The Minutemen and Terrorism

We're a target: I'm amazed that so many people get upset over the Minutemen watching our borders ["At the Ready," by Keith Plocek, August 18]. When did "watching" become such a bad thing? I suppose that the same critics also decry the "Neighborhood Watch" program.

What we have is born-and-bred Americans on private property legally observing foreign lawbreakers. Can't the naysayers see that our border is a sieve that will allow our city to be a target for terrorists? Our government won't do its job to protect us from this very real threat. To disagree is to close one's eyes to the alarming truth. It would take only a few people with a dirty bomb to change our world forever.

Sure, most of these illegals are hardworking folks. But our laws are in place for a reason, mainly to protect the people of this country.

We should also call it like it is; these are not undocumented workers or migrants. These are illegal aliens. Softening the words doesn't change a thing.

The Minutemen are not going to save us from anything. Hopefully, they'll goad our representatives in Washington into doing their sworn duty: protecting the people of this country.

Dave Patterson

Border security's a joke: I have just one point to make about Keith Plocek's article. I'm not especially sympathetic to the Minutemen or their cause. As far as I'm concerned, if Mexicans want to come north to America to make a better life for themselves, let them come. For generations, immigrants have enriched American society by working hard and fighting for their piece of the American dream. I don't think the Mexican immigrants in the recent wave are any different.

But the Minutemen are right about one thing: U.S. border security is a joke. Now, if we could be sure that the only people coming in were industrious Mexicans and others seeking work and a better life, there wouldn't be a problem. We can't be sure of that, though.

As the UK newspaper The Telegraph reported last August, 77 males of "Middle Eastern descent" were apprehended by border guards in June 2004 coming across the border from Mexico into Arizona. None of them spoke Spanish. Though The Telegraph didn't say whether any of these guys were on terrorist watch lists, it would hardly be surprising if they were.

The moral of this story: Unless we tighten up border security, someday someone might slip through who's interested in something other than making a better life for himself or herself. That's worth thinking about.

Steven Bryant

Career Disservices

Hard pitch: Great article on TCM ["Fool's Gold," by Craig Malisow, August 25]. When I saw them almost a year ago, they were BH Careers. They presented themselves as a retained-search firm and asked me to come in to discuss a few opportunities they had. The salesman was the polished tennis-pro type described in your article. The pitch was hard and inside. And I did not pay. I'm afraid that I cannot find the business card of my "vice president," but I suppose I realized back then it was not a contact worth keeping.

Robert Lane

Amazing story: I just want to thank you for this story. I didn't want to believe what I was reading. I verify every company on the Better Business Bureau Web site before I contact them, because of incidences such as these. And I'd be the first to report any complaints to the BBB to protect others. Amazing story -- well written, very detailed and informative. All I could say was wow after reading it. Thank you.

Name withheld by request

Bonkers for Burgers

Wait a second: Robb Walsh telling readers about burgers ["Texas Burger Binge," August 25]? Come on, Robb Walsh only gives good reviews to restaurants owned by liberal Democrats.

William Eubank

Two you forgot: I really enjoyed your article on the state of the Texas burger. Fortunately, I've been to many of the places you mentioned, and I plan to seek out the places I haven't been to yet. While I'm sure you've received your fair share of mail regarding omissions from your list, I must, as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of burgers, express my disappointment about your failure to mention two places that I feel offer among the best burgers in Houston: 1) Otto's on Memorial, which features the fantastic OSB ("Otto's super burger"); and 2) Bellaire Broiler Burger, a Houston institution if there ever was one. Again, great article.

Brian Cororve

One special burger: I loved your burger article, and having partaken of nine of the 18, I will now make it my mission to try the others you recommend. In fact, I have recommended the Lankford Grocery bacon cheeseburger to many people. However, for some reason you left off the "special" at Bellaire Broiler Burger on Bellaire between Chimney Rock and Rice. (They also have -- but I do not recommend -- a burger with cut-up hot dog on top). I can only assume you have not tried the special. That burger ranks No. 1 on most local burger aficionados' lists. To my taste, and that of most of my burger-fan friends, it ranks above the burgers at Goode Co., Pappas, Miller's Cafe and all of the chains. It also has ranked very well in other surveys. If you try it and do not believe it should be on the list, I will be very surprised.

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