It's not slavery
Julie Daube ("No, this is sinful," Letters, Aug. 6) maintains that taxing the richest, most powerful people on Earth is equivalent to the privations suffered by African-American slaves prior to the Civil War. While I realize she's trying to make a point, it's hard to feel too sorry for the modern "slaves" she's defending. After all, they have the means to pretty much do whatever they want.
I'm sorry, but my sympathy is for those who can't afford to feed their children or take them to the doctor when they're sick.
— Marsha Smith
Out of the (big) box
As a former student of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn., I received a booklet advising alumni of other alums' activities. I was fascinated by the account of Stacy Mitchell writing a new book about the Big-Box Swindle, so I made it a point to read it as soon as possible. It was pointed, well-researched and made sense throughout.
I was, then, very happy indeed to see her article in your paper ("The corporate co-opt of 'local,'" cover story, Aug. 6) articulating the problems with big corporations borrowing and twisting words like "local" or "natural," etc. Make no mistake, our country's economic future is in the hands of responsible Americans who decide to help themselves recover, not in the hope for "generosity" from folks who don't give a damn about you or your family.
We can rebuild our financial lives by doing business with truly local folks, or we can give in to the corporate lies and spin doctors. It's our choice, but time is short.
Stacy has hit the nail on the head. Buy from farmers markets and pay a reasonable price for the goods. Form buying groups and buy hamburger raised and processed in Colorado by local producers, giving the ranchers a solid future and yourself a fair price. Buy anything manufactured in Colorado first, then in the U.S. next. Demand truly local goods when you shop. If the local store owner can't provide it, don't buy it.
That is what will save us, not borrowed money from China used to purchase more tainted goods from China.
Thanks to Stacy for the article and to the Independent for printing it. As the former mayor of Rapid City, S.D., I can tell you that patriots everywhere appreciate your efforts and bravery!
— Jerry Munson
Rapid City, S.D.
The real news
Last week, the last employed person in America was not laid off, as many people had predicted. This was reported positively by every media outlet in the country (which are all under the control of a computer in the basement of the U.S. Senate) as "New Jobless Claims Lower than Expected!" The Dow Jones average rose by 3 percent on the good news.
— Gordon Riley
Fields of dreams
What can kindergarten-through-12th grade education administrators learn from the Colorado Rockies' manager? Plenty.
I've been a baseball fan all my life, having grown up in St. Louis. I saw manager Whitey Herzog have success with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1980s, leading the Redbirds to three World Series and winning one. About 20 years before Whitey, Red Schoendienst led the Cardinals to the World Series twice. The Cards beat the Red Sox in '67 and lost to Detroit in '68. Both Whitey and Red were similar to Jim Tracy with Colorado now. They were very positive and there usually was a very comfortable atmosphere in the locker room. None of these three men led or lead through intimidation.
I have taught special ed, Spanish, political science and English as a Second Language for a total of about 20 years. It was always important to have students feel safe and comfortable in the classroom. Good teachers know this. Many principals know that this also applies to teachers. When teachers are supported and not micromanaged, they are comfortable and consequently more creative. However, when a principal micromanages teachers, the result is a tense school atmosphere.
Many teachers don't perform well under these conditions. So, where having a comfortable clubhouse is conducive to winning in baseball, the same principle applies in education. The school atmosphere needs to be safe and positive for everyone in the building. This approach has worked well for Google as well. At Google, creativity is combined with discipline. Micromanagement is a big no-no. Managers realize they are not experts about everything. They depend on their employees' creativity.
Go Rockies! Go educators!
— Dwight Buel
Catch the wind
With the potential that is everywhere in America for clean energy, it is strange nobody has jumped on it. The world's oil is obviously running out and is needed for vital uses such as transportation. With that said, we should treat America as she is: an innovative, clean country.
This is not Russia or China, and hopefully it will never be. There is no need to destroy the environment with strip mining, or to pollute with coal emissions. The wind in Wyoming can create the energy. Please, let's all get together and go against big-money interests, and make this country beautiful again.
