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August 20, 2012


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I don't understand claims that Luke will create a vibrant economy. I support the base and hope that agricultural land surrounding the base remains as is for long-term operational success of the installation. However, Luke is not capable of supporting and contributing to large scale industrial output for a metro area the size of Phoenix...that being said, it is great to have the base in the Phoenix area.

Unlike Army posts and even some Naval stations, Air Force Bases (even the biggest like Lackland) tend to be very small and specialized. Many of the bases I was stationed at in the Air Force were extremely diminutive compared to the Army posts I grew up on or near. Many AFB's were also meant to remain somewhat isolated; I often felt as though I might as well have been at a forward operating base in the Middle East.

While I personally feel that saving Luke is important, investing in the universities, renewable energy (solar), bio-tech/med, and high tech infrastructure should be view as extremely important and at the forefront of economic activity in Phoenix.

Mr. Talton wrote:

"Despite all the professed love for Luke, the Real Estate Industrial Complex has been encroaching for years on a base that was once separated by many miles from the urban area."

The Arizona Republic ran a story boosting Chandler Airport not long ago. At the very end of the article, after all the hype about how this was such a BFD economically and in terms of infrastructure, came this little balloon popper:

"One improvement to the airport that isn't being discussed is a runway expansion. A public vote turned that down three times."


Side note: an Associated Press story appearing in today's Arizona Republic (and many other newspapers across the nation) finally spills the beans about how easy it is to solve the projected 75 year funding gap between Social Security tax collections and Social Security spending:

". . . Options:

". . . Apply the Social Security tax to all wages, including those above $110,100. Workers making $200,000 in wages would get a tax increase of $5,574, an amount their employers would have to match. Their future benefits would increase, too. This option would eliminate 72 percent of the shortfall. Two years ago, it would have wiped out 99 percent."

Re "two years ago":

". . . To illustrate how Social Security's long-term finances have become worse in the past two years, the AP also calculated the share of the shortfall that would have been eliminated, if the options had been adopted in 2010."


But why would the program's "long-term finances" change so much in two years? A closer read gives the answer:

"Social Security is financed by a 12.4 percent tax on wages. Workers pay half and their employers pay the other half. The tax is applied to the first $110,100 of a worker's wages, a level that increases each year with inflation. For 2011 and 2012, the tax rate for employees was reduced to 4.2 percent, but is scheduled to return to 6.2 percent in January."

In other words, the 2 percent payroll tax cut, which occurred after 2010 (two years ago).

According to this article then, 99 percent of the Social Security long-term funding shortfall can be eliminated by ending the 2 percent tax cut (which is a temporary stimulus anyway) and eliminating the cap on earned income taxable by Social Security (currently, earned income above $110,100 is not subject to the payroll tax).

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Re context: the phrase "1,000 direct and indirect permanent jobs" seemed to appear in the mass media first on August 1. The phrase (and the estimate) came from the Air Force itself. I'll see if I can whip up a USAF or DOD report that details this.

just what we need more noise and jet fuel pollution. Kyl and McCain (and Harry Reid) also were responsible for killing the bill to reduce flights over the grand canyon, interesting as the big pushers were Nevada corporations. Money talks.

Cal with the phase-out of the well-used F-16s there could be less jet fuel wasted. Jet noise was there before most of the suburban populace...which now feels like it owns the skies as. How "unpatriotic" when the mission is close to home.

im not a patriot!
im not nationalistic!
and tire of those that draw lines in the sand
so as to erect killing fields
from my cell
on the road to Shauaro land

Too funny Cal! But I am talking about those right wingers out near the base complaining about jet noise.

My comment was vague but was not meant literally; hence, the quotation marks. It is more a comment regarding duplicitous attitudes Republicans exude regarding many topics including this: "Cut taxes, but leave my Medicare alone. Support the troops, but don't inconvenience me."

lo siento no es necario

Getting Off
I am sure you all heard that the Head Bishop in Maricopa County has announced that the priest sex offenders list will not be out until fall. It was due this last time in June. As I recall this list thing was put in motion back when County Attorney Rick Romley and the Catholic Church got into it over the transfer of offending and offensive priests into different parishes on unsuspecting children and parents.

Am I alone in my paranoia that religion has taken over the US?
The land of the Free. Freedom from religion and the king.

