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• See Jim Hightower
The line of fire (Re: “Women In The Crosshairs,” cover story, April 9.) I wonder how long this post-post-feminist backlash will last. Or perhaps there’s no backlash, but just business as usual among the non-evolved.
A girls’ soccer coach (male) once told me that it was easier to motivate boys during practice because you can shame them by calling them “girls.” I was speechless in the face of his offhand statement. I remembered how that tradition, and other piggish attitudes, had driven me, as a child, out of the boys’ locker rooms and into the more solitary sports of hiking, biking and skiing.
Among “regular guys,” it’s accepted from an early age to disrespect the human female for her weakness (less upper body strength and vulnerable emotions) and thus de-humanize her in their minds. It starts really early, folks! Often, girls and women perpetuate this nonsense.
When a soldier with PTSD commits violence against his wife or girlfriend, it’s the extreme version of a pervasive problem in our society: When boys are not properly taught that girls are real people, how are they supposed to deal, as men, with the terrifying reality that the women in their lives are actual, full-fledged human beings?
(Re: “Bringing death home,” news, April 2.) Rep. Nancy Todd’s, D-Aurora, claim that her main motivation for sponsoring HB 1202 is “to protect consumers” defies logic, when she admits she did not seek advice from any consumer advocacy group, but did get assistance in drafting the bill from the Colorado Funeral Directors Association (COFDA). Instead of pushing a bill that helps eliminate competition and further empowers an already corporate-dominated industry, Ms. Todd might better serve the public by listing some of the tactics employed by some mortuaries.
For example: When my mother died and our family asked to see the wood caskets at a local corporately owned mortuary, there were only two on the floor — one of cardboard and one costing more than $1,000. There was no intermediately priced wood casket on display. This may be a subtle manipulation, but consumer advocates will tell you that the casket display room is often the most traumatic episode of the process, making rational choices difficult. Unethical funeral personnel know this and will take advantage of you in your grief. We now know to ask to see the manufacturers’ catalogues to see a full range of casket prices, as any model listed can usually be delivered promptly.
Despite the dark suits and pious presentation, the funeral business is just that — a business. Noam Chomsky said it best: “This is a business-run, huckster society, and its primary value is deceit.”
An unsure verdict
(Re: “The right verdict,” Uncensored, April 9.) Pamela White has apparently confused the First Amendment with the tenure system.
The question in the Ward Churchill case was never whether or not he has a Constitutional right to spout nonsense, but rather whether the university must continue employing him now that his lack of professional integrity has come to light. The complication is that the fuss over the former led to the revelations of the latter.
The tenure system, not the First Amendment, very explicitly protected Churchill’s job when his “little Eichmanns” essay surfaced, so the anti-Churchill contingent started looking for other reasons to fire him, which they found. It turns out that Mr. Churchill is, at least to some extent, a fraud. The tenure that shielded Mr. Churchill is a two-way contract: “You get guaranteed employment for life, with summers off, and in return you adhere to professional standards.” Mr. Churchill failed to adhere to those standards.
The only relevance of the Constitution is that Mr. Churchill may have been emboldened by it to draw attention and scrutiny to himself, which is generally an inadvisable strategy for con men.
Mr. Churchill’s defenders argue that he wouldn’t have gotten caught for being a liar if it weren’t for the right-wing witch hunt, and that therefore the evidence is inadmissible. This is a little like arguing that Al Capone’s tax evasion was discovered only because Elliot Ness was out to get him and that therefore Capone shouldn’t have gone to prison. Maybe in the Churchill case there are some Colorado officials who improperly used their influence to trigger an investigation, and if so perhaps those officials should suffer some consequences, but the catalyst for the investigation does not change its findings.
I wonder what Ms. White’s reaction would be if it were discovered that a senator improperly used influence to initiate tax audits of AIG executives. Perhaps she would argue that any irregularities be overlooked because “they probably wouldn’t have been audited if not for the anti-executive witch hunt.”
The unearthing of Churchill’s deceptions and his subsequent prosecution for dishonesty is not McCarthyism, as Ms. White suggests.
It is, in fact, the exact opposite: an insistence upon honesty and integrity. In America you may believe and say whatever you want, but if you sign a contract saying you won’t make stuff up, don’t.
I agree with Ms. Pamela White’s editorial, “The right verdict,” that the decision in Churchill v. University of Colorado properly supported the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. I somewhat agree with Ms. White’s final conclusion of “But what of the jury’s ruling that Churchill should be paid $1 in damages? Perhaps that’s a sign of how much they valued his opinion.” The $1 awarded Churchill was the jury’s opinion of his value to CU as a lecturer.
