Dubai Not Dry
The article entitled “Boozing with Shamu” (“Breaking News,” July 3) was extremely poorly written and horribly researched. Dubai, which may be a Muslim country, has some of the most tourist- and people-friendly laws and legislation in all of the Middle East. Tourists are not shunned or restricted from enjoying alcoholic beverages and wearing western clothing; however, all that could be written about the possible takeover of SeaWorld by Dubai was “Uhh ohh, we might not be able to drink there.” Who in their right mind would think that a Muslim country with laws that allow individuals to buy and drink alcoholic beverages would come to the U.S. and make it illegal to drink? Apparently the author of the article and your staff that approved the printing. Let me know if you are hurting that bad for articles and maybe I will write you guys a more educated and better-researched article. The takeover of SeaWorld by Dubai could be the best thing possible for our local environment. Have you seen the amount of money being poured into Dubai for construction?
I really enjoyed the library article (“No Shushing in This Library,” Cover Story, June 19). I was shocked that anyone could write about a library and make it interesting. This might be my favorite article right behind that one Board did about maniac soccer moms. (That one was so good that I did not want it to end. I would have bought the book.)
Jadean’s Mom Gets Bum Deal
This is in regard to the cover story about Jadean (“There’s Been an Accident,” Cover Story, June 5). I’m writing in response to the responses in the letters. First of all, yes, Ms. Thrasher left home for a walk and got hammered, but she didn’t realize that her daughter was in trouble. I bet she feels a lot of guilt for that, but I think the whole point of her story is being overlooked. The fact is a 26-year-old man had her daughter in his truck. He did not make sure she kept her seat belt on, but he drove recklessly, and because of him, Jadean died. Even her friend Shelby lied. Jadean’s mother wanted answers. She could not figure out how their daughter got killed. Shelby didn’t even call 911 at the accident. She called her father. She didn’t take responsibility for what happened; she just had a lot of excuses.
Then Ms. Thrasher was trying to figure out what happened — wanted her daughter’s purse, wanted her journals. They disappeared. The sheriff didn’t see anything wrong with that. Well, he could have discarded that. Well, you know what, maybe you should have started digging around and finding out where it might have been, because the grave for personal belongings is not that hard to find.
Then the person who came to her house to talk to her left a card, and she called back, and instead of them saying, “Can you please come down to talk to us or let me come in to see you,” they told her over the phone that her daughter died. Not in person, but over the phone. That’s cold.
Not even the sheriff wanted to get involved. Basically the man said, “No victim, no crime.” There was a victim; she was just dead. To me, that is a victim that should be taken seriously.
Then there was no report given that I know of.
Then the young man, the 26-year-old, was with a young lady of 15. No one seemed to find that weird. No one wanted to look into that. The whole thing is, a 26-year-old gentleman was with an underage girl. Somebody was under the influence of something, and it was this man’s responsibility to make sure this girl got home safely, and he didn’t. But he got off scot-free. He did not go to jail. He did not do anything. He even got a new truck from his parents. His parents didn’t even seem too concerned in regards to what he did or who he was with. No, I’m sorry, but if I had a son who was 26 years old and he was with kids who were 15, I’d ask him why.
Then she goes and talks to the sheriff because she decides to get answers, and he’s, like, “Well, why are you bothering me?”
Now, as far as her being whiny, I think she had a right to be whiny. And as far as her screaming and yelling, yes, I think she’s entitled to because she wasn’t getting any answers. She may not have been a very good mother, but she was trying her hardest to find out what happened to her daughter, and I think if anyone had a child who died under those circumstances, they’d want to know why, how, where, when, and who with. And not “Well, I wasn’t there so I killed her.” No, that’s not right.
I was at the courthouse on January 30. I saw all these young ladies that were there because they were with Mr. Garcia. And as for soshimo and Greta (Letters, June 12), if they had seen all the young ladies who were there with Mr. Garcia, they would want this man put behind bars; he has no right being with all these young ladies.
