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Thankfully the inferno surrounding Colorado Springs seems to be diminishing. The extreme weather of this summer may finally cooperate and halt the devastation.

But, why Colorado Springs? For this brutish punishment?

There is something about Colorado Springs, Colorado, that invites religious extremism, that attracts a large influx of Evangelical Christians and Christian organizations. It is claimed that at one time Colorado Springs was host to the national headquarters for 81 different religious organizations.

It has been christened "the Evangelical Vatican", "The Christian Mecca". Groups like the Association of Christian Schools International, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, Compassion International, Every Home for Christ, Focus on the Family, HCJB, the International Bible Society, The Navigators, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, WAY-FM Media Group, Andrew Wommack Ministries, Young Life, etc., abound.

Oh holy of holys! Conservative of conservative heaven.

It must be also recalled that in America there is a strange coupling of religious conservatism with political conservatives who swoon at the mere mention of whorish atheist Ayn Rand.

Ahem. Rand was definitely not your typical atheist. There are probably just as many prudish atheists who look with disdain upon the casual sexual coupling that Ayn Rand engaged in as there are prudes in religious groups, probably with higher and more scrupulous ethics than the preachy people who yell and scream about abstinence and chastity and such stuff.

One wonders, was it the unholy presence of the unholy ghost of Ayn Rand and her equally unholy followers in the Evangelical Vatican in April of this year that brought down the fiery ruin upon Colorado Springs in June?

TOWN HALL: Conservatives converge on Springs
This city is all about freedom

April 24, 2012 5:05 PM
.... Conservatives and libertarians, welcome to Colorado Springs. This is your home away from home. The local culture is overwhelmingly pro-military, pro-gun, pro-religion, pro-family, pro-business and pro-life. We elected the most conservative mayor in the country. City and state laws prevent unrestrained government spending and force politicians to ask taxpayers for new taxes. Yes, it is nirvana.

.... “The Atlas Experience 2012” at The Broadmoor, arguably the world’s finest resort, plans to make “Galt’s Gulch” a reality for at least a few days. For those unfamiliar with Ayn Rand’s fictional “Atlas Shrugged,” Galt’s Gulch was the secluded Colorado village in which John Galt, Midas Mulligan and other “men of the mind” went on strike against “unearned rewards and unrewarded duty.”

.... Colorado Springs stands for freedom, perhaps more than any other American city. So it makes good sense that a collective meeting of men and women “of the mind” would gravitate to America the Beautiful City and the country’s finest resort....

Colorado Springs' religious fervor has even overflowed so much that it has corrupted the United States Air Force Academy also in Colorado Springs, and the scene of an extremist religious scandal or two.

Of course, there has been a goodly bit of austerity foreplay, beginning in 2010:

Colorado Springs cuts into services considered basic by many
January 31, 2010 - The Denver Post
.... COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.

More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled....

Though officials and citizens put public safety above all in the budget, police and firefighting still lost more than $5.5 million this year.... Fire squad 108 loses three firefighters. Putting the helicopters up for sale and eliminating the officers and a mechanic banked $877,000.

The foreplay continued in 2011, diddling to the extreme the public safety budgets of 2012:
Police, fire ponder possible 2012 budget cuts
October 16, 2011 6:20 PM
.... Public safety agencies in Colorado Springs face budget cuts in Mayor Steve Bach’s proposed 2012 budget, leaving staffing reductions, health care insurance increases and a continued pay freeze on the table, according to preliminary budget documents. ... the Fire Department would drop six-and-a-half positions, documents show.
Police and firefighters are being asked to shoulder more of their health-plan costs — a move that’s proven unpopular in the fourth year of frozen salaries. They would pay 20 percent of their health insurance premiums, up from 14 percent this year — a move that would save the city $539,000, according to budget documents.

.... When called to emergency scenes in downtown Colorado Springs, firefighters arrive within eight minutes 96.6 percent of the time. East of Powers Boulevard, that response benchmark drops to 74.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Colorado Springs burns. Wildly:
'It's as close to hell as I could imagine,' mayor says of devastated area
In a tinderbox like the brush-filled valleys and slopes of Colorado, it cannot possibly be wise to cut firefighting budgets. And isn't it kind of stinky to stiff firefighters on healthcare? Ayn Rand, you old welfare-queen whore! I do not like you and your policies in the least!

