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You've got to be kidding

Regarding your April 20 cover image ("The good, the bad and the ugly"): Sex sellsenvironmental concern you've got to be kidding! Howidiotic!The true journalistic standards of the Colorado Springs Independent, exposed! You are now contributing to the "dumbing-down of America." Happy?

Tom McElroy

Colorado Springs

Selling sex

In regard to last week's Earth Day issue, Iam wondering why you felt it was necessary in the cover image to use a woman who, for allintents and purposes,appears to bea sex-industry worker using props that carryovert sexual symbolism. Nowhere in the article did I see any reference that connectedthis woman (along with her whip,gun,Daisy Dukesand cigar) to the subject at hand.

Considering how inorganic this woman appeared to be, I can only assume thather appearancewas strictly gratuitous, or else the cover decision was left exclusively up to men suffering from a case of very bad judgment and poor taste.

Constance L. Besaw

Colorado Springs

Defeating the purpose

I want to congratulate the Indy for such a good Earth Day issue! I think that it is one of your best issues. However, I was surprised to read the Your Turn column, "Open up the mountain." It seems to defeat the whole purpose of Earth Day.

It appears that Zoltan Malocsay has not done very much homework concerning the protection of natural resources. He only refers to the situation at Rocky Mountain National Park, which is a very well-controlled and managed location, thank goodness. Does he think that we can just open up Pikes Peak and people will take care of it? Surely, he is not that naive. Most humans are inconsiderate when it comes to picking up after themselves. Just look at any stadium after an event!

And, the idea that our water reservoirs would be open to recreation is a scary thought. I think that Mr. Malocsay does not realize the importance of that resource in this area. And what about the fire danger with more human use?

There is too much to risk by opening more of Pikes Peak to the public. There are plenty of other sites that have been designated for our enjoyment. Mr. Malocsay should visit the Pikes Peak exhibit at the Pioneers Museum in order to gain a better appreciation of America's Mountain. Can you imagine what it would look like if it had not been protected since those early paintings of it? Protect Pikes Peak!

Chris Jones

Colorado Springs

Life-and-death matters

As part of last week's cover package on the environment, Cara DeGette weighed in on the possibility of a Colorado Commission on Global Warming: "After months of discussion, plans for the commission were shelved. Leaders hope to revive talks for a commission next year."

Perhaps we should point out to our leadership that hope is not a strategy, especially when it comes to life-and-death matters like global warming.

Dani Greer

Flagler

Take the next step

Thank you for Michael de Yoanna's April 13 cover story, "Mind game," illuminating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Please take the next step and reveal treatmentavailable beyond medication and talk therapy. A lot has been learned in neuropsychology over the last 15 years.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) hasshown to be an effective therapeutic technique in the treatment of PTSD, and has been endorsed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense.

The paradigm in brief:

The brain and body want to heal from trauma.

Engaging in specific EMDR protocols of bilateral stimulation (i.e., left-right eye movements, tactile tapping or auditory tones), while focused on a trauma:

1. allows hemispheric integration,

2. accelerates processing, and

3. bringsresolution todistress associated with the trauma.

The brain wants to heal, and bilateral stimulation, while focused on a trauma, lets it.

EMDR can be challenging, but if a soldier in session can tolerate recalling aspects of a trauma (e.g., the images and feelings), the rewards can be great. The cause, not just the symptoms, is treated.

Soldiers may visit emdr.com or emdrhap.org for more information, and there are many EMDR therapists in the Colorado Springs/Denver area.

While military officials are just beginning to acknowledge the impact of PTSD, it is important soldiers know that EMDR has been an effective treatment available for years.

Gerald Sandeford

Woodland Park

White House subscription

The article about post-traumatic stress being suffered by soldiers returning from Iraq is sad. Perhaps a copy should be sent to President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and those working and planning in the West Wing.

Being highly informed, they could respond to it and enlighten us as to these casualties.

Don Smith

Upper Kedron, Brisbane

Queensland, Australia

Smelling like an ashtray

I love to read the letters to the editor, but have not felt so compelled to write one of my own until reading the recent letters concerning the smoking ban.

Let me address the issue of opening "nonsmoking" bars. Do current bar owners wish to losethe business of people who do not smoke, or want to smell like an ashtray when coming out of a bar? Will this law cause them to lose business because smokers will refuse to go to the bar? I seriously doubt that is the case.

As a health-care professional, I know all too well the cost to society of smoking. I lose count of how many noninsured and insured smokers I see in a day being treated for chronic lung problems, heart disease, stroke, etc. And, yes, we are all paying to treat people who continually choose to smoke at society's expense.

