By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
That giant sucking sound: You are beginning to get on the right track with one of the biggest problems in this country--illegal immigration ("Run for the Border," by Rick Kennedy, January 5). The fact of the matter is the Mexican government has no respect for the United States or its laws. As reported in an NPR story on January 6, approximately $17 billion was sent to Mexico from people in this country just last year alone. Can you imagine what that money would do for the U.S. economy? No wonder Vicente Fox doesn't want the United States to build a fence. No wonder Mexican diplomats disregard U.S. laws. It's all about the money for them. The more illegal immigrants that are in the United States, the more money Mexico's government (rated one of the most corrupt in the world, according to a recent Dallas Morning News article) receives.
How about a story asking our lawmakers the tough questions: Why make it illegal to come into this country if you're not going to enforce the law? Why not give local police the authority to arrest and deport illegal aliens? Why don't the citizens of this country sue this government for aiding and abetting criminals? Giving driver's licenses, health care, education and housing to illegal aliens is aiding and abetting. Why aren't our lawmakers focusing on those issues?
Stoolie man: Yeah, we had a guy who decorated his boss' cubicle with similar material ("The Poop," by Jim Schutze, January 5). I don't know what his name was, but around the coffee bar he was referred to as "Hu Flung Dung."
Takes the cake: Congratulations on another stunning cover. I thought I had seen it all with the cover on "mayates" ("Gay Caballeros," by Claiborne Smith, January 13, 2005), but the doo-doo takes the cake, so to speak.
Who among us can resist the mystery and intrigue of the doo-doo man?
Criminally overpriced: Last year my wife and I took one of James Winkler's classes ("Sour Grapes," November 10). We read your story and were amazed at the similarities between our experience and that of your writer, Mark Stuertz. The anecdotes, the claims about additives in most American wines and their effect on consumers, the famous "Don't mention that we poured the Beckmen" and the most incredible--what we now know to be a well-rehearsed drama--someone jumping out from behind the counter so that Winkler could claim his boss had left and then show us the price sheet.
Several of the wines I tasted that day I had to spit out; they were simply undrinkable. However, we did like the Beckmen and ultimately purchased four bottles as well as some Marwood Champagne and other selections not offered in the tasting.
After reading your story I called Beckmen Vineyards to confirm that the Cabernet Sauvignon we purchased was their garden-variety product. As noted in your story, it is a $25 bottle. Then I called Tony's Wine Warehouse to ask what they were willing to do for us. I was told to bring the wine to the store and discuss it with the owner. That following Saturday (New Year's Eve), after confirming he would be there, I did just that.
Upon entering the store I was greeted by someone else. A long discussion resulted in them only offering to swap out some wines that "were worth the marked price." Not trusting their prices, I asked for a refund but was told I must speak with the owner, who was not present. I asked when the owner would be available only to be told 1 p.m., 4 p.m., then finally 6 p.m. However, we were assured that if we left our wines at the store, the owner would call us to resolve the situation. I asked for the police to be called so that we could get the situation on record after being told that the Beckmen is an $89 bottle of wine. I was immediately asked to leave the store. Upon refusing, the store employee exclaimed he would call the police for me refusing to leave the store and asked if I wanted "to spend the night in jail."
My wife was outside during this time. We waited for the police to arrive and explained the situation. After repeatedly agreeing we were overcharged and categorically stating the owner never failed to call an unhappy customer back, the employee claimed we would hear from the owner no later than last Tuesday.
The employee asked the police to escort us from the store, and we never heard from the owner. We have now disputed the charge with our credit card company.
Anarchy in the trailer park: In regard to the letter by Matt Henry of the Enclave (Letters, January 5), your insensitive stereotyping and callousness toward the residents of Ash Creek Mobile Home Park does more to bolster that written in the Schutze article ("Board of Scrooges," December 22) than to defend you and your neighbors. Well done. I especially like the image of the gun-totin' trailer-park yokels whooping it up on New Year's Eve. Hey Matt, watch for stray bullets.
Holly B. West