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From the week of April 17, 2003

The Tea & A Party

Tough titty:Reading Alan Prendergast's brief history of the Tea Party ("From Locusts to Limos," April 10) brought back many memories for me. I was once a member of the Tea Party. Living in Glendale as a 23-year-old in 1999-2000 meant you were excellent Tea Party material. Why? Titties, of course. Shotgun Willie's was my own living room. As soon as I was identified as an active Tea Party member, it was free drinks and as much skin as I could handle. This was the unofficial Tea Party clubhouse. Those were good times. I was involved in Mike Dunafon's bid for mayor, and we were also trying to get some key members on the city council. I learned a lot, had a great time and made many friends.

So why is there continuing controversy over the Tea Party and its founding members? It's the titties. If Debbie Matthews owned a bakery, all of the attention given to the Tea Party would be much less sensational. I think tonight I'll stop by Shotgun Willie's for a drink and a table dance. This time, I'll have to pay.

I would also like to say how shocked I was to hear of Mike Barrett's suicide. I had many drinks with Mike, and Glendale has truly lost a great guy and a great councilman.

Jud Maddox
Denver

On Pointe:I am a resident-owner at Cedar Pointe, and I wanted to let you know I appreciated the well-researched and well-presented article in the current Westword.

Alan Prendergast was exactly correct in his presentation of Mr. Line's and Mr. Harte's campaign tactics. I was one who fell for their story and granted them a proxy. I did not post-date it and informed them that I date something when I sign. They were not happy about that, but did not press any further.

That was my first feeling of concern. This turned to disgust when I saw the unsigned articles in the Glendale News. My belief is those who write unsigned articles are disgusting cowards. My feeling about papers that publish unsigned articles is that they lack all credibility. I consider the Glendale News to be a trash rag based on its lack of journalistic ethics.

Why I appreciated the Westwordarticle was that it brought to light much history and many connections of which I was unaware. Knowing these things sheds light on some of the actions and allows me to be a better-informed and more responsible citizen. Keep up the good work.

William Bloch
Glendale

Clear thinking:Thank you for "Coup de Condo," another wonderful article. Alan Prendergast's in-depth reporting and his ability to present both sides allows the reader to form a clear picture. As bad as Cedar Pointe is, there are HOAs that are worse.

Margaret Purnell
Breckenridge

The naked truth:Regarding Alan Prendergast's story on the Tea Party, four Sheridan City Council members -- Mayor Mary Carter, Councilman Jose Tafoya, Councilman Don Smith and Councilwoman Chanelle Beacham -- voted yes on April 9 to allow all-nudity at All Stars, located in Sheridan and owned by Troy Lowrie. Many citizens of Sheridan attended the city council meeting expressing concerns regarding this kind of establishment in our community, but to no avail.

When it came time to vote, Councilman Chuck West said, "Troy Lowrie came to me and tried to buy me off, and I said no to him then, and I will say no to him now," regarding the change to the city ordinance prohibiting nudity in Sheridan. Councilman Clifford Mueller and Councilman Dallas Hall also voted no.

I have concluded that it would be difficult to be a councilmember paid off and owned by Lowrie. Being his prostitute, he requires you to screw a lot of people. Frankly, I just don't know how they sleep at night.

Julie Lay
Sheridan


A Home Run

Covering the bases:Regarding Bill Gallo's "Safe at Home," in the April 10 issue:

While Bobby DeGeorge was preserving his morale and, indeed, his sanity in combat with images of Mr. Cub, I had a parallel experience, albeit in a much safer, self-induced trauma.

Experiencing a bad acid trip during that same era, with the panic of "never coming down" setting in, I mentally groped for something to cling to, to anchor and hopefully rein in my stampeding consciousness. I found a mantra that, intoned and accompanied by images of scooping shortstops, leaping second basemen, sliding base runners and stretching first sackers, preserved my sanity that night. It was "Six to four to three."

Jim Bernath
Denver


Inns and Outs

No-tell hotel:After reading David Holthouse's March 13 "Motel Hell," concerning the state of affairs at the Regency Hotel, and then reading the two letters written by hotel staff in the last issue, I was compelled to send a letter for public consumption.

