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About proselytizing

In response to Jerry Winkley ("Proud of AFA," Letters, Sept. 30), I congratulate Mr. Winkley and his son. Graduation from the Air Force Academy is something to be proud of.

I am also glad that his son was able to find strength in Christian fellowship at the academy. Imagine if he had been surrounded by an overwhelming majority of Jewish cadets and officers, as might happen to a patriotic Christian born in Israel. Imagine if they spent a big chunk of their time endeavoring to convince him that his only path to true happiness and salvation lay in conversion to Judaism.

That could never actually happen. Jews do not proselytize. Most Jews believe everyone who lives a decent and moral life goes to heaven, regardless of religion. Second, missionary work of any kind by any religious group is strictly illegal in Israel.

No analogy is perfect, and I will not quibble. In the end, as in the case of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, this is a matter of taste. I support the proposed mosque and am totally against moving it now, because to move the mosque so little as one single block away, would be the same as agreeing in principle with ignorance and intolerance that Islam itself is somehow inherently offensive, that its mere presence is in "bad taste."

Likewise, I would not dream of infringing on the rights of Christians to hawk their religion from every street corner. To do so would be as much as to say there is something inherently offensive about Christianity.

— Harry Katz

Colorado Springs

'A pregnant mafia'

I may be way off base here, but from what I understand, due process entitles a person to all their legal rights. This would include such issues as unlawful incarceration or a fair trial. Now, if Amendment 62 passes and an unborn child is declared a person, and while in utero the mother commits a crime, wouldn't that person be unlawfully incarcerated and/or not be given a proper trial?

Guess we can just let expectant women run amok, and a pregnant mafia would arise. "Yo babe, can you knock me up? I need to go rob a liquor store." Just a thought.

— Andrew Barilla

Colorado Springs

Beware of politicians

Two things I have learned after years of following politics. Rule #1: Politicians will say anything to get elected and/or stay in office. Rule #2: Rule #1 will never change.

There is an inherent problem with voting for someone simply because of party label. Anyone can say one thing but really believe another, run under a party banner and get elected when the party faithful vote for them simply because they have a D or an R next to their name.

In South Carolina, Alvin Green became the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate even though he never did anything to campaign for it. No website, no fundraising, no speeches, nothing. Should South Carolina Democrats vote for him even though they have no idea what he stands for?

In 1988, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke became the GOP nominee for a seat in the Louisiana House. Should Republicans have voted for him simply because he was the nominee? Unfortunately, enough did and he was elected.

Now consider the example of Germany circa 1932. Many Germans hated capitalism and the Weimar Republic and wanted socialism. Along came Adolf Hitler and his "National Socialism," and a great many Germans supported him because of the Socialist label. He of course was anything but what they had wanted. Twelve years later I am sure many of those Germans regretted supporting the man.

This brings me to my two rules of politics and voting. Rule #1: Politicians need to earn my vote, and their party is about as important to me as which type of toothpaste they use. Rule #2: Rule #1 will never change.

— Matthew Randquist

Colorado Springs

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Stop the hate

I can't take it anymore! One more person takes his life because he was shown hate. Warnings about travel to Europe, why? Threats related to hate. What is it going to take for Americans to realize that we have to stop the hate? Why were we attacked on 9/11/2001? Hate. Why were we hated then? Who knows, because it has never been discussed and addressed.

On the radio, I hear nothing but hate from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and the bottom-feeders. I hear from locals that hate is preached in certain churches against those different from them. Or should I just say intolerance?

So when is it going to stop? How would it be if those of us who want to live in a compassionate and peaceful world just refuse to listen to it anymore? If you get a hateful e-mail, send it back and ask the sender not to pass along any more like that. Turn the radio off. Use the mute button on your TV remote when the nasty ads are on.

Watch a news channel that relates the facts without comment. If your kids are making fun of someone, tell them to stop and why. There is simply too much hate, and it has to stop if we are ever going to promote peace in this world. And today when you are driving and someone needs to get into your lane, slow down and let them in instead of speeding up and cutting them off. You might actually get a smile or a wave of thanks back in return.

Let's all try it. Stop the hate!

— Jane Madden

Colorado Springs

Intolerance lives

I'm furious about the event I witnessed having lunch at Wendy's on South Nevada Avenue. A man was rather soiled and looked to be one of our homeless population. He sat down and a lady wandered over and sat behind him. She reached over and gave him her change. He declined but she insisted. Then the clean-up lady came over and told him to leave. He said he was going to buy something.

A fresh-faced little twerp came and told him he was a beggar and had to leave. I said I'd buy him lunch, and so did a woman at the adjoining table. No, said the fresh-faced snot, "they come in here all the time." With that the first woman got up and walked out, saying, "I will not be back."

I said, "That man is a human being and deserves to be treated in a decent way." But the kid told him to get out. I asked the clean-up woman if that kid was a manager. She said the manager told them to get rid of the guy. I said, "Tell your wimpy manager that we will never return to this store."