Ms. White’s description of Adolf Eichmann as merely a “Nazi pencil-pusher” is wrong. Eichmann was a fanatical Nazi bureaucrat of mass murder. He participated in the Wannsee Conference (Jan. 20, 1942), which formalized the slaughter of Jews establishing all the mass killing centers such as Treblinka, Majdanek, Auschwitz and others which Eichmann visited. Back in Vienna in 1944, he single-handedly ensured that the majority of Hungarian Jews were slaughtered in Auschwitz. At war’s end he told his associates that he “would gladly jump into (his) grave in the knowledge that the war had taken the lives of 5,000,000 Jewish enemies of the Reich.” Does Ms. White really believe that Eichmann (as above) is a mere Nazi pencil pusher?
She also claims that Mr. Churchill “had the gall to call bureaucrats (not janitors or food-service workers or children) who died at the World Trade Center ‘little Eichmanns’.” I searched throughout Churchill’s essay “On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” finding no reference to janitors or food-service workers; the only mentions of children were of those killed in Iraq and Palestine.
I wonder if Ms. White had actually even scan-read that Churchill diatribe about roosting chickens. She writes that CU should reinstate Churchill. Just why should they? This is a self-manufactured American Indian who takes personal and monetary advantage of CU’s minority-hiring practices, uses grade retaliation against students who disagree with him, fudges historical facts and plagiarizes to back up his fanciful flights of imagination! This is a man who states that he will sue CU for $1 million if not reinstated; a bit later says that he is totally uninterested in money and merely wants his job back.
I think it would be good if Ms. White, and as many of her readers as possible, would take a good look at “No License to Lie” (legal analysis of case against Ward Churchill) by Claremont Institute of Colorado, (March 4, 2005) written well before firing and available at www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1361076/posts.
Not waiting to inhale
(Re: “Obama on pot,” Danish Plan, April 9.) Paul Danish never bothers to check facts before he spews bile, and consistency of thought has never yet bothered him once. True, Obama hasn’t yet come out for legalization — but if Danish bothered to look, he could see Republican, conservative, suburban pot smokers exhaling in a collective sigh of relief all over the Net. Relief that Obama is president and their daily intake does not have to be so hush-hush as it was under our previous alcoholic never-elected president.
Danish should check out Andrew Sullivan’s conservative Daily Dish where bankers and pundits and millionaires come out of the cannabis closet, or read this month’s Esquire about pot-smoking housewives and Sunday school teachers.
While we’re not at legalization yet, people are breathing and talking again because the atmosphere in the White House allows us to and is no longer quite so poisonous. Can you imagine the pot-smoking situation under Danish’s choice for president, Sen. McCain?
It always puzzles me why a paper in a place with so many good writers should choose one whose “plan” so closely resembles what might be called a “technicolor yawn,” except that it even lacks color.
(Re: “Rethinking athleticism,” Elevation, April 9.) Wow! Wonderful coverage! I, too, compete in the Athena division and love knowing that others are out there logging miles and facing the Start Line of Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Ironman Distance Triathlons! I welcome more articles about people who are “my size” and who are making their presence known on the tri-endurance, multi-sport scene! Thank you!
Carla Lynn/via Internet
(Re: “Take the ride,” Buzz, April 9.) As a longtime supporter of the Basics Fund, I am delighted to see such a well-written piece on the organization. Boulder is very fortunate to have such a special nonprofit operating out of our city. Kudos to getting the word out to your readers!
Tawny M. Frederickson/via Internet
(Re: “Shell shocked,” Overtones, April 9.) The title and the article is incorrect in stating that this person was a Mormon. According to the AP, Mormonism should only be connected to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This is to avoid the confusion from the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints who practice polygamy, and we who do not go along with multiple other different teachings. To say the fundamentalists are Mormons is completely wrong and can mislead people in thinking these churches are somehow associated with one another. I would appreciate just posting a correction somewhere on your website to correct this mistake.
Taylor Mildenhall/via Internet
Help is needed
(Re: “Reading with a full stomach,” Uncensored, April 2.) I just wanted to compliment you on the article “Reading with a full stomach.”
The OUR Center is not the only agency that has seen a huge increase in demand. As I am writing to you, our lobby is full to overflowing. The past few days I have literally had to step over people to get into my office.
I know that Emergency Family Assistance in Boulder is also experiencing an increase in demand. So many of the people we are seeing right now have never had to seek assistance before. It is a little scary, and I fear it will only get worse before it gets better.
What we could really use right now is an increase in cash donations. While we appreciate food and other in-kind donations, we need the cash to be able to continue to provide direct financial assistance (utilities, rent, etc.) to keep people from losing their homes. Thank you so much for doing what you can to keep this issue in the forefront of people’s minds.
Suzanne Crawford with Sister Carmen Community Center/Lafayette
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