— Kris Church
New black mark
A recent poll conducted by Research 2000 brought startling findings: Most Southerners either "believe" (23 percent) or are unsure if (30 percent) duly elected and inaugurated President Barack Obama was not born in the United States — meaning only 47 percent of Southerners believe he is a natural-born citizen. By contrast, 93 percent of Northeasterners, 90 percent of Midwesterners and 87 percent of Westerners "believe" Obama was born in the U.S. This is like a box of chocolates; some you find are filled with nuts!
Only 42 percent of Republicans (and 93 percent of Democrats) strongly believe Obama was born in Hawaii. Could this be attributed to simply partisanship?
This conspiracy is in the face of Hawaii's Republican governor, who has publicly stated many times that Obama was born in Hawaii, confirmed by her Hawaii State Department of Health's director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, who verified it last year and again last month. Ironically, the U.S. House unanimously approved (that means Republicans, too) an official resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of Hawaii, with an interesting clause that read: "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961."
So why does the "birther" movement continue? I talked with my brother who lives in the Atlanta area. He is a transplant from the Midwest, a product of public and parochial schooling, but unlike me, a steadfast conservative. He told me "most of his acquaintances who happen to also be native-born Southerners, just can't get over the fact that Obama is a black American president with also a Muslim name." It is just easier for them to say he is not born in the U.S. than it is for them to say something that is socially unacceptable and openly racist.
— Bob Nemanich
Down on Lamborn
To U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn: I am a Democrat, and while I did not vote for you, I thought that we had at least sent a man of character and integrity to Congress. Your Aug. 9 column in the Gazette has disabused me of that notion. I can only conclude you are either completely uninformed about health care, or that you are informed and are engaging in distortion, half-truths or downright lies.
Take, for instance, your statement: "As if that weren't bad enough, this legislation would fund abortion at taxpayer expense." Tell me, sir, when was the Hyde Amendment overturned, and why is it that 300 million Americans don't know about it?
I must conclude you and your ultra-right-wing colleagues think scaring your constituents is a blood sport. You all try to outdo each other. Do you really think your constituents are that stupid?
We can agree any health plan will be expensive. My wife is a volunteer chaplain at Memorial Hospital. While on duty each weekend, she tells me the emergency room is overflowing with people seeking care, many without health insurance of any kind and unable to pay for services. You and I pay for those services.
If you really think the current health plans being floated would be bad for the country, then by all means vote no. If you are distorting information that is vital to those who sent you to Congress, you are a disgrace to your office, and to the United States.
You were sent to Congress to solve the problem, and not just kick this can down the road for my children and grandchildren. Either get to work building consensus, or get out of Congress if the job is too much for you.
— Charles W. Treese
Sins of the fathers
Fr. Bill Carmody ("Control issue," Letters, July 23) putting Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Margaret Sanger into the same category as Hitler is laughable as well as apparently coming from convoluted thinking. Fr. Carmody talks about "control" and is probably unhappy, frustrated and maybe even a little frightened that the Catholic church cannot "control" women as it did throughout the past 2,000 years!
I would like to remind Fr. Carmody that his beliefs are his beliefs, and other folks are entitled to their own different beliefs, and that abortion is not a capital crime. Neither are child molestation, child rape and child abuse capital crimes, which is a relief to a lot of Catholic priests.
The Catholic church has lost its credibility thanks to the revelations of rapes of children, coverups, payoffs and the church's cute way of protecting and reassigning certain criminals of the cloth. So, Fr. Carmody, thanks for your exhortations and views on women's issues. Now, get a real job and Dominus vobiscum!
— Bernadette Young
Albert Einstein said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." It was interesting reading Duane Slocum's criticism ("What about Palin?" Letters, July 16), en masse, of all the Indy letter-writers published the previous week. While criticizing everyone, Slocum had not one suggestion for changing the way we do things to address the serious problems our nation faces.
I addressed our failing health care system and the huge costs it places on all Americans, while not providing care to many who need it. I talked about my support for President Obama's comprehensive health care legislation that reduces costs, provides quality health care for all Americans and preserves our right to choose our own insurance, including a public option that will compete with insurance companies to take their huge profits out of the equation. Obama's plan will for the first time in decades control health care costs.
Since Slocum had no suggestions to address the crisis, I assume his plan for getting better results is doing the same thing for health care that we've been doing over and over again. If that is his thinking, it's lucky for Mr. Slocum the new plan will also guarantee an end to exclusions for pre-existing conditions.
— Mike Maday