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.
U.S., needs Musharraf
I believe the Bush administration is about to make a big mistake in Pakistan. One has to understand that President Pervez Musharraf is not just cracking down on the civilian population, he is trying to hold power against pro-fundamentalist forces within his own country.
Musharraf is beset by pro-Taliban, pro-fundamentalist generals both within Pakistan’s intelligence services and his own army. These Pakistani military leaders are a powerful faction who are actively shielding and re-arming the Taliban.
Our president would do well to review the Iran situation with the Shah in 1978 before putting further pressure on Musharraf.
I believe we are about to make the same mistake with Pakistan, except that with Pakistan the stakes are a lot higher because it is a nuclear power.
Benazir Bhutto is a democratic leader, but she has been out of the country, exiled for many years and without any organized support inside the country.
Even if democratically elected, she could easily be deposed by the fundamentalist thugs who dominate Pakistani security forces. She needs the support of a neutral military leader like Musharraf to keep her in power.
The war on terror is not a clean and tidy affair, and is not primarily a crusade for democracy. We are friendly with plenty of non-democratic powers such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, China and Turkey’s military. Yet why do we choose to pick on our ally Pakistan in particular at this point in time?
Whoever has advised President Bush to stab Musharraf in the back at his moment of crisis is an incompetent or worse. The president needs some good advice and at the moment it is not forthcoming.
If Pakistan becomes fundamentalist, we will not only lose the war on terror, we will have to begin planning for World War-III.
All dealers deserve death
The death of a fine young man like Danny Pasanella due to a heroin overdose is indeed a tragedy and my heart goes out to his parents. But when, in God’s name, are we going to stop passively wringing our hands, wishing that the police would do more, and begin demanding that drug dealers be ex ecuted? Drug dealers murdered Danny Pasanella and they murder hundreds more like him year after year. These murderers deserve to be executed (or at least sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole). Period. No second chances, no suspended sentences and certainly no parole. The police cannot be blamed for the problem when so many judges are so spineless toward punishing drug dealers.
The so-called “war” on drugs is a pathetic joke; a war that never will be won until we drastically change the battle tactics. If we are fed up with sacrificing our children to the money-crazed drug lords, then we need to demand that the war on drugs be fought like a war. That means using our military in full combat operations against known drug dealers; it means killing those who would kill us and our children.
Other countries more civilized than ours do execute drug dealers or at least incarcerate them for decades (or cut off their hands). Consequently, drugs are not much of a problem in those countries because they are simply unavailable; few dealers are willing to risk their lives, or hands, by importing and selling drugs.
Robert E. Riordan
Schools aren’t getting more money
If recent school district bond and override elections had been a referendum on public education, as some have suggested, they all would have passed. A recent study shows more than three-fourths of Arizona parents give either an “A” or “B” to the school their oldest child attends.
But that’s not what voters in the Phoenix metro area were weighing in on when they cast their ballots. The election failures in Maricopa County and two Pinal County districts reflected voter frustration with the economy and shock at inflated home valuations on 2008 property tax bills. Misinformation, promulgated for political reasons, linking higher property tax bills with school spending further hobbled override efforts.
Voters must understand this: Increased property tax collections resulting from increased home valuations do not translate into more money for schools. Increased collections simply mean a greater share of the maximum allowable budget set by the state Legislature for each district will come from property taxes, and a lesser share will come from the state’s General Fund.
We must now look ahead and find effective ways of educating voters on how schools are funded so they can see through misinformation and vote in ways that support their true values.
Arizona School Boards Association
Dems forcing layoffs
As reported Nov. 16, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced he was being forced to lay off 200,000 civilian employees. The primary reason is that the Democratic-controlled Congress has refused to appropriate funds to operate the Defense Department. Do these Democrats realize that these 200,000 employees have families, mortgages, essential needs, etc? Putting them out of work serves what purpose? Embarrass President Bush? I think not! He doesn’t control appropriations. He is the commander-in-chief and the previous Congress gave him the constitutional power to wage war.
Now, they are withholding appropriations, which will result in bases being shut down, operations curtailed, civilian employees put out of work, contracts cancelled, and even more people put out of work.
To all those affected, contact your Democratic leadership and wish them a happy holiday and enjoy your Spam and unemployment checks while they last and thank the Democrats for playing political games to no end!
Jeff W. Durbin
Law and order
The majority should govern
We are a people ruled by laws that are set by the majority. We respect individual rights more than any other country in the world, but we have lost our way. When did respect for individuals turn into our being run by the whims of individuals?
It seems these days if one person out of millions is offended by something, the rest of us must give up our rights to enjoy whatever it is. For example, one atheist is offended by a moment of prayer in our schools, so therefore we cannot have a moment of silence. How does this make sense? The majority of people want the moment so why not simply say, “I know you don’t like this and you may opt out as is your right as a citizen, but the rest of us will continue to enjoy this act.”
When the majority of us want to see Christmas symbols, how can individuals take them away? We can say you may celebrate or not celebrate as is your right but the majority of us will continue to enjoy Christmas. I took an oath to defend this nation and its Constitution, but I did not swear to stop praying because someone might be offended. The majority must rule as was intended. Respect individual rights but don’t let the individual set the standard for all of us. We are a nation of the people, for the people, by the people.
Terry l. watson
They always get paid
Gee I wish I’d been a lawyer. They quote a price and you go to court and they get paid win or lose! Must be nice? That’s like taking your car to be repaired. You pay for it and find it hasn’t been repaired, but they keep the money just the same. It would be nice if only the lawyer who won got paid. No wonder so many people hate them. On second thought I’m glad I wasn’t a lawyer!