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June 08, 2011


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Our inability to respond to tragedies like this is a living, breathing example of how our national cynicism has grown to such a degree that we are unable to effectively govern ourselves. "Government is the problem." Ronald Reagan's famous quote will become our epitaph. It's a shame no one bothered to ask in response: "If self-government is wrong, what is your alternative?" I think we're seeing it: the "citizen" is dead, replaced by the "consumer." The American republic has become a corporate strip mine for Ayn Rand-worshipping cultists, abetted by superstitious xenophobes using a warped Christo-American exceptionalism to shield themselves from modernity and the inherently tragic nature of life.

I've given up. I can only laugh at our folly now. I'm waiting for Paul Ryan to propose eliminating FEMA and replace it with tax cuts and vouchers for the increasing number of natural disaster victims. The Market will magically solve all of our problems. Except when gas prices skyrocket. I wonder what President Romney will do when his brown-shirted tea partiers throw their free market creed overboard and demand a national gasoline subsidy?

I recently came across an interesting explanation of the pervasive political cynicism. Adam Curtis (who directed "It Felt Like a Kiss") chronicles the history of ideas in his mad, broad-scope documentaries. The latest of which "All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace" says that the learned helplessness of today is a result of theories of self-balancing ecosystems, self-regulating selfishness (Rand), a mechanistic worldview where we are just little agents and cogs, and notions of a 'new democracy' without hierarchy. IMO he tends to make logical leaps and overinterprets things in all his films. But he's right insofar that public/political life should be more than a virtual media arena.

The duped, wrongheaded teabaggers at least have a pulse. They certainly won't like their own medicine if they have to swallow it. It may be coming one way or another. Re "Rome or Weimar", Byzantium managed to survive longer by radically simplifying their governance.

That's one of the bright spots: if collapse does come we won't be alive to see the end of it. But the beginning of the end is possibly happening right in front of us.

Joseph Tainter on the "Collapse of Complex Societies" in five plus two parts:

Wallow fire? Now there in describes the state of the universe!
Hope is irrational. So why are we having this conversation. Darwin pegged it, evolution until we wink out of existence. This plot we live in has been laid out before us for centuries. So if I had it to do over again I might be an assassin of those who suffer. Tonight at the pump of almost 4 bucks a gallon I gave a beat up Navajo with a brown paper bag 2 bucks and put him on the city bus. I liked Rand’s individualism but she was blind to the finite resources that exist on this planet. And in all fairness to Ayn you have to allow where she came from. Like SousDesNuages I have no irrational hope. So I looked at my Weiner and decided that reality exists at Maria’s Cantina. Where the next meeting of this fan club shall be called to order. Tu mama Tambien.

"Voted YES on enforcing limits on CO2 global warming pollution."


There are no opposition parties in the US and the left does not exist. The oligarchies do not really care if Obama stays or goes because they are assured of protecting their profit growth through influence peddling in Washington and long term well funded propaganda campaigns.

The assault against global warming is a fine example. Instead of rational discourse about the causes and best responses to significant climate change, the country now approaches it with ideological slogans and inaction. As always, if the extreme right doesn't get their way nothing happens.

Not a very effective approach to a rapidly changing world.


Rush Limbaugh sounds as if he's had it with Mitt Romney because of his apostasy on climate change. Of course, he could change his mind (either Romney or Limbaugh) and this might just blow over. The issue is hardly a deal-breaker for the average citizen but if Limbaugh is going to enforce an ideological litmus test on candidates, there will be problems for the candidate who gets that nomination. Obama should be in deep trouble because of the economy but he might get a second chance if the Republicans go full-tilt crazy.

The American West has seen a startling increase in the number of wildfires over the past decade. Again, this is consistent with climate models and global-warming theory. Further warming is baked into the cake, so there might come a point when the dittoheads on the Rim decide to soberly assess the riskiness of their residential choice. I suspect they'll blame environmentalists instead in an effort to externalize the costs of their lifestyles to other taxpayers.

