One big board

Regarding the Cultural Diversity Advisory Board ("Cold shoulder," News, May 11): As long as every group wants to be represented, shouldn't pedophiles and child molesters be allowed a voice in government? How about the Ku Klux Klan? Muslim terrorists are being excluded from federal government, but shouldn't Colorado Springs let them take part in local government? Even graffiti artists have a right to contribute to the community.

Why not dedicate a seat on Council to inmates of local, county and state prisons? After all, these persons have governments heavily intruding on their lives. They should have a say in how laws that affect their lives are enacted.

Don Smith

Upper Kedron, Queensland, Australia

Have mercy

Diversity, as a concept of social change, fails on its own merits. It creates differences by its magnified focus upon them. Carried to its logical end, it isthe road to chaos, in that it facilitates constant change by infusion of every imaginable possibility. Society cannot function coherently without standards and definitions.

If Americans think we have trouble now, wait until we officially categorize ourselves into countless cultures, languages, religions, political parties and preferences for sexual pleasure. Lord, have mercy upon us then.

Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

Powder keg

In case Mayor Rivera and City Council don't already know it, they happen to be sitting on a great big political powder keg. And every time they make threats to shut down any kind of attempt at using their official authority to proactively reckon with the cogent and very difficult diversity issues in this city, they are giving off the equivalent of very pretty-looking but dangerous sparks, given their precarious situation.

It reminds me of back when I was young, during the late '60s phase of the Civil Rights Movement. Though it was apparent that the times were indeed changing, and that nothing could stop it, certain municipalities refused to deal with it. Their city councils turned an uncompassionately deaf ear to the already disenfranchised segments of their citizenry and refused to give these folks a voice in their own civil or economic futures.

To City Council, I say this:

Hiding your heads in the sand or screening out certain people from the Banqueting Table Politic at City Hall is definitely not the answer. Being noncommittal to taking valiant and official steps for changing this city's now-internationally known reputation as a citadel of intolerance, isn't right, either. I urge you to rise wisely to the occasion at hand, lest one day some dark chapter of history be repeated here! Politicians routinely bank on their constituents having short memories. But I assure you, we will not forget it this time, if you turn a deaf ear here and now.

There will indeed be hell to pay, at least come next election time!

Nancy-Jo Morris

Colorado Springs

History lesson

I always get amused (and often simultaneously enraged) at the Bush supporters who yelp whenever a true patriot like Scott Ritter exposes them and their support of the Nazi-style Iraq occupation as a legit "war" ("They are everywhere," Letters, May 18).

What is most galling is their libel of a former Marine like Scott Ritter as a "Jane Fonda" type. These Bush worshippers insinuate that leaving Iraq is "appeasement" when, in fact, it is mitigating an unconscionable and unpardonable war crime.

May I remind Slocum and his ilk of the Sixth Article of the Principles of International Law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the Judgment of the Tribunal, which were adopted by the International Law Commission of the United Nations in 1950?

"Article 6: The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law: (a) Crimes against peace: namely, planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances, or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the foregoing."

By invading and subjugating Iraq a sovereign state that had no link to the perpetrators of 9-11 the Bush neocons became no better than the Nazis when they invaded and subjugated Poland in 1939 (also under the guise of "stopping terrorists," as per a Hitler radio speech in October 1939).

Clearly, the way out of the crime is to halt the bludgeoning and leave. Besides, no occupier in modern history has ever succeeded when a firm resistance movement is set against them.

Phil Stahl

Colorado Springs

The other side

I smack my literary lips when the Indy publishes letters from those likethe warnik, Duane C. Slocum ("They are everywhere"). I'd love to dissect every comment in Slocum's letter, but it's really not worth my effort, nor the readers' time.

Slocum railed against the Indy's article about Scott Ritter without commentingon what the article said. Clever, indeed. He did mention George Washington, Pearl Harbor, World War II and Woodrow Wilson in an flawed effort to demean Ritter, butchose not to tell us that Bush was wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and Ritter was right, which I think is a pretty big deal.

At long last, most Americans have caught on to the shady, seedy, slimy, inept, arrogant and lying ways of the Bush administration, and thoselike Slocum who support it. I hope the Indy keeps printing letters like Slocum's because it show's the other side's views a side this peacenikand most of America disagrees with.

Phil Kenny

Colorado Springs

The other other side

You have been printing many letters lately from the most right-wing voices in our community. Sometimes it seems those of us on the other side can't get a wordin edgewise. I applaud your tolerance of those who are so intolerant of us. But don't forget that you are one of few in our local media who give us a voice.

