By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
Snitch, Snitch, Snitch
After reading Karen Bowers's article "Say Anything," in the July 26 issue, I had to ask myself why my tax dollars are being wasted keeping two pieces of shit like the Rodriguez brothers alive.
Steven Lee Hart
Women and Children Last
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Girl Crazy," in the July 26 issue:
It's really scary when you realize that those who follow James Dobson and his Focus on the Family are voters. So much for "Get Out the Vote" programs.
Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, was right when he said, "If you say something often enough and loud enough, you can get people to believe anything." Dobson would have loved to have worked with him.
It is truly written: "Beware of the odor of sanctity."
Who died and made James Dobson God? In fact, why does Dobson think that his message has any meaning in China or any other country that is not founded on Judeo-Christian traditions--much less Focus on the Family's warped version of Christianity?
Your "friend" Dobson, like many of the Christian Coalition, is a part of America's idiot culture.
There is this theory that we have a rather unique gene pool in this country because we are for the most part immigrants or their descendants. And immigrants are people who left their origins because they couldn't get along with their neighbors for religious or political differences.
Many of these people were restless and couldn't meld with the growing population in their new country, but there was an outlet, an escape, and they traveled west. They were the pioneers.
The Christian Coalition reminds me of the early Puritans who burned women as witches or made them wear an "A" for sexual "misbehavior."
Our country is also a very young and consequently immature culture and the so-called Superpower on this very unstable planet of Homo sapiens. No wonder we live with this paranoia, uncertainty and frustration. We've created a complex, highly technical culture in which many do not fit, and they become a real problem in this society that no longer has real communities or healthy extended families. Even the nuclear family is fast disappearing.
Our politicians, policemen, religious orders, teachers and even physicians concentrate on symptoms only, not the root causes of these symptoms.
There is hope for the future, but it is a good distance away, and the worst is yet to come.
No Cop Out
As a former battered woman, I, too, was stung by Robin Chotzinoff's July 19 "Beat Cop" story, but in a completely different way than J. Featherstone (Letters, August 2).
I'm glad that the reporters at Westword are not afraid to put together a complete story about such a vicious perpetrator who not only terrorized this petite woman but threatened anybody, including fellow officers, who tried to interfere. Chotzinoff also uncovered some serious defects in cop/domestic-violence cases: silence and coverup by fellow cops (i.e., the 911 call).
Domestic violence will never become a serious issue if we keep blaming the victim. The violence that permeated the Simpson-Brown relationship is not unique. I can still remember the day I became acquainted with the seamier side of that affair. The story took up a space about the size of a postage stamp; then I turned on my TV, and there he was, grinning and talking football with his co-anchors. I lost all respect for him and his cohorts on Monday Night Football. I never watched that program again.
Thanks to Westword, I'll be on the lookout for this hothead who doesn't think he did anything wrong. The slap on the wrist he received means he will be venting his anger and frustrations elsewhere, if you get my drift. For God's sake, Alex Woods knew this young woman worked in a "provocative" field when he started living with her--and furthermore, do you also advocate beating children and kicking the dog? They have a tendency to antagonize, too.
Some cops stink! There are some old-time veteran cops who are damn good at being cops, and I'm quite sure they would like to send a bunch of creeps from the force down you-know-what creek without a paddle.
These Johnny-come-latelies with their perfect records as cops make me want to puke. A good cop has had his ass chewed out at least once by Internal Affairs, because a good cop is human. That's more than I can say for some of these young and not-so-young creeps!
I wanted to voice my support of your recent article shedding light on the questionable behavior of local cops. Thank the universe that we live in a society where such behavior can be reported to the public. Hopefully, the public will act in a responsible manner and press the powers that be to hold these public servants to a code of behavior necessary to their appointments.
If we did not live in such a free society, these behaviors would not be shocking to the public, and that public would have no recourse of action to strive for a more just system.
As a single mother of two young children who is often concerned about what their world will look like, I appreciate your work.
