Letters to the editor published in the August 12, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

In Phoenix, gang can't shoot straight

The Republican members of our State Legislature may, appropriately, be called the Gang That Can't Shoot Straight.

They pledged early on "no new taxes" regardless of the need. This pledge was dictated to them by Orville Norquist, an East Coast right wing zealot who has stated that he would like to shrink government down to the size of a bathtub so he can drown it.

Norquist is the mentor to our Republican members of the State Legislature. Sen. Al Melvin campaigned in the primary that he would support education and cut taxes. Yet he voted to cut funding for education and to cut taxes even in the face of need. However, he urged the voters in Pima County to vote for taxes for a baseball stadium.

There is talk of TABOR, the Tax Payer Bill of Rights. California adopted TABOR and now faces a 25 billion dollar deficit. Colorado, which Republicans like to highlight when it comes to TABOR, has passed a bill that will not even allow TABOR, or anything similar, to be introduced in their legislature.

Now we are witnessing the bizarre behavior of the leaders of the Republican legislators in open war with our Republican governor. I believe the citizens of Arizona will be looking for new representatives in the next election.

Jim Brademas, SaddleBrooke

Rep. Giffords, come hear about health care

Rep. Giffords, please come out of hiding and meet with your constituents in town hall meetings to find out what they really think about the proposed health care bills.

These various bills propose a government option that according to President Obama, Rep. Franks, Sen. Kennedy and many in the progressive caucus is the first step to a single-payer plan such as Canada and Great Brittan. If accomplished, it would mean the government would be in charge of approximately one-sixth of the U.S. economy.

The government's track record is not very good at running and managing programs and quasi government organizations. Social Security is insolvent, Medicare is 37 trillion underfunded, the Federal Home Loan Bank had to be taken over, and the GAO says the Post Office is financially "at risk."

Ronald R. O'Neil, Oro Valley

Medicare and Medicaid are going broke

In singing the praises of the government-run health insurance policies Medicare and Medicaid, Mr. Gibbs seems oblivious to a very important fact: Medicare and Medicaid are going broke and are ultimately unsustainable (The VA is part of the Defense budget and is an entirely different animal).

From his narrow perspective of being the receiver of such benefits, he fails to see the big picture. In the long run, these programs are inefficient, restrictive and expensive. Just ask any doctor (if he / she even accepts Medicare anymore).

There are better free market solutions that are far superior than anything the government can come up with. No, Mr. Gibbs, Medicare and Medicaid are not "working."

John Bezel, Oro Valley

Let's get back to the ways before Barack

Dear editor,

Reliable polls indicate 68 percent of all Americans have health insurance and are pleased with it. Yet our President is insistent that universal government health care is needed.

One could ignore the truth that socialized medicine in Canada produce far less patient care then our health care system. If this is not so, why do so many Canadian snowbirds seek their health care while visiting in Tucson, Phoenix and Yuma? My wife works in health care. It's a fact.

The real acid test to consider is what business effort has our government ever run that was efficient or for that matter successful? Case in point is President Carter's establishing the Department of Energy in 1977 with the specific goal of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. Today, 32 years later, DOE's budget is $24.2 billion with 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 contract employees. Results? More U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Based on this history, our president is going to manage the banking system, auto industry and health care systems in the United States efficiently and effectively with his unelected czars accountable to him and not the American people?

So many Americans bought into the change thing not understanding the change was to Socialism.

Democrats, Republicans, or Independent, I don't care. Let America return to the Constitution and the free enterprise system, which made our nation great for 232 years, until Barack Obama was elected president.

Jim Spencer, Oro Valley

Industry fights reform with $1.4M a day

To the editor,

Re: Republican leaders and health care reform

Senator Kyl and several other members of Congress have quoted from a health care study done by the Lewin Group, a group that these Republicans say is "non-partisan" and "unbiased."

I Googled The Lewin Group and found that they are a member of Ingenix ,a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group.

UnitedHealth Group is, of course, one of the largest health insurers in the country, and they stand to lose millions of dollars of profit if a public option is passed. I would hardly call them "non-partisan" and "unbiased."

