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June 16, 2014

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wkg, left you a somewhat rational message on last blog.

When the Republican Party struck gold by cultivating cultural grievance and racial resentment over 40 years ago, they probably didn't note that their serendipity came with a big asterisk followed by the warning: TO BE USED ONLY WHEN PARTYING OR CAMPAIGNING. DO NOT BELIEVE OTHERWISE. What happened is that they persuaded themselves that reality itself no longer exists, just "making our own reality". From that conceit the party lurched and tumbled down a cognitive abyss from which there is no apparent recovery. When one of its leading intellects, George Will, is only marginally more credible now than a Rush Limbaugh, something frightening has happened. An entire political party has gone crazy. Okay, maybe not David Brooks or Susan Collins. But if you sift through the wreckage what you see is pretty much wholesale science denial, economic illiteracy, historical reality inversions, foreign-policy delusions, and utter and complete nihilism.

Cal sent out an e-mail the other day in which the office of John McCain actually affirmed the reality of human-caused climate change. I thought briefly that maybe McCain isn't running in 2016, that this particular heresy will be too brazen for Arizona's Know Nothings and Grand Old Peckerheads to countenance. We'll see, although his charmed career has skated over awfully thin ice in the past with few if any consequences.

The good news is that the Republican Party has painted itself into a corner, the best evidence being its dawning realization that there aren't enough stupid old white people to create electoral majorities anymore. So, they gingerly dip their toes in the immigration-reform debate suggesting with barely audible words that maybe a few Latino children should be allowed to stay in the US. The base, not amused, screams TRAITOR!, and the RINO scurries off to K Street.

The average age of the Fox News viewer is now 68. Some speculate that in five years Rupert Murdoch might even turn the "news" operation liberal if the trend continues. Roger Ailes, the unpleasant cretin who designed Fox's template of lies and disinformation, is 74 and looks every year of it.

Success is a bitch goddess, pace William James. Republicans inebriated themselves on her chemical fumes and cheap high. Now, they're more damaged than the lost souls trading tricks at truck stops. This is not going to end well. And it couldn't be happening to a nicer bunch of crackheads.

The singing Soleri. Good stuff.
Is it not "Cracker Heads" like in White Saltines. Hard to make out the gender now days as they all have the same short hair cut.

"But deficits were either non-existent or relatively small"...

In 1971 the debt was 425 billion. The deficit about 23 billion. Nixon ended convertibility of the dollar to gold because we were in danger of running out (gold had a fixed value of $35 oz.). Thus ended Bretton Woods and allowed the US Government the ability to "print money".
Reagan used this ability to blow the deficit through the roof by cutting taxes, building a huge military and with the low price of oil in the later 1980s it created the economic growth he is credited for. W. Bush attempted the same thing which I believe is why oil prices ran up so much post 9/11.
There is much more to this subject and a great deal of it is complicated. Yes, taxes were cut too much. But this country has always lived beyond its means and continues to do so. It will continue to do so as long as the US dollar is the reserve currency for most of the world, and more importantly, OPEC oil purchases.
I also believe the primary driver of manufacturing moving overseas was to offset the inflationary aspects of the United States irresponsible spending.

For the life of me I'll never understand why Hispanics don't vote.

Genetically, they can't dunk a basketball. I get that.

But why the aversion to a voting booth. Does it seem too much like a school test?

As long as the Hispanic vote stays away, the over 65 Fox crowd will have its way with az politics.

I thought the comments in the last thread were pretty good too. Not happy with the bottom line. Our policy is whatever the immigrants decide it is. There is no political will for any other option.

I can’t speak for all conservatives everywhere, but in my opinion only the Revolutionary War, The War of 1812 and the Mexican-American wars were worth the cost/death fighting. Civil, WWI and WWII most senseless.

Didn't 209 democrats vote for the Iraq invasion?

Ruben, the Democratic Party is snakebit in that way. We were "soft" on Communism much the same way Obama is supposedly "soft" on terrorism. So, we have to prove over and over that we're really not girly men since the party of Darth Vader was quite eager to allege pro-terrorist sympathies for those who didn't vote the right way (see: Max Cleland). It was a gamble John Kerry lost when his anti-war skepticism conflicted with his political calculations for 2004. Hillary, too, probably thought the safest route to political success assumed that there would indeed be WMD discovered, which was the apparent threshold for validating that cosmic mistake.

Who didn't fall for the steady drumbeat of blatant disinformation coming from the right? Al Gore. He gave an epic speech in September of 2002 questioning the veracity of the Bush administration's claims. He was widely scorned for his prescient remarks and spoiling what was promising to be a fun war. Gore, btw, recently said Edward Snowden deserved credit for revealing the level of NSC snooping. Gore, who won the 2000 presidential election only to see it snatched away by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, would not have invaded Iraq. For the purists among you, the Ralph Nader protest vote paved the way for the installation of the worst president in modern American history. Thanks!