Um, maybe it's time to start believing in global warming. Yo! Christian Extremists! Are you hep?

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Comment Preferences

  •  BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (7+ / 2-)

    BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    Happy summer, wingnuts, with many more to come!

  •  Of course... (8+ / 0-)

    ...it might have been the high heat and extended drought and not austerity and/or Randism/extremism that brought all this about.

    Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:11:34 AM PDT

  •  nicely done! rush must be having a total (7+ / 0-)

    meltdown, if anyone brings this to his attention -- imagine, the almighty wreaking meterologic havoc on a geographical spot b/c he doesn't like the goings on of humans there, hmmm . . . oh well, i'm sure rush will find someway to conflate it w/the scotus ruling on healthcare, or something totally unrelated.

    wasn't colorado springs the original target of the fundies b/c they picked the air force as their first evangelical outreach in the military?  i seem to remember reading somewhere yrs ago that they were going to branch out from the air force (after having evangelicalized it) to the other services.

    also, wasn't colorado ayn rand's mythical galt's gulch location?

  •  This was covered in a diary (4+ / 0-)

    a couple days ago.

    Budget cuts in CS have absolutely nothing to do with this situation. The fires started outside the city. No city fire department - including those in cities and counties equipped to fight them, like in Southern California - could have done much better initially.

    There is a point to be made when the state and Federal government lend resources, but when this is made to be about the city's cutbacks, it doesn't apply.

    •  I think the point is that they are anti-tax, (18+ / 0-)

      anti-government absolutists who have no problem cutting out essential public services. Obviously they could not control what the state or federal government does but if they could they would have cut that to the bare bone also.

      But now they're screaming for the government to save their asses. Apparently reality didn't turn out exactly like their little utopian minds thought it would.

      I wonder if all the teabaggers there will refuse to accept FEMA help? If the mayor is as ultra conservative as he claims maybe he should order FEMA to stay out of Colorado Springs. Oh, and send those firefighters back where they came from. We don't need no stinkin' government help.

    •  Did they gut building codes? Did they weaken (6+ / 0-)

      city agencies that would have assured safer landscaping around homes?

      I remember hearing the fire chief say in an interview that they've been warning people for years that they were building in very dangerous fire locations, not clearing enough brush from homes and the like. What kind of resistance was he getting from the city council and the mayors office?

      Thing is, as a society, the government is supposed to be learning from past mistakes and putting those lessons into good use by adapting and assuring a safer future. Especially when it comes to fire prevention and safety. The right-wing regressives simply see attempts like that by the government as getting in the way of their being able to make a profit. And in so doing, go out of their way to undermine those safety measures putting countless lives at steak.

      So, yeah, I'm betting the right-wing politicians, city managers, city council and the like are in part responsible for not doing a better job of preventing this.

      Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

      by Pescadero Bill on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:37:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, that was mine. (0+ / 0-)

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let them fight their own fires? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, banjolele, sfcouple

    Why is the federal government having to pay for the firefighting?

    More realistically, the right wingers in the west complain that the federal government owns so much land. I agree, that is a problem. Auction off most of the land to the highest bidder (preserving the most important wildlife habitat) and let the local governments pay for the costs of public safety. I'm tired of my tax dollars paying to subsidize these Randian pseudo-Christians.

  •  Guerilla Rush with this call: (8+ / 0-)

    "Colorado Springs is a bunch of hypocrites.  It's the most conservative anti-tax pro business town in the country.  And yet, they're on their knees begging the federal government to save them.  If they're so conservative, let them put out their OWN fires and keep the government OUT! Because you know what will happen next.  FEMA will come in and there will have to be all these new regulations, and the local government will have to dance to Washington's tune."

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:20:51 AM PDT

  •  I just moved away from (23+ / 0-)

    Colorado Springs.   And yes, it is sadly a conservative mecca.   It was so when I moved there in 1974 (I had no idea but I was a young person just starting life, got a teaching job out west and romanticized the idea of cowboys, etc.  I was already a liberal and I think living there made me a more active liberal).  But it became more of a conservative religious mecca in the 80s when Focus on the Family arrived and New Life Church grew into a mega church.   It became more of a anti tax mecca when Douglas Bruce (the poor, uneducated man's version of Grover Nordquist) of CA moved there and got the anti government, anti education dolts activated.

