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Blue Jeans, Catalog & Cubans’ Letter

Americans Need to Wear Blue Jeans
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

I am writting in response to the letter Americans Need to Wear Blue Jeans.

I grew up in Montana in the 1960's among cattle ranchers and sheepherders, both of European descent and Native People. My step-father's father was one of the original XIT cowboys from Texas and for a good portion of my childhood worked on the range in the summer far from town and lived in a line cabin. My husband's father managed pack mules for the United States Forest Service in western Montana until his retirement.

I have never seen any of these men in any other than clean white western-cut long sleeve shirts and black pants when they were in town. On the ranch or trail they wore blue jeans, never ragged or torn either, but never in town, and even at work they wore long sleeve shirts. Most of them even had a "town" or "Sunday" hat, a clean western-style felt hat that was never worn for work, but saved for going into town or for formal outdoor occasions. If they didn't own a second pair of boots saved for similar purposes, they thoroughly cleaned and shined their boots before venturing into society with them.

The old people among the Native population seemed to make a trip into town an occasion for dressing in all their finery and treating themselves to a restaurant meal after concluding their business in town. Blue jeans are the proper wear for men working livestock on horseback or in the livestock pen, not for the streets of city or town.

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New Online Catalog
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

I like your catalog recently posted online.

I was trying to magnify it to make an easier reading and I finally figure it out.

I magnify the catalog by puting the cursor in the upper half; then, I right click on my mouse and click on Zoom in. After reading it, I click Zoom out, and do the same thing to see the rest of the page.

I always liked your shiny catalogs.

Thank you for this new improvement.

     In Our Lady,

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Cubans Appeal to the Pope
People Commenting
Dear TIA,

I want to let you know that, even facing government persecutions, 750 Cuban dissidents sent a letter to Benedict XVI signing their full name and giving their ID number. The letter analyzes the Pope's coming visit to Cuba as an act of support to the communist tyrant Raul Castro and asks the Holy Trinity to enlighten him whether he should go to Cuba or not.

I believe your readers might benefit from reading the news report below, since the American media has almost ignored it. To post it on your important website would be a way of breaking this general campaign of silence.



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Cuban Dissidents Warn Pope about His Visit

Juan O. Tamayo

Nearly 750 Cuban activists have signed a letter to Pope Benedict XVI warning that his planned visit to Cuba will “send a message to the oppressors that they can continue” to abuse Catholic opponents, dissidents reported Thursday.

“We would be very happy to receive you in our country, if the message of faith, love and hope that you could bring us also would serve to halt the repression against those who want to go to church,” the letter said.

It did not directly urge the pontiff to cancel his planned March 26-28 visit to Havana and Santiago de Cuba, but added, “May the Holy Trinity illuminate your mind so that you can make a correct decision.”

The letter was the latest word from those Cuban dissidents who are concerned that the pontiff’s visit will only legitimize Raúl Castro’s government and do little or nothing to improve human rights on the communist-ruled island.

A column by popular blogger Yoani Sánchez published Thursday in Spain’s El País newspaper noted that while Cubans enthusiastically welcomed Pope John Paul II’s visit in 1998, today “a dose of national cynicism conspires against any enthusiasm.”

Havana dissident Martha Beatriz Roque said the idea for the letter popped up several weeks ago among activists, some Catholic and some not, from various groups who know each other and talk regularly about island issues.

“This does not come from any specific group, but rather from many people who are in contact with each other, and then each group sought the signatures in the provinces,” Roque told El Nuevo Herald by telephone from Havana.

Roque emailed the letter to contacts abroad, along with the list of 749 names of people who signed it and their respective Cuban identity card numbers.

Among the signers were some of Cuba’s best-known dissidents, such as Roque, Guillermo Fariñas, Sara Martha Fonseca, Vladimiro Roca, Jorge Luis “Antunez” García Pérez and his wife, Iris Tamara Perez Aguilar.

Other dissidents have cautiously welcomed the papal visit as a ray of hope for the Cuban people and the Catholic Church. Not signing the letter were Catholic activists Oswaldo Payá and Dagoberto Valdés, Ladies in White leader Bertha Soler and her husband, former political prisoner Angel Moya, and dissident Oscar Elias Biscet.

Roque said that she has been asking for an interview with the Vatican’s diplomatic envoy in Havana, Msgr. Bruno Musaro, for the past month to hand over the letter but has received no reply.

The letter argued that since abuses against Catholics only increased after the papal visit was announced, Benedict’s presence in Cuba “would be like sending a message to the oppressors that they can continue to do whatever they want, that the church will allow it.”

It cited three cases in which government-organized mobs harassed or threatened dissidents who had gathered in churches, including one February 19 in which the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba had to intervene to protect 14 Ladies in White surrounded at the Our Lady of Charity shrine in El Cobre.

“One should add that on top of all that, some of the faithful are visited by the political police between Friday and Saturday of each week, to be warned that they will not be allowed to attend Mass — and indeed they are arrested on Sunday,” the letter added.

It also noted that the government alleges the dissidents go to church only “to provoke and engage in politicking” and added that “some non-official people” have repeated that line. “May God not hold that against them,” it added.

The letter did not identify them, but dissidents have complained in the past that some church officials have warned they cannot use churches as safe havens.

Read more here.
Contact the reporter at JTAMAYO@ELNUEVOHERALD.COM

Blason de Charlemagne
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Posted March 6, 2012

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The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA

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