Political survival is the first rule of political success. We want pols to be principled and pure, as Hillary found out in 2008 when a young Illinois senator made an issue of her bad bet. Hillary is still betting that the road to the White House travels through foreign policy "toughness" (translation: swagger sells better than skepticism). It's pathetic given the huge material and human costs of the Iraq misadventure. But Real Americans would prefer we spend trillions on stupid wars than possibly fail to let the wogs know who's boss. We've been practicing this delusion for decades. I came of age during Vietnam when a majority of Americans believed the McCarthyite insinuation that Communists would hop-scotch across the Pacific to Hawaii if we didn't stop them in Southeast Asia. We lost that war but not our perennial daftness. You never go wrong in this country doubting doubt. You want politicians to be smarter than yourself but we invariably discover they're really uncanny reflections of our worst vanities and fears. The Tea Party is probably the best example of that phenomenon.


Current Republican Cognitive Dissonance:
LIKE Winnie-the-Pooh, a large number of humans are creatures of very little brain—just half a millimetre across and with a million or so neurons; a rat’s is a cubic centimetre and has 200m. These human brains also lack structures, such as the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, that play a vital role in forming the “cognitive maps” that help humans and other mammals find their way from A to B—even if point B isn’t initially visible.

If Gore couldn't even carry his own state (TN), don't blame Nader voters! Blame Justice O'Connor.

If immigrants got their way, the Dream Act would have already passed and there would be a work-card program for migratory (i.e., agricultural) workers. Instead they have the worst possible system. Indefinite detention in shitholes run by private prison firms, getting exploited by employers after being taken by coyotes, and the breakup of their families. If they don't like being peons, screw 'em. Pretty damn white of us.

The Revolutionary War, the War Between the States and WW2 were the only wars worth fighting. Everything else is a land-grab or empire building.

Is there any war worth the death of a single individual? How will the feeling be when Occupy Now transforms into a mob lopping of the heads of the current neoconservatives and their materially wealthy patrons? A war worth fighting?
Your vote?

War can usually be averted, but sadly it is not often the case. Historical flaws blow everything apart, to wit:

-the dumping of out-of-favor religionists, politicians, and criminals in the New World and King George behaving like a supreme being
-The enshrinement of slavery in the US Constitution.
-WW1 directly caused WW2 (a modern 30-years war?) and WW1 was caused by imperialism and monarchs.

I'll go with Smedley Butler on what wars on worth fighting, but in the end no war is worth it. There are always unintended consequences.

I actually vision Occupy Now being the victims of the wealthy and the neocon/neolibs, should they come out of ground.

eclecticdog, Gore admitted he's less than natural when it comes to the political arts. He is something of a loner and never glad-handed all that easily. He couldn't carry his home state for that reason. All that said, 2000's stolen election was a disaster for this nation. And it was also a disaster for liberalism that it turned its back on someone who could have prevented the disasters of the aughts. All that for what? The dubious pleasure of voting for some left-wing nihilist? Ralph Nader was no more qualified to be president than Sarah Palin. Politics is never perfect but if after that decade from hell you haven't been slightly chastened by the pointlessness of political virtue-mongering, I doubt anything else will change your mind. We don't have many chances to both vote our values and avert disaster. We shouldn't waste them on displays of petulance that helped tip this nation toward insanity. I hope Nader burns in hell.


Burn in hell? Think about that the next time you buckle up.

You forget we lived in phx in 2000. We could vote for whomever and had nil effect on the Bush AZ electoral votes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_in_Arizona,_2000

All the third party votes added together wouldn't have got Gore AZ. So I and you did have a chance to vote 'values' and avert disaster. That's why I'll vote Demo in the elections that matter. Once the Repubs are gone/marginalized, its the Demos turn.

eclecticdog, I don't dismiss Nader's career but I do judge him harshly for his narcissism. The 2000 election was one of history's great unforced errors, which he gladly helped facilitate. Granted, he made no difference in Arizona but the left's birdbrain idea that there was no difference between Bush and Gore (much like there is no difference between Obama and Romney, or Hillary and Jeb Bush) is the vanity of people more than willing to settle for shit in lieu of partial progress. I still see this vanity in websites like Fire Dog Lake and Mother Jones. It drives me crazy because real people get hurt by it. When we give Republicans victories, they don't merely reward the rich with more tax cuts, or corporations with more welfare. They also sock it to the poor. But once politics becomes about your virtue rather than the lives of very real people, you don't care who suffers. Moral vanity is the necessary outcome. Yes, Democrats are imperfect creatures, none more so than Bill Clinton who did so much on behalf of Wall Street, while money-grubbing from Aspen to Davos during his post-presidential royal progress. The spirit-crushing realization that Clinton would have won 2000 in a landslide (were third terms permitted) nearly drives me mad. He gets the blowjobs and his lieutenant gets the blame. Straight-arrow Gore was punished by voters for being stiff without a stiffie.

