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Look around, Congress

The new jobs report says that there have been 120,000 new jobs created, and the unemployment rate has dropped down to 8.6 percent. Unfortunately, I am a part of that 8.6 percent of unemployed. This is of particular concern to me because our Senate failed to pass a version of a bill that would extend and expand Obama's tax cut, which would help 160 million people and let us keep $1,500 in our pockets when we need it most.

This tax cut would be paid for by the millionaires and billionaires paying just a little bit more, which is hardly going to cause them any hardship.

I don't think that any of the members of Congress are going to have to tell their children they can't buy them a single gift for Christmas, or that they have to gather up items in the house to pawn so they can buy groceries!

Congress needs to quit playing the politics game and get it together! They need to do something for the average Americans who are struggling and quit worrying about their political agendas, and the rich who seem to be doing just fine! Our Congress needs to get to work and stop acting like children. Their behavior is embarrassing.

— Stacie Tshabalala

Colorado Springs

Third option

The biggest barrier to progress in America is the obstructionist infighting between dueling, dominant parties in Washington. The Republicans are unabashedly committed to opposing any Democrat idea. Obama and his cronies wasted a golden opportunity to push through anything they wanted when Sen. Ted Kennedy was alive and they also controlled the House. I haven't met anyone who passionately supports any of the elephants or asses in 2012.

That is why I was delighted to hear that Americans Elect may have Buddy Roemer as their third-party presidential candidate in 2012. This is great news. I first saw Roemer interviewed on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I would have loved to see him participate in the Republican debates, but alas he was excluded to make space for whackos like Bachmann and Cain (good riddance). Roemer's takes on the economy, China, Wall Street and wars of aggression were innovative and refreshing. And no, he's not related to Roy Romer, former governor of our fair state.

On a side note, I was briefly enamored with the fool's gold called Ron Paul. (Paul is well-meaning, but not even close to presidential.) This guy, Buddy, is for real.

Americans Elect will have candidates on ballots in every state in 2012. Candidates for every race will be chosen directly by the people.

Wouldn't you like to try a true democracy?

— Kenton Lloyd

Colorado Springs

Trash concept

I believe a trash collection redistricting plan for Colorado Springs would be prudent.

Many garbage service companies operate within the city and surrounding area. Each has its own customers and covers the city in piecemeal fashion, utilizing a variety of zig-zagging, overlapping routes. If the city allocated each collector a specific territory, there would be numerous benefits, including a sizable reduction in operating expenses.

All companies would validate their existing customer list to establish market-share. Territories could be defined on a map within a confined collection district. Shares would be allocated to maintain percentages of residential and commercial customers. Redistricting would eliminate the need to cover the entire city on different days with a fleet of trucks. Fewer trucks would reduce traffic, pollution, and related road hazards. Collection companies would save enormous amounts and still have the ability to maintain and grow market-share.

Every few years, territories could be reapportioned to accommodate new clients, growth and other considerations. A portion of savings could promote sustainable practices, including recycling, and be used to better manage landfills. Existing collection companies would likely support such a plan since it would reduce their operating cost — there is no downside. Even if 100 percent voluntary, it would succeed. Participating companies would become leaner, greener and more profitable.

Smaller companies could add recycling, etc., to level the playing field. Promoting additional recycling would have tangible benefits and further reduce impact on landfills. Less than 10 percent of local apartments and commercial businesses recycle.

A nominal grant could fund an effort to determine the level of interest and effort needed among collection companies. Starting a redistricting program would only require cooperation of companies interested in becoming more efficient. Their names could be published to incentivize the program among the city's customer base. This is not rocket surgery...

— Wilson Reynolds

Colorado Springs

No compassion

I do not feel sorry for Janet Brazill ("Permanent issue," Letters, Dec. 1) or those on her side in their fight against Personhood amendments and the possibilities that they will have to revisit this issue every election cycle.

Reading her letters over the years, I have concluded Brazill is doing what she can to make sure the abortion lobby, Planned Parenthood, and its associates and allies gain important leverage.

Brazill just wrote a Halloween piece for the "Freethinkers of CS" ad on her concern about Earth's population reaching 7 billion. Brazill can talk about women's health all she wants and use the needy children as pawns to justify her arguments. No surprise from someone who thinks the government should be able to provide for the needy when all of us know that is not possible and that is one reason why the left favors population control.

