Letters: Haiti, Tucson And Auto Correct
NEAL CONAN, host:
It's Tuesday, and time to read from your emails and Web comments.
The shooting in Arizona 10 days ago prompted us to ask Arizonans what had changed there. Elizabeth wrote us that one incident should not tar a whole state. I've lived in Tucson since 1973. I've taught at Pima Community College for many years. So I feel like I have a pretty good grasp of the type of place Tucson is. Yes, we do have racists here. Yes, we do have many angry people, especially in the wake of a crumbled economy.
The housing boom and bust was particularly devastating in Phoenix and Tucson, as population growth and urban sprawl into the wide, open spaces rapidly increased. But far outnumbering the extreme, angry, hateful, gun-toting, deranged and/or racist individuals, the majority of Tucsonians are kind, hardworking, patient, friendly, intelligent and caring, which is exactly why Gabrielle Giffords is such a superb congresswoman and such a great fit for Tucson and the state of Arizona.
Sadly, Arizona has been labeled as a racist state. I am dismayed by the comments of Sheriff Dupnik, calling Arizona a Mecca for bigotry and hatred, which underscored or gave credence to those negative views. Are we more so than any other Western states? Have I become desensitized to it as I've been here so long? I really am not sure, but I don't think so.
We also marked a sad anniversary last week, the massive earthquake in Haiti that virtually leveled the capital. Listener, Sarah, volunteered to help rebuild a school in August 2010 and wrote: While there, I was blown away by how little aid seemed to be visible outside the tent cities. I thought, how could this be? Hadn't international aid been there for nearly eight months? Where were the billions of dollars pledged? It's become increasingly accepted now that a lot of aid money was pledged but not given. And what was given has not always been distributed.
While there, I often got the impression that Haitians, while appreciative of the aid, expected more from the international groups there. I also heard a lot of Haitians express frustration that the most important thing they needed was work and jobs but the jobs there were being done by foreigners. Where initial international aid was critical in the aftermath of the earthquake, it also seems to have crippled the empowerment that Haitians should have over their own recovery. Hire local, get people working so they can earn an income, feed their family and begin to rebuild.
On a lighter not, we rounded up some of our favorite incorrect corrections of our smartphones. We got tons of emails, some unprintable but we assure you we giggled. And here are some of our favorites but did not make it to air and can be read on air.
Aisha(ph) in Los Angela submitted: I was writing gute nacht to a friend who was in Germany at the time, and auto text changed it to Guttenberg nacho, his other famous invention.
Nick in Irvine wrote: I get placenta instead of pancetta while giving a menu to a client.
Listener, Emily, in Chicago, writes: I am performer of improv comedy in Chicago. Auto correct invariably insists I'm a member of various improve teams.
And one more menu-related auto correction. Imagine my surprise when my wonderful Mac program corrected my company newsletter to read the guests were treated with wine and horse ovaries. Of course, they were in fact eating hors d'oeuvres. That from Diana in Grand Rapids.
And an actual correction. In the last month or so, we've spoken at length about the WikiLeaks disclosure of U.S. embassy cables. We've either said or implied incorrectly that the release totaled roughly 250,000 diplomatic cables. While the site vowed to publish that many, as of today, only about 2,000 have actually been released.
If you have a correction, auto or otherwise for us, comments, questions, the best way to reach us is email. The address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow me there @nealconan, all one word.
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