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Letters to the Editor: August 12, 2014

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West Valley View's picture

Osterfeld for JP


All the personal endorsements of “He’s a Great Guy”, mean nothing if the person is not qualified for the position. Taking Community College courses to meet the minimum requirements for the position, is a dis- service to those who would stand before them in judgment. I would prefer to have a justice who actually knows how to apply the law, justly and fairly. Neither of Mr. Osterfeld’s opponents have a degree in law or the qualifications to sit the bench. Their qualifications are in business and are cut throat at best. They have to be to maintain the edge over their competition. I would prefer to stand before a judge who would actually treat me fairly and not look to the bottom dollar for justification of the position. It would be refreshing to see a person sit the bench, who is actually more knowledgeable than those who are litigating the case. Or to rely on someone else for a summary judgment because they cannot interpret the law or understand it.

In Maricopa County there are twenty six “Justices of the Peace” of which only three have a law degree. Those three each year, hold classes for the other twenty three, to teach them how to interpret the new rules and regulations that the State of Arizona enact. You would think that a position that pays over one hundred thousand dollars a year, that the person would be most knowledgeable in his or her craft.

I ask you in this upcoming election that common sense prevails, and to vote for the most qualified and knowledgeable candidate for Justice of the Peace. David Osterfeld.

James Roy

Wrong on Immigration


Four years ago I supported SB1070. I supported the idea of us enforcing our own immigration laws and stopping all the harm that “illegals” were doing to our country. I bought into every conservative talking point about our jobs being taken, welfare being eaten up, etc. Yet as I began to question what policies created more freedom, I discovered how tragically wrong it all was. Immigrants don’t take our jobs because they present different skill sets than most Americans? Immigrant children are less likely to go onto welfare than native children? Immigrants are responsible for a full fourth of new businesses in the United States? Immigrants pay more in taxes than they take out in welfare benefits? Increasing “border security” (and all laws related to enforcement like SB1070) only compromised our freedoms instead of protecting them? How could I be so wrong? I mean all the data was there, study after study shows that less restrictive policies on immigration are good for the economy. That the more open our borders the more we, the United States, benefit. Yes, most of the aforementioned cases are true of both legal and illegal immigrants. Where did conservatives go wrong on this? When did they begin defying the laws of a free market? People must also be free to move across borders as well as goods and services. Yet I find myself baffled at the closed ears and closed minds. It is matters like this which left me with no choice but to abandon the GOP and the so called “conservative” movement. How could I stay true to something that only promotes freedom when it fits into a neat little box? When it fits my worldview? That isn’t freedom. Quite frankly, I don’t think conservatives know what freedom is anymore.

Dez Garcia



OK, I’ve completed my early mail-in primary ballot and I hope everyone else does so, or at least votes on August 26 — and of course in the general election. As you may have divined from previous letters I voted in the Democratic Primary. It was easy voting in the Democratic primary, choosing between a couple of good guys, and in Arizona, not really a lot of candidates. Not so in the Republican primary where they have to choose the lesser of multiple evils. But vote anyway.

Arnold Knack



I love the political cartoons you put at the top of Our Reader Viewpoints. They are always tasteful and funny.

I would also like to congratulate the West Valley View for putting Joey Escarcegia, age 10 and Breenan Macias age 14. I love the photo of the two boys on the front page. What an accomplishment for these two young men to be chosen to go to the Junior Golden Gloves Championship event in Oxnard, CA. Thank you West Valley View for covering it in the Firday, August 1 edition.

Future boxing champions!

Lucretia Agostarola

Time to vote for Diane Landis


I am writing to express my support for Diane Landis, who is running in Legislative District 13 in AZ House as a Republican candidate. She grew up on a cattle ranch in Nogales, AZ and then graduated from ASU in Accounting and became a CPA. She then made the transition as a financial advisor and served clients for many years. She has deep roots here in Arizona and lived in Yuma. She and her husband live in Litchfield Park and have been in this community for 20 years. She has served faithfully on LP City Council and several non-profit local boards as well.

Her opponents, the M&M boys as they are known from their campaign signs, have slandered her by saying she is not pro-life and does not support the rights of Americans to carry and defend themselves by exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. This is not true. Diane is pro-life and does support law abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and their property. The way they have treated her, especially Darin Mitchell, is indicative of a desperate attempt by politicians trying to keep their jobs. Frankly, it’s disgusting and pathetic. It’s politics like this that keeps good people from wanting to serve their fellow citizens and throw their hat in the ring.

