January 30, 2004

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico

An Open Letter regarding the lies in Mr. Bush’s January 20 State of the Union speech

Mr. Bush gave his State of the Union speech and like a film star who cannot act he claimed the nation was in perfect health and on the road to full recovery. In his speech he said:

“Because of American leadership and resolve, the world is changing for the better.”

“The work of building a new Iraq is hard, and it is right. And America has always been willing to do what it takes for what is right.”

“We have not come all this way - through tragedy, and trial, and war - only to falter and leave our work unfinished.”

And he stated his opposition to amnesty for undocumented workers. My questions to Mr. Bush are the following:

Are you certain that your policies are changing the world for the better? Is it better that over 500 young Americans have died in Iraq? That thousands of innocent Iraquis have died? That the hospitals in Iraq have no medicine and so every day innocent children die? That thousands of Iraquis have no job? That the schools in Iraq and many in the United States have no funding? Is this what you call changing the world for the better?

Who asked you to create a new Iraq? Who told you it was the right thing to do? Have you been in the streets of Baghdad, walking with the people and asking them if this is what they want? You say: “We have not come all this way - through tragedy, and trial, and war.” Pardon me but you have not come through any tragedy or trial and have no idea what those words mean. Meanwhile, more than 500 American families know all too well.

On the issue of amnesty, I have a hard time understanding you. On the one hand, you reject an amnesty program for the undocumented but on the other hand you say you will grant permission for undocumented people to work in the United States. Why do you try to fool millions of Latinos? To win votes? Are you that afraid of losing the election?

Did you know that California has lost thousands of jobs especiallly in the school systems? Did you know that there is already a half billion dollar federal deficit? You did know? Then why do you lie to the people? Why do you toy with our feelings and hopes?

Enough of your lies, Mr. Bush.  Enough of your trying to deceive the American people and insult the Latino community. Why do you wish to continue as president?  So that you can continue sending brave young Americans to die in wars whose only rationale are the economic interests of your friends?

Remember that the people are fed up. I am sure that next November we will make that crystal clear.

Fam. Suarez del Solar.
Escondido


Reader appreciates Cuban story 

I’m currently doing a research paper on the Cuban revolution and how it has currently affected the country and it’s people and I came across “An American’s View of Castro’s Cuba” and I think it portrays Cuba amazingly well. I myself am Cuban and so is the rest of my family. I have grown up hearing stories of the troubles people experience in that gov. and I really appreciate you speaking on it. Information is the key to get rid of ignorance and one small step has been taken. Thank you.

Elena Bermudez
via email


Border Crossing Card not good enough for Gaslamp Quarter

I write this letter not in anger, but in shock because of the way I was treated on Friday, December 19th at the nightclub L5 in the Gaslamp Quarter.

I, along with three friends, traveled up from México, because we had tickets to see Blackalicius at that nightclub, later that night. We went for a couple of drinks at other bars, before we headed to L5.

I love the Gaslamp, I frequent bars like the Field, Cafe Sevilla. I go to concerts all around San Diego, from 4th and B to the Belly Up Tavern. I dine often at places like The Corvette Diner and Bucca di Beppo, just to name a few. The service is fantastic and that’s what keeps me coming back. Nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced on that night.

We had purchased tickets for the show two weeks in advanced, so we walked right up to the entrance. When asked for our ID we all pulled out our Border Crossing Card, which we had used all night to get into other bars. The Border Crossing Card is actually a US Federal Government issued B-1/B-2 visa, commonly known as a Laser-visa.

The bouncer took one glance at our identification and asked to please stand aside, which we did. The head of security came out and again, looked at our identification and proceeded to tell us that we could not get in because our ID was not valid. He said we needed a California ID and when we said that we were all Mexican nationals and could not obtain identification issued by the state of California, he then told us that we needed a passport. I went on to explain to this individual that the Laser-visa might not be and actual passport, but it’s what we use to get across the border. My friend Armando explained to “Matt” (he wouldn’t give me his last name) that the Laser-visa is one of the most secure ID’s in the world, made by the US government specifically to help avoid the trafficking of fake documentation, because this ID is almost impossible to duplicate. What Matt said next was appalling:

-“I can go down to Tijuana right now and pick up one of these ID’s for 50 dollars”

-“These ID’s are a dime a dozen.”

Now it seemed that this person wasn’t letting us in, not because our ID was not valid, but because there was a possibility that it was fraudulent. If this is true, was he telling me that a regular California ID couldn’t be counterfeit?

To us it seemed that he wasn’t letting is because we were Mexican; because how is it possible that I have been carded at The Corvette Diner, another establishment of the same owner (Cohn Restaurant Group) and they didn’t seem to have any problems with my identification?

I don’t think the US government would make us pay about 100 dollars and make us wait for three months if this ID could be easily duplicated and picked up off the street for 50 dollars.

Also, if this person knows where to pick up fake border crossing papers in Tijuana, I would ask him to cooperate with US immigration and Homeland Security officials to help this problem stop.

It seems ridiculous to me, that in a community as culturally diverse as San Diego I was treated this way, but I won’t let one persons ignorance faze me, in fact I attended the Kinky show at 4th and B on Sunday night, and I had no problem using my Laser-visa to get in; so I will continue to go out in San Diego but one thing is for sure, I will never return to L5, or to any other Cohn Restaurant Group owned establishment for that matter. I will go spend my hard earned devaluated pesos at a place were I am respected and not treated like a second-class customer because of my nationality.

 Aislinn Puig
Rosarito, B.C. MEXICO

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