Regarding Eric Dexheimer's "Honor Thy Mother," in the January 28 issue:
What is a putz? Ciaran Redmond.
If it weren't for the humor of his stupidity, his story would be as pathetic as most losers' stories are.
via the Internet
And Justice for Some
I am responding to Tony Perez-Giese's January 21 "Waiting to Exile," about the young men who are being held indefinitely at the INS detention center, and also to the innappropriate and mean-spirited letter that appeared in the January 28 issue.
Loi Nguyen came here as a child of four. (The letter makes it sound as though he were an adult when he came here, one who knowingly betrayed his opportunity.) He learned English and went through our high-school system. He is as American as it's possible to be with his Vietnamese looks. No doubt his family wanted him to succeed in school. The dramatic success of Vietnamese students is newsworthy because it is not the rule in our society; however, the story of a young teenager (he was fifteen when he committed burglary) who steals what he wants instead of working for it is only too common here. Loi was influenced by American culture. Surely he brought shame to his family and to other Vietnamese people; he must know that only too well. He was caught young, punished thoroughly, and now he's ready to come back out into society. Is he a foreigner? Only on paper. Is he an American? Everywhere except on paper. Should he have the civil rights of a naturalized American citizen? Yes, I think he should. It is a basic civil right not to be held prisoner indefinitely.
I once taught for the UN in a Vietnamese refugee camp in the Philippines. There was a refugee transit center in Manila that was much like the INS detention center. Designed for people to pass through in a couple of days, it had a bare minimum of space and sanitary facilities, no place to cook, certainly no educational facilities. After a couple of visits, I discovered a handful of Vietnamese women living there. They had made the mistake of marrying Filipinos. Later, these marriages turned out to be illegal for some reason, and the women were cast into limbo. No longer designated as refugees, they could not return to Vietnam (the government would not accept them); the Philippine government accepted all refugees into UN camps but would not allow them to become naturalized citizens. So these poor women and their children became stateless people. They existed, but they didn't have any laws or any organizations to help them. No one really cared. They were seen as bad women who had caused their own problems.
I remember thinking that this could happen in a country like the Philippines but never over here. We are not a third-world country that cannot protect its own people, let alone foreigners. We do not throw groups of people into the trash. We are a humane, civilized society, and our constitution guarantees civil rights even to foreign travelers. The young men in Perez-Giese's story have slipped through the net into a category that was never intended to exist. They are our sons, as surely as if they had been born here, and they must be given mercy as well as justice.
Trouble Sprawl Around
Alan Prendergast's "The Sprawlful Truth," in the January 14 issue, was an interesting article. In it, he showed us people who find growth and sprawl offensive. They are a vocal and politically active segment of our population. He showed us the people who buy the spacious homes on the sprawl, er, range. For many of them, "exurbia" is a better choice than the available housing/community in the city of Boulder. And Prendergast showed us people who combine both qualities: They want such a nice, spacious house, but they also want to stop any other homes being built nearby--therefore, move sprawl.
The activists want to zone and urban-growth-bound and ultra-zone to protect their quality of life. The homebuyers refuse to be denied a chance to improve their quality of life. The activists have put the issue on our political agenda. How will we, the people, resolve the conflict between individual and community rights? I don't know yet, but I suspect that there is no single statewide solution. What pleases Boulder may be objectionable to the people of Byers or Security. How would you, the reader, solve it?
Kenny Be's January 28 cartoon spread comparing him and John Elway was great! Kenny's Stock Show group was also very entertaining, and I followed his long-term Officer Blea saga. It's funny how when you cross paths with some officers, they must be in charge! Keep on his butt--and keep up the good work.
via the Internet
I am as much a believer in mean-spirited ridicule as anyone, but don't you think four or five pictures of John Elway are enough? If it weren't for Elway and my brother, I would hardly know Denver existed. Think about this as all those out-of-towners pick up your free local paper. Don't bite the teeth that feed you!
Name withheld on request
via the Internet
Kenny, Kenny, Kenny, I've been a fan since 1983. Just wanted you to know that even though I now live in Madrid, not Denver, your cartoons keep me hip to what's happening in my old burg. You keep getting better!
via the Internet
Hey, Kenny! Time for a new superhero to replace Romerman. Ever notice the eerie resemblance between Governor Owens and Buzz Lightyear? Hello, Bill Lightrail!
via the Internet
"Long Live the King," the lead article in last week's Backbeat section, was improperly credited to Michael Roberts. Its author is Kelly Lemieux.
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