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November 12, 2009

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When I was a kid, I was stunned by how easily businessmen would exploit something so antithetical to their own values like the anti-war movement. What was outré in 1967 became mainstream by 1969, like the Nehru jacket or the "peace sign". I soon learned the only thing that mattered was the market itself.

In 1970, the environmental movement had bipartisan cachet. Nixon proposed the EPA and signed the legislation protecting water, skies, and species. The Green movement had its early successes in the 70s, but that soon turned into a bummer by the mid-70s. It was one thing to sell Ecology Now! bumperstickers but something else entirely to have bureaucrats inspecting the discharges from the print shop's sewage line.

In the 30 years since then, "green" has hovered somewhere between empyrean blue and satanic orange. Still, businessmen sense a trend and are ready to don their Nehru jackets if that's what is called for. Will they support cap and trade? Probably not. Will they mock climate change as a hoax? No doubt. But they'll put solar panels on top of their McMansions if it earns them a property tax reduction.

I think the various gambits and evasions of the "producer class" will still guide environmental legislation. Think of Jeff Groscost in love beads and Birkenstocks. Yes, it will be cringe-worthy. Yes, it will be cynical and shortsighted. But this is America and we'll be selling lifeboats to the Bangla Deshi when that time soon arrives. Made in China, of course.


I like your ideas and intentions... I just wish you knew more about this topic before writing about it. Oh well.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"In any event, solar's promise risks being highly oversold. No one discusses the issue of water needed to cool most large solar arrays, for example."

It's a valid criticism, particularly with some forms of solar collection systems. However, the photovoltaic arrays alluded to by Mr. Talton generally use water only to wash the panels, compared to the large amounts of water used by cheaper (and more profitable) solar thermal plants:

"...photovoltaic power plants, which take the type of solar panels found on residential rooftops and mount them on the ground in huge arrays. They are typically more expensive and less efficient than solar thermal farms but require a relatively small amount of water, mainly to wash the panels."

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/30/business/energy-environment/30water.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&hp

Mr. Talton wrote:

"As for all the stuff being sold, some is probably worthwhile, much greenwash."

Undoubtedly so. On the one hand, we might be grateful for the momentum of a movement with much promise, moving us in the right direction. On the other, there is the prospect that the "greenwash" will eventually undermine that momentum by inculcating cynicism among the public and the policy makers who were, earlier, led down the garden path by opportunists.

"Solar panels are fine. Unless they are required for houses in Arizona, they won't have much effect, and we know the Kookocracy and the delusion that Phoenix is still the wide-open spaces of a few thousand rugged individualists will prevent any such thing."

And yet, if, as Mr. Talton argues, the oil crisis occurs sooner rather than later, alternative energy sources (including solar) will look increasingly attractive, to consumers, businesses, and policymakers eager to decrease costs.

Thus, the impetus of the green movement will likely derive from underlying economic factors rather than from platitudes and political platforms (whether Green or reactionary).

"Right now we have a gift: the time to make a more orderly, less costly transition to a truly sustainable, properly scaled society."

Yes, but alas, in a capitalist society based on short-term profit to please the shareholder, current profits trump future ones. So, expect a few far-sighted ones to act now, while the majority wait until concrete economic realities overtake them, making the current ways unprofitable. Nothing concentrates the attentions of capitalists like the prospect of losing money rather than making it hand over fist.

Only when there is a consensus that greenness advances the near-term bottom line -- not before -- will the creative and adaptive forces of capitalism respond, not only with respect to their own business practices, but politically.

Don't forget that crude oil not only supplies the fuel for vehicles, but also constitutes a manufacturing input for countless processes. The creation (or adoption) of a synthetic substitute for the latter is as important as a replacement for the former.

The real question is not whether the system will adapt, but what the economic consequences of that adaptation will be. Ideally, we would act aggressively, now, to bring the cost of alternative energy and green measures in line with current costs, so that instead of waiting for the costs of production to ramp up before adapting, we will have in place cost-effective alternatives.

That can only be the result of technical breakthroughs requiring sufficient R&D capital expenditures, and economies of scale in manufacture and implementation that cannot be met by the voluntary use of solar panels by a few well-off and liberal-minded households, educational institutions, and businesses.

The imposition of non-voluntary measures must be political; whether the members of a political apparatus, beholden for their existence and success to wealthy contributors (primarily big business and its ownership/executive class) for campaign and party finance funds, and in addition, itself increasingly populated by members of the economic Overclass, can find the will to impose such measures, is questionable. (My thanks to Mr. Talton for the link below.)

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29235.html

We read a lot about peak oil, but less about peak demand. An interesting counterpoint comes from Paul Sankey and other analysts at Deutsche Bank, which argues that, due to "increasingly chronic under-investment in new oil supply capacity" global oil production will peak in 2016 at 90 million barrels a day, just 5 percent above the 2009 level; it also predicts prices as high as $175 a barrel that same year, with, however, long-term downward price pressures after that: by 2030 it predicts global oil consumption to have decreased to around 79 million barrels a day, and suggests a price around $70 a barrel.

The decreases in oil demand and price will supposedly come from a dramatic decrease in U.S. gasoline demand (hence oil usage) resulting from hybrid and electric vehicles; by a switch to natural gas supplies; and by "a reversal in OPEC strategy, away from supply limits, towards market share gains."

http://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2009/10/06/deutsche-the-end-is-nigh-for-the-age-of-oil/

This Financial Times article contains the most accurate description of the Deutsche Bank analysis in the general press that I have come across: note that the prediction is not for global demand per se to peak in 2016, but for global production to peak then, resulting in a supply shortfall and consequent price spike which, in conjunction with other structural factors (see above), will subsequently drive down demand and prices.

Related news links:

http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=81534&hmpn=1

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125591160393493335.html

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/energy/2009-10-13-oil-demand-fuel-efficiency_N.htm

Mr. Khamis,

Speaking strictly for myself (though I suspect also for the moderator and the vast majority of the active readership), I welcome the presence of intelligent, informed opinion (dissenting or otherwise) here at Rogue.

Unfortunately, your cryptic gloss does not provide this. Details, please.

P.S. A version of the Wall Street Journal article linked to above is available to non-subscribers here:

http://www.firstenercastfinancial.com/forums/3201-post4.html


Water usage has improved as well on the solar thermal, or concentrated solar thermal, side as well. CSP generally comes in the form of trough systems, dishes, or power towers. If memory serves, one of the major makers of CSP dishes has developed a way to limit water usage to that necessary to clean the mirrors, similar to the existing case with photovoltaic (PV) systems. Things are looking up on the water consumption side. Now, if only there were transmission line capacity to carry the power generated by all of these proposed solar plants . . .

I love reading rogue, however, I don't completely fall for his dogma but take his criticisms of Phoenix with some suspicion including his fall from grace in the Arizona newspaper. One problem with his assessment is lack of comparison and problems facing metro areas in general. He "attempts" to address some similar issues here and there but they are disingenuous.

