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February 22, 2012

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Jon, It was nice to have you back in your town. There were a lot of folks that were happy to see you and your bride. I ran into some people at changing hands at a Betty Webb signing that wanted to know when your next book was due out. I told them U had moved to Seattle and were working for Microsoft as an ad man.

I find it interesting that I got to the valley of the sun at 10 and have no desire to return to Iowa. But I also have no burning desire to stay and die in Phoenix. A place that has become little more than a clean looking waste land dominated by kooks with serious smog brain damage.

I know you yearn to be home but I am afraid that in today’s Phoenix you are no longer a homie, bro.

I am sure you all noticed that Attorney General Tom Horne is going to investigate the Babeu matter. Or as I see it “How to indict those bastards over at the New Times.”

PS and hang that Mexican snitch

I needed to see my parents through their long twilight years, which finally concluded in 2008. I knew the real-estate crash had changed things but I didn't know how much. I soon found out when I tried to sell my house and realized I was underwater along with those chumps who bought at the height of the boom. My dream of leaving Phoenix had become a lucid nightmare.

Because I bicycle a lot, I get to see the damage up close. I tell myself to enjoy the disjunctions and losses. Or put another way, to savor the poignancy of weak ambition. But I can't detach my own life from this civic disaster. Fresh stucco can't disguise the horror of a city without a soul. And we are not redeemed by the people still moving here for the sun since they are the unwitting reinforcements of a hostile occupation.

I was at the art museum last night - there's a Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit that includes a large maquette of his state capitol design Oasis. Afterwards I walked through the Alvarado neighborhood, all the lovelier in the balmy night. This is Phoenix at its insufficient best: some stunning old houses, some late-'50s co-ops that are little bits of heaven, and the astonishing sweetness of the air. Phoenix is largely a horror, but there are a few gems scattered in the central city. We can find them easily enough. We just can't learn from them.

We want to be left alone. And we are.

Then there are the Midwest Transplants (more than a million?) who tend to think the area is just fine. They pretty much overlook the shortcomings because life seems better in most respects than "back home". Viewed through their eyes, our complaints may seem backward-looking.
The most fortunate can leave town after Easter and avoid the nasty weather and Bad Ozone. The most fortunate enjoy great golf and fine dining. Those with more modest resources still live better than they did in good ol' Springfield. There's major league sports, "exciting" casinos and numerous other attractions. "So what's the big deal"? I hear it often.

The realization dawns that WE are maybe the 10% who knows what Phoenix was like before what Jon calls the great "growthgasm". (I tried to crunch the numbers and this seems about right)

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton tweets, "In Phoenix, we have a full commitment to sustainability: Sky Harbor Airport Dedicates Solar Power System."

The window of opportunity for Arizona to become a dynamic, non-nuclear energy net exporter closed more than a decade ago. Arizona's bridge to a sustainable future - the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station - has had its license extended to supply energy to the next generation of profligate Southwesterners, but its function as an economic bridge to real sustainability leads now only to the proverbial Nowhere.

http://ratecrimes.blogspot.com

It's the Land?

A quote from the opening of Charles Bowden’s 1986 book “Blue Desert”.

"I have lived in the Sonoran Desert since I was a boy and unless I get unlucky, I will die here. My home is a web of dreams. Thousands move here each year under the banners of the New West or the Sunbelt. This is a place where they hope to escape their pasts-the unemployment, the smoggy skies, dirty cities, crush of human numbers. This they cannot do. Instead, they reproduce the world they have fled. I am drawn to the frenzy of this act.”

“It is fat with contradiction but sounds one steady note: the land.”

I admire that young man's attitude. What makes me cringe is thought that his courage might be more or less pointless. Every point at which you are disappointed with Phoenix, the solution is unattainable without collective action. To call the social, political, and economic changes that Phoenix requires for survival a "retrofit" would be a grand understatement. Without some catastrophic trauma to disturb the comfort of the suburban dwellers, how do you get a population of folks who "want to be left alone" to cooperate?

This is all totally inevitable and completely tied to the lack of jobs in the United States.

There is NO other alternative as long as we do not have enough jobs to support our population.

