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Wrong Way Woman

This is in praise of the cover photo for the May 12 issue, subtitled “Party People Take Back Tijuana.” It looks really cool. I love the colors and the retro phonograph records and phonograph player. I do want to point out, though, it really should be subtitled “Party People Turn Away From Tijuana.” Because if you look really close, these very coolly dressed women have approached the gates into Tijuana but evidently have made a U-turn and are heading back to San Diego. I just thought I’d point that out.

Nicholas Nicholas

We Got It

In response to the “Zonkey Rock” article (Music, May 12), it asks us to grow a pair and come back to Tijuana. Well, we didn’t grow a pair, we grew a brain. We realized that the only thing they had in Tijuana that they don’t have in San Diego is people trying to rip us off and corrupt police officers. We do it better in San Diego. We have better bars in Ocean Beach now than Tijuana ever did. We can get better food in La Mesa in three minutes than we can down in Tijuana. We can save ourselves 60 miles in fuel.

Erik Moore
La Mesa

Hitler Facts

Re “One of the Biggest Lies” (Letters, May 12). Perhaps “Name Withheld” should look up his facts before allowing his comments to be printed. True, Hitler was a socialist, but he was a social conservative who was a fascist: anti-Left, antiliberal, anti-intellectual, anti-democracy who advocated a one-party state (read Karl Rove and his “permanent Republican majority”). And for Charles — who wrote the letter titled “Palin Instead of a Monkey?” — you would use a monkey or wild animal over Palin to represent stupidity? Really?

Name Withheld
via email

Idiots Multitask

Re May 12 Letters to the Editor (“Comments from Reader website”) about the May 5 “Off the Cuff” question: “What’s the biggest issue in America today?” Idiots are up there, but I’d say the biggest issue is not only idiots but idiots who think they can drive and, say, maybe talk at the same time. Put the phone down and drive, people!!!!

Kimberly Koch
via email

Ask An Old Guy

My father said that if you have a question about something, ask a teenager because they know everything!

After reading the article “Schooled!” in your last issue (“SD on the QT,” May 12), I thought to myself, these young people have analyzed a historical document somewhat blindfolded and without the advice of some knowledgeable elder persons than themselves.

I realize that we live in a society of free speech, and of course we would not want to stifle young persons’ investigative zeal; however, someone along the line should have been able to suggest some reasons for the discrepancies these students believe they may have found in the subject document. It’s unfortunate the document being questioned happens to be the birth record of the first recognized United States president of African-American descent, exposed to a frivolous controversy of which to my knowledge has never been made in the 222 years of someone in that official capacity.

First of all, in 1961, when this document was generated, it was probably prepared on a manual typewriter. Unfortunately, the mechanics of a manual typewriter are much like playing an acoustic piano in that the strength in each finger of each hand will vary (let alone each hand from the other), so when the keys are struck (whether a typewriter or a piano) the darkness of the imprint of the letter key or the loudness of the musical tone will vary. (The third finger, left hand, has the least strength of all the fingers — the trained typist would normally use this finger to strike the 2,W, S, and X). This may account for the lightness or darkness of letters or numbers in a document prepared on a manual typewriter.

Another uniqueness of the period was that when a typing error occurred, unlike today’s ability to delete, correct, and go on, erasure would be necessary and then a strikeover with the correct letter or number. This also would account for lightened areas of the paper (stock) used to type on, especially if it was a colored paper or even one coupled with a pattern, as the one in your article seems to be. Lightened areas also occur from folded areas of old colored-paper documents (the one in question would be 50 years old).

The other difference between then and now concerning the point the students raised about why the mother would sign the birth certificate three days after the birth of the child. Well, during the era of the period in question, a mother was confined to the hospital at least three days if the birth was of an uncomplicated nature. If it were complicated (a Caesarean or if a mother was nursing and the child showed signs of jaundice), she may be confined to the hospital for a week. Not like the one-day outpatient type of confinements for childbirth now. The birth certificate would not be signed until right prior to the release of the mother and child from the hospital (three days).

Not knowing some of the possibilities I have suggested is not the fault of these students, as they would have no practical knowledge; however, I thought that perhaps their parents, their teacher, their principal, the Reader’s editor…but then I realized that any of them may be too young to advise these students to perhaps consider a few more facts before joining the crowd to suggest the document to be a fake and recognize the complexities with which documents were prepared prior to those computer generated of today and of practices of a prior era.

via email

“SD on the QT” is the Reader’s “almost factual news” feature. — Editor

We’re All Guys to God

I’m reading the May 5 Reader, looking at “See, This Is Like My History Right Here” (Feature Story), and I’m looking at a picture of Darrell and Buddy. Well, Buddy may not be racist, but Darrell is. If you look in your article, he’s talking about how “the white boys would assume that they’re going to get the job. You’ve got a couple of black guys, and a whole bunch of Mexican guys…” (italics added). I don’t know why you guys are doing this. If it’s a gay or lesbian issue, you’re on top of the racism; if it’s a black issue, you’re on top of the racism. If it’s any other issue except for somebody being disrespectful toward white people, you print it. It cracks me up, it really does. Why couldn’t your writer have said “black guys,” “white guys,” “Mexican guys”? Come on, we’re all equal in God’s eyes.

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