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Dispatch / March 9, 2010

colorado springs

I had just moved into a house in the northern suburbs of Colorado Springs, and was getting to know one of my new roommates, a very attractive female in her mid 20’s. This was promising. At some point though, the conversation turned to politics. She asked me, “You’re not another one of those liberals are you?” There she was, a thin 5’6 or so brunette in tight jeans and an expensive blouse: beautiful, well-spoken, well dressed, and educated. And conservative as hell.  This kind of girl is ubiquitous in Colorado Springs. Not exactly what you think of when you see the, without a better way to put it, interesting looking types who attend the Tea Party rallys. In fact, my previous experiences were the exact opposite: the liberal girls more likely to be attractive, and the hardcore conservatives, um, not so much. I quickly found out that my old way of thinking would not work here. This evil flip of my traditional paradigm is God’s way of fucking with me, telling my non-believing ass, “You’re in the wrong place, pal. You don’t belong here. This is my country.” Every thing is different in the country’s most ultra-conservative city.

Colorado Springs is a strange place. It’s got one of the country’s most beautiful backdrops, with the fourteen-thousand-foot Pikes Peak and its surrounding mountains on the western border. I don’t know how many times I’ve almost caused a 50-car pileup driving down I-25 because I was too busy gawking at those damned mountains.

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And yet, Colorado Springs also feels like the epitome of the United States, and this is not a compliment. Suburban sprawl stretches as far as you can see to the north and east. I spent the first five months of my stay in the northern suburb of Briargate. This was my first experience ever living in the ‘burbs, and it was as bad as I’d feared. Endless fast food restaurants, for one thing. (Eric Schlosser’s great book, Fast Food Nation, focuses on Colorado Springs as a new model of the fast food industry. When you are here, it quickly becomes apparent why). Never-ending strip malls with parking lots full of Chevy Suburbans and all the other stereotypical shit. The residents are friendly on the surface, but you know their tone would change if they found out you were a left-wing atheist or something worse…

You may read this and say, “This is just another tired complaint about the suburbs,” or “There are places like this in every American city, what’s the difference here?” Let me tell you the difference. This place is worse, and I can prove it.

For one thing, Colorado Springs is nicknamed “The Evangelical Vatican” and for good reason: it’s the home base of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family and numerous other raging evangelical organization. Richard Dawkins would be lynched if he came anywhere near here. New Life Church, which used to be Ted Haggard’s (of meth-snorting closet-case homophobe fame) lair, can be found on the outer rim of town. The National Journal recently named Colorado Springs Congressman Doug Lamborn the most conservative member of the U.S. House. And just to make sure the Evangelicals are right in the thick of the Apocalypse and End of Days, Colorado Springs is home to the NORAD facility built into Cheyenne Mountain and to two major military bases, Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base. The United States Air Force Academy (which has a curious history of anti-Semitic incidents) is also located here. The armed forces are so prevalent here that my shaved head gets me mistaken for being military nearly everywhere I go. This has never happened any where else. I get treated with a level of respect I’ve never experienced before. I am offered military discounts (If only I had some sort of military ID…). My grumpy old, ex-military neighbor with his flawless military ‘do and dress slacks hiked up to his belly, once asked me, “How’s that war going?” without specifying which one. To him, it is all the same fight against those heathen Muslims. “It’s going well,” I played along, curious as to where this would go. Not far. “Keep up the great work,” he responded brusquely before returning to his quest to have the perfect yard when he dies. Hmmm….I didn’t realize anything going on in “that war” could be considered great, but apparently I don’t understand the eternal optimism of the war hawk. Whenever we are failing to impose our dwindling will on some poor little Podunk country, everything is apparently swell.  The list of the city’s right-wing credentials goes on and on.

obamaville

Now you can add “Obamaville” to that venerable list. This was the derisive name anonymously given to one of the city’s many homeless tent camps, an obvious play on the Depression’s “Hooverville.” The giant poster bearing the name was put on a fence that borders the camp, visible from the interstate. The camps began appearing at the end of April and early May of last year, peaking in tent-city numbers this January. There are approximately 500 chronic homeless in Colorado Springs, with about 300 staying in the ten or so camps that currently exist.

On February 9, the Colorado Springs City Council voted 8-1 to ban all “camping” on city public property–as if the homeless were just a bunch of spoiled free-loading hippies, rather than unfortunate victims and failures. The single dissenting vote came from a City Council member who had once been homeless in Colorado Springs himself.  The ordinance was then approved by the city attorney and has since passed another City Council vote, 8-1. Any day now, the police will enter the camps giving notice and warning for the homeless to move out. This is Christianity-in-action, according to the warped, mean version peddled by Dobson, Haggard and the rest.

The city is ready to kick the homeless out of their camps but has absolutely no interest in spending any budget money to help these people survive and get on their feet once they’ve been kicked out of their tents, leaving that job to severely under-funded and under-staffed nonprofit groups. While the camps are far from ideal (three particularly crime-ridden camps are being called “meth” camps, one a “heroin” camp; others have reportedly been plagued by sexual and physical abuse, with rumors of girls as young as 12 being pimped out in return for a place to stay) there are few other options available for the homeless. As awful as living in the tent cities is, what comes next is the abyss.

Not surprisingly, Colorado Springs is Tea Party country. A local measure on last November’s ballot to raise property taxes went down in defeat, with 62,923 voters (63%) saying “you can have my precious dollars when you pry them from my cold dead hands.” The good Christian folks here have a simple philosophy: they love their tax breaks big, and their government small. Now that the city can’t even fund basic services, we’ll see how locals deal with the consequences. The recent budget cuts became somewhat of a national story, and for good reason. Colorado Springs is going to become a fitting example, and perhaps preview for others, of what massive cutbacks look like: greatly reduced street lighting, more unfilled potholes than you can imagine, brown public lawns resulting from water cutbacks when the weather warms up, and probably some foot-high brown public lawns (the city is asking citizens to help mow the property). Not exactly Third World, post- apocalyptic hell, but not what you would expect from perhaps the “moral” and militaristic hub of a global superpower either.

So while the city government tries to get rid of the tent camps that are supposedly muddying the city’s image, it lets its own parks and public terrains decay. Recreation centers and museums will shut down unless private funding can be found. Unfilled jobs in the fire department and law enforcement agencies could have an even more severe impact.

Surprisingly, or perhaps not, depending on how jaded you are, the average person here seems unaware or apathetic about the looming disasters. The conservative voters seem obliviously content, for the time being at least–everything’s playing out exactly as they’d wished all along.

