US must cut the nonessential, like A-10s

Re: the March 5 column “Threat to D-M’s mission suddenly real.”

Ever wonder why it’s so incredibly hard to reduce our massive national debt? In Tucson the current cries of a “threat to Davis-Monthan’s mission” is a great example of how individual cities fight tooth and nail to continue spending taxpayer dollars on nonessential programs.

In this case it’s the aging A-10 airplane, which the secretary of defense wants to retire and thus save billions of dollars. If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans agree on, it’s maintaining military spending at locations around the country, whether essential to national defense or not.

Columnist Tim Steller writes (offering no supporting facts) that the A-10 squadrons at D-M are “the key to our local economy.” If Tucson’s prosperity depends on how many Air Force planes operate here, the city is in real trouble.

It’s inevitable that cutting our crushing national debt will make paring our massive military empire an unavoidable priority. In fact, that time has come.

Donald Boone

Retired editor, Tucson

UA basketball riding a ‘’Zona Vortex’

Congratulations to the Wildcats on Winning the PAC-12 regular season title. I have a proposal for the energy, happiness and team emphasis this team has.

Considering the power of winter storms elsewhere in the country and the warmth, sunshine and positive energy of this basketball team, I propose it is riding a “’Zona Vortex” into the tournaments.

I wish the team much success and look forward to more net cutting before the rest of the country gets to experience spring this year. Bear down!

Dennis Boyles

Retired, Tucson

Pitts spins history; Star should drop column

Would the Star please act responsibly and discontinue printing anything by Leonard Pitts. The man fails to fact check his own work and is misleading the naive with his spin on history. History isn’t what he wants it to be, it is what it is.

Patricia Cowan

Retired, Tucson

Marijuana not a Schedule I substance

Re: the March 5 article “Remember pot’s perils, DEA official says.”

The only true thing stated by Thomas Harrigan of the Drug Enforcement Administration is that federal law classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a category intended for deadly drugs that have no medical use. Unfortunately, this classification is not supported by any scientific data. There is no mean lethal dose of marijuana because there is no known mortality. There is no addiction because there is no tolerance and there is no withdrawal sickness.

There is no chronic debilitating or fatal disease associated with lifelong heavy marijuana use. There is no constant behavioral effect — outcomes depend on the subject more than on the drug or the dosage. Sixteen percent of test subjects drove better under the influence than not in double blind studies.

Marijuana is not at all like heroin, cocaine, or other Schedule I substances, in its chemistry, pharmacology, epidemiology, morbidity or mortality. Its classification on Schedule I is wholly political and scientifically erroneous.

Sugar and salt are more dangerous and kill more people every day. That is the scientific truth.

David P. Vernon

Independent management


, Tucson

Acts of war often based on untrue claims

Re: the March 6 article “Putin is acting like Hitler, Clinton says.”

Much has been made of Hillary Clinton’s comparison of Vladimir Putin’s troops in Crimea to Adolf Hitler’s in Czechoslovakia, the latter action ultimately leading to World War II. The similarity is these actions came from phony or untrue claims to justify occupation of these countries.

Hillary could have used more modern examples for her analogy. How about the Gulf of Tonkin which led us to directly engage North Vietnam in war (although there may have been a grain of truth in Lyndon B. Johnson ’s assertions).

Of course, we have a modern example right in front of us — George W. Bush/Dick Cheney’s false claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, leading to a war we are still paying for, both in dollars and injured service men and women.

Bob Hutchens

Retired, Marana

Wildlife officials need food-chain refresher

It seems that the wildlife officials in Arizona need to go back to grade school. When I went to school we learned that mountain lions eat animals like rabbits, squirrels, bighorn sheep and other prey.

It was stupid to transport 31 bighorns for the mountain lions to eat, and then kill three of the mountain lions for doing it. To me the people involved in this should be arrested.

Daniel Seibert

Retired, Green Valley