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Best-case scenario

The picture of Sister Barbara Huber and the associated story (Personal Space, Aug. 11) of her visit to the first few inches of Peterson Air Force Base is a witness to the stunning ineptitude of the Peterson public relations folks.

We have a picture of Scenario 1, a septuagenarian nun and associates confronted by a Colorado Springs Police officer, winner of the Bull Connor Stomach Look-Alike Contest, preparing to hustle the sisters off to the slammer for attempting to pray at the base chapel.

Scenario 2 (my fantasy, of course) is that two Air Force chaplains meet the sisters at the gate, exchange greetings and offer to accompany them as their guests to the chapel to pray for safe return of the troops, peace and any number of other individual or shared intentions.

Seems simple enough. That's what chapels and chaplains are for.

-- Jerry White

Colorado Springs

Sharing humanity

Over 250 people turned out last Wednesday night, Aug. 17, to march in solidarity with Cindy Sheehan. We also shared our grief with the families and friends of the more than 1,800 men and women who have died in Iraq. In our thoughts we also included the thousands and thousands of men and women who are returning from Iraq, wounded both in body and mind (and their families). We prayed for the grace for President Bush and his advisers to change their minds on continuing this dishonest and unjust war.

On Thursday, Aug. 18, I was amazed to hear comments on the local afternoon radio talk show from callers who were calling us traitors and a disgrace to America. One man said we were being unfaithful to every dead American soldier.

I was at the vigil because I had a cousin who died at 21 in Vietnam, and I know if he could speak to me now he would say, "Do all you can to end war, not to keep it going. So no one else need die the way I did." I believe this with all my heart, and so I do it in memory of him, not to disgrace him or any other dead American soldier.

I also found it strange that so many who called in to the station said that Cindy and the people at the vigil were all being used as pawns by different peace organizations. Why do they think that she needs to be used, or is a pawn? She is a woman with her own beliefs and feelings and a desire to express them, like all the people at the vigil. It is sad how people on both sides of the issue go to such extremes to make the members of the other side less than human. Until we stop doing this and see the humanity in each other, we will not have peace in Iraq nor here at home. Love, prayers and peace,

-- Elizabeth J. Fineron

Colorado Springs

Just the news, please

More Americans are killed in traffic accidents on our peaceful USA highways in one month than all of the U.S. soldiers who have died over the years in the whole Iraq war ... since its beginning!

Highway traffic deaths in the U.S. exceed 3,000 every month! That's more than American casualties in the whole Iraq war!

How many of the Iraq war KIAs' mothers and/or fathers are camped out with the leftist and socialist anti-war activists and Bush-haters at the President's ranch in Texas?

Why do all news outlets devote so much more very disproportionate air time and space to the anti-American administration minority view?

All news sources need to rid your news of your staffs' bias and/or prejudice, become more journalistically responsible and report the news in the proper perspective. And please, just the facts!

Hundreds of thousands, literally millions, of we parents and family members of our U.S. armed forces personnel support our troops and our present American administration. We respect George W. Bush as our president and as a man.

Please be more fair in your news coverage. Thank you.

-- R. Tullos "Dan" Hanchey

(father of a U.S. 101st Airborne officer)

Ridgeland, Miss.

Not the same old song

I just read some astounding quotes from Republican leaders during the time President Clinton was sending troops to Bosnia:

"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -- Gov. George W. Bush (R-Texas)

"You can support the troops but not the president." -- Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas)

"[The president] ... is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy." -- Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)

"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning. ... I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area." -- Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.)

Hmmm ... it's funny how the tune changes depending on who's in power.

-- Sharlene White

Colorado Springs

Tears for fears

I wanted to cry when I read Amy Goodman's interviews (at democracynow.com) with Cindy Sheehan and other mothers who are holding the man who is the president of the United States of America accountable for the deaths of their sons and the misery of untold numbers of American soldiers and Iraqis. Instead of crying uselessly, I am writing to all of the mothers of sons who read this paper.

What is your worst fear? Is it not that harm will come to your child? Remember his infancy? And now he has pimples. Your nephew, your grandson and stepson? Your friend and neighbor? Another mother's son? When he is of age, will he have choices other than to join the military? Will he fall victim to the deceptions perpetrated by an administration that gained power to advance smarmy agendas through questionable ballot counting?

Is your son drawn to the soldier boys who march smartly in unison on the roads at the Air Force Academy while you wait for them to pass, so you and your son can gain access to the gorgeous hiking trails and sports fields on that installation? (Paid for and owned by you.) How does Bush's war improve the quality of your life or sit with your conscience? Would you sacrifice your tender child? Imagine him gone forever, or his perfect body maimed or his mind damaged.

