Boy, We Were Hoisted With Our Own Petard on That One!

In a recent article, Catherine O'Sullivan used the phrase, "hoist on its own petard" (Sept. 18).

Call me a pedant, but it would be physically impossible to be hoisted on a petard. The correct phrase is "hoist by your own petard." Depending upon your grammatical tastes, "hoist with your own petard" might be acceptable.

A petard was an early, primitive explosive device used by the French. It was named for the French onomatopoeic word which supposedly resembles the flatulence of a horse. It was placed against gates and walls of fortified buildings in an attempt to gain entrance.

Unfortunately for the operator, the fuse was even more primitive than the rest of the device and was quite likely to burn so quickly that the operator did not have a chance to retreat after igniting it and would therefore be hoisted (lofted into the air) by his own petard.

Paul Allen

Claim: 'Weekly' Characterization of Interstate-Travel Decision Was Wrong

I appreciate the continuing attention the Tucson Weekly gives to border issues. The recent article by Leo W. Banks ("The Chiricahua Corridor," Sept. 11) brings to light the severe degradation of the environment and quality of life many Arizonans suffer due to the misguided and inept border policies of our government. The Chiricahua area is a stunning landscape, with rich cultural and natural history. I spent much of my youth wandering the canyons and ridges between San Simon and Portal, so the land is dear to my soul, and its destruction is very sad on a deep personal level.

Please advise Banks that I admire and support the critical role of journalism in the defense of our environment and liberties. For this reason, I wish to point out a couple of facts he chose to omit or misrepresent.

Banks states flatly that in March, a federal judge ruled that illegal aliens have a right to interstate travel. This is false. It is clear from Banks' article that he was aware of the lawsuit against Roger Barnett, and every first-year journalism student knows how to look up federal-court rulings. In the lawsuit, Roger Barnett and other private individuals are alleged to have physically and verbally abused a group of Hispanic individuals while holding them at gunpoint. The court held that

"(w)hether Plaintiffs have a right to interstate travel is not the issue here. Plaintiffs have come forward with evidence that Defendants targeted Latino individuals, and there is no indication that the Defendants took any precautions to limit their actions to noncitizens."

The ruling simply allowed the case to go forward. Banks' misrepresentation of the court's ruling is an offense to your readers and a slap to the integrity of all journalists. By not mentioning the facts involved in the lawsuit against Roger Barnett, Banks avoided discussion of perhaps the saddest degradation of all--of the civil liberties of decent citizens who because of their Hispanic appearance are increasingly unable to travel freely in Southern Arizona without being detained, or worse, by law enforcement or private individuals.

The Weekly has done a great job covering the ever increasing number of such incidents in Southern Arizona. I recommend that Banks exercise his considerable talent and make amends by writing another story to describe and explore how federal border and immigration policies are creating an atmosphere conducive to, if not fueling, random acts of racial violence and extra-legal posse activity.

J.C. Parris

The Weekly stands behind "The Chiricahua Corridor."

Chiricahuas, Residents Need Protection

Hats off to Leo W. Banks for his in-depth piece about illegal traffickers through the Chiricahua Mountains. During most summers for the last eight years, I've been a counselor and music director for church camps in the Chiricahuas, and was never aware of the trafficking problems down there.

It really is a beautiful and sacred place, and I hope the government and law-enforcement agencies, as well as Congress, can work together to enforce a practical and permanent solution to protect the residents and the land. Coming up with that solution will not be simple or easy, but as the article made clear, people's lives and homes are in danger.

Anthony Avila

'Lipstick' Remark Was an Attack on Palin (So What If the GOP Used the Same Statement About Hillary's Policies?)

Catherine O'Sullivan tried vainly to support Barack Obama's statement of, "You can put lipstick on a pig; it's still a pig" as an attack on John McCain's ideas of "change regarding economic policy, health care, taxes and education" (Sept. 18). But that would only have worked had John McCain picked a male vice presidential candidate.

The cover-up does not work for most reasonable, intelligent individuals. This is politics, and Barack Obama and his staff thought they had a real well-disguised attack, and you, Catherine O'Sullivan, chose to accept it hook, line and sinker.

I find it very easy to believe this, because I know the "education" that you so proudly claim for yourself lacks anything other than words and facts. You missed those classes of human interaction with other good people which would have taught you humility, respect and courtesy toward others. Using profanity is apparently your way of saying, "I am a 'liberated woman,' and I am as good as any other man." I must admit that when you use this approach, you are well on your way to catching up with some men. You know: the selfish, self-centered, cheating and foul-mouthed ones.

Larry Thompson

Tucson Bicyclists Need More Than Just a White Paint Line

Tucson is a bicycle-friendly city, and we have a gold rating. We also have dead and injured cyclists weekly, as well as a police force that refuses to cite anyone hitting pedestrians or cyclists ("In Memory Of," Currents, Aug. 14).

Much of our bicycle infrastructure relies on nothing more than a line of paint on the street. This line, while long considered the primary gift to cyclists in many cities, including Tucson, has limited usefulness. Having a few feet and a line is traditionally all cyclists need. But this is no longer the case.

In fact, most bike lanes which are on major roadways, such as Speedway Boulevard, are potential death traps for the few cyclists who are brave enough to ride in them. They are not a solution to bike infrastructure in Tucson. With drivers always in a hurry and quite often not paying attention, a couple of inches of white paint are not sufficient to safely move bicyclists around town.

With current and future gas prices high, more people are hopping on bikes and giving up autos. We need to be proactive in our community and create real bike infrastructure.

We need physical barriers from cars that will protect bicyclists, at least on some important bikeways--something as simple as a curb or bike lane that is an extension of the raised sidewalk, as some cities have. We need a couple of real, cross-town bike thoroughfares that are an entire lane (that's a car lane) wide.

We should stop treating bike infrastructure as an afterthought. We are losing too many lives, including many younger members of our community.

Sky Jacobs


In last week's endorsements package, we reported that the South Tucson Dog Protection Initiative is Proposition 400; it has been changed to Proposition 401. We apologize for the error.
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