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Ode to Limbaugh
Ah, Rush ... the right-wing, blow-hearted idiot I love to hate!
Not only was his three-day rant about Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke off the charts, but the same was true of the Republican leaders who responded to his outrageous remarks.
Conservative columnist George Will said it best when he commented: "They want to bomb Iran, but they're afraid of Rush Limbaugh."
And those people actually defend Limbaugh!
Is our society so sick as to give any importance to him ... and what does that say about the conservatives?
Congratulations to all the sponsors that have pulled the plug on Rush!
— Elaine Brush
Cut to the chase...
Death row. What's your first thought? Murderers, rapists and repeat offenders grace those degraded cells.
But what's the point? Since 1973 the United States has executed 1,281 people, and only one of those was in Colorado. As of January 2012, Colorado had thousands of inmates with life sentences, hundreds of whom have no chance of parole. It costs nearly $30,000 a year to house one inmate, and even more to house those on death row. Assume someone receives a life sentence with no parole at age 18, and dies at 78. That's $1.8 million of taxpayers' money, your money, to support someone who will never be a benefit to society or the economy.
Why not abolish death row and actually implement the executions sentenced? Prisons today have multimillion-dollar budgets; I can think of better places a lot of that money could go: schools, roads, housing, agriculture. So my question to you is this: Why do we pay for violent, dangerous criminals to have a roof, a bed, and three square meals a day, when the only ambition left for their life is death? What's the point in delaying the inevitable when that money could benefit healthy society?
— Marissa Heald-Mattes
... or use restraint
Statistics have shown that in the United States there are around 25,000 prisoners serving sentences in solitary confinement. The majority of prisoners in solitary confinement have been there for over five years.
There are many positive effects of solitary confinement, but I feel that there are even more negative effects. This solution may get criminals off the streets, but it turns them mad. The use of solitary confinement, or the "lonely madness," should be reduced due to the negative effects.
Tens of thousands of prisoners spend years locked up 23 to 24 hours a day in small cells. Someone sentenced to years in solitary confinement will most likely find themselves back in prison after they are released because of their mental illness. Once they are placed under the harsh conditions of solitary confinement, they no longer know how to properly react to others and society.
This punishment should be one of the last steps the government takes to punish someone. It should only be used for the worst of the worst, for people who need to be separated and far from society.
— Danielle Johnson
Race to the top
Rob Andrews ("Left out," cover story, March 1) said, "Politics has never involved many African-Americans in this city. I think that the way to engage them is different, and if you are not comfortable engaging them, then you won't do it."
Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another. By this definition, Mr. Andrews is a racist. He is saying that African-Americans are different, and when you want to involve them in politics "to engage them is different." I vehemently disagree. We are all Americans, first and foremost!
Dr. Martin Luther King had a dream in 1963 that children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. I strongly urge Mr. Andrews to see southeast Colorado Springs through the eyes of the great MLK, not seeing people with Democratic labels such black, Hispanic, white or gays, but rather through their character.
Starting with the War on Poverty in 1965, the Democrat Party has been living off the backs of the poor. Of the 44 largest cities where the poor are located, 40 of them are run by Democrats. We have spent $16 trillion on the War on Poverty. In 2012, it is unconscionable that 46 million Americans have to rely on food stamps in the richest country in the world.
The way to eliminate poverty is to create wealth. If Mr. Andrews would like to have a major positive impact on southeast Colorado Springs, he should create a business and/or businesses that will employ hundreds of people. With this experience, you can be elected to any office you choose including governor, but you have to have a message about why you are a viable representative of the people.
— Sam Taylor
Zeroes and little ones
Did Rob Annese ("Defending Santorum," Letters, March 1) really say that there is "zero evidence for evolution"?! Let me guess, Mr. Annese was home-schooled?
