Put Up Your Dukes
Scott Yates's article about Charles Duke ("Final Analysis," May 8) really is nothing more than a cheap shot. Are you ever going to do the same to loony left-wing legislators? No, I think not. Why is that? The only reason I can think of is Westword thinks there are no leftists in the state government--or if there are, you are busy being cheerleaders for them.

Lyle K. Marti
via the Internet

Culture Vultures
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Culture: It's a Good Thing," in the April 24 issue:

Calhoun, you are a genius. Keep up the great work, and always maintain a healthy sense of humor!

Carol Jambura
via the Internet

Editor's note: Governor Roy Romer exercised his own sense of humor by taking the pop-culture quiz, scoring an almost-genius eleven out of thirteen--he missed Martha Stewart's date (her daughter's ex-boyfriend, not her gardener) and what Tommy Hilfiger designs (sportswear, not bomber jackets). The governor also skipped the two essay questions and the extra-credit question, "Notorious B.I.G.: fat or phat?" The correct answer, of course, is both. The rest of the right: 1-b; 2-b; 3-c; 4-b; 5-b; 6-b; 7-d; 8-d; 9-f; 10-c; 11-c; 12-d; and 13-b.

The Hate State
I am writing to let you know I highly despise and loathe all of you for the kind of anti-Christian hate rag you publish. I have been reading your propagandistic journal for the past two years and know how you love to heap scorn and ridicule upon anyone who is not in harmony with your self-righteous standards of political correctness.

I want all of you to know that I have informed some of the persons you have targeted regarding what you have written about them for the past two years. When Patricia Calhoun wrote her piece against Coach David VanderMolen ("Coach Turns Into Pumpkinhead," April 2, 1995), I sent him a copy. Coach VanderMolen and I became fast friends, and I am presently a member of his church, Messiah Lutheran in Longmont. To go on, when you ran Ward Harkavy's piece of trash about Lieutenant Colonel Arch Roberts of Fort Collins ("Still Crazy After All These Years," July 4, 1996), I mailed him a copy. When Steve Jackson wrote that sob story about poor, misunderstood Warren Hern and viciously attacked Ken Scott ("The Fight of Their Lives," February 13), I mailed Ken Scott a copy. (I actually met Ken Scott in Boulder and found him to be a nice guy.) And I have just sent off your latest hate article, Ward Harkavy's May 1 "God's Own Party," about the religious right, to George Morrison at Faith Bible Chapel, requesting that he show it to Barry Arrington and Pat Miller.

Such journalistic backbiting and slander are the actions of despicable, yellow-bellied cowards. Traitors, beware! You have grabbed an angry tiger by the tail. I have no violent intentions against any of you. But I want all of you to know that I will be watching you carefully. Every time you write any hate propaganda against Christians and conservatives in this area or elsewhere, I will send copies to the persons you have targeted for character assassination.

John Bales

In "God's Own Party," Ward Harkavy called on former state senator Al Meiklejohn to explain the difference between the two factions competing for dominance in the Republican Party. Meiklejohn said that "moderate Republicans are by definition moderate." Well, yes. The other wing, he said, consists of "religious activists who want to impose their views on us by governmental force...They're held together by some very emotional issues: abortion and state aid to private schools."

But it is liberals who have done what Meiklejohn condemns. They have used government force "to impose their views on us" through laws that restrict our freedoms, instruct our behavior and take our money. Their mystical tenets (and they are mystical when examined for metaphysical origins) have no more claim on non-liberals than the mystical tenets of religion have on non-believers. Meiklejohn's disdain for emotion is a way of ducking debate over principle--which, even when it springs from pure reason, needs a push from emotion to make its way into law. Liberals have known this for decades. They have used emotion to puff up their socialist agenda into the Great Oz of political correctness.

It's true that the religious right includes some who are wackos, but they are not in power. The wackos who have institutionalized their views are left-wing extremists supported by most of academia, journalism and the arts. In the tug-of-war on politics, the good guys are the ones doing the least harm to the Constitution. Right now that includes religious activists who advocate values that are also held by lukewarm believers and agnostics. There is a long way to go before the religious can compete, dangerwise, with the compassion fascists.

Norman Ely

Well, now, "God's Own Country" was a scary one. Why? Because my daughter is involved with Faith Bible Chapel. I think there is a big reason Americans requested early in our history the separation of religion and government. The story of FBC is so similar to that of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Jones and many others of our historical era--and even in our own area. The scary thing is that I've had suspicions something was fishy about FBC. Little did I know that I wasn't the only one.

Name withheld on request

I am a pro-life activist and speak out about the issue three to five times a week, as do my best friends. We thank Barry Arrington for sponsoring the partial-birth abortion bill. However, in hindsight, I saw him wimp out--therefore, he was not walking his faith to the end. His little "protest" of walking out of the hearing was a copout. The wicked run when no man pursues them, but the righteous are bold as lions. We activists stayed to the end and defended the unborn. I'm praying he learns his lesson from this. You can't be double-minded and get our votes.

As for Ken Scott availing color photos of a partial-birth abortion to our "leaders," it was only a blink of time that their eyes saw the truth. On the other hand, Dr. Warren Hern views it regularly. This act must be criminalized by our lawmakers now, or their blood (the babies') is upon your (lawmakers') hands.

Last, I'd like to address George Morrison, and pastors in general. All pastors seem to idolize three things: large congregations, church property and tax exemptions. The fear of losing any or all of these makes them an idol, and because of these idols, the pastors won't speak out boldly against this wicked practice and motivate their members to take a stand against abortion. Praying, voting, writing, calling congressmen and running for office is not enough! You must motivate your sheep to take a stand daily! Just remember: You're either a pro-life activist, or you're pro-choice. That's where the line is drawn.