For one, metro Seattle's traffic problems FAR out rank metro Phoenix' and METRO Light Rail in Phoenix trumps ridership in Seattle by a few multiples; a dumbfounding reality for "densely" populated Seattle.

The growth industry in Arizona and Phoenix fell hard, but it is far from the only economic engine in metro Phoenix. The largest single employer in metro Phoenix is after all, Banner Health and a research component of Banner. St. Joseph's Hospital and #9 ranked Barrow Neurological Institute is also one of the largest medical campuses in the nation. Not to mention two cancer centers in Phoenix, one from the world renowned MD Anderson. The economic gains, scientific gains, and new scientific minds at TGEN and the International Genomics Consortium in downtown Phoenix is no small thing.

Phoenix lost the most numerical jobs in the nation, but most of those were in construction and not the other industry that sustain Phoenix. This is notable in that metro Phoenix with an 8.6% unemployment rate still has one of the lowest city and metro unemployment rates in the nation. What's Seattle's and metro Seattle's rates, I wonder? Unemployment in Phoenix has stalled and some reversing is evident. Housing has moved and some of the lowest inventory again is a problem for some buyers and bidding wars have started, unfortunately. A reminder of the 2005 bubble, and investors are wondering again.

Downtown Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe are leading the region in development and sales, including sales tax collection. Downtown Phoenix has seen a 16% rise in sales during this recession. Home values and rental prices in downtown Phoenix are rising and really never fell compared to the rest of the state and metro. Many of the largest construction projects in central Phoenix are green builds (The huge convention center, first of its kind double high-rise CityScape, City Hall, the light rail facilities, and the list goes on).

Let's not forget the solar industry is on a move again in Phoenix and Arizona. The German firm, First Solar, is now based in Tempe (along the light rail directly next to a station) and across from Town Lake and Mill Ave. A coincidence? Or because of ASU's strive to be one of the greenest universities in the world starting with the World's first Global Institute of Sustainability:

"Arizona State University is Rated a Sustainability Leader by the College Sustainability Report Card
October 7, 2009
Arizona State University (ASU) is topping the charts for its efforts in sustainability. ASU earned high marks from the Sustainable Endowments Institute’s College Sustainability Report Card 2010, with an overall grade of A-."
http://sustainability.asu.edu/news/gios-news/sustainability-report-card

Where's the University of Washington? Nowhere to be found in comparison to ASU. Very interesting.

Correction, UW is a contender in sustainability, was reading about Washington State University, my apologies! Maybe U Dub can encourage increased ridership in light rail for Seattle and a huge decrease in the problematic issues with traffic congestion in that region? Doubtful, but maybe.

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"I love reading rogue, however, I don't completely fall for his dogma but take his criticisms of Phoenix with some suspicion [given] his fall from grace in the Arizona newspaper."

Mr. Talton was criticizing the local Kookocracy and the Real Estate Industrial Complex which supported it, throughout his time at the Arizona Republic. The only difference is that then he was on a leash and now he's not.

"One problem with his assessment is lack of comparison and problems facing metro areas in general...For one, metro Seattle's traffic problems..."

Mr. Talton has written critically about Seattle's transit problems here at Rogue, and also compared the two cities. (See the "Seattle" section here.) He also frequently works in references to other metro areas whose strategies differ from Phoenix's.

"The growth industry in Arizona and Phoenix fell hard, but it is far from the only economic engine in metro Phoenix...The largest single employer in metro Phoenix is after all, Banner Health..."

I don't think that counterargument by exception is a serious way to discuss Phoenix's structural economic problems. It's a non sequitur to say that because most of the jobs Phoenix lost were in construction and retail trade, its two largest economic sectors, "therefore" Phoenix is doing fine, because its other sectors were relatively unaffected (well, let's not forget tourism, etc.). The 2009 Milken Institute/Greenstreet Real Estate Partners Best Performing Cities Index ranked metro Phoenix 196th out of the nation's 200 largest metro areas in job growth between March 2008 and March 2009. So, where's that "other economic engine"?

The same study shows that the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale metropolitan area was 192nd out of 200 in high-tech gross domestic product from 2003 through 2008. (So at least we know where the missing engine isn't.)

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/business/articles/2009/11/15/20091115biz-insider1115johnson.html

It also isn't in exports to Mexico, the state's largest trading partner: in 2008, Arizona exported $5.9 billion in goods, compared to $62 from Texas and $20.5 billion from California. New Mexico ranks well behind Phoenix, but has begun aggressively courting Mexican trade and has seen a 250 percent increase this decade in exports.

"We don't find that much interest in Arizona-based businesses compared with businesses from other states," says Wendy Vittori, president of the Arizona-Sonora Manufacturing Initiative, a network of experts working to increase regional economic growth. "Even in Sonora, the majority of those doing business are not from Arizona."

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2009/11/15/20091115mex15.html

I'm not informed as to the details of downtown Phoenix during the recession; but again, even assuming that the situation is as rosy as suggested by Mr. Corrales, that's an argument by exception. According to the Rockefeller Institute (as reported by Phoenix New Times):

"AZ suffered the second highest drop in personal income tax collection from the spring quarter of 2008 to the same quarter in 2009. The drop was a staggering 44.5 percent;only our neighbors in New Mexico had it worse...When it comes to sales tax collections, Arizona also suffered the second-to-largest decline. Our sales tax revenue fell 27.3 percent in the spring quarter of 2009, compared to the same quarter in 2008. Only Wisconsin suffered a sharper drop...Finally, the report delves into employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, looking at the "decline in employment" from the spring of 2008 to the spring of 2009. And, once again, Arizona is second to worst. Michigan had a 7.4 percent decline, while ours clocked in at 7.3 percent. (Talk about a photo finish!)"

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2009/10/this_just_in_the_az_economy_re.php

As for Phoenix's unemployment rate, which is still catching up with reality, there are technical issues which Mr. Talton and others have attempted to address here, including possible differences between job loss and the unemployment rate, where, for example, undocumented workers have left the state or the country during the economic downturn.

Emil uses the New Times to report a lot of "factual" findings when in reality the New Times will skew statistics, like Mr. Talton, in order to secure its argument. The fact remains that arguments made earlier still stand despite Arizona being second to last here and there.

Well of course when you consider the unprecedented growth experienced earlier. Something had to give; what matters is the recovery and one in which the state and cities of Arizona have taken seriously, some more than others. But to write off what has been occurring in other sectors of the Phoenix economy and what will happen is shortsighted and ignorant. Quote all the studies you want from whatever institute and you'll find studies that say the opposite.

Therefore, it is rather silly to argue based on studies since we can slap each other around with such "facts." Bottom line, much of Mr. Talton's writings are summed up by this overused statement: "the pot calling the kettle black!"