I feel sorry for the mother, very sorry for her. Yes, she made a mistake in getting drunk. Yes, she made a mistake in probably leaving her other child home. But she went out for a run and did not plan to go to her friend’s house. She didn’t know her daughter was going to be in an accident. So I think you people need to lay off her and realize that a young lady died and that a sheriff’s station, they didn’t want to do anything about it, and then a judge, basically, until a bunch of people started harassing her in her office, a judge wasn’t even going to do anything about it because, hey, whatever. I don’t know who the Garcia family is connected with, but somebody needs to look into that and find out why this young man was able to get away with everything he got away with and stop blaming a mother and not blame the person actually responsible for it.
I’m appalled by some of the letters I saw in the Reader. I’m appalled by them. Because she did her best. Her daughter died, and if your daughter died the way her daughter died, I think you’d be as upset as she is, if not more, with the responses she got.
Bloodshed Not An Option
The article “If I Did That Over There, They’d Cut My Hands Off,” by Bill Manson, published in the Reader on May 15, was an interesting article and did reveal a few of the main teachings that Muhammad, the Messenger and Prophet of God, brought for humanity. If the believers of God study the Quran and don’t let others tell them how and what to think, then they will realize and appreciate the real teachings of Muhammad.
My friend and I are both members of the Baha’i faith, with a Christian and Jewish background, and would like to draw your attention to a few points not mentioned by the author of the article. For those who have not heard of us, the Baha’i faith is an independent world religion, whose fundamental teaching is the oneness of humanity.
Fellow Baha’is, men and women alike, are being killed in Iran, their properties confiscated, and their children are being denied education all because of their religious beliefs. In the name of Islam, all their human rights are being violated.
However, we do not feel the actions taken by the Iranian government and fanatic groups have anything to do with the teachings of Muhammad and the substance of the holy book Quran.
1. The Quran has two parts. The allegorical portions have been revealed to bring examples for a better understanding of the “main substance” of this holy book. Unfortunately, as the Messenger of God had foreseen, people use the allegorical statements to create confusion and agony. We have been given in the third sura, verse 7, “He it is Who hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture wherein are clear revelations — they are the substance of the Book — and others (which are) allegorical. But those in whose hearts is doubt pursue, forsooth, that which is allegorical seeking (to cause) dissension by seeking to explain it. None knoweth its explanation save Allah. And those who are of sound instruction say: We believe therein; the whole is from our Lord; but only men of understanding really heed.” Please use your own understanding of this heavenly verse.
2. The Quran is the best book to teach us about progressive revelation. It talks about God creating human beings, placing them on earth, and promising them guidance. The histories of previous religions have been revealed in full in the Quran. We have in the second sura, verse 136, “Say (O Muslims): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the tribes, and that which Moses and Jesus received, and that which the prophets received from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.”
By believing in what God has revealed to all the messengers of the past, we do not have any option for bloodshed, as it was rejected by all the previous messengers. Muhammad has granted freedom of religion, as we have in sura 42, verse 15, “Allah is our Lord and your Lord. Unto us our works and unto you your works; no argument between us and you. Allah will bring us together, and unto Him is the journeying.” Having this verse, why should we feel that all people have to be Muslem, otherwise they should be killed?
3. Justice is highly valued in the Quran, and God will make the judgment on the final day. If this is valid, why is it not being carried out? In sura 16, verse 90, “Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed.”
4. We use one verse of Quran and make judgments without understanding the definitions of the words. For example, in sura 33, verse 40, we have “Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of God, and the Seal of the Prophets: and God knoweth all things.”
The Arabic translated words rassul and nabi in the above verse have been translated as apostle and prophet respectively. In this verse, Muhammad distinguished his two stations. Who is apostle, and who is prophet? Let us turn our attention to the definitions given to us for these words. Quite clearly Muhammad has defined nabi (prophet) as the person who helps the messenger and teaches the holy books. We have been given that Moses was the messenger and his brother Aaron was a prophet; Jesus was the messenger and John the Baptist was prophet. In sura 3, verse 81, “When Allah made (His) covenant with the prophets, (He said): ‘Behold that which I have given you of the Scripture and knowledge. And afterward there will come unto you a messenger, confirming that which ye possess. Ye shall believe in him and ye shall help him.’ ”
There are many other verses that give us similar understanding between these two stations. We have been told in the Quran that the knowledge of God is so vast that if all the trees were used to make pens and all the ocean water were used to make ink, we would run out of pen and ink in describing God’s knowledge.
