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Afghans' dark side

Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, has just signed the following law:

A woman must have sex with her husband when he wants it. She must preen and be positive about the encounter. She cannot refuse him unless she can prove she is sick.

The law is also upholding that a woman cannot leave her house without her husband's permission, and child marriage is also being upheld.

Sharia law also states that a man can beat his wife or daughter with a stick that is no bigger around than his thumb.

This is the government that George W. Bush supported and now Barack Obama supports. Obama, who said he believed in women's rights, is now sending thousands of troops into a country supporting a government who treat women in this manner.

Also, the Wall Street Journal reported a story of a hidden camera in Pakistan filming a woman on a street being beaten by two men. They continue to beat her and beat her. The woman is crying, "I swear by my father, I will not do it again." They finally drag her away. Evidently someone on the street had an iPhone and filmed the encounter. Her sin? She was seen coming out of a house alone with her father-in-law. Sharia law states a woman can only be with her husband or her blood relatives.

These are governments Bush supported and now Obama is supporting.

— Brenda Krause

Colorado Springs

Bad day in Denver

Rep. Michael Merrifield, whom do you work for? I ask this after speaking as a private citizen to the Colorado House Education Committee about Senate Bill 57, a bill bringing financial transparency to school districts. Most people there favored the bill. They presented your committee with a tremendous amount of in-depth research on SB 57 and its implications.

Opponents who did not admit to being lobbyists were superintendents or school district supervisors. Their arguments were emotional or based upon facts not researched past their interests. The testimony of supporters squashed all arguments.

One department head from Cheyenne Mountain District 12 proudly handed out expensive-looking brochures with statistical information. Then he complained that D-12 would have to spend an estimated $26,000 of its $41.8 million budget to implement the mandates.

By the time I was called to speak, my points had been covered. One, made repeatedly: How much public money could be saved if raw information of how and why school districts spend money were made available? So I simply thanked you and your committee for your hard work, adding that I wouldn't mince the points already made, and simply asked for a yes vote on SB 57. You then said, "You are my second-favorite speaker tonight," and got a good laugh.

I have spoken to packed Manitou Springs City Council meetings on various topics. I do not beat around the bush, getting information across without undue process. After the copious volume of in-depth information presented to your committee, I had nothing to say but thank you for listening and please vote yes on SB 57.

By postponing SB 57 indefinitely — refusing to even vote on the issue — you have effectively said all the arguments presented "by the people" were not even worth listening to.

— (Rob) Arthur Sharp

Denver

Saturday night: not alright

Last Saturday night, I attended the Elton John concert. Well, most of it.

The show started at 8; gates opened at 7. We hit the Interstate 25 exit just after 7, but due to the extreme mis-management of traffic control, it took over an hour to travel the last three blocks. When we parked, the line of cars was still backed up to the freeway.

The World Arena people knew how many tickets were sold and how many cars to expect. So why didn't they open the gates earlier or have a better thought-out system for traffic?

Since they screwed up, we missed approximately 20 percent of the concert. I should expect a 20 percent refund for the $250 we blew on the concert, but they don't have to placate their customers, like a normal business. Another concert will come up in a week or two, and there are so many more people waiting to be disappointed.

— Thor Cameron

Pueblo

Cutler, both ways

My brother lives in Chicago. He called. He wasn't gloating, but he did sound a little excited. Like he was sitting on a declawed cat. He tried to make me feel better by saying that Kyle Orton isn't bad and the Denver Broncos will have a lot of draft picks and we could be good in a few years.

A few years! We were so close! All we needed was a little defense! What the helm happened (that was intentional)? My brother doesn't even like the Bears ... well, he does now. Sigh.

It's a good-news, bad-news thing for me. I've been watching football all my life, but apparently I'm a dullard because I don't understand any of this. The good news is I used to live in Chicago, so I like the Bears. They don't show many Bears games on TV here, but maybe they will now.

All we needed was a little defense! Maybe I should start watching the Lingerie League. Hey, that's more good news!

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Church offering

Kudos on "Faith and finances" (News, March 26). It's nice to see an article about religion in Colorado Springs that actually takes the time to look at how local churches are actually helping people, rather than the boilerplate gripes about the religious right. Well-written and informative — nicely done!