Nader got 90,000 some votes in Florida. Had just 1% of those voters thought just a bit more deeply about the unintended consequences of putting their vanity over the nation's welfare, we would have been spared 9/11, the stupid wars, tax cuts for the rich, the quiet coup springing from a right-wing Supreme Court, and an epic financial meltdown that have so deeply damaged this nation. Your vote matters. Doubly so when you vote wrong.

If I had lived in FL I probably would have gone for Gore. I do think the financial meltdown would remain unchanged in fact and consequence. But there would have been no Iraq and maybe a criminal manhunt for Bin Laden (and this was how he was eventually found - by police work) instead of the botched Afghan adventure.

eclecticdog, I'll concede that the financial meltdown would have been difficult to avoid. Its origins were sufficiently bipartisan that it begs one's credulity to suggest Gore could have foreseen or stopped it.

I only see two wars in US history that were imperiously motivated: Mexican-American and Spanish-American. I consider the Mexican-American worth fighting: we wanted the Southwest and California and took it. The Spanish-American netted Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines: three places we’d normally fight to be rid of.

With regards to immigration, I only have one more thing to say. I’m all for doing what we can in Mexico and Central America to make them places that people don’t hate to live in. Given our stellar record of fighting poverty here – I don’t think we have much in the way of advice to give others.

Soleri- Nader in Florida only made it close enough to steal. Gore got more ballot votes there but not the electoral kind. It wasn't Bush who beat Gore- The Republicans smoked the Democrats when it counted. Nader ran at least in part to back up a proposition that he made to the dems- put some regulatory and tax positions into the platform or I'll run. He might have been willing to compromise, but we'll never know, as he was dismissed perfunctorily and ,so, did what he said he would. Another reason had to do with getting Greens 5% of the popular vote in some states so that they might get federal matching funds.
The California secretary of state (Bill Jones? ) a Repub shut down a web site approved by Naderites where California and Florida voters could trade votes- Nader for Gore.
How many who voted for Nader might have sat it out otherwise?
I don't see the issue of vanity/narcissism- it's a theory, I suppose. Whatever Nader's effect on the outcome, he did do something for the democratic establishment and the Gore campaign- he provided the scapegoat for their abject failure.
I saw the Nader campaign a last-gasp attempt to keep the Dem party from floating away into Clintonian neo-liberalism, going for the corporate money (campaign and padded party positions) and abandoning traditional liberalism. With the decades of Democrats' "lesser of two evils" we ended up with the evil of two "lessers".
Do I wish Nader hadn't run in 2000? Yeah...

66 degrees, sitting on the deck, key lime pie with coffee.

It's too bad, but the best part about Phoenix AZ is how it looks in the rear view mirror.

Best of luck to those of you left behind. Keep up the good fight and have a good exit plan.

13 year old runs away from a home of violence and death. Getting his doctorate.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/17/unaccompanied-minors-central-america_n_5503908.html

A post for no reason at all. I try to stick to one small issue at a time. This time it is history.

I don’t know if the average reader here is aware of the carnage caused by the Civil War. Cal posted 10 or 12 threads ago that with recent deaths is Iraq/Afghanistan that the total number of all deaths of all other wars had exceeded the Civil War. I haven’t checked the numbers, but have no reason to believe that it’s not true. I think I could find a single day at Shiloh, Antietam, or Gettysburg that exceeded Iraq in a day; maybe an hour.

For all its crappiness, I think the war produced one of the greatest moments in our history. That would be Lee’s surrender to Grant at Appomattox. I won’t go into the details – but such displays of honor and good grace are rare. MacArthur’s speech on the Missouri is the only thing that comes to mind.

Here’s the best part. After the surrender, the rebel troops were formed and the exchange went something like this:

“Raise your right hands. I swear blah, blah, blah…….If you have a personal firearm or animal, keep them. Go home. The war is over.” They did.

Dawgzy, I'm not exactly sure why you would want to accuse Gore and his campaign of "abject failure" in 2000. But we should be clear who really lost that election: WE DID. Not simply Gore, not his campaign, not the Democratic Party. No. The American people, dumb with their need for empathy from rich sociopaths, lost it. 2700 human beings lost their lives on 9/11. 4,500 American soldiers lost their lives in Iraq. Millions of Americans lost their jobs because the GOP's economic voodoo is seemingly an unbreakable spell. We lost the Supreme Court for a generation. We lost the distinction that people have political rights, not corporations. We lost crucial time in the battle to stop climate change. Worst, we lost the battle for democracy itself as nihilism and the corporate media have convinced millions, including you, that democracy itself is a con job, that we no longer need broad coalitions, compromise, the common-good ideal, and patience. Rather, we can fire-bomb it for the adolescent pleasures of protesting the imperfect because voguing one's virtue is so much more fun.

