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Thursday, September 2,2010

Letters | Fair is fair

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Fair is fair

[Re: “What to do about the mosque near Ground Zero,” Danish Plan, Aug. 26.] Paul Danish tells us what to do about a mosque a few blocks from the former World Trade Center. We build a giant display opposite the mosque showing the atrocities that religious fundamentalist terrorists have produced — not all atrocities, just those perpetrated by Muslims. The Danish Plan would have giant video displays rotating pictures as an in-your-face response consistent with the First Amendment.

For consistency, we must apply this tactic to all the major religions. We will also erect a display opposite the National Cathedral in Washington. On this we will show the violence perpetrated by the Christian terrorists on our abortion clinics. Never mind that the National Cathedral is operated by Episcopals who have liberal ideas about abortion. The Danish Plan will group all Christians with any terrorist practices done in the Christian name.

Ted Weverka/Boulder

A taste of his own medicine

[Re: “Stripped of dignity,” News, July 15.] Mr. Ari Zavaras, [executive director of the Department of Corrections,] I read with horror the Boulder Weekly account of your practices within the Colorado Department of Corrections, particularly your “new” strip-search procedure: “Boulder Weekly has received 10 hand-written letters from inmates at DWCF describing their experiences with the new strip-search procedure, which requires women to part and lift their labia and to pull back their clitoral hoods to prove that they aren’t hiding contraband in their vagina or vulva.”

There is nothing new here. This is plain, old violence against women, and you are a perpetrator masquerading as a corrections official. Not only should you step down from your position, you should be sentenced to time in prison for your criminal activity. What you are perpetrating is nothing less than crimes against humanity.

Jennifer Block/Boulder

Danish got it wrong

While I respect Mr. Danish’s right to free speech (“What to do about the mosque near Ground Zero,” Danish Plan, Aug. 26), I am also aware that whether something goes to print or not depends on the choice of a paper’s edisee tors. Letting Mr. Danish’s column go to print this time was a mistake, and something you should be ashamed of. Papers have a responsibility to print columns that, while certainly opinionated, don’t cite false information or spread false information. Journalism of any sort is about reporting the truth and giving accurate commentary on it. Mr. Danish’s column opens with the assumption that people organizing the mosque near Ground Zero are “Islamists.” Now, it could be assumed that an “Islamist” is someone who supports Islam, or is Muslim, in the same way that a “Buddhist” is someone who can be assumed to support or even follow the teachings of Buddha. But why not then simply refer to these people as Muslim? Actually, the word “Islamist” seems to be a conservative pop word, used in creating loaded talking points. Looking at it, we see that the word is inferred to mean, “ISLAMic ExtremIST,” or basically, “Terrorist.” So, I am arguing that Mr. Danish has all but accused these people of being terrorists, just by using that word. Add to that his ranting about how the Cordoba House is actually a triumphalist scheme in disguise, apparently pulled off by the same people that perpetrated 9/11, and we have Mr. Danish seriously accusing these people of conspiracy and terrorism. That’s not journalism, that’s simple street insults, and you printed it in your paper, for shame. The reality is that these are people who dared to believe in the American Dream of free religion, prosperity and equality under the law to the extent that they decided building a mosque dedicated to working against radical Islam within a few blocks of Ground Zero would be looked at as a sort of peace offering or, at worst, ignored. The reality is that naming the mosque after the city of Cordoba that Danish mentions being another secret triumphalist plot is in fact named so because Cordoba was a city in which Christians, Jews and Muslims co-existed in not only peace but great prosperity, learning from one another.

Ryan D. Weeks

Since you regard, not just this “mosque”, (in quotes because it will be a community center with a room to pray (“What to do about the mosque near Ground Zero,” Danish Plan, Aug. 26), just like the one they have in the Pentagon), but Islam itself as a threat to our democracy, then I have my own modest proposal: There are mosques and Muslims all over this country! 7 million of the buggers, last I heard. And they are all here to promote “sly Islamist religious triumphalism”!! They are all intent on undermining our way of life!! What is wrong with you people, wasting your precious First Amendment rights on one lousy mosque?? The United States is teeming with terrorists!!!. Why are we limiting our troops to Afghanistan??? Why aren’t we sending ‘em into Dearborn, MI? Why aren’t you demanding the dismantling of all mosques in this country and rounding up all Muslims into interment camps like we did with the Japs in WWII??? How can you in good conscience call yourself a patriot? Is this the best you can do?

Shame on you. Bob Levitt/Boulder

Personhood battle not over

[Re: “Personhood revisited,” News, Aug. 26.] Ignorance is not bliss when human lives are at stake. Katherine Creel refers to a “fertilized human egg.” Hey Katherine, there’s no such thing as a fertilized human egg. Once an egg is fertilized, it is an embryo. I’m a former embryo and so are you. The Carnegie Stages of Early Human Embryonic Development states, “The term “egg” is best reserved for ... the breakfast table.”

Monica McAfferty, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains spokesperson, said, “There’s no legal definition” for “the beginning of biological development.” It is a scientific definition that needs to be recognized by our laws, which is the goal of the amendment. Moore and Persaud’s The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology states, “Human development begins at fertilization.” The previously mentioned Carnegie Stages says, “Embryonic life commences at fertilization.”

Everyone knows when life begins, and science makes it abundantly clear. If we’re wrong, Planned Parenthood is free to let us know when life begins. And while they’re at it, they can also let us know at what age it is no longer OK to rip a baby’s arms and legs off. The fact that the previous amendment failed 3 to 1 is very similar to the agonizing defeats incurred by those trying to restore legal personhood to blacks.

They didn’t quit fighting for what is right and neither will we!

Will Duffy/Englewood

DeCoster eggs has some explaining to do

It now appears that the owner and feed supplier for Iowa’s giant Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms, associated with the recall of more than 500 million eggs, has a long record of violations.

Austin “Jack” DeCoster has paid millions of dollars in fines and restitutions for violations of food safety, worker safety, immigration, sexual harassment, animal cruelty, and water pollution laws in Maine, Maryland, New York and Iowa. Iowa’s attorney general labeled DeCoster a “habitual violator.”

More than 1,500 people have reportedly been sickened by the DeCoster eggs, but the Centers for Disease Control estimates that the actual number may be as high as 45,000. DeCoster’s lawyer’s admissions that “Contamination is common in poultry operations,” and “The notion that eggs will ever be free of salmonella is ludicrous” convinced me that this is indeed an industry-wide problem, and that eggs are not safe to eat.

I have found www.vegcooking.com/ vegcooking-eggreplace.asp very helpful in making my transition to an egg-free diet.

Stanley Silver/Boulder

Thanks for ‘Dream’ story

Just read the article “Dreaming of a future,” [News, Aug. 12] and wanted to say thank you for the very eloquently written article.

Brenda Santamaria/Boulder

Warren is right for the job

It’s about time we had someone looking out for Americans, not Wall Street. That’s exactly what the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will do, and Elizabeth Warren is the best choice for the job.

There is no time for someone to learn on the job. The middle class in this country is in dire straits. Professor Warren has carefully thought through not just the policy goals, but the implementation challenges. There will be no time-in-training; on the first day she will hit the ground running.

Senators have a powerful role in the decision, and consumers need Senators to fight for consumer rights — the best way to do that is by publicly supporting Warren and letting the president know that consumers have gone unprotected long enough.

It’s time for the Senate to stand up for Elizabeth Warren. She is the right person to lead the CFPB.

Stephen Bross/Boulder

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@ Ted, Fair is Fair 

The Washington National Catherdral is technically non-donominational. Episcopal refers to the fact that it is governed by Bishops, and not to a specific sect. 

From their website: Washington National Cathedral is a church for national purposes called to embody God’s love and to welcome people of all faiths and perspectives. A unique blend of the spiritual and the civic, this Episcopal Cathedral is a voice for generous-spirited Christianity and a catalyst for reconciliation and interfaith dialogue to promote respect and understanding. We invite all people to share in our commitment to create a more hopeful and just world.