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Sex choices

Is Mike Jones a homosexual, or is Mike Jones a sex industry worker who performs homosexual acts with homosexuals for money?

Any male sex worker, homosexual or not, should expect the majority of his customers to be male. The wider implication of interest in this story is not whether Ted Haggard is a homosexual, but whether or not sexual orientation has any relevance at all to the types of sexual acts people engage in, for money or not.

Perhaps it's not orientation, but choice. Perhaps it's not orientation, but simply a preference to indulge in pleasure. If upbringing and experiences color the development of sexual tastes, perhaps some homosexual behavior is learned, experienced and judged acceptable within a wide range of sexual practices an individual might care to sample. Others, both homosexuals and heterosexuals, might have a considerably more restricted range of sexual acceptability.

If society is going to truly come to grips with its differences and learn tolerance, perspectives that lie outside the practice of labeling behavior made in choice as an orientation should be considered.

For instance, should a man who is molested as a child, later marries and has children, and has a secret life committing homosexual acts on children be labeled a homosexual child molester?

I'd love to hear from the gay community on this.

Dan Downes

Colorado Springs

Hetero scales

Ted Haggard is now 100 percent heterosexual. This, of course, begs the question: How was this percentage measured? Is there one of those fancy, specialized scales for this purpose you know, like the kind that will measure body-fat percentage? If there is, do they come in both analog and digital forms?

If I had one of these scales, I could measure my heterosexuality percentage each morning. That way if my percentage is too high or low, I can adjust it.

Oh, what do I have to do to adjust it? Does it necessitate a change in my diet? Would adding more meat increase my heterosexuality percentage? I am thinking adding more tofu may increase my homosexual percentage.

Is being 100 percent heterosexual all that healthy? I would think a balance would be better.

I am curious: What was Pastor Ted's heterosexuality percentage prior to this big change? Was he 67 percent heterosexual and 33 percent homosexual, or maybe 24 percent heterosexual and 76 percent homosexual?

What is the recommended percentage of heterosexuality? Could those in the know help me with these questions? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Michael McMahon

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: At New Life services last Sunday, church overseers amended their claim that Haggard was "100 percent heterosexual." See Public Eye for more.

Bad drug deal

I read your recent story about medical marijuana and all its local problems ("Smokin' medicine," cover story, Feb. 8). But did you know the biggest category for drug arrests in this country is possession of marijuana? We arrest 1.5 million people a year for drug-related offenses. That is more than people arrested for murder, robbery, rape and aggravated assaultall combined!

Eight out of 10 drug arrests are just for possession. You say end this war in Iraq but when do we stop this endless, billion-dollar War on Drugs, with no end in sight?

What is the exit plan?

Casey Valenti

Colorado Springs

Meth's threat

A health crisis threatens us. It is methamphetamine abuse. Meth abuse can be in our workplaces, schools and homes. It can destroy body and mind and our community's quality of life.

Meth abuse can be stopped. Awareness is the first step.

John "Doc" Holiday

Center for Drug Awareness Colorado

Colorado Springs

Goodbye, Ms. Smith

Poor Anna Nicole.

There was so much of her, like a Triple-Scoop Sexy Sundae with all the toppings, a sticky-sweet confection of delectably absurd proportions. There was no way to eat it all, and, in the end, no way to save it, either, so it just ... melted away.

And she did it, didn't she? Boy, and how: There's a special reward for those who are willing to hurl themselves into the abyss in their quest for earthly immortality or are too fragile to control and contain all that they are.

No wonder Vickie Lynn Hogan saw so much of herself in Norma Jean Baker.

Her whole life from beginning to end was like watching the biggest, shiniest car you've ever seen, driven by a remarkably talented drunk down the wrong side of the highway. It was hard to watch, as someone said, but harder not to and, you know, she wanted you to, so badly.

I admired her for that as much as I pitied her. She showed us the warts, too, painfully earnest in her faith that we would laugh with her at her mistakes and feel along with her when the laughing stopped.

Bimbo means "baby," actually, and that's what sculpted-meringue beauties like that with little-girl voices do. The world is their parent, ready to stroke them and hand-feed them and whisk them up into its big strong arms when they fall down and their lovely lip begins to quiver and some of them, poor pretty darlings, are just as likely to get into the medicine cabinet or wander off with some dangerous stranger and come to an unfortunate end.

On the other hand, it seems almost like a fair trade in the grand scheme of things for such brief candles to glow so brightly in our memories.

Good night, Vickie Lynn. Get some rest, sweetie.