Ralph Nader did many great things in his career. And he perpetrated one act of civic vandalism which is utterly unforgivable. He campaigned in Florida during the final months of the 2000 campaign because he knew the election was going to be close. He wanted to throw the election to George Bush. This is a textbook example of nihilism: either give me what I want or I'll screw you over.

No, screw you Ralph Nader.

Soleri, interesting. How about a course on why Nader WOULD want Bush to win.

wkg:“Raise your right hands. I swear blah, blah, blah…….If you have a personal firearm or animal, keep them. Go home. The war is over.” They did."
But its not!
Josey Wales

Cal, I'm not qualified to play psychoanalyst. I do believe that Nader thinks, as do so many on the left, that the Democratic Party is impure with corporate cash and that it must be purged of that and other impurities. Remind you of anyone?

The Tea Party of the left, unfortunately or no, doesn't command 30%, or 10%, or even 5% of the electorate. During its high tide, it managed to get about 2.7% of the vote. But it did throw the election to the real corporatists, thus setting our cause back by several decades. But, hey! It felt good at the time.

I'm silent most of the time because I am learning. soleri is one of my teachers. But this is unforgivable:

Excerpt 1:

Ralph Nader did many great things in his career. And he perpetrated one act of civic vandalism which is utterly unforgivable. He campaigned in Florida during the final months of the 2000 campaign because he knew the election was going to be close. He wanted to throw the election to George Bush. This is a textbook example of nihilism: either give me what I want or I'll screw you over.

Excerpt 2:

Cal, I'm not qualified to play psychoanalyst. I do believe that Nader thinks, as do so many on the left that the Democratic Party is impure with corporate cash and that it must be purged of that and other impurities...

I do not like playing "gotcha," but this is a very visible example of, er, psychological predisposition. I happen to agree that Nader was "guilty" of political naivete (and a defensible naivete at that,) but to expand that into an aggressive and debilitating attack on the left is just, well, too far.

Nader is an innocent.

(And no, I was not a Naderite, at the time of the election.)

I cant judge Nader or Oconnor but along with the blearily awake public it was a year that I wish would have gone differently. I hypothesized a day after 911 that it would have not happened if Gore won because Osama Bin Laden believed Gore would not respond as Bush would. In my subjective crazy eye I thought A big part of the plan was to create a violent response from the US to produce a devastating financial drain. Plan or not it has drained the US financially, morally and has murdered thousands of innocent people.
And although I am not a psychologist I do have a degree in street.

Petro, I'm not sure what the "gotcha" is that animates you. I don't think Nader is naive. I think he understood exactly what he was doing. I do think his followers are naive about how politics works. They think voting for a purist will somehow change how it functions because....well, just because. The Tea Party's mood of innocent grievance is pretty much the same thing, occupying an imaginary Republic of Virtue in which they aim to slay the same dragons of impurity.

Politics is a brutal business. I like to tell the purists that if they're so sensitive that they need to burn every bridge, vote out every incumbent, and clean house so absolutely that everything is turned upside down, that they're not living in the real world. They're living in their own projection of a world that has never existed and never will.


Soleri, I agree not naive but how about rigidly arrogant.

Note: rigidly arrogant can lead to self immolation.

I remember that Phil Donahue was a big supporter of Mr. Nader. I do not believe that Nader is malicious, I think he was persuaded by foolish arrogance. I believe that it was the Florida infrastructure and Sandra Day that turned the election in Bush’s favor. She wanted to retire and she needed a Republican in office.

Ray Stern has a very well done article in the New Times called Tempe Rising. I agree Downtown Tempe is Rising not sprawling. But given they are surrounded they couldn't sprawl if they wanted too. Mill Avenue is walkable even for a old crippled up guy like me. But the stores and bars offer me nothing. I do stop in the old bookstore ran by the centenarian couple and I still go to the Valley Art Theater started by "Red" Harkins,. My first father in law was Reds first projectionist. Recently I was a advised by a Hopi wise man that the current use of the word sustainability is a joke.
ASU continues its psychological rat behavior of knowing what is best but I disagree as their logic is driven by LDS developer funding of the University. And I agree with Jared Diamond upon looking at the Tempe Lake, "what's that doing here?"

wkg wrote, "Our policy is whatever the immigrants decide it is."
That is an odd thing to think, rather naive. Is that like saying that the negro slave dictated the 14th amendment?

Suzzane: maybe this will help explain, the American Cult of Ignorance. ( includes a great quote by my Favorite Science Fiction writer Issac Asimov)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-w-traphagan/america-ignorance-asia-intelligence_b_5505032.html

And speaking of Arrogance (read the Cheneys) and Ignorance, the lying pols trying to justify their actions are pushing America back to the killing fields.

Speaking of Ignorance: Only in Arizona could you have the dumbest guy in the state in charge of education. A guy whose backed by the greedy trying to destroy public education and replace it with right wing religious kookism.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/18/1307986/-Arizona-school-chief-busted-for-posting-appalling-comments-online?detail=email1

Huppenthal is a monster, in the policies he advocates. In a one-on-one, he can be quite charming. I invoke Godwin's Law.