— Greg Hartman

Colorado Springs

Snow job

In light of the chronic flooding of the Mississippi River, Missouri River and their tributaries, and the equally chronic need for water here in Colorado, why not invest some stimulus money into a water-diversion system?

A pipeline/aqueduct to the Great American Desert would be nice, but simply providing funds to shovel up snowfall in some states and dump it into plastic lined coal-cars headed to reservoirs in the Southwest would also do the trick.

Get hold of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and get it done!

— Steve Luera

Colorado Springs

That's 'eat something and die'

I was out of town and just caught up with the issues I missed. One letter ("Parade nightmare," March 19) really got my attention. I have never read so much "whining" packed into one letter, although the letter was pretty long and tedious anyhow. Is it a liberal trait to whine about everything, to the point of causing the reader/listener to lose any sympathy for the whiner?

Parades and other events with crowds are bound to have some trolls and "bubbas" pop up, and it strikes me as bizarre to take it so personally. Why not just move, if you are too timid to tell him to ESAD? I never really thought of liberals portraying themselves as victims instead of activists, so this is a revelation. "Whine" the opposition to death; what a concept!

— Geraldine Russell

Colorado Springs

Presidential immunity?

With all due respect intended: I was raised to respect the office of president, if not necessarily the man, or woman. Of either party or affiliation.

That being said, there was no individual the Republicans could have gotten elected this past election, and no Democrat who could not have won, given everyone's dissatisfaction with the Republicans — thank you, W. Bush.

It seems in the 2008 election, no experience was more favorable than any. Why would we elect someone with only one term in national elected office? Serving as a state senator and campaigning for a better job should not be taken as a qualification, maybe only as an obvious clue as to his drive, greed, maybe ambition. Yet we as taxpayers will pay retirement, Secret Service protection and benefits to an individual who did not earn this, elected with no real qualifications, be his promises short-lived or leaking like a sieve as over the past eight years.

It's been said that the person rowing the boat doesn't have time to rock it. Well, we'd better make time and do some rocking. Our elected officials answer to us, or should, whether we voted for them or not.

Ignoring the lawbreaking and total disregard for our Constitution by your predecessor is as much an acceptance of wrongdoing and a failure to uphold your oath of office as just looking the other way. Makes me wonder what Bush wrote in that letter for Obama.

— Robert Salazar

Colorado Springs

Belated tribute

Some people in Manitou Springs or the west side might have noted the absence of a man past middle age, about average height, in good physical shape, with white hair and trimmed white beard, clean clothes, cheerful countenance and a pleasant Southern drawl. He was often seen walking along West Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues, along El Paso Street in Manitou, and hiking.

We spoke a number of times; many years ago he legally changed his name to Poet Music Magicsong. I last saw him a few days before Christmas, and he seemed fine. He was trying to obtain his college transcripts and other evidence of his academic training and achievements, in order to secure gainful employment. I still hadn't seen him by mid-January, and another man in the area asked me about him.

I knew where Poet lived. I knew he had taped the plastic shell of an electric doorbell to his doorframe. When I checked on him, it was no longer there. His lease wasn't close to being up. He might have been evicted. Or he might have suffered a debilitating injury or illness, and been languishing in a hospital. I fault myself for not having been more vigorous in finding out.

In March, I stopped by at an opportune moment and spoke to a nice woman who told me the story. He had been seen entering his apartment Christmas Eve. But the next morning, the bearer of his Christmas basket knocked on his door and got no response. When he was not seen for another day, police came and found his body. Natural causes. No family in the area.

So it is only now that I can say a final farewell to Poet. Without him, and his amazing anecdotes, the locale has become less colorful.

— Kurt Foster

Colorado Springs

Clarification

In our Indy InSider guide distributed last week and included in our April 2 issue, we used the term "kitsch" when describing the atmosphere of Edelweiss Restaurant, south of downtown. It has been brought to our attention that some equate that term with "trash" or "garbage," rather than with the common American slang definition referring to busy decoration, marked by cultural trinkets and the like. We had intended the latter, and regret any confusion.

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