I just finished reading Steve Jackson's February 13 feature, "The Fight of Their Lives," on Dr. Warren Hern, and felt compelled to comment on it. I first encountered this amazing man in his anthropology class last fall at the University of Colorado-Boulder. I was fascinated by his account of his life with the Shipibo Indians. My admiration for him grew when I found out about his involvement with the abortion movement; I was unaware of the extent of it until I read Mr. Jackson's excellent article.
Warren Hern has more concern for the state of humanity than any of the Bible-thumping wackos who persist in tormenting him for his unselfish concern for others. I feel honored to know this man and to have shaken his hand.
It is often pondered how a civilized, cultured, educated, pragmatic country like Germany could be taken over by a relatively small group of zealot thugs. Ken Scott and his ilk demonstrate how.
Waving the cross of Christ instead of a swastika is much more effective, since we are taught not to argue with someone's "religion." Of course, if you wake up and find God sitting on the end of your bed ready to go over the day's agenda, you have to pay attention. Right? You betcha!
I read your article on the Ken Scott v. Warren Hern case. It was the usual disgusting, slanted, biased reporting by Westword. Warren Hern is no saint, although both his ego and your newspaper try to picture him that way. Even as you read this, he is killing innocent babies, and he does so daily.
"Tracy" (and I know her real name) and Mike Newell have old, expired garbage on Ken Scott and don't even know Ken as he is today. He helped me (and many others) many times with use of a car when I had none. He helped me (and many others) financially when I lost hours at work. Many times he has bought breakfast for all of us when we go out to eat after protesting. He remembers many people's birthdays. He hugs everyone, every day. He helps both blacks and whites. He prays for all of us and for Warren Hern. He encourages and corrects us with the utmost kindness and gentleness. I (we) are honored to have him as our friend, and I will be testifying at his trial.
Anyone, from the President on down, who continually kills the innocent and unborn child or supports the killing of innocent babies is mentally ill. Remember, all roads end at the throne of God, and you will have to give an account for all your thoughts, words and deeds. I wouldn't want to be in Hern's shoes with innocent blood on his hands.
I am a born-again Christian who is politically pro-choice and sees abortion as the least of a multiple of evils. It is a Christian principle that "by their fruits you shall know them." Contrasting Dr. Hern's responsible life of integrity with Scott's history of abuse, criminal behavior and lack of care and provision for his children is very instructive.
I offer an apology to Dr. Hern for the abuse and hatred he has suffered at the hands of those whose first command from their Lord is to love Him and everyone else. Political, even moral, disagreement is no excuse for cruelty and self-righteous persecution. God loves us all, whether by our actions in His name we bring shame to Him or not.
I'm sorry Dr. Hern is so alone, and pray that he will be able to find friends and companions. This is such a sad story, but he has demonstrated a commitment and dedication to what he believes and a hard-headed determination not to be intimidated that I admire.
Dr. Hern is a hero, which in my definition is someone who helps others, even at great risk to his own safety and well-being. It takes great courage to hang in and keep helping women in spite of being constantly besieged by terrorists. These people call themselves "pro-life" for tactical reasons, but obviously they're not pro-life. Look at Ken Scott. He kills animals for fun. This is not pro-life; it's pro-death. Look at the history of his behavior toward his wife. Look at his attitude toward his own children--refusing to support them. If they live, it will be in spite of their father's actions, not because of them. This is typical of these people: They have little or no regard for children. What they actually are is pro-fetal life. These people cause suffering all around them.
Ken Scott is clearly psychologically ill. He clearly hates women. When a person has high self-esteem, he projects his respect of self outward in the form of respect for all others. When a person has low self-esteem, he projects his self-loathing outward in the form of contempt for others. People with low self-esteem tend to do bad things. It's a vicious circle. Professional help is needed to break it. It's too bad for everybody when people like Ken Scott don't get the professional help they need.
Bravo to Steve Jackson for his thoughtful and articulate journalism. But a special bravo to Dr. Hern! While my words may be of little comfort to you given the harassing, irrational and just plain dangerous behavior of people such as Ken Scott, please realize that millions of women are grateful to you for your courage and strength. It is tragic that you are obliged to suffer from the attention of such unbalanced lunatics. With hope, Mr. Jackson's work will help to expose precisely how insane and menacing Mr. Scott is, and will remind us all of how important the services that you and other brave doctors like you are willing to provide.
Dr. Hern, I salute you and thank you again!
T.R. Witcher: This is the first letter I have ever written to a writer regarding something I have seen in a newspaper. I was very impressed with your story on Jerry Stevens, "The High Road," in the February 6 issue. First of all, I appreciated the work and effort that went into making this piece understandable and comprehensible. You managed to convey the essence of the man as much as possible. I understand how hard personal transformations can be on any level, but to read about someone who had gone to the extreme heights and depths of this man's journey is quite remarkable. To emerge with insights and understandings instead of choosing the victim's path is very amazing. I am encouraged that it happened to a man who might teach his fellow men to take a different and enlightened view of their immediate environment, no matter what their circumstances.
Thank you for writing the article, and I would like to thank Jerry Stevens for sharing his story.
He Has Seen the Future...
