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Lean to the right
I am new to this neck-of-the-woods and have enjoyed reading the letter sections of liked publications. I know where most papers stand and the demographics of their readership. But your tabloid is way off base to the area you serve.
As a political science major I find flaws on who and who you don't give a voice to. No doubt if I said Barack Obama is great and Doug Lamborn is a turd, you would put me in the front of the line. In contrast if I said conservative values are a cornerstone for Colorado Springs and Obama is a liar, you'd trash my letter.
Regardless how you vote, if you believe in democracy and fairness your published letters should be 70/30 on right-thinking editorials. Don't be a slave to your cause — just peek out your window. This isn't Boulder.
— John Paredes
Lifting the fog
I certainly agree that Mr. Thomas De Cino is "stuck in a dense fog" (Letters, July 11)!
1) Chief Justice John Roberts was doing what his job required — to uphold the laws of the land, not pass partisan judgment.
2) Americans are already "paying through the nose" for other people's health care to the tune of $1,000 extra each year, for every man, woman and child who are insured — through inflated medical fees. You don't really think hospitals are giving their emergency room facilities away for free, do you?
It has been the Republican mandate that every citizen be responsible for his or her own medical care, so why is it wrong when a Democratic president passes the exact same law Governor Romney passed in Massachusetts?
3) You are absolutely correct that the "separation of powers and checks and balances have been damaged." They have been damaged by tax breaks for the rich, corporate power buying elections, and the rights of the 99 percent in this country squashed by the 1 percent.
Some seniors have complained their Medicare benefits are being reduced under "Obamacare." I mentioned they will have no Medicare or Social Security if the Republicans take over and the Paul Ryan budget plan is adopted.
The "Palin death panels" discussion has also resurfaced, and I pointed out that most high-priced long-term health coverage allows three years of care — then you had better die, because there is no insurance money left. The insurance companies have had "death panels" for years by not insuring pre-existing conditions and limiting coverage.
It is my hope that people will see beyond the anti-Obama ads the 1 percent and their SuperPACs are flooding us with, and get their facts straight before they cast votes in November!
— Elaine Brush
As a member of the middle class, I am bewildered as to why less than half of our class approves of universal health care. Certainly the problem isn't "big government," as we are told.
Both the Democrats and Republicans want the national government to enforce their "big" interests: the Republicans — sexual prohibitions, corporate benefits, empire-building; the Democrats — sexual freedoms, public benefits, empire-building.
"Big government" isn't the real issue with health care, although it has been said to be. The uninformed and easily persuadable middle class has been conditioned to believe that the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (propagandistically called "Obamacare") is another example of big government. But there were at least four levels of governmental control to choose from:
1) nationalization, 2) single-payer, 3) public option, and 4) individual mandate controlled by private insurance companies. The fourth and least governmentally regulated was chosen. So what's the fuss?
Under the Bush prescription privatization act, my blood pressure medication shot up on the private market from $120 to $800 a year, and so did my blood pressure!
Chief Justice Roberts, in his Supreme Court opinion, says the chosen version, which is the Affordable Care Act, smacks of compulsion because all must participate to make it work. But the real compulsion is that I am compelled to accept big, rich, profit-maximizing private insurance companies to get health care with no other choice or option.
As a result my insurance company recently withdrew its coverage of my highly respected eye doctor as they build their own medical center to which they seek patients to transfer, I am told. Isn't that practicing medicine without a license and prohibiting me from seeing the doctor of my choice? So tell me who is really "big."
— Bill Durland
Saved by the feds
It seems to me too few of the people in Colorado Springs have begun to acknowledge the majority role the federal government had in stopping this horrific fire dead in its tracks, about 10 days from the time it began.
After viewing today's Independent website, I find it very disturbing that there are so many people in Colorado Springs so filled with hate for our country and state and local governments, they refuse to even offer some thanks to the men and women who put their lives on the line to rescue our city from this fire.
I live in the northwest part of town, was evacuated, then came back a week later to an intact home just as I left it. All I can do is offer my most heartfelt thanks to the U.S. Forest Service, the Colorado Springs Fire Department, and the multiple El Paso County, Teller County, Colorado, and multiple Western state and federal agencies who quickly came to our rescue to put this beast down.
I also find it a class act that President Obama made it a personal priority to come here to place a national focus on the level of disaster in Colorado Springs. Even before he arrived, he had declared this a federal disaster area, providing all the financial resources he had at his command. To his credit, he did all of this knowing full well the majority of the people in this city dislike or hate him, and were highly unlikely to vote for him under any circumstances.
— John Leach
Fire coverage kudos
The Indy staff put together a great Waldo Canyon Fire issue (July 4). From the cover to Ranger Rich's excellent closing column, the articles were informative and heart-tugging. 'Twas a time to test men's souls, and the Colorado Springs community stopped, looked, and helped each other, and the Indy was there to listen and share. Great job. Well done.
