bil canfield cartoon

Veterans Day

Our veterans and their families have done so much for us. Let’s honor them by learning how we can help prevent another veteran death by suicide. 

We all need to be aware of suicide risk factors and warning signs. Go to Click on “Understanding Suicide” to learn more. 

If you recognize someone is in immediate need, the Veterans Crisis Line connects you or them to qualified, caring U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential toll-free hotline, online chat, or text. Veterans and their family members can call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online at, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Edmond and Mary Bilodeau
AFSP Chapter Volunteer/Field Advocates


Veterans not worth the dollars

The elections are over, back to business with Congress as they have many unsettled issues in need of attention.  The VA scandal is still a priority for Congress to settle.  Although the VA has made some progress toward veterans care and benefits improvements, it is not yet 100 percent thought out.  Our Congress needs transparency in bipartisanship and held accountable. 

A quote by Theodore Roosevelt: "A man who is good enough to shed his blood for the Country is good enough to be given a square deal afterwards." We veterans need a square deal for survival and better quality of life; is it too much to ask for?  Many thousands of veterans are sick with PTSD and Severe Illnesses with little to no resolve. 

The most critical of our veterans groups is the Vietnam war veteran.  Tens of thousands continue to combat illnesses associated with the herbicide Agent Orange.  The group of veterans mostly ignored by the VA are those who served at sea in that war known as Blue Water Navy. Many are infected with Agent Orange.  Although House Bill HR-543 is still active in Congress with over 55 percent Congressional support it is stalled in the Veterans Affairs Committee.  Financial support for this Bill amounts to approximately 7 to 9 billion dollars spread out over 7 to 10 years, after that there will be none of us left.  We give hundreds of billions to foreign countries, some of which hate us, yet not a dime to our veterans. What is wrong with this picture?  It goes to show veterans are a low priority.

Americans call your members of Congress demand they pass HR-543. 

John J. Bury
US Navy retired Vietnam veteran
Media, Pennsylvania


Cavalliere Ranch

This is just a reminder that the Cavalliere Ranch case (up-zoning of 462 acres roughly south east of the 128th St. and Ranch Gate alignment) will be heard by the Planning Commission today, Wednesday, November 12, at 5 p.m.

However, be aware that it will not be held in the Kiva as most Planning Commission meetings are, but rather will be in the Copper Ridge School – School Cafeteria at 10101 E. Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. This is the same place the off-site Planning Commission meeting on the major General Plan amendments was held. For anyone who plans to attend, the directions are pretty simple, take Pima Road to Thompson Peak Parkway and go east (toward the mountains). It will curve around and eventually come to the Copper Ridge School. There should be signs directing you from there.

This is the meeting where the Planning Commission will recommend approval or denial of this application to the City Council. If approved, this will increase the number of houses in that area from 154 to about 443 (about 3:1), dramatically increasing the traffic through Troon on Ranch Gate, 118th Street, Happy Valley, Jomax, and Alma School. The impact on other infrastructure in Troon will be pretty dramatic also.

Staff found numerous problems with it; however they are still recommending approval with a whole bunch of stipulations to try to address all the issues. The fact is it should never be approved with all the issues even staff has identified.

Howard Myers


Article V

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.” Now is the time to quit the name calling and start speaking out to preserve our freedoms. Article V of the Constitution gives us a tool, called a Convention of States, to work together to propose Term Limits to Congress, a Fair Tax and / or Balanced Budget Amendments and take our country back. We can’t afford to be silent anymore with a deficit over $17 trillion, a corrupt IRS, the Foreign Relations turmoil, the NSA intrusion and the health care uncertainty. Congress seems incapable of resolving any of these challenges and compromise is no longer a part of their vocabulary.  Aren’t you tired of them ignoring the will of the American people? “We the people” need to wake up, speak up and stand up for our country and our Constitution. The Convention of States allows Americans to limit the power and jurisdiction of the Federal Government.  Come join us: or Facebook:  Convention of States.