While I am not a Catholic and nor was I raised as such, Brazill loves to use Catholics as straw men and uses the mistakes they have made in hopes that we overlook the good they have done when it comes to helping those who do need a leg up in life. The biggest reason Brazill is attacking the Catholic Church is because they are a stumbling block to abortion-rights advocates.

Eventually snuffing out pre-born babies will not be enough for these anti-lifers. It will not be long until those seen as weak will be looked down upon, and the government calls for their extermination.

There is a reason why one of the Ten Commandments states: "You shall not murder." As long as people believe that life begins at conception (aka fertilized eggs in the womb), those who fight for the pre-born baby will continue to fight those people who claim to be pro-choice.

— Don McCullen

Colorado Springs

Heard this?

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing in regard to the query, complaint or request for information that you made to your state, county or municipal agency. I am very sorry to say that I am unable to assist you with that matter, and no further information is available.

I couldn't help you last week, I can't help you this week, and it is unlikely that I will be able to help you next week either. However, the state, county or municipality will continue to pay me a nice salary and benefits out of your tax money to continue to write these messages and answer phone calls, so please have a nice day!


Every Government Employee and Elected Official, Colorado, USA

— Gina Douglas

Colorado Springs

Calling out Bach

As a student of Palmer High School, downtown is natural for me. The Occupy protesters have brought an interest to me. They have stood there day after day, petitioning for what they feel is fair. Seeing them was part of a daily routine.

One night while walking around downtown, I noticed the tents had been taken down. I wanted to find out what happened, so I spoke to Mark Cottington. He explained they were required by law to take down their tents due to a city ordinance preventing our homeless population from setting up tents.

The police often came around, and if they caught anyone asleep in their chair it was considered "camping." This is the loophole our city government decided to use to stop our right to petition and assemble. Mr. Cottington also mentioned they were required to have a permit to be in a public park. When it came time to renew the permit, Mayor Bach turned it down.

It should not be necessary to obtain a permit to assemble in a public park. As long as there is no destruction of property and it is a peaceful protest, why does our city feel the need to silence it and take away our basic rights?

I find it wrong that our own mayor has gone against our own First Amendment. We have the right to voice a grievance against our government, as this nation was built upon the ability to speak our minds, and not be censored. Assembling is important to the right to petition, and we should have the right to have tents up so we can attract more people who feel the same. If people can camp for days to see a movie or on Black Friday, why can't we put up tents to assemble?

— MacKenzie Bayless

Palmer High School

Colorado Springs

Looking for Lamborn

Where have you gone, Doug Lamborn?

Your local phone no longer rings.

I called the county Republicans

And they don't know a thing.

Some say it is an outrage.

Some say it is a joke.

Should you want to know where Doug is,

Check the pockets of the Brothers Koch.

I would have sent a copy to Doug, but...

— Mike Adams

Colorado Springs

Cop(ter) to it

Budget-cutting rhetoric is thick these days. Even the sacrosanct military budget is supposed to be in the cross hairs.

The reality is quite different. The Senate last week, by a vote of 93-7, passed another porker of a military spending bill. The local budget-buster, a $4 billion outlay to build new helicopters and bring them to new facilities at Fort Carson for a Combat Aviation Brigade, is in there. Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall are in the chorus of "fiscally conservative" Democrats. But they had no trouble voting for this bill and the local project.

The Army is talking of cutting as many as five brigade combat teams (BCTs) from its ranks. Why, then, would we be adding a brand-new CAB? The answer would seem to be that the folks in Colorado and Connecticut and Texas have lobbied hard to keep the project going.

There is supposed to be a huge $350 billion cut in military spending in the works over the next 10 years. Actually, there will be a one-time 5 percent cut ($35 billion or so) and nothing more. Then that cut is multiplied by 10 years to reach the big number.

Deceptive. Even that small cut is cause for the fear-mongers like Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to make doomsday comments about dire consequences. Sen. Bennet recently made a comment about the shocking fact that the U.S. spends as much as the next nine countries combined on defense, and he said that had to change.

Apparently that was just a throwaway line, and business as usual is what he really has in mind.

— Bill Sulzman

Colorado Springs

Bush revisited

Is it just me or is Rick Perry looking an awful lot like a Saturday Night Live spoof of George W. Bush? Hey, all you Texans who voted for Perry: What were y'all thinkin'? Time to raise them thar standards just a touch ... duh.

— Mimi Vacher

Colorado Springs


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