Nailing The Hammer
Three cheers for Kathryn Eastburn! She really nailed The Hammer on the head in last week's fine review of The Big Buy ("Show us the money trail," Film), a movie about Tom DeLay, the former Republican majority leader. Hers is a review of this new movie and also a review of why such a movie is needed.
Americans seem to be duped or doped into accepting the most outrageous slimebags and their antics in Washington.
It is time for Americans to wake up and demand change and improvements. We can thank the makers of this movie for focusing on the enormity of this sleazy pol's misuse of power, and we owe thanks to Kathryn Eastburn for her fine review.
I am compelled to ask of Scott Graves, in his castigation last week of the Indy and its coverage of the D-11 board fiasco ("Shattered glass," Letters): In what universe do you live?
You rant, "What if the community wanted wealthy ideologues, and what if the voters are hellbent on promoting vouchers?" Scott, the voters have spoken, on two occasions, and they voted against the ideologues and their drive for vouchers. And it didn't even matter if the ideologues were benevolent Colorado residents or out-of-staters bent on establishing charter schools in an education-for-profit scam.
And before we hear all the drivel about how unions, fearful of accountability, and their untold millions stole those elections by scaring the ill-educated populace out of recognizing the virtue of vouchers, let me remind Scott and his ilk of how weak associations are in this city and this state.
Within my school district not D-11 fewer than 50 percent of teachers even belong to the association. Consider, in this right-to-work state, how the Legislature has done all it can to protect teachers "from" these associations. The CEA/NEA-as-bogeyman rings very hollow. State Sen. Ed Jones, take a bow.
Did you see that, Scott? Not one ad hominem argument presented. Let the recall continue!
The blame game
Am I psychic? I just read an article in reference to the current recall of D-11 board member Eric Christen. The following is a letter to the editor I wrote that was published in the Indy on Feb. 26, 2004.
"Thank you for the [Feb. 19, 2004] article about Eric Christen. After I lost my bid to be on the District 11 school board I had written a letter to the Gazette about the new board members (it wasn't a very flattering letter) and how they were puppets for local developer Steve Schuck. Shortly after, I received a call from Mr. Christen, who immediately attempted to belittle me and stated, 'You don't have the temperament for politics.' However, based on your article it seems that Mr. Christen not only has a temper, he's also a hypocrite.
"When running for the state house in Oregon, Christen issued the following: 'Unfortunately this sacred trust, this goal of a brighter future for all Oregonians has been broken; an educational system that often fails to teach our children even the basics. It is time for a change.'
"It's time for a change all right when the voters of Oregon couldn't be fooled, he brought that change to Colorado Springs, when he conned the voters with special-interest money into voting for him.
"This hired gun for special interest, who'll be living here long enough to help ruin our school system and our way of life by putting his ego before our children when he's gone and our schools are destroyed, who will we have to blame but ourselves?"
And now, back to the present. Colorado Springs, you only have yourself to blame for Eric Christen. If you want to right your wrong, then you must recall him and send a message loud and clear to Steve Schuck that his investment was a bust! And any future Steve Schuck D-11 investments will be rejected!
Randy J. Rickards
Former D-11 board candidate
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Can't please 'em all
Time to kick the hornet's nest. After reading Marc Holt's June 8 letter ("Shame blame"), I am compelled to respond to his allegations of D-11 being politically correct. This has been a work in progress for several decades, and it originated from the extreme left side of our political spectrum.
Starting in the '70s, it had been assumed that no one should be offended, have their "self-esteem" assaulted, or their ire irked. Can't we just make this a nicer world? It didn't work. It won't work.
The standards applicable now require that an attorney, especially one from the ACLU, not be goaded into action that might determine that someone was offended, belittled, marginalized, et al. It is a logical step from that premise to the one where the rules are so restrictive that no one will be happy.
What annoys me is that someone might be offended that I am offended. I have no right? When umbrage is given, I take it.
Not many people, especially those with a "progressive" bent, could possibly accuse Bush of political correctness. That man has a shotgun mouth.
This argument makes no sense. Look to those who thought it was a "right" for a student to attend UC-Berkeley in the nude. You want to sit in his chair next class? Ask those in the California Legislature who decided that 31 languages are necessary for driver's license exams. Do you speak Farsi or Tongan?
When we try to include every person individually, someone's going to be angry. Can't please 'em all.
I will continue to enjoy the Indy, but you might want to change the name to The Colorado Springs Bush and his crew and any who voted for him suck paper.
Picking their man
In his letter last week ("Day of Reckoning"), Lee Milner suggested Democrats should opt out of voting in their Congressional District 5 primary to vote for John Anderson in the Republican primary. It's true that Jay Fawcett will get the Democratic nomination he's highly qualified and was the obvious choice at the State Assembly. I also understand the strategic goal of Mr. Milner, but these types of votes rarely have the intended consequences.
