Tucson Deserves Better Than an Anti-GOP Conspiracy

I actually think Jimmy Boegle should resign for this one.

I'm outraged that you let that puff piece from Randy Serraglio run without massive disclaimers (Guest Commentary, May 11). How can you make the slightest claim to impartiality after letting something like that show up in the paper?

Great, you mentioned having some discomfort with the article in your own column, and feigned impartiality by offering up your hard-hitting coverage of KXCI ("Conspiracy Theories," Editor's Note, May 11). Bullshit. Would you have offered such a cushy space to a report on someone coming to town claiming space aliens were behind Sept. 11? At this point, why not, except, presumably, you don't have an ax to grind with extraterrestrials?

Let me guess: Steven Jones is winding his way across the country on tour, getting equally "impartial" write-ups in "independent" (read: unabashedly Democratic) news media venues as he goes. Nice. If that doesn't fit the definition of a conspiracy, I'm not sure what does.

That was wildly irresponsible of you. Childish even. Tucson deserves better.

David Frisch

Seniors Deserve Better Than This Medicare Drug Mess

What a ridiculous mess ("Co-Pay Problems," Currents, May 11). I went to my pharmacy and got a 20-some-page printout of the various programs from various drug companies. It's impossible to decipher, so any decision is questionable.

Also, at 67, I am presently covered by my company's health plan. With the lifetime non-registration penalty, when I am no longer covered by that plan, my premiums will skyrocket.

The Medicare drug program was written by drug companies to put corporate greed before seniors' needs. It's far too costly, controlling and confusing, and millions of seniors have been unable, or unwilling, to sign up. The May 15 deadline and lifetime penalties are unfair, and should be canceled. Instead of penalizing seniors, Congress should fix the program so it puts seniors' health first.

John Kamper

Tucsonans Deserve Better Than This Transportation System

While the sales tax for transportation idea has its heart in the right place, there needs to be some equalization of priorities ("The Proposed RTA Tax Is Not Really Regressive," Mailbag, May 11).

1. Car transportation is becoming prohibitively expensive, with gasoline exceeding $3 per gallon, cars selling for $20,000-plus and insurance rates taking the last of your hard-earned dollars.

2. Public transportation doesn't provide environmental controls (read: air conditioning) from the home to the bus stop, at the bus stop and from the bus stop to your final destination.

The first step in creating a reasonable transportation system in Tucson: Rezone high population density corridors that will support public, environmentally controlled transportation. Make those who choose to live and work outside these manageable corridors pay for the privilege (and environmental drain).

Bob Atkinson

Our War Veterans Deserve Better, Period

I salute Steven Schwartz, author of a full-page letter (paid advertisement) in the May 11 Tucson Weekly. Only the best are willing and able to grow by evaluating new information and changing their positions accordingly. Only the very best are willing and able to do so publicly. Mr. Schwartz is one of the very best.

Mr. Schwartz stands in stark contrast to our president, who insists that more American soldiers must die simply because some already have. Visualize a bus carrying 50 of our soldiers, careening wildly across a desert. Three fall off the bus and are killed. Those three deaths neither require nor justify blindly driving the bus over a 1,000-foot cliff. Killing the remaining 47 mocks rather than honors the original casualties.

Cindy Sheehan asked a simple question of our president: What is the noble cause for which my son died? Cindy deserves but has never received an answer. If Bush cannot answer her simple question, he has no right to require that our troops stay in Iraq and die.

Three years after our attack, the infrastructure of Iraq is in shambles, with thousands of people still without potable water or electricity. Fuel rationing is in effect, and oil is imported. Thousands have died, and many thousands more have been displaced. Many live in daily fear for their lives, as a result of an accelerating civil war. In Iraq, we failed to accomplish any of our stated objectives. In other words, we lost. Our military presence is now part of the problem rather than a solution.

Contrary to what Bush would have us believe, it is, in fact, possible to support our troops while opposing the war, his fumbling leadership, Dick Cheney's arrogance and Donald Rumsfeld's incompetence. I submit that patriotic citizens have a duty to do so. Our only issue is how to best support our troops and honor the fallen.

The health of our soldiers should be our paramount issue. In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the Pentagon still refuses to admit that widespread use of "depleted" uranium shells has poisoned people. Bush has responded to this evidence by proposing decreased funding for Veterans Affairs hospitals. His is the only government in the world that treats their finest as expendable and throws away disabled veterans like so much trash. Some fourth-rate tin-pot dictators are more humane.

We suffered only 167 fatal combat casualties during the first Gulf War. Our soldiers were young and in excellent health. Yet, out of 580,400 soldiers who served in Gulf War I, more than 11,000 are now dead.

Only 467 U.S. personnel were wounded in the first war. Yet the VA states that, as of six years ago, 325,000 were on permanent medical disability. According to the VA, 518,739 vets are now on medical disability, and 181,996 are receiving service-related disability pensions.

Among other symptoms, those vets still pass radioactive urine. And semen. A VA study of 251 families in Mississippi found that 67 percent of the soldiers who returned from the first Gulf War begat children with severe illnesses or deformities.

The first Gulf War lasted three weeks. This war has gone on for more than three years, and five times as much uranium weaponry was used. The effects on our soldiers in this war will be much worse.

I submit we should honor our fallen by supporting those still standing by providing the health care they need and deserve. And by bringing them home. Now.

