Road closings

Don, I couldn't agree with your assessment more. You hit the nail on the head.

A question: Why does the town have to pay anything for the police to direct traffic during Bike Week? The four bars that benefit directly from the traffic snarl should pick up the tab.

Two of the most prime weekends for potential retail in town are ruined by the traffic congestion these events cause. I am not saying do away with the events. I ride a motor cycle too and love Bike Week.

I just feel the congestion it causes using the main thoroughfare for a parking lot is not right, and certainly not fair to the rest of the merchants, local town people or the tourists. The traffic actually deters non-biker people from coming into town. Bad for business, bad for tourism and gives a bad rap to what should be a stellar event.

Why can't they come up with a better parking solution than just choking down the lane of our main artery?

I support you and if you need my help as in presence or in voice please let me know.

Wayne Helfand, President
A.I.S. INC. (DBA. Rare Earth Gallery)

P.S. You missed my two year anniversary party on April 22. It was an amazing evening. Don't be such a stranger.


Veto extends illegal activity

Although he may not be aware of it, when Governor Ducey vetoed Senate Bill 1200 he enabled the Arizona Historical Society to continue defying Arizona law. When the AHS was given control of the state mineral museum to prepare for the centennial celebration, Arizona Revised Statutes Title 41.827 established a clear responsibility to continue operating the mineral museum and education programs in a portion of the building. The subsequent failure of their centennial project did not relieve them of the responsibility to continue operating the mineral museum. However, in knowing defiance of the statute, they locked the doors in April of 2011 as students were still arriving for school field trips. Then, even though they were funded to operate the museum every year since, they emptied the building, scattering its contents across the state.

In an attempt the correct the situation, the Legislature passed SB1200 (mineral museum restoration) with a nearly unanimous vote. All mineral museum assets would have been transferred to the Arizona Geological Survey, a state agency willing and able to restore and operate the minerals museum. Unfortunately, the Governor’s veto enables the AHS to continue its unethical and illegal pursuits. Their lobbyists from R&R Partners of Las Vegas are promoting conversion of the building into a reception and event center for politicians and lobbyists. The AHS, a state agency, is actually supporting the interests of lobbyists over the interests of children.

Dick Zimmermann


I have questions

Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson has stated for the record that his "job" is to "give voice to the plight of Muslims."

Question #1. Who gave him these orders and why?

Question #2. When he says "of Muslims" that seems to mean Muslims world wide. This confuses me since he is the head of Homeland Security not World Wide Security. Did this agency change its responsibilities?

*Assuming question #2 was incorrect and "of Muslims" he meant Muslims residing only in the United States please see the following question.

Question 3#. If "of Muslims" refers to Muslims residing only in the United States why is the "plight" of these Muslims of a higher priority than the plight of homegrown, cradle to grave (and otherwise) Christians and Jews?

When you analyze Secretary Jeh Johnson’s statement the REAL question is : Why is the plight of Muslims, no matter where they are residing, MORE important than the plight of American Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists etc, etc, etc.?

I don't know how you all feel, but it's increasingly obvious to me that OUR Pond, OUR nation has been and continues to be infested and polluted by hand fed viral leeches starting at the very top the Obama administration on down.

Tom Carbone
Cave Creek


It's time to remind Congress to obey the law

By now, you have no doubt heard about our efforts at Tea Party Patriots to force Members of Congress to live under Obamacare - the same law that we, the American public, must live under. When Congress was debating Obamacare back in 2009 and 2010, we warned them of the damaging effects this law would have, and guess what? Over the past five years since Obamacare was signed into law, we have been proven correct. The law is a dismal failure.
Members of Congress are as unhappy with Obamacare as we are, and that is probably why they have given themselves an illegal exemption. When Congressional staffers were put on the Obamacare exchanges, Congress illegally went on the small business exchange. Yes, that's right! Congress, with approximately 20,000 staffers, considers itself a small business in order to shirk the law and avoid living with the consequences of Obamacare. With the absurd classification of "small business," Members of Congress and their staff get to retain their health care subsidies ($5,000 for an individual and close to $11,000 for staffers on a family plan). All the while, section 1512 of Obamacare forbids all other businesses from offering health insurance subsidies as part of employee benefit package if their employees are on an exchange. Must be nice to be a Congressman or Congressional staffer, right?

Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has been a tireless champion on this issue, attempting to force Members of Congress and their staffers to live under Obamacare. That means NO illegal subsidies!

Will you do three things today?

Tweet and Call these Senators to tell them it's time to end the hypocrisy. All of them were critical of Senator David Vitter's efforts to subpoena OPM to find out who classified Congress as a small business, and 5 of them voted against the effort in the Small Business Committee. If American families, individuals and business owners have to live under Obamacare, then so should Congress. It's really that simple.

