Who's pro-life here?
The so-called pro-lifers are at it again, having little fits about stem-cell research. I have even heard them say this administration does not respect life.
Oh, really! Let's see, the last administration (controlled by George W. Bush and far-right religious organizations) claimed to be pro-life and yet declared an unjust war in Iraq that by some estimates has led to over 1 million deaths of Iraqi citizens as well as over 4,200 U.S. military. They refused to allow scientists to find cures for severe illness that could have saved lives and promoted a better quality of life for millions.
Barack Obama never supported this war and is doing everything he can to get us out of Iraq. By allowing stem-cell research, millions of people may have their lives prolonged and have a better chance for a normal life. Children confined to wheelchairs might stand up and walk! We might even find the cures for cancer and diabetes mellitus.
Can someone please explain to me how the Bush administration was supposedly pro-life and yet this administration is not? I don't get it. I also take exception to calling zygotes embryos. But that is another letter altogether.
I had thought I'd heard it all when it came to pro-life double standards. As a pro-choice, self-admitted Internet junkie, I have regularly come across and debated with unreasonable "pro-lifers" online who had no regard whatsoever for the unborn's quality of life, even in cases of rape, sickness, poverty and molestation, as long as they were born. They have not given a sweet damn if the people involved could not afford pre-natal care, or to put the unborn up for adoption. When I have argued that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt in order to support all the life the pro-lifers want, they have said those couples should not be given the chance, because "they might warp the kid."
I had thought that was the extent of their cruelty. (Yes, cruelty!) But to hear state Sen. Dave Schultheis proclaim fetuses at risk for being born HIV-positive should not be treated, simply because of the parents' mistakes ("Don't give Schultheis a pass," Between the Lines, March 5) ... I can only say it's a good thing my faith in humanity as a whole is dead. I'd be in a fine fury otherwise. Instead, I'm cynically unsurprised, and I'm sorry the more open-minded pro-life people I know are so misrepresented by such hypocrites. (I also vow to vote for another senator as soon as possible.)
My point is, if people are irrationally pro-life, they can't afford to be picky, and more, they can't afford to be so utterly inhumane. It only works against them.
As parents of a District 11 child, we were disheartened by the lack of constructive input solicited from the community in planning such massive changes ("How did we get here?" News, Feb. 19). We missed the initial public input opportunities, as did many others, since these meetings were cleverly code-named "Building Utilization Studies." Let's be real: That was to keep people from being interested enough to show up. If they had been called "Budget Crisis: Possible School Closings and Other Major Changes," attendance would have been much, much higher.
Only two board members, Bob Null and Charlie Bobbitt, consistently broke ranks, asked tough questions and listened to the hundreds who asked them to slow down, consider other options and find more creative solutions. The rest of the board blindly accepted everything the steering committee and consultant team proposed, tuning out the community. It felt like the outcome had been decided, and allowing parents, teachers and others speak for three minutes each was an exercise in futility. With the lack of public process, decisions were made with a heavy hand and a blind eye to the impact on our lives.
Sadly, eight schools were closed and many programs relocated, displacing hundreds of students this August.
The disconnect between these decisions and the real needs of parents and kids is deeply concerning. These are tough economic times, changes had to be made, but these times also call for creative solutions and outside-the-box thinking that was lacking.
Why not get people involved in a substantive way early on? Let parents have a real stake in the solutions, because our children and our communities suffer when an "under-utilized" school is closed, or a program we love is moved. Let us help we have a lot more at stake!
Flip the switch
Intermountain Rural Election Association customers: Go to crea.coop, and you will notice one of 22 electric cooperatives is not listed. (Stan Lewandowski and his IREA board do not play well with others.)
Support Mike Galvin in his bid to sit on the IREA board of directors ("Uncooperative," News, March 5).
I was an IREA electric lineman for eight years (1974-82), and know Lewandowski well. He has never bought into the fact electric co-ops are customer-owned. IREA customers, wake up, your future electric bills are in your hands!
Apparently the residents of Colorado Springs feel that safety and security are not worth paying for, or are free.
Would you work on the police force or for the fire department for free? (Possibly, if one were independently wealthy.)
