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Her first Fest

I've always been one of those "on the fence" types when it comes to LGBT issues, assuming it had nothing to do with me and therefore I had no right to butt in. Live and let live, I always thought.

But that isn't the case here in Colorado Springs, is it? Some of us just aren't willing to allow others to live harmlessly as they choose. I imagined we were over it. I guess I was wrong.

So I did something today that I've never done before. I attended my first-ever PrideFest and I'll never miss another, so help me Bob.

Therefore, I wanted to write and say thanks to the people responsible for finally shoving me off the fence. It was none other than the likes of James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, Beverly LaHaye, Michele Bachmann and all the rest of "God's chosen" who showed me the way.

It's thanks to them that I decided Sunday to buy a rainbow-colored boa ... and a rainbow flag ... and a T-shirt that says, "Peace, Love, Pride."

And by the way, I think it's worth mentioning that from now on whenever election day rolls around, I'll be there. I'll remember today and I'll be asking myself who was on the right side of the fence and who was on the wrong side of it.

Maybe there is such a thing as divine intervention.

— Karen Freed

Colorado Springs

 

Stay on that story

We need you, Indy, and your investigative reporting! The Indy is off to a great start informing and educating the community about oil and gas drilling at Banning Lewis Ranch with Pam Zubeck's article, "From homes to oil" (News, July 14).

Perhaps Ms. Zubeck can write ongoing articles addressing many issues raised by this first piece, such as a full investigation into Ultra Petroleum's "poor environmental practices," reported drilling accidents in Colorado in the past decade, the adequacy of oversight and enforcement of regulations, the composition of the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, analysis of disaster mitigation plans, establishing water quality baselines against which contamination can be documented and measured, and the impacts on health and how impacts will be monitored.

Also, a primer on all of the steps and processes, including waste disposal, involved in oil and gas drilling would create a common understanding of what lies ahead for this community should Ultra proceed. Because of 2005 federal legislation, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts do not apply to this type of activity, and the Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, passed by the House on July 14, would, if passed by the Senate, usher in a return to the bad old days.

While the entire process is admittedly complicated, we're an educated community and can comprehend the issues. Ms. Zubeck, more please!

— Mary Talbott

Colorado Springs

Moving too fast

Hubris and gross insult to taxpayers aptly describe both City Council and the "new task force" for their premature meetings to discuss leasing taxpayer-owned Memorial Health System assets.

Voters have been assured that all options would be considered and the very best one would be put on a ballot of uncertain future date. That is not what is happening. Instead of listening to other offers or comprehensively studying each option, Memorial spent $500,000 in a stealth lobbying campaign, including the Internet, to bulldoze its preferred option onto a ballot.

That singular option would be a nonprofit, ostensibly independent.

Any lease arrangement would require voter approval of an "independent" nonprofit. We are nowhere near that stage yet, with many options unexplored. "Some form of lease payment" is not a good enough return on investment for taxpayers who supported this enterprise with millions in the lean years, 1943-1973. The idea of paying for parks is an obvious sop intended to lure voters to accept hospital officials' single-option fixation.

Back to the drawing board.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

FOX and the hounds

The best news out lately is that the FBI is investigating that sleazebag, Rupert Murdoch. Even my Australian friends know what a snake he is!

I just hope his billions won't be able to buy off any more politicians to get him out of this. This man has distorted the news media almost beyond repair with his culture of lying, cheating and rewriting news for his FOX News network, newspapers and even the once-respected Wall Street Journal.

How I would love to see Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and all his other cronies that distort the news thrown down a flight of stairs! I would have included Glenn Beck in this list but even Murdoch couldn't stand him anymore.

My hope is that the fellow Republicans in this town see how brainwashed they have been, watching and reading Murdoch's self-promoting crap on FOX.

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

Party of profit

Corporate profits are up, but corporations aren't hiring, so jobs are still scarce.

Banks are doing well, too, but they're still foreclosing because it pays better than working with the owners, and that's holding the real estate market down. Oil companies are also recording record profits, while gas still is far more than $3 a gallon.

Remind me again, which political party is it that's holding up the economic recovery?

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Firing back

Ranger Rich, I see why they moved you to the back of the newspaper with the pot shops, since you must be delusional. I used to read you for the humor, but even that has faded lately.

I shoot many of my three dozen-plus firearms on 60 acres of land I own surrounded by national forest. I have no tattoos, I am educated, intelligent and, as for my penis size, I can still keep it out of the way while shooting. If you take away places where shooting is allowed, there will be no control at all.

While there will always be people that abuse the forest, lakes and shooting areas, there are probably more people who would volunteer to clean up after them if a cleanup was organized. Shooting sports by the numbers are very safe.

Rich, I say if you really want to dodge bullets, you should go back to Los Angeles.

— Paul August

Colorado Springs

Hogan's history

Thanks for the history lesson (ReVerb, July 14) on the Navajo Hogan and union organizer Nicholas Fontecchio and the Native American miners.

Some publishers ban the "U" word. Thanks and keep up the good work, from a member of C.S. Local 9.

