To the Editor:
The Skinny, freely spewing the bluntest of terms, is generally a welcome and entertaining element in he political landscape of Pima County, sharply pointed--if sometimes a bit too hasty--in its conclusions. Unfortunately, however, in its commentary on the county's acting Elections Director, Jim Shumway, The Skinny was flatly off the mark (Tucson Weekly, April 6). To call Jim Shumway a bureaucratic hack and degenerate his "mentality" as being somehow dangerous is preposterous, even odious.
A recall election is a sort of hybrid affair, part candidate election, part issue election. In the case of the Oro Valley recall, Honeybee Canyon was one of the issues specifically mentioned on the ballot itself, not merely some campaigner's soundbite. Therefore, even given the strict interpretation quoted in The Skinny, the decision to bar a Honeybee Canyon T-shirt from the polling place was not only reasonable, but necessary.
But most egregious of all was the twaddle about Jim Shumway's career being based on an "obsolete" voting system and the implication that he has been some sort of a roadblock on the way to an "accurate" and efficient system. Apparently The Skinny is unaware that the punchcard system used throughout Arizona is the most widely used system in the country and, further, that the second most popular system is the lever machine which Arizona replaced with punchcards over 20 years ago.
I'm sure that even Mr. Skinny would agree that, in voting, accuracy and security are the top concerns and should never be risked for the sake of "efficiency." Voting is a conservative, often ponderous process which, in addition to being accurate and secure, must enjoy the faith of the electorate. Therefore, the latest high-tech gadgetry may well be inappropriate for the electoral process no matter how wonderful it may appear to theorists.
Arizona's punchcard system, which includes the laws that govern its operation, is highly proven, extremely accurate and reliable. Not only has Jim Shumway been instrumental in the success of this system throughout his career, but he has gained national recognition and respect as an impartial elections authority as well. The punchcard system is an effective marriage between the computer's ability to tabulate and the comforting palpability of ballot cards and is far from "obsolete."
Given the recent fiasco perpetrated by the inept team now sent to the showers, the presence of an individual of the stature of Jim Shumway should be seen as the positive development it is.
--Gerald W. Porter
To the Editor:
Regarding the letter "Lock 'Em Up" (Tucson Weekly, April 13): It mainly refers to child molesters but The Weekly should be ashamed at printing such a juvenile knee-jerk letter.
The people who talk like that are the TV-educated, politically brainwashed illiterates who have obviously found the means to be self-righteously indignant. All very satisfying for them but so absolutely unintelligent.
We have more people in prison than any country in the world. It costs three to six million dollars to execute a person. Everyone wants to get tough on crime and it makes no difference. Recidivism is at 65 percent.
We are warehousing our citizens and calling them "those people." They are us.
Child molestation is an almost incurable disease. In a recent case in Pima County, an educated man, a child molester served ten years, was waiting on a bench in the courthouse while his lawyer spoke to the parole officer. He molested a young boy sitting on the same bench. These people are sick. Lock him up, yes, but with compassion and treatment.
Before writing letters such as "Lock 'Em Up," the author should read a little penology and The Weekly should publish more intelligent letters, not these clichés mimicked from politicians.
If anyone reading this has been molested, I ask them to go past their anger and look at the system. One day our attitude to child molestation, gay discrimination, drug related crime and crime in general will be compared to witch-burning.
To the Editor:
I need to say that your film reviewer, Zachary Woodruff, is among the most amateurish I have ever read. It is quite obvious that he knows nothing about filmmaking; his comments are on the level of "It was cool, I liked it," or "I don't like this actor, he sucks." I should think it would be an embarrassment for a publication that claims to be an intelligent alternative to the daily newspapers to publish such an ignorant, sophomoric reviewer. Your food reviewer knows about food, and your theatre about theatre: why should your film reviews be on this 11-year-old level?
He also routinely gives away the plot and the endings of films, which is infuriating. Two weeks ago he revealed the relationships of the characters in Exotica, when the whole point of the film, whether you liked it or not, was in the mystery of those relationships. In his Heavenly Creatures review ("Crazed Crime," Tucson Weekly, April 13), he writes, "We aren't sure whether we're supposed to laugh, tremble or shake our heads..." Woodruff's idea of a good film is one that tells you exactly what to think and feel so you don't have to use your brain.
To the Editor:
It is time for the gutless liberals to support Mr. States' Rights and his merry band of legislators. They have made a big deal about "removing the yoke of the federal government," so we should demand he do it.
First, demand the federal government remove all of its military bases from the state of Arizona. It is sinful to have private citizens of Arizona and business making a profit from the demons Mr. States Rights love to call "big time liberal government." Send these bases back to the Eastern Establishment of liberalism.
Next have the courage to remove all big-time liberal funding from the state-run schools. Don't touch those research dollars or Special Education dollars. It is the liberal government trying to control our lives. More importantly, Arizona has one of the worst graduation rates in the country, so I'm sure the removal of all satanistic funds from the mother of liberalism should drastically increase the study habits of our young.
Then we must remove all building funds for prisons. Let's turn back all rehabilitation funds, drug funds and other goodies available for equipment. Then maybe our court system and politically motivated, prosecutorial hacks will deal honestly with the thousands of petty offenders, instead of building an industry growth program in prisons.
There are many things the merry band can do. No money for roads from the feds, no money for floods, or other major problems, no children's funds.
I ask Fifo, Newto and Rusho to stand up and walk the talk, because their common bond is family values; and you cannot deny it. Between them they have seven marriages. See: a new definition of "family values."
--Rags the Convict
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