Allow me to write a similar column to !Ask a Mexican! called Ask an American, and lets see which column people like more

It does not take a genius to figure out that most of the county hospital closings are due in large part to illegals using them for health care. Welfare is bankrupting the state due to all of the illegals getting freebies. Our schools are overcrowed because of children whose parents have no right to be here. Our super-high property taxes go to pay for those overcrowed schools. One-third of our prison inmates are illegals. How much does it cost to arrest them, defend them, and then house them?

Mr. Kissell, it probably doesn't matter to you, but it was American lives that fought and died in the Revolutionary War to make this a nation. American lives were sacrificed in the Civil War to keep this nation together, and even though Mr. Olson may not know it, American lives did make the difference in World Wars I and II. What part did these illegals play in the fight for democracy? Most of their countries were safe havens for Nazi war criminals, and now the American people are at war again, against our very own government.

The lawmakers that took an oath to defend the CONSTITUTION and protect our rights are trying to force us to legalize a group of people who didn't have the guts to stay in their own countries and fight to make them better. Freedom of the press is just as important to democracy as all of our military forces, but when the press is corporate-owned and uses its power to silence the American people and keep them uninformed, they are shirking their responsibility. Every American should be standing together on this very important issue, but corporate America has us divided, and everyone knows that a nation divided against itself cannot stand. If Rome could fall, then the United States can fall also. What role are you playing in our downfall?
Simuel Lenoir
via e-mail

The following articles are in response to R. Scott Moxley's "Protesters Don't Rattle Vietnam's President," published June 29. The article chronicled Nguyen Minh Triet on his visit to Orange County and his hopes of healing "old wounds."

First of all, I would like to thank you for an excellent article that provided a different viewpoint on the Vietnamese president's first visit to the U.S. I read and really enjoyed it!

Mr. Triet's visit had been shadowed by the protesters and the noises they made. Although his visit was widely covered by the presses, it seemed the protesters got quite good coverage and readers sometimes missed the point of this important trip. Your article, however, showed the man behind the title, and it contrasted with the image the protesters presented to the world.

The Vietnam War ended 32 years ago, yet the lingering effect it has on the Vietnamese people is still here, especially in Orange County. Many Vietnamese-Americans, when they speak of Vietnam, speak of a country of the past, with the two sides still at war, and flying the old Saigon regime's flag is a perfect example. Not much has changed for them in the past three decades, except for the name of the cause based on which they protest. It used to be "anti-communist," but nowadays, it has a more appealing name—"the fight for freedom, democracy, and human rights"—which caught attention of people like Ed Royce and Loretta Sanchez. But under all that, it is just the bitterness of a war they lost 32 years ago and nothing more!

Fortunately, Mr. Triet expected these protests, and it seems that he was not at all bothered by them. Taking back with him $11 billion in contracts for Vietnam is what the Vietnamese people inside Vietnam care about, not what the protesters had to say. From your article, which provided the view from inside the resort at Monarch Beach, if what the protesters outside wanted to do was to rain on Mr. Triet's parade, it was only a sprinkle to cool down the weather—that's all!
Jerry Pham
San Diego

WE DON'T NEED TO RATTLE THE PRESIDENT OF VIETNAM. WE NEED TO RATTLE OUR PRESIDENT. The recent article by R. Scott Moxley sounds like a romance novel or fairy tale: "He left happily." Yes, he was happy walking away with more American dollars, while our trade deficit with Vietnam continues to grow ($7.6 billion and now another $11 billion?). Yes, he was happy because he knows that "the spirit of friendship" arose out of the U.S.'s military strategic needs. The issues are not the yellow-and-red-striped flags and the angry crowd not knowing how pleasant and nice it was inside St. Regis. The issues are in Vietnam, and they should remain in Vietnam and not be a financial burden to the U.S. If anyone should take advantage of the "open and integrated" invitation to visit Vietnam, make sure you also visit the rural areas where there is much needed improvement in the standard of living and people are faced with much less than bare necessity.
OC Observer
via e-mail

R. Scott Moxley replies: I did not write that Triet "left happily." Vietnam's president said in English that he was "very happy" with the success of his trip despite protesters. By the way, I have visited rural and urban Vietnam numerous times.

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