AWinter, I'm making my way through the Tainter lectures. There's some comfort in knowing that the hard facts of our social and economic complexity don't require outrage or even an opinion. These facts are what they are and independent of our need to be right and others to be wrong. Still, you can't help but be a bit wistful about historic congruences. I still think patterns can deceive but this notion of our decline seems, if not ironclad, at least well-deserved.

Such an idealist I was . . . when I wrote this 7 years ago, I actually thought we might begin to turn the ship around!

May 7, 2004

Our beautiful state and our once lovely Valley of the Sun are suffering from environmental and demographic “browning” accompanied by denial and general public myopia. If there are master action plans for each, they must be locked up within the bureaucracy because their reportage gives us little more than a piecemeal understanding.

First, there's the Brown Cloud. We can see it from as far away as Ajo, yet we've grown accustomed to looking at it, breathing its foul air and dismissing it as “desert haze”. Now, the Governor is being asked to rescind the clean air gasoline formula to save a few cents a gallon! For starters, a couple of relatively simple remedial steps should be do-able . . like legislation to raise standards on noxious small particle emissions and to outlaw leaf blowers. But our state legislature and our media seems focused on other issues. Publicizing the Brown Cloud and the blight it represents is not good for development or tourism, so it is small wonder that the power brokers are treating it as a non-issue.

Second, there's the drought. We're in deep denial, with only token efforts at conservation. The past five years now rank as the five driest consecutive years in at least a century, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Our approx. 250 golf courses are an interesting part of the story . . a goodly percentage DO NOT use effluent but suck up one million gallons a day of fresh water this time of year. The Republic quoted Tom Swetnam, a U of A environmental scientist, who lamented that the westerners need to re examine their relationship with water . . that proliferation of fountains and golf courses is a poor reflection of priorities in our drought-stricken region. Isn’t it time we get specific about conservation and tell the homeowners that water conservation usually starts with cutting the over irrigation on their outdoor plants and trees?

Third, there's the burgeoning Latino population. We’re in deep denial. We don't seem to get our hands around a comprehensive assessment of the size, impact and best ways to address. Consider that our abysmal K-12 dropout rate is among the highest in the country. Consider that our investment of classroom dollars per student is among the lowest in the country. And consider the plight of communities like Maryvale, as it turns into a huge downscale barrio. We tend to focus on border matters but must realize that the population is HERE forever and needs to be educated and mentored. Properly developed, our young Latino neighbors can become a future asset to Arizona’s knowledge based economy. But we lack the funding, the knowledge and the will to tackle the job. Governor Napolitano is to be commended for her plan that phases in all day kindergarten to give the kids a head start. But that’s only the beginning. What are we doing to support the older English learners as they quietly drown in mandated English immersion?

The public deserves to know the true dimensions and the remedial strategies for each of the three issues because they have profound bearing on whether Arizona flourishes or flounders. Will the impetus come from our Governor? We hope so. But she understands the situation is full of political thorns. Will the impetus come from our legislature? Not without heavy outside pressure from an informed public! Will the impetus come from the media? The ball is in YOUR court! The Republic’s Shaun McKinnon, Ricardo Pimentel and Jon Talton have each written incisively about the situation. But their articles are spread over many weeks and lack the punch of a feature series or an all out crusade. Why not bring them together as the “Green Team” and have them collaborate on a series that explains what’s needed to begin turning our area from BROWN to at least a light shade of green?

I submit that the likely outcome of this current tragic fire will be a new push to open up our public lands in this area for further development and extraction of resources. The White Mountains has been a battleground for years, where logging and ranching interests have done everything possible to fight any effective plan of forest management. Then, as the forest burns, we always turn against the wicked environmentalists for opposing clear cutting.

For historical reference, see Heber/Overgaard, about 100 miles west of where the Wallow Fire burns today, which demonstrated this trend in the aftermath of the Dude Ranch and Rodeo-Chedeski fires. Last time I drove through, there was still a large billboard near the shuttered sawmill that blamed environmentalists for destroying the forests and eliminating much needed jobs. This billboard, of course, was erected prior to the development boom along that stretch of Highway 260, which brought us all of those Bison-themed developments along with golf courses and a practically brand new boom town of second homes and failing stores. The sign has since faded in pace with slowing development.

