Does Tom Danehy Need Some Anger-Management Schooling?Regarding Tom Danehy's column from Dec. 18: With all due respect, your embittered response to the murders in San Pedro de la Cueva, Mexico, on Dec. 2, 1915, seems oddly disproportionate given the time that has elapsed--as does your need to vandalize public property because of it.
Without justifying Pancho Villa's behavior, you must know that terrible, awful, even heinous things often occur under the shroud of war. Ask anyone who has been in one. Talking about his activity in the Korean War, Clint Eastwood's character says in Gran Torino, "The thing that haunts a man the most is what he isn't ordered to do."
The times that Pancho Villa lived in were violent, to be sure, and to say he was a host of contradictions is putting it lightly. But what is even more evident close to 100 years later is that Tom Danehy might need some anger management to assist him in dealing with his heartfelt pain and anguish.
B. Eliot Minor
Perhaps Pancho Villa Needed Anger-Management Schooling, TooTom Danehy is right: Pancho Villa was a murderous thug and doesn't deserve a statue in Tucson or anywhere else on American soil. There is, however, more to the story of his raid on Columbus, N.M.
The commander of the U.S Army garrison at Camp Furlong had been warned that Villa was likely to attack. Had he taken the warning seriously, it's almost certain that American lives could have been saved. Instead, he and other senior officers spent the fateful night of March 9, 1916, playing cards in a Deming saloon. While Villa's men fired the first shots, precious time was lost breaking down a locked armory door to obtain the weapons to fight back. By the time the young lieutenant in charge could mount a counterattack, much of Columbus lay in ruin.
There's reason to believe the attack was more than a whim on Villa's part. He may have been seeking revenge on a Columbus merchant who was said to have cheated him on a weapons deal. It was even rumored that Villa was paid to stage the raid. American business interests lusted after the rich mines and grazing lands of Sonora and Chihuahua. An unprovoked attack from Mexico would sway public opinion for war to realize their objectives. The fact that U.S. troops were not put on alert lends some credibility to the rumor. Only Villa knew for sure, and he never told.
William C. Thornton
Perhaps Danehy Should Get That Anger-Management Schooling Outside of TucsonI would suggest Tom Danehy "needs to get out of town!" If anything, he should leave for his own safety. Danehy says two potent things: One is that Pancho Villa is a "revolutionary/patriot" to some people. Yes, he is, to hundreds of thousands of Chicanos and Mexicanos in this area. The other thing he pens is that it took 150 bullets to kill Pancho Villa. I now worry for Tom, because I am sure that he has made, at the very least, 150,000 enemies here in la Tierra de Pancho Villa!
Daniel E. Reyes III
Pancho, Padre. Padre, Pancho!Here's a sound solution to Danehy's desire to see Pancho Villa and his horse hit the trail: Let's replace Pancho with the Padre. That's right: It's time to rescue Padre Kino's statue from its obscure and exiled location and make it a centerpiece of downtown.
Imagine displaying it where it would be highly visible to traffic and where you could actually walk up to it and get a feel for Father Kino, as represented by this imposing, large statue. The whole thing could be made into an inviting experience for visitors and residents alike, with benches and grass surrounding it.
Keep in mind that just because Mexico gave the Pancho Villa statue as a "gift" to Arizona doesn't justify it being prominently displayed in Tucson. After all, other than the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Huachuca pursuing him into Mexico, and a couple of battles across the border at Naco and Agua Prieta, Pancho Villa had little to do with Arizona's history, much less Tucson's.
As far as what to do with Pancho Villa's statue, maybe we could melt it down and recast it as Gen. John J. Pershing, and send it to Chihuahua as a "gift."
A Modest Proposal to Deal With Car-Warranty RobocallsI know of dozens of Tucsonans, including me, who agree with your "Robocalls Regarding Your Expiring Car Warranty" suggestion in "Get Out of Town!" (Dec. 18). Since we can't jump through the phone and beat the crap out of someone, maybe you can spearhead a campaign to get even: Publish a fictitious car and VIN, from a 1965 Ford Falcon or something. When the car-warranty people call, we all say the same vehicle and VIN. I know someone in Phoenix who is also experiencing robo-rage over these calls, so maybe we can spread the word to the Phoenix New Times and beyond!
Want a Quiet Coffee Shop? Read the 'Weekly' at Raging SageHopefully, someone has responded by now to Lauren Pillsbury, who was bemoaning the lack of a quiet place to enjoy a good cup of coffee in Tucson ("Coffee Query: Is There Any Shop With Peace and Quiet?" Mailbag, Dec. 18). She needs to head on down to Raging Sage on Campbell Avenue, where, coincidentally, I just happened to be enjoying the Weekly and a hot mocha when I read her letter.
You Know All That 'Hope' and 'Optimism' Stuff? Never Mind!Governments at all levels are facing dilemmas of historic proportions. At the very time that these governments need record amounts of money, revenues are shrinking! Huge government deficits already exist. These will increase beyond all but the most-dire estimates ("Foreclosure Fallout," Dec. 11).
What to do? Raising tax rates and all other sources of governmental revenue will worsen the already critical economic and personal financial situation now facing all of the private sectors. Slashing governmental budgets will worsen the economic meltdown. After all, governments are the leading employers and the "biggest spenders" except for other consumers in our economy.
Meeting the budget shortfalls through ever-greater governmental debt will erode the confidence of those who buy the debt instruments and, eventually, leave those governmental entities with unmanageable debt, or lead to massive stagflation (a rise in inflation when the economy is shrinking).
Personal debt of all kinds is also at record or near-record levels at a time when personal wealth in most cases is, or soon will be, shrinking. Consumer spending has already dropped dramatically.
There are no easy solutions. Prepare for some tumultuous times, economic and political. A "Happy New Year" is not likely.