A Schlong Time Coming
I'm as enamored of the title of Harrison Fletcher's July 23 "The Schlong Goodbye" as I am with the copyrighted, patented and trademarked "The Penisster System" being the name of the medical prosthesis developed by Henry Badgett. The article itself is another thing.

Mr. Badgett is correct in saying that the color of a prosthetic device is important and I applaud him for inventing--oops, creating--it. I'd like to add one thing that I think deserves mention. Black men (and I am one) have a significantly higher probability of getting prostate cancer and consequently becoming impotent. If I'm ever in that position, it's nice to know that there's more choice in the universe of treatments. And that's good.

David T. Goens
via the Internet

In "The Schlong Goodbye," Harrison Fletcher quotes Mr. Badgett as having enlisted in World War II. There must be some confusion, because Mr. Badgett was born in 1928 and stated he was in WWII at age eighteen. According to very simple math, this could not have happened. WWII ended on September 12, 1945, with the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. The knife fight and shooting must have occurred off the field of battle, as there were no hostilities when Mr. Badgett enlisted!

Perhaps Mr. Badgett has a poor memory, like some of our politicians.
B.G. Bernard Thorn
U.S. Army Retired

Editor's note: Henry Badgett went into the service on March 6, 1946, ten days after he turned eighteen. He was injured in the line of duty that fall in Manila--and has the documents to prove it. Anyone who doubts him, he says, can "kiss my schlong." And, by the way, Badgett wonders, what did that "sarcastic" headline have to do with invention and creation?

Czar Insurance
Regarding Steve Jackson's "All That Remains," in the July 23 issue:
Since I, too, was a bit puzzled by Patriarch Alexei's position on the identification of the Romanov bones, I took the trouble to find the Russian Orthodox Web site--even ancient institutions are catching up with technology!--and read his statement. I think anyone who chooses to do so will find a very different "take" on the "ironic" position. Unless I read it incorrectly, it seems that the Patriarch, as leader of the entire church, has been concerned about the division of opinions within his congregations over the veracity of the identification and feels that his taking one side over the other would endanger the unity of the Orthodox. The spiritual good of the whole is thus being considered.

It struck me as a rather balanced decision under the circumstances, especially as I read about Diane France's own hesitation over the exact identification of some of the children. I think that Westword owes it to the members of the Orthodox Church to print or summarize the Patriarch's statement at some point. Dr. France does wonderful work, and Steve Jackson's article was very inspiring. Let's not spoil it with a potshot at a religious leader trying to do his best for all his flock.

(P.S.: I am not a member of the Orthodox Church; I just like accuracy, and on this issue, a lot of the media have been out of the ballpark.)

Cassandra Kenfield
via the Internet

Wasted Days
I would just like to take a minute to state my opinion of Eric Dexheimer's July 23 "Used and Abused," regarding Arapahoe House detox facilities. First of all, the majority of the story is bull! Of the three ladies who told their "stories," none continue to work for Arapahoe House. Why? Was what they told you untrue? Most certainly. For the most part, they discussed with you the errors they managed to do on their shifts, and believe me, as a current employee of Arapahoe House, I disagree wholeheartedly with their "stories."

I would love to have you print a rebuttal on behalf of Arapahoe House, and speak to employees who can show you memos and tell you honest answers about what working at detox is all about.

Lorrie Laroe
Counselor, Arapahoe House Inc.

Go and Sin No More!
How utterly ignorant Peter Gilstrap must be with regard to anything related to Jesus Christ. First of all, Leviticus (Old Testament) does not even mention "Jesus" by name except in typology, since it was written almost 2,000 years before He was born. Second (and far more relevant) is the fact that anyone who knows anything about the Biblical story of redemption knows that Jesus did not ever want (or intend) to come down from the cross, because He was the sacrificial lamb of God who died "to take away the sins of the world" (at least those who put their trust in this ultimate propitiatory sacrifice by faith in Him). That was the very purpose of His coming, not to be some kind of "guru" to teach people how to be do-gooders! Had He "escaped" the cross there could be no redemption from sin--duh. Since (physical) death cannot hold the "resurrection life" of the eternal son of God, He did not need to "shimmy off to freedom" from the cross. Actually, He willingly died in your place and laid down His life for everyone who "knows" they are in need of a redeemer because they are indeed sinners (as opposed to liars).