The New Times citation merely quoted the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

As for the rest, Mr. Corrales' rhetoric is strongly suggestive of apologism. Now *I* am suspicious.


Or reality. Many here aren't blind to the challenges, but we embrace the change and coming opportunities. Apologism isn't a word, it is a coined falsity to express Mr. Talton's disillusionment with lack of butt-kissing he expected and I assume you are as well.

One reason Talton has a fan base is his relative rarity. He's not a corporate cheerleader spewing bromides for the sake of the home team. In Arizona, this is rare. It also entails a fair degree of integrity since groupthink is the price many journalists pay to keep working.

The people who think Arizona is some kind of economic juggernaut have their claque and choir. They sing the hymns in various churches like Forbes, The Wall St Journal, and Investor's Business Daily. Their political apparatus - The Club for Growth, e.g. - is well-funded and plant the pro-sprawl, anti-conservation "news" items in various media. They monopolize the conventional wisdom that's led us to this impasse.

If Arizona's low-tax, low-investment, high-social pathology strategy is paying dividends, tell us where to look, Mr Corrales. The evidence on the street is grim. And if there is any benefit to this metastatic madness we call the growth machine, please tell us where to look. Because right now, there are countless happy whistlers and endless graveyards.

Well Soleri, you can start with the medical instutes that are growing around the valley, including prestigious research centers and the JUST announced Chinese (a country Mr. Talton drops knee for)solar firm headquarters moving to metro Phoenix; SunTech. The Chinese firm is joining a list of sustainable and "green" companies moving to Phoenix. BUT I'm sure you and Mr. Talton will somehow find a way to downplay the moves Phoenix is making to increase the solar and renewable energy industry in Phoenix and the diversification of the eoonomy.
http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2009/11/15/20091115biz-solar1116.html

So if Phoenix is crying: "Please, God, give me one more real-estate boom." The Seattle area is crying: "Please, God, give me one more huge Boeing order from the Chinese!" Or: "Please, God, let Microsoft actually have a valid OS this time."

Oh but excuse me, I may be mistaken; Boeing may altogether remove itself from the Seattle region. Since the HQ already skipped Seattle for Chicago, this is probably a reality. How unfortunate that such a historically linked company would foresake its home. Mr. Talton wrote about such things in Phoenix, let's see how (even if) he tackles some of these issues in Seattle. Oh and the increasing downward trajectory of the metro Seattle area's real estate market.

And we were slow on information. SunTech isn't the first Chinese solar company to move to Arizona, that would be Aide Solar, now head quartered in Tempe. Both Chinese firms quoted ASU's, Phoenix', and Arizona's growing capacity for solar research and efforts to encourage such growth. This is a smaller operation (for now).

Cisco writes:

For one, metro Seattle's traffic problems FAR out rank metro Phoenix' and METRO Light Rail in Phoenix trumps ridership in Seattle by a few multiples

That's false.

Also, not sure how you can spin the largest loss in employment in the country as positive. They were "just" construction jobs, so no big deal? News for you - housing is to Phx as Cars are to Detroit or Tourism is to Vegas. A couple hospitals and the tiny City of Phoenix built and owned lab space downtown are a couple positives, but they are insignificant compared to the broader economy (and it's contraction) Record tax revenue losses, massive job loss, population loss (which is the reason for the lower unemployment rate)and contracting GMP are the real indicators here.

Okay, and what well-considered strategy brought Sun Tech here? Since these strategies are ususally dismissed by right-wingers as state planning, it doesn't make any sense to suggest Arizona is reaping what it doesn't sow. Talton's complaint about Arizona is that real estate became a disproportionate player in the economy IN THE ABSENCE of other primary industrial sectors, be it alternative energy, bioresearch, or even banking.

There are dire consequences for a state that underinvests in education and research while overinvesting in freeways and charter schools. This experiment in right-wing ideology will either succeed or fail but the current prognosis is not helpful. If Arizona is succeeding, why is our major industry lying prostrate in the sand gasping for one last boom? Why?

I live in Seattle and have relatives and roots in Phoenix, so I read Jon extensively.

He's just as tough on his Seattle Times columns and blogs as he was in Phoenix, especially on accountability, calling a spade a spade and what he calls "discontinuity."

I get the sense that Rogue Columnist is more for Phoenix and Arizona readers. So if you want the full picture, you have to read his Seattle stuff, too.

As for our traffic, it all depends where you live. I live in Capitol Hill and walk, bike and take the bus, so traffic is no biggie. Nothing like what I see my relatives go through in the Valley.

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"Apologism isn't a word, it is a coined falsity to express Mr. Talton's disillusionment with lack of butt-kissing he expected and I assume you are as well."

Actually, it is a word, albeit an obsolete one, and can be found in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is defined as "A defence or excuse, a speech or written answer made in justification of anyone."

As for what I expect, I have already indicated this:

"I welcome the presence of intelligent, informed opinion (dissenting or otherwise) here at Rogue."

You, in effect, have misconstrued this as meaning:

"Every stray nincompoop, ideologue, and unregistered agent of influence, is hereby invited to squirt his slime indiscriminately over the readers of Rogue Columnist, with the solemn promise that the factual accuracy of his statements will go unexamined and unchallenged."

Cisco Morrales continues to attack a straw man of his own devising. Nobody has ever asserted that Phoenix has no large employers and no solar investment.

Because he cannot demonstrate that Phoenix has a diverse or progressive economy, or even one which is not seriously overweighted in the construction and retail trade sectors, he names one large health company and one solar company, then turns an expectant gaze on his audience, as if he has turned water into wine or parted the sea.

The real question is why Arizona has so little investment in solar, relative to its neighbors, given its 300+ days per year of sunshine and the opportunity that this gives solar businesses, to locate where a large end-market for their products exists.

As for health care, Phoenix has a shortage of trained nurses but plenty of empty houses. As Mr. Talton has written before:

"Phoenix had a slam-dunk in the boom years if it had exploited the winning of T-Gen and the beginning of the downtown biomedical center to build it out as a major biomed hub, including medical, nursing and pharma schools, research, a hospital, pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups. It failed to do this."

The "slam-dunk" diagnosis was backed up by a small news-blurb in the Business section of the Arizona Republic (October 3rd), which read:

"A new study shows that TGen, the downtown Phoenix-based bio-science research group, last year produced $8 for every $1 invested by the state -- more than twice its economic benefits of two years earlier."

And that was during a recession year.

Health-care has been one of the few economic bright spots during the recession: construction and retail trade (which Phoenix relies on in the main, along with tourism) shed tons of jobs.

P.S. "Seattle has transit problems" is not a counterargument to Mr. Talton's observations on Arizona's economic problems and the political machine which engendered them; it is a redirection of attention, a magician's trick designed to obscure the actual point of argument and divert readers away from its consideration.

Quite aside from the fact that Mr. Talton HAS written blog items critical of Seattle for "shooting itself in the foot" regarding the transit issue, he has lived in Arizona all his life until recently and has deep roots here. That his emphasis at Rogue is on Arizona is not surprising.

