Why does the Kookocracy hate Arizona? For years this has been the unasked but most pressing question. Far more important than, say, tut-tutting that a certain columnist doesn't have multiple growthgasms every time the sun comes out and another tract house is laid down ("Talton hates Arizona").
Which brings us to the bills just passed by the Legislature which would essentially allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT individuals — right down to refusing service — based on the owners' "religious beliefs."
Naturally, this has been pushed under the jingle of "freedom of religion."
Pre-emptive war based on false pretenses and torture by my government offend my Christian religious beliefs. But I had to suck it up. That's the way majority rule works and thank God for the Bill of Rights, tattered though it may be. More to the point, discrimination based on an individual's sexual orientation is another iteration of Jim Crow — it would not even get past the Roberts court.
But the damage done to Arizona by this action, whether or not it is signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer: Priceless. (Among the many national news organizations covering it, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and the widely read parody, the Borowitz Report).
This was the week when "the Valley" was primping itself as a high-tech center thanks to news that Google might introduce super-fast Internet service here. Forgotten is that Google opened an office in Tempe in the 2000s to much celebration, only to see it quietly go away when the needed talent didn't materialize. And this latest is only a consumer product.
Apple is locating a factory to make glass on the fringes of Mesa — heavily tax subsidized and backed by the most powerful developers. The "Price Corridor" and Chandler are doing well, even though Intel has mothballed a new plant. Yes, "the Valley" can attract blue-collar tech work and north Scottsdale playerz.
But most of the talented people and thus the real innovation, decision-making, capital deployment and the fruits that follow will not go to places known for their bigotry and hate, no matter how sunny.
I invite you to read the comments on the previous post by "Another one2014." This is hardly an isolated example. And the brain drain, and lack of attracting brains to begin with, can only grow worse with measures such as this latest shameful act. At an event at Seattle's wonderful Town Hall last night, I ran into three former Phoenicians, all happy to be gone.
Tolerant places are more prosperous. If Arizona wants to be Mississippi, good luck with that.
On the other hand, in the "mind" of the Kookocracy and the national theocratic and "conservative" organizations pulling its string, Everything's Fine.
It doesn't see a price paid from SB 1070, the Jim Crow, anti-immigrant bill. It is difficult to prove a negative, e.g. the investment and trade that didn't come as a result, the opportunity cost of a massive underclass in the shadows, etc.
Not only that, but the parts of metropolitan Phoenix that are doing well economically, tend to elect the kookiest Kooks to the Legislature. Again, no price is paid. Or so it seems.
One should also note that these legislators and their national puppetmasters would be the first to gin up fear of Sharia Law coming to America. Pot, meet kettle. They have more on common with the ayatollahs than with the Founding Fathers.
People who are so offended by LGBT people shouldn't be in business. If they choose to be, they must serve and treat every individual (each, by my religious belief, a soul precious to the Lord) equally.
If they are that much more concerned about "the gay" than climate change, the power of the Military Industrial Complex, the collapse of the middle class, the destruction of the Sonoran Desert and Phoenix oasis...etc....an investment in therapy might be worthwhile.
Of course, as with SB 1070 and "WHAT PART OF ILLEGAL DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND???", this has little to do with "religious freedom." It is another crafty move in the culture wars to keep a segment of the population from realizing who is really screwing them, and keep them voting against their interests.
But the damage to Arizona is real. The Kooks have been in charge for decades now, with the brief breather from St. Janet. The result is underfunded schools, the disaster at Child Protective Services, low-wage jobs, a one-note economy, environmental disaster, a raft of social ills and crony capitalism. The state is at or near the bottom of nearly every credible measure of social and economic well-being. The Kooks did this. Why do they hate Arizona?
And whether or not Brewer signs it into law, this latest is another confirmation of the state's identity in the eyes of much of the nation and world: The Hate State. As the wags are saying, "It's a dry hate." To think I was going to spend today's post responding to a commenter who thought every part of Phoenix was horrid. I intended to point out many treasures. Some are...gasp..."gayborhoods" in tolerant central Phoenix.
But that's not "trending" about Arizona today.
Read more on Rogue's Arizona's Continuing Crisis page.