Patricia Calhoun's column in the April 19 issue, "The Parent Trap," really aroused my ire. I am beginning to think Ms. Calhoun is an arch manipulator of public opinion and wondering if her articles are a form of perverse psychology. It appears that she is out of step with a good many of her readers.
For years now, we have had welfare and aid in every shape and form. We have sex education in the schools, and we have more copulating idiots or idiots copulating than we have ever had in our history. The taxpayers furnish these sex-educated idiots with free condoms and support their spawn when they refuse to use what is available to them. We pay them to go to programs to figure out what they want to do with their lives and then pay to train them. The fact is, they just want to copulate.
You don't seem to see the picture, Ms. Calhoun. The ants are getting tired of wiping the grasshopper's ass. If these grasshoppers want to fiddle and diddle, that's their right under the Constitution, but those of us who have accepted responsibility for our own actions do not owe them anything more than an equal opportunity to work their butts off as we have done and are doing.
Mankind is supposed to learn from experience. If you touch a hot stove, you may get burned. You learn not to touch hot stoves. When you do for others what they should be doing for themselves, you rob them of the opportunity to learn from experience and you create a society of parasites that is detrimental to the whole of society. It is time to stop the mollycoddling and let these people acquire some integrity in the school of hard knocks.
I rely on Westword to tell me what is really going on in this town. After reading Calhoun's "The Parent Trap," I called my legislator to complain about the hypocrisy of taking family-planning money away in order to spend it for lawyers. Then I learned that the Colorado House voted the bill down on Thursday. Calhoun's arguments must have helped them come to their senses. Thanks.
Pitch, Pitch, Pitch
Ms. Calhoun, I'm a fan--I always read you first when I pick up Westword, and I'm always disappointed if the issue lacks your column. I was especially appreciative of your efforts to inform us of the city's actions to withhold information about payments to the law firms it had retained to work on the SEC investigation of DIA bonds.
I am also an Amway distributor, and I am writing to ask you not to judge the Amway corporation or the approximately 1 million U.S. Amway distributors by the actions of Longmont coach David VanderMolen ("Coach Turns Into Pumpkinhead," April 12). One of the principles of the corporation is that it will offer its income-producing opportunity to anybody who wants it; no application or selection process exists. I admire this stance, and I also realize that it means we risk bad publicity if we bring folks of bad character into the fold.
One of the reasons I established my Amway business was simply the people I met when I was considering getting into it. The people I have met since have only reinforced my initial impression that these are people that I want to be around (I've never met VanderMolen). They, and the Amway corporation, constantly send the message that ethical practices and honesty in everything we do is the top priority. Compromising this ideal will lead to short-term gains at best, and it will certainly destroy any potential for long-term accomplishment. It is unfortunate that the Longmont coach's behavior appears to contradict this.
I am extremely proud of the products available through Amway distributors and the income potential that Amway offers to any motivated individual. I encourage you to withhold judgment on the Amway corporation and Amway distributors until you have collected more evidence and seen other perspectives. Thank you.
Regarding Ed Johnson's April 19 letter about Calhoun's recent article on Coach VanderMolen:
Why are lesbians always compared to heterosexual men? Are you saying the young girls dressing in front of (alleged) lesbians (who must certainly want all women--especially girl children!) is the same as making the young girls dress in front of heterosexual men? Ed, you're talking apples and oranges. I don't get the connection at all (maybe because there isn't one)...
Spread the Word
Regarding Richard Fleming's "Don't Spread on Me," in the April 19 issue:
This is another classic example of people being unable to accept the side effects of world population growth. Mom's apple pie is over, people--learn to accept it. It may seem preposterous to have decomposed waste only a half-mile from our homes, but it's happening everywhere, and it's not going to stop. For one thing, it's unfair of you to use the crutch that we're picking on Californians--we all come from California, Pennsylvania, Georgia, etc., and we all came here to live a better life. If your world revolves around that twenty square feet you call a backyard, that's your choice. Mine revolves around the entire earth. These things affect the entire globe, not just your precious lives. Your attorney said that if we dump the stuff in rural communities, at least it won't be in anyone's backyard. I find this a shallow statement. The difference is that rural people have bigger backyards--another choice. With generalizations like that, you'll never win in court. I suggest that you retain a professional. Oh, life's tough, isn't it?
