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January 28, 2013


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Believe it or not, there are quite a few immigrants who wish to work here, then go home to their families and homes in Mexico. Given the choice, they would like to commute. They don't all wish to take up residency here. I wish that issue could be solved. Along with legalizing pot, that would fix quite a bit of the human misery involved at the border.

My blood boils when I think of the corrupt, prison advocates who currently occupy the office of governor, atty gen'l and sec. of state in AZ. How in the hell can three stooges hold back the whole state?

AZREBEL apparently doesn't support the dual pillars of Arizona's economic development policy?

Handguns for all and a robust system to fill and expand prisons while grossly underfunding education and healthcare.

The GOP may not even be able to maintain its status as the Good Old White People's Party.

Many 50 and 60 something whites have been tossed aside by corporate America to lower labor costs. As they hold $9 an hour retail jobs with little hope of a good paying job with benefits they aren't likely to support the Republican's goal to cut Social Security and Medicare to reduce taxes on the wealthy.

The fig leaf has fallen for the GOP.

"To risk a generalization, Cubans look down their noses on everybody else in Latin America."

Not Cubans in general, but Florida Cubans in particular. Better known as gusanos in Latin America.

"...party leaders worry the GOP could indeed become a regional party of old, white people in the New Confederacy."

It is what it is...

The New Confederacy is wonderfully apt. The problem is its broad dispersal. Sure it's hyper-concentrated in the South (Mississippi is both the most obese and the most conservative state in the world). But as Talton hinted at before it really is our pernicious urban-rural divide. The New Rural Confederacy is thus a sleeper cell (or an awake one) in every State of the Union. The problem is this: we have a "democracy" whose electoral rules over-empowers its rural voters. No doubt you've all read the Republicans recent push to gerrymander the electoral college in a few choice States. That's an attempt to empower The New Rural Confederacy even more...

"Illegal alien labor made many a state Republican rich..."

As has legal domestic labor. The whole push since the fall of the USSR (and thus the requirement that Capitalism win the hearts of minds of the world against Socialism) has been to pay workers the absolute minimum and eliminate every possible benefit. And now check out the next step: Various Republican Governors are cutting corporate taxes and income taxes while raising the sales tax to cover the hole. So the poor and middle class get a tax increase and supposedly, the lack of corporate taxes will bring low-paying no-benefits jobs to Kansas City? The race to the bottom does not lift all boats. It never has...

"Poor school systems are getting poorer while tech executives sign onto the charter school racket, as if they know anything about education..."

One problem with intensely concentrated wealth is that the holders of it quite naturally feel themselves geniuses who can hold forth on any subject. Money turns the stupidest popinjay into a bloviating roc whose opinion must be attended to with a tape recorder...

"What part of too little, too late don't they understand?"

Oh I think they get it....

To wit: the PGA in AZ is known as The Waste Management Phoenix Open.

How apropos is that?

Politicians in the the know in Texas predict the state will become competitive in national elections within a decade not a generation.

Good column Mr. Talton.

I was listening to a lecture on C-Span that, in the main, was about ‘crisis governing’. Mixed in was some discussion about how candidates for president, when faced with reality, try to moderate the party platform; for example, the 1956 Republican Party Platform reads Our great President Dwight D. Eisenhower has counseled us further: “In all those things which deal with people, be liberal, be human. In all those things which deal with people’s money, or their economy, or their form of government, be conservative.” This bit about social liberalism was ceded after sixteen years of Democratic dominance.
Recently Bobby Jindal was heard calling the GOP a “stupid” party. He too is trying to moderate Republican rhetoric.

Scattered throughout the 2012 Republican platform on immigration are words that implicate all immigrants as unsafe and poor examples to our communities. To wit, Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking. To save face, if you will, Arizona’s Flake and McCain include in the Senate plan requirements that immigrants can only be legalized after a commission "comprised of governors, attorneys general, and community leaders living along the Southwest border" certify that the border is secure. I’ll leave it to you to make sense of that.

I have no doubt this proposal will backfire on the RINOs after the Kooks get their say and vote. Party purity before misogyny!

One problem with intensely concentrated wealth is that the holders of it quite naturally feel themselves geniuses who can hold forth on any subject. Money turns the stupidest popinjay into a bloviating roc whose opinion must be attended to with a tape recorder...

