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Theme songs

It's high time that presidential candidates, and other political movers and shakers, come forward with their unique political songs.

President Bill Clinton in the 1990s used his inspiring theme song, "Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)," and he won two elections with it. Democrats in the 1930s successfully used, "Happy Days Are Here Again."

So here are a few suggestions:

Hillary Clinton: "There is Nothing Like a Dame"

John McCain: "Stayin' Alive" or "We Live in Fame or Go Down in Flames"

Barack Obama: "Good Vibrations"

Ralph Nader: "Always"

Mike Huckabee: "God Only Knows"

John Edwards: "Hair"

Fred Thompson: "Gone Fishin'"

Bill Clinton (2008): "There is Nothing Like a Dame"

Ron Paul: "All by Myself"

James Dobson: "Twilight Time"

Sen. Larry Craig: "I Feel Pretty"

Douglas Bruce: "Born to Lose"

These are only modest proposals, but we do need some toe-tapping tunes in this campaign.

Larimore Nicholl
Colorado Springs

NORAD and naivet

Obviously the governmental good-ol'-boy network is alive and working well. Our leaders continue to do stupid things which damage the security of our fair country (state, county and city). Moving NORAD ("NORAD: Dja vu all over again," Between the Lines, June 26) comes to mind.

I wonder if this has anything to do with the popular attitude of "Get rich quick, then cut out (before the roof falls in)." Get in that shiny, new, four-door pickup and ... whoops! Gas station is closed.

Improbable? How improbable is $7 a gallon for gas, a nationwide truck strike, drought and forest fires in every state?

Oh, don't pay any attention to that man behind the curtain complaining about our leaders' decisions. We know what's best for you. Go back to your HD wide-screen and forget about it.

"It can't happen here."

Tom McDonald
Florence

Circular logic

A while back, City Traffic Engineering hosted an "open house," inviting area residents to Wasson High School to explain proposed changes for the intersection of Circle Drive and Constitution Avenue. The plan wasn't well laid out at the time, and those who attended brought up their concerns. The open house was a "process" to gather input.

Although no subsequent plan was ever presented, the process must have worked because modifications were made, which include a plan on how to manage the construction with Wasson students in session (an idea not well thought out in the prior plan).

The "public process" worked. The city should have never "scheduled" the work. Citizens should be applauded for participating, because the ideas and solutions recommended to correct the construction plan may have saved the city some liability and logistical problems.

Bravo to those who participated and those city staff who listened. We can only hope the project rolls out much smoother than originally planned.

My husband was one of those who participated. He rarely gets involved, but because I had a previous engagement, he attended the meeting for me and he, along with others, found the holes that were hopefully plugged.

Marge McCarthy
Colorado Springs

Good eating free

My mate and I appreciate and rate public-service meals. The Marian House Soup Kitchen, with 10:30 a.m. lunch Monday through Saturday and 8:45 a.m. Sunday meals, gets a full five stars from us. Superb!

Also, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, on Highway 67 north of Woodland Park, has soup and homemade bread Tuesday and Wednesday, and it's excellent. As are the noon Tuesday-Saturday meals at the Lighthouse in Salida.

And Jesus smiles. Howard Wesley Johnson
Lake George

Patriotic choices

Our Declaration of Independence defines American patriotism as actions not words. Then, as now, there were fake patriots. In 1776 Tom Paine scorned them as "the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot [who] shrink from the service of their country." Then, as now, real American patriotism isn't what we say it's what we actually do.

True patriots can oppose a war, as well as support one. One in 29 of my USAFA class was killed in the Vietnam War; we supported it and expected assignment there after graduation.

My cousin opposed the war and led demonstrations against it. Our beliefs differed and we certainly argued. But we each supported what we thought best for America with our actions.

This election, we have a choice between two patriots: McCain for the Iraq war, Obama against it. Both have put their lives on the line for differing visions of America. If we don't enlist or demonstrate, let's at least actively support one or the other of these true patriots.

Ralph B. Palmer
Colorado Springs

Drawing conclusions

I see that, like the New York Times' editors, Karl Knapstein ("Follow the sun," Letters, July 3) is surprised that crime is down, despite the high prison population.

I wonder how surprised he would be to discover that the ground outside is wet, despite continuous rain.