The health care industry, according to PBS, is spending $1.4 million dollars a day to fight health care reform. In order to spend that kind of money they must be making huge profits.

Phil Gibbs, Oro Valley

Does Giffords want to know people's views?

I read with interest the article by Rep. Giffords in your Aug. 5 edition.

While I found it interesting to learn what she supports, I thought it would have been good for her to address the areas of concern about the bill being put together in a House committee.

People all around the country have been quite upset about some of the provisions in the bill, and the confusion about what some of those provisions really mean. It would be good if Rep. Giffords expressed the desire to learn what her constituents think and feel about that House bill, rather than simply giving her preferences.

I had heard that representatives would be going back to their districts to meet with the citizens to find out what the House is doing regarding health care, cap and trade, stimulus, the state of the economy and other issues. But, I called her Tucson office and was unable to learn from her staff that she would hold any meetings with the public. I heard that she had a "telephone meeting" with people of the district; I don't know how that works, but I certainly was not contacted to participate in any such event.

It seems to me that Rep. Giffords should show a good deal more curiosity about what the people who elected her think about the issues now before Congress.

Lloyd H. Ostrom, SaddleBrooke

County has not shown 'good faith' on road

"A common thread pulls through news of these few weeks. And in rural Pima County, near La Cañada, neighbors are upset about the impacts of a new, wider road upon their properties."

The above quote does point out a problem that has been plaguing the residents of the La Cañada Drive projects for more than nine years.

Compromise and balance are essential for human beings in any encounter where two sides of a situation exist and the goals are mutual, such as in a marriage and between labor and management disputes.

However to obtain their mutually desired goals, both parties must be willing to talk openly and with transparency.

Unfortunately, the relation between the Pima County administration and the residents is ripe with distrust and failed promises. Citizens have donated their time and sometimes their money to attend meetings, where well thought-out suggestions and recommendations are made but are always dismissed by the county, who is batting 1.000 against citizens' ideas no matter what the source.

The citizens have tried to work with the county utilizing the CAC structure as dictated in county ordinance 1992-69. What is missing is "good faith" by the county.

The citizens want the improvement project; they are tired of congestion and the lack of safety along La Cañada. They have made numerous suggestions and recommendations, only to have every one denied by the county.

"Good faith" is essential when adversaries are engaged if balance and compromise are to be the vehicles for reaching a common goal.

Unfortunately, the county has not exhibited "good faith." County residents are the only persons within Pima County that must meet a financial test originated by the county and rigged by the county so that noise mitigation walls will be denied.

If the county wanted to work with the citizens along La Canada and wanted to demonstrate good will and a willingness to compromise, why did they deny noise mitigation walls for a barrier that would cost $35,092 for each (of three) residences when the official county allowance is $35,000 per residence.

Actions speak louder than words.

Steve Hildebrand

Cap and trade foisted by the corrupt politicos

Cap and trade legislation is being foisted on American citizens by corrupt politicians who are looking for a way to dramatically increase federal taxes to advance their left wing agenda.

They claim that humans are generating too much CO2 emissions that are causing global climate change (formerly called global warming). More than 700 international scientists have testified to the Senate's Environment and Public Works committee, chaired by Barbara Boxer, of their "Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims," debunking any claims of scientific consensus for anthropogenic global warming.

In fact, recent data indicates that global temperatures have not increased since 1998, while CO2 emissions have continued. Political power seekers have corrupted the integrity of American science by funding researchers who support AGW and denounce those scientists who show the scare is unwarranted.

CO2 is not a pollutant. Water vapor in the atmosphere effects are 1,000 times greater than CO2. Limiting CO2 emissions will just deprive green plants (fruits, vegetables, trees, farms, forests, phytoplankton) of the gas they need to survive and generate the oxygen that we need. No self-respecting environmentalist could possibly support or promote such a destructive agenda.

Michael F. Kowalski, Ph.D, Oro Valley

God-given right to challenge a police officer

Dear editor,

You published an editorial cartoon about Prof. Gates and Obama in your 8/5/09 edition.

