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July 03, 2014

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“All hope abandon, ye who enter here”

Can you see the Mason-Dixon line in this map? What a coincidence.

Another fine article Rogue! The vast majority of Arizonans will continue to live in denial of their state's membership in the American South.

Damn. I'm speechless. All the Republican flyers I get these days pretty much say the same thing: government is the problem. Well, if you are not going to fix it and in fact add to the problem, I will not vote for you.

“government is the problem” from a career politician, sounds like an oxymoron to me.

cal, I thought the book review was very good. I have not traveled to the deep south, so it's hard for me to understand the ingrained Praise The Lord (PTL) overt racism.
The confederate flag at the South Carolina (?) capitol is a good example.
And then I am reminded of the disagreement we here in Arizona had over the 911 monument.

July 4 patriotism one great nation.
Racism Confederacy Secede
Think I will watch Sommersby
and see Jack hang by his neck

I wonder what Orwell would say about today's "advanced" technology and today's continuance of HATE.

Well I feel like I have to come to the defense of the South. Can’t deny the grimness of the numbers. They are what they are.

Went the Census report for the details. Here’s what I found – and remember all the numbers come from the report itself:

A “Concentrated Poverty Area” (CPA) is one where 20% or more of a census tract is in poverty. Census tracts differ in size with something like 4,000 being typical. What that means is that if a tract contains more than 800 in poverty, the entire tract is classified as a CPA.

The total population of CPA’s is 77 million

But, the number of people in the country in poverty is stated at 45 million – with slightly over 50% living in CPA’s (24 million).

Various statistics:

Location of CPA’s: 51% in central cities of MSA’s, 28% suburban, 20% rural.

Racial composition of CPA’s: 45 million white, 19 million black, 22 million Hispanic.

Here is the stated poverty (the general population – not CPA’s) 17% white non-Hispanic, 50% black, 48% American Indian, 44% Hispanic.

The consumer price index for tabulating poverty is the same for the entire country – there are no adjustments for regions, cities, etc.

So here’s my take on why the South and Southwest numbers suck:
• We have a higher degree of diversity.
• A lot of the Southeast remains highly rural – with very high levels of poverty.
• Other parts on the country with much higher costs of living are vastly understating the degree of poverty there.

Here' what Orwell would say:

"You're using (government statistics) to debate issues? Government statistics??"

Why not refer to fairy tale books as references?

@Ruben: Good point. I pretty much have where I take any report from the Feds with a certain degree of skepticism. I don’t take any of it to be true – but I don’t blow it off a being a total lie.

I think the actual numbers from the ten-year actual counts aren’t too bad. The estimates have been way off. But I think they have a big problem with people who don’t want to be counted.

But I was responding to Rogue’s comments with regard to a specific report. It was, more or less, here’s what the report says and my take on it.

@Cal: technology may be more advanced - but people are still people. I think it's impossible to be too cynical about human nature.

@Cal: read the artical about Orwell's Scotish "retreat". That's one place I definently don't want to visit.

WKG: Not enough industrial noise.

In complete denial. I loved the comments that some commentators do not believe government statistics. Bizarre, completely bizarre. Even the Heritage Foundation uses government statistics and there are few places that attack government more. If you attack government statistics, does that mean that we attack ASU stats, that is a government institution? The Department of Defense statistics, another government institution. Wow - the head in the sand crowd exists and they do not believe government statistics. Where do you think the national debt number comes from - not the Tea Party, they would be quoting a government statistic. Population in your community - the census. Number of accidents this weekend - compilation of traffic accidents - another govt statistic.

Hey, Jeff.

I have some land I'd like to sell you.

Give me a call.

statistically I find that bird violence increases exponentially as I add more bird feeders to my yard.
To not have to endure this sight outside my window I am considering taking the birds off my socialistic welfare program.
there are facts and factoids.
there are statics and there are statistics.
numbe interpetatiinsts should be doubted as they may use statistics to lie.

