Rush to Judgement
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's August 21 column, "Once Upon a Mattress":
KOA should fire Keith Weinman. The only reason to listen to any Jacor station is to hear Rush.

Don L. Lewis

It's very appropriate that in last week's letters column, Mike Cooper compared Keith Weinman to "the missing link." Until men learn not to beat women, evolution has a long way to go.

Joy Frick

Put That in Your Pipeline and Smoke It
I guess it was a slow news week that led to Ward Harkavy's "Pipeline to Palestine," in the August 14 issue. Reading this article, I didn't know what exactly I was supposed to feel--admiration? The fact is that these guns and ammo ended up killing and injuring untold numbers of civilians and soldiers. Gee, what's next? A Congressional Medal?

This story belonged in the National Review, not Westword.
Victor D. Padilla

Are we supposed to admire Sam Sterling for running guns to Palestine in the late 1940s? "Jews carrying one-pound bricks of TNT would run up to Arab houses, jam short fuses into the bricks, light them, hurl them through a window, and run like hell," you say. If this appeared in an article about Bosnia, one would assume it was an example of the evil acts of vicious people. To Sam Sterling, though, a man who made such acts possible, it was merely "necessary." Sure, innocent Arabs had to be murdered in their homes, but at least "it was historically Jewish land," says Sterling--although is that a hint of guilt peeking through when he continues by saying, "if one could make that claim after 2,000 years"?

Of course, the only way to enforce such obscure claims is through murder, as no useful piece of land has remained empty for 2,000 years. In any case, the claim would be spurious even if claims from antiquity were valid. Many Israeli Jews, perhaps most, are not descended from inhabitants of the Holy Land. Many European Jews are descended from Asian tribes that were converted to Judaism, for instance, and black Ethiopian Jews are quite obviously not Semitic.

In order to build a new country in Palestine, the people who had lived there for generations had to be either subdued or removed, a process we now call ethnic cleansing. Sam Sterling is as guilty as the Yugoslavian Serbs who assisted in the cleansing of Bosnia. As the son of a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust who decided not to go to Israel, I believe that two wrongs do not make a right; the murder and displacement of thousands of Palestinians does not somehow make amends for the Holocaust, and the claim that it was necessary to create a safe place for Jews to live seems ridiculous--are Jews really safe in today's Israel?

Peter Kent
via the Internet

Good Book, Chapter and Verse
I would like to make a few comments regarding Ward Harkavy's August 14 article, "King James's Version." Most Christians refuse to realize that the belief system they adhere to is more allied to a kind of liberal humanism than to the worship of that vengeful god Jehovah--a god who advocates genocide, rape, murder and slavery in his name.

They feel that the figure known as Jesus (the Christ), the son of this god, is exempt from these politically incorrect ideas, despite the fact that not only does he descend physically from King David (a murderer, liar and adulterer) but is also supposedly the incarnation or mouthpiece of said deity.

Religions fashioned by human hands as they are tend to reflect attempts at social engineering by their human creators rather than any spiritual influence by a supernatural "creator." Some religions prohibit the consumption of pork. This most likely originates from a health risk present at the time these texts were purported to have been written.

Also, at this time women were considered the property of men. Changing the wording of the Bible is another attempt at social engineering akin to the Klan saying "We're the new Klan, not the old Klan" to reflect the moral climate. The motives for these changes are painfully transparent.

Michael Todd

Take a Lode Off
Stuart Steers's article on Summo Mineral Corporation's recent encounter with the National Wildlife Federation ("Lode Warriors," August 7) makes prominent reference to the fact that, instead of copper, the company ran into a "rich lode of environmentalists." The article should have read, "a load of rich environmentalists."

