the trenches with the rest of us.

Case in point being his ridiculous ridicule of the Colorado Democratic Party in last week's issue. Does Hazlehurst really think that the accolades of hard-fought campaigns like Mike Merrifield's and Morgan Carroll's were won by Chris Gates? If so, I would agree that John is living up to his namesake, an "Outsider" on reality.

I challenge John to show one shred of evidence that the Colorado Democratic Party "practically is out of money." But I forgot -- he is an op-ed pundit rather than a journalist, so what should I expect? Sources, schmorces! Who needs em! Or perhaps his source for that was, say, Chris Gates?

And then there is Al Sharpton. How dare he make a mistake! Does anything that Sharpton has done for the last 16 years mean anything? Guess not. I mean, with all that is going on in the political world right now, John is choosing Sharpton as his latest recipient of spew? Makes sense to me. Not.

Here is a novel idea: Maybe John could stop by the Democratic Party Office and talk to them about why Chris Gates got booted instead of talking to his pal Sally [sic] about Colorado Democratic Party politics. You may get another side of the story that John desperately needs, but may not want.

Oh well. Here's to you, Johnny boy. If I ever need to take a ride on a hot air balloon, I know who to call to fill her up!

-- Ben Willman

Colorado Springs

What we have accomplished

With regard to Kathryn Eastburn's "Domestic Bliss" column (Ditch-slapping Bush, Aug. 11), I say RIGHT ON! If the deaths of American troops continue to increase as they have been lately, they will soon exceed in number those persons who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Along with the 25,000-plus Iraqi citizens who have also lost their lives, what will we have accomplished by our invasion of this country? Possibly the development of another anti-American fundamentalist theocracy in the Middle East? Let's hope not.

-- Bob Armintor

Colorado Springs

Sin of omission

Not a word about the most awful occurrence in history: nuclear warfare and the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did your editor forget this event? The U.S. had the first WMD and was the first to use it.

Shame on you for not informing our young people of the 60th anniversary of this event. Especially at this time when we are in fear of its use again.

-- Angelo A. Christopher

Colorado Springs

Deserved more space

You were kind enough to carry in your July 21 edition a note about an event called "Insider's Perspective on the War in Iraq."

That's the good news. The bad news is that this event deserved much more recognition and advertising than you were willing to give it. Worse, nobody from the Independent showed up to cover this event. We are used to such negligence (ignorance?) from the Gazette, but not from you.

As it turned out, the presentations and testimonials given were absolutely stunning and mind-blowing. I do not believe that anybody in the audience will ever forget the slides of all manner of mutilated and amputated soldiers.

I am certain that if more people in the Springs had attended this event and had seen these pictures, the support for this war in our community would be eroding rather quickly.

Divorce and spousal abuse are clearly on the increase among military families, because the lucky soldiers come home from Iraq with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but very few of them get proper treatment. Those who seek treatment are often ridiculed and called sissies.

The VA is seriously underfunded and, to add insult to injury, members of Congress are on record stating that money spent at the VA cannot be spent fighting the war.

Once again, this is a story the Independent should have covered.

-- Peter Brebach

Manitou Springs

Chasing brides

I applaud the latest letter by Phil Kenny in the Aug. 4 issue of the Colorado Springs Independent. Unfortunately, I don't think we are getting it.

Estimates run $9 million an hour to $1 billion a week, up to 400,000 people killed, and millions of lives irrevocably changed. We will be paying the cost for the war in Iraq for a very long time.

Much of the nationalistic rhetoric espoused by the Bush administration suggests that we should "fight terrorism abroad" and keep it off American soil. Our own community was recently touched by the tragic homicide/suicide of a Fort Carson soldier. The silenced terror of mental illness, abandonment and family violence created by this mess sweeps across the country, and yet, I'm afraid it barely becomes another scratch on a lengthy invoice.

Meanwhile, of course we shop and compare, chase runaway brides, and watch Michael Jackson's glittering version of pricey justice. It gets our minds off this stuff. It gives us a little breather until the bill arrives and the war comes home. Again.

Mr. Kenny, bless you for keeping your pencil sharp.

-- P. Higgins

Colorado Springs

Keeping pets safe

I am replying to "Ticking Time Bomb," the Aug. 4 letter about a pack of coyotes roaming Bear Creek Park.

First of all, I think the letter writer is trying to make an issue bigger than it really is because she's upset about her dog.

I'll bet her dog was running free even though there is a leash law at the park. If the dog was leashed, the attack would not have happened. I imagine the dog went after the coyotes. Dogs are known to antagonize wildlife. So, instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill, keep your dog leashed like you're supposed to, and he'll be safe.