We have cut our own throats and chosen to render our community unprotected for lack of a bill that would have cost the average resident next to nothing (the penny tax).
I see pennies on the ground all the time. There's your sign!
Did I really hear the head fire guy at Fort Carson on the news say something to the effect of: "Our preparedness maneuvers are on a tight schedule and must go on, no matter the conditions"?
If they keep it up, they'll have a complete fire line by the end of summer.
Don't get me wrong, the Industrial Military Complex is the wind in our sails and I appreciate it. But shooting tracers and who knows what else on a "red-flag warning" day of fire danger borders on an act of terrorism. Wake up, Fort Carson!
Are we tough?
I was convinced that the bankers were holding us all hostage by freezing credit markets until they got a big infusion of taxpayer funds, but then I had a revelation.
The whole country has been on a financial high for so long, the big correction was coming sooner or later. The vast increase in credit-card commerce over the last 10-15 years must have inflated everything, including our whole idea of essential luxuries. We should have seen the cliff closing fast.
We ended up with a lot of fuzzy financial math, bloated companies and overextended credit, so the correction was coming. Then why are we surprised?
We now must all look at what we used to think was normal, and realize that rosy picture was inaccurate and stilted at best. We have to be a leaner nation. We must have more athletic and agile companies, and we damn sure can't afford $100 million CEO bonuses.
Although the banks could hold us all hostage, that is probably not what is happening. The thing that is surprising is that go ahead and hit me if this sounds crazy, but could it be that the bankers are the ones forcing us all to bite our bullets and re-evaluate who we are and how we fit into this changing country and global marketplace? I have no doubt that we can bounce back economically; we haven't lost our ability to adapt as a country. The question is, will we?
It is said that people need a significant event to change the way they think and act. We have that event at hand. We just have to be tough enough to change.
I was devastated to hear U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar plans to follow the discredited path of the Bush administration and de-list wolves in the Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone region. Just six weeks into the Obama administration, this is a shocking development.
De-listing paves the way for almost 1,000 wolves to be killed under deadly state management plans in Idaho and Montana, and the killing will once again be rampant. Last year, hundreds of wolves were killed in just the first few days of wolf de-listing in those regions before legal efforts won the battle.
I cannot believe the Obama administration has embraced the deadly Bush-era de-listing plan, since the president has been adamant about resuming safeguards for endangered species. Salazar states that gray wolf recovery has been successful in these areas, but the de-listing of these animals means allowing mass killing of them to near-extinction once again.
Santa Fe, N.M.
Let the left one in
Every day we hear about the terrible economy. What we aren't hearing so much about is how we got here! Let me give you a short refresher course:
Unbridled greed, removal of all regulations, huge tax cuts for the rich who thanked us by sending our jobs overseas.
I've often heard the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. It appears that's what the Republicans are doing. Eight years of their policies got us into this mess. Instead of standing back and letting someone else try to solve it, they want more of the same. A few of them want to follow Herbert Hoover's example and freeze all spending.
The rest of us need to speak up and tell them, "You had your chance. Now, please get out of the way and let someone else try to fix it." As the old saying goes: Lead, follow or get out of the way!
I don't know if President Barack Obama and the Democrats can fix it. I think they are the only chance we have, and I am tired of Republicans spending all their time putting up roadblocks.
Linda Neese Dhondt
GOP's pied piper
The Republican Party appears in more trouble than we thought. GOP leaders are kowtowing to a daytime radio comedian, Rush Limbaugh, the Don Rickles of politics and master of fatuous insults.
Now the GOP seems reduced to its leaders maligning attempts by the new administration to get some control of an economy in free-fall. They vote against proposals to rescue an economy wrecked by eight years of reckless, greedy, unregulated, free-market speculators cheered on by Republican profiteers, including President Bush. Look at what that did to us.
The great American philosopher, John Dewey, said all societies have a choice: Put control of the nation's economy in the hands of unrestrained, unregulated private entrepreneurs, over which we citizens have no power at all, or put control in big government, over which citizens have at least some power via the vote.
Take your choice. Look at what the private profiteers wrought over the past eight years. And Mr. Limbaugh doesn't seem so amusing.