Letters to the editor: May 7 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: May 7

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Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 11:14 pm | Updated: 10:46 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

SEPT. 11

Not impossible, but still crazy

Like I have always said, people believe what they want to believe and refuse to believe what they do not want to believe, as Sen. Karen Johnson once again demonstrates (“Backing my claims about 9/11 questions,” Opinion 2, Saturday).

The History Channel did a program examining 9/11 conspiracy theories and offered evidence that these theories were not credible. But it is not possible to prove, of course, that our government did not attack America and destroy the World Trade Center. It is possible to think this is a silly and dangerous idea. Once an event happens it becomes history and can only be reconstructed from less-that-perfect evidence. This invites everyone to give it his or her own two-cent ideas.

To concentrate on proving our government is this evil is to ignore the reality of our enemy. They have proven motive, means and opportunity for 9/11. They have been killing Americans for more than 40 years now and have in their own thoughts been at war with America for a long time.

It would be wrong to ignore the problems in our intelligence community and in the State Department, that have persisted through several administrations, of all persuasions, that has given us such a poor understanding of the Middle East.

JAMES R. SCHER

CHANDLER

Wacky and wackier

What a double-header on the Opinion 2 page Saturday! I wasn’t sure whether it was “Dumb and Dumber” redux, or nut and nuttier. I’ll settle for the latter, because Tibor Machan and Sen. Karen Johnson probably are intelligent, just wacko.

Machan’s column is over the top, even for your lousy paper. Wesley Snipes broke the law. He did it knowingly and with forethought. I suspect he thought that he would be immune because he is such a celebrity. But he cheated, he got caught, and now he’s going to jail. Hooray.

Machan’s reasoning is so faulty that there is no way to follow it. It seems that he believes that we should only pay for government services that we personally want, and that people are rational enough that they will pay voluntarily. Right! The fact that this guy is the guiding guru for Freedom Communications really makes me wonder what’s in the water in Orange County.

Johnson has never met a conspiracy theory she didn’t like. Her brain has a sign on it that says “for amusement only.” I think she is almost due to leave the Legislature thanks to term limits — now we just have to pay her retirement for the rest of her life. How about a story from the Tribune on the retirement pay for legislators? And a sidebar on the regular pay including per diem and travel allowances?

This started out to be a cancellation of our subscription (what a shame — our family has read the Trib since the 1940s), but my wife likes the bridge column and I do the crossword. We’ll try to avoid the editorial pages from here on out to help our blood pressure.

FRANK BENNETT SR.

MESA

Why trust Congress?

I was saddened to read Sen. Karen Johnson’s, R-Mesa, piece (Opinion 2, Saturday) defending her belief that 9/11 was a government conspiracy. She says she can’t convince anyone that doesn’t want to be convinced and then presents the “factual evidence” that should convince those who can be convinced.

When I first saw the “evidence” some years ago, I too was intrigued by it, but then I did something that the 9/11 conspiracy folks never seem to do — I sought out knowledgeable explanations for the “evidence.”

Beyond the fact that the “evidence” is refutable, I would ask Sen. Johnson and all those who are so eager to believe in a 9/11 conspiracy (other than the actual one hatched by bin Laden), did you not believe your eyes? We saw the planes hit the buildings. The people who were on those planes are gone, are they not? We know who the hijackers were and how they trained for their hideous mission. Do you have any idea how long it takes and what is involved in preparing a large building (let alone the Twin Towers and Building No. 7) for demolition with explosives? And none of the many thousands of people who worked in those buildings every day noticed anything untoward?

Most of the 9/11 conspiracy folks tend to be leftists who are so warped by their hatred of President Bush and his “evil administration” they have no problem accepting the most absurd premises; so it is with some surprise to see Johnson, who I usually agree with politically, getting fitted for a tinfoil hat. I would ask her one last question. If she truly believes that the government was behind 9/11 and she wants “Congress to authorize an independent investigation,” how does she know Congress isn’t in on the conspiracy?

DAN DOMINEY

MESA

Johnson shows courage

I would like to thank Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, for her column about 9/11 in Saturday’s Tribune. As she said, there are many unanswered questions about that day. It take guts to bring that opinion out.

Yet it seems that if you talk to anyone about the prospect of the World Trade Center’s “collapse” being an inside job, you get looked at like you’ve got Slinkys coming out of your eye sockets. Even when asked a question about 9/11 at a political rally a few months ago, Bill Clinton replied to the person, “Oh, You’re one of those, huh?” like the guy had leprosy!

I’ve also heard people try to bring it up with radio talk show hosts, but they get mocked and laughed at!

I don’t know. It just seems strange that in the history of steel skyscrapers, only three have ever collapsed and all three fell on the same day like nice accordions into the ground. I have beliefs about 9/11 but I don’t believe in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster or flying saucers! I would however like anyone reading this letter to look up the definition of “false flag” if they haven’t heard of that before. Thanks, Sen. Johnson. I hope your career is not ruined.

