August 27, 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

Attacks on Kerry’s War Record Wrong

William Rood, of the Chicago Tribune and the commander of a Navy swift boat who served alongside Sen. John Kerry during the Vietnam War, reported on Aug. 22 that attacks challenging Kerry’s integrity and war record are wrong and smear the reputations of veterans who served with Kerry. Rood’s eyewitnesses account of Kerry’s Vietnam service is another link in the chain of evidence that Bush is running a smear campaign to tarnish Kerry’s heroic service.

**  The Bush campaign has claimed no connection with the group which has led the attack on Kerry, but an individual resigned from the Bush campaign on Aug. 21 after it was learned that he appeared in an anti-Kerry ad sponsored by the swift boat veterans.

**  The New York Times reported on Aug. 20, that Bush family, friends, and Republican contributors are behind the swift boat attack ad, and also said the ad is “riddled with inconsistencies” and “undercut by official Navy records.”

**  Rood said that it is hard “to listen to accounts we know to be untrue, especially when they come from people who were not there.” 

**  Sen. John McCain stated weeks ago that the swift boat ad is “dishonest and dishonorable.”

Sen. McCain’s early condemnation and the president’s silence in renouncing the ad now linked to his campaign tell veterans all they need to know about George W. Bush. The Bush smear campaign strategy to pit veteran against veteran while we have troops fighting overseas is conduct unbecoming a Commander-in-Chief.

Major Robert Tormey, USAF Ret.

During the Clinton administration, the Republican party open the door on the issue of military service for the Commander-in-Chief of this country. Now the Republican Party has nothing good to say on this issue because Bush and Cheney, both, avoided to serve directly in the Vietnam War. It appears to me that now the Republican Party has a problem competing against a true Vietnam War hero!

Since Bush and Cheney cannot compete against Kerry’s Honorable Vietnam War records. The answer is of course for the Republican Party to tear down such Honorable war records well earned by Kerry, and to lower the playing field so that Bush and Cheney could compete.

Tomas Lopez
Rancho Penasquitos

Valerio Notice Appreciated

Thanks for informing us Mr. Edwardo Valerio has chosen to run  for Sweetwater School Board. Mr. Valerio is an effective bright minded young leader.  I hope the community backs him up because we are super short on the honest, pleasant and truly concerned leadership style he possesses.

Virgil Pina
Chula Vista

Trip to Mexico Ends On a Sour Note

[It] was my last day of summer vacation. My husband and I spent 10 days touring four Mexican states and had a great time visiting relatives and meeting new nieces and nephews.

At noon, my husband and I were planning on having brunch at downtown Tijuana before returning to the U.S.

We chose a place below the arch named Nelson Restaurant/Bar because there were some Aztec dancers performing. We were impressed by their performance and tipped them accordingly.

After the performance, the drummer asked the Spanish speaking audience to gather around him for what I assumed was a talk about the cultural history and background of the dances.

I joined the crowd to listen.

The speaker started out with an eloquent speech about the importance of being proud of our skin color and our indigenous ancestors and about all races being equal.

Then he went on to criticize the Spanish conquerors, the ones that “civilized” us, as being illiterate and ex-cons.

His next target were the “gringos” whom he called every colorful word in the dictionary, including, “Los gringos son unos mendigos desgraciados cerdos.” (So much for equality)

At this point I left the group to complain to a waiter of the restaurant. This person proceeded to defend him, stating that he agreed with him. He said it was not really an insult to the Americans present, my husband included, since they were not aware they were being insulted because the drummer was speaking Spanish.

I asked him to cancel our food order because we did not wish to patronize his establishment.

He returned with the female manager who thought the issue was a refusal to pay our bill and asked him to call the police officers standing nearby.

I explain to the officers that the real issue was the inappropriateness of the comments, the cowardice and hypocrisy of the drummer, who makes his living off the tips from the people he seems to despise so much.

The oldest female dancer came over and threaten me verbally.

The officers stated that they would file a report about my complaint.

We paid our bill and left the food on the table.

I feel that this incident should not have happened. The tourists that visit Mexico have the right to enjoy the visit they are making to the country they have chosen to spend their vacation funds in, without the people providing the entertainment using their forum for their hidden agendas.

Martha Cardenas-Loutzenhiser

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