Presidential race — Not seeking king or queen
Fluffing around the podium like prize-winning fowls, smug and self-important, the presidential candidates in their recent debate began dispensing campaign promises like Elvis tossing handkerchiefs to his adoring fans. It was a charity lovefest; free checks, medical coverage for everyone, establishing a “vision of change” for the country, solving the energy crisis, and even bolstering America’s self-esteem and empowerment.
What hogwash. Electing a president has lately become the coronation of royalty, with all the substance of “American Idol.” But the president is not our king. Despite candidates’ claims, the presidency comprises merely one third of our federal government. Called the executive branch, all it can do is enforce the law and conduct diplomacy. That’s it! The Congress passes laws, judges weigh them, all the executive branch does is make sure they are followed.
In sum, the presidency has no business promising phony tax rebates or victory over global warming, neither threatening renegade nations with annihilation, nor picking your pockets so your neighbors can buy more pizza. None of these is a legitimate function of government.
The irony is that we fought a revolution to rid ourselves of one monarch, yet we now seem to pine for the crowning of another. America must reject this glamorization of our presidents as royalty. So let’s quit deifying the role of president and get back to what it should be, simply one of the three equal checking and balancing branches of good government.
Peter J. O'Malley
Immigration — It’s not that hard to solve
The public has been led to believe that deportation of the 12 million illegal immigrants in our country would be impossible, that granting amnesty is the only solution to the problem. The public has been deceived. There is an alternative, and it’s being implemented in Arizona. That alternative is the legislation and enforcement of a law that makes it unlawful to hire illegals. When the illegal immigrants are unable to get work here, they go back to their own country. Problem solved.
Illegal immigration has had alarming security ramifications. Whether terrorists are coming across the border and are setting up cells, we do not know. There are also financial ramifications. On Meet the Press on Jan. 27, John McCain said that in the nation 2 million illegals had committed crimes.
Harvard professor George Borjas said that illegals have reduced the employment of legal Arizona residents. One study concluded that Arizona workers lose $1.4 billion in wages a year because companies hire illegals.
The national government still thinks it can deceive us into thinking amnesty is the only solution to illegal immigration. Let government officials know you won’t accept amnesty.
Torture — We can’t always be nice
Generally I agree with most of the Tribune Editorial Board’s views and opinions, however, I strenuously disagree with you on your opposition to torture.
First: Torture is not imposed on every prisoner. Only on those who might have vital information that could help our side.
Second: Torture generally does not kill the person, only injure.
Third: If injuring one person could save the lives of thousands, would it be worth it? Consider this: If one suitcase atomic bomb were to explode in one of our large cities, it could kill thousands and leave the city desolate for a hundred years. A dirty bomb could cause the city to be radioactive. Do you think that our enemies care if this were to occur?
Torture has been part of warfare for as long as there have been battles. The military has tried to prepare every recruit by telling them to give your captor only your name, rank and serial number.
I am not a cruel person, but I believe that some things are necessary in order to protect ourselves. The more information that we have, the better we are to prepare.
Question: If we adopt your policy of always being the nice guy, will our enemies follow?
Advertising — No bad signs
I recently read one of your letters to the editor in the Jan. 12 Tribune about advertising signs and I have to disagree with what was said in it. I think that advertisements should be allowed along the streets and saying that they are all an eyesore is a sweeping generalization. How is a new business supposed to get people to come in if people don’t know that it is there, that is why they put out advertisements.
How about church signs that you think should be taken down, they are pretty much the same as missionaries that ride around on their bikes spreading the word of some church. What should be done with them? I think that advertisements play a big role in today’s economy and they should be allowed to stay up.
Scientists — Is there truly a shortage?
It is almost universally assumed in our public discourse that the United States has a shortage of home-grown talent in science and engineering, yet where is the evidence for this? How many American students graduate each year with bachelor’s, masters’, and doctorate degrees in science and engineering disciplines? And how do these numbers compare to the actual job openings each year?
It is important that we arrive at truthful, evidence-based answers to these questions because our current national policies towards science and engineering education and even immigration are based on some assumptions that may not be borne out by the facts.
I strongly believe that the idea of a shortage of scientists and engineers in this country is a convenient myth that serves the interests of our business, academic, and political leaders, whose primary concern is cheap labor, not maintaining science and engineering as viable, rewarding careers for American citizens to participate in. We really need to have a public dialogue about our national policies towards science and engineering education and the importing of skilled foreign labor to fill supposed gaps in our workforce.
Readers can find out more by reading articles such as “Do We Need More Scientists?” by Michael S. Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Adam J. Mott
Pets — How to guard against coyotes?
My dog was killed and eaten by coyotes in November. The only thing I was told was to keep my pet on a leash at all times. A leash doesn’t keep pets safe when we are not allowed to put a fence around our manufactured homes in parks. I live in a 55-plus park with my pet. I’m not allowed to protect my pets by shooting the coyotes or poisoning them either.
What is the answer to this problem? I’m older and I really like my pets, they are company and I’m concerned, because the parks do not provide enough protection from the coyotes. I’m on a fixed income and would like to know what to do. Can you help me?
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