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February 07, 2011

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I have more to write, especially on how Jan Brewer needs to grow a pair and put Russell Pearce and John Kavanagh in their places.

Stupid bills from Arizona are always graced with the signatures of these two wackos. I'm surprised Jon didn't write about Peace's bill that would allow a private citizen to commandeer a public agency's vehicle (bus, car, truck, etc) if that agency violated their rights or for other grievances.

What I feel should be mentioned first in response to Jon's piece, is that while the military historically would fill their ranks with the unemployed and often undesirable element of society, that has largely changed.

Now, less than a quarter of all (enlisted) applicants qualify for service. Many more fail to complete basic training or AIT, Tech School, etc. This is due to three main shortcomings by today's youth: academic achievement (high school graduation now is a requirement for most recruits, and all Air Force personnel), physical fitness, and criminal background.

Many in the ranks today, more than ever, are from middle class families and many have college training. I am a little biased coming from a military family and having served myself, but this is based on statistics from Recruiting Commands; the military is seen less as an employer of last choice since standards are higher than any time in the past.

Good piece Jon
If U aint white U aint right
It's going be a killing field
right here in the Good ole USA.
I am taking my dog Spot, my recumbent and getting into my motor home and going to San Carlos.


Indeed, the surprise Jon mentions may come from some totally unexpected place. Say, some latter-day Archduke Ferdinand, an anarchist, and toppling dominoes in directions we could scarcely imagine before the fact.

Glenn Beck imagines a caliphate stretching from south Asia to the British Isles. It's all a plot, we're told, by the American left and Islamofascists. President Obama himself is a key conspirator. Personally, I can't wait for the application of Sharia law on my sorry excuse for secular-humanist decadence.

William Kristol, perhaps remembering Beck's anti-semitic vitriol about George Soros, has finally said enough to all this. Some say Beck is on a short leash but millions depend on his chalkboard explanations about liberal Badness. Without it, they might start to doubt their own Goodness. There's no right-wing majority without the Real Americans and all the diagrammed conspiracy theories keeping them informed. Still, Beck is heightening the tensions within crazy base-land and Roger Ailes might well ask him to dial it back a couple of notches so the Neocons don't freak out. The base got high on Kristol meth when it came to invading Iraq but Beck's rants are starting to threaten the glue-sniffing comity of this oddfellow coalition.

Arizona's True Believers imagine a restoration of Mayberry but with extra bullets in Barney's front pocket. It's Reagan's centenary and the Shining City on the Hill is, at last, (mostly) white, Christian, gated, and endowed with a mighty armada of SUVs. The Badness they see on their big-screen TV sets is now in high definition. Likewise, their Goodness is sharply defined and Rapture-ready. Why not nullify the Badness before it contaminates their Goodness? That way, Arizona can remain true to the REAL principles of the Founding Fathers, which had nothing to do with Kwanza, Earth Day, Nancy Pelosi, or untold millions of anchor babies stealing our Social Security.

America is the greatest nation in the history of Earth. No, make that the universe. But the enemies within have brought us to our knees. Only God can save us, so make sure the candidates you vote for support the 2nd Amendment. God helps those who help themselves. It's in the Bible, but liberals don't want you to know that.

When Rand Paul, the face of the Tea Party movement, refuses to touch Social Security and Medicare, it's obvious that our two-party system is destined to failure. It remains to be seen if this fact, along with stagnant standards of living, are enough to wake the American people from their comas.

Gee whiz Soleri my tongue got stuck in my cheek reading your diatribe.

This crusade against perceived outside impositions is partially fed by a fear that ever more rules constrict the dynamism of America the 'frontier' country. Whatever problems beset us today, they can supposedly be solved by unleashing the American spirit and metabolism. This has been the story since R.R. But the story shows its ugly anarchic, anti-civilizational streak in hard times or if it's followed to the end.

Judging by Jon's writings it hasn't been too conducive to solving problems in AZ, either. Reality doesn't care about stories, since they reduce reality. Solving problems of governance by absconding from proper governance is a gamble. Isn't there someone insisting that driver's licenses are unnecessary?

But aside from the funny freak show, there is a legitimate question of how necessary change (that 'toxic' word) can come about - in a time where structures are paralyzed or ossified and the general course is self-destructive.

In other news, the bloviations about the "Twitter/Facebook revolution" are quite amusing. Tom Friedman ("danger to public safety" - Taleb) and the Egyptian edition of his Happy Globalization story don't fail to entertain. I do however wonder why TV news with all the time in the world to fill doesn't have the resources to put together even the basic facts for its viewership. Reports 10-15 minutes long about basic history and geography would be a start for the 34h of weekly TV consumption to make a little sense.

When my fairly conservative Republican friends tell me that they're ashamed and embarassed by the legislature's antics, maybe we're nearing the point where they'll turn and push back on the Kooks. One can only hope!

Jim, you summed up my sentiments. Luckily for the readers of Rogue, I'll add, since my explanation would have been verbose (LOL)!

I've heard the same from Republican friends and family in Arizona about the Kooks. Even the Republic "shamed" Pearce and cohort for their extreme politicking. Going so far in literally condemning Pearce as an "extremist." I was surprised:

"Madness, yes, but every state legislature has its members who grumble and grouse and trade in folly, right?

