canfield cartoon

Oppenheimer’s prediction

J. Robert Oppenheimer, the major developer of research which led to the development of the first nuclear bomb, said, in 1945, just after the test bomb was detonated in New Mexico:
"I am become death, the destroyer of worlds."

In view of the partial melt-downs of the nuclear reactors in Japan's power plants, it seems Oppenheimer may have been right.

Ralph G. Smith | Cave Creek

Burst of freedom

America has experienced a wonderful “burst of freedom” in the 2010 elections when it voted to oust many liberal state and federal candidates. This may have been America’s last chance to end evil Marxist Socialism, which is Obama’s promise of “hope and change” for America. If Obama’s agenda were to succeed it would destroy our liberty and freedoms for many, many generations to come. America must not let this happen.

I believe the Tea Party movement was a great influence that brought about this amazing victory. But, I also believe that God intervened to save this nation in which He had a crucial role in founding, winning the Revolutionary War, writing The Constitution and many other ways. God’s words of wisdom are still very applicable today. King Solomon, the wisest king of Israel, wrote in Proverbs 17:7: “Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool, much less lying lips to a prince.” But these people will never change and they must also be fired as happened to many liberals in the 2010 election.

When Americans realized the future of their children now and for many generations to come was in real jeopardy, they acted by voting for the conservative candidates that gave them the best last hope of getting America back to what the founder of our U.S. Constitution intended. Our founders provided a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Americans must pray that Almighty God will continue to protect America from all enemies, foreign and domestic. God bless our America, with its liberty and freedoms that we love, so it can be passed on to future generations.

James Roehborn | Alexandria, Minnesota

Intrusive census questions

During the last Census, a female inquisitor came to the door. Every time she asked a question beyond the required data, I repeated, “One adult male, one adult female.” She was highly incensed, and threatened me with imprisonment, at which time I advised her that she was trespassing, and had exactly ten seconds to waddle her fat arse off my property. She bellowed that she would have the sheriff serve me with papers (I’m still waiting for the chance to challenge Big Brother in court). I left France in 1941 during the Nazi occupation, and moved to Argentina to eventually live under the hammer of Peron and his Michelle, Evita. I have lived in the USA since 1953, so a National-Socialist government, including Obama’s, does not scare me anymore.

J-P. A. Maldonado | Phoenix

Regarding St. Patrick

For most people St. Patrick's Day is a day of parades, parties, leprechauns and green beer. But just as Christmas is about more than commercialized fun, so too does St. Patrick's Day have a deeper meaning.

St. Patrick's Day began as a religious holiday honoring St. Patrick – a holy bishop sent to Ireland in 433 A.D. by Pope Celestine I to draw its people into the fold of Christ's universal church. Upon his arrival at Ireland's shores St. Patrick encountered many setbacks and persecutions by the superstitious Druids who had employed magicians to maintain their sway over the Irish race. Despite severe trials, St. Patrick was able to convert all of Ireland and conquer paganism. He is thus credited with driving the Celtic "snakes" out of Ireland.

St. Patrick is credited with many miracles and is responsible for the building of several Catholic schools, monasteries and churches throughout Ireland. He is known for his powerful expositions of the principles of the Catholic faith. He even employed the ordinary, little, three-leaved shamrock plant to teach people about the Blessed Trinity. He was called to his heavenly reward on March 17, 461.

St. Patrick was a humble, pious gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death – so complete was his trust in God and the importance of his mission.

Paul Kokoski | Hamilton, Ontario

Pension Reform Plan passes Senate, moves to House

A new bill that will reform Arizona’s public safety retirement system passed out of the Senate March 3 with 21 votes. Sen. Yarbrough’s pension plan, outlined in SB1609, provides extensive results-based reforms which will provide and preserve excellent benefits for its employees.

SB1609 makes common-sense reforms to the ailing public safety pension system by restricting benefit increases to times when the fund experiences stable rates of return. It also asks employees to contribute a reasonable amount toward protecting their future benefits. To promote long term sustainability, new hires will be required to work 25 years to achieve “normal” retirement and a minimum age is established for retirement.  

