Your most recent articles about the atrocity of this war and/or the righteousness of this war (March 27) have brought me to one conclusion: I need to start going to bed earlier.
There is a second conclusion: George W. Bush will not be re-elected in 2004.
Not because of bad values or lack of leadership, but because our country desperately needs a "fall guy" to cover for our recent and perhaps necessary acts of war. We can show the world community that the American public has the ability to rattle its own political structure, especially during times of dramatic international unpopularity.
If we plan to instate the idea of a dynamic democracy, we had better start demonstrating it.
On a slight tangent, Rachel Wilson is so totally wrong when she says "Your Recent Restaurant Reviews Suck" (Mailbag, March 20). Maybe her letter was just a fabrication and her underlying intent (pun possibly intended) is to score a date with James DiGiovanna. My girlfriend and I have been using Tucson Weekly's Chow section as our food bible ever since we landed in this vast desert and you haven't steered us wrong (yet). Keep up the good work.
Tom Danehy, you're such a dolt. Who's the Mongoloid that ever decided to make you a sports reporter? Every single sports item you write is nothing but trite, obvious, unfunny hyperbole that has nothing to do with sports. You're like a Midwestern hausfrau writing about sports, commenting on the pretty colors of everyone's jersey. You're such a load.
As for the A's and Mariners not wanting to play baseball on foreign soil while a foreign war is raging ("Bush-League Baseball," March 27), what in the world could possibly be wrong with that? You must be suffering from the severe effects of syphilis or brain atrophy. Terrorists operate internationally, and it would behoove any sensible high-profile, highly paid athlete to remain within the now-safe confines of the United States. Your super-idiotic article seems to suggest that in no conceivable scenario would a terrorist organization visit Japan. You declare that Major League Baseball players just don't know their history. Danehy, you're so laughably and profoundly stupid.
The First Amendment is the greatest thing to ever happen to someone like you. I guess you have the right to be a sports reporter. But you don't know sports--just be honest, you fairy.
One last thing: Of course Sandy Koufax is gay. You can't be 60 years old, be as thin as he is, and like broads.
--Diego "El Pelotero" De la O
I am getting tired of reading the attacks on our president by your wannabe political analyst, nee sports writer. Does the word microcephalic ring a bell?
Can anyone imagine the United States in time of crises being run by Bill and Madeline? Bill would be in the Oval Office, with shades drawn, doing the only thing that he is really good at, and she would be drinking tea with that nut in North Korea. Of course, during this time, Saddam and his merry band of elves would be turning out atomic weapons.
Stick to the sports page, Jock. The world is too big for you.
--Donald T. Orr
Emil Franzi tells us that those of us who oppose the war are getting most of the ink. Wow! Where does he get his news? Between the flags displayed prominently on every "news" broadcast in this country to the former military officials playing journalists on TV, I've seen very little coverage given to anyone with a strongly anti-war stance. The best we can hope for is: "No matter how you feel about this war, you must support the troops."
Franzi also lectures us that even Jeff Smith sees the "latte-bar liberals" as "ignorant" and "self-centered." As a leftist, I couldn't care less what Smith--or liberals, for that matter--think. Tell the woman who, along with her three small children, was incinerated in her car by a U.S. bomb that killed at least 20 civilians in Baghdad the other day that she's now "liberated." Tell her dead children that those of us on the left who find this invasion a sign of the moral bankruptcy, bloodlust, greed and hatred that has broken out all across the United States are just "ignorant" and "self-centered." Tell all of those who will die from new and rampant cancers from the depleted uranium left behind by the "Allies" (as the Iraqi people have been for the last 12 years) that those who inflicted this upon them really just had their best interest at heart--not their oil.
Franzi can rest assured that I don't care how many people support this war. The Nazis didn't get much opposition from the Germans when they were committing murder, either. If this were an ethical, justified war, Bush would not have had to use forged documents (see the upcoming edition of The New Yorker for a detailed account) and information that even the CIA and FBI have dismissed to attempt to justify it. You don't have to lie to your own people if your cause is just and honorable.
It amazes me that someone as politically savvy as Emil Franzi can produce the sort of nonsense ("Give War a Chance!" March 27) that ran recently.
The piece trumpets the diversity of the pro-war faction, but what is the evidence? A picture of a skinhead with a megaphone? The same tired old list of gunnies who think that EVERY problem can be solved with weapons?
Give me a break. It's an insult to our intelligence, capped by the old inflammatory canard that anti-war equals pro-enemy. If people had listened to the peaceniks, the Reagan mafia never would have been allowed to arm Hussein in the first place.
