Social democracy is what we need
I find it quite interesting that the top 10 happiest countries have some form of socialism. They have strong social values and are social democracies. Republicans like to talk instead of corrupt Venezuelan socialism.
Capitalism, in its current form in the United States, has gone amok. Greed reigns instead of sensible decisions. The Environmental Protection Agency has become the Corporation Protection Agency. The economy may do well for the wealthy stock owners, but most American workers’ wages continue to be stagnant, and workers continue to struggle and make ends meet.
Capitalism is focused on profit for the wealthy. The above-mentioned countries have capitalism that reward private ownership and ingenuity but have strong social safety nets for the rest of the population. While Republicans believe in less government, other countries consider the government as the advocate of the people, for the people and by the people.
a banana republic
Wow! On Monday, the Department of Justice announced it was seeking a seven- to nine-year sentence for Roger Stone. Then, Donald Trump tweeted his disagreement with such a harsh sentence. Lo and behold, on Tuesday the Justice Department changes its mind and is revising its sentencing recommendation. Seriously, can we become anymore of a Third World country? Americans, wake up!
Dems coming for our guns
Arizona Democrats in the state Senate have introduced SB 1625, which would ban and criminalize the ownership of semi-automatic rifles, aka “assault weapons” and any handgun or rifle magazine exceeding a 10-round capacity. The bill requires a ban on future sales of these items in the state. Current owners would be required to either register them with the Department of Public Safety with a fee; transfer them out of state; or make them inoperable.
Not doing so would make otherwise law-abiding owners, who initially purchased the firearms and magazines legally, to be a criminal, guilty of a state Class 1 misdemeanor and pay a fine of $750. A second violation would be a state felony. In Arizona there are thousands of owners of semi-automatic rifles and handguns with high-capacity magazines. The DPS website currently shows 351,000 Arizonans with “active” concealed-carry firearms licenses, about 80,000 are women. This legislation exposes Democrats’ real desires on gun control by enacting bans and registration, and criminalizing noncompliance.
In our schools, a glimpse
of a welcoming America
Here are the names of the “winning” kids from your article on For the Love of Reading: Valeria Garcia, Yuliana Pedroza, Tanya Hernandez and Everett Martynec-Boley ... not a Smith or a Jones among them. These are all kids from Prince Elementary, where my wife has volunteered for many years. I have volunteered at Amphi Middle School helping refugee kids learn English. The ones I had this week were from Malawi, Uganda, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Burundi.
We’ve both been so impressed with how hard these kids work and how they want to succeed. Reading this article and seeing the names of these kids emphasized the beauty of what had been America’s welcoming of immigrants and refugees from troubled countries.
How much better this was than the disgraceful policies of this administration. Let’s hope that America, once again, lives up to the words on the Statue of Liberty (and yes, I know they were added later but should still be our moral stance).
Preserve Utah’s national monuments
Just north of the Arizona border in Utah lies one of the wildest, most awe-inspiring landscapes in the lower 48 states: the national monuments of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase. Unfortunately, two years ago the Trump administration redrew the boundaries of these monuments so that Bears Ears was reduced by 85% and Grand Staircase by 50%. Now, the Interior Department wants to open this land to grazing, drilling and mining.
Bears Ears contains numerous cultural artifacts as well as rare petroglyphs and sensitive Native American cultural sites. Grand Staircase is home to 75 million-year-old dinosaur fossils. Both have slot canyons, stupendous rock formations and breathtaking vistas.
You can comment on this issue by contacting the Department of the Interior and Utah’s senators, Mitt Romney and Mike Lee.
In the meantime, drive to southern Utah to experience these gems before they are marred by commercial development.
UA women’s sports earn more coverage
University of Arizona women sports teams are doing great. The Daily Star is starting to give a little more print space to them. However, it does not seem to be enough given their national rankings compared with the men’s sports teams. More print space may help increase attendance to events, too. Maybe the amount of print should be based a bit more on the quality of the teams. If this were the case, then the headlines would be given to women’s softball and basketball. Teams should earn their place in print.
DOJ now Trump’s personal lawyers
When in our country’s history did a U.S. president use the Department of Justice as his personal law firm? Never. Now #45 orders his pet, Bill Barr, to lower the sentence or drop the charges against one of his loyal people, Roger Stone. Are we now under a dictator’s reign?
Abraham Lincoln warned of the possibility that a tyrant who could “push it to its utmost stretch, will spring up amongst us. ... He disdains the beaten path, he seeks his own game and scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor.”
This was the Lyceum Address delivered on Jan. 27, 1838. Lincoln warned that people and mobs who disrespected American laws and courts could destroy the United States.
Corruption will now accelerate
Now that Republican senators (save one brave soul) have crowned Donald Trump king of these United States, the American people will witness firsthand how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thanks to Attorney General Bill Barr, toady-in-chief, the Justice Department now stinks of corruption, too. And if Republican senators (save one brave soul) really think that the king has learned a lesson, they’re as stupid as they are corrupt. The king has only learned that he is king.
We had all better hail the king; it’s dangerous not to.
Unturned stones on Stonegarden
Re: the Feb. 12 local guest opinion “Petty rejection of Stonegarden grant felt by rural voters.”
Andrew Gullo blasts Pima County supervisors for voting against the grant, which he says would have benefited rural areas. He fails to acknowledge the grant was a classic “bait and switch.” The Department of Homeland Security sweetened the pot by allowing $200,000 to be used for “humanitarian” aid. Then rejected it because of the requested aid.
He failed to say that Stonegarden’s overtime money to pay deputies to cruise rural areas would blow a hole in county retirement accounts. That the 3,700 Border Patrol agents in the Tucson Sector along the border already swarm in rural areas picking up drug smugglers, human traffickers and, yes, “cross-border criminals.”
Hispanic residents also live in rural areas. They, too, would be reluctant to report crimes to their local law enforcement knowing that there is cooperation with Border Patrol.
Local law enforcement used as a tool to enforce federal immigration law has no place in Arizona.