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February 21, 2014

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conservatives should be appalled at the money that will be wasted defending this pile of poop.

only the craziest ideologues could ever hope to run this up the flagpole--and only a moron would sign it into law...

SB1070 had (sigh) 60% public support and the craven silence of most of the business community (which was afraid of the controversy and wanted a Republican sweep) going for it. With this bill the calls to the Governor's office are overwhelmingly opposed and Prominent Business Leaders™ have made their opposition known. At this point I'll be surprised if Brewer signs it, not that I'd put it past her if left to her own devices.

The manufacturer of gaydars is going to make a fortune in AZ.

It's going to be funny to watch the Kooks react when people use this law to do a whole bunch of stuff they never envisioned. The bill says:

"Except as provided in subsection C, OF THIS SECTION, STATE ACTION shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability."

Also:

"'Exercise of religion' means the PRACTICE OR OBSERVANCE OF RELIGION, INCLUDING THE ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief."

So let's say you are an adherent of a small religion that worships at the Goddess Temple in Phoenix that was busted under the general prohibition against prostitution because of the religion's beliefs regarding sexual healing. Under SB1062, I'm not sure you could be prosecuted because that appears to be state action that would burden your free exercise.

Maybe you live in a fundamentalist LDS sect in northern AZ. You haven't been able to marry more than one wife because of the general prohibition against polygamy. Under SB1062, wouldn't that restriction burden your free exercise?

And as this stupid bill was clearly motivated by hatred toward LGBT people, wouldn't it be funny if the law of general applicability that says marriage is between one man and one woman was ignored when any same-sex couple who adheres to a Christian denomination that supports and allows same-sex marriage sued over the burden on their free exercise?

I'd love to see Apple back out of the Mesa facility just so one of the bill's sponsors (Mr. Worsley of LD 25 in Mesa) can explain to his constituents how he managed to blow up the biggest economic victory Mesa has managed in quite some time.

Here we go again... Our Legislature making us the laughing stock of the US... AGAIN!!

Then...look also at the Phoenix City Council...an attempt to circumnavigate the Case won by the Goldwater Institute concerning "Union Release Time"... So...they work a "deal" witht he Union...not to pay them to do Union business, but GIVE them thousands of hours of "vacation time" to use for Union Business...(and who pays for the GIFT of vacation time??? the Taxpayer, of course...

This shit really is getting out of hand.

I am not aware of any part of the Bible that states:

"Here to fore and hence, I, The Lord, hereby appoint Fox News, Republicans, Mormons (you rotten bastard cultists)(sorry I couldn't help myself) to protect and to enforce the Commandments of this book. So help me ME. "

We need to get in their faces and let them know we are not going to let them become our Ayatollahs.

Hopefully the boys in Salt Lake will intervene as they did with Pearce and kill this thing.

Well, Reb, you certainly got in Worsley's face with that hilarious email. Heard back? :)

I always say, shame them. Shame them in front of their friends, shame them in front of their spouses and children.

It's all we got, but it's still a lot.

---

Musing...

As to the discriminatory nature of this lunacy (Jon alludes to "Jim Crow" - and I'm of a mind to agree that this conservative feint has the lifespan of a snowflake in Arizona):

I recall Bob Jones University's ban on interracial dating (which came to an end after national attention was brought to bear due to G.W. Bush's presidential campaign,) but I don't recall if "religious freedom" per se was invoked.

And was it ever used to justify the discrimination that was tolerated before the '60's civil rights revolution? I'm thinking no, that plain old fashioned God-given American racism was defense enough, but it might have been a brilliant gambit.

Certainly fooled our legislature.

