CORRUPTION APPLIES TO TRUMP
Usually, I find Cowboy Kevin Holten’s writing too vapid to give much thought to. However, his April 12 submission, which focused on “corruption, bribery and censorship" all in the same article, did cause me to reflect. It brought up memories, as well as ties to more recent examples, of each. I thought back to the Trump administration, the most corrupt in modern history, with the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, the attempt to bribe the Ukrainian government for dirt on the Bidens and the recently exposed $2 billion deal between Jared Kushner and the Saudis. Just a few examples of many.
I thought back to the Sixties when classics such as "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Catcher in the Rye" were banned and how today we are regressing back to those times with the same type of idiotic book bans and attacks on non-existent CRT (the latest Calvinist bogeyman) in our classrooms and libraries. The nerve of those teachers to teach students to read at literal, interpretive and applied levels, allowing them to engage in critical thought. The nerve to teach our history with a spotlight on our beauty marks as well as our warts, knowing it’s OK to feel both pride and discomfort, and ignorance isn’t bliss.
I don’t think my critical analysis is what the Cowboy was shooting for, but that’s what I was taught to do during my schooling; that’s what I came away with, and that's why I found value in his piece.
KELLY SUPPORTS WHAT'S GOOD
I take exception to a recent Letter to the Editor from Mr. Ed Van Blaricum, stating Senator Mark Kelly is a puppet of the socialist/Democrat party. Green energy is part of an energy policy that includes oil. Why not use solar panels to produce electricity? No one is forgetting oil; it has been the life blood of this country. However, oil and other fossil fuels are huge contributors to global warming.
The writer points to the 15 months since ex-president Trump left office. Yes, fuel costs were lower. But during the Pandemic, gas consumption went way down. A number of oil companies lowered production. All of a sudden, everybody wants to drive again. The result is gas prices going up and that could be expected. Because of the Pandemic, manufacturing and industries all across the world shut down or cut back production. During the recovery demand for everything went up (automobiles, furniture, building supplies). Tremendous demand by consumers has pushed inflationary pressures creating a supply and demand problem and costs of everything going up. Much like not enough housing in this country has led to housing prices sky rocketing.
I think Mark Kelly is an individual who will run on what is good for Arizona. I do not think the U.S will continue a downward spiral if he is elected. The economy is booming - a fact. Republicans are following a playbook. Authoritarian politicians in electoral democracies typically exploit people’s fear to gain political power, and then use that power to destroy the democracy itself from within. But first they must create fear by building up a straw-man villain. Republicans today are running that strategy to try to turn the U.S., like Hungary, into a strongman oligarchy. Pick a country anywhere in the world and 100% of the time you’ll find “strongman” leaders claiming to protect the country from a minority. Republicans serve a single master: great wealth. But to get and hold power, they must have enough votes to get elected, so every election cycle they have to fan a group they can claim to be protecting “average” American’s from. Republican strategists know that a terrorized populace will quickly defer to strongman authoritarian leaders who promise to keep them safe from the evil monsters they’ve identified. And they’re doing it so they can push more tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of corporations, and addiction to fossil fuels, all without GOP voters realizing the 3-card Monty game they’re running. The writer points to a “downward spiral that will cost Americans greatly during the next three years.” I ask who is really taking this country down a downward spiral?
The former president tried to take apart NATO. I would suggest his overtures to Putin, if continued, would have left the U.S. as not being the leader of the free world. “Hang on and get ready.” As the former president said about January 6th, “it’s going to be wild.”
STATE'S OBLITERATION OF PUBLIC SCHOOLING IS NEARLY COMPLETE
The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer:
In 1901, a weather vane, a magnificent statue of 'Winged Victory,' was placed on top of our copper-domed Capitol in Phoenix. Old-timers claim she was often shot at by drunk, trigger-happy cowboys hankering to see her spin.
Today the iconic dame wears a MAGA hat, the wreath she holds aloft has been replaced by the letter 'Q' and she's spinning like a top, thanks to the drunk-on-Trump gasbags bloviating gale-force methane daily in our Legislature.
Donald Trump said he loves the uneducated, and with our Legislature he struck the mother lode, the biggest bustling corral of bovine bullies, blowhards and Bible-milking hypocrites west of reality.
Arizona turned 110 last Valentine's Day. Could that explain why our state suffers dementia when it comes to education?
For decades our public schools have been underfunded, understaffed and overwhelmed thanks to these bellowing bovids dedicated to ensuring Arizona's public schools are last in the nation in every category and that we continue to bleed quality educators like a gored stallion in a bullring.
On spending we're behind Madagascar. Madagascar has a box of chalk and a pencil sharpener.
