I read with elation Pam Zubeck's article on the mysterious disappearance of Gene Fish ("A nagging mystery," cover story, Sept. 2), and the preeminently qualified Anthony Herbert, who is intensively investigating it. Someone should. This bizarre case has remained troubling to me, and probably others whose sense of justice was outraged by an appalling unwillingness at the time to advance a timely and thorough investigation, including aggressive use of forensic techniques.
I had hoped that cold-case investigator Lou Smit and his colleague would persist with their inquiry, but they appeared hamstrung; Zubeck has revealed at least one reason. Detective Dodd's report was, incredibly, never acted upon. While one is aware that injustice occurs all the time, this one smacks of blatant coverup. And whatever his faults, Gene Fish deserves justice; his parents never knew a moment of peace from the time of their son's highly questionable disappearance.
News reports indicated that the sheriff declared the case inactive several years ago. Now it's active, in spades, enter Anthony Herbert; one would think that his exceptional skills would be welcomed, yet enthusiasm seems markedly absent. What are they afraid of?
And yes, a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty; however, that's why we have sworn people charged with investigating and prosecuting such matters, and if we can't rely on them to do so, any one of us is a potential Gene Fish.
The cause of justice owes a great debt to Anthony Herbert. Pam Zubeck deserves professional recognition for her persistence in reporting the ongoing story, this article being one of the most excellent and insightful pieces of reporting she's done. Perhaps the Colorado State Department of Justice should take an interest, since the possibility exists that there is some gross irregularity as well as failure to act in this case.
— Marilyn Callan
The Air Force proposal to greatly expand the training area for the Air Force Special Operations unit at Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M., is a new cause of concern for residents of El Paso County, which lies within the boundaries of the new training area. We are told that county residents should expect to see Osprey and C-130 aircraft flying at altitudes as low as 200 feet if this proposal goes through.
The most fundamental question I have about this is: "Why does the Air Force have to have their own Special Forces?" The Army has a growing branch of Special Forces, including a unit at Fort Carson that recently saw a major expansion. The Navy has the "SEALs" special forces department. The CIA has commando units. There are additional private-contractor commando units created in recent years.
It is apparent the Air Force Special Forces are redundant, another example of interservice rivalry.
Another obvious question: What are the limits of our own ability to absorb military air training in our skies? The addition of an Army Combat Aviation Brigade at Fort Carson looms on the horizon. And now this. When will there be a reaction to the rampant militarization of our local civilian society?
— Bill Sulzman
Test the newcomers
I would like to inform Linda Larroquette that, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation's drivers manual, bicyclists are required by law to share the road with motorists (they aren't supposed to be on the sidewalks) unless there is a designated bike lane.
If you had read the manual completely when you applied for your Colorado license, you would know this. Usually the exception to this rule is if you are an out-of-state invader, in which case you didn't even read the manual because they basically gave you the short version.
I personally feel that in this case you and those other out-of-staters should take your bad driving skills/habits back to the state you came from.
It is my hope that our state lawmakers change the law so that out-of-state drivers moving here are required to take both the written and the driving tests. This would save law enforcement and EMT units from having to spend time pulling you out of ditches every time it rains or snows.
— Les Batson
It's the law
It just doesn't matter how much "us vehicle drivers feel that we own the road" and want to "do the speed limit." Colorado law requires that vehicles passing bicycles allow at least three feet of clearance — it's really that simple.
— Tom Fagan
Live another day
I wish I could be there if "Buddy boy" and "Name withheld" ever do meet again ("What goes around..." Letters, Aug. 26). I'd have a camera to provide proof that "Name withheld" was more fully occupying his lane, instead of riding as far to the right as possible. Perhaps there would be a ticket waiting for him, if he survives the encounter. I urge bike riders not to adopt his attitude; it may be fatal.
I am also a bike rider, and don't generally have problems with traffic. I ride residential streets that parallel busier, and deadlier, main streets when possible. I seek out routes with bike lanes, or use bike paths. Finally, there's the sidewalk — use it if no one else is there, which is usually the case. Yep, it's against the law, too, but much safer than being in traffic, and probably not much chance of a ticket unless you screw up and run someone over!
Until our city gets its act together and provides more bike lanes or trails, I prefer to stay the hell out of the way and live to ride another day.
— Jacques Sears
Search for answers
We have the atheists who arrogantly proclaim that the universe is sterile, that there is no god, and their only argument is no one has proven them wrong. Yet.
We have the scientists who arrogantly proclaim they know how the universe began, how it works, and how it will end. All the while ignoring a few prerequisite issues, like we don't yet have the science to describe life, or fully understand this tiny rock we live on, can't get more than a few miles off it, obviously aren't maintaining it well, and aren't even smart enough as a species to be able to figure out how to live together on it.
And then there are those who arrogantly proclaim that they know God, don't need proof that God exists, know what God wants, and that conveniently enough, God loves and hates all the same things they do.
My laptop battery is dying so I'll make this quick. The singular, inescapable and undeniable truth hidden inside all of this is...
