Rampant incivility inexcusable

To the Editor:

I set out to run a few standard errands after work and had no idea that I would return to my home as shaken and disgusted as I did. First stop -- the gas station. I parked at the pump and went inside to pre-pay for my gas. Having recently relocated to this area, I was paying with a traveler's check. A woman entered the store and stood behind me for a mere moment when she decided that her time was more precious than everyone else's. As I stood at the very narrow window, which is designed to assist one customer at a time, she rudely pushed her way beside me and nearly threw her money at the cashier and huffed, "I need to start pumping my gas right now." She turned and stomped out of the store. The cashier and I just looked at each other in awe, hardly believing how rudely we had been treated by this individual.

Next stop -- the drug store. Apparently, I must have pulled my vehicle into a vertically positioned parking space without realizing that, upon leaving, I would be pulling out of that space against the grain of traffic. There were no directional arrows in the parking lot indicating traffic flow. Had I realized this prior to pulling into the space, I would not have parked there to begin with. Honest mistake. As I was pulling out, a couple in a convertible were heading toward me. I reversed back into the space that I had been occupying so that they could park in the available space next to me. This attempt to correct my mistake must not have been good enough. The driver throws his car in reverse and then peels into the unoccupied space while screaming, "This is a f______ one-way you stupid moron!"

Whatever happened to the philosophy of treating others as you wish to be treated? Does anyone deserve such treatment? Society is society and we all have to subsist and function within it. It is these ill-mannered individuals who make it a less-than-desirable place for others who conduct their lives with a positive attitude. They must clearly feel compelled to breed their misery. It is time for people to begin treating each other with dignity and respect and stop making others the objects of their anger and frustrations. This is really what we ALL expect and it takes very little effort on all of our parts to make society a civilized place to co-exist.

-- Beth Morgan
Colorado Springs

Planet Hightower

To the Editor:

I am wondering what planet Jim Hightower lives on.

In his usual bashing of American business in general, ie. "the money masters, razzle-dazzle Wall Street, megahuge, globaloney, rapacious corporations, merger mania," etc., he misses the major facts of life in the good old U.S. of A.

Due to all of the above, plus the spliting up and selling off of many large companies like ATT and Lucent for example, plus the unchecked and unlimited money grubbing greed of millions of small-business owners like myself, THERE IS A MASSIVE LABOR SHORTAGE IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY, unlike the situation in socialistic European nations where unemployment is cruising around 36 percent (France for example).

Dang! We must have done something wrong. Maybe we can fix it by preventing business ownership or something.

Anyway, in the meantime, Jim, your nation needs you!

There are shortages of truck drivers, forklift operators, doctors, nurses, teachers, plumbers, electricians, painters, computer programers, internet designers, janitors, auditors, accountants, principals, managers, heavy equipment operators, policemen, firemen, and you name it.

Please, Jim, come back down here to earth, pick a trade, and get to work like the rest of us. There is lots of money to be made and peoples' needs and wants need to be filled.

Oh, I forgot you don't like money. Well, there are still peoples' needs and wants to be filled.

-- Dale Comyford
Colorado Springs

Commercial-free movie theaters

To the Editor:

How comatose is the American public? Apparently comatose enough to pay $7 to see a movie in a theater, and then let those jerks waste our valuable time showing us commercials!

I don't pay $7 at a movie theater to see insurance commercials, jean commercials or perfume commercials!

Wake up, America! Let's not allow commercials into our movie theaters! You are paying to see an advertisement-free presentation. We deserve to get what we pay for, not tricked into watching TV-type brainwashing. Unplug from the commercial matrix and FREE YOUR MIND from corporate control!

How about a boycott? The power (and the money) is in your hands!

Consider telling the theater manager about your disgust every time you see a commercial in a movie theater. At the very least, yell out your opinion while the commercial is being shown. Maybe you'll wake somebody up!

After all, you'll only be interrupting a commercial, instead of being interrupted by one.

The movie industry cannot enforce its "SILENCE PLEASE" policy on this issue!

-- Curtis Winwood
Colorado Springs

Opposed to Amendment 24

To the Editor:

There is no doubt that growth has created some unpleasant experiences for Coloradoans. However, the opportunities and benefits of growth exceed the growing pains currently felt by everyone. The proposed amendment, which adds eight pages to the state's constitution, will prolong the growing pains and impair the ability of local governments to address their specific needs. Along with impairing the ability of local governments to control growth, it will nullify existing local planning and zoning ordinances. Property rights losses will create various takings cases against localities and cities will suffer a massive financial liability that would be better spent on infrastructure needs. Removing property owners' rights will impose an extreme cost for the taxpayer.

Amendment 24 will also produce much more crowding due to the increased population density required by "infill" development. Roads will become even more packed and schools will struggle to keep up with the demand of the community. Taxes will have to go up not only to pay for increased litigation, but also to pay for increased needs in education and transportation. Communities with increased population densities experience higher housing costs and the supply of affordable housing decreases. Our own children will have to move out of the state because there will not be an affordable place for them to live nor will there be jobs because of the impact this amendment will have on the economy.

The economic base cannot grow; in fact, it will constrict under this extreme measure. The Intels of the world will disregard Colorado as a place to expand and relocate human capital because of the inability to offer homes, especially affordable homes, for their workforce. Even the military bases, which we have fought to protect, could possibly look elsewhere for an area offering their troops more affordable living conditions.

Growth is a legitimate problem but stopping growth is a faulty solution. Passing this amendment is wrong for Colorado and is wrong for future generations. "Smart Growth" is a more beneficial solution.

-- Michael Jiminez
Colorado Springs

Our piece of the sky

To the Editor:

I am shocked and concerned about the stated goals and intentions of the U.S. Space Command at Peterson Airforce Base located here in Colorado Springs.

My family and I recently moved to the Springs from Wisconsin. In an effort to get to know the area, I read the Space Command's material stating that it is committed to "dominate the space dimension of military operations to protect U.S. national interests and investments." The Space Command's brightly colored pamphlets show numerous new and in-process weapon systems including a laser in space beaming onto Earth, destroying its target.

Missing from these slick pictures are the countless human lives that would fall victim to anonymous, technological killers. The pictures do not show the billions of our tax dollars spent on weapons that could be used for social and educational programs. The costs of the Space Command work is of particular concern in light of the fact that, according to the Center for Defense Information, the United States spends nearly 20 times as much on its military as the combined seven countries the Pentagon considers our adversaries. The United States already has over 6,000 nuclear weapons capable of destroying the Earth several times over. We do not need more weapons, we need fewer.

The United States does not have the right to dominate space and to take the entire globe as its empire in a modern iteration of colonialism. We must ask whose interests and investments is the Space Command really trying to protect? It seems clear that it is the interests and investments of the powerful and wealthy few.

In November 1999, a U.N. General Assembly was held concerning global uses of space. All 134 countries of the world, including our closest allies, cast a unified vote to maintain space for peaceful purposes. Only the U.S. and Israel abstained from this historical vote. The Space Command's stated goals violate international law and undermine the milestone documents of the Outer Space Treaty (1967) and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1972) with their inspirational commitments to "peaceful uses of space" and "space as the common heritage of all humankind."

I am surprised that Colorado Springs, a city known as a stronghold of Christian organizations, does not raise a public outcry over the Space Command's goals of global domination which are so contrary to Christian ethics.

-- Tom Benevento
Colorado Springs


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