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Street justice

I read Ralph Routon's article about roads ("Visions from the past," Between the Lines, Sept. 20) and I have to say, amen! When I first came to this town in 2000 with the Army, I could not believe how ass-backwards the road systems were here!

For such a beautiful, growing city to allow the roads here to just remain at "status quo" when they could have and should have been widened in the 1980s I was just in total shock and disbelief. It strikes me as completely ridiculous that something hadn't been done about the situation long ago!

I truly wish there was a way to fine the city or the individuals who neglected to widen the roads when they had the chance y-e-a-r-s ago! Someone should be held responsible! I just wish I knew who that "someone" was.

Jill Crouch

Colorado Springs

Not honorable

I have been an avid reader of the Indy for a loooong time; every Thursday I look forward to picking up a copy of your paper. The Sept. 20 issue, however, really makes me rethink my weekly ritual.

Your article about Pvt. Brad McCall ("Getting out," News) really disappointed me. I find it almost unbelievable that you would in any way support someone who is such a coward! What Mr. McCall is doing is in no way a noble or honorable thing. If he wasn't prepared to be a soldier and fight, then perhaps he should have gotten a job in the civilian world (selling bongs? bongos?).

The last time I checked, our military was voluntary. He wasn't drafted, he volunteered. What did he think he was signing up to do? Deliver pizzas?The military is a job that should be taken seriously. Too often, people join for the wrong reasons, i.e., the cash bonus and money for college. When they are called to do the job they were trained to do, they chicken out and run away. Why are we wasting space on these deserters?

I, much like the majority of this community, am here because of the military. I find it insulting that someone who is clearly not a productive member of society is being honored with an entire article.

The Indy needs to honor the soldiers and their families of this city. Dedicate a page (or even a measly little article) every week to someone who is actually serving or maybe even lost a life.

Don't turn your backs to the men and women who are serving. They deserve our support more than some lazy pothead who wants to play bongos in the park.

I don't think McCall should call himself "weird" for "giving". Taking your enlistment bonus and running to Canada is not "giving." I call that stealing.

Beth Simmons

via e-mail

Happy ending

On Aug. 23, the Independent printed an article on Veterans Upward Bound ("From war to War and Peace," Student Survival Guide 2007).

We are happy to announce that our program will continue serving veterans in El Paso and Pueblo counties.

Veterans returning to college will continue to receive free classes and materials to ease their transition to higher education thanks to a four-year, $1 million grant to the Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) program hosted by Colorado State University-Pueblo.

The university recently learned that the program had been re-funded by the U.S. Department of Education for another four years beginning Sept. 1 at a cost of $249,411.

The VUB program is funded 100 percent by the grant award. Classes are held at Pueblo Community College and in Colorado Springs at Pikes Peak Community College.

Kevin Walda

Veterans Upward Bound

Colorado State University-Pueblo

Freedoms at CSU

It is apparent that free speech here in the United States is the next censure we Americans will face under the Bush-Cheney regime. I do fully agree with the young scholars of Colorado State University [who wrote an editorial that stated only, "Taser this: Fuck Bush"].

Shouldn't we speak out to prevent Bush and Cheney from initiating a nuclear attack on Iran? Shouldn't we speak out for the 3,790 U.S. troops who have been killed in the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq for oil and money? Shouldn't we speak out to against the Bush-Cheney State Department for using the Blackwater mercenaries to kill innocent Iraqis?

Shouldn't we speak out for the 650,000-plus innocent Iraqi civilians who have been killed in the Bush-Cheney Iraq war? Shouldn't we speak out against Halliburton and the criminal behavior of Bush-Cheney awarding no-bid contracts for their war in Iraq?

Shouldn't we speak out against the Bush-Cheney crimes of illegal spying, torture, signing statements that arrogate legislative powers to the executive branch, schemes to punish political foes and refusal to cooperate with congressional inquires?

We cannot allow our speech to be silenced by greed-driven warmongers.

Leon Rodriguez

Denver

Religious reality

Bible thumpers: How is it that all of these so-called religiously "educated" people can be so narrow-minded and uneducated?

