Letters to the Editor

Naming Names

No kidding around: I just wanted to tell you that I really enjoyed Julie Jargon's article about the Central Registry ("The Name Game," November 1). I found it very informative and an interesting read. I work at a child-care facility, and not too long ago we were under investigation. One of the children, who was approximately four years old, accused another of touching their "no-no spot." The children involved claimed they had told a teacher, but none of us knew anything about it; we took all of the appropriate steps and in the end were found guilty of institutional neglect. After the investigation went to the state's Human Services department, we were told that none of our names would go in the Central Registry. So far, so good.

Reading this article, I realized how lucky we were not to have been placed in the Central Registry. I never knew that it was that easy and that it is that messed up. Thank you for writing the article and letting us all in on how things truly are.

Lanette Holley
via the Internet

Guilty until proven innocent: Congratulations to Julie Jargon, who did a marvelous job of balancing the tough reality of the Central Registry. For years now, I have been aware of really good people, wrongly accused, who have been on, or remain on, the registry. At the same time, as a children's advocate, I want us to use all available tools to assure children's safety. We have yet to reach the place where children stay safe but good people are not unfairly labeled and sometimes destroyed.

Balanced, thoughtful articles such as this one are needed in the quest to find the best answers concerning the Central Registry.

Adoree Blair

Suffer the children: Let's judge the Central Registry on the basis of whether or not it protects children rather than by whether it protects adults. If the registry does not protect children, then there is no point to the registry.

But adults can perfectly well protect themselves by avoiding children. For almost fifteen years, I have been a tutor, so I have been in danger of being falsely accused. And yet, I have never been against the registry for the purely selfish reason that there was danger to me; I believe every child deserves a happy childhood, and I know I need not be a tutor.

If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Children are not only a great joy to be around, but a demanding responsibility.

The registry may need improving, avoiding the extreme of either minimizing the injuriousness of abuse and failing to respond or the extreme of humiliating the accused. In some countries, there are not just two possible verdicts, but three: guilty, innocent, and case unproven.

Diane Woodard

Locked and Loaded

Taking aim: He's as vicious as a guy with a box knife aboard a 767, as nasty as a guy with a pair of lightning bolts on his shoulder sending babies to the gas chamber, as evil as a Republican who beats a Democrat by a few hundred votes!

Who is this Peron of vileness, this Pol Pot of detestability, this Mengele of mangled modern sensibilities?

Well, um, he's Rocky -- John Rothrock, to be exact, co-owner of Rocky's Autos (David Holthouse's "Riding Shotgun," November 22). And how do we know of his evil deeds? Well, ahem, because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms sez so.... Now, which BATF are we talking about here? The guys who, for no other reason than to boost their visibility, budget and egos, staged (then ran away from) the Waco fiasco? The guys who previously had their fingers deep into the Ruby Ridge pie? As I recall, these brave heroes managed to slaughter lots of kids and women in both. Locally, a couple of years ago, a bunch of them got drunk and, in a display of manly manliness, threatened to trump up charges against a tavern owner who refused to serve the drunks more booze. Those guys?

Of course, since what the BATF does (that voodoo that they screw so well) has taken a '52 Buick-sized back seat to the FBI and even the Clintonated CIA since 9/11, we can certainly take everything they tell us about that criminal mastermind, that gun-running underworld don, Johnnie "Machinegun" Rothrock, as carved in Kevlar. That must be why Westword gave not even a slightly raised eyebrow of journalistic cynicism to the BATF's "official" version of events surrounding this almost laughable, ABSCAM-esque (if not Monty Pythonesque -- do they have any cheese or not!?) situation. Or maybe it's just because, also since 9/11, there haven't been any really useful anti-gun events the liberal media could sink its subjective fangs into.

The BATF obviously hasn't learned a damned thing since Waco; has the liberal media learned anything since 9/11?