Just a bit of context on the solar companies, and how they got to Arizona, if you please:

First Solar of Tempe is not a manufacturing center, but an administrative one. It employs just 20 individuals according to its MANTA profile (100 administrative and management workers according to its spokesman in a recent Arizona Republic article).

As for SunTech, while I'm pleased as punch that a company whose local plant will employ as many as (gasp!) 250 individuals is coming to the Valley, the selection of Phoenix was only announced Sunday night, so one can scarcely criticize Mr. Talton for failing to divine this development.

The strategy employed by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council to land this company is also recent, according to the article:

"GPEC began pushing for state incentives for solar companies during the 2008 legislative session.

"At that time, nine companies that make solar equipment had passed up the Valley of the Sun in the past year in favor of neighboring states.

"From those nine projects alone, Arizona is missed out on more than 3,800 jobs, $2.3 billion in investment and $732 million in state and local revenues during the next decade, according to GPEC.

"And in the next year it took to pass the Arizona incentives, several other international solar manufacturers moved to neighboring states."

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2009/11/15/20091115biz-solar1116.html

Senate Bill 1403, which GPEC describes in the print version of the Arizona Republic article as "critical" for landing SunTech, was only signed by Governor Brewer on July 10 of this year.

http://thephoenixsun.com/archives/3929

So apparently, the economic downturn was, at least in some respects, politically stimulative here in Arizona.

On a related note, the official report of the 95h Arizona Town Hall held a month ago recommends the immediate implementation of a "temporary sales tax" to provide short term relief to state revenue shortages; beyond this, the report advocates reinstating a state property tax, broadening the sales tax base and lowering the tax rate, and eliminating tax exemptions; also (not mentioned in the State Press article) the elimination of the state requirement that legislative tax increases be passed by a supermajority.

http://www.statepress.com/node/9256

Whether this limited expression of popular will can have the same effect on Arizona's entrenched and reactionary Kookocracy as did the lobbying of GPEC, is another question. (I, for one, will believe it when I see it and not before.)

LOL, the only thing that smells worse than the "right wing Arizona kookocracy" is the extreme left wing kookocracy. No matter whose rear-end it is coming out of it is still B.S. only the left has an added pungent odor because of a steady diet of self-congratulating empty carb cakes.

And YES, metro Seattle's traffic woes and dependence on the "high tech" industry is just as severe as the Arizona's economic reliance on real estate.

Yes of course, since the new Arizona legislation was signed in July (legislation that SunTech referenced as a huge draw to Arizona) Mr. Talton wouldn't of have any time to write or comment on it. Oh wait, he did write about something, but didn't mention anything nor of the firms that have been drawn here and showing interest. Like I said, you'd all find ways to downplay these economic gains and starts.

And for the illiterate who wrote that I listed only one huge medical firm in Phoenix, FALSE, I listed many. A short run through again for those that lack comprehensive reading skills: Banner; St. Joseph's; Barrow Institute; MD Anderson Cancer Research Center (currently under construction); TGen/IGC. Yes, I just listed one before and this is just a sample list. But I'll list a couple more for good measure; Mayo Institute and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Again Seattle is one of the worst cities for traffic (A 2009 Study):
1. Los Angeles
2. New York
3. Chicago
4. Washington
5. Dallas-Fort Worth
6. Houston
7. San Francisco-Oakland
8. Boston
9. Seattle-Tacoma
10. Philadelphia
http://scorecard.inrix.com/scorecard/Top100Metros.asp

Despite Seattle having over one million less in population compared to Phoenix it is the 9th worst for traffic congestion. Phoenix is the 12th most populous metro region but the 14th worst for traffic woes. Hmmm...interesting.

Let's not forget many of those roads, like the Alaskan Way Viaduct and older structures in Seattle are not made to withstand any earth quakes. While a nuclear meltdown would be an extremely rare event at Palo Verde, a very real threat exists in Seattle that a quake will devastate the region. I've read Mr. Talton's Seattle criticisms, weak, and very weak when compared to his Phoenix criticisms.

What is expected to happen in Seattle because of political wrangling to correct the engineering problems along one of the worst prepared structures in Seattle:
http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=21851

The problem is, many of you leftist kooks in the northwest fail to see your region's short-comings and instead find comfort in pointing at other region's problems. While we are taking care of business many of you have your thumbs up your bums looking south for what little comfort you can in the mean time. Ridiculous!

So which is it Elmer, I mean Emil, 20 or 100 employees at First Solar? LOL, its funny reading north-westerners trying to make criticisms of a growing industry that sees no relevance in Seattle.

And NO, First Solar's headquarters are NOT just an administrative operation. What a ridiculous and ill-informed post Emil. Please do us a favor and educate yourself! There are engineers, installers, researchers, administrators, and on and on at First Solar. It occupies a large mid-rise overlooking Tempe and Town Lake. Some First Solar information:

#460 in FT Global 500
2008 Employees 3,524 (Guess how many in Tempe, the Headquarters)
http://www.hoovers.com/first-solar/--ID__151560--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml

First Solar Building is the silver structure across the lake from this picture. Light rail bridges at the center of photo:
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2866713682_774ab1f3aa.jpg&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/27899886%40N02/2866713682&usg=__tVk50yixh1Vbk9WGJ02-3KRp3b8=&h=375&w=500&sz=116&hl=en&start=218&um=1&tbnid=NJIRba6Lii8ASM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DFirst%2BSolar%2Btempe%2Bbuilding%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D216%26um%3D1">http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2866713682_774ab1f3aa.jpg&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/27899886%40N02/2866713682&usg=__tVk50yixh1Vbk9WGJ02-3KRp3b8=&h=375&w=500&sz=116&hl=en&start=218&um=1&tbnid=NJIRba6Lii8ASM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DFirst%2BSolar%2Btempe%2Bbuilding%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D216%26um%3D1">http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3288/2866713682_774ab1f3aa.jpg&imgrefurl=http://flickr.com/photos/27899886%40N02/2866713682&usg=__tVk50yixh1Vbk9WGJ02-3KRp3b8=&h=375&w=500&sz=116&hl=en&start=218&um=1&tbnid=NJIRba6Lii8ASM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DFirst%2BSolar%2Btempe%2Bbuilding%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN%26start%3D216%26um%3D1

OH, and about this statement from Kevin: "For one, metro Seattle's traffic problems FAR out rank metro Phoenix' and METRO Light Rail in Phoenix trumps ridership in Seattle by a few multiples

That's false."

Well, I already referenced Seattle's traffic woes out-ranking Phoenix so here are the light rail numbers:

"PHOENIX — METRO ridership reaches an all-time high with 1,124,924 riders in October.

With 70,000 more riders than the high in September, daily ridership peaked at 41,077 for the average weekday, 30,517 for the average Saturday and 17,160 for the average Sunday/holiday in October.