I'm watching the protests at the State Capital vicariously via Facebook pictures. God bless those folks who turned out, but the pictures remind me of why I left. This issue is HUGE. It is not about mere politics, not a reason to pimp Fred Duval or Hillary Clinton, or to promote how progressive your organization is. Phoenix is big on slick PR efforts. But this branding usually substitutes for substantive action.
It speaks volumes that the crowd at the Capital is fairly small. Given the gravity of what's at stake, you'd think it would fill the Capital Lawn and spill over into the memorial park across the street. You'd expect a coalition of LGBTQ, Jewish, African-American, Latino and Japanese-American leaders would get their people out for this. But no. There are turf wars aplenty among people who should know better, so the inability to come together in a show of force and solidarity just isn't there.

Regardless of whether or not Brewer signs this, the scab that was beginning to form over the wound inflicted by SB1070 has been torn off.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Perhaps the weather is TOO nice in AZ. It lulls people into complacency, a general manana attitude. Boldness gets chased out of town.

Arizona has a demographic problem that death will eventually correct but not soon enough to rescue the state from the insanity and cruelty that now define it. I love Arizona in my fashion but I loathe many of the people who came for the sun and brought with them the sulfurous racial politics of other states. But the greater problem is not peculiar to Arizona. The culture war is a national phenomenon where dumb, white trash (apologies to, er.... dumb white trash) vote Republican because they've been taught that the overriding issue in America is poor blacks getting free stuff. The gay thing is secondary but a useful deflection in that Christianity can sometimes be used as a cudgel against gays but not so much blacks (creative social conservatives often find their way around that road block, of course). Jan Brewer being the mother of a gay man who died of AIDS knows how the game is played. Will she sign a bill that cuts so close to her own history? For Republicans, the willingness to advance political power over the face of family tragedy is a default position so I assume she will. But business interests know how damaging this is. If she vetoes it, you'll know why.

There is a reason Arizona self-inflicts these wounds so easily. It has a horrible built environment that minimizes the public square and maximizes individual alienation. People neither know one another nor care to. Why should they? They can just drive away and no one will be the wiser. The dominant ethic becomes selfishness and cruelty mixed with self-pity. It's Ayn Rand married to Ted Nugent.

This is why some of us on this blog actually care about urban issues. Arizona's anti-urbanism results in a political climate that offends young creatives. The best most of them can do is simply ignore the racists and bigots (not that hard to do since avoidance is what everyone in Arizona does anyway). But then the price exacted is a state without enough consciousness to realize other people are wondering who the fuck we are. The meme begins to crystalize. Arizona has anger issues. And we obviously don't value the environment, built or natural. We hate minorities a bit too gladly. And in lieu of civic spirit and stewardship, we cultivate growth for its own sake, something that disconnects and isolates the citizens from one another.

Arizona is an emerging purple state that still votes deep red. We all know the story why. If we had real leadership, both political and civic, there wouldn't be witless yahoos in the legislature damaging Arizona's future. But our lack of good civic practices has produced a class of cowards and libertarians who wash their hands of this state. They don't care because the only thing that really matters to them is their career and stock options. The old stewardship class cared not because they were hippies but because they understood reality well enough not to trust the hysterical pleading of zealots.

Arizona is mired in nostalgia for a past that won't be coming back if Ted Cruz is elected president and every Latino resident repatriates to Mexico. It's done. And, increasingly, so is Arizona. We're a national joke except it's not Ev Mecham people are laughing at. They laughing at us, dim bulbs who think the future can be voted off the island.

Worsley owns most of Arizona
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-worsley/24/ab5/8b1

Even the infamous Republican president Richard Nixon wanted nothing to do with the Hunts of Texas but its ok with Worsley.

I feel bad for Reb as now the LDS males that have achieved godhood with the creator will never let him into heaven. But then he didn't have enough wives or kids to qualify anyway.

Diane,

I read where legislators rate feedback in the following order:

crowds - 0%
phone calls 20%
letters - 20%
e-mails - 60%

We need everyone on this blog to send an e-mail to each co-sponsers of this bill and question the sanity of their action. Be blunt. They only understand blunt.