That he could continue his rise in the GOP shows how crazy Arizona and the Republicans have become.

Who do you want as Superintendent of Public Instruction, dear voters? An anti-intellectual, anti-public-schools, charter-schools-racket dude like this — who's not very bright himself.

Now, which one of you on Rogue is Huppenthal? Come out during this amnesty period.

Well Jon, Humping along Huppenthal is not my kinda Republican particularly since I have always been opposed to Charter schools being "public" schools. You want your kid to go to a "private " school you pay. But you get no tax break from supporting public schools. Public schools are microcosms of the world. In my opinion many private and charter schools are narrow bigoted places that produce the Huppenthals of the world.

Part of the immigration discussion that didn't get much attention was the issue of alternative models to places like El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico. There is one in Central America, and it might even have a few things to teach the United States.

Costa Rica used to be another banana republic mired in militarism and neglect. The military dictator General Granados was overthrown at the end of WW I but the country continued along the well known cycle of promises, disallusionment, and corruption. In 1948 following a disputed presidential election, a bloody civil war broke out.

Like the United States, the victorious rebel uprising was one of the few that established a democratic coalition government. The revolutionaries oversaw a democratically elected assembly and a new constitution created by it. They then handed over power to the new civilian government. Presidential elections since the first (1953) have been peaceful and transparent.

What did Costa Rica do right that its neighbors did not?

First, recognizing the destabilizing role of military juntas and the potential for coups and continued oppression, the rebel government eliminated the military altogether. It has no standing army. (This, incidentally, is also what the founders of the American republic had in mind, and is why Article I, Section 8, Clause 12, gives Congress the power to RAISE armies in the event of war, but limits appropriations to a maximum of two years.)

Second, they used the savings to fund social development, replacing the army "with an army of teachers". The literacy rate rose to today's 96.3 percent. Universal public education is not merely guaranteed as a constitutional formalism, but schools were funded and built in nearly every community. The nation's public universities are widely regarded as superior to its private universities, and hefty subsidies are available to poor families.

Then there is its healthcare system, which is rated higher than that of the United States. According to the American Journal of Public Health:

"Costa Rica is a middle-income country with a strong governmental emphasis on human development. For more than half a century, its health policies have applied the principles of equity and solidarity to strengthen access to care through public services and universal social health insurance.

"Costa Rica’s population measures of health service coverage, health service use, and health status are excellent, and in the Americas, life expectancy in Costa Rica is second only to that in Canada. Many of these outcomes can be linked to the performance of the public health care system."

http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2006.099598

In 2012 the country was ranked fifth in the world in on Yale University's Environmental Performance Index (Switzerland was number one). The country has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2021.

That said, in the 2014 index, its rank dropped from 5th to 54th, apparently the result of a low score in a new evaluation category, wastewater treatment.

The country is not a wonderland: the CIA Factbook lists Costa Rica as having a poverty rate of nearly 25 percent. However, compare this to Mexico's rate of 52 percent (food based) or 47 percent (asset based).

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2046.html

And as noted in the Yale index change, the country still faces serious infrastructure and maintenance problems.

The country's unemployment rate (7.8 percent in 2013) is similar to that of the United States. Real GDP growth was an enviable 5.1 percent in 2012 and 3.5 percent in 2013, according to the Factbook.

Clearly, there are alternative models for Latin America and, while not a panacea, Costa Rica's stable democracy shows they can improve conditions substantially for those willing to design a government constructed around the principle of social welfare and using that principle to regulate its actual administration.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Whereas there are nearly three job seekers for every available opening and wages have stagnated for most people for decades, both would be exacerbated by heavy immigration."

I don't see the evidence for this claim. The big Latino (mostly Mexican) immigration wave began in the 1990s and continued until the Big Recession. In 1993 the national (U.S.) unemployment rate was 6.9 percent. It went down for the next seven years while illegal immigration soared, to 4.0 percent in 2000; the rate rose to about 6.0 percent in 2003 then declined to about 4.6 percent in 2007.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/business/us-unemployment-rate-history/

Places like Arizona which saw heavy settlement by illegal immigrants saw similar declines in the state unemployment rate as immigration soared: from about 7 percent in 1993 to about 4 percent in 2001, followed by a subsequent rise and fall which mirrored the national rate (up to about 6 percent in 2003 then down again to below 4 percent in 2007).

Immigrants come here when the economy is booming. When it isn't, they don't. (Immigration from Mexico proves this; by contrast, the recent child and mother exodus from Central America is motivated primarily by non-economic considerations.)

Immigration into a booming economy actually helps create jobs, because immigrants also increase spending (paying for rent, food, transportation, and other consumer goods and services), which in turn increases aggregate demand. Increased hiring and overall employment increases demand, whether the new hires are natives or a combination of natives and immigrants.

