The Purrfect Storm

Letters to the Editor

Itch, itch, itch: Kenny Be usually skewers popular metro celebrities with shrewd, funny insights. However, this was not the case with "Maybe Curiosity Killed the Cats," his July 10 "Worst-Case Scenario. I understand that he's trying to add a little levity to a bad situation -- but it didn't work. It might have worked better if he'd stuck to the Itchy and Scratchy theories.

Tim Ferree

Meeeow! I am very disappointed that you chose to print Kenny Be's July 10 cartoon. The mutilation and murder of animals is not a joking matter. You should be ashamed for including such distasteful material in your magazine. Then again, I shouldn't be completely surprised, considering the pages of adult advertisements you feature weekly.

Stephanie Simonson

The Bare Facts

Dancing around the truth: Robin Chotzinoff gave the stripping industry a surprise makeover in her July 10 "Bare Necessities." First of all, they're not strippers, they're exotic dancers; second, those thongs they wear are actually called T-bars (like some device a carpenter might have around the shop); third, it's in vogue for women to accompany men at strip joints (or are they "exotic dance" joints?); and, most surprising of all, the strip club is like a family, complete with a house mom to take care of the dancers. Those points in mind, the stripping business really seems to have some foundation in common decency, right?

Wrong. The stripping industry is morally bankrupt, and no amount of PC nomenclature or cute storytelling can paint the face of this beastly character.

According to the story, Gidget Sanders filled thirty containers with trash during the renovation of the downtown strip joint, but missed the establishment's most vile rubbish of all: the strippers. By the nature of their occupation, strippers reinforce the idea that all other women are objects (one already put in place by pop-culture media and fashion, among other mechanisms); that affection can be bought (at least for a short time); and that all the while, strippers help propagate a rape culture in which women are neither safe on the streets nor in the company of "friendly" acquaintances or dates. Women who visit these clubs with men are just as guilty of the above sins as the strippers are, perhaps more so for standing by while these evils are spread. That said, anyone thinking with his right mind would have to wonder who is sleazier: the "handsy" patron or the stripper herself?

Besides, the stripping industry can't be as de-stigmatized as Chotzinoff makes it seem, not if the strippers are afraid to be seen at work by family and friends. Stripping has a well-deserved negative status in the American occupational spectrum; let's just hope, for the good of future generations, that it stays that way.

Brad Lopez
via the Internet

The Eye of the Beholder

The naked truth: I don't know what everyone else thought about the almost-nude woman on the cover of the July 10 issue, but personally, I thought the photo of Tom Tancredo -- complete with flag! -- on the cover the week before was much more obscene!

Julie Anderson

The knee generation: I could almost feel the knees jerking when you published Michael Roberts's "The Flag-Bearer," his piece on Tom Tancredo in the July 3 issue. It was a fair treatment of the man, and you should be commended for such a well-balanced article. I believe Tancredo belongs to a very small group of politicians -- such as Russ Feingold, Ron Paul and Jesse Ventura -- who actually have the balls to represent the interests of their constituency over that of big business. We should be proud that Tancredo is a prominent representative of Colorado.

And, oh, yeah, that immigration thing. Since I imagine all sides of that issue will be covered in other letters in histrionic tones, let me briefly offer a different take on it. Thanks to the shortsighted exporting of most of our traditional manufacturing base (replaced with the bogus "service" economy) and the euro now posing a serious threat to the dollar's hegemony as the world's financial reserve currency, it's pretty safe to say that our days of $45 Chinese-made DVD players are limited. In short, the financial incentive for people to pour into America will simply evaporate, as will (hopefully) disingenuous corporate justification for cheap labor in the form of H1Bs and the like. We may find that a return to something close to a normal economy will end up resolving the immigration issue for everyone involved. A broken bubble will surely make costs easily absorbed up until now (in the form of providing services to immigrants and a bloated defense budget) come under much more scrutiny in the future.

Jonathan Armstrong

Greed acres: Mr. Tancredo really illustrates the politics of greed and shortsightedness and their impacts that are now leading to a financial meltdown in this country. First of all, immigrants -- whether legal or illegal -- have nothing to do with the flood of slave-labor goods being sold at Sprawl-Marts all over this country that have replaced "Made in the USA" with "Made in China" (for fifteen cents an hour). I believe that true patriots -- those who uphold the words "liberty" and "freedom" -- would back a bill that would raise import barriers to those countries that use slave labor. The resulting revenue should lower each American's tax burden, as well as create more American jobs -- which Tom really has no clue as to how to do.

Real justice would be to have his fat ass out in the fields, picking strawberries at minimum wage under a blistering hot sun, bathed in field chemicals and pesticides for every photo op on the border this politician has done.

Politicians who really want to do something good for our country would use the money currently being spent on occupation forces all over the world, and body bags, to get us off the curse of fossil fuels that are as obsolete as the ideas of our current crop of politicians.

Victor Forsythe

Reform follows function: Thanks for Michael Roberts's piece on Tom Tancredo. More Americans need to learn about him and his efforts at immigration reform. His comments are too straightforward and too fact-based for the nation's ignorant, politically correct mainstream media to understand and publicize, which is why they do their best to suppress them. Roberts's piece was a refreshing exception.

Mr. Tancredo is correct in noting that our current immigration policy is a disaster that will destroy this country. Overpopulation, environmental destruction, overrunning of our national parks, traffic gridlock, emergency-room closures, overcrowded classrooms, societal fragmentation along ethnic lines, you name it: Over-immigration greatly exacerbates these problems. Most Americans agree with him. Those who disagree with Tom tend to support ethnic politics, receive personal economic gain from large-scale immigration, or otherwise seek personal benefit over national interest.

Roberts notes that Mr. Tancredo is of Italian ethnicity. True, but this is of little relevance to the immigration debate. All human beings have an ethnic background and have family backgrounds that can be traced to other regions, except for people living in East Africa at the home of the first Homo sapiens. The immigration-reduction debate has everything to do with numbers and little to do with ethnicity (although if we had to choose which people we should ban from entering the U.S., it would surely include people from regions that mean us harm -- like the Middle East -- as well as people from regions/nations with inhabitants who have few or no skills to contribute to the U.S. economy and society, such as Papua New Guinea or Chad).

Jeffrey Jacobs
Alexandria, Virginia

Talking with a limp: Why is it that Republicans like Tancredo get hard-ons for the illegal immigrant population that props up our economy, yet go limp when it comes to penalizing U.S. corporations that export production overseas and dodge taxes via offshore headquarters? Which stance is more "patriotic"?

John Wilkens

No just us: This is for Tom Tancrudo!

I want you to know that I am Illegal, that my parents were Illegal, that they came to this country with a Mexican dream -- that life would be better, there would be an abundance of justicia! They raised ten Illegal children who fought and returned from those unlawful wars only to be more Illegal than when they left. If that's not enough, I want you to know my siblings have multiplied and all sobrinos y sobrinas, they are all Illegal.

I want you to know that I am Illegal, that we're the ones who renovate your home, raise your children, clean up after people like you, maid your houses, garden your flowers, work your fields, your orchards, construction sites and restaurant kitchens doing the cheeeeeap hard labor your kind refuse to do.

I want you to know that I am Illegal. We are all illegal Americans from North, Central and South America, we are all proud of being Illegal Americans. I want to know with a name like yours if there are skeletons in your closet...if they are Illegal and did you ask for their pink cards after all, people who live in glass houses need to be extra careful.

Tom Tancredo, I am Illegal, I'm proud of being Illegal. Your Gestapo immigration can't fuck with my Mexicano/Chicano sueño for a better life -- lleno de justicia, not the "just us" American dream that you look for...a life without people who are different than you in color and size and even better than you.

Tom, I want you to know there are no Illegal people, there are only Illegal governments. I'm sure you will say writing this poem is Illegal. It's against the law because it's the fashionable thing to be.

I want you to know you will never understand being Illegal is fun being a wetback is cool being a mojado es la moda because being Illegal is being different than you and is the best thing I know how to be!

Trinidad Sánchez Jr.

Libbies and Libertarians

Full loon: I must say that initially my blood boiled as I read JM Schell's July 3 letter responding to Michael Roberts's "Public Row," the June 26 Message. I was so angry that I began to compose a letter. But as I kept reading, and more and more lunacy poured from the page, my pen slowed, then stopped, and I nearly cried with laughter.

The rambling nonsensical ravings of this man or woman are truly a treat, like a present for no reason at all. It's good to know that there are still people out there who prove the need for effective hallucinogen treatment. Keep them coming, because there's nothing this "libby" loves more than a good belly laugh at the expense of a right-wing loony tune.

Elijah Senn
via the Internet

It's my party: If Pete Simon thinks John Andrews is a libertarian (Letters, July 3), then he owes every true libertarian in Colorado an apology for the insult to us and owes himself a crash course in Political Parties 101 to learn what a libertarian truly is.

John Andrews is no more a libertarian than he is a Democrat. He is a disgrace to Colorado in the same manner as Tom Tancredo and Mike Rosen. None of them understands the law; they only understand political hacktivism and shilling. There is no libertarian wing of the Republican Party; there never was. Witness how they have screwed the people over the years to illustrate the point.

Pete, before you insult libertarians, the true heirs of the Founding Fathers, go do your homework. Otherwise, just stick to Basie and Ellington.

Mike Seebeck, media director
Libertarian Party of El Paso County

Everyone's a Critic!

Piss and vinegar: I have a few words to direct to Justin Mitchell, respected local journalist icon guy who deigned to make a short appearance in your July 3 letters section, blithely quoting "Brownsville Girl" and spouting old-schoolisms. I will preface my comments by saying that I am 49 years old and used to front a band that Mr. Mitchell once described, in his review of our opening set for Cheap Trick at the Rainbow Music Hall, as generating about as much excitement as the checkout line at King Soopers. I would be the first to agree that we indeed sucked in many ways, but it was wrong to say that we were not exciting or excited...and now those things have come back to bite you in the ass, pal.

You seem to be tweaked by the idea that Mr. Herrera brings some passion and spit to his new post at Westword writing about music. In an industry where a tiny percentage of the total participants make all the money and get all the swimming pools and private jets, everyone else had better be doing it for other reasons, like love, or they're going to end up jaded out of their heads, writing checkout-line material for the World Weekly News. It's not worth it to be reduced to that by a thing that was initially (and ought to remain!) a source of joy, be it music or writing or whatever. These things are a matter of personal choice, not accident.

So who cares if you've been there, done that? I didn't; I certainly didn't quit making music because of your stupid-ass review, even though some of my friends and acquaintances back then thought (and think) that perhaps I should have. People can be so darn brave and original sometimes. You own your individual experience, but not anyone else's. Quit pissing in someone else's Wheaties just because maybe you didn't get everything you wanted. Thank God some babies never learn, and I think Bob and Sam would be the first to agree.

Victoria Woodworth


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