Letters to the editor published in the December 16, 2009, edition of The Explorer.

Conservative Paton has paid dues two ways

I have just read Emil Franzi's editorial denigrating Jonathon Paton, which I am assuming was perpetrated by one of the other candidate's backers. It seems that is how some of their supporters handle their campaign. If that is not the case, I apologize.

Let's look at what we are facing. We have an incumbent who does not listen to her constituents and needs to be replaced. We have four inexperienced candidates seeking to unseat her. The way some of the supporters have handled themselves, either with or without the candidates knowledge, leads me to believe that some of the candidates are very naïve and that frightens me. What would they do in Washington, D.C.? Do they truly believe as one person they can change anything, and how would they react to pressure?

It's like the four announced candidates want to start out as the bank president without having served the time and gained the experience to run the bank well. It would seem to me that it would have been a wise choice to perhaps start at a level to gain knowledge and experience before jumping into the "big show."

I do believe, Mr. Franzi, Jonathon Paton is a conservative (as am I) — does the far right think they are the only Republicans? He has paid his dues by serving not only his country, but also his state in the legislature.

Let's get real. The four young candidates really have nothing to offer but their military service. My husband is retired military, and believe me he did not nor would he ever try to start at the top in any endeavor.

There will be a forum on Feb. 11, 2010 at Ironwood Ridge High School at 6:30 p.m. All declared candidates will be invited. I think that would be a good time for people to take advantage of hearing all of the candidates and making their own decisions.


Connie Pellman, Oro Valley



Thanks but no thanks, Franzi, on District 8

I am writing in response to Emil Franzi's column Dec. 9th.

My first impression was to wonder whom he is supporting in the CD 8 race? But, then it became quite clear from his remarks.

To say that Andy Goss does not have a chance in this race is ridiculous. Has he checked with Cochise County voters as to whom they are supporting? Convenient for him to give no credence to a large area of Congressional District 8 constituents.

Then to quote "political street talk" as a source concerning Sen. Jonathan Paton running or not running for CD 8 is ludicrous. Obviously it is Mr. Franzi's method to not supply any facts in support his opinions. To not follow up with his source for this rhetoric only serves to expose his own bias. How interesting that unsubstantiated rumors is worrisome enough to Mr. Franzi to resort to this kind of tactics, hoping in desperation to convince someone, anyone, not to run for a political office.

What happened to the belief that any citizen, even those holding offices now, have a right to run for an elected office? Many of us welcome a choice in candidates. The more the better.

It's the biased political dirt-slinging of Mr. Franzi that the voters in CD 8 are most tired of. Why not let the people decide for themselves who our candidate will be by letting the candidates speak for themselves? We don't want anyone picking our candidate, including you, Mr. Franzi.

A concerned voter in CD 8.


Sherese Steffens, Oro Valley




Seek out the facts, ignore spin doctors

While I try to ignore con-artists like Franzi and Safier, the latter's "pro-gravity conspiracy" screed cannot be left unanswered.

Almost from the outset Safier shows a strong preference for the somewhat pejorative term 'denier' rather than 'skeptic' when applied to the CO2 dissenters. Of course, neither term is generally appropriate.

As to his characterization of the e-mailers as "immature children," it fails to delineate the real nature of the problem, which is, pure and simple, the suppression of free inquiry in favor of academic orthodoxy.

He stipulates, … "the vast majority of scientist agree"… showing that he is either unaware of, or dismissive of the over 30,000 scientists who have signed a petition in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis, 15 times the number involved in the U.N. IPCC effort. The very nature of science is such that evidence always trumps theory, unless you are trying to suppress dissent, sweep anomalies under the rug, or protect the acquisition of grant money. (Safier almost gets that part right.)

With respect to his discussion of Newton and Einstein, the following is true. In the 19th century it was said that no sane physicist could doubt the validity of Newtonian Physics, (how could the steam engine work, otherwise?). Similarly, in present times, Isaac Asimov states, "no physicist who is even marginally sane doubts the validity of Special Relativity" (how could the particle accelerator work, otherwise?).

Yet, today the 'crackpot' critics of relativity, employing careful science and mathematics, are finding holes in the predictions of Special Relativity Theory. Their work is similarly being suppressed by the 'establishment." The same appears to be true with regard to anomalies in the "Big Bang" theory.

Finally, a reading of the e-mails in question indicates that, far from being the work of "immature children," it may be a venal attempt to suppress and even destroy evidence that doesn't fit the theory. It is up to those of us with intellectual curiosity to seek out the facts and ignore the spin doctors.


