By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Letters may be edited for clarity and length. E-mail to email@example.com, or send to Letters to the Editor, c/o OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701. Or fax to (714) 550-5908.
The following article is in response to Gustavo Arellano's June 21 This Hole-in-the-Wall Life, discussing the oldest snack of the Americas: elote asado at El Rey de el Elote Azado in Santa Ana.
Seriously, you don't know much about ezquites or corn. The corns and ezquites at this place suck because the corn doesn't have the flavor a Mexican corn would, and the ezquites need epazote. Gustavo, please ask Mexicans for advice on the food before writing on how good it is when it's not. By the way, you are getting ripped off because you can get these items from a street vendor for half the price.
I enjoyed your article [R. Scott Moxley's "Protesters Don't Rattle Vietnam's President," June 28]. On that very Saturday, instead of going for my morning jog and routine workout, I decided to join the demonstrators outside the St. Regis Resort in Dana Point. I know it is probably bad for my heart but actually good for my conscience. We have already known that Nguyen Minh Triet is only a figurehead, a flavor of the month of the Vietnamese Communist (VC) Party. We did not demonstrate against him personally. We were there to condemn ongoing human-rights abuses in Vietnam. I am glad you mentioned the gentleman with the Ho Chi Minh on a stick. I happened to stand next to him and was glad to have pictures taken with him.
One of the demonstration organizers had asked him repeatedly to put the extreme sign away, but he refused. With a stern face, he shouted, "Did you know the VC killed seven of my family members?" As an ambassador of peace, a young lady quickly stepped in between them and said, "Please let him be. These are his rights—freedom of expression, freedom of speech. This is exactly what we are here for."
In your article, you quoted "one middle-aged man and his wife," part of the delegation, as saying they felt like they were watching "hungry, cage animals at a zoo." They were right. In Vietnam, that is exactly how 84 million Vietnamese people feel—like caged animals. The government watches your every move, every step. You are taught what to say and what to think. Just imagine that when one goes to vote, the choices on the ballot are as follows: a.) Mr. X (Communist Party), b.) Mr. Y (Communist Party), c.) Mr. Z (Communist Party). All rules and regulations are in the favor of a single party—the ultimate VC party. Laws are not written to protect the people, but in the interests of the VC party.
Father Ly, a well-known democracy advocate; Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Quang Do; and Ms. Le Thi Cong Nhan and Mr. Nguyen Van Dai, both human-rights attorneys; as well as many other intellectuals and common folk who have tried to voice their opinions about democracy and freedom for Vietnam are now in hard prison or detention.
Yes, Mr. Moxley, we were there to speak out on behalf of 84 million caged animals in Vietnam. You also mentioned what Triet said about Vietnam: "They [the protesters] do not have accurate information about Vietnam." In fact, after 20 years living abroad and recent resignation from the U.S. Navy, I went back to visit Vietnam, my birthplace. I had personally witnessed a group of government officials carelessly forking out $500 U.S. for a bottle of imported hard liquor while a street boy was ecstatic when I gave him an ear of boiled corn. It was probably his breakfast, lunch and dinner for the day.
I am heartbroken to see in the so-called "No Social Classes" Communist Regime such a huge gap between rich and poor. The majority of the rich are government officials and anyone related to the godly VC party. One might have wondered where the money comes from. The simple answer is world aid, humanitarian donations and bribes from foreigners' investments. No wonder Triet had the biggest grin on his face since $11 billion U.S. are now safely in his and his compadres' pockets.
Nowadays, it is sad to say that one of the fastest growing industries in Vietnam is prostitution. The trafficking of women and children is rampant. Even in his speech calling for foreign trade, Triet cheerfully mentioned, "Vietnam has beautiful women!" I bet you did not know that the "P" in "President" stands for PIMP, as he is the biggest VC Pimping Daddy.
On the way back, I sat next to an older gentleman on the bus. Free buses were provided by the demonstration organizers and local Vietnamese businesses. The organizers encouraged us to take buses since they did not want to create traffic problems for the beautiful city of Dana Point. The gentleman was a former South Vietnamese Republic Army veteran. With a smile, he told me he was very hungry and thanked the organizers for the water bottle they gave him. He had a Cup of Noodles ready at home, but he did not have time to eat because he didn't want to miss the bus. It was ironic that while Nguyen Cao Ky, the former South Vietnam vice president and general, enjoyed the fine dining with the VC president and his entourage at the indoor reception, one of his troops went hungry outside the gate of St. Regis Resort at Monarch Beach. I guess I should not have been surprised because the same well-known general had abandoned his men and fled the country before the fall of Saigon. I respectfully told the older gentleman that I bet his stomach was empty but his heart was full. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely thank him. I thank the more than 2000 protesters who had tried to speak out for 84 billion Vietnamese people at home.
