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Give Bach a chance

When I crawled out of my bunker last week, it was plain to see that our gentle liberal brethren had dragged out their "tattered playbook" again to trash the mayoral election. The usual suspects — Elaine Brush's "Mayoral musings" (May 26) and Larimore Nicholl's "Leading the charge" (May 19) — were in fact leading the charge.

It is comforting to have such consistency, sort of like being assured the sun will rise. I was torn between feeling terrified that they would hunt non-believers down in our unlighted streets, or that they would be even angrier if their outlandish, irrational predictions about Steve Bach did not come true.

Get a grip, folks. Unless you are channeling Nostradamus, you can't predict what kind of a mayor we will have. I was reminded of the irrationality during a conversation (really more of a rant) when one said Bach was responsible for the latest money-grubbing, evil deal the city made with Wal-Mart ... though he isn't mayor yet.

Fortunately, two Indy staff members have not lost their critical sense and wrote excellent, productive pieces: Ralph Routon ("Time to look ahead," May 19) making some reasonable suggestions for the new mayor to consider, and John Hazlehurst ("Strong start, stronger finish?" May 26) bringing up important issues facing the new mayor. Both pieces were balanced and rational and fair, unlike the disappointed ravings of the faithful letter-writers ... by golly, it is almost like a religion!

Neither candidate was my original choice for mayor, but I will get over it and give the guy in the hot seat a chance, hoping for everyone's sake that he does well. And only be upset and disappointed if he doesn't.

— Geraldine Russell

Colorado Springs

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Supportive senators

As a retiree, I was glad to see that Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall voted against a 2012 budget plan by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that would end the hopes of millions of Americans for a safe and secure retirement.

The bill would open the door to cuts in Social Security and raise the retirement age, put insurance companies in charge of privatized Medicare and let governors decide who gets nursing-home care.

We need to lower the deficit, but we shouldn't do this on the backs of the sick, disabled, elderly and poor. We need to get rid of the big tax breaks to millionaires and big corporations before we send seniors back to the days of over 50 percent poverty.

Social Security, which does not contribute one dime to the federal deficit, must not be confused and caught up in the deficit discussion. Medicare must be considered for what it is: a strong and successful program that workers pay into their entire lives so that they can retire in dignity and have the opportunity to receive health care.

I am glad that our senators stood up for the needs of current and future retirees in our state. We are counting on them to remain strong in their commitment to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many Coloradans rely on these programs and support them wholeheartedly. Bennet and Udall must, too.

— Vivian Stovall

Denver

Give up the gravy

What's that you say? County commissioners serving two terms get a monthly retirement pension of $1,100-plus ("Benefit of the doubt," News, May 19)?

I was a wage slave for over 45 years and I get $1,328 a month. Throw them off that gravy train.

— Jeff Adams

Colorado Springs

Tired arguments

Re: Bill Sulzman's "The sound of death" (Letters, May 26), what planet do you live on? I guess if you live in a world of unhappiness and despair, I can see why your perspective could be jaded. I also think you wrote this last year or maybe a few years ago with the same premise. Bill, did the Thunderbirds wake you from your nap? Is that why you are so grumpy?

As a former military wife for about 23 years, four as a Thunderbird wife, I welcomed the sound of jets flying over. Contrary to your belief, they are the "sound of freedom." But since you don't like that phrase, let me say, "Ah, nothing like the smell of JP-8 in the morning."

It takes a lot of talent to make the Thunderbird team as a pilot, as well as enlisted personnel. You can visit my web page: afnav.com. Three guesses what the "af" and "nav" stand for? I also suspect you never attended an air show; that's a shame because you are missing out. Nobody forced you to stay in the area during graduation, and I will be happy to buy you a one-way ticket out of town next year. In fact, I have several friends willing to help you pack.

Your argument on pollution is quite dismal; cars on the road and jets flying into our airport probably contribute more pollution than the few days the Thunderbirds were here. Yet, you were willing to breathe in their pollution without a peep. The good news, Bill, is Colorado Springs is blessed with winds that blow the jet and car pollution out of the area.

— Gail L. Vaught

Falcon

 

Lamborn's generosity

Why does Colorado Springs' Congressman Doug Lamborn support outrageous D.C. spending?

As Congress continues to address our national debt and budget deficit, some military contractors and our congressional representatives are pushing hard to support unnecessary measures that would increase government spending by supporting an alternate engine for the F-35 fighter jet. A cost-effective F-35 is critical to the future combat needs of the military. So why is Lamborn supporting GE and Rolls Royce in their initiative to develop an alternate engine?

The fact is, having a single engine provider is the standard for all military aircraft. The alternate engine program is opposed by both the Obama and Bush administrations and — most critically — the Pentagon, which terminated the contract for the extra engine program in late April. The extra engine is a wasteful program that was terminated for a good reason and should not be allowed to continue.

— Rachel Cox

Colorado Springs

Not a drop in drink

Last weekend, law enforcement officials began their annual "100 Days of Summer/Heat is On" DUI arrest campaign in Colorado Springs and El Paso County. They started with a DUI checkpoint at South Nevada Avenue and Las Vegas Street. (Las Vegas goes from Nevada to the county jail.)

All told, 498 people were "checked," 33 were "extra-checked," and 15 were actually arrested (most likely ticketed) for DUI. Those are normal statistics for a DUI checkpoint, maybe a little bit higher number than most years. But still, 15 people were arrested despite a mass-media blitz that the "Heat is On" summer campaign was starting and to not "drink and drive."

Meanwhile, the four main intersections that have traffic cameras have seen a decline in violations of almost 30 percent since they have been mounted on all four corners. Those cameras have only been in use within our city limits around nine months.

If people continue to drink and drive year after year despite warnings, threats of punishment, punishment, threats of huge monetary fines, possible loss of job, etc., yet people stop making silly/stupid traffic infractions because they "could" be "caught" on a video camera, what does that tell you about humans?

Our area's substance-abuse problem is so big, so out of control, that despite yearly threats, the problem is far deeper within our society than merely threatening people with possible punishment can handle. Something more must be done to deal with this issue. Arresting/ticketing, punishing, humiliating people for this major societal problem has not worked and continues not to work.

— Addy Hansen

Colorado Springs

Culling the herd

I'm really disappointed ... that 200 million religious fanatics ("A bad rapture," News, May 19) weren't removed from the gene pool on Saturday, May 21.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Same themes

To the critics of President Obama's speech on the Israeli/Palestinian borders, it was not any different than speeches from former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, who consistently instructed their foreign-policy aides to pursue an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians using the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed land swaps, as a basis for talks.

There has been much hyperbole in the media headlines regarding Mr. Obama's speech, but neglect in mentioning his inclusion of equitable land swaps. Speaking before a conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, President Obama offered assurances that the United States' commitment to Israel's long-term security was "ironclad." He also stated that this would be the best chance Israel has to avoid growing isolation, especially in these days of Arab unrest.

The latest research conducted by the Geneva Initiative regarding borders with land swaps shows that 54 percent of Israelis support the whole package, with about 30 percent opposed.

The idea of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with land swaps has never diminished support for a comprehensive agreement, but the leaders of this region need to put their differences aside and get serious enough to reach one.

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

Time to rebuild

It's ridiculous to see that the Bush tax cuts are still law, and many in the government want to cut Medicare for the people. Are they not supposed to be public servants? The public certainly doesn't want to see what they've paid into all these years cut while big business flourishes. Our government needs a complete overhaul in each party.

— Edith Johnson

Colorado Springs

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