Regarding Andy Van De Voorde's "Do Not Adjust Your Set," in the February 13 issue:
What a story. You quote everybody: TCI officials, government officials. Let's see, who did you forget? Oh, yeah, the subscribers! That's why we're trying to build our own fiber-optic future in Boulder without the two parties who always seem to forget who the telecommunications future is supposed to serve in the first place.
Carter S. Johnson, chair
Citizens for Better Cable in Boulder
A Matter of Force
When I read Michael Sragow's Star Wars review, "The Force Is Almost With You," in the January 30 issue, I laughed out loud because it was so uncannily accurate and insightful. Sragow's review said all the things I had thought about that movie for twenty years, but it said them much better than I ever could. Don't get me wrong--I loved the movie as a sixth-grader and continue to enjoy it for what it's worth (it is better with Surround Sound). But Sragow's criticisms were hilariously true.
I opened the February 13 Westword to see a lot of whining, some of it less than articulate, about Sragow's audacity in criticizing the movie in any fashion. Don't let those idiots get you down, Mr. Sragow: You were right (but you probably already knew that).
via the Internet
The Hep C Generation
As a hepatitis C sufferer myself, I am always on the lookout for general reading that will help other people, who are not infected, understand the disease. Steve Jackson's "Shot in the Arm," in the January 16 issue, was an excellent article.
Accolades to Steve Jackson!
I believe that the more these statistics on hepatitis C are published, the more the public will be willing to provide the financial support necessary to research a cure. I appreciate the fact that you compared and related the HCV virus to the HIV virus. So very much money is being raised to help fund HIV research, and I hope that raising the public's level of awareness of the severity of HCV will encourage more support.
It is so frustrating to have something that is such a mystery to much of the medical profession as well as the public. I want you to know how very much I appreciate what you wrote. Thank you!
via the Internet
As a member of the "Silent Epidemic," I applaud your article on hep C. Too bad more people aren't exposed to this kind of information. It would make things easier when I have to tell friends I'm "too tired" to do XYZ...Never mind the part about not having access to insurance. Hey, that's Social Darwinism, a policy for the Nineties!
via the Internet
My wife was first diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1994. In May 1995 she started to go downhill fast. On July 29, 1995, she was added to the transplant list, then transplanted on September 29, 1995. At the time of the transplant, the doctors said that she might have lasted another week. Anyone familiar with HCV knows that even a transplant is not a complete cure and that the new liver is infected in a short period of time. If the new liver fails, another transplant is a possibility--but the donors' organization is in the process of changing its liver allocation policy, and that could jeopardize this possibility. I seriously suggest that anyone with hepatitis C contact the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and recommend the rejection of these changes.
via the Internet
Tied Up in Yellow Tape
Patricia Calhoun's columns on the Ramsey case, most recently "The Worst-Laid Plans," in the January 30 issue, were really on the mark. I can't believe some letter-writer had the audacity to comment that the Boulder police should be left alone to do their job. What exactly is their job? Stringing up yellow tape? I can't believe they still have not interviewed the Ramseys. If a murder had happened in anyone else's home, they would likely be in custody until the police had sufficiently questioned them. What is going on here?
If it were my child, I would be cooperating to the nth degree to provide the police with anything that might help with the case. Something really strange is going on here, and it appears that a motive of protecting the culprit is being pursued to drag this out until the public forgets about it and moves on to something else. The Boulder PD does not appear to be doing its job and is just delaying to let the trail go cold.
via the Internet
I agree that the Ramsey murder case is bizarre. When wealth and influence enter a case, facts often become garbled and jumbled. However, there is a new program that can help parents prepare should their child ever be missing. It is called Child Trace, and it allows you to save a sample of your child's DNA. Parents simply rub the inside of their child's cheek with cotton swabs and place them in a vial containing a preservative.
Also, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has a Web site--http://missingkids.org--that offers tips for parents on choosing a babysitter, selecting a daycare provider, protecting children in cyberspace, and more. It also has a "poster page" that rotates the twelve children most recently reported missing, providing physical descriptions and any other information that might help with the recovery of these kids.
Colorado will forever have a vivid picture of the tragedy that can and does befall more children than we can accurately number.
I read with interest Alan Prendergast's articles on the state of mental-health care in Denver ("Out of Sight, Out of Mind," January 17, 1996, and "Mental Anguish," December 5, 1996). My ex-wife is currently mired in this system, and I thank you for the help your articles have provided.
via the Internet
Editor's note: "Mental Anguish," as well as any other Westword story published since July 1, 1996, is available on our Web archives at www.westword.com
Regarding Kyle Wagner's "Oodles of Noodles," in the January 30 issue:
Who the hell is Kyle Wagner, anyway? I eat at Basil Pasta Bar twice a month when I go to the Mayan Theatre, and I think it is excellent. Her description of the food was contrary to what I have experienced each time I've eaten there. If I read a bad review of a restaurant by Kyle Wagner, it tells me that I want to eat there!
I have been with Peter Schlicht through Compari's, Baci and now Basil Pasta Bar. I felt Kyle Wagner's review was unfair and incorrect. After reading it, I took the liberty of looking up her luncheon check. Unfortunately, I found the prices quoted in the review were actually dinner prices, not lunch. My guests have always raved about the food at Basil. Some wonder if Kyle Wagner actually ate there.
Rhonda L. Damraur
Editor's note: Believe us, Kyle did (as her Basil's check should make clear). For more on Basil, see Mouthing Off, page 59.
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