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May 22, 2012


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I hate the sheep.
I hate the silent majority.
I hate the minorities who don't vote.
I hate dead weight.

Lazy stupid bastards.

We care. We vote. We try.

But, in the end, we'll sink from their useless weight.

EVERY single kook serving as an elected official in Arizona is in position due to LOW VOTER TURNOUT.

Low voter turnout lets small, motivated groups get their people in.

Who are their people: dumb, uneducated, easily manipulated dunces who are clueless of the damage they are doing to our state.

Arizona is a train wreck, a circus sideshow. It just keeps getting worse.

Clean Elections and Term Limits. 90% of the problems come from those two things.

It's because the Movers And Shakers(TM) here would rather be kings and queens over a pile of desiccated dirt and wretched paupers scratching desperately to eke out a living in it than prosperous people living among working class people who have a decent standard of living. The latter is not as fun for them. Seriously, I've been to their mansions in Paradise Valley and the various Foothills. The air conditioning is heady there. As is the myopia.

"I continue to see great hope — but only if it and the state turn from the trajectory of backwardness and extremism that are now Arizona's substantive (not image) problem."

"But these are the same talks we were having over drinks a decade ago."

See ya in ten years.

But Rob Robb tells us in today's paper that our kookiness isn't so bad. We are still a nose better than the islands of intelligentsia.

Some days I so want to move!

Low voter turnout helped Arizona get Ev Mecham back in the 1980s - that plus a three way race. As long as Brewer and Sheriff Joe are Arizona's face to the world, there is no hope. We're happy to be proud Arizona exiles.

The smart money is on Arizona's ex-pats.

Robb cites the city of Phoenix to exemplify why things aren't so nutty here. He carefully avoids mentioning the Legislature or the Maricopa or Pinal Sheriff's offices.

Don't forget, Janet Napolitano lied to cover up for Arpaio, as I reported in Harper's in 2001: http://barrygrahamauthor.com/arpaio

Oh wait, on second reading I see that Robb did touch on the lege and county craziness briefly. Very briefly.

Did I just read of the term "Peak Crazy"? If so, the events and circumstances Jon describes read like a "Can You Top This?" game. The legislature has only about a 30% approval rating . . and probably sinking. Sec. of State Bennett just toasted his career. With each successive public defecation, we may be moving closer to the point where more rational voters say ENOUGH! Or is this my Alice in Wonderland routine yet again?


Unless I am mistaken you are a current or former resident of Fountain Hills. Your neighbors gave us Kavanaugh. Now they've elected his wife as mayor of Fountain hills.

You tell us, what the hell is wrong with the folks in FH??????????????????

I'm in Mesa, my answer is easy, the Mormons intend to take over the world. That is what cults do.

Your humble columnist at this "comparatively low-traffic site"...

Reb: Kavanagh typifies what's wrong with the NE Valley, who elected him. Fountain Hills typifies the Midwest transplants who brought their political baggage along with their golf clubs and Barcaloungers. Many good and decent souls among them . . and lots of volunteers, but they tend to be old and set in their ways. Some glimmers of light in the recent smack-down of the Tea Party, but the geezer factor remains. I AM one and should maybe be more respectful of what they've already contributed to our country.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Your humble columnist at this "comparatively low-traffic site..."

Well, isn't it? No need to be humble, though. For my part, I'm here because of the high quality of the blog's writing (style and content), the discernment and frankness of its creator, the unique sensibilities and emphasis, the combination of local and national topicality, and the unusually high proportion of literate and informed commenters. Why strive to be McDonalds?

Robb's column would be more impressive if it didn't essentially boil down to one, irrelevant non-sequitur: Arizona's Republican-dominated state political scene is not moonhowling crazy, because metropolitan Phoenix attracted large numbers of immigrants from 2000 until the recession in 2007, and as a result enjoyed significant economic growth from construction and retail, as well as other sectors indirectly benefitting from population growth (e.g., health care).

Immigration from other states (and Mexico) has dried up to a trickle, at least for the time being.

Robb's claim that "Phoenix ranks fifth among the big cities in the raw number of jobs added since the end of the recession and second in the percentage of job growth" would be great news if true, but unfortunately it isn't.