The progressive revelation given by Muhammad, and the concept that God is always sending, confirmed our beliefs that no messenger is going to be the last messenger. All the messengers come for a period of time and expand our material and spiritual understanding.
We beg our Moslem friends to pay attention to the divine statements revealed in Holy Quran:
Sura 44, verse 35, “Lo! We are ever warning.” God is warning us at all times.
Sura 23, verse 17, “and We are never unmindful of creation.” God will never forget us.
In second sura, verse 256, “There is no compulsion in religion.” Religion should not be forced on people.
In fifth sura, verse 92, “Obey Allah and obey the messenger, and beware! But if ye turn away, then know that the duty of Our messenger is only plain conveyance (of the message).”
Do you think that God has given us a bigger responsibility and power than what He has given to His Messenger Muhammad? His was only to convey the message. Who and why are these people killing, looting, and being aggressors? Did they receive more authority than Muhammad, and we were not aware of it?
In the Baha’i faith, our writings teach us that religion must be the cause of unity. Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha’i faith, has written the following:
“O ye children of men! The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord.
“The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.”
All previous Quranic quotations were taken from the Pickthall translation.
Cheaters Are Everywhere
I think that this young lady is a bit off the mark (“Confessions of a Phony Navy Wife,” Cover Story, May 8). And, like some, just had a real bad Navy experience. Though a well-written article, she as a journalist forgot or failed to remember the number-one rule of journalism. That is to be objective. To give both sides of the story equal footing. This young lady, like others, has in her head that marriage is perfect, and once it happens it runs on autopilot. Marriage is “work in progress.” The key word being “work.” The moment this young lady married this friend of hers to improve her quality of life, she became just like the others she despised. Be it right or wrong, at least those lying cheaters (men) and sluts (women) had sex with their spouses. Are women not being lying cheaters when they commit adultery? The only real difference between the two is women attempt to justify why they had the affair, much like this young lady is doing to justify her wrongdoings.
If you pay close attention, you will notice that as women begin to assume positions of power and authority in the workplace they begin to display characteristics usually associated with men. Things such as discrimination, sexual harassment, and adultery. I must also say that the USS Higgins must have been quite the unique ship. Meaning that the article only mentioned the men of that ship and their adultery. Were there not women on the ship that were also cheating? In my 24 years of service, I’ve seen it go both ways, and I’m sure that she did as well.
I used to tell my sailors, while you are in the military, you should get to know people outside of the military, not including family. It keeps you grounded and attuned to what is happening in the real world. That being said, she would have realized that affairs don’t just happen in the military.
Our civilian counterparts also have affairs as well. The big difference is that our lives are closer in the military than our civilian counterparts’. Case in point, as a chief, I knew all of my sailors’ wives, children, and in some cases siblings and parents as well. How many bosses or supervisors, for that matter, appear in court with their employees? It’s a common occurrence with us. How many creditors send letters of indebtedness to our civilian counterparts? None. After work, many of our civilian counterparts go their separate ways. When you’re on a ship like the USS Higgins in a foreign country, you will tend to travel in the same circles. Return back to the ship, go to sleep, wake up, and have breakfast with each other.
I’m sure by now you get my drift. If you’re the attentive type, you will notice who’s not at the bars and nightclubs as well. Before long you will put two and two together and realize that some couples onboard are taking the clandestine approach and doing their thing in nearby hotels. Most of our civilian counterparts have affairs with coworkers and/or relatives to include in-laws (sisters, cousins, aunts, and uncles). In most cases, it happens with the person you will most likely spend most of your time with. With both parents working these days, we spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our significant others.
Lloyd L. Young
U.S. Navy (Retired)
Sonora Story Good As Gold
I am not a resident of San Diego, but I loved the article “Queen of the Southern Mines” (“Remote Control King,” March 13). I live in Sonora, California, and, God, it would be great to get honest and to-the-point stories as posted by Ollie. I was not sure if the story was from Ollie’s experience or another’s, but it was dead-on.