While I was a case manager for adults with co-occuring disorders (severe mental-health and substance-abuse issues), a client asked if he could stay at the Regency. My response was, "Absolutely not." I had visited the Regency, and I've gotta say, Mr. Holthouse's description of this shithole was colorful and, in my opinion, kind. Never mind the revelry in the nightclub, the party starts in the parking lot as, on this particular afternoon, I witnessed a large number of people drinking beer and shooting the breeze both inside and out of their vehicles.

While I rode the elevator solo, I did notice a few cigarette butts on the floor and rails. There were empty beer cans and bottles littering the hallways, and the unmistakable stench of beer wafting throughout. To be fair, the room seemed to have been cleaned, but because no effort had been made to update (furniture, paint, carpet), it was dark, dingy and, in terms of value, on par with many of the inns on East Colfax.

In previous lives, I've stayed at some fairly unsavory establishments. One such place, in Reno, washed its sheets in kerosene. And motels in the 'burbs are no exception; they, too, take money from those who howl at the moon and slam drugs until they're drooling piles of goo.

All of these places were sad and somewhat pathetic, and the truth is, the Regency is no exception. While it could be argued that for the sake of those who do not have access to fair or equal housing, some of these establishments serve populations in need, unfortunately, where the Regency is concerned, there is a not-so-fine line between providing housing (and/or a place to congregate) and exploiting those who are most economically and socially vulnerable. In this regard, the Regency panders to the party-till-ya-puke crowd at the expense of others, especially the children staying there.

Dominic Perino
Arvada

Mile heinie city:I read David Holthouse's piece on the Regency and thought is was a very good "slice of life" article, one that focused on Denver places that are not seen in the mainstream view of the "Mile High City," the "Queen City of the Plains" and the "Gateway to the Rockies." Other self-satisfied views seem to stem from the boosterism that infects our fair city and the yuppies who now infest it.

I was last at the Regency in the mid-1990s, when the Golden Gloves tournament was held there, and I really have no idea what the place is like at the present. But I don't find any racism in Holthouse's article and think that his prose would have been equally colorful, and often hilarious, if he had written about the ChopHouse in LoDo, or some restaurant or watering hole around Washington Park. (By the way, I detest the fucking nickname "LoDo," a crappy word by developers and the artsy crowd who want Denver to have an "arty" district like New York's SoHo. Those who want Denver to be a "world-class city" -- like New York is believed to be -- should just move to New York.)

Lastly (almost), the word Holthouse heard as "heinie" -- which I always thought was a slur against Jews -- does not really translate to "piece of ass." What he heard was probably the word jaina, from the border slang sometimes called calo. A jaina is a woman, usually a young woman, just like a "chick" or a "babe" would be in American slang. A bato, chavo or similar words in calo would be the equivalent of a "guy," "dude," etc.

Lastly (really, this time), I sometimes wonder why folks don't realize that Denver is actually many cities, not one. There are Jewish neighborhoods, Mexican neighborhoods, yuppie enclaves, ones of Indochinese, working-class, middle-class, wealthy and dirt-poor residents, that of the African-American ghetto and of African-American "strivers," etc. Holthouse's article was a snapshot of Denver that, like other snapshots, is worth seeing as it is. This, after all, is the city in which we live.

Ernesto B. Vigil
Denver


State of Eddieness

Jam and dread:"Much of the music was forgettable," Laura Bond writes in the April 10 Backwash about the Pearl Jam show.

Perhaps that's true for the fair-weather fans who were only there to see Jeremy and Alive and then bitch about Eddie's antics. As for us "true" fans, the music was the only memorable part. Listening to a couple dozen clueless individuals complain that someone's political views don't match their own is something I'd much rather forget. I'm a Republican and had absolutely no problem with anything Eddie said or did. I bet if Eddie had done that same thing with a Clinton mask during his presidency, those people would have stood and applauded. We need to pull the proverbial pole out of the ass of America.

Jim Paradise
Denver

A Pearl beyond price: Great column by Laura Bond regarding Pearl Jam. Her implications about the connection between quality music and album sales and popularity are fascinating. As we all know, it's not enough to write and perform creative and original music -- to be a great artist, you've got to move units.

