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October 01, 2012

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Is it just possible that Chandler might turn into a credible live/work/play success story? Schools, medical and shopping are all good . . and close by. Driving short distances is the norm. Granted, it doesn't meet Richard Florida's standards . . doesn't have a good walk score or an exactly thriving urban core, but it seems to stand out among others in the valley. My son and family moved there almost 10 years ago and the community literally grew up around them. They appear to be flourishing in all respects. By contrast, living in Phoenix proper is a quality of education issue, as you know. Fine for DINKs and young singles, but not so great for families with kids because many of the schools are mired in ESL problems. There are two career teachers in the family, each having about 20 years experience at the middle school/high school levels in Phoenix' inner city. Both will attest to a prolonged downhill slide.

There was a point where Phil Gordon could have been considered a serious person with fine intentions, but somewhere something went terribly wrong, and now Greg Stanton is the one batting clean-up.

Talton:

As bad, it's an M.O. that further encourages parochialism, rather than a serious approach and open mind to a competitive world.

And then you have the embarrassment of Brewer taking a jobs-junket to Germany with hat in hand looking for companies to come to AZ. Because, I guess AZ can't do any entrepreneurial start ups of its own. Come build in AZ please! Help us rugged white individualists get some industry a-going. We got plenty of sun. Just no brains to do anything with it. Help us....

What came of that trip?

Germany. The country that leads the world in solar power. Whose bilingual citizens overwhelming accept Global warming and are doing something about it. Whose citizens were tickled with the election of Obama. And here comes global warming denying Brewer with her high school degree and famed language skills. Brewer, who shook a crooked kook finger at Obama on the tarmac. Brewer, whose State sheriff leads a white posse to expose Obama as Kenyan born...

I am surprised Germany let her land.
I wouldn't countenance that vacant clown on my property...

Jon I really feel for you. I can't imagine how hard it must be to hold your pen back. You love this state, it's in your blood, and to see a governor and sheriff like that. Good lord. Mississippi couldn't do worse. Like Crow, you are trying your damnedest to be politic. But one of these days you are going "to snap" off a post that will truly fry these people a la Dante. After all, AZ's is loser-land primarily because of the stench of its leaders...

Until then, I'll do it for you:

The state is not to be taken seriously, except as a holding pen for right-wing loons. Stick the kooks far out in the desert, as close to Mexico as possible. And put a Big Canyon up north to block their path back to civilization...

Constant unrepentant mockery. With a listless governor and a snot-faced sheriff like we have, derision is what AZ deserves. And yeah -- you betcha, I'll be wearing my Jan Brewer fright mask with pride all day on Halloween:

http://vimeo.com/50409647

Crow knows that perception is reality for many investors and businesses, some of whom might be more inclined to come here, or more inclined to stay, if they had a better opinion of the state. A constant drumbeat of bad national media (and whose fault is that? Not Jon Talton's!) creates low expectations that poison the attitudes of even relatively sophisticated evaluators.

He also knows that the reality is more complex than either he and other boosters, or the critics, would have it.

For example, Mr. Talton cited the Kaufman Foundation's New Economy Index (for 2010). Everything he quoted is true, but it gives an incomplete picture.

Arizona's overall score there was a mediocre 20 out of 50, in large part because of the serious shortcomings Mr. Talton alluded to.

In certain categories, however, Arizona excelled. In the category of Economic Dynamism, Arizona ranked 7th.

In the subcategory of Job Churning ("the number of new startups and business failures, combined, as a share of the total firms in each state"), Arizona ranked 9th.

In the subcategory of Entreprenurial Activity ("the adjusted number of entrepreneurs starting new businesses"), Arizona ranked 2nd in the nation.

In the subcategory of Manufacturing Value-added ("Manufacturing value-added per production hour worked as a percentage of the national average, adjusted by industrial sector"), Arizona ranked 3rd in the nation.

This is a sampling, rather than an exhaustive overview, of Arizona's competitive advantages, but it suffices to illustrate that the picture one sees depends on what one wishes to emphasize.

As a booster, Crow naturally wants to emphasize the strengths; as a critic, Mr. Talton naturally wants to emphasize the weaknesses.

Crow feels that the bad rap Arizona is taking in the national media overshadows and downplays its strengths. Mr. Talton feels that the Arizona media give the establishment a free ride and paper over problems that can't be addressed (and will only get worse) without being faced with courage and honesty.