Lest you lump me with the rest of the squishy liberals, let me define myself: RADICAL. My political beliefs include the notion that although the First Amendment is indeed the most important; it is useless without the Second. The shame of it is that clinging to the Bill of Rights these days is considered radical.
What really amazes me is the supposedly "alternative" paper leading a special issue on the war with such tripe. It is like the dailies printing reams of government lies and calling it "objectivity."
But this makes your paper WORSE than the dailies. At least when they run column after column by Will, Krauthammer, Safire and other apologists for the empire, they can blame the corporate overlords who yank their chains. The Weakly has no such excuse.
You want to support the troops? Work to end this stupid, criminal war and bring them home.
It pains me that journalists like Emil Franzi of the Tucson Weekly and Jeff Smith of the Citizen continue to attempt to legitimize this war with Iraq by linking it to Sept. 11. There are no facts to back up a connection between Sept. 11 and Iraq; otherwise, the United Nations would be behind us. A recent poll shows 75 percent of New Yorkers oppose this war, and we didn't watch Sept. 11 on TV. Shame on them for utilizing Sept. 11 as a tool to fight a war that might cause another Sept. 11.
Not to worry, though--they won't be in New York then, either.
New York City
How can you be aware of what Saddam is doing to his own people and still take the position ("War Thoughts," March 20) that our military action will be more devastating to his people? In the near term and clearly in the longer term, they should be much better off than if containment and inspections were carried out for an unforeseeable time into the future.
Saddam is a direct serious threat to world peace and stability, which in turn is sufficient to convince that he is a direct serious threat to the United States. There are other leaders and countries who are as threatening or even more so to world peace and stability, but you have got to start somewhere, and Iraq is a reasonable place to begin.
Finally, you have misgivings on what the United States is now doing, but all your column indicated was a wringing of hands and no positive solution. After many years of hand-wringing by others, the United States is finally trying to arrive at an acceptable solution. I VERY STRONGLY believe it is worth the try and that it will work with sacrifice on the part of the United States, Iraqi people and many others. I hope you can be willing to give it a try and be positive, not negative.
You said ("War Issues," March 27) that when you express skepticism about the war people not only question your patriotism, but also your manhood. As a gender activist, I find it interesting that it's considered a "manly" virtue, apparently for civilians as well as soldiers, to blindly follow our unelected commander-in-chief wherever he chooses to take us, whereas if we have the courage to question authority and speak out against the unspeakable it's "cowardice."
Transgenderists face this every day. If I continue living a lie and pretend to be the "man" society expects me to be, that's a virtue. But if I have the courage to let my true self blossom, I'm a sissy.
From Rome to the Soviet Union, every empire founded on lies and force has crumbled in time. If Americans think we're the exception, that is the biggest lie of all. If we continue our present course, it's only a matter of time until we, too, are destroyed.
--Joni K. Rose
Dave Devine wrote an excellent article ("Rocky Road Redux," March 13) on the proposed Arizona Department of Transportation rockfall containment project along Highway 82 southwest of Patagonia. This project would be detrimental to wildlife and the local economy, as well as being a $2 million waste of taxpayer money.
The few rocks that reach the highway could be contained by a low wall costing less than $50,000. In the meantime, ADOT refuses to address far more serious rockfall problem areas on Highway 82 and Highway 83. There are numerous lower but narrower road cuts that shed rocks on the highway after every rain. Widening these roads cuts a couple of feet on each side and adding a small trench or fence to collect the rocks would improve these roads immeasurably. The real problems could be fixed with money leftover.
ADOT is stubborn and refuses to consider viable options that they should have considered in the very beginning. ADOT's mentality is still suffering from the Fife Symington/Jane Hull era.
So, Rachel Lieber ("My Rant Is Better! Neener Neener!" Letters, March 27), you think standing in line behind an inconsiderate senior citizen is a rant? Well, let me tell you, there could be no greater rant than standing behind a couple young ladies who are busy discussing the latest style in hairdos waiting in the same checkout line at Fry's that we seniors are standing in while waiting for you to reach into your purse to get that $5 bill out.
Sorry that it inconveniences you, but unfortunately, your young society has forced us seniors into keeping our money in the bank for fear that we will get ripped off, mugged or stolen. Yes, we are thankful for the check. We may be a little slower today than 20 or 30 years ago, but your young society has created a lot of things that we never thought we would live to see.