Robert Wiley slammed Rev. Tom Pedigo ("Bible study," Letters, Sept. 20) for stating that Christianity is a religion of love. Well, guess what, Robert: It is! Things that occurred in the Old Testament are not about "Christianity" or the belief in Christ. The Old Testament discusses the relationship of Jews with God.

The laws of the Old Testament were revised by Christ so that the Neanderthals could be more civilized. Christ taught people to love your neighbor and turn the other cheek. Even in the Old Testament, this teaching was changed when Moses got the Ten Commandments that said, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

Christ did not tell his apostles to kill those who would not listen to them. He told them to wash their feet of them. In other words, leave them alone. Everyone seems to forget the verse in the Bible that states: "Judge not, lest ye be judged."

If more Bible-thumping hypocrites would look at the Bible as a whole, be less judgmental of others and not pull individual verses from the Bible that fit their needs, the world would be a better place.

Why can't we all just get along?

Randy Gooden

Colorado Springs

Jackboots for everyone!

Casey Chinn ("Right vs. left," Letters, Sept. 20) seems to have had his poor little feelings hurt by my last letter. He describes my "diatribe" as bizarre and cruel. He also calls me a conservative. All of these points are, of course, wrong.

Just because I disagree with liberal ideology, he mislabels me as a conservative. Just because I point out how his side is getting a dose of their own medicine, he calls me cruel.

So the left has found its neck under the jackboot before. You'd think they'd have learned from those previous events, but obviously they don't. The moment they take power, they are just as bad as the conservatives, creating ever larger and more intrusive government agencies. Once again, they find themselves on the receiving end, and somehow I doubt when they regain the White House they will do anything about it besides finding some conservative groups to beat up on, of course. I guess that's what he means by "peace and equality."

As for "that bunch in the White House," what about them? They are doing unto the left what the left has done unto them whenever the roles are reversed. Does that mean when the left takes power and gets to put the jackboot on conservative necks, all your actions will be justified? Is that what passes for justice in your mind?

If anyone needs a new shtick, it's the political left. They talk a good game about peace, equality and justice, but in the end they are just like a kid who, after smacking a younger sibling around, cries out, "But he hit me first!"

Just because the right can't seem to play well with others is no excuse for becoming the class bully when you are on top.

Scott Graves

Colorado Springs

Hip-hope

When first viewing the Aug. 30 edition of the Independent ("Represent," cover story), I saw this rabble in front of City Hall and thought, before firing off a letter to the editor, I should at least look into the faces of every individual I was going to rip into.

I saw two distinct things. I believe each and every person, like me, has actually performed a hard day's work in their life, and at least some, if not most, like me, has actually performed an act of violence in their life ... unlike some, who hide behind flag lapels, Bibles and televisions, exhorting others whom they do not even know to do their violence.

To the hip-hop community, I apologize for my prejudice. And although I still think we are vastly different in some ways, I have more respect for you than I will ever have for those lying cowards in the Congress, federal government and especially the White House.

Maybe this is why so many young people like your stuff!

Joe Fromme

Manitou Springs

Toy story

I've heard many reports about toxic lead paint and dangerous magnets in toys that Wal-Mart imports from China. But I haven't heard Wal-Mart, the largest retailer, which sells about one-third of all toys in the U.S., is doing anything about it.

I am fully aware that to maintain its low prices, Wal-Mart bullies companies into shady overseas operations, which is why I won't shop there. One shameful example is the use of cheap lead paint to cut corners, which is probably why 70 percent of Wal-Mart's products are made in China where quality guidelines and worker standards are less stringent. I was further shocked to learn Wal-Mart's new "tough" inspection guidelines don't apply to this year's Christmas toys!

We need to be active about this issue. It could save chidren's lives. Tell Congress that it needs to force Wal-Mart to answer for its product safety standards, just as much as it does for Toys "R" Us or Mattel.

Wal-Mart customers deserve more than low prices. They deserve safe products.

Sharlene White

Santa Fe, N.M.

Song's message
I would like to thank the Independent for mentioning my CD release in last week's Reverb column by Adam Leech. However, the song "Soldier, My Brother" is not written from a soldier's perspective.

It would be more accurate to describe the song as an invitation to a soldier to speak with someone who very much desires peace. Love and peace, baby!

Fairlight Moriah

Manitou Springs

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