Similar anti-environmentalist pressures enabled the community of Star Valley to incorporate along that same Hwy 260 corridor, under the premise of allowing more development in direct opposition to Payson's water conservation efforts (that were hardly a scheme of "environmentalists"). This in turn brought about a nearly complete elimination of Payson's planning department and a council-directed reversion back to the days of unchecked development. Thankfully, for those of us actually concerned about the region's long-term water supply issues, these changes came too late to bring much development.

Now skip back to the White Mountains, where the regional hub of Show Low saw plenty of major development plans to partial fruition in recent years. This was an opportunistic push against its neighbors in the quaint but rapidly growing mountain community of Pinetop-Lakeside, which has always been viewed as more desirable for relocation and second homes. Greer also partially jumped on the bandwagon, although the smarter transplants there have been somewhat able to keep pro-growth folks like Sandahl at bay (owner of the Greer Lodge -- see related recent news). During all this time, Springerville and Eagar have seen their regional power diminish due to policies like their reluctance in the mid-1990s to create a healthcare district until it was almost too late. These are the kinds of problems that so often hinder sustainable economic growth in the White Mountains -- it's not the environmentalists.

All of the above issues point to epic shortsightedness and absolute resistance to any form of scientifically derived planning. It's now almost comical to envision the caption I recently saw on an old newspaper photo, proclaiming Springerville as a booming mountain metropolis (circa 1943). Anytime rational leadership has tried to address regional economic concerns in these mountain communities, they get squashed by local special interests. And now we're seeing increased mineral and gas exploration in the areas surrounding St. Johns, which isn't a bad thing at all, but I can only assume it provides the next big glimmer of overly amplified hope for the area.

Sarah Palin should know immediately how to capitalize on the inevitable mantra of resource extraction in Arizona, assuming she runs for statewide office or Kyl's seat. This really makes me wonder why she chose Scottsdale over the White Mountains. "The White Mountains" has such a nice ring to it, and the elevation provides a wonderful vista.... Perhaps she could actually see Mexico from her porch.


You show me an environMENTAList and I will show you a gutless do-gooder who doesn't have the stones to address the core issue of all our problems, OVER-POPULATION, yet has no problem trying to impose their half-hearted, trendy lifestyles on other people's lives.

Why do we have a climate problem?


Why are the fisheries disappearing?


Why do we have water issues?


EnvironMENTALists are part of the clutter that prevents the population from seeing the real issues. Worthless, absolutely worthless.

Azrebel, when I think of all the various things environmentalists do in terms of preserving wilderness or protecting water tables, or advocating for biodiversity, I'm not sure how they've become the objects of your contempt. Would it be better if we simply didn't have these sometimes unpopular gadflies and let developers and resource extractors run amok? Obviously, many of these issues are complex. My sympathies are almost always on the side of the greens here, but I can't dismiss the local arguments for mining or timber interests. I don't want people to suffer but I don't want Arizona to start looking like Pennsylvania or West Virginia, either.

Overpopulation, by comparison, is not an issue that can be addressed by environmentalists without seeming utterly detached from ordinary social reality. I agree with you that overpopulation is a key driver to environmental degradation. That said, if we can't do modest reforms like cap and trade, or properly fund alternative energies without also appearing ogre-like and totalitarian, imagine tackling the herculean task of human overbreeding. Moreover, we who pontificate here contribute greatly to the very pollution and resource imbalances that the overpopulated 3rd World envies us so much for. It's our personal overconsumption that is threatening the world more than the hungry mouths of south Asia or Africa. We may be chaste and continent but those are easy virtues for people who don't have to struggle simply to eat.

