Strong message

Kudos to Mr. Demetrius Burns for his well-written piece on mental health ("The biochemical issue," Student Survival Guide 2011, Aug. 18). I am always appreciative when someone so eloquently puts a face on this issue.

His courageous candor is wonderful, and I wish him well in his journey. I look forward to reading more of his fine work in the future!

— Cathy Reilly

Colorado Springs

Details, please

Thanks to Ralph Routon for his commentary in last week's Independent ("Mayor Bach closes the doors," Between the Lines).

City Councilor Bernie Herpin sent an e-mail to me Aug. 19 concerning the 2012 budget proposal. It said: "There will be several budget meetings that are open to the public. We will also be holding a town hall meeting that will be available in person, on Comcast-18, and the Internet. We will take citizen questions and input during the town hall meeting in person, by phone, by fax, and by e-mail. The budget proposal will be available online when it is ready."

You see that Bernie says that there will be meetings open to the public, but he does not mention date, time and place. Wow, it sounds to me like local elected officials have plenty to hide.

— Ed Billings

Colorado Springs

Bach's strategy

Mayor Steve Bach's actions give the appearance that he lives in a bubble and economic information he receives is "top secret," only to be shared with a few close associates, confirming his convictions that his constituents are too ignorant to figure things out, don't read newspapers other than the Gazette, watch "Faux" news with bated breath, and think America's Got Talent is an Emmy Award-winning show.

Colorado lost 150,000 jobs during this recession, so it's obviously going to be a long slog just to get back to even. As the Denver Post suggests, we're looking at another four to five years of very slow growth. Add to that the U.S. Army's reduction of approximately 22,000 troops, with the Air Force following suit.

I had many correspondences with former City Manager Penny Culbreth-Graft regarding the economic future for Colorado Springs, suggesting forecasts of paltry sales and property taxes. I sent her articles by Nouriel Roubini and Joseph Stiglitz in 2008 with their forecasts for 2011 to 2014 and out. So far, they've been right on track. Our local economists can't hold a candle to them.

If Mayor Bach hopes to improve the financial situation with more austerity, he should let us know the MMJ shop he's been frequenting. Taxes will have to be raised, and outsourcing will not do the trick — contractors still have to be paid.

Isn't it interesting that Utilities can raise rates for water, gas, sewage and electricity with just a little grumbling, yet the city is so afraid to ask citizens for a property or sales tax increase to keep the city from insolvency?

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Pulling 'the race card'

I have read, with much amazement, your liberal readers' comments regarding Rep. Doug Lamborn's use of the term "tar baby." They have called it racist, bigoted, derogatory and outrageous.

These readers, several of whom claimed to be educators, are simply ignorant of the facts regarding the origin and meaning of the term. Let me help them educate themselves:

Tar Baby (from Wikipedia): "The Tar-Baby is a doll made of tar and turpentine used to entrap Br'er Rabbit in the second of the Uncle Remus stories. The more that Br'er Rabbit fights the Tar-Baby, the more entangled he becomes. In modern usage according to Random House, 'tar baby' refers to any 'sticky situation' that is only aggravated by additional contact. ... The story was originally published in Harper's Weekly by Robert Roosevelt; years later Joel Chandler Harris wrote of the tar baby in his Uncle Remus stories. A similar tale from African folklore in West Africa has the trickster Anansi in the role of Br'er Rabbit."

It is a real shame that liberals, for the most part, resort to playing the race card, rhetoric and emotion when discussing politics, rather than presenting a coherent argument for their point based on facts. They simply lose all credibility with those of us of other political persuasions.

Oh, and by the way, I am a registered Independent voter.

— Scott D. Myers

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The second paragraph in Wikipedia's "tar baby" entry (replaced by an ellipsis in the letter above) reads, "The expression tar baby is also used occasionally as a derogatory term for black people... As a result, some people suggest avoiding the use of the term in any context."

Battle tactics

The war of words between Larimore Nicholl and the Rev. Tom Pedigo will never end, much less contribute to any Indy reader's enlightenment, because they are not having the same conversation. Nicholl favors ending religions. Pedigo argues against the removal of believers.

If Mr. Nicholl wanted to eliminate pro sports, would Rev. Pedigo have written in favor of sports fans? Just because Pedigo is correct that it would be a dumb idea to "remove or replace all Americans who believe in God" does not mean he answered Nicholl's argument. Nicholl argued against dangerous institutional leaders, not dangerous followers. Pedigo changed the subject and then presented his case against the alternate topic he made up.

This is a common tactic used by people on the losing side of an argument. If you are really good at it, no one notices what you have done. Denver talk-show host Mike Rosen is a master at fighting this way, so that he never has to admit being wrong. Rev. Pedigo is not as artful; his use of the tactic is obvious.

Knowing that patriarchal religious organizations have done as much harm as good since civilization began, knowing about the millions killed or enslaved by male-dominated religions in the name of a male god, Pedigo throws Mother Teresa's name (and spells it wrong) as his response.

