They'll be back
Imagine that an armed robber breaks into your home and declares his intention to take your money, your jewelry, your coin collection and your electronic equipment, but you put up a fight so the thief grabs your money and heads for the door. But he turns around on the way out and snarls a promise that he'll be back for the rest.

Would you call that a compromise?

The Army says it's "compromising" with us down here in Las Animas County ("Pentagon still ignores Congress, people," Between the Lines, July 24). Instead of taking this entire corner of the state as first intended, they only want to take 100,000 acres. But Army Assistant Secretary Keith Eastin has warned us that they'll be back for more.

What the Army is doing is no compromise. The 100,000 acres that they are now focusing on has always been identified as Phase 1 of their grand scheme to militarize the fragile short grass prairies and canyon lands of southeastern Colorado.

The tactic may have changed, but the mission remains the same.

Doug Holdread

The real strategy

Just because the Army claims it will give up the "immediate" plans to obtain 418,577 acres in Pion Canyon, the long-term plan remains the same. They were always going to do it in sections on the map of their 5.5-million-acre, 18-year plan.

They're trying to go after one rancher at a time to divide and conquer, starting with Craig Walker. They're threatening his investment to get him to sell. If they get his land, then they depress the land values more than they have now, which is the predatory business practice they have been utilizing all along to "soften up the enemy target."

Army Assistant Secretary Keith Eastin is quoted in the Pueblo Chieftain as saying the Army has the money in its budget for outreach and land negotiations despite a current ban on the expansion. The truth is they have a law, signed by President Bush, saying no money can be spent on expansion, which they have violated endlessly.

There are no willing sellers among the 20 or so landowners in the 100,000-acre parcel just south of the current Pion Canyon Maneuver Site. This will require eminent domain seizures again, and Eastin, by his own admission, will not be there after January, so his promise is good until then, at best (pinoncanyon.com).

Because of Purgatoire River, this is some of the most arable agricultural land down there. As for the dispersal of lead, depleted uranium, fuel spills, etc., there isn't a worse place for a live fire range for those permanent pollutants to migrate into the John Martin Reservoir and the Arkansas River surface water.

This is a war. Against the people of southeast Colorado.

Mark Lewis
Colorado Springs

Cranky motives?
Your anti-military bias shines through loud and clear. How does an underling aide (Jeff Crank was never a top aide to Joel Hefley) and lobbyist know more about how government works in D.C. ("U.S. House, Colorado's 5th District," Our View, July 24)? And is that the most important thing you look for, anyway, since Crank knows all the workings and ethics of lobbying?

Why didn't you look into why most, if not all, of the local Chamber of Commerce staff who had to work with Crank when he was on the staff, are not supporting him, but are supporting Bentley Rayburn? Why are most of Hefley's important staff members and the top aide, Connie Solomon, supporting Bentley Rayburn?

Why has Rayburn picked up a number of important former Crank supporters from the last election cycle? Why is former congressman Scott McInnis supporting Rayburn? Or Mary Harold, one of the most active political activists in the 5th CD for many, many years? The Independent is wrong on so many issues. I guess when you do get into the conservative side of things you are wrong too.

Or is it that you are just being sly, since you want the weakest candidate to go up against Hal Bidlack, the one you will endorse in the general election. I think it is that both Crank and Doug Lamborn are such weak candidates, either is better to run against your candidate Bidlack than the true leader among all of them, Rayburn! I guess I should be thanking you for pointing that out with your insipid and sly recommendation. Nice try, Independent!

Stephen Leonard
Colorado Springs

Yellowcake's aftertaste
I wish to take issue with Bill Mendelsohn ("Pick your battles," Letters, July 24). He insisted that President Bush declared war on Iraq based on what he knew at the time, and didn't lie to get us into war with Iraq. I disagree.