I don't think any of us want to apologize for being a little slow now, but most of us older seniors really wish you would slow down as you enter intersections and GET OFF THE PHONE!
I suspect Ms. Lieber ("My Rant Is Better! Neener Neener!" Letters, March 27) was talking loudly on her cell phone while in the supermarket, probably about a personal matter her fellow shoppers surely wanted to hear about, or perhaps she was calling to explain why she was running late to her next overscheduled appointment.
I'd keep an eye on my blood pressure, Ms. Lieber, otherwise you probably won't reach the age of that senior who you describe as "unable to think more than 30 seconds into the future."
Shame on you, Ms. Lieber! I hope you are treated with respect and grace should you reach such an age. Stop and smell the roses.
Perhaps in writing "Role Model" (March 27), Chris Limberis is attempting to provide a role model for yellow journalism. The expose on Francisco Moraga is a cheap shot at best and demonstrates little understanding of human nature or the criminal justice system. I was a case manager when Mr. Moraga was in the Drug Court program, and although he was not on my caseload, I remember him well precisely because he was an excellent role model.
So Mr. Moraga made a mistake--that is not unusual in the course of human events. Indeed, didn't someone once say, "To err is human?" The reporter seems to imply that somehow Mr. Moraga was treated differently because he worked for a school district or could afford a good attorney. News flash: Anyone charged with the offenses for which Mr. Moraga was charged, no matter what their life status, would have been offered the same plea agreement he received. The PIMA County Attorney's Office was instrumental in establishing the Drug Court Program and was hardly reluctant to offer such a plea--that was why the program was developed.
Mr. Moraga was remarkable in the program because he accepted full responsibility for his illegal activities and maintained a highly positive attitude throughout an extremely demanding rehabilitation program. He completed the program without a single violation, and that, too, was remarkable.
It would be nice if the world was full of only perfect people, but it is obvious, particularly in these times, that such is not the case. Mr. Moraga, I would argue, is an excellent role model for youth. He accepted full responsibility for his actions, learned from his mistakes, made changes in his life, and continued to be a highly productive citizen. What more can we ask?
My compliments to The Weekly for your coverage of the Legislature's latest efforts to loot the State Compensation Fund ("Fund For All," The Skinny Mar. 27). I am a state fund retiree and veteran of many previous battles to hold off these shortsighted actions that will negatively impact Arizona's citizens and businesses.
The state fund plays a positive role by providing a stable market for workers compensation coverage (required by all employers) at the lowest possible net cost. A combination of dividends and up front discounts has returned several hundred million dollars to Arizona employers; funds which become available for investment that creates jobs.
Private insurers tend to withdraw from the Arizona market during unprofitable business cycles. Without an alternative source of coverage, many employers would face large premium increases when they can least afford it. Our neighboring state of New Mexico formed a state fund because of private insurers' inability to provide affordable coverage.
The fund is Arizona's largest workers compensation insurer. Its elimination as an independent entity would reduce competition and result in higher business costs that will ultimately be passed along to customers; in effect a back-door tax increase imposed by self proclaimed "fiscally conservative" legislators.
--William C. Thornton
Normally, I wouldn't expect a "proto-libertarian" Republican talk-show host to have more than a superficial grasp of Western Civilization, but Emil Franzi's tirade against so-called "militant Islam" was so insipid that I almost gagged on my "Italian" spaghetti (composed of pasta invented in China and tomatoes developed by the Incas). In fact, it was Franzi's "ninth century thugs" (Muslims) who introduced Europe to such elemental aspects of "Western" thought as experimental scientific inquiry, the revival of Aristotelian philosophy, the invention of algebra and practical mathematics (ever tried to do calculus with Roman numerals?) and, of course, basic sanitation. So much of Western Civilization has been either borrowed or stolen (mostly stolen) from non-European peoples that it is impossible to draw a distinct line separating "The West" from the rest of the world, either now or historically.
Is it possible that media's current demonization of the Muslim world is an attempt to make "Red Scare"-type paranoia across America seem patriotic, and engorge the suppliers of our military-industrial complex on taxpayer dollars well into the millennium? Indeed, America's short-sided foreign policy has propped up despotic regimes such as Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and Sharon's Israel when it has been politically expedient to do so, and to expect automatic trust from the victims of these regimes is insane.
Fortunately, most Muslims know better than to be drawn into a pointless conflict over battles occurring 1,000 years ago--but the taxpayers currently bombarded with propaganda may not see the truth until too late.
--Paula Marie Miller