Diane Landis is a solutions minded problem solver who cares deeply about our community, our people, and our great state of Arizona. Governor Jan Brewer said it best, “Diane Landis... having lived in both rural and metropolitan Arizona, understands the needs of this very diverse district.” Enough said. Time to vote.

Jim Boyer

Consider Debra Undhjem


In the upcoming Litchfield Park City Council election I would like you to consider voting for Debra Undhjem.

Debra is in one word….a “doer.” She does so much for not only our community, but the entire West Valley as well. . If you want something done, you want Debra on your team.

Take a look at her resume and see how she puts together a plan, and then implements it in a Big Way. Some of her feats include, but are not limited to, Chairman of the 1st Tin Man Awards, Founder and Director of the IMS Marathon, past School Board member, President of the Litchfield Park Rotary and so much more.

Litchfield Park is in the beginning stages of moving forward and carefully planning the next level of development. With Debra’s experience in event planning, I think she would provide a lot of skill in helping with this process

Let’s move the city forward and keep the team intact by electing incumbents Tim Blake and Vice Mayor Paul Faith and newcomer Debra Undhjem. How lucky we are that these talented citizens come forth to offer their skills and expertise in managing our awesome village.

Ann Donahue
Litchfield Park

Where is accountability?


It seems there is no time clock or method of accountability for employees in ity Hall. Employees stroll in several minutes late, take several long breaks and extended lunches,often to go shopping. There is a race to see who can vacate the building before actual quitting time.

New employees are being hired, with assistants now having assistants.

Nepotism is a certain way to get hired, not necessarily qualifications.

Is there waste, redundancy? We all are cutting back and watching our pennies, but not government on any level.

N. Purcell

Will Hickmans cause flooding?


Hickman’s claims they’ll create jobs with their egg factory (42% would be prison labor at $3+ per hour), but if the factory goes in, there’ll be a net jobs loss since most Tonopah businesses will be ruined. Hickmans also claimed falsely, as usual, they’d create construction jobs. Virtually ALL trucks on their industrial site have out of state plates.

Hickmans claims they’re a ‘Family’ farm; in fact, Hickmans have put other family farms out of business because other egg producers don’t choose to grind up all male hatchlings, mutilate all hen chicks without anesthesia, torture them for two years where they urinate and defecate on each other 24/7, then grind them up when egg productions declines. ‘Family farming’?????

Hickmans propose 28 buildings, over 600 feet long, and one dozen other ancillary industrial buildings (in a residential zoning area), creating 29 acres of roofing that will repel rain, instead of it soaking into the ground. They’ll pave several acres, all without regard to the downstream flooding it will cause. Unlike all other homes or businesses where it’s required, Hickmans won’t create retention areas to keep water on their property. All that water will flow away onto properties to the south, creating flooding, which Hickmans obviously don’t care about. Is that being a good neighbor?

Want a good laugh? Clint Hickman’s statement, available on the Board Of Supervisor’s web site, states he will be a ‘true taxpayer’s friend’. With friends like that, who needs enemies? In his acceptance speech, Hickman said he would preserve the quality of life of west valley residents. Preserve the quality of life? By bringing in 12 million chickens and all the chicken chit and heavy truck traffic they’d create? What are we missing here?

Bill Pennington

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eagle73's picture

Gordon, hope you are working on the 8th comments.  I will need something to read tomorrow.


Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Steve:

   Sorry, but while I've previously responded to some Comments there, I haven't "checked back" in awhile, so I missed any new ones.  I'll get back to you on it.

   Appearences to the contrary, I do have life.  And I don't spend all of my time on-line.  For example, yesterday I went to see The Hundred Foot Journey.  I give it an A+.

   (Full disclosure: I'm a big Helen Mirren fan.)

eagle73's picture


My wife and I are also fans of this suprerb actress.  Especially her kick ass roles in Red.


porr000's picture

Love her too, and Red was awesome...can't wait to see Red 2.

That's a lot of stats, Mr. Garcia. Can you point me in the direction of where you got them?

Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Judy:

   Actually, their more like a lot of conclusions, than the actual statistics.  (You know, the same kind of thing Roy indulges in.)  Still, it would be good if Mr. Garcia could explain further his "change of heart", with some reference sources to back up what he says.

   That's one of the things I like about the Comments section: there's plenty of room to provide such things.  (300 words in a Letter every other issue doesn't allow for that.)

porr000's picture


Would you say a person's Platform/Agenda would have anything to do with it?  

For instance, should the disgraced and disbarred former attorney Andrew Thomas's Platform/Agenda on "Securing The Border Before It Is Too Late" and "Standing Up To (some supposed AZ) Gay Lobby" have anything to do with it?  


Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Patrick:

   I'd say it's a combination of many factors, including the ones you mentioned.  And Mr. Thomas gives a perfect illustration of why, even though one shouldn't "shoot the messenger" (and instead pay attention to the message), who's conveying the message (or promoting the agenda) is important when considering whether to vote for them.

   Whatever else may happen on Primary Day, I hope he goes down in flames, for the obvious reason of his defective character.  He was a disgrace as Maricopa County Attorney, and well deserved disbarment.  No way I'd trust him with the keys to the Executive Office.

   Of course, I'm not crazy about his agenda either.

porr000's picture

Mr. Knack:

Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before.

- Mae West

Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Patrick:

   I'd say make your selection based on what's good, except:

Goodness has nothing to do with it!

porr000's picture


Would you say qualifications for the position would have anything to do with it?

For instance, does anyone running for governor have any more experience in AZ politics than the person you mentioned earlier, Ken Bennett?


Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Patrick:

   Experience can count, but not always.  Neither Regan nor "Ahnold" had much political experience before becoming governors.  (Nor did Jesse Ventura.)  On the other hand, Herbert Hoover was probably one of the most experienced Presidents we ever had!

   And, if I'm not mistaken, Lincoln's prior political experience consisted only of four terms in the Illinois Legislature, and one term in the U.S. House of Representatives!  No Executive experience whatsoever.  But he didn't do too badly, did he?

eagle73's picture

One group will take say 20 facts and use them for an interpretation to reach a conclusion.  Another group will take a different 20 facts and determine their conclusion.  Lets say  that all 40 facts are actually, well facts.  Is it no wonder on a wide range of subjects that the split seems to be about 50-50.

Each group will claim they have the best conclusion and wonder why the other side is so blinded.  Then you throw in emotion, pier pressure, and other such factors.  In most cases conclusions are reached with hearsay and not facts.   This of course will create new conclusions.  Well all this sure makes for good theater.

Bottom line is for all to be civil to all others.  After all, each person of a particular group is in their way are concluding what they feel is right or how they truly wish how things need to be.

Practice tolerance and respect at all times.

By the way, this is not intended for a particular person or group.


Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Steve:

   I agree, but that's where reason comes in!  It's not enough to just select or throw facts around.  You have to also recognize whether the facts employed are 1) relevant, and 2) complete.  Drawing conclusions based on irrelevant or partial facts is useless (or even worse than useless).  This also involves knowing the limits of what the facts prove.

  In the past I've had a continuing argument with one of the other "regulars" here (no names) over whether or not the Tea Party Movement has racists in it.  This person objected to even the suggestion that such people might be in the Movement, even though there is plenty of evidence to support such a statement.  (Including statements bemoaning the fact by leaders of the Movement.)

  However, I've always been careful never to say the Movement itself is racist, and I've cautioned others against doing so.  Why?  Well, as the old saying goes "one swallow does not make a summer".  The mere fact that a Movement (or a political party) has racists or idiots in it doesn't prove the whole thing is composed of racists or idiots.  (If the Democratic Party was entirely composed of Andrew Weiners, and the Republicans of Michelle Bachmann's, the only "logicial" thing for us to do would be move to Canada!  Or maybe New Zealand - the further away the better.)

   However, tolerance and respect have their limits too.  I can respectfully disagree with thoughtful "conservatives".  (Despite appearances to the contrary, I don't consider myself the fount of all wisdom.)  But I have no respect for anyone who, with a straight face, says things like "the Earth is flat", "the Moon is made of green cheese", or "the Sun rises in the West".  Contrary to Roy, not all opinions are equally valid.  Some aren't valid at all.  People who hold opinions like those deserve all the disrespect they have earned.

P.S. - And that's true whether those people are "liberals" or "conservatives".

Gordon Posner's picture

Dear Mr. Garcia:

   Welcome back!  It's been awhile.  (At least according to the View's Archive feature, which isn't as reliable as it used to be.)

   The only Comment I'll make on your Letter is to remind you that there are "conservatives" and then there are "conservatives".  All that glitters is not gold, and just because a person claims to believe in "freedom", or the principles this great nation is based on, doesn't mean they actually do!

  Of course, the same thing is true for "liberals".

   So, it all depends on what you consider to be "conservative" or "liberal".  There may be a few who share your views, even in the GOP.

   (For example, I'm not saying I'd vote for him in November, but I think Ken Bennett is the kind of "conservative" I can have some respect for.  Except for his brief flirtation with "birtherism" that is.)

