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Unemployment, Ferguson, Woody Allen, and the Springs jazz scene 

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Oppressive authority

Ferguson, Mo., is becoming fused into our historical encyclopedia with the Boston Massacre, Haymarket, Birmingham, Watts, Chicago, Kent State, Stonewall, L.A., Seattle and recently, Occupy. They all defined an era's systemic social injustices that were further exposed by a reactionary governmental authoritarian response.

Yes, we can elect a black president, but in America there still remain white-dominated local police forces who can and will gun down unarmed men of color, seemingly with impunity. On average each year, there are 400 killings by local police; 96 are black males comprising just 4 percent of the population. On average 40 of those 96 victims are also unarmed, no different than Michael Brown.

Brown's death at the hands of these authorities is a stark illustration of how potentially dangerous, even mortal, encounters with local police can be for young persons of color. I have often talked to parents about their real fear and how they are mindful in teaching their children survival skills when dealing with the police. As a white person who has lived and worked in minority-majority settings, I have witnessed on numerous occasions how over-reacting authorities can and will provoke minority men and boys in ways that, if they conducted themselves similarly with suburban young white males, they would be disciplined.

Each authoritarian escalation demonstrates how oppressive this authority has become. In America, governing consent cannot, and never has been, accomplished through the use of armored assault vehicles supported by riot-gear-clad storm troopers.

How will governing consent be earned back again in Ferguson? The answer is simple: when both criminal justice is served on the murder of Michael Brown, and when social justice is served throughout America between the local police and our young men of color, as well as the rest of us.

— Bob Nemanich

Colorado Springs

In bad taste

Please be aware that there are still a significant number of individuals that are seeking employment but are unable to find it. Accordingly, I found the "GET A JOB" pronouncement depicted in Slice of Life (Aug. 20) to be not only insensitive but also offensive.

I called the Perk Downtown to advise them that some people might find the sign to be less than amusing. I talked to a purported manager. I was given excuses. No realization that, possibly, the sign was in bad taste. No attempt at an apology because I was offended. While I have frequented the establishment numerous times in the past, I will not be doing so again.

— Cyrus Campbell

Colorado Springs

Critical failure

Having recently seen and enjoyed Magic in the Moonlight, Scott Renshaw's review ("Illusions of grandeur," Film, Aug. 20) brought to my mind something I have thought often: Down with film critics.

No, the movie wasn't a masterpiece in the history of film, perhaps it was a recycling of Woody Allen's typical themes, but it was fun to watch and what I would consider pleasant amusement for an afternoon. The other movie-goers in the audience seemed to be enjoying it, also.

So many times we have gone to a movie because of critics' raves and found it to be awful. The reverse can be true, too. We have enjoyed many films that critics have blasted. I believe most people who go to a movie are not going in order to pick apart every aspect of the movie or to try and find some deep, psychological meaning in it. We go to movies for entertainment and in some cases, to be educated. Let us all form our own opinions rather than having some "expert" give us his or her subjective opinion. Bah, humbug to film critics.

— Sally Alberts

Monument

Sad sax

I'd like to address an issue that has been apparent to me and my peers for quite some time: While the Indy covers some types of music quite well, the Indy covers Colorado Springs' jazz scene almost never.

There are many great musicians creating listenable and compelling jazz here. There are a few restaurants and bars that have been supporting this uniquely American music: Motif, Cucuru, Rico's, The Wild Goose and several others, some lost to history and the difficulty in running a business. And there is surely a decent audience who greatly appreciates the music and who shows up at all these venues to hear Springs jazz musicians.

That being said, I am convinced that there's an even bigger jazz audience here, and that some decent coverage and timely reviews would only increase that audience and fortify the local music scene and its creative musicians.

If only the Indy felt the same way. Alas, I haven't seen any significant coverage of the Springs' vibrant jazz scene in the 20 years I've lived here and religiously read the Indy. And that's too bad.

— Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

Flower show

Summer would not be complete without the fabulous street plantings that represent so much back-breaking labor of love, and this year we have had the added advantage of many afternoon showers. Everything is green and beautiful. And if flowers give your spirit a lift, take a look at two huge lots on Eighth and Brookside streets that are completely covered with sunflowers. The liquor store on the corner of Wahsatch and Colorado is surrounded with beautiful flowers they planted instead of grass between the sidewalk and the street.

Throw in our majestic mountains, and we are quite a show for the tourists.

— Colleene Johnson

Colorado Springs

From Hick to Dick

To: Governor Hickenlooper

Re: Fracking

Governor, please explain how I voted for John Hickenlooper and ended up with Dick Cheney?

— Donna Drialo

Colorado Springs

Corrections/clarifications

• Jake and Telly's Greek Taverna did not serve a Cuban sandwich special during the USA Pro Challenge, as we reported last week.

• Owing to some ham-handed copy-editing, the strength of information in Gary Casimir's Aug. 20 letter, "Broadmoor's choice," was compromised. Originally he wrote, "We taxpayers have given Lamborn over $7 million during his tenure and for what?" Rep. Doug Lamborn's personal salary adds up to more than $1 million, but the taxpayer cost to staff his office since 2007 is about $7 million (tiny.cc/1pc7kx).

We regret the errors.

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