Letters

Sunday Junk

With regard to “Church on Sunday” (Cover Story, April 9), why devote so many pages to such religious nonsense? Haven’t you seen Bill Maher’s Religulous?

Ted Rodosovich
via phone

Go Greek

I have some pretty good information in regard to your article “Church on Sunday?” (Cover Story, April 9). Number one, a more accurate approach to Christianity’s core would be to study the original Koine Greek manuscripts. Example, Paska — Passover — was changed to Easter in other translations. That’s one example.

Gentile Christianity rejected biblical health laws, diet, calendar, and days of worship, etc., in the untitled messianic Jewish faith. They changed the name and fragmented into many denominations while maintaining the Jewish scriptures, Old and New Testament, with the messianic message. Therefore, to see a better picture of First Century New Covenant faith, one can see two research organizations’ websites. The first is First Fruits of Zion ministry at ffoz.org. The other is yashanet.com.

Name Withheld by Request
via phone

Long Gone

Re “Church on Sunday,” Cover Story, April 9.

For what it’s worth, this sentence should appear in the past tense: “There is a Greek Orthodox Church across the street from Dallas Theological Seminary.”

That church has long since sold the property to DTS and moved elsewhere.

Name Withheld by Request

The Peaceful Vegan

I was not surprised to find yet another “Diary of a Diva” column totally focused on food. Before I get strung up for being insensitive, let me say I have admired Barbarella for her candidness in openly discussing her former struggles with food in previous diary entries. She has obviously devoted a good deal of her life to becoming very informed on food and nutrition and developing a healthy attitude on the subject.

That said, I was disheartened by the cynicism and negativity Barbarella used in her recent column “Happy Tummy” (April 9). Being a vegan myself, I am continually surprised by the combativeness of people towards me based on what I choose to eat. It’s not like I get on any sort of high horse and relentlessly throw down moral condemnations. In fact, I take great sacrifices to make sure my lifestyle doesn’t adversely affect anyone else. Writing this letter is the most proactive I’ve ever gotten on the subject; nevertheless, I’m guessing many will be quick to throw me into Barbarella’s “militant vegan” category. I actively choose not to judge people based on really insignificant things like what they eat and would hope for the same in return. Words like “militant,” “hypocrisy,” and “cafeteria Catholic” used to describe a group whose members are largely compassionate and peaceful is irresponsible and shows a clear one-sidedness.

This article goes beyond simple observations of the author’s friends and acquaintances’ eating behaviors but rather portrays a sliver of American psyche. We are a culture that is obsessed with food. Moving beyond just a source of nourishment, food is now a social tool, a status symbol and a multibillion-dollar industry. We love to do everything hand in hand with food. Watch TV, go on dates, throw parties, and organize reunions. Meals in this country are centered on meat, and therefore vegans and vegetarians are less easily incorporated into the myriad of social encounters we humans enjoy. This is somehow threatening to all the non-veggies out there who feel they need to adjust their life to accommodate their ostracized friends. The vegan or vegetarian is then resented for being such a perceived disruption. Bottom line is no one really cares about the choices another makes until they perceive it affects them. People are inherently selfish.

We all have opinions. However, coming from a journalist’s standpoint (which is what I am currently studying to be), writing opinions for media audiences’ consumption has to carry a little more weight, as well as responsibility. A suggestion would be doing more research than looking up the ingredients of cat food, for example, or interviewing people outside of your own close social network. Please be better informed before you pass judgment on an entire group of people already vilified by the ignorant masses.

I realize my own bias here and have refrained in this letter from getting on my soapbox to extol the virtues of a lifestyle I fiercely believe in. Why, when I have such an opportunity? Because that will discredit all the points I have made in criticizing this article, just as Barbarella’s obvious bias has discredited her whole article.

Erin
via email

High School Algebra

This concerns today’s Reader, Holy Thursday, April 9. Page 54, on the left side of the page there’s an advertisement the full height of the page. San Diego Access Care. “Women 25–55…suffering???” It concerns uterine fibroids. And in the middle of the ad it says something that makes no sense at all. It says, “…you may have uterine fibroids. 3 in 4 women do. 80% affected are African American. Hispanics 2nd at risk.”

Okay, just high school algebra. Let X equal the number of women in the universe. Three-quarters of them have uterine fibroids. So you have three-fourths of X. Okay, 80 percent of them are African American. Okay, 0.8 times three-fourths of X. That is equal to 60 percent of X; 60 percent of X equals Y. Y is African-American women with uterine fibroids. So, in other words, that’s saying 60 percent of all the women in the universe are African-American women with uterine fibroids. There’s something screwy about that ad.