There are no jobs. That is the central fact, the core principle, of every issue.

The lack of jobs is the linchpin. We are doomed. There is no alternative. There is no other outcome that is possible.

Somewhat OT, but LDS-related:

"Billionaire Romney donor uses threats to silence critics"

http://www.salon.com/2012/02/17/billionaire_romney_donor_uses_threats_to_silence_critics/

Prepare to be sued.

Please read this essay by Slavoj Zizek. I would like to know what y'all consider to be "strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands".

"Resistance Is Surrender"

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n22/slavoj-zizek/resistance-is-surrender

Legalize illegal drugs?

Rate,

The article is a perfect example of why the Democratic/Left/Progressive (D/L/P) side of the equation stands no chance in this struggle. I could barely stay awake reading it. The DLP are only good at talk, talk, talk, talk. They put you to sleep.

The other side plays to the short attention span of humans, YOUR GUNS ARE IN DANGER ! YOUR UNBORN BABIES ARE IN DANGER ! GAS FOR YOUR CARS ARE IN DANGER !

As I said way back when I first started posting on this blog, we are in "1984" territory now. God help us.

War is Peace - Military Industrial Complex

Freedom is Slavery - Attention WalMart Associates

Ignorance is Strength - Arizona Education System


All of you on this blog are guilty of Thoughtcrime - Department of Homeland Security will be in touch.

Electric Dog I owe U $10

"Department of Homeland Security will be in touch."

I am betting after they quit killing each other DHS will collapse inward to the stinking pile of crap it is.
Thank George. No I don't miss U yet George.

Eclecticdog,

I know cal is good for the $10.

I'll bundle that $10 debt along with the bottle of Jack Daniels I owe Emil, an $18 value.

Anyone on this blog is welcome to purchase derivatives on this loan package based on the future value of the interest of these loans.

Since most of you are receiving interest on your money in the neighborhood of .005 percent, I think you will find my guaranteed rate of 11% quite attractive.

If interested call 1-800-trustme

Zizek's work is full of contradictions and according to his own words "bullshit" and "bluff". Slavoj, be gone!

It looks like to me as though Zizek thinks that simply articulating the various positions of his strawman "left," in smart-speak, is the same as deconstructing them.

How very left-brained of him.

Zizek, why does this guy sound familiar as someone else??

AZrebel, 11 percent what a paltry return. Chapo guarantees 30 percent and a pound of good weed on every dollar you move for him!

Talton: "The Babeu scandal broke while I was there. You can't make this stuff up. "

No you still can't keep making it up:
Babeu is still running for Congress.

Despite posting a stripped pic to a gay web site.
Despite promising his boyfriend he would take it down.
Despite his boyfriend emailing him via that site using an alias.
Despite meeting that alias at a parking lot for pina coladas and getting caught in the rain...
Despite his boyfriend having a 100 emails to prove Bebeu's lack of fidelity.


Yes: Babeu is still running for Congress!
So here is a question I'd like to see him answer:

Can you promise the voters that you won't post any naked pics to get-gay-sex-website while you are in Congress? And if you can promise that, why should the voters in AZ believe you any more than your boyfriend did?

What for Cal? I thru $10 in to cover my drink and tip and to let the four of you split a beer!

What for Cal? I thru $10 in to cover my drink and tip and to let the four of you split a beer!

Posted by: eclecticdog | February 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM

The Man bought even though I threatened to throw him under the lite rail.

Some more on that--'all to elusive'...."Mythical" Hispanic Voting Bloc, doing its thing..

http://swampland.time.com/2012/02/22/why-the-latino-vote-in-arizona-could-be-decisive-in-2012/

"I could barely stay awake reading it."

Good thing it was a short read. :)

Life is measured by the span of one's attention. Live on!

Putting aside "bullshit" and "bluff" - whether they be strategic, stylistic, or spontaneous - Zizek often performs an important role in exposing and questioning basic assumptions.

In proposing "strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands", it seems Zizek is proposing an engagement of the ego and super-ego; something beyond the id-pleasing political slogans of either the Right (‘guns, guns, guns’, ‘blastocyst rights’, ‘drill, baby, drill!’) or Left (“Chains we can be leavin’”, “Yes, weaken”).

