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July 11, 2012


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"The SanTan Village shopping center in Gilbert."

Replace "SanTan Village" with 'X'.

I could take an almost exact duplicate picture of at least two newish 'shopping centers' that are located in my new town a thousand miles away from "Santan Village". I swear that I've seen the same damned shopping center in every city that I've visited in the last ten years.

Damn!! You architects are a dull, unimaginative, sheepish lot.

Excellent blog post. And that link to Professor Lisa McGirr's article was also enlightening.
I was just in Phoenix this past Tuesday and stopped by my old stomping grounds to see what they were like, i.e. Metrocenter Mall. Wow! What an eerie place it has become. Once teaming with thousands of visitors, that mall is now a veritable ghost town. I counted no more than 3 or 4 dozen shoppers in the entire place. And the bathrooms are at the end of a long corridor, perhaps more than 100 feet long, and located next to the 'security office'. Many stores were closed and a few of the businesses that remained had their sales people standing outside the store to entice (drag) passersby in. It was a very sad and ominous picture of urban decay in the new post housing-bubble America.

I like the way Laurie Roberts has turned her column into an actual "do something about the problem column" with her De-kook the state movement.

I hope all of you here in the state are participating.

Gezz Jon, lets not be discouraging those folks in Gilbert.
I want them to stay there and not move into my neighborhood.

Talk about an ugly picture, you get it when U click on the link
"big news back home".

Off topic, A weather report.

Definitely off topic, but with the column bogged down, thought I'd give everyone an update on the Motorola employee head count for AZ.

As of 07/11/2012

56 employees

And the high number was?
Gilbert is like white bread:BORING

According to a recent column in AARP's newsletter:

In Arizona, more than 1 million people receive Social Security benefits, about one in six, and over 920,000 are covered by Medicare.

I wonder what the Glendale specific numbers are? And I wonder would Glendale even be there were it not for both of these government run programs? I suspect it would dry up like an albino raisin in the sun were it not for the hated FDR's social policies.


AZReb, I'm surprised that Motorala has that many employees in AZ. After Nokia/Siemens purchased Motorola most of the employees in AZ where then employed under the new company name. Over 300 were "transfered".


Flame the Florida!

The Baffler has mocked, analyzed, and derided money’s cultivation of hipness since our earliest days in print. Just think of all the permutations of urban hipness that have flickered by since we undertook that mission: Rollerblading near water. “Potemkin bohemias” like Chicago’s Wicker Park. Richard Florida’s “creative class.” And while each in turn drew the cheers of the bystanders, utilities were privatized to disastrous effect, the New Economy came and went, the real estate bubble grew and burst, the banks got ever bigger, state governments declared war on public workers, and the economy went off a cliff.

It is time to acknowledge the truth: that our leaders have nothing to say, really, about any of this. They have nothing to suggest, really, to Cairo, Illinois, or St. Joseph, Missouri. They have no comment to make, really, about the depopulation of the countryside or the deindustrialization of the Midwest. They have nothing to offer, really, but the same suggestions as before, gussied up with a new set of clichés. They have no idea what to do for places or people that aren’t already successful or that have no prospects of ever becoming cool.

Dead End on Shakin’ Street by Thomas Frank:
(via Salon)

Jon, thanks for your post on your front page news of How Mormons make money. The following quote is what drives most LDS generated legislative fiscal policy in Arizona.

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints attends to the total needs of its members,” says Keith B. McMullin, who for 37 years served within the Mormon leadership.

And the LDS are not interested in state or federal legislation that will cost them money to help those who are not LDS.

One should note that when the LDS gives its members financial help, the member and his or her relatives are always on the hook to repay that help.

The "total needs" part of the quote is not just about financial help. It's about all things. So if you are a LDS member in good standing that needs food, the church provides. If your kids seem to be slipping in their faith you can count on lots of spiritual guidance and pressure to get in line with church beliefs. And if your young child is being molested you can depend on the leadership to jump right in and help. But you can also be sure the leadership is not going to call for help outside the church, like calling the cops or child protective services.

If you think that the LDS INC philosophy about secrecy ends with church records you would be mistaken. To prove this just put in to obtain copies of criminal police reports from the Phoenix and Gilbert Police departments.

I repeat, I view Organized Religion as criminal enterprises and the most hideous destructive and killing machines on the planet. Particularly those with Theocratic foundations.

From glad I don't live in Gilbert. Cabrone Cal

For you deep thinkers,
Petro has a very interesting post.

a partial piece.

By what diabolical purpose does Nature (or God, if you must) justify cursing us with this unnecessary self-awareness, that so much of the "something better" industry is vested in transcending?

Thomas Frank is usually so good. But he either doesn't understand Florida's theories or only reads the comic-strip versions of them.

When I ride home with petro after a coffee gathering, my IQ goes up a few points.

When I read petro's blog, I realize I have a long way to go.

The extent of my deep thinking is picturing Brewer in a zombie movie. You know, the one where she scares the other zombies to death.