Very true. And to hear the Titans of Arizona Industry tell it, all our state's political problems stem from the riff raff getting hold of the elections and getting unwashed lunatics in office in primaries. It couldn't possibly be decades of "business leaders" lobbying for massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations while funding Republican campaigns. Oh no, they were standing helplessly by while a bunch of working class boobs took over the lege and passed all these crazy laws (and slashed education and safety net programs to pay for all those tax cuts). Obviously the solution is to make doubly sure that only people with access to a lot of money can be viable candidates. Because you can always count on people with a lot of money being pragmatic, wise, and altruistic.

Only fools talk about "securing" the border.
Time to tear down that wall!

Now thats just awesome Jon.
"But what about all the Anglos from the Midwest and true-red Kooks who actually believed all the heads-cut-off, reconquista Mexi-peril hysteria that has been firehosed across the Arizona public square for years?"

Re "working class boobs taking over the legislature" (Gratehouse): the Arizona Republic recently ran an article explaining how the legislature was whiter, older, and more male than Arizona demographics; but (characteristically) it omitted the most important difference, that of class. Most Arizona legislators (especially Republicans) are current or retired business OWNERS, not wage earners.

This explains their emphasis on tax breaks for business and the wealthy (not only self-interest but class identification), as well as their scorn for public education and public health care (since they have the money to send their children to private schools and buy private insurance).

They understand that taxes (aside from sales taxes) are paid mostly by those with the most money, be they property taxes, income taxes, or capital gains taxes. They understand that public education and health programs are funded with taxes.

So, these programs are a transfer from themselves and other members of their class (who are also their most important constituents, providing the most funding and organizational support) to those outside their class (and generally outside their political constituency). Small wonder the policies of the legislature are as they are.

I don't think that Cubans as a whole look down on Latin America; roughly 35 percent of Cubans described themselves in the official census as "mulatto/mestizo" or as "black". However, many of the Cuban refugees whose families migrated to Florida early on as the result of dispossession during the revolution, were wealthier and (as is typical in Latin American elites) whiter than the rest of the population. Reacting against the Castro government also exacerbated their preexisting conservatism.

This is a little off topic, but there is definitely a split when it comes to Latino/Hispanic nationality. Unity amongst the different ethnic groups and nationalities is a newer phenomena of the Latino youth movements. Often there is tension, unreasonable at that, between those of different national origins. Historically, Puertorriqueños do not identify with Mexicanos, who do not identify with Dominicanos, who do not identify with Argentinos, etc etc...this is further complicated by skin color and complexion. Often those with darker skin are looked down upon by Latinos with lighter skin; even within nationalities and cultures. That is true of older relatives within my Mexican-American family. I have a lighter shade of mestizo skin, therefore have no nickname but darker-skinned relatives are called "negro" or "prieto". Some very light members of my family are call "guerro" (slang word that literally means white) or "guerrito". These nicknames aren't really used by those of us under 35 but older relatives use them quite frequently. For instance, younger Latinos call darker-skinned Latinos "morenos" which is not a disparaging word and has never been considered offensive.

6-7 years ago I heard McCain's Town Hall @ Sun Lakes where he articulated the main components of comprehensive immigration reform. But he wasn't prepared for the blow-back from the retirees who literally foamed at the mouth about "amnesty". That was my first real clue about what was to come. Now the southern legislators will have their turn at trying to subvert the immigration reform efforts. It'll be interesting to watch, as the Republican party continues to disappear back through their dorsal orifice!

Really great discussion.

pSf: In addition to your excellent insight, you win points for getting the system to accept a tilde.

Great point on the leg, Emil. In addition, these members are the kind of aggrieved small business owners Thomas Frank writes about in "What's the Matter with Kansas." They haven't seen the world working for Procter & Gamble or GE.

I'll never forget a hearing I attended once at the state Senate, where the owner of a plumbing firm was loudly testifying about why she shouldn't have to pay any taxes for schools because she didn't have any children in public schools.

You are absolutely correct. Republicans are regarded in the Hispanic community as assholes -- even by the most conservative of Hispanics.

Why, you may well ask? Well, Republicans are assholes.
Some things you don't need to intellectualize alot.

Garry Wills writes:

But the current South is willing to cut off its own nose to show contempt for the government. Governor Rick Scott of Florida turned down more than $2 billion in federal funds for a high-speed rail system in Florida that would have created jobs and millions of dollars in revenues, just to show he was independent of the hated federal government. In this mood, his forebears would have turned down TVA. People across the South are going even farther than Scott, begging to secede again from the Union. Packer notes that the tea is cooling in parties across the rest of the nation, but seems to be fermenting to a more toxic brew in the South. No one needs better health care more than the South, but it fights it off so long as Obama is offering it, its governors turning down funds for Medicaid. This is a region that rejects sex education, though its rate of teenage pregnancies is double and in places triple that of New England. It fights federal help with education, preferring to inoculate its children against science by denying evolution.

