Let’s speak plainly about torture

Too often in the past decade, our media has used the term “enhanced interrogation technique” or other similar euphemisms to refer to torture. The New York Times recently decided to use the word “torture” to refer to incidents when interrogators inflict pain on a prisoner in an effort to obtain information. I hope the Arizona Daily Star will also use the word “torture” to refer to torture. After all, we are in the year 2014 and we have to be honest with ourselves.

Juan Gallardo

Retired, Tucson

Smiling columnist

sure is angry

Re: the Aug. 7 column “Republican extremists win when voters ignore the primaries.”

Most of us who read political newspapers and magazine articles are exposed to “it” every day. The “it” is a picture of a smiling woman or man, author of the article. They look like a convivial soul, a family member or friendly neighbor. Though upon reading said article the words usually are completely disassociated with that smiling friendly face.

When Sarah Garrecht Gassen writes about Republicans she personifies the “it” example as in her latest op-ed piece. The angry, snarky, gratuitous words in her article regarding the Arizona GOP candidates certainly convey to all that she will continue to rail and incessantly harangue against any and all things Republican and, gasp, dare I write the phrase — tea party.

My question is, can this left-leaning, biased, vitriolic GOP-bashing critic survive when most of whom she demonizes become elected? Will the smiling picture be changed to a deep wrinkle-inducing frown?

Merritt McGlothlin

Retired, Oro Valley

Voter ID requirements aren’t so simple

During the last election, I learned the hard way that Arizona voter ID requirements need to be clarified. I presented my Arizona drivers license, but it was rejected because it had recently expired. I don’t understand why it wasn’t acceptable for identification — I didn’t turn into a different person when my license expired. I then presented my U.S. passport, which is an excellent “U.S. government issued identification.” It too was rejected, because it does not show your home street address, which is needed to verify which local precinct you are registered in. All voters need to know that the government-issued identification they present must not have expired and must show their home street address.

Brooks Keenan

Engineer, Oro Valley

Morning landscape

by an artist on high

Re: the Aug. 3 letter “Op-ed piece was a ray of sunshine.”

The last letter in your Aug. 3 letters asked for more “rays of sunshine” op-ed pieces; I finished one that morning.

From our patio 10 miles north of Sonoita along Arizona 93, I give you the sunrise: starting with a light blue canvas, he dabs a bit of yellow above the dark blue of the Whetstones, adds a stripe of pink along their tops, lays on alternating strips of dark blue cloud, yellows and light pinks. A bright glow is laid on toward the southeast. Now that the hummers have finished breakfasting on red blossoms, he dabs on bright yellow in the northeast. The audio begins: cows discuss their green breakfasts in the northeast. Bright yellows are painted in over the northeast ranges as the hummers make their last pass, and take a bow, sun. A few dewey sparkles are added to the green grass in our east pasture, and our owl hoots good morning! Out in the yard, robins are thinking of breakfast, as am I.

Charles G. (Chuck) Hammond


Williams’ predicament captured in a cartoon

Thank you to Dave Fitzsimmons for the Aug. 12 cartoon honoring Robin Williams, a perfect tribute from one thoughtful, creative, beautiful person to another.

Nancy Pfafflin

Retired, Tucson