When the right is beating you up and complaining you're not fair, you could remind them they have many more voices on their side: Mayor Rivera, Pastor Ted, Mullah Dobson, Doctor Micelli; they have the Gazette; they have KVOR with Rush, Hannity, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly; they have Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt and more on Hot Talk 1460.There's no shortage of conservative, right-wing, inflammatory and less-than-honest (see Bill O'Reilly)opinions to make their case. In my opinion, it's too much, but I'm willingto let the free market do its magic.

What do we have? The Independent. I hope you don't ever forget it.

Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

Thanks, Councilor

One recent morning, on the same day that my dear son, Ken R. Hansen, left Colorado Springs for Fort Benning, Ga., to begin his career as an enlisted Army soldier, I happened to run into our newest City Councilman, Bernie Herpin, just outside City Hall.

I had never had the opportunity of meeting Councilman Herpin before, nor had I ever had the opportunity to express my views/opinions with him.

I couldn't have been more impressed with Mr. Herpin. When the councilman learned that my son had left Colorado Springs for basic training at Fort Benning that very morning, he took off a pin from his suit coat lapel and pinned it on my coat lapel. As he did so, he explained that the pin is called a "Service Flag."

It is a small square pin with a white background, a red border on the outside of the pin, containing a blue star inside in the center of the pin. The blue star indicates that I have a family member serving in our nation's military during a time of war or conflict. Mr. Herpin had been wearing the pin in honor and in support of his son-in-law who is currently serving in the U.S. Navy, but decided on the spot that I should have that pin because of my son's "new" enlistment in the U.S. Army.

The pin means a great deal to me, and always will. But, the best part of that "chance" meeting with our city's newest City Council member was that I had the opportunity to see and learn for myself the quality of people this city has "serving" in the public sector.

I want to publicly thank City Councilman Bernie Herpin for his generous and thoughtful gift.

Addy M. Hansen

Colorado Springs

Ritter's promise

Bill Ritter, in his acceptance speech for the Democratic Party's nomination for governor, stated that he would return funding to Planned Parenthood that Gov. Bill Owens took away. This is wrong on several points.

First and foremost, the people of the state of Colorado removed funding from Planned Parenthood; not the governor. The people in Colorado voted twice that there would be no state funding of abortion, directly or indirectly. Gov. Romer at the time ignored the will of the people and continued to fund Planned Parenthood, which is a direct violation of Colorado's Constitution.

Gov. Owens, when he first took office after pledging to uphold the Constitution, removed funding of Planned Parenthood as his duty to uphold the will of the people who added this to the state Constitution. This caused a rift in Planned Parenthood and other anti-life circles like NOW, and NARAL. There were ready to sue the state and the governor to return funding. Yet, they had to acknowledge that Gov. Owens was right and following the will of the people of Colorado. Instead, they created a second Planned Parenthood organization, supposedly completely separate from the other Planned Parenthood, which is the No. 1 provider of abortion in our state.

I question the veracity of this so-called second Planned Parenthood. Yet, they convinced the state that they are indeed different from the abortion-performing Planned Parenthood, and they are continuing to get state funding from this non-abortion wing. This second wing and/or organization was created for the sole purpose of continuing to receive state funds.

Thus, Planned Parenthood continues to get state funding. How is Bill Ritter going to restore money that the state is already doling out? And why would anyone in their acceptance speech for governor promise to violate the will of the people of the state and return funding to a group that supports abortion? This would be a direct violation of the Constitution he is sworn to uphold.

Fr. Bill Carmody

Respect Life Director

Diocese of Colorado Springs

Call the cops

We see and hear the warning signs everywhere.Yet some of us choose to ignore them altogether. Well, I'm not one of them, and I'm starting a self-proclaimed vigilante group to put a stop to the behaviors that threaten us all. I hope others will join me.

Today, as I was driving down I-25 from Monument to Colorado Springs, the man driving the pickup truck in front of me threw his cigarette out his window.Doesn't he know we are in an extreme fire danger season?Well, to help him remember that fact, I reported him to the Highway Patrol by dialing *277, and gave the cops his license plate number and make of vehicle.

From now on, if I see anyone throw a cigarette out of a moving or stationary vehicle, I will report them to the police.It's time we take this matter into our own hands and prevent homes, livestock, wildlife, wildlands, etc., from going up in smoke, all because someone is too careless to use their ashtray.

Join me: Call the cops on them when they throw a cigarette out the window, or drop one on the ground while out hiking, or in any other way risk a wildfire that could devastate so many.

Mark McKenzie

Colorado Springs


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