I say let the Republicans pick their man. And whether he is a James Dobson puppet on social issues, a Doug Bruce "drown the government" tax crusader, or an old-school Republican with zero chance in today's Republican Party, that choice will speak to their values and desires. Then let their choice argue those values against a highly experienced military veteran with rock-solid Democratic values, someone with deep intelligence who has thought out many issues facing our nation, and have the voters choose who will best represent us in Washington, D.C.
If voters feel the Republican Congress has brought about fiscal responsibility, lean, productive social programs, and accountability for the actions of our leaders, then they should vote to keep that Republican rubber stamp for Bush's continued use. Me? I will not settle for bread crumbs thrown out by a Congress engorging its friends and ignoring our problems. And no voter in El Paso County should, either.
Honoring Lu Lu
A local icon in the arena of history has passed into history. Lu Lu Pollard has become a part of the discipline she treasured, as evidenced by her co-founding the Negro Historical Association of Colorado Springs and by her arranging for the archiving, at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the history of black Colorado Springs pioneer families.
We wish to convey our sincere thanks to the individuals and organizations that recognized the many, many accomplishments of Lu Lu Pollard at a time when she could enjoy the tributes. Among these organizations are the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Barnhill Enterprises, the city of Colorado Springs (with the naming of Lu Lu Pollard Park in Briargate), the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the Colorado Historical Society in Denver, and the El Paso County Pioneers Association.
Juanita Martin and Gregory Johnson
Not a light
Hooray for our state government to finally get the ball rolling with the smoking ban, since the selfish bar owners and businesses don't respect my right to breathe clean air while in their establishments. Smokers do not realize when they light up, everyone around them also has to smoke, like it or not. Their filthy habit belongs in the alleys, out of the way of the mainstream public. Smokers need to realize that their dirty habit is a privilege, not a right. Next, I hope they ban smoking 50 feet from any establishment.
Off the air
It seems to be an annual occurrence the past few years: cut the budget that helps to keep PBS and NPR on the air.
Our federal government, which claims to maintain the high moral standards of the American family, severely cut the budget for the only radio and TV networks that actually stand on high moral ground when it comes to educational, family-friendly viewing and listening.
The four major networks and the cable stations provide programming filled with topics and language offensive to many family values. Their news broadcasts provide shallow, sensationalized "news" stories.
In contrast, PBS has maintained a menu of family-friendly, commercial-free programming. Their daily news broadcasts examine issues in detail, providing more than one side of controversial issues. NPR broadcasts a variety of easy listening music and down-to-Earth conversations with their audiences.
While Congress did restore some funding to next year's budget for PBS and NPR following a flood of feedback from the American public, they have vowed to totally eliminate funding for these two networks within the next two years.
Why is it that Congress is willing to provide tax and other monetary benefits to the oil and pharmaceutical industries, but is not willing to support public broadcasting? What is it that the current administration and Congress find so threatening about PBS and NPR? Do they believe the wholesome programs do not support their version of "family values"?
Maybe it is because these two networks actually attempt to educate the American public and encourage them to think for themselves, rather than to merely accept what is fed to them in short, quick, incomplete sound bites.
Due to the quality of shows on TV this summer, I have started watching the commercials. In the past, I tended to block them out. They seemed to be targeted to the 8-year-old age group. However, lately some have piqued my interest.
I have noticed that a large number of pharmaceutical companies are offering their products on TV. They will tell you how great the products are, but never tell you what it's used for.
Then there are other commercials that give too much information. There is one with "Bob" who has taken the natural male enhancement product. This guy goes around with this stupid grin on his face and goes skinny-dipping in his neighbor's pool during a neighborhood picnic. I've decided if that product makes you look and act like Bob, I will avoid it at all costs.
Then there is this insurance company that tells us that 15 minutes can save us 15 percent on our car insurance. And who did they hire to get the message out? A talking gecko. Now, how much would they be paying this talking gecko (even if he has an agent)? With all the money they are saving on a real actor, they can only knock off 15 percent?
Advertising has changed over the years. I recall as a young man, I would listen to an English-speaking radio station in Mexico with a mailing address in Del Rio, Texas. They advertised everything you could ever imagine and some things you could never imagine. The difference was, we knew it was junk, but it was cheap junk. And some of it was good for a laugh.
Today, TV is still selling a lot of junk, but charging premium prices.
Well I guess I'll just have to wait and see what shows the networks offer this fall. Whatever they offer, I'm sure it will be interrupted every five minutes for a junk sale at premium prices. Maybe I'll just start watching radio.