If I were king, I would institute a one-child policy to ensure the human population doesn't eventually destroy the planet. But I'm not, so the little I can do is raise my voice for sane policy on public lands and limitations of greenhouse gas emissions, and a sane urban policy that lessens the impact of our planetary footprint. These things are not perfect but they are doable. At this late hour, doable still beats the morbid eroticism of extinction and collapse.

azrebel, I would call myself an environmentalist and have been since I was a child and my parents had us walk up and down our road picking up trash to celebrate Earth Day. I have ALWAYS been highly cognizant of the fact that overpopulation of a top predator and top consumer like Homo sapiens is at the root of environmental issues and many social issues. I don't recall ever meeting another environmentalist who believed that human populations cause no problems to the environment. So what are you talking about?

Thank you, soleri, for an eloquent response. I too am troubled by the absolute contempt and suspicion that always seems to plague opposing interests in these debates. I was actually going to highlight some of the successes we've seen in near-shore sustainable fisheries, where environmentalists and industry representatives worked together with the EPA or other agencies to effect proactive policies. But azrebel beat me to the punch in noting that these ideas are all a massive failure.

I suspect that I got off on the wrong foot with azrebel by invoking the term "environmentalist," for lack of anything better in my vocabulary of the moment. Please allow me to clarify that I was using it in reference to the scapegoating of problems rather than as some sort of ideal archetype for conservationism. I attribute many of the problems resulting from sprawl or resource extinguishment to a failure to step back, listen to reason, and compromise.

While I too am concerned about global population growth, I don't see much need to address it head on. We can work with what we've got, which is pretty good science and the power of a federalist nation state. What if we were all better stewards of our communities and broader territories? If I can stand up with my neighbor and tell you that you cannot take from us what we cannot afford to offer you, I'd call that a step in the right direction.... and it's a scalable concept, which can be applied in slightly different ways at each level of government. How novel.

As we implement more visionary and well-studied policies, like those Jon highlighted in his original post, I don't see any need for us to run out and buy Volvo or Subaru hatchbacks with "I 'heart' Mother Earth" stickers on the back. Let's try to do it based on sound reasoning instead of image this time.

soleri, my home and property burned in the Rodeo fire, so this is an emotional subject for me. Your comments are appreciated and helped calm me down a little.


Let me give you an example of my frustration with "the system".

A professor at NAU, one of the leading authorities on southwest forests stated the following facts:

The southwest forests during pre-European settlement had 25 to 35 ponderosa pines per acre. Along with grass they allowed for annual fires which keep the land "natural" for all species which lived here, including humans.

USGS policy over multiple decades stopped the fires (to protect human interests) and the forest became unhealthy. 1,000 to 2000 pines per acre.

What's the solution. Very simple. REDUCE THE NUMBER OF TREES PER ACRE. A blind person could see that solution.

So, like soleri says, if I could be King for a while I would reduce the number of trees. I wouldn't give a damn if it was by chain saw, or bulldozer or dynamite. Just reduce the number.

However, since I'm not King, the opposing parties,USGS, enviros, logging, land owners: all argue incessently FOREVER without ever doing anything.

That's my frustration, anna, the solutions to many of our problems are right in front of our noses. Yet "politics" keep us from acting.

We are left with two choices. Step over the line into eco-terrorism OR disengage and join the sheep marching to the eventual slaughter. What a couple of crappy choices.

azrebel, I've seen the same report you cited, or something like it. I agree with much of what you stated in your last post and send my condolences for your losses. As you stated, politics prevent us from solving these kinds of problems in many cases. I think we're mostly in agreement.

Meanwhile, there are no jobs and Americans are going hungry.

Here is another reason why Mr. Talton's plans would never be adopted.

They would create jobs for Americans.

It will never happen.

The primary goal of the American government is to slash American wages and put Americans out of work.

This country is going to go down in flames, literally and figuratively.

It **DESERVES** to go down in flames.

There are no jobs!!!

Every one step back, put on the movie Milagro Bean Field and drink a beer.
I will call on my 70 years as a "conservationist" to draft a response to the heavy but great chit above.
Good piece Jon.
AZ rebel I got a long clip .357.

