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Claim: Banks' Latest Border Story Was Crap 'Journalism'

I found one true statement in Leo W. Banks' article ("Nature Vs. Security," May 1): Ranchers will oppose wilderness, no matter what. Otherwise, the article was pure conjecture, filled with hyper-paranoid ideas that have no basis in reality. Arizona has no less than eight federally protected lands on its border, and the Border Patrol already operates within these areas. In fact, the memorandum of understanding that Banks mentions contradicts all claims about "limited access" to protected areas; I guess he forgot to read it. Even within the law, the Border Patrol will have all the access it needs.

Arizona's borderlands are being torn apart because the Border Patrol can do whatever it wants. This is not a secret to anyone, except apparently Banks. The Department of Homeland Security waived 30 laws along a 476-mile stretch of border--and these weren't only environmental laws. The DHS can waive any law, including military laws like the Sykes Act, which they waived last year on the Goldwater Range. This is why Rep. Raúl Grijalva is trying to repeal the waiver authority: The DHS is an out-of-control agency with no accountability.

Jimmy Boegle calls this "an amazing piece of journalism." Please. It's unsubstantiated, crap "journalism" like this that prevents us from ever coming up with real solutions to our problems. Thanks a bunch, Weekly. You are on par with the rest of the news media.

Jenny Neeley


Are Warmer Temps Causing Drought?

I read "Getting Warmer" (Currents, April 17), and I was disappointed in the lack of hard information on temperature trends. I had just completed an analysis of Arizona temperature trends from 2003-2007 using publicly available National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data in an attempt to validate the recent claim by some groups of a 2.2-degree Fahrenheit increase in the historical average temperatures in Arizona during that five-year span.

Here's what I found: Temperatures had increased by an average of .56 degrees in Flagstaff, .95 in Winslow, 1.75 in Phoenix and 1.56 in Tucson.

Precipitation during that same period was below normal throughout the state, ranging from 60 percent in Winslow, to 80 percent in Tucson, 81 percent in Phoenix and 86 percent in Flagstaff.

Is there a tie between the rise in temps and current drought conditions? Maybe; maybe not. Scientists say 1998 was the warmest year in the United States since 1934, yet it was also the second-wettest nationwide since 1955.

Finally, what does "normal" really mean? Normal is defined as receiving 90 to 110 percent of the historical average, yet the chance of any place receiving a normal amount of rainfall is just 40 to 55 percent. In other words, you will be significantly below or above the historical average about half the time.

Brian Churchill


We're Picking From a Set of Three Stooges

Have you ever gotten a sense of déjà vu when watching a new episode of a TV show? It's the feeling that you've seen this story before, even though you're sure you haven't seen it on this show.

Watching the antics of Barak, Hillary and John ("Test Study," April 17), I've kept getting this feeling. I finally realized that I have indeed seen this show before: The last time I saw it, the performers' names were Larry, Curly and Moe.

Harry Pletcher


Claim: Hillary Clinton Is a Power-Hungry Sociopath

I hate politics, because it's like crime in real life: The innocent are punished, and the guilty go free.

George W. Bush was able to shred the Constitution and lead us into a quagmire in the Middle East by virtue of two elections that, had they occurred in a Third World country, would not have passed a United Nations inspection. Rush Limbaugh got away with suborning perjury and voter disenfranchisement by publicly persuading millions of voters to lie on their party-affiliation affidavits. Hillary Clinton, with the help of myopic pundits and silly debate moderators, dragged the primaries into a mud-wrestling contest, and we were deprived of the major speeches we really needed on the connection between climate change, the failing oil economy and the war ("Test Study," April 17). We've forgotten Hillary's lies about Bosnia, NAFTA and the affidavit she signed saying she would not campaign in Florida and Michigan. We've forgotten to ask how she can say she's on the side of the working class and still say she'll continue taking money from lobbyists, because, she says "they represent real Americans." Even The New York Times--which helped lead us into this war with their administration shills--now says Hillary's tactics are destructive to the party and the nation.

Why wasn't the public informed early on, starting with her sociopathic letters from Wellesley College, as to who this candidate really was? Jerry Zeifman supervised 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the Nixon impeachment committee. He fired her for violating the defendant's right to representation. He gave as his reasons unethical conduct, lying, theft and suppression of documents. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Hillary is a sociopath hiding a bottomless greed for power.

Dennis Williams

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