canfield letters

Another empty apology

So now it's your turn, Luke Southwood, to write your hollow "I'm sorry" letter to the editor for the damage, destruction and death that you and Adam McDonald caused in the Desert Foothills Land Trust area of Cave Creek. As I looked at the photo of the helpless javelina lying dead on the ground because you two "outdoorsmen" used it for target practice, I couldn't help but think what if the javelina used you two bozos for target practice. I am disgusted by both of you. You two cowards give the excuse that you didn't know you were on a nature preserve. Did it really matter "Mr. Animal Lover?" I can imagine what you would have done if it wasn't a restricted area to discharge fire arms.
Harry Novak

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The Blind Men and the Elephant

We have all heard the story of the blind men and the elephant. A group of blind men were brought to an elephant and each one was to describe the animal after touching it. The one who touched the side of the elephant said "an elephant is like a wall." The one who touched the tusks described the elephant as being "like a lance" because of the sharp point. The blind man who grabbed the tail said the animal was "like a rope."

It occurs to me that we are being treated to a similar fable as Congress (the blind men) attempt to describe the Health Care bill (the elephant). Few, if any of them have read or studied the bill, but most of them think they know all about it because of the few paragraphs they have actually examined.

In recounting the old tale, a poet, whose name I have forgotten, wrote the following:

"So oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean
And prate about an elephant
Not one of them has seen."

It seems to me that the Congressmen are discussing (arguing) about things of which they really know nothing, and spending a great deal of their time figuring out what their price per vote should be.

These Washington elitists are even talking about attempting to make their bill PERMANENT and UNCHANGEABLE by any subsequent Congress! And they want it passed NOW, even though the changes (except for the imposition of taxes) would not take effect for years to come.

Please, somebody, bring these self-styled demigods down to earth, and if they crash in the process, so be it!

Ralph G. Smith | Cave Creek

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Eighteen year old shooters!

I was shocked and thoroughly disgusted by the two eighteen year old excuses for humanity that shot the javelina, birds, snake and of course the cactus and trees at Spur Cross. The "punishment" is not even remotely severe enough for such atrocious actions. Our response should be serious enough to cause them not only regret for their cruelty and stupidity but to give them a long enough term of incarceration to affect their ignorant lives. They absolutely should be facing felony charges for their hideous actions.

Jayne Marsh | E-mail

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You want these same clowns to control your health care? Are you nuts?

It could be a scene out of the movie Airplane, but there’s nothing funny about it.

You and 150 other passengers are sitting motionless on an airplane for the last hour of a flight with your hands on your knees and your bladder bursting because Homeland Security goon Janet Napolitano had issued a diktat that bursting bladders are necessary to stop known Muslim fanatics from bursting bombs on board during the last hour of a flight. Osama bin Laden is in a spider hole laughing as he issues an advisory that all terrorists should explode bombs 61 minutes before scheduled landings.

Your flight gets delayed during the last hour for another hour, due to the government’s incompetence in running the air traffic control system. Because TSA personnel in spiffy uniforms with the judgment of Barney Fife and the control needs of Stalin had removed diapers from infants and Depends from the elderly before the flight, a yellow stream is running down the aisle. This is the same government that runs public service announcements encouraging people to drink a lot of water, especially in dry environments like airplanes.

It gets even funnier or more disgusting, depending on your sense of humor. Goon Napolitano is the same person who bankrupted the State of Arizona as governor, leaving Arizonans with a $3 billion deficit, high unemployment, and a drop from the top to the bottom in job growth. For this incompetence she was promoted by President Obama to a position where she is responsible for protecting the lives of 300 million people. Hilarious, isn’t it?

An eighth-grader would have more sense than the gonad-less chief goon and her subordinate goonettes. Well, maybe not if the kid attends a government school and has been steeped in diversity drivel and multicultural mumbo-jumbo. Okay, a home-schooled kid would have more sense. The kid would not treat all flights and all passengers the same. Flights from havens for Muslim extremists like Amsterdam to havens for Muslim extremists like Detroit would get extra scrutiny. The same with passengers who look and behave like Muslim extremists, especially those who have been denied visas to England. The kid would also know better than to promote a Muslim extremist to Army major.

Pop quiz: If you’re a federal agent looking for an Italian mobster, do you give extra scrutiny to an olive-skinned person named Cantoni or to a ruddy-faced person named McCarthy?