He is writing about the South,but it is spot on for Az.

Mike, there is one thing I disagree with in your statement: Arizonans have historically voted for and approve of Medicaid expansion. The reason Arizona was one of the first states to offer AHCCCS to childless individuals and all children in lower income homes in the first place was a voter approved ballot initiative. Much like AZ voters, again, approved of medical MJ even though certain political elements strongly oppose the implementation. Aside from a few kooks in the current Arizona legislature, most Republicans will be persuaded to act along with the Governor and expand coverage once again. Furthermore, we now have Republicans, including Brewer, agreeing with McCain and Flake on new immigration reform measures. This new stance will get interesting...especially watching the Sun City fringe react to this latest jump to the center.

A recent article noted that even with Arizona's recent hardline, right-wing stances on immigration (SB 1070), the state is moving away from Republicans: "Nevada became the next California and now Arizona looks like it will become the next Nevada. ... It's just pushing the West further and further from Republicans."

Perhaps this explains why McCain, Flake, Brewer, and other in-state Republican politicians aren't fearing the fringe as much as before...like they were just 2 years ago. Although voter turnout for Latinos in Arizona was still disappointing in 2012, it reached new records and will continue on that course.

Emil and Rogue, excellent analysis on the reason for disconnect between the Kook legislature and the electorate. Class analysis is many times disregarded in this country because the US educational system does not encourage this viewpoint from being taught in school.

It is also significant that most legislative Kooks made their money or earned their pensions before moving to Arizona and do not have a deep connection to the state.

phxSunfan writes,

" Arizonans have historically voted for and approve of Medicaid expansion."

Arizona was one of the last states to participate in Medicare. It is one of the most antagonistic jurisdictions toward social services in the country.

phxSunfan points to the fact that statutorily Arizona provided medicaid participation for single adults before most other states. He thus argues that Arizona or the electorate is enlightened and progressive in regard to social services.

What is written in law and how it is implemented makes all the difference.

In Arizona, a person applying for social services including health care for single adults is strongly discouraged administratively even though the statute grants social services to various low income classes. The Arizona Attorney General's Office also criminally prosecutes applicants for minor infractions of the application process.

An applicant for social services in King County(Seattle) or Hennepin County(Minneapolis) would be treated respectfully and the intake worker would find a program to help the person in need even if the Washington or Minnesota state statute didn't specifically authorize it.

In Maricopa County, applicants for medicaid and other social services are treated like criminals and as if a burden to the intake worker. Administrative rules discourage the majority of eligible applicants as provided under statute from applying for benefits.

phxSunfan engages in the serial denial so common to residents of Arizona. Residents in denial that Arizona is politically one of the most backward looking states in the US. The state has been electing right wing sociopaths since the 1980s.

Arizona is the Mississippi Copiah County of the1880's.


What is written in law and how it is implemented makes all the difference.

In Arizona, a person applying for social services including health care for single adults is strongly discouraged administratively even though the statute grants social services to various low income classes...

Ah, Arizona. (A bit OT as regards immigration, but wanted to add to the conversation on social services in general.)

My life here has been book-ended with poverty. I'll say up front that the volumes (decades) in-between were filled with productive, wage-earnin' & tax generatin' literature, just to stave off those who would relegate my "looter" life as mere pulp-fiction.

But, when I hitch-hiked into town in '76, I had a pocketful of food-stamps left over from my subsidized low-to-no-income time in Pittsburgh. When I went to the government offices for similar "largesse" to get kick-started here, I was looked over by the front-desk, nary an application submitted, and was told that I was young and healthy and to get a job, thank you very much.

I took this with a good humor, being young and healthy and not particularly inclined to feel "entitled." I of course would have found employment anyway, but we were moving out of the malaise and into the new Morning In America and my mood was much like the rest of the country's, so I might have agreed at the time - well, yes I did agree at the time - that it was this AZ kick-in-the-pants that set me off on my journey to prosperity.

Now, near the end of this story, when I applied for (and received) food assistance, there was an obligatory AHCCCS form involved, pre-stamped "non-eligible." (no stress there, as I just wanted a little food anyway.) I'm a bit older and still pretty healthy, but I idly wonder what threshold, beyond having zero income, would have to be met for this form to rise above mere "obligatory" presentation.

