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Viva O'Sullivan and Her Cultural Views!

Way to go, Catherine. I couldn't agree more with your well-written sentiments (Guest Commentary, Aug. 25). And I'm a conservative.

If Mr. Bumper Sticker and others like him think Tucson is a tough town for mono-linguists, try Nogales or Douglas. Then again, that might mean expanding their intellectual/cultural comfort zone. Viva Tucson and its Mexican heritage!

Joel Eliot


Boo to O'Sullivan and Her Hypocritical Views!

I usually don't feel compelled to point out hypocrisy or ignorance, but in the case of Catherine O'Sullivan, I can't resist. Catherine must have felt very warm and fuzzy in her self-righteousness as she laughed at the owner of the "America" bumper sticker for making the assumption that America equals the United States. While I'm sure this individual is not one of the cultural elite that Catherine obviously believes she is, Catherine is guilty of making a similar assumption herself.

When describing a list of locales more appropriate for the "America" bumper sticker than the packed-with-culture Tucson area, Catherine mentions Wildwood, Mo. Wildwood is actually one of the most exclusive suburbs of Saint Louis, in which the median household income is more than $90,000. As much as she and others would like to make Tucson into something it is not, try to appreciate the true diversity of the United States (yes, even the diversity that is not politically correct or might make you uncomfortable), and freedom of speech and opinions that are different from your own.

William Staerker


O'Sullivan Needs to Get Over Her White Guilt

Regarding Catherine O'Sullivan's whiny article about white culture: Stop your white guilt now. To say that the "white culture" is nonexistent is absurd. You live it everyday.

You should be ashamed to dismiss the impact on this nation by "white culture." With your surname being O'Sullivan, I might assume that you are of Irish descent. If this is true, why don't you look at the Irish culture to see if it has some celebrations, foods, architecture and beers that might get you excited?

JC Livingston


Regarding O'Sullivan's Views on Beer...

Your column celebrating American culture was a good grin. However, about the beer: You refer to Corona and San Miguel as preferable alternatives to the American bottled water called Budweiser. Surely, you weren't inferring that San Miguel is a Mexican beer. It is a wonderful pilsner from the Philippines. As to Corona, there is a reason it is the most popular Mexican beer in the United States (please refer to canoe joke).

Here's my American beer joke--a true story. We were in Australia, where we enjoyed an amazing beer bash. Late in the evening, one of the hosts comes staggering up with his dog. The dog's name was Freddie. This guy has both hands behind his back, and says "Hey, Yank! You know what we call this in Australia?" as he pulls one arm around to reveal a bottle of Corona. "We call this piss! And you know what we call this?" He reveals a can of Budweiser in the other hand: "We call this weak piss!" He pours some Corona in Freddie's bowl, and the dog laps it right up. He then put some Budweiser in the bowl, and the dog refused to drink it!

Yeah, it is a blessing living here, and you only listed a few of the reasons. Kudos to the Weekly for putting the word "pendejo" in public print.

Thom Lewis


School Problems Often Come From Bad Teachers, Too

Well, it looks like Tom Danehy's back at his usual self-righteous, ill-informed ranting again. Of course, this time, he's doing it with the words of some unnamed teacher named "Rudy." Unlike Rudy, I am willing to use my real name to present an opinion about some of the classroom problems in this city ... problems that start with some of the teachers.

My 13-year-old daughter has been in TUSD's self-contained gifted-and-talented program for the past five years. Although she's never been wild about the program, I have insisted that she stay because of my own experience in "gifted" programs in public schools. In the Globe and Chandler school districts, I found that we always had the best teachers that those districts had to offer. I was encouraged to expand my knowledge of and exposure to the world around me. This is what I wanted for my daughter.

For the first four years, the program and its teachers were everything I'd hoped they would be. They were the best of the best who adored children and teaching. Unfortunately, along with many other parents, I would eventually find that not all teachers are like that. We finally ran into a teacher who seemed to prefer belittling and degrading students to teaching them. No matter how much time I put in with my daughter, she couldn't seem to get a lot of the concepts, even though this teacher was in what had always been my daughter's strongest subject, math. Apparently, this was nothing new. But the kids found their opinions and ideas about the world around them dismissed. The girls were told that they were weak and would need to depend on a man when they grew up--and flat-out told they were wrong when they objected. When they struggled with new concepts, they were told that they just weren't trying. Unlike previous years, I was not given e-mail addresses or phone numbers to get in touch with the teacher--something I have always considered vital. It was a mess.

