Well, at Least He Didn't Use the Phrase 'Sound of Freedom'

The "aesthetic" critique of military-aircraft overflights ("Make Noise About the Noise," Currents) in the Dec. 8 issue is nothing more than a red herring. As a product designer, I'd like to take the opportunity to point out that the military aircraft that grace our local skies are nothing short of beautiful.

If the chattering classes of Sam Hughes can't bear the sight of military overflights, and can't make the slightest concession to patriotism by enduring a little jet rumble, perhaps relocation to one of the world's many geopolitical freeloaders might be in order. Canada comes to mind, as does much of Europe. Bon voyage.

David Frisch

It's Time to Close the Immigration Doors

As an immigrant who used to prepare papers helping people immigrate to the United States, I must say that Teresa Kennedy's Guest Commentary, "The Immigration Debate Is Filled With Too Many "F" Words: Fundamentalism, Fear and Even Fascism" (Dec, 15), showed her ignorance of the hard realities of immigration.

The United States is overwhelmed by Katrina, high oil prices, homeland insecurity and many other problems. Our schools in many states are overflowing due largely to immigration-related enrollments. Would it be wise to continue to allow millions of foreign-born people to enter this country yearly who consume energy and need jobs, education and many other social services?

Teresa should know that Principal Norman Bernstein in a high school in Southern California was beaten unconscious in early 1999 by Latinos who told him: "We don't want you here any more, white principal." This spring, black American students in a high school in Los Angeles were told by Latino kids to "go back to Africa."

Isn't it wise to adopt an immigration moratorium for the sake of all legal residents?

Yeh Ling-Ling
Executive director, Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America

Thanks for Humoring Us, Robert

I thought that I'd respond to your "Get Out of Town!" section on W '04 bumper stickers (Dec. 15).

The last time I checked, 66 percent of the people in the United States are not satisfied with our president's handling of our occupation of Iraq. I suppose the other 34 percent believe Adam and Eve rode to church on dinosaurs.

Just thought I'd try and humor ya. Adios,

Robert Villa

But Didn't Pretty Much Everyone, Except Halliburton, End up Losing, Linda?

Dear Usual Gang of Idiots: You left an item off your list: Kerry/Edwards bumper stickers. After all, they are the LOSERS. I think you named yourselves very appropriately.

Linda Schultz

Beryllium, Even in Tiny Quantities, May be Dangerous

The fact that Brush Ceramics is on the "Get Out of Town!" list concerns me, because it indicates a continuing problem. I had seen a few patients with chronic berylliosis before I stopped practicing full-time pulmonary medicine 10 years ago, and I had developed the opinion then that beryllium compounds were more dangerous than many other inhaled dusts because of their propensity to cause disease in some individuals with very little exposure. One of my patients was not even an employee, but had been doing some installation work at the plant. My family will testify that more than once, I have jokingly told them to hold their breath driving to the airport (going past the plant).

Beryllium seems to cause a hypersensitivity reaction in a small minority of individuals, which makes it difficult to determine a safe exposure level, as a level that causes no harm in most can be devastating to these individuals. The currently recommended safe levels may be misleading, as only a very short time of increased exposure might deposit enough beryllium to eventually trigger hypersensitivity. Hypersensitivity can be tested for after exposure, but by then, it may be too late. I am not aware that any tests exist to identify susceptible individuals before exposure.

I am not an expert in this area, but my personal feelings are that all persons who might be exposed to respirable beryllium compounds in the workplace should be informed that there exists a remote possibility that they might be unusually sensitive to beryllium and that it might make them sick. If a pre-exposure screening test for beryllium hypersensitivity exists, it should be widely used. All employees should be screened not only with appropriate lung function tests, but also for beryllium hypersensitivity, and frequently. It is my opinion that previously adopted standards are not adequate to address the hypersensitivity phenomenon.

Mark Mecikalski, M.D., FCCP

Why Do We Still Have Religion in 2005-2006?

In his Dec. 15 column, Tom Danehy asks if anyone else finds it "absolutely bizarre that we still have cheerleaders in the 21st century." Well, sure, count me in; that's an easy pitch to hit, although taking a shot at the underlying reasons would have been more interesting than devoting half the column to safety.

Danehy's question made me think of other bizarre things we still have in the 21st century, and for me, religion as we know it ranks way above cheerleading, what with--depending on your persuasion--virgin birth, resurrection and other miracles, heaven, hell (everyone in one tight space, talking on cell phones), angels, devils, souls, saints, answered prayers and God, under whom this nation stands, undivided. The underlying reasons for all this would make for a really interesting column.

Walter Hurley

Let's Have Some Anti-'Star' Fun With Online Media Watch Archives!

I just fell into this site accidentally, and it has assured me that I am not as crazy as some think I am. I have noticed what seems to be a big turnover (at the Star), and one writer who I don't think is there anymore sent me a personal e-mail that showed me she was very upset with me for pointing out things I didn't like about an article she wrote. I have never had that happen before. I wondered if she was under a lot of pressure that caused her to do that.

The Red Star, as I like to call it, has been showing little imagination and can only, it seems, parrot the some old conservative-bashing stories day after day, often ignoring the truth to do so.

Eugene Cole, a registered Democrat

Long Live Skrappy's!

Just in case anyone thinks otherwise: Skrappy's is a dang good place ("Save Skrappy's!" Soundbites, Dec. 15). One unfortunate incident should not reflect badly on a great bunch of people who provide a haven for teens (it could be my teens, and it could be yours). As some police officers said, little trouble ever goes on there. I live across the street and walk by a few times a week. The kids are never a problem. Skrappy's has bands a few nights a week, and the music is never too loud--and the kids are picked up or leave promptly. It's a tightly run ship: No smoking, swearing or outrageous behavior. What happened earlier this month was an aberration.

Lynne Collins

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