Hey, Barista! Here's Your Pink Slip!

What S. Jane Bradford (Guest Commentary, Jan. 1) perceives as, oops, freebies for friends and favorite customers is, in fact, theft. She probably doesn't include that part of the equation in her dissertations on costs, but her personal corruption is doing its small part to nudge the price of coffee--at least for us full-fare customers--ever higher. If Bradford were my employee she'd be, oops, out of a job.

Karen Bath

If We Broke Down White People Into Nationalities, We'd All Be Minorities

Regarding "Letter-Writer's Prose Shows He Knows Little About Racism," and "It's Hard to Understand a Point of View If That's All You Can See," Mailbag, Jan. 15: Some applications or questionnaires list Americans as black or white, after which there is a breakdown of ethnicity (Mexican American, Asian American, American Indian, etc.). It seems that if the color of one's skin is anything other than white, you are broken down into smaller identified groups.

This appears to be an attempt to play the strength-in-numbers game, because whites are not broken down into ethnicities. If we broke down the white entry into Polish, German, Irish, Scandinavian, British, French, Norwegian, Russian, etc., we would see that we are all minorities. If we change our labeling system, we can become a more-united and better-functioning society.

Joseph B. Salinas

And Now, a Word From the Letter-Writer Who Started All This

In response to Matt Peters and David Bayardo: My original letter ("Mexicans Are Bringing the United States More Racism," Mailbag, Jan. 1) did include a paragraph talking about genocide and linked it with racist thoughts. Apparently, it was edited for length; the title was also the work of the Tucson Weekly.

Many of my friends and I have experienced racism. It's an ugly thing. That's my point: Destructive acts of racism have their roots in racist beliefs. Hitler had to form beliefs about Jews before he moved on to genocide. Without generalizations about people based on skin color, there are no racist acts.

Yes, Eva Zorrilla Tessler's views on race (TQ&A, Dec. 11) are based on her own experiences. Michael Richards' are, too. The same is true of Adolf Hitler. If someone wants to judge people based on race because of their own experiences, that's their right. However, as a country, the United States has been teaching people the opposite. The point of my letter was that people who assume things about

others based on the color of their skin should be corrected instead of given awards. There is no "white point of view" any more than there's an Asian point of view or a Hispanic point of view. Attributing characteristics other than race to someone's skin color is just wrong, because it's not true.

David Bayardo's assertion that white men are responsible for the repression of women and acceptable destruction of culture is absurd. Clearly, those phenomena exist across racial barriers. Women are still repressed in many countries of the Middle East as well as in many African countries. Their repression has absolutely nothing to do with Caucasians. David is trying to scapegoat white people for human behaviors that have been historically demonstrated by many different races.

Bryan Smith

On the Michigan Left Turns: Wha?!

There's nothing in the diagram ("As the Traffic Turns," Currents, Jan. 8) that shows the paths that pedestrians will take to get across the intersections of Grant Road. While you report that Jim Glock, the city's transportation director, believes that pedestrians will be better off due to the smaller size of the intersections, one wonders how the apparent increase in the complexity of traffic patterns will aid their safety.

Bicycle traffic gets an even shorter shrift than pedestrians do. The article says nothing about them. The diagram has a cryptic note that bicycles will use a "box turn." I found some extremely confusing descriptions and diagrams online that purported to explain a "bike box" at intersections. These appear to contravene the general principle that bicycles should follow the same rules as motor vehicles.

It appears that we're looking at intersections with three distinct traffic patterns: one for motor vehicles, one for bicycles and one for pedestrians. Of course, all three groups will have to be fully aware of the rules for the other two to avoid problems.

I agree with the resident who said that although the idea may be brilliant, it doesn't appear to have a lot of logic or sense to it.

Tom Krehbiel

Some Words From an Adoring Fan of Capt. Al

I caught "Weird Al" Melvin's act on Arizona Illustrated ("Bloodbath at the Capitol," Currents, Jan. 22) when he placed the Republican vision of Arizona 2009 before his adoring fans. I spent the entire time with my mouth hanging open. The man was either incoherent or sounded like he was reading from 3-by-5 cards given to him by his leadership.

I hope that every voter in his district watched this program to see what is representing them for the next few years. Sen. Linda Lopez deserves an award for sitting next to this lunatic for nearly 20 minutes and not once reaching over to choke the living crap out of him.

It's going to be an interesting session.

Jim Secan

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