"What is written in law and how it is implemented makes all the difference."

I say "idly wonder," because it's the same old beloved AZ, ahead of the Reagan curve, and continuing on its legacy with hell-bent vivacity.

Oops. I meant "miscegenation" (not misogyny) as in political purity in my early post. Sucks gettin' old.

It's OK, e-dog. I'm comfortable with my feminine side.

OK, I totally messed up that "e-dog" joke which makes no sense. You can delete it now if you like, Jon. o_O

Homeless, try not to put words in my mouth. I never said that most Arizonans are "enlightened" and "progressive" but did point out that in 2000 voters approved expand Medicaid beyond that of most states. To this date, Arizona covers childless adults. There is a freeze in enrollment in place, since 2010, and the Governor and business/healthcare advocates want to continue enrolling once again. Does this mean the electorate (particularly, Republicans which are the most "reliable" voters in AZ) is generally progressive and enlightened...no! But unlike the South, most of the Arizona electorate is not opposed to Medicaid/Medicare expansion. There is no denial on my part regarding the regressive Republican legislation concerning nearly every other social issue: immigration, guns, laws targeting minorities, etc.

Since your handle ("homeless") is newer to this site I'll forgive your trespass on my good name just this once. ;-)

About two years ago a close relative lost his job here in Arizona. I helped him out for a while but he did need to apply for AHCCCS, unemployment, and food stamps after a few months. The administrative process is rather confusing and they made him jump through hoops (including being finger printed), but the paperwork was rather straightforward and everything could be accomplished online or via fax/phone. For those without a computer and fax machine, the process is challenging and lines at DES offices ridiculous.

If the law as proposed goes through, every field hand legally in the US will be paid no less than minimum wage and will be as protected as US citizens (provided the laws are enforced). That will change some things. The so-called "Americans" ("whites") who supposedly have been above doing that kind of work may just show up to fill positions to fill their children's bellies. Then what? Competition is good?

If the law as proposed goes through, every field hand legally in the US will be paid no less than minimum wage and will be as protected as US citizens (provided the laws are enforced).
Is this true? (Provided the law is enforced, as you say), what would this do to the price of produce, at-market? Is America ready for this? Past due, certainly, but what a reality check...

Farm workers are not subject to minimum wage standards like most jobs; they work for a "piece rate" determined by how much work they have done and are paid by the bushel, barrel, etc. The same is true of certain employees in the food industry (waiters, for instance)were wages are often determined by tips and amount of tables served.

Thanks for the clarification, pSf.

No problem, Petro.

I have a number of Cubans who have married into my extended family.

There is a medical term to describe them.....they are F@#%ing NUTS.

So when I see Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz enter national politics, I worry ALOT !!

Gun debate update.

While the politicians run in circles on this issue, the free market is correcting the issue.

The insurance industry is bailing on everything gun related. Everything. Gun shops, gun mfg., sporting goods stores, gun ranges, gun shows, gun repair.

They will either have to go bare or go out of business.

Interesting update, Reb. Will be watching for the ripple effects if that holds.

not all farm laborers work at piece rates. I know a bunch that are on salary and some that are at $40,000 per year plus some housing and other perks. But no health care.

I had trouble getting a comment on the subject of New World racial prejudices posted. Mr. Talton will no doubt take care of this in due course.

In the meantime, a couple of additional points:

(1) I recently saw an editorial in the Wall Street Journal lauding Republican governors for reducing or eliminating income and capital gains taxes and replacing them with sales taxes.

The justification given for this was that "income taxes do more economic harm because they are a direct penalty on saving, investment, and labor that create new wealth. Sales taxes, by contrast, hit consumption."

Well, where does income for business owners come from? Consumption. So, taxation of consumption, to the extent that it reduces consumption, also reduces the income of business owners and the features attributed to this by the Wall Street Journal.

The economy is demand driven. Invest all you like in business, but if customers don't buy, you're throwing money down a hole. So, the question is, which tax policies decrease total demand (total demand including not only private sector consumer demand but also government demand).

Income taxes, properly targeted, take income from the wealthy that would otherwise be used merely to bid up the price of paper wealth (stocks, bonds, etc.), since their consumer wants are fully addressed by a fraction of their income and the remainder goes toward speculation, and redirects this (via taxation) toward (public sector) consumption, thus increasing total demand, and therefore actually increasing business income.

(Out of time tonight...)

