Extraordinary woman

In response to Ralph Routon's Between the Lines column of Aug. 11 ("Bert Fellows: a huge influence"):

A great tribute to a very classy lady. She did the right thing for the right reasons. Not for personal gain, or because it looked good on her résumé, but because of a belief in common decency, and an attitude of stewardship regarding our community.

Mix in a little bit of good old-fashioned horse sense, a great sense of humor, and you have Bert Fellows. We should all hope to conduct our own lives with such grace, dignity and humility.

— Craig Severa

Colorado Springs

Slow-moving civilization

Humans evolved into the current version approximately 250,000 years ago, and we're mostly unchanged since. But it wasn't until the last 10,000 years or so that we've discovered agriculture and civilization, and cars and airplanes didn't begin to become ubiquitous until just 100 years ago.

Why did we get nowhere those first 240,000 years? My best guess would be "partisan wrangling."

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Health-care hubris

I still remember, as a student abroad in 1968, the feeling of exuberance under the Austrian health-care system, when the doctor said, "There's no charge. We have national health care."

Not everyone agrees about the benefits/disadvantages of national health care, except perhaps those with lifelong disabilities or catastrophic injuries/illnesses. Congress has been trying to control costs through various legislative measures. However, insurance premiums, drug costs and exam/procedure costs continue rising astronomically faster than inflation. Health-care expenses have been for many years the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in America.

Our system is largely nonfunctional for the average American. Legislators have a lot of lobbying and campaign contribution reasons to keep it that way. In reality, by far the greatest health expenses of a lifetime often fall in the last few days/weeks/months of elderly life, when perhaps dignity (and comfort) is our greatest concern. Another longer-term perspective is provided through the comprehensive list of countries with current Standard and Poor's rating of AAA.

How many of these countries have universal health care? 1. Australia, yes, 1975; 2. Austria, yes, 1967; 3. Canada, yes, 1961; 4. Denmark, yes, 1973; 5. Finland, yes, 1972; 6. France, yes, 1974; 7. Germany, yes, 1941; 8. Guernsey, yes, 1948; 9. Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), yes, 1993; 10. Isle of Man, yes, 1948; 11. Liechtenstein, yes, 1994; 12. Luxembourg, yes, 1973; 13. Netherlands, yes, 1966; 14. Norway, yes, 1912; 15. Singapore, yes, 1993; 16. Sweden, yes, 1955; 17. Switzerland, yes, 1994; 18. United Kingdom, yes, 1948. End of AAA list.

— Peter Dunn

Colorado Springs


Anti vs. anti

In response to Mr. Larimore Nicholl's recent letter ("From legend to logic," Aug. 11), he is a victim of his own atheistic worldview. He is upset that I indulge in the "playground mentality" of calling him names (such adjectives as "inane" and "frightening") while he seems justified in wanting to "expose, obliterate, and end" all forms of religion — of course, "in a non-violent way." Which means, in America, the 94 percent or more who do believe in God and the 75 percent who believe in Christ should be, according to him, "removed or replaced" in a loving, atheistic way.

And yet, he's upset when I say his statements are "asinine"? For him to say, "supernatural religions are hideously dangerous" can be translated to mean that a believer in God is therefore potentially dangerous and hideous in his sight and a detriment to the world. (RIP, Mother Theresa!)

Larimore is anti-religion. I am anti-atheism. The problem with atheism is that the person thinks his logic, facts, reason or supposed science is greater than the sum of the universe. This translates into "knowledge" or "inductive/deductive logic" becoming the god of their finite mind — with emphasis on finite!

He ends with the atheistic mantra and the typical frosting on the cake: "No supernatural gods of any kind have been proven to exist." But Mr. Nicholl, you still can't prove that God does not exist. To secure that proof would mean that you know everything there is in the universe. Therefore, I don't think even you, a reasonable, logical, and factual guy, can make such a statement as that.

However, if you continue, then I stand by my adjective of "foolish." That's just how I roll.

— Rev. Tom Pedigo

Colorado Springs

Change the subject

It seems Larimore Nicholl is an apologist for the scientific method, Descartes, the five senses, and strict empiricism in its many ancient forms. So much for not having religion.

I agree (by inference) that the flaw of all organized religion is the premise that the truth has an end to it, and nothing exists of importance outside of the many "written words."

True scientists, however, have an enormous capacity for faith in the unknown, for believing that every question answered calls to it another question. This seems like a miracle to me, as does all thought. But Mr. Nicholl is right, I can't prove it. No one can see a thought, no one can quantify an idea.

Some "facts" being discovered these days seem supernatural. Some objects only exist if they are being observed; an object, in its tiniest form, can exist in two places at once. Did the burning bush happen? No one will ever know until we perfect time travel.

