As an employee in Dr. Michael Hammer's lab at the UA, I wanted to call to your attention the grave inaccuracy of titling Dr. Hammer's lecture at Temple Emanu-El (City Week, December 5) "Genetic Engineering." Dr. Hammer, and other researchers in the growing field of human population genetics, are doing nothing of the sort. Rather, they are using the abundant genetic tools made possible by the sequencing of the human genome, to answer questions about human history. This research is in no way "engineering" humans nor is it altering our genetic makeup. The article would have been more accurately titled "Jewish Genetic History." As the weekly paper in the foremost research center of Arizona, I suggest you employ a "science editor" to prevent mistakes such as these in the future. Dr. Hammer and his colleagues have been the victims of bad press in the past due to the lack of understanding on the part of news reporters. In addition, you may want to get a new copy editor: I believe you meant to refer to Jews as "wandering" nomads, not "wondering" nomads.
--Sarah B. Kingan
I am responding to the poor gentleman in your (December 5) Mailbag who was bent out of shape because of an ad placed by our band (not organization) "Zero Tolerance Task Force." (We are far from organized.)
First, California's rolling blackouts are indeed a fabrication with recent indictments making the news last month. Several California public utility companies helped Enron falsely jam the state's transmission grid to raise energy prices. Since that is a matter of public record, let's move on to the ad for our album "Punk Rockery," placed for Toxic Ranch records. We suggest 9/11 was as preventable as California's rolling blackouts.
A large chunk of Bush's cabinet contains ex-Enron execs or companies with close questionable dealings on Enron. They have close ties with our intelligence community and are active participants in U.S. foreign policy.
Rather than thwarting this 9/11 disaster, I believe our intelligence community and the current administration simply "let it get past them." Ask the CIA op "Buzzy" about his criminal insider trade. He purchased "put" options on our airline industry the day before 9/11. Ask the D.C. Air National Guard why they stood down that day, or the 400 9/11 victims' families suing George W. Bush for complacency. Plans to monitor and prevent this catastrophe were abandoned by the Bush administration.
Our country is run by murderers. And the people of this country will soon learn what it's like to share the collective guilt of Germany. Me, I'm gonna flip through some of the porn and sex ads in the back of this issue.
aka Rev. Nero Oralson
In response to Phil Wade's recent letter (Mailbag, December 5) and my ongoing responsibility to the community I will attempt to rescue him from his own self-imposed black-out and shed some light into what I can only term a rather dimly lit space.
While his rant was something akin to a scattergun full of birdshot, I'll just comment on a couple of issues here. First off, Mr. (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld is in no way an elected official, nor is his immediate superior King George. These people (nicest term I can use here) are selected officials. Not selected by anybody you or I know or most likely would care to know.
Nor in any way was it suggested that Ronald Dumsfeld is/was the D.C. sniper. However, given the attitude and political posturing of the current administration, I'm greatly relieved to know thus far that these people are going directly home at night upon leaving the office.
Please excuse any tardiness to your communication as I have been away lending my time and energies to the annual poppy harvest in Sri Lanka.
Editor's note: Dr. Knowledge's pearls of wisdom appear on the back page of The Weekly.
Renée Downing's lie/lay column (Grammar Goddess, October 31) was right on--except she missed the biggest travesty of all: Even the most educated, I've noted, say unto their dogs, "Go lay down!" instead of "Lie down!"
--Dean Prichard, Editor
The Tombstone Epitaph