The Gazette's Nov. 4 editorial is one of the most chilling local threats to open dialogue I have ever read. It follows strict Libertarian R.C. Hoiles' doctrine by demanding politicians govern less, provide less and spend less.
Libertarianism, like most "isms" advocating utopian principles, demands strict adherence to doctrine. History shows extreme utopian philosophies do not work in managing a society. Libertarian candidates nationwide generally attract less than 1 percent of the voters. In a democracy, voters elect politicians who are expected to deliver services and solve society's problems. Voters know utopian doctrines result in oppressive regimes.
The editorial's final sentence reads: "Disrespect for these principles [Libertarianism/R.C. Hoiles] by elected politicians at any level of government will be treated as scandal in this column."
The dictionary defines "scandal" as "a flagrant violation of morality, proprietary or religious opinion." The Gazette editorial is a chilling warning to all voters that the newspaper intends to cleanse our society of all Libertarian non-believers.
Many in the creative class, who rely upon open minds and open discussions, are leaving Colorado Springs. If you talk confidentially to local economic development people, they will tell you that out-of-town relocation prospects first read the local newspaper. Business people and entrepreneurs are not attracted to utopian "isms" and threats of ideological cleansing. As a result, our growth is now dependent on the military, the military-industrial complex and retirees receiving government paychecks.
The irony is that as the Gazette influence spreads, our economic growth is becoming more driven by federal government paychecks. These good people have limited vested interest in the local economy.
As a lifelong Republican, former elected official and state co-chairman of the George H.W. Bush campaign in 1988, I am alarmed by trends of the Republican Party. Many current elected officials fear speaking their minds, knowing the leading local newspaper will treat dissenting views as "scandal," and the Gazette always has the last word.
If Republicans are to find their way back, they need more inclusive ideas and fewer exclusionary threats.
Sandy F. Kraemer
I've never known anyone whose goal in life was to grow up and become addicted to alcohol, drugs or both. Not one person. But, for whatever reasons, many do become addicts.
A popular national men's magazine last year listed Colorado Springs as the nation's No. 3 drunkest city. This sobering label sent shockwaves throughout the community and, I was certain, brought a major problem to the forefront. But I couldn't have been more wrong.
In more than 11 years living here, I have witnessed the increase in addiction issues/matters/problems. However, slowly but surely, city and county leaders have cut funding for programs and services designed to help citizens with alcohol-drug abuse issues.
Last year, county commissioners voted to stop funding our area's one and only detox facility. Other funding sources dried up, and now the Pikes Peak Mental Health Center's Detox Unit is closing at the end of January.
This news is devastating to an area with such prevalent substance-abuse problems. It simply cannot be allowed to happen. Our county jail is overflowing, and there is no more room for "overnight drinkers" who just need a place to sleep it off. Since our area has no interest in funding treatment programs, and our city-owned hospital has no intention of allowing inebriated people to camp out in emergency rooms, it is mandatory that the city and county work together to find the money to keep our one detox facility open.
This isn't a game. It's about life and death. Contact your city and county officials. The detox unit must remain open and running, for the safety and well-being of our huge substance-abuse population and every citizen.
In the Nov. 27 issue, you printed a "Slice of Life" photo of two people working on a mural at Fort Carson. This was a project in which military families were invited to learn various art and construction techniques, and contribute to a mural for their library. The library staff, officials at Fort Carson and the nonprofit Concrete Couch collaborated to offer this experience. The now-completed project is on display, and well worth the visit!
Also at Fort Carson, we're building a 20-foot-tall marionette puppet for Mountainside Elementary School. Puppeteer Patti Smithsonian is spearheading this effort, with students and community members, and it opens Friday, Dec. 12, at 1:30 p.m. All are invited to attend.
Folks at the base are to be commended for being very supportive of these programs. The families have many difficulties during war times, and I urge other groups to get involved with life on base. You'll find creative, welcoming and service-oriented people, eager to contribute.
Director of Concrete Couch
So there I was, having a lovely lunch at the Greek Grill reading my Indy as I always do, and suddenly my husband starts saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!"
He slides me his copy and points to your article "Dot bombs," (Present perfect, Dec. 4). And there it is, slightlymorbid.com. Which belongs to us!
I'm not sure with a title like "Dot bombs" it was necessarily complimentary, but we're ecstatic and press is press.
Thanks for writing about us, local Indy fans and local business owners.