As for his complaint that he shouldn't have to pay for someone else's birth control, the rest of us shouldn't have to subsidize those who refuse to use birth control, breeding like rabbits. They use more public services, but pay less in taxes than the rest of us. If you want to have a large family, fine, but those of us who are responsible shouldn't have to pay for your little tax deductions!
— Thomas McCullock
Head in the sand
Oh, my friend Rob Annese, I can't help but respond. Your prose is so inoffensive and gentle and wrong!
Where do you find evidence to support your contention that home-schooling produces better-educated kids, not to mention better-socialized? And if your parents have an eighth-grade education, they are better teachers?
Zero evidence for evolution? Carbon dating?
I understand, your home-schooling got you to these conclusions. Ostriches are home-schooled!
— Michael Augenstein
Across the state and the country, there is documented evidence of wells being contaminated by chemicals used in oil and gas fracking. Yet Gov. John Hickenlooper recently demonstrated how supposedly safe fracked water is by taking "a swig of it."
I am incensed at the example he's setting — playing Russian roulette by drinking water that may or may not have been sanitized for a cheap publicity stunt. He need only look as far as his own state to see the irreparable harm done to our people, our livestock, our air, our water and our lands.
Here are some materials Hickenlooper might have ingested in his fracked beverage:
• Benzene, a powerful bone-marrow poison (aplastic anemia) associated with leukemia, breast and uterine cancer. It may also cause fatigue, skin and mucous membrane irritation, and narcotic behavior including lightheadedness, disorientation, loss of consciousness and coma.
• Styrene, which may cause eye and mucous membrane irritation, neurotoxic effects in the central and peripheral nervous systems, loss of consciousness and death.
• Toluene, which may cause muscular incoordination, tremors, hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo, emotional instability and delusions, liver and kidney damage, and anemia — besides potential harm to developing fetuses.
• Xylene, with cancer-causing and neurotoxic effects, which can cause reproductive abnormalities and death through respiratory or cardiac arrest. More toxic than benzene and toluene!
• Methylene chloride, which may cause cancer, liver and kidney damage, central nervous system disorders and worse.
• Or any of more than 1,000 other safe "food additives" used by the oil and gas industry.
Hickenlooper's welcome to come down to Huerfano and Las Animas counties to talk with the ranchers and other folks who have been irreparably damaged by these poisons.
— Mary Jensen, Ph.D.
Applied Clinical Nutritionist
It seems the U.S. Postal Service is in need of a new motto/slogan, so I'd like to offer this one, no charge: The mail will get there on time ... eventually.
— Mimi Vacher
Melcher and the mayor
City Attorney Chris Melcher is Mayor Steve Bach's mouthpiece (the real "Strong Arm" in Colorado Springs), period. He will do the "bidding" for the mayor — or Bach will replace him. This is a simple concept. The mayor has replaced any and all who dare differ or disagree with him. Check the record.
This is about raw, unbridled power — and the mayor possesses it. Much like others in a dictatorial position we have recently viewed around the world, the mayor is not about to give up his power without a struggle. This is not about the city or the Council, and surely not the citizens of Colorado Springs. It is about unrestrained, uncontrolled power and the ego of the mayor and his ultra-right-wing, hard-right philosophy and beliefs, period!
We foolishly changed the type of city government and then foolishly anointed Mr. Bach as judge, jury and executioner. We will rue this decision — and probably sooner than later.
City Council, in effect, considering the veto power of Mr. Bach ("City leaders battle again," Noted, March 1), really has no say, authority, control or influence in Colorado Springs, unless the "Strong Arm" agrees. And unfortunately he has the absolute backing, support and assistance from the other local representative of the "Fourth Estate" — Freedom Communications Inc.'s local voice, the Gazette, and its mouthpiece and cheerleader, Wayne Laugesen.
Trust me — I think not!
— Matt Hesser
To Obama ...
The news media are full of stories of why and when and how Israel will strike out at Iran's nuclear facilities. This will be the third major Middle East war in a decade. Some say major military support by the U.S. is critical to Israel's plan.
