Town without pity: Are you kidding me? Reading Patricia Calhoun's most recent column ("The Eye of the Storm," August 31), I find out that Michael Brown lives in Boulder? Sounds like a heckuva town for that has-been. They deserve each other.
Thanks for the alert, Ms. Calhoun.
Baa humbug: I am from New Orleans and lost my home during Katrina. My wife and I have relocated here to Golden and are loving it. I am intrigued, and frankly appalled, at Michael Brown's obsessive quest in recent months to resurrect his reputation, attempting to spin himself into history as a noble sacrificial lamb who heroically tried his best during Katrina. As we say down south, "It ain't so." Of course, we say a few other things, also.
This was a man who was vain, self-centered, clueless, useless, weaselly (blaming everyone else around him), not interested in his job, and really, just a big lumpy speed bump in the immediate response to the storm. He was not fired because the government needed a scapegoat. He was fired because, as the point man for FEMA, he was terrible in a rather mind-boggling way. He has one thing correct, however: Everyone else, from Bush and Chertoff down to Nagin (the mayor) and Blanco (the governor), was also ineffectual. But he neglects to mention this: When it's all said and done, when all of the players are considered, out of all of the mistakes made, opportunities missed, damage done -- he, Michael Brown, was the poster boy for incompetence. He stood head and shoulders above everyone else, and not in a good way.
Taken for granted: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Myth America," in the August 31 issue:
The "human face" of Katrina is covered with greed. Lori Peek chose to research Katrina victims because that's where the grant money is. I'll bet she got even more cash for throwing in the "for the children" angle; that's really savvy proposal-craft!
The most inaccurate stereotype about those who left Katrina territory is that they're somehow special.
For example, they're "evacuees," not refugees, because taking refuge from disaster like a Sri Lankan, Ethiopian or Sudanese is somehow undignified. Sorry, but if you had to be told to get out of New Orleans and were shepherded onto a bus, you're not as competent as a refugee who bugs out on his own initiative.
People become homeless every day in every place. Hundreds are still at loose ends months after asbestos was found in the Highline Terrace apartment complex. Colorado expects to count at least 15,000 homeless in its first attempt to do so, and perhaps twice as many come winter, when the homeless stop hiding. You don't have to be from New Orleans to lack day care or neighbors you can count on. That's a staple of urban society.
There were no "rumors" about violence in New Orleans; it was all over TV. Peek's myth that "new employers and new neighbors only remember those negative stories" is a slap in the face to the millions who have given generously to Katrina victims, and still do. Also, I'd love to hear Peek explain how anyone gets a job or housing without mentioning where they lived or worked previously.
Ding Cosby: Michael Roberts's "Canceled," his August 31 Message, was a great article on the Karr debacle. I read it at the Stapleton Chipotle at lunchand laughed way too loud. There's not a paragraph that wasn't on the mark and highly entertaining, but I'll hold my remarks to the edgy, artsy, disturbing photograph of Rita Cosby attempting to claw her way into Karr's transport vehicle. You could almost hear Rita's husky, "I've got laryngitis" voice, begging Karr for a sit-down interview. On first glance, this photo looked staged or expertly Photoshopped. But in this case, with this cast of characters, you knew it was real.
Dress for excess: Michael Roberts quotes lowlife scumbag Bill Maher as calling JonBenét Ramsey "a little whore." Unbelievable! An innocent child is brutally murdered in an unimaginable fashion, and Roberts doesn't even criticize Maher. Any parents on the staff there? I'll be waiting to see all the articles in the next paper critical of one of your own darling left-wingers saying something incredibly vile, insensitive and plain stupid. As if any six-year-old has any say-so about how she is dressed, where she goes or what she does. Unbelievable.
Gutter snipe: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Coming Up Ace," in the August 31 issue:
Bravo to Ace Young. He shows such class and answers questions with thoughtful respect. Michael Roberts tried hard, but Ace did not stoop low to join him in the gutter.