The major media organs in nearly every city are going to exaggerate the local advantages and downplay the disadventages: first, because the major media are owned by the same movers and shakers who are active in the local chamber of commerce and in local politics (including Crow); second, because cheerleading comes more naturally to residents than existential pessimism. "Yay us!" is just more fun for most residents than "We stink! And we're going down the crapper in a hurry!"

So, it's naive to expect realism as the operating principle of the local media.

Obviously, the local media need someone to keep them honest, and to tell the residents the hard truths. Mr. Talton does an admirable job; and if his viewpoint is heavily weighted toward the skeptical side of things, it has to be remembered that on the other side of the scale is the 800-pound gorilla of the Arizona Republic and the Real Estate Industrial Complex.

All the ever poetic story telling Koreyel.Excellent post.

didnt U hear the gov called a special session to outlaw Halloween. Seems it's been deemed a satanic cult and may have ties to Al Queda. And the pumpkins are not from young farms but born in Kenya.

Just back from a few days at Acrosanti.
All was good.

Side-note: the Front Page link to the Freakonomics article "The Cost of Environmental Regulations" is interesting (especially the comments) but seems like a slip-up somewhere. Is Rogue now promoting an anti-regulatory agenda, or did I miss the point?

Here's a suggestion for the Front Page: a story in a recent weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal on civil liberties and personal privacy:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443995604578004723603576296.html

It turns out that there are at least two private national database companies that pay employees and agents to drive around day and night with license plate digital cameras; they then cross reference the location of the car with the name and background of the driver, as culled from DMV and numerous private databases.

"The plates scanned by people such as Mr. Griffin are contributed to Mr. Jackson's central MVTrac database. Mr. Jackson declined to be specific about the total number of scans in the database, but says, "We have [photographs of] a large majority" of registered vehicles in the U.S.

"Until recently, rival company Vigilant Solutions, a subsidiary of Digital Recognition Network, provided a counter on its website tallying its plate-scanning database. The latest read: about 700 million scans.

"DRN says on its website that it can "combine automotive data such as where millions of people drive their cars…with household income and other valuable information" so companies can "pinpoint consumers more effectively." DRN declined to comment. "

Data storage has become so cheap (and is projected to become considerably cheaper in the next few years), making the keeping (and updating) of this data cost effective indefinitely. The information is also shared with law enforcement, insurance companies, licensed private investigators, and others. Many police departments keep the information on hand indefinitely, using the argument that someday, somehow it might help to solve a crime.

It's also a way to circumvent requirements for a warrant to install GPS tracking devices; license plate readers vacuum up the locations of vehicles (and thus the owners and/or drivers). In Riverside, California alone, just 49 Sheriff's Department plate scanners recorded 6 million plates in two years, 2 million of them uniquely.


"The state's problems are substantive." - Rogue

A new definition of 'substantive'?:

adjective
1. incapable of being terminated; unending: a substantive job.
2. monotonously or annoyingly protracted or continued; unceasing; incessant: I can't stand that substantive clatter.
3. having no limits: a substantive desert.

Scalding Cascade, I like all those. I think they speak directly to whats happening currently in Arizona.
Arizona is in the lead in an effort to terminate the human race.

cal,

I'm sure that if Phoenix collapses we'll be met on the other side by Hohokam laughing their asses off. "What? You didn't you learn anything?! BAHAHAHA!"

Will on the "other side" have a library of books including God is Red and Custer Paid for Your Sins?

Gathering tidbits from grazing around retirement publications, I sense that the trend toward "aging in place" may be strengthening. If so, it makes the desert retirement lifestyle ("championship golf") less enticing vs. remaining in the Heartland and staying close to the security of family, friends and dependable medical support.
The Pulte folks are on top of this, although "Sun City Rockford" has a strange ring to it!

Like Rockford, I was a PI and I lives in a trailer. 320 square feet is all a man and his dog need.

The coming war? Out of Iraq and Afghanistan and into Mexico?

https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/13a21dd12ee971c7

There had better be books and dogs!

Jon, et al...

Any of you have some local insight or insider info to add to this stunning story about Phoenix in the NYT?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/arts/design/frank-lloyd-wright-house-in-phoenix-faces-bulldozers.html?smid=pl-share

Unreal. I don't even think Mississippi would let something like this go down.