Soleri said "Arizona has a demographic problem that death will eventually correct"
I liked your last post but I disagree with your opening sentence. The powers to be will not let that happen by using legal and economic power to insure their stranglehold.
Only a physical revolution will behead the Kings!

And from the ashes will not a new Phoenix arise but another Master Rouge to relieve the people of the need to be concerned about much beyond shuffleboard, the evening news and supper.

Bravo, Soleri!

cal, I wish I could admit that my "snowflake" metaphor was a clever pun on those power plants. Nice catch.

Reb, I saw Barney Frank speak once at a NORML convention I attended, and he weighted those a bit differently (this was before emails were so popular.)

He definitely rated "crowds" (demonstrations) at zero. He made the point that if, for example, you're doing a marijuana protest, then the media will focus in on the one underage girl taking a hit off of a joint (inevitable at those kinds of rallies at the day) or, for gay liberation parades, the most outrageously dressed participants make the paper.

He said that a phone call makes him assume that 10 additional people agree with you, and a handwritten letter counts for 100.

Like I said, emails were not mentioned, but I have to say that given the cost-of-effort of shooting of an email, I can't see it counting much above phone calls.

Meanwhile in DC the boys make AZ pols look small time.
No more lobbyists in DC. they are now called
Association of Government Relations Professionals.
and most do not register with the fed and under report their earnings of 3.2 billion and counting.

http://www.thenation.com/article/178460/shadow-lobbying-complex?page=full#

REb, I got ur E-mail. Emailed you back??????

Jon,

SB1062 is about incremental imposition of the theocracy known as Christian Dominionism.

Nothing more, nothing less.

The Steve Yarbroughs in the AZ Lege don't think in terms of economic growth, at least when it comes to their "values agenda."

Brewer's failure to veto this latest Hate legislation may be the consequence of a deal she struck with the Christian right in their backing off on opposing Medicaid expansion under ACA. Or maybe she is simply an idiot.

Arizona-Land of the Intolerant

Bravo solari..bullshit. He's gone. He don't count for nothing.

This is war. No Mormon ayatollah is gonna dictate how I live in az.

Those of us still here will fight this battle.

They stepped over the line.

This is war.

Fortunately Grant Woods is not insane.
Grant Woods, who frequently talks with Brewer about legislation and other matters, said he expects to soon talk with the governor to urge her to not sign SB 1062. Woods, who also advised her against signing the immigration bill, said the proposed legislation is bigoted and could trigger boycotts against Arizona.

Woods said Brewer has been following the lawmakers’ arguments for and against the bill.

“Hopefully, from my perspective, she’ll see this will put Arizona in a national negative light, and it shows Arizona is really going in the opposite direction on important issues at a time when the country seems to be moving forward,” Woods said, adding he believes the legislation is directed at gays and lesbians.

A boycott arising from this Hate legislation will be far more costly to Arizona's economy than the immigration Hate legislation previously passed.

To play off "Soleri" and the spatial aspect of community and dissent:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2014/02/dictators-guide-urban-design/8468/

I don't think House-fire Barbie is dumb enough to sign the bill. She seems to have developed some delusions regarding her political future on the national stage, signing the Medicaid expansion after carefully waiting for the Governors of Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico do it first. And WTF was that pre-Stupor Bowl thing, where she managed to get on a stage with Governors Cuomo and Christie? She's up to something, and I think she knows the little circle of alligators in the state legislature just aren't into her anymore. But, I've been wrong before, so if she signs it, it wouldn't be my greatest shock ever.

Apologies to soleri. I shouldn't post when I'm angry and liquored up from happy hour.

soleri voted with his feet and left. I get that.

Others will follow him out of state.

I'm going to stay.

