I was glad the Indy gave Avatar only a "DVD" rating compared to "Brilliant" and "Enjoy" ratings from the major reviewers. I could only politely decline the first invitation before succumbing to peer pressure to see it in 3-D at the IMAX theater.
This film has so many problems. It was way too predictable. As soon as I heard Wes Studi's voice (from many Native American films) as father of the Avatar people, I knew we were in for the Bad Americans vs. The Good Native Peoples story, taking over their land, destroying sacred sites, etc. for a mineral called, "unobtainium."
Come on, really, they could have done better than that. Even their language had Native American tones. Then the whole thing about the native princess accepting the outsider, training him and eventually marrying him over the objections of her people. Of course, the final battle scene was The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Custer's Last Stand) all over again with some help from the forest animals. I really thought that Transformers had run its course by now, but I guess not.
The film had technical problems as well. I thought native people were only supposed to have spears and bows and arrows, but did you notice their machine guns in the battle scene?
It is disappointing to see what Americans find to be a good film, and more disappointing to see the lack of new material. It's popular with our violent-hungry, gung-ho technology society, but it's nothing more than a cross between Dances With Wolves, Star Wars, Rambo and Lion King. Sigourney Weaver really let me down.
— Chris Jones
Applause for Herpin
I wanted to thank City Councilor Bernie Herpin for changing his vote about how long to levy stormwater taxes after the enterprise was voted out by the citizens. He originally voted, along with our trusted Mayor Lionel Rivera, to keep the taxes imposed for two more years. I suspect Herpin changed his mind once people sent e-mails of protest insisting that the stormwater taxes (yes, taxes, levied without a vote of our citizens) be repealed now. Thank you. Mr. Herpin, for listening to the people.
What City Council is missing is that people are afraid. The people without jobs are afraid and the people with jobs are afraid of losing their jobs. Money is very tight for many Americans right now. City Councilors can talk all they want about the unfinished projects. That doesn't matter to people who are trying to keep food on their tables and, yes, to many, $20 a month makes a difference. When families do not have enough money, they cut back spending. Citizens expect the same from their government.
By the way, Mayor Rivera, you work for us — we don't work for you. You would fit right in, in Washington. They don't listen to the American people either.
— Brenda Krause
Under our noses
Bill Durland ended his letter ("Another Holocaust") in the Dec. 31 edition by writing: "We remember, as children, Americans criticizing the 'good Germans' for doing nothing as the Holocaust took place. What are we doing in the midst of this new Holocaust? It seems we good Americans are remaining silent even in this holy season."
Bill is being rather hypocritical in his letter.
As a labor activist and a bus passenger affected by recent transit cuts, I believe Bill is more interested in what is happening in Israel and ignoring what is happening in his own back yard. The homeless population is rising and will continue to increase in 2010. Is Bill Durland willing to stand up against these injustices happening right here at home, as he is willing to do for people in Israel?
What is happening in Israel is despicable, and it is just as despicable that City Council might make camping illegal right here in Colorado Springs — especially since evening and weekend public transportation has been eliminated, which will cause thousands to lose their jobs and also lose their homes.
The way I see it, Bill is being a "Good American" by ignoring what is happening in front of us.
— Ed Billings
Rush Limbaugh, billionaire propagandist and crusader against equal health care, has chest pains. He's hospitalized and has a battery of tests run.
Poor guy who is no longer employable has chest pains, goes to the ER (we are told repeatedly, "Have chest pains, call 9-1-1"). Ten minutes hooked to an EKG and he's suddenly a GOMER, meaning "Get Outta My ER." They'll even make the insinuation that you faked it in order to get a free ride across town or you're trying to scam Memorial Health Systems out of a free meal.
Limbaugh and his lying comrades keep putting out the fiction that the poor people get equal access to emergency health care. They forget to add the word "people" at the end; in their eyes, if you're not rich or contributing to the wealth of the rich, you're not human. They treat those people who make minimum wage the same way, so even your value as a wage slave doesn't entitle you to equality.
The Right Wing Press says it proves Limbaugh's "resilient" because he went back to a "job" that involves nothing more than spouting lies into a microphone while sitting on his overweight buttocks, two days after not having a heart attack. Minimum-wage workers get docked for the time we were at the ER. Seriously. If we take the rest of the day off, we're not paid.
If we take the next day off, we're quite often fired. If we're working for a more "progressive" minimum-wage slave corporation, we're required to go to the company doctor at our own expense and have an examination that proves we weren't "faking it."
— Jonah Elijah Brown
Good for a grad
Thank you to our Colorado members of Congress who voted for health care reform and in turn, the people of Colorado. I am one of the many who lack health insurance. I am a 23-year-old, newly graduated in December with two degrees from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and for the past five years I have been working part-time jobs that don't offer coverage to part-time employees. I was also unable to obtain coverage under my parents despite being a full-time student, because they, themselves, do not have health insurance.
Health care reform will allow part-time employees to obtain affordable health insurance. The benefits to the people are endless and couldn't come any sooner.