Sorry kids, it won't fly. These are gold standard statistics. Try something else.

@Rogue: Sorry dad. With regard to the census, they are the gold standard because there are no other numbers to go by. Urban types have complained for decades that the census systematically undercounts urban areas. People who don’t want to be counted won’t. It’s an impossible task and I actually think they try to get it right.

@Jeff: If you believe the Feds are not lying on occasion –you are in total denial.

Gold Standard stats. your kidding?
I have beads will trade for Water Well.
Water the new gold!

For Real American Patriots, Daily Kos has good posts today.

@ WKG: You wrote, "A lot of the Southeast remains highly rural – with very high levels of poverty."

That's like saying the South is poor because it is poor. Try again.

@Chris in Denver: Farming is hard. You need a large amount of property and a lot of equipment. A few acres isn’t going to cut it. You can eke out an existence – but that’s about it. For as long as mankind has existed, county folks have flocked to cities for a better living. Even today, the Chinese are abandoning the land to live the worst sort of lifestyle in Chinese cities – because it’s better than rural living. Ditto for India.

Cities are where wealth is created. Today it seems that a city needs to be 1,000,000 + to be a viable entity. To take Mississippi for instance – the largest city is Jackson with a population of around 200,000. Arkansas would have Little Rock – but that’s about it. West Virginia has – well I don’t know.

To sum: rural = poor.

P.S. for no reason at all: when I heard the term “urban agriculture” I just want to throw up.

@Chris: Just consulted by Rand-McNaley. Drive the full length of US 40 across Colorado and let me know what you observe.

"Figures don't lie - but liars figure"

Hey, Jeff. I have some land I'd like to sell you. Give me a call.

A nice example of not thinking straight even in trite wise-crack mode...

As no one would purchase "your land" without it being backed by govt. survey and various other big govt. laws guaranteeing right of ownership...

It reminds me of the link I gave on the preceeding Yarnell thread. The one that refers to 160 property owners in Yarnell suing AZ taxpayers for not protecting them from the fire.

You can bet many of those 160 property owners believe in tort reform, small govt, and personal responsibility. And that many of them accuse the president of being a socialist.

Yet there they are with their tort: Decrying the fact that big govt. didn't save their property and trying to transfer wealth from AZ taxpayers to themselves.

All of which leads to me to this conclusion:

* Ideologues want their ill-thought out ideology to apply to the other guy and not to themselves. That's callous and shallow. One might say that makes these frauds crybabies.

* The larger problem here deals with how ideology makes human beings completely certain about their stupidity. Which is to say: The Yarnell anti-government loons will continue to be anti-government loons even after they get their payout.


…….. but, but, you left out "Championship Golf."

wkg, use your same Rand-McNaley observations for the upper states that have less poverty. Tell us what you see.

@Falcon: the property owners are wasting their time. Their case will never see the light of day.

It is almost impossible to sue your own government. Cal knows more about this than I do. Perhaps he can weigh in on the issue.

@Suzanne: An admission – I have never been to Colorado – I’ve may have flown over it once. But here’s the thing: driving east on US 40 – compare the wealth/incomes of Denver and Hugo, Aroya, Kit Carson, Arapahoe, or Cheyenne Wells.

Here’s the second thing and I’m sure this is going to precipitate a shit storm: what I don’t see is much in the way of minority people/communities.

Fire away.

wkg, what you will see is better education, higher taxes for and more interest in educational value (regardless of skin color).

@Suzanne: Thanks. I was expecting the usual “why you bigoted, racist….blah blah…..

Random thoughts on the whole matter:

There’s something nice that you will find in the upper mid-west and that’s social cohesion. There’s not this “community” or that “community”. It’s more like we’re all in this together.