I agree with Zizek that both thought and action must be engaged, otherwise the definition of ‘crime’ will continue to erode until there is no longer an identifiable, mutual Homeland to secure.

So, other than reactionary responses that emulate the worst examples of the Right, easy dismissals, and other such unproductive gestures, what, if any, "strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands" should be made?

"smart-speak"

Therein lies the core truth of both Right and Left in American culture.

Here's another Hispanic.."yawner".. for you.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0212/73227.html

Regards,
Truth

While we discuss the anatomy of a slowsly-imploding Phoenix, Jon is back in Seattle Puddletown facing at least several months of almost unremitting rain and gray weather. The politics are better and the environmental conscience is imbedded in the culture, but it still takes lotsa Prozac to sustain onself until June. Climate change may rejigger all this but for the present, the sun is largely on vacation. I know. I've spent several years in the Pacific Northwest and only kept sane by going to the beach as often as my family could get away. There ARE some positives in AZ; sometimes we downplay them unfairly. After 40 years, I'm at least entitled to an "informed" opinion . . . right?

Well, let's see ... It was sunny yesterday, overcast today, the weather is always changing here. Almost always temperate. Suits me fine. But please make people think it's rainy and cold all the time so they won't move here. Especially just for the weather, wanting to give nothing to the community, not even wanting to be in community.

No offense to Morecleanair, but there's something pathological in the 'at least it's sunny all the time!' defense for Phoenix. At best that's a distraction from the serious issues facing a place we all care about.


"There ARE some positives in AZ; sometimes we downplay them unfairly."

Unfortunately, those "positives" have everything to do with nature and nothing to do with the built environment.

Nature pretty much trumps the "built environment" everywhere on earth.

AzRebel - 2012

... and the built environment nearly everywhere else trumps that in AZ.

PS, I call for a moratorium on building in Arizona. And a WPA project of Sahuaro renewal.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/02/the_arizona_gop_may_be_vulnerable_to_democrats_who_are_popular_with_the_growing_latino_community_.single.html

Is this a mirage? I think the demographics are not strong enough to produce a majority. And "Die shall I in order to live." doesn't strike me as a good strategy for AZ. But cal Lash may disagree here...

Don't have much time today, but I also think using the weather as the number one argument for why a place is great is a weak one. However, it is important. I love the heat and the sun (could do without this drought and lack of rain however) and living somewhere like Seattle (again) would drive me mad. I don't think Central Phoenix is imploding; of course we pass the hot potato in this conversation, but things are happening and the periphery (except a few rare exceptions) will continue to struggle; made no easier by rising gas prices.

Jon, CityScape is probably dead on Sundays and I admit I hardly end up there on Sunday. Yet, it is busy every day of the week and especially Saturday nights. We need the older folks (like Cal ;-)) to start visiting the place. A breakfast joint and the new Starbucks may help in that regard. Also the 200 unit apartment tower is still a go atop the Hotel Palomar. With the opening of the hotel and a dense residential base as part of this project will keep it busy in the near future. That was one element lacking from AZ Center; no hotels nearby or residential buildings (until very recently).

There needs to be about 1,000 residents in CityScapes' two block vicinity in order for the place to resemble other busy downtowns (like Seattle's). That isn't too far off from reality. 200 units in CityScape will likely attract 400 residents (approx. 2 people/unit is average for downtown). Three hundred+ units on the empty lot between Colliers and CityScape is needed. Is there a developer willing to invest in more dense, urban residential space downtown? So far Arizona's developers are too busy waiting for the exurbs to become viable again. They may be waiting forever. They will likely miss an opportunity...one lost to out-of-state firms willing to build in the core. That seems more likely everyday.

"Die shall I in order to live." Sounds like Abbey's Phoenix to me. But then we can't dig up Abbey or Mahler and ask them what they think!

I agree with a lot of Gallegos states. "In between is the barrio, the great untapped source of Democratic votes. “There aren’t many empty homes here,” says Gallego, gesturing toward rows of ranch homes. “If a house gets foreclosed on, it gets snapped up fast. A lot of times the buyers are immigrant families who pay cash. Some of these go for around $10,000.”
and I agree with his thoughts about young hispanic voters.