As for the other side, even the Springs has a small liberal population that, like everywhere else, is feckless.  These types don’t live in the suburbs. The lefties can be found in the midtown area, the Westside (location of my current digs), and the nearby hippie settlement further to the west, Manitou Springs. They are more irritating than anything else, and certainly nothing for the right to fret over. The most typical liberal here seems to be some strange breed of yuppie and hippie. They wear outdoor/backpacker apparel, love to discuss their wilderness exploits, and go to coffee shops to listen to folk groups and “authentic” roots music. If you’re ever looking to have a deep conversation about rock climbing or “Flight of the Conchords,” look no further.  If you want to find someone with whom to commiserate on the sorry state of this city and country, good luck.I realize that it’s too much to ask for any sort of activism or public anger these days–unless you’re old, white, rightwing and enjoying your Medicare. But I don’t even see any liberal anger in private. It seems for many liberals out here that if it’s not about the environment, while certainly a noble cause, it is of little concern to them.

In the end, it’s fitting that this community was the home of “Obamaville.” While the streets grow dark around the average citizen’s home and basic services slip, the outlook for those without a home is even bleaker.  If the city refuses to pay for what most every other American community has, what are the chances it will want to do anything to help the homeless? You know, besides kick them out and tell them to move on?

Is Colorado Springs becoming a model of the new American City? We’ll find out soon enough. For the time being, keep an eye on the Springs, because this could get messy.

Scott Bein is a native Missourian who, for reasons unknown even to himself, moved to Colorado Springs, CO. You can reach him here.

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73 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Cassandra  |  March 9th, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Colorado Springs is a classic example of unintended consequences. Back in the 70s when I was living there, the city’s tech dependent economy crashed badly. The local government pondered what they could do and decided that wooing some large religious institutions to the Springs was the answer.

    So now they have Fort Carson to the south and fundamentalists everywhere.

    Yippee.

    Cassandra

  • 2. Pascual Gorostieta  |  March 9th, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I have no idea how the god squad types are in Colorado Springs, but here in Texas home of the self righteous party types. Lots of girls put on that facade of good Christian girls while getting hammered and plowed by strangers at night.

    To booze

  • 3. geo8rge  |  March 9th, 2010 at 7:46 am

    According to the experts on Wikipedia:

    # 5 Economy

    * 5.1 Defense Industry
    * 5.2 High-tech industry

    # 6 Military Installations

    * 6.1 Fort Carson
    * 6.2 Peterson Air Force Base
    * 6.3 Schriever Air Force Base (formerly Falcon AFB)
    * 6.4 NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain Air Station
    * 6.5 United States Air Force Academy

  • 4. mike from Arlington  |  March 9th, 2010 at 8:18 am

    Hopefully we can get updates.

    I’d be interested in how a fundamentalist city deals with decay in services.

    Maybe they’ll all just pray more.

  • 5. katydid  |  March 9th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Mike said, “I’d be interested in how a fundamentalist city deals with decay in services.
    Maybe they’ll all just pray more”.

    I think I know what God’s answer will be, “No”

  • 6. Patrick  |  March 9th, 2010 at 10:35 am

    Just wanted to say this was a really good read. A pat on the back for you, internet stranger!

  • 7. FrankMcG  |  March 9th, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Hardcore conservatives are always the friendliest people on Earth…

    …up until they discover you’re not “one of them”.

    Once again I urge everyone to check out The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movement. It talks about how every mass movement, from religion to politics to revolutions, are built around the ideal that the present must be destroyed and suffering now equals perfect utopia later. The whole evangelical scam gets double benefits from cutting taxes: it protects their wealth and ensures a continued following as people turn to religion amidst ever worsening conditions.

  • 8. Pablito  |  March 9th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Dawkins went in to the very lair of Haggard, and survived!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr0RgqxadTI

  • 9. Allen  |  March 9th, 2010 at 11:50 am

    It has been noted for decades now that a grotesque, clearly evil by Christian standards, American conservative-coalition mentality has long since replaced so called “Christian” values amongst most of the religious-right in the United States.

    Their values are a confusing amalgamation of various mean and stupid GOP talking points since the 1950s. And they tolerate no end of corruption; their leaders are bought and paid for shyster whoremasters and often hypocrite-gay shyster whoremasters — fat stupid, prideful, boasting, grinning pigs. That’s not a caricature.

    I’ve read the book of Job and all. Far be-it for me to question the L-rd’s justice, etc … but I can’t help wondering at the order of a deist Universe when these people have yet to be destroyed. I’m just sayin’.

  • 10. Mark  |  March 9th, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Those Colorado Springs liberals sound like my social circle. They depend upon the System for their affluence so they will never do anything to upset it.

  • 11. Jethris  |  March 9th, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Ummm… What’s wrong with being conservative? It’s like it’s a disease. I believe in smaller Federal government. Is that bad?

    And I lived in the Springs. The only thing I didn’t like is the lack of decent roads. You can’t get from east to west quickly. Circle Ave, Woodmen Road, Platte, etc. They are all congested.

  • 12. selfContradictingLiberal0id  |  March 9th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    “greatly reduced street lighting”

    Who gives a crap about street lighting? head lights are sufficient. I could even see ahead of me when walking in full moon light.

    “more unfilled potholes than you can imagine”

    who cares about pot holes either? just avoid the dang things them when you see them. Better than making it a “shovel ready” project. In time there will be another way to solve the pot hole problems. Or drive slower. Maybe it will make people walk or bike more often.

    “brown public lawns resulting from water cutbacks when the weather warms up, and probably some foot-high brown public lawns (the city is asking citizens to help mow the property)”

    Who gives a crap about public lawns? better to SAVE fresh water than use it on govt. public lawns.

    The world is not ending just because of street lighting, unfilled pot holes, and sh8ty govt. owned public lawns.

    “Recreation centers and museums will shut down unless private funding can be found.”

    Private funding <——– is needed but you liberals want to tax the "rich" people or the corporations who do (who already get taxed and pay a significant amount of total revenue) and give tax $$ to the government so they build more sh8tty public lawns, pay for un-needed street lighting and subsidize sprawl. Liberals tax the death the private sector to give to the govt. Result? there is not private funding available for museums and recreation centers; it was all given to the govt. But liberals dont get it

  • 13. stephy  |  March 9th, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Stoppit…this is all so true. I went to bible camp all through my growing up just outside of Colorado Springs. My parents worked for a large Christian organization whose headquarters are there and even though we lived in Arkansas we visited Colorado Springs all the time. They sent me to a conservative Christian indoctrination type thing in Manitou Springs (right next to COS) when I was 16 and James Dobson used our group to be the audience in his Life on the Edge video series. When I think of Colorado Springs my stomach gets queasy. I got em back though by spending the night in the Air Force Academy dorms one of those nights at Summit Ministries. THAT went over like a lead zeppelin.

