Cut Him Off
I read Eric Dexheimer's "Fill 'er Up," in the October 2 issue, with great disgust and disdain.
Leroy Lucero's Crossroads Managed Care is reminiscent of the institution and staff in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest--another bunch of self-righteous zealots who justify their cause under the guise of the great "kindness" and "humanity" they are offering to their fellow man, thinking that "if we save one person out of a million, we are forgiven and just." Give me a break. Dragging people out of their homes to justify their beloved detox center sounds more like a satanic cult than a service to humanity. The innocent have no recourse; as the courts have proven, they will protect their own no matter what constitutional rights have been violated.
I guess we should be happy, though, that it is only a detox facility that they are trying to support with millions of taxpayer dollars each year and by maintaining a quota. If the Trinidad police had a new prison facility open in their area, they wouldn't care how many innocent people they put behind bars just to keep their cherished numbers up enough to keep the place open. And Lucero would still be claiming himself a saint who is protecting the common man from himself.
Unfortunately, Colorado law supports these wackos. Personally, I know a few harmless people who decided to stay home and get loaded after having a spat or disagreement with their partner--only to get hauled off to a detox unit where they had fewer rights than if they had been arrested for a serious crime. It's a profitable business, from what I've heard. These "detox" centers often send a hefty $3,000 to $5,000 bill for their services to the person they joyfully incarcerate beyond the bounds of legal limits. It makes me wonder, though, that if they can justify, through their own paranoia, a 0.00 percent alcohol reading as legal grounds to detain someone against his will, then what's to say they won't spot me in my driveway bringing a six-pack home and assess that I am a danger to myself and the friends who might be coming over to share it with me and should be made to disappear from the world for three days or so?
I was thoroughly impressed by Steve Jackson's "Global Warning," in the October 9 issue. The issue surrounding global warming is hot, and so was Jackson's command of the baffling contradictions that confound and confuse us. This article points out all the variables and helps to explain why "the jury is still out"; it will help me pull together the discordant ideas that are flung by both sides of the debate from their respective camps. I have my own opinions on the global-warming issue, but as a teacher, I am obligated to deliver to my environmental studies class an important balance. Steve Jackson's article does just that.
Outrageous! Confounded! Nonsense! Poo-poo!
As I sat and read Steve Jackson's "Global Warning," I could feel my temperature rise.
Oh, you think you made me mad? Nope. I was feeling the heat of mass scrutiny. I sent the URL for the article to my team and some other staff here at my government-funded "green" research facility before I read it. Thanks for helping me get my funding cut! Need a good Web/graphic designer?
P.S.: Great story! It was very well-balanced, with the sad exception of the quoted, name-calling proponents. Where do I stand? Climate change is real, but the greatest problem is the industrialization of the forest lands. Talk about a climate change--rainforest to heat island or desert.
via the Internet
Global warning, warming and global change is even more complex than presented. There are more than two sides to the issues.
First, more than 90 percent of the scientists (IPCC and others) who study human effects on climate agree that there is a real effect. Second, global warming itself is not the most serious outcome: sea-level rise, while not relevant to us in Denver, is very relevant to the 30 percent of the population that lives near a coast, and shifts in rainfall patterns (and amounts) affect crops and ecosystems. In not talking to Earth scientists (geologists, geochemists), Jackson missed the close resemblance of the 125,000-year record of atmospheric greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane with the ocean temperature. The very close "tracking" of the variations of temperature with these gases is extremely impressive. (The gases are measured in bubbles trapped in glacier ice.) My point is that the changes in the past temperatures are related to atmospheric greenhouse-gas variations.
Did the gases cause the climate change or did orbital perturbations cause the climate change, which then changed the greenhouse-gas concentrations? The precision of the record (plus or minus a few hundred years) is not good enough to tell us, and the interrelationships (feedbacks) are quite complex. But we know that carbon dioxide has increased by 30 percent and methane by 100 percent in the last hundred years--much faster than they ever did naturally. Are these increased gases forcing the system? We do not know for sure. It is an awesome experiment.
Next, the questions become policy and politics and economics. How much extra gas are we willing to add? For sure, if we add less greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, the forcing (and effects) will be less. Less use of fossil fuels (resulting in carbon dioxide) will also be more energy-efficient and will help the economy overall. (Per capita use of energy in Europe is less than 50 percent of U.S. energy use with comparable standards of living.)
Two examples for thought: By innovations in energy efficiency and a small gasoline tax, can we back off to 1990 carbon-dioxide emission levels over the next five to ten years without harming our economy? Can we use this carbon-dioxide emission limitation to our advantage if other countries agree?
So many possibilities.
Joel S. Leventhal
Given my angst at Focus on the Family's presence here in Colorado Springs, I was interested in Stuart Steers's article on Kerry Dore ("Out of Focus," October 9). I consider myself a conservative Christian (having converted from a secular humanist in my mid-thirties). Yet even though I worked across the street from them for a couple of years, I have stayed away from their building. While I recognize the enormous good they do and the large number of fantastic people who work there, in many ways they represent what I detest most about "Christians." So I dislike Focus and wish they had stayed in California.