In September, METRO ridership totaled 1,054,286 boardings, resulting in an average weekday ridership of 40,772, average Saturday ridership of 28,612 and average Sunday and holiday ridership of 16,726.

METRO had its single highest ridership day on Friday, Oct. 2 with 50,562 riders. Several factors could be contributors to this peak including the arrival of the fall season and visitors as well as events such as the First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix.

METRO achieved 50,000+ riders one other time on May 13 during ASU’s spring commencement featuring President Barack Obama. METRO served 50,011 riders that day." http://raillife.com/blog/2009/11/10/metro-light-rail-ridership-numbers-–-october-09’/

Seattle's dismal numbers (despite the "density" and lack of sprawl...right!):
"Estimated ridership on the Seattle-Tukwila route was around 16,100 per weekday in October, showing growth but far short of the agency's near-term 26,600 target for Seattle to Sea-Tac by late 2010."
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2010272103_airportlink14m.html

Phoenix' light rail was beating the 26,000 estimate from the first month of service. Phoenix wasn't expected to meet the 26,000 until 2010 as well. Phoenix also was not expected to meet 50,000 riders per day until 2020, however, we are on track to reach that number by next year! Seattle has yet to break a solid 16,000 mark after many months. Pathetic showing.

41,077 average riders in Phoenix compared to 16,000 in Seattle. Even our slowest month in July (no school, temperatures over 100°) still beat ridership estimates at 26,000. Seattle's traditional busiest month for ridership (October) couldn't even match Phoenix' slowest month. Ay, DIOS!

Let's revise this "Greenscam" debacle and rename it the "Puget-Scam." Let's list what Seattle pretends to be, but falls far short of actually being.

Cisco - I'm a big fan of the Phoenix LRT, but you don't know what you are talking about. The Texas Transportation Institute compiles the most comprehensive data on congestion and is the industry's source.
Phoenix scored a 44 on delay per peak traveler. Seattle was essentially the same - scoring a 43.
http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion_data/tables/phoenix.pdf
http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion_data/tables/seattle.pdf

Prior to either Phoenix LRT or Seattle's starter line opening, Phoenix had 283 million annual passenger miles of mass transit use and 66 million transit trips.

Seattle had 1.2 BILLION annual mass transit miles and 182 million transit trips. (data are in the same links)

Now, add in your numbers for Seattle and Phoenix's LRT and it's insignficant. Despite having a smaller population, Seattle's transit system is much better than Phoenix's.

And, like I said, a hospital here and there and a governmnet subsidized lab space (Tgen)is great. It's nothing compared to the macro-economic contraction of Phoenix's primary industry - housing construction. Which, by the way, pays far less than Seattle's high tech growth cluster.

That's the problem with cheerleaders like Cisco. They read the Information Center and learn about a couple tid bits of postive things happening in Phx. But they really have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to the reality of the situation or how we compare to other cities.

Mr. Talton could scarcely have written, in an article dated November 12th, about SunTech, whose decision was not announced until Sunday night. It's also unclear why he should write about an administrative office of First Solar (all of whose manufacturing centers, and nearly all of whose employees, are located elsewhere) as if this represented a sea change for Arizona's economy.

Nor is it his job to be a cheerleader for individual companies. His Arizona and Phoenix related essays here at Rogue are intended to address the broad and pervasive characteristics of the city and the state, not to ignore those characteristics while spotlighting the exceptions, as Mr. Corrales seems determined to do. We don't want your public relations eyewash, sir, we want the refreshingly cold water of Mr. Talton's financially disinterested and systematic analysis.

Being a longtime Phoenix resident, I for one am profoundly grateful to see his criticisms, which are sui generis in a field populated by pollyannas, near-sighted tightrope walkers, paid public relations shills, and the establishment insiders who facilitate them. His insights have proven themselves over time, as many of his former critics finally recognize after the fact, despite their parochial resentment at the time.

As for the exact number of employees at the Tempe administrative center of First Solar -- which I have already pointed out is not a manufacturing plant -- I don't know: that's why I posted two different estimates, one from the corporate spokesperson and one from their MANTA profile. If Mr. Corrales knows how many employees they have, he should say so, instead of attempting to mislead by posting the company's national or world employee totals while engaging in vague yet suggestive slight of hand, such as asking us to "Guess how many in Tempe".

Whether First Solar's Tempe office employs 20 or 100 "administrative and management workers" -- and that is the verbatim description supplied by the company spokesperson -- the number is insignificant when contrasted with the many tens of thousands of jobs lost in the construction and retail trade sectors.

As we have seen, Arizona (or its leadership) has been set in its ways: it had already lost nine solar companies to neighboring states, and two more international companies in the year the bill was being wrangled over. Sunday's announcement by SunTech was the first significant one, and let's hope that it isn't a case of closing the barn door after the horses have escaped.

I am sure that Seattle has its transit problems, because I have seen blistering criticism of them here, written by Mr. Talton; yet, I am not interested in them, because I don't live there, and someone else's local problems are of limited interest to me unless they reflect broader national issues. The same is likely true of most readers of this blog, as revealed to Mr. Talton in the "subjects of interest" poll which ran here some months ago.

Is Mr. Talton, as a lifetime resident until recently, not permitted to criticize Phoenix? Are his criticisms of local incompetence in Seattle of no account? What about his criticisms of national policy? I have the feeling that the Cisco Kid will not be happy until Mr. Talton makes every article HERE a critique of Seattle life (or anyplace but Phoenix) while simultaneously waving the flag and singing Yankee Doodle.

"Cisco Corrales" appears to be some sort of public relations agent for Phoenix city or business interests. How else to explain his bizarre, irrelevant, yet tenacious attempts to obscure the facts and shift attention to Seattle whenever Phoenix is criticized. That's all right, young man, post your screeds here: we shall be happy to correct them.

LOL, Elmer P., I'm actually a private citizen working for a German subsidiary in Phoenix; surprised? Probably as you'd most likely assume I work for some construction firm or as a member of the "real estate industrial complex." Unfortunately, the points I've made have fallen on deaf ears (blind eyes), well at least with Kevin and Emil.

As for transit ridership, Kevin, yes Seattle surpasses Phoenix, unfortunately or fortunately for Phoenix that is shifting and one sign is Phoenix' ridership growing by leaps and bounds whereas some projects like the LRT in Seattle are woefully underutilized.

While the construction industry was a HUGE Arizona market force, it is not anymore. Phoenix is being forced, and is voluntarily looking for new industrial endeavors. Four more solar firms announced Phoenix extensions or at least negotiations. A plethora of changes are occurring very rapidly within the Phoenix market. Emil, asking you to determine how many employees work at First Solar isn't some facetious attempt to mock you, but to allow you to seriously study and research what is happening in Phoenix and the region; something you need to learn about.