MARK LOOSE

Absurd assumptions

If Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, and her fellow conspiracy buffs are correct about the destruction of the World Trade Center (Opinion 2, Saturday), we can assume:

• The attack was more sophisticated than first believed, with the attack airplanes coordinated with explosions in the basement and demolition of the towers with planted thermite, or;

• A terrorist group other than the known Islamists in the airplanes happened to ply their trade unaware of the impending attack, or;

• The explosions heard by 37 different people and the traces of thermite in the wreckage could be attributed to something considerably less sinister, and the 9/11 Commission is correct in its findings. I prefer the latter.

KENNETH R. FOOTE

MESA

IRAQ

By the numbers

What our pro-Iraq war news media are not saying is the Iraq war has cost more than $600 billion dollars. One in three U.S. troops are returning from Iraq with mental problems and 5,800 have severe brain and spinal damage. Attempted suicide has risen to five per day, with 2,100 attempts in 2007.

There have been 446 suicides between 2003 and 2007, these troops are not part of the more than 4,030 U.S. troops killed in action. More than 40,000 U.S. troops have been injured. More than 1 million Iraq citizens have died, and 67 percent of Iraq citizens have no faith in the U.S. coalition.

JOHN MAAKESTAD

MESA

SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO

Doesn’t care about inmates’ health

In your response to Micahel Nowakowski’s comments you stated, “It’s simply off base to accuse (Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio) of not caring about the safety of county residents” (Say What?, Opinion, April 22). I would assert that you are completely off base to suggest that Arpaio cares about anyone or thing other than his own personal and political gain.

Arpaio has repeatedly shown a callous disregard for the welfare of his employees and for the inmates he has been granted custodianship of.

Throughout the years people have died from criminal causes in his jails, and he and his department have taken active steps to cover this up. The Scott Norberg case is, of course, the shining example of this. But there are other, lesser known cases. For example, the still unexplained death of my personal friend Preston Baker, a healthy person in his mid-20s who died in “tent city” (the only American jail condemned by Amnesty International by the way) from “heat exhaustion” in March 2006.

Bottom line, the man is a reckless narcissist who consistently breaks the law for his own gain, and I would argue that he also knowingly uses his influence and resources to illegally intimidate and extort the press and his political opponents. I sincerely feel the Tribune Editorial Board should re-evaluate their position on Arpaio, allowing his behavior to go on unchecked equates to abdicating your responsibility as journalists.

PAUL L. TYLER

GILBERT

METH

Heavy fuel

I can only add one element to Bill Richardson’s excellent analysis of the meth issue (“What about the other drugs?” Opinion 2, April 18); namely, that if adults had access to the same amphetamines we give our Air Force and Navy pilots, the problems associated with meth would be dramatically reduced. That our pilots are given amphetamines, allowed to operate heavy machinery (jets) and then make life-and-death decisions to drop bombs under the influence makes it ironic to absurd that an adult waitress can not be allowed the same pill to pour my coffee while she works a 12-hour shift.

HOWARD J. WOOLDRIDGE

EDUCATION SPECIALIST, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGAINST PROHIBITION

WASHINGTON, D.C.

INTERNATIONAL DEBT

Must be waived to reduce poverty

On April 16, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 285-132 to pass the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation (HR2634). This strong, bipartisan legislation urges expanded debt cancellation to improverished countries that need it to meet the Millennium Development Goals and provide much needed clean water, health care without fee, and food to its people.

Just two months ago, President Bush made a historic trip to Africa to review the progress of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative and other administration sponsored development programs in the region. He observed and praised increased investment health care and education, made possible by MDRI debt cancellation.

Right now, Haiti, the most improverished country in the Western Hemisphere, is suffering from a food shortage. Its citizens are literally starving for justice. The Associated Press reports that many Haitians are eating cookies made of dirt to stay alive. And this year, the Haitian government is scheduled to pay more than $1 million a week, that’s $71.7 million, to the World Bank and Inter-American Bank to repay money these banks loaned to the Duvalier regime. An amendment included in the Jubilee Act urges the Bush administration to work to immediately cancel or stop the payments of these debts.

Debt cancellation is an essential element of any real, long-term development progress in Africa and Haiti. The Jubilee Act, which now move to the Senate for consideration, should be supported by our senators. The act provides debt cancellation for more poor nations and would help put an end to the kind of irresponsible lending that caused crippling debt burdens in the past.

JASON MICHAEL WALKER

TEMPE

Doesn’t work if growth uncontrolled

You can “go green” until you’re blue in the face, but until out-of-control population growth is stopped, you’re just spinning your wheels.

Unfortunately it’s politically incorrect to identify this source of most of the world’s problems, like starvation, resource depletion, habitat loss, extinctions, and wars over territory. It’s so sad that so many are so stupid.

Money can buy almost anything except more land and common sense.

SUSU LEVY

SCOTTSDALE

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