For reasons I will not go into here (and for the same reasons I must ask you to withhold my name), I am very interested in the subject of allegations of child abuse. After seeing Michelle Dally Johnston's story "Do You See What I See?" in the August 2 issue, all I can say is "Wow!" She hit it right on the head. Although I have had no dealings with the Kempe Center, I have heard more than my share of psychobabble from people who are qualified to do nothing but ruin lives.
Name withheld on request
Hats off to Michelle Dally Johnston of Westword for her in-depth investigative reporting concerning false allegations and outright perjury perpetrated by the loose Kempe cannons aimed at innocent victims.
Any freshmen student in psych 101 can smell the rot of hype and hysteria in Denver.
How many innocent families are torn apart by such fabrications?
How many children are in foster care needlessly because of confabulations?
How many parents have not seen their child for years because of false allegations?
How many men are in prison on false or contrived charges?
The common thread throughout all of the circumstances is the lack of proper, thorough investigation. Courtroom decisions must not be made on the basis of the hocus-pocus of evaluators.
The Kempe Center is a "program" within the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, but the Hippocratic Oath--"Do no harm"--is not followed. This "program" is paid for by tax dollars and tax-exempt contributions.
Who oversees the opinions and speculations of the Kempe evaluators?
Where is Dr. Richard Krugman?
Where is the university chancellor?
Where is the Board of Regents?
Where is accountability?
Where is justice?
This "program" should be defunded by the legislature.
I am appalled at Ms. Haynes-Seman's methods of assessing abused children. That she is one of the lead evaluators at the highly respected Kempe Center surprises me further. The American Psychological Association frowns heavily upon unlicensed psychologists practicing and diagnosing, let alone those unlicensed psychologists who have not been traditionally trained in clinical methods. The Kempe Center is risking a lot in according her the status of lead evaluator.
Your article mentioned that Ms. Haynes-Seman was trained as a developmental psychologist and came to the Kempe Center as a research assistant. Interesting, as it seems that she has forgotten any training in research and statistical methods that she would have presumably received in her graduate program. Where are the statistics that back up her claims? Have others in the mental-health community substantiated her methods? As a student of psychology, I know that research must be validated and revalidated before it becomes widely accepted theory, and that before one can make claims that his assessment method works, there must be statistically significant proof that it indeed does.
My final point of contention with her method lies in her assumption that whatever the child says about the identity of the abuser is incorrect or wrong. How do you think that child feels, Ms. Haynes-Seman, when you invalidate his or her words? The courage that it took for that child to name the abuser is something you or I cannot imagine. And worse, to have someone tell you that what you have said is not true!
The mental-health community has spent far too much time and effort breaking down the rules that tell children to keep their mouths shut about abuse; for Ms. Haynes-Seman to come along and destroy that by ignoring what the children say is unfathomable. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to those children, not to mention the families that were destroyed by her misattributions. Kempe Center directors, don't you think it is time to reassess Ms. Haynes-Seman?
Name withheld on request
Do you see what I see?
Salem witch hunt revisited! History does repeat itself...but just who belongs on the stake? Colorado taxpayers should not be asked to support bogus assessments and nefarious activities of "evaluators" engaged in quackery.
I want to thank you so much for your common sense, courage, interest and effort in the investigation, preparation and writing of your fine article about the Kempe Center and Clare Haynes-Seman. Both Haynes-Seman and the Kempe Center have caused untold human misery and millions of dollars in expense for innocent people whom they have falsely accused and convicted of the worst of crimes. The only evidence they presented to knee-jerk, feel-good, do-gooder judges and juries was their biased opinions.
Many children have seen their mothers and fathers go to prison for nasty crimes they never committed and, in many cases, never even took place. It has left them severely victimized, traumatized and disillusioned, to say the least. How in God's name can this ever be explained to the children?
I have operated the Dial 4-Lawyer Legal Referral Service here in Denver since 1989. During that time I have met hundreds of people who have been falsely accused of a variety of crimes. Sexual assault upon a child comprises the largest percentage of those who swear they are innocent.
