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For Kicks, One Last Sept. 11 Conspiracy Letter

Thank you for taking a stand on this important issue, the truth about Sept. 11 (Guest Commentary, Dec. 1). People will be very surprised if they only take a short walk to the truth about that day. Every single piece of evidence is contrary to the government story.

I would recommend The New Pearl Harbor, by David Ray Griffin, as a solid source of information regarding the events. It is equally clear that Sept. 11 was covered up by the too-late, too-little 9/11 Commission Report, which plays fast and loose with almost every fact--in effect condemning NORAD and the Federal Aviation Administration as incompetent buffoons. One can also receive a free DVD from www.reopen911.org, which does a solid job in presenting the photographic evidence shot by CNN, Fox and other news organizations.

Democracy demands an informed public--or else we lose it. The facts are there for those willing to look.

John Austin


The Death Penalty Is a Form of Torture

Typical of the Bush administration's lack of respect for the intelligence of the American people is its denial of involvement in the torture of prisoners anywhere in the world. Anyone who believes the lie that the United States does not torture prisoners could visit a maximum-security facility in Arizona (TQ&A, Dec. 8).

They could spend enough time on death row to understand how a prisoner could go crazy and act out (then they could be taken in chains to solitary confinement as punishment). If they continue to believe killers "get what they deserve," they might begin to identify with the innocent people released from death row, who were let out only because interested parties worked diligently to prove them not guilty. They could finish their visit by being strapped to the gurney provided for the execution and contemplate their "last words."

The death penalty provides a means of torture from the moment the prisoner leaves the court in chains until after the final act of brutality. We have, since 1977, executed more than 1,000 prisoners, monstrous people, insane people, drug-crazed people, retarded people, defiant people, repentant people and innocent people like you and me. We continue to torture prisoners because our urge for revenge overpowers our compassion; our lust for punishment overpowers our reason; our self-righteousness overpowers our willingness to identify. We have chosen leaders who personify our collective unenlightened behavior. The "bad guys" have won.

The "good work" of some of us within this rotten system is not enough to save us from our collective self. The system must be changed. This season seems especially appropriate for the rebirth of the country we love. We have the intelligence, the courage, the humility and the compassion to change our path. We have the truth, and we have each other.

Gretchen Nielsen


A Call for Some Dough for a Demonstration

I read the material in question ("From the Toilet to Your Tap," Dec. 8), and it is an excellent discussion of what is wrong at the city-county water operation. I have talked to the city and county, and this is how they think (thinking may be the wrong word, but it is all I can come up with). The first thing wrong is that they fail to recognize that farming and golf courses use more than 70 percent of the water involved. Other uses are almost trivial.

Some of the golf courses use reclaimed water; the problem in Tucson and the state is that the reclaimed water is normally loaded with sodium. It builds up in the soil, and the reports of federal agencies indicate that at the 15 percent sodium level, the soil will no longer grow anything. Several courses in the state have reached that level; Tucson is getting there.

Making people turn off evaporative coolers would be funny if it wasn't so serious. What do they expect people to do, buy air conditioners? The cost is beyond many citizens, and the power companies could not handle the increased load.

At the university, we have demonstrated the use of a simple, low-cost method for removing sodium and other salts from water. This could be used on farms; in fact, one farmer near Phoenix has used it for 45 years. Golf courses are another place. All we need is money for a large scale-demonstration.

Stuart A. Hoenig


Aren't the 'Weekly' Archives Packed With Good Stuff?!?

Although it appeared in print almost a year ago, your article on the rapid and inexplicable decline in the quality of programming on the Discovery family of TV channels rings very true for me (Guest Commentary, Jan. 27).

It seemed like a dream come true--good television that was entertaining and educating at the same time. Nothing could have filled the gap in North American culture that was the Achilles' heel, the fact that we are among the most generally ignorant people in the developed world. The people of Europe have had generations of public programming with an educational focus, and they are generally regarded as being more knowledgeable and well-informed than Americans.

Almost overnight, we saw a torrent of cheap entertainment coming our way over these (Discovery) channels. The Guinness World Records "geek show" was one of the first to disgust me at the departure from quality programming to which I had become accustomed.

I could not imagine that this was going to occur without a good deal of objection from the audience and some of the people involved in the media or with the network. Regardless, it was done with all the determination of a captain determined to wreck the ship on the rocks, just to prove he's in charge.

But I recall hearing very little outcry. I had several friends who expressed disgust, but merely shifted their viewing elsewhere. I can't imagine how a solid market of dedicated viewers could be squandered and lost by such a radical and senseless change of direction. I sincerely hope they suffer the consequences of their bad decision to the fullest extent possible.

Greg Popove


And Finally, in the Spirit of the Season

Santa at Park Place has arrived from the North. After feeding the reindeer, he is relaxing with his favorite paper.

Saretta Wool

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