-- Kelly Jordan

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: There is an area at Bear Creek Park where dogs are allowed to run free.

Reduced to clichs

Looking back, it's hard to pinpoint exactly when our "free" country took that tragic turn and became a police state. After the "hippies," maybe? As conservatism became a fad?

A short 25 years has turned Thomas Jefferson's ideal Constitution into nothing more than an antique document. The beauty of its words lost, overrun by the official hunger for money and power. Innocent until proven guilty? States' rights? Probable cause? Eminent domain? Beautiful words reduced to clichs. Twisted by the whims of the rich and powerful. Mr. Jefferson would be sick at heart were he alive to see what has become of his most famous composition.

Does anyone remember the motives behind the writing of our Constitution? What happened to the "more perfect union" it was meant to create? Or the assurance of domestic tranquility? How many U.S. citizens feel secure in their homes with their intended blessings of liberty? Liberty and justice have become victims of the money-changers, political whims and inflated egos of the powerful.

We have become a society distrustful of a system that continues to provide prisons instead of opportunities, punishment instead of forgiveness. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone! If we don't become a kinder, gentler, more tolerant nation, who among us will really be free?

-- Sharon Pichon

Colorado Springs

Required reading

TABOR author and El Paso County Commissioner Doug Bruce recently produced a flier that lists 12 statements against Referenda C and D. Next to each statement is a paragraph describing the world according to Bruce.

It is worth reading, sort of like an underground high school newspaper: inflammatory statements from a FOREVER anti-tax individual who will advocate for tax cuts until there is no justice system to protect our freedoms, there are no public schools and only private firefighting companies exist, left to put out one fire but leave another because the homeowner hasn't paid up.

The statements reflect a deep and unabating [sic] distrust of government. I expect no less from Commissioner Bruce, even if he is now one of those dreaded "politicians." However, I have watched voters support the sensible spending of tax dollars in the Pikes Peak region since the passage of our own local TABOR in 1991. I believe they understand ballot requests, like when they voted in 2004 to de-Bruce the El Paso County Health Department budget because it made sense not to have to refuse federal grant money.

Voters see the impacts of state spending every day, whether driving on roads, eating at a restaurant that has been inspected by the Health Department, or pulling aside as a police officer or firefighter races to the aid of a citizen.

November's election is going to come down to examining the benefits of acting together, with government as the mechanism, or "going it alone." Our local coalition for "YES" on Referenda C and D is organized to provide thoughtful discussion in the days ahead. You can contact us by calling 955-0746.

-- Ann Oatman-Gardner

Colorado Springs

The $25 billion giveaway

I have been a Colorado resident for over eight years and have loved this state since the day I arrived. I marvel daily at the beauty that surrounds us and makes Colorado a natural wonder.

It is a travesty that the people we have elected to represent Colorado against any threats are now wavering and crumbling under pressure from the "powers that be." Oil and gas lobbyists pushing for the new energy bill have gotten to senators Allard and Salazar, who will be responsible for selling out the state of Colorado.

What impact will the energy bill have on Colorado? Toxic chemicals will be injected into the ground for oil and gas development. This can affect the water table from which we get drinking water. There will also be plenty of pumping rigs scattered throughout state parks and wildlife refuges. These oil and gas developers will not only be given permission to drill up our blessed land, but they will be given a special exemption from the Clean Water Act. That is why that act was created in the first place -- to protect our water.

The Energy Bill is a $25 billion giveaway to oil and gas companies nationwide. I urge you to flood the offices of our senators with letters and e-mails expressing your concerns about this crisis. Let's unite right and stop this madness.

-- Jonathan Young

Colorado Springs

If not now, when?

I am dismayed that both our senators, Ken Salazar and Wayne Allard, voted in favor of the energy bill -- a $25 billion subsidy to oil, gas and coal. They don't need subsidies. Gas prices are already obscenely elevated.

We need to subsidize alternative energy, such as hydrogen fuel cells, wind and solar power. If not now, when? Are we going to wait until the world runs out of oil?

Further, we need our senators to stand firmly in favor of environmental stewardship of public lands and leave the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Roan Plateau alone for future generations.

-- Steve Bremner

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Sen. Wayne Allard's local office is at 634-6071 and his number in Washington is 202/224-5941. E-mail him at allard.senate.gov. Sen. Ken Salazar's local office is at 328-1100 and his number in Washington is 202/224-5852. E-mail him at salazar.senate.gov.

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