  • 14. selfContradictingLiberal0id  |  March 9th, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    “Unfilled jobs in the fire department and law enforcement agencies could have an even more severe impact.”

    The ‘Springs has many people who are former military. These people can protect themselves a lot better and have experience. Besides people are allowed have guns.

    What would you rather do? give your income tax to the govt. to pay for water for public laws, street lights (not many people are out at night anyways) and subsidize more sprawl or just keep it?

    At least the people of the ‘Springs know whats actually important.

    As for the homeless, who cares? a majority of homeless people have some sort of mental illness or drug addiction. If I ever found myself kicked out of my dwelling or out of work I would just move in with family members.

    Don’t these homeless people have family members to back them up? I don’t think so because they probably abandoned family (or the family abandoned them?)

    IF a bum is actually doing something creative on the sidewalk, like juggling balls, doing entertaining tricks or playing a guitar then i’ll give them some cash (which shows they are trying to get out of their situation) otherwise i’m passing along.

  • 15. Reamer  |  March 9th, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Odd, even in the most conservative part of Canada (I’m referring to Alberta) we pride ourselves on having awesome roads. Publicly funded, naturally.

    I guess gas is cheap down there, and since they can all afford Hummers (because of tax breaks) potholes in every road is not a big deal.

  • 16. brownsubmarine  |  March 9th, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    It’s even more ironic when you consider the staggeringly high proportion of C.S. residents who a) draw current checks from the government as military members or b) are retired and get all of their pension and health care supplied by the DoD.

    As a current officer in USAF, I can’t even begin to count the number of peers who have a get-rich-quick scheme that revolves around using Uncle Sam’s largesse to set up shop in “The Springs” for free. It’s disgusting.

    The moral? Government spending is always bad, unless it’s on you. Then it’s your justly earned credit.

  • 17. Harry Ballsach  |  March 10th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    All it is, is a standard American town, just a bit more American than most. A bit more mean and stupid.

    The cuntservatives love a big gov’t as long as the money flows from the poor to them, I’ve never seen a cuntservative turn down a handout. The libtards work the same way – they just want the money spent on slightly different things, say for more PBS programming instead of Davey and Goliath on the teevee.

    Both groups utterly hate and despise the poor. Even if the poor are their own family, friends, etc.

    I live in the nice liberal SF Bay Area and it’s no different here. If you lose everything, your “friends” will all turn their backs on you. You need to amass new friends because changing from $70k a year to less than $7 is a whole different world.

    What the cuntservatives should do: Would it kill you fuckers to set up a fucking soup kitchen and delousing station at some of those gilt-edged churches of yours? Would it kill you fat fucks to set up some kind of farm or ranch with no drugs or alcohol, clean living, a bit of work, and good cowboy food, and give some of these homeless folks a leg up? Oh, I forgot, you land-whales would die if you had to run an actual farm or ranch yourself, you consider hunting for the remote to be a real workout.

    What libtards should do: Get off your fucking high horse and realize these homeless folks are either the working class who’s held your gold-plated asses up all your life, or, they are now as they’ll never be middle-class again. Would it kill you fuckwads to let a homeless person live in your garage, in a Geodesic dome out back in exchange for maintaining your lawn or organic herb garden? Would it kill you fuckers to do a little volunteer work at the shelters, do a clothes donation drive, or some damn thing other than order $300 “hobo stoves” online for camping, and smelling your own rosy farts?

    This country is at war – class war. I’d love to arm those homeless folks with AKs and RPGs and set ‘em loose in SUV’ville myself.

  • 18. Pádraig Ó Buth Chanain  |  March 10th, 2010 at 2:36 am

    “Richard Dawkins would be lynched if he came anywhere near here.”

    Ummm, you say that like it’s a bad thing…?

  • 19. robert chambers  |  March 10th, 2010 at 3:16 am

    Overt Christianity is slightly less terrifying than sublimated christianity (christian morality) and its never-ending effort to make The Beatitudes a political reality.

    An American Liberal, full of hidden Christian assumptions, is a destructive subversive creature, forever implementing “progress” under the holiest of banners… it’s a supreme paradox that actual practicing Christians may be the last bulwark against this culture flying into a million pieces…

    Not everyone wants fist-fucking to be taught in 4th grade public schools and that’s the liberal model, let’s face it. They’d still be teaching it in NYC schools if it werent for the local archdiocese in an uproar. And the NY Post of course.

  • 20. robert chambers  |  March 10th, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I’m not against decadence in any form, Christian… overt or subterranean — it acts as a stimulant on the instinctual level, triggers a revolt. That’s the upside.

  • 21. twain  |  March 10th, 2010 at 6:46 am

    The idea of “taxing the rich” to “help the poor” sounds real good in theory….unfortunately the vast majority of it just goes into the pocket of government bureaucrats with a trickle-down that never actually helps anyone other than a handful of “poster needy”. I’ve BEEN on the very bottom. There was NEVER any government assistance that would actually do some good. It’s a liberal/socialist fantasy. More taxes? yea, that translates to more cops to beat your ass because you couldn’t make it out of town by dark to get to your cardboard box for the night and more city planning that makes it harder to get out of the hole cause you don’t have a vendors license, a building permit, a license to fish, a (fill in the blank). Smaller government is the only thing that will do anyone any good in the long run. That means the “liberal” “tax the rich” strategy is out (since they want to spend the taxes on bigger government -with every one of them taking a cut off the top-) and the “conservative” tax us to “defend” us makes no more sense (the only people we need to be “defended” from is our own government…hello! we all have guns in this country! Nobody is going to take ANYTHING from us unless some gutless government wonk wants to “control” your ability to shoot back -and ALL of them do, both “liberal” AND “conservative”). Oh, and before anyone goes off on the “capitalism turns us into slaves for the rich”….keep in mind that this country isn’t capitalist, it’s merchantilist….the rich can buy the politician’s votes to buy the regulations that keep the little guy from getting ahead…no “free market” here (in spite of what the boobtube claims). We can -and normally will- take care of our own if we don’t have the government monkey on our back….

  • 22. az  |  March 10th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Doomsday Christianity is the best pro-capitalist religion… Doomsday Capitalism if you will.

    Do more articles on this sort of stuff, guys! The Ayn Rand thing feels pretty boring now.

