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In her article on sex scandals ("Airing dirty laundry," cover story, Dec. 8), Amanda Marcotte states, "Consensual sex between adults where one is getting paid to be there shouldn't be illegal, but sadly, it still is."
Talk to any woman whose job at a massage parlor is to jerk off the customers. Ask if she likes her job, if she works there voluntarily, if she has a choice. Ask her what percentage she keeps. Give her the CoNEHT (Colorado Network to End Human Trafficking) hotline number: 866/455-5075.
In countries and states where prostitution is legalized, child sexual abuse rates skyrocket. By some informed estimates (among them, FBI), the average age of entry into the profession of prostitution is 12 to 14.
In your definition of predatory behavior, you refer to a victim's ability to say "no" being compromised. A runaway child in the U.S. has been approached by a pimp within 48 hours of leaving home in about 30 percent of the cases. By the time that child turns 18 and can legally consent, her earnings are still going to the pimp (or john) who enslaved her, groomed and trained her when she was a child.
They should still be able to behave like this and not be considered criminals? Think about it!
— Janice Black
A dog's life
As a dog owner myself, I enjoyed reading Chet Hardin's story ("No consequences," News, Dec. 22) about the dog accidentally — or wantonly, depending on what actually took place — shot by hunters.
While I would never shoot a dog, I've lived in Divide more than 30 years and learned long ago that some ranchers routinely kill dogs at large to keep them from chasing livestock. A few even carry rifles in their vehicles in case they spot a dog running loose.
And while shooting coyotes is sport for some hunters, it seems inevitable that an occasional dog might fall victim to mistaken identity. I grieve over this and don't have an answer except to say dog owners should remember the Divide/Florissant area is ranching (and hunting) country — and not every person they see is a dog's best friend.
— Jere Joiner
The next step
See LiveItUpCS.co for submission details, proposal form and updates. Thanks for doing what you do, Indy, and thanks for all who participated in the contest and provided feedback. 'Tis the season — so let's Live it up!
— Doug Price
President & CEO
Experience Colorado Springs
Just like Capone
Quote: "And now we know the rest of the story..."
I am confused as to why Douglas Bruce opposed taxes — he never paid them — according to a Denver District Court jury that convicted him last week of felony tax evasion, etc.!
I applaud the jury and prosecutor for not being bullied and coerced by the author of the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, the legislation that has contributed the most to the fiscal crisis in Colorado.
Mr. Bruce's arrogance, egotism, pride (which goes before the fall) — nay, ignorance — is all at the feet of Mr. Bruce, alone.
Any attorney knows he or she should never defend themselves in any court action; except, of course, the selfish and narcissistic Mr. Bruce.
If he thinks this is bad, wait until the Internal Revenue Service comes knocking! He would be well-served to recall that Al Capone went to prison not for killing dozens of people, violation of the Mann Act, etc., etc. — but not filing and paying taxes!
— James M. Hesser
Honor our history
In 1893, an English professor named Katharine Lee Bates from Wellesley College visited Colorado Springs, took an adventurous trip to the top of Pikes Peak and penned the words to the now-immortal "America the Beautiful."
As she stood atop Pikes Peak and overlooked Colorado Springs, Bates must have been in awe of the beauty that met not only her eyes but all of her senses from the over-14,000-foot Pikes Peak. She was astounded by the breathtaking panorama, and she committed her awe, wonder and astonishment to paper in a heartfelt poem that was soon turned into a song that portrays a view of our wonderful nation that one can only "see" for himself by coming to the home of "America the Beautiful."
Colorado Springs deserves to have its city slogan properly denoted as such.
How the city officials (Mayor Bach? City Council?) could ever permit any denotation of our fine city other than "America the Beautiful City," I will never, ever understand. The citizens' tax dollars of $111,000 were spent for a vile, disrespectful, not-well-thought-out-at-all "slogan" of "Live it up!" Who were the non-geniuses behind this sad, deplorable naming? Whoever you are, you really goofed on this call. It's not representative of this great city.
City officials are backpedaling because so many people are as appalled about the slogan as I am. I do not know one person who even (sort of) "likes" this new slogan.
The people are speaking and they aren't just talking — they are yelling. To the city and the task force that gave us "Live it up!": You goofed. That's OK — mistakes happen — but listen to the people. We do not live in a "Live it up" city. We live in "America the Beautiful City — Colorado Springs, Colorado."
— Addy M. Hansen
Wisdom from the past
In "A bald appeal" (Letters, Dec. 15), Neil Nelson claims "defining a zygote as a person" is a philosophical concept besides being religious. Yes, and personhood can be defined legally, as the Supreme Court did in Roe v. Wade. The Personhood Amendment seeks to undermine this definition.
