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Littering — Erroneous assumptions
The Tribune obviously knows nothing about hunting and even less about researching a subject before writing about it. The staff that allowed “Line limbo leads to litter at Brown’s Ranch” (Dec. 22) to appear on page one should be taken to task for allowing it to appear there in the form of a question, where it is actually an accusation by the tone of the article.
First, if there are a large quantity of shotgun shell empties in one place, it’s not from hunting. It’s from some slobs target shooting and not cleaning up after themselves, and that’s called littering.
Secondly, Arizona does allow hunting certain small-game species with pneumatic weapons which use pellets, not BB’s that would be more likely to just wound (not the object of hunting). Again, we are talking about some slobs target shooter not cleaning up after themselves and their Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.
I have been hunting for 42 years and take personal offense with these assumptions. With the high cost of ammunition, the majority of real hunters pick up their empties and reload. That’s how companies like Dillon Precision of Scottsdale stays in business and keeps growing. Arizona Game & Fish at the Ben Avery Shooting Center sell used empties to the public to reload.
Hunters are required by Arizona law to clean up after themselves. Since there have been no citations issued to a licensed hunter for that violation, how can one assume it was hunters? Your page one assumption is irresponsible.
Littering is a crime, whether it be not picking up your empties or throwing a McDonald’s bag out of a moving car. Both are a lack of personal responsibility.
Politics — The confidence game
The politicians, pundits, panders and pollsters argue about the issues of importance to voters. It’s not gay marriage, abortion, Britney Spears, Iraq, immigration and health care, as these pollcats preach.
It’s about confidence in these two political parties. The politicians and media are simply ignoring the outrage of the people and going to go ahead with this election without us. They’re allowing less than 1 percent of the nation to select the lesser of their two evils in Iowa and New Hampshire and then cram ’em down our throats.
The confidence game and the art of cheating people require con artists. Their job is to gain your confidence and defy your own voice of reason.
We have nothing to talk about in this election but confidence, truth, and consequences. The fact that we are debating torture in 2008 and going ahead with these crooked elections means we are going to have a civil war in our streets eventually. No one will stand under the flag of illegal wars and torture for too long. No one will care that you were the 49 percent that opposed war and torture.
The Russians and Chinese are sharpening their swords because the rest of the world now thinks we are crazier than they are. If we are discussing re-electing these politicians instead of jailing them, then we are crazy. We have accepted a corporate-run government that has made a messy international business out of minding everybody’s business. This is getting ready to end with or without the American people. If you have truth, you don’t need a con artist to replace common sense.
Illegal immigration — GOP distracts from other issues
Kudos to Robert Kistner for his on-target Opinion 2 piece: “GOP needs villain, found one in 'illegals’” (Dec. 26). We have had illegal immigrants coming across the Mexican border for more than 40 years. So why all of the uproar now? Distraction.
The Republican Party certainly doesn’t want to talk about our invasion and endless occupation of Iraq. The GOP certainly doesn’t want to talk about our skyrocketing budget deficits, which are leading to our nation’s bankruptcy. And the GOP certainly doesn’t want to talk about our good-paying jobs that are being “outsourced” while the corporate CEOs are making astronomical salaries.
Health care — We need more tax deductions
We are unable to trust our federal government when it comes to our tax dollars. Our politicians are much like relatives and friends, when you loan them money it gives them amnesia. In the case of our politicians, they forget the voters that elected them as soon as they take office. My solution to our health care crisis, because health care is a necessity and not a luxury, is to have coverage of 100 percent for everyone and add a federal deduction of 80 percent of all cost pertaining to health care.
For example, if you earn $50,000 a year and paid $8,000 for health care insurance, including co-pays and other related costs, your federal income for the year would now be $42,000 and you would still retain standard deductions as they are today. Employers can opt to pay this cost. But then employees would not be able to deduct the portion the employer pays. A program would have to be developed for those who are unable to pay their full share, such as those on disability insurance.
This would help to eliminate bridges to nowhere, farm subsidies for the very rich who have never farmed their unfarmable land, and most pork barrel programs.
Foreign aid — Why 'developing countries’ don’t
We frequently hear and see the term “developing countries.” It is the politically correct term for countries that used to be called third-world or fourth-world countries. For the most part, I contend that the term “developing countries” is being applied to those countries that are not developing. This is done to encourage “developed countries” help them. But the reason some countries are not developing is that they are mostly socialist or totalitarian, that is, they lack essential ingredients for long-term development, such as the rule of law, protection of private property rights, protection of contracts, protection of individual rights, and free markets.
It is instructive to remember that the United States did not prosper because it had foreign aid or international welfare from the “more developed” countries. Neither will any other country prosper in the long run with this strategy. The United States prospered because it had freedom.
Why is this so difficult to see? If we have learned anything from history it is that freedom works and big government doesn’t. One need only compare North Korea and South Korea, East Germany and West Germany, Cuba and Florida, plus countless other examples .
In spite of this lesson, there are very few places in the world where the people are restraining the growth of government through such ideas as privatization and lower taxes.
For developing countries to become developed countries, they simply need a large dose of liberty. The United States should show them the way. We were once a wonderful example to the rest of the world of how freedom works but, as we have allowed our government to grow at home and to build an empire abroad, we have lost the moral high ground. We need to get it back.