Of interest is how hard the LDS are recruiting hispanics to their religion (and politics). According to LDS "public" stated policies Hispanics are afforded all the same rights held by any "anglo" in the church.

And you gotta think Mike Lacey has matured well with his "sex mag" with "Romney is a Bad Mormon" and with skin flick stories of SHERIFF Babeu.
Where is little John when U need him?

Phxsunfan. I can't seem to get south of The Portland these days. And I like eateries that are quiet as old guys like to talk and listen and most joints are noisy. Rowdy I can handle, noisy is just irritating. We did miss you at Portland's a few nights ago? Did U see the world train stations I posted. Just makes me cry when I think about what they did to Phoenix's train station area.
Keep hoping

"And Stanton is one of the good guys, one of the smart people!"

Stanton is a career politician who knows that his party and its constituents expect to hear the catchphrases du jour.

Just as a Republican can't give a speech without talking about "freedom from government interference" (even when proposing laws allowing the state legislature to usurp the authority of local governments), so too a Democratic politician can't give a speech without using terms like "sustainability".

It doesn't seem to matter that demonstrating one's commitment to this entails capital intensive, taxpayer underwritten, yet ineffective boutique-projects. The important thing is to have something to point at while you repeat the word "sustainability" ad nauseum.

This is in distinction to capital intensive, taxpayer underwritten, yet effective projects like the series of dams and water-catchment lakes constructed along the Salt River, which actually contributed to sustainability, but which if contemplated today would be dismissed as costly socialistic boondoggles.

Not just Gallego, sees this occurring. Lawmakers like Gallardo, Miranda, Tovar, and Dem party leaders like Heredia and Cherney.. As well as nationally like Carmona, and President Obama himself.

...and btw I agree as well, though try to enlighten the many "skeptics" raising eyebrows (this blog included)..and see the ..'downplaying'... of this Mythical Voting Bloc, even with evidence provided.


The "bloc" is indeed energized and will be a "player" come election time.. The question remains. How much relevance will it play?

Regards,
Truth

"Rate Crimes" wrote:

"Please read this essay by Slavoj Zizek. I would like to know what y'all consider to be 'strategically well-selected, precise, finite demands'. "

It depends upon the context. First, not every circumstance calls for this: for example, agitation rousing popular support or opposition (particularly when this entails activity such as demonstration protests) calls for effective sloganeering rather than a laundry list of negotiating points.

Second, in circumstances which do call for this, the details of a particular, concrete situation (popular attitudes, media coverage, relative strength of political sides, whether particular individuals have disproportionate influence and if so whose side they are on, etc.) shape what constitutes "well-selected and precise".

That said, it's good advice. Marx wrote something similar when criticizing the labor negotiators of his day: when you rely on vague platitudes (e.g., "fair wages") in negotiations, you give your opponent the opportunity to define such terms and to counter-propagandize. You also allow "met demands" to be undermined by loopholes and interpretations which are against the spirit of the agreement.

Also, sometimes, asking for more than you expect is a good negotiating point. Frequently your opponent will make a counter-offer considerably less generous than your opening demand. If your opening demand is your end-goal then you have placed yourself in the position, from the very start, of compromising your own goals. Instead, make your opponent think he is getting a deal by giving you exactly what you really want.

Direct action (used wisely and with appropriate propaganda support) can be a powerful negotiating tool. The point is not that a rabble will change the system systemically: but they might make related but "more reasonable" parties appear palatable by comparison. Yet, without the agitated rabble upsetting the apple-cart, the reasonable opposition can be safely ignored. "Reasonable" concessions will be made only when by doing so, popular support for radical leadership (and activities) can be co-opted and channeled into less problematic, more conventional channels (which can then be eroded by conventional means -- though that takes time).

P.S. Expect academic language from something calling itself The London Review of Books, azrebel.

I agree Emil, however, it should be required to post a disclaimer like,

" Do not operate machinery while reading this product as it may cause drowiness."

sorry, forgot the Z, please take this one, Z and place in the appropriate place in the above comment.