Determined to preserve our freedoms,

Brian Valliant
Ft. Worth, Texas


Big labor’s death rattle

Republicans will likely roll up between 54 and 56 Senate seats when the dust settles as the late breaking voters overwhelmingly chose to reject the policies of President Obama.

Louisiana's Senate seat will be decided in a December run-off, and 60 percent of those who voted rejected the incumbent Democrat creating a virtually insurmountable obstacle for her to maintain her seat in the run-off.

As important as the Senate changeover is, the victories of three Midwest Governors in states that voted for Obama in both 2008 and 2012 is a storyline that cannot be lost.

Wisconsin's Scott Walker, Michigan's Rick Snyder and Ohio's John Kasich each took on Big Labor in their respective states and lived politically to tell about it.

All three states have a long history of being labor union strongholds, yet today that political power is on life support.  Low turnout elections should be labor's ball game, where they are able to use their membership resources which are already organized for mobilization, to turn the tide.

In Michigan, Snyder took on the United Auto Workers union passing a right to work law in what was once perceived as the most union state of them all.  This bold effort that strikes at the heart of the UAW's ability to coerce dues payments from its members was met with fierce opposition at the time of passage, but the union efforts turned into nothing more than sound and fury signifying nothing as the Governor coasted to re-election.

In Ohio, Governor Kasich reluctantly led an effort that would have prohibited public employees from striking and limited their ability to engage in collective bargaining.  Public employee unions spent more than $30 million in a state referendum and successfully repealed the measure, but they failed miserably in attempts to make Kasich pay a political price.  The election was their final test on whether public employee unions could make a politician pay in Ohio, and they failed miserably.

Finally and most importantly, Scott Walker remains the Governor of Wisconsin winning his largest victory to date.

Walker famously led his deep purple state to a balanced budget by changing the ability of public employee unions to collectively bargain and compel their members to pay dues. His efforts have led to a three year union meltdown/temper tantrum which has seen attempts to recall him from office as well as some supportive members of the state legislature, fights over control of the state Supreme Court, prosecutorial misconduct related to targeting tea party groups' political involvement, and virtually every other political trick in the book. 

Today Governor Walker is stronger than ever, re-elected by his widest margin yet. A bold, tough innovator Walker brought his state back from the brink of the economic abyss by doing the seemingly impossible and surviving politically.  His public employee union enemies not just beaten, but left as a shadow of themselves as voters chose prosperity over enriching government workers.

The failure of the once powerful labor movement to make a dent in the political fortunes of three rust belt state Governors that have been in the Obama electoral column each of the last two cycles should forever end the myth that Big Labor matters politically.

While they have the capacity to throw their member dues at a politician, they don't have the ability to beat those who go into the belly of the beast and slay it. 

As Republican Governors across the nation seek ways to establish economic growth, prosperity and fiscal sanity in their states, they will be looking to Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan as an example.  Big labor's abject political failure in these three unlikely states is emboldening to those representing areas where unions are less entrenched.

Analysts and pundits are trying to figure out what the Republican sweep means nationally.

In the long run, big labor's death rattle in Wisconsin and Michigan in particular is likely to have profound political impact over the next four years.

Rick Manning
Vice president of public policy and communications
Americans for Limited Government


Exchange Plans are failing America's most vulnerable

The Affordable Care has helped millions of Americans access health insurance. But the quality of coverage insurers are currently offering is worrisome.

Even with federal subsidies, many available plans make paying for medications to treat cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune diseases, and other serious conditions totally unaffordable. If the Affordable Care Act doesn't help the most vulnerable pay for treatment, who is it helping?

A report by the research group Milliman found that 46 percent of all enrollees with a Silver plan – the most popular level of coverage – have a single, combined deductible for medical and pharmacy benefits. As a result, it's not uncommon for patients to pay more than $2,000 out of pocket before they get any drug coverage.

Compounding this problem is the high cost-sharing in most plans. Typically, insurance plans have four or five cost-sharing tiers. The lowest tier might have a co-pay of $15 for prescription drugs, while the highest tier might require patients to pay 40 percent or more of the actual cost of the medication. Such cost-sharing can run patients hundreds of dollars per month or more.