Mark Wittels, Oro Valley



Try to catch these retirees, if you can

Re: "Uncovering the big retirement myth" by James Sandefer (12/9/09):

With all due respect and sympathy for his apparent unhappy retirement, I find you get out of something what you put into it.

My wife and I recently purchased a townhouse in Oro Valley. While I am retired from 33 years of teaching high school and college, my wife still teaches at the university. Yes, there is a medical side of getting older. I have a variety of pills I take each day from several different doctors for various conditions. In the last five years, I have had one shoulder rebuilt and two total knee replacements.

At the same time, we have traveled to most of the major countries in Europe; we team taught American and Indian history for a summer at university in Canada and last year we visited South Africa for an amazing camera safari.

My wife and I also consult with city governments on civilian oversight of police. Last fall, we worked as consultants with a team in Nigeria to help establish oversight for their national police force. We keep busy. This fall has included a number of short, mostly business trips.

Our three adult children are all fine and pursuing their own lives, careers and directions. We visited family for Thanksgiving, and next week, we travel to Nashville for a few days of family pre-Christmas festivities. We are spending the holidays in Central America on our vacation cruise. We return through Los Angeles and then home in early January.

We have oversight work in the spring in Minnesota and have arranged for a Mediterranean cruise in June. Then, we plan to spend a week in a villa near Florence, Italy with old friends.

Retirement is for most people I think made up of three periods: go, go; slow go and; no go. Retirement is a journey, not a destination. For us, linking travel and trying to help make the world a better place has been wonderful. Like the Dave Clark Five said in 1965, "Catch us if you can."


Dennis D. Firebaugh, Oro Valley





Real american objective in Afghanistan? It's preparing to fight Iran

Objective is the premier principle of war. Often the truth becomes the first casualty of war.

On Tuesday night, the 1st of December, there was little if any objective articulated and to find the truth, you had to read between the lines. Will adding 30,000 troops in Afghanistan help the existing troops, as suggested?

Reading a map provides the answer. Afghanistan and Iraq border Iran to the east and west, respectively. The truth was not in placing additional troops and establishing an end date for the war in Afghanistan. Knowing that Iranian nuclear material production must be stopped, an objective of having two corps on the ground to march on the Persians is why 30,000 troops are going to Afghanistan. Troops are being positioned for when it may become necessary to attack Iran. The truth is we are more concerned with preventing nuclear war than about a country of poppy growers and gangsters hiding in the mountains. We are getting ready for an incursion into Iran.

Two scenarios fit the time frame for action. The first is an air strike on the Persian nuclear facilities. The second is an invasion into the heart of the greatest threat in the Middle East. We will no longer be fighting shadows as we are now, but will be in linear warfare. War will be declared, and we will go on a war footing with economic dedication to the effort and conscription of our youth. Plan on being in the Middle East for a long time as the occupation of the Persians will be as big of an effort as our conquering them.

When the guns begin to roar in Iran, both the objective and the truth will be known. The concentration in Afghanistan is a ruse – it's the Persians that are the real target.


Jon and Cathey Langione, Oro Valley



Time to remove abortion from religion, government

I must commend Mr. Keith Smith for flying off the deep end in an exemplary frenzy of name-calling. His letter of Dec. 9th called me and other Democrats "hypocritical, amoral, myopic and … screeching," besides being lax in "morals and ethical convictions."

He wants to send me back to school to study. Mr. Smith, I can Google the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as easily as you can. I am well beyond my child-bearing years, but I think I did my duty to my country.

I am not the only one to interpret the First Amendment to mean that a woman should have dominion over her own body and shall bear responsibility for her reproductive health. Government-enforced motherhood doesn't sound very democratic or American to me. Even Ronald Reagan advocated "getting the government off our backs."

Yes, Mr. Smith, I am a Democrat and I don't mind being called a Pelosi-Reed acolyte; in fact, I am quite flattered. Both the Speaker of the House and the Senate Whip have done yeoman's work in getting health care reform through the House and Senate despite obstructionist tactics by many of their detractors, including Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, who called in the bishops to bolster his anti-abortion amendment designed to set back women's health. I am happy to report that a similar amendment was defeated in the Senate a few days ago.

Concerning the churchmen, President John F. Kennedy famously said, "No religious body should seek to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general population or the public actions of its officials."

I think the time has come to take the abortion issue away from both government and organized religion. We need to put our trust where it belongs: at the doorstep of the women responsible for producing our next generation.


Kathleen Pastryk, Oro Valley

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