It’s somewhat idiotic to think of a monolithic “Hispanic” community. I’ve always been impressed by the Cuban and Columbians I have encountered. I find the Mexican and Central American (except Costa Rica) to be dysfunctional. I can’t explain why. Mexicans as individuals are maybe the sweetest people on earth. Brazilians may be the world’s biggest ass holes.

I’m sorry that I can’t comment with more erudition. But that’s because I’m a Southerner who is incapable of reading books. By the way, it’s the July 4th weekend. Got your flag up?

Schools reflect the collective will of a community. As I have said in previous posts, I would put up Vestavia Hills high school up against any high school anywhere (except Mountain Brook next door, who’s even better). That’s why you cross the city line and all of a sudden all the houses cost 50K more.

It would be of great service for the Catholic Church to get back into el-high education in a big way. I went to a catholic school for grades 1-6. It was much more rigorous than the public system. And it was very much based on an “American Exceptionalism” basis. I don’t think anyone has ever taught a more anti-communist/anti-socialist curriculum.

You bring up the “skin hue” issue. I think this is irrelevant. Many Asian-Indians have complexions that are much darker than many of our African-Americans (who are usually of a very mixed race) and they are getting along famously.

Public announcement:
For any of you non-believers who are trying to contact us by email up in God's country, be advised that the LDS server has a heathen filter in place and the message will not go through.

If you would like a couple of white shirts to come by your place, they will gladly give you the password.

Ruben I know u r not joking as I have got no response to all my emails to u since u got to Showlow.

wkg: most this conversation in stats etc is over my head. but I have been told by a number of folks that meth is the main rural crop now days .

from my phone. more later

Geez, Rogue, you called me a concern troll a while back, so I dropped out. But reading the Southerner trying to defend the indefensible just goads me enough to comment on this topic. And the topic is a simple one- Arizona is indeed a cracker run state these days. No damned doubt about it.

But this post is exactly why I continue to read. While you have great nostalgia for the old days in Phoenix, the Ag past just brings me to this poor modern sharecropper economy of building houses and keeping the natives poor and ignorant- which was the old game plan for most of the 20th century. And WKG with your allusion to good schools and more expensive houses, well duh you rube, money makes much better schools, and does influence the outcome for those kids. Meanwhile, http://www.abc3340.com/story/24471128/full-list-of-failing-schools-in-alabama just to poke you back. Rural and poor, gee, now why I am surprised the schools are failing?

WKG is pulling the "why can't our darkies be like them asian kids?" card. Living on top of a society imposes a pretty fierce set of blinders- did you enjoy your crack about the flag- Vicksburg still smarts?

In short, really dude? Why are the poor so damned poor, it must be their fault? Is that your real answer? Ignore 400 years of history that ground people into the ground, and still grinds them into abject poverty, and the system that you obviously support to keep them there? And you wonder why folks who are the least bit enlightened think you are not doing so hot here? You do realize that as soon as you get up in the hills the poor folk are almost all white, right? And a lot of them came here, and went north too. When I lived in Michigan, Ypsilanti was nicknamed Ypsitucky because of all the hillbillies who went north to work in the war plants.

The southern education system works jus' fine for all of those kids destined for Duke, Ol' Miss, and SMU, and if they can play ball, we don't care what color they are...

As for the rest, well the Devil has taken the hindmost- just check out the incarceration rates for minorities in the South.

With agriculture comes the fine odor of manure, and in the South that meant sharecropping and rural poverty.

Full disclosure- great granddad was a sharecropper in one of the Southern Poor States that is the subject of this post- and quit it and left for California.

So that taste was passed to me by my grandmother, and it is a bitter draught indeed.

Anti government?

For U statisticians info from “the capitalists”

http://www.shell.com/global/future-energy/scenarios/future-cities.html

Shell oil statisticians claims by “2050, 75 percent of the population will live in cities.”

They also claim that statistically “every week until 2050 the world will be adding the equivalent of a new city with of over 1,4 million.”

