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September 29, 2010


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Don't forget that Arizona, like the rest of the United States, really only has one huge problem: THERE ARE NO JOBS. Every other problem is almost irrelevant.

The United States has a jobs crisis. We have 30 - 40 million more workers than we have jobs.

Many of the problems that Mr. Talton writes about would be eliminated, or made less troubling, if only people could get decent jobs at decent wages.

The real issue is a JOBS CRISIS and most everything flows from that.

The debate about illegal immigration would be more workable if only Americans were not suffering hunger and horrifying poverty.

The problem with immigrants is that they are stealing jobs from Americans. Employers are firing American workers and replacing them with immigrants who work for lower wages. The displaced Americans cannot get jobs because there are no jobs to get. Americans are sitting around with nothing to do except get angry because there are no jobs.

Anyone who wants to do anything about the problems discussed on "Rogue" must first put American workers back to work in jobs that pay enough to support a decent life. That is the central issue that no one wants to tackle.

Meanwhile, I cannot blame anyone who is unemployed for being in an absolute rage against illegal immigrants. It is THEM or US. Someone has to starve to death. Should Americans quietly starve while employers fire Americans and replace them with immigrants? Why wouldn't Americans fight back???

BTW, John McCain has used his votes and influence to support outsourcing jobs and importing immigrants, both legal and illegal, to steal jobs from Americans. When I worked as an engineer in Arizona, I quickly learned that John McCain was my worst enemy. McCain passionately hates American workers and loves to take their jobs from them. McCain is no better than a traitor.

My electric bills spiked much higher this summer, despite a thermostat raised to 85 degrees. APS just got a rate increase last year - I wasn't really paying attention - and is now suggesting another one since profits are down. It seems too many people are conserving because of the previous one. I'm wondering what the end game is here for the non-wealthy in this pizza oven we call home. Meanwhile in the Corporation Commission race, pro-utility Republicans Brenda Burns and Steven Pierce are sailing to near-certain victory November 2nd.

As is Jan Brewer. I don't hate her - she's not Russell Pearce in a dress. She's simply an early avatar of the Republican Party's regression from the country club to the trailer park. But she has given evidence of some humanity such that some of her public policy goals were informed with a degree of compassion. For example, mental health. Of course, there's a son with mental health issues (another son died of AIDS). So it was self-serving on some level but you'll take your mercies where you find them. Now this champion of the mentally ill has slashed the budget for mental health services to the barest minimum. And since "mean" is now cool, she's happy to brag about it.

Nearly everyone in the Tea Party is doing fairly well thanks to liberals who championed old age insurance, adequate income redistribution, Medicare and Medicaid, and various other safety net programs that created the American middle class. What we've found out is that these people hate blacks so much that they'll spite their own children with a politics indistinguishable from nihilism. These "real" Americans, of course, won't suffer themselves - that's reserved for those people God apparently didn't bless with adequate government programs. Paul Ryan's "roadmap" to hell ensures the current elderly and well-heeled will not suffer at all.

Everything happens for a reason, as the cliché goes. The sorry history of this country - Jim Crow laws, the near-genocide of native Americans, the environmental pillaging, the devastation of our civic spaces - cannot be tucked away as footnotes to some grander drama. No, they're as central to our history as beating Hitler or Jefferson Davis. Of course, the victory over the latter was tenuous and never fully resolved. As Faulkner wrote, "the past is never dead. It's not even past".

"APS just got a rate increase last year - I wasn't really paying attention". - soleri

All but a few have any understanding of the swindle perpetrated by APS, the ACC, RUCO, and less apparent powers. You're forgiven, because nobody has paid attention. Why do you think I call it "rate crimes"?

"I feel so alien here myself. My hometown is gone." - Rogue

We all have many homes. No one place is enough to fill a great heart. Besides, someone must prepare new homes for the future refugees.

You've been in the northwest too long, it's made you soft. 105F is fine for going outside.

Man, I feel this post. I've been gone for a little over a year now, and feeling nostalgic for my Phoenix friends. Your descriptions feel like a blast of the summer heat, and take me right back to where I was last July when I beat it out of town, jobless.

I've kind of pledged not to waste oil hauling my ass around anymore, even to visit friends, but I stay in email contact. I've forwarded some of your posts, and they just go in one ear and right out the other, as it were.


LOL. Yes, I agree 105 is fine... as long as the dew point is behaving! (Of course, having moved to the NW myself, I'll probably "go soft," too.) The wildlife is probably having a hard time of it, though, in the face of the climactic/seasonal changes that Jon is describing...

Petro wrote: "Man, I feel this post."

