• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Dig It!

Mucho kudos to Thomas Larson and to the Reader for this comprehensive piece on babies born here to Mexican mothers (Feature Story, September 22). I don’t think I’ve seen anything in print on this subject that so thoroughly covers all the aspects of this thorny issue. I especially liked the wrap-up with Maria, the clinic worker, who became a U.S. citizen eventually, after seeing the issue firsthand from different viewpoints.

This is the kind of reporting that makes the Reader worth a few more centavos than its newsstand price and which prompts me to continue to pick it up each week when I’m in the area.

Too bad there isn’t one single clue on the cover that such important writing lies inside. I, of course, realize that the Reader must have a flashy and lowbrow cover to induce the masses to pick it up and thus patronize its advertisers. But the Reader disserves its readers by not at least indicating up front that there is, in fact, good reading inside. I’m not criticizing the choice of putting John, the Swami, on the cover at all. We dig him a lot.

I also dig that the Reader spoofs its readers with “SD on the QT.” I can’t believe that so many bite!

Tom Summers
via email

Trampled By Bullies

Re Thomas Larson’s “Is He a Citizen?” (September 22, titled “On Sixth Avenue…” in the print version of the paper).

As long as organizations like the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR), William Gheens’s Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), and Jeff Schwilk’s San Diego Minutemen (SDMM) are involved in the illegal immigration issue, there will never be a respectable solution to the problem.

These hooligans of political activism have so tarnished the image of immigration law enforcement advocates that it has become extremely difficult to get serious and committed attention to the issue by our nation’s political governors.

It is no wonder that the Obama administration has seized the opportunity to take advantage of the disarray of so-called immigration law enforcement activists by announcing its planned “delay” (aka amnesty) in court proceedings for the millions of illegal aliens currently occupying U.S. territory.

Although there are many sincere and well-meaning persons involved in the movement advocating enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, they have unfortunately been trampled and shouted down by the Ultra Right bullies of political activism who really are involved in activism only as a means of fulfilling a sick quest for a delusional recognition as the “savior” of America or to carry out sinister racist agendas.

Shockingly, as I look back on my past seven years of activism in the illegal immigration issue, I can honestly say that I have encountered more unethical, immoral, and criminal-minded persons from my side of the debate than I have from the adversarial side of the debate over immigration.

Unless immigration law enforcement advocates conduct themselves in a respectable manner, there is little chance any political representative or candidate will ever take them seriously. Ergo, there is a very high likelihood that U.S. immigration laws will never be seriously enforced and “amnesty for illegals” will be the conduct du jour.

Jim Gilchrist
The Minuteman Project

Go Away, Teacher

Re Susan Luzzaro’s piece “The Tyranny of Those Tests” (“City Lights,” September 22). I was caught up by the absence of a suggestion that a disinterested, third-party firm should rate tests without knowing the school, the teacher, or the students’ names. It seems to me that teachers and principals should not have anything to do with testing (so there’s no foolin’ round with the scores). Then credit for good teaching will be accurate. Keep the education establishment out of the testing process. The idea of test-preparation classes should be stopped; know the subject or get a bad score. Lots of people take tests, after which they remember nothing.

Saul Harmon Gritz
via email


A letter that ran on September 22 written by Nancy stated that her brother’s “girlfriend was on the phone with him” when he committed suicide last year. The sentence should have read, “The 54-year-old guy who died on the Coronado bridge was on the phone with his girlfriend.”

Drink Water, Friends

I’m really disturbed by an ad that you have on page 91 in the September 22 issue. It says “Drink Beers Bitches!” I think that’s really offensive. It’s an ad for Daddy-O’s. I can’t believe you printed something like this.

Dawn Moats

It’s Not All Hopeless

Walter Mencken’s recent post “Is Suicide Painless?” is not only insensitive but potentially harmful (“SD on the QT,” September 15). Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young adults, takes the lives of almost 400 San Diegans a year, and is almost always a symptom of a mental health condition, usually depression. Detailed descriptions of suicide in the media can often lead to a “contagion” effect. Also, the article does not mention that depression and other mental health problems are treatable and there are many options for help, such as 1-800-273-TALK (8255) the National Suicide hotline. Millions of people each year benefit from mental health treatment. Please let your readers know that there is help and hope for the hopeless.

Jerry Phelps, Ph.D.
University of California, San Diego

Counseling and Psychological Services


Regarding the letters that were written in regarding the “SD on the QT” article “Is Suicide Painless?” As a formerly suicidal person, I found the article quite amusing. If I had come across the article during my darkest days of depression, I still would have found it funny. People in America need to stop taking themselves so seriously and find the humor in any given situation. Granted, not everyone gets or appreciates gallows humor, but in a lot of cases, this is how people (like myself) cope with bad situations. Finding something to laugh at in a bad situation seems to me a somewhat healthier way to deal with bad things than to just mope about it. With people becoming offended at every last little thing, we’re quickly turning into a country where humor of any kind is no longer tolerated if it doesn’t conform to every last little nuance of political correctness. Please, find yourselves a sense of humor — or at least let people like myself and Mr. Mencken enjoy our own.

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader


David Dodd Sept. 28, 2011 @ 11:38 p.m.

I'm loving the outrage by "Ph. D." types. Dr. Phelps writes, "Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among young adults...". Oh, really? Think about that sentence for a moment. You are saying, in essence, that death causes death. Mencken had better watch out, because as amusing as I find his column, I find your reaction even more amusing. Chew on this for a while, doc: Guns firing are the leading cause of all bullet wounds. And I don't even have to look that one up, Captain Obvious told me it was true.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kenzelmann writes, "Suicide is a public health issue that is completely preventable." Seriously? I could off myself RIGHT NOW, and there's nothing anyone could do to prevent that. Honest. If I wanted, TRULY WANTED to punch my time card for the last time, there isn't anyone that could do anything to prevent that. It's a personal choice, ma'am. Call me one of those zany libertarian types, but I'm all about personal choices. Thankfully, suicide is one choice that can NEVER be taken away from me (unless some doctor prescribes a bunch of drugs that control my mind so I don't have that personal choice available anymore).

Suicide is not so much tragic as it is whimsical.

The "Letters" section of the Reader will forever remain my favorite part of it. Keep them coming, you wonderful doctors, you provide me with at least 15 minutes of entertainment each week. And Mencken, you magnificent bastard, you are the catalyst in the two-part epoxy glue that somehow manages to hold my world together.


nan shartel Oct. 1, 2011 @ 10:45 a.m.

kudos again to Ollie and his ugly mobile park story...Reader hire that man post haste...u need a writer like him to do the hard news...with him and Bauder u'll rule the world!!!


David Dodd Oct. 1, 2011 @ 11:29 p.m.

Ollie used to do a column for the Reader. They parted ways, although Ollie still contributes from time to time.


nan shartel Oct. 6, 2011 @ 10:51 a.m.

well i'm voting him back post haste Refried!!


nan shartel Oct. 6, 2011 @ 10:50 a.m.

will do homey

u r the bomb!!!

and in the parlance of rock climbers who still put in safeties...ur writing is bombproof!!!


Sign in to comment

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!