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Letters

A Schlong Time Coming
I'm as enamored of the title of Harrison Fletcher's July 23 "The Schlong Goodbye" as I am with the copyrighted, patented and trademarked "The Penisster System" being the name of the medical prosthesis developed by Henry Badgett. The article itself is another thing.

Mr. Badgett is correct in saying that the color of a prosthetic device is important and I applaud him for inventing--oops, creating--it. I'd like to add one thing that I think deserves mention. Black men (and I am one) have a significantly higher probability of getting prostate cancer and consequently becoming impotent. If I'm ever in that position, it's nice to know that there's more choice in the universe of treatments. And that's good.

David T. Goens
via the Internet

In "The Schlong Goodbye," Harrison Fletcher quotes Mr. Badgett as having enlisted in World War II. There must be some confusion, because Mr. Badgett was born in 1928 and stated he was in WWII at age eighteen. According to very simple math, this could not have happened. WWII ended on September 12, 1945, with the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. The knife fight and shooting must have occurred off the field of battle, as there were no hostilities when Mr. Badgett enlisted!

Perhaps Mr. Badgett has a poor memory, like some of our politicians.
B.G. Bernard Thorn
U.S. Army Retired

Editor's note: Henry Badgett went into the service on March 6, 1946, ten days after he turned eighteen. He was injured in the line of duty that fall in Manila--and has the documents to prove it. Anyone who doubts him, he says, can "kiss my schlong." And, by the way, Badgett wonders, what did that "sarcastic" headline have to do with invention and creation?

Czar Insurance
Regarding Steve Jackson's "All That Remains," in the July 23 issue:
Since I, too, was a bit puzzled by Patriarch Alexei's position on the identification of the Romanov bones, I took the trouble to find the Russian Orthodox Web site--even ancient institutions are catching up with technology!--and read his statement. I think anyone who chooses to do so will find a very different "take" on the "ironic" position. Unless I read it incorrectly, it seems that the Patriarch, as leader of the entire church, has been concerned about the division of opinions within his congregations over the veracity of the identification and feels that his taking one side over the other would endanger the unity of the Orthodox. The spiritual good of the whole is thus being considered.

It struck me as a rather balanced decision under the circumstances, especially as I read about Diane France's own hesitation over the exact identification of some of the children. I think that Westword owes it to the members of the Orthodox Church to print or summarize the Patriarch's statement at some point. Dr. France does wonderful work, and Steve Jackson's article was very inspiring. Let's not spoil it with a potshot at a religious leader trying to do his best for all his flock.

(P.S.: I am not a member of the Orthodox Church; I just like accuracy, and on this issue, a lot of the media have been out of the ballpark.)

Cassandra Kenfield
via the Internet

Wasted Days
I would just like to take a minute to state my opinion of Eric Dexheimer's July 23 "Used and Abused," regarding Arapahoe House detox facilities. First of all, the majority of the story is bull! Of the three ladies who told their "stories," none continue to work for Arapahoe House. Why? Was what they told you untrue? Most certainly. For the most part, they discussed with you the errors they managed to do on their shifts, and believe me, as a current employee of Arapahoe House, I disagree wholeheartedly with their "stories."

I would love to have you print a rebuttal on behalf of Arapahoe House, and speak to employees who can show you memos and tell you honest answers about what working at detox is all about.

Lorrie Laroe
Counselor, Arapahoe House Inc.

Go and Sin No More!
How utterly ignorant Peter Gilstrap must be with regard to anything related to Jesus Christ. First of all, Leviticus (Old Testament) does not even mention "Jesus" by name except in typology, since it was written almost 2,000 years before He was born. Second (and far more relevant) is the fact that anyone who knows anything about the Biblical story of redemption knows that Jesus did not ever want (or intend) to come down from the cross, because He was the sacrificial lamb of God who died "to take away the sins of the world" (at least those who put their trust in this ultimate propitiatory sacrifice by faith in Him). That was the very purpose of His coming, not to be some kind of "guru" to teach people how to be do-gooders! Had He "escaped" the cross there could be no redemption from sin--duh. Since (physical) death cannot hold the "resurrection life" of the eternal son of God, He did not need to "shimmy off to freedom" from the cross. Actually, He willingly died in your place and laid down His life for everyone who "knows" they are in need of a redeemer because they are indeed sinners (as opposed to liars).

According to Scripture, He did not need a twenty-mule team, because He could have called down a "legion of angels to rescue him" from the pain and suffering if He so desired. However, His mission (of redemption) would never have been accomplished if He had. This is something Peter Gilstrap (and all those who are ignorant about what the Bible actually teaches about Jesus) will obviously never understand, since he is so obsessed with ridiculing the Prince of Life. Guess what, Peter. Since you are so perfect and sinless and in no need of a redeemer (in your own self-righteous eyes), you will be delighted to know that you are going to roast like a chestnut! Just remember, what you believe and I believe won't change the truth.

Suggestion to Westword: Get rid of this ignorant loser and, at least if you're going to keep up the assault on the Christian faith, do yourself some due diligence and hire agnostics who know the Bible and let them write your stupid anti-Christian rhetoric!