So do I, Petro. You couldn't have summed up my feelings about this column any better. I was born in Tucson in the mid-1970s, lived in the Phoenix area from 1980 until 1994 and then went off to college at NAU in Flagstaff, where I lived for the next 6 years. As a child and into adulthood, I witnessed the explosive destruction -- er, growth -- of the Real Estate Industrial Complex across the Sonoran Desert. I remember when nighttime temperatures actually cooled off enough that it wasn't still 90 degrees outside in July at 10 p.m. I remember when Phoenix actually could count on a Monsoon thunderstorm at least once a week (or so it seemed) during the summer, and when the Monsoon rains were gentler than they are now.
I left town back in 2004 for a journalism job at a newspaper in Boston. It was two years before I returned to the "Valley," but I didn't have a chance then to drive around and observe how things had changed. But I did get that chance last year, when I visited Phoenix for work-related training. Wow, was I was appalled (and dismayed) at how ugly the city had become. Yes, everything was brown -- I expected that -- but I was shocked at how much the suburbs seemed to have decayed. Metro Phoenix -- with the exception of rich enclaves like Paradise Valley and most of Scottsdale -- looked like one giant slum. What happened?
Light rail was a pleasant surprise. It's a sleek-looking train, but it doesn't go far enough. And yet, I can't believe there were enough people in Maricopa County at the time who voted for this project. But, as Jon has pointed out numerous times, Metro Phoenix is woefully unprepared for Peak Oil. Hello, $10 gasoline.
I live in Denver now, and I do like it. Living here just ain't the same as Boston -- boy, did I love living there; I miss Boston terribly -- but I'll take Denver anyday over Phoenix. I used to love living in Phoenix. And to be fair, I still hold close many fond memories of growing up there and even living there as a young adult. But, damn, am I happy -- and fortunate that I left town when I did.

Is there yet a large, green, reflective sign hanging over I-10 and I-19 as you enter the Phoenix metro area that says, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"?

(Azrebel here.) As you know, I am currently imbedded within the Arizona Silent Majority. Communication will be difficult as they wish for their members to remain silent. I am discovering interesting traits about the group. Hopefully, I will be able to get a report out later tonight after they have all gone to sleep. Over and out.

"Trailrunner" wrote to Mr. Talton:

"You've been in the northwest too long, it's made you soft. 105F is fine for going outside."

I'm not soft, and I'm acclimatized by virtue of long and continuous residence. I walk 3 miles at midmorning, when that kind of activity is decidedly uncomfortable; but during the main part of the day the sun is brutal and intolerable and I don't like to spend even five minutes in it.

It's also ridiculous for late September and now early October. Phoenix has been breaking records for daytime highs going back as far as records have been kept; not just one day recently but many.

(AZREB here, imbedded in the Silent Majority) I only have a few minutes. It is as I suspected in here. Politicians since Nixon/Agnew have evoked the Silent Majority as if it were a sleeping giant that would wake up and crush people on the wrong side of a political debate. What I've discovered is a very large group of people who would best be described as apathetic, uneducated, uninformed,distracted and to tell you the truth, their main power is the ability to suck the life-force out of you with their lack of concern about ANYTHING. I may not be able to stay imbedded here very long. There is no secret, silent force waiting to awaken. They are the sheep and cattle of this country. If we ever thought we could motivate this group to rise up against the machine, we were badly mistaken. The only time they get excited is when you try to discuss meaningful issues with them. They let you know those subjects are not allowed, then they go back to their distractions.

I need to get out of here. Those of you who care about our freedoms, our planet: fight on. However, you are almost alone. Your numbers are small. Help is not coming. The machine has tamed the masses.

How can a person be a
doomer" when the warnings fall on deaf ears? We aren't "Doomers", we're the white noise in the background that gets blocked out by their distractions.

We are alone.

I need to get out of here.

azreb signing off, somewhere in the middle of the Silent Majority, Arizona, USA

I'm a native of Seattle who moved here in 2006 and have always taken an avid interest in politics at all levels. It does surprise me that many people here do not read the paper or pay attention to what is going on in their government. For political opinions, they seem to rely on whatever their parents indoctrinated them with, somewhat like how religion is passed on. I was conversing with a well educated co-worker (Republican and I, being from Seattle, am "progressive") and I mentioned the state of government here and sort of complained about the craziness. Rather than engaging in a conversation about this, she suggested I should move back where I came from if I don't like it here. Since I've lived in 3 states and 1 foreign country, my perspective is broader but it's disappointing to not even be able to ENGAGE with people who I disagree with, without being shut down. I feel lonely...thank goodness for the Rogue's blog.

This is so depressingly accurate.

I too miss my friends in Arizona, but I couldn't see much of an economic future there. Wages, benefits, raises, domestic partner benefits, etc., did not seem to be on the horizon any time soon. I left, but I will always miss my many years in Arizona.

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