Go to: to learn more about Senator Vitter's efforts to force Congress to live under Obamacare just like the rest of the American people. Maybe when they feel the impact on a personal level they will be encouraged to finally repeal the entire law.
The best way to repeal Obamacare entirely is to make sure all Americans, including Members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers, experience the full effects of the law.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, NH - @KellyAyotte | 202-224-3324
Sen. Jeff Flake, AZ - @JeffFlake | 202-224-5972
Sen. Lindsey Graham, SC - @LindseyGrahamSC | 202-224-5972
Sen. Roger Wicker, MS - @SenatorWicker | 202-224-6253
Sen. Rand Paul, KY - @SenRandPaul | 202-224-4343
Sen. Richard Burr, NC - @SenatorBurr | 202-224-3154
Sen. Susan Collins, ME - @SenatorCollins | 202-224-2523
Sen. Deb Fischer, NE - @SenatorFischer | 202-224-6551
Sen. John McCain, AZ - @SenJohnMcCain | 202-224-2235

In liberty,

Jenny Beth Martin
and the Tea Party Patriots Support Team


WWP letter for contributions

Last week, I received a letter from Wounded Warrior Project ( asking for a contribution.

The veterans' organization in question has been in the news as a possible scam, inasmuch as it has been reported that its directors receive hefty salaries derived from contributions. I wrote back asking for a copy of a certified audit of their financial statement.

I am not holding my breath waiting for the reply.

J-P. A. Maldonado
Former Naval Flight Officer 1960-1967
Lafayette, Colorado


Tax reform

Harry Reid called our income tax system a voluntary one. He wants you to think it’s just like giving to your church, or charity. Giving is an emotional act, usually done from the heart. Americans give to many causes, more than any other nation on Earth. We are a giving people
George W. Bush once advanced the scariest idea I’d ever heard of. In 2001 The CATO Institute reported “President George W. Bush has proposed that faith-based charities be made eligible to receive billions of dollars in federal grants to provide social services.” Government would have decided which religious organizations received funding. Someone in Washington D. C. would hand out favors to his or her best choice.

When government hands out your tax dollars, is that giving? More than likely the IRS would have been in charge of selecting the “proper” receivers of these monies. Someone like Lois Lerner would choose between Catholics or Baptists or Lutherans, etc.

I mention this to contrast it with the theft that is our current tax system. You have no say in how much they take. They want to crush your hope, work harder and they take more. The FairTax is voluntary.

Al Ose
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin


Amtrak, Donald Trump, China, expanding monster

I am sad for the eight people and their families who died and the many others injured because of the recent Amtrak disaster. Tragedy can happen regardless of ownership. I wish we didn't own Amtrak.

Our federal government should get out of the train business. Amtrak is another government failure. The Government owns Amtrak and has since 1971. Our federal government has sunk 45 billion dollars into Amtrak since then while each year it loses hundreds of millions of dollars. Over the next five years we are scheduled to sink another 7 billion dollars into Amtrak.

Most Americans will never ride Amtrak yet we subsidize every ticket. The average ticket price from Washington, D.C. to New York is $69. Taxpayers (you) also subsidize each ticket by about $60. This means every time a person from the Northeast corridor buys a train ticket it costs you $60. Most of the people riding Amtrak in Philadelphia, New York and D.C. are not America's poor. The highest paid people in America live in this section of the United States. Americans pour billions of dollars into train travel that less than ten percent of Americans will ever use.
The government could save us a lot of money and headaches if they would give Amtrak away. Possibly they could give it to Donald Trump. Trump seems to make a lot of money. Maybe he could straighten it out. At least he would get it out of America's hair. Possibly we could give it to Wal-Mart? I'm not a Wal-Mart fan but they do make money. Maybe they could make Amtrak better. Maybe we could just give it to China? Now, there is an idea. We owe China more money that we can stuff into all the Amtrak cars lined up from D.C. to New York City. Let's give them Amtrak as payment for what we owe them. I don't like China but anything to get this train off our government payroll.

Amtrak is another American government monster that is failing bigger every day. Our country has a full plate. We should get this monster off our plate.

Glenn Mollette
American columnist


Troops needed in Afghanistan

The Obama administration finally listened to our military leaders, and they are now planning on leaving 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through 2016 and probably beyond. Originally they were going to draw down to 5,500 troops.

The Taliban continues to pose a threat in Afghanistan and ISIS could rear its ugly head. Our troops could be needed to quash enemy attacks in the region.

