I do not want to sit at a computer all day reading or holding by cell phone, kindle or whatever mechanical device to resource an article.

It is nice to hold a book or a newspaper or whatever while relaxing in the tub, the bed the beach, the forest or whatever. You can stop and put it down with a bookmark instead of having to always access a mechanical device activating keys to get back to the book or the article etc. Also there are instances you cannot get reception or your battery goes dead you forget your charger, etc.

Ah, this must be my age. To me it is much more enjoyable to receive a hand written warm personal letter than an e-mail.  Of course, how often do we now spend time writing a personal letter, me included, sigh.

Even a nice warm chat on the phone is slowly disappearing. Wonder where this automation and no human voice or touch is going to lead us. You read all the time about how important a hug or just a smile is for another person. Do you think this is why we see road rage, so many shootings in school and the workplace?

Families today spend very little time just sitting around discussing, chatting, sharing. Most is on e-mail and cell phones.

They work all day and then they don’t even have dinner together. They grab a bite and go to their meetings or computer or TV and then off to bed.

Even in the car the kids are on the cell phone or watching a movie. No time to really let their hair down and share their joys or their fears of the day or the moment and get feedback from the family.

Maybe this weekend I can spend some personal time with my child or my wife, etc.

How can you plan a time to have a heart to heart talk and say OK start talking? It doesn’t work that way. It is spontaneous and we seem to have lost those spontaneous times, especially with children.

It seems to me the younger generation is becoming more and more isolated. Yes, they text, even play games together, but each on their own computer. No human voice or touch. How sad. No sitting around exchanging ideas and thoughts to solve the world’s problems over a cup of coffee. Even in Starbucks many are sitting alone with their coffee attached to their laptop.

But then you can go back to Plato I think it was (not sure anymore – too long since I was in school with Plato) that expressed how the younger generation was really going to hell in a hand basket so to speak.

Donna Powell | E-mail


Is there intelligent life on Planet Earth?

Having found no signs of intelligent life while studying Proposition 100 in the Valley of the Sun, the explorers from outer space departed for Washington, DC. There they discovered that the federal government was protecting the health of children by making it illegal for them to eat candy and salted peanuts on school property. Then they read that diseases caused by the strange practice of inhaling tobacco smoke was one of the leading causes of death of humans. They were dumfounded that the Social Security Administration saw this as a good thing, reasoning that if these smokers lived to a normal life expectancy it would deplete the invisible funds in the Social Security imaginary “Lock Box.” It was discovered that Americans were actually encouraging their own death by electing a government that subsidized tobacco farmers to the tune of a third of a trillion dollars each year. Having found no intelligent life in Washington, the explorers departed for Greece.

Jack C. McVickers | Scottsdale


Commander-In-Chief Went AWOL

As a Navy veteran, I am appalled President Obama, our Commander-In-Chief, did not lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2010.  Instead, he went on vacation, and was rained out at a presentation at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois.

The Commander-In-Chief has an obligation to fulfill his responsibilities to our deceased soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who gave their lives to keep this country free.  He has a duty to respect our veterans and support our military forces who are currently fighting two wars.

If a military member did not show up for duty he or she would be punished, including the possible loss of pay, a reprimand, a demotion, or in a theater of war operations, the potential exists for incarceration.  Our Commander-In-Chief deserves to be punished, and the punishment is to make him a one term president.

President Obama is not the first president to miss laying the wreath at Arlington National Cemetery.  Ronald Reagan was caught up in a prolonged economic summit in 1983, George H. W. Bush was campaigning in 1992, and George W. Bush was vacationing in Texas on Memorial Day 2007.  Prior miscues by presidents cannot justify Obama’s dereliction of duty. 

He should have changed his vacation plans or taken time out to be at Arlington National Cemetery.

Our Commander-In-Chief went AWOL on Memorial Day 2010.

Donald A. Moskowitz | Londonderry, New Hampshire


"Humanitarian" flotilla

To read the international press or listen to certain world leaders, you would think that Israel attacked the LOVE BOAT. As the Prime Minister of Israel pointed out, this was not a love boat – this was a boat of hatred. Israel's soldiers were attacked with metal bars, baseball bats, chairs, knives, machetes and even their own captured guns.

The flotilla of ships which was trying to reach Gaza was organized by IHH (Insani Yardim Vakfi – "humanitarian relief fund"), a Turkish foundation with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Free Gaza, which describes itself as a human rights group. The IHH has known links to global jihadi networks, openly supports Iran-backed Hamas, and maintains close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, a global umbrella Islamic organization of which Hamas is a branch, as well as mujahideen groups in Afghanistan.