Lacking here are the facts that only Emil can dig up and make sense of such.

shell oil, that should read
They also claim that statistically “every week until 2050 the world will be adding the equivalent of a new city with a population of over 1,4 million.”

Concern Troll,

I forget the context in which I wrote earlier, but thanks for this excellent post. Obviously I was wrong before, so I apologize.

And please don't drop out.

@Troll: Random thoughts regarding your post:

Where did the term “cracker” come from? Before the Braves moved to Atlanta there was a hugely successful Southern League team called the Atlanta Crackers. Some of the players turned down major league offers to continue to play for the Crackers (the Majors didn’t pay squat at the time). When I moved to Florida in my early teens the natives where proud to call themselves crackers.

Yes, Vicksburg still smarts. As does Antietam, Shiloh, Gettysburg, Atlanta and Petersburg. To you it’s ancient history. To us it was yesterday. No Marshal plan for us; carpetbaggers instead.

Incarceration rates: I don’t think you will find rates here for minorities are much worse than anywhere else. I don’t think the real question is why are conviction rates for some minorities so great; but why certain demographics are so criminality inclined.

There is a class if people in the South we call “white trash”. These people are to be avoided at all costs.

I think I’ve tried to say that rural = poverty. Anywhere at any time in history.

I grew up in the bluest of blue collar areas (Prince Georges County, Maryland). But the education at the local Catholic School was pretty good. The public school I went to for grades 7-9 was so-so. I don’t think income levels has anything to do with it.

Finally. Where is Soleri?

you bring up the “skin hue” issue

No, I think it was you that brought up the issue when you couched your ideas under the umbrella of "minority communities" as the major difference between states with more poverty and those with less.
I agree with you wkg, Schools reflect the collective will of a community.
I am suggesting that the communities in the southern half of the US do not value or fund education. That is a fundamental Jacksonian Democrat ideal. You can call that exceptionalism, or elitism, or racism ….

I gotta say, I agree with the concerned Troll.

I wonder if Soleri tired of the "screeching noise"?

Rogue, here are some more charts:
'How median incomes have changed in the richest and poorest states, in 8 charts'
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/07/03/how-median-incomes-have-changed-in-the-richest-and-poorest-states-in-8-charts/?tid=pm_politics_pop

Arizona's median income as a percentage of U.S. average is definitely decreasing.

Thanks, Suzanne.

As I tried to make clear above, these outcomes can't be divorced from politics. Arizona did better when it was a competitive, two-party state. And when even many Republicans believed in funding education more robustly. Even Lisa Graham Keegan meant well and resisted the more extreme elements of her party.

This began changing in the 1990s and shifted decisively in the early 2000s. Once St. Janet was gone, no one stood between the Kooks and their nihilist, "devil take the hindmost" (as CT aptly put it) dogma.

Also, Arizona and Phoenix were performing much better in income and several other quality measures in the 1960s into the 1980s because of a more diverse, high-quality economy relative to the size of the population. One example: Motorola.

I'll let others speak to the south-South, and mean no disrespect to WKG. Lots of Taltons come from Alabama. But the entire region has historic disadvantages -- many self-inflicted -- and now added to them is the national "tea party"/ALEC/Randian mix. And gaining a few high-profile plants can't fix it.

Re: Motorola

As of Dec. 2014, Motorola's Arizona head count will go to ZERO.

End of an era.

Excellent post Concerned Troll.

@all: in looking over the thread there’s been too much of me. Catch you on the next issue. As always a real learning thing. I miss Soleri, who really keeps one on ones toes.

Yeah well cuz, get your head out of the Noble Lost Cause mythology and into reality:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cracker_%28pejorative%29

There is really no reason to sit here in the 21st century and idolize the Lost Cause, period. They really should talk about the rich man's war, which is exactly what it was. The poor went and died to keep a bunch of slave holders rich, all for the hope that one day they too could climb up and own some people. State's rights is a fricking canard, one that should been buried with that abomination of the Confederacy. The entire war was founded on Southern lies, that darky is better off a slave, and we ain't so bad. Jefferson was the prime founding father hypocrite, who kept members of his family enslaved, and they were sold when he died. Your sympathy for the stars and bars shows how far you need to grow and understand our history.

