By Gustavo Arellano
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Nick Schou seems upset that Mike Eisner is making millions while some Disneyland employees have reduced hours and benefits ("Mouse Chow," Dec. 14). I have advice for the employees: learn English and develop skills that are in demand. Your wages will go up, and you won't find yourselves forced to work for companies you don't like.Joseph Huezinga
LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM
Schou's article makes it seem as if Disneyland workers are being ripped off because [as he wrote] "while Eisner picks up big paychecks, hundreds of Disneyland workers are picking up free food from the back of a truck." But I'll bet you an annual pass to the park that most of these workers don't speak English and like life better here than back in Mexico. My evidence: they're here. Conclusion: eating free food from the back of a truck in Anaheim is better than paying for food on starvation wages in Juarez or Chiapas.F. Lefever
A note to Anthony Pignataro: I'm sure that writing about El Toro every week gets really boring (all those facts and reports and such), but really, "Holiday Mammaries" (Dec. 14)? A story about "the gift that keeps on giving milk"? What's next? "Penis Mightier Than Sword"? Please. Give Pignataro some time off. We need it.J. Sadie
DON'T HATE NOTHING_ EXCEPT PEACENIKS
Re: Jim Washburn's "New War, Old Protest" (Dec. 14): The most disturbing thing about the anti-war protesters is that they seem to feel that anyone who doesn't agree with them is a warmonger. This is simply not true. Their position is unpopular because they are engaged in a self-aggrandizing and useless practice. Any person who truly believes that war is never necessary is hopelessly naive. So protesting war as a concept is pointless. Furthermore, no sane person can look at the events of recent months and think that we were unjustified in directing our forces against the ruling parties of Afghanistan.
So why exactly are people protesting the war? Some try to equate our response to the terrorist actions. But the actions of Sept. 11 and the U.N. military response are nothing alike. First, our military forces are not targeting civilians. The few civilian deaths that have occurred can be directly attributed to the actions of the Taliban (using civilians as human shields) or to military error, which has also claimed the lives of our own servicemen. Second, our military action was preceded by copious warnings and lengthy troop buildup, allowing time for civilians to seek shelter (for which we are largely footing the bill).
This war has been conducted in the most humane and limited manner possible, and it has been a resounding success. The reason there are so few protesters against the war is that there is nothing valid to protest. Those who do march around with signs are merely doing so for status, to try to be with the in crowd. Remember, it's cool to protest war.
Meanwhile, notice that nobody is marching up and down the streets protesting the way Madison Avenue has taken advantage of this national tragedy to sell more cars or to persuade you to get the diamonds "you deserve!"—because if you don't spend money, the terrorists win! Nobody is protesting the decisions pseudo-President George W. Bush has been making since the terrorist acts, withdrawing from the missile pact and opening up vast areas of wilderness to his Republican business buddies. Nobody protests this stuff because it's not sexy. But they are the real problems.
I have no respect for you cause junkies standing around with your slogan placards because you don't think about what you're protesting. You just grab a picket sign and fall in.Robert Mobbs
WHEN GERMANS WERE THE AFGHANS OF EUROPE
Washburn rhetorically asks where I stand? On Feb. 13, 1945, at five and a half years old, there were 500,000 people living in my hometown of Dresden, Germany. On Feb. 14, 1945, 50,000 of us were left. I was one of them. I will spare you the gory details, but after all these years, I remember it vividly. The sad thing is the firebombing of Dresden was ordered by Winston Churchill, Dwight D. Eisenhower and all those other heroes. Dresden did not have any military value; it was a cultural pearl. Along with all the innocent Germans who died that night, about 5,000 Allied POWs, held in a transit camp, were also killed. Nothing was said about the bombings for several reasons, one being that Dresden was in the Soviet zone after the war and what the Allies (American and British bombers) didn't do that fateful night, the commies finished by raping and pillaging for the next few years. Those of us who escaped in the later years were grateful to be alive and found it politically convenient not to talk about it. The other reason was that the commies would not allow that kind of news to be broadcast.
Two books cover this part of history. One is an old Ballantine Books release, The Destruction of Dresden. The other is Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.
As a naturalized American citizen, I served my country in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam era, and I am here to tell you, whether you are on the giving or receiving end, war is hell. And no matter what kind of smart weaponry we have—laser-guided or whatever—the more complex this stuff gets, the more prone it is to failure, and like it or not, we need to expect this and learn to live with it. It is unfortunate that innocent lives are lost due to malfunctions or mistakes, but these mistakes are no different from the drunk in his car wiping out a family in an accident while he lives.Lutz Moeckel