I moved here because they were building a toxic-waste incinerator only a few miles from my home. I didn't want my kids to be born with two fingers and ten eyes. Everyone wants to consume and create waste, but no one is willing to clean up. We all gotta pay our dues. It might be more worth your while to gaze at the smokestacks of Rocky Flats (only twenty miles away) when you're complaining about 100-mile-per-hour winds. And let's top that off with the fact that Boulder has the highest cancer rate in the entire state of Colorado, with air pollution two-thirds that of Denver and a population only a fraction of the size. If the smell bothers you, stuff your nose in your armpit--there are people out here who are truly suffering. Quit being so selfish!
We can whine forever about the quality of life and never enjoy what we do have. I guess it's always going to be something. Wait until a toxic incinerator is being built close to your grandchildren's future homes--then we'll talk politics.
Standing on Ceremony
Womyn's truth: In July 1994 I spent five and a half hours sharing my story with Steve Jackson. To this day, I am appalled and furious with the way he decimated my story ("Bad Medicine," July 27, 1994). Only 20 percent of the truth was told; everything else was twisted, misquoted and willfully misrepresented.
Oscar Brave Eagle is guilty of first-degree sexual assault (a class 3 felony). I know it, he knows it, a nine-man, three-womyn jury in Larimer County knows it...but most important, Wakan Tanka knows it. He faces a sentence of four to sixteen years.
For the record, I would like to make it very clear that I do not charge for ceremonies! Never have, never will. I find it interesting that those who know me, live with me and work with me speak highly of my integrity, while those who gawk from the sidelines cause me nothing but misery. Several years ago I had an Indian grandmother explain it to me wonderfully: "You are more Indian than the Indians, and they hate you for it." I will always be thankful for her insight. I walk my talk! It is also quite amazing that no one who discounts this case came to the courtroom to hear my testimony; I believe they knew if they heard the truth of my story, they would be swayed to switch sides of the fence.
I also must make it clear that I did not give my medicine name for publication. This is pure blasphemy, and Steve Jackson must take full credit and responsibility for doing so. He whines a lot about "co-opting," yet if he had any respect for our ways, he would never have done such a disgraceful thing.
It would take several hundred words to discount and set true all the errors in both the original article and the most recent piece in the April 12 issue, "Overturned." I suggest those who seek the truth watch other publications that soon will be printing stories of their own. The Larimer County Court records are also public documents available for your review. Or call me directly, for I am always willing to speak the truth.
Oscar chose the wrong womyn to harm this time. He's been found guilty, and he will soon suffer the consequences of his actions. Let his example be a warning to all "medicine men," priests, gurus, professors, etc., who use rape as a way of stealing power: Whether you or your own people choose to take responsibility, there are serious consequences for your weakness. When all men are shown that ten minutes of violent sex consistently receives ten years in prison, the crimes committed against womyn and children will cease. Until then, we must pray for the courage and strength to fight our individual battles through to the end.
My deepest gratitude to all of you who have held my hand through this terrible ordeal, for your brave and unceasing love. I could not have done it without you! Mitakuye oyasin.
My thanks for your reporting on school-board member J.P. Hemming's response to teacher Lynn Pohlod's plea for help for Wyman Elementary School (Off Limits, April 5). It arrived at a time when I am up to my pits with public servants in power positions taking a high-handed attitude with the "lower-downs" in their systems' rank structures.
In my opinion, Hemming has a lot of nerve ignoring Pohlod's attempts to surface her school's problems by pulling rank and rubbing her nose in it with "I have a job, i.e., `real world,' where I work 250 days a year (not 180 days). I believe I have a clue." Here's some news for any member of any public board who takes Hemming's position: If he is sharp enough to be on the school board, he should know that: A) 180 days per year is proper English; B) teaching is a real job, and it does involve a lot more than punching a clock 180 days of the year; C) Pohlod wouldn't have contacted the board if there weren't problems that only the board could fix; and D) the reason for a "250"-day-per-year school-board job is to ensure the students get the education that all of the city's taxpayers are paying for. We taxpayers pay his salary.