Wages are a separate issue. First, remember we're talking about increasing LEGAL immigration. Rather than wallowing in the morass of debate as to the wage effects of illegal immigration, there is a solution to putative problems: raise the minimum wage.

Converting illegal to legal immigrants means they will be entitled to the legal minimum wage and laws regulating overtime pay.

It would also address the broader problem of stagnant American workers' wages by taking money that is currently being hoarded for financial investment and putting it in the pockets of working families, who will thus increase aggregate spending, and grow GDP; and by increasing demand, companies will respond by increased hiring and expansion to meet the new demand. It would also push up wages among those making more than the minimum.

My personal preference would be direct redistribution of income via the earned income tax credit for full-time equivalent workers, rather than an increase in the minimum wage, since this would avoid the conservative objection that a minimum wage increase would slow hiring or result in layoffs. Employers pay the minimum wage: by constrast, redistributed income is not employer based and would not affect business payroll calculations.

Two other reforms (which also need to be done regardless of whether immigration reform occurs) would also prevent such problems.

First, make it easy to unionize using card-check, which prevents employer intimidation and extended propagandizing. The argument that unions are no longer relevant because employers can outsource or move operations does not apply to most service jobs, which not only employ most Americans but also serve as the attraction for most illegal immigrants. You can't outsource cooks, landscapers, maids, and so forth.

Converting legal to illegal immigrants gives them the right not only to minimum wage and overtime pay, but also gives them the right to unionize. Mexican immigrants are tired of second class citizenship and are just as greedy as the next guy, given the opportunity. They lack that opportunity living as exploitable workers in a shadow economy.

Second, beef up enforcement of overtime and workplace condition laws. Laws are only as good as their enforcement, which means funding the agencies that enforce them. China has plenty of paper laws governing pollution and worker rights, and we all know how that has worked out.

For an interesting bipartisan view of immigration and wage issues, see this:

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/03/the-minimum-wage-cure-for-illegal-immigration/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0#

Rogue, I enjoy reading your column, thanks.

Cal, I was shocked by Huppenthal’s antics. The Daily Kos article is muy interesting. I have a hard time accepting that Huppenthal is sooo - unprofessional.

Emil, I really liked the Bruce Barlett’s column ‘The Minimum-Wage Cure for Illegal Immigration’@ economix.blogs.
I like your idea of an earned income tax credit, however, I see it is a one-time shot at the beginning of the year, where a minimum wage increase is spread over time.

Suzanne, you were shocked by an Arizona Republicans antics?
That's kinda like our pols are shocked at the violence in Iraq
that everyone of us but not the Pols knew was bound to happen. I think it must be illegal for Pols to read about history
let alone understand anything beyond whats in it for me.

Soleri- thanks for informing me that the Bush years were a disaster for the country. Who knew? As to failure, who has been a weaker major party candidate than feckless, stupid and utterly unqualified GWB? The Dems came up with a limp legacy of their own and ran a tepid campaign, and it pained me to watch it.
The failure first was that it was close enough to steal, beyond that their wilting in the face of the thuggish tactics on the ground in Florida. There were others and there doesn't seem to be a
My point is not that Nader's candidacy was noble or the Real Right Thing. It was a symptom that the Dems were moving away fro constituencies that relied on them. Too many voter decided to go Green or to stay home, when an decade before they might have showed up for Gore.
Yes, politics is a brutal business. The party dismissed RN and the points he was attempting to make, and are now blaming him for exerting the leverage that they underestimated. To dismiss that episode as spiteful political arson misses the point and indicates that the point will continue to be missed.

Dawgzy, political candidates are standard bearers for a broad set of ideals, values, and interests. Gore, weak as he was, represented yours. Ralph Nader, a classic boutique candidate, represented the virtuecrats of the left for whom purity and refusal to compromise are primary values. That's why he could spoil an election but never win one. Political parties are, ideally, broad-based coalitions where sharp distinctions are often blurred in order to maximize its overall appeal. The Republican Party is busy painting bright lines around itself that bluntly state Keep Out. It probably has a rendezvous with irrelevance for that reason. The Democratic Party still functions within the classic definition of a political party. You consider that to be an insult to your purity and lofty ideals. You don't notice the resemblance between your purity demands and that of the Tea Party/GOP base, but they are disturbingly similar.

Ralph Nader fucked you and every liberal American in this country. He did it for no better reason than spite and ego. You say that we should blame Gore for running an ineffective campaign. But this misses the point of why we care in the first place. Either his are also your values or you're demanding perfection in lieu of the good. Politics is not therapy. It's not about how hip, virtuous, and noble you are. It's about what we can accomplish in a system that valorizes two broad-based value systems. If America's Definite Left can only muster 2.7% of the vote, it's not going to be a dominant factor in national politics. Yes, it can screw the moderate left, which is what it did. And we paid the price with radical right-wing governance for eight years that dramatically shifted the political playing field to its values.

