Letters to the editor: March 8 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: March 8

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Posted: Saturday, March 8, 2008 5:15 am | Updated: 9:45 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

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A smokescreen, not a solution

Congress and the Bush administration are once again creating an illusion with the smokescreen approach to the economic stimulus package. This law is not about the American economy, which will recover on its own if the government keeps its fingers out of free enterprise, but rather all about bailing out the financial sector, propping up Wall Street and creating foreign investor confidence. The winds of time will blow the smoke away.

Can you imagine the downfall effect on our economy should this industry have a complete financial failure? Way to go boys, you won again, all the while pocketing huge commissions. If Congress wanted to investigate corruption, here is an industry badly deserving and needing tighter regulations. These culprits have always believed they could do no wrong and if their actions failed, future taxpayers would be liable to bail our their greedy mistakes, all the while causing enormous economic and emotional distress on young families trying to acquire the American dream of owning a home.

Wake up, America! Sen. John McCain made a trip to Washington to vote for this stimulus package after being a no-show for 245 previous votes. Who does he represent? Not us secondclass citizens he helped to create. People living on fixed incomes would spend every dime they receive to do what the media says this bill is about, revitalizing the economy. Families with three children receiving $2,100 would probably spend all of their payment on household goods and services. Maybe they should save some or all of it for a rainy day or when their jobs are exported to China.

Bush is projecting a budget deficit for 2008 at $410 billion, so why is an additional $40 million to $50 million so wrong to keep all of this country’s citizens at the $600 first-class rate?





NYT’s McCain article outrageous

    First, let me state that I am not a fan of Sen. John McCain as a candidate for president, his views and many of his goals for the country do not represent my own and I would not vote for him.

    Having said this, I find the article in the New York Times regarding an alleged tryst that McCain presumably had a number of years ago absolutely outrageous and beyond the pale! For anything else McCain may or may not be, I believe him to be a thoroughly honorable and moral man in his personal and family life and an exemplary military man, having served his country with great honor. For any newspaper or TV station to print or state an allegation such as this without pictures and written proof is absolutely inexcusable. This campaign has been long and arduous at best and to sully it with unsubstantiated trash like this is obscene.

    Hopefully there will come a time when the New York Times and any other publication that has participated in this will have to retract their statement and offer Sen. McCain a sincere apology.



Thanks to investigators

The recent revelation of the brutality inflicted upon sick and non-ambulatory cows by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. workers again illustrates the necessity for undercover employees and investigations. Such investigations have documented severe violations of minimum humane standards set forth in federal laws such as the Animal Welfare Act, as well as health and safety guidelines for the food industry. These companies claim to be “closely regulated” by the United States Department of Agriculture, yet the USDA itself says that is false. The USDA, in fact, readily admits it is grossly understaffed, leaving it unable to sufficiently and routinely inspect facilities such as Westland/Hallmark. The truth is there are only five USDA regional offices in the U.S., each with approximately 20 inspectors. This lack of manpower makes it literally impossible for the USDA to police the hundreds of thousand of animal-handling facilities in the country. Do the math.

We should all thank the brave undercover investigators who bring to light the despicable and unethical practices of companies like Westland/Hallmark Meat Co.



Unsafe at any temperature?

The recall of 143 million pounds of beef by the U.S. Department of Agriculture should provide a loud and clear wake-up call that federal inspection is not adequate to ensure a safe meat supply.

This largest meat recall in U.S. history was actually brought on by an animal rights organization’s undercover video showing California slaughterhouse workers using kicks, electric shock, high-pressure water hoses, and a forklift to force sick or injured animals onto the kill floor. USDA regulations prohibit sick animals from entering the food supply, because of the high risk of contamination by E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease.

About 37 million pounds of the recalled meat went to school lunch and other federal nutrition programs since October 2006, and “almost all of it is likely to have been consumed,” according to a USDA official.

Parents must insist that USDA stop using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. The rest of us must learn to treat all meat, and particularly ground beef, as a hazardous substance to be consumed at one’s own peril.




Latinos can take the 5th, too

Just why is it wrong for Latinos to take the Fifth?

I am a white guy and I take the Fifth Amendment all the time.

Every time I am stopped by the police I tell them I am taking the Fifth and refusing to answer any questions unless I have my lawyer present.

Just why is it wrong when a person of Latino descent does the same thing? Any defense lawyer will give you a long list of reasons why you should refuse to talk to the police unless you have your attorney present.

Ray Krone, who was framed by the Phoenix police and spent 10 years on death row until he was proven innocent with DNA testing, told me he naively believed it was best to answer police questions when he was arrested. He told me they twisted and bent the words he gave them and used them to falsely convict him. And with perfect 20/20 hindsight he will never again answer police questions!

Even if you are innocent, it is always best to refuse to answer any police questions without your lawyer present.




Sense and sensibility

Apparently, in Sen. Karen Johnson’s world vision, well-trained kindergartners and their teacher dive for cover when the door opens. As the teacher rolls, she extracts her revolver, unlocks the safety, and comes up blazing. (Weapons 101 at ASU?) I think Johnson needs to spend less time watching made-for-TV movies and more time reading Jane Austen.



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