According to an On Numbers analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for the top 100 largest cities in America, from February 2008 to February 2012, and concentrating on private sector jobs, Phoenix ranked nearly dead last (98th of 100) in raw numbers of jobs, -158,700 (yes, that's a minus sign), and almost as bad in terms of the percentage change, with -9.57 percent (93rd of 100).

I've set the link for page four of the database (Phoenix is there) but the entire 100 cities are listed on four pages:


P.S. I thought I'd post a copy of the Robb rebuttal to his column. Any objection to the duplication, AZRebel?


Robb also reported that "from 2000 to 2010, average wage growth in the Phoenix area was 32 percent, not qualitatively different from the big-city average of 34 percent" and that "wage growth in Phoenix exceeded that in other places we are told are our betters in attracting high-wage jobs, such as Denver; Portland, Ore.; and Seattle".

However, an On Numbers analysis of U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data over this period shows Maricopa County ranked 715 out of the top 1,000 major counties, in a table ranking counties with the highest average wage per job over the period from 2000 to 2010. Maricopa County's annual rate of change in average wage growth over this period was just 2.77 percent.


While it's true that county and metropolitan data are not identical, I'm out of time this Internet session.

Kudos to Emil for calling out a familiar "William Bill" tactic: Using percentage growth in incomes. It's meaningless when applied to a relatively low base that has expanded relatively rapidly by population growth. Metro Phoenix badly trails its peers in income, however measured. And somewhat better purchasing power of some things — but not gasoline and many others — does not make up the difference. Arizona incomes have been below the national average since the 1980s, a big change from the decades before that.

I forgot to note that the Maricopa County growth rate in average annual wages from 2000 to 2010 was not adjusted for inflation. The annual rate of change in average wage growth in this period was 2.77 percent, but the annual average inflation rate was 2.57 percent. So, the real (inflation adjusted) annual rate of change in wage growth during this period was 0.20 or essentially flat.


Well, while the Phoenix jobs data I linked to does cover the period since the recession, it doesn't specifically cover just the period since the END of the recession. I'm having terrible problems with online access in the Phoenix Public Library system, so just wasted the better part of an hour.

Perhaps someone can find this data. Meanwhile, here is a possible lead -- no time to check it out, except that Phoenix seems to be 25th out of 100 in "share of total private jobs" since June of 2009:


P.S. I expect to be out of town tomorrow and will have limited online time tomorrow only at night, if any.

Is it really better in Seattle? I know politically it is light year's better, but can one really afford to retire here? Having spent too many years in Arizonastan, we may be stuck here with our puny pensions. How is the affordability if one is not a technocrat?

On the subject of GROWTH:
I had developed an abnormal "growth" on my arm. The doc excised it and now all I have is a scar and a sobering reminder about how I got it. Too bad we can't apply the same therapy to some of our misadventures in the exurbs! (Am reminded that before the crash Maricopa was billing itself as "The New Scottsdale".)

Totally agree. If we could have a buttectomy to remove Maricopa county, we would be left with a great state.


I don't advocate leaving Arizona. If it hadn't been clear to me I couldn't get work, I'd still be there. I do advocate learning how to fight back effectively against the white/right.

As for Seattle, we chose it among eight or so cities that had the assets we wanted. Among them: A real downtown, nice people, diversity, a diverse economy, lots of transit and trains, culture, literacy. You get what you pay for. So I have a condo, not a 2,500-square-foot house. I don't need a car.

Another city might fit someone else.

One can live most any where if willing to adapt.
Says The Man Who Gave Up Money.

I once worked for a person that you could give two pages on a subject and he would give you back one page that said the same thing with more clarity!

This blog is not McDonalds.

It's the Carl's Jr. jalapeno cheese burger of blogs.

We go our own way, we cause gas, indigestion, and heartburn.

If you have a weak dispositon, go hide under your mama's dress.

and give me that burger with onion rings and a jack & coke.

That's just for breakfast. We'll discuss lunch later.

Poor Maricopa, they wanted to be Scottsdale, but ended up a dry, dusty version of Wasilla. Not even the Palins want to live there anymore. BTW, has the queen ever visited her stucco in No. Scottsdale?

Has Maricopa Co. become to big to fail? Should we break up these ridiculously huge counties into something manageable? Yes I say!

