canfield cartoon

The American citizen’s New Year’s Resolutions 2011

I will take responsibility for my own political future.

My commitment is to effect the change of our political process by first reading our Constitution and Bill of Rights and then learning the basic operation of our democratic form of government and economic system.

I will not blame others for the shortcomings of my state, our country or my political party without first becoming knowledgeable of the democratic process, then seeking and exhausting all citizen – inspired, reasonable resolutions.

I will make the time to get involved and help my state and federal Congress persons return to and stay the course of being a representative government by requiring their full accountability, according to their voting record, which is to reflect the consciousness of the majority of their constituents.

I will not apologize for being an American.
I will not apologize for being “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I will not apologize for being rich, middle class or poor, but I will strive to improve myself and my neighbor by becoming a better citizen within and regardless of my financial capacity.

I will strive for truth, seek truth and discuss truth and require my congressional leaders to do likewise as we strive together to free ourselves and our country from the oppression, suppression and enslavement of political correctness (PC).

I will not let anyone or any process pit me against or drive a wedge between me and my fellow Americans regardless of my social status/situation or theirs.

I will teach my children and/or grandchildren the importance of this resolution as they are our nation’s future.

AJP Publications | Copyright © 2010

Thanks to Paul Kokoski for his letter "Homosexual acts are not about "rights"

As a retired USN officer with 32 years active duty I am very concerned about the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell." Almost all the members of the House and Senate have never served in the U.S. military.

They have no concept of what life is like on the front line, foxhole, submarine, destroyer, deployed air unit or extended and remote duty. What gives them the knowledge to decide that gays can now openly serve with normal soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen. Our men and women defending the U.S. don't need to be distracted from their efforts against our enemies, terrorists and U.S. haters by gays hitting on them or having their trysts on the battlefield or aboard our ships deployed at sea. I would not want to enter a "head"(navy bathroom) or berthing space and encounter a "couple" of guys making love.

Although the repeal passed and was signed by Obama, the Service Chiefs must ensure all changes and indoctrination has taken place to implement this new and very demoralizing life style. One early and very significant challenge will be the revision of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). This Code is the legal document that governs all active military personnel regarding legal violations. (When a military person breaks the law while on duty (theft, dereliction of duty, misconduct such as murder, assault, rape, homosexual acts etc.) violation of the code usually results in a Court Martial.

Implementation of the repeal will require major changes to the UCMJ. Most difficult will be how to train our Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen to live with openly condoned homosexuality. I know that I served with gays who carefully abided by the Don't Ask Don't Tell rules. Those patriotic people serving our country did so with pride and made a major contribution to our defense. That system worked well except for a few malcontents who made a public issue out of openly violating a successful system. Repeal will cause massive disruption in our armed forces!

R. Shriver, Captain USN (RET)


Lost Marine/NASA Hat and GOBs

Dear Don,
Thanks, Don, for finding my hat for me. The article you wrote as part of your “My View” plus the cartoon Bil drew of my old hat with the big word “Lost” on the bill did the trick.

I don’t know how my grandson Matthew and I can ever thank you enough. I was holding the hat to give to the oldest Keith grandson until he was old enough to appreciate it. There is a lot of history on that hat. I think Matthew is old enough now since he is just about to complete his Sophomore year in college. I will give it to him as part of his Christmas gifts and explain to him what each of the pins represent.

Don, there is an old Marine saying that fits you and me to a “t”: There is no better friend than a Marine, or if you choose, no worst enemy.”

Every town has a few GOBs but only a couple make it bad for the rest of them. Most of the GOBs I like for the most part. Those who deliberately do things to hurt others is like throwing cow shit around and if you do you are sure to get some on yourself.

I’ve always believed like the Marines taught me that if you treat people the way you wish for them to treat you, then you treat people the right way.

The Marines have a saying and often address each other with “Semper-Fi.” In case you do not know what that means, I’ll tell you, “Always Faithful To Everyone.”

I especially want to thank Herb Hayde, Manny Gonzales, Jim Blean, Alan Haugner and the good folks at Harold’s Corral for all they did in helping me get that hat back. When you called and offered to help me, I knew then I would find it as that is the best read paper in this whole wide area. No wonder you are like a son to me. Someday our city will find that out too. They need to read what I wrote above and then they will understand and not let those couple of bad apples hurt all of us.

Semper-Fi, Don.
Your old dad,

Blaine Keith, Retired USMC/NASA | Carefree


Tom Rawles’ Guest Editorial

Congratulations Sonoran News for publishing last weeks piece by Guest Writer Tom Rawles. As an Anglo-American with U.S. citizenship and twenty years domicile I agree with almost every word he wrote. My left of center social progressive position usually makes it hard for me to find any views I agree with in your publication – but I keep reading nevertheless just as I occasionally take in O’Reilly, Olberman, Maddow, Stewart, Chris Matthews, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC News et al but never, ever, Beck, Limbaugh or Hannity.