Name Withheld
via phone

Focus On Fear

I would like to say that your recent article about Tijuana is nothing more than attempting to sensationalize the problems at the border (“Mommy, Why Are They Shooting at Us Again?” Cover Story, April 2). At a time when the Mexican government is making huge arrests, seizures, and working cohesively, you choose to focus instead on some overly dramatized fear.

What you should instead focus on is the true unwillingness of the U.S. to deal with their own problems of gun dealing and drug addiction.

I have seen the changes in Tijuana, and you have not recognized them nor done anything constructive in your hit piece on the area. I truly believe this is more political than practical.

Max Katz
via email

We’ve Got More Guns

About Tijuana: we could not obtain affordable dental service in San Diego, so we went to Dr. Erico Carreño in Tijuana (listed in the Reader’s Baja beauty and health directory). As our dental work requires being in Tijuana very often, we have gotten to see another side of Tijuana not reported by the Reader.

We have never met anyone who is impolite or unhelpful.

We feel safer in Tijuana than on some parts of El Cajon Boulevard, with its drugs, guns, and prostitution. Certainly we feel safer there than in some U.S. schools, where there are student shootings and killings. In some San Diego high schools shooting classes are held, all guns supplied by the United States, as they are to the Mexican trade.

The most violent nation in the world is the United States — not Mexico.

As an aside, Tijuana has some of the finest hotels, coffeehouses, music lounges, restaurants, and shopping areas. It has wonderfully affordable medical clinics, health resorts, and spas, such as Las Rocas and Sanoviv in Rosarito, La Puerto in Tecate, and Thermal Waters Spa, Tijuana.

We have found reasonably priced tailors who do not charge two dollars to sew on a button as they do in San Diego.

Where else but in Tijuana can you ride a local bus and have someone serenade you with a guitar and song?

Where else can you sit at a taco street counter and have mariachi street bands perform music to cheer the heart?

Unfortunately, the Reader has been portraying Tijuana and Mexicans as extremely dangerous and degenerate. Do you think the Reader might balance your Mexican reportage by giving a more realistic picture of a nation rich in history and culture whose contributions to civilization were anything but guns and shooting?

Clyde Peston
University Heights

Get Me Out Of Here

In regards to the April 2 article “Mommy, Why Are They Shooting at Us Again?” Well, it made me sick! Just that day (April 2), a man murdered 13 people and then himself. How many times has that happened in the good ol’ U.S.A.?

The Mexicans get their guns from this country. It’s so easy here. I’ve always hated Mexico. I think of it as one of the most ignorant, crooked, filthiest, etc., countries in this world. And this country is becoming just like them. The very rich, selfish, and greedy, and then the poor. Pretty soon we will have cardboard shacks all over our hillsides. Oh, but it might be against the law here.

Thank God for that Second Amendment. Here somebody stressed out, who’s lost their job, has a mind disease, etc., well, they can always get a gun and kill, kill, kill. The drug war, well, Mexicans love drugs. Maybe it is something in the male Mexican’s DNA. Here we have the hicks, Republicans (disturbed), and a lot of brain-dead people (mostly men, of course). And these people who buy guns for protection and safety, nine times out of ten, the gun is never used in self-defense! Man kills wife. Man kills wife and children. Child kills parents. Human hunting.

We have no business as usual getting involved in any problems in Mexico. Let them kill themselves off. Maybe soon they’ll get smarter, better at thinking. Then even the poor will have a massive protest against their crippling government. They have a real lack of human rights, worse than China and all these other countries that the rich or the celebs get involved in. Maybe they ought to get off their loaded butts and protest against the Second Amendment. Maybe the government should offer financial rewards to all those who turn in their guns. Or give them a bow and arrow, possibly even a knife, a sword. Also maybe all those rich and/or famous should start protesting for human rights in Mexico. Then the Mexicans could stay in their own country.

Meanwhile, would someone please send me a one-way ticket to one of those intelligent countries in Europe? I hate guns, and I hate people who like them. More people die from a gunshot than an overdose of drugs in this sick country.

Kathleen Steeley
Rolando

Boots On The Border

In response to D.S.’s “Leaning Lame Leaders” (Letters, April 9): What movie are you watching? Military personnel numbers may have grown a bit recently thanks to extra reenlistment bonuses, but to think they have enough men, women, and resources to secure a 1962-mile border is ludicrous — that’s over eight times the Berlin Wall and Korean Armistice Line combined. Think about it. ¡Mucha tierra!

