AZPM a life raft

in a sea of shoutfests

I write to express deep concern over the decision by the University of Arizona’s President Ann Weaver Hart to progressively cut funding for Arizona Public Media by approximately $2 million annually by 2019.

During my 12 years at the UA, I have been proud of the university’s role as a land-grant institution and its mission in support of research, education and public service. The decision to withdraw support for AZPM is inconsistent with these values. Of even deeper concern are reports that Hart’s decision was based on dissatisfaction with the AZPM’s programming content. This issue touches upon core First Amendment values and warrants in-depth coverage and analysis by local media and concerned citizens.

Unlike commercial networks that focus on who can shout the loudest, AZPM provides balanced, thoughtful discussion. At no time has the promotion of dialogue over diatribe been more essential to our survival as a community. AZPM plays a vital role in ensuring that these conversations continue. This important public service deserves UA’s continued financial support.

Lois Eisenstein

Retired attorney and UA associate vice president for research compliance, Tucson

2 more Ariz. politicians embarrass themselves

Once again Arizona politicians outdid themselves in embarrassing their office, themselves, and ultimately, the stupid voters.

Sen. Olivia Cajero Bedford, whose only political accomplishment has been to be the daughter of former Arizona legislators, acknowledged “joking” to a gay political colleague to “act more gay.” Well, at least she apologized and stated that it was a “poor attempt” at a joke.

Then we have Mr. John Huppenthal, superintendent of public instruction, essentially Arizona’s top educator. Huppenthal now admits that he anonymously blogged that welfare recipients were “lazy pigs,” and that he had previously urged parents to send their children to private schools. Of course, he apologized, too, but had the gall to justify his anonymous comments by claiming that these were legitimate issues of public debate. Thank you both Sen. Bedford and Superintendent Huppenthal for the great leadership you have provided in public office. We applaud you.

Robert Hirsh

Administrator, Tucson

Comparing Bush 43

to Hitler is a bit much

The purpose of my response to former mayor George Miller’s politically motivated, “blame game” article isn’t to defend former President George W. Bush, but to say that Miller’s implication that George W. be compared to Hitler and leaders of Japan and be tried as a war criminal is somewhat over the top.

Miller’s broad brush, stretching-of-the-truth history of the U.S. involvement in Iraq is in itself criminal. In his retirement, house painter George M. might better take up painting on canvas just as George W. has, and join him in contributing more to the peace and tranquility across party lines than the polarization created by playing the “blame game.”

Don Weaver

Marketing consultant, Tucson

TUSD idea on refugees shows compassion

Re: the June 27 article “Proposal: House migrant kids in shut-down TUSD schools.”

I support this proposal. I also support the humanitarian efforts of Casa Mariposa in helping refugees.

Sadly, the amazing numbers of refugees who are escaping poverty and violence in Central America reminds me of how many of my Irish ancestors did the same many decades ago. Forced from their land and starving, the Irish came to the USA by the thousands seeking a chance to survive. Like today’s refugees, they were not welcomed and faced calls for their deportation.

Casa Mariposa and TUSD, not to mention the Statue of Liberty, have the right response. Loving kindness, rather than rejection of the Other, is what will build a better world.

David W. Gallagher

Retired Pima Community College faculty, Tucson

Conservatives show little regard for the poor

RE: the June 27 article “More than 75% of conservatives say poor Americans ‘have it easy.’ ”

The evidence continues to pile up showing that those of a Republican conservative conviction have little or no regard for the poor and those unfortunates struggling with life’s problems. Seeing that 75 percent of conservatives believe that because of government support programs the poor “have it easy” reeks of a blatant callousness that should be a definite red flag to every voter.

We should all be very wary of any conservative running for office, for they obviously have no empathy for the poor and would definitely work diligently toward eliminating the means for the poor to “have it easy.”

The recent Star series on poverty has clearly debunked the notion that the poor are living an easy life and anyone who believes to the contrary certainly has no compassion or common sense. Christopher Ingraham’s analysis concludes with data that should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that the poor absolutely do not have it easy. Wake up, America.

Robert Nordmeyer

Retired, Tucson