Letters to the Editor

Yeah, That's the Ticket

His time's up! Kenny Be's "As the world-class city turns,'' his February 28 Worst-Case Scenario, had this world-class "cityzen'' laughing his ass off. So sad this story is based on real events. Too bad our "world-class-city politicians'' play more Marco Polo in Denver than they do on their vacations, er, "humanitarian missions."

When can we expect a chapter on "Radarman" and the tossed-out speeding tickets?

John McMahon

Field of Schemes

Old McMorris had a farm: If you think of an urban cowboy as John Travolta and his mechanical bull, think again. The urban cowboy has more than just a pocketful of dough; he has his own baseball field, his own wine cellar, his own shoeshine boy, and he owns significant land somewhere over the rainbow that receives enough federal subsidies to make it all worthwhile. Ah, the American dream.

Thank you, Eric Dexheimer and Westword, for allowing us "poor" people in on the rich man's secret to robbing the masses once again with the February 28 "Farmer on the Dole," a fine piece of research and writing. As we suspected, the government's idea of consumer protection usually ends in deceit, with the pockets of the rich man becoming more and more cumbersome and wicked. Was I naive to believe that federal subsidies salvage the "farmers" from going under, when the net income of most of these "farmers" arrives in the form of government assistance? After reading the article, the image of a defeated farmer holding a pitchfork is merely a distant relic; the idea of modern farming is truly another broken wing of the American "McDonaldization." And it breaks my heart to think the true American farmer is now actually that guy who arrives at Coors Field in a limo and heads into his private suite to have a glass of wine, only to ask a few innings later, "Who's winning?"

Who's winning? The man with the most land, that's who. The government assistance program must do what it was intended to do: help the poor farmers who rightfully need the assistance, and nothing more. Shame on you, Mr. McMorris, for attempting to gain additional taxpayer support for the federal disaster-relief grant when you know damned well your income more than surpassed the limits. Screw you! It is the rich man's manipulative dream to twist the rules in his profitable favor when government assistance is designed merely to help those in need.

I have to wonder how much of this dirty money is falling into the laps of organic farming? Am I naive to think that the American diet changed sufficiently to support the organic industry, or is it, too, a recipient of irresponsible and misplaced federal assistance? The federal assistance programs everywhere are designed with the best of intentions, but it is usually the ones who don't really need the assistance that end up receiving the majority of it. Now, I'd like to be a farmer.

Ken Rafferty
via the Internet

Crying fowl: Eric Dexheimer's story reminds me of a segment I heard on Jim Hightower one morning. He was ranting about Charles Schwab (yes, that Charles Schwab) owning a good chunk of land in northern California that he grows rice on. He receives a good bit in taxpayer-funded subsidies for this venture.

Here's the hitch: He planted rice to attract ducks, as this land is a hunting reserve for his other very wealthy buddies. Just thought you might like to know.

Destiny Phoenix

Butt Seriously, Folks

Clearing out the dead Woody: Regarding Michael Roberts's "Woody Goes Limp," in the February 21 issue:

Anyone with any brains at all knows that Woody Paige is that guy slumped over the bar stool with the crack of his ass exposed. You want to tap him on the shoulder and inform him, but you're having too much fun laughing at him!

Dave Pfaff

Taco the Town

Out to lonchera: As a resident of Athmar Park, I read Harrison Fletcher's article about Raul Cabral's loncheras with great interest ("The Truck Stops Here," February 7). El Tacazo has quickly become an institution in this neighborhood. Anyone who doesn't appreciate this need only stop by for a few tacos or a burrito con carne asada. They'll never want Taco Bell again! El Tacazo is a boon to West Alameda, and the idea of it closing down because of a few complaints is tragic and unfair.

While I agree that the loncheras bring certain problems with them, I feel that these problems are being exaggerated and are certainly solvable. I've visited El Tacazo many times, and I don't feel that the clientele is a big problem -- maybe a small one. I'm positive that most people are willing to abide by reasonable rules. And Mr. Cabral seems willing to do whatever it takes to make his business work. Why is it necessary to impose such harsh restrictions on his legitimate enterprise? We don't shut down other businesses that have undesirable side effects. Often, we don't do anything at all about them. Is McDonald's held responsible for its garbage, which I often clean up out of my own yard? Why go after Cabral?

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