SB 1609 addresses the issue of double-dipping by reforming current return-to-work policies so that the system would be prevented from taking a loss when a retiree returns to work and prohibits a person convicted of a felony involving official duties from collecting a pension. SB 1609 also reforms the Elected Officials Retirement Plan by scaling back the rate at which benefits accrue and capping the pension at 75 percent. To make this plan more sustainable in the immediate future, all elected officials will be required to accept these changes and become “new hires” by virtue of being re-elected, or in the case of judges, retained.  Elected officials will also pay more toward their benefits. 

Sen. Yarbrough believes the pension plans are currently underfunded, and that SB1609 will play a key role in preserving the pension systems for public safety employees. “I want police officers and firefighters to have the maximum assurance that their pensions will be secure when they retire. The reforms I have proposed with this new legislation will help this goal be realized timely and effectively,” says Sen. Yarbrough, a Chandler Republican.

SB1609 received overwhelming support from Senate members this past week and is expected to do so again when it is heard in the House.

Arizona State Senate

We need YOU to STOP "Grahamnesty"

In 2007, we defeated the John McCain/Ted Kennedy amnesty scheme dubbed “McAMNESTY.”

This time around, with Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) grabbing the bull by the horns, the media has dubbed it “GRAHAMNESTY.”
The name fits, but it’s no joke.

Already First Lady Michelle Obama has been dispatched to rally Latino organizations to pressure Republicans into supporting “GRAHAMNESTY” and any other form of amnesty that may emerge in Congress.

Here’s how they see it: (1) if amnesty passes, Obama will claim victory and have a better chance at winning re-election; (2) if amnesty fails, Obama will blame racist conservatives for blocking it.

And that’s why AMNESTY will be high on the Obama agenda the next two years … whether full-scale immigration reform, or a sweetheart deal that gets brokered behind closed doors.
But liberals don’t discuss the numbers: as many as 23 MILLION illegal aliens in the United States today… as much as $4 TRILLION cost to taxpayers if amnesty passes … already 9,000+ American citizens killed each year by illegal aliens.

And that’s why we can’t afford to lose. Too much is at stake for America and our families.

I was proud to serve as Executive Director of the Arizona Republican Party in 2007 when we led the so-called “revolt of the rogue state parties” against McAMNESTY, which at the time had the backing of the Bush White House.

Since I founded BAN AMNESTY NOW last year, and have had the opportunity to work closely with individuals like Sheriff Joe Arpaio, SB 1070 author Senator Russell Pearce (our national co-chairman), Bay Buchanan, Tom Tancredo and many others, our 1-MILLION-PLUS supporters have become a force to be reckoned with!

Not once, but TWICE, we helped stop the nightmarish DREAM Act. Working with Sheriff Arpaio, we helped keep Major League Baseball from caving to pressure from the liberals and saved the All-Star Game in Arizona.

… and we are well on our way to collecting 1 MILLION PETITIONS to deliver to Congress to oppose amnesty!

Will you help us stop the Obama Amnesty scheme? Will you help Ban Amnesty Now collect 1,000,000 petitions from fellow Patriots by making a generous contribution and by signing the B.A.N. Citizen’s Petition Against Amnesty today?

The PRO-AMNESTY forces in Washington and across America are working hard to build their “liberal-socialist-new world order” coalition against us. They want nothing more than to pass Amnesty this year!

That doesn’t give us much time to raise the money we need to stop them. So please respond today with a generous donation of $25, $35, $50, or even $100 today. If you can afford more, we appreciate your support!

Can you and I make a difference today? Can we STOP AMNESTY? You bet we can! But it will take a united effort of conservatives from coast to coast, and starting today with you and me!

For America,
What we need most right now is YOU!
To contribute by mail, please send your check (payable to “B.A.N.”) to:
Ban Amnesty Now
60 E Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 900
Tempe, AZ 85281

Recall Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik

The Az Tourist News is proud to actively support Americans Against Immigration Amnesty and its campaign to recall Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. The Sheriff's comments on January 8, 2011 that “Arizona has become the Mecca for bigotry and hatred” are tantamount to the President telling the world they should not visit Las Vegas and will have a negative impact on the tourism business in Arizona, similar to that experienced by Las Vegas as a result of the President's statements.

