When our country calls us to serve
Re: 90 troops in Fort Carson battalion return from Afghanistan, Jan 21:
As a Vietnam veteran, and having served my country for over 28 years of military service, I find it extremely frustrating to learn that our brave men and women who have been serving for so long in Afghanistan will return this year to a country that just cut the pensions they have earned.
Those in Congress who devised the pension cuts said there was no alternative - the cuts had to come from somewhere. Really? We could not do away with the loophole that allows companies to hide offshore subsidiaries in tax havens such as Bermuda, at a cost of $8 billion annually? And we couldn't delay the trillion dollar F-35 fighter jet program, which is plagued by production glitches and dogged by concerns about performance?
When our country calls us to serve in dangerous places such as Vietnam, Iraq, or Afghanistan, we do so proudly and serve with distinction. We place our lives, our family, and our future at risk. We only ask for one thing in return; that our country keeps its promise to provide us with health care, our pension, and other benefits we signed up for.
If Congress believes that cutting veterans pensions was the only way to find the necessary savings, well I would suggest that Congress cut their pensions in similar fashion.
Jose Cordova Col., U.S. Army, Retired, Taos, New Mexico
Input from the other side
This letter is in response to Charles Krauthammer's op/ed piece on the Keystone XL pipeline in Sunday's Gazette.
I think that perhaps a little input from the other side is in order. First, is the misconception that this "oil" will somehow make the U.S. energy independent. This pipeline, or the one proposed to traverse Canada to the Pacific, is going to a refinery. After it is processed, it is sold on the open market. So that even China can belly up their barges to the docks and fill up. Krauthammer and his ilk would try and have us believe that because the pipeline is coming here it's our oil. It goes to the highest bidder - that's how capitalism works.
Another tidbit he forgot to mention are the tactics being used by TransCanada to try and force this country's hand. How is it that this foreign-owned company has been granted the right to use eminent domain to force Americans to sell their land against their wishes? According to Bold Nebraska, an anti-pipeline group, TransCanada has gone as far as suggesting to local law enforcement that particularly aggressive land owners be charged as "domestic terrorists". Where's the tea party or defenders of the Constitution when you need them?
Finally I can't see how Krauthammer can refer to this project as one that Obama has championed for under the guise of "new infrastructure". Infrastructure upgrades are sorely needed in this country; but infrastructure means an updated electrical grid, repairing bridges, repaving our crumbling roads, etc. A pipeline built by a foreign company with profits going to a country other than the U.S. is not an improvement in anyone's life, except for TransCanada and its shareholders.
Larry Szabelski, Divide
Straight answers, detailed plans
Upbraiding local residents who have legitimate concerns about City for Champions in a Gazette editorial (Jan. 26) is not the right way to encourage their support. Scolding citizens who want C4C fully vetted in open public meetings or who have serious questions about the viability of Tax Increment Financing is not helpful. Straight answers and detailed plans are what people require.
Many regard the four proposed units as private developments, which ought to be funded by investors and venture capital firms. Are these proper activities for government involvement or public funding? Highly debatable. Red herring mentions of abundance, poverty and conspiracy theories are disingenuous and tarnish your editorial sermon. Citizens seeking truth and transparency are honorable people. They respect the coterie of businessmen who proposed this project as honest citizens of integrity searching, as we all are, for job creation and prosperity for this city.
Most residents will agree with panelists at Community Conversations (Jan. 23) that USOC and the Olympic brand are "a strong asset on which to build." We are grateful for the generous monetary contributions of large corporations for athlete training and competition.
Perhaps an iconic Olympic Hall of Fame- Museum would appeal to some sponsors and NGBs (e.g. USA Triathlon, USA Swimming) as a worthwhile investment certain to become a tourist attraction.
John A. Daly, Colorado Springs
Freeze hiring, balance the budget
When can you know your government is spending to much? Answer: when it has to borrow money from foreigners to balance the budget. There is no excuse for our federal government to borrow money from China to balance our budget. We should freeze all hiring until the budget is balanced. When a strong committee was formed to locate where money was being wasted, they found there was duplication of services throughout the government departments. But no one has suggested doing anything about it. If new hiring were frozen and new positions were needed, then personnel not required in other positions, but who had already been proved capable in government work, could be moved to the new position.
Of course, the former leader might not want to lose personnel, but so be it. Also, foreign aid was not mentioned in the new budget.. We should not give monetary aid to any nation that votes against us in the U.N.
Balance the budget!
Jim Edwards, Colorado Springs