Should Cantoni get upset at the federal agent for the extra scrutiny or at Italian mobsters who give all Italians a bad name? Would it be smart or stupid for Cantoni to dress, talk and behave like Tony Soprano?

Enough levity. Oh, you didn’t find the foregoing funny? Well then, you’re not going to find national health care funny, either.

You see, national health care will suffer from the same problem as Homeland Security -- namely, one-size-fits-all centralization. As I wrote in my 1992 book on bureaucracy, too much centralization sucks judgment, common sense, flexibility, creativity, innovation, and money out of organizations (and nations). Then, when products, services, and employee morale suffer as a result of the sucking, the response of the apparatchiks in charge of the centralized bureaucracy is to add more apparatchiks to do more central planning and sucking, in a vicious circle that ends with the demise of the organization. See General Motors. See the Soviet Union.

One sign of impending demise in an organization or nation is a shift in power, influence, pay, and control to bureaucrats, or overhead personnel, from people who add value, who know how to produce goods and services, who do real work, and who have technical expertise. Lawyers, accountants, financial analysts, regulatory experts, and paper pushers at the corporate headquarters of private-sector organizations, or in Washington D.C. for public-sector organizations, end up with more power, influence, pay, and control than engineers, scientists, factory managers, teachers, security personnel, and other employees who are closest to the customer or the public. Not surprisingly, about half of the members of Congress are lawyers, the president is a lawyer, and Janet Napolitano is a lawyer. It’s also telling that the counties surrounding Washington, D.C. are near the top in per-capita income and near the bottom in unemployment.

Now Washington is getting ready to suck judgment, common sense, flexibility, creativity, innovation, and money from physicians and other health care providers by giving power and control over health care and one-seventh of the economy to goons like Janet Napolitano.

It’s funny enough to make me wet my pants.

Craig J. Cantoni | Scottsdale

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White House immersed in Pork Barrel

When President Obama was campaigning for President he made a solemn pledge he would eliminate or reduce earmarks. He broke that promise during the push to implement the new healthcare program.

The White House cut backroom deals with a number of senators to secure their votes for the bill. Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska received $100 million in federal funds for a rip off which exempted his state from paying for new Medicaid patients. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana got a kickback of $300 million in extra federal spending for her state.

The healthcare bill will add $1 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years, and the Medicare system will suffer cuts of $500 billion. Approximately 30 million people will be added to the healthcare system. This will place a severe strain on hospitals and doctors who will not be able to handle the huge influx of new patients. The end result will be long waiting periods and lower quality service for all.

A particular concern is the impact of the program on small businesses, which will be forced to provide health insurance to their employees. This program could force many small businesses to raise prices and/or reduce costs (primarily labor costs), and some businesses will be forced to close their doors. It should be noted small businesses account for about 70 percent of the jobs in this country.

It is unfortunate the White House had to resort to pork barrel chicanery to get a highly flawed healthcare bill passed.

Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire

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Our elected officials are not necessarily corrupt; it’s our system that’s been corrupted

Our elected officials just work within it – evidenced by the buying of votes that went on in the Senate out in the open, over Healthcare. Or the Feds determining state laws and referendums are unconstitutional while government passes unconstitutional laws every day. All elected officials strive for today is to be reelected. Term limits is at least one answer.

On the issue of healthcare, who has asked a supporter or an opponent of the healthcare bill what the downside might be if they are wrong. Compare the risk involved in both answers.

And here’s a beauty no one asks. Why is the cost so high and the choices so limited? One big reason is that the government has chased the insurance industry virtually out of the health insurance business, ergo choice and lower costs. What happened to employer sponsored health plans underwritten by Metropolitan, New York Life, Travelers, Connecticut General, Occidental, Pacific Mutual, Equitable, Guardian, Bankers of Iowa and on and on and on. State and federal regulations and mandates, that’s what. If the insurance industry is reaping windfall profits in healthcare, why did they all get out but a few? Some states have only one or two employer sponsored health insurance carriers doing business. In Arizona 20 years ago there were 40-50 and now there are seven to ten.

And even though nobody mentions it the “survivors” do write across state lines and already pool all of their small business accounts.

If I could just choose the coverage I wanted to buy, unfettered by state and federal regulations, my insurance costs would be about 40 percent of what I am now forced to pay. If government were to allow competition our healthcare cost crisis wouldn’t exist. At the same time, most people in the country agree that our healthcare system is the best in the world. Government, get out of our way and out of our lives.