And Kevin, again, it is not one large hospital or one government subsidized TGen entity moving and shaking the market here; it would serve you well to do some research as well. Please look up which new private and public funding has occurred at not just TGen but at various research institutes around the Valley and State. The Bio-Design institute is another you should look into. Look into the new scientific minds that have been inspired to join the regional scientific community.

Phoenix is also home to regional financial headquarters for every major bank, surpassing Denver. Government entities serves as one of the largest employment segments in the metro as well. Let's not forget that our higher education segment is HUGE in Phoenix. The countries largest CC system, the Apollo Group, ASU, GC University, NAU, and an ever growing UofA extension into the Valley, vocational and apprenticeship programs, high skilled "blue" collar institutes of trade (we need our "blue" collar folk to make the world work as well), etc. I can go on, but arguing with those that have a short-sighted view of the future because of tunnel vision etched from the past is rather useless. And unlike Emil, I DO care about regional concerns in both Phoenix and Seattle. I graduated high school and lived much of my youth in the Puget Sound region. Many members of my family are in the PS region and many close friends as well.

Kevin, those studies you posted showed that "delays" per traveler were nearly similar in Phoenix and Seattle but that fails to show actual mileage driven, time spend in "congested" roadways, etc.

Those studies you posted are also for a study period ending almost 3 years ago. If you look at the link I posted, the study is conducted by a traffic consulting firm that The Texas Transportation Institute works with to assess traffic woes. Note that traffic patterns and delays have decreased in Phoenix much more than Seattle. While traffic has increased or remained the same in the metro Seattle region: Congestion has been reduced in Phoenix and transit use has skyrocketed at the same time.

The study I posted is the most recent data for mid-year 2009 and has 2008 numbers showing Phoenix was much better than seattle for traffic concerns. While Phoenix dropped from rank 13 to 14 in 2009 in traffic woes, Seattle remained the same. This despite a much larger population in Phoenix and a still faster growing region.

Cisco,

You still don't know what you are talking about. "Traveler" delay is the real measure, as it measures multi-modal users (bicyclists, walkers, motorists and transit riders)collectively. Your study measures only CAR congestion. There are millions more people in Seattle who do not use cars compared to Phoenix and therefore don't experience ANY car congestion EVER. That's primarily a result of more urban style development (high density, compact, mixed use) and a better overall mass transit system relative to Phx.

Also Cisco, Phoenix's biotech industry is laughable compared to Seattle's. You are really uninformed on this issue.

I've enjoyed the thoughtful back and forth debate on this one. It's far more civil and enlightening than what one sees on the Republic comments. I look to Rogue Columnist for the contrarian and skeptical take -- although nobody can say Jon hasn't repeatedly offered solutions and pushed for improvements within our grasp, like the meds and eds strategy, biotech, university funding, light rail, etc. I've been to Seattle a few times on business, and it's almost impossible to compare it with Phoenix. Two completely different animals. Different values, economies, city forms, histories, etc.

No, Mr. Corrales, I meant exactly what I said, no more no less: I think you work in the field of public relations, image control, or something closely related to these. Who you might be working for is beside the point, though now that you've mentioned it, I'd be interested in hearing about the "German subsidiary in Phoenix" that you work for. German subsidiary of what? Mind naming both the local and the parent company?

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"While the construction industry was a HUGE Arizona market force, it is not anymore. Phoenix is being forced, and is voluntarily looking for new industrial endeavors."

Well, is it being forced, or is it voluntary? To what extent has a fundamental shift taken place, as opposed to a change on the margins; and to what extent does wishful thinking, old habits, and ideological recalcitrance dominate amongst those in a position to determine these changes?

Furthermore, to what extent are Arizona lawmakers and other traditional movers and shakers likely to relax in the safety of their own delusions and relapse into destructive behavior, if they are encouraged to imagine that these marginal improvements and shifts in outlook are sufficient rather than the merest beginnings?

You know, for years at the Arizona Republic, Mr. Talton correctly described the state's overreliance on sprawl driven construction and retail trade, also anticipating the consequences when the chickens came home to roost. Now these same critics, to whom you belong, admit that he was right, but want him to shut up (because you still hate and fear what he has to say) rather than trying to understand it and act constructively upon it.

Nobody likes a critic, except those who understand that there is work to be done and want to get on with it, and who understand that the first step in that is a realistic appraisal of current conditions and future options, without inhibition by the right-wing dogmas and traditional prejudices of many of Arizona's ruling elite.

The state cannot even make up its mind to pass a temporary tax increase despite a $3.4 billion dollar budget deficit (which, as a percentage of the state's revenues, may be even worse than California's), much less shift the revenue burden onto property taxes and take other progressive steps.

Instead, we hear the same tired litany of proposals to cut taxes for the wealthy and cut spending, despite the fact that the fat has long since been cut to the bone.

How am I to believe in the brave new mentality which you claim exists, if the legislature remains paralyzed to address its staggering revenue shortfalls? (No, I do not count massive borrowing as a solution, nor selling future revenues streams like lottery funds.)

And how does the announcement by four firms to seek negotiations constitute "a plethora of changes"? There was one change, and it took a year of hardball lobbying by a well organized portion of the local business class to obtain it.

We know that TGen is in Phoenix. Mr. Talton has, numerous times, lamented the state's failure to make the most of it. We know that healthcare is an important field. However, as you admit, it isn't what metro Phoenix has been about. What concrete initiatives are being pursued to diversify the local economy in this direction? Or is it all being left to hope and chance?

"Emil, asking you to determine how many employees work at First Solar isn't some facetious attempt to mock you, but to allow you to seriously study and research what is happening in Phoenix and the region; something you need to learn about."

Asking us to "Guess how many employees" work at the Tempe administrative headquarters of First Solar, following as it did a total employment figure encompassing their national or world employment, was clearly an attempt to mislead the reader into assuming that the number is larger than it is; just as your suggestion that the provision of a range of estimates (from 20 to 100) represented ignorance was an attempt to discount those numbers. The larger of these estimates was provided by the company spokesperson. But if you're really intent on educating me, why do you continue to evade the simple question: exactly how many "management and administrative" employees work at the Tempe office of First Solar?

Jim wrote:

"I've enjoyed the thoughtful back and forth debate on this one. It's far more civil and enlightening than what one sees on the Republic comments."

By those standards, yes. But that isn't saying much. Don't forget Mr. Corrales' laughable smears (referring to Mr. Talton's left liberal, capitalism oriented, and generally moderate revisionist views as "extreme left-wing"); or his characterization of the views of his opponents here as "butthole odors" and his further use of ad hominem ("illiterate"); and his reversion to childish habits (the habitual use of "Elmer" instead of Emil) whenever he can't make his case on facts, or when his limited repertoire of misdirectional arguments and other rhetorical tricks is exposed.

P.S. For those not familiar with Arizona politics and economics, the state's new governor since January of 2009, Republican Jan Brewer, has been proposing a one-cent sales tax increase.