That one Wendy's location will probably throw away enough food tonight to feed a dozen hungry, unfortunate men. How different if they had brought him a baked potato and said, "It's on the house today." I would drive dozens of miles out of my way to frequent a business like that.

As long as any of us treat our homeless population like untouchables, we dare not claim to be a Christian nation. None of us, because we all tolerate it.

The highest calling we have is to find a solution for hunger and homelessness. Otherwise, we can end up like many Third World countries.

— Norma J. Struthers

Colorado Springs

Response from the Wendy's franchisee at 1541 S. Nevada Ave.: "Our corporate policy is to simply serve our customers great food with friendly service in an enjoyable atmosphere. Our customers are our priority, and we strive to continually deliver a pleasant dining experience for them."

Booing the cheerleaders

I'm disappointed that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn is taking the side of the military-industrial complex, ignoring the facts and voices of the people.

For four years, southeastern Coloradans have been subjected to military proposals that would federalize our lands, dispossess our people and destroy our economy. They aim at piling an impossible training burden upon the Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site to force its expansion. We've participated in three separate environmental-impact processes hoping citizen input would make a difference to decision-makers. We've taken advantage of every opportunity that the EIS process allows to try and make our voices heard.

Now we have two new EISs: an Army combat aviation brigade that would train at Piñon Canyon, and Air Force Special Forces training missions in our area. But our biggest disappointment is that our senators are not even waiting for the completed EIS before assuming the role of cheerleaders for increased militarism. They've joined with Reps. Mike Coffman, Lamborn and Ed Perlmutter in writing a letter to the secretary of the Army and the Army chief of staff, urging them to approve more troops and more training at Piñon Canyon.

How can they do this before the EIS, which is designed to provide them with information on environmental impact and help them make an informed decision?

Their letter claims that "the local, state, and federal leaders who represent the region have expressed strong support for the existing mission and for the addition of a CAB." Not true. The signatures of Reps. John Salazar and Betsy Markey, who are working to prevent the expansion, are noticeably absent.

And what about the people? Do these guys have so little regard for their constituents that they would promote this expansion without us voicing our opinions through the EIS process?

— Doug Holdread

Trinidad

Water victims

Last November, Colorado Springs voters resoundingly defeated the stormwater fee that had been levied on every household after thoughtful consideration by City Council. The fee was implemented to pay for necessary capital improvements to better manage and control stormwater that dramatically impacts our city.

One such improvement was enhancing the Templeton Gap stormwater channel to better protect the 6,000 properties in its "wash," should it top or fail from a large storm. The neighborhood in the floodwater's path is primarily Venetian Village, west of Union Boulevard, and north and south along Fillmore Street to Monument Creek. This improvement project was a high priority, costing about $3 million. Fully designed, it was scheduled for implementation when it was stopped dead in its tracks.

A real-life story of the impact illustrates our short-sightedness. Without the improvements, Venetian Village is now subject to flooding. Because of the vulnerability, the feds (FEMA) are now evaluating data and will soon mandate that every mortgage-holder in the neighborhood have flood insurance. Yes, a mandate. If a mortgage involves HUD, VA, Freddie or Fannie, you must have flood insurance. The cost to every household and business in this area will vary, but the absolute minimum will be about $500 per year, up to a maximum of $3,000 per year.

The math is simple. Venetian Village residents will pay $9 million yearly in flood insurance because voters denied a stormwater fee that would have funded this much-needed $3 million project. The math says $9 million will leave our local economy to buy flood insurance, impacting our city with a sales tax loss of $500,000 annually.

This is just one very real, very expensive, example of the negative impact. More could be coming to your neighborhood. Can we afford not to have a stormwater fee?

— Diann Butlak

Colorado Springs

 

Self vs. society

Like most people, I'd like to have my tax bill lowered or even eliminated. Eliminating taxes would, of course, eliminate government and all of its services. That would, by definition, result in an anarchist society.

Taxes imposed by governmental authorities are necessary to support the things a community needs that cannot be supported by individuals alone: bridges and highways, public transportation, law enforcement, fire protection, parks, schools and universities, libraries, prisons and waste management facilities, to name a few.

I am happy these amenities are part of my community, and I gladly pay the taxes that keep these things in place.

Unfortunately, some among us apparently think they do not benefit from these amenities and would urge us to vote for Proposition 101 and Amendments 60 and 61. Although I no longer have children in the local school system, I am happy to support schools with my tax dollars because I benefit from an educated society that can rationally evaluate the pros and cons of an issue and make decisions based on facts rather than a self-centered desire to pay fewer taxes.

All of the amenities listed above (and many others) would be adversely affected. Our community has already seen the effect of reduced tax revenues: park budgets greatly reduced, resulting in staff reductions, reduced facilities and maintenance; bus routes reduced or eliminated; school districts cutting programs and reducing staff, resulting in larger classes (while the demand for improved student performance has increased).

As responsible citizens, we cannot afford to pass these ballot issues.

— James Mariner

Security

Correction

An incorrect address was listed for Colorado Medical Management in our Fall issue of ReLeaf. The correct address is 118 N. Tejon St., #302. We regret the error.

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