Fred J. Schneider | Scottsdale

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Supreme Court is key to corruption in Arizona

This is the corrupt idiocy going on in Phoenix, Arizona. I expect it sounds like your own hometown political reality show. This is not about a bad apple in a barrel – this is about a lot of barrels of Bad Apples. Try to imagine a government that actually represented your interests – not people that visit us to get rich – but the people that are already here to live and prosper in peace.

This is a turf war for the control of the criminal protection and political favors racket in Arizona. This battle is over the kind of power that keeps men like Phil Gordon, Terry Goddard and John McCain in office and sends women like Janet Napolitano to the head of Homeland Security. I don't care what side of this gang war you support. The only dog I have in this fight is my right to a justice system that is not corrupt and agenda driven. This is the real conflict of interest in Arizona – corrupt politicians serving their own narrow interests in a culture that exonerates their actions at the highest level – the corrupted Supreme Court. The magnitude of this culture of political corruption in Arizona is a matter for the U.S. Attorney's Office (unfortunately). Shame on the deadbeat citizens that tolerate the election of these thugs by the profiteers and political parties that support them.

Arlin Troutt | Apache Junction

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Carefree catch up

I’ve been relatively quiet for several months, by design. I stayed out of the recall debates and I’ve tried to overlook the hysterical ramblings (written, as well as spoken) of certain residents – howling at the moon or Sonoran News doesn’t really help. I’ll leave it at that.

Since June I have attended water company and town council meetings (including all the ‘special’ ones), sincerely hoping to see an improvement in jurisprudence and clear leadership. Sadly I’ve seen none of either. Far worse is the spacious void in leadership coupled with a deepening financial situation. Carefree is facing one of the most ominous challenges in its 25 years of incorporation history, and is doing so without a plan.

Disregarding repeated requests from three council members and members of the public, town leadership [sic] continued to ignore negative financial indicators and, until December, refused to conduct a thorough financial review or to implement rational expense controls. As of the December council meeting, we still lack both. Instead there are clear indications that current leadership is ill equipped to implement the much needed financial management, staff management, or crisis planning.

What’s the worry? In a word – revenue. Town income, especially from sales taxes has been in decline for at least two years. For fiscal year 2009 (ended June 30, 2009) it was down just under 18 percent; On a calendar year basis, 2008 was down 20 percent. So far in the current fiscal year (4 months, July – October) the numbers are sharply down another 20 percent from last year’s dismal results. Commercial vacancy rates exceed 60 percent, and will likely worsen. Yet, considering all of the above, there isn’t even a contingency expense reduction plan being considered. In 4 months this fiscal year the town has outspent income by about half a million dollars. And still certain heads remain in the sand. What was the mayor’s response to questions about our current financial condition? ‘We won’t know where we stand until August’ (a month after the end of the current fiscal year). I kid you not. The November financial results will be available during the last week of December, so additional forecasting data may help clarify his awareness.

Absent clear thinking and sound judgment, the administration proposed more really questionable (actually illegal) ideas on how to conduct the March election process. [Last month the council majority tried to prevent giving residents the maximum time to vote.] As if there wasn’t enough nonsense and misleading information surrounding the last election, the administration effectively proposed making residents pay to vote. No, I didn’t make that up; it was on the 12/01/09 Council agenda, item number 10. The proposal was hotly debated and fortunately clearer minds (with help from a few lawyers and others in the audience) prevailed. Is there any other way this administration can discourage residents from voting in the upcoming March Election? You can venture your own guess but I am a firm believer in the old adage, ‘where there is a will there is a way.’

John Traynor | Carefree

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Seniors may qualify for a power wheelchair

Reclaim your independence with a power wheelchair at little or no cost

Medicare’s regulations now make it easier for seniors and others with debilitating conditions such as arthritis, stroke, heart and breathing problems, or diabetes, to obtain a power wheelchair at little or no cost.

Miracle on Wheels is trying to increase public awareness about the assistance options that allow seniors and the disabled to remain independent in their own homes rather than undergo difficult surgery or other expensive treatment or resort to moving into a nursing home. These assistance options are available to anyone with problems getting around their home or who are in danger of falling due to their medical condition. So those who are suffering from any condition that severely limits their mobility should call Miracle on Wheels at 1-800-400-4210 toll free to learn about qualifying now for a power wheelchair.

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