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Democrats Should Disregard 'Border Security' and Focus on What's Really Important

Boy, with friends like Tom Danehy, the left doesn't need any enemies. The Democrats should get tough about "securing our borders" (Nov. 29)? Give me a break. Why should they waste any breath on this right-wing bugaboo? Talk about political correctness!

Like his ideological brethren on the right, Danehy spouts a facile legalism when talking about immigration. After all, it's illegal, isn't it? You can't argue with that, so case closed! What he and the right don't do is explain why illegal immigration rises to the level of a national crisis. Is it draining our treasury, disrupting our economy, ruining lives, killing people or threatening the future of our world like the Iraq war, the mortgage crisis, our awful health-insurance system or global warning? Unless you have a show on Fox or AM radio, the answer is no. Lots of things are illegal, but they're not all pressing national issues.

Illegal immigration is nowhere close to being a top-tier national issue. In a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, the war was cited almost four times as often as illegal immigration as the most important issue. In a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, only 15 percent of people ranked immigration among the top three issues of concern. Democrats would much better serve the country and their own party by refusing to toe the right's xenophobic line on this.

John Cafiero


We'd Put a Smart-Ass Headline Here, but Mr. Gelsinon Might Consider That 'Sneering'

Jim Nintzel's take on the amount spent to beat John Kromko's Proposition 200 is entirely disingenuous ("Stumblewatch '07: The Final Countdown," The Skinny, Dec. 13).

In the Nov. 15 edition of the Weekly ("Stumblewatch '07: Tripping-Across-the-Finish-Line Edition," The Skinny), he wrote: "Simply put: The voters of Tucson are smart enough these days to realize that whatever water problems we're facing, we're not going to solve them with a one-page declaration written by John Kromko and his pet cats."

But now it appears that the Nintz thinks too much money was spent to defeat this insipid declaration. So maybe, then, the failed bad proposal was somehow really not that bad after all? Of course not. He knew what was being spent and by whom all along.

What's on display in this "reporting" is a sneering sense of superiority, not to mention journalistic hypocrisy, that has been a hallmark of the Weekly for more than a decade.

Tom Gelsinon


Is It Time to Rename Homo Sapiens?

After reading your Dec. 6 issue with articles on the Kyoto Protocol, vegetarians, uncivilized yards, the environmentally retarded, the decline of Arizona's bird populations, smart growth and wolf introduction, I've decided the name chosen for human beings in the biological classification system is extremely inaccurate.

Linnaeus, the father of classification, in the 1700s named us Homo sapiens, which loosely translated means "wise man." Half of the world's population are women, so man doesn't really describe the population (Homo ignora?). And wise? Where's the evidence of that description?

Would a wise species bring about climate change (Homo denial-R-us)? Would a wise species bring about such extreme habitat destruction that biologists are concerned about a sixth extinction (Homo destruction-R-us)? Would a wise species introduce so many exotic species all over the world to threaten biodiversity (Homo alien-R-us)? Would a wise species create an economic system based on the unrealistic assumption of unlimited growth (Homo cancer-R-us)? Would a wise species turn agriculture into an industrial factory system (Homo fat/starving-R-us). Would a wise species confuse information and knowledge with wisdom (homo-techno-R-us)?

Science may have to turn to The Bard to name us accurately--Homo pieceofwork-R-us.

Deborah Bird


I Disagree With It, So Therefore, the 'Weekly' Should Not Print It!

Shame on you, Tucson Weekly. Shame on you for giving Laura Leighton the last word on your "Readers Give the Boot" piece (Dec. 13). I was very disappointed to see such ignorance, hate and racism published in the Weekly.

We are already bombarded on a daily basis with polarizing and unfair portrayals, like Leighton's, of "illegal aliens" who are supposedly "violent criminals and child predators." This is ridiculous. There is nothing "illegal" about being hungry, or poor, or seeking a better life. No human being is illegal.

Undocumented migrants make a very difficult, life-or-death decision when they attempt to come north to work. Border-aid groups like Humane Borders continue their life-saving efforts even as hate talk and fear grows to a crescendo in media publications like yours. Both the migrants and the humanitarians are heroes, and deserve no lesser treatment.

Dan Millis


Don't Want to Lose Your Freedom? Then Avoid HOAs!

My interest was piqued recently when I read two articles in the Tucson Weekly: the Dec. 6 Guest Commentary by Randy Serraglio, and the Dec. 13 Currents by Mari Herreras, "No Food for You!"

Why choose to live in a neighborhood with an HOA? I've heard the standard reasoning many times: The HOA protects my property value. Since I am very concerned about forfeiting my personal freedom, I choose not to live in a neighborhood with an HOA. I want to be allowed to think for myself and decide what plants to grow in my yard, how they will be trimmed and more. I am much more concerned about forfeiting my personal freedom than I am about a neighbor who may decide to work on the car in the driveway or let the yard go untrimmed.

To me, the irony is stifling that so many in the land of the free are willing to give up their personal freedom and pay the HOA to take it away. Truly an American Ideal.

The power to eliminate the HOA rests with homeowners: Simply don't buy into neighborhoods with an HOA.

Peter Ianchiou


Why Don't the Media Mobilize to Look Into RTA Vote?

Kudos to Bill Risner and the Pima County Democratic Party for advocating for the principles of open and transparent government, and that every vote is to be counted and counted accurately ("Ballot Busters," The Skinny, Dec. 13).

The Tucson Weekly published reports earlier with scandalous headlines alleging the Regional Transportation Authority election may have had election results "flipped." Why have the Tucson Weekly and other local news organizations not made a Freedom of Information Act request for the ballots so that you can do an analysis of the election by hand-counting the ballots? A consortium of news organizations did just this following the fiasco in Florida in 2000.

If Pima County truly believes its stated position that the results of the RTA election are accurate, it should have no objection to your news organization counting the RTA ballots to verify the vote and to remove any doubt.

Roger A. White


Correction

Due to an editorial error, the location for the Michael Blake book-signing listed in our Dec. 20 issue was incorrect. The event was held at the Arizona Historical Society's 949 E. Second St. location, not at 140 N. Stone Ave. We apologize for the error.

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