Waiting for sex

I was intrigued by your coverage of sex ed in our public schools ("Sex, lies and duct tape," cover story, April 8), but I would like to respectfully share some different views.

Your article said there is no scientific basis for abstinence until marriage improving the quality of "bonding" between a married couple, that the oxytocin levels probably do not change depending on the number of sexual experiences. This may be true, but I think you are missing the point: Much research says married couples who wait for sex do have more successful, lasting marriages. Check out the National Marriage Project by the University of Virginia; it shows that as cohabitation has increased, marriage rates have declined.

You explained that kids in sex ed were shown how duct tape loses its sticking power with each use, implying the same about our ability to bond with future partners, once sex with one and then more partners happens. I do believe this is partially true, but that healing is also possible that will move a person past this emotional struggle.

I happen to be a very healthy woman, almost 28 years old, who is waiting until marriage, and I can name at least a dozen of my female friends, just in Colorado Springs, ranging from 25 to 35, who are also waiting. It is completely possible to wait. Most of the battle is in your own mind, and the rest is in making good choices that keep you away from tempting situations. Please don't tell them that waiting is impossible or unimportant.

Though my friends and I plan to enjoy every part of marriage one day and don't consider ourselves prudes to any extent, we don't feel our lives are negatively impacted by waiting — in fact, they are improved.

— Danielle Donelson

Colorado Springs

Not the answer

Gail Finlay ("Trash can-do," Letters, April 8) just doesn't get it when she talks about solutions to the pressing problem of trash removal from the parks. The real reason City Council hasn't done anything about the problem is that they are trying to "eliminate waste" from their budget. So, it follows that they wouldn't grant tax concessions for trash companies to pick up trash in the parks, either. That wouldn't "eliminate waste" from their budgets either, would it?

— Marsha Smith

Colorado Springs

Missed opportunity

It is a shame that city officials and PETA couldn't reach an agreement on an advertisement for trash cans in Colorado Springs' public parks ("Our own March Madness," Ranger Rich, March 18). By offering to pay for eye-catching ads featuring a bikini-clad blonde and the message, "Meat Trashes the Planet: Go Vegan," PETA had hoped to remind park-goers that meat production contributes to climate change and other environmental problems. Consider these facts:

• Switching from a meat-based diet to vegan will even reduce one's carbon footprint more than switching from a standard sedan to a hybrid car. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency believes that if everyone ate a vegan diet, climate change mitigation costs could be reduced by 80 percent.

• Nearly half of all the water used in the U.S. is squandered on animal agriculture. It takes more than 4,000 gallons of water per day to produce a meat-based diet, but a vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day.

• More than one-third of all the fossil fuels produced in the U.S. are used to raise animals for food.

• According to the Environmental Protection Agency, factory farms pollute our waterways more than all other industrial sources combined. Animals raised for food produce approximately 130 times as much excrement as the entire U.S. population — 87,000 pounds per second.

Fortunately, park-goers can still help make sure our planet isn't a dump: Visit goveg.com for a free vegetarian starter kit.

— Heather Moore

PETA Foundation

Norfolk, Va.

The real story

Recent letters from defenders of Israel show how much misinformation and propaganda exist in the community about this tragic and unjust situation. Various letter writers claim that Israel wants peace. What evidence is there to support such statements?

Is it the 30-foot-tall concrete barrier Israel has built for over 500 miles around the West Bank, cutting through Palestinian farmlands to encompass Israeli settlements that never should have been built? Perhaps it's the "terminals" staffed by Israeli soldiers carrying AK-47s through which Palestinian people must pass daily (much like cattle), showing ID and other official paperwork, to go to work, school, medical appointments or visit family members? Or could the evidence be the way Israel treats residents of Gaza, blockading entry and exit of people and necessary supplies and causing much hardship? Or the heavy bombardment inflicted by American-funded warplanes during Operation Cast Lead?

Having recently been to Israel, I can attest that the way the Palestinians are treated by the Israeli government is not a pretty picture. When people live under occupation, they have no human or civil rights.

While we condemn the violence, we must acknowledge it exists on both sides. To blame the Palestinians, who have no army, no functioning government and very few resources, for the lack of peace is simply ludicrous.

International law requires Israel to share Jerusalem, return land taken during the 1967 war, and end the inhumane occupation of Palestine. The U.S. and its citizens must stop blindly supporting Israel in its stubborn refusal to make progress toward peace.

A settlement that complies with international law will result in security and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians, and may also keep the U.S. from being drawn into another fruitless war in the Middle East.

— Cyndy Kulp

Colorado Springs

Lots of doctors

After reading David E. Core's letter ("Sorry, Canadians," April 8), where does one begin?

Core complains that we don't have enough doctors to care for all of these millions of "illegals" in this country or the 30 million poor people who will now have adequate health care. The bill does not cover illegal immigrants. As for the Americans who will now be able to attain adequate coverage, most fall under much different categories such as individuals with pre-existing conditions or who have lost medical insurance due to being laid off, or young adults who have graduated college and have not been able to find employment. These examples have nothing to do with their economic class.

I would love to find your source that tells us we have a shortage in doctors. In my 54 years I have never had to look for a doctor. If this new reform bill does bring about a shortage because more citizens can have good medical and health care, that might even mean more jobs in the health care industry! I wonder how that could be a bad thing?

Then comes Core's absolute mindblower, showing concern for Canadians who have been coming across the border to see a doctor! You complain that 30 million American citizens may now have adequate health coverage, yet you show concern that Canadian citizens may not!