Nixon's southern strategy was predicated on the pushback from civil rights in the south, especially the racist cracker vote. Arizona politics uses all the dog whistles straight from that playbook, except the target is the hispanic population.

And damn if they are not hell bent on reinstating Jim Crow if they can get away with it. That is what I think of now with the Republican repress the vote idea, which is deployed with all the same code words and actions.

Now, even here in Arizona, the business part of the R party- the Chamber, is getting damned nervous because of the education repression wingnuts. Huppenthal was just dropped by them like a hot rivet because the folks that want real economic development realize we can't compete with the moron level education system we have.

In short, if the South has contributed much worthwhile to the political discourse in the last 40 years, I have missed it. The cynical bubba Clinton folks at least know the score, and exploit it for their own gains, but at least they attempt to fight back against the tide of southern repression.

Independence Day Special: Thirteen Facts About America Conservatives Would Like You to Forget

1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.
By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The "Occupy Wall Street" of its day.

Some of the other "traditional" values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation. Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that's where they've been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be.

3. Long before the United States even existed, it was drawing "problem" immigrants.

After being pretty much run out of England as anti-government radicals, the religious dissidents we know today as the Pilgrims settled in Leiden, Holland, where they set about making themselves that nation's immigrant problem. Sticking to themselves and refusing to “blend in” with their new homeland, the Pilgrims grew alarmed by the unpalatable ideas to which their children were being exposed, such as religious tolerance (good for the Pilgrims, bad for everyone else) and national service (like all Dutch residents, the Pilgrims were eligible for the draft). When their children began picking up the Dutch language, the Pilgrims had had enough. By then the Dutch had, too. Next stop: Plymouth Rock.

4. Those Pilgrims were commies... and it saved their lives.

Governor William Bradford’s memoirs confirm that the first thing the settlers did upon arrival in the Plymouth Colony was to set up a textbook communist system of production and distribution. Every resident of the colony was expected to share, to the extent of his or her ability, the chores of hunting, farming, cooking, building, making clothing, etc., and, in exchange, everyone shared the products of that communal labor.

That commie-pinko economy sustained the Pilgrims through their first brutal year in the New World, after which it was decided that the colony was sufficiently stable to allow householders their own plot of land on which to grow crops they were free to keep for themselves. The fact that the colonists’ productivity increased exponentially with their own land begs the question: were the Pilgrims working harder now that they got to keep the product of their own labor or, conversely, were they prone to slacking off when the goods came whether they worked hard or not?

I guess you could say the Pilgrims were the kind of lazy, shiftless “takers” that conservatives are always railing against.

5. One of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, hated Thanksgiving.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson once called a national day of Thanksgiving “the most ridiculous idea” he’d ever heard of.

Despite being first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, Jefferson believed a national day of thanksgiving was not consistent with the principle of separation of church and state and refused to recognize the holiday in any of the eight years in which he was president of the United States. “Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason,” Jefferson once wrote, “and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.”

For the record, Presidents Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor refused to issue Thanksgiving Day proclamations during their administrations, too. Can you imagine what Fox News Channel would have made of these administrations' “War on Thanksgiving”?

6. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Kinda puts the red in the ol' red, white and blue, doesn't it?

7. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan decision made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.

Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States, the Supreme Court merely found that the state of Texas’ prohibition on abortion violated the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause and that states could exercise varying degrees of discretion in regulating abortion, depending upon the stage of pregnancy. The Court also held the law violated the right to privacy under substantive due process.
That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that conservatives love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:

Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 3 liberals, 2 conservatives, 2 moderates.

Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.

By ideological orientation, it was an across-the-board decision for Roe: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment: Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.

