Regarding Michael Roberts's "The Making of a Media Event," his April 6 Message:
Even if the Columbine anniversary "event" attracts "only" 10,000, that's still insane. The only people who should be anywhere near the school and park on April 20 are Columbine students and staff, their families, and a cadre of large but exceedingly polite and discreet bouncers to keep the media away -- way away.
via the Internet
Regarding Patricia Calhoun's "Man With a Plan," in the April 6 issue:
Although I have tried to keep away from anything related to Columbine, the uproar over the proposed "Respect Life" license plates revealed to me the utter absurdity this tragedy has become. If I'm not mistaken, the suggested slogan came from one Evan Todd, Columbine victim and football player. In the now-notorious Time article, Todd refers to Klebold and Harris as "rejects" and says most Columbine students "didn't want them here...If you want to get rid of somebody," Todd continues, "usually you tease 'em. So the whole school would call them homos, and when they did something sick, we'd tell them, 'You're sick and you're wrong.'"
Maybe that should be the real message displayed on Colorado's license plates, instead of the banal slogan of a hypocrite whose own words reveal how disrespectful of life he truly is.
Name withheld on request
Many thanks for reminding us that a leopard does not change its spots. Once this Columbine anniversary is over, expect politicians to return to business as usual. Respect life? How about respecting the intelligence of Colorado residents?
It is a shame that while Governor Bill Owens can change and evolve -- witness his position on guns and his public comments on the Ramsey case -- Patricia Calhoun remains the same shrill voice, with the same knee-jerk opinions. It's time for Calhoun to give Owens, and us, a break.
via the Internet
Birth of a Notion
I'm as liberal as the next guy, but reading your last issue, I thought I was reading a brochure for Planned Parenthood. First Calhoun's column, then Justin Berton's "Takin' It in the Pants," about vasectomies, and then Sean Neumann's "Child's Play," about Baby Think It Over. Next time, how about some variety? Or why not just include a free condom with every issue?
Just kidding. And the Boulder Valley Women's Center is a great place. Really.
In Justin Berton's "Takin' It in the Pants," the term "spermicidal conduit" is incorrect. "Spermicidal" means having qualities that kill sperm, as in a contraceptive. You need another word -- or simply say "conduit for sperm." I'm sensitive to this because I had one.
via the Internet
I applaud the University of Colorado and the various individuals involved in the development and use of the "Baby Think It Over" simulator for young teens. Whatever it takes to keep children from having children is fine with me. And I do mean whatever, including dispensing free birth control to girls and boys and encouraging abortions for all girls under the age of eighteen.
In general, we do a lousy job of preventing teen and early-adult pregnancies in this country. Too many misguided adults (particularly conservative religious fundamentalists) preach their abstinence-only "solution," which doesn't work very well. Then when impressionable and frightened girls and young women get pregnant -- as far too many do -- many are warned they will become depressed, guilty or even "murderers" if they get an abortion. I have known a few girls and women with sympathetic and supportive friends and/or family members who got abortions, and their predominant feeling was relief, not guilt or depression. They did not commit a crime, because abortion is, fortunately, still legal.
Every girl or woman who has an unplanned pregnancy needs a friend, family member or professional adult who gives concrete and reasonable advice instead of moralizing. The organizations that try to do this, such as Planned Parenthood, have, because of the religious right, gotten far too much criticism and bad press in recent years. I'm here to say that many, many people who feel as I do about these issues have been far too quiet in lending their voices to these agencies' support.
Our country -- and world -- have a frightening overpopulation problem that is responsible for most of the planet's major ills: runaway development of our land, environmental pollution of our air and water, loss of plant and animal species, congested highways, increased crime, etc. Yet we still allow, and in many cases insist, that our girls and young women continue to have babies they don't want and that our world doesn't need. I only hope we can start doing better real soon, or this planet will continue along its already well-traveled path to degradation and extinction.