After these experiences, I began working to find alternatives to public education. They fell through, and she was forced to return to the same school this year, I am no longer convinced that TUSD is the best place for her and will continue to seek alternatives.

"Rudy" just makes me feel stronger about that. Perhaps "Rudy" should look at himself and ponder whether he is part of the problem. Maybe he isn't. Maybe he's one of the wonderful teachers my daughter had in grade school. However, a man who says he's not using his real name because he doesn't want to be a "lame duck" really raises my suspicions. If you are teaching the students you have this year, it doesn't matter what next year's class thinks of you. I think "Rudy" is merely making excuses and doesn't want to face a parent who might be able to offer the other side of the story, publicly or privately.

Kimberly A. Doss-Cortes


Banks' Piece: Engaging and Compelling, but Lacking Analysis

I'm ambivalent about Mr. Banks' recent article ("Images From the Battleground," Aug. 11) because I like to see the Weekly publish articles about the immigration issue--it is, after all, the United States' current human rights tragedy--but I didn't care for the way the article slanted. It left out so much necessary analysis.

On one level, it was good journalism: engaging story, compelling language and rich descriptions. While the ranchers are in a predicament and deserve sympathy, the pathos of the plight of the immigrants isn't even addressed. The immigrants are nearly always people who are fleeing economic catastrophe--a catastrophe that is due in part to U.S. economic policy and NAFTA-decimated peasant agriculture in Mexico.

Mexicans are not the kind of people who will just sit down and die, and we shouldn't expect them to do so. Hopefully, we will ask ourselves, "What kind of people are Americans?" And hopefully, we will look in both our hearts and our pocketbooks to address the despair that drives these people to risk their lives in search of some form of viable living that the capitalist system has deprived them of.

Chris Nelson


Banks' Article Illustrated an Important Truth

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." --Arthur Schopenhauer, philosopher, 1788-1860.

The truth about the invasion of our country by hoards of illegal aliens has reached the second stage of awareness--the open-borders crowd is violently opposing any discussion of the issue. That's where all the yelling comes from--it's called the "heckler's veto," and they are using it to stifle American freedoms of speech and of the press. The sooner we can get to the third stage, the better.

Once it is self-evident that we are being systematically invaded for the benefit of the greedy, the better off all Americans will be--because the greedy will be sitting in jail cells. Hiring, housing or helping illegal aliens to continue their illegal presence is a felony, and the illegals' employers, landlords and bankers could be doing time in the gray-bar hotel, if only the feds enforced the law.

Instead of threatening the victims of the illegal invasion, as you printed in the excellent article, the feds should be threatening the beneficiaries of the invasion with serious jail time. That was what I found most disturbing --that honest American citizens were being threatened by the feds for protecting their lives and livelihoods.

Janet Conroy


Banks' Piece Was Enlightening, Says a Liberal

I found Leo W. Banks' piece on the border, as experienced by the people who own ranches or homes in that area, to be very enlightening and also very scary.

I'm liberal, humanitarian and vegetarian, and generally I have no sympathy for rancher-types. However, I can totally understand why these folks are terrified, and I have absolute sympathy for their situation. They probably can't sell their land or homes now, without basically giving them away. They are as caught in the crosshairs as the illegal crossers.

The people responsible for this situation are, in this order, the U.S. and Mexican governments for their failed policies, and the scum-sucking bastards who make their living as coyotes and drug runners. Everyone else is a victim.

Rita Gibbs


One Fine Night at a Local Country Club...

Joey Moncarz' guest commentary (Aug.11) raises a very interesting question. Could it be that the "Don't talk politics at work" (or anywhere, for that matter) mantra is responsible for the widespread ignorance we Americans have of what our own government is doing?

In a time of war, it is even more imperative that we discuss what is happening. Like Mr. Moncarz, I work in the hospitality industry, but at an upscale country club that is mostly Republican. However, there are pockets of Democrats, and I'll never forget this one evening when a member sat at the bar discussing with me how disgruntled she was with our draft-dodging, war-mongering president. A passing busboy (young Republican UA student) spoke up about his support for the invasion and our need and justification for being there.

This member asked, "If you support this war, then why aren't you over there? This country needs you." To this, he answered, "I am in school." She fired back, "You can put school on hold and come back after the war, possibly disabled, to finish your degree." This silenced him.

I was pleased to witness this senior citizen render this young Republican speechless. The wisdom she was sharing was not lost on me or the others who witnessed this exchanged. He quit a few weeks later, but I wouldn't bet that he signed up for military service.

Richard Dooley

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