The high road

Congratulations to the Indy for the awards you've won, and hats off to you, too, for recognizing in last week's issue the awards the Gazette won as well. I don't recall seeing them mention you folks when they published their self-congratulatory article. So, nice touch on your part for taking the high road.

Speaking of that "other" paper, I am now a former subscriber. I felt bad about dropping the hometown rag until I got my renewal notice from the Denver Post. They are gonna charge me $38 for a two-year subscription. I went to the Gazette to see if they would match and as of yet have not heard from anyone there. Go figure.

Finally, I enjoyed your article last week on 101 things to do this summer, especially number 100. Now if a guy could only find a comely, willing female hiking (wink, wink) partner.

-- T.J. Conway

Colorado Springs

Heading home

Totally agree with what, I believe, the author is saying in the cover story in the May 12 issue about the North Nevada Avenue businesses that are going to be displaced. Development has to give way to tradition somewhere. I have been in Colorado Springs since the summer of 1991 and do not like the way things look now and where I see them going tomorrow.

I recently retired and will soon have no ties, family or financial, to the Springs. I will be headed to a small (original home) town in northern Wisconsin where a property owner still owns his great-grandparents' land and does not have worry about his grandchild owning it 20 years from now. I am not going to miss the bullcrap that comes with a big city!

-- Roger Robertson

Colorado Springs

The mean bull story

I must write and express my views on what took place on May 10 concerning the slaughtering of innocent buffalos.

So many times I've wanted to write to the Gazette and the Independent on matters that take place in this town, but I was told the Gazette only prints certain editorials (to their liking). Thank God for your paper.

I don't care what the Colorado Springs Police Department says about what went on, or the "line" the buffalos were not supposed to cross. How in the hell does a buffalo know about a "line" they're not supposed to cross?!

Now, mind you, I realize I was not there and did not see the situation, but buffalos, or any animal that is confined and finds a place to get through, are going to get out. My father raised many head of cattle and bulls (mean bulls, I might add), and he got aggravated and angry at them but never did he come back to the house and get his high- powered rifle and pistol and blow them away. I remember a few times helping my father and mother and brother get the cows back in the lot and through the gate and back to the fields.

No animal was injured, let alone shot, and we definitely had some mean bulls that you could not get around, but that's the way they are. Excuse me if I've gotten off subject a bit. I'm a native Kentuckian and this would never have happened back there.

Thumbs down (way down) to the CSPD on this situation. So sad. What happens if six or seven bald eagles land on private property somewhere in this screwy town? Get ready coppers -- it'll be time to start blasting again.

-- Mae Murphy

Colorado Springs

Parallel universes

I sure get smarter reading The Independent. Lately I've even been learning about quantum physics from your paper. Alternate universes, after all, are the only logical explanation for some of your coverage.

For instance, in my universe, when 700 protesters from a civil disobedience group show up at a large company with the publicly stated intent of disrupting business as much as possible, the company closes its facilities to visitors and asks the protesters not to trespass. In my universe, it's the only sensible way to protect property, employees and protesters alike.

In your universe, Focus on the Family closed its doors to visitors because it couldn't stand the thought of gays on the premises.

In my universe, Mel White asked James Dobson to discuss issues in public on a day he knew Dobson would not be in town. Focus offered an alternate venue for the debate, which Soulforce declined. Focus held the debate anyway, sending people to speak with representatives of other pro-gay groups at a local church.

In your universe, Mel White got a cover story. And the debate -- which was attended by hundreds of people and was covered by the Gazette and all local newscasts -- never happened at all.

(After all, if Focus on the Family can't stand the thought of gays on the premises, they certainly wouldn't send employees out to engage in debate with gays in public, would it? Therefore the debate never happened.)

You're entitled to your opinions, of course -- and they show up loud and clear. But you do neither yourself nor your readers any favors when you don't even try to present a balanced picture of the events you cover (or ignore, as the case may be).

People turn to papers like yours for information to help them make decisions about important issues like gay marriage. In your rush to demonize people you disagree with, you trivialize the issue by failing to describe it completely or accurately.

What's the matter -- afraid to give out too much real information for fear people might make informed decisions?

-- Greg Hartman

Colorado Springs

Living dangerously

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to respond to Paul McCusker's letter printed in the May 5 Independent.

It would be most effective if Mr. McCusker would check his facts before making statements that have no realistic basis. For example, he states that the Rev. Mel White "continues to advocate a lifestyle that kills."

When will people finally understand that my sexual orientation is no more a "lifestyle" than it is a "choice?" I would like to ask Mr. McCusker, Dr. Dobson and others who believe that I made a conscious choice regarding my sexual preference: How old were you when you made the conscious choice to be heterosexual? Like you, I had no choice whatsoever in the matter of my sexual orientation. I knew from my earliest years that I was "different."