The State of Israel approached the organizers of the flotilla – prior to their departure and late, while at sea - and invited them to dock at the Port of Ashdod for the sake of transferring their cargo to Gaza, subject to security inspection. The organizers of the flotilla intentionally ignored repeated warnings – including messages from the European Union – and rejected offers by Israel and Egypt to transfer humanitarian goods.

People are not starving in Gaza. In fact, Israel has delivered two thirds of a ton of supplies to every man, woman and child in Gaza this year alone. The need for the blockade comes from the terrorist nature of Hamas which allows and has encouraged terrorists to use Gaza as a launching pad for sending rockets towards Israeli civilians.

Israel has and continues to express its desire for peace and continues to extend its hand to all those who are willing to participate in moving forwards to true peace.

Israel's actions are aimed at blocking arms and explosives shipments to Hamas, which is at war with the Jewish state. Since Israel gave up all of Gaza in 2005 with hopes for peace, Hamas and other terrorists operating from Gaza have fired more than 7,000 rockets and mortar shells aimed at Israeli civilians. Why would anyone want to allow Iran-backed Hamas to re-arm with more rockets?

No country should be expected to let hundreds of foreigners and tons of supplies unload without clearing first making sure they are not bringing weapons – or the ingredients for making weapons. Israel should not be held to a different standard than the rest of the world.

The time for peace between Israel and her neighbors is now. Real peace will begin when the world community treats Israel with the same rights as other countries – including Israel's right to defend its citizens.

Eric Offerson | Phoenix


Red, White and Blue Jungle in Cave Creek

Once again the politicians are providing their constituents with a red, white and blue jungle ... a maze of signs providing little more than a name in huge sizes for themselves, and an eyesore for us!

The intersection of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway is a study in civics ... seemingly Carefree has decided not to allow such massive displays of graphic ignorance, as all such political signs from the Northeast corner in Carefree were removed. 

Seemingly those signs removed from Carefree were moved across the street to Cave Creek as there are a number of duplications of signs on the Southeast corner.  One person counted as many as 26 political signs last week.  Cave Creek does not seem to have such a provision. 

These huge signs are certainly not very inviting for visitors coming into Cave Creek for a long weekend, nor to us residents who get to view them each time we pass through the intersection. 

The question I have always had is:  Do those who put up up these signs so early and with so much repetition really think they influence the voters in a positive fashion?  Personally, I believe these signs are building awareness and recognition of a negative mode, and I have already decided I am not voting for any of these “large and frequent” signage candidates. 

How about you?

Hopefully the Cave Creek Town Council will consider taking a similar course of action as Carefree and ban them from the public right of way... and suggest to large property owners that some citizens just plain do not like them.  I certainly have not as yet met anyone who was pleased with them ... unless it was a sign printer.  

Bob Moore | Cave Creek


Tears For Lost America

I grieve for an America that once was.
I grieve for our political parties who refuse to see the middle of any disagreement.
I grieve for my church which refuses to admit crimes against our children.
I grieve for our society lost in blind hatred, distrust, racial discrimination and greed, and which refuses to turn the pointed finger against itself for blame.
I grieve for children in America who always seem to be placed second when the cutting blade of the budget is wielded.
I grieve for the poor, sick, jobless and homeless, forgotten by Big Business, Wall Street and Banks.
I grieve for the ignorance shown by groups that are easily led by lies, innuendo and half truths.
I grieve for our country's safety and all the innocence lost by misled patriots.
I grieve for a country choked with pollution from nearsighted individuals believing that our natural resources will last forever.
I grieve for intelligence lost and wasted, replaced by ignorance and scheeming that easily leads to our weak and frustrated society closer and closer toward failure.

Dr. Kenneth F. Muhich | Scottsdale


Israel in the media

Now is the time for peace between Israel and her neighbors. Real peace will begin when the world community treats Israel with the same rights as other countries - including Israel's right to defend its citizens. While Israel has continued to extend her hand to others looking to move forward with a lasting peace, she is repeatedly turned away.

Moreover, no country should be expected to let hundreds of foreigners and tons of supplies unload without clearing first making sure they are not bringing weapons – or the ingredients for making weapons. Israel should not be held to a different standard than the rest of the world. It is vital to note that the State of Israel approached the organizers of the flotilla – prior to their departure and late, while at sea - and invited them to dock at the Port of Ashdod for the sake of transferring their cargo to Gaza, subject to security inspection. The organizers of the flotilla intentionally ignored repeated warnings – including messages from the European Union – and rejected offers by Israel and Egypt to transfer humanitarian goods. If people truly were looking to help as humanitarians, they would have followed protocols. Instead, they intentionally created an unsafe situation, invited the media and cameras to capture all events and have once again exploited Israel for trying to defend herself. Shame on the media for buying into these shameful tactics.

