Regarding Harrison Fletcher's "Seeing Red," in the February 19 issue:
Has Westword ever met a Communist it didn't like? Forgive me if I don't break out the crying towels over Pat Blawis's passing.
In the early part of World War II, the Nazis and the Communists were partners in crime, terrorizing Europe hand in hand until Adolf got Uncle Joe before Uncle Joe got him. Until recently, U.S. policy toward Communist governments correctly treated them as criminal conspiracies, similar to the Mafia, the Crips and Colombian drug cartels that murdered their way into power and stayed there through terror and intimidation.
History has proven that policy right. Remember Joe Stalin and the Gulag? The Khmer Rouge and the killing fields? Korea? Vietnam? Over 100,000 Americans died in the last two conflicts just to keep Pat Blawis and her pals from turning America into another Gulag.
Goodbye and good riddance, Pat. You are now the best kind of Communist--a dead one!
Harrison Fletcher's piece on Pat Blawis made an interesting--if ironic--counterpoint to Ward Harkavy's excellent profile of the Steens, "Fallout in the Family," in the same issue. In addition to Communists, many others were victims of the Cold War--including, it seems, heirs to uranium fortunes.
For forty years, give or take one or three, I've been a fan of southeastern Utah's canyon country, so I immensely enjoyed reading Ward Harkavy's February 19 article about Charlie Steen and his rich uranium strike. Harkavy's writing was accurate and entertaining. Well done, Mr. Harkavy.
Charlie and his wife lived in a station wagon out on the desert. They didn't have the proverbial pot and were grubstaked with gasoline from a local Moab gas station and food from a grocer in town.
But something nice happened. Charlie Steen struck it rich with the greatest uranium find ever, and when he did, he built a mining empire in Moab. The gas station that grubstaked him was rewarded by getting the contract to fill up his ore-carrying trucks, and the grocer who extended credit when Charlie and Minnie Lee didn't have a dime to their names found himself with a continuous stream of business filling grocery orders for the mine and its labor force.
There is another story out there, and that is about the current rebirth of the uranium industry. Send Ward back out there. If he prowls around Moab, Green River and Hanksville, he will uncover some great stories. There are cairns locating uranium claims all over the place, and a mill is about to open to enable itself to be prepared for the processing of uranium. Again!
Of Bombs and Bombshells
It's amazing. While reading Scott Yates's "The Boom Years," in the February 26 issue, I was remembering back to that time. The media broadcasts were very much like they were regarding nerve gas at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, with people saying how safe it was and graphically depicting how it would release the natural gas. All along, though, I had wondered if the gas would be contaminated. Even though I was only twelve, I had already read books on what the bombs left behind in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Of course, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure some things out. Nevertheless, it was advertised by the media as a great new plan with great benefits and few, if any, risks. It didn't make sense to a twelve-year-old at the time, and it still doesn't today.
It sure looked neat, though.
Also, kudos once again to Patricia Calhoun for her "Strange Bedfellows," in the February 19 issue. I had to laugh. After all, we've seen so much sex scandal in the media that half the public is about to puke from either too much or not enough of it (the latter can still read the Enquirer if they haven't had their fix yet). The Bible-thumpers have their heads up their butts, and many of them still believe in Jimmy Swaggart after his admissions. What makes a politician any different? They are people, too.
Sex has been around since the dawn of time. Abstinence has been, too. Leave Roy Romer alone! After admitting to having a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex, he's basically being accused of having sex without having sex. Who dreams up this crap, anyway? Just because a man is seen with or near a woman doesn't mean that they are "doing it." But many would like to think so to satisfy their own perversity.
Westword was finally proven correct in your article of eight years ago on Governor Romer's affair. The French have an expression, folie a deux, for an identical mental disorder or illusion affecting two closely associated people: loosely translated, a shared act of folly between two people.