What I Say, What I Do

Am I the only person who noticed the ironic hypocrisy in pedicab driver Guy Harinton’s xenophobic rants “Pedicab Wars,” (Cover Story, September 10)? He decries non-American college students who have the audacity to spend their summers visiting the U.S. and — heaven forbid — working. And yet, in the same breath, the nativist comments on how much he enjoys going to Tijuana, Mexico, for his “fun and entertainment.”

I wonder — did Harinton bother to learn Spanish before traveling to Baja California? Has he researched the legal regulations in force in Tijuana before going there to party? I would be willing to wager that Harinton himself has violated a few of the laws of the Republic of Mexico in his time.

David Schmidt
via email

J-1 Bad News

The exploitation of these J-1 visa students by the exchange industry has led to an investigation by the U.S. Department of State, which ignored the mounting problems for years (“Pedicab Wars,” Cover Story, September 10). The City of San Diego profited as well. The Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students was instrumental in opening this investigation. The placement agencies rake in millions of dollars and pay no taxes. Check out their 990s. This public diplomacy program is a failure. The San Diego Office of the U.S. Department of Labor is also fielding complaints about the exploitation of these students.

Sally Smith
via email

Can’t We All Get Along?

I haven’t read the Reader in years, but a friend picked one up for me. I was interested in “Pedicab Wars” (Cover Story, September 10). When I started to read it I was offended by the language and the obvious racism of the man who was speaking. I threw the whole thing out and will not recommend it to anyone.

This is a time when we should try to get along with our fellow man, as we are all in this world together.

Teressa Weddle
via email

Double Fare For The Pit Bull

Joe Deegan’s story on San Diego’s public transit system shows that Joe Deegan rarely rides San Diego public transit (“If We’re the Best, Imagine the Worst,” “City Lights,” September 10). Bums with pit bulls are permitted by incompetent drivers to board buses. One need not imagine what will eventually happen. The senior monthly bus ticket, also used by handicapped people, went from $15 to $18 in less than a year. Drivers pull away from a stop, even if another bus is only half a minute behind. The 15 Limited regularly pulls away when the local bus Number 1 is about to park behind it, forcing transferring passengers to wait another 15 or 20 minutes in the hot sun. Many new drivers are totally unqualified and dangerous drivers. Some buses are often a half hour to 40 minutes late.

Nothing is done no matter how many complaints are lodged. In fact, complainants are discouraged and often hung up on.

Drivers do nothing to discipline dangerous and obnoxious persons who intimidate the elderly and women. The finest system in the country? I laugh.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

Joe Deegan responds: I ride the bus daily.

Usable Commute

Re “If We’re the Best, Imagine the Worst,” (“City Lights,” September 10). When I attended SDSU in the late ’70s and early ’80s, I rode the 115 from Clairemont to SDSU, and the ride took one and one half hours! Oh well, at least it gave me time to study!

Allen Stanko
via email

Got Any Change?

Has Don Bauder ever been to Qualcomm to see a Charger game (“Chargers Won’t Fulfill Desires in San Diego,” “City Lights,” September 10)? And have you guys ever published anything that was positive?

How about publishing an article to get the City to do something positive, like go get the Summer Olympics here, another Super Bowl, another U.S. Open — all of this would easily pay for a new stadium.

Isn’t a journalist’s/editor’s job to help make change? How about some change for the better for once?

Name Withheld
via email

Stop It, Immediately!

What the #@! is wrong with you? Do not under any circumstances put out an edition without “Tin Fork”! And stop moving the location of the features around — movies and “T.G.I.F.” now in part 1? Why?

A Regular Reader

Raider-Hater Gossip Junk

Can you attend any junior college to get a job as a tabloid gossip columnist, Hedda Jr. (“Sporting Box,” September 10)? Just another mindless article that only attempts to pile on the Raider-hater bandwagon. Get a life, write something with your crayons if you need to act childish!

Name Withheld
via email

Nonsensical Bloodbath

Duncan Shepherd gives Inglourious Basterds three stars and calls it Tarantino’s best film to date because of the director’s technical skills in filming a brutal, nonsensical bloodbath, which barely rises to the level of a comic book. The story is filled with absurdities (a Jewish girl, alone and on the run from the SS, miraculously appears in Paris as the owner of a movie theater; American commandos, dropped into occupied France, are able to terrorize the Germans by ambushing and scalping their soldiers. In reality, the Germans, after the first loss, would simply have taken 10 French villagers out and shot them. And then 50. And then 100). The reviewer ignores the silliness of the story line because he admires Tarantino’s carefully crafted scenes. But, like a slowly deflating balloon, the scenes lose their impact because the director drags them out to the point of boredom (the film itself is dragged out to two and one half hours).

This film is drivel and should have received the black dot.

Andrew Crane
via email

Mostly Innocent

I’d like to sympathize with Mr. Wyant (“They Have No Concrete Proof,” “City Lights,” September 3), but I am wondering if he is as innocent as he portrays. For example, when he writes, “When a small amount of cement spilled onto the road, I had tools ready for proper cleanup.” I wonder how much is a small amount? Did he completely clean it up? And what tools can completely clean up cement on a road?

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Josh Board Sept. 16, 2009 @ 4:14 p.m.

Regarding Andrew Cranes letter: Bravo!

Although I think Tarantino's film doesn't deserve a black dot (perhaps just one star, though), it did have some interesting moments. It's hardly QTs best. Most would agree Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, and even Reservoir Dogs, were better (two of those are brilliant, near flawless films).

My girlfriend leaned in during the movie and asked why the Nazis let the girl escape. That was odd. But they did explain how she came to own that theatre in France (her aunt and uncle owned it previously).

I don't mind buying the premise that they could be dropped in France and catch Nazis, as Tarantino is just having fun with the subject matter...just as you have to go with the flow when Robert Downey Jr. is putting a heart back into his body in Iron Man. With film, sometimes you throw the realistic stuff out the window and just go with the flow.

But that being said, I wonder why QT has to have these pretentious conversations about French and German filmmakers. It's like he has characters in his movie talk about things HE finds interesting, but nobody else would!

And why the close-ups of the desserts being eaten? You have this tense scene where a Nazi that killed the girls family is sitting across a table from her. She's scared, nervous, angry...and there's a close up of the whipped cream, and the fork cutting the pastry. It's like Tarantino loved "Big Night" and Julia/Julie, and other films where close-ups of food were used to great effect, and he wants them in his movie. The problem is...they don't work, or fit, in this vehicle.

By the end of the movie (which was 30 minutes too long) I felt like I was one of those people trapped in the theatre that was burning down!


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