Koreyel,
The preservationists have been howling about this, and there have been a few articles in the Republic. But the big money in town doesn't back preservation. Their thinking, to the extent that they do think, is "If we give the city power to protect this building, then we might not be able to do the teardown we want to do." Such a lack of stewards with money and power.

"cal Lash" wrote:

"Arizona is in the lead in an effort to terminate the human race."

About 7:20 in:

http://nicktoons.nick.com/videos/clip/ren-and-stimpy-space-madness-cart-a.html

Hey phxsunfan
diga me, donde esta?

the good news?
Water on mars!
Rosie dice,
read "City"
by Clifford Simak
and the dogs speculated on the possible existence de hombre!

Sid,
Greg Stanton is another nice guy wanting to be a senator. (him and the bruja, Brewer) But then he may be related to Georgia.
Jimmy Carter was a nice guy.
But I think we are missing the dude con gonads. And that aint Romney another nice guy that is locked into being fucked by the kooks. Not much to vote for out there. My mark goes to Chapo.

Who is Chapo, may I ask?

The Chapo I know is Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel.

Check out the new comment on this post:

http://roguecolumnist.typepad.com/rogue_columnist/2009/10/phoenix-101-mesa.html

No doubt John Hoffman and 8081 Meridan intend to replace it with two uninspiring stucco fuck boxes, or they are hoping the hoopla delivers them a sugar daddy to take it off their hands. Guess we'll know by Thursday (I strongly suspect a bluff as only low-end private residences are moving in the Valley of the Sun -- Hoffman will hold out for a government bailout of his error).

Hoffman?
Hoffman Homes.
That was a box house builder in the 50's?

The Swami predicts:

A *staggering slip* by Mitt Romney tonight.

I hope the Swami is right.

The mention of Chapo Guzman reminded me of the "war on drugs" and that in turn reminded me of the "war on terror".

I saw an interview with the outgoing President of Mexico the other day noting that despite the arrest and killing of countless drug lords in Mexico, the cartels remain staffed: there are plenty of others with experience a little lower down the ladder, just waiting to take their places.

Demand remains high (a little lower for cocaine, a little higher for meth, and about the same overall); meanwhile the price is high because of decades of interdiction that increase the operating overhead of the cartels.

High demand plus high prices means big profits, insuring willing replacements for those arrested and those killed in shootouts, while simultaneously expanding the cartel budget for buying everything from judges and police to weapons (increasingly sophisticated).

I don't agree with President Calderon's suggestion that legalization of hard drugs is a practical option. I think that this is a largely intractable problem that will cost America dearly regardless of the approach taken. However, he does raise some interesting points. And anyone who hasn't heard of Guillermo Arevalo Pedroza should take the time to read the interview.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443916104578022440624610104.html

This in turn leads to the question of the assassination of Muslim militants (and civilians) by drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. Is it effective?

Like the cartels, the militants always have experienced successors waiting in the wings to move up the ladder to fill vacancies.

Also, the argument can be made that every drone strike creates as many terrorists as it kills. Imagine that your wife, or children, or parents are killed as "regrettable collateral damage" in such a strike. And imagine that you grow up in a place like Pakistan where you are already taught that America is a blasphemous enemy and that those who die as martyrs go to heaven. Wouldn't you be radicalized, having considerably less to live for and a lot of hatred in your heart?

Even a "precision" bomb or missile has a blast radius beyond the clear area, so civilian casualties, particularly in the context of (say) a house or building in a village are almost inevitable.

Furthermore, intelligence takes time to be collected, analyzed, and passed up the chain of command, where decisions must then be made. Militants (whether terrorists, guerillas, or some combination) who know that they are being hunted have a habit (like drug lords) of being constantly on the move. By the time the intelligence is actionable, they may well be elsewhere, making it a poor risk to blow up a "suspicious" building as soon as a drone operator sees it fill up with people.

If the United States can't even tell the difference between a wedding party and a terrorist powwow -- and more than one Pakistani wedding party has been blown to smithereens this way (maybe there are men shooting guns in the air, I don't know) -- then how can it possibly make responsible judgments in where subtle distinctions are necessary? If it has a habit of denial and self-justification, followed by eventual admission only after confronted with undeniable evidence by an ally, then how can we take its claims of effectiveness in this assassination campaign at face value?

Don't they usually make for-profit museums out of Frank Lloyd Wright homes?

