'Weekly' Crossword Size Changes May Threaten Our Society

In this, our ever increasingly stressed, depressed, overmedicated, overstimulated, fear-induced and entirely deserved amalgam of a so-called "modern" world, there is a certain pressing matter to which we would like to call the attention of you, the editors of this commonly perused publication.

In a world where the few simple comforts that man has come to rely upon for the safe and seemly maintenance of his sanity and general mental correctness, we find it to be an outrage that your publication continues to prolifically disturb and wholeheartedly destroy one institution that we, and we believe many of your loyal readership, rely on to uphold and assemble some form of mental and social sustainability: the crossword puzzle.

One, the variability of sizes in which this "puzzle" takes shape is a continuous vexation to our otherwise peaceful countenance. Two, the diminutive size of many of the said puzzles has us squinting, perturbed and cursingly reaching for a microscope we do NOT own. We are incensed that our penmanship has suffered innumerable injustices as a result of the necessity of inscribing elongated, yet tiny letters in the "squares" of puzzle number 1109, which appears in your Nov. 15 publication in a rectangular form which goes against all sense of good taste and decency in the crossword and global community. Quite frankly, this affront to decorum propels us to question with great astonishment why you, sirs, are not all in shackles.

Thank you for your kind attention to the pressing social and philosophical matter. For we think you'll agree that if this one sinuous thread that bonds us all together is frazzled, frayed, torn or otherwise destroyed, we threaten the very grease upon which society's gears depend to continue unmolested in their turnings.

R. Stephanie Dickson, James Benjamin Mahoney and John A. O'Halloran

Invasion of Afghanistan Was About Control, Not Catching Terrorists

Tom Danehy laments that "the U.S. correctly went in to Afghanistan, then took its eye off the ball and stumbled into Iraq," and that the recent rhetoric surrounding potential for war with Iran is an even larger departure from reality ("The Bush Administration Is Losing Every Semblance of Sanity," Nov. 22). But certainly the motivation and logic behind waging war in Afghanistan was flawed to begin with (e.g., "turn his punk ass over or Afghanistan becomes a parking lot," Danehy, Sept. 13, 2001) and failed to explain how bombing poor people and destroying the Taliban government was going to stop the clandestine and highly mobile al-Qaida.

This was just the first campaign in this recent series of war-justification that uses our collective pain and fear of future attacks in order to violently advance pre-determined goals of controlling resources and advancing power in the Middle East. Remember that in the rush to war during the fall of 2001, Bush proudly refused to negotiate with the Taliban to secure the capture of Osama or other terrorists, and to date, there has been little substantive investigation of the attacks or successful pursuit of perpetrators. Perhaps Danehy and others who still think that war was the appropriate response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 should take a critical look at what really motivates this administration and what was actually achieved through invading Afghanistan. Maybe then they would recognize that this latest PR campaign for a new war is only slightly more insane than the previous two.

Glenn Johnson

Immigration Questions Shed a Spotlight on Our Society's Moral Values

Whenever I read a column about illegal immigration like Tom Danehy's (Nov. 29), I am reminded that two fundamental questions regarding the issue are rarely asked: Are we as citizens of the United States willing to pay a higher price for the things we consume so that the people in other countries who produce them can earn enough to maintain a decent standard of living? Why are so many jobs in the United States so low-paying and back-breaking or dangerous that the only people willing to do them are people who have fled terrible poverty in other countries?

Answering such questions might bring up some unpleasant truths about our economic system and, more broadly, our society's moral values.

Steven Wind

Claim: Just Because You Violate a Law, It Doesn't Make You a Criminal

As an immigration attorney, I wanted to correct an error in Tom Danehy's column on immigration (Nov. 29). Mr. Danehy states that, "It's been a criminal act to be here illegally for a long, long time," and, "It has always been illegal, and 'illegal' has always meant 'criminal.'"

Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325, it is a misdemeanor to enter the United States without inspection. However, there is no law that makes the mere presence in the United States a crime. Therefore, contrary to what Danehy states, "be(ing) here illegally" is not a "criminal act." If people who at one time violated 8 U.S.C. § 1325 are "illegals," then everyone who ever trespassed, disturbed the peace or committed any other misdemeanor is also an "illegal."

Furthermore, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 45 percent of the people here without documented immigration status actually entered legally on a visa or other entry permit. While overstaying a visa is a violation of civil-immigration law, it is not a crime. Therefore, nearly half of the "illegal immigrants" in the United States are not "criminals."

Danehy has a right to his opinion on immigration; however, Danehy and the Tucson Weekly have a responsibility to make sure that their editorials are based on a correct statement of the law and do not perpetuate harmful or damaging legal misperceptions.

Kara Hartzler

Finally, We Close With a Letter We Just Received About a Story We Ran in 2005, Including Uncited Statistics!

Regarding "Speed Limits" (Currents, Oct. 13, 2005): Pat Benchik of Cope Behavioral Health Services states that methamphetamine is cheap, easy to make and highly addictive.

In reality, methamphetamine is more expensive than gold. Even if there really were instructions on how to produce methamphetamine on the Internet, more than likely, an individual who attempts such a task would make several mistakes. Those mistakes could cost him/her their life. Methamphetamine is not addictive.

Tucson Police Captain David Neri states that half of Tucson property crimes are caused by methamphetamine users.

In reality, at least 70 percent of all Tucson crime is methamphetamine-related. If methamphetamine was no longer used in our community, our community crime rate would drop 70 percent.

Catholic Bishop Gerald Kicanas teamed with elected officials, community leaders and concerned citizens to form the Anti-Meth Alliance and study committees. Being a Catholic, it saddens me to see that three major concerns about methamphetamine are never mentioned in the anti-meth campaign: 1) Methamphetamine is a satanic potion, and those who produce it practice a satanic ritual, and those who use it are part of a satanic cult; 2) methamphetamine is terrorism's best secret weapon; 3) methamphetamine is a deception, not an addiction.

Herman G. Flores

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