In its original form (rejected by the Republican dominated Arizona legislature, and numerous times since then), it would have raised the state sales tax one percentage point in 2010 and 2011; in the third year this would have been cut to a half cent; and in the fourth year it would have reverted to the original sales tax rate.

Amazingly, despite the fact that (per the Wall Street Journal) Brewer's proposal would have cut state business income taxes to the extent of being "one of the largest business tax cuts in the nation in recent years", and would also have cut all personal income tax rates by 6.6 percent, Arizona's Republican dominated legislature rejected this proposal!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203946904574300083865544254.html

Of course, the Wall Street Journal op-ed is, like the sales tax itself, among the most reactionary economic elements in the country, but the point remains that Arizona Republicans chose, instead of trusting the electorate to decide the issue of a slight, temporary sales tax increase, to reject the proposal altogether, regardless of the substantial sweeteners offered.

If this doesn't illustrate the incredible fanaticism of our state's legislators, nothing will. They are bent on "starving the beast" (depriving the government of the revenues it needs in order to force cuts to social services) and nothing less will do.

Well, we can thank "the Arizona Senate’s antitax conservatives" and their purblind adherence to doctrinaire principles, for the massive borrowing the state now requires to close its equally massive budget deficit.

Equally, we can thank them for the increased taxes (over and above those proposed by the new governor) which will be necessary to service this new debt. Hip-hip, hooray, for Arizona's idiot Kookocracy. They could teach Stalin a thing or two about doctrinal purity. (Don't trust the masses: the Party must lead. Results are insignificant if they dilute Party power and ideology.)

Lots of criticism from Emil with little substance, much like other posts. Where to even begin! Well, first off, I don't dislike Mr. Talton's opinions I simply commented on his lack of balanced reporting. He spins stories just as quickly as any other publication to suit his needs. Emil your criticisms of me are funny because the only fallback you have is proclaiming that I am some kind of PR rep. I have never been involved in or participated in any PR campaign in my life nor does it have anything to do with my career field.

What points you miss are the complicated intricacies of state and local government in Arizona; while many districts in rural Arizona maybe republican (many are not), most urban areas are dominated by democratic officials. One of the differences in government in Arizona is the municipal ability to tax residents and one that is likely to occur in urban cities despite a missed opportunity to tax the entire state population.

You sure do like name calling, but I grow tired of useless rhetoric that attack posters so I won't join you in that endeavor. What is interesting however, is that when someone criticizes your opinion your defense mechanism kicks in and the flame war begins. One reliable attack from you is that the opposing opinion-maker must be part of a kookocracy or in some way trying to apologize for the state's old economic model.

The republican governor in Arizona, by the way, was not elected and was "appointed" after Governor Janet Napolitano became our nation's Secretary of Homeland Security. I applaud her career decision. Mrs. Brewer will not return to office after the next election if she decides to participate.

I've given examples of new industrial endeavors in Phoenix and you have yet to offer any supporting data on the contrary to what I've written besides vague Arizona stories from the past. Until you can and do offer some intelligent points, there is no reason to continue this "debate." Lack of substance on Emil's part gives me pause to calling this much more than provocative emotion on display.

As for Kevin; please research what those studies are meant to represent. Seattle's traffic jams and traffic flows are much more clogged and backed-up compared to Phoenix; those studies print that clearly. You are the one who is confused.

P.S. I'm still looking for a reference in the Arizona Republic or its website that mentions anything about changing names to "Info Center." So far that doesn't exist and is another falsely coined phrase Mr. Talton throws around.

P.S.S.

Emil, there are many more employees at First Solar in Tempe, the corporate headquarters location.

You claim to only know of 20-100 jobs at the first solar headquarters.
To your question: "exactly how many 'management and administrative' employees work at the Tempe office of First Solar:"
Finance/related Finance Admin: 14
Human Resources: 11
C-Level- 20
VP Level-11
Manager level-14
Director level-5
Admin- 38
This does not include support, IT, research, field, technicians, com, international, etc etc.

Also, this isn't the only facility in Phoenix. There is a second located at 4050 E. Cotton Center Blvd. STE 68 85040...the President's office is at this site.

Kevin, please provide some corroborating evidence that would show that Phoenix' biotech industry would be "laughable" compared to Seattle's. Since I am so uninformed let's see what data you have that would "inform" me of my incorrectness.

Furthermore, as my use of "butt-hole" smells, LOL, and ad hominens (one) there is no thesis level requirement in order to post an opinion on an informal forum. If this is the case, please let me know so that I can write to please those reading our comments. As for my use of Elmer, it was a quip since you referred to me as MORRALES which is not my name but I understand what you were insinuating. Please don't play the victim...

After reading your comments Emil, I retract my prior statement. Your ad hominem usage is rampant throughout your commentary. I find your stance rather hypocritical. Furthermore, my use of "illiterate" was an ad rem argument since it was relevant to the topic and addressed issues ignored by a poster.

Information for some prespective regarding issues in Phoenix outside of Mr. Talton's and Emil's:

“'Rather, it seems likely that the total population of the Phoenix metropolitan area has remained virtually unchanged, absorbing several strong negative shocks but still being driven upward by a sound economic base, natural population increase and continued retirement- and employment-related migration,' the report concludes.

'We found two things that are quite troubling,' Coor told the ULI audience. 'Only 10 percent said their elected leaders represented them or did a good job.'

• The 2008 Employer Sanctions Law that severely penalizes companies that hire illegal aliens has had a dramatic effect on the Hispanic population, with sharp declines recorded in the number of Hispanic births and Hispanic students enrolled in public schools.

• An estimated 70 percent of job losses in the metro area are constructed-related. Thus, other economic sectors have been relatively stable in comparison."

These are findings from multiple insitutes including the Urban Land Institute, ASU, Center for the Future of Arizona, and Center for Balanced Development in the West (a Los Angeles based research group). Food for thought.

Forgot the link:
http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/11/16/daily27.html

Cisco
http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/biotech_clusters.pdf

Seattle is ranked in as one of the top Biotech hubs in the U.S. in nearly every category. Phoenix isn't even in the rankings.

It appears that you cannot comprehend the difference between car congestion and traveler congestion - so I'm not going to waste any more of my time. Good luck shaking your magic pom-poms - we'll be here when your ready to acknowledge reality.

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"Emil, there are many more employees at First Solar in Tempe, the corporate headquarters location."

Many more than what? The figure named by the company's own spokesperson?

"First Solar employs about 4,000 people worldwide, including about 100 administrative and management workers at its Tempe headquarters, spokeswoman Lisa Morse said.

"The company operates manufacturing plants in Ohio, Germany and Malaysia and has plans to build a factory in France. It also is helping customers, including utilities, build solar-power plants."

http://www.azcentral.com/business/articles/2009/09/03/20090903biz-honeywell0904.html

Interesting that you have such detailed figures breaking down first solar's employees by category. Would this by any chance be the "German subsidiary in Phoenix" you work for?

