Not a Fan of the UA Freedom Center

Thanks to Tim Vanderpool, the nascent UA Freedom Center is exposed for what it really is: an Orwellian nightmare of double-speak and insidious mind control ("Freedom From Regulation?" Currents, May 5).

This is nothing new in America; the headlines are full of stories exposing "scientific" drug trials funded by Big Pharma, and we just learned about university executives in the pockets of banks and brokerage firms doing "independent research" on economic trends. Buyer beware, indeed.

But perhaps this comes as a particular shock to those of us who felt that somehow our own alma mater held to a slightly higher standard. Is this the new normal, where pseudo-science mocks legitimate rigorous research, and outfits like the Mercatus Center muddy the water of lively debate by waving money at whoever is unscrupulous enough to grab it?

As an education professional myself, I have no decent words to describe how David Schmidtz's professed aim, to "not only to produce the teachers, but the materials that are getting taught," makes me feel. Let's just say it's the opposite of warm and fuzzy. Mr. Schmidtz, if you feel justified to indoctrinate and co-opt teachers, and disseminate texts that scaffold untruths, you must truly be an adherent to personal freedom—your own.

Alexander J. Kouvel

A Fan of Nuke Power

This is my response to Randy Serraglio's April 14 column, and a letter by Russell J. Lowes from April 28.

The following is a quote from a founder of Greenpeace and chairman of Greenspirit Strategies of Vancouver, Canada: "If the U.S. is to meet its ever-increasing demands for energy, while reducing the threats of climate change and reliance on overseas oil, then the American nuclear industry must be revitalized and permitted to grow." (Testimony by Patrick Moore before the Subcommittee on Energy and Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives, April 28, 2005.)

While I endorse the need for the development of alternative energy sources as well as the need for increased energy conservation, I agree completely with Mr. Moore. I believe that any remaining problems of nuclear power will not be difficult to solve, and that they are much less severe than the serious problems of fossil fuels.

David L. Hetrick, professor emeritus of nuclear engineering

A Fan of Gabrielle Giffords

What a pity it takes getting shot to become popular ("Giffords on the Rise," The Skinny, May 12). Rep. Gabrielle Giffords already had enough merit to enjoy her popularity ratings. Based on her tireless performance on Capitol Hill for good causes and her basic goodness, she should have beaten Jesse Kelly by at least 57-43. Recall that half of those who cast votes fell for a man who advertised, "Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

The same thing happened to President Kennedy's approval rating. He barely beat Richard Nixon, but after his assassination, he became a cultural icon. What's wrong with us that we don't appreciate what is good until it is taken away from us?

William Winkelman

Not a Fan of Government-Promoted Prayer

It is unfortunate that a Baptist, Harry Truman, established a National Day of Prayer (Messina, May 5). Baptists from their early history were staunch opponents to government being entangled in religion. For so many, this concept has gone by the board, and as you point out, it would be well for government—be it Democrat or Republican—to keep hands off of religious matters.

Rev. James Logan, minister emeritus, Catalina American Baptist Church

Not a Fan of the Coffee Party

I attended seven weekly meetings at the Coffee Party of Northwest Tucson (Messina, April 21). I went thinking, "Oh boy, we are going to kick some serious Republican butt here in Tucson, and maybe boot Frank Antenori and Al Melvin."

Ha. Forget it. The little lady running the chapter is very committed to the marching orders she has been given by the national headquarters: Be civil; don't fight.

I created their first program and got Rodney Glassman to come speak. But they weren't interested in my vote counts showing how we could get closer to the Republican candidates.

The Tea Party is not about civility; they are about winning, no matter what lie you have to tell. They are out to kick our asses at the ballot box. And they did it in 2011. Gabby had a narrow victory over a dork who should not even have gotten close.

The Coffee Party's name suggests that it's a response to the Tea Party. But it's not. They have their own agenda—of civility at all costs.

We need either an Espresso Coffee Party or a Double Dry Martini Party. We need to find the right candidates, and we need to win some more Democratic seats in the state Legislature.

Earl Wettstein


"Battered State" (May 12) incorrectly reported that state Sen. Frank Antenori amended a bill to strip county workers outside of Maricopa County of civil-service protections. The amendment to HB 2650 (which was vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer) was actually proposed by Rep. David Gowan.

We apologize for the error.

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