Soleri is full of insights but overpessimistic about the Texas Jr. State. The Kookislature's reign may be shorter than he thinks. Yes, increasingly urban, smart young people will avoid AZ as suburbia loses its once-Utopian luster. Yes, dumb hicks, plus money-is-all-that-matters business/investor greedy pigs and other selfish idiot/bigots will keep moving to their AZ haven. But I disagree with Soleri's contention that many Latinos will move to Mexico. They're Americans now, with extensive support systems resisting the Kookislature's inquisition. Minorities already represent a majority among AZ children. Latino growth trends should gradually exterminate Kooks' gerrymandered ironclad districts. (Hiking voter turnout could immediately change state races, because Anglos vote one third more than Latinos.) Meanwhile, expect a huge influx of budget-minded baby-boomer retirees from Canada and blue U.S. states. They and Latinos could purple-ize districts. They could fix AZ.

Another rat goes down
now the little rats scurry and kill to become the head rat
The incentive 44 billon a year!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/world/americas/joaquin-guzman-loera-sinaloa-drug-cartel-leader-is-captured-in-mexico.html?_r=0

Gregory Smith. Hope you are right, But I will believe in your Optimism when I see the Boys in Salt Lake say enough of this radical stuff (for now). Bad for the proselytizing mission.

RE Mexico, Major car manufacturing and China manufacturing up and coming in Mexico as the labor rate is now less expensive than most of China.

Reference the influx of Boomers and Canadians. I live in the east valley with these right wing nuts (particularly the Canadians and the folks from Michigan and Minnesota and Nebraska and the Dakotas.)every day. I recently was talking to a friend in a store about Obama and was attacked verbally by a Canadian about what a commie piss of crap Obama was. I advanced towards him before he decide to shut his "eh" mouth and leave the store.

Gregory Smith, Recently I have traveled into Mexico. The Chinese have brought up huge swaths of barren desert East of Juarez. And on the south side of the Mountain at Juarez shortly after you go through the west border check is a huge fenced Chinese plant.

Somewhere I remember reading that in the next 100 years Mexico would become a major world power. Far fetched maybe but who knows?

For now the worlds 44th richest person (Chapo) is under arrest. But the worlds richest Hombre, Carlos Slim, lives on in Mexico

Bravo Soleri, although you are somewhat too optimistic regarding blood red Kookland Arizona's future.

Gregory Smith writes, " [e]xpect a huge influx of budget-minded baby-boomer retirees from Canada and blue U.S. states. They and Latinos could purple-ize districts. They could fix AZ."

Retirees to the rescue of bleeding red Arizona? They might hail from blue states but which bright red suburb are they moving from to Arizona. Being budget minded retirees, they will certainly be voting for lower taxes.

A large influx of retirees will only increase the red sauce of psycho-Arizona.

My friend retired cop Bill Richardson said he hoped the Mexican Marines that arrested Chapo killed all his underlings.
(even that will not slow down the worlds demand "to get high, get drunk, get horny" Sugarman)

Keep dreaming Bill
more bosses will come and go
meanwhile DEA and CIA and NSA ramp up the headlines to justify their existence

Per Charles Bowden, an expert on the subject
"this is clearly an act of state. as i told molly, the mexican government decided not to renew chapo's contract and posted the opening for a new ceo. of course, the old cfo remains, government itself."

RIGHT Jmav. "A large influx of retirees will only increase the red sauce of psycho-Arizona."
And the current developers are building for more retirees, each freeze in the midwest and east guarantees more old nut jobs.

"Soleri is full of insights but overpessimistic about the Texas Jr. State. "
Texas does have its share of right wing folks but I believe it stands a better chance of being less red than AZ. It is further away from Utah, it has a sense for bringing in strong economic companies.

Ted Cruz and other Texas pols might sound dangerous but they are small fry compared to Democrat LBJ if you want to talk about Dangerous. LBJ was responsible for more assassinations and had more affairs than any other US politician

We left Arizona 13 years ago and never looked back. The state is backwards, regressive and run by faceless wonders in Salt Lake City. It's time to board up the windows, turn off the lights and leave Arizona to the racists, bigots, religious wing nuts and social Darwinists. The state's a mess and because of gerrymandering, the possibility of real change is slim to none. Leave while you can.