And that’s not even the real issue. Even if we resurrected Alexander the Great and made it happen, the border was arguably an area of militarization from the late ’70s to the early ’90s in the form of the “low-intensity conflict” doctrine developed in the ’80s as a way of combating perceived foreign threats to U.S. national security, i.e., revolutionary insurgencies in Central America, and was applied in the border region by military equipment and training. For example, by 1988 all nine border sectors were equipped with 22 OH-6 spotter-observation helicopters loaned or donated by the Army. Also in the late ’80s, the Border Patrol gained access to military-issued M-14s and M-16s. And by 1990, the military became directly involved by the inception of Joint Task Force 6 (JTF6) as part of Bush’s National Drug Control Strategy. Marking the first time active military personnel from all branches worked on the ground with local law enforcement in the border regions, JTF6’s area of operation included a 50-mile-wide corridor running its entire length. From 1990 to 1992, it is estimated they ran approximately 775 missions. Was illegal immigration and drug smuggling thwarted back then? Ask my gardener; I can’t remember.

I also question the notion that a heavy armed-forces presence engaging in an open and permanent exercise on U.S. territory during a time when we are not under siege en masse is the proper response to a few isolated criminal incidents. We have the Border Patrol to do that. Anytime we start letting agencies meddle in the affairs of other agencies in situations they are not trained to encounter, it causes problems. Here’s an example: Prior to being made official, and unbeknown to local authorities, JTF6’s first incident occurred on the night of December 13, 1989, near Nogales, Arizona. A group of Marines accompanied a Border Patrol officer on a training exercise and came upon some suspected smugglers on horseback. Upon ordering them to stop, they fled. They’re smugglers. The Marines then shot up a flare, and the smugglers fired at them. The Marines fired back, but no one was ever shot or apprehended. Instead, the flare torched up 300 acres of federal forest land. And so went the first reported firefight by active-duty military personnel in the War on Drugs.

As for your complaint about the raid in Washington, the Department of Homeland Security hasn’t “stopped” the raids. They’ve issued a “partial moratorium” until they can review the policy and its proper application. This administration has repeatedly said it wishes to target employers of undocumented workers, not the workers themselves. This way a lot more than 150 Americans can apply for some of these jobs. Also, the detainees were given temporary permits to continue working at that plant only, not “work visas” as you wrote. Two very different things. Do your due diligence and find out about stuff before you go shooting vitriolic emails off to the Reader. Also on that note, Janet Napolitano was not even made aware of that raid until after the fact, and she was not a happy secretary. That’s a clear violation of DHS procedure. I smell lawsuits on the way. So much for cheap tacos.

You talk about booting out all the “illegals” — 12 million people! Buena suerte, mi amigo. Think about it. Not even wackos like Sean Hannity talk like that. And even if we could resurrect Torquemada to make it happen, can we all afford $5-a-pound produce? What’s in your salad?

And my favorite is for last. You scoff at the “90 percent” number of illegal weapons in Mexico. That’s the figure given by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives! Fourteen percent?!? Where the hell did you get that number, the Minuteman Gazette? Weapons have been flowing from north to south for decades now. During these cycles of heightened unrest, it just gets worse. Back in ’92, Mexico identified 5351 guns from the U.S.; 3367 in ’93, though officials on both sides agree the actual number to be much higher. That was when all the narco lords were gearing up for ’94, the last time a power vacuum existed on the border. And don’t worry. After this one is filled, there will be another. Put all the Marines and walls and drones and censors and little No Se Pase signs you want. This cycle doesn’t end until the War on Drugs ends. And that doesn’t happen until real change comes and jingoistic attitudes and mendacious statements like yours end.

Bryan Varela
via email

Up In Arms

I am appalled and turned off that your ad policy permits abetting of arms! Is it greed, stupidity, or both? Use your power to promote peace.

G.L.
Hillcrest

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Comments

As a fellow Vegan I'd like to respond to Erin's letter (April 15, 2009) The Peaceful Vegan. Erin you weakened your whole piece by writing: "I actively choose not to judge people based on really insignificant things like what they eat..." Erin why are you a Vegan? There is NO insignificant reason for choosing a Vegan lifestyle! Either you do it for the great health benefits, and/or you do it as a protest against the truly abysmal treatment (read torture) of animals used in food production. Both of these reasons are significant! Because we Vegans are outnumbered it's important we make it clear we do it for good reasons. If people are uncomfortable with us where food is being served. It's their problem! This doesn't make us "judgemental" of them. They are where they are, we are where we are. I'd rather be where you and I are Erin.

Julie San Marcos

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