C. Miller

Rush to Judgement
In your May 1 issue, Derf did a comic depicting the "fitting death" of conservative radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh. When Derf did this, he (generic he, that is--Derf could be a she or an it, for all we know!) showed that he was just another intellectual dolt. But, more important, it showed Westword's true colors and political bias as just another left-wing, liberal, politically correct, elitist newspaper that will sink to the lowest levels of discourse and will not thoughtfully discriminate when something is in extremely poor taste and might offend many readers... which this did.

Derf's comic shows an "unwed, teenage welfare mom" crossing a street intersection when Rush, driving toward the intersection, hits his brakes so as not to hit the teen mom. This forces a "misfired air bag" to deploy, thereby killing him in a manner similar to the recent decapitation death of a little girl. And this is supposed to be funny?

To some people, this sick kind of ad hominem humor might be funny, especially if those same people were members of the National Organization for Women, the Democratic National Committee or Hand Gun Control, Inc.--in other words, people with some political agenda. However, many readers of Westword also tune in to Rush's radio program and may even subscribe to his monthly newsletter because they agree with his political views (God forbid!) or because they find him to be an articulate spokesman for the conservative viewpoint. In a given week, approximately 20 million listeners tune in to Rush's show on 640 radio stations in the U.S. and Guam, making him the most listened-to radio personality anywhere in the U.S.

Wake up and smell the java, Westword! Even President Clinton warns against any and all "language of division"--the kind of language you promoted by printing that cartoon. No wonder your paper is free. Who'd buy it if it weren't?

Chris Bertolett
via the Internet

Who Do You Trust?
Stuart Steers's April 24 "Roll On, Columbia," on the privatization (profitization) of nonprofit Denver hospitals and the founding of the Colorado Trust, prompts me to comment on my involvement with a Colorado Trust promotion he mentioned, the Healthy Communities Initiative.

The Boulder County Healthy Communities Initiative is now into "Phase Two." As a concerned citizen, I have attended most of our public "stakeholder" meetings. After several meetings conducted by professional facilitators under the often admiring eyes of local politicians, I contacted Colorado Trust to learn more. A most helpful staff sent me complete documentation and answered my questions. I applaud the goal of Colorado Trust. It is the implementation of HCI that troubles me.

The Healthy Communities Initiative seeks to empower citizens into a community effort to identify and propose solutions to local problems. There are many active grassroots groups along the Front Range that were struggling to do this well before HCI began. Citizen groups trying to influence local government are usually opposed by well-connected and well-financed business interests. This was my personal experience in Longmont community activism in 1995.

I believe a more effective implementation of HCI by Colorado Trust would be to monitor these many grassroots citizen groups and provide some financial support to those whose activity is consistent with HCI goals. No need to pay the National Civic League or professional facilitators to manufacture a "stakeholder" community: Concerned citizens will come together. I discussed this idea with a Colorado Trust staffperson. I was told it was a good idea but would not be approved by Colorado Trust because such support of community activism is too controversial (effective?).

So our citizen groups will continue to struggle on shoestring budgets to make their voices heard at city halls while Colorado Trust gives away millions trying to empower citizens through establishment-acceptable "stakeholder" meetings.

Robert W. Zimmerer

Flop Sweat
I was so grateful to read Michael Roberts's review of the U2 show, "Flop Mart," in the May 8 issue. I was a huge fan from 1981 until Achtung Baby (which wasn't bad, but I already sensed their egos getting way oversized and their music getting way overrated). I didn't see them on the ZooTV tour, and when I later saw parts of it on TV, I was real glad I didn't pay any hard-earned money for it! I truly hope Bono gets the message and can humble himself before someone else does! I'm certain they still have creative fibers within that could be tapped and overflow, but as long as their egos are plugging up the outlets, all that creativity will be stifled! Thanks for easing my curiosity. I now know that I saved a hefty $30 to $40!

Dorothy Moran

I want to ask Michael Roberts: Has he ever written a song, been a star, had a significant social and artistic influence? I think not. So what if only 30,000 people showed up? There were still 30,000 people. I thought it was a great show. Roberts is probably one of those guys who thinks that Shonen Knife is the Second Coming. He really has it in for U2, doesn't he? But would 30,000 people pay to see anything Roberts has ever done? It sounds to me like Roberts is bitter about something; his review and attitude about the band seem personal. He should judge them as he would want to be judged. They are still a great band and still important, more important than he will ever hope to be.

If your mag was not free, I would not even be writing this to you.
Scott Mattern
via the Internet

I must say, Roberts is right on the money regarding the fabled four. As one of the people who attended their first show (outside of high school) way back when, I was touched by the first ten minutes of the Mile High show, but only because of the Irish connection. I found myself suffering from foot cramp after a while instead of being whisked away in the Disney-like production. A lot more energy was let loose by the few who showed up early enough to watch Rage. From our third-row seats, I was amused by the antics of Mr. Hewson and Co., but in all honesty, the show flopped. Edge paraded as a cabaret act out of water with an awful version of "Daydream Believer" (I'm a little disappointed you hadn't a word or two on that). A changing of the guard is in order for the mega-band society; maybe Fleetwood Mac can reclaim the throne. Cheers.

Damien Promise

Suffer through Michael Roberts's resentful verbiage about the U2 concert in an insular, smug and square giveaway tabloid, or listen to U2's exciting, melodic and fun Pop CD?

Hmmm. Tough choice.
Peter Tonks

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