The most important point is that in the "i.e., real world," boardmembers like Mr. Hemming aren't paid to play Grand High Muckety-Muck by belittling people for caring enough to try to fix problems. In the "i.e. real world," it seems to me, the board's job is to support and help educate our children. I don't have to have children in her school or live in her neighborhood to applaud efforts to get the best education Lynn Pohlod can secure for her school's students. I am glad to see that she, as a public servant, is spending my tax dollars as promised to the taxpayers.
School-board members are public servants, too. There is no Exalted Pooh-Bah in the job description, and having to work around dismissing and demeaning responses isn't part of Pohlod's job, either. She doesn't work for the board. The board works for us. Shame on any bureaucrat who passes such guff to the people in the trenches.
The best thing the board can do is follow Pohlod's suggestion and get a clue. Get lots of clues, and some class. Apologize publicly to Pohlod for lording over her with such a snotty attitude and to her students for the flippant disregard for their welfare. Apologize to the taxpayers for pretending to be on the board for some reason other than why the board is there. Then spend some of those "250 days" investigating Wyman's problems and doing what can be done to fix them.
Like we would expect of any public servant who is paid to do a job.
Still Under a Spell
Regarding Michael Roberts's April 12 Feedback:
About a year ago, I wrote in praising the newfound success of Chanin Floyd's great band, Spell. After seeing their charming show with Jux County recently at the Bluebird, I felt I had to write again. It's just so great to see them and enjoy their success along with them. I love it when 92X plays them and, out of the blue, Chanin's voice is on the radio. They must love it, too.
The other great band I have to rave about is Lord of Word and the Disciples of Bass. These guys are simply the most monstrous, slammin', funky, nasty killers in town. I wish them every success and congratulations on their recent opportunities with James Brown and Ice Cube. Anyone who isn't hip to Lord of Word ought to check them out. Plus, they're just the nicest bunch of cats you could meet. Thanks, Westword, for the recent update on them. I think Small Axe productions is doing great things for them. Theo will soon be able to quit his bagel gig.
Anyway, both bands deserve every success. They're great--and really, they didn't pay me to say this.
Madison "Chip" Lucas
One Tough Cookie
Regarding the April 12 Off Limit:
Chester Davenport, political networker extraordinaire, owns the Envirotest outfit. His public-relations people must have realized that the public would be a bit ruffled to wait, as I did, an hour or more to pass the test. A very successful businessman, Davenport suggested that instead of just 17 cents per test going to public relations for the program, the amount be doubled.
When my car was tested, gourmet cookies filled a basket in the unheated waiting room. I'll tell you, I ate more than my 34 cents' worth. What a homey touch in the technical turmoil of the new program! Davenport's covered as many bases as possible. He also owns the rights to the University of Denver's promising research on emissions scanning. His company forcefully garnered contracts in other states through powerful lobbying and political maneuvering. Those weren't just cookies in the waiting room. Those were gourmet cookies.
Clean air is mandatory, but when a mandate falls to the permutations and marketing-par-excellence skills of a professional like Chester Davenport, the touch of gourmet cookies is just too much for some of us.
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I hope you continue writing about the EPA-mandated Emission IM/240 testing. I have licensed many vehicles from 1977 to the present in Colorado, paying the taxes, licenses and the unneeded inspection fees. Since I maintain my vehicles on a regular basis, none has ever failed an inspection. If the inspections had been done to see if I had a steering wheel or tires on the vehicle, they would have had the same effect on the environment: none. Ripoff fee, in other words.
With fuel injection and electronic ignition and the many sensors with computer-chip control, there is nothing the owner can do except change oil, filters, plugs and plug wires. All adjustments are sealed. Police or other drivers reporting oil-burners on the highway could require the repair of that 5 percent or 10 percent of vehicles that are out of proper repair status.
All inspection fees paid by me and other Colorado owners, if used for highway construction, would have already built the north-south freeway on the plains east of the Front Range cities and the east-west freeway from Limon to Colorado Springs, through the mountains to the southwest and up to Grand Junction--and left money in the highway funds. This would remove much through-traffic from the cities, lowering emissions and dispersing the traffic. I would gladly pay an annual fee to see these freeways built, opening this state and spreading out the people.