LAZY AND CRAZY
The following article is in response to the coverage of Ashley MacDonald's "suicide" (Nick Schou's Sept. 7, 2006, "Shoot First, Ask No Questions Later"; Nov. 9, 2006, "Hey, Chief!"; Feb. 1 "Fire at Will"; March 15 "Inside the Kill Zone"; April 5 "Thanks for the Work!"; and June 5 "Suicide by Cop 101.")
I cannot get enough of your articles in relation to Ashley MacDonald. I swear I e-mailed your "Hey, Chief!" article to practically everyone I knew. Most of these people do not live in Huntington Beach, as I do, and they refuse to believe anything like that could happen in the so-called "Surf City." I personally have no clue what it must take to be a H.B. cop, nor do I believe that the mentality is limited. I am not the first person to catch them sleeping in their cars, and given the fact I was less than a block away from the park where Ashley was killed, I can only deduce you must have two mindsets—and only two—in order to make the cut at the H.B. Police Department: Lazy and Crazy. Nevertheless, I still do anything and everything I can to avoid the H.B. police for any reason. Keep the good stuff coming.
A-SOL-T WITH SOME DEADLY RHYMES
The following letters are in regard to Rex Reason's July 5 Aural Reports, about OC rapper Sol-T.
I've been a fan of Sol-T for many years now. I am so glad the Weekly is staying up on real OC hip-hop. Sol continually brings flavor, class and a uniqueness you don't find much anymore in the world of MCs. Mad props to the OC Weekly. And to all the readers out there, you better keep your eyes and ears open. Sol-T is bringing it back.
Yeah. Sol-T's a hip kid, got a very interesting attitude. Thanks for the article.
Kid looks fresh. This is what I want to see coming out of our community when it comes to hip-hop. Thanks to the OC Weekly for not rep-ing the gangster-wannabe shit. I like his songs on the MySpace, too. Peace.
NICE ONE, DICK
The following letters are in regard to Charles Drengberg's July 5 Letter to the Editor, proposing that he be able to write a column similar to °Ask a Mexican! titled "Ask an American."
The "Ask an American" idea seems like a great one to me. Run 'em side by side, with a shot of a redneck looking at the Mexican.
Eventually, you could run "Ask an Asian From Garden Grove." Tee hee. Or "Ask an African-American Who Hates Watermelon."
Dick Miller, former chairman
LA/Anaheim chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America
When-oh-when will we tighten up those Nevada and Arizona borders leading into California? It's so tiring hearing from another fat white boy who is "still fairly new to Southern California" tell us longtime locals about immigration. Our Mexican brothers and sisters know which way the wind blows out here, and you do not! And you never will! So please waddle back to where you came from!
After I read the vile letter from Charles Drengberg, the kind of white-trash scum I've come to loathe and revile, I wanted to say one thing first: A veces estoy muy avergonzado porque soy gabacho.
When I hear that kind of racist garbage coming from someone who is new to California—or from anyone, for that matter—I think, how can they be so unaware of our history here? When I hear that crap, I am truly ashamed to be a white American.
SoCal was once a part of Mexico and was stolen from the Republic of Mexico in an illegal war. Ask that piece of white-trash filth, that foul-mouth vermin, Charles, if he actually earned the right to live in this country. Ask him if he earned the right to live in this police state run by capitalist pigs. I'm a veteran; I actually earned the right to live in this filthy country. Did you, Charles?
So if you ask this gabacho, I think Charles Drengberg should go back to were he came from, and then his mother should have her cunt surgically sealed.
The following letter is a general response to the writing of food critic Edwin Goei—though his June 13 review of Picante really seems to have set her off.
Stop this adjective-spewing vermin from writing. Ever. If I wanted flowery narrative, I would read Emerson or Tolkien, not a GODDAMN food review. Does anyone read his crap, let alone edit it?!? You have editors, no? I, nor anyone I know, have been able to finish ONE of his articles. Not because we're ADD or illiterate, but because this person uses extraneous words to get a few simple points across. I want to know how the food is, not the ambient lighting of the friggin' LIGHT FIXTURES. The wall texture has nothing to do with me shoving food in my face. JUST. STOP.