  • 23. LeftTheSprings  |  March 10th, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’m sorry about the parks and fire department people but the Spring is just settling into its own sinkhole of meanness and stupidity.

    The police just follow the belief that if you’re poor god doesn’t love you and you should be arrested for something. Since everybody is armed, let them all lose their jobs.

    I lived there for 12 years when telecom actually brought decent wages and jobs there but that is gone. The absolute fundie crap does give kids something to rebel against. Many of the kids raised there will drink the koolaid but others go way the other way. My son is in his early 20′s so he spent most of his life there. One friend, whose dad worked at Focus, grew up to be a meth addict & car thief and is now in prison.

  • 24. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 10th, 2010 at 11:05 am

    @14 “If I ever found myself kicked out of my dwelling or out of work I would just move in with family members.”

    Golly gee, selfContradictingLiberal0id, I don’t know if Wally and Beaver would be keen on sharing their room with you again.

  • 25. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 10th, 2010 at 11:19 am

    “@21

    “this country isn’t capitalist, it’s merchantilist….the rich can buy the politician’s votes to buy the regulations that keep the little guy from getting ahead.”

    That is capitalism -as it actually exists. Capitalism hates competition, and consolidates power.

    What are you going to do in your capitalist “free market” utopias? Ask, really really really nicely, that people who have accumulated capital not use it for political gains in their own best interest? Doing anything more violation of your beloved NAP, right?

  • 26. FrankMcG  |  March 10th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Awwww…I had my happy little bubble burst. Today, I realized that Liberaloid isn’t a real person and is just an act to get a rise out of these boards. I’m sad now.

    God, so many empty, baseless talking points in these comments.

    “I just want a smaller federal government. What’s wrong with that?”

    Everything, considering it’s such a vague statement that it’s meaningless. What the hell does “smaller federal government” even mean? Are you one of those libertarians that believe the federal government should only exist for international diplomacy and military? Would abolishing the FDA, FDIC, and federal labor laws count as “smaller federal government”? Do you seriously think those things would make for a better country?

    “It just lines the pockets of bureaucrats!”

    What the hell does this even mean? Another empty talking point. Are you saying there is some waste and graft in government spending? No shit! Name me ONE system, organization, or business where this isn’t true. This is just more of the “throw the baby out with the bathwater” following the libertarian train of thought that any complex system beyond my understanding should be torn down , destroyed, and replaced with something simple enough I can understand. Sure the robber barons era was a shitty time to live in, but it was simple!

    To sum it up, you guys have zero basis from which you’re parroting this empty nonsense. I think 1984 is an important novel that everyone should know, but jesus christ the only lesson everyone’s taken away from it is “government (gubment) = bad”. The real lesson from it should have been the methods of overt and covert control, not whether it was coming from government big brother or generous old Daddy Warbucks.

  • 27. homer  |  March 10th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    This post is full of stereotypes and boring nonsense. As above poster commented, people can get on fine w/o streetlights and a couple added potholes. Hell, I’m living in Colorado, too and here the streets are barely paved. Colorado is a confused hellhole, get out while you can.

    PS: Cops in some areas of Denver are fully trained to use and required to carry NUNCHUCKS.

  • 28. internal exile  |  March 10th, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    I once knew a guy who had attended the Air Force Academy in CS, but dropped out. He told me that the academy had a spectacular view of the mountains, but the new cadets were discouraged from looking at them. The upperclassmen would say “what are you gazing at?” He got out of there and got into the meth business, which let him look wherever he wanted.

  • 29. tom  |  March 10th, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    Frank McG

    Good luck getting specifics. Real arguments are ineffective in the face of repetition. As soon as you respond to the repetition, you enter their game, you lose they win.

    Talking points come in e-mail, we go forth to spread the word, the same word of course, all over the internet!

    Sheesh, and it sounds like you actually read 1984 too. C’mon Orwell was well versed in propaganda. He knew how it would go down.

    If there’s hope, it lies with the proles, man. Remember? But the proles bought it all, and would never revolt.

    I love that book.

  • 30. Harry Ballsach  |  March 11th, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Twain – thank you for not being a fucking idiot. It’s rare.

    Indeed, taxing the rich to give to the poor looks fine on paper but ….

    How about a simple, direct, 15% flat tax? With maybe your first 10 grand a year untaxed? For everyone and by everyone, I mean everyone. That means, instead of the working poor paying something like 30-40% of their income to taxes, and the rich only not getting taxed but actually getting paid by all of us to exist, we’d have something that’s not criminal. And universal military and marksmanship training like in Switzerland, just to keep the banksters and other crooks nervous.

    I’m ON the bottom. I qualify for all kinds of gov’t assistance and I stay a country mile away from the gov’t. I’m working my way back up, and those fuckers WILL stop me from doing that if I allow them to.

  • 31. yukio  |  March 11th, 2010 at 6:55 am

    every article with I, hunter s. thompson’s dull innovation – not good.

  • 32. Smith  |  March 11th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    Harry I agree, a 15% flat tax like in Russia or Ukraine – the locals don’t like to pay it but I don’t mind, 15% feels like a tax and not like rape at 40-50%. If everyone paid 15% on everything – no loopholes- they earned the governments would be flooded with money. You mention Switzerland – I am all for military training and the rest, but in some parts of the country the taxes are only about 5% and still the governments there do not know what to do with the money – low taxes work.

  • 33. unger  |  March 11th, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    Necronomic Justice: Well, what makes you think capital really accumulates to a few in a real free market? Marx himself (who was a first-rate historian, even if I disagree with many of his economic conclusions) noted that the great accumulations of capital did not come, and had never in history come, from a bunch of happy Calvinists scrimping and saving while their spendthrift Papist fellows lived it up, but from exploitation – from enclosure and other artificial (read: state-imposed) wealth seizures and transfers. If we’re really having to beg the holders of accumulated capital for our per diem, it’s a pretty sure sign of privilege or other criminality, not of liberty.

    Let us dispense with the term ‘capitalist free market utopia’. There are two mutually exclusive visions there, and they shouldn’t be confused: one of a ‘capitalist’ utopia, something quite like the NWO of conspiracy theory, or at least like Arthur Jensen’s dream in ‘Network’; the other of a genuine free market. Not all libertarians are your enemies.

  • 34. az  |  March 11th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Russia and Ukraine have flat taxes because there is a lot of non-compliance and enforcement is hard when there are a bunch of papers to fill out vs. a simple look in the records. And even then people still try to subvert it by getting paid under the table.

