Mexicans Need to Stay Home and Fix Their Problems!

You have really lost sight of reality if you are comparing Elvira Arellano to Jesus Christ (¡Ask a Mexican! Aug. 30). I am so sick of you self-righteous hypocrites in the so-called "humane borders" movement. Let me ask you: What happens to illegal immigrants in Mexico? All these sob stories about how Mexican illegals are mistreated in the United States are nothing compared to how illegals are treated in Mexico. I'm sure you know that they are robbed, beaten, raped and terrorized, and then unceremoniously booted out.

It seems to me that Elvira Arellano was taking the easy way out by breaking the laws of my country to come here and make a fast buck instead of staying home and doing the hard work of fixing her own country. As long as the Mexican people continue to export their social problems, nothing is ever going to change in Mexico. You people should be staying home and fighting for social and economic justice in Mexico!

Another problem is little talked about in the debate over illegal immigration, but it should be: The remittances that illegals send home are seldom saved or invested in anything of lasting value that improves the lives of the recipients. Often, those remittances are squandered on things like fancy tennis shoes. Instead, a culture of dependency is engendered, so the next generation also becomes illegal immigrants.

Finally, children in Mexico are deprived of their fathers, and wives are deprived of their husbands; more and more, both the mother and the father migrate and abandon their children to their grandparents. Many children of migrants turn to crime and get into trouble.

We have the sovereign right to control immigration into our country. And if Elvira Arellano or anyone else breaks the laws of this country, they deserve to be promptly deported.

Nancy Silberschlag

Don't Reduce Handicapped-Parking Punishments; Increase Them!

While Harvey Burgess makes a number of interesting observations and some valid suggestions, his idea of reducing parking-ticket fines seems completely unnecessary, and in one case, thoroughly wrongheaded (Guest Commentary, Aug. 30).

Why does he think it's necessary to reduce fines for some illegal activities in order to raise others (which may well be a good idea)? More significantly, there is never an excuse for some lazy asshole to park in a clearly marked handicapped-only space. "I was only going to be there for a minute" doesn't cut it. Is the real handicapped driver expected to wait near the occupied space until it becomes available, or go park where the asshole should have parked and struggle to make the trek that the driver wasn't willing to make, though able?

Those of us who are fortunate enough to be able-bodied should give thanks every time we are able to walk a little farther from our legal space to our destination without a wheelchair, crutches or a cane--and are able to get in and out of our vehicles without needing the extra space provided next to each handicapped space for lifts and wheelchairs.

I suggest instead of lowering the fine, the Motor Vehicle Division should suspend for a month the license of any driver convicted of this offense. I bet he (or she) wouldn't do it again!

Dave Martin

More Information on Driving School-Administered Road Tests

I'm glad to see that Harvey Burgess came to his senses and is driving with "great caution" and a "sense of danger." Tucson is indeed a risky place regarding to the driving environment; the numbers tell the story.

One point, however, does need to be clarified. State-certified driving instructors do not have the "right" to award a professional driver training certificate (this is the form that acts as the road-test waiver) without administering a road test during the course of instruction. As the owner of a licensed professional driving school, I was required to establish three separate road-test courses, including the exact language used to direct the student during the road test, and submit this information for approval. These routes are substantially more rigorous than the one Burgess described.

I also had to establish a score sheet and scoring procedure based on the exact language provided by the MVD. The students can, and do, fail the road test, and are not issued a certificate/waiver. The test must be retaken, either through the driving school or at the MVD.

I cannot point to any studies indicating that those who go through behind-the-wheel training and the defensive-driving course are safer drivers. My hope is that they are, because I bend their ear for six hours on how to stay alive in a combative driving environment.

Scott Cavell, Sonoran Driving School

Knowledge of Unethical Factory Farming Is Spreading

Thank you for your recent article entitled "The Vegan Crusade" (Currents, Aug. 16).

I volunteered with the Proposition 204 campaign and was so encouraged to see the outpouring of support and interest in this issue.

The days of being able to typecast vegans as extremist animal-rights fanatics are slowly changing. As "mainstream" people learn about the atrocious cruelties to animals that occur when billions of animals are factory farmed, they want to know how to make more compassionate choices in their diets and lifestyles. As consumers, we are demanding that mega-corporations change their practices--they have the responsibility to conduct business ethically.

Jill Gutierrez

The UA Is a Business!

When Tom Danehy writes about being against "giving away money to businesses that already have lots of money," is he including the University of Arizona, which is essentially the largest red-brick factory we have?

Robert Steigert

Some Thoughts on Religious History and Beliefs

I wanted to respond to the letter by Larry and Michelle Frye ("Claim: Gay-Friendly Churches Are Under Satan's Spell," Mailbag, Aug. 16).

The first problem is the assumption that the Jews were already completely aware of God's viewpoint and consequences. Like every society, Jewish society at that time had a core group of religious persons, the Pharisees and Sadducees, who dictated religious beliefs and thoughts. However, outside of those people, others just wanted to get enough to eat for the next day--and most of them were probably not literate and thus didn't know every single rule and law that the Torah held. What mattered was just knowing the gist of it and doing enough to stay out of trouble.

The second fallacy lies in the assumption that just because God exists, Satan must exist. This is like saying that God doesn't have control over who He creates and does not create. It is also worth noting that for a long time in the Bible, there wasn't much mention of the concept of a ultimately evil being, and it didn't come into form until Zoroastrianism influenced Judaic thinking enough to have prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah make mention of such a being.

Finally, has it ever occurred to anyone that the reason why Saxon Burns didn't want to talk to anyone ("Into the Lion's Den," Currents, July 12) is because he already had his own biases, like every other human being does, and if he had tried talking to anyone, he would have been pounced upon for harboring views that differed from the mainline view of that church? It's not a comfortable position to be outnumbered 10-to-1 when you're trying to discuss viewpoints that may differ markedly from the group.

Thomas Davis

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