Ah Reverend Wright give me an Amen for brother Obama and all those great evangelistic, crusading, proselytizing god folks. Bless Willard and Allah is great.


cal: You're certainly welcome to whatever paranoia suits you, but it appears that mainline churches in the US are shrinking as their congregations age. What's more, they're further weakened by all kinds of internal strife over social issues. The Catholic church is riddled with intrigue and abuses. So this leaves the Southern US with its often wacky Bible Belters. This is hardly the sort of foundation from which "religion" can take over the US. More to the point: the erosion of basic moral principles is what threatens to bring us down. This is brought into our daily lives as politicians pimp for policies that will put additional burdens on the least among us. So, the demons probably don't wear clerical vestments . . but rather navy suits and red ties!

Although I think the US remains a very religious country, I think the tithing part does not make much sense to the young folks just entering the job market at rock bottom wages. Not that religious folk pay much attention to what the Good Book says. Its all about the marketing now -- like McCain and Kyl allows jumping to the defense of Luke AFB (and all other defense spending), but quietly ignoring all other aspects of governance.

Jon and phxsunfan: I guess the positive to keeping Luke is they cant build another Suncity on the runway.

morecleanair, for you. I agree Mainstream churches are shrinking.

But it appears fanaticism is growing by leaps and bounds.


An excerpt:
although now firmly established in the minds of most Europeans, evolutionary theory remains highly contentious worldwide. Notoriously, this includes in the US. According to a Gallup poll conducted this year, nearly half of Americans believe we humans were created by God just as we are today, whereas a further third believe in a process of “intelligent design” guided by a divine hand. Only 15 per cent accept that we evolved unaided from some surprisingly upright apes.

Off topic.

Glad to hear about the Federal judge ruling that poker is a game of skill, not gambling.

Look for me and cal to be opening a bar and card room soon.

Our logo will be:

"Liquor up front, poker in the rear."

No cover charge.

Bad Bad Bad Reb

Overheard in the "mental pub":

Phoenix Hangdog:

"The F-35. Crikey. A 1 trillion dollar military boondoggle and all I got was this lousy dry-cleaner job."

Tucson wag:

"Ha. Well not quite hangdog, you also got the nosiest sumbitch aircraft you are ever going to hear. Every conversation stops for a minute when one of those jets flys overhead. They completely rip the world apart...

Phoenix Hangdog:

"That's the sound of freedom! At least that's what the kooks say every time some poor dumb slob dares to moan about jet noise."

Tucson wag:

"Yeah will I prefer the freedom not to hear that shit. And so to all kooks near Luke, I say: Every time your world gets ripped apart by noise, this liberal is enjoying your freedom to feel that pain. Thank god you dummies got the F-35 and we didn't..."

Thank you koreyel.
Silence is golden.
A fact lost on the builders of mega cities and war driven stockholders of corporations of war. Kruppness is like a virus it just adapts and keeps building bigger guns.

Suggestion for future topics: the defense budget and how to tame it. We're fresh out of wars . . at least until John S. McCain or Bibi the Horrible try to start another one.

Fresh out of wars?
How about Syria, Somolia, Mali, and we will back Iran when Israel drops the bomb. And what about the Pakistan-India duel. Dont look for China to help unless its to their economic advantage. Genghis Kahn didnt invent the military-Industrial war machine but I bet today he would be it's CEO. My favorite scene in 2001 is when my ancestor picks up the large bone and realizing its value raises it to the sky. Let the killing begin.

speaking of jets and flying I like the way Top Gun director , Tony Scott chose to deal with his inoperable brain cancer. Good Movies, Good exit.


Didn't your buddy Ed Abbey frequently refer to mankind as the "noisy animal"? I think so...

Anyways, that gives me a chance to share with you this absolutely brilliant pice on Abbey. Interesting, he is buried somewhere outside Tucson. I wonder where?

First though, here is sip of it:

Years later, at a book signing, a fan approached Ed Abbey with her copy of Fool’s Progress. As the author scribbled his name across the title page, the woman exclaimed, “You know Mr. Abbey, I’m a novelist too!”

“Really,” Ed smiled (or was it a grimace?)

“Yes,” she boasted excitedly, “and I’ve been wanting to ask you a question. How many pages should a novel be?”

Ed stared at the woman a moment, his famous brow furrowed into a serious frown and he said without a hint of humor, “It should be 306 pages.”

The woman sighed in relief. “Thank God then…I’m almost done.”

Take it or Leave it: Was Cactus Ed’s Last Joke on Us (and Vice Versa)…by Jim Stiles | Canyon Country Zephyr


Thanks Koreyel.
There's a lot I could say here but not the place. If you live in the Tucson area be happy to buy you a cup next time I am in town or on my way to Whetstone or Patagonia.
Or you can contact me at [email protected]

U like Abbey I suggest some of Charles Bowdens writings.

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