What An Ass

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[RE: “¡Ask a Mexican!” Dec. 14-20] Gustavo Arellano’s latest column defending the "torta" even as he admits it to be sexual harassment should erase any lingering doubt that this guy is a plain ole asshole. An entertaining asshole, but an asshole nevertheless.

Bloody Mexicans

Gustavo Arellano seems to believe that Mexicans are very good people.

The death toll in Mexico’s drug war has surpassed 2,000 this year. Most victims have been newspaper editors, journalists, policemen, judges and others. Many police officers were killed after the August capture of drug lord Francisco Arellano-Felix, which triggered a battle for control of the lucrative narcotics trade in Tijuana. Just this year alone the U.S. border patrol has seized at least $18 million worth of illegal narcotics in 130 separate busts. Just this past week $2 million in drugs were confiscated from Mexican citizens.

Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari from 1988-1994 left Mexico broke and Mexicans couldn’t raise a dime to help itself out of the mess Salinas left. The U.S. bailed out Mexico by putting together a $100 billion loan package.

His brother, Raul Salinas, was arrested on charges of involvement in the murder of a high-ranking
partido revolucionario —institucional official. The Salinas brothers could not explain the $100 million in Raul’s Swiss bank account that Carlos claimed to know nothing about. To escape the heat Carlos fled Mexico and took refuge in Ireland.

Follow The Money

Kudos to Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino for his column about the real reason we need health reform—the out-of-control health insurance industry [“The Quest for Health Care Reform,” Dec. 14-20]. We either need tougher regulation of them or we need to get rid of them entirely. We could afford quality health care for every American if the insurance industry didn’t get to take its trillion-dollar bite out of every doctor’s visit, prescription filled and hospital stay.

People cringe at the thought of Medicare for all, but Medicare, as currently constructed, exceeds the private sector when it comes to efficiency and keeping costs down. If it were
the system that served everyone and was appropriately funded, analysts agree that the questions of access, coverage and costs could all be effectively addressed without bankrupting families, employers or the government. Such a notion might quickly be labeled and dismissed as “socialized medicine.” However, with the U.S. being the only industrialized country where the ability to see a doctor is considered a benefit instead of a right, name-calling can’t stop us. Huge and ever increasing numbers of people without insurance and without care demand that our focus be on what a system for all can do rather than what we call it.

Fan Mail

Thanks for giving me an obvious address to write to and tell you what I like. I’m computer illiterate but I read the Alibi . I’d buy your paper if I had to.

Outstanding is “Free Will Astrology.” Rob Brezsny (is that a psuedonym?) is surprisingly creative and intelligent week after week. I read every sign every time. How does he remain so consistently good?

I’ve never caught Devin O’Leary in a lie. Most movie reviewers earn their livings lying. I would have wasted a lot of money if I hadn’t stopped paying attention to them. (Are Devin O’Leary and Rob Brezsny the same person?)

I always enjoy reading “¡Ask a Mexican!” even though I want Mexicans to stay home and foment a revolution. I promise to do the same if they will.

I am relieved to treat myself to a righteous political point of view occasionally wedged between the smutty ads which pay the bills, I know. All these gorgeous women performing lap dances for freedom of speech! Thank you, ladies.

And thanks for Sutton Impact and Ward Sutton’s “Dude, Where’s My Party?” printed some time ago. I recognized the ideas similar to my own in the contrasting Democrats and Republicans. Thanks for paying him to think and organize it for us.

I don’t expect to see this in print. I just want to give credit where credit is due.

P.S. Also dig your funky covers every week.

Thank You For Waking

Apart from the issue of whether a soul

Ever peruses this sweet doggerole

Or whether it bugs ’em or cheers ’em at best

It’s something I must now get off of my chest.

Back in the winter of 2003

A big bunch of cynics and lefties like me

Had the good sense, upon brief self-reflection,

To turn on their sensors for B.S. detection

And see that the claims of the WMDs,

The claims of a cakewalk that would be a breeze,

Of a war to stop terror right there in its tracks,

Was a vinegar enema given by quacks.

I watched for three years while the chaos ensued,

While soldiers in caskets all red, white and blue’d

Returned, while excuses for why we were there

Were floated and bloated and vanished in air,

While billions were stolen or frittered away

On projects with virtue and some just for pay,

The madness, the mourning, the suicide bombs,

’Til now most Iraqis would rather Saddam!

So now that you Bushies are finally waking

To the reaming you’ve gotten, the lying, the faking,

Think for a moment of the buckets of tears

Of we who have watched this for
four friggin’ years!

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to letters@alibi.com. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.

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