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Homelessness vs. war, Donald Trump, working for peace, and more 

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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It's not the same

I appreciate that the plight of the homeless is being covered by your paper; unfortunately, the article ("The Things They Carry," Cover story, Dec. 21) doesn't address anything except what is carried and how they became homeless.

Thank you, but this is the same type of article that circulates around this time of year with nothing new.

My real bitch is the title of the article. It's the title to a book by Tim O'Brien [The Things They Carried], a collection of short stories about his Vietnam experiences. Another title would have been better. Maybe: "What we carry is what we own"; although necessary to our survival, whether mentally or physically, our needs do not equate to the experiences and needs of Mr. O'Brien during a clusterfuck of a war.

People may find this trivial, but I'm a Vietnam veteran with an honorable discharge, I am homeless and very familiar with life on the streets of Colorado Springs. No offense to folks on the street, but the two situations that carry the title you chose are not close to the same.

— M.T. Hazard

Colorado Springs

More of the same

I must take issue with Duane Slocum's perspective ("Let's behave better," Letters, Dec. 7) regarding public reaction after President Obama's election.

Were your eyes closed for the past eight years? The vitriol and ugliness you are witnessing now is far less than what has been heaped upon Mr. Obama.

While I agree with the sentiment regarding acting and speaking like intelligent human beings, let us not ignore the happenings of the past.

— John Lane

Colorado Springs

Much appreciated

Thanks for introducing Colorado Springs to Nanette Phillips, who assisted Concrete Couch as an artist in residence ("Lessons in Humility," The Cut, Dec. 21).

It may interest readers that the photo included is of a community-created, 120-foot-long mural at the Energy Resource Center. It incorporates the work and ideas of about 100 volunteers, aerosol artist FUSE, and utilized recycled materials from Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Transit Mix and Capco.

Ms. Phillips spoke of the challenges of creating art using donated and recycled materials. On a related note, my own feelings of humility derive from working with the ERC, which operates throughout our area, winterizing homes on a sliding-scale basis, lowering utility bills, creating more comfortable homes and decreasing regional needs for fuel. It was an honor and an education to work with them!

— Steve Wood, Director

Concrete Couch

Colorado Springs

Still don't get it

Regarding Greg Sauer's endless rant ("Reality therapy," Letters, Dec. 21), to me it was the quintessential and perfect, if nauseating, example of why they lost. If you are always right and anyone who disagrees with you is always wrong, this is the kind of elitist crap that sends even sensible folks to the "other side."

You cannot win friends and influence people when you keep telling them that if they do not agree with your position they are intellectually and morally inferior to you. Sorry, Dude, I have a master's degree and bathe regularly but still fall into the category of "The Great Unwashed" and "The Deplorables," according to you. I was never a Trump fan, but Mr. Sauer has changed that with his insulting and demeaning remarks directed toward anyone who finds his lecturing and posturing a big yawn, which probably even some of his lib friends do.

What Mr. Sauer doesn't seem to get, and it shouldn't be that complicated for such a special and elite person, is that he just gave all the reasons why Trump got elected and why, if his brethren don't change their ways and show some respect for the masses they pretend to care about, they will continue to lose.

Their only hope is that the Republicans will shoot themselves in the foot, which they always do at some point. As for me, this is the first time I have been cheerful in eight years, though I will never rub it in to my lefty friends. If only they would do me the same favor.

— Geraldine Russell

Colorado Springs

Working for peace

With President Barack Obama visiting Nagasaki and Hiroshima earlier in 2016, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attending the Pearl Harbor memorial, these leaders are demonstrating how nations set aside their differences and work toward reconciliation.

There is no denying that each country made decisions in the past that resulted in countless deaths and massacres, but it is important to acknowledge and learn from the darkest parts of our history to truly move forward.

In the midst of political instability and turmoil in the Middle East and various parts of the world, peaceful reconciliation is needed now more than ever. It is refreshing to know that two of the world's most powerful nations are looking to peacefully move past their differences.

— Khizar Karim

Alliston, Ontario, Canada

Forty years later...

I've returned to the Pikes Peak region after a 40-year absence and offer this perspective:

The legalization of marijuana did not create our problems.

Most of what I learned about recreational drugs began in 1972 while stationed at Fort Carson. Hundreds of my fellow GIs were returning from Vietnam with duffel bags full of the stuff (along with hashish, opium and heroin), adding fuel to the city's nascent underground and counterculture scene. Prostitution, panhandling and petty crime were noticeable nuisances along South Nevada Avenue and West Colorado Avenue all the way into Manitou Springs. Like many others, I stayed around after leaving the Army, working as a deejay at KKFM, then in the local food stamp office interviewing applicants.

I left town in 1976, a year after that execrable John Denver tune kicked off the "Rocky Mountain Hype" promise that dreamers, the desperate and destitute who had virtually nothing could find everything waiting for them in Colorado. Recreational weed didn't cause that problem, but I imagine it helped dull the pain of many hungry, homeless folks who learned the song was a lie.

Colorado Springs has gone through many growth spurts and course corrections, but the lowest point was December 2010. My son (then a soldier at Fort Carson) took me for a ride along I-25 to see the shantytowns. I was shocked to see families living in cardboard and tar-paper lean-tos in 15-degree weather. I suppose it was convenient to blame that on recreational weed, too.

Marijuana — legal, recreational, medical or otherwise — may be a symptom, catalyst or scapegoat for the region's social ills, but it did not create them. We need to look elsewhere to place that blame.

We need to look at ourselves, for as long as we continue to choose to follow political and religious "leaders" who have shown a lack of will, creativity and compassion to commit the resources needed, our problems will always be with us.

— Rev. Gary Glover

Colorado Springs

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