Nice guys finish seventh: You can't help but like Ace Young if you are lucky enough to meet him. He's unfailingly friendly even when he's sick with a 102-degree fever, he is amazingly polite, and he has the most direct way of speaking to you while firmly looking you in the eye. I didn't get the self-promotion vibe from him at all, but I did get the feeling that Ace's fans will not let him down and will support him in any venture he chooses to pursue. Ace fans are very loyal, and even more fanatical than the Soul Patrollers.
Ace would have won had he not had an army of angry boyfriends and husbands who voted against him! It's tough to be so good-looking and talented besides.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Let the punishment fit the crime: Regarding Luke Turf"s "Girl Crazy," in the August 17 issue:
I am the mother of Andy Rubio Jr., who received a 180-year prison sentence from Judge Habas. A jury found him guilty of five counts of attempted murder with extreme indifference. Two young girls were seriously injured, but the other three victims suffered no injuries. My son deeply regrets harming the two girls, and I feel very sorry for them, too, but the punishment does not fit the crime.
What has happened to our son has been a living nightmare. The statements and comments that have been said against my son in the courts, the newspapers and on television are not true! He is not a monster. He is a confused young man who let two young women lead him down the wrong path.
What happened that night was an accident. I know that my son would never intend to harm anyone. His intentions that night were to scare some rivals of the two young women. He shot into an empty parked car. A bullet went astray and entered the house and struck the two young girls. He is very sorry for what he did. He made a bad choice by listening to those bad girls, Terra Ramirez and Natalie McFarlane. They did drugs and drank alcohol. I told him to stay away from them and their bad company. He made a stupid choice by going with them and doing what they asked him to do.
My son is not a gang member. The gang unit looked him up, and he was not on the gang list. He got involved with the wrong crowd of people. As a mother, it hurts me that they are judging my son the wrong way. The only person who can judge us is God; he knows what happened that night. My son comes from a good family, and he is a good young man who made a mistake, like any normal human being has.
I do not understand why they are using my son as an example. He did not intend to kill someone. The crime does not fit the punishment of 180 years. Yes, he hurt the young girls, but it was an accident. Cold-blooded murderers get less time. What is so hard for people to understand? What has happened to the concept of rehabilitation? What has happened to the concept of forgiveness? Every day I pray to God for my son and my family to guide us and take care of us. Amen.
Quit horsing around: Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Beauty and the Bestiality," in the August 24 issue:
Damn. I thought it was against the law to beat a dead horse. Not since Hank Williams Jr. (reportedly) slept with a female mountain lion has the controversy over sexual orientation shifted to animals so eloquently as it has with the announcement of Bob Beauprez's lieutenant governor choice.
Recently Beauprez was also criticized for going "both ways" on his support of domestic partnerships. I also have changed my mind since last January, when the raw idea of domestic partnerships was up for debate. The Colorado Legislature either unintentionally (if you think they are dumb) or intentionally (if they think the voters are dumber) sacrificed the possibilities of a fair domestic-partnership ruling with what they are offering Colorado in November.
Why? Equality is fairness.
Or, to be more wordy, why do the proposed domestic rules apply only to those who claim a homosexual relationship? Why can't two celibate priests (or nuns) go into a domestic partnership to own a home? Why can't two seniors (or three, and don't ask if they are bisexual) enter into a domestic partnership under Colorado's proposed referendum, if that's what they want to do for death benefits, medical reasons or just to maintain a cooperative lifestyle outside a nursing home?
I don't care if the applicants are homosexual, heterosexual, celibate or bisexual. But if government offers a program to streamline the contract-rights process, it ought to be available to anyone who wants a "less-than-marriage" partnership. Gays have always claimed they were seeking equality. If they can't redefine the institution of marriage, they will support inequality as a retaliation? No way will I vote for that kind of crap in November.
My concept was (is) that a domestic-partnership rule should allow a checklist of benefits to choose from. Health-care rights for some, inheritances for others, property ownership and inheritance by specific equity, all of that (and more) by choice. And a domestic-partnership agreement must be available to anyone who wants it.
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Franken sense: Thanks to Michael Roberts for mentioning my favorite radio station, AM-760, in the August 24 Message. I go out of my way to patronize the advertisers. As a faithful daily listener, I love Al Franken, and I'm well above both Franken's and O'Reilly's age demographics.