On Ronstadt’s politics: She sure could sing

Re: the Sept. 21 article “Singer dishes on her book, affliction.”

Last we heard from Linda Ronstadt was a couple of years ago when she trashed Tucson for being a redneck, gun-toting town to which she would never return.

Now as the victim of an unfortunate illness, Linda takes the opportunity for a liberal rant on immigration, the Christian right and best of all an outstanding elaboration on the scientific method as it applies to progressive positions.

I will say, the lady could belt out a cover song, but I can’t recall if she ever did “Still Crazy After All These Years.”

Mike Boedeker

Retired, SaddleBrooke

Seniors should push

for pharma-reform bills

Seniors need to write their representatives and demand they take action to pass prescription drug bills currently bottled up in committees.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2013 (S. 117 and H.R. 1102) would direct Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug firms the prices charged to Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. This would mean more affordable prescription drugs for seniors and would save Medicare up to $156 billion over the next 10 years. Passing the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act (S. 214) would put an end to drug firms using pay-for-delay agreements to keep generic equivalents off the market.

Could the reason these bills are stalled possibly be due to the $200 million per year that “Big Pharma” donates to Congress? All these bills are deficit-neutral and better yet, provide savings to the government. Surely even our polarized do-nothing Congress can agree on passing such legislation.

Don Jensen


Letter on New York’s ‘stop, frisk’ misleading

Re: the Sept. 3 letter to the editor “Columnist shows ignorance of probability.”

Among the letters to the editor was a vicious attack on a columnist who said that only a minuscule fraction of New York’s stop/question/frisk incidents were found to be legally questionable.

To make his point, the letter writer ignores the fact that the 19 incidents in the lawsuit were handpicked by the plaintiffs as the most egregious they could find, not a random sample.

The writer accuses the columnist of innumeracy, “an astonishing ignorance of probability” and gratuitously extends his attack to the Daily Star editors who decided to publish the piece.

The editors may indeed be faulted for publishing an ignorant rant — the letter, not the column.

Jerrod Mason


Rio Nuevo image hinges on good management

Re: the Sept. 6 article “Rio Nuevo looks to polish up its image with a name change.”

The article began with, “Shakespeare once asked, ‘What’s in a name?’ ” I presume that introduction was to help us understand that the Rio Nuevo Board wants to change its name because of the poor image it has earned.

The name Rio Nuevo is not the problem, as discovered by reading further into Shakespeare’s words. Juliet went on to explain “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” If the Rio Nuevo Board wants to change its image, then thoughtful management, intelligent planning and attention to budgets will go much further than a name change.

Michael Holloway


Reagan’s ‘good stories’ weren’t always true

Re: the Sept. 5 column “Once upon a time, a conservative could tell a story.”

The success of conservatism, says Jonah Goldberg, depends not so much on policy, philosophy or principle as on politicians who can tell a good story — like Ronald Reagan used to do. I remember Reagan’s story about a Cadillac-driving “welfare queen.”

“She’s got Medicaid, food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names.” Reagan claimed she defrauded taxpayers out of more than $150,000 annually.

That story helped to stigmatize poor people, discredit the welfare system, and usher in the current era of class warfare. And, oh yes, one other thing: It wasn’t true. Reagan’s legendary welfare queen did not exist.

There’s nothing wrong with strong political narrative, but assassinating truth to promote ideology ultimately does the country more harm than good.

Greg Lewis


New Ina, Oracle left-turn design created a problem

Re: the Sept. 14 column “Let’s trap Assad in an endless Michigan left loop at Ina and Oracle.”

Fitz is right on target with his comments on the Michigan turn mess on Oracle and Ina.

What were the traffic gurus thinking?

The folks who designed it should have to spend the rest of their lives trying to negotiate it, with all the resulting confusion.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

It wasn’t broke, they fixed it — now it sure is.

John Trojanowski

Retired, SaddleBrooke