Regarding Ralph Routon's column ("Sugarcoating local reality," Between the Lines, Dec. 11), I am afraid our leaders do not have a clue as to what is coming down the pike for the county and city.
They wouldn't have the courage to say to themselves, much less the people, that they are in way over their heads and should resign because they don't have the capacity to get us through the next five years. That's right, we're going to be in this mess for that long, and our elected officials will leave later administrations the unglamorous job of cleaning up.
It won't be a pretty sight. A government cannot run on air. It needs revenue, quickly, to avoid a complete meltdown of county and city services. They can start by renegotiating the agreements with big-box retailers to receive all sales taxes and property taxes due the city and county.
Last April's beige book from the Federal Reserve stated there will be another wave of foreclosures, bankruptcies and bank failures that will make this current situation pale in comparison. I've talked to people about this and basically their responses have been, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
We need to ask hard questions of our leaders. With the city election coming in April, we need to put pressure on candidates and incumbents to answer truthfully or admit they don't know what to do. The citizens must know who has the capacity to lead us.
The funds to support "disaster capitalism," i.e. the military-industrial complex, are vanishing. If our leaders don't get their collective heads out of the sand, we won't have to worry about quality of life no services, no infrastructure, no economic base, no viable options. What comes to mind is a ... ghost town!
Utopia to dystopia
We're losing that quality of life. We're letting it slip away, faster than anybody seems to realize. And if we allow this feeling of "the best government is the cheapest government with the fewest possible services" continue much longer, Colorado Springs and El Paso County will never be able to recover.
This loss is inexorable given current national policies. The harsh reality is that, given free migration, this region will inevitably become as unattractive as the most unattractive region in the world.
The Libertarians' "no government" meme destroys America. Their utopian ideology creates a nightmarish dystopia. The result? Taxes and housing prices will be lower than in other regions, but degraded overall attractiveness will be due to degraded quality of life. That is the price to be paid by those who cannot purchase a better quality of life.
The "Bad influence" letter (Dec. 11) by Sandy Kraemer notes the Gazette's view is that disrespect for Libertarian principles "by elected politicians at any level of government will be treated as scandal" by the Gazette. Considering the negative impacts of the newspaper's ideology, perhaps it should be treated as an agent of destruction to be banished from the society it is destroying.
Robert E. Powell
Don't forget Miles
The Independent should remind its readers about the best man to fill the vacancy in our U.S. Senate seat now that U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar will be appointed Interior secretary. That man is Mike Miles, superintendent of Harrison School District 2, who garnered more votes at the Democratic State Convention in 2004 than did Sen. Salazar!
I was appalled to see an article in the Denver Post citing possible appointment candidates, and Mike Miles was not mentioned. I ask those who supported Mike to let their voices be heard again by calling the governor's office and e-mailing their friends and newspapers.
Major, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Sickness and depression
Last week in Denver, many consumers, nonprofits, hospitals, insurance companies, small business owners, pharmaceutical companies and others in the health industry attended Sen. Ken Salazar's 2008 Health Care Summit to discuss our health care system.
It was encouraging to see so many stakeholders with different perspectives. However, the presentations became depressing as we moved from our nation's horrendous statistics to those of our own state. More than 800,000 Coloradans are without health insurance, and many more have inadequate coverage. Colorado is ranked 44th in percentage of uninsured children, and dead last in the percentage of uninsured children living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
If children are the future, we are failing tremendously in assuring we have a healthy generation of future leaders. Health care should not be a privilege or entitlement that only families with financial resources can afford. All children should have a right to quality health care, whether the mom is a CEO or waitress, whether they live in the city or rural Colorado, whether they eat tortillas or Froot Loops for breakfast.
We need Congress and President-elect Barack Obama to pass comprehensive reform in 2009 that guarantees quality, affordable health care for all.
Who led the way?
If anyone can be credited with having developed Christianity, it is the apostle Paul, not Joseph (Jesus' father) or Jesus' grandfather, as Colin Brown suggests ("The Jesus campaign," Letters, Dec. 11). Paul is often said to be the founder of Christianity.
