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Back to the future

So, who could have much sympathy for the Post Office? They stuff my mailbox full of junk mail made from innocent, oxygen-generating trees. I asked my mailwoman if I could opt out of junk mail delivery. She replied, "That's what pays our bills."

Now it appears the Postal Service may be a thing of the past, without swift action from Congress. Good luck on that. E-communications have been steadily cutting into snail-mail correspondences, and resulting revenues. Computers can generate countless pieces of mail, without killing a tree. A computer only requires power and components that are manufactured abroad. This manufacturing process only pollutes the air and rivers in Asia, so who cares?

Do we have to "pick our poison" as it were? What about bicycle couriers? I'm just sayin'.

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Lasting impression

Last week's cover of the redheaded model was beautiful. I think I may be in love, and I know for sure that peaches are going to be my favorite fruit from now on.

— Mike Travis

Manitou Springs

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Memorial message

Dear task force members:

Please represent and voice the most important values for many of us, for Memorial Health System now and down the road. Thank you for your time, effort and caring about us patients, citizens, employees. Here are my top priorities, but not all:

1. Local ownership/control — headquarters stays here! Most board members live in El Paso County.

2. Same historical unpaid and charitable patient care, purpose, mission and policies.

3. Same services at same or higher quality. Don't cut services that don't profit potential stakeholders.

4. Same jobs to strengthen local economy. Offer all current employees in good standing jobs with same titles, pay, similar benefits.

5. Same patient-driven decisions and initiatives (not just profit-driven).

6. Continue outreach programs and partnering with organizations, such as Peak Vista.

— Lori Corliss

Colorado Springs

Profit and losses

Indecision about Memorial Hospital goes on and on, and increasingly misses the point. A good friend, in commercial real estate in another city, solely serves the medical profession's needs. I asked him what doctors think about the for-profit hospitals. Quickly he answered: "The word is out among them, 'If a hospital goes for-profit, get out as soon as you can!'"

Why? As they get more knowledgeable and skilled, and are more valuable (also expensive), doctors get terminated (fired) because they cost too much, or they leave and have to start again elsewhere. That becomes a double loss: We lose good, advanced doctors, and new young docs who have a bright future won't come to a community with that kind of hospital.

Of course the rich and powerful don't care if the rest of us increasingly get less skilled medical care because they have the money to go to Rochester, Houston, Phoenix or New York.

There is also a deep moral shallowness in this for-profit matter. Do we really want a hospital where investors make money on other people's injuries or illness ... profiteering on the personal life challenges of others? Why is that not a diabolical use and abuse of another for mere private gain? Shame.

The new folks from outside the process who are otherwise seemingly good executives are working way over their heads in this matter. They're in an area about which they know almost nothing. Most good execs, when they understand that fact, get out of the way of those who do know and who are accountable via the ballot box. Vested, mercenary interest will not help and will risk very bad decisions because they truly don't know.

They should step aside. Promptly! Please go independent, nonprofit and avoid all the problems created by doing otherwise.

— Dean E. Tollefson

Colorado Springs

Fact or fiction?

I had a dream. Or maybe it was a nightmare.

The scene: A secure, undisclosed location.

Those present: Mayor Bach, and assorted local, big-money business tycoons, seated at a large table or wandering around furtively.

Bach: "The non-meeting will come to order. Quimby, stop acting furtively and sit down."

Quimby (peering out a window into the night through a crack in the heavy curtains): "But Boss, I see Pam Zubeck parked down the street. Looks like she's on stakeout. She's ubiquitous!"

Phil Lane: "And not only that, she seems to be everywhere!"

Bach: "Quiet. We've got to decide unofficially and sort of ex-officio and amateurishly, as it were, what to do about Memorial Hospital and make it sound good."

Nondescript businessman: "I move, unofficially, as an interested citizen, to sell Memorial to that big-profit Hospital Chain up in Denver and use the dough to lure more developers and businesses here, maybe even oil drillers." (General exclamations of approval.)

Bach: "Swell idea, Babbitt. The ayes have it, unofficially. Keep this under your golf caps for now. I'll have my unofficial speechwriter, Eddie Bland, put out a short statement next week which says nothing but sounds good."

Lane: "Neat. Good thing, Boss, that you put out that gag order on city employees so they can't give interviews to the media without your permission."

Bach: "Yeah. No negatives. All feel-good stuff. So, any other business?"

Quimby: "Pam Zubeck is still out there! I thought this was an undisclosed location!"

Lane: "And not only that, it's secret."

Bach: "Oh, shut up."

— Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Don't be judgmental

May God forgive those who feel they have been granted "holier than thou" status by:

• condemning the most skilled Denver Broncos quarterback because he is not blatantly evangelical;

• inundating Dancing With the Stars with hateful opposition because a certain person, who was also created by God, is dancing on the show this season;

• inundating Dancing With the Stars with votes to retain the very least talented dancer last season, because her mother shared their beliefs;

• opposing everything that President Obama says and does.

My God teaches love and acceptance, rather than hate, and to shake hands, rather than point fingers.

— Cindy Powell

Colorado Springs

Spirit of Scrooge

Of course Social Security would seem like a Ponzi scheme to millionaires like Rick Perry. They don't associate with the millions of middle-class, soon-to-be-poor Americans who have not been as fortunate, do not have trust funds or inheritance, do not have the ability to game-plan their way to the top, or have become ill and need to depend on Social Security or Medicare to keep from starving or becoming homeless.

The statement of Ebenezer Scrooge — "...they had better [die] and decrease the surplus population" — is the thinly veiled mantra of people like Perry, governor of Texas — with the highest execution rate in the U.S., and fifth-highest in the world after Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Vietnam. I dread to think what will happen to America if we continue down this Orwellian path. Will our economy depend on forever wars, propaganda fear-baiting, fabricated news stories and indoctrinated proclamations of "War is peace, ignorance is strength" as Orwell predicted?

Rep. Eric Cantor's disaster relief proposal states no aid to the needy unless we cut benefits; Bush's No Child Left Behind is left unfunded and therefore leaves children behind, and the Clear Skies Initiative that actually weakened anti-pollution regulations and therefore made skies less clear all suggest that the prophesy of 1984 is here. It's time to stand up!

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

Downhill slide

Giovanna Battista Grosso ("Negatively liberal," Letters, Sept. 15) took Cyndy Kulp to task for daring to voice her opinions or, as Grosso puts it, "her hatred" on a whole slew of topics!

I won't list all the topics Grosso listed, but suffice to say, they are legitimate subjects for anyone to "diatribe" on ("diatribe" being a heartfelt comment by Grosso).

In fact, I won't discuss anything else in the letter except the word "we," which she arrogantly uses to speak for all of us. Grosso said, "We are getting tired of Kulp's diatribes." As a member of the omnipresent "we" club, I take exception to her speaking for me and chastise her for insolently doing so!

Where does Grosso get off speaking for anyone but herself? As she should know, dictators speak for all, as do egotists and other small-thinking people. Why can't Kulp voice her opinions on issues as Grosso does without being censured as being hateful? I could just as easily charge Grosso with hate, but then I would be like her, and I don't hate enough to do so.

Letters like Grosso's are so typical of the divisiveness that has taken over political America. If one disagrees on an issue, the other side (especially Repubs) shouts, "Stone the un-American bastard — banish him/her from American shores! We [there's that 'we' again] are the real Americans, and don't anyone forget it, or else!"

As one whose younger years have flown the proverbial coop, I fear for my nation's future. When "diatribes" like Grosso's slither into the prevailing political lexicon (and they have), America cannot go anywhere but down. I see America joining great, fallen empires like the Romans and the Brits in the dustbins of history. Hope I'm wrong.

— Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

 

Double trouble

Racism exists, still. It's not as blatant as 100 or even 50 years ago. More often than not, racism today is veiled and covert, spoken in coded language or conveyed via innuendos, and all such methods could pass the double-entendre test. Lynching, separate facilities, spitting on people and other overt discriminatory practices are no longer acceptable. That does not mean, however, that racism has disappeared. It has simply adapted.

A major component of racism is the categorization of people, such as stereotyping. Using examples that attempt to "evaluate" the behavior of an individual based on elements of the stereotype has now moved into the realm of prejudice. Rep. Doug Lamborn's use of the pejorative "tar baby," which we know to have two stereotypical meanings, passed the double-entendre test with flying colors.

Lamborn strategically flung two poison arrows — Obama is a sticky "problem" and, ergo, Lamborn doesn't want to be associated with him; and the second, using a term historically denigrating African-Americans. Whether we believe only one or both arrows were intentional, Mr. Lamborn accomplished his objective: character assassination based on stereotypes. Obama was (1) a problem; or (2) an "other, not one of us"; or (3) both. Well done, sir.

Today's racist does a reasonable job of blending into mainstream society. Coded language helps. Stereotyping helps. Double entendres help. Intimation and innuendos help. Tolerance of such methods and granting a free pass help to keep racism alive.

Could it be that the people who react this way don't see or hear the racism because it is so acceptable to them that it appears normal? That is the question we must all ask ourselves.

— S.J. Anderson

Colorado Springs

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