The latter three should spend some time digesting Mr. Rawles’ rounded and well thought out piece. My only issue with his thinking? As he suggests neither party has accepted responsibility for the continuing decline in America’s global position. Education, medical care, energy, welfare of the U.S. citizen (Is 40 million people on food stamps or in poverty the trade mark of ‘the greatest nation on God’s green earth’ as Michael Medved would have you believe? I’d submit not). Tom Rawles suggests it is the people who have the power to change the nation’s direction but I have my doubts.

We need now a unique person to lead this great nation. Someone who will keep the nation safe, focus on its education at all levels, its health and welfare, its energy solution and immigration position. A budget must be created to to finance those objectives and if that means increasing taxes directly or indirectly so be it.

Democrat or Republican – it matters not – the goals and the pathway matter most. Let’s hope there is somebody capable of leading the way otherwise the future is gloomy for many.

Leslie Neilon | North Scottsdale


CCUSD teacher bonuses

What are the real priorities of CCUSD's governing board? The district recently received about $1 million in federal stimulus funding. Did they use some of it to lower class sizes, similar to the actions taken by Scottsdale and Fountain Hills school districts?

Nope! They are, instead, issuing bonus checks (about $3 thousand for full time teachers) to each of the district teachers, with smaller bonus amounts allotted to CCUSD administrators. These bonus payments will amount to about 5-10 percent of the average certified teachers' annual salary, as reported by CCUSD to the Arizona Department of Education.

The staff reporter of another major Valley newspaper, after interviewing the CCUSD superintendent, wrote that these bonus payments would make up for past declines in teachers' salaries. Apparently, this reporter may have made a mistake! According to the board-certified annual reports filed by CCUSD with the Arizona Department of Education, average CCUSD annual certified teacher salaries grew at a 3.5-4 percent compounded annual growth rate. Since the 2002-3 school year, average annual teachers' salaries increased about 25-30 percent over the past seven years, going from $39,784 in the 2002-3 school year to an estimated $50,700 in the 2009-10 school year. Didn't this major Valley newspaper reporter bother to verify the information provided her (being available in public documents on the Internet), before publishing this story?

As for the Proposition 301/Classroom Site funds for teacher pay, State Auditor General reports indicate a 6.5-7 percent increase in the annual compounded growth rate over a 6 year period, going from $3,630 per certified teacher in the 2002-3 school year to $5,301 in the 2008-9 school year for each certified teacher (nearly a 45-50 percent increase over the last 6 year period). No comparable data has been issued by the State Auditor General for the 2009-10 school year.
Despite this, CCUSD administrators proposed that this nearly $1 million in federal funds be used to supplement certified teachers' salaries and the CCUSD governing board agreed unanimously. These teacher bonus payments are not the first ones proposed by CCUSD administrators and approved by the governing board. When the state legislature, at the last minute, approved all-day kindergarten funding, $622,203 was allotted to CCUSD in the 2006-7 school year. As district administrators said that the budget was already set, this money was then used to "provide additional salary increases for teachers, classified and administrative staff". Both Scottsdale and Fountain Hills school districts used similar last-minute funding for all-day kindergarten to reduce class sizes.

What happened to CCUSD's governing principle "Children first, people always"? What happened to CCUSD's governing board strategic priority: class size?. A ranking CCUSD governing board member has said "...class size (is) very important", noting that "...our class size is a competitive advantage (PVUSD and SUSD classes are higher)..... ". Another ranking board member said "...the board is concerned about class size...". One wonders about these comments! Is the term "class size" merely rhetoric that is revived every time CCUSD is seeking extra M&O money from the district taxpayers? One wonders, once again!
The above information was derived from School Performance Audit reports and SDERs as well as CCUSD annual reports provided to the state Department of Education and the state Auditor General's office.

Will Wreight | Phoenix


Deepest respect

Who is Lindsay Lohan, again? Oh, who cares ....

Today, at 6 a.m., I dropped Ryan Calhoon off at Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix, Ariz. He is the 28 year old son of Jeff and Bonnie Calhoon. He is like family to me.

Where's he going? Can't tell you – it is classified. I can tell you this: We attentive Americans sometimes refer to it as "The Sandbox." He is a Captain in the U.S. Army, 101st Airborne qualified, and will return to *#@^@!# to take over command of a company of light-armored combatants and three FOBs (Forward Operating Bases). Although the numbers aren't exact, as circumstances dictate, he will be in command of approx 120 war fighters and another 30-40 support personnel. He is a University of Arizona grad (I forgive him that, since I went to ASU) and holds the high honor of being a member of "The President's 100," meaning he is rated as one of the top 100 precision shooters/weapons experts in all of the U.S. Armed Forces – pretty impressive! I assure you, his subordinate soldiers and fellow war fighters respect that a lot more than the number of Masters Degrees their commanders have!

