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WAR: IT AIN'T FUN LIKE IT USED TO BE
It's kind of sad, really, to admit that Robert Acosta is right and we—the American government—have forgotten our military guys in Afghanistan and Iraq [Gustavo Arellano's "He Ain't Marching Anymore," Sept. 22]. We go forward and when it looks like we reach the objective, some pussy upstairs retreats. I think that if everyone in charge of this war had their first-born or grandson or son-in-law in the trenches with the regular enlisted personnel, things would be different. September 11 has really taught us nothing. We see the enemy, we know who they are and the countries (Saudi Arabia) who finance their war against us. Do we really need their oil? Ask yourself: How much is a life worth? Then ask yourself if you would like Hezbollah living next door.
Santa Ana, CA
YOUR PROBLEMS ARE NOT OUR PROBLEMS
I just read your article about the cat in the tree (as well as the Mexican) [Gustavo Arellano's "O Solo Meow," Oct. 6]. It seems to be common knowledge that for a problem like this you would call the fire department, animal control, or vector control, etc. Frustrating, though, when you find out that the fire department doesn't really do that, animal control is under-funded and too busy, and vector control only deals with wild animals. There is always an excuse for the civilian servants to NOT do their job. Perhaps the firemen were in the midst of a particularly competitive game of canasta when she called. Maybe the animal control employee was personally under-funded and therefore not in the mood to help. I'm still trying to find out just exactly what vector control does. I accept that everyone has specific tasks that they are charged with in order to perform their job, but what ever happened to doing a little extra? I can tell you why it's urban legend that firemen rescue cats from trees. They did it because they had nothing else better to do (back in the day) and felt it was their primary job to help people. Since they had the ladder trucks and were trained to fight fires from them, it seems like a relatively easy task to rescue a cat. This is how firemen built a reputation as heroes; they did as much as they could within their means. If animal control won't do anything for a cat in a tree, then what problem is important enough for them to come out? Do you have to report a cougar in your back yard? Maybe they would just tell you to play some loud music to scare it away so they can get back to cleaning cages or whatever they do. I had a swarm of bees in my side yard one time and called vector control to get them. "Sorry sir, we don't do that. You will have to call a beekeeper for that." I should have told them they were fire ants; maybe they would have come out for that.
HOW DO THOSE TOES FEEL UNDERNEATH MY FOOT?
Your column "Ask a Mexican" is exactly what this world needs. I began to read it for its humorous qualities but recently you have taken on some very sensitive issues. What I enjoy most is that you will come right out and say the politically incorrect truth, regardless of whose toes you step on—and that is the real issue to me. So many people think that if someone slurs their race that they must be personally responsible for everyone in their race. That kind of thinking is insane. My heritage is limey/Jew-cooker (English-German) and there has been plenty of hate directed at Germans over the years and rightly so. Does this mean that I should be upset about it? Hell no! I don't know any of the people responsible for giving Germans a bad name. I am not about to stand up for people I don't know just because we share a heritage. So much of your column takes this point to task. I was really impressed with your fielding of that UCLA professor's statements. His and so many others' insistence of how "we" should feel when someone talks about our heritage is utter bullshit. If he wants to defend his race, that's his problem, but when he does, don't forget to take all the good with all the bad too. Without saying it, your responses include the ugly side and that seems to be what riles people the most. Gustavo, with your column, you may eventually eliminate the term "hate words." Keep us the good work and keep spiking those toes!
Mark Lindeman (again!)
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MINORITY? THIS COURT'S FOR YOU!
This week I went to the North Orange County Courthouse. I encountered two puzzling things. First the cretins—I mean deputy sheriffs—in charge of door security determined that a wooden pencil with No. 2 lead from OfficeMax was "metal" and might be a weapon. When I suggested that this was silly, I was ordered not to "act up" or I would not be allowed in. Two unarmed Marines in uniform had their insignia closely scrutinized before being admitted. Then, once in the courtroom, I had plenty of time to count the 22 defendants as we waited some 40 minutes for the judge to arrive. There were 22 people waiting their turns . . . 14 appeared to be Hispanic, two were obviously Asian and one was a black man. I was not one of the accused. Does this indicate that minorities are more prone to running afoul of the law or could it be that police cannot see non-minorities committing alleged infractions? Previous visits to courtrooms in OC have presented the same lopsided picture.