Danehy: Go Learn Some Spanish, Research the Cold War

Unfortunately, Tom Danehy's recent article (April 6) hasn't shed any more light on the immigration "debate" than what's been out there in the media. His writing sounds more like a piece of GOP propaganda than what I would call "serious journalism."

His comments about a 12-year-old Phoenix resident who walked out of school to protest immigration bills are disconcerting. Danehy would be better off if he "got (his) ass back to school," learned some Spanish and became more culturally sensitive to the issues facing immigrants in this country. His article is condescending toward Hispanics and full of misrepresentations. It also lacks political insight. If millions of Latin Americans and other ethnic groups are flooding the United States, it is because of a lack of opportunities in their homelands. In the '70s, at the peak of the Cold War, while Latin Americans were fighting for a better life in their homelands, U.S.-financed military governments throughout Latin America and the world were helping destroy any social movements that, in the eyes of Americans, had any resemblance of "communism."

We are seeing the result of this today in what Danehy would probably call "illegal immigration" or "illegal aliens." (I love this expression!) People are coming to this country not because they necessarily love the American way or the way they are treated, but because of a lack of economic opportunities that stems back to the Cold War. Please, put your article in political perspective and give Latinos the respect that they deserve. No matter what happens, immigrants will NOT leave this country. Make sure your GOP lawmakers do the right thing and pass an immigration bill that contemplates the rights of hard-working immigrants.

Juan Alvarez

People Eat Bugs All the Time--Get Over It!

Re: Saxon Burns' article about clandestine insects in strawberry soy milk ("Bug Juice," Currents, April 6): If you think that you don't eat insects on a regular basis, you're fooling yourself. Any plant food that is sold will contain lots of insects/insect parts, with the blessing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Since insects are unavoidable in plant foods, and the risks of eating insects commonly found on agricultural plants are no more than the risks of eating anything else in the universe, the FDA approves of a certain number of insects in foods such as peanut butter, tomato sauce, jelly, cornmeal, wheat flour (any grain flour), chocolate, dried beans, frozen vegetables, spices and coffee (

www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/dalbook.html ). For example, it's totally legal for a package of frozen broccoli to have up to 60 aphids per 100 grams.

Our fear of insects, whether in our food or in our home, is largely based on misinformation and sensationalism. In fact, insects make essential contributions to the nutrition, flavor and cultural inspiration of foods around the world, and it is ignorant to think we can, or should, eradicate them from our own diets. So, if Peggy Raisglid wants to ban strawberry soy milk from her restaurant, may I also suggest excluding lettuce, tofu, orange juice, tea, honey, curry powder, pasta, pepper, chiles, beans and tortillas.

Marci Tarre

Hooray! We Finally Reached the "Semi-Interesting" Level!

While your article on the spread of buffelgrass was semi-interesting, the notion that this problem even remotely compares with overdevelopment is revolting to say the least. Unwanted grasses can be eradicated. The same is not true for desert that has been developed.

I have lived in the Tucson area since the early 1950s. The Sonoran Desert in its pristine state is the most beautiful desert in the world, and during the last 50 years, I have been watching it disintegrate. In the late '60s/early '70s, wealthy California land developers began buying up huge tracts of land around Tucson for future development. The rest is history.

Personally, I would much rather look at endless expanses of buffelgrass than look at endless expanses of tract homes inhabited by plastic yuppies with their ugly SUVs.

Kirk Williams

Hey, GOP: There's a Difference in Discretionary, Nondiscretionary Income

I just finished reading Jim Nintzel's article about the tax reform proposals floating around the state Legislature ("Break Point," April 6), and I had to point out a flaw in the logic of Sen. Dean Martin who actually argued: "For someone who's making $25,000 a year, saving $100 off your taxes feels the same as someone who is making $250,000 getting a $1,000 cut." The senator confuses discretionary and nondiscretionary income.

Both of his hypothetical taxpayers have to shoulder minimal basic costs of living, including such costs as rent/mortgage, food and medical expenses. For the sake of argument, let's say this amounts to $20,000 per year, which is probably close to accurate, but my argument will hold no matter what figure you pick. This leaves the $25,000-per-year income earner with only $5,000 of discretionary income, and the $250,000 per year earner with $230,000 of discretionary income. (Of course, the higher-income earner likely spends more on rent, etc., but that is a choice and not a necessity.)

I think it is clear from this example that a graduated tax scheme is not class warfare, but common sense. My guess is that in Sen. Martin's manicured world, expenses include such things as surround sound for his plasma TVs and fuzzy dice for his Hummer's rear-view mirror. With a worldview like this, he'll make a fine Republican candidate for president, and I'm sure his Tax Foundation supporters will enjoy that familiar, discretionary tickle of the White House champagne.

Matt Scholz

It's Time to End Things on a Nice Note

I just wanted to say I really enjoy your paper, and I think you provide a very valuable service to the community. You have a finger on the pulse of Tucson that outmatches any other paper, and have been fearlessly honest with the community.

Not many papers print degrading letters toward their editor or staff. I look forward to the latest issue every Thursday, seeing Hightower expose Wal-Mart's heads for the greedy ... pigs they are. I think the founder would fire them, if he was still living, for ruining his company's reputation. Danehy's column always makes me think about the philosophy of life and the little truths that can be found in his children and the world around him. Tuttle's column always gets a laugh and gets me looking hard at how much the advertising business is ... well ... watch George Carlin rant about it; I feel the same way.

I felt this praise was long overdue, and I do so love to piss off the holier-than-thou class. Anyway, here's to you, Tucson Weekly, and to many years of success. Show the journalism world how it's done! I think the Tucson Weekly firmly proves that one of the slogans from Bookman's proves to be true. Censorship: the assassination of an idea.

Jay Busby

Corrections and Clarifications

In "Safety Stand" (Currents, April 20), the Office of Special Counsel was incorrectly identified as being part of the Department of Justice; it is actually an independent agency.

The April 20 Summer Guide 2006 was not identified as an advertising supplement, as it should have been.

We apologize for the goofs.

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