8. Conservative icon Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.

The Ronald Reagan conservatives worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”

9. Reagan also raised federal taxes eleven times.

Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes - no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.

10. Barry Goldwater was pro-choice, supported gay rights, deeply despised the Religious Right, and - gasp! - liked Hillary Clinton.

It's a measure of just how much farther right contemporary conservatism has shifted in just a generation or two that Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater, the Republican standard-bearer in 1964, couldn't buy a ticket into a GOP convention in 2014.

There's no debating Goldwater's deeply conservative bona fides, but check these pronouncements from the man himself:

"I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process." (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

"A woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right." (Interview, Los Angeles Times, 1994)

“The big thing is to make this country… quit discriminating against people just because they're gay. You don't have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. ... They're American citizens.” (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

"Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know; I've tried to deal with them. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’" (Congressional Record, September 16, 1981)

"If [Bill Clinton] let his wife run business, I think he'd be better off. ... I just like the way she acts. I've never met her, but I sent her a bag of chili, and she invited me to come to the White House some night and said she'd cook chili for me." (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

11. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

12. Those "job-killing" environmental regulations? Republican things.

Sometimes being conservative can be a good thing, like when it applies to conserving America's clean air and water, endangered wildlife and awesome natural beauty. Many of Theodore Roosevelt's greatest accomplishments as president were in the area of conserving America's natural environment. In 1905, Roosevelt formed the United States Forestry Service. Under his presidential authority, vast expanses of American real estate were declared off limits for private development and reserved for public use. During Roosevelt's time as president, forest reserves in the United States went from approximately 43 million acres to about 194 million acres. Talk about big government land grabs!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by that other well-known GOP tree hugger, Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but had it not been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.

Oh, yes – conservatives would rather forget that Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.

13. President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most conservatives’ - and most other Americans' - do.

The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone some conservatives on the lunatic fringe still insist is a foreigner bent on destroying the United States of America.

In the 1960's when I was a flaming capitalist I thought the Cuban trade embargo made no monetary sense.
I have continued to believe this but finally someone agrees with me.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/05/democrats-cuban-florida_n_5559899.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

WKG: I do believe Soleri is indeed at this time in deep global transcendental meditation.

Sulu advices that Democracy will fail if we cannot accept that "All men are created equal".

Well, I'm not gonna be as mean as I'd like, but, yeah, you guys are getting trolled, and not by Concern Troll.

If it wasn't for the Federal Government, Phoenix, AZ would be nothing but a wide spot in the road. That's assuming there would even be a road.

A couple of interesting links to articles I came across:

An underground town in the Australian outback. Something you might consider if you insist on living in Arizona

http://www.messynessychic.com/2014/07/02/the-town-that-went-underground/?PageSpeed=noscript

Interesting animated graphic about population growth by decade by state.

http://www.newgeography.com/content/004400-watch-220-years-us-state-population-growth

Both Florida and Arizona were essentially unpopulated prior to 1950.

cal, the 13 facts are really good, my favorite is #13.
As for feeding the birds, I don't feed the birds but I do give them water. The quail families and other creatures all take turns, I think it is because water is sacred. I had two javalina come to drink this past week.

Wilderness is outdated?
A member of the Monkey Wrench Gang responds.

doug (george washington hayduke) done good.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/06/american-wilderness-faces-the-firing-squad.html

But Pat Trolling is so much fun, especially when you hook the big one. So bait up your hook. Worm or 100 dollar bill?

Those of you who follow news out of maricopa county will understand this.

It's getting kind of weird how the senile sheriff is going to the dogs.

What's with that?

Dogs are like "Firemen"
every one loves them!
And Joe loves all that Attention.

and don't forget to sign up for your 2015 Fire Fighter Nude calendar. nothing but suspenders. The wide ones.

