Government use of Twitter
Re: the Nov. 5 article “Musk’s Twitter layoffs begin.”
The article reminded me of one of my major pet peeves: Why are “public agencies and vital service providers” allowed to provide public information solely on social media platforms? There are Pima County agencies who no longer update their websites. If you call to find out why their websites are out of date, you are told to go to their Facebook page.
I should not, as a tax-paying citizen, have to go to Facebook or any other social media platform for government information. I have no interest in having an account with any of these corporations. They all require anyone seeking information on their platforms to have an account and are notorious for tracking their members’ activities and selling their members’ personal information. No government agency (city, state or federal) should require citizens to visit a corporate platform that requires a membership account in order to access that agency’s public information.
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National Guard activation
Re: the Nov. 3 article “Lake would use National Guard as political pawn.”
Many thanks to Master Sergeant Ritz for her informative opinion piece about the use of National Guard troops. Hopefully there is someone in the Guard lobbying to get the federal benefits for the Arizona National Guard when they are activated by the state. It is disgraceful that that is not automatic in every state.
Kari Lake has openly admitted that she thinks the Arizona National Guard is her private army to be sent to “police” any situation that will get her more attention from the extremists in the GOP. This, among a laundry list of disqualifications, starting with zero experience governing anything besides a teleprompter, is reason to vote for Katie Hobbs. Hobbs has actual government experience, policy ideas and is sane.
Promote the vote
We’re all immigrants. Some of my forefathers may have migrated across the Bering Strait. Some of us came voluntarily, some involuntarily. Christians, Jews, Muslims, other religions and atheists. We’re all here because we have so-called freedom. We’re all indentured servants of our country. We have to pay taxes and obey the laws. But we have the Bill of Rights. We must learn to respect our rights and the rights of others. The “blame game” has gone too far. We’re trying to broker peace and goodwill around the world and blaming one another for the setbacks here. Regardless of who wins the election, the electorate and electees must lay greed aside and campaign for a united United States. Promote the vote.
Regarding Election Day, I hope that people who may still be sitting on the fence will consider the character of the candidates a priority. What candidates say on social media or to their most loyal supporters during rallies can be very revealing. Kari Lake made fun of the attack on Paul Pelosi. Too many others joined in or stayed silent on the matter. More broadly, attacking the media, spreading disinformation, and casting doubt on the election process are key anti-democratic strategies that Madeleine Albright warned of in her excellent 2018 book, “Fascism: A Warning.” It is sad that Arizona has drawn national attention because of candidates who have further debased the level of discourse, and whose election would be dangerous for our state and country.
Pro-anti, the new norm
Re: the Oct. 5 letter “Reproductive rights.”
The writer takes exception to those who misleadingly use the term “right to life” instead of “anti-abortion.” Further, these same hypocrites support the Second Amendment, resist mandatory pandemic directives, and question climate protection theories. Unapologetically, their sole goal is obviously to deny women their right to make choices that impact their life. Hmmm. Fair enough viewpoint, but nurtures its own level of hypocrisy and lack of application. Many say being “pro-choice” is actually “pro-abortion.” The choice to give birth has always been an unabridged option. Therefore, the only “choice” to be protected is abortion. Ergo “pro-abortion.” Choice being the operative word, this valued right also applies to owning a gun, covering your face, having serum injected into your body, purchasing health insurance and weighing environmental options. Bottom line, choosing will always have two sides.
Does Kelly want the job?
Mark Kelly’s military service is commendable. For that, I have the utmost respect for him. I can identify. He and I, in a different time, engaged in rather risky operations. He flew combat planes, I served as a Paratrooper. That aside, I have never really believed that Commander Kelly ever wanted to be where he is now or that he actually wants another round. I believe that love for his wife was and is his motivation. Votes that go his way are proxy/sympathy votes for Gabby Giffords. He is Gabby’s loving husband and his followers respond for that reason. Bless his heart for his devotion. However, this has not and will not do for the job at hand. Based on the many presentations by both candidates, his opponent is the best choice for implementing the sorely needed course correction. Vote!
