Send in the clowns: Regarding Alan Prendergast's "Clowns to the Left of Me," in the May 18 issue:
Who would think we'd all get nostalgic for Ronald Reagan? Kudos to Marc Holtzman for making the Republican Party take a long, hard look at what it really stands for. I think the November election will be a defining one for both the Republicans and Democrats, not just in this state, but in this country.
Thanks to Alan Prendergast for providing such an insightful view of what Holtzman's candidacy means to Colorado.
Room for one more: Marc Holtzman's a geek. I think I can beat them all (Holtzman, Ritter and Beauprez). How can I get on the ballot? I already have a myspace profile: www.myspace. com/voteswank.
Uncle Tom: At first blush, it's surprising that populist Tom Tancredo would support a bland corporate insider like Bob Beauprez for governor instead of a rabble-rousing firebrand like Marc Holtzman. Between Beauprez and Holtzman, the latter has been far more vocal in his anti-illegal-immigration stance. But deep down, "Both Ways Bob" has a lot in common with "Two-Faced Tom."
While Beauprez has dithered and waffled on Referendum C, Tancredo has engaged in a blatant bait-and-switch with his supporters on the issue of term limits. Tancredo first ran for Congress in 1998 as an ardent foe of term limits; in fact, he spearheaded the entire Colorado term-limits movement. He vowed to serve no more than three terms in the House of Representatives. As late as 2001, Tancredo repeated his term-limits pledge, declaring that keeping his promise was the "overriding issue."
Then Both Ways Bob -- er, Tom -- suddenly saw the error of his ways. He announced that he was too important in the fight against immigration to leave Congress. Unlike other, more principled politicians who had become disenchanted with term limits -- most notably, former congressman Bob Schaffer -- Tom Tancredo didn't keep his word to his voters and contributors. Given Tancredo's role in the term-limits movement, his action was akin to the pope suddenly getting married but staying put in his posh Vatican digs.
So Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo really have a lot in common: They are creatures of political convenience, united in their sole purpose to keep their snouts in the public trough. Beauprez isn't really against Referendum C, and the last thing Tancredo wants is for real, lasting immigration reform to be enacted. If it is, he'll lose his excuse for breaking his term-limits pledge.
Marc Holtzman may not be right for Colorado -- but unlike with Bob and Tom, what you see is what you get.
Reason to read: Jason Sheehan is the reason I read Westword each week. He is funny and writes in a manner that keeps me coming back for more. Witty and humorous!
Make hay while the sun shines: I left Denver about fifteen years ago, but thanks to the Internet, I live restaurants through Jason Sheehan's eyes -- and live well. I'm in an area that doesn't qualify as a town, so good -- or bad -- upscale restaurants aren't easy to find. I am lucky enough to have married a cowboy/chef, but eating out is still great now and again.
I wanted to write to thank Jason for giving me my weekly dose of well-written, entertaining and mouthwatering restaurantiana. I also love his ability to get himself across with very few words (e.g., "Fuck you"). I didn't know a newspaper would allow you to do that! After reading one of Jason's reviews, I feel as if I've eaten through the dinner with him. I also love the way he refers to Laura; I often feel as if I know her.
Jason, keep on doing whatcha do -- you're really great at it. Gotta go: The cowboys are moving a bunch of cows past the house, and they want our hay!
Dry Creek Basin
Sugar high: After reading Jason Sheehan's "Sugar Whore," in the May 4 issue, I will be going straight to Emogene for those not-so-great Key lime tarts (but not dining in, of course). Thanks for the delightfully crass insights and reviews.
Better read than dead: Jason, you are my drop-dead best goddamn food critic of all time.
Buffalo bull: I'm normally a huge supporter of Jason Sheehan, but his recent foray into history with the May 11 "Yak to the Future" requires some rethinking. It's true that Buffalo Bill killed 4,280 buffalo in eight months -- but he killed them for food. He had been hired by the Union Pacific to provide sustenance for the men laying track for the intercontinental railroad. Now, does Jason still think it strange to be eating buffalo in a restaurant frequented by Buffalo Bill?
More galling, however, is his suggestion that Buffalo Bill was responsible for the extermination of buffalo. Again, if he actually knew the history, he would know that American bison were threatened not by a host of hungry Westerners ravaging their meat, but instead by sport hunters who killed for pleasure. William F. Cody abhorred such men. While it's true that Cody led hunting expeditions for visiting royalty and others, they did not engage in the exterminating slaughter of which he is so often accused.
Blaming Cody is convenient but wrongheaded. In addition to the massive overhunting of buffalo (representing simple power, greed and lust), extermination of the bison was an informal policy of the U.S. government and military commanders. Destroying bison meant destroying Native American communities, and, as such, became a very intentional part of the European "clearing" of the plains.
In all of this, Cody's efforts to save the buffalo from extinction are forgotten. Whereas military generals and unskilled killers were slaughtering buffalo throughout the West, Buffalo Bill was caring for and preserving the same. After all, he was a showman, and the buffalo were among his main attractions. Each year, thirty of these bison traveled with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, and he introduced them to the world well before our now-familiar zoos came into fashion.
Had he been responsible for killing some of them for food earlier? Yes. Had his fame grown because a dime novelist found his name to be both courageous and alliterative? Yes. But does he deserve blame for the wholesale destruction of American bison? I think not. His name and his fame make him an easy target for the ignorant masses, but it's really unfortunate when intelligent folks perpetuate the same.
No walk in the park: The people who wrote in about Adam Cayton-Holland's May 4 What's So Funny took themselves way too seriously. So Adam made jokes about Polacks and the VFW? For anyone who's read his column, that's about what you'd expect. And these crybabies missed the whole issue of immigration that Adam was really focusing on.
Still, I'm not going to forgive him for one thing: making fun of hippies. Not if he grew up in Park Hill, as he claims.
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Hip, hippie hooray: Hippies' voices changed the social consciousness of the free world regarding racism, sexism, religion and war. Their actions stopped that war, caused regime change in this country and initiated an awareness of how we interact with our environment, which, sadly, is only now bearing fruit. They were the baby boomers, the hippies, and for the past thirty years they have been dormant, quiet, reticent, content in their corporate glass houses and suburban homes. Somehow they morphed into what they most despised -- or perhaps they have just been sleeping, waiting for the right moment to once and for all change the face of this country for the better.
To them I say: If ever there were a time we needed you, it is now. Congress is poised to write discrimination into our Constitution for the very first time. A woman's right to privacy is under a frontal assault, which will mean less privacy for us all, forever. We are in the wrong war at the wrong time, based upon lies. Deficits soar, wages fall, health care only for the rich! Conservatives have rolled back environmental protections in favor of corporate America. A president was appointed rather than elected. We need your help! Where have all of our hippies gone?