According to Wikipedia, "Paul's influence on Christian thinking arguably has been more significant than any other New Testament author." There is no evidence Jesus' earthly father had any influence on Christian doctrine, yet Paul's letters are believed to be the earliest written books of the New Testament, written even before the eyewitness accounts of the gospels.
If Paul had been a "salesman" for Christianity, as Mr. Brown would likely contend, it is unclear what the apostle gained in return for his marketing efforts. Paul suffered more than most Christ-followers ever will. He was arrested, imprisoned and beheaded for his faith in Christ.
How many marketing gurus would give their lives for their product? Obviously, Paul believed enough in Jesus' life-giving message to die for him.
Watch the movie
A must-see movie for anyone who needs to be reminded of why independent newspapers are important is a 2008 DVD release by THINKFilm called Bordertown. In it, Jennifer Lopez is a hard-boiled reporter sent by her editor, Martin Sheen, to investigate the brutal rapes and murders of hundreds of women in the Mexican border town of Jurez.
That story, based on an ongoing and horrifying true set of events, is enough to consider this an important film. But the even larger (and perhaps even more important) story is how easily corporate-owned newspapers can be manipulated when inconvenient truths are involved.
Rent or borrow this film and then join me in thanking the Colorado Springs Independent for remaining independent. Keep up the good work, Indy!
Twilight for Blago
Everybody can calm down. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich put off resigning because he's still waiting to hear about his next job with the Somali pirates.
I don't see it. He looks more like the vampire type to me. He could have been the leading man in any vampire movie I've ever seen, and he's trying to suck the lifeblood out of an entire state! And the villagers are forming an angry mob!
One thing's an absolute certainty: We live in interesting times...
Dear Detroit: With so much taxpayer money (is there any other source?) about to go to your industry, I am hoping it will be well-spent. The American car industry over the long run has been the world standard. Hell, we invented the industry. The classics of the '50s and '60s the Stingray, Mustang, T-Bird, Charger those were the days. But these vehicles are for parades, car shows and occasional drives, not for everyday use in today's world.
American creativity and can-do spirit are legendary. Our car and truck industry has led the world until recently. Time to get back in the driver's seat. Let the next 50 years, not the last 50, guide your planning. We are counting on your technical expertise as well as your vision to design our future personal transportation options.
Please use our money wisely. Yours respectfully, as a taxpayer,
Don't let political talk ruin Christmas gatherings. Realize that we can't prove our information is the whole truth, if it's true at all. The claims we make are highly subject to lack of information, leaving us with mere opinions. We all have them.
Both platforms can destroy a nation. Mankind has forever had a tug-of-war between the haves and have-nots. The wealthy hold great influence, often behind the scenes, often through no personal cleverness, having inherited their influential position. If they got their way, workers would live hard. The have-nots want wealth to be shared as in communism, but even so, leaders find ways to rise above the masses and use their positions corruptly.
Neither party offers the final solution. The rich will keep as much as possible; the poor will want a good wage, which the rich are not prone to do without force.
And this doesn't address the fact that we've left righteousness. Exactly how do we pray that God bless America when she is wagging her provocative hind-side in our faces? Until we address that issue, maybe "under God" should be removed from our pledge of allegiance. If you want to discuss something relevant after the big family dinner, talk about that.
I want to thank the Independent for publishing my letters and allowing a recent dialogue to go on between Mr. Donald Pelton and myself. It is very clear that he and I have a very different perspective on what has happened and will happen regarding the (s)election of Barack Obama for president.
I would like to ask the Independent to facilitate a meeting between Mr. Pelton and myself. I would like the opportunity to show Mr. Pelton about the international conspiracy that he apparently doesn't think exists.
I would also like to challenge the readers of this letter to look up the word "conspiracy" in a quality dictionary, as its true meaning might surprise them.
Frigging priceless, dude.
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