— Rich Angeline

Colorado Springs

How leaders lead

To Steve Bach, as Colorado Springs' first "strong" mayor, you were handed a perfect opportunity to exercise your leadership in this community by speaking out against the heinous hate crimes recently perpetrated on citizens of this city. You failed to do this, despite your campaign promises of being a "strong" and "fair" leader. Another sad addition to the list of failed leaders in Colorado Springs.

Congratulations. You have not disappointed those of us who saw through your deception.

To Councilors Scott Hente and Jan Martin, thank you for your recent support for the GLBT community in Colorado Springs and your denouncement of the recent hate crimes perpetrated against five individuals, two of whom are members of our armed forces.

You are excellent examples of what it means to represent all the people in our community. Colorado Springs has a long way to go before it can overcome the cloud of hate and bigotry that it reflects. I know that you both are leading the charge in changing this draconian ideology and I just wanted to take this moment to express my thanks and pride in you both as community leaders.

— Brian Lund

Colorado Springs

Facts on Burnley

In "D-11 remembers Burnley" (Noted, July 7) the statement is made that Dr. Ken Burnley cut teachers' pay and benefits. Teachers' pay was not cut by him; it was sometimes frozen at the behest of the board of education while he was superintendent.

As a board member for eight years of his 13-year tenure, I more than once experienced him standing up for higher teacher pay than the board was feeling comfortable granting. However, a pay cut or freeze or raise was not his to grant; it was the board's and he got to carry the message for the board at the negotiating table. He loyally did so.

Also, while he certainly worked to raise the achievement level of minorities and the poor as stated, he worked to put in place a variety of educational options and opportunities for all students such as International Baccalaureate programs and innovative charter schools. And he helped the board put together a multi-district lobbying effort to change a state school-finance law that funded District 11 and other so-called urban-suburban school districts unfairly.

And, yes, he was not popular with everyone — which is not uncommon for extraordinary leaders.

— Lynn Peterson

Colorado Springs

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Default debacle

"The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar in exchange markets."

Those words were written in November 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, who raised the debt ceiling 17 times while he was in office. The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since 1962, seven of which were during the administration of our last president, George W. Bush.

The Republicans had no problem with it during the Reagan years and both Bush administrations but, all of a sudden, they can't stand the idea now that a Democrat wants to do it.

Defaulting on our debt might have dreadful, tragic effects on our economy and probably on the world economy as well. President Obama has been bending over backward to meet GOP demands and end this crisis, but the Republicans just won't give an inch.

I think it's about time they heed the words of their Holy Saint, Ronald Reagan, and negotiate, stop being intransigent, quit playing politics, and help us get through this crisis.

There's a great deal at stake — the Republicans don't appear to even care.

— Fred Kormos

Colorado Springs

Fix our priorities

The United States should consider a universal health care plan. Our nation is falling behind in math, science and now health care. The European model of health care has been rejected for high taxation and poor service. The downside is that medical expenses are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. The unemployment rate is not improving, more and more people who qualify for health insurance are opting out for bigger paychecks, and college graduates make up a large number of those uninsured.

It is easier to obtain a student loan than it is for an uninsured person to sign up for health insurance. The federal government hands out student loans like candy, regardless of the institution. Many of these "colleges" advertise on television and the requirements for admission are nonexistent. The irony is that colleges and universities usually require their student populations to have health insurance. Students are either covered by their parents' health plans or rely on student loans.

I do not know what message Uncle Sam is sending. Enroll in school if you do not have insurance and/or get into more debt if you cannot afford a health plan. A universal plan would most likely raise taxes, but if I were uninsured, I would rather pay higher taxes than be weighed down with hefty student loan debt.

— Michael Koller

Colorado Springs

Religious questions

Having thought a lot about what our evangelical friends tell us, I have some questions for them. Here are just a few:

• How can a burning bush talk and give advice?

• If humans often get bored in this life of 100 years or less, how bored will they get after the first 15 trillion aeons of their immortality, and that's just the beginning?

• If paradise is playing harps and listening to choirs, why don't all students get a head start by majoring in music, with specialties in harp and choir, right now?

• Why does God get all the credit and none of the blame? If some kids get killed in a bus accident, and people thank God that some children were saved, why don't they blame God for the dead ones? And for causing the accident?

• Why does God create humans with weaknesses, like stupidity and greed, knowing in advance (omniscience) what they will do because of those defects? Isn't this like designing a car with no brakes and then blaming the car when it runs into a bridge abutment?

• Since many religions with different gods also have holy writings, why pick the Christian God over Vishnu, or Allah, or Odin, Thor, or a hundred others?

• Why do evangelists call God "forgiving" and yet say he puts sinners into an eternal torture in hell, with no parole and no forgiveness?

• Why do religionists say they believe in the Bible, word-for-word with no changes, yet often go to war or support capital punishment in direct contradiction to "Do not kill" and "Love thine enemies"?

• If Jesus made wine out of water, can I have that recipe?

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

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