Junk Food Enthusiast -- I am writing in response to your "On the Street" question, "Salty or Sweet" (9/18/03). I say both.
The Uno Bar has a melt-in-your-mouth chocolate texture with hints of salt to make it like none other. For a half-and-half taste, try Nestl & eacute;'s Flipz white-fudge-covered pretzels. And for the serious connoisseur, chocolate-covered potato chips are the best.
Migrant Work Not for Aliens -- This letter is in response to the commentary "Border War" (10/9/03). As a youngster, my family and I were "migrant" workers, weeding cotton and thinning sugar beets in the San Joaquin Valley of California, picking beans in Bend, Ore., and cherries in Emmet, Idaho. Then we'd go on to Hemet, Calif., to pick apricots, followed by picking dates in Indio, Calif., and melons in the Coachella Valley of California. Then up to Yakima, Wash., to harvest hops. This circuitous journey would always end up by picking potatoes in southeastern Idaho in the fall.
Yes, the work was "low-paying, dirty, hard, monotonous and often dangerous," as you say, but conditions have improved considerably. When I was a youngster, there were no mandated portable toilets -- you went in the bushes, if there were any. There was no "mandated" source of potable water available. You brought your own, usually in a canvas desert water bag that always tasted like the canvas. There was no "plush" subsidized housing, as I witnessed last year in Wilder, Idaho, and near Monitor, Wash. We slept in or under our cars or in a shelter of stacked cherry boxes. Camping out was a lifestyle, not a form of recreation; this lifestyle was a matter of choice, not a form of forced servitude, as you imply.
Last fall, while camping on the Entiat River up above Ardenvior, Wash., I met a couple from Connecticut who had a six-year-old child. The woman had a degree from Smith College and the man had a master's in social work. They were picking apples to earn a living, not because they did not have any other skills or could not get any other kind of work, but, because they chose the lifestyle of a "migrant" worker with its virtual lack of accountability and low overhead. Neither they nor I have ever seen a migrant worker who did not have food to put on the table, unless there was some form of substance abuse involved. But that happens in all lifestyles, doesn't it? As they pointed out, all one has to do is gain other skills to change one's choice of lifestyles. I did.
Also, I must point out that the use of the term "unlawful immigrant," is a total misnomer. The term is really "illegal alien." An immigrant can only be referred to as being lawful or legal, as an immigrant is someone who has gone through the immigration process. Illegal aliens on the other hand are here "unlawfully," not having gone through the process. So refer to them as they really are: "criminals."
Migrant and immigrant are not interchangeable terms. As you point out, one can migrate without being an immigrant and vice versa. If amnesty should be granted to these criminals, then what other criminals should be afforded this wink and nod? The likes of Enron-type CEOs? They aren't asking for much, only the chances to live work and support their families. Ludicrous comparison, you say? About as ludicrous as your advocating amnesty for any criminal just to alleviate the consequences of the decisions they have made. A crime is a crime.
We're the Pigs -- You recently ran a letter, "Dead Meat," from a Leslie Curran that was so right on the money it sounded as if I wrote it. It refers to the article "This Little Piggie Went to Market" (10/2/03).
As the letter states, the terms "happy" and "dead" really don't work in the same sentence. If these animals are the farmer's friends, and they have names for them, how can the people just take them to market and eat them the next day?
Yes, I am a vegetarian and the article appalled me. We need more people like Leslie Curran to say what they really feel and say it right. This person may feel like a hundred to one minority, but it's two for sure now.
Norman A. Oss III
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Immigration Migraine -- In his guest commentary, "Border War," (10/9/03), Catholic Charities director Greg Cunningham does an expert job of further propagating the destructive agenda that today's immigrants are crucial to what used to be a great America. Why? Could it be, though it's politically incorrect to say, because of some connection between immigrants and their participation in Catholicism?
Whatever lofty, feel-good phrases Mr. Cunningham can fabricate supporting immigration, there are likely more negative, corrosive facts that contradict. The plainest contradiction is that today's immigrants, favored by corrupt politicos, are here and have come here to slice up America based on their own motivations, devil be damned how it drags down a nation created by peoples unlike the immigrants.
No, diversity is not our strength. I invite Mr. Cunningham to address the concerns of the legitimate descendents of America's founders. Read "the true melted-pot immigrants pre-1900," when the American Southwest was annexed "back" to Mexico. Author George Orwell sits in smug glee, watching the hourly application of his saying, "in an age of universal deceit, telling the truth [is] a revolutionary act."
I've told the truth. The strange thing about truth in our confused society is on which side of the cancerous political correctness it finds itself situated.