Loel Passe
via the Internet

Frankly, I find the differing pictures of Jesus enlightening and the commentary imaginative. Keep up the good work. My vote is for it to stay.

Trish Morgyne
via the Internet

Block That Kick
Stuart Steers's story on the con job concerning the new football stadium ("Cash and Carry," July 16) was right on the mark. As with construction of any other facility for conducting private business, the cost should be the responsibility of the corporation and not that of the taxpayers. If the proposed new stadium will be such a financial success, why aren't the private-sector moneybags and the players clamoring for a piece of the action if it will be so profitable? If players and/or private-sector investors want no part of it, why, then, should the taxpayers be stuck?

Why should the six-county metro area get stuck with paying for the new stadium, but Denver gains what little revenue is allowed by the Denver Broncos? Seems to me that any revenue derived from the operation should be divided equally among the metro area residents paying the taxes to build it.

Since the stadium will benefit football fans, why not tax them by adding a surcharge to the tickets? Of course, fans will wail about ticket prices already being too high and unaffordable. Why should the majority of residents, who are not interested in the antics of a bunch of overpaid superjocks playing a silly-assed kids' game for big bucks, pay to build something for athletics in which they have little or no interest?

Beginning in August, there will be a series of meetings on the football stadium issue. If they are conducted in the same manner as the "citizen input" meetings on the airport issue, the public will have little to say. I attended two airport meetings. In both cases, six people in each of the two groups pushing for the airport had plenty of time to promote the project. When it came time for the citizens to speak, we were told that no commentaries or statements would be allowed. Those of us who had signed up to speak would be allowed one question each, and that was it. So much for citizen input in a "democracy."

Richard Becker
Broomfield

Congratulations to Westword for continuing to remind us of the tenets of a representative form of government (free press, etc.). With the Rocky Mountain News initially in bed with the Rockies' stadium board and now with the Broncos, the dailies unabashedly espouse the values of corporate oligarchies, as increasingly evident in our legislature as well. The notion of a free market is a farce. Corporate welfare is now socially acceptable. Citizens are mere consumers of public relations-generated manipulations designed to extract the right vote. As described in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues, our own tax money was used by the Rockies' stadium board (entrusted to represent taxpayer concerns) to pay lobbyists to sway our votes in support of player/owner interests and the interests of the News.

Where does that leave us as citizens trying to find a balance between cynicism and hope? As old activist Joan Baez once recommended, pick an issue that has personal meaning for you, become educated from a variety of sources and commit some time to it.

Wynne Dimock
Denver

The Cable Fable
There are several errors in your July 9 Off Limits regarding the AT&T/TCI merger (Off Limits, July 9) that TCI of Colorado would like the opportunity to correct. The suggestion that cable prices would "double or triple" under the merged company is ill-advised, given the continued regulation of Basic prices by local governments and Expanded Basic prices by the FCC. Also, cable faces competition from a number of satellite delivery services, as well as every other news, information and entertainment provider.

The reference to "monopoly contracts" fails to recognize that cable franchises are non-exclusive. Other providers may seek franchises from the cities TCI serves, and many other competitors vie to service apartment complexes and other customers. With regard to your question of whether "...it is in fact possible to channel phone service over stone-age cable lines," the answer is again readily available. As stated at the announcement of the merger, our combined companies intend to significantly accelerate the upgrading of the cable infrastructure, enabling us to begin providing digital telephone and data services to customers. Further, an accelerated upgrade program is well on its way in the Denver metropolitan area.

The TCI Boulder franchise upgrade was postponed because a negotiated franchise agreement with the city was not approved. As stated above, the upgrade of the metropolitan Denver network, including Boulder, is now in full stride. Dramatic service improvements to the entire Denver system plant were completed in November 1997, through the addition of 36 new channels via TCI's Digital Cable system.

As an alternative to the stereotypical characterization of cable customer relations as "tanked," a modicum of journalistic enterprise would reveal that our customer-service phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our phones are answered within thirty seconds ninety percent of the time, and TCI's service technicians arrive on time for service appointments an average of 95 percent of the time. Additionally, TCI recently responded to customer requests by adding both Comedy Central and WGN to its local cable channel lineup. You may also recall that we recently added Disney Channel, formerly a premium option, to Expanded Basic service.

In addition to these facts, Westword missed an opportunity to better serve its readers through a fair review of the promise of better products and competitive local telephone service that will finally result from this extraordinary partnership.

Joseph Stackhouse
Denver Metro Area Manager
TCI of Colorado

A Keen Edge
Thanks so much for Michael Roberts's article about Robert Earl Keen ("Keen Thinking," July 23). I have been a fan of his for about four years. He is a great musician and a really nice guy. I have seen him many times in concert and thoroughly enjoyed each one. I recently moved to Colorado from Texas, and it is nice to read about a Texas musician who is not well-known in the music industry.

The concert where I met Robert Earl Keen was in Lubbock. After the show was over, he sat down, signed autographs and just hung out with his fans. He didn't restrict this to fan-club members, as many other artists do. This really impressed me and made me respect him even more. He is a great guy and deserves all of the success he can get. I wish him the best and hope that some day he will make it to Durango. I would be first in line for a ticket! After all: "The road goes on forever and the party never ends!"

Cathy Brandes
Durango

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