Letters to the editor published in the November 4, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

Branding iron art on Oracle is offensive

To our decision makers, I'm deeply offended and morally outraged.

For over a year I have patiently commuted to work on Oracle Road, knowing the results would be a beautiful roadway and an easier drive. Now as the work is finishing and the final touches are added, I am outraged to see that the choice of wall decoration is cattle branding irons.

We are put here to be guardians of the earth and her creatures. Cattle branding was a barbaric, ritual torture of innocent animals for the greed of humans. Thankfully, it is no longer widely practiced.

Who would choose to glorify that shameful history of pain and suffering? Could we not find art to celebrate life and our history to inspire us on our way to work? Make us start our day with a smile?

Tucson has so many talented artists who could have provided beautiful art for these walls. (I am sure this metalworker is also very talented.) Instead, each day as we drive Oracle Road, we will be reminded of human insensitivity and animal suffering. Why?

We entrust our public officials to promote well-being and make wise choices for our community. We count on them to make careful consideration on the impression we give visitors and tourists. I am deeply disappointed. I would encourage the removal of this artwork and replacement with a better choice.

Shelley Rose, Oro Valley

Call it 'sick care,' make it available to all

July 2009 marked my 65th birthday. I breathed a sigh of relief, because now I have my Medicare card.

In 1965, at the time when I graduated from nursing school, there was vehement opposition to Medicare. Currently my patients who have Medicare, Tri Care for Life or other government plans are happy with their coverage.

When we speak about health care, we are not speaking about health care, we are speaking about sick care. Health care is exercising, eating properly, peacefulness in our hearts and mind, and about strong social supports. When those four things are not in place or our genetic makeup or environmental influences collide, we must have "sick care." Let us call it Medicare for everyone (Medicare part E).

Who stands between patients and their doctors? Who denies the best medication for a given condition? Why do patients leave a doctor they like for another? The answer —insurance companies.

I would like to see 305 million Americans able to negotiate and obtain a quality, affordable plan. Not just CEO's able to negotiate through lobbyists.

Edna Silva, RN, Tucson

Healthcare is not a right in the Constitution

Benjamin Love's letter is typical of the hateful and disrespectful rants of the radical left.

They are incapable of rational discourse with anyone with temerity to dare oppose their views. All they can do is to resort to name calling and irrational, emotional nonsensical statements that are so far removed from reality as to not even be considered arguments. Their noise is simply that of barking dogs.

I, along with many others, are actively, consciously and volitionally working to oppose the destructive policies of the radical left-wing extremist triumvirate of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid, who are out to remake America into their vision of a socialist dictatorship lorded over by elitist radicals bent on controlling every aspect of every citizen's life through any and all means, legal, illegal, moral, immoral or amoral.

There is nothing subconscious about the fear and anger these radicals engender in the self-actualized, rational and thinking members of society. It is very real terror. And the patriots of the community will oppose this radicalization with every fiber of their being.

We are fervently working for our best interests and those of the community at large, including Ben's. The first and foremost of those is liberty and not being ground under the boot heel of the elitist radicals, followed closely by the right to economic prosperity and a political system representative of all.

I wonder what constitution Ben has access to that apparently the rest of us are denied. Nowhere in the United States Constitution is health care mentioned. Even the most liberal reading of the U.S. Constitution finds no mention of healthcare, access to it, nor anything else remotely related. There has been no law ever passed by Congress, and no case law ever handed down by any judge, that healthcare is any sort of right. That isn't to say Congress couldn't legislate such a right. But to date is hasn't happened. And wringing one's hands over it and wanting it to be so doesn't make it so.

Perhaps the first step for the radical rank and file drones would be convince Congress to legislate healthcare as a right. But currently it simply isn't a right.

Rick Cunnington, Oro Valley

The people want accountability from schools

First, I would like to thank Rex Scott for his comments on Oct. 21.

Is it is possible for Mr. Allen to put aside partisan politics and do some constructive critical thinking? Many readers hunger for accountability from legislators, administrators and principals. That is responsible leadership. Many have failed in this arena, and blame cannot be placed on Republican State Sen. Al Melvin.

Second, many would like to understand where $9,700 per student goes. A classroom size of 20 to 30 students represents funds of $194,000 to $291,000 per classroom. The pay of teachers is well below this amount, and they certainly deserve significant improvements in compensation.

I only manage the finances of a simple household and for me this requires a budget and an understanding of financial outlay and income. A family is required to prioritize expenses within the bounds of the budget. Have school administrators taken ownership in this area?

Surely, buses alone do not account for the cash outlay. Have expenses been accounted for item by item, school by school and district by district? A single school of 20 classrooms represents finances of $3,880,000 to $5,820,000! This is absolutely astounding. Financial income to a school district is even more astounding.

If an individual looked at the records for each school and their impact of expenses within a district, much could be learned. Current budget summaries are probably over 100 pages with excessive verbiage filled with justifications that border bovine scatology.

In my opinion, both Democrats, Republicans, school administrators and school boards have failed those they represent. To assert and place blame on one individual is inappropriate and partisan. All involved own this and unfortunately, school administrators, and some but not all legislators, as well as principals have not taken ownership of a dilemma that has plagued Arizona for decades.

The "accountability" that Sen. Al Melvin is fighting is very clear. Is it fair to ask Rex Scott, and school boards, what they have done to make LD26 schools stronger? They are given funds and how those funds are handled requires ownership with responsibility.

Bob Black, Oro Valley

We need health reform, but not a public option

The current health care reform bills before Congress are all too costly. The Democratic leadership is scrambling to find a way to pay for it.

Senate Majority Leader Reid is pushing to remove $250 billion-$270 billion in reimbursements to doctors over the next 10 years from the reform bill to a separate Medicare bill in order to make the current bill less costly and supposedly deficit neutral. How deceptive is that? Sen. Reid also pushed an amendment to the bill to allow his state of Nevada along with three other states to be exempt from assuming the increased Medicaid costs that will come to the states.

There will be additional taxes imposed on just about everyone — particularly the middle class. The health insurance companies will take a big hit in additional taxes. Premiums will be raised on private insurance plans, making them so costly that we can then move to the government option. And President Obama says we can keep our private plans. At what cost?

There is no cost saving measures in the bill, i.e. tort reform for the legal medical malpractice. Great costs will be incurred by covering elective abortions. And abortion will be covered.

The Democratic leadership says they want to keep the "status quo" on abortion. To do that, the bill would have to explicitly state that federal funds would not be used to fund abortion. But instead, there is the Capps Amendment that sidesteps the Hyde Amendment and other federal law. Capps funnels tax dollars to private health plans that cover abortion.

Supposedly, by some accounting mechanism this won't happen. However, this is totally misleading to the American people and dishonest.

What is going on in Washington is a sham. Please stand up against these tactics and let our congressmen know we strongly disapprove. We need health care reform, but not a government-run public option. There are better ways, if the Democratic leadership would stop and listen.

Annie Humphrey, Oro Valley

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