— Bob Armintor
As I age — I am approaching 67 — I realize past events might get a little cloudy. I swear, though, there was a fire in this area recently.
I was on a motorcycle ride today and was amazed by the actions of smokers. (I smoked for many years so this is not to bash the habit.) I saw numerous people flicking ashes as they drove. I even talked to a fellow biker who was riding and smoking.
Be forewarned: When I am in a vehicle, I will write down license plate numbers and report you. To the person in the new Porsche with the new-car tag: I know the difference between a Porsche and a porcupine — a porcupine has got the pricks on the outside. Wake up, folks!
— Dave Joss
A grateful evacuee
Two weeks ago the Waldo Canyon Fire caused thousands of people to be displaced from their homes in the Colorado Springs region.
As one of those evacuees, I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to a local business and individual that provided safe haven for several families, including myself, during those extraordinary circumstances.
Susan Wilson, owner/operator of Black Forest Bed & Breakfast Lodge and Cabins was inundated with calls, tears and cars as people searched frantically for someplace safe to stay with their children, pets and possessions during the first week of the fire.
Susan went above and beyond to accommodate and provide respite for seven thankful families. Additionally, she made available the conference center space and her extra personal bedroom so as to not turn anyone away.
She even cancelled her previously booked tourist reservations so local families could stay as long as needed.
Nestled in the fragrant pines on the northeast side of the city, 1,500 feet above the heat and smoke, Susan's facilities provided comfort for these families as they anxiously waited to return to their homes.
Now the fires are gone and the skies are blue once again in our beautiful Colorado. If and when you can, please help support the Colorado Springs community and Black Forest Bed and Breakfast by recommending the region to others as a vacation destination or even come here yourself.
— Mike Travis
Oil and gas untruths
The oil and gas industry is similar to the tobacco industry — almost everything it tells us is a lie. It has even hired the same PR firm as the tobacco industry used.
The biggest lie, and one that the Colorado Springs City Council has accepted, is that local governments cannot legally stop oil and gas drilling.
Pittsburgh and eight other local governments across the U.S. have stopped oil and gas drilling by the use of a rights ordinance. Rather than challenging a state statute, a rights-based ordinance is based on our basic rights to things like health, clean water, air and soil. Our basic rights are higher law than the laws passed by the state.
It is easy to prove that this rights-based ordinance approach works. Just go to celdf.org/, then to Resources, then Ordinances. Or contact the mayor of Pittsburgh, or watch the movie The Sky Is Pink at vimeo.com/44367635.
Because our City Council was given bad legal advice, the City Oil & Gas Committee it created did not focus much attention on the dangerous practice of fracking, nor evaluate its effect on our health, groundwater, air and soil.
Many within our city only see dollar signs, but the fact is that fracking has been banned in France, Germany, Bulgaria and, recently, Vermont.
Green Party roster
Perhaps blinded by the smoke from Waldo Canyon, your news report on the race for U.S. House of Representatives saw but one candidate challenging Rep. Lamborn in CO-5.
In fact, Misha Luzov is the Green Party candidate, the only candidate who recognizes global warming as a critical factor in setting any policy regarding economic recovery. Citizens in District 5 should be interested in learning about him and his candidacy, especially in light of the unprecedented fires and record temperatures in Colorado, as well as the threat to U.S. grain production.
Global warming is the greatest threat to our nation's security. In fairness, your two full columns devoted solely to the Anderson campaign ("Up to bat," News, June 27) should be matched by a profile of Misha, correcting the false impression there is only one challenger in the general election. The Green Party of the Pikes Peak Region's platform is available at gp-ppr.org, and the Green Party of the United States' platform has been published at gpus.org.
There are also two Green Party candidates "staring down" the GOP candidates for county commissioner — Karyna Lemus in District 2 and Brad Harris is District 4. Both stand firmly opposed to fracking in the county and represent a real choice when it comes to county policy and the corporate mythology about strong economies and unbridled capitalism that have brought our economy and our environment to the brink of ruin. And neither of them would stoop to the racist McCarthyism of the current incumbents that slander the president, spread lies and build straw men to which they can stand opposed.
— Bob Kinsey
Green Party of Colorado
Change the players
Is there really no opposition to forfeiting a local community resource like Memorial Hospital?
Proponents purport the deal will inject $1.9 billion into the local economy. Where do we think that money will come from, besides the pockets of the hospital's patients, us? Are we supposed to be reassured that local control of Memorial Hospital is safe in the hands of a non-profit enterprise when there's a "profit-sharing" clause in the contract?
I don't pretend to know how to administrate a hospital in the midst of our nation's broken healthcare system, but it's clear this lease proposal is an abdication typical of anti-union privatization schemes which rob communities of their public assets. If corporate predators know they can turn a profit with Memorial, they're getting better advice than we. Players who want our team to give up need to be benched.
— Eric Verlo