Mailbag: Jan. 25

Inaccuracies in court column


After reading your article titled ""Factory-Line injustice clogging our courts,"" you should be aware of some errors you made …

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State Marshals should be Deputy U.S. Marshals.


Tucson is a U.S. District Court. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is located in San Francisco.


There is any ""Chief of Customs.""  David Aguilar was the Chief of the Border Patrol and is currently the Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.


Just want you to be accurate with your slanting of opinion.


Massimo B.




Less safe on Obama's watch


As a former naval intelligence officer on a high level staff (Top Secret Cryptographic clearance), I agree with President Obama that the breach of security associated with the Detroit-bound airliner is ""totally unacceptable"". The warning signs were there, but the intelligence community failed to recognize, analyze and disseminate the information. This is the same type of failure which led to the 9/11 attacks and the Ft. Hood massacre.


Although only a small percentage of Middle East inhabitants are terrorists, almost all of the terrorists emanate from Middle Eastern countries. We have to pay much more attention to travelers to this country from the Middle East and a few other countries, and our Department of Homeland Security has to work with foreign airports to beef up their security operations. We need many more intelligence officials who are proficient in Arabic and who can penetrate al-Qaida networks in various countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.


Unfortunately, the Bush Administration transferred a number of Yemini terrorists from Guantanamo Bay back to Yemen, and at least one of them was involved in the planning for the attack on the Detroit-bound airliner. President Obama wants to close down Guantanamo and transfer the terrorists to the U.S. mainland for prosecution. Will these terrorists be convicted of their crimes? Will they be executed? If not, how long will they stay in prison? Will they be eligible for parole? Will they spread their hate for the U.S. to other inmates? Why take a chance with these hard core terrorists? Keep them in Guantanamo. 


We need President Obama to stop appeasing the leaders of countries that sponsor terrorism including Iran, Syria and Somalia; and he has to cease bowing to leaders of the world and appearing subservient to them. These actions are construed by terrorists as signs of weakness, which give the terrorists inspiration to attack us.


President Obama weakened the CIA operations, and the intelligence agencies in general, when he criticized the CIA for its interrogation techniques. Although some of these techniques might be unacceptable to the world community, we have to be able to somehow access information from captured terrorists. I believe the recent failures of our intelligence agencies to provide warnings of potential terrorist activities can be partially attributable to some apathy and lack of initiative within the intelligence community, and President Obama bears some responsibility for the climate of distrust among intelligence officials.


Janet Napolitano is not qualified to fill the position of Secretary of Homeland Security. We need a professional intelligence/security person in this critical position. Unfortunately most high level federal positions, including cabinet positions, go to unqualified politicians for payback for supporting the president during the campaign.


Note: The president was deeply involved and approved the people for these positions.


The United States is less safe on Obama's watch, and we could be susceptible to on-going terrorist attacks due to an appeasing and apologetic president, incompetent Secretary of Homeland Security and weakened intelligence agencies.


P.S.  Bring on the body scanners. At my age it could be exciting.


Donald A. Moskowitz

Londonderry, NH




Southwestern company director of communications responds to column


This letter is in response to the opinion printed in your publication on Jan. 20, 2010, titled ""Exclusive opportunity, or corporate exploitation?"" by creative writing sophomore Miranda Butler.   


Southwestern was established in 1855 and is the nation's oldest direct selling company. Since 1868, Southwestern has helped college students offset their educational expenses by providing a way for them to run their own businesses selling educational products to families throughout America. Students from over 300 campuses worldwide participate in the program. Over 40,000 students are interviewed each year, with between 2,600 and 3,000 who are selected and participate. There is an initial information session on campus, then several follow-up meetings prior to the week-long training program in Nashville, Tennessee. Parents of the students are involved throughout the process and are asked to endorse their student into the program. In addition, there is a rich history of success at UA, which finished as the 18th top campus in the world this past year.


For the record (in relation to the mis-stated facts of the article):


(1) The students,who are independent dealers (direct selling business model) are not required to purchase any product up front. They pay nothing to the company for initial supplies, samples and sales material. They are charged for merchandise only according to orders they place with Southwestern so that they can deliver products to each of their own customers. Expenses are kept to a minimum, as is a good business practice in any venture. 


(2) There is no profit generated on either the student dealer's part or Southwestern's unless that student dealer is successful in generating a customer base and collecting payment. As well, the student must keep their operating expenses lower than their intake.


(3) ""They'll hire anybody."" — This is absolutely false. The program is selective on both sides, as it is simply not for everyone. There is also an interview process which includes interaction with parents.


(4) ""Southwestern is so intent on hiring hordes of interns that they ask potential employees for names and phone number of their friends."" This is a common recruiting method used by all campus recruiters called ""referrals."" 


(5) Our program was described as a ""huge risk to financially burdened college students."" Any business entails some degree of potential risk when you consider there is no ceiling or floor when it comes to income. Students are very much aware of this. In fact, this is what attracts many students. Most students who do participate are not looking for a job, they are seeking to learn a skill set to serve them in their careers and futures.


(6) First-year dealers who stay in the course all summer yield a healthy summer gross profit of over $8,000. More seasoned dealers (more than one summer) have many more customers.


To answer the question posed by Ms. Butler, ""Is Southwestern the kind of corporation that talented UA students should work for?"" Yes and no. That should be up to the students and their parents to decide in an informed, educated environment.


I doubt Michelle Miller, a senior theater major at the UA feels she was exploited. Last summer was her fourth summer in the program, and she made a gross profit of more than $40,000 in three months. Are there some students who do not do as well? Sure. How many students enroll at UA and do not graduate? It is the same principle. Is there something wrong with the campus because some students do not complete their education? Not at all.


Bottom line: Editorials are about personal opinions. I appreciate your printing these established facts as well: Southwestern is a company that has been around since 1855, is in good standing with the university, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and has scores of students each year from the UA who participate knowing the potential risks and rewards of the program and who do succeed. They should be congratulated on stepping out of the normal collegiate comfort zone to see what they can achieve.



Trey Campbell,

APR – Director of Communications

Southwestern Company


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