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February 13, 2012


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Thanks Jon, a well done, powerful statement!

It's been pretty tough to celebrate. I couldn't, even as a life-long resident of Phoenix, go down to the State Capitol to share in the event when I knew it is a place populated by right-wing loonies. I'll find another way that isn't so Capitol-centric.

I wanted to state a number 11, but the best I can come up with is something that sums up or glosses on the previous 10. It's the idea that the worse things get in Arizona, the harder it becomes to reform the institutions and political culture necessary for a better future. Hence, we see the self-inflicted wounds of inadequate education funding, health care, and transportation (other than gifts to the real-estate cabal). There's also the smug, self-reinforcing denial about environmental issues. This means Arizona cements into place all its previous bad decisions about the political economy. It also means that delusional thinking about privatization and privilege have become rock-hard truths to people more interested in talking points than serious engagement with the issues. It means a state divided between haves who feel no responsibility for an ill-educated and badly trained population stranded in often vast linear slums. There is no successful polity that can keep digging itself a deeper hole with the idea that it will somehow discover a Randian motherlode if only taxes and services are always cut. It means for us an Arizona that attracts more immigrants wanting above all else to be left alone. This retreat from reform and renewal means Arizona has effectively given up on the future.

Arizona is a colony, and colonies cost the government more than the government takes, but richly rewards the corporations, Mormon colonists, and "entrepreneurs" that suck everything they can out of a place until it is an empty husk.

Arizona icons used to be:

The Grand Canyon
The Saguaro
The Native American Indians of the Southwest
Clean, dry air

Now we have:

A butt-ugly former guv as head of DHS

A butt-ugly Senator who will serve until he's 100

A butt-ugly guv who scolded the President.

A butt-ugly ex-state senator who won't go away

A butt-ugly sheriff who will serve till he's 100.

Notice the common thread?

Over-all, (outside the state of Maricopa) Arizona is still a place of beauty.

However, I'm afraid the butt-ugly goes way down deep.

Then there's this:


"Arizona is a colony, and colonies cost the government more than the government takes, but richly rewards the corporations, Mormon colonists, and "entrepreneurs" that suck everything they can out of a place until it is an empty husk."

This is the sort of metaphor that causes me to rifle through my entire Rolodex of thought.

Well, I just wrote a complimentary and detailed comment on this, with suggestions for numerous follow-ups: but when I went to copy the text it was "magically erased" and the only thing that would paste was a lone hyperlink. So tough titty. If I wasn't afraid of composing text offline and copying it into the text window here (because of problems posting) this wouldn't have happened.

By the way, I'm really pissed off that I spent 45 minutes working on this only to have the whole thing erased simply because I tried to copy some text using the perfectly ordinary cut-and-paste function and it then malfunctioned and eliminated that work unrecoverably.

Petro, I compliment you on your Rolodex of thought. You, Rogue, Walter and Emil have a need for a Rolodex.

I'm afraid I only need a post-it note.

It's pastel blue.

Do you have a reference for your numbers on point #2? Would really be interested in looking at the data.

11. Arizona is a fool's paradise.

I'm a native here and even I don't consider it "home." It's hard to feel a connection to anything in the Phoenix area.

Emil, I'm confused. When composing offline, I save the document before I do any copy/paste action. e.g., for me, I have a document called "work.abw" that contains the latest comment I've worked on (I use AbiWord, hence the suffix - it could be ".txt" or whatever's appropriate to your editor.)

"Power has always been highly centralized in Arizona" - Rogue

Power, both political and electrical:


"If we look more carefully at Arizona’s energy mix and the Renewable Energy Standard and Tariff (REST) rules, we discover that utilities have long enjoyed the happy circumstance where the people of Arizona carry the greater risk. "

Think Phoenix is big enough to become their own Renewable Energy owner? Or is that even possible?

Walter Hall's comments should be put in a time capsule. It is hard for me (also) to muster much enthusiasm for the centennial cheering section because my adopted state has gone so far off course. Jon captures our dysfunction. I like the section about "water lies" best because it describes the WORST of our delusions and disinformation. I also like the "butt-ugly" recitation because that describes the face Arizona presents to the nation. In 40+ years, I've never felt such a sense of despair! Explains why my address reads OREGON for the worst 6 months . . .


The politics of energy in Arizona are the politics of Arizona. More broadly, the politics of Arizona are fundamentally about the water-energy systems of the Southwest. Phoenix is not big enough to change this. It isn't even 'big enough' to change even its own habits. As Jon points out, Arizona's habit is one of unconstrained extraction: including the extraction of its childrens' futures.


Would it be a reach to consider the Tea Party as an (almost) separate entity, since it has an agenda of its own that's often considerably more rigid and constipated than a typical Republican platform? In my little town, the TP is trying to recall one of the most effective Council members by using outside money to hire outside petition-mongers. Their target's big sin: being an Independent and favoring a single trash hauler vs. 5 fleets of competitors.
Was it Casey Stengel or Yogi Berra who described things as getting "curios-er"?

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