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Idol worship

Idols ... can't live with them, can't figure out what to do with them when they pass unexpectedly.

What a week! We've got a suspected pedophile and possible drug addict, who started out as a black man and converted over to white, and who is regarded by most humans as way, way, way off center, if not clinically insane, but we ignore all the bad stuff to give him, in kind, insane amounts of copious props when he passes away.

And then there's the sex symbol. How can we idolize and, at the same time, vilify sex?

But the guy who made the mute button the most important button on any electronic device in the known universe is the most confusing. I'm so so so ... so glad he won't be doing any more commercials, but couldn't it have just been permanent laryngitis? I don't like feeling relief when someone passes away.

Aren't there people in your life — at work, in your neighborhood, in your family — who actually deserve to be idolized?

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Friends and forts

Lt. Col. Dean Dunham, Fort Carson's public spokesman, made it clear to the Trinidad-Las Animas County Chamber of Commerce that the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site is vital to the Army's and Fort Carson's training mission goals and objectives. He says the Army wants to be a friendlier neighbor, mentioning six job openings ranging from $38,000 to $49,000 per year. That is pretty darn friendly. He didn't say where they got their money.

It seems the colonel has some kind of obsession about money, as he keeps mentioning fantastic amounts, such as: "We do about $1.8 billion a year of business in Colorado ... Fort Carson plans to spend $390 million on another complex." He says another $480 million is being spent to move training facilities from Fort Hood to Fort Carson.

Suddenly a strange feeling comes over me. Like I've lived this moment before. Is that déjà vu? Then, as my mind clears, I realize that — no, this is not a fantasy. It is the same scam, the same deceptive tactics the Army used in the 1980s to take private property. We must not, and will not, let this happen again.

— John H. Robertson

Branson

Get it done

Health care reform has got to be now. There is no such thing as equality in this country while some are allowed to sicken and die of preventable causes just because they are not among the socially favored. As long as money is the determining factor in life or death, the United States' claim to compassion and equality is nothing more than rhetoric, and hollow rantings of those who would hide the truth.

We can never let ourselves be bullied by the billionaires of this country again. Equality, the value of life and worth as human beings are birthrights, not something you have to purchase.

— Lisa Smith-Ruffin

Colorado Springs

Single-minded

As expected, the minority of Americans who are against any changes to our current disastrous and blatantly discriminatory and deadly health-care system are screaming at the top of their lungs that a government takeover of the health-care industry is about to happen, when absolutely no one has proposed such a plan.

After coming face-to-face with an unexpected outcry from single-payer proponents, Democrats conducting "public" hearings decided they had to throw out some crumbs to quiet the masses. Thus the "public option" was born.

The difference between single-payer and public option could not be more stark: Single-payer has at its core the elimination of U.S.-style private insurance, using huge administrative savings and inherent cost-control mechanisms to provide comprehensive, sustainable universal coverage. Doctors continue to be self-employed, relieved of the huge burden of administrative costs! They alone will decide what care their patients receive!

The public option preserves all of the systemic defects inherent in reliance on a patchwork of private insurance companies to finance health care, a system that has been a miserable failure both in providing health coverage and controlling costs.

Elimination of U.S.-style private insurance has been a prerequisite to achieving universal health care in every other industrialized country in the world. In contrast, public program expansions coupled with mandates have failed everywhere they've been tried, both domestically and internationally. (These poor companies will surely find other ways to make a profit, though it might be less than the $660 billion annual burden of obscene corporate profits they have already gleaned from us — enough to provide coverage for most of the uninsured.)

We who support a universal single-payer system are in the majority. We just need to make our voices heard! Go to uhcan.org to find out how.

— Jerry Newsom

Colorado Springs

Renewable defense

In response to the June 18 letter "Solar vs. coal," we would like to provide information about the renewable energy projects currently underway at Colorado Springs Utilities.

In partnership with the Air Force and supporting its sustainability goals, we are preparing to build a 2-megawatt solar power plant on Academy grounds. The Cascade Hydro Power Plant is being built near U.S. 24 and the Pikes Peak Highway. It will generate about 850 kilowatts of electricity using water from the north slope of Pikes Peak, enough electricity for about 600 homes.