Dez Garcia's picture

Thanks, Gordon. Many a change in my viewpoints over the past several years and much to say of them.

Unfortunately in the current political climate, I find myself far more irritated with conservatism than with progressivism. While I still disagree on the role of the state with progressivism, I find myself appalled at the conversation conservatives are having. I think I've come to appreciate intellectual honesty much, much more in the past few years.

Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Dez:

   Let me explain why I put words like "liberal", "conservative", "progressive", "socialism", etc., in quotations.  It's my way of trying to emphasize the danger of relying too much on labels.  Many people think that all they have to do is accuse their opponents of being "Socialists!" or "Racists!" and that ends all debate.  The same is true for those other labels.

   As I think you're starting to learn, labels can be misleading.  This is so because several factors are involved, among them: 1) the meaning the labeller attaches, 2) the meaning the reader (or listener) attaches, and 3) the actual meaning.  The problem is that they aren't always the same!

   Some people regard anything as "Socialist!" (or worse, "Communist!") that departs from the pure Laissez-Faire form of Capitalism; forgetting that there are other forms it can take.  Other people regard any disagreement with the policies of the President as proof of "Racism!"; forgetting that it's only racist if the disagreement arises because the President is Black.  (Or, White, in the case of reverse discrimination and racism.)

   My point is that labels are often a form of prejudice - in the sense of the root of the word: to pre-judge.  It's far easier to just slap a label on someone, and then react to the label, then to try to learn the facts and apply reason to them before drawing a conclusion.  (Indeed, I think most forms of prejudice and bigotry are mainly combinations of laziness and ignorance.)

   So, as with my earlier Comment, don't give up on "conservatism" just because you dislike what some "conservatives" are saying and doing.  But, also, don't reject those you consider "progressives" either.

   After all, you accept "the role of the state" when it comes to things like the Military and the Police.  And when you consider that the greatest advance in medicine (prolonging and improving our lives) was in the form of public sanitation, "the role of the state" in that area should be accepted too.

   On the other hand, one can go too far in all such examples.  No one wants a military dictatorship, or a police state.  And while I think having an FDA to insure the food and drugs we consume are safe, limiting the size of soda cups we can use at fast food restaurants is just ridiculous!

   So, avoid the labels, and look to the facts beneath the labels.  (Or, as we lawyers say, don't put form over substance.)

Dez Garcia's picture

I don't enjoy labeling people at all. The only reason I brought up the "conservative" term in the first place was because that is how they describe themselves and that there is a general understanding of mainstream conservative positions, particularly on the immigration issue. In my attempt to have a discussion about immigration I've ran into far too many self-described "common sense conservatives" who, rather than debate will throw the "Libral" term at me. Believe me, I know the problem with labels.

What upsest me about conservatives is that they are just as willing to use or back the state, despite all their talk of a "limited" or "small" government. They don't realize that militarization is bigger government, that preventing two individuals from marrying is bigger government, that closing down the border is bigger government. 

So I guess I've come to embrace more freedom than conservatives. Obviously I disagree with progressive viewpoints, chiefly on economics, but my current bone to pick is with conservatives.

porr000's picture


I completely get your feelings of frustration when you try having conversations with people who are closed-minded. That's never fun and doesn't present an opportunity for bonding.

However, in reading your letter and two comments, I wonder if perhaps your ideas about Freedom , or what it is supposed to mean, might be out of sync with your "conservatives," and that those ideas may be a contributing factor?

You brought up this idea that policies can create more freedom?

You feel the law SB1070 compromises "our" (I assume you mean American citizens) freedom?

I'm no "conservative" (contrary to what some regulars in here have claimed) and even I can't figure out what your ideas are on freedom.

I know our government is set up to protect our freedoms and rights, and that we have the freedom to do some things without fear of being persecuted by the government, and that some rights are applicable to all people regardless of their citizenship status in this country, but by no means are we free to just do whatever we want without restrictions - nor should we.

We don't have the freedom to do things that infringe on the rights of others and we certainly don't have the freedom to ignore the laws of this or any other country without expecting consequences.

We certainly don't have the freedom to smuggle goods, ourselves or others into other countries for many very good reasons, We don't even have the freedom to travel to another country without showing our papers whenever asked by the authorities.

We already are "free" to move goods and services and ourselves across borders with certain restrictions. So, when you say people must also be "free" to move goods across our borders because it is good for our economy and free market, I can only assume you mean unrestricted. In that case, I'm sure unrestricted goods like pot or cocaine may very well be good for our economy in the short term, but will it be good for our society? Would it be good for our family?

