In the cave

I usually enjoy your newspaper but almost went through the roof when I read your Indy Oscar picks. (Film, March 20, 2003) The category that upset me the most was in the "couldn't care less about" section, aka Best Song. Knowing that U2 was up for an Oscar in that group, I took great offense when your writers stated that the category should be abolished since the songs usually serve to promote the careers of washed-up, middle-aged rockers.

Evidently John Dicker and Kathryn Eastburn have been living in a cave for quite some time. They must have missed the fact that U2 won a Golden Globe in January, picked up four Grammys in 2002, played at the 2002 Superbowl half-time, embarked on a huge tour beginning in 2001, while picking up three more Grammys. On a personal note, Bono received the 2003 Humanitarian award, is noted for his work to cancel Third World debt, and is up for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize. If these guys are considered washed up, I would be interested to see what your writers consider viable rock stars.

-- Patty Bailey

Colorado Springs

Eastburn responds: The point I wanted to make (John Dicker's off the hook on this one) was that the songs nominated usually have nothing to do with the film and are merely vehicles to sell records. As we predicted and hoped, Eminem took the award and rightly so -- the music nominated was intrinsic to the film. U2's recent acclaim and awards aside, "The Hands That Built America" was merely one of Gangs of New York's many wrong, commercial turns.

Armchair quarterbacks

I am always amused by spewings such as John Hazlehurst's "Imagine world dominance" (Outsider, March 20-26), where the author, no matter where they fall on the political spectrum, goes on and on about the faults and shortcomings of the article's subject(s). They state with confidence all that is wrong yet rarely, if ever, cite any credible solutions to the problem.

Mr. Hazlehurst seems to believe that nuclear weapons in the hands of many (I would argue most) of the world's regimes are dangerous and he raises the dilemma: "Given that diplomacy can only slow, not prevent, the acquisition of nukes by marginal states, what do you do?" He goes on to fault the Bush administration approach to this dilemma but fails to offer a single alternative.

Had Israel not bombed Iraq's nuclear program in the early '80s, it is believed that Iraq would have had a nuclear weapon within the year. Had Saddam been armed with nuclear weapons when it invaded Kuwait a decade later, wouldn't the American (and the U.N.) approach have been different? Saddam would likely still be in Kuwait if he had nuclear arms to support his claims. Is it difficult to imagine the Middle East being an even more dangerous and unstable situation than it is now?

When the time comes that a chemical, biological or nuclear attack on the United States actually occurs, the media will be full of voices from critics like Mr. Hazlehurst blasting our blundering, clumsy leaders for allowing it to happen

It does not take any intelligence, experience or education to be a critic. Thankfully our American system rewards those who solve problems, take risks and create, rather than those who like to sit on the sidelines and point out all the problems. Although, I am also thankful that Americans are able to express their opinions no matter how worthless to the improvement of our society.

I do apologize for my criticism.

-- Jonathan Williams

Colorado Springs

The right is right

I was expecting an emotional and very hysterical response to my letter of the previous week ("The Lunatic Left," March 13-19) and I was not disappointed. I would like to briefly respond to the letter from Phil Kenny and also to Phil Stahl (Letters, March 20-26).

First, Mr Kenny, I got none of my philosophy from talk shows. I don't listen to any of them more than 10 minutes a week (sometimes on my way to work) and I most certainly do not care for Rush Limbaugh. He is too much in love with himself to be taken seriously, in my humble opinion. Mr Kenny complains that I use "tedious buzzwords " then does the same. I guess if one agrees with you, then the words you use are cogent and brilliant. If you use words that you don't like, then they become " buzzwords."

As for Mr Stahl and his letter, well, it speaks for itself. Let's see if the left can be accused of using " buzzwords." Stahl peppered his hysterical response with several words I would consider typical of the radical left. He used "right wingnut's draft screeds," "Ditto-head," (whatever that is), "blather on," "Christianoid zealots," "free-market fundamentalists," "Ditto-head right," and "Bible-pounding ilk."

