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.
Legislature — Be very, very quiet
Once again, Tempe’s Democratic lawmakers have shown how marginal and misguided they are. Rep. Ed Ableser’s bill to add noise to quiet hybrid cars to benefit the blind is as useful as the mud flap regulations proposed last session. Instead of filling city streets with more noise, with a little thinking, Ed could have devised a better bill.
If this issue is so vital, then why not use technology to our advantage? For example, autos and traffic lights could be outfitted with a transponder that would broadcast an inaudible, short range frequency that could give information to blind pedestrians equipped with a special receiver, including tones to indicate proximity and direction. But even this idea needs to be balanced with the economic realities of our state. Who will pay for such a system? Tempe residents should request that lawmakers like Ableser stop writing wasteful bills and work to hold down spending and encourage less government regulation, not more.
Sex education — Truth is best protection
On Feb. 16 the Tribune published two letters to the editor commenting on Gov. Janet Napolitano’s decision to reject federal funding for the Abstinence Only program. The first letter was in support of the program and the second was from a former student complaining about shortcomings in the program.
The supporting letter was eloquent in its praise of the program. It’s hard to argue with a desire to dignify the sanctity of marriage and an increase in self-respect for our children. There are tenets of the program that are not as accepted and, I am sure, were important in our governor’s decision. Two teachings are especially questionable and very dangerous. One is that condoms are ineffective and dangerous to use. The second is that Planned Parenthood is an evil institution and profits unduly by encouraging abortion. Both of these tenets are untrue.
Many pro-life supporters would have us believe that all pro-choice supporters are actually pro-abortion. There are really few persons who welcome abortions. A very small part of Planned Parenthood’s activities involve abortion. Most of their services involve factual, non-judgmental advice on contraception and timely diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. The facilities are staffed by dedicated professionals. In some areas these people serve at the risk of their lives.
As noted in the second letter, our children are not stupid. They know when they have been given biased information. Regardless of our beliefs, we all want fewer abortions. It seems logical we should all be insisting on our children learning the truth. It is only with the truth that we can really protect them.
Theodore F. Blackwelder
Mining — In cahoots over copper
Prince Andrew (Feb. 13) comes to Arizona promoting a polluting, habitat-destructive British company’s copper mine. The mine’s water would come from Arizona’s disappearing Lake Mead water supply and annually use and pollute as much water as 200,000 people. This mine will obliterate multiple Native American holy and sacred sites, habitat of an endangered cactus, and a number of national Audubon Society “red alert” watch-listed bird species.
At one of the sacred sites called Apache Leap, Apaches in the 19th century jumped to their deaths rather than be taken by the U.S. Cavalry. Apaches today visit the site to honor their memories. Would Americans allow a copper mine or oil refinery to destroy the Gettysburg or Antietam battlefields?
The Maricopa Audubon Society, Sierra Club and Arizona Wildlife Federation, along with the San Carlos Apache, White Mountain Apache, Camp Verde, Hualapai and Hopi tribes oppose this British company’s affront to humankind and our planet.
Sen. John McCain introduced this land-swap legislation into the Senate. It would remove and destroy 3,025 acres of Forest Service land and exempt this mine from most U.S. environmental, cultural and religious protection laws.
In 1996, McCain wrote, “Republicans abandoned their roots as the party of Theodore Roosevelt, who maintained that government’s most important task, with the exception of national security, is to leave posterity a land in better condition than they received it.”
Prince Andrew has the nerve to visit our beautiful state to promote a destructive foreign-owned mine, whose success depends upon exemption in Congress from our environmental, cultural and religious protection laws. Prince Andrew represents British money. Whom does McCain represent?
Speeding — Necessary traps
People need to stop and think!
Do they call it a “murder trap” when police arrest a murderer? Do they call the mall a “shoplifting trap” when police arrest a shoplifter? Do they call a bank a “bank robbery trap” when police arrest a bank robber?
So why do people call it a “speed trap” when police ticket speeders?
When people speed, they are breaking the law. Plain and simple.
Speeders endanger the lives, property of others, and pets, within their vicinity. A neighborhood with frequent speeders is less desirable to potential buyers thus diminishing property values, which increases blight. Speeding automobiles are less efficient, thus increasing fuel consumption, and further contributing to impending global warming.
Bring on the “speed traps” — I welcome them.
People need to stop and think (or at least slow down).
Oil companies — Attacking our wallets
With the Valley experiencing record number of foreclosures, loss of jobs, credit card defaults, etc., it was disheartening to read that not everyone is experiencing such doom and gloom. ExxonMobil Corp. recently posted the largest annual profit by any U.S. company ($40.6 billion). Exxon also set a U.S. record for the biggest quarterly profit, posting net income of $11.7 billion for the final three months of 2007, besting its own mark of $10.71 billion in the fourth quarter of 2005. The previous record for annual profit was $39.5 billion, which ExxonMobil reported for 2006.
Each of us knows firsthand the impact of escalating prices at the pump. The excuse from the oil companies for higher prices has always been that they need to raise prices since the cost of crude oil is going up. For three years in a row, ExxonMobil Corp. has posted enormous profits as they siphon off cash from all of us through greed-based price increases. Perhaps ExxonMobil should be considered a terrorist organization, as their actions have brought about untold suffering and destabilization of the American economy similar to what would happen through a terrorist attack.
Green with envy
ExxonMobil is not the only oil company that has invested millions or billions in oil production in other countries, only to have their companies confiscated, stolen, nationalized. Why? Largely because the green fools in America prevent us from developing our own oil, thereby preventing us from becoming an oil-independent, oil-exporting country. Shame on our government for kowtowing to them to the detriment of our country.