  • 35. FrankMcG  |  March 11th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I try, tom =(

    Goering got it wrong. It’s not how big the lie is, it’s how often you keep repeating it with enough conviction .

  • 36. Harry Ballsach  |  March 12th, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I’ve been a low wage earner, and a small biz owner, guess as which I paid the most tax, in absolute dollars as well as as a percentage?

    When I made $5 an hour in the 80s, I was paying 25% off the top federal tax, later making $10 an hour as an ace electronics repair tech (the guys hefting boxes in the warehouse made more, I was an idiot to get any education past 8th grade) I paid over 30% plus paid back college loans with interest to you guessed it, the gov’t. Later than that, as a small biz owner, my gross income got close to $100k a year, and my taxes were down where they were in absolute dollars where they were under the old $3.35 an hour minimum wage.

    That people on minimum wage pay taxes at all is a crime.

    The richer you are here in the Evil Empire, the less taxes you pay. Get above $150k a year and I strongly doubt you are paying taxes at all. Above $250k-$300k, you are probably being PAID through various “programs’ (boondoggles) and in essence, money is going from the pocket of the dishwasher at the swank restaurant you eat at, into your pocket.

    The reason I’m for universal military training and arming is, it’s the most effective way to arm and train the working class. Military service is highest among the working class already in the US and I think that’s gonna bit our oligarchs in the butt, but I’d like to see that process accelerate. There’s a Revolution coming up.

  • 37. Pascual Gorostieta  |  March 12th, 2010 at 6:43 am

    The working class is quite well armed. The military as a tool for revolution seems way unlikely. There isn’t a prevailing since of radicalism amongst the military, hell most of them vote Republican guys that will take an axe to their benefits. However, I have met a few ex-military guys that have become hardcore leftists after their service but these are few and far between. But hey another 5 years of war and the military might be ripe for becoming radical.

    I agree with you fully on post 17. Hell, I was talking to this girl, a self proclaimed
    “democratic socialist” and I asked her if she knew of Eugene V. Debs. She said no and I facepalmed. The working class are feeling the squeeze from both sides.

  • 38. Joe Blow  |  March 12th, 2010 at 11:01 am

    “Get above $150k a year and I strongly doubt you are paying taxes at all.”

    That’s not true at all.

    “In 2007, the top 1 percent of tax returns paid 40.4 percent of all federal individual income taxes” The top 5% paid 60.6% of income taxes collected. That includes people earning $160,041 or more in 2007.

    http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

    The problem is that we cut taxes for the rich and we paid for them by using the FICA taxes paid by the working class. and borrowing from China.

    Colo Springs sounds like a fundie paradise.. why pave your roads when we are all gettn raptured next week…

  • 39. adolphhitler  |  March 12th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    i waana see the snapper of colorado springs

  • 40. s.p.  |  March 12th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Sounds horrid. Kind of like Albuquerque. Beautiful place, but full of the typical conservatives with their church/suv/strip mall endless consumption and development mentality. And every now and then you’ll meet some “liberal” outdoors type who loves biking and climbing oh so much but doesn’t give a rat’s ass about poverty or endless war.

    The thing about all these white people in the West is that they’re just trying to escape Mexicans and Asians, just as white people in the Northeast have been forever trying to escape blacks.

    You nailed it with this description.

  • 41. ocschwar  |  March 12th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    Ah, Colorado Springs. I spent a week there, one day.

  • 42. nampa1  |  March 12th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Harry B. I feel you about the scam education has become in this courntry.
    I’ve blown 60,000 on an undergrad diploma (included room and board) so I got off pretty well.
    Went to a prestigious graduate program, but didnt graduate because of the hazing plus a big mark on my record everyone persecutes me for, and now for a health professional degree. The job aint even that great. I’m a glorified customer service guy in many ways and am not earning as much as you may think.
    However, I do have to say that the student loans are not disbursed by the government. Instead they are backed by it. All that interest went to private banks. Without the gov, the interest would have been even higher believe it or not.

  • 43. bob  |  March 13th, 2010 at 2:22 am

    If you hate it so much, why do you live there?

  • 44. quinn e.  |  March 13th, 2010 at 4:04 am

    The best thing to come out of libertarianism is the end of sprawl and unsustainability. When you attempt to privatize infrastructure, toll the highways (and unlike the O.C. no gov to bail them out), the entire order will collapse. The cheapest living standard and the most opportunity are in the city, people will abandon their cars, no longer own huge swathes of large wasteful property, population density will pile on. If it’s extreme, roads won’t even be paved, private operators will lay rails and buy back the streetcars from eastern europe. But then no public parks either, horrible congestion and air quality are inevitable..but pay me a dollar and I’ll let you jog at my park.

    The social capital and cohesion gained by being forced to tolerate each other is a good thing. Bustling streets and lively alleyways, rate of overweights under 5%…its the turn of the century all over againand we’re raising skyscrapers in Chicago, because there’s water there, and we can get it right this time..into the wishing well you go.

  • 45. Lex  |  March 13th, 2010 at 10:26 am

    “Who gives a crap about street lighting?”
    “who cares about pot holes either?”
    “Who gives a crap about public lawns?”

    Weeeell, the Market, which you worship so much does. House prices are predicted to drop 11.9% by the end of 2010 because of it.

  • 46. Carl the Druid  |  March 13th, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    @44

    Rural areas would benefit as well. Meth ravaged small rural towns will be bustling with economic activity. Employment in agriculture will be attractive once again.

    “population density will pile on” That doesn’t necessarily mean over-crowded crap holes like N.Y.C. Some of the population will disperse in the rural areas as well. For some reason people think we have to be overcrowded hell holes liberal utopias like N.Y.C. There will be smaller cities and towns also and they won’t be ‘overcrowded’.

    “But then no public parks either”. Social cohesion and capital and people will figure out that parks are more important than the public lawns that uses up water.

  • 47. Carl the Druid  |  March 13th, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    “Weeeell, the Market, which you worship so much does. House prices are predicted to drop 11.9% by the end of 2010 because of it.”

    Oh noes, our economic order relies on the price of crappy suburban lots on the edge of the city and car companies.

    China is building a highspeed rail system that would connect major cities. Meanwhile our govt. in the U.S. is spending money on building more highways and bridges to nowhere for automobiles and bailing out dinosouric car industries just for the sake of “saving or creating jobs” in “shovel ready” projects. And the liberal strategy of taxing the rich to give to the govt. to do the above pisses people off.

