Foreseen consequences

In your interview with Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago (“A Listening Church,” February 6), he mentioned two reasons that Mexican immigrants come to the United States: “A whole system of labor that no one else wants to do” and “recreational drug users who are in fact funding the violence that people who come to this country are trying to escape.”

There is one more factor that should be mentioned. The North American Free Trade Agreement drove many Mexican farmers from their farms. The National Farmers Organization (NFO) warned Americans that this would happen if NAFTA passed, but no one would listen, and so it happened.

Teresa Mottet
Fairfield, Iowa


Unforeseen consequences

I am totally flabbergasted by Fran Quigley’s proposal to eliminate the charitable donation deduction (“The Limits of Philanthropy,” January 23), for at least two reasons:

1. If the deduction is ever eliminated, it will be in exchange for lower tax rates. So how will the lost donations be replaced by more government spending? Put another way, we the people are O.K. with 28-percent-to-39-percent tax brackets because they are linked to charitable donations and a mortgage-interest deduction. No deduction, no 28 percent rate. Sorry.

2. Eliminating the deduction will be the end of the $10 weekly donation in the parish collection basket. (Why do you think people use envelopes?—they want the deduction.) The resulting devastation to local parish finances is incalculable.

Paul Conlin
Lake Zurich, Ill.


Missed flight

Richard Alleva’s review of Birdman (January 9) makes all the right connections with the masterful view of Broadway theater and Hollywood blockbusting, but it misses the point of the film’s ending. Alleva finds fault in the scene near the end in which Riggan takes flight over Times Square, wafted aloft in Birdman’s arms. He should be flying away from Birdman at this point, the reviewer argues. But Riggan is not ready yet. Only after his near death and return to life does he fly out the hospital window on his own power. The audience does not see him in the air, just his daughter who looks down in fright and then looks up and smiles. We see him through her eyes, and all is right with this world.

James Finn Cotter
Newburgh, N.Y.


In the know

I was so interested to read Ananda Rose’s article “Seeking Refuge: Life and Death at the Border” (January 9). What wonderful work is done by the staff of La Posada, a shelter for migrants. But then one politically driven sentence made me want to stop reading the article (though I did keep reading). I do not want to read that “apparently he [Texas Governor Rick Perry] is not aware that Obama has deported more migrants than any other president.” Really? Anyone reading Commonweal would know there is much more to that statement. Please do not make a simplistic declaration in the midst of a great humanitarian article without any supporting evidence cited, and not an iota of discussion. I would like to learn about a facility such as this without the condescension of reading what we “apparently” should know.

Shirley Farmer Scholtz
Wind Lake, Wis.

Published in the March 6, 2015 issue: View Contents
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