Mason Dixon Line.
We just keep drawing those lines in the sand
and the sands of time could care less as humans came so shall they go.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/a-line-in-the-sand-by-james-barr-2355278.html

wkg, I thought that the messynessychic article about the underground houses in Australia was very good. I then went to The Vault article ‘The 1950’s Flying Saucer Conventions at an Underground Rock House’. That is an interesting article as well, just for the quirky 1957 b/w photos.
Thanks

Aaron Flake (a senator's son) is being investigated by the Badged Ego for killing 23 dogs. How will that end? -- I care not for a man's religion if his cat and dog are not the better for it (Abe Lincoln).

I'm sure soleri is enjoying his summer and recharging his batteries in the Oregon cool.

Government stats are pretty good. They would be better if the Republicans didn't keep cutting their funding (their lies get called out too much so CBO and other reseachers gotta go!).

Doug Ducy is looking to do a Wisc. Walker on AZ. What a tool.

The Civil War is still vivid to Northerners too. I am quite happy my Northern and Southern relations ground down the other Southern relations. The blog Civil War Memory is a excellent site on black Confederates and the Lost Cause.

Central American is screwed because of the Monroe Doctrine, American corporations, Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama. They exist so capital can steal their resources and labor. Smedley Butler had it right. Interesting how the anti-immigrant has their panties in a bunch over Obama enforcing a law Bush 43 signed. The racial slurs against these children (they're diseased!) are despicable.

buying square miles and selling square feet is the deal...

if it works perfectly, if you succeed, your 'prize' is a summer place in san diego where you can complain to all the other winners how terribly crowded it is here in Socal....

Since we are on The Civil war, here is one of my favorites...

http://exiledonline.com/war-nerd-blog-day-14-four-blessed-years-without-dixie/

War Nerd is a brilliant writer and analyst. His archives are well worth reading. Another Civil War story:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/11/966022/-The-Truth-About-the-Confederacy?via=sidebyuserrec

"While the state ranked as only the 19th poorest in the nation in 1990 (with a poverty rate of 13.7%), by 1998, it ranked sixth-poorest, with a poverty rate of 16.6%. Although the poverty rate in Arizona subsequently declined (to 13.9% in 2004), from 2000 to 2004 the Arizona poverty rate climbed two full percentage points, double the national average."

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Arizona.aspx

Noted that this increase in poverty occurred during the boom years (construction AND population boom). Obviously, if poverty increases and income decreases while the economy experiences sustained high growth rates, one should suspect changes to population's composition. And that's exactly what happened: the state absorbed large numbers of illegal immigrants starting in the 1990s and continuing until the Great Recession. Illegal immigrants typically work lower wage jobs, which brings income averages for the general population down, and poverty rates up. You don't need a degree in statistics to understand this, merely basic knowledge of changing demographics and the arithmetic of averages.

Mr. Talton notes that San Antonio also absorbed large numbers of illegal immigrants. His graph contrasting metro area per capita income shows San Antonio below the Phoenix Metro for the entire period covered by the graph, except for the last couple of years when San Antonio came out (very slightly) on top. Since the inversion occurred only AFTER the Great Recession, how to explain it?

Unlike Arizona, Texas largely escaped the housing bubble; and the housing market is booming in San Antonio:

"Locally, San Antonio saw a 17 percent increase in sales this year when compared with 2012,” noted Missy Stagers, who is the 2014 Chairman of the Board for SABOR. “With so many people moving into the city, more jobs have been created which has translated into economic growth and a rise in home sales and home prices."

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/blog/morning-edition/2014/01/san-antonios-housing-market-geared.html

While illegal immigration did contribute to increased poverty and dragged income averages down, there's a much larger contributing factor. It too is demographic.

Rogue readers following the "Hispanic voters" issue know that the Hispanic population has grown enormously; according to the Census Bureau, in 1990 Hispanics were 18.8 percent of the state's population; in 2000, 25.3 percent; and in 2010, 29.7 percent.