Far from the warm, fuzzy image portrayed on wildlife calendars, groups such as the National Wildlife Federation are big business--a business that provides much in the way of employment for lawyers and litigators. With an annual budget of more than $97 million, a number that is much higher than the budgets of most industry associations, the organization packs considerable economic wallop when it comes to dishing out trouble for legitimate businesses whose only sin is the desire to conduct responsible mineral extraction and reclamation activities, hopefully at a profit, on lands where such activity is permissible under applicable law.  

The NWF must continue to find "villains" in order to survive. Yet we in industry question whether a case against a responsible operator like Summo serves any legitimate environmental purpose or is simply part of a well-orchestrated campaign against mining in the West.

Mining is an important industry in Colorado, Utah and throughout the West. According to a recent study, the industry contributes $7.7 billion to the economy of Colorado alone. Moreover, as in the case of Summo Mineral's mine in the Lisbon Valley, mining brings high-paying jobs to economically depressed rural areas.

We have every reason to believe that the Lisbon Valley operation will finally be approved, but at what price? It is little wonder, given the economic muscle of environmental special interests and shortsighted federal land-use policies, that so many companies are simply finding that the U.S. is no longer a hospitable environment for mining and are choosing to locate new mines in foreign countries where the government welcomes environmentally responsible mining operations like Summo.

Stuart Anderson, president
Colorado Mining Association
Paul C. Jones, executive director
Minerals Exploration Coalition

Beaver Damn
Andy Klein's August 21 review of Stick It to Beaver, er, Leave It to Beaver was too kind. It appears movie reviewers now accept as commonplace the slamming of races (the suburban black boys use Ebonics to explain that on their summer vacation their dad left and came back--broken homes can be hilarious!). Lumpy is seen stuffing pastries down his throat (this should help all the overweight kids in the schoolyard). How about some family-death humor (grandma died this summer--ha ha). It seems like everyone gets to pick on the Beaver. Wally sheepishly stands by as Eddie Haskell relentlessly insults and abuses a kid half his size (good training for wannabe bullies). Ward Cleaver is dark and disturbed, and he emotionally abuses Beaver from the beginning. After a sixteen-year-old steals the Beaver's treasured bike, instead of calling the police, Ward blames it all on his boys. (Maybe he could have thrown in a lock, or at least a helmet, when he bought the bike.)

Yes, it is only a movie. But I believe we underestimate the influence of our entertainment on our society--and especially impressionable young children. Tasteless humor, stereotyped minorities and child abuse is standard fare in today's entertainment industry.

I guess it's business as usual for your reviewer.
Dennis Gronli
via the Internet

She's Got a Secret
I just finished reading Bill Gallo's review of Mrs. Brown ("Victoria's Secret," July 24) and found it to be one of the most refreshing, insightful reviews I have come upon in years. I never read these reviews, but this one lured me in and held me captive. Gallo should be commended.

Amy Haimerl
via the Internet

Geek Tragedy
Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your newspaper each and every week. Of course, I'll also take this opportunity to bitch. Get rid of Michael Roberts. He seems to believe that any music he doesn't like personally is crap.

Westword should fire this geek and hire someone with a more mature perspective.

Sean Dougherty
via the Internet

Hagar the Not-So-Horrible
Regarding Michael Roberts's "It Was All Eddie's Fault," in the August 28 issue:

All right, Sammy Hagar is an egotistical jackass whose music, with or without Van Halen, is about as irritating as a jackhammer at five in the morning. But I have a confession to make: There is something I like about Hagar. I like the way he nourishes a vendetta against Van Halen.

I enjoy a good rock-and-roll quarrel, often more than the music itself. I have to say Westword's Hagar interview delivered the trash talk and ego I like to hear in a rock-and-roll brawl. Hagar, I believe, makes a moron out of himself during the interview, but more important, he is able to express his resentment and contempt for Van Halen. Hagar, clearly, is on a mission. He is out to destroy the reputation of Van Halen, and that makes me like him.

Sadly for me and countless other Van Halen fans, Halen's rep was gone the day they asked Hagar to be their new frontman--a decision I cannot blame on Hagar. Now that Hagar has bitterly split with Van Halen, I have to side with him. Because, frankly, Hagar and I have something in common: We both loathe Van Halen.  