I love it when I hit a nerve. As for advocating "real free speech and dissent," just try going on to a college campus and express, for example, the opinion that abortion is the modern-day version of child sacrifice or say that you think that the "gay lifestyle" is abnormal and depraved and you would probably be expelled or forced into some kind of "sensitivity training."

I thank the Independent for publishing my letter and this response and suffice it to say I disagree with the politics of the left and they disagree with me. When all is said and done, it doesn't matter whether something I say is "just my opinion." What matters is, is that opinion true or not? Of course, most college students are taught that there is no such thing as absolute truth -- and they believe it absolutely.

-- Don Fahrenkrug

Colorado Springs

Strange bedfellows

Re: The Independent's March 13 endorsements for mayor and City Council: A doctor mayor, lawyers and business executives.

All rich people as usual.

Doctors are for gays, their creed is to keep a human vegetable alive. When the city has one gay get AIDS [sic], this will bankrupt the city. If I want to die with dignity, the doctor will not let me die for job security to raise my already high insurance premiums.

Lawyers will mess up our ballot language even worse. I can't read or understand what I am voting on the way it is now, so when the Council is all lawyers and wealthy business owners as usual, us non-lawyer educated voters will become less than the few voting now.

I used to think the Independent was all right, however, I now see you don't use or have any common sense when it comes time to make decisions to satisfy the blue collar that does all the physical work for you to do your job, low-wage labor heroes that keep you alive, fed and clothed. Without food and clothes producers, you would not stay alive very long, but give these basic necessity heroes no credit.

You are just as corrupt as Congress and the illegal president.

-- Ken Kretzschmar

Colorado Springs

Mr. Kretzschmar is a candidate for mayor of Colorado Springs.

Yum, yum

Loved the 2003 Dining Guide (March 6-12). I was surprised that Nicky's at the Vineyard was not listed. If you do not know of the place, they have a rustic, quaint site with high quality cuisine. However, your guide will have a place in my home as an easy weekend dining reference.

There are many wonderful places in Colorado Springs.

-- Kem Rothe

Colorado Springs

The Independent's 2003 Dining Guide included abbreviated versions of all the restaurant reviews that were published in our pages in 2002. Nicky's at the Vineyard was reviewed in 2003 and will appear in next year's guide.

Are we worthy?

I'm not quite sure of the point to Peter Dunn's inchoate ramblings apropos his satisfaction with his short haircut (Your Turn, March 6-12). I guess he no longer soils his big boy pants as well. But when yet another waxhead seems to delight in the demise of our orchestra, I have to wonder what motivates such hostility toward those of us who strive to rise above a merely mediocre existence that surely is Mr. Dunn's lot in life.

Although I'm sure my career as an internationally known composer, performer and recording artist pales in the lambent glow of his avocation of medical transcription student, I feel emboldened to ask him what the heck is he smoking from his xeriscaped garden that enables him to enjoy a ballet performance over the radio?

No, Mr. Dunn, radio has not rendered live performance obsolete. Radio is nothing more than a delivery system for cynically marketed, disposable consumer product. Your ignorance makes clear that you don't support or attend artistic events. That's fine, as the audience for a higher artistic expression has always been small. We artists recognize that folks like you are lost to a deeper human experience.

However, you are correct in stating that this town doesn't "need" an orchestra. Sadly, the more trenchant observation may be that perhaps this town doesn't deserve an orchestra.

-- Tom Taylor

Colorado Springs

Do the math

I read in the Early Bird recently that approximately 54 allegations of rape/sexual assault have been reported at the Air Force Academy over the last 10 years. During this same period, approximately 1,500 females have attended the Academy. A little quick math shows that approximately 4 percent of the women who have attended the Academy in the last 10 years have been raped/sexually assaulted.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines an epidemic as a malady affecting 2 percent of a given population over the course of one year. For the past 10 years, the Academy has doubled the CDC's criteria for an epidemic but has clearly not been interested. Thank goodness I'm not only in the Army, but an OCS grad.

-- Mark Locken

Via the Internet


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