We are testing woody biomass that could help generate electricity. By burning pine beetle-kill trees, forest thinnings and other wood products in our existing boilers, we have the potential to create energy in a sustainable manner, reducing the amount of coal used at our power plants.

And we are negotiating a purchase power agreement to buy 50 megawatts of wind energy from Clipper Windpower, providing approximately 3 percent of Colorado Springs' power beginning in 2011. Wind turbines for the project are expected to be constructed in eastern El Paso County.

For decades, we've used hydroelectricity to help power our community, and our existing wind-power program is sold out. We continue to explore options that balance environmental stewardship, reliability and cost. For more, visit csu.org.

— Tom Black

Chief Energy Services Officer

Colorado Springs Utilities

Hidden motive

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn recently announced he is a co-founder of the so-called Congressional Sovereignty Caucus. Its stated mission is to defend American power and interests against encroachment from international institutions. Translation: They want to engage in United Nations-bashing while TV cameras are rolling.

The United Nations is by no stretch of the imagination any threat to U.S. sovereignty. It operates on a pitifully small budget by international standards, about the same as the annual budget of the New York City Board of Education. It has no standing army, and when it tries to mount a peacekeeping operation, the secretary-general must go begging to member countries to provide troops. Its principal goal is to resolve international disputes by negotiation rather than by violence.

While no one would claim the U.N. is perfect, it has been an enormous force for good. If its wonderful humanitarian and peacekeeping operations were to cease overnight, an enormous void would be opened up, which would inevitably have to be filled in large part by the already overstretched resources of the U.S.

Rep. Lamborn, please take a long and dispassionate look at Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations. Do they resemble in any way Alaric and the Visigoths about to storm the gates of Rome? I don't think so.

We have so many real problems that require your attention. Please do not waste time on this ridiculous, grandstanding exercise in paranoia.

— James J. Amato

Woodland Park

Silence is golden

Robert Koch, 1905 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, predicted that someday man would have to fight noise as inexorably as cholera and the plague.

That day has come. For average communities, the dirty rat is loud pipes and subwoofers. Sarasota, Fla., gave officers power to impound noisy cars but is now being sued. According to heraldtribune.com, "The ACLU argues the ordinance is unconstitutional because it gives too much power to officers, and people have no way to know how to follow it."

This perfectly exposes what's wrong with our nation. Our fear of police power renders our police powerless. (That's what's wrong with our schools, too — as applied to teachers.) So, to avoid putting our police in the position of having to make judgment calls about noise level, the only option is to outlaw subwoofers and loud pipes altogether. After all, what purpose do they serve, other than to make lots of unnecessary noise?

Teach officers to recognize the equipment and let the loud noise be the reason for the inspection. It's better to not have a law than to have one and not enforce it. That's like the mother constantly saying "no" to her child, who keeps on doing what's wrong because there are no consequences. The child grows up bad.

— Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

Defending doulas

Regarding the cover story ("No conception," June 25) on the mother-friendly birth community, Kirk Woundy says they never "discussed a postpartum doula, who as far as I can tell acts as a short-term nanny."

As a specialized professional (mountaindoula.net), I would like to enlighten those interested in services a postpartum doula has to offer (so much more than a nanny). We are an extra set of hands to help the home run smoothly during the first few weeks or months following birth, a crucial time when mother-infant and family bonding begin. We make sure mom is fed and has fluids so she can focus on recuperating from the intense process of birth. We do light housekeeping, change sheets, cook family meals, shop, walk dogs and more. We know current SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) recommendations, as well as physical and mental development. We share our expertise in breastfeeding, safe bottle info, bathing, diaper rash and soothing techniques, and offer local referrals.

Many of us have worked with postpartum depression, knowing that supportive listening, practical help, nutrition and rest are essential (along with a medical professional's care).

We support all parenting styles and adapt to the families we serve. Friends and relatives, who in the past have provided conventional support, often work or live far away. Now it is often left to the postpartum professional to gently guide first-time parents. We do also offer occasional nanny services, if mom needs a shower or nap! Experienced parents benefit from a postpartum doula's loving attention to siblings.

My goal as a postpartum doula is to support the family so mom and dad can bond with their baby. Every new mother deserves a little pampering, and it is my passion, and profession, to offer postpartum doula services.

— Deirdre deProspero, CPD

Florissant

  • Idol worship, health care, renewable energy, post-partum doulas and more.

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