Letters for June 30, 2005

Ask a sophist
Re “Quién es tu héroe” (Streetalk, June 16):

By asking your question of the week in Spanish are you implying that Mexicans are too stupid or lazy to learn English? I disagree. Several million Mexicans each year prove that they’re smart enough to illegally cross the border. They’re organized enough to form gangs, brave enough to do drive-by shootings, brazen enough to demand health care when they’re in the country illegally, and cunning enough to get politicians to approve mass citizenship and pass laws to make the United States an officially bi-lingual country. Don’t you think they have what it takes to learn English?

John Braun
via e-mail

No more Spanish
Re “Quién es tu héroe” (Streetalk, June 16):

I used to enjoy reading your paper. After trying to read your question of the week only to find it was in Spanish, I don’t think I’ll bother picking up your paper any longer. If someone can’t read and speak English they shouldn’t be here. I’m tired of giving in to another culture just to lose my own. I’m sure you won’t miss just one reader.


Una ovación
Re “Quién es tu héroe” (Streetalk, June 16):

Imagine what a pleasant surprise it was to open this week’s issue to find Streetalk in Spanish. I was very impressed to find something fresh in your newspaper. Although this may not cater to all your readers, it offers an opportunity for all of us to embrace the diversity so common in our community today. This may not be very popular with many, but it is yet another door that has opened for the community as a whole. I hope you’re readers do not misinterpret your endeavor. In keeping with this week’s topic, this effort is surely heroic. Keep it up!

Imagínense mi gran sorpresa en leer esta semana’s Streetalk en español. Me dio una buena impresión hallar “algo nuevo” en su periódico. Aunque esta versión no les va a interesar a muchos de sus lectores, nos da oportunidad a todos abrazar la diversidad muy común en nuestra comunidad hoy. Lo qué han hecho no va a ser popular con todos, pero es otra puerta que se ha abierto para toda la comunidad. Espero que sus lectores no interpretan mal sus intenciones. Sobre la tema de esta semana, este esfuerzo es muy heróico. ¡Adelante!

Michael Moreno

Eat your meat
Re “What is so rare as a medium steak?” (Right Hook, June 16):

If a steak were contaminated on the outside, cooking would more than likely kill anything harmful, no matter how rare the inside is, but with hamburger, ground beef, ground sirloin, whatever you call it, anything that’s on the outside of the meat is then ground and distributed throughout the meat and not so easily killed.

As the mother of two children who contracted E. coli, H7-57 (Yep, that’s the one that kills ya), I know from rare hamburger.

Let me say first, I enjoy my hamburgers on the rare side also, but Right Hook’s whole take on the People’s Republic of California might just change if he’d ever seen a 6-year-old hooked up to dialysis for failing kidneys and a 3-year-old on another floor quite possibly looking at the same thing.

How a restaurant feels comfortable serving medium burgers is beyond me unless “medium” is considered cooked through with clear juices only running from it.

True, we should be free to make our own choices in life, but in a society where a business can kill a customer, big daddy has to step in. Hell, you can probably sign a waiver and still retain your right to sue the pants off of someone who gives you “Montezuma’s Revenge,” much less a deadly strain of bacteria that ravages the major organs of its victims with no way to stop it.

All doctors can do in the case of E. coli contamination is to “support” the patient, which can include kidney dialysis, feeding them through an artery, which carries the added risk of an infection each time the tube is reinserted, cleaning up both ends of a pain-wracked diarrhea and puke-spewing little body that can’t even life her own head. It’s a day at the beach, to be sure.

Until the USDA can unequivocally guarantee that all beef is disease-, germ-, virus- or bacteria-free, restaurants are going to have to cover their butts like the one he visited.

So next time, Right Hook’s in the People’s Republic of California and some patriarchal, commie restaurant wants to deny him his rights to a rare hamburger, he should quit the damned whining. Save the money, go to the grocery store, grill the hamburger any way he likes—eat it raw right out of the wrapper—but Hook might want to have it tested first.

Deb Lander