The definition of liberal

Dear Editor:

Chuck Rogér's magnificent commentary on liberals ("Seven hang-ups of highly effective liberals," AFN, May 7) provokes me to offer my own definition.

Liberal: The result of combining ignorance, superstition, guilt and fear of one's own shadow with the promise of a supernatural being (big government) that will make you feel good irrespective of your inadequacy.

I understand that they are also known to accept carbon credits in lieu of tithing.

Jim Thompson


Suggestion for rebuilding city coffers

Dear Editor:

So, all Valley cities are complaining about budget shortfalls and are having to cut back on services provided to taxpayers.

Let me offer one suggestion that might help rebuild some of those coffers. Ever since the heavy rains of this past winter season, the weeds/wildflowers have grown out of control all over the East Valley (and the West Valley, I'm sure). Surprisingly, to me, many properties, both residential and business, continue to expose this over growth unchecked. It is grossly unsightly and falls under the definition of blight.

All Valley cities have a neighborhood services division of some sort. These departments should go out and cite property owners for the specific violation and order immediate cleanup or face fines. Since the properties have been let go to look rundown for this long, I would assume the owners are too lazy to clean them up. Therefore, the fines should build up rather quickly and, upon collection, the cities would have a rather hefty new source of income to help fund other necessary services and cutbacks could be minimal.

Just a suggestion.

Charles T. Whaller


Our country has a long way to go

Dear Editor:

I am an 81-year-old vet with 27 years of active duty. I strongly feel that this country has a long way to go before we realize the freedoms we so loudly espouse.

U.S. history, for me, is a big case of, "We talk the talk but don't walk the walk." There has been a lack of freedom since the beginning of our history. Our Constitution and Bill of Rights was written by well-meaning men who, because of their religion and education, didn't truly realize that black people were human beings. Many, including at least one president, fathered children from their female slaves. Various religious sects have disavowed one another from the beginning. Catholics were feared and mistreated until Kennedy was elected. We screwed the Native Americans and many Mexicans out of their land. The only people who realized the American dream, until about 60 years ago, were white Protestant males.

This is a great country and I love it, but it is not the one I really wish for. We need to get religion out of politics. Religious faith has, and still is, killing more people than most serious epidemics. We need to start, here and around the world, an educational system that teaches the "big bang" and evolution are real. When mankind accepts the fact that the supernatural start of this universe and mankind is not the God of the Torah, the Koran, the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, we may be on the way to peace.

It is going to happen. Unfortunately, it will take generations and millions more will die for their faith before it does.

Faith is belief in something for which there is no proof. Faith is a killer. Christians killing Muslims through faith - not logical or reasonable. Christians killing each other over differences in Dogma. Faith is not logical or reasonable. Cults are only possible because of faith.

Lt. Col. Larry J. Kluth, retired U.S. Air Force


Bias coverage of Pumpkin incident?

Dear Editor:

Is there no end to the bias of your writer Doug Murphy regarding the Pumpkin incident?

Although your paper has been corrected more than once, anything on the subject reads that Pumpkin "attacked an Ahwatukee Foothills woman."

Again, Christene Meyers was bitten as a result of an attack on her dog. My daughter was also bitten by one of Meyers' Yorkies, but that is rarely ever reported.

In his first article headlined as "Dog mauling," Murphy never contacted us for information. He referred to Pumpkin, a female, as "he" and to Jamie's "three pit bulls," which is inaccurate and has since been corrected.

In the May 14 article, he describes me as "bitter at the legal process ... despite a two-day hearing."

Murphy was in the courtroom sitting with Meyers and Animal Control, therefore, he well knows that the hearing was not a two-day process. It was set for 2 p.m. on May 1, but started late and ended at 5 p.m. to reconvene at 9 a.m. the following day, but started late again. At around 11 a.m., Judge Ybarra announced she had to leave at 11:30 to go to her daughter's graduation and wouldn't return until May 13.

That amounts to approximately one-half day in court. This can be verified through court records.

My daughter's three dogs had been impounded because Animal Control said they didn't know which one bit Meyers. Initially, no one seemed to be sure. But, interestingly enough, as time went on, everyone became sure it was the pit bull.

My daughter, Jamie, who had already cashed in her 401K and was broke, was paying $100 per day in shelter fees, and Judge Ybarra had to leave for 13 days before she could make a decision.

But Ybarra made a decision that afternoon outside the courtroom and relayed it by phone, or fax, or whatever, and we had no chance to plead for a different outcome other than death for Pumpkin.

So with regard to Murphy's description of me as "bitter" at the legal process, I wonder who wouldn't be?

If the articles in your paper left any doubt of bias against Pumpkin, then your scathing "pit bull" editorial cinched it (AFN, May 9, "Pit bulls unfit as family pets," a staff perspective by Emily Behrendt). I, too, was outraged at the suggestion any dog should be kept on a chain. Twenty years ago, my hometown outlawed chaining dogs and municipalities across the country request copies of our law. Recently, celebrity Bill Maher has been active for no-chain laws in California.

One last observance: on the day of Pumpkin's death, Jamie received notice she was being sued by Meyers and I find it interesting that you have reported Pumpkin's incident and euthanasia widely, but no mention of the lawsuit.

I also find it interesting that the lawyer for Meyers is a weekly advertiser in your publication.

Deloris Delluomo

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