Jeff Flake tweeted yesterday his hope that Jan Brewer vetoes SB1062. If nothing else, that gives Brewer the political cover to do just that. Where's McCain? Still fighting the rescission of Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Well, don't ask. The military somehow survived despite McCain's certainty that Teh Gay would precipitate a crippling exodus of manpower. Still, both McCain and Flake voted for ENDA, surprising a lot of people, especially after McCain unleashed one of his small-man tirades about how the victims of prejudice were making life difficult for people like him.

So, Arizona apparently has two Republican senators "who get it". But the larger problem is that the state keeps digging the hole that put it in this ridiculous spot in the first place. Attracting dumb, low-information, older white people to a state with only marginal social capital may be its default economic strategy. As JMAV and Cal note, this means more votes for crazy Republicans, at least at the level of state offices.

Is there an anti-sprawl political movement in Arizona? Sandy Bahr, maybe. What this means is that the libertarians still have free rein to push for bad urban policy along with resource extraction whose externalities are paid for by the taxpayers. It means more political apathy, less sustainable economic activity, and a chronic void of political/civic will that is then filled by birdbrain culture-war issues. And cui bono? Ah, the same free-market types who want the state to "move on".

SB1062 is the symptom of a greater tragedy. Arizona's inability to imagine something other than drive-everywhere suburban sprawl means our best possibilities have already been vetoed. By all means, be irritated with Mormons who would dress this pig in the decorous magic underwear of Deseret. But the fact remains that Arizona is marooned in a history of bad choices. Every freeway we build, every big-box store that kills off local business, every far-flung housing pod that desecrates the Sonoran desert saps the creative urban culture vital to any future worth having.

Pessimism under these circumstance is probably the only reasonable position. You don't downsize and retrofit this epic misallocation of resources. No. Your only chance is to keep expanding it and praying that its carrying costs are paid for by the newest suckers. Occasionally, we can catch a glimpse of Arizona's dystopian future by merely glancing outside. It' actually very easy to do. Try it the next time you're stuck in traffic.

soleri:

...Every freeway we build, every big-box store that kills off local business, every far-flung housing pod that desecrates the Sonoran desert saps the creative urban culture vital to any future worth having.

Pessimism under these circumstance is probably the only reasonable position. You don't downsize and retrofit this epic misallocation of resources. No. Your only chance is to keep expanding it and praying that its carrying costs are paid for by the newest suckers...

Robert Koehler makes the same point using some pretty thick crayons, but in the end doesn't make the connection between consumerism (voting with dollars) and actual voting... thus obscuring the clear efficacy of the former over the latter.

Seeking Reverence for Planetary Balance

Re: retirees, boy, did I walk into that one by saying budget-minded! No, I don't mean today's retirees, but tomorrow's. Aiding budget override election campaigns (mostly media work), I fought conservative retirees like Don Sorchyck (Sonoran News) who ransacked our Cave Creek schools. Yet other retirees were wise enough to value education and govt services. Today's AZ retirees are skewed to the right while the state draws similarly minded folks (same way Ted Cruz supporters avoid Vermont). Tomorrow's unskewed mix of newcomers could drastically alter the equation. If climate change continues to provoke extreme weather, you'll see more people of all hues retire in AZ and NM to avoid Florida's and Gulf Coast's onslaught of category 5 hurricanes. By budget-minded, I meant they want cheaper housing than up north. They'll love lower costs of food (you should see what we pay in the D.C. area for food et al -- December's heating bill was $750, double what I paid for August air con for my same-sized house in Cave Creek.) Happy with lower costs, the majority won't seek lower taxes. Hope I'm right.

