Letters From the Issue of Thursday, August 3, 2006

Soul Good

Fryer power: I simply can't get over an institution like Stacy's soul food closing ("The Last Meal," The Bird, July 27). I've eaten there once a week for at least five years. I will truly miss the place.

And while I'm on the subject, why is it that new owners automatically think that the places inside the buildings they've bought simply have to go? Is Stacy's not good enough for the new owner? Is Stacy Phipps not slick enough for the new guy? Because there was nothing slick about Stacy's. You went there for a plate of the best Southern cooking in the Phoenix area. Anywhere, for that matter.

Why is it that true culinary artists are only rewarded if their names are Vincent or something? Stacy may have fried chicken and catfish grease on his apron, but he is every bit the artist that Vincent or any of the other Gucci chefs in this city are.

Thousands of loyal customers just pray that Stacy will open a soul food place nearby. Stacy, please don't go to Chandler! I know he was looking at a spot on Washington Street near downtown, just behind Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe (which, by the way, doesn't even come close in quality to Stacy's, which actually cooks soul food with minimal grease and salt, making it, therefore, healthier. Notice I didn't say healthy — it is soul food, after all).

Stacy told me that the new owner plans to put in an upscale soul food place, one with a salad bar to cater to the health-conscious. Come on! Upscale soul food? Folks who eat soul food ain't concerned about getting a nice, fresh salad; they want some damn collard greens and string beans with corn bread!
Lawrence Potts, Phoenix

Peace Out

The transformer: I read your article concerning the rapid transformation of Ann Marie Tate from a highly educated and trained Army officer to a born-again peace activist ("War & Peacenik," Paul Rubin, July 20). All that kept ringing in my head was: "What type of scam is this whiner running?"

I believe there are true hawks and true doves, and we need both pro-peace and pro-military voices in our national debate. But after receiving a $100,000-plus college education at West Point, holding multiple military jobs around the globe, then leaving a civilian job to accept a position in a military linguistics program, I don't see "peacenik" anywhere in this person's background.

And isn't it amazing that after not getting her dream job in Hawaii, but rather one on the front line of a war zone in the Middle East, Tate all of a sudden wants to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony and weave potholders around a campfire while singing old Peter, Paul and Mary songs?

Sending this self-serving liar to a war zone would hurt the security and safety of the soldiers around her, but she owes Uncle Sam for her extensive education and misrepresentations in her career with the military. Hopefully, she will get a real conscience and start paying back the U.S. taxpayers with her next paycheck.
Mike Fritz, Phoenix

We need more like her: A year ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ann Marie Tate, the subject of your "War & Peacenik" article. At the time, she was the co-director of the AZ Department of Peace Campaign.

Ann Marie is a stunning individual who I know will continue to serve this country well. We need more people like her at the national level to help decide which wars are worth our children's blood.
Judith A. Ingalls, M.D., Carefree

Not a soldier: Major Ann Marie Tate isn't a soldier; she is a coward in a West Point uniform. Saying she would go, suffer and probably die, but not kill are words of a fake who almost tricked everyone into thinking she is a soldier.

She should be stripped of rank and pension. Then she should be jailed for reneging on her oath.
Dan Biesheuvel, via the Internet

Maybe she thought it was the KISS Army: I don't know how this happened, but somewhere along the line Major Ann Marie Tate never caught on to the idea that the bottom line in the military is: "Killeth thine enemy before he killeth you."

How can one go all the way through West Point and make it all the way up to Major before figuring out that being part of the big, green killing machine is not for her? It boggles the imagination. Even if one's primary job in the military is turning a wrench, or pushing a pencil, she must be ready, able, and willing to fight to the death when called upon.

This means all branches of service, all specialties, and all components — be they active duty, National Guard, or reserve. No matter how much you abhor killing, there are those out there who want to kill us Americans (look back at 9/11 and Pearl Harbor if there is any doubt). No amount of standing around in a circle holding hands and singing "Kum Ba Yah" and "Give Peace a Chance" is going to change that.

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