Arizona has become the nation's whipping post for the political elite over the last year and businesses that depend on tourism are suffering in record proportions. We cannot continue to condone such irresponsible statements, whose only consequence is to harm those hard working Americans seeking only to support their families.

“We encourage the local businesses in Tucson to join with us in our support for Americans Against Immigration Amnesty ( and the recall campaign. Now is the time for Tucson and Arizona businesses to make their voices heard and to put an end to the irresponsible, anti-business rhetoric of our elected officials.”

Tony Venuti | Publisher, AZ Tourist News

Estate Tax Repeal? Bad idea!

The Estate Tax has been an important source of revenue for the federal government, in one form or another, since 1916.

Once again, the GOP is stepping up its calls to make tax cuts (for the rich) permanent, and are aggressively promoting a repeal of  the estate tax. The estate tax, now dubbed the 'Death Tax' by neo-conservatives, affects only the very richest of Americans – and then only the heirs of multi-millionaires and billionaires. As if it really matters. The decedent is not affected at all by the estate tax, since he/she is now pushing up daisies – only his/her heirs may be affected by the estate tax.

I'm not so sure the overwhelming majority of Americans have any interest in perpetuating what has become an aristocracy of overwhelming wealth, power and influence. So, one might ask, "Why tax inheritors of large fortunes?" Because it's still an important source of federal revenue.

Conservatives deceitfully portray the estate tax as a 'death tax' on small family-owned businesses. The fact of the matter is that less than 1 percent of the people that inherit an estate pay any estate tax at all, and half of the revenue from that tax comes from estates valued at $10 million or more. As the estate tax law is now constituted, only an individual inheriting more than $5 million dollars (couples, $10 million dollars) will pay the estate tax. The current inheritance tax on estates is 35 percent, but only on the amount exceeding $5 million dollars ($10 million for couples). The consequence of repealing the estate tax is this: the loss in federal revenue would be staggering – an estimated $680 billion dollars over the next decade. This loss of revenue, combined with the tax reductions on unearned income, is going to bring us to the point of no return; adding further to our national debt is unsustainable. We may have already reached that point of no return.

Paul G. Jaehnert | Vadnais Heights, Minnesota

Harper removes SB1159 from the Ways and Means Committee Agenda

SB1159 Multimedia Production Tax Credits, will not receive a hearing in the House of Representatives. Despite years of pointing out to the proponents that "refundable tax credits" and "transferable tax credits" create a financial incentive for the recipient to NOT do what they promised or the public expected, they have brought yet another multi-million dollar loser to the State Legislature.  When a tax credit is transferable, whatever part of the credit the recipient does not use against their state tax liability, they can sell (transfer) to another state taxpayer to write off against their tax liability as well.  When a tax credit is refundable, whatever part of the tax credit is not used against the recipient's state tax liability, is refunded from the state general fund.  Refundable Tax Credits are likely unconstitutional under the gift ban in the Arizona State Constitution.  In both cases, refundable and transferable tax credits create an incentive for the recipient to do as small of a project as required in the law and then sell or redeem the remainder of the tax credit.  The Arizona State Legislature and the taxpayers of Arizona have fallen victim to these schemes in the past. 

Had SB1159 had an up or down vote in the House Ways and Means Committee last Monday, it is widely believed as of Thursday March 17, 2011 that it would have failed on Monday. 

Rather than risking that committee members would endure a weekend of coercion and possible attempted bribes, I have arbitrarily decided to remove SB1159 from the agenda and end the proposal for the year.  When one business stands to gain $35 million to $50 million in a single piece of legislation, felony quid-pro-quo's are bound to materialize.

I offer my apologies to the sponsor of the bill, State Senator John Nelson.  He did not know of my intentions or concerns about the proponents of the bill.

State Representative Jack Harper | Arizona House of Representatives