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.
Arpaio, Thomas unchecked
Paul Cliff contends in his Jan. 27 letter that Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio are effective, that is why they get elected; that they are not deserving of recent criticism.
Are we not entitled to consider the record and tremendous increased cost of operation, which does not seem to concern conservatives? All that appears to matter is the candidate is one of them. Extreme conservatives get elected in Maricopa County and have little or no opposition. The lack of a check-and-balance two-party system can explain many failures.
I have considerable experience with law enforcement and courts. Note, I did not say the justice system, because that is lacking in this community. We gave up first place in property crime to Washington, D.C. Phoenix has led in crime and white-collar fraud for years.
Methods from the 1950s are still employed, so we do not know how many minor criminal or MVD cases are dismissed because the arresting officer could not appear at two hearings at the same time, or how many innocent residents of Tent City plead guilty to get out months ahead of time set for trial. Thousands of unnecessary bookings at $189.23 each plus transportation. Daily housing is now $72.33. Jails serve bologna sandwiches twice daily.
Sheriff Joe likes to brag about his Tent City, and in an Oct. 7 column Thomas advocated taking Tent City statewide. Tent City and the toughest (I believe meanest) sheriff’s methods were used in the South for centuries. The billboard and Internet display at a cost of $2.5 million featuring persons convicted of DUI merely modernizes the colonial practice of displaying offenders in stocks at the public square.
The economic downturn promises increased social problems. Are threats, incarceration and photo enforcement going to stem a rising tide? Can we afford four more years of unbridled county spending that we dare not question?
RICHARD T. TRACY SR.
Free enterprise no answer
Re: “Health care myths are part of problem” by Rich Shields (Opinion 2, Feb. 5): “Freedom of enterprise is the answer” has so many holes you could sail a super tanker through one of them. To start with, every major economic disaster in the last few decades in the United States was caused by freedom of enterprise. Example: Keating savings and loan, Enron and subprime loans, where taxpayers end up paying the bill. What Shields does not state in his article are the true facts. In the United States the average cost for health care is $7,500 per person a year if there is not a “pre-existing condition,” then the price can skyrocket or you may not be able to get insurance at all.
The average tax paid by a single person in the United States is around 29 percent. In the socialized countries which, by the way, have a higher standard of living, residents pay 31 percent to 35 percent of their income to taxes. Those against socialized medicine will claim you will receive substandard health care in a socialized system, but seem to have no facts to back their statements. In truth, it is as good or even better.
Don’t take my word for it — with little effort these facts can be found by using your computer. So let’s end all the lies we have been told about social health.
George W. McCain?
The sources of Sen. John McCain’s revenue; $7 million dollars in three weeks in January. Not a bad take for McCain. The fat cats are scared. King George II will no longer be there to inspire huge tax cuts for the wealthy, and there is a chance that some of their loot might begin to be used for humanitarianism.
McCain is no longer the Arizona maverick who was once approached for the vice presidency by the Democratic party. He is the only hope for the wealthy to continue being the source of big-scale corporate welfare. Republicans like it the way it is, and they are scared to death of any changes that might take place.
Meanwhile, the war in Iraq is being fought by the unemployed minorities of this country and by those who needed extra income by joining the Army Reserve. Have you heard of any fat cats getting killed over there?
And the wartime economy of industrial corporations is bustling, but there is no money for health care for the poor. Even McCain has joined the forces by trying to do away with Social Security so that there is more room for tax cuts for the fat cats.
FREDRICK E. HERMANNS
Listen to the U.N.
On Jan. 24, C. Ray Juvelin asks, “How much proof needed” (on global warming)? I would ask, “How much proof suppressed?” Juvelin says he has been doing some research and so have I, from numerous sources. Let’s use UN-IPCC charts and numbers for carbon dioxide and temperature increases.
IPCC says a carbon dioxide increase from 0.028 percent to 0.054 percent has caused the Earth’s average temperature to increase just more than ½ degree Celsius in 150 years. No one denies the temperature increase, but is it unusual (human caused) or catastrophic? Is a ½ degree temperature rise in 150 years after the coldest winter in 110,000 years unusual? Is a 0.003-degree per year temperature rise so catastrophic it requires immediate action and billions in spending?
When expanded, Al Gore’s chart shows temperature changes leading carbon dioxide changes by centuries (indicating temperature changes cause carbon dioxide changes). Gore’s chart has nine temperature/carbon dioxide corrections following each cold/warm spell over the past 650,000 years. What makes this one different from the previous nine?
Carbon dioxide is only 0.054 percent of the total, water vapor (H2O) at 95 percent being the most important. The human component of carbon dioxide is less than 0.028 percent. Do you remember the dust bowls and “Grapes of Wrath” in the 1920s, when carbon dioxide was half today’s levels? Evaporation (atmospheric water vapor) and resulting rainfall and snowfall are all controlled by the sun’s intensity.
Agricultural scientists say the Earth is carbon dioxide deficient. They say each doubling of carbon dioxide increases plant and crop yields 30 percent to 40 percent. It is as important to plants as oxygen is to animals (and humans). In fact plants and animals have a symbiotic relationship, each replenishing the others requirements. Why would anyone want to plant trees, then reduce CO² so necessary for their survival?
The more you research human-caused global warming, the less sense it makes.
JOHN C. EVANS
Megan Kearl’s Feb. 1 letter “Entitlements the real issue” quoted part of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment. The problem many Americans see is the interpretation of the word “jurisdiction,” a very interesting subject.
The 14th Amendment was passed on June 13, 1866. At the time, the legal interpretation of the word “jurisdiction” may have been different than today’s, since most of the early laws were derived from the “Lawyer’s Bible” of 1769 as written by Sir William Blackstone and based much upon English law.
At the time the amendment was adopted, Sen. Edward Cowan said; “(A foreigner in the United States) has a right to the protection of the laws; but he is not a citizen in the ordinary acceptance of the word …”
If these senators’ intentions for the 14th Amendment are now in fact being misinterpreted, then we need the Supreme Court to review the amendment and the current way alien birthright is handled in the U.S. We should all demand our congressional representatives in both houses ask the Supreme Court to render a legal interpretation of what constitutes “jurisdiction” concerning babies born to illegal immigrants on U.S. soil.
One can only hope it happens soon.