Sand Creek Massacre (copy)

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site is about three hours southeast of Colorado Springs.

U.S. history is a complex mosaic

In November 1990, President Herbert Walker Bush signed a proclamation designating the month of November as Native American Heritage month. The proclamation also included the indigenous people of Alaska. Little has been said or published regarding the history of these people and their contributions to our American history.

Last week, we celebrated Thanksgiving, which historically is depicted with the Native Americans sharing a bountiful meal with the early colonials. Many informed Native Americans see this as a day of mourning, as it was the beginning of the end to their way of life. According to some historians, there were between 350-500,000 Native Americans comprising over 500 tribes in the mid-1860s—1880s during the great westward expansion after the Civil War. Now many of these once proud people are reduced to living on reservations and are the victims of some the of highest crime, alcoholic and drug related issues in the country. In our nation, these problems seem to be invisible.

Recently, in New Mexico, Dee Haaland, a Native American announced she was seeking a congressional seat. Yes, U.S. history is a complicated mosaic. I encourage all readers, to visit museums and cultural sites in our state and others states to gain a better understanding of the pain and contribution of Native Americans. One of the historical pains in Colorado is displayed at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site less than a 100 miles east of Colorado Springs. Over 230 Cheyenne and Arapaho, including 13 council chiefs along with many women and children, were murdered in 1864 and their bodies mutilated, under the American and a white flag, by the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Regiment out of Denver, under the command of Col. John Chivington, a Methodist minister. While it was recognized at the time as a horrific, tragic and probably illegal act, no one was investigated or prosecuted.

On a personal level, my great-great-grandmother was a Native American from the Boley, Okla., area where blacks and native Americans lived in relative harmony, even though the so-called five civilized tribes, Creeks, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminoles held slaves. However, these slaves were often treated as an extension of the Native American family.

Yes, American history is complex, and it is often told from the vantage of point of the dominate culture with key omissions.

Willie Breazell

Colorado Springs

Who will live in a socialistic USA?

The problem people have that support candidates such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders is that they will find out too late how things like “ Medicare for all” and redistribution of wealth is going to work.

First of all, Warren and Sanders are not included in the scheme. If you remember, they were going to be part of “Obamacare” and then at the last moment they and their employees were exempt. The same thing here.

You are in Medicare for All, and it is your wealth that will be redistributed. The ruling and/or the political class is not going to hand over their money or their choice of health care options. Only you will live in a socialistic environment. Not them. Doubt me at your peril.

Patrick O’Connell

Colorado Springs

Let the military control its budget

Regarding your article, “The military has a long Christmas list, topped with partisan harmony”, by Tom Roeder, (Nov. 29): I always appreciate Tom Roeder’s articles and he is accurate on this one, but the Pentagons problem isn’t its list of wishes. It has plenty of those.

Its problem is that it wants more every year, wastes a lot of it, and most of its budget goes to contractors (63% according to the Congressional Research Service) who nail us with cost-plus contracts.

I also suspect Congress is heavily influenced by those contractors. Since the U.S. military expenditure is roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world combined, and spends more on the defense budget than China (No. 2 in defense spending), Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined, you would think our military would tell Congress that the budget is fine, if they are given the authority to prioritize their expenditures on true defense/war-fighting needs and eliminate waste (cost-plus contracts) without Congress (and corporate lobbying) influence.

The more congressional/corporate influence the less effective our military will be, despite whatever budget amount. One example of misuse of the military budget is the political taking of defense money (millions) out of that budget for a border wall that has been easily breached with battery-operated saws.

Congress (with its oversight power of routine audits to ferret out fraud and waste) should simply pass the budget and let the military decide how to effectively use it.

Neil L. Talbott

Colorado Springs

Washington’s political charade

What is happening in Washington right now is nothing short of political charade played out by the overpaid, underworked, and pampered politicians and disgruntled present and former bureaucrats who have nothing better to do.

I am referring to Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings. Many of those who testified thus far have nothing substantive to offer to indict the president except innuendos, opinions and hearsays that go unchallenged by the Democrats on the impeachment inquiry panel.

In my observation of proceedings, I have not seen the evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors required by the Constitution for presidential impeachment. No doubt the panel and the House Democrats will reach the impeachment verdict, which for all practical purposes will be meaningless and without serious consequence to the president.

Ultimately the Senate will reject removal from office, Democrats will look foolish and Donald Trump will go on to winning the second term in 2020.

Kailash Jaitly

Colorado Springs

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