What I've learned (mostly the hard way) about maintaining pretty good mental health is that it is way too easy to become a member of the "Ain't it Awful?" society wherein one lines up their complaints and convinces themselves that they're in a really bad situation. (aka the "Moondog" syndrome)

Ok: enough preamble . . . here's my story about how I make the best of the challenging Phoenix situation. My kids live an hour away but they're HERE and I don't have to fly to see them. The bad air affects my health, but I can escape to Mexico or Oregon where I can breathe just fine. The skin doc carves and burns on me, but I'm finally smart enough to cover up and stay out of it mostly. And on and on . . call it adaptive behavior and/or just not giving in to the negatives that could render me a terminally grumpy curmudgeon.

I don't mean to appear argumentative, morecleanair, but in my experience it's much easier to become a member of the "Everything's Fine!" society, especially in Phoenix.

Likewise, anyone paying attention doesn't need to "convince" himself that Phoenix, Arizona and America are facing some of the worst challenges in their history, i.e. "a really bad situation." This is reality, not copping an attitude.

The purpose of this blog is to seriously examine these challenges and their history, context and solutions. In this respect, it stands alone in Arizona media. It's a small side of the street I work, but, then, I've just never been good at praising the emperor's new clothes. God knows, I would have gotten further if I had. But nothing is more depressing to me than denial.

Jon, we disagree and that's OK.
Adaptive behavior is not denial.
I call it COPING. And you know me to be a pretty good advocate for facing our bugaboos like bad air and the lies about "enough" water. The Republic didn't put my photo on the front page in their air quality series because I'm a bright-sider or a wimpy shrinking violet!

Justified pessimism is not, in fact, pressimism. It is realism.

I find the “be happy” crowd odd. We have, in the past few years, seen millions of Americans and Europeans impoverished and lose their homes...

Justified Pessimism

Not the same subject, exactly, but it's all of a piece, really.

"render me a terminally grumpy curmudgeon"

One man's curmudgeon is another's clear-eyed realist. Abandon all hope, ye who enter Arizona.

Thanks for the link, Petro.

The assumption that everything will be okay once we get through the current rough patch assumes, falsely I think, that we've touched bottom. How would we know that, however? Are people finally getting wise to the Big Lie machinery of corporate propagandists? Are we more skeptical of their promise of unlimited prosperity if only we drill everywhere, damn the consequences? Are we more prone to question the drumbeat for war with Iran? Have we finally woken up to the idea that science is a better guide to climatology than Rush Limbaugh and The Club for Growth?

I don't see any of this. If you're not a pessimist, you're probably not thinking too clearly. We are a deeply hypnotized species with fixed and ingrained habit of seeing what we want to see. Worse, the decisions we don't make now will have devastating consequences later. Our political paralysis, in this sense, is not some historical one-time blip but, more likely, a trend to a permanent state of democratic dysfunction. America's elites have disengaged from their crucial role in keeping political discourse sane. Instead, pundits fixate on the "horse race" as if there were nothing more important than electing a figurehead who presides over the United States of Denial. Think-tank theorists confabulate some geopolitical development decades into the future, but one we must pay for immediately with more defense spending.

It's not working. Our best and brightest invent new false equivalencies daily to tell that our primary need is to split every difference with dim-bulb extremists. We don't seriously engage issues because we decided it's more important to be nice than possibly hurt someone's feelings.

Excellent post Soleri.
"We don't seriously engage issues because we decided it's more important to be nice than possibly hurt someone's feelings."

From 9 to 69 I seriously engaged believing it was more important than concerning myself about making someone's feelings raw. But I have mellowed since. Why I am not sure.
Wisdom maybe. The wisdom to know it doesn't make any fucking difference.

Amen to that cal.

While you've been passing out condoms, the world population has gone up another 23,000,000 souls.

I notice at work that the 90% who go to and from work in a coma, sit and watch reality shows (which aren't reality) and basically live their lives in a techno-bubble of FaceBook and text messages about things going on with other people occupying the same techno-bubble, life is good. As long as they have the latest android phone, nothing else matters. Not even the work they are supposed to be doing to earn their pay.

The other 10% of us who are aware of the world around us, despair away quietly, because the other 90% DO NOT WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT.

