Workers of the World, Unite!
Thanks for Stuart Steers's "Still Hurting," in the March 28 issue. It seems that the rich just keep getting richer--and the poor keep hurting.
I enjoyed "Still Hurting," by Stuart Steers, very much. The ancient Roman policy of bread and circuses still works in Colorado.
France has gone to a four-day work week. If America follows the French example, many workers will be able to have two jobs. Do insurance premiums decrease for part-timers? Will vending machines replace retail clerks? Should HR3039 (for a national retail sales tax) pass? The Japanese use vending machines to sell everything from beer to expensive gifts. Will high workers' compensation premiums force companies to automate or hire computer workers in India?
People Who Needle People
Patricia Calhoun: Just a little note to tell you that I look forward to your editorials and various stories on people in Colorado.
I love Off Limits, particularly the March 28 item regarding old Ben Klein and his shenanigans in trying to restrain other RTD boardmembers from attending executive sessions. How did Klein ever get to be RTD chairman? The story of Ben Klein's life in Colorado is hilarious, and I hope someone writes a book on the humiliation he has caused in his life.
You have wonderful staff writers, who never hold back in writing the facts as they are. Over the years, your top stories were Alan Prendergast's piece on the U-Haul murder, Karen Bowers's story about the divorce of the fighting Bernicks, and the article about plastic surgeon Charles German.
Keep up the good work, Patricia, and let's get the whole story on Spicer Breeden and Peter Schmitz! That will be the real story of 1996.
Thanks again for your marvelous editorials.
A Clash of Symbols
Regarding Steve Jackson's "LifeEand DeathEon the Run," in the March 14 issue:
Who cares if three pieces of shit destroy themselves against a tree at 95 mph? I certainly don't. Your "newspaper" gives the left-wing rap that everybody is wonderful and that with a little bit of love, the world would be a better place. What a crock. Who needs these asshole teens? Nobody. They just want a free ride, lots of chow, lots of TV, lots of their really bad music, etc., etc.
You and your types are so concerned with this sort of behavior, but you don't do a thing about it. Take a look at yourselves sometime and decide if you are helping with the problem or if you are the problem.
Hope you all drop dead tomorrow.
Name withheld on request
In "Life...and Death...on the Run," a police officer says, "People say these kids fall through cracks. Well, it's not a crack, it's a great big hole."
I say it's not a big hole, it's as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Kids fall through cracks because no one gives a damn. Until, that is, a kid commits a crime that affects one of them. Then it's "Let's get tough on crime!"
In his March 28 letter, Bill Sherman said that Steve Jackson's writing is too cliched.
Cliches can cause a story to drag sometimes, yet there was no such problem with Jackson's writing in "A Wanted Man," the January 24 piece about Tom Luther and Cher Elder. To say the story was electrifying is an understatement. Also, Jackson's "Life...and Death...on the Run" was moving and compelling in its continuity, and of the finest quality.
Rolf O. Norstog
In the middle of the March 28 Worst-Case Scenario, "Buffalo Be's Real West Show," Kenny Be wrote about "the automated baggage system--an exhibition of colossal greed and failed technology." Mr. Be's choice of words was inappropriate.
The airport planners under mayors Federico Pea and Wellington Webb displayed colossal hubris in thinking that such a system could be built.
BAE has shown colossal miscalculation for agreeing to try to build such a system. I doubt that BAE's shareholders will make any profit off of it.
The owner-employees of United Airlines had this system dropped into their laps, and they have been trying to make the best of it.
I do not see any "colossal greed" in the situation.
Newswriters cheapen the word, and their own reputations, when they use a word inappropriately--like the boy who cried "wolf."
Regarding the great $240 million baggage system: $240 million at 6 percent is $14.4 million. This divided by $35,000 pays for 411 employees. Throw in the cost of operating the system even if it were working perfectly and you would have had enough for one helluva semi-manual system. And you'd still have the $240 million.
Frederick C. Sage
Bean and Nothingness
Regarding Kyle Wagner's "The Joy of Mex?" in the March 28 issue:
Asking Kyle Wagner to review a Mexican restaurant makes as much sense as sending Helen Keller to review a movie. She obviously doesn't have a taste for Mexican food, so she cannot be objective about what she's eating.
I disagree with Ms. Wagner on every point she made, and so does everyone I've spoken to who read her article and is familiar with Los Troncos. The food is not greasy; every dish is well-prepared and tasty; the margaritas aren't too sweet; and the homemade salsa and guacamole are the best in town. I eat there at least once a week, have done so for more than a year, and have yet to have a bad meal there. The staff is gracious, and Luis, the owner, is the epitome of Old Mexico politeness and charm.
I noticed Ms. Wagner has an aversion to grease, yet she'll order chicharrones, the single most fat-packed, artery-clogging item in the world next to ghee (clarified butter drunk as a delicacy in India). Where did you get this woman? If she can be this far off-base on one restaurant, why should we believe anything she says about any other?
Wagner must have been in a very bad mood the day she went to Los Troncos. She unleashed a fusillade of petty, petulant criticisms, not one of which was well-founded or deserved. I think she owes Los Troncos an apology. Or maybe not. Sometimes it's hard to get a table there, so if fewer people know how good it is, I'll be guaranteed a seat every time I go.
I guess the reason Kyle Wagner had nothing nice to say about Los Troncos is that she wouldn't know authentic Mexican food if it bit her. Let's hope someday she takes a trip to Mexico to see how authentic Los Troncos is.
My mom and dad always taught us that if you couldn't say anything nice, you shouldn't say anything at all. My opinion is that Los Troncos is an excellent restaurant. I will be glad to try the 15th Avenue Grill, but if it's like Benny's, it is a clone of all the Mexican restaurants that Kyle spoke of, and she's right--we don't need any more of them.
I don't care if Kyle Wagner was just writing a review and if it was her opinion, she had some pretty rotten things to say about Los Troncos. Obviously, she has taste for shit--and that is my opinion.
My deepest apologies to my parents.
The Last Laugh
Just a short letter to let you know I was very disturbed by Kyle Wagner's unwarranted trashing of my favorite deli, the Laughing Dog (Mouthing Off, March 14 and March 28). I think Kyle definitely missed the boat. The more I read, the more it seems Kyle has a personal bone to pick. What's her problem?
Hip-Hop to It
After reading Michael Roberts's Fugees interview ("Rhymes of Passion," March 21) and Joshua Green's Pharcyde album review (Playlist, March 21), I was mentally forced to write in. Who are Michael Roberts and Joshua Green? Are they from the Hip-Hop Nation? Are they from the music industry? Do they listen to hip-hop when they're not doing a review? Are they even hip-hop fans? What makes their opinions credible?
The reason I ask these questions is because their pessimistic reviews lead me to believe these people know nothing about hip-hop and its culture. In reference to the Fugees, Roberts says that the song "How Many Mics" has "predictable gibes." Now, in the Hip-Hop Nation, the song "How Many Mics" is considered a battle song. This track is supposed to let MCs know that the Fugees have skills and are now a force to be reckoned with. In the review of the Pharcyde record, Green says that the songs were mostly "tales of drug use." Wrong album, kid; this isn't Cypress Hill. If Green really listened to the record, he would have noticed the maturity that the group has gained. Songs on this album referred to the experiences they went through during the last album's success, covering subjects like groupies, the evils of the music industry, the state of today's hip-hop, and relationships.
All I'm saying is, next time find somebody who knows what hip-hop is really about instead of getting someone from the outside looking in. And tell Michael and Joshua that before they go to the Beastie Boys show, they should remember their Cypress Hill T-shirts and that House of Pain tape in the glove box.
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