Mark Zawisa

Regarding your recent interview with one of the larger minds in rock, Sammy Hagar:

Probably everything that needs to be said about this will be covered by more articulate souls than me, but I did have two distinct impressions. One, who cares anymore about the ongoing drama of who fucked who over in this dissipated bunch of pizza-barfing ex-frat boys? They ceased to be anything significant after the first album, but of course, they had to go on and fashion a legend. That supports my long-held theory that anytime we find some cultural thing that we really like here in America, we have to proceed to beat the living crap out of it. Maybe it's genetic, I don't know.

The other thing I noticed (and again, maybe it's just me) is the increasing resemblance that Sammy Hagar bears to Jimmy Buffett. The implications of this are too gruesome to even imagine. Being of a fragile nature myself, I am going to have some brown M&Ms and go to bed.

Victoria Frerichs
via the Internet

Michael Roberts, you say that Marching to Mars is "jaw-droppingly awful" and that, although Sam sucks, he's still got a high opinion of himself. I'd like to know exactly what you don't like about Marching to Mars. And what did Sam ever do to you to earn your disgust?

If you don't like the man, fine. But don't accept an assignment to interview him and then spend the whole time sniping about him. It's immature and pathetic.

Gesi Rovario
via the Internet

I would just like to say that I think Sammy kicks ass without Van Halen and that what they did to him was crap. Sammy's right: Any VH that comes out will suck. I lost a lot of respect for VH, but dicking Sammy over was stupid.

Kevin Keller
via the Internet

Barry, Barry Good
Thank you, Michael Roberts, for the article about Barry Fey ("The Long Goodbye") and the Hit Pick notice of the Tommy Bolin Tribute Concerts in the same August 14 issue.

I am a mother and a grandmother out of the Zephyr-generation Colorado. Candy Givens and Tommy Bolin were simply the best--the most original and unique--female singer/blues harp player and male guitarist of the genre. There will never be another Candy or Tommy.

I'm just a mosquito here, but I did sing with both of them. Candy was my good friend in high school, and Tommy taught me jazz licks (he was fifteen years old) after I introduced him to my husband at the time, who became their protector and roadie/confidant when Zephyr started touring.

Barry was the soul of kindness to me and to Candy and Tommy during those early days with the band. Barry remained so when went to see him again 25 years later. He offered to help me (a nobody) and graciously received me and my tiny granddaughter when we stopped by his office for an unannounced visit.

Barry Fey took care of hundreds of thousands of crazed, music-happy kids over a period (a long period) of years. He was not much older than we were and was constantly placed in the position of being the responsible adult in the midst of a very large, unruly family. He had to make many difficult and unpopular decisions to benefit the greatest number of kids; a lot of them never grew up mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually.

I'm thankful that Barry was there for us--a constant and true friend. And I miss Candy and Tommy--the Hunna Bunna's.

Kathryn "The Grape" Elisha

Every Dogster Has His Day
Regarding the Caroline Corley and Keanu Reeves incident, discussed in the July 31 Backbeat and then in subsequent letters columns:

First, let me say that I am proud to call Caroline a very dear friend, and to all of those self-assuming "assholes" out there, I was on the phone with her less than a minute after her "on-air" interview with Reeves and the rest of Dogstar. I have never heard her upset after an interview (if you call one question answered on the air an interview), but the whole situation has been blown out of proportion.

I have attended numerous concerts and shows with Caroline in the past, and never have I seen her be "off-putting" to anyone.

Christopher R. Smith
via the Internet

Letters policy: Westword wants to hear from you, whether you have a complaint or compliment about what we write from week to week. Letters should be no more than 200 words; we reserve the right to edit for libel, length and clarity. Although we'll occasionally withhold an author's name on request, all letters must include your name, address and telephone number. Write to:  

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