Cal, wonder how much El Chapo contributes to the economy on both sides of the border . . . you toured Juarez? Gutsy move. The thought would horrify most Yanks, though chances of being caught in crossfire are lower than they think. Express kidnappings, if they continue rising, could endanger Mexican tourism.
Yes, Mexico already is on the rise with a growing middle class. Labor costs are key. If they rise too fast, expect faster jobs growth in places like Indonesia and Vietnam with amazing exchange rates and low value placed on time.(I love Mexico, from Palenque to Pto. Penasco, but I'm eying SE Asia as a better retirement deal.) If the minimum wage hike passes next year (phased in), would it foster tolerance of undocumented in-migration?

Smith, Cavecreek north is still good country. I like the drive from there to the Bloody Basin outlet onto I-17.

Looking to retire outside the US: At 73 Im sticking it out in AZ, Maybe Canelo Hills, Patagonia or the HIGH plains near Tombstone. But there are other good choices, Europe offers a lot of culture.
Were it not for the Turmoil I would like to spend time in France to Algeria and drink some Arabic coffee and take up smoking at 74.
All that said I think I would chose Uruguay.
http://www-bestplacestoretire.com/uruguay.html

Jon, MY previous two posts to Smith got lost?

Smith: Chapo and demand for “illegal drugs” is a huge subject as to the billions of dollars the demand generates. The Chapos of the world supply a demand and no amount of LAW enforcement will ever stop the trade as long as the demand persists. So as not to clog this blog, a few comments. Let us start with this definition.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitalism
I am a retired narc that in 73 (Nixon drug war years) almost got thrown out of the PPD Narcotics detail for suggesting “we were not winning.” I worked on the BNDD (now DEA) task force and was in charge of the Narcotics interdiction task force at Sky harbor airport until I retired.
I would never suggest that Chapo or any facilitator of illegal drugs are “good” people. But then how many bankers you see going to solitary confinement for life.
http://www.amazon.com/Lords-Finance-Bankers-Broke-World/dp/0143116800
The illegal smuggling business has been ongoing for thousands of years. Had King Herod caught the three wise guys he would have had them beheaded.
I would suggest there are a number of readings out there on the $$$$ involved in the illegal drug trade. Starting with the collapse of the Mexican economy if drugs were made legal in the US. I think the drug lords believed that and it was one more reason to expanded to many new markets in other countries. After all they are first business oriented, pleasure is secondary and the big boys contrary to US movies do not bury their noses in big piles of Coke. A good documentary is Cocaine Cowboys, old but you get and understanding of what the profits does to uphold the economy. Some contend it started the building boom in Miami Florida.
Besides my experiences I stay in touch with old narcs and spooks. I read everything that time permits. I follow NM Professor Molly Molloy’s blog on frontera-list for news out of Mexico. And I read and converse with Author Charles Bowden regarding this subject. Bowden and I recently went to Sandy Beach (Puerto Penasco) to look at the bullet holes in the condo where the Federales took on some of Chapos hombres. If you would like to contribute to something good near Juarez I suggest you Google “El Pastor.” http://borderzine.com/2013/07/pastor-struggles-to-provide-for-the-mentally-ill-in-juarez-as-officials-ignore-their-suffering/

Jon, thats three that got lost?

smith, while waiting for my lost stuff try this.
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/1445fc659e734d63

Smith ignore that google above from Molloy and Phil Jordon for some reason it has been taken down (probably at federal government insistence) now the link just goes back to my email

From Molloy:
See below the link to an interview with Phil Jordan, former DEA chief in El Paso, Texas via a program on Univision. He says something must have taken place to cause a rift between Guzman and the PRI ... perhaps Guzman did not keep his deals with the PRI (money for campaigns, etc) and so his contract was not renewed... Jordan also says that Guzman had enough money to corrupt all levels of the Mexican government. [My comment: The Marina has been portrayed over and over in media and government statements from the US and Mexico as somehow immune from corruption. I think it more likely that they are simply the most loyal to the government at this point in time, which is not the same thing as being uncorrupted... ]

Jordan also says that Guzman has sufficient resources to corrupt US officials as well. And he raises the possibility that Guzman negotiated his surrender and there could be a plan in place for him to manage his business from inside prison. He certainly did this before.