Alysabeth Clements

Colorado Springs

Comcast nightmare

As you are probably aware, Comcast has purchased Adelphia Cable and is now your cable TV and broadband Internet provider. Lucky you.

They introduced themselves to me by sending a repairman out to my house, who asked how he could get to the telephone pole "to work on the line." I showed him the way and didn't think any more of it, until about 20 minutes later, when I realized I had no Internet service. I turned on the TV, and found that my cable was completely disconnected. The repairman was gone.

After about an hour on the phone with Comcast (thank God I don't have Comcast for my telephone provider!), all I learned was they had no record of any problems with the account, billing or service-wise, and had no record of sending a tech to the house. The most they could suggest was that perhaps he was disconnecting a neighbor, and cut me off instead. But Cassandra told me they had absolutely no way of finding that out, and I would have to wait two weeks for them to send someone out to fix their mistake.

Wake up, Colorado Springs. This is the way Comcast treats their customers. Lucky you.

Thomas McCullock

Colorado Springs

Raising Arizona

Last month, Arizona raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 per hour a 31 percent increase. For those who understand the consequences of legislating a minimum wage, the Arizona Republic headline, "New wage boost puts squeeze on teenage workers across Arizona: Employers are cutting back hours, laying off young staffers" came as no surprise.

From the article: "Some Valley employers, especially those in the food industry, say payroll budgets have risen so much that they're cutting hours, instituting hiring freezes and laying off employees. ... Mark Messner, owner of Pepi's Pizza in south Phoenix ... plans to lay off three teenage workers and decrease hours worked by others. ...

"Tom Kelly, owner of Mary Coyle Ol' Fashion Ice Cream Parlor in Phoenix, voted for the minimum-wage increase. But he said, ... "It added about $2,000 per month in expenses.'

"The store, which employs mostly teen workers, has cut back on hours and has not replaced a couple of workers who quit."

These anecdotes only affirm what minimum-wage critics have been saying for 60 years. A new study by the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute (EPI) finds that for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, minority unemployment increased by 3.9 percent, Hispanic unemployment increased by 4.9 percent, minority teen unemployment increased 6.6 percent, African American teen unemployment increased by 8.4 percent, and low-skilled unemployment (no high school diploma) increased by 8 percent.

The fact that the minimum wage law passed in Colorado shows that a majority of Coloradoans remain ignorant of the minimum wage-unemployment relationship.

Regardless, a number of Colorado teens will lose or not find jobs due to that ignorance.

Steve Adams

Colorado Springs

Slow bleed

The Democrats have let slip a plan for Iraq that will surely deface our military, put them at far greater risk and will send a message to the world that we "cut and run" when things are tough. Democratic Reps. John Murtha and Nancy Pelosi are going to do more harm to the country and the Democratic party than anyone.

We shouldn't let this happen. Granted, things could be better in Iraq, but freedom doesn't come easy or cheap. Our own freedom came at a tremendous cost, far beyond what Iraq is experiencing. So let's keep this in perspective and do what's right for freedom in the world.

Sending a message to the Democratic Party leaders to support our troops while being flexible in their resolution is far better than willingly sacrificing our troops to the point where we have to pull out to save the rest of them. The "slow bleed" plan will be far more devastating than fighting the war on terror itself.

J. Ulrich

Colorado Springs

Bush, clarified

Wanda Rohlman of Manitou Springs needs to take off her rose-colored glasses ("Who's on first?" IQ, Feb. 15) concerning President Bush, saying "he hasn't done a bad job." You really are kidding, aren't you?

Wanda, in case you haven't noticed, Bush has completely trashed this country in six years. We are fighting an illegal war with an enemy that had nothing to do with the plotting of 9/11. We have amassed enormous debt that will take generations to pay off. The dollar is the weakest it has ever been; traveling overseas is crushing for most Americans.

The housing market and the economy are crashing. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs or been outsourced overseas. China owns the U.S. because of our disgraceful banking policies. America has lost its moral compass, and the rest of the world thinks we are nuts.

Tell me, what about this do you think translates into a good performance record for George W. Bush?

D.K. Heine

West Chester, Pa.

Humble pie

It always amazed me how stupid some people sound when I read their responses in the IQ section of the Indy. Then I was interviewed by Bob Campbell ("Raising our spirits," IQ, page 6) and alas, I am among the stupid-sounding.

I will never again point my snooty nose in the air when reading his column. It is so easy to think of clever answers while sitting at the kitchen table with the paper and a cup of coffee. Not so easy when the tape recorder is right in front of your face.

Nicole Grassa

Chipita Park

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