    However, there were and are still pockets of liberal, dem folks.  My old neighborhood, downtown about a mile from Colorado College, has had a dem state senator for most of my years there.   And in the 2008 election of the 8 houses on our side of the block, 7 of us had Obama/Biden signs on our lawns

    FYI the teachers in the largest school district are unionized.  And we successfully struck in 1975 when the BOE was attempting to take away our right to collectively bargain.   Despite the likes of COORS beer sending scabs from Golden by bus to break us, we hung tough. I was a young teacher without tenure and I, along with both my roommates at the time, struck.  We lost money, but we kept our Master Agreement.  Five young teachers, one a close friend of mine, were fired to set examples.  

    I only moved away in March. I was able to sell my house after reducing the cost several thousand.   There were things I loved about the Springs, and I have many wonderful, liberal/progressive friends there.   We fought hard and long to defeat Lamborn and failed.  We worked hard to get people to respect/acknowledge the importance of public employees like firefighters, police and teachers.  But the battle is difficult when everyone piles on from the pulpit, from the monied places like the Broadmoor.  

    Maybe now the citizens will give more respect to firefighters and police.  Sadly, I would not hold my breath.  There is a tea party mentality very entrenched there.  

    But just so you know, there are indeed many progressives and liberals there too.

    •  It rains and it flames on the just and unjust... (5+ / 0-)

      ...alike.

      I'm not cheering about a fire, no matter who it hits.

      •  Who's cheering? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NNadir, Iberian, yella dawg, caul

        I'm not.

      •  re: the just and the unjust (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fresno, caul, devis1, cassandracarolina
        The rain it raineth on the just,
        and also on the unjust fellow-
        but moreso on the just because
        the unjust has stolen the just's umbrella.
        I learned that as a child from the Golden Book of Fun and Nonsense.
      •  Yes, a few of my former colleagues (5+ / 0-)

        and friends live in Mountain Shadows.  One in particular, a school nurse, and her family were evacuated.  She and her husband happen to be strong and active liberals.  

        I understand the need to point out the hypocrisy. Believe me, the last few years, as the city gov shut off a third of city lights and stopped watering the parks, I wanted to drag some mouthy conservatives who I knew to the once beautiful parks and center islands downtown to walk through the weeds.   While ugliness of of weedy areas of city, areas once blooming with beautiful flowers, are not of the utmost importance to survival, they were a visual reminder of what people were taking away.

        And I have to tell you....the taxes in the city on housing is SO LOW.   These people b*tch about taxes and honestly they were so low.  Of course we had/have lousy public transportation.   And as a teacher, I was frustrated for 25 freaking years of citizens refusing to vote for mill levy increases for education.  One year in the late 80s, the school I was in had so many leaks in the roof, we had ten to 12 buckets all around the school to deal with water leaking onto the floors.  I believe 1999 was the first year we were able to pass a good mill levy (partly because it was technology connected).  I can tell you this.  Doug Bruce was a great tool for motivating teachers to activism because he consistently trashed teachers publicly.   Still though more than a few teachers remained ignorant and inactive, by choice, until the Devos people (Amway, Koch connected) stealthily put money into getting an extreme, right wing, anti public education BOE elected.  I had retired by then, but their power scared even the most sedentary apolitical types because it was clear their mission was to use Colorado Springs as an example of "how to privatize" public education.  We were able to recall two of the four and regain the majority on the BOE.  
        But still we could not get enough people in the Springs to stop voting against their own interest.

    •  Thank you for sharing your experience. It is good (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, caul

      to know that there are others who are progressive and liberal in Colorado, just hope they hang tough.
      byrnt

  •  This premise is no better than when Pat Robinson (4+ / 0-)

    said that Katrina struck New Orleans because of Gays and sin.  The people on DKos were outraged when that was said, but many seem to accept this flip side of the same argument.  

  •  Maybe you should reframe this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, GDbot, pgm 01

    There's definitely irony involved here -  town that houses a lot of right wing anti-government people has to beg the government for help when fires approach it -- but anything that suggests there's anything causal  involved (yes, this is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy) puts you in Pat Robertson lunatic territory.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:53:21 AM PDT

  •  When Texas was burning last summer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GDbot, Byrnt, Melanie in IA

    and thousands lost their homes, their businesses, their livestock, and their crops, and firefighters and their neighbors held fundraisers just to purchase enough fuel to return to the fire scene as their own homes burned, we could count on folks here at the Great Orange Satan to point out that Texans somehow "deserved" this.