Charles J. Simpson

Our War Effort Deserves Better Than an 'Ahem'

It's nice to display a sense of humor, and sarcasm can work with especially good effect. But for Tom Danehy (May 18) to trivialize the war effort with a sarcastic "ahem" is to be living in a fantasy world.

It's ridiculous not to recognize the gravity of the situation we're in. It came home for most Americans on Sept. 11. Our enemy, with its chants of "death to America," has been deadly serious at least since the Iranian embassy takeover in 1979. But for some, another crater (may God forbid) in a major American metropolis might not even be enough.

President Bush was excoriated by leftists such as Tom for not "connecting the dots" before Sept. 11. Now Tom is skewering Sen. Jon Kyl for even wanting to look for dots!

Tom's statement about his November ballot notwithstanding, it's obvious that he won't be voting for Senator Kyl this fall. But if he did, he'd be choosing a man who takes our safety seriously.

Barney Brenner

Finally, Danehy Gets Some Fan Mail

From your headline ("Thank heavens Jon Kyl knows what's good for us!"), I was ready to scream. I thought: How could you be so stupid?

But after reading on, of course, I loved the column. I doubt whether Jon Kyl reads the Weekly, so I don't suppose he will see the column, but he should.

I, too, cheered for Qwest.

Ren Davis

Another Letter From a Rabid Fan Who Thinks Keanu Deserves Better

Does Keanu Reeves really have fans? You betcha, more than you can imagine ("A Movie Home Companion," May 4). It makes you cringe, doesn't it, to know that millions of people out there don't agree with your hateful, idiotic opinion of Keanu, and will pay good money to see him in movies.

Just how do you think he's continued to work for more than 20 years? And with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, all of whom have nothing but respect and good words about Mr. Reeves, as a person and actor? I think they know just a tad more about talent than you nobody critics. You have such a dislike for him that you attack his work before a movie comes out. It's an automatic thing with you jerks.

Honestly, after all these years, it's a big YAWN and very predictable. Luckily, there have been some critics of late that have busted out of the bash-Keanu routine and given him due praise. They have some original thoughts instead of the usual garbage that you and your kind spew.

If you don't like his work, fine, but at least don't be a classless low-life loser and insult him the way you have. That is so uncalled for, and shows the lack of character in you.

Enjoy your little newspaper column or whatever it is you write for; you are NOTHING.

Jean Rea

Laine Lawless: I Deserved Better Than The Skinny

I'm outraged by the way Jim Nintzel handled the slanderous Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) hit piece on me, assuming that every word in it was true ("Lawless Territory," The Skinny, April 27). Both he and Susy Buchanan have the same flippant, smart-ass attitudes when it comes to blithely destroying people's reputations.

Nintzel e-mailed me the SPLC story (which is not the story on the Web site now, as SPLC has taken it out and dry-cleaned it so many times), and I refuted many points which were obvious lies. Of course, none of those were even mentioned in his column, much less elucidated.

I have gone on KVOA Channel 4 and denied that I sent the suspect e-mail supposedly linking me to the National Socialist Movement. I still deny it, as I deny the other allegations used by the morally twisted SPLC in their quest to smear all patriots and whip up hysteria to get more money from leftist donors. They have deliberately sensationalized every aspect in my life, even going so far as to "out" me as a lesbian, which is not relevant in any way to their "report."

How do the words "lesbian-Nazi" go together? Any gay person understands why this is an absurdity! The homophobic Nazis certainly don't want me, and apparently neither do the gays, as my exercise of free speech interferes with their politically correct views.

The SPLC has been caught with its pants down in obvious smear jobs before, and its reporting is suspect and cannot be taken as fact. One can find many criticisms of their tactics from a variety of different sources, for example:

"There are many cases in my files where organizations targeted by the SPLC strongly dispute the characterizations of them that have appeared in SPLC publications. ... The SPLC has been caught in so many exaggerations and misrepresentations that one must concede that their own record in this regard is poor." The Watchdogs, second edition, Laird Wilcox, 1999, p. 55.

"He's (SPLC co-founder Morris Dees) not immoral, he's amoral. ... I hesitate to say the words that I want to say because they sound so far out, but I really think the center--in so far as Morris embodies the center--is evil. ... They pretend to be on the side that has moral underpinnings (but) they do damage by their dishonesty." Dan Morse, "Marketing the Klan," Montgomery Advertiser, November 1994.

Border Guardians is not an extremist or hate group; in fact, our defense of American sovereignty is in sync with the views of the 80 percent of American citizens who are opposed to illegal immigration. My only reward in having burned the Mexican flag is the knowledge that I have really touched the nerve of the open borders lobby.

I'm sure that many people in Tucson now believe the SPLC's lies, because they have been repeated multiple times. It's too bad they neglected to mention the numerous threats on my life, in both English and Spanish, that I've gotten from real haters. Who are these people who threaten my life? Are they gang members, friends of the open borders lobby or just mental cases? Some of them have cited the SPLC article as what whipped them into a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy. Are they the kind of people who seek to silence someone by assassination for exercising her right to free speech? Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I intend to continue living, and speaking freely, and anyone who physically attacks me will be met with legally justified deadly force.

The possibility always exists that there are some weak-minded individuals sorely lacking in critical thinking skills who might "go off" without getting all the facts. Unfortunately, the damage to my reputation will have to take a back seat to the mission of defending American sovereignty for now.

Laine Lawless

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