Please keep him in your prayers. As I dropped him off, I gave him a big "abrazo" (that's a "guy hug"), prayed with him, and said, "Take care of your troops." He will.

God Bless our American War Fighters and Protectors Everywhere; (Lindsay and the rest of the Self-Indulged, ignorant and undeserving Hollywoodites can all go jump in the Pacific)

Ronald Colburn | E-mail


Support for our military

This holiday season as I spend time with my family, my thoughts will turn to the members of our military serving at home, abroad and especially those in harm's way. I remember with equal concern and appreciation their families- parents, spouses, children and siblings-who endure the difficulties of service and deployment. I imagine many of you do the same.

My oldest son, Matthew sent this story along to me last week and I wanted to share it with you.

Thank you for your continued support of our military and the Naval War College Foundation.
Best wishes for a peaceful and safe holiday,

Roger Nolan, Executive Director | Naval War College Foundation

From the USNI blog: http://blog.usni. org/2010/12/17/a-general-mattis-christmas-story/

A couple of months ago, when I told General Krulak, the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, now the chair of the Naval Academy Board of Visitors, that we were having General Mattis speak this evening, he said, "Let me tell you a Jim Mattis story." General Krulak said, when he was Commandant of the Marine Corps, every year, starting about a week before Christmas, he and his wife would bake hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of Christmas cookies. They would package them in small bundles.

Then on Christmas day, he would load his vehicle. At about 4 a.m., General Krulak would drive himself to every Marine guard post in the Washington-Annapolis-Baltimore area and deliver a small package of Christmas cookies to whatever Marines were pulling guard duty that day. He said that one year, he had gone down to Quantico as one of his stops to deliver Christmas cookies to the Marines on guard duty. He went to the command center and gave a package to the lance corporal who was on duty.

He asked, "Who's the officer of the day?" The lance corporal said, "Sir, it's Brigadier General Mattis." And General Krulak said, "No, no, no. I know who General Mattis is. I mean, who's the officer of the day today, Christmas day?" The lance corporal, feeling a little anxious, said, "Sir, it is Brigadier General Mattis."

General Krulak said that, about that time, he spotted in the back room a cot, or a daybed.
He said, "No, Lance Corporal. Who slept in that bed last night?" The lance corporal said, "Sir, it was Brigadier General Mattis."

About that time, General Krulak said that General Mattis came in, in a duty uniform with a sword, and General Krulak said, "Jim, what are you doing here on Christmas day? Why do you have duty?" General Mattis told him that the young officer who was scheduled to have duty on Christmas day had a family, and General Mattis decided it was better for the young officer to spend Christmas Day with his family, and so he chose to have duty on Christmas Day.

General Krulak said, "That's the kind of officer that Jim Mattis is."

The story above was told by Dr. Albert C. Pierce, the Director of the Center for the Study of Professional Military Ethics at The United States Naval Academy. He was General James Mattis who gave a lecture on Ethical Challenges in Contemporary Conflict in the spring of 2006. This was taken from the transcript of that lecture.


Great 12-29 Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell editorial, Don

I was in the Air Force from 1961-65 and we had some gay guys in our barracks. I don’t remember any conflicts anyone had with them: they went their way and we went ours and the subject of their sexual preferences was not discussed. With the repeal of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” a new can of worms will be opened and some of the problem instances you mentioned will become reality. If ever there was a case of letting sleeping dogs lie, this is it but we know how Obama thinks.

Obama has never served a day in the military so this will be one more mistake he has made while president. Hopefully he will lose in 2012.
Best to Shari Jo.

Jim McAllister | Scottsdale


Way to go Jan!! Maybe this is a language he can understand

Arizona governor vs. Phoenix Suns owner

The owner of the Phoenix Suns basketball team, Robert Sarver, opposes Arizona's new immigration laws. Arizona 's Governor, Jan Brewer, released the following statement in response to Sarver's criticism of the new law:

"What if the owners of the Suns discovered that hordes of people were sneaking into games without paying? What if they had a good idea who the gate-crashers are, but the ushers and security personnel were not allowed to ask these folks to produce their ticket stubs, thus non-paying attendees couldn't be ejected. Furthermore, what if Suns' ownership was expected to provide those who sneaked in with complimentary eats and drink? And what if, on those days when a gate-crasher became ill or injured, the Suns had to provide free medical care and shelter?"

Jan Brewer | Arizona Governor