And now I am speculating:
Is the new ZETA model for the drug business and other business pushing out the old hierarchical models... ? Ed Vulliamy touches on it in his piece and it fits other things I sort of know...about organized crime in Europe for example as portrayed in Roberto Saviano's book, Gomorrah. Think of it as the way Walmart pushes out older retail stores, or how Amazon.com has changed the book business...

The real thing to look for: what changes will there be in the flow of drugs? and money? I predict no changes. Thus, what have all these people died for, and keep dying? None of the coverage of Chapo capture mentions the current real warfare going on now in Michoacan, Guerrero, Chiapas, etc... Whole villages laid siege and massacred? By armed gangs? Paramilitaries? Estilo colombiano...
http://www.cronica.com.mx/notas/2014/816993.html Note that today, the government is saying it never happened:
http://www.cronica.com.mx/notas/2014/817220.html

The only link I can find is in spanish
http://revoluciontrespuntocero.com/el-chapo-financio-campana-de-pena-nieto-asi-que-algo-salio-mal-para-que-rompieran-phil-jordan-ex-jefe-dea/

Just think, the multi-billion dollar drug war, the thousands of deaths, the gigantic prison industrial complex, the secret retirement funds of Obama, Brewer and Holder are all a result of just 9.2 percent of the US population using drugs.

Is there a better argument for legalization?

9.2% !!!

I'd bet cal's favorite black hat that full legalization would only take regular usage to 9.3%.

Heroin legalization studies show a 1 to 2 percent increase.

Hmmm . . . Uruguay. Never been, tho I once imported ceramic statuettes from an artist in Montevideo. I like coastal Brazil Bahia and north, but can't handle Portuguese. The link you sent mentions low crime, which will be important to me. I've visited Lake Atitlan and elsewhere in Guatemala dozens of times; I could live there, but you never know when the hoods from the capital will show up. You can't walk on the street after dark. I may be slow in responding to your other points cause the teen wants to go practice driving. And it's 62 outside, the first break to a brutal winter.

Soleri, it's probably a chicken-and-egg impossibility to create an energized urban center drawing young people. But is it really too late to attract high-information, blue and purple retirees to high-density self-contained communities? Give them good value, inspired design, maybe even feeder-bus access to the rail line so they can get to the airport and venues that would spring up along it IF enough non-drivers used it . . . I don't care if it takes rooftop hot tubs. Or maybe I'm dreaming. Just seems intelligent retirees are the most realistic way out of this mess.

cal, I heard on the radio that Mexico city/area is trying to pass leg. to legalize marijuana. It looks like a trend. I hope it frees DEA to be more effective in enforcing the more harmful stuff.

Yes, Jon: 9 percent is amazing. Two thirds drink alcohol. But whenever you have a Phil Seymore (sp?) die, it stirs up calls for action . . . what a waste of resources. The war on drugs overexpanded I think largely as a convenient campaign issue.
Cal, interesting to hear your perspective given your career.
I agree people are dying for nothing. Interesting Guardian story. I always have figured El Chapo's sidekick (Z something?) could run the Federation even if Shorty didn't hold the reins from prison. But running it may not require much with the luguardientes' plazas functioning almost autonomously. Interesting the collusion could go all the way to prez EPN; also interesting Jordon saying that.
I've read Chapo prefers bribes over force. True?
His outfit certainly seems less violent than the Zetas, who seem bent on intimidation via beheadings.
Would legalization of all drugs destroy him, or would he change his biz model? Guess Zetas already are doing that.
Yes, it seems the war on drugs is a lot of money with little payoff unless you own a private-prison firm. I'd rather build schools . . . Interdiction can raise prices of drugs, but price elasticity is so high it won't cut usage much. I can't believe what people are paying -- I read $400 an ounce for pot (high THC content)in Denver.
The Michoacan folks have a pretty good start at their own militia, but most of them lack financial means. Wouldn't it be tough to oust the Knights without comparable bucks? You'd almost need to go feudalistic Medieval style, living behind castle walls, no?
And on Cave Creek north, yes, I still miss it. I lived up Spur Cross road, in Red Dog Ranch.
Europe retirement can be done affordably if you're willing to maintain a small base in eastern Euro then travel to other venues -- and you're happy eating what they eat locally, using grocery stores. Not sitting at a table at a Parisian cafe with a $10 coffee, staring at Pont Neufs. Never been to Algeria, but Morocco is fun. Turkey is amazing.
I'm going to hike in the woods along the Potomac -- it's about to crest with snow melt runoff. Maybe I'll hit Great Falls . . . Later.