As soon as those album sales go down, you're no good. And all the better if your political opinions are unpopular or left of the mainstream -- because truly remarkable music adheres to the status quo.

In twenty years, no one will remember Pearl Jam, of course -- but they will remember the music of Ted Nugent and Toby Keith. Now, those guys can write!

Michael Metivier
via the Internet

The name is Bond:Laura Bond, you have no clue, lady. This is America, and last time I checked, you are entitled to your opinion -- unless people don't like it, and then you're unpatriotic. You act like Pearl Jam members are upset that their record sales are like that. They purposely do things to minimize their status. They still sell out 12,000-seat arenas. Most Pearl Jam fans support the band and their actions. If you had a clue, you would know that Ed Vedder has had that mask for years and done the same thing for years.

But then again, I'm sure your newspaper needs something to write about. Hate to tell you, they're five shows deep in their tour, and your pathetic column has not hurt anything. So keep trying till you find somebody who will read your newspaper. Also, I am not scared to hear a response from you, but I know you've got more lies to cook up.

I just burnt your ass, lady.

Michael Evans
Logan, West Virginia


Clearing the Air

Put up or shut up:I just read Michael Roberts's April 3 "Rally Time," on Clear Channel and the pro-America rallies, and I still don't know what to make of it. I came up with an idea to set it straight.

Peter Boyles and Westword editor Patty Calhoun are tight on Channel 12, so let's get Calhoun to have Boyles explain it. A half-hour of airtime should be sufficient. Clear Channel wouldn't mind, right?

Maybe not right. Boyles hasn't talked about anything local in forever. Not a peep about the Denver mayor's race or anything else. This leads me to conclude that he's been muzzled by a corporation that doesn't want any more lawsuits. I may be wrong, but I miss the days of Pete dropping the hammer on Mr. Mayor, the cops, and the rest of the grifters and grafters running this town.

Other Clear Channel hosts have said on the air, "Oh, no, the suits don't control what we say." Can we believe them? It's no wonder I listen to KNUS and KNRC almost exclusively. Clear Channel still sucks!

Pat Desrosiers
Denver

Chick tricks:Here's a little satire regarding Clear Channel's recent attack on the Dixie Chicks, an apology from Natalie Maines:

"As a concerned American citizen, I apologize to President Bush because my remark was disrespectful. I now realize that whoever holds that office should be treated with the utmost respect. I hope everyone understands I'm just a young girl who grew up in Texas. As far back as I can remember, I heard people say they were ashamed of President Clinton. I saw bumperstickers calling him everything from a pothead to a murderer. I heard people on the radio and TV like Rush Limbaugh, Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott badmouthing the President and ridiculing his wife and daughter at every opportunity.

"I heard lots of people disrespecting the President. So I guess I just assumed it was acceptable behavior.

"But now, thanks to the thousands of angry people who want radio stations to boycott our music because criticizing the President is unpatriotic, I realize it's wrong to have a liberal opinion if you're a country-music artist. I guess I should have thought about that before deciding to play music that attracts hypocritical rednecks.

"I also realize now that I'm supposed to just sing and look cute so our fans won't have anything to upset them while they're cheating on their wives or getting in drunken bar fights or driving around in their pickup trucks shooting highway signs and small animals.

"And most important of all, I realize that it's wrong for a celebrity to voice a political opinion, unless they're Charlie Daniels, Clint Black, Merle Haggard, Barbara Mandrell, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Travis Tritt, Hank Williams Jr., Amy Grant, Larry Gatlin, Crystal Gayle, Reba McEntire, Lee Greenwood, Lorrie Morgan, Anita Bryant, Mike Oldfield, Ted Nugent, Wayne Newton, Dick Clark, Jay Leno, Drew Carey, Dixie Carter, Victoria Jackson, Charleton Heston, Fred Thompson, Ben Stein, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Bo Derek, Rick Schroeder, George Will, Pat Buchanan, Bill O'Reilly, Joe Rogan, Delta Burke, Robert Conrad or Jesse Ventura.

"God Bless America."

Jim Williams
Englewood

View with some room:People I speak with are getting tired of liberal reporting. We are not getting the whole story, only a slanted view. I encourage media outlets to begin to change their stands, as a lot of people are going to wherever they can find fair and balanced news reporting.