Denial is not a river in Egypt, it is a state of mind in America. The result of two generations of protecting the children from the real world. If they succeed in sleepwalking through their whole lives, God bless them. I hope they can pull it off.

However.................................viene una tormenta.

I agree, azrebel, that the prose in question was a real snoozer. You should also try avoiding academic journals.

That said, the "left" has some interesting publications. I used to subscribe to "Extra!" the magazine of FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Media, not to be confused with the anti-immigrant outfit with the same acronym). You can get a good idea of it from it here:

http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4

If you want something a little edgier, try Z Magazine. It's online, and there is even an Occupy Wall Street Forum (Petro?):

http://zcommunications.org/zmag

Edgier still: years ago a magazine called Covert Action Information Bulletin (later Covert Action Quarterly), which was a lot of fun but had some VERY flaky stuff in it -- caveat emptor. It was started by a former CIA officer, William Agee, who actually defected to the Cuban DGI, and became a self-described Communist.

For a while, the CAIB had a column called Naming Names, which actually outed CIA officers by station posting and name (all of them working under diplomatic cover). Congress passed a law, the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, specifically to stop publication of that column. Agee's passport was also revoked for awhile.

Say what you will about Agee's politics and values, the magazine had some fascinating stuff in it (and, yes, a lot of inflammatory and poorly conceived crap, too). I'm sure that the CIA had a copy of every issue in its library.

Regarding Occupy, Zizek, and the like, here's the establishment point of view:

"In order to disarm the agitators, it is necessary to open and point out to the worker a legal solution of his difficulty, for we must bear in mind that the agitator will be followed by the youngest and boldest part of the crowd, while the average worker will prefer the less spectacular and quite legal way. Thus split up, the crowd will lose its power."

-- General Trepov, Police Chief of Moscow, 1898

This is one reason why camping out was an important component of the movement and why official policy prioritized the breaking up of the Occupy camps: not because of crime (which takes place anywhere you have crowds, which attract all types of opportunistic criminal elements), and not because of public health concerns (you can find dirtier neighborhoods in any large city), but because living with and depending upon one another on a daily basis built the kind of solidarity that cannot be replaced by scattered persons employing social networking tools like Twitter.

The camps were simultaneously a physical headquarters, a recruitment center attracting the curious, a media center which reporters and columnists could visit for interviews, a tool for organizing, very quickly, acts of protest, reaching those who (by their continued presence) had already demonstrated their committment and shared values; and perhaps most importantly, a strong mechanism for social bonding, which put faces on allies and might make anyone present feel engaged in a real, concrete, self-determined and proactive political movement, not merely some fantasy on the Internet.

"We don't seriously engage issues because we decided it's more important to be nice than possibly hurt someone's feelings."

Hence, the wise person's admiration for South Park. Blessed irreverence! BTW, you apologists for, and boosters of Arizona SUCK DONKEY BUTT!

A few days back I noted that Writewr Charles Bowden wondered in an E mail what history Babeu might have in prior to AZ. We now know.

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/documents-babeu-ran-private-boarding-school-with-history-of-physical-abuse

Thats Pearce, Hendershot, Thomas and now Babeu. Who is next?

"Regarding Occupy, Zizek, and the like, here's the establishment point of view:"

the three para graphs under the above were excellent , clear and understandably logical.

Thanks

Thats Pearce, Hendershot, Thomas and now Babeu. Who is next?

Catholic priests?

Hopefully the Pope is on the run and the old time Christians are dying off.
Only Evangelists and LDS are showing any real gains.

Am told that LDS is actively courting Latinos, which sounds enlightened!

In some earlier thread, I posited that one way in the current economic crisis differed from the one faced by FDR is that today's PTB are aware of the lack of potential growth today as contrasted with the days when cheap energy was ubiquitous and unquestioned, thus rendering Keynesian remedies more palatable at that time since future recovery of wealth (through growth) was a near certainty.

(Sorry about the long sentence paragraph - it just wouldn't shut up!)

