Letters to the Editor

From the week of July 1, 2004

Although the aggravated-felony classification for sexual-abuse cases has been in place since 1996, enforcement has increased in the past year. The Department of Homeland Security has stepped up efforts to deport such offenders through its highly publicized "Operation Predator," announced July 9, 2003. This "operation" targets a great range of offenders, many of whom indeed victimize children: pornographers, child-prostitution rings, Internet predators, alien smugglers and human traffickers. However, non-violent, non-predatory offenders with otherwise clean records who made a simple mistake in not checking IDs before going too far are being caught up in this net.

Patricia Medige

Sex education: Eric Dexheimer: I read "Age Inappropriate" at www.westword.com. My God, man! You are so clued to your subject matter that I was wondering...have you ever thought of leading a campaign against T.H.E.? It is a very important issue. I've read the T.H.E. website, and those people are Nazis. Hitler's Germany used Jews in the same way that, through organizations like T.H.E., the United States of America will be able to use sex offenders. First comes permanent internment, then comes the mass execution of the innocents, and all the while, the public will have been brainwashed into complicity or active participation.

Daniel Thorlby
via the Internet

Everyone's a Smart Asp

Boa to run: The ophiophobiac (one who has a fear of snakes) that Westword quoted several times in the June 24 Off Limits must also have a morbid fear of the truth.

Josh Pool says he was treated as a second-class citizen at Dixons -- but didn't stick around long enough to see the snake owner being asked to leave (with $40 in lunch, compliments of Dixons). Upon seeing the snake, Mr. Pool grabbed and shook one of our servers, pitched a fit and ran across the street to call the owner, who was several miles away running a busy brunch at Racines and had no possible opportunity to solve the problem. His disappointment at Dixons for allowing the snake to "walk through the restaurant" is also unfounded. The snake was sneaked onto the patio by its owner through one of the patio's sidewalk gates after her dining companion was seated by the hostess.

And speaking of the snake...we realize size shouldn't matter here, but Mr. Pool's attempt at creating a monster to justify his phobic reaction seems excessive. According to all reports, the snake in question was about a foot long, slightly less threatening than his pythonesque portrayal.

We're disappointed that Westword didn't even bother to check with the Dixons staffers who were on the scene that fateful Saturday morning. We're proud of the food and service at Dixons and think the snake tale might have slithered in a slightly different direction if all the facts were known.

Lee Goodfriend, co-owner

A Dread Letter Day

Custer's last burrito stand: I would like to take a moment to say how appalled I was by Mr. Garcia's letter in the last issue about the June 10 "A Chipotle Off the Old Block" story. I cannot believe you would publish such an inflammatory letter. I realize that Mr. Garcia is entitled to his own opinions, but to compare the owner of a company to Cortez or Custer is not only ignorant, but offensive as well. Clearly, Mr. Garcia has no real sense of history or current times.

Part of what makes Westword such a great publication is the fact that you frequently publish letters containing both praise and complaints for your articles. However, I could have done without reading that letter. I really hope I never have to read anything that derogatory again.

J. Bosier

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