America Should Be Sharing Its God-Given Blessings MoreThe truth is that God has blessed America (Guest Commentary, July 20). With that blessing, God expects us to be a blessing to others. I think you would be hard-pressed to find another country that comes to the aid of distressed countries at their time of need. I don't have the figures, but I'm sure we give more dollars to other countries, and if you had the percentage of giving, I believe it would be higher than that of any other country.
I do believe that we are spending too much of the blessings on ourselves. It is time for Americans to live a simpler life and put more effort into helping those less fortunate, in America or the rest of the world.
Duane E. Johnson
Tucson: Still Cool, Still Has Cheap RentsJim Nintzel wants us to be alarmed about the Forbes.com study that ranks Tucson the seventh-most-overpriced place in the United States. There are a few problems with The Range's rant ("Value Judgments," July 20).
For one, Forbes.com based our overpriced ranking on a median home price in Tucson of $248,600. The June 2006 median sale price for all types of residential properties, according to the Tucson Association of Realtors, which probably knows more about this than Forbes, was $225,000. The highest median sale price we have ever seen in Tucson was in February 2006, when it was $227,000.
Jim really goes off the deep end when he announces in bold type, "If you're a Tucson resident, you probably won't even be able to afford rent soon."
Rent was not discussed in the Forbes article, and Jim's claim is just unfounded. On July 21, 2005, the Arizona Daily Star ran an article from The Associated Press that stated Tucson's rents are the lowest in metro West. Tucson's average rent was $619, which was up 0.3 percent over the previous year. The highest rent, $1,419, was in Los Angeles/Orange County, which was up 6.2 percent over the previous year.
The Star also published another article from the AP on July 20, 2006, stating the average rent in Tucson is now $633, up 2.3 percent from last year.
For some reason, Jim seems to have assumed that an increase in house sale prices leads to an increase in house rent prices. Show us your numbers, Jim.
The most obvious error in The Range was Jim's suggestion that San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and Honolulu are cooler than Tucson. There's absolutely no way he's going to convince me of that, even if he did have the numbers to back it up. Tucson's cool factor is without equal.
Kolbe: Penny Wise, Pound FoolishCongressman Jim Kolbe has introduced legislation to end the manufacture of the penny ("Penny Ante," The Range, July 27). He claims that minting the penny burdens the taxpayer by $20 million a year, because it costs 1.4 cents to manufacture each penny.
Kolbe voted for almost $250 billion of taxpayer money to be spent on Iraq. Some of it has gone into a great black hole of graft and corruption, never to be seen again.
Mr. Congressman, do you know how many $20 millions there are in $250 billion? Kolbe knows his pennies--it's his billions he doesn't seem to have any grasp of.
Tuttle Needs to Recognize All the Good Coming From IsraelWhile there are some things in Connie Tuttle's article I agree with, and some I disagree with, she ends with a zinger that is absolutely untrue: "... besides oil and bloodbaths--what can we expect from that part of the world?" (Tuttle, Aug. 3).
There is one tiny multiethnic country (the size of Pima County) in "that part of the world" which unfortunately has no oil to export, but it exports plenty. Consider the following: The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola; most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel; voicemail technology was developed in Israel; Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized no-radiation diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer; the first ingestible video camera, so small that it fits inside a pill, was developed by an Israeli company; and the ClearLight acne treatment device, which destroys acne bacteria without damaging surrounding skin or tissue, was also developed there.
Please also consider that Israel is the only country in the world that entered the 21st century with a net gain in the number of trees, made more remarkable because this was achieved in a mainly arid area. It also has more museums per capita than any other country.
Imagine what other benefits we all would have received if Israel had not been fighting for its very existence since its birth.
Yeah, Except We Don't Have That Stunning 'Thorns and Flower' FeatureThe recent paean to the Hispanic "activists" that headlined the Tucson Weekly proves once again that this so-called alternative paper aspires to nothing more than to be the Arizona Daily Star with yoga ads ("The Radicals," Aug. 3). In the 1970s, Raul Grijalva, Isabel Garcia and Salomón Baldenegro took on Tucson's racist establishment and worked to end discrimination and make Tucson what it is today. Blah, Blah, Blah. I have read that repeatedly in the rest of Tucson's print media over and over again for the last 10 years.
Isn't it the function of alternative media to take a fresh look at things? When iconoclasts become icons, isn't it their turn to have their feet put to the fire? I can think of more interesting questions to ask these rebels-turned-Tucson establishment figures.
For Raul: Why are you so afraid of a voter identification program? You already hail from a racially and politically gerrymandered district that has even the Weekly calling you Congressman "Por Vida." Have you been to your namesake school in Midvale Park lately? Are the graffiti-covered washes that surround it also part of your legacy?
For Isabel: Do you have any moral qualms about being a full-time illegal-alien advocate and adviser to the Mexican government while sucking down $90,000 a year as a Pima County employee?
Yes, indeed, these "rebels" sure have made things better--for themselves. Except for a statue of Pancho Villa squatting in downtown Tucson, I'm not sure what we got out of the deal.
And We'll Conclude With ... ThisIsabel Garcia and Raul Grijalva are violating Pima County and U.S. federal law. Garcia is supposed to be working for Pima County, not Mexico. Grijalva is supposed to be representing all people in his U.S. district, not Mexico. Nellie Bustillos and Salomón Baldenegro are traitors to United States. They should be deported to the country they love, Mexico.
Are you DUMB not to know that BUSH and FOX are making United States into a fascist nation?