Lastly, I wonder how often Mr. Core has been to Canada to witness all of these Canadian deaths due to their national health care system? I have been to Canada multiple times and have some very close Canadian friends. They know of no deaths due to their system; in fact, they couldn't imagine a system where you had to worry about paying your medical bills like we have!

— Michael McMahon

Colorado Springs

No argument

A lot of people have asked, "Is health care constitutional?" Well, if you have read that hallowed document, you know that it says the government must do three things: 1. provide for the common defense; 2. promote the general welfare; and 3. secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Health care is covered under "promote the general welfare." The public option is constitutional, end of story, end of argument, period, end of report.

— Dwayne Schultz

Colorado Springs

Don't be FOXafied

I recently have been reading literally dozens of letters in that other newspaper in our village concerning the Health Care Reform Act. As one could expect, the vast majority opposed the bill and continued the same old lies Republicans have been feeding Americans. No surprise for that right-wing excuse for journalism. I did find one such letter in the Indy from David E. Core that sort of surprised me.

Mr. Core must be getting his "news" from FOX. The new bill specifically does not cover any noncitizen, however, like the current policy will not deny emergency medical treatment to anyone, citizen or not. As for the "30 million poor people," no one was "added to the health care system," they have been here all along.

Core then commented that "people will have to wait at least a year or more to see a doctor." As everyone will now have health insurance, everyone will see doctors for regular checkups, immunization and preventative care. This will reduce the amount of emergency room patients and hospital admissions. There is no proof this legislation will in any way increase wait time for people to receive medical care; more likely it will shorten the wait for care.

Also, despite what Mr. Core says, no one dies in Canada waiting for treatment as happens here in the U.S. More Americans die due to lack of insurance and the lack of preventative care than Canadians who have the means to see doctors. Also, unlike in Canada, our new health care reform is not socialized medicine. The only people who think it is are folks who don't understand the plan.

Mr. Core, please continue to read the Independent and watch CNN or MSNBC and get your news un-FOXafied and un-Gazette-afied.

— Patrick M. Faley

Colorado Springs

Tax blahs

Tax time. Here's how it works. If you're old enough to have anything more than a paycheck from a fast-food vendor, the several sources of your income send you forms that say "blah blah blah" and the IRS sends you forms that say "blah blah blah" and you keep stubs that say "blah blah blah." These forms, like fries, come in four sizes: small, medium, large and super-size. Most are white but some are pastel.

You'll have a thick stack. A casual glance tells you there is no similarity in appearance. Many long words in small print find nooks and crannies in which to hide on these forms. And so, since your high school education has not taught you how to look at all the "blah blah blah" and fill in the blanks correctly, you pay someone about $400 to fill in those several blanks.

Now that seems high for filling in blanks, but that's because they went higher than high school. Now one might wonder why all this "blah blah blah" doesn't just go to an IRS super-computer that would spit out your tax bill and save you having to pay $400 to know what you owe. Well, that wouldn't allow those who can afford lawyers to enter "blah blah blah" on those forms to make it appear they can't afford lawyers and don't owe tax.

If there's a moral to this story, it's this: forget science, forget art, forget working skills, learn tax. That's all the education you need.

— Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

Teabaggers' myth

It speaks volumes about this current, loosely defined movement, as the original bearers of this handle were in a much different situation. They did not have the vote. By parading around half-cocked, these types of people show us more than their obvious weakness in American history.

— J.R. Sowell

Colorado Springs


Bad for Manitou

My local Manitou Springs government should not dictate which trash pickup service I am allowed to use ("Letter trashes Manitou," Letters, April 1), giving the flimsy excuse that such a move will lessen the carbon footprint of the multiple private contractors that we currently use freely and of our own choosing.

Frankly, this sounds like a bunch of phony political bunk based on the latest trendy environmental jargon. It is just a thinly veiled ruse which our City Council is using to impose its hidden agenda upon us, and control yet one more aspect of our private lives.

Such an ordinance treads upon free enterprise, one of the founding principles upon which this great nation was built. In short, this legislation is simply un-American, and I'm here to say, in no uncertain terms, that I won't stand for it. Government, get out of my life, and stay out!

You folks on City Council had better be aware that I am not the only one who feels this way — not by a long shot. And rest assured that each and every one of you can bet your political futures in this town on it!

— Richard Haenichen

Manitou Springs

On the right path

We applaud one of your Colorado House representatives from Colorado Springs, Bob Gardner, member of the House Appropriations Committee, who has continually voted no on HB1284. It spends the taxpayers' money foolishly setting up more unnecessary, expensive bureaucracies to oversee a new "entity" called the marijuana "Center."

These centers, says Attorney General John Suthers, who is against HB1284, will legitimize the dispensing of marijuana. At the same time, HB1284 actually limits access to medical marijuana for legitimate patients because a small Denver dispensary monopoly has very effectively lobbied to include in this law a scheme to gain control of the business of caretaking by forcing the use of testing-lab carpetbaggers from California.

Call and urge Rep. Gardner to vote no again on any legislation that robs the Marijuana Registry. According to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, if revenue exceeds expenses, it must be returned to the people in the form of fee reduction, now $90 a year.

Last year, to balance the budget, $285,000 was taken from the registry on the cannabis culture holiday of April 20, 2009.

— Khadija Q'adri


Colorado Cannabis Industry, Denver

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