Commentary

Letters to the Editor

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Alana Smart
Denver


Penned Up Emotions

Prisoner of the heart: I wish to thank you from my heart for Alan Prendergast's "The Long Silence," in the September 12 issue. You have given me hope that someone out there truly cares enough to see the truth! All too often, "the truth" is locked away with inmates, and even their families fear to speak out for fear the prisons will retaliate by taking away phone privileges, visits, even correspondence. It appears that the federal prison system hides under the guise of everything being a threat to the safety and security of the system, when this is mostly hogwash.

I also read "System Failure," Alan's story in the August 28 issue about the young woman who was murdered by her ex-husband due to a system and judge who couldn't care less about protecting people or their personal pain, simply because they have "heard it all before." What's that attitude about? Why do these people hold positions of authority if they will not fairly execute that authority?

Mark Jordan, my son, is in Florence ADX federal prison, and he and many other inmates do not enjoy "freedom of press and free speech," due to terror tactics of what's called "The Justice System." My stand on it is this: They do "justas" they please, not even holding to their own rules when it comes to public scrutiny. The hard-core, cold-hearted bureaucrats see people as nothing more than "stepping stones" for their glory, power and funding, and the self-righteous pompous powerhouses of wickedness set out to gain these things at the cost of even human lives!

Barbara Adkins-Jordan
Philadelphia

Caged copy: Regarding "The Long Silence," isn't this situation restricting freedom of the press? The press cannot write freely about prisons without prisoners' input.

Westword should sue.

Nick Werle
Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Westword is one of over a dozen plaintiffs -- including both publishing groups and prisoners -- in a lawsuit filed two years ago by the American Civil Liberties Union against the Colorado Department of Corrections, challenging the DOC's pattern of arbitrary and irrational censorship of incoming publications.


Hot Times

Feeling burned: After David Holthouse's September 12 "Burn This" and Leslie O'Donnell's rhapsodic letter in response, I would like to offer an overlooked fact regarding this "counterculture" event.

I attended in 1996, and yes, it was a unique, mind-boggling event that I will never forget. That year, around 12,000 people attended, at $50 a head. This year, I think Holthouse said it was 30,000 at $250 per. As one of the Burning Man "inner circle" wondered when we were engaged in conversation, where did all the money go? All the organizers provided was the Man (lumber and fluorescent lights) and any potential emergency medical assistance (from Reno), and maybe an ice delivery. Everything else was provided by the participants themselves. As organizer/promoter revenues have gone from half a mil six years ago to $7.5 million this year, someone is certainly getting rich from this "non-commercial" gathering of the art tribes.

Not that they shouldn't. I realize that one (who could afford it) could spend $250 on a hot date in the city and forget it the next day, while the Burning Man experience is really impossible to quantify (except for those who can't afford it). Let's just not forget that as tribal gatherings go, this one is not so untainted by greed and elitism.

Jim Bernath
Denver


Asia Like It

Fruit loopy: Thanks so much for Jason Sheehan's September 12 "Singapore for Your Supper." After reading his paragraphs on the dubious virtues of the durian fruit smoothie, I couldn't possibly resist! I called my most "game" friend, and we trotted right over. After enthusiastically placing our order (we skipped dinner and went right to the main attraction), we were delighted that a second staff member came out of the kitchen to confirm that we were aware of what we were ordering.

Anyway, you are not paying to hear my restaurant review. The point is that Westword gave me a great life experience, and I am grateful. Keep up the good work; I am going to be a more religious reader from this day on!

Wendy J. Werpetinski
Denver

Singapore sling: I feel Jason Sheehan has done a wonderful job. A former Denverite and longtime toiler in some of the best kitchens in that city, I never fail to keep up with Westword online to see what is happening in the restaurants at home.

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