Letters to the editor: May 22 - East Valley Tribune: Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: May 22

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Posted: Friday, May 22, 2009 2:25 pm | Updated: 2:13 am, Sat Oct 8, 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 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 comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

AFGHANISTAN

Obama wrong to escalate

As we approach Memorial Day weekend, we remember and mourn the dead: 4,296 U.S. troops dead in Iraq and 685 dead in Afghanistan. Let us also protect the living from unnecessary occupation and trauma by drawing down and ending, not escalating, these two wars. Disapproval ratings for military efforts in Afghanistan are rapidly rising. In a March USA Today/Gallup Poll, 42 percent of respondents said the United States made “a mistake” in sending military forces to Afghanistan, up from 30 percent in February. Many thousands of calls poured into the House of Representatives’ switchboard recently, as citizens urged Congress to vote “no” on the war supplemental of more than $94 billion.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus, in hearings over the past several weeks with U.S., Afghan, and Pakistan military advisers, concluded that the supplemental “exacerbates” failed strategies by funding predominately military ($84 billion) with only $10 billion for economic development, institution building, local community funding and skills training.

The House’s vote for the war supplemental last week, 368-60, was cowardly, demonstrating a lack of fresh thinking and resolve. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., who voted against the war supplemental, said, “I’m tired of wars with no deadlines, no exits and no ends.”

So am I. So are the veterans and military families who bear the brunt of speeded-up redeployments, stop-loss, chronic anxiety and bereavement.

There is no right way to fight a wrong war. The escalation of war in Afghanistan is not the change that Americans voted for.

ANJANETTE BAILEY

MESA

PHOTO ENFORCEMENT

Camera companies sway opinion

This is a response to the April 19 letter “Cameras save lives,” in which the writer is a high school student who endorses photo traffic enforcement.

First off, it took me until my 30s to get the same political awareness that this young woman has in her teens, so good for her. Unfortunately, she still suffers from the same lack of political critical thinking that the majority of the public does.

The writer cites only one statistic from the Arizona Department of Public Safety to back up her stance. If she would have further done her homework, she would have seen how subjective such figures were. She would have seen that the majority of the data that DPS uses is provided to them by Redflex Traffic Systems, which has an obvious financial stake in issuing tickets.

She would have seen that Redflex and its competitors are skilled at swaying public opinion with questionable polling tactics, yet no public vote in the U.S. has ever allowed their technology to stay. She would have seen the repeated legal and technical inaccuracies about such camera systems. She would have seen that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s latest study finds speed to be the cause of only 5 percent of all accidents in the U.S., and a 2004 report by DPS Director Roger Vanderpool that speed only contributed to 2 percent of all accidents in Arizona.

What should have “hit the writer in the face” is photo traffic enforcement is a corrupt intrusion of private business into government and a clever way to extort money. Our lawmakers are onto this and a petition to get the vote on the 2010 ballot is filling up rapidly. I just hope that the cameras will come down before the young writer gets an unjustified photo traffic ticket.

ZEIGH OWENSBY

CHANDLER

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