I am reminded of the Taliban and the Bamiyan statues.

Hey AZ I got an idea for you. Since your state is looking to raise revenue without raising taxes, why not sell tickets to a Frank Wright home destruction event? It is not everyday one can see one of those bladed. Put up some bleachers and sell tickets. Maybe you guys can even sell TV rights...


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/1326063/After-1700-years-Buddhas-fall-to-Taliban-dynamite.html

Well, I read the interview and that's the saddest thing I've read all day, this week or month:

Then again, how many Americans have heard of Guillermo Arévalo Pedroza? He was killed earlier this month by a bullet fired from a U.S. Border Patrol boat while picnicking with his wife and two young girls on the south side of the Rio Grande, near Laredo, Texas. "Nothing happened in the legal institutions of this country," Mr. Calderón says with evident restraint, noting that another 14 Mexicans have been killed in roughly similar ways this year alone. "This father was not trying to cross the border, he was trying to pass a good day with his kids."

Not exactly comparable to the Wright debacle, but revealing of the low value placed on preservation. After 25+ years in a modest sized home in Paradise Valley, I finally felt compelled to sell when our neighbor's equally modesthome (and spectacular cactus garden) was bladed down by a chapo pendejo in a black Escalade. He, in turn, built a 6,000 sq. ft stucco McMansion that maxed the lot's capacity. It sold for 8x what he paid . . to a couple who soon found it too small for their stuff, which included an old Rolls with a life-sized Santa in the driver's seat. True story!

What about me? I searched around and found a buyer who liked my house's "bones" and agreed to just update it. Pretty dumb . . I left some $erious dinero on the table, because the odious scrapers would actually have paid me more to accomodate another piece of faux ca ca . . but my old 60's contemporary is still standing and looking mighty good!

For me, the moral of this and other related stories: greed is ugly and maybe even brings bad karma to the dumshits who destroy value. Chapo pendejo reportedly is down on his luck and waiting for the next bubble.

Morecleanair, I still know a few folks that own "modest" homes in PV. Back in the early 2000's I did a body guard thing for the Queen of Mean at her atrocious mansion high on the west slope. I helped her work out Harry in the lap pool before he died. Even that house has been redone to even bigger and uglier.

As for the Chapos of the world they just get richer on every snort. And they dont all die young. But the financial folks laundering their money just keep getting richer while most get poorer. And it's not just big ugly caves they build, hell they buy islands and they build entire towns.
The Barons of Cities/States cometh.

cal: I paid $85,000 for my PV home in the mid-70's. When I sold in 2002, it was still a modest home compared to those around it. Then the bubble inflated and we all know the rest of that story.

Hey Cal, I've been extremely busy but I have keeping up with my Rogue reading...

About tonight; Obama got spanked. I was surprised by Romney's persistence and he seemed more focused than the President. However, Romney also seemed to be lying about his position. Especially on taxes, healthcare, and unemployment. He changed his stance on tax cuts which seemed to catch Obama off guard. I know it caught me off guard because it was backpedaling to the highest degree. Americans should have noticed that change and I hope the Obama campaign and the media jump on that aspect of Romney's ever-changing political position.

Although Romney did well in the debate, he still has no plan. And now Romney's new positions, set in the debate, should leave him vulnerable.

Good to hear U R out there with ear to ground. I dont watch TV so I missed the "spanking". Did U say "Spanking?"

Sounds like O let R commit to a bunch of stuff. O dosent have to win the first two, just the last one.

The current issue of Esquire (the one with a suited up Clint E on the front) has some good stuff on Romney and Obama. In particular Life Under RomneyCare by Charles P Pierce. "It was the law that was the source code for Obamacare." and "Why would a man be ashamed of helping so many people." Or as a guy that helped Romney get the law passed, said "it's the same fucking thing."

Thanks for letting us know U still care.

Cal,
Yes, the mercenary industry of Northern Virginia greedily eyes Mexico for new revenue streams as Iraq and Afghanistan wind down. The restrictions Mexico places on civilian possession of firearms apparently is a glitch restraining the mercenaries from entering the Mexican market as body guards and other security personnel.

A quick post mortem. Romney showed up. Obama didn't. Moderator was awful, but O owns this failure. Romney lied and lied but Obama never took it to him on his taxes, 47 percent, income inequality, Bain, flip flops, radical GOP platform. It was dismal.

