Letters | Sex trafficking


Sex trafficking

(Re: “Tracking down the trafficked,” News, July 25.) Thank you for publishing this piece about this very real and very disturbing societal issue. I find all aspects of it to be appalling, from the demand for sex with children to the damage it does to their lives.

One aspect of this trade that was not raised in the article is the use of chemical addiction to enslave these young women. Through volunteer work, I have learned that the pimps not only hang out in locations where vulnerable kids can frequently be found, but that they use alcohol and street drugs to entice them to cooperate. If they can get them hooked on these substances, it becomes easier to manipulate them, as drugs or alcohol rise to the top of the person’s survival priority list. When these children are “recovered,” breaking the addiction has to be added to the vast list of other forms of treatment and therapy they receive.

Dena McClung/via Internet

Privatize this

Capitalism’s privatization vultures are hovering over the U.S. 36 and I-25 highway corridors. Dave Anderson’s article (“The impacts of privatizing the turnpike,” July 18) lays out the framework by which the plug-uglies from investment banker Goldman Sachs and a consortium of capitalist soulmates are planning to rip off the Colorado taxpayer to additionally line their own greedy, filthy rich pockets.

The concept of the privatization of public resources and services is simplicity itself: Let the public, through direct or indirect taxation, assume all the monetary risk and let the largely unregulated capitalist theft system reap all the profits.

Anyone who puts the least credibility in Goldman Sachs and friends to manage and/or potentially own longstanding public services is either a congenital idiot or a cynical investor whose social philosophy is the public be damned.

Anderson’s article has pried open the lid to the Pandora’s Box of allowing casino capitalism to venture into the public sector. It also raises questions that BW might answer in future articles, such as:

• Did the General Assembly authorize the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to conduct negotiations to privatize services associated with U.S. 36 and Interstate 25? If so, who introduced the enabling legislation? And who ultimately signed off on the contract? Was Gov. Frackenlooper the signee, or was he otherwise involved with the contracting process?

• Were conflicts of interest ever considered during contract negotiations?

• Was the consortium awarded a single-source contract, or was there an open bidding process authorized by CDOT? Did any sort of bribery or actionable influence peddling accompany the contract process?

• Will public employees be fired or otherwise replaced by private sector workers? Will labor unions or the right to organize be discouraged or forbidden by the private corporations?

• Why should a private organization be allowed to set toll fees on a publicly owned asset? That should solely be the prerogative of the public entity.

• Why should a private consortium be allowed to prohibit any public road improvements near “their” toll road in order to maximize its profits through the forced deterioration of alternative publicly owned transportation routes and facilities?

• Why has the contract been allocated for 50 years? Due to peak oil and its global ramifications, the taxpayer may be held ransom to agreements not socially nor economically valid even five years from now, much less 50 years.

And there are many other questions that need answering.

What needs to be done is to cancel the (CDOT) contract without compensation, refer the entire matter to the General Assembly and affected regional governments, and, if necessary, put the whole question of whether to privatize any state-owned public resource or service on a statewide referendum no sooner than 2018.

It is also time to deprivatize — without compensation — all public resources and services privatized at all levels of government during the past 50 years.

Dave Morton/Longmont

Savage response

(Re: “A dose of erotica and call me in the morning,” Savage Love, July 4.) Dear Dad, oh, excuse me, Dan. Please. I don’t need one more man telling me he knows better my sexuality than I do, much less a gay man like you, quoting another man (gay or straight, it really doesn’t matter, except that a gay man proclaims sexual disinterest in women altogether — except in some cases such as … trying to be straight, marrying a woman for children etc.).

It’s about the same as a men’s group in Boulder sporting some ferocious animal totem being led by a woman who’s never had children but makes it her profession to regress people into infantilism on every level.

— Really Roaring Rageful Ranter Ruby Rain/via Internet

Twain and the ‘N’ word

As most Americans find the hypocritical foolishness of the scandal built around something Paula Deen said over two decades ago, I am reminded of one of the “classic” examples of the same kind of politically correct hogwash. Only a few days ago, I was talking to a recent high school graduate and asked her what she knew about Mark Twain. Basically she had heard the name but that was it.

Several years ago, the books of one of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, were removed from many school libraries because in his books, he used the “N” word. No one bothered to mention that Twain was a lifelong abolitionist who actively spoke out for the rights of the black man and fought against slavery.

This first came to my knowledge when I watched a movie about one of Twain’s lesser-known books by the name of Pudd’nhead Wilson. The evil of slavery was clearly revealed in this work.

In Twain’s better-known works, he was more subtle. He wrote stories that both the pro-slavery and the anti-slavery folks would enjoy. In Huckleberry Finn, one of the main characters was “N***** Jim.” Jim was a slave and Huck’s close friend. When Jim sought to escape to freedom, Huck assisted him. The readers on both sides of the slavery issue found themselves hoping that Jim would succeed in his quest for freedom. This was Mark Twain’s intention. He was generating sympathy for the slave.

In visiting Twain’s Connecticut home, I was surprised to learn that Twain’s next-door neighbor was none other than Harriett Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Twain and Stowe worked together in their efforts against slavery. The books of both authors contained the “N” word. But whereas Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a blatant attack against slavery, Twain’s works were more subtle, trying to open the eyes of readers who weren’t thinking about slavery one way or the other.

Stowe’s works are honored in our schools. Twain’s are not. What asinine foolishness.

This is only one of many examples of how politically correct insanity has robbed the younger generation of a good education in favor of political extremism. God have mercy on us!

Steve Casey/Stonewall, La.