J.M. Schell

Off to See the Wizard

To Air is human: Oh dear, it's pick-on-Michael-Jordan time again ("The Wizard at Odds," November 29). Why do innumerable writers, including Bill Gallo, feel they know what dignity in sports is all about? I can only imagine that after counting all the ceiling tiles in the building, Gallo decided to purchase a cheap ticket on the sentimental express. What else would drive a man to call young players in the NBA "vulnerable"? Dear God, these guys may be eighteen and nineteen years old, but they have spent most of their lives immersed in competition that we on the sidelines can barely comprehend. Sure, they may not know how badly a lover can crush your reason, but if they don't want to knock Jordan on his ass every time they see him, then they're the ones who should retire.

Yes, his Airness coaches them and awes them with his legacy and ability, and he may very well do despicable things to manipulate their young, fragile minds, but he earned the right, according to all precedent set in capitalist economics and the American ethos. His talent, Nike and the Chicago Bulls made sure of that, and to base a line of motivational inquiry on some bizarre, platonic conception of sportsmanship is like asking Stephen Hawking if he would eat the moon if it were made out of green cheese. And to trot out McGwire as a noble specimen, while feeling sorry for Ali and Williams, demonstrates nothing but contempt for all three.

Before I end my rant, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: The world is a terrible place where people get old and die. That, unfortunately, is the way it is. This sad fact got a little Indian prince on track to becoming the Buddha, but since most of us will never sit under the nirvana tree, we have to get by with the few beautiful moments of complete temporal immersion found most readily in sports, art and sex, and I say let Jordan get as many of those moments as he can. And, who knows, a future spiritual leader might one day credit his holiness to the terrible witnessing of geriatric basketball.

I could go on, but I would start quoting Shakespeare, Tennyson, Marx and Nietzsche, and I would bore you to tears, so I will end with this: As long as professional sports are controlled more by money than by talent, there will be no true avenues to glory.

Bruce Adair

State of the Union

Yeah, that's the ticket: Bravo to Stuart Steers and Westword! It is far from often enough that I get to give praise where it is due, but "Show Stoppers," in the November 29 issue, is an easy exception. After putting in my time with the Denver Center Theatre Company (not in the box office), I can attest to the working conditions of the people who sell you your seats. The fact that they are still able to smile after putting up with the garbage from above is amazing. I hope we see a full union soon and real wages and benefits.

The story itself raises another question: Should organizations that receive city money be able to use their budgets to fight unions? The box office of the DCPA is the biggest and best example, but one has to wonder about the phone banks at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Art Museum. What wages and benefits do those employees receive?

Keep up the good work!

Alex Teitz
via the Internet

Blowing Smoke

Seeds of dissension: So, a hemp-seed granola bar is in the same category as heroin (Marty Jones's "Hemp Burns Out," November 22)? Why prohibitionist politicians force the cultivation of hemp and cannabis in this atmosphere is barbaric. God gave us hemp and cannabis, and only God will take them away -- not some terrorist form of government that profits from this freak show called the War on Drugs.

It defies integrity and rationality to cage humans for using cannabis. And to cage sick citizens using cannabis for relief of pain is vile, morbid and spiteful for a civilization in the year 2001. Further, as a Christian, it is a sin to cage your brother or neighbor for using cannabis. Thank God for cannabis. Accept cannabis (also known as kaneh bosm, before the King James Version) for what it is described as on the very first page (like déjà vu) of the Bible (Genesis 1:11-12, 29-30). Cannabis prohibition is a very serious crime.

If God gave us cannabis, who gives us cannabis prohibition? That answer may be found at 1 Timothy 4:1-5, the apostasy.

Stan White

A Chicken Little in every pot: Truth is, hemp-seed products are not, and will not be, illegal. The DEA was doing us a favor, and its interest is diminishing. As the largest importer of hemp seed, and the oldest hemp-seed food company and founder of the Hemp Food Association, I assure you that we intend to comply with the rule, just as we and the other importers already have for years.

The real question is, "Why are the Hempsters lying to anyone who will listen, thereby creating the very thing the Hempsters accuse the DEA of: killing the market?"

The market for these products is being killed by the hemp Chicken Littles, not the DEA.

Richard Rose
via the Internet

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