By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, EXPATRIATE
How utterly offensive and ridiculous it is for Marc Cooper to suggest that the wall separating a small portion of Mexico from the United States is a greater evil than the Berlin Wall [“On the Border of Hypocrisy,” December 5–11]. The Berlin Wall was constructed by a totalitarian government intent on maintaining power by terrorizing its own populace and preventing anyone from fleeing. People attempting to cross over it were deliberately murdered on the spot.
The wall on our own border, on the other hand, was constructed in an (obviously feeble) attempt to regain some semblance of control over a region straining under the influx of countless illegal aliens (and yes, the proper term is “illegal aliens”). I agree that hypocrisy exists in the reluctance of the government to crack down on business exploitation of cheap illegal labor, but I would prefer that we correct that half of the hypocrisy rather than give up and open the border to all comers. I would gladly pay a little more for my produce than feel left out in the land of my birth because I don’t speak the language.
I recently returned from a multiday camping and hiking trip in the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge, which occupies a huge stretch of upper Sonoran desert, grasslands and mountains along the Arizona side of the U.S.-Mexico border — the heart of the illegal-immigrant “funnel.” I witnessed first-hand the incredible damage the immigrant influx is having on the local environment. Foot trails criss-crossed the desert foothills. With almost unimaginable frequency we encountered makeshift campsites littered with discarded clothing (too often children’s), empty water bottles and other abandoned items.
While the human toll is paramount, one mustn’t ignore the impact our immigration policy is having on the incredibly rich and fragile border environments. One must also sympathize with the long-established and widely scattered ranchers and Native American communities whose homes and land are repeatedly trampled and invaded.
There’s a simple way to stop the deaths of Mexicans trying to cross our U.S. border: They should just stay home.
FREE TOMMY BONG
Looks like the U.S. Judicial Machine is gearing up for future busts by the Thought Police. (Oh, man . . . I was only thinking about having a toke . . . doh!) But hey! They’ve gotta keep that privatized prison business going, don’t they? Pack in more and more prisoners, who will work away for two bucks an hour on manufacturing contracts with big corporations who will get richer and richer . . . but I digress.
In the meantime, best wishes and prayers to the Chong family [“Chong Family Values,” December 5–11]. A little advice from north of the border: Come home, Tommy. Bring your whole family. You won’t be harassed here.
The lies and deceptions used to keep marijuana illegal are more absurd than the justifications for the witch hunts of yesteryear. The prohibitionists cannot come up with one valid reason for outlawing cannabis that stands the test of science, medicine or common sense.
Have you ever heard of somebody smoking a joint and going on a homicidal rampage? It’s never happened; it’s pure fiction. But that’s the basis for criminalizing marijuana.
86 THE SALAD
“Harvest of Pain” [November 28– December 4] was a fairly meticulous accounting of the heavy social, environmental and health costs imposed by agribusiness in order to bring a head of lettuce to a restaurant table, but it gave no hint that
there is an alternative to the dismal story it tells. Organic foods and fully integrated food systems — embracing bioregionalism, Natural Systems Agriculture, farmers’ markets, Alice Walker’s “Slow Food,” and community supported agriculture farms (CSA) — are the answer to the unsustainable corporate model that has declared war both on nature and farm communities.
Readers of the Weekly would be well advised to Google any of the above-listed concepts from the organics movement and start the process of disconnecting themselves from the tragic harvest your reporter so vividly depicts. They hold an alternative and an end product
very different from his desultory “Cheesecake Factory experience” and the caesar salad that he could not finish.
The prejudice of Ms. Lewis’ article [“What Part of No Do You Still Not Understand?,” November 21–27] is evident when she talks only about women who have been victimized by date rape. If we apply the same standards of date rape (being verbally coerced into having sex or being touched sexually without one’s consent) to women, then we would find that many men have also been the victims of female-initiated date rape. I have been to more than one frat party/dance club where women got drunk, threw off clothing items, rubbed up against men, touched men sexually without their consent, and otherwise acted in ways which would be defined as date rape were these actions to be conducted by men. Obviously, if men applied the same standards to women’s behavior that women do to men’s, we would see thousands of American women brought to court for sexual harassment and date rape.
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