Letters to the Editor

From the week of September 25, 2003

The Best Laid Plans...

Thanks for the memories: Knock me over with one of those Wile E. Coyote ten-ton weights, but if Michael Roberts isn't marching in jerky-kneed lockstep with the rest of the left-biased media and trying to tar and feather the front-running Republican in the gubernatorial carnival in California for things the man did almost three decades ago ("Scout's Honor," September 11). In Roberts's view, it's criminal that the then-22-year-old Arnold had group sex (apparently made worse by the fact that it was with a "black girl") and now says he can't remember a similarly aged magazine article in which the then-internationally recognized body-builder recounted the experience. This, in the suddenly patrician perspective of hypocritical liberals like Roberts, makes Schwarzenegger a moral suspect, undeserving of the opportunity to roll up his sleeves and rescue California from the Third World toilet into which the Democrats have shat it.

Reasonable people will ask, what about the sexual peccadilloes of married liberal politicians from Gary Hart to Gary Condit? And let's not forget one William Jefferson Clinton, a cigar, a blue dress and what the definition of "is" is. Reasonable people remember when libbies in the press were screaming that what these guys did in their private lives was their business, even when they were doing it -- or having it done to them -- on the public dime. Liberals in the media from the New York Times to Westword are trying to bury Arnold by desperately shoveling up ancient history because, as usual, Democrats simply don't have anything more mod, more today, more what's happenin' to work with. Pity the poor libby who's been shooting blanks for ten or twenty years now, and has to dredge up Democrat conquests from thirty, forty, even sixty years ago to put a little starch in an otherwise limp sail. The guys who gave us "free love," LSD, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, "tune in, turn on, drop out," and the idea among kids today that a blow job isn't sex now attacking Schwarzenegger for his comparatively tame sexual and drug activities nearly thirty years ago is almost too absurd for words.

And besides, it's not Arnold's fault Roberts couldn't get laid either mano-a-mano or Mikey-a-pluribus.

JM Schell

Rear window: For those who have the eyes to see it, Arnold's campaign may well be a kind of performance art and a symbolic protest against a state that has become dominated by a single party whose only real goal is to perpetuate its own power. By running what some might view as the next best thing to an actual donkey, the lower-left-coast Republicans are undoubtedly trying to underscore the absurdity of state politics in California and the desperate need for an overhaul in the way power is wielded in the state.

A Roman emperor once appointed an actual horse to the Roman Senate. He meant to express his contempt for what he felt was the sham politics of that supposedly respectable assembly by seating a real horse's behind there. By running what many might view as the next best thing to an actual donkey against Grave Avis, the Sunset State Republicans, I believe, are bringing this kind of noble ironic sensibility to bear on the critical decisions facing California.

Well, I guess it's possible that Republicans supporting Arnold aren't thinking of all of that exactly, but I know that deep down, in an unconscious way that reveals their intuitive cleverness, this is probably what's going on in their hearts.

Tom Pratt

Future Shock

Seize the day: I just read Alan Prendergast's "Toxic Shock," in the September 4 issue. Excellent work! I know many of the professionals he interviewed, and they all do a fine job. Sergeant Jim Gerhardt has been instrumental in bringing many of these issues to the attention of state legislators, which has resulted in helpful new state statutes.

I did have one concern to bring to your attention regarding the article, however. Prendergast indicated that North Metro has been a leader in meth-lab seizures in the state. That is true, but our agency here in Colorado Springs unfortunately has the dubious honor of leading the state in seizures. Not that it is a statistic to be proud of, but our agency covers a two-county area and has consistently seized more meth labs than any other Colorado agency for all of the past five years. We seized 51 in '99, 79 in '00, 87 in '01, 153 in '02, and 132 so far this year. As you can see, our numbers have not "leveled off," as the article indicated. We have seen significant increases each year, not a "recent surge." At any given time, I have 20 to 25 "tips" on possible lab locations that I do not have the time to investigate as thoroughly and quickly as I would like.

I believe this epidemic has not yet reached its climax in Colorado. Many smaller, more rural agencies are only recently receiving the training, certification and equipment needed to address this problem. Colorado became tenth in the nation last year for numbers of meth-lab seizures. I believe we are at the "beginning," not the "end" or "apex" of this problem.

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