Redneck Letter Day

Letters to the Editor

Out of left field: Just read Michael Roberts's August 17 column on David Barsamian, "Leftoverture." In honor of Jeff Foxworthy, I have compiled twenty-something reasons you might be a left-wing redneck:

1) You have a poster of Noam Chomsky above your bed.

2) You pay attention to David Barsamian.

3) You think corporations are evil, yet pull down 50K at a nonprofit corporation.

4) You have a rent-controlled apartment paid for by your trust fund.

5) Your housekeeper shops for cruelty-free meat at the health-food store.

6) You're too stupid to make it in college and pillory the education establishment.

7) You are over fifty and talk about The System.

8) You're over thirty and still don't make any money in public radio.

9) You base your life on eating vegetables.

10) You long for the '70s, when you longed for the '60s.

11) You are surprised when high-schoolers completely ignore your "What's Happenin'?"

12) You think Melissa Etheridge is cutting-edge.

13) Your longtime girlfriend is, frankly, a whale -- yet moves to France with a Rastafarian.

14) You hate "hate." You hate people who hate. In fact, you want to kill people who hate -- right now!

15) You hate Republicans but forget to hate Democrats.

16) Your favorite activity is "sharing."

17) You think the food chain is evil.

18) You are totally committed to The Struggle Against the Corporate Empire that conspires to relegate the Worker to a subhuman level with illegal foreign competition. Pat Buchanan has your number on his Palm Pilot. You kill yourself.

19) You call your parents "Mom-person" and "Dad-person."

20) You call women "chairs."

21) You cry when you eat alfalfa sprouts -- 'cause they have lives, too.

22) You think logic is elitist.

23) You wish you were a dolphin.

D. Townsell

Don't touch that dial! On Denver Community Television (Channel 57), the following all have received inspiration from Barsamian's Alternative Radio: What's Left, Mondays at 9 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m.; Free Speech TV, Mondays at 10 p.m.; The Atheist Viewpoint, Mondays at 11 p.m. and Fridays at 5:30 p.m.; and The 100th Chomsky, Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Fight on!

John Cassella

Watch Your Language

Uppity and coming: Julie Jargon's "Language Barrier," in the August 10 issue, obscures the link between the new "Spanish/English" school and the Bueno grant. The proponents of the new school plan to combine two successful but distinct learning models: Montessori and Dual Language. Will this marriage produce the same success as each of the individual approaches does? That is one of the big questions. The other is: Where will the money for this experiment come from? According to Councilwoman Debbie Ortega, DPS currently has neither the staff nor the money to train people for the new school. Ortega expects the Bueno grant to solve this problem.

To call Rita Montero, in particular, "arrogant, in-your-face" and "sharp-tongued" and then label this as "troublesome" in the very newspaper described by Brill's Content (April 2000) as "saucy, raw, funny, and not a little obnoxious" -- and its cow-booted female editor as someone who "loves to ruffle feathers" -- is puzzling. Aren't we in the land of Pat Schroeder, an icon for uppity women? But then, Pat Schroeder and Patty Calhoun are Anglo. Maybe Westword still thinks that here in the New West -- as in the Old West -- Hispanic ladies should know their place and "watch their mouth."

Joanne Roll

Doublespeak: In "Language Barrier," Rita Montero says, "You can't compete in this country if you can't speak English."

Response: We don't live in a vacuum, and we're not the only humans on this "blue marble." A bilingual or trilingual education is considered superior over a monolingual one -- and how can a monolingual society compete in (multilingual) global markets? Get a clue! It makes good business sense to have bi-/tri-lingually and bi-/tri-culturally educated businesspeople over the monolingual/monocultured.

"They'll turn out 'bi-illiterate' instead of bilingual, [Joseph] C'de Baca quips."

Response: Such optimism wears well on C'de Baca. If he is so sure that we have bi-illiterates now, he should point one out. They don't exist now and have never existed (unless the DPS produced them); they exist only in C'de Baca's pessimistic, mindless attitude. Is he an educated bi-illiterate?

C'de Baca: "These programs take on a life of their own, and as long as bilingual programs are perpetuated, there will need to be more money for more bilingual teachers, more training and a bureaucracy to support it."