This fascinating restatement of economic conditions buttresses that view, using different parameters:

It is at this latter point, when power approaches its asymptotes, that capitalists are likely to be struck by systemic fear – the fear that the power structure itself is about to cave in. And it is at this critical point, when capitalists fear for the very survival of their system, that their forward-looking capitalization is most likely to collapse.

"Forward-looking capitalization" roughly analogues "Keynesian stimulus."

From The Asymptotes of Power

This addresses the problem that I encounter everywhere that we are mostly arguing about symptoms, rather than the core disease - whether it be immigration, drug war, consumer debt, ratio of FIRE-sector to productive industry, and even the consumer hologram's bread-and-circuses themselves.

"Am told that LDS is actively courting Latinos, which sounds enlightened!" -cleanair

They have been doing so for decades. However, just like with Catholicism, it is a losing battle. The number remains ridiculously low and Latinos continue moving in a secular direction. I call it the "Parisian Catholic" phenomena. Like the French, we claim we are Catholic but haven't stepped into a church in some time; except during a holiday or to hear the choir...

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Media/Slideshow/2011/08/03/9-Worst-Recession-Ghost-Towns-in-America.aspx?index=3

"From the '9 Worst Recession Ghost Towns in America', Downtown Phoenix."

More than a little outdated. Especially since the acre in downtown Phoenix they claim is a "ghost town" has a parcel under construction as we speak. Concorde-Eastridge (an Arlington, VA based company) is building two 7 and 8 story buildings on less than a full city block along Roosevelt Row with 340+ apartment units...

I see on further reading of the discussion that the authors do not touch on resource depletion - they are relying (and powerfully so) simply on the pressures of wealth distribution... I would say, however, that resource depletion can only aggravate (accelerate?) the situation.

Correction: the entire project will take up a little more than a block; bounded by Roosevelt, McKinley, 3rd and 4th Streets (the irregular shaped block on the row). The second building will take up half a block just south of that...

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/local_news/investigations/documents-babeu-ran-private-boarding-school-with-history-of-physical-abuse

Cal, that Dave Biscobing reporter should consider print journalism. He is the the investigative reporter who uncovered some corruption at Phoenix PD...he does have a face for TV though.

More than a little outdated. Especially since the acre in downtown Phoenix they claim is a "ghost town" has a parcel under construction as we speak.

My bad. I should have looked at the date before I posted. But one acre does not a renaissance make, particularly when the project is for college dorms, albeit private. You can look at that forlorn picture and see amazing things if you're a cheerleader Anything and everything is evidence of greatness. The problem, however, remains a city without a soul.

On the plus side, a possible answer to our economic woes - and Paul Babeu's career ladder: http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/morning_call/2012/02/adult-film-industry-could-leave-la.html?ana=e_phx_rdup

When another parcel is developed there will still be moaning; I understand Jon's reasoning and to some extent some of his readers. However, I doubt many have stepped foot in Evans-Churchill...how can you know a city's soul from afar?

As for the adult industry, I wouldn't be at all surprised if they land in Mesa, Chandler, or Scottsdale. Perhaps Jenna Jameson (sp) can throw the welcoming party? Scottsdale used to host the Lingerie Bowl (now in Las Vegas); fitting that it would return.

The project is "intended to serve the student population" from ASU, UofA, the Phoenix School of Law, etc but I bet they find more of the young and non-student population receptive; especially in this neighborhood. A catalyst for more development because it will fill up quickly.

I'm happy for almost any infill. The campus is a good thing. But downtown and the Central Corridor still need more 1) High-wage employment aside from law firms; 2) Private capital deployed besides heavily subsidized stuff like CityScape and ASU/ASU-related; 3) Practical retailers, especially in reach of pedestrians on the light-rail line. There's just too much dead space, not enough urban, walkable critical mass.

When another parcel is developed there will still be moaning;

No.

The problem is a city that welcomes any development as a solution. Look around you. Does that work?

We're a city that tear downs old buildings, replaces them with parking lots, and does somersaults when we get a call center or a glorified strip center with New Urbanist pretenses. Do great cities uncritically accept anything that comes their way? In Phoenix, yes. Because we're so starved for any kind of urban pulse that a dormitory can send chills up some spines.