Do something! Practice democracy at home. Speak out. Vote with your feet. Write letters. Protest! Act! Now I'm going off to cry privately.

-- Janice E. Black

Colorado Springs

Energy feast

In signing the Energy Policy Act of 2005 recently, President Bush mentioned conservation, a term seldom heard from him or his administration. Unfortunately, the bill's few effective conservation measures for individuals and businesses lie buried beneath a heap of giant, taxpayer-subsidized resource development schemes. Many of these mega-developments, such as oil shale, are, at best, marginally energy-efficient (generating little more energy than they consume) and, at worst, degrading to clean air and water, wildlife, wildlands, human health and the federal treasury.

Without far-reaching conservation programs to limit energy demand, digging and drilling our way toward sustainable energy supplies is like gorging on food to overcome obesity. It just does not work.

Establishing effective energy conservation initiatives requires assertive leadership and effective education. The current administration's policy is "Don't ask, don't tell." Don't ask Americans to conserve, and don't tell them why conservation is economically and environmentally beneficial for the nation. If our leaders will not, let us encourage each other to conserve natural resources and energy as best we can. Two excellent sources for conservation information are coloradoenergy.org and greencars.com.

-- John Stansfield

Monument

C and D for quality of life

El Paso County could very well decide the passage of Referenda C and D in November, and I am going to support them.

I am glad I am not alone. The local endorsement of the measure by Mayor Lionel Rivera and the state endorsement by Gov. Bill Owens signal strong support among Republicans for this measure. I have talked to a large number of moderate Republicans in El Paso County who are also voting "yes" for these two measures.

We know that when the voters in El Paso County recognize the need to pass ballot initiatives which will enhance our quality of life, they turn out to support issues, as evidenced by the passage of RTA, Trails, Open Space and Parks as well as past SCIP measures. I believe that once voters realize C and D will benefit education, roads and health care, they will vote "yes." We owe passage of these important measures to future generations.

-- Mary Ellen McNally

Colorado Springs

Religion, in theory

The religious dignitaries and authors converging on Focus on the Family headquarters here this week have their work cut out for them. These evangelists need to discuss the Christian agenda, as well as sell their books. It is no small task.

I predict special difficulty in pushing their idea of putting "Intelligent Design Theory" into the public schools. This is the evangelists' attempt to disguise Creationism as something vaguely scientific. "Creationism in a cheap suit," some critics say. "Whose intelligence? Whose design?" other critics ask.

But think of what problems will ensue if they were ever successful with their Intelligent Design Theory. Would we change the lines of the song to, "Intelligent Designer Bless America?" When people go into court would they swear to tell the whole truth "so help me Intelligent Designer?" And on money would we see, "In Intelligent Designer We Trust"? You see the problems.

But the religionists seem to have missed a crucial problem also in questioning just how intelligent the Designer really is. How intelligent is designing birth defects, cancer, tsunamis, etc.? Not the most intelligent design.

It's not easy being an evangelist. Intelligent Designer bless them.

-- Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Something fishy

I have lived in Colorado Springs since 1967 and was one of the first licensed women insurance agents in this city. I am still licensed and continue to work to this day in this capacity. I am also raising my 10-year-old grandson, as well as being a community volunteer and a care minister for my church.

I question the motives with regard to the recent hiring of Margaret Radford by the El Paso County Health Department.

1) The job was advertised in the Gazette at $39,000, but because of an admitted error by Rosemary Bakes-Martin, Ms. Margaret Radford is now receiving an annual salary of $55,000 plus benefits, as well as pay for her city job.

2) It was indicated by Bakes-Martin that Ms. Radford was the most qualified candidate out of a field of 50 applicants. Really? Could we see a list of those applicants?

3) It was also mentioned in the Gazette that Ms. Radford, City Council member, and County Commissioner Sallie Clark are "pals."

4) County Commissioner Doug Bruce apparently questions this arrangement as I do, and I would hope others would as well.

Mr. Bruce is told to "move it along," and "I think its been hammered on enough by you," and "get over it," by Commissioner Clark during Board of County Commissioner meetings.

Does anyone else question the motives of Clark, Radford and Bakes-Martin? It is pretty obvious to me that this is a travesty of power. I would like to respectfully suggest that these women should be kept "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen."

-- Dee Coleman

Colorado Springs

Correction

Due to an editing error, a photo caption in last week's cover story listed the property tax potential for the nonprofit World Arena as $31,000. The correct value is $531,000. The Independent regrets the error.

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