Response: Let's see -- bilingual teachers (30.3 percent of total grant), training (4.38 percent of total grant), and operational costs (17.8 percent of total grant) -- that would be 52.48 percent of the total grant, about half of the total cost. That sounds like a bargain to me: pay half for all three. What is C'de Baca's real problem, that he won't be in charge of the program? Why doesn't he apply? You know, work from within, and not on the outside -- or has he already closed that door, burned that bridge, made too many bad friends/bad alliances or good enemies?

James Mejia: "Here we have an opportunity to work with a community that has been disengaged from the district for a long time. The direction we're headed in now is to provide more options for teachers, parents and students in the district, and this grant will be an additional option. Unless people are in favor of limiting options, I don't see how it could be harmful. It's just a way to reach more kids."

Response: Engaging the community -- I like that. More options for teachers, parents and students. Yeah! Enough said.

Alfred Soto
via the Internet

We, the Jury

Mission possible: Karen Bowers wrote an excellent article about the Laura Kriho case, "Juris Prudence," in the August 17 issue. Unfortunately, she perpetuates a misconception when she says, "Jurors are not supposed to consider possible consequences in making their findings."

The preamble to the Constitution of the United States reads: "We, the People of the United States, in Order to...establish hereby ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." The Colorado Constitution says the same thing, in slightly different words.

How can the people serving on a jury perform their constitutionally mandated duty to establish justice without considering the possible consequences of their decisions? Isn't justice all about truth -- and the consequences? Isn't it about time that more Americans woke up to the injustice of the insane war on drugs -- and started saying NO to government prosecutors?

David C. Bryant
via the Internet

The rights stuff: I'm sorry the judicial system isn't what the Constitution's framers and ratifiers envisioned. I do appreciate Laura Kriho's courage and tenacity on behalf of jurors' rights.

Jim Loren
Opinion Editor, FIJActivist

Fear Strikes Out

Up front and personal: Julie Jargon exaggerates seriously when she writes that Sara Salzman "now faces the same kind of hatred and fear that her great-grandparents did" ("P.S.: I Hate You," August 10). Sara Salzman, plausibly, is being harassed and threatened and defamed over phone lines by pathetic screwballs, many of whom evidently reside in Arkansas. Not that the threats aren't real or that Salzman isn't right to seek legal relief. Her great-grandparents, by contrast, died as a result of -- one shudders to put it down -- bureaucratic processes with a patina of political legitimacy. Those processes, and their results, were hateful and despicable, but can one even comprehend them by reference to a "kind of hatred"? Isn't hatred human and personal? Those Arkansans may be Nazis, but they are not Gestapo, save perhaps in their dreams. The non-metaphorical Gestapo in Stolin were carrying out an official policy of a government at war. In context, the salient feature of those tragic years does not reside in the emotional makeup of the participants. Wasn't that Hannah Arendt's point in Eichmann in Jerusalem?

James F. Vickery

Here's the Real Dirt

Contamination containment: EPA would like to make a point of clarification regarding Stuart Steers's August 10 "Forbidden Fruit" article, concerning development in the Rocky Flats area. The contamination from the Rocky Flats Industrial Park site is not migrating towards, and poses no threat to, the Vauxmont development. EPA is taking response actions to address the contamination at the Rocky Flats Industrial Park site.

Paula Schmittdiel
Remedial Project Manager
Environmental Protection Agency

Heavy Medal

Go for the gold: Good article by Eric Dexheimer on Mark Plaatjes ("Crossing the Finish Line," August 17). One small correction, though: Three, not two, Americans have won international gold medals at the marathon. In 1989, Las Vegas's Sue Marchiano won the gold medal at the World Cup Marathon in Milan.

Paul Christman
Editor, Running Stats

Hear, Hear!

Jumping on the band wagon: In response to Marty Jones's July 20 article "The Road Less Traveled," Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident are simply groups of talented musicians playing music that they like. Other people seem to like it, too. They are not attempting to dissolve or bastardize traditional bluegrass music. Musical styles have always evolved over time and will continue to do so.

I'm glad that Bradford Lee Folk's band has "perfected the sounds of the past," but I'm thankful that bands like Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident are allowing music to evolve. As a musician, Mr. Folk should know better than to make such ludicrous comments.

Beck Fisher


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