On Her Toes
After reading Patricia Calhoun's "The Art of the Deal" November 8, I agree with half of it. True, Adam's Mark should not have taken down the sculpture without talking to the artist first. But it's also true that bronze ballerinas would be a big improvement over the paraboloid!

Suzanne Foster

Elevators through the sidewalks? Why don't we let Adam's Mark rent rooms in City Hall while we're at it? We've given the hotel's developer everything else.

A.R. Austin

To Serve and Protest
Regarding Steve Jackson's "Battle Cry," in the November 1 issue:
The people who parade and protest near the Planned Parenthood clinic at 20th and Vine are appalling. Any reasonable person who has any Christian Bible-reading or churchgoing experience and an open mind knows one thing: Jesus would never have joined in these outrageous antics. The man who refused to judge and refused to hate and allowed a known prostitute to wash his feet would surely involve himself in more gentle displays.

Do any of these protesters involve themselves in the education process, trying to help girls and women avoid unplanned pregnancy in the first place? Have they invited a pregnant teen, whose parents have kicked her out of the house, into their own home? Would they support putting condoms in schools? They are a part of the problem and not a part of the solution. Having an abortion is not something I would wish on my worst enemy; the anguish a woman or girl must feel approaching that office must be bad enough without graphic photos, screams and nasty people.

It is disgusting that these protesters claim to be doing God's work. They give Christianity a worse name than Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker did.

Kelly J. Bates

Thank you for "Battle Cry." It serves as more proof that logic means nothing to those against the right to free choice. Dressing up as Lincoln to link the fight against freedom of choice with the fight for freedom from slavery is pathetic and ridiculous. The fight against the right to safe abortions is obviously a fight for the right of the unborn to enslave women.

Most women see their interests and needs as identical to the interests and needs of their unborn children, and they choose to give birth. For them, the fetus, baby, contents of the womb, unborn, future person, whatever, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be considered their master. But for those few unfortunate women who find themselves pregnant against their will, unless they can safely abort, the fetus inside them owns them as surely and completely as a nineteenth-century Alabama cotton grower owned the people picking his crop. Where the interests of the unborn and the born conflict, the anti-choice say, the born must yield. Where the interests of the plantation owner and slave conflict, the slave must yield. That is the essence of slavery.

To constantly harp on the word "fetus" and the humanity of the contents of the womb is equally ridiculous. It is a baby. Fine. What does that matter if it is enslaving the woman it rides around in? It is small, but "smallness" doesn't mean "morally better" or "more important." Americans have long believed freedom is more important than life, which is why we've been willing to die fighting Nazis, Communists and slave owners. Live free or die, say New Hampshire's license plates. Better dead than Red. Women--Americans--must be free to conduct their lives and their bodies as they see fit, or they aren't fully American. Give me liberty or give me death.

Abortion isn't the issue. Freedom is the issue. The overwhelming support for the right to choose clearly demonstrates that the majority of Americans understand that freedom is the essence of being an American and choice is the essence of being free. Hallelujah.

Live free or die.
Mike Bartlett

When will the abortion issue ever be put to rest? In my teens I saw several girlfriends' lives saved by abortion. How could these girls have faced the humiliation of being a pregnant eighth- or tenth-grader and still finish high school? Who would have cared for these unwanted babies if the mothers were determined enough to continue school? And how can a fourteen-year-old financially support a child, give it emotional care, finish school and still lead a happy adolescence? My friends have gone on to be successful businesspeople, college grads making a positive effort for our society. They're not sinners. They made a mistake that took somewhere between five seconds and fifteen minutes, and now they should pay for it for the rest of their lives by being forced or guilt-tripped into parenthood? And where are the fathers? What a joke! Why must the women suffer all the consequences and the men go on their merry way? Why do these male abortion protesters think they have any say or opinion whatsoever in something that is mainly a female issue? Typically, if roles were reversed, these men would probably change their self-righteous, egotistical stances.

Most important, do we really need more unwanted children in this country? Resentment by the mothers, broken families and generally unwanted, unplanned pregnancies carried to term mean only the likelihood of more troubled children on our streets turning to gangs for the love they can't find at home and then threatening the safety and peace of loving families who don't deserve all this crap. My friends plan to raise upstanding, loving families when they are ready. Thank God for abortion. It saved my friends' lives so they could grow up and become the neighbors, friends and mothers this country needs in order to continue successfully--something that would not have happened when they were fourteen.

I challenge any and all of those abortion protesters to personally adopt one of those potentially aborted fetuses. The buck stops here, you "holier-than-thou, I'm doing God's work" idiots. If these people took real action toward improving the lives of unwanted children and could ensure these kids safe homes--not foster homes, revolving doorways, gangs, poverty and neglect--I would give them some credit.

To just wave a sign and create a public nuisance is not a solution. Real solutions are finding ways to give unwanted children hope for positive, productive lives.

Name withheld on request

Last week you printed letters responding to Steve Jackson's article about anti-abortionists. The problem I have with the responses, except for one, is that none of them addressed the actual issues of the article: disturbing the peace, obstruction, loitering and harassment. Plain and simple--breaking the law. Although the underlying topic is abortion, the main issue is when First Amendment rights infringe upon the rights of others.

The last time I encountered these fanatics was when my neighbors and I tried to get a glimpse of the president at the Little Sisters of the Poor. They ranted and raved about earthquakes being evil and other irrational concepts; they not only annoyed the adults, they horrified the children. Their rhetoric was made up of lies and propaganda, and when they were approached, they could not even hold a logical conversation--which many doctors would categorize as abnormal.

A couple of things not addressed in the article that I've always questioned: What do these people do for a living? How do they live? And how do they know what procedure is being performed? Do the churches support them, or are they just glorified bums? Is it illegal for a church to pay someone to spread the rhetoric? How do parishioners feel about donating money to a charity that should feed families but instead feeds street zealots?

Lastly, I don't understand how these people are allowed to get away with breaking the law. Until they suffer consequences for their actions every time, instead of just a couple of times, the problem will not go away. If our justice system cannot protect the rights of ordinary citizens, then I have a suggestion for that neighborhood: Buy yourself some thrasher music and blare it at them so they will have to compete for their precious air space.

Liz Godwin

Straighten Up and Fly Right
Your November 8 Off Limits took a well-deserved potshot at Kevin Flynn, whose positive coverage of Denver International Airport should earn him a job as a public information officer there. But save some ammo for Westword's own editing--would that this airport cost $3.5 million, as you printed, rather than the several billion we're stuck for.

Name withheld on request

The dispute between United Airlines and BAE Automated Systems isn't whether the airline is actually using all major segments of the system, which it is. The dispute is whether BAE has achieved what is known in the contract as "substantial completion," a quite different thing. My stories neither backtracked nor flip-flopped, except to someone who needs to see them that way to set up the straw man. But in your purposeful mischaracterization of what I reported, you failed to point out that your own earlier cover story on the baggage system (Stuart Steers's "Inside the Beltway," October 25) was wholly inaccurate. The BAE system undeniably is being used in both directions, currently carrying about 75 percent of the load, the airline admits. As I reported, that is short of completion, but a whole lot more than your story indicated. The inbound baggage system can easily be observed in operation from the windows of Concourse B as crews unload bags onto the extendable conveyors. You don't even have to sneak into the tunnels, as I did, to verify it.

While advocacy journalism has its niche, there is still no substitute for unbiased observation and reporting. At the end of the day, my stories were correct; your guy blew it.

Kevin Flynn
Rocky Mountain News

Editor's note: Westword's information on the status of the inbound baggage system came from United Airlines. We stand by our story.


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