Andrea Cohen | Scottsdale


Too bad about Ben Quayle,
he has lost two votes

How disappointing politicians are. Not just all the idiots already in office, but the crop of contenders who don't really appear any different.

Take, for example, young Ben Quayle. Not only does he spring from a good political family, but he seems to be saying all the right things we need to hear about the horrible national administration. His conservative and common sense statements are just what we want to hear.

A few days ago I received in the mail a snazzy, expensive brochure outlining why we should vote for him. I agree with everything written there. I was puzzled, however, that nothing whatsoever was written about his education, business or law practice experience. The only personal information was the name of his wife and his dog. There was no listing of a URL for his website.

I really did want to learn more about what this promising candidate had done in his life so far, but nothing at all was listed.

It did list a phone number, so I called and got a pleasant young lady. I explained what I thought was an important oversight in the expensive brochure sent out in the mail. She was surprised, but had not seen the printed piece herself. So even her staff does not seem to know what is going on.

She did give me his website address, so I went there and found a pretty impressive resume. Good experience, added to his conservative stance.

I then sent an e-mail pointing out the omission of this resume in the brochure, something most potential voters would want to know. I then called the next day and told them why I was calling, and that I would like Mr. Quayle to give me a call when he had a free moment. She insisted in knowing why I wanted to speak to him. I said we were voters in his district who were strongly leaning toward voting for him in the primary, and had something important to tell him.

Several days have gone by and I have not received a reply to my e-mail nor had a phone call from him. Now, as a candidate and a man aspiring to be elected to an important post, one might think he would contact me.

As he has not, it makes me realize that even as a candidate, if he won't contact a person concerned about his campaign, there is little or no chance he would ever get back to a constituent if he were elected. Samo, samo, all politicians seem to be cut from the same cloth, feeling they are too far above the poor citizens to even bother to answer their requests.

I will most certainly not vote for him in the primary. If there does not seem to be anybody better, I'll vote for "None of the above." If only that were on the ballot.

Very sad.

Geoff Orton | Carefree


Iran sanctions

I understand there was a provision where a certain type of equipment would not be sold to Iran; then that provision was taken out, in order to garner China and Russia votes.

We are going to have another 9/11 or maybe more than one more unless our "leaders" take some serious action.

Whatever we do, Israel is going to be forced to take action against their arch enemy, Iran, who has threated to annihilate them!

Please, we need a leader who will take the correct action NOW!

Vicki Bailey | Phoenix


Murky math

Arizona Democrat Executive Director Luis Heredia has some explaining to do.

After reading a recent article written by Daniel González of the Arizona Republic, Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen was surprised to learn that AZDEM Party officials claimed that Democrat registrations had significantly increased since the passage of SB 1070, asserting that the new law is having a detrimental effect on the Republican Party’s effort to register voters.

But according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, Democrats have lost registered voters over the last two months while the Republican Party has grown by nearly 900 voters.

“I’m not quite sure where Mr. Heredia is getting his information, but if they say they are getting 500 new registrations a week, they must be losing more than they are gaining at the same time,” said Chairman Pullen. 

“It’s a shame that Mr. González didn’t take the time to investigate the claim that was the very basis for his story,” said Chairman Pullen.  “Apparently, he did not have time to verify Mr. Heredia’s assertion.  But it’s what we’ve come to expect from the Arizona Republic when it comes to illegal immigration.

“The bottom line is Arizonans overwhelmingly support this measure and a renewed Republican message,” continued Pullen. “In Maricopa County alone, people are leaving the Democrat Party while the Republican Party is growing.” In fact, since last October, Republicans have registered more voters than Democrats every month. The Republican message is resonating, and we actually have real numbers to prove it, unlike Mr. Heredia.”

Arizona Republican Party


Brochure on the "Benefits of ObamaDoesn'tCare"

I recently received my brochure from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding the "benefits" of the new "Health Care Law."

My reaction was to repackage this brochure of lies and misrepresentations into an envelope and mail it back to Attention of Kathleen Sebelius using the return address on the envelope.

I attached a quick note notifying Sebelius that I am completely aware of what this piece of legislative garbage means to me and none of them were listed in this lying, distorted pile of misinformation.