Yes, Mick, wouldn't it have been great to have spent a couple of those bank-bailout trillions to create millions of jobs fixing the forest and eveything else that is broken in the US.

anna, yes, environMENTAList is a fighting word for me, but believe it our not, I like the word tree-hugger. So let's go with tree-hugger in future postings. I even hugged a tree once, with emotion. It was a gigantic ponderosa pine by Lake Tahoe. I had never seen one that big. I have a photo of me hugging it.


...the Kookocracy believes climate change is a hoax, and if it's not then the free market, lots of guns, and Jesus' second coming will take care of it.


The oligarchies do not really care if Obama stays or goes because they are assured of protecting their profit growth through influence peddling in Washington...


...but if Limbaugh is going to enforce an ideological litmus test on candidates, there will be problems for the candidate who gets that nomination.


Yeah all that. And this synthesis: President Hoover really does have a chance at getting reelected. Because the Republicans have indeed gone "full-tilt crazy." Santorum today embraced the lie: Global warming is a liberal hoax. That is the litmus test a Republican must pass to succeed in their primaries. Have we ever been there before? Has either party ever required its members to embrace a certifiable lie about basic science? The green house effect is utterly simple and utterly provable. As real as gravity...

But here is the rub: that litmus test makes the republican candidate nationally unelectable. So while they can succeed at the state legislature level they cannot succeed nationally. Thus what we are facing is 5 more years of exactly what we are getting now. Crazy state legislatures and a do-nothing national one. Are you ready for that? Think of it this way: Next term, Hoover won't be able to get a Noble Prize winner past the Senate to chair a panel on retired dog-catchers...

This is a new kind of sclerotic neurotic gridlock.
Unlike anything we seen before.

Five more years of Hoover. Five more years of republican Peak crazy telling him he is not Hoover enough. Not a good damn thing will get done. That is our immediate future. That old joke — The future is not what it used to be-- is truer than ever. But it now has adjunct: The immediate future ain't worth a belch of kool-aid either...

Which is all to say. Yogi had it wrong.
It's over.


In the United States:

1/3 of us are clinically obese. Almost 1/4 of our children now are.

We burn 9 billion gallons of gasoline each year simply sitting in highway traffic jams.

We throw away 1/2 of our food (seriously)

We use 1/4 of the land to supply our daily diets of quarter pounders (cattle)

Another 1/4 of farmland is used to grow corn - 80% of which is fed to livestock.

We use over 100 gallons of water, per person, per day. 5 times the amount Germans use.

We use 20% of our water simply because we must stand in the shower for 30 minutes. Another 31% is flushed down the toilet. We actually drink less than 1%.

I could go on and on. soleri has it right. We are not overpopulated. We are wasteful, gluttonous pigs.

Malthus pretty much got exponential growth theory of population down right over 100 years ago.
As a life time “conservationist” and a Johnny come lately environmentalist, belonging to the Sierra Club and giving money to Jane Goodhall and Southwest Bio Diversity the past 20 years I have noted that “environmentalists” until very recently (recently SWBIODIV started a condom give away program) treated the subject of overpopulation like the plague. The reasoning was the organizations thought a venture into the population subject would have racial overtones and bring up genocide issues. Some of the more severe environmental approaches have also resulted not only in failure but caused steps backwards. High Country News recently wrote about how take no prisoners environmentalism can have bad results. The most dangerous of recent government actions has been the use of governmental resources designed to combat foreign terrorism being used to go after local organizations like PETA.
I understand azrebels thoughts about “environmental.” I talk to people everyday particularly in the White Mountains of Arizona and along the Blue in AZ and New Mexico that believe environmentalists are to blame for most everything. Kinda like the missing arm in the movie Milagro Bean Field. I just got off the phone with some Indian folks in Springerville and they have left for Fence Lake, NM to ride out the fire. They think shooting an “environmentalist” is ok. However they also think Governor Brewer and state government did a lot wrong in this fire.
I really like this blog, it has generated some heat. One would think between the fire and the Arizona summer you wouldn’t need any more heat. But this visceral heat is good. Maybe it will contain the sparks for a revolution.
I think Koreyel, Kevin, Soleri and you all are right. I can't tell if thats my tinnitus or the fat lady singing that hear

electricdog and azrebel answers to your questions
Not worried about evidence
I'll stay with my clip, thank you
yes I have the SW 38 6 inch I was issued in the academy

I agree with cal Lash that this is a great discussion.... I only wish I could wrangle my way into it.

