Say no to King George
The Fourth is big in my town. It’s hard not to get caught up in some part of it – the cute small-town parade, the events downtown, the fireworks at night.
Never have I felt less like celebrating the anniversary of our democracy’s birth; it feels like celebrating the beauty of a building under demolition.
Never have I felt less secure of my rights as a citizen of this country.
If you’d told me six years ago that our government would be torturing people, I’d have scoffed.
If you’d told me anyone in America could be swept up by the government, held indefinitely without charge, counsel or trial, I’d have scoffed.
If you’d told me the president would give himself the right to choose which of our laws to obey, I’d have scoffed. I’d have said: Those things don’t happen here. Not in America.
I can’t celebrate our freedom while it’s being assaulted. So my Fourth wasn’t barbecue, flags and fireworks. This letter is my Fourth of July.
On that first Fourth of July, a group of people rejected an illegitimate and abusive authority. They said no to King George. I say the same today.
Condolences to Yoders
Re: the Tuesday Associated Press article (“Peruvian mountain claims 2 Tucsonans“):
I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the Yoder family, whose two adult children went missing last week on the glacier-covered mountain, some 17,000 feet above sea level in the Cordillera Blanca range in the Andes.
I cannot think of a more caring, respected and personable individual and surgeon than Dr. Kenneth J. Yoder.
It seems the worst things happen to the best people. My thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Yoder and his family.
Testimony to service
We seriously disagree with a statement in your Monday Political Notebook (“Kyl painting Pederson as Kerry-Kennedy liberal“).
A candidate in Congressional District 8 labeled numerous community and organizational endorsements of Gabrielle Giffords as a sign of “weakness.”
On the contrary, we see endorsements as a measure of strength and of appreciation for her candidacy.
For ordinary families trying to stay alive in these difficult times, such support means she is the candidate most committed to the welfare of ordinary citizens.
Gabrielle has been endorsed by many community groups, including teachers, carpenters, electricians, machinists, supermarket workers, locomotive engineers, League of Conservation Voters and recently the AFL-CIO and the AFSCME.
This is testimony to the fact that citizens across the community respect her record in the Legislature, where she fought for Arizona’s families. And they know, as we do, that she will do the same as our representative in Congress.
FRAN and BERT LITMAN
My wife and I went to the Irish Pub on Tanque Verde Road for lunch to celebrate the Fourth of July.
A couple of women sitting next to us were chain smokers. Even after we commented about their smoke coming across our table, they continued to smoke, smoke, smoke.
They were even so bold as to ask the waitress to open the door near them so the smoke would blow out. It didn’t, and they kept on blatantly smoking.
They were aware of our discomfort but didn’t stop.
Smokers have rights, but they don’t have the right to subject the nonsmoker to secondhand smoke.
Yes, we knew it was a smoking bar, but does that give someone the right to smoke when you indicate that the smoke bothers you? Now more than ever, my wife and I are going to vote for the smoking ban in Arizona, including bars.
GENE E. HELSEL
Walk in their shoes
The death of Antonio Torres Jimenez while crossing the desert to return to his job in Tucson is just one more sad reminder of our maddeningly mindless border policy.
It is inexcusable that our elected officials cannot devise a system that allows human beings such as Jimenez to do needed work in the United States without risking their lives.
Maybe members of Congress should be required to walk to work through the highest crime areas, regardless of weather, to get a taste of what their collective inaction is inflicting on a lot of decent people who are engaged in basic human endeavors of working and being with their families.
Let voters decide raises
Re: the salary increase members of Congress have granted themselves:
As employees of the constituencies these elected officials are supposed to serve, it should be left up to the electorate to determine whether a pay increase is justified, as well as the amount of that increase.
A referendum to establish such guidelines would in part restore the control by the electorate and promote more responsible and meaningful performance by members of Congress.
I pride myself on being an independent voter. I’m writing from the Republican National Committee Web site, which has form letters. I prefer to use my voice. If this gets through, I still have my voice, and I will use it in November to kick these corrupt, lying hypocrites out of office.
THOMAS J. REUBENS