Citizen Schuck responds

To the Editor:

It may be as big a surprise for you to receive this letter as it is for me to send it. Cara DeGette's profile of me in your February 1 edition was accurate, incisive and impartial. Thank you.

When Cara called asking for an interview, her request was rejected out of hand. Having been burned too many times, my reflex was to be skeptical. She told me that she understood but assured me that she would be fair. She was.

Although many of my statements could have been more clearly articulated, there is one that definitely needs clarification. My initial opposition to the hiring of Norm Ridder as Superintendent of District 11 has been proven to be wrong. He has demonstrated visionary, courageous and extremely effective leadership and my current opinion is that District 11 could not be in better hands. While my preference would have been to go "outside of the box" and have a proven CEO, not an academic, he is the exception who makes the rule. Hopefully, it will not be his kiss of death for me to publicly sing his praises and to acknowledge and celebrate the good judgment of all those who supported his selection.

Thank you again for presenting my positions in such a fair and professional way. Hopefully those who disagree with them will hold me accountable, not the Independent nor Cara DeGette.

-- Steve Schuck
Colorado Springs

A model citizen

To the Editor:

I want to thank the Independent for reminding me why I didn't want Steve Schuck for governor ("Citizen Schuck," Feb. 1). Let's see, the "teachers' union," which worked to give teachers due-process rights, gender equity, job respect and higher pay is bad because it is focused on the teachers' "self interest," not education. Maybe so, but wasn't his "self interest" behind carpeting the Front Range in strip housing and malls, and wasn't he the one rubbing elbows with Neil Bush and others who brought us the savings and loan scam?

OK, so the guy is a genius because he can go $10 million dollars in debt, due to the evil intrusion of the government, and through only hard work, poor taste, a willingness to exploit our environment and the bankrolling of his billionaire crony Bill Daniels, resurrect himself and his empire. "Why can't all of you learn from this and become millionaires as well?" seems to be his challenge.

So now he wants to bring the same style of selfless leadership and foresight to education. And how is he going to do it? Parents and students must agree to take part in schools as he requires, and as they do he will obtain the bankrolling of more of his friends as well as dumping his own fortune into these schools. What a genius! Why didn't the public school system think of that? This, and finding a handful of teachers who will work on the margin, is obviously the prescription that society needs to solve its educational woes.

Mr. Schuck, there is a reason that even your own party didn't want you as governor and that District 11 won't let you be superintendent even if you are willing to work for free. America is still a place where a demagogue can become rich, but the public sector requires just the kind of democratic interchange that men like yourself abhor when they complain of government interference in their businesses. The public expects rights to be respected, tax dollars to be spent cautiously and fairly, and no one to be left behind.

--Jonathan H. Reilly
Colorado Springs

Cheers to diversity of opinion

To the Editor:

I got a call yesterday, January 30, from a man who said he had seen my business ad for Full Figure Resale Shop in the Independent and did I know what things your paper printed? I told him, yes, I was perfectly aware of what the paper printed. He told me, OK, thank you, and hung up.

The more I thought about it the angrier I got, so I hit *69 and found out he had blocked his call. Then I was really mad! Stewed about it all night.

This morning I've had an epiphany. He has every right not to like what's printed and has the right to say so. Just as I have the right to advertise, read, or not read any paper I want.

I don't always agree with the Independent or the Gazette, but the different viewpoints always leave me with food for thought.

To the unidentified caller I have to say, "Viva la difference!"

--Janna Morris
Colorado Springs

Hello, people, wake up!

To the Editor:

I read the Independent with great pleasure every week. Last Saturday, when I picked up that week's copy, I did what I usually do: start reading.

I know that if your article on the Army of God ("Straight Shooters," Feb.8) upset me as much as it did, then there are going to be many others out here in turmoil also. To speak of God in the same sentence as violence and to say that God hates and advocates killing for any reason, let alone the many reasons that this organization uses, is obscene to say the least.

After I read the article over several times and shared it with my friends I calmed down enough to realize that you had a purpose in putting this kind of filth on the front page. Hello, people, wake up! We really did screw up major this year in our total indifference on the political scene and these kind of organizations are our burden to bear for the next four years. It brought up great fear and anger for me that these people believe what they preach and by their very ability to motivate their followers, have much more power now than in any time in the past.

They are teaching their children that God wants violence toward anyone different. I have read the Bible cover to cover in my lifetime and nowhere can I remember God telling me to go out and kill those different than me. I remember "Thou shalt not kill" and "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I remember Jesus talking of love and kindness to all, including your enemies.

There is a great sickness in our country and it is not the doctors who perform abortions nor the gay community, to which I am proud to belong. It is the people who have forgotten the word or decided to interpret it to their own sick intentions because of their own inability to live with their lot in life. I intend to show this article to as many people as I can in order to do my part in reminding people that we chose this future by our indifference and disbelief that things can get bad, very bad, in our lifetime, should we let it.

-- Jill M. Starkey

Being difficult

To the Editor:

The letters in this week's Indy (Feb. 8) clearly illustrate the difference between the folks in this town who consider themselves liberals and those who consider themselves conservatives. I noticed that at least half the Indy's "liberal" editorial space was dedicated to conservatives who obviously despise liberals. Imagine the reverse in the other Colorado Springs paper! In my two years of perusing that paper's editorial page, which proudly proclaims the superiority of the Judeo Christian mythos, I have yet to see even a moderately liberal viewpoint represented.

Conservatives are proud when they can keep views they can't abide from wide dispersion, as witnessed by the letter from one David Harris, who proclaims his Ph.D. credentials. Dr. Harris boasts about calling King Soopers to thank them for suppressing views he disagrees with. Interestingly, his justification is the fact that gay men have a higher rate of AIDS than any other group. Using this logic one might assume that conservative views ought to be suppressed by virtue of the fact that this rate is also lowest for lesbians, but apparently Dr. Dave, for one, doesn't see it that way. When one's views are so difficult to defend, is it any wonder that fear of the opposite point of view might be pervasive?

The letter from Roland Hoff holds out property rights as inviolate when applied to the protection of the environment by "extreme environmentalists" (who apparently are, without exception, out to cause us all to freeze to death in the dark), equating their actions with "theft," yet one wonders if Mr. Hoff has any inclinations towards providing reparations to the many indigenous peoples, like Native Americans, whose land has been, and is being, stolen in a more literal way. I'm guessing not. Like most conservatives he no doubt feels that these folks should just "get over it." You see, there is good "theft," and then again there is bad "theft" and it is only the good type that conservatives engage in.

It is an ironic contrast that most liberals welcome all viewpoints while so many conservatives seem incapable of honest differences of opinion, considering that, to even mainstream conservative commentators, liberals are not merely wrong, they're also sinister and evil. Looking out for people is apparently a dangerous proposition these days and must be suppressed. Unless you happen to be looking out for yourself.

-- Michael J. Harris
Colorado Springs


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