I read your stuff at the Cheerleader Central (Skyscraperpage.com) and the hosannas sung to a new restaurant or a project like this one are what you'd expect in cities like Fresno. And the saddest truth of all is that we've been doing a variation of this pep chat for over 50 years now. And during that time, the rationale for a real downtown has collapsed. We're content with sports bars, sports arenas, and chain retail. But keep cheering all that and you'll get more of the same.

P.S., I have set foot in Evans-Churchill thousands of times. I remember it in the 1960s and even into the 1970s, when it was still intact with territorial apartments, bungalows and a wonderful right-up-on-the-sidewalk urban shopping strip on Roosevelt. It was shady, walkable, with good bones and in any healthy city would have become gentrified. Not in Phoenix.

I saw how lack of a preservationist movement with power and the looming freeway destabilized it. I was there as the teardowns foolishly and thoughtlessly began, city policy long before the stadium talk. I set foot on block after block of vacant land. Heard how a building next door to Modified Arts was torn down with no notice, damaging Modified. I set foot on many First Fridays. Watched as the hardy Roosevelt Row folks tried to preserve a bit. And, yes, I have been there as recently as two weeks ago.

So your point is? I try to leave writing about things of which I know nothing to others.


Like I said I understand the "moaning" from some of you, especially those with an older prospective and know Phoenix better than I. And if you've read what I write on Skyscraper you would know that I am mostly critical and receive flack for it. Welcoming new development downtown isn't cheerleading it's just nice to have new neighbors so close by; filling the gaps as Jon just put it. Storefronts on the ground level of this "dormitory" likely will bring much needed everyday "practical retailers" within walking distance.

I am against more chain retail, something I am adamant about on skyscraper, and I believe those in Evans-Churchill won't relent if unique shops and galleries are kept out of this project.

"So your point is? I try to leave writing about things of which I know nothing to others." -Jon

Perhaps I wasn't clear; the Phoenix has no soul comments usually are from those who don't know anything but the baggage Phoenix carries (its suburban, tract home vastness). They don't know historic districts exist downtown and if they do, they don't know what happens in these neighborhoods and what is available in Phoenix beyond the daily grind and commute...

Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, for me I see things with new eyes and do not know what was but only what could be...the city is planning to shrink Roosevelt (the street) similarly to what was done on 1st St. More trees, wider sidewalks, a bike lane, etc...

Point taken, pSf. I do believe Phoenix has soul, although it keeps trying to kill it. Nobody who has read my Mapstone novels would doubt its soul still exists.

PSF, your self-vouching authority as an expert on Phoenix (and half the other cities in the world) comes with its own baggage of never-say-die optimism. From my perspective, that's half the problem with Phoenix. You can't analyze something you're hopelessly enthralled with. You'll say things like "we're a young city" - without any apparent irony - despite this city's old bones being forcibly removed in a mania of tear-downs. You'll find glints of gold in in suburban-style new development like CityScape or this new dormitory. And you and your fellow cheerleaders will self-delude that it's only negative old farts like myself who stand between Phoenix and greatness. We should have been nicer to Donald Trump!

You need more than optimism and youth. You need to say out loud things like this sucks. Because if you don't, you're only going to aid and abet the racket of developers who sell new and big to the rubes. And it's that attitude that is killing Phoenix as much as the white-flight to Scottsdale and Queen Creek.

FYI: I've lived in Coronado, Willo, and Roosevelt.

Soleri, I can say the same about your pompous comments but rather than start another fight, I'll try to ignore it. Besides your critque is way off and greatly exaggerated...

Jon, I still need to read your Mapstone Novels...I will get around to it.

PSF, yeah, run away like the coward you are, troll.

LOL, what are you 15? Grow up man...

Jon, I do fear you are right about the city killing its soul. Stanton's annoucement of a second bio-med campus in North Phoenix ; is he serious? He is just playing to the old developers ear? It doesn't make much sense given the interest of the downtown campus.

As for CityScape it could be much better. I don't think of it as suburban, but still too inward facing. Better than Arizona Center but still not quite right.

PSF, the Mapstone series is a prerequisite to Phoenix 101.

Your optimism unfortunately will only be cured with your doing more time Arizona.

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