Giving Thanks
This Thanksgiving I will remember Patricia Calhoun and everyone else who can see through the various parasitic cons, dupes, stooges and pimps.

The dictionary definitions of "freedom" and "equality" do not say anything about exceptions and duplicity. Freedom is not being sheep, lockstep parrots, puppets or ventriloquists' dummies. Don't be a victim of any "turkeys."

May next Thanksgiving be even better for Westword! You can do it.
John F. Sisson

Sign of the Times
Thank you so much for publishing Westword. In its reporting, Westword tries to cover all sides better than other news rags in Denver. Other papers tend to be much more political. A good example was Kenny Be's Voter's Guide to Amendments and Referendums in the October 22 issue. Cartoony, but much more true information than the verbose political drivel seen elsewhere. Maybe this was a small example. But maybe in this world of spin, cutting to the real issues is far more important than who endorses what (for how much money?). And please remind us again that ultimately, it is the taxpayer and purchaser/consumer who supplies the money.

Westword serves an important purpose, even if your writers sometimes can't get to a point in a reasonable amount of print.

Name withheld on request
Hurray, Michael Paglia. In some ways, Denver unfortunately continues to be a cow town--as we are talked into such foolishness as the Pavilions sign, not having faith in our own vision and unique sophistication ("Signed, Sealed, Delivered," November 12). Too bad it's up and paid for, and we're out the money and living with the consequences. Maybe having it pointed out so clearly will help in the future.

B. Adams
via the Internet

The Pavilions is just grand, and the rest of us poor-slob businesses get no parking for our regular clients, no free marketing, no DURA money--basically the dirty end of the stick! What about giving some credit to small business that has endured all the construction and eked it out from day one, begging for no capital-improvement funds and not getting one iota of free publicity that is rampant just because some Johnny-come-lately opens some yuppie megastore and some "much needed" (God forbid) card and gift shop.

Denver really doesn't have a clue when it comes to taking care of its own. All that is important to consumers and politicians is the next big craze, the "in spot" of the day. It saddens me and many like me. This is a story that should be told!

Thanks for the outlet; glad to vent. I like your publication and use it.
Gary M. Covey

Put That in your Pipe
It was sad but not surprising to read in T.R. Witcher's November 12 "Peace Pipeline" that Heritage "Christian" Center would not let PeaceJam volunteers distribute fliers on Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Even though Tutu is a devout Christian, he is too controversial for many "Christian" churches and, most important, he would not bring money into the coffers of these churches as do large-name evangelists or gospel rock groups.

I had the same experience when the Dalai Lama was in Denver two years ago, but only at new-thought/new-age/metaphysical churches, especially the larger ones. I was politely told that "we cannot support or announce every person who comes to town; we mainly stick to those who come to our church." I said, "But this is His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace winner and leader of the Tibetan people!" A more loving, spirit-filled smile came on the lady minister's angelic face--along with a firm, polite "no."

I had always thought that the new-agers/new-thought people would be for supporting the Dalai Lama. Boy, was I mistaken. They believe that things that happen to us are caused by 1) reincarnation, and 2) an inner wish on a subconscious level to die or be hurt, which is the flip side of the coin of "It is God's will." Both are tautologies. Also, the new-agers think that judgment is wrong and to condemn the killing in Tibet and Bosnia is wrong. I asked about the killing fields and Auschwitz, both of which I have been to, and got the answer: "Who am I to judge? Who am I to know? It happens for the soul's growth."

So Heritage Christian Center, like the new-agers/new-thought people, promotes moral agnosticism and gives tortures and murders a moral blank check by not supporting speaking engagements of Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Those who profess love and understanding in the churches seem to turn their back on those who work in the trenches fighting racial discrimination and freedom of oppression, as in Tibet.

(P.S. My wife is from Tibet, so we know Ms. Engle, and I worked with the Cambodians in the late Seventies, so Ireally get surprised at new-agers.)

David W. Hester

I went out of my way to find Westword so I could read T.R. Witcher's "Peace Pipeline." Great people. Great organization. Great article. But why the caption under Rigoberta Mench's picture reading, "Fram (sic) the Guatemala barrio to the Denver Taco Bell: Mayan activist Rigoberta Mench Tum"? That is just bad.

Mench is not from Echo Park (or even the colonias of Guatemala City), and I don't see her munching down a Burrito Supreme. She is, as the article tells us, a Nobel laureate, who travels internationally, writes books and has put her life in danger to promote human rights in Guatemala.

"Peace Pipeline" is an article about people who are teaching youth about social issues. Given the content of the article, the caption makes the folks at Westword a bunch of hicks. I assume that is not Westword's preferred image, given that the same issue's Off Limits derisively chides an unnamed TV reporter who missed Colorado Democratic chair Phil Perrington's "Dewey" reference.

What is it they say about casting stones and glass houses?
Tanya Marina Mote

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