PTB well spit something on the fire
it's kinda like pissing in the wind

Can man really solve problems or are the solutions worse than the problem.
What did the planet do before fire fighters. And what are forest fire fighters try to save, the planet or a man made structure. Maybe the cave men had it right. Hard to burn down a cave.
And after you killed the bear that lived in the cave you had meat, a rug and a trophy head to hang on the wall.

Fire frustration Part II

During the Rodeo fire, the USFS trotted out this country bumpkin named Jim Paxon. He was the Sarah Palin of the USFS. The media just loved him and his quaint sayings "the fire monster has awakened and is on the move". Many of the dumbed down north country citizens of AZ treated him like a rock star.

What they overlooked was this:

Paxon was a thirty year employee of the USFS. He headed up the Silver City, NM sector of the forest. For thirty years he MISMANAGED the forest.

After the Rodeo fire he retired and became an on air consultant for Channel 12 news. He then proceeded to lecture all of us on how to properly manage our forest lands. Hardly anyone noticed he was proposing doing things entirely opposite of what he actually practiced for thirty years. Now that he is drawing a full federal pension he was recently hired as head spokesperson for the AZ department of Fish and Game.

Don't that just beat all ?????

As if on cue, Texas governor Rick Perry organizes the latest prayer rally in Houston this summer, because our problems are just too big. It beats actually governing:


At least Perry chose God.

Brewer obviously went with satan.

Thanks for the advice cal. Sounds like you despise me for some reason, which I don't understand. In the past I thought we'd seen eye to eye more often than not.

PTB I was trying to be funny, you know fanning the flames.

Got it... no offense taken, and I'm not sure any flames were flared up, as most seem to have skimmed past my long winded comments. I suppose I ought to try posting more frequently again.

I prefer the long comments as they usually have a lot of valuable stuff.
I am kinda a one liner guy
maybe I should have tried stand up comic
My hero George Carlin died.

sousdesnauges, thanks for the Wonkette site Thats funny particularly the comments section


Trust me, on this blog, we don't skim over long winded comments. We read them. We dissect them. We appreciate them.

Hell, you got me all fired up. I didn't skim, I read it several times.

Your comment about cal "despising you" has been clarified and I'm glad.

We have heated discussion. At no time do we ever intend to make it personal. We leave that for the sociopaths on AZCentral.com.


I'm reading the biography of Cochise, the Apache warrior. Around 1865 he succeded in driving out all the whites, troops and Mexicans from all of southern Arizona and part of New Mexico. If he could have only succeded in driving everyone out of the territory all the way back to the Mississippi, we wouldn't be having any of this suburban sprawl problem. I would have been born a full blooded Apache (instead of my current 1/8 Apache) and I would probably be having a roasted environmentalist for dinner.

Ah, se la vie'

These comments and sentiments seem to reemerge when fires or events of similar magnitude occur. All are very similar to when the Rodeo-Chediski fires (two fires merged into one) consumed large swaths of the Rim Country. However, nothing changes and we are all to blame. We have mismanaged the forests and allowed them to grow unchecked and dangerously thick. And although populations are very small in the White Mountains, development has contributed to the dangers these fires present. As we know forest fires are part of nature's cycle; building communities within them will always be a risk. Furthermore, global warming will (if future drought patterns hold) cause more dangerously dry conditions and tinder for the flames.

