Crossing the Line? Many Internet trolls — oops, we mean readers — thought our series about American freedoms under fire did just that, reserving special scorn for Michael Lacey's piece about “America's War on Mexicans” (“Bordering on Revolution,” June 8).
Writes Sam Ziselman, “Mr. Lacey has played very loose with the facts in an effort to spin an argument against enforcement of current immigration laws, which most American voters simply won't buy. The most glaring of his substantive misrepresentations are (1) 'Roughly 22 percent of all deportees were forced to abandon children — children who are American citizens,' and (2) 'What SB 1070 does is criminalize the undocumented.'
“Both these assertions are patently false. Every illegal-alien deportee is free to take his children back to his country of origin. Further, enacted portions of SB 1070 do not create new categories of criminal conduct for the undocumented. Breaking and entering into the U.S., using stolen Social Security numbers and forged documents, engaging in tax fraud and driving without a license were all illegal activities before Arizona ever took steps to crack down on people who have no business being here.”
PHXfan14 has a more pointed critique. “I tried reading this liberal drabble, but found so many lies in the first page I could not continue,” he writes. “I encourage everyone on this site, or those trying to read this article, to go and read the actual law. Don't read editorials from any papers or news sites. … The lies this 'journalist' states are a true detriment to society and slap in the face of true journalists.”
“'Criminalize the undocumented???????” Dennis writes. “They sneaked into this country illegally. That means they ARE criminals! What part of ILLEGAL don't you understand?”
CharleyX has an inspired idea — if you take your inspiration from Nazi Germany: “It's time to stack those wetbacks into boxcars and ship them back to whatever crap-hole country they crawled out of.”
Ana Alvarez80 is horrified. “Whoa! When did we become judge, jury and executioner?” she writes. “In this country you are fighting to keep illegals out of, there is a saying: innocent until proven guilty. As a Latina born and raised in the U.S., I don't mind them asking me for my citizenship status — as long as they are asking everybody for proof of citizenship. I do have a problem with them asking because of the way I look.”
Food for Thought
Readers also had plenty to say about our new restaurant critic, Besha Rodell, and her first review, which suggested Govind Armstrong's Post & Beam was respectable but “hardly inspired” (“Return of the Native,” June 8).
Rjhemedes didn't like Rodell's critique.
“The part of town where Post & Beam is located has a dearth of 'farm-to-table' restaurants,” he writes. “The restaurant can't serve cutting-edge cuisine because that won't attract the locals, who are looking for something more similar to comfort food. Now, if within five to 10 years, other similar restaurants crop up in the area, then some of them can stop 'playing it safe' and try edgier cuisine. If the chef tried cutting-edge cuisine from the start, it would have closed down by now, instead of being packed with crowds. Let him run a successful restaurant in that area first for a couple of years before he starts 'experimenting.' ”
He adds, “The Leimert Park area doesn't even have a Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, so there is no way a cutting-edge restaurant would survive there. Rodell is going to have to learn that some neighborhoods can sustain a specific type of restaurant, while others simply can't. As it is, most people living in Santa Monica and the Westside would be too afraid to venture into Leimert Park — many of them are still afraid of going to downtown L.A. or Koreatown.”
R2S2 thinks his fellow commenter's summary is unfair to Rodell. “Where did her review say that the food needs to be edgy? I thought it said something about not being too safe, like maybe serving a snapper instead of the standard salmon. Do you really think Besha believes the food would be better if Chef Govind was making ricotta rum gnocchi dipping dots?” Ewww. We hope not!
Prose adds, “Sorry, I agree with Besha. There is nothing wrong with doing comfort food; I just wish it was better than it was here. She was unduly kind to the pizza, as it was just plain awful. Calling it uninspired is being generous. Perhaps edgier cuisine is not what's called for, but better execution, as well as inspiration, would do wonders for the restaurant. Personally, I think you are not giving the people around the neighborhood enough credit for knowing good food.”
Agliopiccante is already a fan. “I probably wouldn't eat at Post and Beam, but really enjoyed your review,” he writes. “Keep it coming.” That she will, Agliopiccante. That she will.
Hearty congratulations are due to L.A. Weekly writers and designers, who cleaned up at the 2012 AltWeekly Awards. Listings editor (and longtime music writer) Falling James took first place in music reporting/criticism, former staff writer Chris Vogel took first in the long-form news story category, and creative director Darrick Rainey took first in editorial layout. Congratulations to all.
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