Why is being able to read a teleprompter thought by some as a sign of intelligence and ability to lead?
I hate to break it to people that TV isn’t reality. Would we elect Columbo for his problem-solving skills? Hire House to cure our ills? A talking head to guard our liberty?
If we the people want to pick leadership by makeup over material, at least we could go for Buffy the Vampire Slayer rather than these endless, sad, Archie Bunkers.
Mental aberrations in high places
Our former president, Donald Trump, has said some bizarre things over the years, giving people the sense that there is something wrong with him. But these suspicions have been discounted by millions, thinking that since he is the head of their party, how serious could it be? But his statement about the former vice president on Jan. 6 should be a red flag about his mental state. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution ...” He tried to use patriotism to prove he was right about the election being stolen. It was a total scam, as we now know. It was delusional. Who would do something like this? As someone with a formal education in abnormal psychology, I see Trump as a secondary psychopath, lacking in a conscience, having no empathy, no remorse, a grandiose self-image, sadism, a cold nature, manipulative and unlawful. Psychopathy is not easily recognized in society, especially when one does not want to believe it.
Tucson Burn Clinic at Banner
Re: the Nov. 6 article “Banner-UMC opens unit for burn care.”
I would like to thank Banner-University Medical Center Tucson for taking on a burn unit.
I own and operate a billboard company in Michigan and encountered serious burns to my hands while installing a sign. I was rushed to Hurley Medical Center burn unit in Flint, Michigan, for which I am eternally grateful.
Later, I was asked to speak at a fundraiser for the burn unit, and after researching burn units was alarmed. At the time there were only 132 burn units in the United States. When 9/11 happened the medical community right away thought they would need to transport several burn victims around the United States. Medical personnel began to call around the country to burn units to see how many beds were available and surprised at how few were available. Roughly 1,500 beds in the U.S. total.
Since 9/11 to my knowledge there has been a decline in new burn units.
Clifford G. Miller
I grow weary of the claims of Hitler and Nazi threats about the Republicans. Did the Republicans close and keep closed the schools and small businesses? Did the Republicans mandate shots of a marginally effective “vaccine” in order to keep their government jobs? Did the Republicans censor news stories like Hunter Biden’s laptop and the Steele dossier? Did the Republicans force “woke” theories like CRT and gender dysphoria on young children? So let’s stop blaming the Republicans for everything the progressive leftist Democrats have done.
Wake-up call for academia
Re: the Oct. 5 article “UA, ASU unions demand $25 an hour minimum wage.”
Kudos to Kathryn Palmer who has clearly revealed the ugly underbelly of the academic world in her article on minimum wage increases and job security for contingent faculty at UA and ASU. Students, parents and concerned residents of the state of Arizona haven’t a clue that the university milks over half of its teaching faculty. Palmer sticks to the economic nuts and bolts of the problem, however I would add that aside from economic exploitation, vulnerable faculty members are also sidelined and for the most part, invisible to high-ranking faculty who rarely if ever engage with them. The lack of regard for faculty whose jobs are not secure is reflected in the caste-like system that rules in the hallowed halls of academia. The overhaul of this system requires not only wage raises and better contracts, it requires a transformation of behavior from callous disregard to respect for the hardworking men and women who teach our children.
I am concerned that President Joe Biden is buying votes by giving free benefits to people that made a financial decision to borrow money to pay for education. The first consideration is the percentage of the debt holders and how many people got a loan and then paid it back? Most importantly is that borrowers made decisions to borrow money, signed paperwork, agreed to pay back the loan and received the money. Now, these borrowers don’t want to repay the loans and the most important question is why? Why not pay back the loans? Most likely, these borrowers have learned that they made poor decisions regarding the major of the education, being educated in a subject that does not have a value in the market. Do you want to pay for these costs? Biden wants the taxpayer to cover the costs and is using it as a bribe to vote for Biden.
