Almost Human

To the Editor,

I was so happy to see your article on the human-like capabilities of prairie dogs ("Look Who's Talking," Tucson Weekly, July 17).

Mailbag About five years ago, I was driving up a desert hill to my home when I saw a car several feet ahead of me run over a prairie dog on the road. Before I could think of what to do, another prairie dog (a relative? a spouse?) had darted out onto the road, picked its fallen colleague up under its arms and dragged it off the road. The sight was utterly astounding because of its human quality. It looked for all the world like one caring, concerned human being helping another. There was obvious compassion, judgment and determination demonstrated in this behavior. How did the helper know of the accident? Why did it care so much? How did it know what to do? Where was he taking the victim? (Are there prairie dog infirmaries? I wouldn't be at all surprised.)

I have told many people this story over the years, usually with the feeling they thought I was exaggerating or hallucinating. Now, after reading this story on prairie dogs, I know that what I saw was indeed possible. Thanks again for printing it.

--Audrey Ricker

Editor's Note: Don't get too sentimental, Audrey. We read somewhere that prairie dogs are also cannibals.

Scum-Sucking Blowfish

To the Editor,

First of all let me applaud you for telling it like it is. We, the citizens, have a hard time getting the truth out of our local and federal representatives, and, as you point out, the newspapers/shows in this town care more about giving youth a hard time than reporting. My hat's off to you all for your courageous efforts.

I was reading about the upcoming elections and I remember one proposition that hasn't been mentioned in quite a while--the proposition to decriminalize marijuana in Arizona. If I recall correctly, the voters passed it..

Oddly enough, last I heard the government fatcats in Phoenix were not going to support the voters' wishes, claiming the same voters who elected them must not have known what they were voting for.

I'm personally outraged those scum-sucking blowfish think my vote only matters when they concur with my views. I'd like to know what's going on up there, and what, if any, decision has been reached. Since the government has a hard time talking to those of us average Joes who gave them their power, I wondered if you could be of any help. Thank you again.

--Alea Trafton

Class War

To the Editor,

I've been too damn busy keeping my head above water to write, but now that I've bought a little breathing room, here goes. I've got some recommended reading for Tom Farrell and Michael Herndon, two readers who disparaged Jeff Smith's article on the coming class war ("Apocalypse Soon," Tucson Weekly, March 19).

First, to learn why you're so ignorant (not stupid, ignorant--I mean no offense), read Schooling in Capitalist America, by Herbert and Gintis.

To understand how you could be so brainwashed, read Manufacturing Consent, by Chomsky and Herman. Your hearts are in the right places, but your heads are somewhere else; I won't say where.

To know reality, read Take the Rich Off Welfare, by Zepezauer and Naiman, put out right here in Tucson by the Odonian Press, part of the aptly named "real story series." It's a nuts-and-bolts, plain-as-day, short-and-sweet synopsis of how our government plays "Robin Hood in reverse." In the back you'll find a chapter titled, "Where We Got Our Facts"--it's all reliable information and presented so that anyone can understand it. It's not rocket science by a long shot. In all honesty, the first two books might be over your heads, in which case you could start with the third, which everyone should be able to grasp.

If you still want to believe in and preach about a flat earth after reading any one of these, well then, god bless ya; you need it.

--Michael R. Cook

Tammy Knocker

To the Editor,

I just wanted to thank Lisa Weeks (Soundbites, Tucson Weekly, July 3) for her compliments about my singing. I also would like to thank Mr. Polsgrove. Although he obviously finds me offensive, it's quite flattering that he took the time to write a letter to the editor about me.

--Tammy Allen

Baffling Course

To the Editor,

Much as I admire Molly McKasson's contribution to our City Council and regret her decision to not run for re-election, I cannot see the point of her article about annexation, co-authored with Dave Devine ("Annexation Wars," Tucson Weekly, June 26). There seems to emerge from it a notion that we can avoid being ringed on the north by a series of "contract" cities by stratagems such as a dual-charge system at city recreation centers (already politically difficult, administratively awkward, and taken as insulting by winter visitors) or stopping the county from offering city-like services (the supervisors will get a strong laugh from that idea.)

No mention is made of South Tucson, an anomaly created in the early 1960s under an easy incorporation law, whose existence led to the creation of the state law empowering a dominant city to control incorporation efforts on its boundary, the same law that is now suspended for two years, exciting our northern suburban neighbors in the hope that if they act swiftly they can avoid being swallowed up in the City of Tucson and still retain the level of services they want. Could the authors seriously believe that a ring of northern small contract towns will not have the effect of closing off the growth of Tucson and easing the burden of maintaining the city revenues? Your writers cite San Diego and Portland, while they could have mentioned Seattle and Chicago as cities whose maintenance of a vital central city has been burdened by a string of independent towns whose denizens could care less about the central area to which they commute and from which they retreat to suburban safety each day.

The idea of a metropolitan government scheme, advanced by Tom Volgy, is a solution, and one to which in the next century we surely will have to move, if during the next two years we are joined by a string of newly created villages, each with independent leverage to extract concessions from the City of Tucson. But why stand by and watch the problem happen? The course the authors seem to encourage baffles me.

--John Crow

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