I am not a fan of Professor Gates nor did I vote for Obama. However, when the facts are known, Gates was simply irate and "disrespectful" to a cop who had invaded his home.

Regardless of color, etc., it is not illegal to challenge a cop — in fact, it is our God-given right under the U.S. Constitution. By luring a homeowner outside who had been angry inside his house, so as to make a "disorderly conduct", etc. arrest, the cop was not only stupid, but unAmerican and wholly unjust.

R. Edward Lundquist, Oro Valley

Be afraid of health care rationing

In last week's "You Say" column, "Government Is Already In Healthcare, and It's Good", the writer states that he is happy with his Medicare and that opponents of the Democrats' plan "spread misinformation" by telling "scare stories" about "rationed health care."

These concepts are related. When Medicare was passed in the 1960s, the American taxpayer was told that it would cost somewhere in the area of 1/9th of what it costs now. That means that Medicare is now about 900 percent over its promised budget, and this is why it is insolvent.

The only reason Medicare continues to provide the level of services the writer is so happy about (and this is the case with the entire federal government) is because the government borrows from others in order to keep providing these services. Unfortunately for all of us, the day will come (and it's very, very soon) when the government will no longer to be able to borrow in order spend money it doesn't have.

What will happen when that day arrives?

The government can either raise taxes to the point the economy stops working (and don't kid yourself, the amount is so huge, taxes will not be raised only on "the rich", but on "all of us"), or we can cut back on care, i.e., rationing.

This is exactly what happened in the "scare stories" in Canada and Great Britain. And, until the government can figure out a way to forever spend more than it has, that's exactly what will happen here — health care will be rationed, especially to older people. And yes, some might even die.

Sorry to scare you.

Chuck Bolotin, Oro Valley

Facts twisted for personal gain, votes

First, I would like to thank Joan McKitis for her recent comment regarding Jessie Kelly, candidate for CD8.

Many comments by Joan focus on "distortions" made by Mr. Kelly. I challenge these statements, especially comments regarding government taking "control of every aspect of our lives." That statement is true.

Recent proposals of the Obama health care plan should concern every citizen of this land. Page 58 of that document challenges the Privacy Act of 1978 and gives our government the "right" to view all medical records and personal records for any reason at any time for any purpose. Individual "counseling," as one approach the age where life nears completion, is one example. All records are theirs for any reason and violate individual privacy.

As far as facts are concerned, the Democratic and Republican parties consistently twist facts for personal gain to get elected. For one reason or another, each justifies their behaviors as "morally correct." I find this behavior reprehensible.

The general population hungers for honesty and integrity in leadership and, sad to say, such individuals seeking an office or position in either the party are thwarted by individuals of influence whom propagate distorted half truths against those challenging the "status quo." Quality individuals become lepers from any proactive involvement in either party at grass roots levels. The new lepers are outcast by those touting some "secret pre-established criterion."

Some call this politics. I call this "bovine scatology." Simple observation reveals those demonstrating these behaviors: they quickly move from one position of influence to a more powerful position in short order. They incorrectly justify their actions and behavior as moral and correct, propagating their manifesto of self-interests and demonstrate Machiavellian behaviors. Many politicians of both parties have mastered this characteristic. I have personally witnessed this behavior in some recent elected officials.

It is unfortunate because the general public will never have the opportunity of realizing hunger fulfillment by witnessing a qualified candidate whom knows the meaning of service and above all else, respects individuals regardless of their opinion.

Bob Black, Oro Valley

Late-night light wastes energy

Re: July 29 article "Town cracks down on signs:"

I say 'Right On' to Oro Valley.

If the businesses concerned about having lights on after hours think that lights are the way to attract business, then they should stay open round the clock to keep their lights on.

What a total lack of consideration for the dark skies we try to protect, and total disregard for the waste of energy lights on after hours creates.

I work for a company whose lights are off after hours and business has never been better. Maybe a new marketing campaign is in order if businesses need a way to tell customers that they're there.

Kristine Cohen, Oro Valley

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