Therefore, to add to Jon's list, this is what we will need to do: make the forests off-limits (permanently) to any type of future development, continue forest clearing and underbrush burns at a much faster clip (only 20,000 acres under USFS plans have been cutback in recent years), and no camping except in the wettest of years.

For Phoenix's heat island, the only real solution is self imposed urban boundaries. To an extent, the city has limited development in the northern 1/3 of the city; recently turning much of the undeveloped desert into preserves and park land. However, I seriously believe that any development north of the 101, including Sarah Palin's Scottsdale and Fountain Hills (sorry morecleanair), must be returned to the desert with all tract housing, strip malls, and new urbanist centers bulldozed. Development north of Northern Ave should be severely limited; Jon's plan for compact design, transit, and urban renewal would then have much more traction.

Not to take this off topic but true to my usual disposition while posting, here is some irrational hope (just for you Cal) for "ya'll": Arizona is no longer the new Alabama; Bama has reclaimed their title...

Among the new laws enacted in Alabama: illegal immigrants are barred from matriculating at a state university, public schools must check citizenship status of students, and if anyone even appears to be "transporting" an illegal, it will be considered a crime.

azrebel, are you a Hispanophile and turn a cheek to the French? C'est la vie! ;-)

Wrong body part...guess you would turn a nose up!

Now you are cooking phxsunfan.
Wilderness. However I am not big on mans forest fire efforts. The earth thinned its self long before man got involved in such efforts. I am for a lot less humans and they must be rambling food gathers.
And thier hope for the days are some big ripe wild blackberries and water from a clean sweet stream.

Look at the good side: Arizona's fire hoses aren't trying to keep corium from recriticality while spreading radioactive material into the surrounding environment.

I only took one physics class in college and we actually looked at nuclear plants as a side project, reading up on Chernobyl. But isn't continually pouring water on uranium (if it is potentially critical) not a good thing when trying to prevent recriticality? Why aren't they just cementing the Fukushima? Or are they and I'm not up-to-date on my info?

The corium is still generating too much heat to be safely encapsulated. Flooding is a desperate and dangerous measure.

At least in Japan they have an ocean from which to indefinitely draw enormous amounts of cooling water.

Think about it.

Don't be too hard on Paxon. There are plenty of us whored out to the government or private industry where we have to do what the boss says and not what the best course is. Only after you leave and have that pension/rollover secured can you speak out. He's a natural spokesman (or got it right by the time he retired).

A whole bunch of great conversation and as usual a great column by Jon.

I would like to highlight one of Jon's comments because it is a sobering description of the current state of humans in America: "Valinda Jo Elliot.....carrying the essentials for the wilderness.......cigarettes, lighter, flip flops and a towel."

Ladies and gentlemen, you can't combat that kind of mass stupidity in the short term. It would take generations to turn that ship around. The mighty cruise ship Arizona with Captain Brewer at the helm still has a full head of steam...in the wrong direction.

azrebel, sorry to hear about your house. It sounds to me, however, that your ire should be directed as much at the USFS as it is "tree huggers." The Nature Conservancy, to name one environmental group, has invested massive amounts of time and money into trying to restore forests as you describe. Part of the problem (in addition to government mismanagement) is the fact that we have no federal law on development per se. That induces those trying to stop irresponsible development to rely on the Endangered Species Act, which has become the last and only tool for opponents of sprawl.

"'cigarettes, lighter, flip flops and a towel.'
Ladies and gentlemen, you can't combat that kind of mass stupidity in the short term."

I suspect that there are many people who are not so much stupid, but rather sad, lonely and abandoned who would choose in a moment of desperate anguish to snatch only a few worthless tokens of comfort before taking those last few steps into the Void.

Just finished Ed Abbeys "Black Sun" and there is still a fire on the mountain.

"I would like to highlight one of Jon's comments because it is a sobering description of the current state of humans in America: 'Valinda Jo Elliot.....carrying the essentials for the wilderness.......cigarettes, lighter, flip flops and a towel.'" - azrebel and Rogue

Well, if it is any consolation to you sir, I doubt any of my friends or relatives in my age group (20-26 with a few strays near 30) would be as reckless and stupid as Ms. Elliot. And no, not all my friends and relatives in my age group have a military background or survival training. So there is hope...

