Spin around

To the Editor:

I am challenging Ellen Marshall's article ("Off to a bad start," Your Turn, Feb. 1) regarding Bush's decision to disallow federal funds for international organizations that provide abortion. I can understand Ms. Marshall's distaste for the decision given her political ideology and the office she previously held in the Clinton administration. Still, if she must disagree, the least she can do is provide more than inaccurate spin for her support.

Foundationally Ms. Marshall spins the issue at hand as "family planning and reproductive health services." Her opponents simply call it abortion, and consider as inviolable truth that the death of the fetus is the death of a human life.

We should also keep in mind that although Ms. Marshall attempts to couch her thesis in the mantle of free speech, nothing in Bush's action stops any organization from saying or doing whatever it wants. The order merely insists that certain actions not be done on the USA's dollar. Constitutional freedoms do not mandate federal funding. Organizations could find other entities that share their vision.

Ms. Marshall also considers her Democratic values as being "inviolable truths," yet as shown above, opposing beliefs are equally held as inviolable. To be fair, a common liberal argument against most any moral stand is that truth is relative, so I'm surprised to see liberal ideology suddenly claiming the concept of inviolability as its own.

Finally I was appalled to see Ms. Marshall draw the Hippocratic oath into her argument. Have we forgotten that the oath calls the physician not to "produce abortion"? Using the oath as a pro-choice argument is Hippocratic hypocrisy!

Please, if we are to properly exchange political discourse, we will be far more successful if we aim for accuracy and logical consistency.

--Joe Oppelt
Colorado Springs

Who's got mine?

To the Editor:

You ran an article in your Jan. 25 issue titled "The Three Horsemen of the Environmental Apocalypse." It was remarkable for its listing of all the transgressions of Gale Norton, Spencer Abraham and Don Evans, all Bush Cabinet nominees. It accused them of favoring industrial pollution, urban sprawl, developer compensation, access to cheap water, a taxpayer-funded Bronco Stadium, a taxpayer-funded Denver International Airport, oil drilling, suburban utility vehicles, removal of the gasoline tax, removal of fuel efficiency limits, dislike of renewal energy sources and, finally, of being pro-abortion. The author leaves us only to wonder at their collective views on dental hygiene, the Orgon box and the benefits of roughage in the diet.

All this led me to think about the fourth horseman of the environmental apocalypse. I see a horse sickly green in color and its rider is called Naysayer. He lives in the mountains and the deserts of the Left Coast and he watches from a great height as homes turn cold and lights go out and factories are shuttered. But the earth is pure and the view unsullied by power plants and the Banner-tailed kangaroo rat and the Sacramento split-tail fish are safe and the voice of the desert tortoise is heard in the land. And I see Naysayer's Colorado disciple, St. John of Fielder, secure on his two-acre suburban tract, bearing a green flag with the motto "Halto Mundi!" (I have lost my Latin of 50 years ago and I cannot remember the words for "I've got mine!")

Can these bleeding-hearts never understand that it is not the people who build our homes and shops and employment centers who bear the costs of extreme environmentalism? It is instead the people who buy homes and shop in the stores and work in the employment centers who pay these costs. Can these bleeding-hearts never understand that Article V of the Bill of Rights says "...nor shall private property be taken for a public purpose without just compensation"? Do they not understand stealing?

-- Roland B. Hoff
Colorado Springs

Ode to Ritalin

To the Editor:

I would like to comment on the Jan 18 article entitled "Alternatives to Ritalin."

First, diet is not much of determinant in my case and other fellow sufferers I have known. Perhaps children are different. As an adult I have had a history and been taking Ritalin for most of the past four years. It has helped. Dietary changes have not. I have had the same symptoms even when on an extremely strict and some would say healthy diet (for two years no sugars of any form, mostly protein, CC, vegetables, low fat -- almost exactly the recommendations in the article).

Second, there are reliable methods to diagnose. The best ADHD diagnosis method, according to my D.O. PCP, is the neuropsychological evaluation. He, as my new PCP, sent me to get one, refusing to give me a Ritalin prescription despite my history. I am glad he sent me. While the all day battery of tests is expensive (health insurance covered one-third of the cost) and fatiguing, the results were worthwhile. Another benefit is another disorder showed up. Apparently ADHD and something else is very common.

Finally, while alternatives are worthwhile, and it is politically correct to bash Ritalin, sometimes Ritalin is the best treatment for ADHD and related disorders. Not only did I get an ADHD diagnosis, but the evaluation reported marked visual disability without Ritalin. In some tests one-fifth the visual performance of average. The Ritalin is exactly the right treatment as it stimulates the visual brain as well. Retests after initial dosage of Ritalin showed improvement, a few dramatic. My dosage has gone up again to see how much more improvement. The main drawback I see is that Ritalin is a federally controlled substance. This means I have to get a new prescription every 30 days with no renewals.

