We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.
Wade Schlosser (Letters, Oct. 12) should have done some research before writing his letter, “Repetitive History,” on why he was supporting President Bush and the war. He said that after four years of full-scale Civil War, the public demanded Gen. Ulysess S. Grant be removed from leadership of the Union armies.
History shows Gen. McClellan was head of all union armies from 1861 until February 1864. During that time Grant was stationed on the western front. In September 1861, he captured Paducah, Ky. In February 1862, he captured Fort Donelson; the center of the Confederate armies. In February 1864, he was appointed lieutenant general; the first officer to be so honored since George Washington. He was immediately appointed general of all the Union armies by Abraham Lincoln, replacing McClellan. In April 1865, the war was over. Grant was so popular he was elected to two terms as president.
Fast forward (as Schlosser said) to the Vietnam War. In 1963, just before President Kennedy’s assassination, there were only 11,000 soldiers in Vietnam, not as an army but as advisors to the South Vietnamese army. Kennedy said he was going to bring l,l00 of them home but was assassinated before it could be carried out. Lyndon Johnson escalated the war during his four years in office. The war became so unpopular with the American public, Johnson refused to run for a second term and retired to his ranch in Texas. Richard Nixon, running for office, said he would end the war if elected. During his term in office, an armistice was declared and North Vietnam took over. Maybe Schlosser, after researching the present conflict, might change his mind about supporting Bush. Or maybe he is one of those that can be fooled all of the time.
Stingrays not suited to exhibit
It’s clear that the Phoenix Zoo is more concerned about giving visitors a cheap thrill than protecting animals (“Stingray Bay returns to Phoenix Zoo,” Oct. 20.) Encouraging visitors to harass and handle captive animals is the antithesis of fostering respect. By nature, stingrays shun human contact, yet in touch tanks, they have no chance to escape the constant onslaught of groping hands. Many animals pay with their lives in such exhibits. For example, 17 of 28 rays recently died in the Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s touch tank. It’s incongruous for the zoo to tell folks the importance of protecting marine life, while encouraging visitors to manhandle animals.
PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
Agencies obstructing justice
It is the trusted duty of police agencies to enforce law. If an officer is somehow prevented from enforcing immigration law by his superiors, based on a policy, then those superiors are guilty of the class 5 felony obstruction of justice. Police departments should be enforcers of law, not law breakers.
Better than FEMA
A tornado recently ripped through the eastern half of a town in northern Indiana. The town of Nappanee is made up of all types of people and religions. One day after the devastation, there was one house with the framing of a new roof in place. Sunday morning saw close to 5,000 people gathering in the parking lot of the high school, all were there to help in any way they could to put Nappanee and its citizens back in shape. Some people had to be turned away because they couldn’t manage that many on the job. How about those citizens? None of them were waiting for the government to come in and handle their problem. The townspeople and the surrounding countryside turned out to start the job and those kinds of people will be there when it is finished. Compare this disaster to New Orleans, where many of the citizens are still waiting for somebody else to clean up the mess.
Canadian system works
I’m sure that Sam Coppersmith’s Oct. 21 commentary on health insurance will receive considerable criticism. The critics will argue that he is recommending “socialized medicine,” in their view the worst possible solution.
I lived in Canada, where they have had socialized medicine for many years. While I can’t give you any personal experiences with the system, my father, mother and brother were all very happy with the it. Granted, people may have a fairly lengthy wait for elective surgery because more pressing cases are being treated.
Here in the U.S., you can get treatment much more rapidly providing you have the money or insurance to pay for it. Of course, if you are poor and uninsured, you could die for want of treatment. There may be some people who consider this a small price to pay for their freedom to choose.
In this country, the emergency rooms in most hospitals are filled with poor people who have no insurance. This is certainly the most expensive way to provide medical treatment.
C. RAY JUVELIN
Survivors deserve retirement pay
Both the House and the Senate have passed their different versions of the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act, which now must be resolved by joint committee. Our brave men and women, who in many instances have paid premiums for many years in the belief that their survivors would receive up to 55 percent of their retired pay, deserve the respect that their service earned them.
Where the Senate version would completely restore the current dollar for dollar offset of Survivors Benefit Payments by VA Dependency Indemnity Compensation, the House version would restore only $40 per month. Congress should retain the Senate version of this legislation because it contains provisions which are important to members of the active military services, retirees and their families. Many of these same provisions have been rejected in the past, but have been introduced again and again because their passage is not only in the best interests of this nation it is simply the right thing to do.
Who are you kidding?
I loved the tongue-in-cheek taunting of Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., in Sunday’s “Our View” (Oct. 21). I mean, you are kidding, right? At your urging, our esteemed senator is going to veer from his fascist trajectory in order to federally protect the press? I have more commentary to offer but I really must leave to snap a photo of the flying pig over my neighbor’s house.