Gregory Smith, I think Arizona's built environment - the low density, low walkability, and autocentric scale - cannot foster the kind of community you mention. Sprawl becomes extremely difficult to retrofit short of bulldozers. Once it's in place, the possibility of genuine urbanism vanishes. And it's this problem that has afflicted Phoenix since the early 1950s. Light rail won't fix it, nor new condo towers downtown, nor exciting clubs and restaurants (sorry to see you go, Portland's).

Arizona's problems are circular. Too little urban energy, too few young creative types, and too many dingbat Republicans. The ecosystem doesn't work because it's completely out of balance. A state like Arizona is a magnet for people who think Applebee's is fine dining and that Latinos are all gangsters. The more sprawl you create, the more you hammer into place an unforgiving paradigm of anomie and anti-civic values.

BTW, I do think the demographic revolution that's coming will downshift Arizona's extremism. But by that point, Republicans will either be facing extinction or busily redefining themselves as something a bit more war and fuzzy than today's implacable zealots. What that means in terms of policy is probably something closer to pure libertarianism. But the juice that animates the GOP base is pure cortisol - flight or fight. I don't see how you get those people to accept a watery stew of Frederick Hayek and Rand Paul without racial animus to spice it up. Real Americans need to be told who to hate (gays, blacks, Latinos). I can't imagine the GOP surviving on abstractions. And besides, where would the religious right go? It's an interesting paradox that might eventually doom the party.

From my phone while walking. Illegal drugs have probably never been cheaper and in greater supply.
And The Mullahs will insure a cheap morphine supply.
Heroin studies show purity reduces medical costs and many folks are productive. Suzanne I prefer we do away with DEA but move some staff to FDA.

Soleri, the GOP as we know it indeed is doomed: it's a long fuse, but it's lit. As you say, it can't flourish in libertarianism milquetoastland; if it morphs to the middle, it risks engendering a third party to the right that would split the vote and axe the GOP (a Tea Party spinoff is not an unimaginable scenario.)Expect not only to see the demographics revolution, but a dwindling of the fuel of hatred as largely-color-blind young Anglos grow up to vote. (Unless when adults they boomerang to adopt their parents' misvalues.)
The religious right might be small enough to be a splinter group holding only small pockets of power. Gilbert already is such an island.
But I see your point that this wouldn't break the circle, especially if smart young people keep leaving. Sad to give up on a state of such beauty in ecosystems, landforms and indigenous culture/heritage. Maybe we should all move to Urgup, Turkey . . . no heating or cooling needed in those tufa cave dwellings.

A interesting read on weed.
This is your Wilderness on Drugs by Josh Harkinson
a $31 billion a year industry just in one state

The Hate State
A summary.The legislation that drove Jon to blog this column, I summarize as follows: the religious bigoted zealots and the "War on Drugs" have one thing in common.
"its all bull shit and its bad for you" Carlin

I am off into the bullet hole in your head new issue of Adbuster magazine.

Hasta luego

almost pool and spa time. but before I go.
Excellent article and great quote
"In Washington, being the guy on a mission to stamp out leaks is a bit like being the lone narc at Woodstock."
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/23/spy-chief-we-can-t-stop-another-snowden.html

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