Yet, having said that, I found your focus on Focus interesting. There seem to be a number of other questions not addressed: Is there any redress against the medical practitioners who "botched" Dore's surgery? Is there any redress against the employer who was fined for unsafe working practices? How many years did Kerry Dore work without paying taxes so that he is ineligible for Social Security? How many other laws does he routinely break? (You documented at least a couple.) How disabled is a man who can walk nine miles from Monument to Colorado Springs? Why did he choose Focus, rather than the state, or his employer, or the doctors' offices, as the location to kill himself? Does he have any friends whose counsel he will listen to?
I find it incredible that Kerry truly prayed. If he had even a tiny inkling of the nature of Jesus Christ, the good news about the redemption available for us all, the overpowering love of God and the unmerited grace God is prepared to lavish on us all, he would have been more likely to paint a sign that went something like "Disabled while working here, please have mercy" and then stand outside Focus. I bet he would have been gratified by the response he received.
You and Kerry rightly hold Focus to a higher standard of mercy. Yet sadly, Kerry seems to be one of those folks who believes he "deserves" better; the picture you paint in your article is that of a chronic victim. I see the permanent victims pass through various helping ministries all too often. Every circumstance of their life is someone else's responsibility, never their own. My fear is that, in eternity, Kerry may well discover that he has received better than he "deserved."
My prayer is that Kerry would get to know Jesus. That he would pray for that knowledge. That he would read the Bible, especially the Gospels. Perhaps he could then have that peace that passes understanding and face the circumstances of his life with a clear head.
Keep It Clean
In the October 9 issue, Fred Webber wrote (concerning Ward Harkavy's article "Free Willy" in the October 2 issue): "Thank God for Will Perkins and all the other normal people in Colorado. What is happening to the values of this world makes me want to puke."
I'd just like to add: Please try not to get it on anybody else!
I finally got the time and inclination to sit down and write to you about Bill Gallo and his contributions to your paper. His October 9 "Jackie at His Pique," about Jackie Robinson, the man, once again was insightful and well-written. Mr. Gallo writes with style and honesty--a rare combination. I may not always agree with him regarding his view on sports and/or movies, but I feel his passion in his well-chosen words that resonate within my heart and mind. Keep writing, Bill--your voice is appreciated.
The Truck Stops Here
If you're going to keep publishing the letters of Wayne "El Rey por Vida" Cordova (Letters, October 9), why don't you just put him on the payroll? He doesn't like any movies unless they have Sylvester Stallone in them. Where did you find this guy--hanging out at a monster-truck rally? Damn.
Enquiring Minds Want to Know
In reference to Kyle Wagner's October 2 Mouthing Off, was I reading the National Enquirer or what? What a bunch of gossip! Maybe you should be working for that trash magazine, because that is what I was reading! I have eaten several times for lunch and dinner at Santino's and love that food. I have finally found great Italian food, and I should know--I'm Italian. You were way off!
The Bar Facts
Regarding Kyle Wagner's "Behind Bars," in the September 25 issue:
So what do you really think of Alcatraz?
I disagree with Michael Roberts's "Good Prince, Bad Prince," in the October 9 issue. Perhaps the Artist's use of the term "slave" is misunderstood. He felt as if he were a slave to his record company. He may not have done any of the songs Roberts likes, but maybe Roberts should have gone to the Church after the concert. There, fans saw a true Artist.
I just had to comment on Michael Roberts's review. Roberts is a very entertaining writer. Seriously, I laughed hard. But it's too bad that critics have to be critical; a close reader can't help but see that he really enjoyed the show. It was great, and the party at the Church was even better (not a surprise--the Artist is always great).
He has a line in a song, "You only see what your heart will show." How someone like Roberts, who is paid to pay attention, could miss his message is beyond me. I wish he would have used his time and space in Westword to be as honest and sincere as the Artist.
Please take some time and visit www.love4one another.com and understand that the Artist is and always has been a living/singing billboard proclaiming love and the equality of all men and women of every race.
via the Internet
Thanks for the article on the Geraldine Fibbers (Michael Roberts's "The Truth About the Fibbers," September 18). I've heard some rumblings about the band for a little while now, but it was finally nice to read more than "band fronted by former hooker." Also, thanks for the soundbites of GF included with the online version of the article. When you're living over in Grand Junction, it's a little hard to find someone selling the GFs' latest, let alone willing to let you take a listen to it.
The Moore the Merrier
Thomas Peake's September 25 article on Artie Moore, "Moore Music," displays the vast raw talent available in the Denver area. I have had the chance to hear Artie on a few occasions, and I am a witness to his abilities. Good jazz is hard to find, and artists like Artie are a pleasure to see and listen to.
via the Internet
Rocky Mountain Hi
Hello, Westword! I spent the spring and summer of 1987 in the Denver area. Among the many pleasures of life in Colorado was reading your weekly. In fact, I still have a copy of the Best of Denver issue that year as a keepsake of the many cultural amenities the metro area had to offer. Unfortunately, gainful employment wasn't one of the things I found. Several incarnations later, I've finally settled in San Francisco, where I saw an announcement for your Web site in the back of the SF Weekly. It's great to hear what's going on in the old town. The Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News provide such a limited perspective, I'd lost touch.
Looking forward to reading you regularly!
via the Internet
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