A new report by Avalere health analyzed cost-sharing in Affordable Care Act plans for 19 classes of prescription drugs used to treat specific illnesses. The results are troubling.

A shocking number of treatments are in the top cost-sharing tier. In seven of the classes, one in five Silver plans require coinsurance of 40 percent for all covered medications.

Additionally, more than 60 percent of Silver plans put all medicines for treating autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis and Crohn's disease in the top tier.

Adding to this difficulty, many patients have reported that when signing up for insurance, they can't determine what their co-pays will be. Few insurers are offering to help patients determine which level of coverage is best for their individual therapies.

The bottom line is that many Americans with serious health problems who signed up under the Affordable Care Act are finding that they have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket just to get treatment.

Patients with these conditions have to make a decision about what they can afford. And that decision is often to save money by skipping medications.

The cost associated with non-adherence to prescription drug regimens is particularly problematic with autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases are responsible for $100 billion in medical costs annually, and much of that is because patients have trouble staying on top of their treatments and end up in hospitals. By making autoimmune drugs unaffordable, these plans could make other health care costs explode. What's more, 75 percent of those suffering from autoimmune diseases are women. Aside from harming those with chronic health problems, the formularies these plans offer are discriminatory.

Making sure patients have access to drugs saves money. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, the expansion of drug access through Medicare Part D saves $12 billion annually. That's because medications enable patients to manage chronic conditions and avoid expensive trips to hospitals.

The lack of transparency in the marketplaces has also proven to be a problem. Many patients with chronic conditions might have been better-off selecting a Gold plan instead of a Silver or Bronze plan. It's difficult to compare the bottom-line costs of plans offering higher monthly premiums but better drug coverage and plans with lower premiums but higher deductibles and co-pays.

The top priority of the Affordable Care Act is in its name: affordability. Instead, it's putting basic health care out of reach for many of the sickest Americans. Insurance under the president's health care law must pay for essential prescription drug treatments.

Virginia Ladd
President and executive director of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association


Mitch McConnell, change and hurting America

Average America doesn't feel better off today.

More of us are feeling the pain of the new government healthcare laws.  My personal medical insurance premium will increase in January. My deductible goes from $3,000 to $5,000 and my co-pay also goes up. Beginning in January 2015, my medical insurance will be the worst I've had in my life. I suspect that during this past election millions of Americans started waking up about Obamacare. The new Senate and House must edit the healthcare laws.

Allow the very poor of America to be on Medicaid and those with preexisting conditions to buy into Medicare. Allow working Americans to buy and bargain for their own health insurance and allow us to do it across state lines.

Thousands of illegals continue to come to America. Many of them of them are hard-working people. They simply want to be in America and have a better life. I don't blame them. However, the majority of Americans want them to fill out their paperwork. We want these people to be documented and follow the legal path to living in America. Most Americans would agree on making the path clear and obtainable. We simply do not want to just reward these people with citizenship if they broke the law to get here.

Americans are tired of our jobs going overseas.

Minimum wage, even if it's $10 or $12 an hour, is not enough. We need $20 and $25 an hour jobs that pay benefits. We need to reward companies for keeping jobs in America. We don't want to reward them for moving jobs to another country. However, companies must also decide how they are going to handle medical insurance.  If we continue to demand more taxes and more medical insurance burdens from businesses they will move somewhere else. Or, they will continue to downgrade full-time employees to part-time employees.

Average America is not ready to eliminate fossil fuels. We like solar, wind and natural gas. We also know that we are loaded with coal and oil. We need to use our fossil fuels while developing technology that uses cleaner and more efficient sources of energy.  More Americans would like for us to be disconnected from Middle Eastern oil. We are tired of being tied to Saudi Arabia or Iraq for oil.  Actually we are sick and tired of the Middle East in general.

