Education backgrounds absent from voter guide

Having just received my “Voter Education Guide” with my mail-in ballot, I wish to express my disappointment that candidates’ educational backgrounds are not listed.

I do not mean to come across as an elitist, but education is important. I value people who have the capability to discern the needs of the people rather than cater to the agendas generated from elsewhere. Am I to entrust future Arizona elected officials to further inane, partisan issues that have no legal chance of becoming laws?

The voter guide gives each candidate the opportunity to express what they think voters want to hear. Candidates are no longer willing to think outside the box.

I want to vote for candidates who are willing to stick their neck out, stating a position that is not just what will get them elected. Issues matter to those of us who care about the future of a state that has become a laughingstock of the popular media. We can do better!

Thomas Lindell

Retired UA professor, Tucson

Casualty stats betray a self-centeredness

Re: the Aug. 2 article “Marshall Plan cost less than Afghan aid.”

Can someone please explain our news media’s policy on listing casualty statistics in wars? From my recollection from the Vietnam War up to Saturday’s article on Afghanistan only the numbers of dead and wounded Americans are listed, not the numbers of local troops. Why is this? Can it be that we Americans are interested in reading about wars only as it affects ourselves?

Jean Saliman

Retired, Tucson

Republican candidates offer no solutions

Re: the Aug. 2 article “Study: Tucson, other Ariz. cities lag in recovery.”

Every Republican candidate inundates us with myriad fantasy scenarios of barricading the borders and doing epic battle with President Obama if elected governor, attorney general, etc.

Not one of them mentions how they’ll lift Arizona out the the mire that is economically destroying our state. They don’t seem to have a clue as to any way to alleviate the low rankings in jobs, education and quality of life that is constantly being reported for Arizona.

What’s truly shameful is that these people are so invested in pandering to the paranoid right-wing base that they give the impression that they don’t even care. It seems that we Arizonans had better get used to being at the bottom of all rankings except laughingstock.

Kevin Sells

Retired, Tucson

Nice to see blunder

in Iraq acknowledged

Re: the Aug. 3 column “Sen. Brown is a real leftist, but, oh darn, he’s a man.”

George Will, an icon of the right, made an unusual admission Sunday when he deemed the invasion of Iraq “the worst foreign policy blunder in U.S. history.”

As a Republican who has recently seen his party do everything possible to avoid taking the blame for anything, I was happy to see the truth from Will. Not only has the invasion of Iraq been a humanitarian tragedy and a financial drain, it seems to have inspired oppressed people in the Middle East to seek the democracy we promised Iraq.

I hope we use some common sense before we invade another country that is not a threat to us.

Walter Mann

Retired, Tucson

Soccer incivility stems from dubious refereeing

Re: the July 24 column “Tucson soccer fans will be civil or they’ll be asked to take a hike.”

Pima County Junior Soccer League wants to establish a foundation for dealing with unruly sideline behavior. However, frustration has come more from the inconsistency of the referee staff, fueling unruly sideline behavior.

Athletes are expected to be ready to play, while officiating crews can’t keep up with the flow or speed of the game, unable to move around the field. That places them out of position and unable to observe the game, forced to make calls that are questionable or wrong.

Granted we are all human, but inconsistency in the application of rules to both teams has an appearance of favoritism and raises questions. Center referees interpret the rules differently and don’t use their assistant referees. Younger ARs are intimidated, leading them to not make appropriate calls and appear to be a forgotten asset to making good calls.

Providing coaches the opportunity to provide feedback in the assessment process will help understandings of both sides. Caution should also be taken on how the reward system works, driving the correct behavior you want.

Craig Courville

Soccer fan, Tucson