Furthermore, my sexual orientation is not a lifestyle. You choose a lifestyle. As I previously stated, I had no choice in my sexual preference just as anyone else has a choice in his or hers.

Regarding Mr. McCusker's statement that this "lifestyle" kills, unfortunately, every human being is accorded a time to live and a time to die. The only time a "lifestyle" plays a role in one's mortality is when that lifestyle includes one of drug use, poor life choices, etc. Everyone, including gays, straights, bisexuals and transgendered, will at one time in his or her life make a poor choice. Homosexuals by no means corner the market on living dangerously.

It saddens me that so many people feel they have a right and privilege to what I do in the privacy of my home and bedroom. I do not recall inviting Mr. McCusker, Dr. Dobson or any other narrow-minded bigot into my bedroom. Please stay out.

-- Brian Lund

Colorado Springs

Clamoring for war

Like President Bush holding hands with the very Saudi leaders who hold our energy dependence in their hands, James Dobson supports the war by saying that the government has a "moral obligation" to stop evil and tyranny. While Dr. Dobson expresses support for the troops by calling our nation to prayer, he has never said it is the duty of able-bodied Americans to join our forces in this desperate fight: He has not called on our youth to join the military.

In April, the Army missed its recruiting goal for the third month in a row, short by 42 percent off its target. Dobson's "support" is morally bankrupt: He supports the political aims of the leaders, the strategic aims of attacking Islam, yet he ignores the families of those in combat, left to fight this war on their own. He ignores the hypocrisy of clamoring for war, while remaining silent about those who support our troops only with little yellow stickers on their trucks.

I hate to be crude, but I dare say the military needs more able bodies than prayers.

-- Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

The arrogance of ignorance

George W. Bush was a hard drinkin', tobacco chewin', dope smokin', oil drillin' Texan with a DUI to his credit. He had become an embarrassment to his family -- his mama had stopped speakin' to him. Then, at age 41, he found Jesus and cleaned up his act. Just 14 years later, he became president of the United States of America and embarked upon a "divine calling" to reshape the face of the Middle East -- he didn't know Slovakia from Slovenia.

History has taught us nothing. Custer took 250 troops into Montana in 1876 to proselytize 4,000 Indians to his point of view. Visit the Little Big Horn Battlefield and get a feel for what happens when the arrogance of ignorance trumps good sense.

Now we have 135,00 troops deployed to Iraq to take religion out of government while here at home our fundamentalist friends find new impetus in the president's (born-again) zeal and labor earnestly to Christianize the halls of all our public institutions. That creates a problem -- the inherent basis for problem solving, within our system, is lost when we must negotiate with those who persist in living before a "higher law." We're finding that out (at great expense) as we hope to democratize and secularize the governing authority of a culture sworn to uphold the tenets of 1,400 years of Islamic law.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has twice rendered his resignation showing the perplexity of our situation in Iraq; it has twice been rejected.

The next four years will tell us whether misplaced hubris, miscalculation and naivet have seriously imperiled our standing among nations.

-- Harlan E. Nimrod

Colorado Springs

Laughable Laura

It is laughable and at the same time tragic that while Mrs. Bush is pushing for "women's rights" in the Middle East, her husband is systematically destroying the rights of the women in this country.

-- Natalie Schlabaugh

Colorado Springs

Straight up

Once again, the Democrat Party has filibustered President Bush's judicial nominees, some for as long as four years! Ridiculous! They are trying to win this time even though the electorate soundly defeated them. We demand a straight-up vote on judgeships!

-- Michael McCauley

Colorado Springs

95 percent no chickenfeed

The Republicans are whining about how mean the Democrats are because "only" 95 percent of Bush's judicial nominations have been approved -- the most of any recent president. And so they are willing to overturn tradition and the historic checks and balances that have served us so well.

But consider this. These are lifetime appointments -- beyond the power of any future president or any future Congress to remove from office. Shouldn't such a lifetime appointee have broad appeal across the entire political spectrum?

Shouldn't such a judge have sufficient widespread support that 60 votes out of 100 in the Senate are easily obtainable? If not, get another candidate. The president knows that he can easily get the up-or-down votes he wants simply by submitting names that are in the political mainstream, not narrow-minded extremists.

-- James J. Amato

Woodland Park


A news story in last week's edition, "Coal plants have mercury risin'," miscalculated the increase of mercury emissions in El Paso County between 2002 and 2003 at 79 percent. The actual percentage of change was 25 percent. The Independent regrets the error.


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