I have been falsely accused myself several different times. I know how easy it is for someone to accuse and arrest and how difficult it is to defend yourself. The accused is considered guilty and treated as such forever, convicted or otherwise. There is no proving one's innocence in a sexual case involving a child. Clare Haynes-Seman and the Kempe Center know this, and they have played it for all it's worth.
I truly appreciate your efforts and insight into this growing and ongoing plague that feeds upon our children and other innocent people.
Readers didn't see what I saw: The section of videotape opening Michelle Dally Johnston's article is profound. In referring to things she missed at dad's house, the girl visibly regressed and cried for her father. In other interviews, the victim desperately tries to tell how Bruce LaBute assaulted her and her brother, and it wasn't dad! Left unsaid about the Kempe Center is the flawed sexual-abuse accommodation theory that a child's recantation shouldn't be believed. Now Clare Haynes-Seman has gone a step beyond with her voodoo interpretations. Believe the children, not her.
It's amazing how things fit together in this puzzle. Incompetent therapist and the therapeutic state. Their abuse of innocent children and families, welfare reform and Murphy Brown. And a governor who can't see what a little girl sees.
Romer is hustling the halls of Congress to save welfare reform as he knew it. His child-welfare stipulation last year was predicated on the child saviors getting every dime. Now faced with a new majority's solution, there is no way such an agreement will provide for Colorado's children. He's motivated in pitching the Democratic idea of redefining the needy and workfare programs. Roy needs money. This girl needs a father.
Kenneth Ward, Director at Large
Fathers for Equal Rights
Editor's note: On Monday, August 7, Bruce LaBute was sentenced to 24 months in Jefferson County jail on the first count of sexual assault, and to 12 months on the child-abuse charge. The sentences are consecutive.
A Kiss Is Just a Kiss
Regarding John Jesitus's "Jill Out!" in the August 2 issue:
Chill in! If John Elway romantically kissed Lyle Alzado, God forbid, it would be looked upon as a very queer thing indeed. But if Liberace had had a torrid affair with Marilyn Monroe, nobody would have labeled the piano queen a heterosexual. Likewise, if Jill Sobule writes a song about a girl kissing a girl, it may very well speak of a lesbian experience. But it does not mean this brave expression is decent grounds for a bunch of pee-pee-twiddling male journalist twits to launch chilling and voyeuristic interviews into Jill's sexual identity. An artist speaks through her art. And who cares if it's autobiographical--or even if it's not?
An experience or a string of them does not make an identity. If that were the case, we'd be reducing the not-so-shy Roseanne to her parking-lot confession, not to mention the fact that she also practically pioneered the girl-to-girl situation-comedy kiss.
Good article, but your "Jill Out!" headline was a poor choice of words that tends to repeat this facet of Sobule's songwriting as some big identity issue. Get a life! Get a quarter. Go see a porno flick!
Just a few (three) words with regard to all the letters about the "lack" of any decent radio stations in Denver: Quit yer bitchin!
I relocated here from Tampa in April and couldn't be happier with the stations here. Imagine--I've actually used up all the preset buttons on my car radio! Lest ye get too spoiled with what you've got, let me give you a rundown of what Tampa had to offer. One public-radio station with four hours of alternative music per week (two on Saturday, two on Sunday); the rest was polkas, gospel and folk. Three--count 'em, three--stations that played only Seventies rock: Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Lynyrd Skynyrd--you get the picture. One new-age/modern-jazz station (not cool jazz like KUVO), three country stations and two disco-hits-of-the-Seventies stations. Talk about wanting to blow your brains out! My friends actually beg me to make tapes for them and send them down so they won't go crazy. Their only way to keep up with current music is to watch MTV's 120 Minutes.
So go ahead, bitch and moan about hearing "How Soon Is Now?" twice in the same week. But remember, it's one helluva lot better than extended-play versions of "Free Bird" and "Sweet Home Alabama" during rock-block specials!
A. John Pesh