Irrelevant! We already know some true believers can be saintly; that's not the issue. If Pedigo has a case that large, powerful religious institutions, headed by men who like to tell other men and women how to live their lives, do more good than harm, he should have presented that argument. Maybe he avoided it because he knows it's a weak argument. Maybe he knows Nicholl is right.

— Tim Rowan

Colorado Springs


The 'welfare' mentality

In your Aug. 11 issue, it was refreshing to read a straightforward, realistic letter ("Costs and effect") by Dr. Casey Elgin. No demeaning comments about any political party; just common sense about the plight of our country.

The word "revolution" is always a bit unsettling; however, something has to change, or the demise of our country into Third World status is coming. Think where we were just 60 years ago. Peace, prosperity and families together was the way of life. Now sex, wars, welfare, politics and drugs dominate the landscape.

Of course, I'm biased, after growing up in the 1950s. Dr. Elgin made a strong case for getting government out of our lives. He could have been stronger about the "welfare" mentality, which has become rampant in our current culture and mode of thinking.

Turn the page of that issue and you read the dismal, depressing, distressing, mournful letter ("From legend to logic") by Larimore Nicholl. What an empty life he must live; no hope and only an empty gravesite at his demise. I don't know if he is correct; however, I will keep my faith and hope for a glorious return to the presence of a Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother.

I'm sorry Mr. Nicholl has nothing to look forward to except his test tubes, math formulas and nothingness. Yes, he is right about demented people like Hitler and some crusades. But where would we be without hope, faith and a belief in a God or higher being?

I see light at the end of the tunnel; not eternal darkness. Where there is no soul or spirit, there is no hope or reason for mortality!

— Duane C. Slocum

Colorado Springs

click to enlarge letters.jpg

Art and atheism

My letter is of a dual nature. First I want to commend Carol Krick ("The demise of art," July 14) for her succinct and apt description of today's art scene. I agree that more often than not, most of the art you will find is going to be that of sophomoric aptitude. Rarely will you find something actually artistic. Few can master the mathematical chemistry inherent in many of the great pieces. I'm glad that Ms. Krick was able to label our current art culture as it should be, and I hope that real artists strive for better results than what passes for such a mediocre culture today.

Second, to Larimore Nicholl, I need to be a bit of a fact-checker for you: Atheism has caused more death than all religious killing combined in our human history, and is still rampant even though something like radical Islam may be the flavor of the month. I also find it ironic that you've decided to police our culture to weed out superstition and belief, when in fact, atheism is a religion in and of itself, and perhaps the most intolerant one of them all.

Keep in mind the advances in science, mathematics and physics, which are making it even harder to be an atheist. I commend you for sticking to it — too bad there isn't any evidence disproving the existence of God.

— Rob Annese

Colorado Springs

Familiar villains

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the letter from Chuck Baker ("They're just jealous," Aug. 18), true to form, even after all the rigor mortis of time. Some people never learn.

The lesson Mr. Baker should learn is, "People who live in glass houses should not throw stones," even if it is an ancient glass house. He and Ms. Sabin seem to think the backlash against Rep. Lamborn has to do with an envious Rosemary Harris Lytle.

They paint a picture of crazy liberals as the only ones taking offense at "tar baby" and blame it on envy of Lamborn's successes.

History lesson for newbies: Chuck Baker had a talk-radio show, more hateful than that of any other AM characters around. He called people names, ranted about an armed revolution, and promoted the anti-government militia movement on air. In October 1994, a frequent listener named Francisco Martin Duran took a gun and shot 30 times at the White House, attempting to kill President Clinton. He gave Mr. Baker credit for inciting his rage.

Mr. Baker's talk-radio career came to a screeching halt in the new millennium. His ratings did him in. No one was listening to his washed-out message.

And now he is back. From outer space. Along with Ms. Sabin, a tea party darling and lover of all things Second Amendment.

They aren't the best people to decipher the feelings of others, especially those of us demanding Rep. Lamborn make amends for his stupid, racist remarks. We are holding him accountable for his words, as Mr. Baker should have been when Francisco Duran tried to assassinate our president.

No one is envious of Lamborn, nor Baker and Sabin. It is just their projection of their own inadequacies.

— Carolyn Cathey

Colorado Springs

Shrewd loyalty

U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) turned the House Oversight Committee into a bank lobbying firm with the power to subpoena and pressure government regulators. His friend, Goldman Sachs vice president Peter Simonyl, changed his name to Peter Haller and quietly went to work for Issa to coordinate an effort to thwart regulations that affect Goldman Sachs' bottom line. Issa hired Peter Haller as a staffer to work for him on the Oversight Committee.

No joke! Goldman Sachs spent millions this year trying to slow down implementation of the new rules, and Issa's demand to regulators is exactly what banks want. In a very short time, Haller, formerly Simonyl, went from being in charge of dealing with regulators for Goldman Sachs to working for Congress in a position where he made official demands from regulators overseeing his old firm. This is not simply a conflict of interest; it is corruption that affects our economy and our lives. Congressman Issa needs to resign.

— Sharlene White

Oceanside, Calif.

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