Another clue, and this is stereotypical of me, but anyone named Valinda Jo, Billy Jo, Mary Jo, etc probably comes from a questionable family tree (brother-cousins??). Just kidding... ;-)

phxsunfan: R U familiar with the Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a man warned of us of the dangerous of civilization and anticipated its imminent collapse but very strongly remained an Optimistic writer and a man who always knew that he was absolutely unique.

I am familiar with Jean-Jacques Rousseau but only limited since my knowledge of him comes from what I learned in classes of philosophy and history (usually in the period after the French and American revolutions).

Hey Cal, did you attend the Mayoral debate on Thursday? From what I hear they were lively. In today's paper it reemphasized how the tea-party candidate, Wright, was booed on many occasions and especially when she said that "the suburban parts of the city should receive equal consideration" like downtown for public tax-dollar spending, while sparring with Stanton. She was also booed when she said she has never ridden the light rail.


I missed that but the crew at Gallo Blanco keeps me up on city elections in particular Stanton

"Man is born free and everywhere he is in chains. One thinks oneself the master of others, and still remains a greater slave then they. How did this come about?" - Jean Jacques Rousseau,
Du contrat social (1762)

A: Cell phones and Facebook.


I think CDT brings up an excellent point. For lack of better options, we end up with a standoff rather than compromise.

Strangely, the Horseshoe 2 fire near Portal in SE AZ is almost off the scope, yet it has burned for a month plus, eaten over 100,000 acres and now threatens several spectacular vineyards.

OT, but relevant to the blog: LDS releases statement on bills such as SB 1070:


"Unchecked and unregulated, such a [immigration] flow may destabilize society and ultimately become unsustainable."

Yet, families with a dozen mouths are sustainable?

All the intellectual shit aside the current human rate of consumption is unsustainable.
So what you gona do? SWYGD

WOW! The Mormon Church is coming awfully close to supporting all out amnesty...this on the heels of a sure-thing Russell Pearce recall election. His groups fund-raising tactics are illegal (he is asking AG Horne for a different opinion). Interesting developments.

Vineyards should burn! Mescal and Twizin were the beverages of choice before society colonized Apacheria.

Anyone catch EJ Montini's column today? Good stuff: http://www.azcentral.com/members/Blog/EJMontini/130882

Mezcal, good book by Bowden.
I wouldnt be too quick to buy into the article from the God Head in Salt Lake. It appears to be one of the cults
"stay sweet" postures

Cal, love our cynicism, but I think this is one of those cases where "Christians" are just trying to be Christian-like...Be it that Mormons are more "Papist" than Catholics, edicts from THE Church are sacrosanct. Anyway you look at it, the official letter from Salt Lake is most likely a positive development even if the effect will be small. Since Mormonism is a small Christian sect, and their influence doesn't touch say, Southern Baptists then it will probably only make a small dent in the immigration debate. That dent will be larger, however, in states like Arizona and huge in Utah where Mormons get out the vote in comparison to other voting blocs.

PhxSunsFan writes: "Since Mormonism is a small Christian sect, and their influence doesn't touch say, Southern Baptists then it will probably only make a small dent in the immigration debate." True, perhaps, but with approx. 6% of AZ' population, they've had a disproportionate influence in our legislature for many years. Jon Talton can attest to that. Their declaration certainly does take some of the wind out of Russell Pearce's puffed up sails!

Speaking of stay sweet! Will Mitt the white Obama running for president as a Republican be able to pull the votes this time?

The venture capitalist in Mitt will be his undoing. Looting via corporate takeovers is not going to endear him to the voters.

In all my travels of the white collar crime world as an investigator I never met a LDS that didnt believe it was "buyer beware" and not white collar crime. Didnt matter if it was venture capital, pyramid scams or selling pots and pans. that included two assistant police chiefs that were LDS

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