  • 48. blargh  |  March 14th, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Libertarian here. The way the lack of services can be dealt with is simply by letting private companies compete for them. IF a service is important someone will be willing to pay for it – so someone will be willing to do it (if you remove min. wage from the equation – there are many jobs not worth 7,50 dollars an hour). If the service isn’t important, then not. I wouldn’t cry over public parks.

    Service improves IF it isn’t the local authorities that appoint the private companies who offer them and they’re actually under threat of going bankrupt (that’s very important – if the threat of bankruptcy is removed then why would they even try to do a good job, huh Obama?).

    Most of the time privatization just means that the authorities are giving away corrupt contracts to their friends private companies with little to no actual free market competition going on. But then ofcourse the free market gets blamed after that corrupt private company cocks up.

    To 44: libertarian places tend to be a whole lot less urbanized than statist areas. Libertarianism works in rural settings much better. So any libertarian area in the world would see it’s population spread out.

    Also I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, living is much more expensive in cities than rural areas in the entire world. There isn’t a single country where things work the way you described them.

  • 49. FrankMcG  |  March 14th, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Oh jesus, more libertarian talking points. Let’s focus on #48′s

    “Abolish the minimum wage”

    At best, your average conservative/libertarian is familiar with a summarized version of chapter 1 of an Econ 101 textbook. They take a brief glimpse of a price-consumption curve, listen to a couple free market shysters’ spin on it, and conclude that lowering wages would results in high employment rates.

    First off, the entire point of minimum wage is the idea that, if a person is willing to work 40-80 hours a week, they should be able to afford basic living expenses. To deny hard working people this basic right is callous at best, and inhumane at worst. Move to southeast Asia and take a look at what kind of “paradise” that system creates.

    Second, it’s a ridiculous notion to think that employment would skyrocket if the minimum wage was abolished. If wages were cut in half, do you honestly think employment would double (actually, they’d have to more than double if you stick to the idea that overall working wage would increase if minimum wage lowered)? Businesses would employ the same number of people required to get the job done and pocket the difference. Using a price-consumption curve is a terrible representation of labor.

    Would it really be worth it to wipe out unemployment if it meant lowering wages to a dollar an hour? WE COULD BE BUILDING PYRAMIDS, PEOPLE!

  • 50. FSB Agent 008  |  March 14th, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    OK, so since its very existence is contingent on the Pentagon largess, Colorado Springs lives and dies with the government spending. Therefore, by any conventional American standards, the whole town is a giant welfare whore. Only in America can people sucking the tit of the big government also fancy themselves as “conservatives” and advocate for a small government. LOL. The whole country is bipolar crazy…

  • 51. FrankMcG  |  March 14th, 2010 at 8:48 pm

    “Private enterprise is always the better solution and only fails when the government gets involved.”

    For real? Would you care to extend this philosophy to public services and infrastructure? Would you rather have private security personal patrolling the streets instead of police? One of those is beholden to several strict regulations determined by representatives that the public has a voice in. The other is beholden only to what their boss determines is best for bottom line profit. Taken to its logical extreme, the libertarian free market model would tell you, “Eventually the free market would steer consumer demand to the private security firms that DON’T savagely beat you and rape your daughter.” Should we have a privatized fire department that lets houses burn if the owners aren’t paying customers?

    uh huh

    How about roads? Have you ever SEEN a private road? Torn up shit hole. A privately owned road would only be repaired when the owner determined that the cost of lost business from car accidents resulting from potholes outweighed the cost of maintenance (think Ed Norton’s office job in Fight Club).

    The whole free market argument also comes from the frame of mind that every business is a local ma & pop outfit dedicated to long term productivity. In reality, short term slash and burn corporate profits are often a higher priority than actual sustainable productivity. You CANNOT afford that kind of shit with vital infrastructure and services.

    See people, the entire idea behind public services can be summed up in one word: wholesale. Goods become cheaper by the unit the greater quantities are bought, and service fees lower the larger the subscription base. A privately owned park would probably cost $5-10 per person per visit because fewer people would visit a park if they had to pay for it. Wouldn’t it be a great deal if everyone could have unlimited use of that park for only 50 cents a year?

    That’s exactly the kind of “wholesale” deal that public services allow. Hey look, it ties right back into the venerated price-consumption curve! It’s the best possible deal for services and institutions that most people want, but would be prohibitively expensive on a “pay as you use” basis. In addition it covers all the areas that should NOT be beholden to private interests and profit (police, schools).

  • 52. Necronomic Justice  |  March 15th, 2010 at 1:16 am

    @48, You should read Mike Davis’s Planet of Slums.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=FToaDLPB2jAC

  • 53. Necronomic Justice  |  March 15th, 2010 at 1:39 am

    @48, If you don’t have time for that dense academic book. I also would like to recommend a short little essay from the same author,

    FEAR AND MONEY IN DUBAI by Mike Davis
    http://www.newleftreview.org/?view=2635

    A nice little glimpse of what was going to be the role model of a Libertarian (“Anarcho”Capitalist/Monarchist?) city State, before the global economic crisis hit.

    Hey it is cheaper to live outside of the city after all!

  • 54. blargh  |  March 15th, 2010 at 4:28 am

    Libertarian here again, answering to 49. But before a brief answer to necronomic: dubai is not that libertarian-capitalist, it’s a totalitarian dictatorship that infringes basic human rights. A constitution well enforced by a judicial system works best for capitalism. And don’t link me to that keynesian soothsayer Davis.

    Okay on to 49. You’re not the one to tell what is a living and what is not, you bleeding-heart nancy. Asia is doing very well right now and in 20 years they will have a higher standard of living then you or your kids. Why? Because they work. They work for what their work is worth. So they build – because people give them jobs.

    It’s better to work 3 dollars an hour then not to work at all.

    Do you think OUR civilization wasn’t built this way? Do you think western standard of living just sprouted out of the ground?

    “In reality, short term slash and burn corporate profits are often a higher priority than actual sustainable productivity. You CANNOT afford that kind of shit with vital infrastructure and services.”

    That is pure bullshit. Short-term profit at the cost of long-term productivity makes your company go under. UNLESS Obungobungo beats the money drum and Witchdoctor Bernanke conjures your company some free fiat cash. Yeah, then we have a problem.

    The current system IS fucked but from the exact opposite direction you think it is. All these big corporations get away with being big money pits because the government thinks they are “too big to fail.”

    Let me tell you a little story of the great collapse of 1920. No, not 1929. Nineteen-twenty. The stock market crashed, way worse than it did in 1929. Unemployment skyrocketed and the economy was completely in tatters. So what did the government do to fix this insane problem? Nothing. One year later the entire thing FIXED ITSELF. This crash was WORSE than the crash of 1929.

