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I'm studying Spanish at Saddleback College and was stunned to read that it voted to cancel the Spanish study abroad program due to Spain's withdrawal of troops from Iraq [Gustavo Arellano's "No Entiendo," March 4 online; March 11 in print]. This is an outrageous example of partisan politics that demonstrates how the governing board of the district puts its political agenda before the education of its students. This decision makes a farce of the district's own mission statement to "provide . . . cultural and social enrichment opportunities to the community." The district's actions show the world that at the South Orange County Community College District, enriching our youth with the knowledge of other cultures is secondary to making petty-political statements.
I'm a Republican who is pretty conservative, but I don't get the Spain thing. We went to Spain after the train bombing. As our train pulled into Madrid, we remembered those who died but never feared for our safety. There were Americans all over the place, obviously not concerned about security. I don't know what Tom Fuentes and the rest of the board were thinking. Hey, even the leaders of our Republican group actually went to France a couple of months ago. Can you imagine that?
I have dedicated my life to Spanish education here and abroad for 33 years, and I am disgusted that valuable linguistic and cultural programs can be jeopardized by neo-con trustees who obviously do not understand the tolerant world of ideas, cultural exchange and academe. By this decision, the narrow-minded reputation of jingoist Orange County is once again reaffirmed in the consciousness of our nation.
Brother Terrence Lauerman, O.Praem.
St. Norbert Abbey
De Pere, Wisconsin
I would like to extend a very happy birthday to the Wonderful Commie Girl [Feb. 18]. I often think about what it would be like if she were my mother. I imagine we'd live a life similar to those Gastineau Girls. What do you think?
Gustavo Arellano makes a common liberal assumption that those who oppose illegal immigration are simple-minded boobs who are unable to understand all sides of a problem and take a rational position ["The Anti-Immigrant Movement's Trotsky," Feb. 11]. There are lots of us in California. I've long advocated putting the family members of our approximately four million drug addicts on the border, with instructions to shoot anything that moves. I would volunteer, and so would my 87-year-old mother. Any "innocent" people who might be shot would be small compared to the deaths from drugs in our communities. If that makes me a vigilante, it beats the hell out of the heartbreak that drugs have inflicted on our family.
The editorresponds: Barbara,OC Weekly began publishing nearly 10 years ago and will soon publish its 500th issue. In all that time, in all those issues, I don't think we've ever received a more brilliant piece of DaDa absurdism than your "letter." From the beginning, when you seem to characterize yourself as a "simple-minded boob," to your ultimate Rube Goldberg-meets-Sam Beckett "solution" to the immigration/drug/elder-care problem, the whole thing reads like one big, incongruous, chicken broth spinning doll head bathtub dragster. Huzzah! You must be very proud.
. . . AND THESE
Gustavo Arellano, you got it wrong again: Mr. Gilchrist and Mr. Simcox are not "anti-immigrant"; they and many more of us are "anti-illegal immigrant." We know the difference and you know it as well, but from all your articles on this issue you erase the difference. So I say you, sir, are the Trotsky and Stalin for the illegal alien invasion of the United States. It's evident that you identify with foreigners of your ethnic group rather than with your fellow United States citizens (assuming you are a U.S. citizen). You identify with your tribe the same as folks in Third World countries. How primitive of you to have such a tribal mentality.
I love how publications such as yours like to conveniently forget to distinguish between legal and illegal aliens. As a Hispanic-American, I fully support The Minuteman Project and Mr. Gilchrist, and I will be on the fronterasaving my tax money, one migrant smuggler at a time.
You've got to be kidding me! [Gustavo Arellano's "Get On the Bus—But Not You," March 4]. An extra 25 cents per bus trip? Like the prices aren't going up in this state for everyone? To me that shows a true lack of incentive and drive. Not being able to get an extra 50 cents a day for a free education? Boo hoo! You have to walk three-and-a-half miles home because you can't rustle up an extra 25 cents. If you were truly interested in bettering your station in life, you would walk uphill in the snow in flip flops and a sarong for that education. I have two simple suggestions: Buy fewer packs of cigarettes or raise the price of donuts in your donut shop. Cry for me: I actually had to work my way through college and pay for my own transportation.
As a Born-Again Christian, I am deeply offended by your article, slamming Pastor Chuck Smith and the late Pastor John Wimber [Matt Coker's "The Passion of the Hippie," March 4]. You people really love it when a Christian falls into sin, don't you? I was a "Jesus Freak," having been converted at the age of 20 on April 5, 1970. All of you should accept Jesus Christ as your Personal Savior. I think your magazine would be a lot better without the porn.
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