Rosemary Holbert
Colorado Springs

Critical mass:The mass media in the United States is one of the most awesome and effective propaganda systems that has ever existed in world history. Whether it is biased to the left or to the right is simply part of that propaganda system -- a diversionary tactic.

There are thousands of pages of documentation supporting the conclusion that the purpose of the mass media is to cultivate public stupidity and conformity in order to protect the parasitic capitalist elite from interference by the masses.

John Cassella
Denver

Hacks and flacks:Talk about the pot calling the kettles hacks.

Michael Roberts's errors of commission and omission and his historical revisionism in his April 3 Message drop him squarely into the overheated oil of the left. He gulps rancid -- though popular -- Lefty Lard and fries in his own fat by parroting liberal distortions, misrepresentations and lies, desperately clinging to the hope that by adding a heapin' helpin' of aggressive ignorance, he's doing his part to keep the vituperative soufflé of the left's hoary anti-Americanism from collapsing.

It'd make a good Steven Segal movie treatment: eeevvviiilll white male plutocratic multinat CEOs high-kick, à la Springtime for Hitler, into the Oval Office and command the drooling tool of the capitalist running dogs behind the desk to steal Saddam's oil! Only with Rainforest Math can one conclude there's enough oil under Iraq to pay for the war. The six degrees of separation between Bush and the owner of Clear Channel and that some of the media giant's DJs and yak hosts are using their pulpit to organize pro-America rallies fail to prove Roberts's laughable suggestion that an eyes-only directive from CC Corporate demands that they do so (secretly, bwahahaha!) to enrich Bush and his friends. Roberts, working directly from his dog-eared Liberal Playbook (eds., Arnett, Daschle, Chomsky, et al.), managed to stuff his April 3 column with non-sequiturs, tortured reasoning, pretzelized thinking and general nit-wittery, but never actually proved that CC hosts who support the war effort are Stepford Conservatives doing the Multinat Shuffle. What Roberts does prove is that lockstep Lefties tend to bleat -- and believe -- intellectually vacant conspiracy theories, critical thought be damned!

On the upside, Roberts won't have to get his '72 powder-blue tux out of storage. Seems the Pulitzer committee gave his hard-hitting, Woodward 'n' Bernstein-like investigative reporting a pass. Still, I hear he's on the short list for a Saddy from al-Jazeera.

JM Schell
Arvada


True Brit

To your health:Regarding Susan Williams's letter in the April 10 issue, let me assure her and your readers that the lastthing you want in this country is national health care. I grew up in London, where the British have lived with national health care for decades, and it is horrible. I was unfortunate enough to experience it firsthand on a couple of occasions. I have also had the great good fortune to experience the private health-care system in this country.

There are at least four areas in which the British system suffers in comparison to ours:

1) Health care. The quality of doctors and nurses is simply not up to U.S. standards. Why do they need to be, with little competition? The really good doctors go into private practice, anyhow, and serve the most wealthy patients in the country. They are tenured just like teachers, so there is little risk of termination unless gross negligence is involved.

2) Equipment and supplies. Every needle, X-ray machine, testing lab and piece of equipment comes from public funds. Who decides what to buy and how much? And doesn't the public have a right to voice their opinion? In a competitive environment, the top practices have to have the best and latest equipment, which usually translates into better services. Health care, like so many other areas of our lives, has become technology-driven, to a large extent. Having to go to the public trough for technology funds is a terrible idea.

3) Administration. How would you like every office manager, front-desk person and orderly to be underpaid, overworked and part of the largest bureaucracy in the country? The level of indifference on the part of health-care office workers in England was truly depressing, frustrating and incredibly inefficient. One of the beauties of our system is that almost everyone at every level is expected to meet minimum standards to keep their job, and exceed standards to move forward. It's a competitive marketplace!

4) Bureaucracy. Do you really want our health-care system run by a government agency? The mind boggles. The opportunity for waste and lost efficiency would be virtually endless.

Is our system perfect? Obviously not. We have too many people who fall through the cracks. But we are far better off with a free-market, competitive system than with national health care.

Mike Mendes
Centennial

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