Maybe, I shouldn't speak for any other Americans. However, it seems I am safe to speak for a large number. Mitch McConnell and a host of other Republicans were elected because that is what America could do. We could vote and bring about change.

There is broad frustration and even anger toward Washington and our current policies. The Republicans need to work together and get something right for the next few months. Some of us are doubtful about a Democratic President and a Republican Congress accomplishing anything. However, this is America and we can dream. 

Dr. Glenn Mollette
American columnist and author


Time to turn to American technology for space launch

For the first time since the Cold War, the United States has deployed armored reinforcements to Europe. To counter Russia's aggression, several hundred troops and 20 tanks are now in the Baltic.

Yet the U.S. military is still injecting millions into the Russian military industrial complex. In late August, the United Launch Alliance (ULA)– the chief supplier of Air Force rockets – received two new RD-180 engines from Russia at a cost of $50 million to U.S. taxpayers.

For years, our military's use of the RD-180 has enriched a corrupt Russian government at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and helped finance Russia's technological advances. Reliance on these Russian engines is a threat to our national security. Plus, it's unnecessary. There is no shortage of U.S. firms eager to replace the RD-180. It's time to let them.

The RD-180 is a critical component of the Atlas V rocket, one of two main vehicles currently used for national-security launches. The United Launch Alliance supplies these rockets to the Air Force, NASA, and the National Reconnaissance Office, the agency that oversees many of America's spy satellites.

Russia's annexation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine has made our use of RD-180s an embarrassing liability. Senior Russian officials have routinely mocked America for it, and sought to mitigate U.S. sanctions by threatening to discontinue supplying the rocket engine. This, as the Russians know, would do immense harm to America's military and intelligence capabilities.

Moreover, the RD-180 is helping to finance an increasingly bellicose Russian government. The engine is produced by NPO Energomash, a company that's almost entirely state owned and financed by Russian banks sanctioned by the United States. Ultimate control of the company rests with Dmitry Rogozin, a Deputy Prime Minister in Russia who oversees the country's aerospace industry. He is one of the few individuals on the U.S. sanctions list.

According to a recent Pentagon report, Russian-made engines are scheduled to be used in 56 percent of America's national security launches between now and 2020. The dependence of U.S. military and intelligence capabilities on Russian equipment is not prudent.

After Russia's incursion into Ukraine, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a House appropriations subcommittee that a review of our reliance on Russian rocket engines was needed. In August, Air Force Space Command head Gen. John Hyten said we "should not be dependent on Russia for our access to space." The Air Force has started soliciting suggestions from the aerospace industry for potential replacements. And the latest defense appropriations bill includes $220 million in funding for a U.S.-made rocket engine.

These developments are encouraging. However, for America to break its dependence on Russian rocket engines, bolder action is needed.

A good place to start is by breaking the ULA's monopoly for military launches and opening up the market to new competitors. This would encourage important technological breakthroughs, while increasing the probability of saving money.

Last month, 32 Members of Congress from California noted that their state is home to the largest private producers of liquid rocket engines, including one launch services provider that the Air Force has excluded from its recent $11 billion rocket buy.

Given the national security implications and taxpayer benefits, it's hard to imagine why the Air Force would continue to keep American engine manufacturers and rocket providers off the launch pad.

David A. Deptula
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen., retired
Former chief of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance for the Air Force


The time to act is now

How much has our world changed?

It seems that not a week goes by without some news report of Jihadist activity here in the U.S. What was once a very rare occurrence is now all too common. In the past few weeks alone we have seen:

• A Muslim convert behead a co-worker in Oklahoma after performing “dawah” in an attempt to invite his co-workers to Islam;

• Three teen-age Muslim girls from Denver, Colorado, were arrested in Germany while en route to joining the Islamic State jihad in Iraq and Syria;

• Our neighbors and allies to the north have suffered two Jihadi attacks in which three Canadian soldiers were killed—two were run over by a Jihadi in a car and one was shot while standing guard at the country’s war memorial monument in Ottawa, Canada.