A vote for socialism
For the past couple of years, it seemed to me Democrats were espousing socialism. Even though a lot of Democrats were on that bandwagon, thankfully enough others were not going to support that. So the Democrats do a switcharoo and tell people to vote Democrat to save democracy. Even though they are the same ones trying to get rid of democracy. So if you are tricked into voting for the Democrats who are running with that phrase. You are really voting for socialism.
Drug cartel profits fallacy
A recent ad in the Arizona Daily Star clearly demonstrates the total nonsense Republicans use to make Americans fearful. If you read the quoted article from the New York Times it indicates an increase from “$500 million in 2018 to $13 billion today” in revenues by human smugglers. This is based upon an unnamed and unpublished source in Homeland Security. That would include two Donald Trump years along with two years of President Joe Biden. This includes all smugglers not just the drug cartels. The article indicates it has grown “over the past 10 years from a scattered network of freelance “coyotes” into a multi-billion-dollar international business.” That would include the entire Trump presidency. It is clear that since Republicans in Congress have no real solutions to campaign on, they bring back the border issue year after year with no attempt to resolve it legislatively. If the Congress legislated a guest worker program, workers we desperately need, you would largely eliminate the profit for smugglers. It also might reduce inflation.
My long years have been lived in a wonderful free country where I could grow to a human maximum for myself, free in a democracy. And now I’m seeing a movement composed of huge egos to allow these egos to rule us for their own pleasure. Not to govern, but to rule. End of our freedom. Sad.
I used to be a Republican
“I used to be a Republican.” I’ve heard that statement a lot lately. In fact, I too, “used to be a Republican.” As were my parents and grandparents. When I was a teenager, my mother passed on this political advice. “We don’t vote for the party; we vote for the best person to do the job and that person is usually a Republican.” If she were alive today, she would not be able to give that advice nor would she recognize the political party she once admired. During the primary, the voters selected a slate of ridiculously unqualified Republican candidates to do the jobs they aspire to. As you go to the polls today consider the wisest part of my mother’s advice. Vote for the best person to do the job. Democrats Mark Kelly, Kirsten Engel, Kris Mayes and Adrian Fontes are the best people for the job as they bring experience and a commitment to service for all their constituents. They will represent us well.
Pity the “woke” folk for they are deprecated, disparaged and misunderstood. They are a favorite target of Ron DeSantis and the MAGA horde. Letters to the editor have accused them of attempting to infuse school curricula with CRT and even introducing “woke policies into military training.” Recently resigned British Home Secretary Sue Braverman, stated that travel disruptions caused by trade union strikes were to be blamed on left-wing, “tofu-eating wokerati.”
For the lexicographically challenged, Merriam Webster defines “woke” as being “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues, especially issues of racial and social justice.” The Cambridge Dictionary describes “woke” as meaning “alert to racial prejudice and discrimination.”
All things considered, color me “woke.”
After a long campaign season, the election will end in just hours. Many people in Arizona have already voted by mail — by the weekend 39% of Democrat and 33% of Republican ballots had been received.
In Arizona where much of our future hinges on our water supply from the Colorado River, droughts, wildfires and breathable, clean air, you’d think everyone who is concerned about those things would jump at having their ballots counted. That concern doesn’t always translate to votes and unbelievably, nearly 13% of Arizona voters who are concerned about the environment did not vote in 2018 — the largest block of non-voters there is!
The good news is that when people who care about clean air, clean water and a livable future cast their ballots, we win elections. If you have a friend or child whose ballot is sitting on the kitchen counter — tell them we all need their vote. Our future depends on it.
The toxicity of Trump
Kari Lake, Blake Masters and Mark Finchem prove that Donald Trump is poison. His lies and hatreds have metastasized to toxic proportions.
Poison doesn’t merely pollute, it kills. Poison doesn’t merely sully, it destroys. Trump’s poison threatens to dissolve America’s body politic.