There are restrictions in our free society for very good reasons. Without them our "freedom" would be anarchy.We'd have freedom from persecution from our government, but no government potections from those wishing to impede on our freedoms.

But, what SB1070 or immigration, legal or otherwise, or international trade has anything to do with the freedom of U.S. citizens being compromised is beyond me. The opinion of the court was that portions of SB1070 was unconstitutional, but not because it took away "our" freedoms.


Dez Garcia's picture

I think that's been one of the many evolutionary steps I've made is that, being raised as a conservative republican, I made many assumptions about what the law was and that it must be there for some reason, or that without it we'd have anarchy. All of that made sense until I began to look into the way in which anarcy has far less blood on it's hands than even our government does. (Before you go there, Somalia is an Anocratic state, not an Anarchic one).

I'm certainly no Anarchist, but I've come to realize many of the roles that we've come to accept of the state are made worse, or create a myriad of unintended consequences that render their help useless.

Let's take the immigration and drugs as an example:

The assumption by most people is that drug legality encourages usage. Yet decriminalizing drugs has been shown to actually reduce usage. In Portugal where drugs were decriminalized years ago, they have one of the absolute lowest usage rates globally. If someone is caught with drugs they are treated as addicts, not as criminals.
Even in Colorado, the limited data we have seems to indicate that minor usage of Marijuana is actually on the decline, not on the rise. They haven't smoked themselves into oblivion!

As for immigration, smuggling a person without their consent most certainly violates their rights, but when a government arbitrarily creates laws to restrict the movement of individuals, then the only sin those individuals are committing is against the state, not against other people.

The state's role is to defend freedom from outside encroachments, or from one individual encroaching upon another's rights (personal or property), but the state has no place or role defending us from ourselves. If I want to drink a big-gulp, then I have every right to do so. This truth applies to every aspect of consenting individuals such as drugs or marriage.

Gordon Posner's picture


A reply to this Comment can be found on the page for the April 19th issue:

Gordon Posner's picture


Note - a reply to this Comment can be found in the next issue:

Gordon Posner's picture


Dear Dez:

   I didn't mean to imply you enjoyed using labels, so I'm sorry if I gave that impression.

   We all do it, of course, and it's somewhat unavoidable.  (After all I "label" myself as a retired Jewish lawyer!)  My point, though, is to beware of the very thing you rightly condemn: throwing labels around as if that is all that's necessary for rational debate.  (For example, Roy Azzarello comes across as someone who think merely labeling another as "progressive" is all that needs to be said.  It's not.)

   Ditto, of course for "mainstream conservative".  Most people consider themselves to be in the "mainstream".  (Just as most people, if asked, will say they're "Middle Class" - whether they make $20,000 a year or $20,000,000!  I don't consider either amount to be in the "middle".)  In one of his recent Letters, Roy even declared himself to be a "centrist", while spewing empty rhetoric (or at best platitutdes) that while sounding nice, were hardly "centrist" at all.

   A similar problem exists with the topic of "big government".  The fact is everyone believes in it, and everyone opposes it!  How can that be?  Well, of course, it depends on what the "big government" is to be used for.

   Generally speaking (and generalizations are dangerous) "conservatives" tend to favor "big government" when employed for things like National Security or Morality.  "Liberals" tend to prefer it for things like Social Programs or Public Works.  So, simply labeling something as "big government" gets us nowhere.

   Take National Security.  Do we favor "big government" in the form of the NSA, and its various forms of electronic surveillance?  Both "liberals" and "conservatives" have had occasions to both support and condemn it.  Certainly, we wish the government had heeded warnings by the NSA and similar agencies before 9/11.  On the other hand, I don't want "Big Brother" reading my e-mail!

   Social Programs?  Whatever "conservatives" might think about Medicaid (the health care program for the poor), very few would condemn public sanitation programs - yet those are social programs too.  (We just don't think of them that way.)

   Which gets us back to one of my mantras: the importance of using facts and reason instead of labels.  Again, "big government" in the form of the FDA is justifiable, and deserves our support.  "Big government" in the form of former Mayor Bloomberg's "crusade" against 16oz. soda cups isn't.

   In the end it's all about balance.  Something the Founders believed in a great deal.  After all, the phrase is "Checks and Balances".  Just "checking" the government results in one powerless to do much of anything.  We tried that once.  It was called the Articles of Confederation, and we replaced it with our Constituiton precisely to create a stronger Federal government.  Though not an all-powerful one.

P.S. - And I understand you being called a "Libral" by those further "on the right" than you are.  In other forums I've been called "conservative"!

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