I have to admit I didn't know what a Teabagger was until I read that the New Times got in trouble for using the word.
So I read in the Republic today about a state medical board member that has a political "ear connection."
Does that make one a "wax bagger."
We have gone entirely insane
May the DOGs forgive us.

Thought you all might enjoy this:


A classic, eclecticdog. Thanks for the link.

And Malthus strikes again

great link, eclec. Thanks.

I go to bed tonight, grumpy and sad.

The wife and I had dinner with a couple of gay family members. During dinner I asked, "I bet you guys are upset at Brewer for taking a run at denying your ability to have health care for your partners."

Their answer, " Nah, we still support her as long as she takes care of those illegals".

Maybe Brewer, Horne, Pearce, Arpio, Bennett, Quayle, Kyl, McCain, Kavanaugh and all their supporters are sane and I'm the crazy one.

It's sure starting to look that way.

Good night.

Don't let it get U down REB.
Sexuality does not define your politics.
Sad is, what was allowed to go on at Penn State for years on end. Sad is, what religious organizations have ignored and condoned when it comes to young children. Sad is, that we have spent years not developing a decent immigration policy.
Sad is, that its been a long time since this state and now the nation has considered negotiation and compromise.

Survival of the human species and all others is dependent on man developing a humane social survival model.

Way to buck up AzReb, cal. If I ever need cheering up, I know who to call.

(I know, I'm one to talk...) ;)

One preliminary point: the Census data on city growth runs through July 1, 2011. It's now July 2012.

One reason why Texas is seeing higher growth rates is that it escaped the housing crisis, comparatively. Some facts and background:


During the 4th quarter of last year, 54.5 percent of homeowners in Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale were underwater. At the end of this year's first quarter, the figure was down to 46.2 percent. That's a big improvement, very quickly, but it's still bad. Phoenix currently has a family housing stock that is about 30 percent renter-occupied. The normal for this market is 10 percent.

So, many homeowners can't sell their homes (which means that migrants from other states can't buy them. Many of the rest are now owned by rentiers, who aren't selling them, because they're waiting for the market to recover so they can make a large capital gain from the sale; meanwhile they're making a large and steady income from their renters, in a market where competition for rental housing has bid up average rents higher than average home mortgage payments. The number of homes for sale in the area is down 50 percent from May 2011. High demand with low supply doesn't encourage a migration boom.

As for new homes, much of the available land was snapped up by investors during the downturn. Now they are trying to maximize profits, and homebuilders are hesitant to pay their asking prices. According to Mike Orr of ASU's Center for Real Estate Development, "Unless homebuilders assume home prices will go up, it is hard for them to make the projects work out at current land prices".

While median home prices in all categories were up 32.4 percent in May 2012 relative to May 2011, the median price for traditional resales was up only 0.6 percent, and that of new homes only 3.7 percent. Other categories include inevstor flips (up 18.4%), short-sales and pre-foreclosures (4.2%), bank-owned sales (42.8%), Fannie- and Freddie- owned sales 42.8%), HUD sales (20.3%), and third-party trustee sales (43.7%).

This is not a healthy housing market. Distressed properties (houses owned by homeowners facing foreclosure or short sales still make up the bulk of sales, about 43 percent in Metro Phoenix in May 2012. This is down from the high of 74 percent in September 2010. These properties face enormous competition from institutional buyers (read: investors) and few ordinary buyers stand a chance. Again, not the way to encourage migration.

According to a recent USA Today op-ed, "roughly 90 percent of new loans go to people with top credit scores, up from barely half before the crisis". That makes homebuying difficult for ordinary buyers who need a mortgage. This isn't just true for Phoenix, but it does have particular relevant to the question of whether and when Phoenix can resume its old growth patterns. It may take another decade for its housing market must recover. The relaxation of lending standards may also occur once lenders see rising home prices as well as general economic recovery.

If there is never another NEW home built in AZ.
Thats OK with me.

The builders who are currently in the middle of this housing "BOOM" can't find enough workers. They are going around raiding workers from other job sites with offers of more money.

Crazy times.

On Fareed Zakaria today a journalist stated "enough oil has been identified in North America so that fossil fuels will be around forever." No one on the panel challenged the comment. They even stated that Democrats can't seem to understand this glut of oil and what it means for the future.

Crazy times.

I'm attempting to read "Storms of our Grandchildren" by the WORLD'S LEADING CLIMATE SCIENTIST!

His writing and message is as CLEAR AS MUD.

Crazy times.

The world birth rate is 20 per 100,000
The world death rate is 8 per 100,000.

Do the math.

Crazy times.

I think we might make it off this world before the guano hits the fan, but no telling what kind of world our descendants will wind up in. It is entirely possible that only the nations highly dependent on fossil fuels will suffer the apocalyse. If you're too poor to drive you are already probably gardening and living in a sustainable agricultural environment. The Americas suffered an apocalypse about 500 years ago and Europeans counted this as a blessing!

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