Why do we need mandates?

I don’t like how opposition to vaccine ‘mandates’ is strawmanned as “wanting people to die”. I don’t, and I think the concerns about vaccines being unsafe are drastically overblown. But why does this have to be mandated?

Take, for instance, rabies — we don’t require those vaccines for anyone, most people get them only after they’ve been bitten by a suspected rabid animal. Sure, you could say COVID has killed more people than rabies did. But influenza killed 50,000 people in 2019, and we don’t require flu vaccines. COVID has killed 750,000 over two years — let’s say 375,000/yr even though it wouldn’t be exactly that — which is more, for sure, but this line between “lethal enough to require a mandate” and “safe enough to not need one” is arbitrary.

Think back to ebolanoia. New diseases are scary, I get that, but communicable disease isn’t something that you can blame on people who get infected with it. It’s a fact of human existence, and arbitrary violations of bodily autonomy such as this set a dangerous precedent for further violation of freedoms.

So unless you are willing to apply that “saving lives” standard to every communicable disease — because remember, the line is arbitrary and “it’s worth it even if it saves one life” — I don’t know how you can support this mandate.

Dominic Cingoranelli

Colorado Springs

Vaccines and ‘political grandstanding’

Re: “Military vaccination list is long”, The Gazette, Monday.

I checked the website the writer referenced, and the information she imparted was in fact on the site.

However, it inferred that only Army, Navy, and Marine Corps personnel get the yellow fever shot. Let me assure anyone that as a member of the Air Force in parts of four decades that I got this inoculation in ’66, ’76 and ’86.

Further research shows that the shot is only a one-time requirement now and is required in the Air Force as necessary.

Getting back to the list of shots, I believe that they contain the actual virus they are intended to combat.

The influenza shot does not work all the time because the manufacturing process gets the strain wrong. The COVID vaccination does not contain the actual virus but is designed to create antibodies to fight the virus.

One of the letter writers to The Gazette recently stated that a COVID shot might not stop the recipient from getting the disease as the other shots do. I believe that applies to the influenza shot as well, but I could be wrong and will leave that to the medical experts.

I do not dispute Mary Talbot’s right to express her indignation with Rep. Doug Lamborn’s letter, but to be fair, she should have included President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for their remarks during the campaign concerning the vaccines. That was the most egregious “political grandstanding,” and as the leaders of our nation, it portrayed a gross misunderstanding of human nature. The chickens have come home to roost!

Wayne Gray

Colorado Springs

Republican party is alive and well

The Republican Party is alive and well in El Paso County. Last week, the Gazette again published a disparaging article about our chair, Vickie Tonkins, but you don’t have all the facts.

Vickie has been the chair since October 2019 to the displeasure of the establishment Republicans. The establishment members of the board quite simply accuse Vickie of the things they have done themselves in the past. Now they see themselves as victims no matter how horribly they have treated our chair and the grassroots members.

The problem is their lying, cheating, stealing and abuse, which we started to notice years ago. They rage, bully, control, dismiss, disrespect, belittle and verbally attack. They think consequences aren’t for them. They are finding out they aren’t as important as they’d like to believe they are. Vickie is growing the party by leaps and bounds, welcoming all Republicans with an American first agenda. Join us as we fight the socialist/communist Democrats today to restore our liberty in this once great country. Every Republican is welcome.

Sheryl Glasgow

Colorado Springs

These are tax increases

Some powers that be are lamenting the recent votes that rejected tax increases to fund a pet project. Yes, I said tax increases because that is what they were.

The most obvious is the measure that wanted to fund a whole new bureaucracy for education, which started out by saying “without increasing taxes...” and then outlining how the tax on marijuana would be increased. Why is that not a tax increase? Then there were the measures that wanted to keep your TABOR refund. Forever. If you overpay on your federal income tax, you get that money back. If you don’t want it back, then you have increased the taxes you pay. If you overpay the amount TABOR allows the government to collect, they owe it back to you. If you don’t get it back, you have increased your taxes you pay. So the government has to ask you if they can keep it.

These measures always start out by saying “without increasing taxes...” but then ask to keep your taxes that have increased this time, and hidden deep in the wording is the real kicker “... and each year thereafter...”. You have to pay more in taxes from now on. Why is that not a tax increase? It appears the voters have caught on to your sneaky wording.

Roger Weed

Colorado Springs

Thank you, Vietnam veterans

Before Sen. John McCain passed away in 2018, he said to the nation that the United States lost the Vietnam War. I have a different perspective.

When the U.S. went to Southeast Asia, it was to prevent the spread of communism, often referred to as the “domino effect” that if one nation fell to communism others would soon follow. Like many of my generation, I grew up fearing communism. However, since that war no other nation has become communist. The four countries that call themselves communist, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam are nothing more than dictatorships or oligarchies.

If you ask millennials about communism, they often shrug their shoulders and say, “what about it?” When I mention this view to many Vietnam veterans, they tell me they agree. Though I may be wrong, I have to hear someone tell me how. I call Vietnam a victory over communism. Thank you, Vietnam veterans, and welcome home.

Mark Schaefer

Colorado Springs

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