If so, exactly what do you do for them that you have access to such lists? They aren't shared with everyone, but I would expect someone doing public relations work to have access to the information.

If not, please share the wonderful online resource which gives searchers access to lists of random company employee numbers by category of specialization.

Cisco, assertions that you may be involved in public relations work for Phoenix city or business interests isn't a "fallback", it's an observation based on your own writings.

Those writings, in addition to a tenacious, Phoenix-specific chauvinism which finds its way into everything you write (see for example your comment in the more recent Carl Hayden thread), include a number of common, PR industry specific propaganda tactics which are broadly taught and employed. To adopt your charming idiom, "I smell B.S. coming from your rear-end." (Of course, it's also possible that you are a defective AI program whose "personality" has adopted many of the same behaviors, in which case I can be forgiven for jumping to conclusions.)

It's clear from the body of your comments that you loathe Mr. Talton's blog, but you can scarcely admit that, because your PR playbook dictates that open hostility makes your audience less receptive, whereas prefacing your jeremiad (as you did) with the statement "I love reading Rogue" in the very first sentence disarms them and makes them more open to what follows. Nor do you expect the more perceptive readers (which I like to think constitute a majority here at Rogue) to be oblivious to the inconsistency between this sentiment and the vituperative screed which follows it: but you can't admit that inconsistency, because another PR rule is to always maintain deniability and not to hand your opponents a weapon, no matter how obvious the absurdity of your position is.

Another tactic is to take your opponent's criticisms and turn them around, hoping that those with short memories will be easily confused. For example, when I I criticized your pervasive use of ad hominem to attack opponents, and your reversion to childish forms of verbal attack when your position cannot be sustained on facts alone, in your very next message you made a point of mindlessly mimicking my own accusations against me and trying to position yourself as someone who doesn't like "useless rhetoric that attacks posters". Yet, you've consistently woven such rhetoric into your comments, and were the first here to do so here.

Given time and inclination, it may be amusing to go through your comments, explicitly and systematically documenting the tricks and insults you've employed. At the moment I'm short on time.

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"Well, first off, I don't dislike Mr. Talton's opinions I simply commented on his lack of balanced reporting. He spins stories just as quickly as any other publication to suit his needs."

Mr. Corrales knows full well that Rogue is an uncompensated personal blog, and that Mr. Talton is not on deadline or subject to any time or editorial constraints for the production of its articles other than those dictated by his own whims and conscience.

No, this is yet another sample from Corrales' little bag of PR tricks, part of his transparent and continuing attempts to spin casual readers' opinions against the blog, in this case by suggesting that Mr. Talton's essays are hasty, thoughtless, and driven by the venial concerns of commercial media.

Note the insidious way that Corrales couches this slander inside an apparent expression of sympathy and understanding for the practical exigencies supposedly driving Mr. Talton's need for "quick spin". A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, eh Mr. Ad Man?

It's funny, because previously I felt obligated to offer the occasional gentle counterpoint to Mr. Talton's criticisms of Phoenix (which are, by and large, spot on). Now, after being subjected to Mr. Corrales' unctuous, persistent, and deceitful, attempts at image control, I find myself longing to see Mr. Talton "bitch-slap" the city's stupid and self-absorbed leadership. Dubai, anyone? Bwahahahaha!

(I apologize for the foregoing vulgarity, but now that Mr. Corrales' odious attempts at infiltration and subversion have driven me to the Dark Side on this issue, I thought I would experiment with the sort of modern idiomatic construction he seems to find so appealing.)

Is Emil Pulsifer really Jon Talton's mother?

"Cisco
http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/biotech_clusters.pdf

Seattle is ranked in as one of the top Biotech hubs in the U.S. in nearly every category. Phoenix isn't even in the rankings.

It appears that you cannot comprehend the difference between car congestion and traveler congestion - so I'm not going to waste any more of my time. Good luck shaking your magic pom-poms - we'll be here when your ready to acknowledge reality."

Kevin, you have a habit of posting extremely OLD information. A Milken Institute study from JUNE 2004!!! You are kidding right? How about finding a relevant study that isn't almost 6 years old...next.

"Now, after being subjected to Mr. Corrales' unctuous, persistent, and deceitful, attempts at image control, I find myself longing to see Mr. Talton "bitch-slap" the city's stupid and self-absorbed leadership. Dubai, anyone? Bwahahahaha!"

Propaganda written by Emil, or is that really Mr. Talton; his writing sounds very similar to the "rogue's" posts. But then I would just be employing Emil's tactics of attacking the poster and grouping him in with the opposition instead of a private individual commenting on an internet site. Emil finds my opinions are easily dismissed by ignorantly claiming I am an "ad-man" or part of an image control firm.

What I do for work is none of your business. I am not an idiot and do not give out such personal information over the net. I do not work for First Solar, but I do work for a similar company that has offices in Tucson, Berlin, and a huge solar plant in Spain. Now, Emil, how about less banter and some substance; like data to back up your post. You say you've "spoken" to a First Solar "spokesperson" who only quoted less than 100 employees. Rings very untrue to me. First you say that such information is "not listed" or available, but claim a spokesperson freely gave you employment numbers? Suspicious to say the least.

Terry Dudas wrote:

"Is Emil Pulsifer really Jon Talton's mother?"

Check out the link information by clicking on Mr. Dudas' name in his comment:

"GaltNet, Inc. was formed in 1999 on the basis that fair value and fair play are the highest values. These same values are espoused in Ayn Rand's breakthrough novel "Atlas Shrugged", and it is no coincidence that the hero of the book and our company share the name Galt."

Another one crawls from the woodwork. My son has finally come of age.

Terry Dudas wrote:

"Is Emil Pulsifer really Jon Talton's mother?"

Hey kids, check out Mr. Dudas' website information by clicking on his name in his comment above, then clicking on "About" in the main menu:

"GaltNet, Inc. was formed in 1999 on the basis that fair value and fair play are the highest values. These same values are espoused in Ayn Rand's breakthrough novel "Atlas Shrugged", and it is no coincidence that the hero of the book and our company share the name Galt."

Another one crawls out of the woodwork. My "son" has finally come of age. (Sniff! Talk amongst yourselves...I'm a little verklempt...)

Cisco Corrales wrote:

"Now, Emil, how about less banter and some substance; like data to back up your post. You say you've "spoken" to a First Solar "spokesperson" who only quoted less than 100 employees. Rings very untrue to me."

I said no such thing, as you well know: I quoted (and cited, using hyperlink) an Arizona Republic article in which the First Solar spokesperson was interviewed.

Corrales wrote:

"First you say that such information is "not listed" or available, but claim a spokesperson freely gave you employment numbers? Suspicious to say the least."

And there he goes again, folks, playing his favorite kindergarten game of "I know you are, but what am I?"

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