Azrebel, me thinkith U need a large dark stout, cold.
wanna do lunch in your berg?

Does Timothy Egan read this blog?

Even a spate of recent temperatures in the 105-degree range cannot explain the latest doings of government by crackpots.
“If I embarrassed the state, I apologize,” Bennett said Tuesday night.

A headline in the Arizona Republic — “Once Again, Arizona is the Nation’s Laughingstock” — was too kind. A reader, Steve Lagin of Phoenix, commenting on Bennett’s foray, said he planned to order his new personalized Arizona license plates: “The Dumb and Dumber State.”
A few days ago, Brewer vetoed a bill aimed at promoting community service by high school students.
She’s gone to France now, on a taxpayer-funded mission to convince Europeans that Arizona is a good place to relocate. Brewer thinks that going to Paris on the public’s dime is something that government should do, especially when it’s 110 degrees in Phoenix.


More time-wasting nonsense from the Mesquite Branch of the Phoenix Public Library. It's been three weeks since they "upgraded" their computers and they work so poorly that I spent most of my time being shuttled from computer to computer, just trying to see if basic things like Yahoo email function properly.

No amount of complaints seems to result in an intervention by competent adults.

I have no time tonight to respond to anything, not even AZRebel's "gas" (his term) in the previous thread regarding population control and talking; much less to research Robert Robb's statistical smoke and mirrors to figure out exactly how the tricks were done, then compose a solution and post here after (hopefully) editing and proofreading. Nor any of my other little projects.

This is what is known as a "denial of services" attack.

"cal Lash" wrote:

"Azrebel, me thinkith U need a large dark stout, cold. Wanna do lunch in your berg?"

Isn't he supposedly already zoned-out on "margs" and aren't you supposedly a teetotaler?

Also, why do you write your first name with a small "c"? Are you some sort of imitation? Is that your way of advertising it? I'm beginning to see your fascination with Blade Runner. And what do you have against writing "you" instead of "U"? You save exactly one keystroke, including the shift-key stroke necessary to get a capital "U".

P.S. "thinkith U" = 11 keystrokes including the shift and the space; "think you" = 9 keystrokes.

uh oh

"I don't advocate leaving Arizona."

I, however, do. Self sort. If you still have the capacity to think, then leave Arizona at the earliest possible moment. Do not delay.

Sorting is bad, whether self-imposed or inflicted from above.

So, you stand with the "sorting is bad" crowd? :)

>>Clean Elections and Term Limits. 90% of the problems come from those two things.

Term limits may be part of the problem. Clean Elections has nothing to do with it. St. Janet would not have been elected without CE. And our Corporation Commission would never have enacted aggressive (for AZ) renewable energy and conservation standards.

Gerrymandered legislative districts and the disappearance of moderate Republicans--not just in AZ, but across the country where Clean Elections are not a factor-- are to blame. If you think the legislature would be more moderate had the Chamber handpicked the candidates you're fooling yourself. (This is what we had prior to Clean Elections.) The Chamber has been complicit in the rise of the Tea Party. As long as they are able to raid the state and federal treasuries they are happy with the looney tunes crew. When the schools and health care go to hell they complain (a la Craig Barrett) that they'd never choose to locate a new company in AZ. Remember hearing his loud protests when special interest tax giveaways were paid for by slashing education and quality of life investments? Right. Neither do I.

Also--readers here need to catch up with what's going on with the Latino electorate. An effort by a coalition called One Arizona to turn out low-propensity Latino voters in 2010 resulted in bumping turnout within that group by 90,000 votes statewide. These are folks that previously only voted in presidential years. What motivated them? A reaction against SB 1070 and it's attendant elevation of StormFront types. Many of these same voters turned out in record numbers in the Phoenix city elections in 2011. Danny Valenzuela's district saw turnout *quintuple* thanks to Latinos. (Check out the article in Time Magazine a couple of months ago.)

With the new district lines and an energized Latino electorate, the 2012 election could deliver surprising shifts at the legislature. Overcoming the Mormon identity-politics vote will be an uphill battle for President Obama. But watch what happens in other races.

So, you stand with the "sorting is bad" crowd? :)
LOL. Yes, and the Popular Front of Judea as well.

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