All the Dons in Whoville
I figured out why The Don [Schrader] is so different. It's because he's not in our world. He's in a better one. I hope it's not a world like Oz. Although that world with George Bush being the villian and subsequently having a house dropped on him is not without it's appeal. I hope Don's world is more like Whoville. Bush is now predictably the Grinch. This is probably a world best suited for Don. No one eats meat and everyone is just as unusual as he is. The vehicles in this world run without need of fuel. This makes Don very happy. The only problem this world presents to Don is that eveyone is straight. But that doesn't matter because no one has genitals.
Let My HEADS Go!
Your piece on White History Week [Re: Profile, “White History Week,” Jan. 3-9] was both annoying and thought-provoking. You facilitated a new name for white people: HEADS (Humans of European-American Desendants), and I will refer to them as such. Being a HEAD of a variety of lovely cultures, I feel free to speak to the following. Your attempts at asking such deep questions as "What is white music?" made me want to hurl my recently prepared and eaten spicy Italian meatballs and sauce across the room. It is a good thing I tend to read your rag on the john!
You, dear Alibi, are not alone in falling into the greasy trap of ignorance and denial. I don't care if you are black, brown, off-white, bronze, saffron, curdled milk, sepia, blue-black or tan, our culture is American. I deeply believe most people don't sit around commenting on music, art, photography and film strictly based on the race or ethnicity of its producer. I love the black guys at my gym who know every word to Gregg Allman's “Midnight Rider” or David Bowie's “Fame.” I often wonder if HEADS are allowed to perform or showcase at the [National] Hispanic Cultural Center? Let my people go!
I think it is in our country's best interest to stop pigeonholing people into "of color" and "not of color (invisible)." Your piece claims white culture permeates everything. This is so dangerous and ignorant because it is not true. We all engage in Americana whether we like it or not. What does being divisive achieve? Hatred.
I know I don't speak for all HEADS, but I cannot wait for the day when I become a minority. Finally, I can sit back and let others take the reins of ubiquitous cultural values. I'll be able to bitch and moan about cultural manipulation while quietly dabbling in it. I hope you all do a better job or please send me back to my Grandfathers' land.
Last week's letter "Mmm ... Soy" [Jan. 10-16] promoted the vegan myth that meat and dairy cause obesity, cancer, diabetes and other ills of modern civilization. In fact, the 20th century saw a decline in the consumption of meat, dairy and butter but a sharp increase in sugar, corn syrup, white flour, liquid and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, artificial flavorings, preservatives, and other known health hazards of processed, packaged and fast foods.
All health problems associated with animal products--as well as cruelty to animals and threats to the environment--are the result of factory farming and other commercial and non-sustainable farming practices.
It's also a myth that soy is the key to personal and planetary health. Thousands of studies link soy to malnutrition, digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, reproductive problems, immune system breakdown, ADD/ADHD, cognitive decline ... even heart disease and cancer, especially breast cancer. Most at risk are babies on soy infant formula, vegetarians who eat soy as their main source of protein and adults self-medicating with soy products.
The Israeli Health Ministry, French Food Agency, British Committee on Toxicity and German Institute for Risk Assessment have all issued warnings against soy. Here in the United States, we still have an FDA-approved soy/heart disease health claim. But the FDA will soon reconsider that in the face of solid evidence that soy does not lower cholesterol, that it increases homocysteine levels (a marker of heart disease risk) and worsens cardiomyopathy. As for soy being "green," soybean farming is the leading cause of the destruction of the Rain Forest.
Wolves and the “Bull”y Pulpit
[Re: The Real Side, “Wolf Music,” Dec. 20-26] Jim Scarantino's firsthand account of his encounter with wild Mexican wolves in the Gila Country is a powerful experience in nature. In March 2007, I had the opportunity to accompany a group of UNM students on a wolf tracking trip in the Gila Wilderness. As one of the unofficial “guides,” it was my job to help track wolves and look for wolf signs. We never saw nor heard wolves, only found tracks. Given how few endangered Mexican wolves are allowed to live in the Gila, Scarantino is a lucky man.
But when he switches to secondhand accounts, Scarantino loses credibility. He accepts others’ observation of "wolves" as being valid. Coyotes and feral dogs can be easily misidentified as wolves, especially following wolf reintroduction programs when there is a heightened expectation of seeing wolves. He has no idea of the credibility of the witnesses he mentions or the role that attractants might have played in the "wolf sightings" he accepts as fact.
In an online response, Scarantino expresses surprise at not seeing dead livestock on his Gila forays. The same year as his memorable encounter with wolves, a government field report described "numerous dead cows" littering the land in the Beaverhead area of the Gila National Forest and expressed concern that the rotting carcasses would attract wolves.
Scarantino is himself guilty of "baiting"—baiting wolf advocates with enticing stories into a debate where he gets the last opportunity to make up the "facts" in order to sabotage recovery of our lobos. The Alibi needs to pull the plug on Scarantino's "bull"y pulpit.
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