• A Jihadi wielding a hatchet launched an unprovoked attack on a group of New York police officers on a busy sidewalk in broad daylight in Queens.

Despite the repeated acts of Jihad and reports of support for Jihad that have become frequent in America and the West, the public is almost constantly bombarded with absurd admonitions that these are not acts of terrorism carried out by Jihadists in the name of Islam and this activity has “nothing to do with Islam.”

Just as happened in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre and the Little Rock, Arkansas, shooting on June 1, 2009, the Obama administration insists that these are simple cases of “workplace violence” and “isolated” incidents.

Is it any wonder why the Obama administration lied and covered up the Benghazi terrorist attack? After all, they won’t even tell the truth about Jihad inside our own country.

The promoters of the poison known as “political correctness” insist that we actively ignore all of the clear evidence of Shariah and Jihad in our midst: pro-ISIS graffiti in our streets; pro-ISIS protest signs in Ferguson, Missouri; violent Facebook postings from right here in America; and the fact that the Islamic State’s social media guru grew up in Boston.

We now have a rendezvous with destiny.

Either we bow down to the lords of political correctness and deny the reality of the threat of Jihad and efforts to promote Shariah inside the U.S., or we rise up in large numbers and scream the truth across the fruited plain, from sea to shining sea.

This is an urgent appeal to all patriotic Americans to stand up and be counted.

The time to act is now.

It is abundantly clear that the Obama administration has no desire to do what is necessary to defend America from Jihad, either here at home or overseas.

President Obama himself has been completely dishonest about the threat from Jihad, first participating in a cover up of the Benghazi terrorist attack and more recently uttering the biggest lie of all, namely that “ISIS is not Islamic.”

Meanwhile, he has continually embraced American Muslim Brotherhood organizations, such as ISNA, that have a pro-Shariah agenda, despite their status as un-indicted co-conspirators in the largest successful terrorism financing prosecution in U.S. history, the U.S. v. the Holy Land Foundation.

To say the least, it leaves patriotic Americans scratching their heads and wondering if our elected leaders are crazy, stupid, dishonest or all three!

At ACT for America we refuse to submit to the conventional wisdom and ignore the clear evidence of violent Jihad and the just as dangerous civilizational Jihad currently being waged inside America. We throw political correctness into the garbage where it belongs and call a spade a spade.

We will continue to warn America every day – and we will continue to hold our elected officials accountable.

The lifeblood that keeps ACT for America operating is the generous support from you and other American patriots. ACT for America is growing rapidly and we continue to work daily in the media, in the halls of Congress and in state capitols across the U.S. to educate and inform our policymakers and elected officials and provide them with solutions to defend America and defeat Jihad. As a result of our education and your support 35 bills in 17 states have passed to protect our country.

Thank you very much for your help. When everyone does a little, together we can accomplish a lot. Together we can save our nation.


Brigitte Gabriel

P.S. It’s hard to believe that 13 years after 9/11 we still have to debate the nature of the threat from Islamic jihad. It’s long past time for America to wake up.


Thoughts on the election

Those of us that champion limited government, individual liberty, and economic prosperity had a very good night last Tuesday.

President Obama made it clear that his policies were on the ballot, and voters responded by soundly rejecting those policies.

But now that voters have entrusted Republicans with control of the Senate, it's incumbent on us to restore regular order. The so-called "world's greatest deliberative body" hasn't been very deliberative the last several years. Harry Reid essentially shut down the process, rarely allowing amendment votes or free-flowing debate – all in an attempt to shield his party from tough votes.

Given the dire fiscal shape of our government, it's impossible to put us back on the path to prosperity without tough votes. So I'm glad that Republicans have pledged return to a more open process.

After six years of shirking its duty to regulate the regulators, the Senate will have a lot of work to do reining in the Obama Administration. Agencies like the EPA have gone unchecked and rode roughshod over states like Arizona.

While the failures of the Obama Administration and the electoral map worked in Republicans' favor, we couldn't have won without the hard work and support of volunteers and donors like you. Thank you!


Jeff Flake
U.S. Senate