Some Came Gunning
Re: December 14's "Under the Gun," by Leslie Jorgensen and Sherry Keene-Osborn.
It seems to me that one thing is very clear: If people like Francisco Duran cannot get guns (especially assault weapons!), then they cannot shoot at the president.
It also seems to me that these so-called "Patriots," whether on purpose or not, are providing the kind of political and philosophical ammunition that sends people like Duran off half-cocked.
In "Colorado Takes Another Hit," the sidebar to "Under the Gun," the reporters referred to the militias as "top-secret paramilitary groups" that are "organized like terrorist groups of four- to six-man cells." None of the groups of any significant size are secret, although I suppose one could meet with three friends and call themselves a "militia." As was noted elsewhere in the article, the contact numbers for the militias are given out on local radio stations. Many of their meetings are public, and action such as that taken by Duran are not part of the agenda. Most are not immediately concerned with resisting inept U.N. troops but rather with our own government's violations of the Bill of Rights. This hopefully can be accomplished in the legislatures and the courts, but recent murderous government military assaults on citizens for everything from gun possession to marijuana cultivation indicate that some law enforcement agencies and military units are out of control. It has been a long time since Kent State, but the old demons rise again. The shooting of students shocked the nation--and whatever your political philosophy, so should the assault on the Branch Davidians and the murders of Vicki and Sammy Weaver.
The last time I checked, it was still legal for citizens to meet to discuss their disagreement with government policy and for citizens to own guns. The militia is a legal institution defined in federal law. USC 1970 Title 10 sec. 311 defines the organized militia as the National Guard and Naval Militia, and the unorganized militia as the able-bodied male populace between the ages of 17 and 45. In U.S. vs. Miller, the only modern case concerning the militia and the theft of firearms, the Supreme Court agreed with this definition in its opinion. This is consistent with the Founders' distrust of the professional military. That distrust led to the constitutional prohibition on perpetual military funding and the significant early reliance on state militias.
By the way, a few other clarifications to the article are in order. The Tenth Amendment Resolution has already been passed by the Colorado Legislature, as well as a number of other state legislatures. At least one federal district court has already ruled that sheriffs are not obligated to enforce the Brady Bill. Accusations of racism in the militia are baseless and are being used as a smear tactic by those opposed to the militia concept. Finally, anyone who thinks that the federal government is not interested in monitoring phone calls of militia advocates is naive.
The Kids Are All Right
This letter is addressed to Harry Sanders, who wrote that the "homeless youth" talked about in the November 30 story "New Kids on the Block" are "juvenile delinquents" and "bums." Well, Harry, a lot of those "delinquents" are my friends. A lot of them have grown up living on the streets, and that is all they know. They haven't been taught family values, respect and morals. But one thing that I do know is that a lot of the kids are some of the best friends a person could ever have. They look out for each other, stand up for each other and help each other through the tough winters and other problems. I honestly think that you, Harry, don't have the right to judge my friends just by the way they look or how they were (or weren't) raised. If you don't like the way they look, then don't look at them. I think that's simple enough.
Frankly, Harry, if you're going to be that judgmental and prejudiced against people you don't even know, I don't think you deserve the respect you seem to feel you're so entitled to.
R. Jonathan Gottlieb
After reading Steve Jackson's "A Real Class Act," in the December 14 issue, I had to write (after I stopped laughing).
C'mon, folks. If today a student can't ask out another student without being accused of sexual harassment, there won't be a next generation of students--or anything else.
Concerning a "teacher's come-on" at Arapahoe Community College, a few items of interest should be disclosed.
I wrote an opinion piece for the Rapp Street Journal for four semesters. Soon after my columns appeared, Ms. Mullin slid into the slot as a regular columnist. It soon became apparent that she was intent on doing the greatest harm she could muster. I sensed that she was trying to create a darkroom of imaginary male harassment scenes. Of course, nothing ever developed.