Political leaders function as our samurais, wielding their swords as effectively as they can. Gore, as I have admitted, was far from adept let alone perfect. But his election would have prevented countless insults and damage to our deepest values. We don't elect someone like him because we're rewarding him for approximating our values. Rather, we're voting for those values in their most obvious manifestation - the lives of real people. You didn't owe your vote to Gore. You owed your vote to yourself, your neighbors, and your progeny. You abdicated that primary responsibility for nothing better than the loose change of He Wasn't Mr Right. You should really think more deeply about the vanity that neutralizes our most momentous concerns and decisions. Gore was much, much better than what this nation ultimately got. Yeah, he was flawed, but he was never as remotely cynical as you or Ralph Nader.

@Soleri: If it's any consolation, H. Ross Perrot split the GOP vote enough to give Clinton his win over Bush Sr.

@Suzanne: My point is that without reasonably secure borders, if potential immegrants are not satisfied with whatever "reforms" we might put on paper are worthless. They just enter illegally.

Soleri- "You consider that to be an insult to your purity and lofty ideals. You don't notice the resemblance between your purity demands and that of the Tea Party/GOP base, but they are disturbingly similar."
"Either his are also your values or you're demanding perfection in lieu of the good. Politics is not therapy. It's not about how hip, virtuous, and noble you are. It's about what we can accomplish in a system that valorizes two broad-based value systems."
"You owed your vote to yourself, your neighbors, and your progeny. You abdicated that primary responsibility for nothing better than the loose change of He Wasn't Mr Right. You should really think more deeply about the vanity that neutralizes our most momentous concerns and decisions"

Who is this "you" whom you address.? You- and I mean you- don't know what you're talking about here. It's a privilege to be lectured by the wise and righteous Soleri especially when he misattributes all of this in the most condescending manner. I am in awe.

Now that we have had our history lesson, whats the next move.
GOP takes both houses and tells whomever is president, try us!

Not to mention the kooks have attempted to take over almost any elected position no matter how insignificant it seems. And from those insignificant offices they spew forth extreme kookism.

On your knees apostate and swear allegiance to the Tea Party and THEIR god

To Whom it May Concern: I take our public lives seriously. I'm not the first person for whom the political is personal. Very personal. People live and die for one's very personal values. As an example, pro-life Republicans don't mind sentencing people to death, people they don't know, because those people don't happen to be rich enough to afford health insurance. Preening lefties do it slightly more indirectly, essentially saying that it would be better to let some people die for want of health insurance if the system itself is not single-payer.

I'm an unpleasant son of a bitch about things like this. You should see me in a bar late at night. You would be wise to avoid my friendship. But please don't say I don't know a thing about you. Every sentence you write here is a personal revelation.

Puh-leese. "Politics isn't therapy." "Every sentence you write here is a personal revelation." I agree that this isn't therapy, otherwise I'd kindly interpret for you all of your projections onto me. Examine your own tone and rhetoric. Bizarre.

Sorry, Dawgzy, but I just want you to admit that Nader was a self-inflicted wound coming from left-wing purists.

When I say politics isn't therapy, I mean that it's not going to make you a better person because that's not its point. The point is to make us a better nation. And if you love the nation in its particulars rather than some abstract principles, you'll understand it best through the lives of others. George W Bush was a diaster for this nation enabled by Ralph Nader. Thousands died because people like you elevated your personal feelings over that tangible interest. I'm not telling you to feel guilty about this. I'm telling you that you can't escape yourself through politics, that all your values must be checked in the real world, not just the rarefied world of True Believers. When you angels can find a substitute for this grubby vale of tears, check back. Otherwise, there's really no need to take you seriously if you can't even admit what a catastrophe the Bush years were.

wkg:
I agree with you and Emil in this way; we need laws that can be enforced. I see our border as too broad, too easy to breach to enforce indisputable laws. However, a border is not the only place, nor is it the best place where laws should be considered.
I think Rogue said it well, "But reading the comments on the previous post about immigration (they're excellent; give a look), I was struck by this one mental impairment in the body politic.

The same people that want to close the borders and stop illegal immigration tend to be reflexively, zealously anti-union. They also support politicians that refuse to put business owners hiring illegals in prison. Yet unions and prison for owners would be the surest way to ensure that citizens have jobs."

Soleri- Please find another fantasy straw man. You speak as if you are the only enlightened and empathic person around. You really need to get out more. I don't see any resolution here so am signing off on this. I do admire your smarts and passion, both of which exceed mine.

ah come on guys more pen fighting it's better than soccer

@Soleri: I am neither pro-union or anti-union. The unions exist to advance the interests of their members. I perfectly OK with that.

My only real issue is with unions that represent government employees. No one is forcing me to buy a GM car. With the public schools or police force that’s different. No matter how bad a school district is, you’re forced to pay your taxes. They seem impervious to change or improvement.

