Still a second-class citizen in Arizona
While I am pleased with the Supreme Court's recent rulings on the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 in California, as an Arizona resident they still leave me a second-class citizen.
Unless President Obama issues an executive order proclaiming a uniform marriage standard for all same-sex married couples, I am denied full federal benefits as a resident of Arizona despite being legally married in California. Unless legislation or a voter mandated initiative redefines marriage as a union of any two people, I remain a second-class citizen.
Because different federal agencies define marriage differently, I am not entitled to receive survivor Social Security benefits or able to file joint federal income tax returns because both rely on the location of residence for determining eligibility.
This is unfair and I will continue to work toward marriage parity for all citizens of the United States.
Jeff M. Ramos
Snowden sounds like spy, not whistle-blower
Re: the June 25 letter to the editor "US wrong to label Snowden a traitor."
As a 24-year veteran of US Army Intelligence, former National Security Agency analyst and 12 years of corporate intelligence work as an auditor and fraud examiner, I am a bit skeptical of the letter writer's rant about the incompetence of the Department of Justice.
Edward Snowden might be classified as a whistle-blower by some, but that remains to be seen and will take some time and damage assessment. He violated his employment contract. He also violated his nondisclosure oath signed when he was granted a security clearance. He is, or was, carrying terabytes of data and information stolen from the National Security Agency. The Chinese and the Russians may now have that information. So far, he doesn't appear to be a whistle-blower but rather more a thief and espionage agent.
Marcus E. Michael
Retired intelligence officer, Oro Valley
Out of the mouths of babes: Fix the roads
Sitting in her booster seat in the back of my car on the way to my house, my 6-year-old granddaughter said, "Grandpa, I know we are getting close to your house because the road gets bumpy."
Imagine a 6-year-old noticing the poor condition on Thornydale Road north of Cortaro Road. It's time for a fix.
Deen was raised in a different culture
Re: the June 26 letter to the editor "History doesn't excuse Deen's offensive words."
Like the letter writer, I am a native Tucsonan and a child of the '50s and '60s. My school, University Heights, comprised many races and cultures. I never heard the N-word at home or at school until I reached junior high.
In 1962 I visited Alabama for the first time with my mother and was shocked to see and learn that black folks walking toward us on the sidewalk were required to step into the street and away from us so as not to offend.
I don't condone Paula Deen's language but at least I have a little understanding of the culture in which she was raised. I hope the acknowledgement of her errors and apology are sincere.
Retired banker, Tucson
TUSD's PR effort diminishes employees
Re: the June 25 article "$300k PR push proposed for TUSD."
This article caused me to have a couple of thoughts. One being that this $300,000 expense is simply another way to spend money while diminishing the possibility of giving employees a much needed raise. And why is the Tucson Unified School District contracting with an outside vendor rather than creating a joint project with the University of Arizona Eller College of Management marketing department? This could be a senior project that could benefit UA students and TUSD while diminishing the cost.
Also the writer noted the importance of high morale in teachers and staff as they are the faces of TUSD. Unfortunately, at TUSD it appears that the flogging will continue until morale improves.
Snowden on the run hurts US interests
Regarding all the diplomatic flap involving China, Russia and Ecuador over Edward Snowden. It would seem much more logical if the U.S. would promise prosecution immunity to Snowden and let him return voluntarily in exchange for his help in fixing the National Security Agency's telephone and Internet snooping programs, much of which might well be unconstitutional.
Being on the run, his retention in Russia, either voluntarily or perhaps involuntarily, is not in America's best interest.