Steer Clear!
Yee-haw. I wouldn't have thought that Kenny Be could top his "politically corrected" guide to the Stock Show on the cover of the last issue--but then I saw his Worst-Case Scenario about "high-speed skier safety headgear." I'm sure you'll get complaints from all those tasteful folks out there, so I wanted to be the first to say: Kenny Be rules!

Val Garcia
via the Internet

What gives with Westword's obsession with cows and everything Western? It's 1998, for chrissake. Grow up--Denver did. This is no cowtown.

Joe Stein

Loved your article on the Stock Show! I'm still laughing.
Janet Ratzloff
via the Internet

The Spice of Life
The January 1 Year in Review boiled down to one good day of laughter as I read it. I read both the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post nearly every day (parts of them, that is) and so am fairly news-savvy. I'm sure this "inside knowledge" of the subtle and not-so-subtle humor in your article enriched my appreciation of your comments on the year's events. The quality of the writing was superb, I thought, and frankly superior to most (or all?) of what I've been reading in the News and the Post. Perhaps it was the irreverent spice that made it so enticingly dicey and entertaining to read. A little madness is a fine method, indeed, as the bard once said.

So here's to you and Westword for a fine upcoming year. Thank you very much for freedom of the press.

Michael McKereghan

"365 Days of Rage": Loved this piece! Please give the author kudos; I would love to read more of his outrageously incisive style.

Meesh Rheault Miller
via the Internet

Your "365 Days of Rage: Hate State Sets New Record" was brilliant. As is often the case with brilliance, it was funny and profoundly sad at the same time. I occasionally teach writing and tell students that writing is really thinking--and it is the quality of the thoughts that makes good writing. In this case, the thoughts cut to the core of our "culture" and, thus, the writing was incisive and, yes, brilliant.

Bojinka Bishop
via the Internet

If anyone is responsible for Colorado being labeled the Hate State, it is yellow, journalistic hate rags like Westword.

Living in Boulder, I found your glorifying the Hill riots--like saying the rioters "were fighting for their right to party"--and deprecating the police to be the height of journalistic irresponsibility. Did the "party" include the trashing of businesses on the Hill and the people and police officers who had to receive hospital treatment, not to mention the cost in taxpayer money? Would you have said that if the rioters had ended up killing a merchant, police officer or innocent non-rioter?

I just sent off your latest hate article, Kyle Wagner's "A Bitter Pill," in the January 8 issue, to Dr. Norm Resnick, so he and Don Weideman can see for themselves what you had to say about them. Besides being a Christian, I am also a member of the Colorado State Defense Force militia (it is not a racist, anti-Semitic hate group) and am proud of it. (George Washington, Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, John Tyler and even Abraham Lincoln once served in militias.) As long as you continue to publish hate propaganda against Christians and conservative patriots, I will continue to raise hell with you in such a way that would have made General George Patton proud.

John Bales

Plumbing the Depths
Steve Jackson's December 18 "Changing of the Guard," about the probate system spending $500,000 attempting to decide whether a mother/ son relationship was too dysfunctional (for whom?) and what care an 82-year-old woman needs, was as revealing as it was sad. If the legal system's goal in Letty Milstein's case was to leave her better off, the legal system has evolved into megalomania.

Jackson's article reports on mutual back-scratching among professionals as, gasp, a conflict of interest. Acting in one's self-interest is the norm; the legal system's big sin is its hypocrisy in maintaining the legal fiction that the professionals are disinterested. If the person who owned the money controlled it, Milstein fees would have never gone beyond $10,000.

How disputes are resolved is big business in the U.S. We pay lip service to arbitration and mediation but still follow the legal lobby into court, where only expensive lawyers can do the talking and the outcome is always dicey. A lot of court work is inept social work masquerading as pricey legal work. How many problems merit litigation? Certainly not Milstein's case, and it is not the exception. Yet intractable social problems are treated as "legal" problems in which millions of dollars are spent so judges and lawyers can "decide" the outcome. Plea bargains and half-million-dollar fees are obvious concessions of the system's limitations.