-- Michael Potter
Colorado Springs

Congrats to Mr. Groom

To the Editor:

I am a visiting professor from Australia and am very heartened to see the rapid proliferation of restorative justice processes in this country generally and in the state of Colorado especially. I congratulate the many dedicated people of this state, like Mr. Groom (Small Talk, Nov. 30, 2000), who are tireless in their dedication to bring about meaningful law reforms in criminal justice. May I also congratulate your paper for devoting time and space for such worthy endeavors.

-- Charles Barton

Contagious spirit

To the Editor:

What a great piece by Jim Williams ("Mountain Ingenuity," Feb. 1)! He has captured something about a lot of folks out there who never gets recognized -- geeky guys and gals who do something extraordinary just because they want to and like it!

The idea of recycling bicycles, let alone making bicycle frames, is beyond the comprehension of the majority of the Western Yuppie Colony. Why do that if you can just go buy something new -- and preferably at a trendy national chain? (Few people feel comfortable fixing anything anymore -- "just throw it away and buy a new one.")

Williams captured the spirit of a lost world -- people who can fix things and make things.

Thanks for the inspiration. Keep up the good work, Jim

-- James P. Easton
Over the Internet

Sharing freedom of expression

To the Editor:

In "an open letter," the editor and publisher of the Independent have asked readers to report to you any action they have taken regarding the refusal of King Soopers to allow the distribution of the Independent.

I have contacted the headquarters of King Soopers in Denver and complimented them on their decision. I have done so because I believe that the Independent has been continuously and irresponsibly foisting upon our community vulgarity and decadent values just because it has the freedom and support to do so; and I want supporters of such a policy, such as the Gill Foundation, to bear as much financial responsibility for it as possible.

Your editor and publisher note that, prior to the introduction of the Independent, "many viewpoints were not being heard, let alone debated in Colorado Springs" and that "especially in light of our city's national reputation for intolerance, it is critical that here in Colorado Springs we make an extra effort to support freedom of expression."

Well, here is something that the Independent might print in the interest of freedom of expression.

Homosexual males make up fewer than 2 percent of our nation's population, but, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, they make up 56 percent of the current total number of AIDS victims. An additional 5 percent are both homosexuals and drug injectors. This means that, today, almost 20 years since the AIDS epidemic was first reported, homosexuals still make up almost two out of three AIDS victims in our country.

According to the Colorado State Department of Public Health, homosexual males make up 69.1 percent of the total AIDS victims in our state; and an additional 11 percent are both homosexual and drug injectors. This means that eight out of ten AIDS victims in Colorado are homosexual.

I believe that these figures demonstrate why the homosexual lifestyle should be suppressed, rather than celebrated as it has been in the Independent.

-- David W. Harris, Ph.D.
Over the Internet

White males need not appear

To the Editor:

As a middle-aged professional woman who resides in Colorado Springs, I had an eye-opening experience when I was forced to go to court last week to answer charges on a minor traffic violation. Whether I was guilty or innocent is not the issue. However, of note, virtually all of us in attendance were treated like common criminals. In the United States of America, is it not supposed to be true that one is innocent until proven guilty?

With the exception of the judge and one middle-aged gentleman, I observed that all of the defendants in the courtroom were either women, minorities or adolescents who were accompanied by a parent or guardian. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it is highly unlikely that middle-aged professional Caucasian men never violate the traffic ordinances of the City of Colorado Springs!

I believe that the police officers in this city take the liberty of giving "street breaks" to [white] male offenders, but they feel that women and minorities have nothing better to do than spend their day in court. Interestingly, the one middle-aged gentleman in the courtroom had his charge reduced to zero points (defective headlight). Although this may have been justified based on his offense and driving history, with good reason, I am concerned about how matters were handled by the "honorable judge."

A pleasant young African-American man showed up to answer to his charges, but the police officer who issued his summons had failed to submit the appropriate paperwork. In other words, the officer didn't do his job. The judge said, "Congratulations! This is your lucky day. You're free to go for now, but if the officer submits the paperwork at a later date, you will be expected to re-appear and answer to the charges against you." This man appeared in court on the appointed date and time. Why should he be inconvenienced once again due to the incompetence and/or laziness of the police officer involved?

As a Jewish woman and the child of parents who survived the Nazi concentration camps, I admit that I may be somewhat sensitive to the issues of intolerance and prejudice. I am also aware that the world is unjust and the life is not fair. Yet, when confronted with injustice, I feel compelled to bring it to someone's attention. Otherwise, my parents will have suffered -- and my grandparents will have died -- in vain.

-- Roxana Inouye
Colorado Springs


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