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Letters to the Editor

Playing Doctor

The ugly truth: It should come as no surprise that Patricia Calhoun would support librarians, and the Denver Public Library, over Dr. Laura Schlessinger ("The Doctor Is Out," September 21). From its front page to its last, Westword is full of things that are not family-friendly. Ms. Calhoun may think it is all right to wrap her efforts in the banner of the First Amendment, but that does not disguise the ugly truth inside.

Perhaps in an upcoming show, Dr. Laura will focus her attention on free newspapers.

Dale Rodgers
via the Internet

The naked truth: For someone who talks so much about parents taking responsibility, Dr. Laura proved herself a real hypocrite with her campaign against libraries. But maybe she's still upset about all those nude shots of her that showed up on the Internet!

Jamie Sawyer
via the Internet

The plain truth: I saw Dr. Laura's show on (allegedly) "Lewd Libraries." A few questions about the good doctor's tactics:

Cornering a Denver Public Library worker bee to discuss a policy she didn't make smacks of entrapment to me. Why not pick on someone your own size, like Dr. Rick Ashton?

For that matter, why send a fifteen-year-old girl to do the dirty work? Surely there's a youthful-looking eighteen-year-old on Dr. Laura's staff who could have carried out the same marching orders. No concerns about corrupting that good little girl? Or about her parents, blithely handing over their child for this dangerous mission?

And where, exactly, on the famous drlaura.com was this poll about filtering? It was nowhere to be found at 11:45 a.m. September 15, and I do mean nowhere. Are the numbers (gasp!) fabricated?

Dr. Laura certainly won't answer my questions. Let's hope her followers will question their guru's methods -- and their own faith in her.

Christine Jacques
Golden


Smoke and Mirrors

The American way: What is happening to the state of Colorado? When Bill Owens starts getting his advice about our justice system from Jake Jabs, we must be living in a very strange place.

Thanks to Patricia Calhoun for telling us about the Civil Justice League in her September 14 "Blowing Smoke" column, and for pointing out Jabs's role. All this circus seemed to be missing was a couple of animals from the American Furniture Warehouse ads. The clowns were already there!

Julie McDaniels
Boulder

Where there's smoke, there's ire: Patricia Calhoun blew a lot of her own smoke in her "Blowing Smoke" column, creating the typical liberal fog that clouds reality. For example, she was very quick to make fun of Jake Jabs and the motives of Republican legislators who are rightly worried that our courts are increasingly overloaded by lawsuits. But at the same time, she did not see fit to mention the recent story about a Texas trial lawyer, Walter Umphrey, who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars from his law firm to the Democratic Party -- while Clinton was considering vetoing tort-reform legislation. And where does this lawyer get that money? Can you spell "tobacco settlement," Ms. Calhoun?

If you can't, don't feel so bad. The "mainstream" media that you like to make fun of also buried that story.

John Haskell
via the Internet


The Media Is the Message

Making radio waves: Regarding Michael Roberts's September 14 "Dialing for Dollars," if you can count on anything about Denver's FM stations, it is constant change. The pie can only be cut into so many pieces for advertising dollars and ratings; the losers are the loyal listeners who enjoy a particular station. I've been a fan of KTCL since Clear Channel took over and presented its audience with a great compromise to the hard alt-rock formats of KBPI, the old Peak, and the classic rock of the Fox and the Hawk.

I can't understand KTCL's decision to surreptitiously throw in an '80s song now and then; it is definitely a mistake. The Peak's new format may fly, but who really cares about '80s new music anymore? Most of it was godawful! The problem remains the playlist. Now, as with other FM rock stations, after you have listened for a while, you know the entire catalogue played on rotation. The station owners, managers and programmers don't give Denver's sophisticated listeners credit for their diverse musical tastes.

When I'm in my car, I am constantly punching my preset buttons between at least six rock stations. The creativity of FM's rock stations has been lost to the corporations that run them and the Arbitron ratings, which decide the limited number of songs they play. It's only a dream to imagine the decision to have the DJs play different cuts of all the CDs that are available.