@Soleri: Read an interesting book yesterday: “Not Cool” by Greg Gutfeld. I wouldn’t recommend it to you because he’s coming from a conservative to libertarian perspective. But I do think a lot of his issues echo yours.

Troubling trend for the under 40 crowd to order their life around the concept of being viewed as being “cool or vanity or narcissism.

No big deal if this involves clothes styles, or Apple vs. Windows, etc.

It does matter when it comes to substantive things. But when your ideas (actually opinions) are centered on ”what’s cool?”; it’s another matter.

P.S. “Not Cool” made a very good argument for being OK with gay marriage.

"Virtuecrats?"

Jesus Christ, I'm not even in this teapot tempest and that just about pissed me right off.

Which I'm sure was your intent (not me, personally, but surely towards all who are so intent to "make the perfect the enemy of the good." You know, when agriculture was first being, ah, cultured, I'd have been one of those "perfectionists" who said that this looks like a bad idea, but then somebody "practical" would have shown up and buried me with his statistics of "good" results (we can eat more! We can have more babies!) Not perfect, but "good." The earliest "virtuecrat," I suppose.)

What has happened, of course, is that the good is now the enemy of the good.

I am Jon Huppenthal!

This was not posted from a public server.

PETRO
WHAT???

cal - soleri said "virtuecrats" and I got angry. That's what. This should be discussed over coffee (or inebriates.)

Anything happening on that Changing Hands rendezvous you emailed about awhile ago?

FYI
Canada does not have high speed rail !

Canada is not a highly **urbanized** advanced nation. In addition, it has suffered under the anti-rail prejudices of successive national governments.

The United States has the kinds of city pairs and urban conglomerations that would be ideally suited for HSR, where this mode is superior to flying. The same would be true of Toronto-Montreal under better leadership.

Petro, "Virtuecrats" 50 cent word.
but please help a little more here.
"What has happened, of course, is that the good is now the enemy of the good."

And re a club showdown at the new Changing Hands bar and book store at the lite rail stop, I have not heard back from AZREBEL. Last I knew he was out in the weeds someplace. Trying to see Phoenix in his rear view mirror on Hwy 1 in an old Hudson.

Bored Boarder on the Border
Looks like we got around to thinking Border about 1300. At least in Europe the word came into being.
I find it easy to imagine a planet without man made borders and all encircling light rails. Travel without armed guards asking for Identity and origin papers.
I and a number of my friends have this thing about walls. I prefer housing where there are no walls just open space. Recently a friend was verbally harassed to put up a fence that cut off her ability to see who was coming and going in the alley. It has proved boring.
And now I see entire living quarters that are enclosed in four walls that encompasses about 200 square feet. I am thinking of ordering a brain life sustaining cocoon to be housed in so I can imagine an experience and I will be there. Wow look at the Giant Sajuaros, Ed.

Virtuecraft: And then there is that Scandal in Bohemia.

@Cal: “When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Havities and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you…..” Deuteronomy 7 (considerably before 1300)

Veni,vidi, vici......a little later.

Tall, Grande, Venti.......even later

@Ruben: a couple of threads ago you threw in the phrase "that's why I added tator." Are you a closet Big Bang Theory junkie?

wkg in bham: Yes, I'm a big fan.

@Ruben: I think it was you who posted recently something like: "I've got Phoenix in my rear view mirror....exit strategy".

If so, where are you headed?

We now reside about 10 miles outside of Show Low, AZ.

6550 elevation

Squirrels outnumber the people.

Only government that applies to us is Navajo county.


The crazy State of Maricopa is 160 miles away and the illegitimate Federal government is light years away.

(you'd have to be an AZ resident to understand the State of Maricopa thing)

Sounds great. Maybe you can get a place for Cal to park his house.

I have a perfect spot, right between my Brigham Young bird bath and my Joseph Smith solar address sign. A guy's gotta fit in with the neighborhood.

WKG: here is your god at work, "driving out"

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/credible-fear-whats-driving-central-americans-across-the-us-border/373158/

My minor gods are Hal and David but the only person or god I will get on my knees for is a woman named Sue.

Ruben you still scoring your ground up Missouri river bank weed combined with some white lizard from the local LDS source. I hear its good for epilepsy but it didnt keep them good Christians from mob murdering Joe and his bro.

soleri wrote:

"Every sentence you write here is a personal revelation."

I'm not getting involved in this spat, except to note that I am not the anonymous commenter in question.

Emil, and why would you suspect that someone would suspect you were a likely suspect?

Simply because soleri and I were involved in a recent brouhaha.

I accept responsibility for what I said in previous threads (and I made some frank criticisms), but I don't need someone nursing a grudge, waiting to toss rocks over something I *didn't* say that might seem to be a "cold dish" continuation of that. As I've said before, I consider personal feuds to be a waste of my online time.

I agree

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