"Sight Unseen," by Eric Dexheimer, March 16, 2000
I was appalled when I read Eric Dexheimer's story about Carole Abbott. It is bad enough that she did not protect her daughter, but that she is also a so-called "expert" in child abuse is truly horrifying! Her husband may wind up in jail, but many other child abusers could be freed because she did not do the right thing.
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The industry that has grown off of our child-abuse system is the most corrupt in the country. They take kids away from their parents for no more evidence than a phone call. Grandparents cannot see their grandchildren, who are placed in foster homes that make a bad situation worse. And then people like Carole Abbott break all the rules, and the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office looks the other way. "Sight Unseen," indeed.
What is happening to our children is a disgrace.
"Chewing the Fat," by Harrison Fletcher, March 16, 2000
Harrison Fletcher can "eschew" the Atkins diet if he wants to. Pork rinds saved my life, and I'm laughing all the way to the bathroom scale! Not only can I eat pig, I can eat like a pig. What is Fletcher afraid of? He has nothing to lose...but weight.
That recipe for pork-rind Sugar Smacks was the most disgusting thing I have ever read. Now I know how this diet works -- it makes you throw up just thinking about it!
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"Company Town," by Stuart Steers, March 9, 2000
Stuart Steers's "Company Town," in the March 9 issue, shows clearly that the capitalist class war is alive and well, and that those workers who refuse to acknowledge it are simply going to be crushed.
On one side of the class war are business owners, union leaders and government officials who fight to maintain the status-quo values of inequality, competition and control by the wealthy elite. On the other side of the class war are millions of ordinary working people who fight for the opposite values of equality, cooperation and democratic control.
The interests of the elite upper class (capitalism) and the interests of the working class (democracy) are forever opposed to each other. Capitalists and workers are not brothers and they are not partners. They are enemies.
Who is going to own and control the enormous wealth that the working class alone produces? Who will rule? The workers or the capitalist fat cats?
I wanted to thank you for your piece on the Pueblo steel strike. Our society is suffering from a loss of awareness regarding labor issues, class struggles and the threats that corporate power pose to us all. Fortunately, there's a growing movement against the plans for a corporatist utopia that would put profit interests before human interests. The World Trade Organization protests in Seattle were an expression of this growing consciousness and concern that has been building for years. It's a movement that has been informed and energized by independent publishers, community radio, zines and local weeklies like Westword. My hope is that Westword will send members of its staff to the IMF and World Bank protests that will take place mid-April in Washington, D.C.
The media outlets owned by GE and Westinghouse will predictably muddle the issues and smear the dissenters. Creations of the public- relations industry, like Rush Limbaugh and Mike Rosen, will use the pulpits of Big Money to obediently serve the executives who pay for their fancy cars and trophy wives. Us wage slaves, who are witnessing an ominous growth in the gap between rich and poor, need the sort of perspective that independent journals like Westword can provide.
"Letters," March 16, 2000
As striking Kaiser Permanente RNs, several of my colleagues and I agree with the anonymous letter in your March 16 issue. The author must be a nurse to have verbalized our plight so well. It is this very issue of continuously greater responsibility at a time of poor staffing that has strengthened us in our fight for a contract that forces administration to address these issues and correct them. So far we have not come to agreement and have rejected their contract offers. As one of the nurses so aptly put it, "health care is dealing with human beings and not widgets where faster and cheaper are better."
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"Nobody Gets Out of Here Alive," by Steve Jackson, March 2, 2000
Hurray for Patrick Gourley, his devotion to those with HIV/AIDS and his candor about the history and current scene of HIV infection in Denver! His personal story and his work are inspirational. Patrick is a committed and loyal part of the HIV community and we are grateful that he consistently shares his expertise and political savvy here. While many people in the Denver community believe AIDS is gone, Patrick is clear about the many issues facing persons living with HIV/AIDS and those who are at risk for infection. No deadly denial here!
Thanks to David Cohn for encouraging Patrick to speak to Westword and to Westword for bringing AIDS from the shadows in such a compelling way.
David E. Cooper, Board of Directors
AIDS Coalition for Education, Denver
"A Sperm's Tale," by Michael Roberts, March 2, 2000
How comforting it was to capture and savor the bliss of past memories that CSNY brought to the Pepsi Center. The show was superb; ask anyone who was there. Too bad Michael Roberts didn't see it that way. This guy sounds like he was visiting the sperm bank. Maybe he should -- then he would know the difference between a sperm bank and music and entertainment.
How much more pleasant to look for what we like than to sneer at what we don't. Decency of mind means responding properly to events and people, neither exaggerating nor trivializing their importance. It's easy to discount people whose lives are different than our own; we're likely to be sarcastic towards others. I think Roberts was so blown away by how talented these guys are that he took it way too personally. When ego and fear get in the way, it's hard to seek truth.
It's easy to be arrogant. Truly, Westword, that wasn't a review, it was a temper tantrum.
I just want to respond to all the people who bitch at Michael Roberts for all the reviews he does: SHUT UP, ALREADY!
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You people crack me up. I've read so many letters in Westword that were complaints to Roberts just because he happened to rag on this musician or some shitty band on the radio that the letter-writers happened to like. Who cares? Roberts is a critic, okay? A critic (like other critics out there) is paid by a publication to give his or her opinion(s) -- good or bad. If he doesn't like something about whatever artist or band, then fine. That's his opinion.
Perhaps Roberts is right about whatever he said about CSNY. I don't know, because I never read the article. Personally, I could give a rat's ass about CSNY. I'd rather rock out to the likes of Fu Manchu or Jesus Lizard, but that's just me. I have "strange" tastes. Actually, I have found Roberts to be very amusing in a lot of his reviews over the years. Who cares if he rags on something you like? Music critics aren't suppose to like everything. That would defeat the purpose of criticizing, wouldn't it?
You people need to either quit reading his reviews so as to not cry when he rags on something you like or take what he says with a grain of salt and then move on. It's not too hard to figure that out. Keep up the amusing reviews, Roberts, I'm on your side.
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