I agree with Dan Kimber ("Education Matters: Why not take private money out of politics?" Jan. 21) that private campaign funding of elections is inherently corrupting. Money talks.
Public financing of campaigns would change that. There is no reason we can't start at the local level right here in Glendale. Kimber outlined the basics: all privately financed ads and mailings replaced with public forums and local media coverage, paid for with government funds raised by a very small local tax.
We already see the incumbents and the potential challengers in action at televised City Council meetings. Plus, they live among us.
Along with public financing, the length of campaigns should be limited, which would keep the funding to a minimum. Glendale is not a vast wilderness in which reaching voters is a major challenge.
The United Kingdom takes a month to campaign for their entire national Parliament. For Glendale's City Council, we can do it in a fortnight, at the longest. (Congress should have six weeks, two months tops.)
Just think how much we could accomplish with the savings of time, money, and most of all, our sanity.
The right to bear arms is the bomb
Guns, guns, guns — will the killings ever end?
The spate of horrible gun-related killings and injuries, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, have flooded the media with sorrow and horror in recent weeks. These reports will assuredly lead to the introduction of gun control legislation, which the National Rifle Assn. and its friends will no doubt oppose vehemently and successfully.
I am not a member of the NRA, but I do belong to the NBMA (National Bomb Making Assn.), which longs for and greatly admires the legislative control that the NRA has. The NBMA objectives and rationale are identical.
The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to purchase, construct and carry bombs wherever we wish under the "right of the people to keep and bear arms" as members of a "well regulated militia." But be sure, we allow no wavering from the definition of militia that includes every man, woman, child and psycho in the nation.
We definitely need to forget about the "well regulated" modifier as that could mean state-legislated bomb controls.
Under the 2nd Amendment, we must have the freedom to carry a bomb in our pocket or dangling from our belt buckle wherever we wish — family restaurants, schools, auditoriums, parks, etc. We all know how important it is to be able to defend ourselves in case of threatening intent of others, so sometimes I carry 31 small bombs in my bomb vest in case of multiple threats.
At home, I keep readily accessible bombs in every room, including on the night stand beside my bed. If an intruder comes in, he's a goner. We do need to ignore the fact that more family members and friends are killed by bombs in our homes than intruders, but that bedside bomb gives us all a real sense of security.
And let's not forget the recreational joys of bomb blasting at the local bombing range or randomly in the wilds of the Angeles National Forest. And then how about the fun of hunting (with proper hunting licenses, of course) and blasting apart deer, bear and other wildlife? What a joy it is to acquire and use the bomb skills it takes to stalk and kill that wildlife.
And finally, just to counteract the nanny government types, let's make it clear that bombs don't kill people; people kill people. People are killed with knives, baseball bats, forks, fists and many other ways, so why should bombs be controlled when there are no such controls for these methods?
Any reader who has an IQ over 40 will recognize what I have just written is absolutely preposterous, but just as preposterous are the arguments against gun control, even the most minimal of controls.