Thanks to legislators like Sen. Mark Udall, Sen. Michael Bennet, Reps. John Salazar, Jared Polis, Ed Perlmutter and Diana DeGette, my family will finally be able to afford health insurance.
— Josh Sanchez
Courage in D.C.
Finally, some members of Congress are working for the people. Health care reform has evaded the American people for too long. Too many people are living on the simple hope that nothing catastrophic happens to them or any member of their family. More than 770,000 Colorado residents are without health insurance, and those who do have health insurance are paying first-class rates for third-class care. It does not make sense that so few people are purchasing health insurance, yet insurance companies are making billions of dollars.
I could not be more proud that after 100 years of attempted reform, we finally have some congressmen and women courageous enough to vote for the people: My hat goes off to each of them, and I hope they will continue to work hard to promote a strong final piece of legislation that puts constituents first.
— Israel Reyes
Ignore the lies
Now that the Senate has passed health care, negotiations have begun over what will be in the final bill. This is when it is decided if the American people are going to come out ahead or if the insurance companies will win. Anyone who thinks health care reform is a bad idea has been seriously misled by the people who have the most to lose.
Don't be fooled; the insurance companies are the ones spreading the fear and lies. Any bill that will benefit you and me, middle-class Americans, will take away from the profit of the insurance industry. This has never been about "government-run health care." This is about Wall Street making as much money as possible from the sick and dying.
What do we want in health care reform? We want health care that is affordable for everyone, not just the very rich.
We want reform that focuses more on prevention than providing care once it is too late. And we want health insurance companies to be subjected to laws that prevent monopolies and price-gouging, just like all other corporations.
This is the time for us to let members of Congress know what we want to see in the final health care bill. And to stand up for health care for everyone.
— Harry Green
Never in my 73-plus years have I seen such outright corruption by our Congress. They are open and blatant about taking payoffs and bribes in return for votes on the health care debacle. Sen. Ben Nelson got the most publicity, but put Illinois, Massachusetts and Louisiana on the list. If I were a Democrat, I would be embarrassed right now.
In addition, there are billions of dollars in earmarks added to every spending bill. The USOC debacle, with our mayor's involvement, pales in comparison to what is going on in Washington: Obama, ACORN, the House, the Senate, the health care reform monstrosity, the raping of Social Security and Medicare, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Postal Service, Amtrak, farm subsidies — and the list could continue. All of these government-run, taxpayer-supported organizations are so poorly managed; taxpayers have to keep them afloat.
Where does it stop? When? We need to draw a line in the sand right here in Colorado Springs. Let's start with Utilities. If Utilities can't get its accounting correct, who knows what else is happening to us when it comes to rate increases. Is the Southern Delivery System really necessary?
With many employees at Utilities making $100,000 or more, we are either paying way too much for not enough brain power or we are being snookered.
It's time to bring Utilities back under the direction of our city manager and the voters. It's time to seriously consider divesting the taxpayers of nonessential operations like parking garages and Memorial Hospital.
Enough is enough! Somebody get Doug Bruce back on the job, looking out for the little people in our village.
— Duane C. Slocum
Be the change
As we begin 2010, one has to wonder what our city leaders are going to do now behind closed doors and what negative impact they are planning for we the citizens in 2010!
I believe we can wake up from the nightmare that has been created by those who profit from our fears!
I believe if you want change, be the change, then you will want to see the change.
I believe if not now, then when? If you want change tomorrow, then start today! Don't wait for a government official to do anything, because you may pass away before they do anything! America was not created by people waiting for the government to do something. Civil rights were created by the people, not government officials.
I believe it is time for us to demand the truth and clean house of the incompetence and unnecessary waste! Let's rid ourselves of these leech programs like the Stormwater Enterprise and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority, which return nothing to We the People! Tell our city officials to get out of your wallets!
Join me in taking back our city and remember, there is no us in them!
— Jim Gosse
It's time we call attention to, and expose, not only the hypocrisy, but blatant atrocities and corporate corruption dealt foreign nations by our military commanders and certain pontificating members of Congress as justification for invading, occupying and destroying various sovereign nations.
Our media have the audacity to talk of "liberation" and a "humanitarian war" while our military follows orders that call for annihilation and cultural devastation.
We began this practice in earnest at the end of the last decade, and it is continuing unchecked at a record pace under the auspices of the U.S. Armed Forces and NATO commanders.
We continue to try and force our ultra-conservative brand of democracy and fundamentalist Christianity on Middle Eastern nations heavily steeped in a substantially different culture, value system (which we seem to have lost) and radically different religious views, all of which they are entitled to.
But we continue to manipulate and control their puppet governments with an agenda that satisfies our need for power, money and greed at the expense of their well-being.
The most unfortunate part of all this is the recent, substantiated prediction of this being America's continuing endeavor, an attempt for world domination and economic control. Color me wrong if you like, but I do not recall this being what our Creator had in mind for us; at least, I sure as hell hope not!
— Dave White
Santa Fe, N.M.
In "Spending your money" (Dec. 31, News), the reference to U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn keeping "a low profile" were the reporter's words and should not have been attributed to Lamborn's press secretary, Catherine Mortensen. The Independent regrets the error.