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A Reader Objects to Tobacco Ads in the 'Weekly'

A golden sun rises on sparkling green leaves. A rustic-looking shed with a mighty thunderbird stenciled over a wide-open door displays tobacco drying in the cool high-desert breeze. A sunflower is encircled with perfectly symmetric leaves of tobacco, while in the center of the flower, the image of a buff Indian in a full ceremonial headdress takes a skyward hit on a sacred feathered peace pipe. Ever wonder what Chief Perfect Pectorals has packed into that pipe? Why, none other than additive-free American Spirit from the Santa Fe Tobacco Company, right?

Well, probably not.

Native American groups have denounced the image used on the package as being an exploitative racial stereotype. Would it be OK to have a brand of cigarettes called "African Spirits" with the silhouette of a Zulu warrior poised to chuck a spear? I think not. In fact, American Spirit cigarettes and Santa Fe Tobacco Company have nothing to do with Native Americans, although they claim a portion of each pack sold goes toward helping Native Americans. Wow, that's really big of them.

I realize that this evil corporation--which is owned by R.J. Reynolds, by the way--is shelling out a pretty penny for that full-page, full-color advertisement--but I would like to believe that a publication as progressive and forward-thinking as the Tucson Weekly would think better of accepting money from an organization that makes huge profits from selling products that have been proven to injure and kill.

I do not bring publications into my home that feature tobacco advertising (like Rolling Stone and Time) and now, unfortunately, I have to add the Tucson Weekly to this list. Please let me know when you have discontinued taking blood money from tobacco companies, so I can resume reading and enjoying the Tucson Weekly.

Chris Wagganer


Connie Tuttle Needs to Stop Writing About Her Bad Moods

How is it that week after week, Connie Tuttle is allowed the luxury of a column by merely taking some bad mood and her personal judgments and spinning them into some societal ill? Her latest

(Sept. 27) struck me as another example of this.

If I were a salesperson, and some woman brought in a pillow she had slept on for a month, with no receipt and no packaging, I think I might be a little dismayed myself, and I'd have a hard time disguising my irritation with the customer's odd sense of entitlement. Let's think about the worker--perhaps she has had a long day of work, and by work, I mean something other then writing self-indulgent rants.

As for the diet-soda offense ... if Tuttle is moving through the mall looking for examples for an article, she may have been sportin' her own bit of attitude. Who knows? I'll say this: When you are feeling shitty, you find shitty.

Don't confuse cynicism with intellectualism.

Emily Hallowell


Anti-War Protester Disagrees With War Supporter Who Disagreed With Anti-War Commentary

I am a regular participant on the anti-war side. I was near the scene of the incident described by Donald Smith (Veteran: Anti-War Demonstrators Aren't So Innocent," Mailbag, Oct. 4) in which a person he calls "an anti-war advocate" allegedly smashed a video camera. I did not witness the incident, but spoke with several people who did. He was not a regular anti-war protester; neither I nor any of the witnesses had ever seen him. No one I have spoken with has seen him since that day. I don't know exactly what conclusions may be drawn from those facts, but it is important to state two truths: The man's behavior was not typical of anti-war protesters at that location, and it was an anti-war protester who called the police when the trouble started.

Gretchen Nielsen's characterization (Guest Commentary, Sept. 13) of the ongoing Wednesday-morning drama is more accurate. Speaking for myself, yes, I do "mingle," as Smith puts it, with the pro-war people by standing peacefully on the public sidewalk with my sign. I am not "looking for confrontation." Since I am there to protest the recruitment of young people to be cannon fodder in an illegal war of aggression, I think it fitting that I stand as close as I can get legally to the recruiting center. I don't wish to prevent the pro-war people from being there, too. I just wish they would respect my personal space and refrain from crowding me with their flags and yelling obscene insults in my face.

I share Mr. Smith's hope that observers will come and see for themselves what is going on. They will see that it is the pro-war people who consistently behave in a "rude and brutish" way.

Kim Mathews


Anti-War Letter Writer Uses Double-Standards

Donald Smith confesses to "some isolated rudeness" on the part of pro-war demonstrators. At the same time, comically, he offers a mere three examples (assuming they're not just hearsay) of "rude and brutish" behavior on the part of anti-war protesters, while wanting us to think this is a common thing.

Supposedly, the anti-war protesters "routinely mingle with the pro-military demonstrators, looking for confrontation." You'd think with all of this routine mingling--especially after a few years of doing it at protests--they would have produced plenty of good examples for Smith's scrapbook. Instead, we get this little gem as his last example: "This group pushed its way through troop supporters." If that's brutishness, I think Smith should stay away from the Tucson Mall around Christmas.

If these are the best examples Mr. Smith has, I have a sneaking suspicion that the rudeness of the doves has been just as "isolated" as that of the hawks. Conservatives seem to have a real penchant for double-standards these days.

Matt Peters


Veteran: Soldiers Want the Truth, Even If It Hurts

In his letter supporting the behavior of pro-war demonstrators, Donald Smith peddles the canard that anti-war protests should cease, because they demoralize our forces in Iraq. He is saying, in other words, that troops should be denied such truths as:

President Bush lied when he claimed that he led us into war because Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There were no WMDs, and his advisers had told him so.

When his lie was exposed, he claimed we went to war for democracy. If he was genuinely interested in promoting democracy, why didn't he choose to democratize Saudi Arabia, which gave us 15 of the 19 terrorists on the Sept. 11 attack planes, and which some political scientists consider one of the most autocratic nations?

Smith claims we are there to eliminate terrorists, yet Iraq has been the breeding ground of countless more terrorists than existed on Sept. 11, 2001.

We went to war to control Iraq's oil. So said Alan Greenspan, the Republican former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.

War protestors want to bring the troops home alive instead of sacrificing their lives for oil.

When I was in the Army in Europe during World War II, my buddies and I welcomed the truth, even when it hurt, even when we learned, for example, of the blunders that were so costly before the Battle of the Bulge. I respect our troops enough to believe they, too, want the truth.

Milton Schwebel


Corrections

In "Italian You Can't Refuse" (Chow, Oct. 11), the chef of Mona Lisa Corleone Sicilian Restaurant was incorrectly identified as Gianluca Puccia. His name is Gianluca Interrante.

In TQ&A (Oct. 11), Nina Rabin was incorrectly identified as the director of the Florence Immigration and Refugee Rights Project. She is the director of the Protecting Women's Rights at the Border Initiative.

We apologize for the errors.

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