The difference lies in who those members are. In Arizona, they include the president of the state Senate, a practitioner of extreme politics who has a national following. Other state leaders seem to cower in his presence."

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/02/06/20110206sun-state-reputation-1-06.html

I just have to comment on the average American watching 34 hours of TV; how do they find the time? This must be a temporary phenomena since the unemployment rolls have increased?

On my too long weekend, I tried to watch that much TV and it didn't work out. I'll admit though, I have to watch some absolutely dumb programming because it keeps my attention for awhile. So I am not completely innocent. For instance, I am trying to watch the Bachelor now.

Mainly because Brad Womack (sp) is dreamy and I've dated men like him before. I call them finger dates. Usually the date begin with my finger on their lips saying: "Shh, Shh, don't speak, just shut up and kiss me."

I can only talk about great arms and abs for so long; TV is very similar to a lot of my dates, now that I think about it. Sad...let me put down the wine and contemplate our serious world issues now.

Suns Fan, I doubt any Rogue reader -- even under torture -- could be the average American TV viewer.

That's true Rogue. Because we are wild and crazy misfits......we read books.

A rim-rattling dunk of a post Jon....
(And I feel even more justified in buying that signed first edition of "Concrete Desert" from a collector.)

You are correct in your pending conclusion:

"In the Tea Party theater of the right, someday push may really come to shove and the results, as with all theater, may surprise."

Murdoch and the Kochs have created an armed monster. They are only in control of it to the extent they don't anger it themselves. And they don't fathom just how hard that thin line will be to walk...

I don't think the Kochs and their ilk really fear anything at all. They have enough money at their disposal to simply up and leave the country if their Frankenmob of pin-heads, angry old white men and gun-humpers turns their blind hatred on them someday. It's the rest of us who will have to deal with the consequences, both socially and economically.

I watch from afar - I do volunteer work in Rwanda - and what I see, hear and read (oh yes, count me as one of those who still does that old-fashioned thing)horrifies me. Often I feel silly when my African colleagues, and sometimes even outright strangers, ask me to explain what's happening in America. My favorite is:

"Why do all Americans need guns? Who's trying to invade?"

I have a front row seat as China spreads its empire by building railroads, roads, and influence all over Africa. In America we cannot even build rail in our own cities, our roads are crumbling and our influence is waning, as is our reputation for being the nation countries turn to for leadership and inspiration. Look at what we've become. Who would be inspired by us?

Anyway, another home-run post Rogue. You're a beacon illuminating the hard truths afflicting the country, but sadly it seems the socio-political climate of today's America has rendered a fog too heavy for even the most sensible, intelligence light to shine through.

Keep up the great work.

So, RC, are you now with the sane bits of us that the 14th Amendment applies to all babies and that the Dream Act should be passed?

Sidebar: General Pearce may be running short of sidekicks. Ron Gould is basically a heating/cooling contractor who is turning out to be little more than a zealot with a funny moustache. John Kavanagh is (to me) looking more and more like a toady who is thinly armed with a PhD. Who else will he get to carry the mail? Jack Harper? Some of the fringy-loonies from Anthem? May be wishful thinking, but I sense a slow-mo implosion.

With the help of Sal DiCiccio, the State Legislature just decided to mess with the largest cities in Arizona: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, Tucson...

They wish to impose rules on these cities that will force them to bid out any contracted services over $50,000 to private contractors. This would include transit, garbage/recycling, water, etc but exclude public safety agencies.

http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/2011/02/09/20110209arizona-lawmakers-impose-state-rule-on-phoenix.html

The cities, especially Phoenix, are preparing to fight the State and I think Phoenix has the upper hand here. Let's hope the taxpayers/voters realize just how detrimental the Kooks are to everyone, conservative and liberal.

eclecticdog, I continue to have reservations. As I've written, the 14th Amendment was exclusively intended to help undo some of the judicial malpractice of the slavery era and give civil rights to the newly freedmen and women. I stick by my earlier post.

A couple of thoughts about Jon's radio interview (along with Keven Ann Willey) on today's Here and Now: there's a kind of etiquette of caution that afflicts many smart and knowledgeable media types. Never say anything that might upset anyone! What results is something like Willey running in circles around some radioactive if obvious thoughts. Willey knows Arizona as well as anyone. She's seen the rightward drift from afar but also from the high inside at the Republic. Yet she shrinks from saying much if anything about this remarkable series of political wounds. Instead, she briefly acknowledges the issue before verbosely sanitizing it of any provocative content.

Thanks Jon for stating clearly what you think. Let's disagree rudely if we must since the opposite is usually something really hurtful to our discourse: bewildered confusion.

Sigh...

Listened to the above mentioned "Here and Now" and concluded that Keven Willey is both out of touch with AZ and sanitized by some sort of ivory tower thing. 9 years ago when she left the Rep., the Kooks were on the margins and now they run the show. Too bad Steve Goldstein missed the opportunity to steer the discussion along those lines.

I went a few rounds with Willey in the past. First she always plays it safe.
And real investigative reporters and factual comprehensive journalism scares the bejebez out of her. But Keven is a really nice person unlike some of us and particularly that Rouge columnist guy.

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