The Proposed RTA Tax Is Not Really Regressive

Concerning the Regional Transportation Authority's half-cent sales tax: Quit whining and fretting about how it's "regressive" ("The Dissenting Voice," April 20)! If you don't have a car and can't get to a job because the bus doesn't run late/early/often/far enough, you aren't making any money, anyway!

I'm a Sun Tran bus driver, and 100 percent of the low-income people I've talked to would rather pay the tax than not even be able to get a paycheck. They can't afford to buy much more than the necessities, and food and prescriptions aren't subject to the tax.

It's only the affluent who are able to buy big-ticket items and lots of "stuff" constantly that would notice such a little tax. Everyone who really cares about the poor should support the RTA, which would enable people with more job options.

Christina Moodie

Mental-Health Bonds Are a Good Investment for Taxpayers

On May 16, there is a bond election in Tucson that is very relevant, although few people will bother to go to the polls and cast their ballots .

As a person with a chronic mental illness, I urge you to go vote for the bonds that will facilitate an urgent-care psychiatric unit at Kino Hospital ("Mental Money," Currents, April 27).

My grandmother died in a state mental institution; there was no medication to help manage her bipolar condition. As I got older, I realized that I had the same condition, and the symptoms became more and more severe. I went back and forth across the United States and sought help in many locations from Tucson to Atlantic City and back.

After 27 years, I finally got the proper diagnosis and now take medication that enables me to have a modicum of a normal life. You taxpayers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping me in jails and prisons. Now it costs you way less to deal with me, because I am given the proper medication and have access to recovery groups and day programs that enable me to have a life. It took a long time, but I am grateful, and I hope that enough enlightened people vote for the bonds. In the long run, they'll save the taxpayers significant funds and also give other mentally ill people a chance at a bit of a life.

Cletis Harry Beegle

This Letter's So Stunning That We Could Not Come Up With a Witty Headline

I read the article "Rally Repercussions" (Currents, April 20) on the Internet.

First of all, the premise of these rallies infuriates American citizens--LAWBREAKERS MARCHING in the streets WE BUILT with our taxes--telling US that they are going to break our laws.

You have a riled-up American citizen nation. Trust me on this! To the open-border demonstrators--AMERICANS across this nation are PISSED OFF.

Sure, not a lot of violence has occurred at these marches--as long as the American citizens have not shown up. But let American citizens show their faces and demonstrate THEIR stance, and violence--not "scuffles"--will erupt.

If these open-border people want to demonstrate, they should be renting stadiums, because as it is, American taxpayers are forced to pay for the lawbreakers to march in OUR cities! We have to pay for the police, the city to clean up the trash, the ambulances, etc.

And what do the open-border protesters THINK is going to happen when they flaunt their lawlessness in the face of the American public? Well, a Roy Warden is going to rise up and burn the foreign Mexican flag they are waving in American citizens' faces!

I think these marches by illegal aliens are a disgrace. It is a mockery of U.S. law. Immigration authorities ought to set up checkpoints and arrest and deport ANY illegal alien who DARES to march on a U.S. street! They should be humanely put in vehicles and returned their home country IMMEDIATELY. How DARE they march in OUR U.S. streets.

As for Roy Warden, it is a miracle there are not tens of thousands of Roy Wardens doing what he does, because--trust me--millions upon millions and millions of American citizens are cheering Roy Warden on!!!!

Robin Hvidston

Those Horses Are Feral, Not Wild

In her letter ("Cattle, Ranchers Don't Belong on Public Land; Coyotes Do," Mailbag, April 13), Nylene Schoellhorn tells us that ranchers "are not educated biologists or wildlife experts." Probably true in most, but certainly not all, cases.

After that little shot, she goes on to bemoan the rounding up of "wild horses" in Nevada, where she probably recently arrived at from California or the East Coast. This is precious, since we all know (don't we?) that those horses are not wild. They're feral horses and burros that need to be permanently removed from our public lands. If you've never seen what horses can do to a landscape, imagine a large herd of 1,000-pound goats.

While I agree with the thrust of your letter, Nylene, you need to become a little more familiar with the ecosystem before you sound off.

Steve Meiller

We Interrupt Our 'Kumbaya' Singing to Bring You This Letter

Although it certainly wouldn't hurt the Democrats to follow Dave Saunders' suggestion to drop the gun-control issue and leave it to the states and local governments to decide, it really isn't that big of a political issue anymore, especially since Sept. 11 (Downing, April 20). Very few national politicians, except for extreme far-lefties like Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer and Charles Schumer, even bring up the subject anymore.

For Saunders to suggest that it would have that much of an impact implies that the average Republican is a tobacco chewin', Confederate-flag wavin', pickup drivin' redneck yahoo, shootin' his assault rifle out the window at pygmy owls. Maybe that's how Downing views most Republicans, but that kind of stereotype is no more valid than the average Democrat being a Birkenstock wearin', pot smokin', hand-wringin' pinko singing "Kumbaya" under a tree.

Saunders' suggestion that we open the national parks to hunting is ridiculous! I know of no one who would advocate such a policy. Plus, Why does Downing even devote one column inch of space to what an idiot like KFYI's Brian James says? People like Brian James, Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are professional trolls. Getting liberals fired up with over-the-top rhetoric is their schtick. Yeah, I agree that suggesting the shooting of illegals on the public airwaves is pretty stupid, whether he was kidding or not, because there's always some imbecile out there who would take him seriously. I really put no more credence in what these right-wing pundits have to say anymore than I do in Dolores Huerta's stupid rant that "Republicans hate Latinos!"

Rick Zwibel

One Last (We Hope) Letter on Bugs in Soy Milk

After reading about how Peggy Raisglid was duped by corporate America into serving animal products against her will ("Bug Juice," Currents, April 6), I'm less troubled by the lack of labeling than her unabashed ignorance of her menu item's ingredients. To believe that the owner and operator of a retail business purporting to offer strictly vegetarian/vegan fare was duped by Trader Joe's, Pacific Foods or the Food and Drug Administration is incredible! The real victims here are those unsuspecting patrons (myself included) who may have unwittingly consumed animal products while dining at her establishment. If she's been serving insects all this time, what else has she been unknowingly feeding her customers?

Hiding behind the manufacturer, the retailer and the FDA doesn't absolve her from her role in this. Rather than pass the buck, she should re-familiarize herself with the ingredients of her fare so that this doesn't happen again.

Michael Rice

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