I remember one incident in which she turned in an article that was highly critical of a professor at Arapahoe. This professor was well known for his pomp and flair. In her article, Mullin claimed that he was sexist, even though she had never enrolled in any of his classes and had never met him. It was based solely on what other women had told her. The editor wisely scotched it. Subsequent articles by Mullin showed her animosity toward men.
Now, as a consequence of the bad publicity surrounding the Lebowitz incident, the Rapp Street Journal and Arapahoe Community College will suffer at the hands of this very venomous woman. Of course, some of the blame rests squarely on the RSJ editor, Michael Simpson, for hiring her as a columnist, and the RSJ advisor, Chris Ransick, for not exercising prudent and responsible journalism. Either one of them could have prevented the spawning of a viper like Mullin.
Clarification: Although Michael Simpson took a voluntary leave of absence from his position as editor of the Rapp Street Journal on December 8, he was back at the newspaper December 12--the day Westword's story, which said Simpson had been removed from his post, went to press. During Simpson's absence, there was considerable confusion at the paper over his whereabouts and status, several staffers say. Neither Simpson nor faculty advisor Chris Ransick had returned repeated calls from Westword before press time; Ransick now says Simpson "gets to keep his job unless proven guilty" of the charge of sexual harassment.
Rock of Sages
Mr. Roberts, this letter is in response to your "Stairway to Hell," in the December 7 issue. Either you are ten years old and not yet mature enough to enjoy the work of some of the greatest musical icons of our time, or you had the unfortunate bad luck of being born deaf, dull and stupid.
Maybe you were one of those nerdy kids who was picked on in school and has bad memories of rock music because that's what the cool kids listened to. Who knows?
I can live with a slam or two about Boston or the Allman Brothers, who didn't exactly set the music industry on its ear. But who the hell are you to bash some of the greatest musical giants of our time like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and Crosby, Stills and Nash?
Oh, and speaking of CSN, you've got a real sick sense of humor with the "How's the ol' liver, Dave?" crack. It would give me great pleasure to cram this entire publication up your ass and say, "How's the ol' bum, Mike?" In case you haven't heard, David Crosby is: (1) a musical genius; (2) an inspiration to anyone who feels hopelessly addicted to drugs; and (3) a human being who is fighting for his life at this very moment.
These talented artists continue to sell millions of albums that were recorded decades ago year after year because--why?--they are good songs! And DJs continue to play them over and over because--hello!--that's what people want to hear. Duh!
Does this newspaper pay you to write this trash or do you have to pay them? I would love to know. In the meantime, I have some valuable advice for you: (1) Get a life. (2) Come out of the closet; you'll feel better. (3) Learn to relax and not be so uptight. (4) Have a Coke and a smile and shut up!
Being a local music journalist, I found Michael Roberts's assault on classic-rock radio to be quite humorous. However, I would like to defend 103.5, the Fox. The Fox has a greater mix than most classic stations; granted, they do play the life out of most of the songs you mentioned in your countdown. I would also like to point out that 106.7 KAZY does the exact same thing with modern music. I can't believe how many times I've heard Green Day in the past week (and I rarely listen to KAZY). All in all, your article was great. I just felt somebody should stick up for dinosaur rock.
Mr. Roberts, you are a complete idiot and an insult to music.
Name withheld on request
Rock and Role Models
Regarding Michael Roberts's Feedback column in the December 7 issue:
You poor soul. You are being deluged by the religious right--that's right, the holier than thou (though not really), the us 4 and no more, gotta wear your dress hem to the floor, if ya wear makeup you're a whore, had to boink the secretary 'cause his wife wouldn't give it up no more, went down to Louisiana and peeled his banana religious right. Excuse me whilst I vomit!
Oh, I also understand about Jack Chick. He and his band of Zealotous Manics, they bash 'em all--Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, homosexuals, lesbians, witches, rockers. I'd say if it doesn't meet with their rightist agenda, they bash it. Well, guess what? I bash back!
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