Ambassador Joseph Wilson was sent to Niger to check on the possibility Iraq had been purchasing yellowcake uranium to restart its attempt to build a nuclear bomb. He came back from Niger with no evidence Iraqis had purchased uranium since their reactor had been blown up, and told the Bush administration. They insisted on keeping the words in the State of the Union implying Saddam Hussein was trying to build a bomb, so Wilson went public with the accusation, writing an editorial showing that the "yellowcake purchase" story was a hoax.

To distance themselves from him, someone in the Bush administration (probably Dick Cheney) then had Lewis "Scooter" Libby say on a national radio show that Joe Wilson had gone to Niger on the insistence of his wife, who just happened to work for the CIA. Libby got a few months in prison before being set free by the president, who had said he was going to get to the bottom of the Valerie Plame story and make that person pay to the fullest extent of the law.

If a Democrat had been responsible for blowing Mrs. Wilson's cover, the Republicans would have called for a firing squad!

Also, the United Nations' Hans Blix was in Iraq looking for evidence of weapons of mass destruction before the war began. He came up with no WMDs, and the Bush administration claimed Saddam was running some sort of shell game, shuttling the WMDs around the countryside while Blix was otherwise engaged.

Bush lied, and got us into a war we didn't need.

Donald Pelton
Colorado Springs

Resource's response
Recently you printed a letter by Jean Marsh ("Playing the game," July 10) regarding her experience with appearance and attaining a job. In this letter she references advice she was told at the Women's Resource Agency, which I would like to comment on.

She said that she was told to "dye her hair." As a policy, our staff and volunteers would never recommend changing one's personal appearance, such as hair color, as the first order of importance to get a job.

While the Women's Resource Agency and our program, Dress for Success, often give women tips on interview clothing and personal appearance for a job interview, we do not make those kinds of suggestions. We support women to prepare for a job interview or regular employment by giving them interview attire and a career wardrobe of 8-10 outfits, accessories, shoes and handbags. We also are able to give away makeup and personal care items when we have those items donated to us. We give tips on personal presentation but do not delve into the world of hairstyles and makeup application.

As Marsh mentioned, she "highly recommends" our services, and I am proud to report that our client satisfaction survey reports that an overwhelming majority of our clients are very pleased with their Dress for Success experiences.

Beth Roalstad
Executive director
Women's Resource Agency
Colorado Springs

Hot about meat
Recently, in a major address in the nation's capital, former Vice President Al Gore called for a 10-year plan to move the nation's entire energy supply to solar, wind and other renewable sources. What he failed to address is the massive role of meat production in the global climate crisis.

An authoritative 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found animal agriculture accounts for fully 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming (coolyourdiet.org). That's more than automobiles! It is also a major cause of land and water degradation.

Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate feed-growing tractors, factory farm and slaughterhouse machinery, trucks and refrigeration equipment. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are discharged from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools.

The good news: Each of us can do our part to reduce global warming without waiting 10 years. Our local supermarket stocks a rich variety of soy-based lunch "meats," hotdogs, veggie burgers, dairy products and ready-to-eat frozen dinners. Did I mention the cornucopia of fruits and vegetables that have always been readily available to us? More details are at tryveg.com.

Carl Silverman
Colorado Springs

Problem: people
I keep hearing about projected increased demand for energy and food worldwide and the potential effects on climate change. Access to an adequate supply of clean drinking water is another serious global concern, not unlike what Colorado Springs faces now (although I imagine much of what we already have is wasted on our lawns and cars).

Despite increasing competition for finite natural resources, nobody talks about the root cause, only how to supply increased consumption. Why is there no talk about population control?

It seems obvious the handiest solution is to reduce demand! We've already shown our unwillingness to change our consumer lifestyle, and with China and India moving toward an American standard of living, our only hope is to decrease population worldwide. This results in a bigger piece of the pie for everyone.

We can all live well if we maintain reasonable population levels. The Earth can sustain a large population at subsistence levels, or it can sustain a moderate population in abundance.

Jacques Sears
Colorado Springs

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