To add to our pride, Arizona's schools are shy about 2,000 educators who worked here briefly, learned their lesson and skedaddled as fast as they could to greener pastures named 'Anyplace but this Godforsaken Wasteland' leaving our schools struggling to wrangle new teachers, or should we say suckers, willing to be a political piñata every budget cycle. And to take a vow of poverty. And to be yoked like beasts of burden by their culture-warcrazed overseers with mind-boggling regulations and endless runs at muzzling speech in their classrooms. And now the herd famed for daily dropping their odoriferous bills onto the floor of our statehouse has some bad news and some good news for y'all. The bad: As of Friday they were itching to cut the $1.2 billion dollars owed public ed with every single R in the House voting to slash public ed's lifeline. It's a cliffhanger in the Senate. That'd mean more layoffs, more programs butchered, more school closings and celebratory hootenannies at state Republican Party Headquarters. They stripped the meat off public education's bones years ago. Now they want to suck out the marrow. The good news? What do our schools desperately need? Guns. In our classrooms. Guns. Their solution to all our problems. If their brains were bullets they'd be firing blanks. When Arizona became a state, our founders decided little old Tucson would get the state university. In return, Phoenix, home to the Legislature, would get the state asylum, thus giving our capital two wholly indistinguishable institutions. Today the State Hospital's gone, but our statehouse continues to serve as our premier asylum for lunatics, kooks and cultists. Behold. Rep. Steve 'Trump for King' Kaiser wants educators to stop teaching subjects that cause our poor sensitive Caucasian kiddies to feel bad. Such snowflakey victims of facts deserve special protection from reality. Instead, teach our pale-faced punkins revisionist history so they don't feel blue about historic racism. Teach lies. We'll call them white lies. Sen. Nancy 'No one but Trump-o' Barto, inspired by the old East German Stasi, vants all teachers to post everything zat zey are teaching on zeir websites so zey can make sure no one is teaching 'critical race theory'. Make White America Feel Great Again. Or else. Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita, a Sarah Palin poodle from Snottsdale, wants a magic wand granting all school board meeting protesters immunity from arrest. It's just harmless legitimate political discourse. (Darn those freedom-hating fascists who want us to wear masks!) She's also calling for our nonpartisan school board races to become partisan. This is so the the good people of the Legitimate Political Discourse Party will know which candidates belong to the sinister Godless-America-Hating-Socialistical- Party. Their agenda is clear. Keep expanding vouchers. They love robbing public education to fund white flight to unregulated and unaccountable private and elite schools. Keep pushing guns in our schools. And be damned sure there's a portrait of President Donald Trump and a 'Don't Tread On Me' flag in every classroom for the coroners to salute when they 're called to the next 'frontier justice' schoolhouse crime scene. Keep serving the rich donors who keep their feedbags full of campaign cash by hammering Arizona's Supreme Court to kill Prop. 208, the desperate initiative passed by Arizona's disgusted voters calling on that party's wealthy enablers to pay their fair share to fund our schools as if we were living in a 21st century civilization. Keep at it and take a bow, Arizona lawmakers. Your decadeslong crusade to dismantle and decimate public education has been a crushing success. David Fitzsimmons: email@example.com DAVID FITZSIMMONS Arizona Daily Star
ELECTION BILLS ARE WRONG
Through several articles, the Feb. 3 Dispatch did an excellent job of exposing the insanity coursing through the Arizona Retrumplican Party. There were the usual suspects: Fann, Borelli, Rogers and Townsend with their voter suppression bills, featuring poor loser audits and examinations, piled on top of 70 other election-related bills. Thankfully Speaker Bowers shut down a measure to, among other voting restrictions, allow the legislature to override election results. That brought a rebuke from sponsor Rep. Fillmore, “he does things like he’s a God.” As opposed to overriding election results? “We need to bring back 1958-style voting.” Including a poll tax and literacy tests? That would go right along with the rest of this lunacy. There’s Rep. Griffin, wanting to require “technical expertise” from anyone to be elected to the Arizona Corporate Commission. “Suggested” by utilities that often disagree with the commission? Correspondingly then, shouldn’t legislators be required to have expertise in all areas they address? It’s another ridiculous power grab by the “limited government” party. Now there’s a new member of the team, Rep. Martinez, an acolyte of Paul Gosar. She’s all in on required voter ID, yet makes no mention of how to help people who have difficulty obtaining one. She explains that minority voters do have ID, “because when the police come to talk with them, they are asked to produce ID.” Stereotype much? Meanwhile the lone article on Democrats/President Biden was on his new Cancer Moonshot program. The need to vote “D” in November is apparent.
Leon Cer, Casa Grande