As commander-in-chief, President Obama, do not in any way support military strikes against Iran by Israel. I am not asking you, I am telling you not to do this. This is a line in the sand.
We and the world at large have suffered over 10 years from wars into which the previous administration led us. George W. Bush and his administration turned a deaf ear to us then. Do not make that same mistake.
— Dr. Dale L. Kemmerer
One word: plastics
It is time to stop letting arguments about the price of gas distract from real issues. The price of gas is determined by supply and demand in the market. The more petroleum products we use, the higher the price. Drill or not, frack or not, pipe or not; as long as we continue to thoughtlessly use so much petroleum-derived plastic, the price of gas will go up.
It's not about tensions in the Gulf of Oman, or how many seasonal and local blends of fuel are required. It's about plastic water bottles, soda bottles and milk jugs. It's aspirin containers, mailboxes and the containers in which your grocery store sells roast chicken. It's Baggies, Ziplocs and Hefty bags. Disposable lighters and packaging on Chinese cameras. If we get out of the race to turn petroleum into landfill, we'd do more to cut gas prices than any new pipelines or drilling.
Some say there are jobs in the balance. People get paid to bottle water and design new ways to protect cameras shipped across oceans. People also used to get paid to recycle glass bottles and build cameras in your hometown. This plastic is not really saving anything. A plastic mailbox made in China seems to be cheaper than a steel mailbox made in Ohio, except when you consider the hidden cost of the plastic and transporting it into the price of gas. And through the cost of gas into the cost of food, clothing and everything else.
You pay more for lettuce so that some guy who owns a Chinese plastic-mailbox factory can put that money in his pocket as profit. Like the hypothetical chaos-theory example, that the butterfly flapping its wings in China makes it snow in Sacramento. Except in the other direction, with money.
— Gina Douglas
Inevitably, the anti-abortion issue is back on the November ballot. Many of our "pro-life" friends are devout religionists, and their belief system holds that life "begins" at conception, which is scientifically false. Life does not "begin" at some arbitrary point, but is transferred from adults via sperm and ova, which contain human DNA and are alive before conception. Nothing "dead" comes to life. And no god can be found in all this, no matter how many times he is enthusiastically referred to by participants.
So, our evangelical citizens will come back to our ballots again and again, unless they ultimately accept scientific fact.
"Pro-lifers" are primarily good-hearted folks who believe a god has created a supernatural afterlife (heaven and hell). I long wondered why my Catholic neighbors "celebrate" funeral mass. How could anyone celebrate death, especially of a loved one? Then I figured it out: The loved one didn't truly die at all, but went on to heavenly bliss, a cause for rejoicing. Of course!
I also wondered how religious citizens could be so callous about trying to keep fetuses alive, but once born, they had no interest in paying taxes to take care of feeding, housing and educating unwanted kids. Once again, I surmised, they thought the thousands of children who die daily of starvation-related diseases in this overpopulated world would go to heaven, so, no worries!
Now, if "personhood" is granted to zygotes and first-trimester fetuses, we can go ahead and abort them with no worries, since they go directly to heaven, having committed no sins. Problem solved, at last.
Meantime, we all agree we can reduce the need for abortions by using adoptions, contraceptive devices free to all, sex education mandatory from age 11, and the like. Full speed ahead.
— Larimore Nicholl
Kingdom come ... to roost
Here's how things look to me: A foolish king will ignore his poor, letting them starve and fester. A wise king will put them to work for the good of the kingdom, applying the cardinal rule: If a man will not work, neither let him eat — in which case, crime would drop because idleness and poverty would drop. The king and his knights would benefit because the whole kingdom would prosper.
Our experiment in voting has failed because the poor voted in laws that entitle them to live off the kingdom without working. The industrious voted in laws that let them exploit the world's poor for great wealth, then hide it from taxation — which you can't blame them for, in light of the lazy laws. Rather than correct these problems, we're using our credit card. This cannot end well.
— Jim Inman