    If you can't help, please don't pile on. Some people really have suffered enough. Some of them are even Progressives.

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 07:57:29 AM PDT

  •  They scream for Federal aid, then after it comes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, caul, antirove, Karen Hedwig Backman

    They'll scream that Obama didn't come fast enough, or give them enough. And then go right back to demonizing him and the Federal government once the crisis is over.

    There's no way to win with these people, let God take care of them.

    Romney 2012 - Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a MITT 2012 computer. I became operational at the M.I.T.T. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of March 1947. My instructor was Mr. Langley. He taught me to sing a song. Daisy, Daisy...

    by Fordmandalay on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 08:14:43 AM PDT

  •  Diary is pointing out the IRONY (3+ / 0-)

    here, NOT that CS or any of the rIghtwing groups who call it home, deserve this.  If it weren't a tragedy this is the kind of irony that could be called delicious.  Will they learn from it?  We can only hope.  At the least there should be increased funding for the fire department and stricter zoning laws as a result of this.

  •  This.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pgm 01, caul

    ..is incomprehensible

    Though officials and citizens put public safety above all in the budget, police and firefighting still lost more than $5.5 million this year

    Are fire departments and cop-shops supposed to make a profit?

    Jeebus.

    The diary on the other hand? Thoroughly grokkable.

    I want a living planet, not just a living room.

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Sun Jul 01, 2012 at 09:50:47 AM PDT

  •  The real point is we should have been (0+ / 0-)

    better prepared. Our fellow citizens in Colorado do not deserve to suffer. They need our help and should get it. And we need to do a better job of explaining how we are all in this together. And radical budget slashing leaves us unprepared. And climate change means that these events like wildfires are going to become more common and in more areas.

    We are failing to get our message out. And the risk of this continued failure is the end of the country as we know it. Things are going to be different and for many people things are going from bad to worse. The people in Colorado are victims. yes in part victims of there own device but victims none the less. And right now they need our help, not our condemnation. Just like NO need our help in 05 not our condemnation. And the fact that many on the right condemned NO does not give us the right to do that to them. It was wrong them and it is wrong now.

    •  One thing I'd like to point out is that (0+ / 0-)

      you are in all honesty not going to see any soul searching on right wing blogs saying, "last time it happened to republicans, and democrats said throw us to the wolves, and we shouldn't do that now, even though they did, because it's wrong and we are all in this together." No you will not see that there, sadly, but you are seeing it here.

      Yes the crux of this issue is the huge, enormous, ginormous irony that Republicans hate taxes until it's time for them to line up for handouts.  The reality is that taxes pay for things all people need, like social safety nets and emergency help in the event of disasters. (Unless of course our taxes just go to war or oil companies, etc. in which case we must fight tirelessly to redirect them back to helping people)

      On this website there is a lot of frustration, and rightly so, being vented and directed at Republicans for their intractable positions that defy logic, are seemingly insatiably corrupt and greed driven and seem to be generally filled with hate, racism, xenophobia, homophobia and spite for all people dissimilar to themselves. However there is usually a voice of reason on this site because we (hopefully) are cognizant that Republicans in all their strange glory are normal folks too, they didn't deserve this tragedy, no one does.

      But we as a collective nation need to learn from our strengths and weaknesses. It is clear from this catastrophe and so many before it that we need shared responsibility for emergency services. We need a social safety net. We need to take care of the most vulnerable members of our society. We need to outgrow Ayn Rand and we need to do it really quick if we are going to help more people and grow up as a nation, like the rest of the developed world.

      And ultimately this comes from a place of compassion, not "I told you so", or who is right and wrong. Save that for the people that do it best, Republicans, who now are among those shamelessly lining up for handouts, and it will be given to them because it's the right thing to do as it would be for anyone in need and perhaps all of us one day when our time comes.

      Yes, this story is big time irony and it is very important to be pointed out, but hopefully not in the way that they would do it if the roles were reversed. Maybe we will all learn something and have greater understanding and compassion for each other because of all this.

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