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Money rules

I've been saying for the last decade of my 60 years: "Businesses are breaking the laws of our land. How do they get away with it?" I learned that businesses are not breaking the law. They are being deregulated.

Not only is our government unable to make laws that we need to keep our country alive and well, but during the Clinton and Bush years, many administrators were hired to devastate, if not destroy, the agencies that they worked for, for personal profit. Our very own Gale Norton had to resign as Interior secretary because of her corrupt Big Oil connections. We're seeing every day the consequences of deregulating Big Oil.

Big Money corrupts. Democracy is not possible when Big Money decides what we need to know and whom we should elect to make our decisions.

To Gale Norton and the like, if you don't believe in our democratic government, which is here to help all of our citizens and all of our lands, then stand up and declare yourself against all that makes America the great country it is.

And Obama is supposed to fix this. NOW! If you think that, are you stupid or are you a racist? (There is help for you if you have unnatural fears.)

We must get Big Money out of our elections — or our precious land and people will be sacrificed for profit.

— Jan Chappell

Colorado Springs

Churches for all

I feel that Ted Haggard, bless him, has good intentions, and that he is sincere in wanting to help people save their souls, or get reborn, or whatever the heck ...

But, hey — there's some kind of reality show/documentary/publicity stunt going on at the St. James Corp. ("Borne again," News, June 3). Not that it is against the law to rake in some bucks, heh heh — however, there is a vague stink which hangs around the capitalist pig version of "Jesus H. Christ, Inc."

Yet people complain about medical marijuana dispensaries, which pay for permits and pay taxes?!

I cringe whenever I see some poorly scrawled sign advertising a new ministry. In the yellow pages of the Colorado Springs phone book, there are over 500 listings for so-called "churches," which must be a larger number than all the pages of the New Testament.

The real beauty of ministries is that the minister does not even have to have any credentials or education. Just leap out of bed and proclaim that God directed you to be a preacher/minister, and voila! — a world of non-taxable profit awaits. You've gotta love the concept!

You go, Ted! Show everybody how to do it, so we can all have a home business — a Jesus H. Christ franchise!

Actually, some enterprising person, maybe even Doug Bruce himself, should be planning to open a Rastafarian church. Somebody, quick! Get with the times!

— Bernadette Young

Colorado Springs

Defining socialism

Judging from recent letters, there appears to be a lot of confusion about the term "socialism." According to my dictionary, it's a "system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of industry, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole."

A good example would be the state of Alaska, where every citizen shares in the wealth of mineral resources, receiving a yearly check from its oil revenues. (Wonder how often Sarah Palin mentions that in her speeches?) But Alaska is the exception; most states practically give away their resources to energy companies, which raise all kinds of hell when asked to pay higher taxes on their windfall.

Branding any kind of community endeavor as a bad thing works against progress. There was a reason individuals in the past began to band together for the common good; it simply meant a better life for all. If we decide that we no longer want to do things as a community except fight wars and run prisons, we can look forward to paying lots more for the services we still demand; we'll just be paying for them one at a time in tolls and special (really high) fees and taxes.

In case you still believe Barack Obama is a socialist, check his 2008 contributors at opensecrets.org. You'll find just about every major corporation, donating hundreds of millions of dollars. I guess these corporatists were eager to create a "socialistic" government to take them over and relieve them of all their profits!

And if we now have socialism, where the heck is Medicare-For-All?

— Jerry Newsom

Colorado Springs

 

Bullet points

Recently it was reported that Colorado State University has allowed concealed weapons on campus. I asked some students of CSU's Fort Collins campus what this was about. They told me that both the students and administration were strongly in favor of a ban on concealed weapons on campus, but the university was repeatedly threatened with legal action if a ban was put in place.

Remember that amendment to the Constitution? That's right. Thank you, gun lobby.

Anyway, the net effect is that the concealed weapons one may carry on campus include Tasers, stun guns and pepper spray. So I guess those beer cans will have to be assaulted with something other than bullets.

— Theresa Kledzik

Manitou Springs

Let's tone it down

We are clearly a diverse, opinionated society. But what is the rationale for allowing inflammatory, inaccurate comments into our public discourse? The Independent has a civic responsibility to ensure published letters are factual and civil. Allowing individuals to distort and fabricate information is maintaining a culture of mistrust and ignorance.

In the May 27 issue, I read various writers refer to our elected leaders as clowns, tyrannical, childish and socialist. Is this really informative? Is it necessary to denigrate someone else to make a point? Recently I've seen reference to Thomas Jefferson writing the Constitution and President Obama not being a citizen. By publishing letters that are factually wrong, you allow those individuals to distract and divide us.

Derogatory references to a person's gender, race or religion are inappropriate. George W. Bush was not a "Hitler" executing a blitzkrieg on Iraq, and Barack Obama is not a "Stalin" pursuing health care for all Americans. The mayor is not a "clown" for supporting an overpass and City Council is not "tyrannical" for supporting a water delivery system. These are important issues that need to be discussed in a informative, understandable way.

We don't need to use words as epithets. We need to discuss ideas and issues in terms that inform. Many writers would have us believe an idea can't be both "liberal" and "economically sound" or "Republican" and "compassionate" at the same time.

Good readers don't send, and Indy editors don't print, letters containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist, obscene or obviously false remarks. If you have insight to some issue, big or small, share those thoughts. Let's demonstrate to posterity our sincere interest in making a better world for them. Start a community dialogue on how to improve our dialogue and hold people to a higher standard.

