Readers respond to Pedigo boycott threat

To the Editor:

What a shame this all is. To think that right-wingers have so much power is sad. I have traveled far and wide throughout the country and never have I seen such a slap to the face of freedom. I think the Christian right-wingers have too much time on their hands and should keep their pesky noses in the church. It's bad enough that they run the Gazette.

-- DK Rakkow
Colorado Springs

To the Editor:

I have just four words to tell to Tom Pedigo and Stan Lightfoot: Thou Shall Not Judge. I guess these two individuals left their Bibles at home when they decided to infringe on others' rights and spout their ignorant beliefs on the Springs.

-- Kathie Ring
Colorado Springs

No comment

To the Editor:

The Performing Arts for Youth Organization (PAYO) has been a strength in the Colorado Springs arts community for over 30 years. In 1999, tens of thousands of students witnessed or participated in PAYO performances and workshops.

PAYO has been blessed for those 30 years with a wonderful volunteer corps who run the organization with their heart and soul. Many individuals in the Colorado Springs community step forward to help with fundraising, office and program work.

Being that PAYO does not require background searches on its fundraising volunteers, the organization was unaware of the indictment against Mrs. Debbie Wadle, as mentioned recently in the Independent (Public Eye, March 30).

At this point, with the trial pending, it is better for all parties not to comment.

-- Terry Aretz
Executive Director, PAYO

You call that free thinking?

To the Editor:

I like the Independent and am really glad you're here. But I have some serious questions about who you choose to take advertising money from.

I know very well that we Catholics are sinners and that our institutions are sinful. I'm sure the same could be said of Protestants and Jews, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, and of all white, black, brown, red and yellow people. I'm so sure because we are all of a human family which struggles, and sometimes fails in that struggle with good vs. evil. We are all capable of the most heroic virtue and of the most heinous vice and of all the gray areas between.

And we all, sooner or later, get organized into institutions -- governments, religions, corporations, schools, clubs, etc. Being of human origin, these systems too are capable of both systemic virtue and systemic vice. So it would be surprising if an institution that is 2000 years old had not a long history of both virtue and vice and everything in between.

None of this is news to anyone who has not just fallen off a Christmas tree. So why do you take advertising money from the Free Thinkers who, week after week, regale us with diatribes on the sins of the Catholic Church? Tell the truth. Would you accept advertisements from a group whose focus, week after week, was only the sins of the Jews, or of the gays or of the Native Americans?

-- Barbara Huber
Colorado Springs

In defense of e-mail

To the Editor:

I just finished reading Mary Sojourner's article in the March 30 issue ("Why I Went Off-Line," Your Turn). Mary has decided to give up e-mail so she can get back in touch with her friends and family -- and her life. I would like to respond.

It's always interesting to hear about someone who's decided to take a stand against progress. Mary said that her computer had become a "nagging and disappointing lover," and her response was to give up on e-mail. This enabled her to "come home to ... the heart for which [she has] been most lonely. [Her] own." How quaint.

Why has Mary decided that e-mail is the villain in her life? She points out that without e-mail, her "phone and fax have been adequate." Both devices are relatively recent inventions that revolutionized communications -- why not throw those out as well? Mary also still uses her computer to write articles such as the one to which I'm referring. Why not go back to using a typewriter? A pen and paper? Quill and parchment? Chisel and stone? Where exactly do you draw the line in the sand that divides acceptable and useful technology and that which is part of an "unbeautiful modern world?"

E-mail is simply a tool that makes communication easier. Like any other tool, it can be misused. Like any other tool, it can foster dependency, making some feel they could never get along without it. Of course, Mary is free to pick and choose her tools -- to light her house with lanterns while typing a column on her computer, or to write letters by hand before placing long-distance calls over state-of-the-art phone networks that make cross-country friends sound like next-door neighbors. But to write an article that makes her choices sound like the enlightened decisions of a superior intellect -- well, it's just a little disingenuous. Give up e-mail if it makes you happy, but please don't try to tell us that this "brought [you] to [your] senses" as though e-mail is senseless.

-- Jerry Nowosatko
e-mail user and dedicated beneficiary of technology

Government obligation to inform on genetically engineered foods and ingredients

To the Editor:

As a consumer, I have become increasingly disturbed at the confusing reports concerning Genetically Engineered Foods that occasionally appear in the press. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of this country is currently being taken to court by its own scientists who are claiming that their findings into this new science are being ignored. They have filed a lawsuit that will compel the FDA to withdraw these new products from American shelves as (according to FDA's Life scientists and Biologists) they produce new form of proteins that may be harmful to humans to consume, as their studies have shown on laboratory animals.

I think it is about time the American public was adequately informed about these new foods that are being forced down our throats. As almost all processed foods that appear on the shelves now contain a mixture of many of these artificially produced foods, we have a right as consumers to know what foods contain these ingredients and which do not.

It is our right as consumers to know what we are eating and we can only make an informed choice through adequate labeling on food products. As the rest of the world is now in the process of banning such Frankenstein ingredients, even the European parliament refuses to serve GE foods to ministers, and Monsanto's own cafeteria does not serve GE foods to its staff.

It will not be possible to make an informed choice about the food myself and my family consume until the FDA, at the very least, rules in favor of compulsory labeling of foodstuffs that contain Genetically Engineered ingredients. I feel, for this to take place, there must be a concerted effort of concerned consumers urging the FDA to legislate for the labeling of ALL products that contain such ingredients.

-- Jennifer Smith

Swashbuckling educational reform

Piratical Bill Owens the Governor of our state,

Has enlisted us all as his loyal first mates.

No more local control; his authority we like not.

His fellow Buccaneer Republicans by his side have fought.

The wishes of parents, educators, and voters don't matter.

Piratical Bill controls education with bloody splatter.

Arrrrrrrgh says he, "The key to improvement in any structure is measurement."

This, according to Piratical Bill, we must believe to be testament.

On a perilous journey through untested waters,

What cares he for our sons and our daughters.

Damned be those who question CSAP validity.

Certainly his politics are skull and crossbones mentality.

With standards and CSAP so foreign to most,

Discrediting children, educators, and schools he most surely will boast.

Ideological state Republicans will plunder our districts,

Rendering true professionals helpless via Senate Bill 186.

Piratical Bill likes testing and punitive school grading.

While ignoring teaching and learning in favor of excessive test taking.

He will keelhaul those districts he considers to be failing.

At the helm of the others across turbulent seas he'll take us sailing.

Buccaneer Republicans happy to gut public ed. from appetite to thirst,

But in sharpening #2 pencils, who knows, at least our children could rank first.

Come on Colorado, enough is enough!

It's obvious what course Piratical Bill has set; let's call his bluff.

-- Gary Dean
Colorado Springs


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