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May 24, 2010


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John McCain is now running TV ads touting his role on the Senate Armed Services Committee in keeping Luke (and Davis-Monthan) AFBs open. This illustrates another talking point on the right: earmarks are evidence of moral corruption but domestic military spending is good for us. It keeps us strong!

Another aspect of "good" government spending is health care (about 55% of this nation's health care expenditures is government-mediated). I stopped counting how many people I know - electricians, draftsmen, metal workers, et al - who are now studying nursing or some related medical field. There's a huge new hospital being built at Thomas Rd and the 51. Hospice of the Valley is building a substantial new headquarters at Osborn and 16th St.

Arizona's faux rugged individualists (many of whom enjoy SS and Medicare) seem obsessed about spending that benefits non-white people. Maybe that's unfair to some on the right, yet the attachment to explanations that essentially blame minorities for our fiscal problems is illuminating.

The "danged fence" construction, along with increased border patrol personnel and related "defense" spending is another boon for the state. Yet imagine if Arizona had a couple of senators who worked the system on our behalf when it came to federal stimulus money. Sky Harbor's People Mover wouldn't have to wait until 2020 for completion, and light rail might be zooming up 19th Avenue.

That last sentence was a sweet cherry on top! :)

The Moondog Mantra of "abandon hope all who enter here" needs to be replaced (my opinion) with a constructive focus on how we dig ourselves out of our mopic malaise. One suggestion: calling out those legislators with the most toxic emissions. It won't be easy. Example: 10 years ago, John Kavanagh was a NY Port Authority cop. Now, he's parlayed his Grover Norquist intellect into positions that synch with his friend Russell Pearce's media bandwagon . . and has become one of the most influential legislators in a few short years. (In the land of the visually challenged, a one-eyed man becomes king!)

I have written repeatedly and with great specificity, for years, about solutions and best practices. With few exceptions, these aren't happening. Nor is an alternative constructive response to the reality facing Phoenix and Arizona.

Instead, the Moondog Mantra by those in power continues to be, "Everything's fine...it's sunny...(shut up, Talton)..." Now I fear a tipping point has been reached and passed, where the Kooks are in unassailable control, the damage has been too great, and the larger forces at work in the world are too much. I long to be proven wrong.

Jim, Rogue is right. Over the past 15 plus years, Rogue would present ideas in his columns here in AZ. The people in charge would act in ways 180 degrees opposite of his suggestions. In the end, he left, I'm sure frustrated and sad. Now that he is gone, all that he foretold has come to pass. Now that it is too late, his former critics, put forth his ideas as if they just came up with them themselves. The problem is that the ideas have a hollow ring coming from them since "the cows are out of the barn and it's will do no good to close the door now".

Will there be a part IV? Will "Arizona depression" become a series?

If Arizona was a 'clean slate', how would you do it the second time around?

I'd love to build a coop on the corner of Chandler Blvd and Rural. Daytime hot water and electricity both generated from rooftop solar and made available to all residents. A mile walk gets you to most of what you need. The 72 bus takes you to ASU and Mill Ave. in a 1/2 hour. Now if you could just get a good gig at the Intel plant across the street, you are all hooked up.

Until I've gone on to my great reward, I'll try my best to light the proverbial candle rather than settling for cursing the darkness. Just my nature. I respect Jon Talton and many of the bloggers here for their well-informed insights. But we'd do well to lay in a supply of those candles!

I come to Rogue Columnist for the **light** it provides, in a state that has otherwise drunk the Kool-Aid.

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