Compared to our prior strength of 100,000 troops, the U.S. troops remaining in Afghanistan might not have the numerical strength to counter the Taliban throughout the country, and we cannot count on the Afghan Army to stand up to the Taliban. General Joe Dunford, Commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, stated Afghan troops will not be capable to conduct meaningful operations in Afghanistan once U.S. forces leave. We should keep the 9,800 troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2017 and then reevaluate the situation. We need ongoing capabilities to conduct special operations and surgical air and missile strikes to support the troops.

The release of five top level Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo will come back to haunt us when they return to Afghanistan to continue their destabilizing activities and attacks on our forces and Afghan citizens.

Our national security is partially dependent on maintaining a significant military presence in Afghanistan.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Londonderry, New Hampshire


Senate treaty power no more

The Senate is systematically ceding its constitutional power to ratify treaties by a two-thirds majority.

In a 98 to 1 vote, the Senate voted for legislation that will allow a deal that effectively could end economic sanctions against Iran and allow Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons with which to threaten the region and U.S. national security.

Oh sure, members will pretend they are gaining a say in "overseeing" the deal. For example, here was a statement from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): "Ultimately, I voted yes on final passage because it may delay, slightly, President Obama's ability to lift the Iran sanctions and it ensures we will have a Congressional debate on the merits of the Iran deal."

It won't delay anything. And the "debate" allowed for will not subject Obama's deal to a two-thirds Senate ratification — it does the opposite. Meaning, to block the treaty will require a two-thirds vote when, originally, it would have required a two-thirds vote to ratify the treaty.

All the bill allows is for Congress to block Obama's Iran treaty, but only if Obama signs the bill and, in the process, rejects his own negotiations. Why would he do that?

Obama would veto such legislation. In the mean time, 150 House Democrats have already signaled they will be voting to sustain any such presidential veto.

This, just a short month after Senate Republicans wrote a letter to the mullahs in Tehran that it is the Senate, not the president, who approves treaties.

The sole no vote was Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who had penned that letter.

"The continued evisceration of the treaty advice and consent process by this Senate is particularly alarming as this vote creates a clear pathway for Iran to achieve its nuclear dream. I expected better," said Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning.

He added, "At least Tom Cotton did not bow to the pressure to sanction Obama's ill-founded policies."

Now, this week, the Senate will take up fast track legislation authorizing the president to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Like the Iran deal, it will never be submitted to the Senate for two-thirds majority treaty ratification.

Instead, Congress will expedite its process by allowing simple majority votes in both houses to ratify it. A so-called executive-legislative branch agreement — never considered under the Constitution — it is a pure fabrication of the modern administrative state begun in 1974.

According to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, "[The president] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…"

With the Iran treaty cave and fast track this week, the Senate has effectively taken an eraser to our governing document.

Robert Romano, Senior Editor,
Americans for Limited Government


About that other "special relationship"

When it comes to entangling alliances, the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel tends to take center stage. Interposing one's self between a herd of American politicians and an opportunity to appease Benjamin Netanyahu is a good way to get trampled to death.
Lately, though, U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia seem to be hogging the spotlight, and not in a good way.

U.S. relations with the Saudis have always seemed pretty good, apart from a brief low point in 1973-74, when the Kingdom participated in an oil embargo, pressuring the U.S. to in turn pressure Israel on the matter of Syria's Golan Heights.

It worked. Relations immediately improved, and ever since there's been a steady traffic of Saudi oil to the U.S., U.S. arms to Saudi Arabia, and lots of money flowing back and forth too. In 1991, I was among the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops sent to defend Saudi Arabia's oil fields and crush the threat of Saddam's Iraq (liberating Kuwait was the excuse, not the reason, for Desert Storm).

Since then, though, things seem to have gone downhill behind the scenes.

The oil, arms and money still flow, but 28 still-classified pages of the U.S. Senate's report on 9/11 reportedly implicate the Kingdom in that attack's funding. Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, lead author of the report, has launched an effort to make those pages public.

Now, famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, writing in the London Review of Books, credibly claims that the Obama administration's account of the killing of Osama bin Laden is a fairy tale: That the Kingdom paid off Pakistan's government to protect bin Laden, keeping him under "house arrest" in Abbotabad and that, contra the whole Zero Dark Thirty narrative in which adept U.S. intelligence analysts tracked him down, a rogue Pakistani official dropped the dime on him for the multi-million-dollar reward.

Obviously, openly admitting either of the above as fact would entail a very public reconsideration of the "special relationship" between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

Just as obviously, three major concerns -- oil, Israel and the Kingdom's putative status as a regional counterweight to Iran – militate in America's corridors of power against that kind of disclosure and reconsideration.

But this is the kind of agonizing reappraisal entangling alliances always come down to sooner or later. If we've been clasping a viper to our bosom, better sooner.

Thomas L. Knapp
Director at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism