Are Those Black Helicopters We're Hearing?

Is Jim Nintzel channeling Arizona Daily Star political reporter Daniel Scarpinato? How else to explain the nearly identical columns the two penned on the Security and Prosperity Partnership ("Real Leadership From Republicans in the Legislature," The Skinny, Dec. 7)?

Jim/Daniel ridiculed state Sen. Karen Johnson's concern over the SPP that many believe is a precursor to a sovereignty-sapping North American Union modeled on the European Union.

There are really two issues here: lazy, opinionated reporters, and the facts about the SPP/North American Union. On any other story, would either gentleman say, "Well, we checked the Internet, and someone else asked the White House spokesman about it, so there's nothing to it?"

At the risk of actually looking for facts, I suggest the Star/Weekly talk to Dr. Robert A. Pastor. He is the director of American University's Center for North American Studies. Check out their Web site at Contemplate for a moment the center's mission statement: "to educate a new generation of students for a North American journey comparable to one begun in Europe five decades ago."

Pastor writes extensively for news media and is quite open about his belief in an E.U.-like North American community composed of the United States, Mexico and Canada, with a common currency, custom union and border. Pastor is no ivory-tower theorist; he is an advisor to the SPP.

Before we get too far along on the professor's "North American journey," would it be too much to ask that media drop the sarcasm and report on the issue honestly?

Mike Taylor

Letter Writer Showed True Colors With Name-Calling

I'm glad Shane Terpstra took the time to enlighten us all about liquor laws and insult Catherine O'Sullivan's intelligence by assuming she wasn't aware of them ("Claim: Longhorn Was Just Following ID Laws," Mailbag, Dec. 7). While he was at it, he took the opportunity to refer to her as a "dumb cunt"--a phrase that is both ableist and misogynist. The fact that he managed to pull off two forms of bigotry in such a short phrase would be my first clue that he's in no position to assess whether a South African man experienced racism when he tried to order a beer in Tombstone (O'Sullivan, Nov. 16).

Ironically, two paragraphs later, he asks, "How the hell do you expect people to take your side on issues when you just belittle them?" That's a damn good question.

Incidentally, Shane might want to consider some of the opinions about undocumented immigrants in the Tombstone Tumbleweed before he absolves "everyone white from a small Arizona town" and accuses O'Sullivan of looking for racism "where it most likely isn't." I'm sure there are plenty of good folks in Tombstone who would never treat people differently because of their race, ethnicity or nationality, but at the same time, I'm sure there are more than a few who would.

Matt Peters

Mexicans Aren't Being Scapegoated; They're Trying to Take Over America!

Sorry to see Catherine O'Sullivan's ridiculous column in the Tucson Weekly (O'Sullivan, Nov. 30). She apparently sees everything through bleeding-heart lenses that are killing this country. The real victims in this country are Americans! They are being forced to pay for literally millions of illegal lawbreakers--now thought to be 34 to 40 million here already! It is bankrupting every state. The House Committee on Homeland Security has just come out with a new report that states in 2005, 4 million to 10 million illegals snuck in, and that Hezbollah terrorists are definitely here already, and that 11 million pounds of cocaine have come through Mexico. Check it out yourself at the U.S. House Web site.

Americans are being forced to pay for illegals' medical bills while 40 percent of Americans can't afford medical insurance and our veterans many times are refused treatment. Americans are the ones paying for illegals' education. Americans are paying for illegals' prison stays and court due process. We are getting every country's murderers, rapists, child predators, etc. They have brought in deadly diseases we have never even had.

Americans are the most generous people in the world. We are always helping people in other countries (especially Mexico), but we cannot afford to take in the world's poor. None of the above happens with "real," legal immigration, because we only take in the people who have the skills we need. That is why illegal immigration is killing our country, displacing Americans from their jobs and costing us more than $60 billion a year. And Mexico has its own agenda of taking over the Southwest, even though they only owned it for 24 years. The illegal aliens coming from Mexico owe no allegiance at all to our nation, just to Mexico; they want what they can get out of us. They are being told to arm themselves.

Bring back some truth in reporting, and notice that our newspapers don't tell us how many are coming in anymore, nor what it's doing to each state!

Laura Leighton

We Found This Letter Kind of Weirdly Vague and Disturbing

Regarding the article "Godless in Tucson" (Nov. 30): I found Ingrid Saber's sign, "If you feel creepy, shed Godizm," weirdly vague and disturbing. (But that was probably the point.) If I feel creepy, I either go see a slasher movie, toss a little Alice Cooper on the stereo or pull my panties out of my crack. God bless freedom of speech.

Patti Bridges

When It Comes to Morals, It's About Personal Responsibility

I was a little surprised that your article "Godless in Tucson" did not touch on the issue of personal responsibility that many atheists, myself included, support or embrace.

Not only do I find that I am much happier and calmer in my life since I stopped attending the church of my upbringing (22 years ago); I also find myself very empowered by the knowledge that it's up to each one of us--up to me personally--to make our own lives the best they can be and make the world a better place. This is the opposite of amoral thinking; and I have lived every day of my life as consciously aware of my personal choices as possible.

Religious believers do not seem to consider that, in general, people innately know when they are doing something helpful or hurtful--the basis of morals in a society. No belief in any religion is necessary to take responsibility for one's actions and to realize that every day brings choices. Also, I wonder: How many wars have been started by atheists throughout history?

In any case, thank you for the article; perhaps it will help some to raise awareness of atheism in our community.

Yani Gudenkauf

Atheists Are Cool as Long as They Don't Become a Religion

Commenting on the "Godless in Tucson" article: So what? Do we not have enough wars going on about religion?

God is not religion. Atheists have been around for as long as religion. Government has always used religion as a tool to govern society. Hypocrites emerge. Life makes people think, believe, live and behave differently. A human brain has the power to choose through wisdom and knowledge. "God" means what is "good." And that has nothing to do with religion.

Atheists keep doing what is good--please don't start another religion.

Sarah Rodriguez