Greg Hartman
Colorado Springs

Playing the game

I have been an AARP subscriber for several years, so that gives you an image to work with here. I fully agree with Jeff Chapman ("Tat tale," Letters, June 26). If he performs the job requirements, is clean, neat and greets me with a smile, then the body art is an added bonus I may enjoy. Now, if he were in a food-service position, I might have a different thought about the hair issue.

Until March 28, I worked for Qwest. I chose not to commute and so joined those looking for work. Going to the Women's Resource Agency and Pikes Peak Workforce Center, both places I highly commend for their wonderful work, the first thing out of their mouths was, "Dye your hair." I loath the whole concept, but it will be an unsightly mess to grow out at this point, so I will play "The Game."

I'm looking for another call center, office or desk position. My gray hair will have no effect on my ability to give superior customer service. Jean Marsh
Colorado Springs

Clearing the air

I am writing in response to Rich Tosches' article about Memorial Hospital ("In search of Memorial's truth," Ranger Rich, July 3). There are a number of direct and indirect quotes that were attributed to me that I did not say.

While I am very concerned about some financial decisions at Memorial, I did not say that "Eitel ran the hospital into a financial swamp," nor "Eitel said the hospital was going broke and begged council for $20 million from reserves," nor "Luckily for everyone he left," nor "if Eitel remained in charge, Memorial would have depleted its reserve fund," nor "the hospital no longer makes a profit," and I did not say anything about "other stupid things this guy did."

While I and others are upset about donating $250,000 to the U.S. Senior Open and a nearly equal amount to entice a senior executive to retire one year early, the CEO acted within his authority and violated no rules. That's because there are few rules pertaining to the CEO's authority, which is wrong.

If uncompensated health care is not brought under control, the hospital could be in danger of not breaking even or making a profit in the not-too-distant future. If that happens, citizens will have to subsidize the hospital from the city's general fund.

Monday, the city auditor told City Council he will put additional auditors and a knowledgeable supervisor in place to pay much more attention to the health system including finances, pay, vacation and retirement practices. The council, board and health system management agree with the need for these changes.

Our community should be very proud of the medical care provided to patients at Memorial that is not in question nor dispute. However, auditing, procedures and policies need to be strengthened to prevent one person from approving such large amounts without prior approval.

Jerry Heimlicher
City Council, Colorado Springs

Rich Tosches' reply: I stand by every word of the column. Some points:

Running the hospital into the financial swamp was my choice of words. There are no quotation marks. That's how you can tell. What Jerry did say, among other things, was, "We have to find the full extent of Dick's mismanagement and poor financial decision-making."

Jerry did not say the hospital was going broke and Eitel begged the council for $20 million. My words. Again, no quote marks is the tip-off. Jerry did say Eitel "asked" City Council for $20 million last year and council gave it to him. He also said Eitel "gave away the bank" to The Broadmoor and his friend Ron Burnside. He also said the hospital did indeed operate in the red last year and did not make a profit.

As for "stupid," Jerry said Eitel did "stupid things." He said Eitel ran the hospital with "stupidity." He said the hospital needs new guidelines so there are "no more stupid CEOs doing this kind of thing."

The real truth
I took in the new Will Smith movie, Hancock, and enjoyed the movie except for one piece of egregious, anti-corporation propaganda.

One character was starting a campaign called "All Heart" to help change the world. His idea was to get big pharmaceutical companies to give away medications to those who can't afford them. In exchange, they would be an active partner in his program and would have the right to use the "All Heart" logo.

When he explained this in the movie, you see nothing but scowls and disapproving sneers from the corporate bigwigs. He was thrown out on his fanny and felt very discouraged.

The lie here is that these companies do just what he was describing and have been for many years. When I became disabled and lost my health insurance due to divorce, the two companies who supply my heart medications gave me my prescriptions for free for over a year as I went through the system to get my disability benefits and Medicare.

I know Hollywood loves to portray large American corporations as greedy, selfish and uncaring bastards, but this is an unfair stereotype. Hollywood would have us burn down the house to cure a termite problem.

Bryce Pettit
Colorado Springs

Corrections
Last week's news briefs included an incorrect title of an independent film made by San Luis Valley director Eric Shiveley. The film's correct title is Everyone But You.

An item in Side Dish last week gave the wrong name for the landlord of the Manitou Lofts & Shops. It should be Bill & 2 Chucks LLC.

The Independent regrets the errors.

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