Letters to the Editor

From the week of May 5, 2005

Pray As You Go

Blessed are the mock:Kenny Be's "Crusadertainment for Men," the Worst-Case Scenario in the April 28 issue, was his best cartoon yet. Here's what I pray: that Kenny never stops poking fun at those who so richly deserve it, like Fred Phelps and James Dobson.

Rachel Kramer
Denver

Sometimes you feel like a nut:So what really gets to me is that a majority of Americans are free-thinking, freedom-loving individuals, and yet...we have all these religious nutjobs throwing their weight around in Congress. When did it become okay to deliver our country to the religious nutjobs? (Please understand: I don't say religious nutjobs to be offensive, because I know they are sitting at home thinking of new places and ways to proudly wave their religious-nutjobs flags as I write this.) How did this happen?

We waged a war with Afghanistan because the religious nutjobs were allied with the terrorists who attacked us. We are shocked and incensed and moved to help with the conflict in Iraq because all the religious nutjobs are continually killing each other there. One of the reasons this continent was colonized was so that our English ancestors would be free to practice religion without some religious nutjob killing them. And yet we have James Dobson of Focus on the Family acting like he has the right to rewrite our Constitution and congressional processes to better match his religious-nutjob agenda.

Are we sure this isn't just a reality-TV show we're caught inside of?

Dan Brown
Denver


First Things First

Drum and drummer:In her April 28 column, "Beating the Drum," Patricia Calhoun opines, "Free speech doesn't come cheap." Well, if speech is not free, if there is a price, then someone is not in compliance with the First Amendment to the Constitution.

So who pays the price when speech is hateful? Do the haters who celebrate a genocidal monster like Columbus pay that price? No, American Indians pay the price for the celebration of their dispossession. And the police are not there to keep the peace! The dispossessed in Indian Country never know a moment's peace. How peaceful can it be if the average life span on a reservation (concentration camp) is 45 years? Compared to the general population's average of about 74 years, that means one-third of a lifetime is lost due to the poverty and despair imposed on these sovereign nations by a settler regime hell-bent on sucking dry everything in sight, like rabid vampires driven mad by bloodlust and greed! No, it is not just happening in Iraq. It is happening here. There is a word for killing one-third of a population year in and year out, and that word is "genocide."

If American Indians pay for the haters' speech in stolen land, lives and resources, then the Columbus Day landlords' parade is not an act of freedom. It is theft. And theft is against the law. So why are armed eunuchs of the state protecting stolen property? Is it because their paychecks and their shiny new phallic terror toys come from that very theft? In legal terms, I believe that kind of lawbreaking is called armed robbery and extortion. Armed robbery is no more legal under the First Amendment than it is under the Second Amendment.

When anti-Columbus Day protesters attempt to stop these thieves and the goons who protect them every October, that is not an act of repression: It is an act of real law enforcement.

Lauranna Johnson
Denver

Goodbye, Columbus:I agree that Denver badly needs a bill that would make it officially illegal and immediately punishable to physically interfere with any city-sanctioned function, regardless of personal philosophical disagreement. Over the years, Denver's handling of the Columbus parade has been a joke. I, as social-justice representative for the National Italian-American Council out of Chicago, have been working to make people across the country aware that each year, the First Amendment rights of the Italian community in Denver are violated, and not a sound is made by our officials.

How could a jury find the protesters not guilty when they broke through the barricade and stopped our parade for over an hour? We had a permit; they did not. They are defended by an attorney who came up with the ridiculous defense of "ethnic intimidation," and the jury didn't ask who was intimidating whom? We are wondering if this was a setup, as no one from the Italian community was called to testify as a witness during the trial. When did we start having one-sided trials?

So much for equal rights for Italian-Americans in Denver.

Mickie Lava Clayton
Denver

Chicken coup:In 1989, when Colorado AIM (i.e., Ward Churchill and Glenn Morris) and Colorado AIM International spokesman Russell Means announced their four-year plan to end Columbus Day, they were jumping on the international bandwagon of protest over the approaching 1992 Columbus Quincentennial. In Denver, that bandwagon's momentum carried it even further.

The fellas apparently knew a good thing when they saw it, and they've kept the bandwagon rolling, complete with press conferences to announce and denounce things, meetings with city officials, and scripted arrests wherein law enforcement is advised how many folk will submit to scripted arrests. Yawn.

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