Letters to the editor | Local Editorials and Opinion

Letters to the editor | Local Editorials and Opinion

Sinema criticism is warranted

I was glad to see that the Democratic Party is voicing criticism of U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. I was very distressed when she voted with Moscow Mitch McConnell to lift sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Derapaska.

She enabled Moscow Mitch to get an aluminum processing plant in Tennessee funded by the Russians as well as his quid pro quo of getting the wife of the lobbyist who brokered the deal appointed to the federal bench for a lifetime appointment. Even U.S. Sen. Martha McSally voted against giving money to the oligarch who participated in Russian meddling in our elections.

I don’t see Sinema representing Arizona well, let alone the U.S. citizens. I’m watching her and I am glad that she knows she has to step up to a higher standard. Most Democrats are sick of the D.C. corruption.

Romero duplicitous on ‘A’ Mountain closure

In 2010, Councilwoman Regina Romero’s intent was to close “A” Mountain to all vehicular traffic. After a long, hard fight, we convinced the City Council that closing it would be discriminatory to the disabled and elderly. In 2011, Regina read into the record that the council pledged not to close “A” Mountain road to vehicles.

Now it’s election year and Regina has agreed to close the road for one day each week and restrict the hours of vehicular traffic on “A” Mountain.

In its 100-plus years, “A” Mountain road has been one of the safest in Tucson. Human behavior and error has been the cause of the problems and the few deaths on the mountain.

This is how fascist hypocrisy creeps into our lives. Tucsonans, resist. Complain that your iconic “A” Mountain is slowly being denied to you. This is another test of your resolve to be free of tyranny. Contact your council people. Resist.

Beryl Baker, neighborhood activist

Arizona must prepare for climate change

The Tucson summer is almost over, but before we move on, we must remember that our record high temperatures; the declining levels of Lake Mead and our water tables; and our continuing drought are the proverbial birds in the mine shaft on the dangers of global warming. A new study found the North American bird population dropped 29% since 1970, not to mention local butterflies and bees, so maybe we have already been warned.

With national leadership retreating on climate change, is it time for Tucson and Arizona to take concrete steps to mitigate the increasingly obvious environmental impacts locally? Can we design a plan to import water, for example?

The Romans had their aqueducts 2,000 years ago. Can we begin to fill Lake Mead and increase the flow of the Colorado River? Can we improve our power grid and decrepit municipal engineering for the expected deadly cocktails of drought and major storms? Our Anasazi ancestors failed during the 300-year drought, but at least they tried.

Focus on corruption to impeach Trump

I think I have a very simple solution for satisfying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s dilemma for making a case for the impeachment of Donald Trump. Her main concern seems to be that the American public will view impeachment as overriding the 2016 election. This can be overcome by applying the old but true axiom, keep it simple stupid.

If there is one thing that the public understands, it’s corruption. Open the impeachment filing with only one charge, corruption. Congress should be capable of assembling a list of 20 or more flagrant violations that are easily provable.

Put a cost to each one. Items should include all government expenditures for trips to Trump-owned properties such as Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Ireland, Air Force stays in Scotland, and the many trips to Trump’s domestic golf resorts.

These, combined with foreign visitors staying in his hotels, will be in the millions very quickly.

Checking of receipts is not a big deal

Re: the Sept. 19 column “Backlash against Castro spotlights double standard.”

In her column, Esther Cepeda claims she was stopped and asked for a receipt as she exited the store. She infers that this was because she was not “white.”

In her reference to “a big box store,” I will assume it is Walmart. When I bought a toaster oven at Walmart, the plain box was loose in the cart. I was stopped as I left to have my receipt checked. I said to the checker that Walmart was getting like Costco, which always checks the receipt as the customer exits. He patiently explained to me that the policy was to check the receipt when there is a loose (not bagged) item in the cart. That seemed reasonable to me.

According to Reuters, Walmart looses $3 billion per year to theft. I felt no hurt.

Antenori is wrong about Medicare

Re: the Sept. 18 guest opinion “Our nation’s veterans deserve better than ‘Medicare for All.’”

It’s rich that Army retiree and former Republican politician Frank Antenori, who benefits from government-sponsored TRICARE health insurance, writes that veterans should just get by with private insurance, assuming they can afford it. He’s referring to other vets who don’t qualify for VA health care or didn’t retire from the Army.

Antenori enjoyed Army health care for 20 years and to this day receives government health coverage, yet he disparages government “one size fits all” health care, including Medicare.

Antenori ironically sings the praises of the VA, which is a true government-run medical organization, while attacking Medicare, the federal system that just pays the bills for care you receive from private providers. Either way, these approaches represent organized compassion, something Mr. Antenor reserves for himself but not the rest of us.

As an Army brat and veteran myself, I believe all Americans deserve equal health care compassion.

Teach reproduction, not sex education

Re: the Sept. 21 article “AZ House speaker says sex-ed radicalizes children.”

What we should be teaching our young people from puberty through high school is human reproduction, not sex education. They have a right and a need to know the facts about conception and growth and development during the nine-month gestation period so that they can make thoughtful decisions about their sexual behavior.

Native Americans are not mascots

As a society, we are justifiably appalled by the use of blackface. Yet the racist practice of using Native American names for sports teams, i.e. Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, is still accepted. Why?

Faith, culture are no excuse for ignorance

The problem with ignorance is that — as with its cousin, misery — it craves company. People who hide from a nuanced understanding of human sexuality are the same ones who cannot understand why others should have the right to pursue knowledge through the use of actual evidence. Unfortunately, those people often use social power to curtail or restrict the rest of us. They claim offended sensibilities, assaulted morals or attacks on their culture as reasons for avoiding facts. What they really want is to project their idolatry of ignorance onto the rest of us.

I taught college courses in human sexuality for over 10 years. Humans are “sexualized” by nature and “re-sexualized” by society. Those who are “asexual” or profess to have no sexual orientation at all make up only about 1% of the population. It appears that House Speaker Russell Bowers hopes to re-sexualize Arizona’s children into a binary, religious fiction.

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