I, like many others, just give up and switch to the AM side for news, talk and sports.

David Hettinger
Denver

A Stern talking-to: Am I supposed to listen to this low-IQ dreck that comes out of the radio now that Howard Stern is gone and the programming schmattes have taken over the airwaves? I would no sooner listen to bland, meaningless FM than I would eat at the Olive Garden, Il Fornaio, Taco Abortion or PF Chang's, or buy anything associated with John Elway whatsoever.

KOA has killed radio in Denver. When does Clear Channel begin "voice-tracking" the Mike Rosen show? Not soon enough.

Greta F. Kuhlmyer
Denver

Mass hysteria: Roberts's September 7 Message, "Beyond JonBenét," was another good essay! The primary function of the capitalist/business-controlled University of Colorado and the Boulder Daily Camera is to cultivate public stupidity and conformity in order to protect the wealthy upper class from interference by students and working people.

Professor Chomsky summarizes thus: "The mass media in the United States is one of the most awesome and effective propaganda systems that has ever existed in world history."

Colorado Daily, we need you!

John Cassella
Denver

Roberts's rules of order: Many thanks once again to Westword for its valuable work. You did your readers a real service with your recent piece on David Barsamian's Alternative Radio (The Message, August 17). I recently purchased some tapes of the lectures he broadcasts, and while much of it is disheartening information about injustice, it has broadened my understanding of the concerns of working people, environmentalists, human rights organizations and others. It's also inspiring to know that there are so many people who are dropping their spectator role and actively participating in the experiment of American democracy.

Also, I want to thank Michael Roberts for his efforts. There are many good things going on here along the Front Range. We have community radio in KGNU. We have countless teachers and professors who are using their classrooms to cultivate respect for other cultures and the environment. We have grocery stores that provide food that is grown organically by small farmers. We have radio hosts like 630 KHOW's Peter Boyles and Reggie Rivers, who are opening AM radio to discussions of women's-health issues and the War on Drugs. We have numerous political groups working on everything from decriminalizing marijuana to ending the sanctions on Iraq. And our community's investment in public libraries, wind power and light rail have been tremendously successful.

All of this, and so much more, is not idealistic, utopian fantasies of Marxist-Leninists. This is the movement of the people, and this is reality. It's a reality that is more peaceful, equitable, empowering and fun than anything that will be designed by World Bank executives this month in Prague. While there are plenty of mistakes to criticize and losses to grieve, we need to celebrate what the good folk of our state have accomplished. And we need to put time, money and effort into protecting the natural world, independent thought and human freedom.

We are all connected.

Preston Enright
Denver


Qwest for Ire

Call waiting and waiting and waiting: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Life's Bitter Here," in the August 24 issue: US West is now the new Qwest, and it ain't the phone service company any longer. Over the last thirty-plus years, I have seen the phone company steadily become the bottom-line company. I have had such poor-quality home phone service that I would have to move to where service is better to not have such bad phone service. My neighbors did not report enough trouble in a short period of time for the phone company to take my reports of trouble seriously -- and I was a phone repairman at the time.

The only thing that Joe Nacchio can do to look good is to do what has to be done, more efficiently and much faster than others have. An investment as large as the last five years of US West, wisely spent in the first two years of the new Qwest, would be a very good start on improving phone service. Five years of US West service growth should be easily matched in two years by the entrepreneurial new Qwest.

Intimidate and fire employees or place new telephone plant faster and better than it has ever been done before. Which is more charitable to customers and employees? Which is better business? Which is better for the community? See the light!

Name withheld on request

A bitter pill: Today we saw our co-workers being fired. These people were the folks that we worked with, laughed with, put in long hours with; they were our friends, not just other co-workers. Today was the beginning of the firing of 500 IT employees in Denver. They were sent a cheesy e-mail telling them that they had a half-hour appointment with their manager at a certain time and location. Some of my friends who were fired today were three months shy of having thirty years with the company. They were escorted out of the building with their personal belongings, like criminals. And according to our CEO, Joe Nacchio, these folks were the clowns.

Name withheld on request


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