— Michael Kuiper

Colorado Springs

Strong is wrong

Colorado Springs voters are known for being distrustful of the role of government, as evidenced in recent "no" votes on maintaining a reasonable level of basic services for drainage improvements, parks, community centers, etc.

A strong mayor is likely to be anti-government. Do we really need someone with the power to cut city services even further than they already have been?

Petition gatherers are now on the street asking for your signature to put the strong mayor concept on the November 2010 ballot. This is your chance to just say no!

— Lee Milner

Colorado Springs

Why complain?

I see that Duane Slocum has found yet another thing to complain about ("The mayor's mess," Letters, May 27), with his latest target being the construction at Academy and Woodmen. I have traveled that intersection for over 20 years now and the construction company has done an excellent job in keeping the traffic flowing through that intersection. The delays caused by necessary lane shifts have been minimal, to say the least.

Duane also points out that he avoids shopping at his favorite stores due to the construction, yet he would be the first to complain if one or more of these stores closed due to the unwarranted and unnecessary bad press about the area.

Finally, there are a lot of people whose livelihoods depend on their customers continuing shopping at the stores that surround that intersection during the construction. To continue complaining about the construction does nothing other than to hurt the innocent people who work at all of these stores.

— Fred Sexton

Colorado Springs

Tourism lives!

Picked up your InSider 2010 publication from the Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce box. Best I have ever seen. We included the Current outlet and a used bookstore in our trip. Our GPS makes traveling destinations so easy to find and organize.

One suggestion: Please include street addresses and times for destinations mentioned.

You gave us so many new ideas we are planning a return visit next year.

— Janice Wharton

Baltimore, Ohio

Sad reality

An unarmed flotilla heading for Gaza with humanitarian aid was attacked by Israeli defense forces, killing about 20 innocent peace workers. The Freedom Flotilla was carrying 10,000 tons of relief and developmental aid to the 1.5 million people trapped in Gaza since 2006 due to the internationally illegal Israeli blockade. The supplies were being delivered by a coalition of international civil society and human rights organizations directly to the people of Gaza, using only international waters and the coastal waters immediately off of Gaza for passage.

The Freedom Flotilla was to hold a memorial service for U.S. sailors slain by Israel in 1967 on the USS Liberty. Liberty survivor Joe Meadors was to honor shipmates who died 43 years ago. Meadors believes that while the facts of that day in 1967 may never be fully acknowledged, the men who lost their lives should not be forgotten.

Israel continues to try and win friends and influence people by the sword and spin. This Zionist crime will enter history along with the bombing of the King David Hotel, the murder of Count Bernadotte, the massacre of Deir Yassin as well as the massacre of over 300 children in Gaza last year.

Let us not bury the facts in the history books as we did the USS Liberty. Let us question it and never forget those civilians who gave their lives boldly in the name of justice and humanity, and ultimately paid with their own lives. Ifamericansknew.org is a useful site for more information.

— Grace Yenne

Colorado Springs

Deputize me

Driving habits in our town are getting worse every year. It is now accepted practice that several cars can blow the red light in the left-turn lane just after it turns red. The posted speed limit on our city streets is merely a suggestion and may not pertain to many drivers if the mood does not suit them.

Every night in Stetson Hills, I can entertain myself with the gentle sounds of the drag racing on the streets around me. The police are no help. Each time I called, I gave all the needed information: what happened, where it happened, plate numbers, and willingness to sign a complaint. I have never received a call back.

With the city's shrinking budget directly impacting police, it may be time for some citizens to step forward and help out. With new technology and equipment the department already has on hand, we can help. I can get 300-plus HD channels at home, but there is not one high-resolution or high-definition camera in a highly problematic intersection? I read about the Sheriff's Citizen Patrol with limited powers, assisting with issues such as motorist assist, traffic control, parking complaints, crime prevention and residential alarms. The problem is that the Citizen Patrol cannot issue citations or summonses.

Why can we not give those volunteers a quality HD video camera with sound, and assign trained volunteers to a supervising officer for specific types of citations? Assign the volunteers to problematic areas to monitor stop sign and stoplight violations. Citations are then sent in the mail with proper program oversight.

Imagine what our city could do with that revenue. We have a town of military people with federal security clearances. We have a possible solution already paid for. Let law-abiding citizens help solve the madness. Sign me up!

— Terry Coen

Colorado Springs

Mucked up

Our hearts and our backs are breaking with the need to fundamentally change our energy policies. Our hearts are breaking from the loss of wildlife species as the physical evidence of our lassitude, apathy, and greed of the status quo coats the bodies of dying animals and chokes off the life breath as they struggle helplessly in the mire and goo.

The back of our nation is broken when the shrimp nets, oyster beds and fishing waters can't bear the fruit of the usual labors of the families who work the waters and offer the blessings of our normally abundant seas to grace the tables of the rest of the country.

We are hereby confronted by whatever powers we singly and collectively believe in, and challenged to make the changes we must.

— Lisa Smith-Ruffin

Colorado Springs

Corrections

• Our June 3 cover story ("System failure") incorrectly reported that a district judge had approved two plaintiffs' motions. Although the defendant's attorney commented on the motions being approved, neither motion was acted upon.

• Our 2010 Summer Guide (May 20) listed Springs Spree as happening downtown, but it's actually happening in Memorial Park. The phone number for Springs Spree was also incorrectly listed. The correct number is 233-4553.

The Independent regrets the errors.

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