    You are just not seeing the big picture of how things really operate. You’re looking at one aspect alone like a complete idiot. “Oh if workers have more money that’ll be good!” No it won’t because that money will have to come from somewhere. Somewhere where it might’ve paid off better.

    Capitalism isn’t something you can force, it isn’t a system you either have or not, it is reality. Capitalism is simply the most accurate depiction of how the economy really works. Capitalism is when you stop trying to fight against other people.

    The soviet union was also under the sway of capitalist forces. It was just one big shitty corporation that finally went bankrupt. Capitalism is reality simply because you cannot make something out of nothing. The laws of physics apply to the economy aswell. If the government could just make stuff out of the ether and give them to people then sure, the gov would be a force of great good. Unfortunately the only thing the government gives back to the people are things it stole from them in the first place.

    If you think the money just comes from big bad evil nasty rich people you’re a delusional clown.

    America has become more and more socialist ever since 1913 and the standard of living has been going down gradually. A single blue collar job used to be able to sustain an family with a house. Now you need two jobs and some debt on top.

  • 55. twain  |  March 15th, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Some good discussion here….

    ballsach –a far better solution than many.
    May not be perfect, but I’d go for it in a heartbeat over what
    we have now. Natch, the powers-that-be would NEVER go for it,
    limits their power ya know…
    Amazing that you qualify for any aid…they wouldn’t give me anything
    other than a hard time when I was down…(being flat strapped didn’t
    qualify me for anything in those days…and I was down for a LONG
    time).
    Joe Blow -yea, you’ve got the numbers right, BUT
    I remember when perot ran for office (and every media outlet made
    him out to be a nutcase….course, if you actually LISTENED to what
    he had to say you found out he left the other contenders flopping
    in the dust…Note: some of what he said I didn’t agree with, but
    he wasn’t in the same class as the professional liars/politicians
    by any means….), BUT, I remember him saying that he paid less in
    taxes than his lowest-paid warehouse worker, and that THAT was a
    problem. If you’re on the bottom, you’ll pay (you might get something
    back, but you WILL pay), if you’re in the middle, you’re hosed.
    If you’re at the top, you’re in a whole different catagory,
    the laws are made by those who are paid by that top couple percent
    and -naturally- are written in their favor. Yea, the numbers show
    that they’re highly taxed, but that is what trusts, investments,
    and tax lawyers are for. Note that if you’re at the top and are
    stupid enough to try to really cheat, they’ll hit you hard,
    but there’s no real need to do that. Invest, open trusts/foundations
    and writeoff. hey, after a point it’s all a game anyway.
    The “left” keep yelling “take their money, they STOLE it!”
    but they want to give it to the biggest crooks in the country,
    somehow thinking that they can control those in charge.
    Never happened, never will. That’s REALITY.
    Even if they could, the social programs they want are too big to pay for.
    THAT’S reality too.
    The “right” thinks that they can get the big government that they
    like to rah-rah for (mostly military) but they want almost the same as their
    buddies to the left of them, big government but with the money spent differently.
    and they want to get it by cutting social programs…
    Again, doesn’t work that way and for the same reasons.
    Last audit of the military showed that $7 out of $8 was just flat
    unaccounted for. (remember what rumsfeld said about the money on 10 Sept 01?,
    forgot, didn’t ya? know what else was being investigated in the part
    of the pentagon that got hit? Go look it up.) Both parties believe it’s
    their “destiny” to run the world…left to solve it’s problems, the right
    to control it. And both want us (the people with jobs) to pay for it.
    It will never happen. Not the way they want to do it.
    They’d do far better to just hand out blue jeans and rock music for a couple
    generations.

    Merchantilism is not capitalism.
    Politicians will always say whatever it takes to get into office.
    (Look at what they ALWAYS do, not what they say.)
    Once there, the BEST they can do is steal from one group to and to the other.
    And the whole time, they’ll be skimming the vast majority off the top
    to line the pockets of themselves and their buddies.
    That’s reality.

    The best we can hope for is to keep them as weak and powerless as possible.
    yea, may cause problems. Yea, may be issues getting services in some areas
    via private enterprise, etc
    but compared to being a slave to a bunch of elected psychopaths?
    I’ll take those problems ANY day over the alternative.
    I don’t care to be a slave to anyone, whether they’re a private individual
    or an elected/appointed official (the little “D”, “R” or even “L” next to
    their name doesn’t make the least bit of difference).
    Naturlly, the people currently in charge (and those that also want to be)
    don’t agree….

  • 56. FrankMcG  |  March 15th, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Oh man, a libertarian telling me I’m a clown who doesn’t understand how the world works and in the same breath calling taxes “stealing” by the government. That pretty much tells you the kind of hopeless logic we’re dealing with. To a libertarian’s child understanding, they should get an immediate tangible good or service for their money. So when they fork over $10k in taxes to the government and don’t receive a shiny new car in return, they cry “thief!”. Their notion of tax collection literally comes from Hagar the Horrible comic strips.

    Listen, I won’t bother you anymore if you just go hide in your bunker where the evil hooded tax collectors can’t get you. Polish your guns all you want, just never vote again. Deal?

    ANYWAYS…

    There’s a lot of what I like to call “cynical superiority” here where people like to denounce everything to hedge their bets that they’ll never turn out to be “wrong” about something and look like a fool. That’s where you get a lot of this “both sides are just as bad!”, which is the closest thing you’ll ever get to a conservative minded person admitting that they were wrong about something.

    But seriously, is spending money on programs to establish infrastructure and a social safety net REALLY just the same as pouring hundreds of billions into the military industrial complex? Who exactly is getting “rich” off of social programs? Most of it goes to bottom income earners and any money they make is pretty much immediately pumped back into the economy. I’m sure we’ve all known friends or loved ones who would have been out on their ass if they didn’t have unemployment covering them while they tried to get back on their feet. Would you rather they become homeless so a billionaire Lockheed shareholder can ferret his tax break to Cayman accounts?

    You show me any country with a huge disparity of wealth and no social safety net, and I’ll show you a place that’s a shithole for 90% of the populace. I know you Tea Party types hate Mexico, and I can’t think of a closer example of a country with massive wealth concentration (something like half a dozen families control over half the national wealth, and the top one just passed Bill Gates for richest person in the world).