Obama wins unless he is knocked out in one of the debates. The pundits gave Romney the match on rounds but the electorate is a different matter. A knock out occurs if Obama makes a gaffe that can be replayed with effect. By being listless Obama avoids being knocked out and Romney looks good but doesn't win the war which is the election.

Romney transformed from the Bubba of the Republican primary to the reasonable former governor of a very blue state. No substance at all. How far can he go without losing Republican base motivation to show up on election day. A Romney presidency would be a disaster.

Lehrer lost control early on . . and was just plain awful thereafter. Format allowed runaway bafflegab and b.s.
(I'd sooner listen to 15 minutes of Shields and Brooks)

I just wonder how many middle-aged whites said, "ah, a reasonable Republican. I can feel comfortable going back to the big tent." Or how many young people got discouraged. "This guy won't fight for us." Much of the debate, it was the passive, seeking-Olympia-Snowe's vote president.

Well, now that U all watched the verbal BS, did it change your vote?
I spent most the evening watering my flowers and cactus, red a book on Sahuaros and finished up the latest issue of Esquire and put on the DVD, A Day without a Mexican.

From Naked Capitalism:

The reason Obama did poorly is simple. He is bad at governing America. He hasn’t solved the foreclosure crisis, the jobs crisis, the climate crisis, the energy crisis, the financial crisis, the debt crisis, the health care crisis, or really, anything. He can’t point to very much that Americans broadly like, except killing Bin Laden and the auto bailout. His second term agenda is to cut Social Security, Medicare, frack, cut corporate taxes, bust more teachers unions and pass more neoliberal trade agreements. He is proud of this record. So are his people. But he knows he can’t run on it because it’s unpopular, so instead, he presented himself as a nice likeable guy.

Read more at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/post-debate-analysis-the-media-can-now-get-the-electoral-horse-race-it-wants.html#tVvwCisZtKxql2bS.99


http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/10/post-debate-analysis-the-media-can-now-get-the-electoral-horse-race-it-wants.html

I agree Jon.
And he didnt do much to increase wilderness, protect animals or the environment.

U would think that since he is so gung ho on capitalism he would have legalized drugs and increased his big Pharm stock profits.

But between him and the Mitt I still think Chapo Guzman better understands human nature.

Nice but little long poll:

http://www.isidewith.com/

Jill Stein scored 94% with me. Romney got 7%.

I scored 90% with Gov. Gary Johnson.

Chapo Guzman got a 100 from the NRA
See the back cover of Adbuster Magazine for endorsesment.

If Guv Johnson doesn't get his act together, then it will be

Jesse Ventura 2016

Somehow, someway we need to grab this country and kick it's ass into shape.

Naked Capitalism makes the assumption that us normal folks can assimilate the 10/3 debate's almost nauseating regurgitation of "facts" and statistics. I was left with the image of Mittens pushing Big Bird off the fiscal cliff, while Paul Ryan did the same for Grandma!

There is no way I would watch a debate where I knew in advance that both persons were going to lie to me.

Time was better spent re-arranging my sock drawer.

Reb: do you organize your socks by category? Dress, casual, athletic, over-the-calf etc? Stuff like this reveals your political leanings, like your collection of neckties . . if such a thing still exists.

in 75 i singly handed did away with neckties for Phx cops.

Rogue Columnist wrote:

"I hope the Swami is right."

I was actually talking about a literal staggering slip, a la Gerald Ford.

Since I don't own a television I didn't see the debate. Somehow, the characterizations here ring true anyway.

morecleanair wrote:

"Lehrer lost control early on . . and was just plain awful thereafter. Format allowed runaway bafflegab and b.s."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/us/politics/after-debate-a-harsh-light-falls-on-jim-lehrer.html?_r=0

Years ago I sent away for a transcript of a nightly news program (half-hour, I think), and was amazed at how little actual information the program boiled down to in text. I don't mean that it was pages and pages of fluff interspersed with a little good stuff: I mean that the whole transcript was SHORT.

Somehow, when you eliminated the third or so of the program devoted to commercials, and all the visuals voiced over by the anchorman or "on the spot" reporters standing in front of this or that, there was just this tiny little nugget of actual communication left.

Only then did the question of information quality enter into the evaluation -- and it wasn't pretty. The sheer jejunity of the narration and "interview" sound bites stands out shockingly in unadorned black & white text.

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