Tea party does not speak for most of us

Re: the Oct. 8 letter to the editor “Tea-party Republicans are not a fringe.”

The writer is entitled to his opinions but not his own facts. He claims “tea-party fringe Republicans” comprise a majority in the House of Representatives. As of January 2013, there were 49 members of the Tea Party Caucus in the House. That’s 11.26 percent, not a majority. He also claims they represent a majority of the American people. A September 2013 Gallup poll found (with independents indicating which way they “lean”), 41 percent identified as Republicans and 47 percent as Democrats. Given that, there is no way tea party Republicans represent the majority of Americans.

I am incredibly tired of people vocalizing their discontent when they have no idea what they are talking about. The government shutdown is not a protest of the people, by the people, for the people. It is a desperate political ploy intended to subvert the will of most Americans and hold our economy hostage at the expense of all Americans.

Linda Thomas

Colonel, USAF, retired, Tucson

Protesting preacher sets poor example

Re: the Oct. 10 article “Crowd scuffles with Border Patrol, cops.”

A preacher leading a group of thugs to try setting a lawbreaker free is not setting a good example for a preacher, and his threat to regroup and do it again was wrong — he wants mob rule.

David Edwards

Retired, Tucson

Crowd interfered with authorities

Re: the Oct. 10 article “Crowd scuffles with Border Patrol, cops.”

There is not doubt that hatred for the police is a fire fanned by the media. So often, in an effort to highlight the suffering of the individual, the media stress the actions of the police in response to the actions of the individual.

The story tells how the police used pepper spray to force people back when they interfered with the detention of an illegal immigrant. These people brought the response of the pepper spray on themselves when they made the choice to interfere with the police. But the story only stresses how the police used pepper spray, not that citizens had interfered with the proper arrest and detention of a criminal. The police protect the citizens by enforcing the laws of the land. As Obama says, the law was passed — live with it.

Loran Hancock

Accountant, Tucson

US actions encourage illegal immigration

Re: the Sept. 24 article “Rise seen in illegal immigration.”

Surely the Daily Star will be printing a correction about this article soon. After all, it seems to me our southern Arizona representatives, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and President Obama have all been telling us over the past few years that our border is more secure than ever. But this story indicates they may have been deceiving us.

The number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. has risen between 2009 and 2012, and the number of illegal immigrants entering the country has been on the increase. This should be no surprise, however. As long as we continue to reward lawbreakers with things such as college tuition breaks, jobs and various other advantages over those who would come here legally, we should expect illegals to continue to disregard our borders and our laws. It’s time to quit encouraging illegal immigration.

Matthew Scully

Engineer, Sahuarita

Don’t reward UA chief for just doing her job

Re: the Sept. 27 article “Regents approve $40,000 in incentive pay for UA chief.”

I do not begrudge University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart getting an incentive pay increase. After all, the basketball coach gets them all the time. I do, however, consider it insulting that the incentives are paid because she is simply doing her job, i.e. items that should be in her $475,000 job description.

If these items are not in her job description they certainly should be. Example, “assembling a high quality/effective team.” As far as I’m concerned this should be and probably is one of the major components of her job description. Are we saying that a mediocre team would be acceptable?

Walter A. Kniaz

Retired, Tucson

Cattle damage

north side of Catalinas

I have hiked the 15-mile portion of the Arizona Trail on the north side of the Catalinas — an area relatively few people visit. What’s it like? Well, about half of it is not a “trail” at all, but rocky, eroded ranching roads. Every foot of the 15 miles has ranching, from bottom to top. Cattle trample, kick up dirt and dust, upend rocks and roll rocks down hillsides, break off plants, denude vegetation and cause erosion, ruin water bars, defecate everywhere and generally trash our beloved Arizona Trail.

And the entire 11-mile Oracle Ridge stretch is closely paralleled with a barbed-wire fence. How’s that for a wilderness experience? Worse still, nearly half of the greater Catalina Mountains, altogether, suffers cattle ranching — nearly all on the “hidden” north and east sides. A century of environmental harm on our Coronado National Forest. Isn’t that enough?

Lynn Jacobs

Handyman, Tucson