    Another thing is the more you dismantle those safety nets and the more people you leave out to dry in abject poverty, the more the haves start pumping into non-producing security jobs to keep all their loot safe from the unwashed masses. Again, take a look at Mexico and the ridiculous amount of security and bodyguards anyone with money spends on there. It all ties back into the conservative mindset of being absolutely terrified of anything that makes them look weak. Compassion = weak, so fuck poor people. Military/police = things you can do a lot of tough chest thump woofing over so it makes you strong. Billions for the military, not a cent for social programs. Millions for the drug war, not $100k for a rehab center.

    I swear, everyone crying out for deregulation and “smaller government” (whatever that means) would honestly be happy with a return to robber barons, Pinkerton strike breakers, and early industrial age Dickins’ London. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the tea party crowd is old enough to be cranky, but not old enough to remember that era or the great depression.

  • 57. Necronomic.JustIce  |  March 17th, 2010 at 1:58 am

    @54 “dubai is not that libertarian-capitalist,”

    It’s as close as you can get to functioning LibCap. A Monarch (absolute property rights) who acts and thinks like a CEO instead of a Lord.

    “it’s a totalitarian dictatorship that infringes basic human rights.”

    Sounds like the LibCap ideal to me.

    “And don’t link me to that keynesian soothsayer Davis.”

    Mike Davis is a Socialist and not a Keynesian. Please tell me you know the difference?

  • 58. Lobo Zeta  |  March 17th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Hillbilly Central. Todo el puto CS área metropolitana apesta. And you can take that to the bank.

  • 59. FrankMcG  |  March 17th, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Gather up the cops. Round up people who can’t afford a home and drive them off your manicured lawns.

    WWJD indeed.

  • 60. Mrscbull  |  March 20th, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Sounds like Colorado Springs has a problem. In God’s Conservative Country they should be the God giving people they claim to be and open those nice church doors & let the homeless in and help them – find jobs, housing, food & etc. Isn’t that what Christian people do? Or is Colorado Springs just a vain superficial place that I have always heard it was?

  • 61. françoise  |  March 22nd, 2010 at 6:17 am

    what the heck. were there always this many lolbs on the exiled?

  • 62. blargh  |  March 24th, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Frank you spout your feel good populist nonsense that has no actual real world examples of working and denounce a model that has built modern civilization.

    Libertarians want no fucking robber barons. We want the exact opposite. A constitution enforced. You’re all so enamoured by your phony economic models that you don’t see reality.

    Dickensian corporate practices were government sponsored for fucks sake! Victorian british empire is what you think libertarians want? What the fuck do they tell you guys?

    You just talk inanely about borderline psychotic bullshit, how libertarians want to drink the blood of orphans. You do not address any actual facts. You’re just an ideologue.

    Also that 10k US the government takes is not “forked out” it’s fucking TAKEN BY FORCE. So yeah I expect 10000 USD worth of stuff in return IMMEDIETLY. Because whenever I pay someone money that’s what fucking happens.

    “I’m sure we’ve all known friends or loved ones who would have been out on their ass if they didn’t have unemployment covering them while they tried to get back on their feet. Would you rather they become homeless so a billionaire Lockheed shareholder can ferret his tax break to Cayman accounts?”

    They could live with me. It’s always someone else that has to do the good stuff for you leftists, right? Never YOU. You helping your friend/loved one directly never even fucking crossed your mind. “But I can’t afford it!” Well then how could I afford it? How could half a nation afford it for the other half?

    Or do you think that things change when the scale gets larger? Does value magical sprout from the ground at Obama’s command? All that changes is the TIME it takes to realise you can’t afford it. As america is about to find out with medicare. Thanks Lyndon B Johnson. Eversince that guy has delcared “war on poverty” americans have been getting poorer and poorer. Excellent work.

    The facts on the ground are against any socialism and support libertarianism. Try to refute that. Point me to a socialist model that has benefited anything ever. Cmon just bust out Sweden.

  • 63. Bill Rush  |  April 1st, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    I like Colorado. It’s where Hunter S. Thompson lived.

  • 64. inthemiddle  |  April 2nd, 2010 at 3:53 am

    You’re all a bunch of idiots arguing political claptrap offered by GAYBC or FOX while this culrure collapses.

    Can you think straight?

  • 65. atr  |  April 2nd, 2010 at 6:15 am

    Lived in the Springs for 5 years. This article is dead-on 100% accurate. I echo the thanks of others for writing it.

  • 66. vic stotter  |  April 3rd, 2010 at 6:54 am

    I lived in the Springs from mid-70s to 2001, when I finally was able financially to escape. Reading the article brought back all the bad feeling I used to have about the so-called “Christian” conservatives that took over that formerly beutiful town.

    I prefer christians [small c is deliberate, as they are christian the way Jesus was, love thy neighbor as thyself, etc.] Even Muslims who observe the “five pillars” of their faith e.g., sheltering strangers, giving alms, etc. seem more christian than so many of the “religious” right.

    I still have family and friends in the Springs but I hate going there to visit. It’s so sad.

  • 67. Reamer  |  April 6th, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    RE: 64. inthemiddle

    What else can we do? We fiddle as Rome burns, since there’s nothing else we can do. Hopefully people will start humming along…

  • 68. Betty  |  April 21st, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Oh man, I just got here from Austin. I had hoped I had picked a sister city. I saw several Unitarian Churches and thought I’d be safe.

    Great article. Let me know when I can come out of the broom closet.

  • 69. LtheOne  |  May 11th, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    So…what happened with the conservative cutie?

  • 70. Reality Check  |  July 13th, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Better wake up! Your still racing down the highway to hell. Live ready! Eternity happens and it is a choice. I hope that you and Jesus get it ALL worked out! Only He can cancel your burn!

  • 71. Doing my time  |  September 19th, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I was stationed in Colorado for two and a half years, and this post only reminds me how much I long to return. I only pray that The Springs is future of America!

  • 72. Anathame  |  July 4th, 2011 at 3:03 am

    I did my whole hitch in the Army at Fort Carson, and nothing has changed. Terrible people preach the word of their lord, then go out and try to fuck as many people as possible. They try to say they are good Christians, but since when has a good Christian ever participated in such depravity? It seems as if they worship Slaanesh, and look it up, it might be a made up god but it is scarily accurate to the modern “Christian”

    It’s a microcosm of America, in one little state.

  • 73. Bob Powell  |  October 6th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Good article. Add to the “Christian problem” it’s libertarian as well. The combination is a recipe for economic stagnation.

    See Colorado Springs: A Broken Region, 10/26/10. While it’s true that Colorado Springs government is broken, it’s worse than that. The whole region is broken; its policies are structurally unsound. Here’s why:
    http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/brokenregion.shtml


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