— Steve Suhre
Open the mind
Bill Schaffner's reply last week ("The TGIF argument," Letters, Sept. 2) borders on the inane. According to his argument, one will turn to his God at the brink of impending death. Without being "free to escape." Unfortunately for his argument, we can never know what goes through the before death. We only have the testimony of those who have survived imminent death, as Lenny Mazel and I pointed out.
And as I mentioned in my earlier letter, why his God? Will the atheist who lived his whole life in a Muslim country turn to Bill's God, or Allah? Or none at all, as has been suggested by the tales of atheists surviving what they thought was certain death.
And, really? Whom does the atheist thank for Friday? Cultural use of a common word does not make a believer out of an atheist. Nor does crying out "Oh God!" in the heat of ecstasy make Bill's God any more real to an atheist than it does the various other concepts of god.
I have no problems with Bill's belief in his God. It is his unverifiable assertions about atheists that need correcting. (By the way, Bill, no, I am not an atheist.)
— Gary Hudgens
About my ass ...
The Indy's excellent cover story on atheism ("The Bright side," Aug. 12) sparked a fascinating array of often very profound comments from many sides, to say the least. I learned a few new things.
But I can't resist a last tiny reply to letter writer Bill Schaffner, who bet that if I were trapped in a burning building, I would "pray my atheist ass off." While I am startled and flattered by his interest in my ass, I assure him he would lose his bet. Like all practical people, I would instantly try to escape the trap, or die trying. And I would advise Mr. Schaffner not to delay to pray while his own tush was getting cooked medium rare.
I agree with him that there are a few drawbacks with being an atheist. He mentions one: No one to thank when it's Friday. Also, at our own funerals, we atheists are "all dressed up with no place to go."
And, during sex, there's no one to call out to!
Thanks to the Indy for a great debate.
— Larimore Nicholl
Change takes time
As a retired philosophy, history and government professor, I understand that some Americans who voted for Democrats in 2008 have decided to vote Republican this year because they are disappointed with Democrats' efforts to completely end the recession.
As a teacher of logic and critical thinking, I am puzzled by this attitude, even as I am aware the Democrats have not accomplished all they claimed they would. Nevertheless, the Bush administration, over eight years, failed to continue the inherited Democratic balanced budget and overspent to such an extent that it raised the debt to $1 trillion, half for war-making and military occupations.
Since the Obama administration took over, it has slightly reduced unemployment, created a modest number of new jobs and begun to reverse the negative aspects of unregulated insurance and investment corporate power by passing Republican-compromised laws on health and financial reform.
Polls indicate voters are calling for a Republican return to power. These are the same Republicans in Congress, and new ones running for the first time, who created the crisis in the first place, or approved of those practices. The underlying reason for this dramatic shift back to the party responsible for the problem has no support in logic. It took eight years of Republicans to create the crisis. It will take more than two years for the Democrats to normalize the economic climate.
Perhaps the justification for voter resentment is found less in logic or critical thinking, and more influenced by emotional rhetoric, lobbyists' millions or punishment for those who now hold a slight majority of the power.
It takes more time to produce lasting improvements and a greater majority to do it.
— Bill Durland
You have a choice
In response to Eric Brookens' statement ("Clean up the tube," Letters, Sept. 2) that TV programming is being "pushed on us":
All these years, I never noticed that fellow in the corner holding the gun on me making me watch TV.
Worse, he was standing in front of the off button.
Might I suggest you ask that fellow to step aside so you can turn off the TV. Perhaps you might try going outside or reading this new invention called a book.
No one is making you watch these things; if you don't like them, don't use them. How would you like it if I called for a ban on nature hikes simply because I don't like them, most Americans don't do them, and because of the dangers out there (bears, poison ivy, etc.)?
Such polls as the one he quoted are highly subjective, since everyone's opinion of what is too violent or too risqué is different. If you had no choice, I would feel different, but you have the option to not watch such shows or buy such games while leaving them for those of us who do enjoy them.
And for those who are saying, "But my kids might watch them while I am gone," I suggest parental controls. I also think you may have bigger trust issues.
— Stefan Huddleston
America is dying. Free trade is the cancer. It breeds hopelessness.
There is no hope for Cambodians earning 22 cents per hour making garments. There is no hope for the six American graduates who, because of outsourcing, find only one job in town. There is no hope for American computer techs when foreigners faking English will do the job for a buck-fifty — and have no hope of improvement. There is no hope for inventors who know Chinese entrepreneurs will simply mimic the product and hire it made for a bowl of rice.
Both political parties shoved free trade down our throats because both parties are run by the wealthy who knew they would grow more wealthy with foreign labor (hidden slavery). The election was only a battle of pride between the rich. Either way, they won. They don't care that the lower half of American workers now hold only 1 percent of the wealth. They don't care that 10 percent of Americans now earn 50 percent of the pay — nearly 8 million of them are now millionaires.
This exploitation of the weak is the "same old, same old" throughout history. Why should we be surprised it has bankrupted America under the guise of freedom? And we think bailouts will save us?
— Jim Inman