Pamela and Mike Potter
I read with interest your story on local clubs and ASCAP ("Rock 'n roll may never die," cover story, Dec. 4), but the owner of Frankie's is incorrect about bands paying performance fees. Bands are not required to pay any performance fees since the bar is the ultimate beneficiary of the performance. It is the club owner's sole responsibility for live music and juke boxes, etc. If anyone is used to "Mob tactics," it's musicians, who are usually being "strong-armed" by the club owner.
Editor's note: When quoted regarding the fees live bands pay, Frankie Patton was referring to membership dues (sometimes called "service fees") rather than "performance fees." Our apologies for any confusion this may have caused.
Gregory-Alan Johnson ("Two true things," Letters, Dec. 4) cited a super-secret international conspiracy as helping to elect Barack Obama despite the efforts of the conservative Republicans and their allies.
No one ever talks about one of these grand cabals when the news is in their favor. No one has ever said, "The super-secret international conspiracy allowed my candidate to win," or "The super-secret international conspiracy helped our army to defeat the bad guys."
I would credit the public with a little more intelligence. It has been more than 5 years since George W. Bush stood on that aircraft carrier and announced major combat operations had ended. People got tired of the neocons and their calls for more military commitments overseas with only vague reassurances to explain it all. There was also a call to go after Iran while Afghanistan and Iraq lay unfinished.
I still insist the election was and is a repudiation of neoconservative Republicans. People grow weary of perpetual war, and perpetual political campaigning.
The Jesus campaign
Marketing people know the first step in a successful campaign is to create reverential desire for the product. Thus was the "Jesus" campaign in the year 0.
The prophet Micah predicted in 700 B.C. the coming of the Messiah. Over the next 700 years, many proclaimed themselves as Messiah. Many were crucified.
From many years in marketing, my analysis: Joseph or even Jesus' grandfather developed a new religion based on a belief in God plus the love and forgiveness encompassed in Buddhism. There is evidence an Easterner, presumably a Jew, studied Buddhism but left the monastery over disagreement of God's existence. Buddha didn't believe.
An acceptable Messiah had to meet Micah's prediction, so Jesus' virgin birth was orchestrated by the grandfather, or Joseph and Mary plus her cousin Elizabeth and Zachariah, parents of John the Baptist.
A major plank was John preaching about the imminent coming, naming Jesus the Messiah and baptizing him. John didn't mention he was a second cousin.
For his first 30 years, Jesus trained to teach the New Testament, perform the predicted miracles and prepare to sacrifice himself for the cause. If Jesus could cure one blind person, why not cure blindness itself? If he could raise Lazarus from the dead, why not everyone?
After being crucified, Jesus disappears from his tomb, as predicted, and is said to appear only to a handful of staunch believers. It is left to the salesmen (disciples) to sell the product.
I think the grandfather, or Mary, Joseph, etc., can be proud of the greatest Christmas marketing story ever told.
Footnote: I believe in God and follow Jesus' teachings of love, tolerance and forgiveness, but I don't think he was any more the Messiah than was Buddha, Mohammed or other religious sect founders.
Congratulations, Jonah Brown. You have given umbrage ("First vs. Fifth," Letters, Dec. 4), and I have taken it. I resent being likened to a Nazi war criminal. When you are U.S. attorney general, judge and executioner, you may do what you will with our outgoing administration. Until then, thank those who have given their blood for your right to be as nasty as you want.
My question was regarding the visceral hatred of this administration. I did not ask for support or forgiveness. Personally, I was repulsed by the previous administration and how President Bill Clinton regarded his vows to the American public in the same way he treated his vows to his wife. However, I did not call for his head (as several women did, and received).
This administration has made decisions I strongly disagree with, but share the love, friend. President Clinton could also be described as a blasphemous thief. If you wish to ascribe a historical figure to my viewpoint, let it be that of Gen. William Sherman, who torched the South, believing that war should be as unbearable as possible. It was not his preference, but he considered it vital to end the war.
President Lincoln also had many calling for his blood, which was received. No, I don't think history will find President Bush anywhere near President Lincoln in stature, but his plate was full of garbage when he first sat down in office and he did his best.
Your big chance
Imagine, sharing your confessions for the craziest, stupidest and/or most X-rated transgressions you've committed (or witnessed, or known about) in 2008. You can ask for, and receive, anonymity. We'd like to publish the best submissions on New Year's Day. But we have to hear from you first. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 22.