Kitty letter: Meow! Judging from the depths of the claw marks in her January 11 "The Basement Tapes," Patricia Calhoun was envious that Linda Chavez, a real columnist (with national credentials), got nominated for a Cabinet position. But Ms. Calhoun needn't worry about any Guatemalans in her basement: No one who would ever consider giving her an important job could be elected dog catcher, much less president.
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What team work! Someone just e-mailed me the list of advisors Gale Norton has put together for her transition team. It is a legal and political Who's Who for the extraction industry and other environmental "rapists" (and no, I don't think that's too strong a word). If Gale Norton took offense to the "James Watt in a skirt" comment, it must have been because Watt was too environmentally sensitive for her! Not one -- I repeat, not one -- "environmentalist" or "conservationist" is anywhere near her transition team.
Her buzzword is "devolution" -- giving control back to the states. Not a bad idea if it weren't that state governments want to develop and destroy public lands, taking them for the few rather than the many, then use them for grazing and extraction and ATVs, no matter what the cost to the environment, no matter what the sadness of the backpackers, hikers, campers and others who truly love and try to preserve the little remaining wildness.
Now, I'm not all that impressed with Al Gore's environmental work, but let's face it: Georgie Duh and Ms. Norton and their extraction-industry buddies are going to do one helluva lot of damage to this country -- the physical country -- in the next four years.
It is breaking my heart already.
Just say no: Ms. Calhoun, I'm sure you know about www.sayNOtoNorton.org -- but don't you think everyone should?
Consider yourself part of the furniture: Armoir? Well, from that spelling in "The Basement Tapes," we can tell that Patricia Calhoun doesn't have a French illegal living with her.
And for the record, we're not using tax money to fix up individuals' homes anymore...
Roger Baker, public information officer
City of Black Hawk
Eve us alone: After reading Patricia Calhoun's January 4 column, "Party! Party!," I have to wonder how the city can even think of sponsoring another New Year's Eve party when there are so many other things in Denver that are more deserving of the money. Either let a corporation pay for the party, or let the downtown businesses cover the cost of the event, like the Save the Lights foundation is supposed to do for the Christmas lights at City Hall. Or let people figure out how to celebrate New Year's Eve all on their own.
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The light stuff: Following the whirlwind of the holiday season, I am left with a nagging, uncomfortable visual. I attended the Homeless Memorial Vigil downtown on December 21. This gathering was held to honor and remember those who died living on the streets of Denver in the year 2000. The list of names read aloud was over fifty names long, with many we will never know of. The service began at 5:30 p.m. at the steps of the City and County Building. At exactly 6 p.m., the holiday lights blasted on, illuminating the sign requesting money to "keep the lights." Now, I have no idea how much money is raised each year to "keep the lights," but I would have to assume it is substantial.
We remained at our gathering, discussing the need for more funds, more shelters and more homes for the less fortunate of our city. Today I am still left with the irony of these events coinciding. Perhaps there is a need to re-evaluate our priorities?
Blow up: Does Michael Roberts still work at Westword? In his January 11 Message, he mocked the media for writing positive pieces about Denver's New Year's Eve party -- the same party that his boss, Patricia Calhoun, had praised just the week before.
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Just say Noah: While a little ignorance is a dangerous thing, T. Moore, in his January 11 letter, proves as how lots of ignorance is knee-slappin' funny! His/her head is as muddled as a Denver omelet projectile-vomited onto South Broadway by a Cameron Diaz look-alike after a Wellington Webb Millennium Bash.
But let's start at the beginning: Not all of us believe in Msr. Noah and his big, big boat. That's either because we don't ascribe to the Judeo/Christian/ Moslem religious perspective, or 'cause we are smart enough to have figured out the impossibility of this event. Confusing the issue -- and starting at the real, real beginning -- T. tells us we all came from Africa. Uh, does that mean, like, we evolved there? Then whassup with the Noah thing? Next, T. informs, is the Moorish influence in Italy. Psst! T.! Get a clue! Then get a world history book. While there were no doubt a fair number of "Moors" in Italy at one time, it was Spain the Moors occupied, not Italy.
Meanwhile, back in the States, which of the thousand or more "nations" in the Americas were "living peacefully" before Columbus? The Aztecs, whose culture was based on war? The Incas, who bashed in the heads of little girls or left them to freeze to death on barren mountaintops? Howzabout Amazonian headhunters? Or does T. mean folks like the Lakota, who -- no doubt using carefully crafted debating techniques -- conquered and enslaved all their neighbors? And, I'm sorry, but where in the archeological record is it that T. Moore finds evidence (there will be a quiz on this term later) for "trading" between the pre-Columbian Americas and "other nations (Africa)" -- putting aside the fact that "Africa" is actually a continent that boasted thousands of its own similarly warlike and fluid nations in 1492?
It can certainly be fatuously argued (see: Means, Russell; Morris, Glenn) that Europeans (actually, T., Columbus and the Italians were major losers in the whole transaction) "stole this country." In reality, Europeans coming here circa 1492-1870 did nothing that the then-current occupants weren't already doing to themselves: conquering, killing and enslaving everyone around them in an effort to propagate their own culture. Of course, we all know that when Europeans did this, it was Evil. When Russell Means's great-great-granddaddy did the same thing, it didn't happen.
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