Az Reb--I've been wondering when homeowners ins. would start getting dinged for having dangerous weapons in the home without proper protection from theft or careless use by minors or mentally deficient.According to supply-siders,If you want less of something,tax it.Can't wait to see how it works with assault weapons,extended clips,and overstocking of ammunition.

phxSUNSfan wrote:

"Often those with darker skin are looked down upon by Latinos with lighter skin; even within nationalities and cultures."

All of this goes back to the origins of "Latin America" and is not specific to Cuba. Just consider that term for a moment: "Latin" America. The indigenes of the "New World" were brown ("Indians"). The slaves shipped in to serve the colonists were Black. So where did the "Latino" element enter into it? These countries were colonized by Spaniards and Portuguese, both of which (which might surprise some Americans) are White.

It is a rule of thumb among colonial conquerors (whether Latino or non-Latino) that their culture and/or race is superior. After all, to admit to conquering a foreign people merely because of purely technological superiority on the basis of "might makes right" arguments is an admission of unjust and predatory intent. So, a justification must be constructed on the basis of religious or cultural arguments. In the New World this was accomplished through the tenets of medieval Roman Catholicism.

In any case, the conquerors determine and enforce their standards of social hierarchy. The most influential social institutions (government, church, schools, businesses) will be led by reliable elements; which means those who adhere to the assumptions of cultural superiority of the conquerors; which means those of colonial antecedents (i.e., Spaniards or Portuguese), or else, where necessary for social control, lackeys among the indigenous population.

These differences are cemented in subsequent generations by the socioeconomic consequences of prejudice: indigenes are formally excluded, or informally (but effectively) discouraged from literacy, from higher education, from property ownership, and consequently from wealth, as well as excluded from the levers of social power dependent upon wealth and knowledge (government, the mass media, universities, etc.).

As time passes, the lines become blurred by racial intermixing and by political liberalization, particularly insofar as monarchist colonies are replaced by revolutionary republican governments. But the indigenes are starting from a handicapped position that is passed down, like a baton, from generation to generation.

So, the old prejudices become weakened, but remain. The new elites are chosen from among those, not necessarily of pure blood, but of relatively pure blood; this being judged by skin color and other racial features (nose, hair, lips, etc.).

Even when the formal justifications for these things disappear from a society, they are passed on from generation to generation by means of families.

Even if you look at a country like Mexico, which has seen many revolutions, increasing democracy, constitutional protections against racism, and a considerable decrease in the presence of pure-bloods of European extraction, you still see important sectors dominated by light-skinned peoples of European (Spanish) extraction. This population is disproportionally represented not only in the upper eschelons of government and business, but also within the mass media.

Go to any Food City in Phoenix and take a look at the free Spanish-language media guides (the ones with the cover photographs of women intended to satisfy standards of beauty and sexiness). Count the number of White-skinned, light-haired women with European facial features; then count the number of mestizo women with darker skins, wide noses, and other "Indian" features.

Chapter one?

Better yet, go to the Bashas' in Chinle!

Emil's thought-provoking treatise on internal prejudices within Mexico describes a phenomenon that shows up in our inner-city schools that do the "Anytown USA" retreat.

Dark-skinned Latinos of Indian extraction are often disrespected and this gets exposed during a whole examination of prejudice. My teacher daughter has been involved in these for maybe 20 years and reports shocking (to me) racial divides that are subsequently addressed. So, its a little hard to criticize close-minded "Cousin Earl" from Peoria, since there's such dysfunction and dissention within the ranks of our own Latino population. Too often we use an overly simplistic broad brush to paint this community where we've got 4th generation families wondering how in hell their 'hood has been over run by illegals who often show little respect for anything or anybody.

Green folks are the new elite class!

So called "field work" is actually skilled labor. Doing it as the primary source of income calls for dedication and perseverance. Cal, you can bet any "field worker" making 40 grand works her ass off, and earns that much only because she is an expert in her trade, with a professionalism earned only through long laborious experience.

"Field work" is not labor for high school kids, or for extra cash. It requires full-time professional commitment.

As for farmworker "perks", they're measured more in accessibility to fresh drinking water, a workplace free of poisons, and clean restroom facilities. The so called housing perk is nothing more than sharing space in a trailer next to the fields, away from your home and family.

Food prices Petro? We'll let the so called free market handle that -- let's see what happens when we step back from agricultural worker exploitation.

Chuco, I agree.
cal an arizona grape an lettuce picker from the early 59's

Make that 54 to 59

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