Where do we draw the line?

Dear Editor:

Imams all over our nation and the world are preaching against our national virtues of freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The mainstream media and some politicians support them. Support those who would destroy us? What happened to common sense?

Nothing much is said about our freedom of speech, or our freedom of religion, or that our flag is being burned by Muslims all over the world. Or that our Holy Bible is burned or confiscated by Muslims if it's taken into their countries by members of the Judeo-Christian faith.

Nothing is said about the fact it's impossible to build a church or a synagogue in a Muslim nation. No, those fine Muslim folks are definitely not hate-filled zealots who riot and kill in the streets over a cartoon of Mohammad while shouting "Death to America" (they're only doing the bidding of the Qur'an). That appellation is reserved only for the Jews and the Christians -the "unbelievers" who quietly go about their daily business without saying much about the situation.

Such is the mantle of political correctness that is the spawn of multiculturalism. When will it become politically correct for the infidel (Jews and Christians) to resist the Muslim supremacists? Kinda makes ya wonder about our crazy upside down world in the U. S., don't it?

Don Kennedy

Learn from mistakes

Dear Editor:

First we had the Gulf oil spill, and now we have another explosion of an oil rig off the coast. I'm not going to cry out that we need moratoriums and bans. I'm also not going to cry out that we should punish the oil industry with obscene penalties and taxes. What I am going to say is that we as a country need to accept that oil is needed for us to maintain the way of life we have come to know, and that we should be crying out to make offshore exploration and production as safe as possible. We cannot miss the point of these accidents. We must look forward to make sure these mistakes are not going to happen again.

Judy Asando

Protect the interests of taxpayers

Dear Editor:

I read the Sept. 10 article ("The latest citizen sacrifice: Hikers") by Councilman Sal DiCiccio where he noted that 14,000 union-represented workers average $100,000 a year in compensation. I assume that DiCiccio is throwing out the "red herring" of union represented worker means the blue collar worker? Blaming a target group - unions for example - is always an effective tactic if the premise of your attack lacks complete validity. Where I believe DiCiccio's statement that union workers make $100,000 per annum lacks validity (note, further on in the article he backpedals on that claim so I am not sure he knows what he is talking about) is the fact that DiCiccio has neglected to or never informed the public about other city employees' salaries. According to the city of Phoenix salary database, there are 257 city of Phoenix employees who make an average salary of $120,250 per year. The total cost to city of Phoenix taxpayers for this group of 257 employees is a whopping $63-plus-million per year. If you Goggle, "salaries of Phoenix Public Officials" you will find the complete list and it is very interesting reading.

The people who work for the various departments of the Arizona state government recently took a 5 percent salary decrease (2.75 percent pay cut and 2.25 percent mandatory furloughs). Maybe it's time Phoenix taxpayers impose a salary reduction for city of Phoenix employees who make more than $100,000 per year. I would hope DiCiccio would push through legislation to address out of control salaries and protect the interests of taxpayers.

William W. Thurber

Solution to parking problem

Dear Editor:

I have been reading your articles on parking at the trail head for South Mountain Park. My wife and I just moved to Phoenix from Minnesota. Minnesota parks have a real simple program: Pay $20, get an annual sticker for your car windshield, and you are set to park at any site for a year. I think this would be a much easier system for everyone. We hike the Telegraph and Desert Classic trails multiple times a week and would gladly pay a $20 annual fee to help support the parks and city.

Richard Birkhold

Wish Griffin would give details

Dear Editor:

You can always count on C.W. Griffin to rant ("Tax cuts for the rich benefit the rich," AFN, Oct. 20) about tax cuts for the "rich." Even though the GOP leadership indicated long ago that they'd go along with leaving the Bush tax cuts in place, except for the rich.

I'm curious what Griffin thinks the rich do with their money? Spend it in the economy, creating jobs? Oooops! I forgot that Griffin is of that crowd who thinks the government can spend our money more wisely than we can ... make more government jobs. Of course the Democrats pulled a fast one and failed to bring renewal of the tax cuts to the floor, yet we will blame Republicans. And you "ordinary" people will see your withholding jump 50 percent come January. Enjoy!

But, in a way, I have to hand it to Obama, he's found a way to hasten his ascendency to dictator ... print money, but give it out only to teachers' unions and government workers. Creates nasty inflation and devalues the ordinary guy's income.

Griffin always talks in generalities, no specifics. Griffin, how about some numerics ... debt at end of Bush regime, debt now, likewise private-sector employment numbers.

Griffin also fails to tell us how the FDR regime (who Obama seems to want to emulate) was downhill every inch of the excess spending way. Only WWII saved the day and pulled unemployment from the 15 to 20 percent range back to zero in less than a year. That sort of thing might save our economy again, except Pakistan and Iran will now have the bomb, and we may well lose. Obama has already indicated how he doesn't like the sight of blood. For a hilarious demonstration of our "medium well" president, surf on the web for Bobby Flay trying to teach Obama to grill a steak.

Jim Thompson

Just a misunderstanding

Dear Editor:

I feel compelled to respond to Tatum Padilla's letter to the editor ("Sadly mistaken about ‘fat people,'" AFN, Sept. 3). She misunderstood. I intended to deliver a wakeup call to people using time/money as an excuse to postpone getting healthy. It was not my intention to anger anyone - particularly her, given that she belongs to a gym and is working on her health.

I have never claimed that a person has to spend money to get healthy, nor have I ever claimed that a personal trainer is a requisite to health. I assure Padilla the impetus behind my columns is either free, honest information or motivation. If someone chooses to reach out to me for additional support, that's wonderful and I'm happy for the opportunity - but it has never been an expectation.

I also want to assure her there are plenty of people walking around very deep in denial about their health. I worry for them - not their aesthetics, their health. I've seen what decades of denial can do and it's not pretty. I actually do care about people. If I didn't, I would have a different job.

Oh... and I triple re-read the column and nowhere could I find me calling anyone "fat people" or "fat person" as she quoted. What I did say was "look, s/he's fatter" referring to how some people avoid taking action because someone else is bigger so they must not have a problem. I think that's different than what she was insinuating.

Shannon Sorrels

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