I guarantee that the insurance companies do not pay what it actually costs to treat chronic lung disease, heart disease, cancer and so forth. In my opinion,smoking is a bigger cost to society than the supposed unemployment of ashtray-makers and match-makers.

Elizabeth Kruger

Colorado Springs

Truly, the American way

I take issue with Jacob Boenisch's bigoted April 20 letter "Backbone of greed." I worked for The National Council of La Raza in the 1980s; its overarching goal was not the "re-occupation of land that was considered stolen by the United States," as Boenisch claims. The organization was established to advocate for civil rights, education and economic opportunities for Latin Americans not only immigrants, but citizens of the United States.

Their efforts include work with community leaders, veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, community-based groups, educational organizations and many more. Truly, this is the American way, and these hardworking individuals and the people they serve represent the American Dream in action.

Boenisch talks about earning certain American "rights." Well, Mr. Boenisch, you claimed these rights simply by being born here. In effect, you just showed up. America was and has always been built on the hard work of immigrant labor.

At present, we have an immigration policy that exploits undocumented workers in a detrimental labor system that encourages undocumented labor. A more realistic labor system based on worker visas (a "guest worker" program), and an orderly process of citizenship attainment for those who wish to reside here permanently is the only realistic solution to the reality of 11 million undocumented "illegal" immigrants.

We can't throw them all in jail, we can't send them all to prison or repatriate them south of the border, and we can't build a wall tall enough and long enough to keep out the most ambitious of foreigners who want better lives and opportunities for themselves and their children.

Gavin Ehringer

Colorado Springs

Give it a go

I would like to clarify the "Tall Poppy Syndrome" that was mentioned in a letter to the editor by Garrett Littlehawk ("A standing O") in the April 6 edition.

Australia, unlike the United States, was not founded on religious grounds. Rather, it started as a penal colony.

It was the start of the concept of "mateship" and "give it a go." It has to do with everyone being equal and classless. It was the "all for one and one for all." It is the tool that we use to survive the harsh outback.

We admire and respect the "battler." This is a person who struggles against life's woes and survives. When the battler becomes too successful, and therefore is above the "norm," then we, as an equal-opportunity culture, need to restore equilibrium. We dislike the English class system perpetuated by the monarchy. We want everyone to be classless, but not stand out from the crowd.

Whether this is a good thing or not is debatable, but it is what made us win the America's Cup in 1983 the first time any country besides the United States had done that in 132 years and also excel in sports, and export all those actors and directors.

We want people to be successful, but not so much that they become "Tall Poppies." Otherwise, watch out, matey ...

Kim Polomka

Colorado Springs

My nut job

I sit here, like others, watching and listening to the reports of what I consider the blunders of a horrible political administration. This is my opinion, my perception. It differs from many in this great city, but it is mine. I thank those men and women who have fought and fight today to protect my opinion and my right to voice that opinion.

However, I have sunk more and more into disappointment and anger with the administration. Before, I could pass it off that the administration's leader was a "nut job." But, as more information comes out about the so-called "Libby case," the more I sink into despair.

As the facts begin to mount, we are discovering that the now-infamous leak may have come from the president himself. If it did, it is no longer a leak. Why? Because the president has the last say in what information is deemed classified or unclassified that is his constitutional power. Every past and any future president will have that power.

When you elect a person to that highest office, you make a bet. You bet that he or she has character (and, oh, this guy has that). You bet that he or she will use the president's powers for the greater good. Did our president do that? Not in my opinion. What did he gain by declassifying that information? What national security purpose did it have? I can see none. Why, if he was responsible for it, was it covered up until now?

President Bush took it upon himself to "reward" a CIA field operative by ending her career. A career that she chose that would put her own life in danger, as well as her family's lives. She served our country, only to have someone's political motives destroy what she worked so hard for.

I call on President Bush to give us an explanation. Not sound bites, not rhetoric, not B.S. For all any of us know, there may be a legitimate reason for this. If so, then maybe I can believe that he is just a "nut job" again.

Scott Cot

Colorado Springs

Colorado's natural wonder

Has anybody else noticed the huge billboard on West Colorado Avenue, just east of Interstate 25, advertising "Colorado's Natural Wonder The Royal Gorge Bridge"?

Just two of many responses that spring to mind:

1. Is this evidence of Intelligent Design? (I mean the bridge, but may apply to the billboard, too!)

2. Do we really have only one natural wonder in Colorado? What about the Eisenhower Tunnel?

Tom Fagan

Colorado Springs

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