Furthermore, most of these gains resulted from a fertility boom that began in the 1990s. In the 2010 census, 43.2 percent of Arizona's children (17 or younger) were Hispanic. The long awaited Hispanic voter surge depends first and foremost on an increase in voting-age Hispanics, and this has only begun to occur as these "Hispanic boomers" began to turn 18 over the last few years.

How does this affect the state's economic statistics? Children, for the most part, don't work; when they do it's usually part-time. When they do come of age and join the labor market, they generally start at the low wages offered to entry level, inexperienced workers.

Children are, however, counted in per capita income measures, which take total statewide income and divide by the total number of residents. They also contribute to higher poverty rates because they add members to a household without adding additional household income, and the federal poverty formula adjusts the poverty threshold downward as the size of the household increases.

Also note that as the number of Hispanic households grows (as a percentage of Arizona households), whether from illegal immigration, legal immigration (from other countries or from other U.S. states), or from young Hispanics coming of age and starting new households, this is a downward pressure on the state's median household income, since Hispanics as a group have a lower median household income than non-Hispanic Whites.

Obviously there are other factors influencing these income and poverty measures, and they can be to some degree offsetting; they may also change depending on the time frame (e.g., housing booms which increase income, recessions which decrease it, etc.).

Meanwhile, the stagnation of the state's traditional economic engine, single family home construction and the new businessess built to support the new communities, further suppresses the state's economic performance.

The Rogue Columnist writes, “Arizona Territory sent a delegate to the Confederate Congress throughout the War Between the States, so the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree.”

A little Western Civil War history is in order. After the territory that includes Arizona was acquired by the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo at the end of the Mexican-American war (1848), “New Mexico Territory” was created, which included—roughly—most of present day New Mexico, most of present day Arizona north of the Gila River (the original Guadalupe-Hidalgo border with Mexico), and what is now Clark County, Nevada (Las Vegas area). Santa Fe was named the capital of this territory. Then, in 1854, the Gadsden Purchase added territory south of the Gila River to the territory, creating the alignment that constitutes the current southern borders of Arizona and New Mexico and adding Tucson—then by far the most populated community in the “Arizona portion” of the territory.

The territorial government—appointed territorial leadership, courts, military support, and so forth—were in Santa Fe, hundreds of miles away and weeks of travel by horseback, stagecoach, or on foot through territory still regarded as their own by several different Apache Tribes. Citizens of the “Arizona Portion” of the territory appealed to the federal government for separate territorial status, additional military support, and other services to no avail. Then, when the Civil War broke out in the East, the modest detachment of federal troops that had been stationed in Tucson was sent back to fight the Confederates, leaving the Old Pueblo virtually undefended.

Either the citizens of Tucson, led by local Confederate sympathizers, invited Rebel troops from Texas in, or the Texans—sensing an opportunity to seize territory closer to California’s gold—arrived uninvited. Either way, for much of Tucson’s largely Hispanic population, acceptance of Texan military support was an act of desperation. A “Confederate Territory of Arizona” was created that incorporated all of Arizona and New Mexico below the 34th parallel. However, on April 15, 1862—less than a year after the War had begun—a skirmish took place at Picacho Pass between a detachment of Texans scouting north and west from Tucson and an advance party of the Federal “California Column” advancing east from that state. While Picacho was a tactical Confederate victory, the Texans learned of the superior size of the California Column, declared Tucson an “open city”, and left for Texas—de facto ending the “Confederate Territory of Arizona.”

Some Texan may indeed have presented himself to the Confederate Congress as a delegate from Arizona “throughout the War…”, but inferring from that the existence of any significant “Southern” attitude in a pioneer territory like Arizona where disenchanted Forty-niners from California, Jewish immigrants, the local Hispanics, and others made up the territory’s fascinatingly diverse population would be sheer folly. Whether “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” or not, there is no definite connection between the “Red State Politics” that so frustrate the Rogue Columnist and Arizona’s Civil War era history.

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