For those of you may want to join me in this protest and have disposed of the return address it is:

Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
7500 Security Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21244-1850

Everything about the administration of B. Hussein Obama’s administration is an attack on our liberties and freedoms.

Tom Carbone | Phoenix


How a Mosque at Ground Zero is viewed in the Arab-Muslim world

Arab-Muslim conquerors have a penchant for destroying other people’s religious shrines and many times building their own on the ruins. It was, and remains, Islam’s way of saying, ‘We have defeated you, we rule you, and our god – Allah – is greater than your god.’ As I have pointed out, with numerous examples, in my book:

Middle East Rules of Thumb: Understanding the Complexities of the Middle East, this has been a long established historic practice.

Islam’s holiest shrine – the Kaaba, a cube-like building in Mecca – is an older pre-Islamic pagan Arab shrine. According to Islamic tradition the first building was constructed by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham (Ibrahim). The Black Stone, possibly a meteorite fragment, is a significant feature of the Kaaba. The Masjid al-Haram mosque was built around the Kaaba.
The Ibrahimi Mosque was constructed in Hebron, in 637 CE, over the second-most venerated Jewish holy site, the Cave of Machpelah–the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Dome of the Rock was built on the ruins of Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem, by the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik, 687-691 CE. Al-Walid, son of al-Malik, erected the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the southern end of the Temple Mount and also over the Basilica of St. Mary of Justinian, in 712 CE.

By no means is this practice limited to venerated Jewish holy sites.

The Grand Mosque of Damascus was put up over the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in 715 CE.

On October 18, 1009, the Muslim Fatimid caliph Abu ‘Ali Mansur Tariqu’l-Hakim destroyed, down to the bedrock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, a Christian church venerated by most Christians as Golgotha, the Hill of Calvary, where tradition says that Jesus was crucified.

Gravestones were also destroyed. Muslim forces tried to dig up all the graves and wipe out all traces of their existence. The site is now within the walled, Old City of Jerusalem.
This practice continued through the centuries and was applied not only to Jewish, Christian and Hindu sites but other faiths as well. Late in the 20th century, in Libya, on Nov. 26, 1970, the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Tripoli was converted into the Gamal Abdel Nasser Mosque.

Two 1,400 year-old statues of Buddha in the Bamiyan Valley of Afghanistan were blown up in March 2001. This came after a fatwa (a religious edict), ordered by the Taliban directed all Afghan “idols” be destroyed as being anti-Muslim. In the Central Asian republics no Buddhist temples remain.

While not a religious site, the World Trade Center stood as a symbol of Western commerce, industry and civilization. Then came the horrors of the destruction of those twin towers on September 11, 2001. No doubt many prayers were said there both during and after the calamitous collapse.

In May 2010, it was announced that near the ruins of buildings reduced to rubble in the name of Islam, an Islamic mosque would rise. This fits the historic pattern of Muslim construction near or atop the ruins of their enemies’ symbolic buildings as a mark of Islamic supremacy.

The land for the mosque has been bought for $4.85 million in unaccounted for cash. The estimated cost of the new building that will house the mosque is $100 million. It is to be funded by donations. Just who specifically, would be making these donations is one unanswered question? Once built, 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims are expected to pray at the mosque every Friday. The target date for the opening of this mosque is Sept. 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the attack on New York and Washington, D.C.

Furthermore, a second mosque seeks to build near ground zero. The Masjid Mosque has raised $8.5 million and is seeking an additional $2.5 million to begin construction. While it apparently has not settled on a final location, it has told donors it plans to build very close to where the World Trade Center once stood. In fact, the Masjid Mosque website states:
“Insha’Allah we will raise the flag of La-Illaha-Illa-Allah in downtown Manhattan very soon!”

The World Trade Center was destroyed in the name of Islam. The perpetrators stated the people that were murdered were not innocent, which is blatantly false. The planned mosque will be just 600 feet from ground zero, at the site of the greatest Islamofascist achievement over infidels in hundreds of years. Thus, three questions can be raised. Are these mosques to honor the perpetrators of 9-11 rather than its victims? Is the mosque to indicate Islam’s triumph and supremacy? Finally, how will the establishment of these mosques be viewed in the Arab-Muslim world?

Historian Dr. Steve Carol is the author of two books, Middle East Rules of Thumb: Understanding the Complexities of the Middle East and Encyclopedia of Days: Start the Day with History, as well as numerous articles. He is Associate Producer and official historian of The Middle East Radio Forum, heard Sundays at noon in Phoenix on KKNT 960 AM and on the web at Dr. Carol is a Middle East Consultant to Salem Radio Network (SRN) News.