The back and forth, back and forth of atheists and true believers never goes anywhere. Call it conservatism, preserving the status quo, perceiving only a mechanical universe, but it only leads to slicing up the whole, coming to the same conclusions and arguments ad nauseum, and we, as a world, do not progress one micron.

Let's move on and celebrate the differences, create wholes, and stop trying to yell louder than each other.

— Dave Shahan

Colorado Springs

Entitlement annihilation

The true agenda of the corporate-sponsored tea party is now evident: Decimate social programs like Medicare and Social Security, which had absolutely nothing to do with our national debt and/or deficit, but keep the gargantuan, budget-busting Pentagon programs and wars in full force! (If we keep fighting wars on credit cards, we'll never see our economy flourish again.)

Punishing working Americans (who have already suffered the most from the Wall Street crime spree that robbed their retirement savings) is now the main aim of the newest members of Congress who swept in after the hated health-care reform bill was pushed through by Democrats, who ignored the outcry from both ends of the political spectrum!

But the Democrats didn't actually write the worst provisions of the health-care reform bill in 2010 — the health insurance companies did! Just as Republicans didn't write the equally detestable prescription drug bill that they forced through in 2003 — the pharmaceutical companies did! Where was the outcry from the right then?

Now we have ad hoc congressional committees appointed to bargain away even more of the entitlement programs that Americans cherish and depend upon! The secret weapon of Republicans on the committee? Just label anything that helps working people have some sense of financial security as "socialistic," and then push through the drastic cuts that corporate America is demanding! (The clueless Sen. Harry Reid even appointed the mastermind of the hated health-care reform to this new committee, Sen. Max Baucus, the best bet to compromise with Republicans on cutting Medicare and/or Social Security benefits.)

Seniors have long believed no politician would dare touch these programs, but they don't have to be directly canceled, just "adjusted" until they are worthless. And the die has been cast.

— Jerry Newsom

Colorado Springs

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They're just jealous

Envy! It's a powerful emotion and strong motivator. Philosophers state that envy is a lack of appreciation of one's own self-worth, while others think envy is counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.

Such is the case with Rosemary Harris Lytle and her groupies who claimed racism against Congressman Lamborn last week in Colorado Springs.

Lytle and her followers envy what Lamborn has achieved for Colorado Springs and its military. Lytle and her followers envy Lamborn's popularity! He votes for what is good for his constituents and doesn't vote just to get along, and they can't understand why Springs residents respect him.

Lytle and her followers envy Lamborn's common sense and character. They charge him with racism, but the people of the 5th District know that's a false charge! Lytle hates that! She is so angry at them that she let loose this screed of vitriol against the people of Colorado Springs: "The world already views El Paso County as ultra-conservative, ultra-right wing, tea party-loving, gay-bashing — an epicenter of hate."

Lytle needs to stop engaging in racial discrimination. She needs to stop being envious of Lamborn and his success, which she hasn't achieved. She needs to stop hating the people who support him and reject her values and thinking. Lytle needs to learn that Coloradans aren't racist like she is but that they value each other, their families and God — things Lytle apparently knows nothing about.

Lytle needs to learn and follow the vision statement on her own website: The vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination.

— Helen Sabin, Chuck Baker

Colorado Springs

Elusive as ever

Where in the world is Doug Lamborn? We don't know. However, we do know:

He was not available to meet with some constituents last week to receive their letter of concerns; nevertheless, it was a notable day. People of color, diversity and different ethnicity were actually inside his Colorado Springs office.

He was not in the "safe haven" financial capitals of Europe as he was earlier in spring prior to the debate and discussion on the debt limit and deficit reduction discussions/votes and the collapse of the market.

He was not campaigning or voting for: comprehensive health care reform, free speech in elections, expansion of hate-crime definitions, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the Dream Act, repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, funding for Planned Parenthood, the NREL — before he was for it — and flyers' rights.

He was not offering caring, concern or compassion for his non-corporate constituents or those of differing backgrounds, cultures, colors and customs; and... he was not in Washington doing his duty.

So, where is Doug? Perhaps meeting with the Koch Bros., or Honeywell, or Lockheed, or Raytheon, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield, or the Big Oil ambassadors or ... looking up a suitable definition for "tar baby"?

— Matt Hesser

Colorado Springs


Last week's 7 Days to Live feature story ("Bottle rocket") mistakenly identified Trinity Brewing Company president Jason Yester as being affiliated with Manitou Springs' Craft Lager and Small Batch Festival. Yester officially resigned as a festival organizer in October 2010.

In addition, the final quotes from organizer Julian Heron were improperly contextualized. While Heron says that he is proud of his business model and the festival's success, he adds that he's also motivated by a love of beer and the outdoors.

The Independent regrets the errors.

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