The many facets of "personhood" were considered at a conference in Washington, D.C., on May 30, 1987, sponsored by Americans for Religious Liberty. This brought together experts from various disciplines to examine the issue. Representatives from all faiths attended, as did lawyers and scientists. The resulting book, Abortion Rights and Fetal "Personhood," is a fascinating and informative read.
I personally like the idea advanced by Marjorie Maguire, a Catholic theologian at the conference: "My position is that the only way a fetus can become a member of the human community, and therefore a person, prior to birth, is if the woman in whose body it exists welcomes it into the human community by her consent to the pregnancy."
Imagine! For a planned pregnancy, the fetus becomes a person to its parents even before birth. For a woman who realizes she is pregnant and who has enough resources to welcome the birth, the fetus becomes a person while she carries it. But to women who are unable, emotionally or financially, to provide for a child, the fetus may never become a person. These are the ones who suffer neglect or even abuse by an unwilling mother, and who fill our prisons. Abortion must remain an option for these cases. There are worse things than not being born.
— Janet Brazill
Hellfire and hogwash
Neil Nelson's Dec. 15 observation that "natural law ethics does overlap with Catholic moral theology" is correct, having myself taken Moral Theology at Loyola University in 1965. But what I learned then, from good Father Holloway, S.J., was basically that an incoherent farrago of Aristotelian hogwash was being passed off as binding moral law.
Lost on the Church's morality wonks, that decrees such as those against "artificial birth control" (they do permit the joke known as the "rhythm method") showed they'd all fallen into the trap of Aristotelian logic, which tends to fix human behaviors within limited definitions and categories.
Of course, the same underlying "principles," applied some 200 years ago, enabled the Church's moral architects to justify slavery since: "some men needed others to guide and direct them" (see e.g., Julian Pleasants in Contraception & Holiness: The Catholic Predicament, 1964, p. 88).
More recently they've roundly pronounced artificial contraception (as Fr. Holloway did) equivalent to "mutual masturbation" and hence meriting eternal "hellfire." Never mind that they place one such act — in terms of its ultimate sanction — on the same level as killing 100 people with an AK-47.
Regarding abortion of a de facto parasite ("zygote"), Antony Flew provided the best dismissal decades before his dementia (which was exploited for his pseudo-conversion) by noting in his Thinking About Thinking that the genetic fallacy was committed, in his words, if one argued that "the antecedents of something must be the same as their fulfillment, say claiming a zygote is a person."
— Phil Stahl
One-liners for all
Happy holidays! Please enjoy some of my latest political one-liners published on my Twitter page: Twitter/LaughAtPolitics.
Love to have you follow me. May your New Year bring all good things.
Republican Party splits: Moderate Republicans win the ship and the Tea Party proceeds to sink it.
Dear Santa, Please give Obama a bigger set of "cojones." The ones Nancy Pelosi lent him in 2010 are expiring.
Iowa evangelicals don't know who to vote for because ... Jesus doesn't like any of the GOP candidates, either.
Rod Blagojevich makes Newt Gingrich look downright virginal. That's gotta be a bona fide Christmas Miracle.
I bet you $10,000 Romney thinks ungodly things in private about Gingrich. The guy's human, after all.
Christians believe that angels sing when Tim Tebow takes the field.
Satan follows enticing sinners to throw their empties on the field.
Notorious for being moody, humorless and difficult to work with, the Grinch stole Christmas and happily became the Senate minority leader.
Christmas is a time for sharing childhood memories, a toast of good cheer, and occasionally an STD or two.
— Janice S. Sterling
Looking to 2012
As another year winds down to its close, it seems unavoidable to ponder the year ahead and wonder:
• Will Lindsay Lohan spend more than a week in jail?
• Will Colorado Springs have clean, functioning public toilets in its parks?
• Will we still be able to buy "freedom fries?"
• Will Mayor Steve Bach expand his special "advisory group" from the Chamber, Broadmoor and developer folks exclusively, to add union leaders, homeless advocates, teachers, farmers and librarians, and if not, why not?
• Will Rev. Ted Haggard appear as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars?
• Will soldiers returning from rebuilding the destroyed bridges, buildings, roads and infrastructure they bombed while invading Iraq and Afghanistan find good jobs rebuilding their own country with tax-supported public works programs and green industries?
• Will Douglas Bruce be at home when the next summons arrives?
• Will the state of Colorado finally achieve undisputed last place in education funding, after turning down a tax increase in November?
• Will Texas Gov. Rick Perry finally release his IQ scores?
• Will a pedestrian be killed in an intersection previously covered by a police red-light camera?
• Will Kim Kardashian get married at least once in 2012?
• Will Gov. Mitt Romney flip? Or flop?
• Will Gazette editorialist Wayne Laugesen see the light?
— Larimore Nicholl