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November 04, 2013


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From restaurant chains, to cities, to states, to nations -- you can always tell when the bean counters gain ascendance -- quality goes down and there is a strong reliance upon getting people to judge them now by the successes of others from the past.

I call this 'the Red Lobster principle'.

So Justin and Laura call their dads before they vote? So (if you are old like me) you got to decide who do I vote for,
very likeable Paul the developer or Raul the very likeable Mexican liberal?
There is no question who my downtown senora is going to vote for.

Never forget that the Kookocracy has been trying to get control of Council for years. Pastor, at least, would be a reliable progressive.

Thus sums up the case for Pastor. Admittedly not the most stellar candidate who ever campaigned, but I know her to be a bright and decent person who really seems to want to be on the Council. Johnson is affable and articulate and seems like a nice enough person but he has already demonstrated that his main priority is enriching his own family business and his real estate developer friends. Johnson's indication that he's willing to vote with DiCiccio against the Mayor's should be troubling to the progressives I encounter from Phx 4 who are supporting him yet, maddeningly, it's not.

Democratic voters have a real bad habit of getting gooey over "bipartisanship" and "bridge building" and they need to knock it off, at least until the GOP is purged of it's radical kooks - which doesn't seem likely at this point. If anything formerly moderate Republicans are becoming radicalized at a shocking rate, which makes it all the more imperative for Dems to elect the most progressive person they can possibly get elected in a Dem majority district to provide at least something of a counterweight. Blue Dogs are for swing districts only.

In conjunction with Downtown Voices Coalition, I was pleased to join the District 4 candidates in one-on-one conversations. The content of my questions focused more on the candidates' plans for how they seek to put their proposals into action and to get their thoughts on governance.

You can watch them here: http://www.edwardjensen.net/downtown-phoenix/conversation-district-4-candidates/4165

Hi Jon-

I'm not a writer but this seemed awkward to the casual reader…

"Even Phil Gordon and, especially, Skip Rimsza were responsible for transformative projects that improved Phoenix and undid some of the civic malpractice of the past: The ASU downtown campus, Phoenix Convention Center, downtown Sheraton and light rail."

These are positive, I assume, but could be read as not so much with "civic malpractice of the past" preceding.

BTW, "WBIYB" is priceless!

Good piece.

Headless, Bean counters, thats why U have to ask for a spoon.

Lady Gaga see if you like this guy's reason for switching to a democrat.

Well...my support goes to LAURA Pastor.. I've met her and worked WITH her,(Jackie and I volunteered with her at South Mountain Comm. College).
Laura's first attempt at the City Council was not successful...I think she was too nice and didn't "fight back" at mud slinging. It is different this time...she is fighting back, even tho Johnson continues the lies about Laura's missing meeting on Community Boards/groups.. The Arizona Republic even proved they were not truthful, but Johnson, to this day, has continued to distribute/mail the same lies. I think Johnson has more money...and there are charges that two different "political funding groups" for Johnson share the SAME P.O. Box. Johnson STILL serves and votes on the Planning Commission....(conflict of interest???
Anyway...I walked for Laura, have signage for Laura, and support LAURA!!

LAURA IS WHO WE NEED...(in my opinion)

Ok skip u and my friends r going for Laura.
What do u think about the CIA and Egyptian prosecution of legally elected Morsi?

Skip: What's with the random CAPITALIZATION?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weren't YOU a an ANTI-obamaCARE wingnut in the LAST thread?

Why the change of heart?

"Mesa just won an Apple operation and 700 jobs. Was Phoenix even paying attention?"

To be fair, Apple was looking at an existing manufacturing site, which Mesa already had with the former First Solar building.

However, the bigger picture is whether the central areas of Phoenix can garner meaningful development as Phoenix seems concentrated on bringing large-scale development to its Desert Ridge area.

As a former resident of Phoenix (I still own property there), I must chime in about Paul Johnson's contribution as a developer.

To my knowledge, Johnson's most recent developments were infill townhouse complexes in struggling inner-city neighborhoods. The most prominent example is the pseudo-Tuscan Berkana on Glenrosa, on the east side of Black Canyon Freeway, just north of Indian School Road.

Living in the "Black Canyon Corridor", I was excited that Johnson was taking a risk that, and if successful, could help stabilize surrounding neighborhoods.

It appears that his efforts haven't been successful, but I applaud his vision.

I understand Rogue's desire to have true movers and shakers on the city council, and I agree with him. However, I feel that if Justin Johnson can envision improved inner-city neighborhoods like his father can, that is a good thing.

I don't know anything about Laura Pastor. I remember meeting Ed Pastor as a kid when he knocked on our door in Maryvale, and asked my parents to vote for him for whichever office he was running for at the time. He's the only candidate I can recall ever knocking on my door, and that includes since I moved to "little" Prescott.

Jon, this will make your head explode. Apple is planning to buy the vacant "First Solar" land in Mesa and will bring 2,000 jobs (1,300 initial for construction and 700 permanent inside the facility) to metro Phoenix.


Again, the city of Phoenix couldn't attract a high profile employer to say, its Sky Harbor/Light Rail corridor where other manufacturers like Honeywell are located. Of course the cheap land prices draw employers out of the core; Apple after all located in suburban Austin. I would have much preferred Apple locate in Tempe or Phoenix near the light rail line.

Had a message sent to the spam trap. Thanks in advance for fishing it out.


I am a registered Ind.

Not a Dem.....Not GOP....Not Tea Party.

I believe I have a mind and can listen to candidates and vote for whomever I think can do the best job.

I did NOT vote for Obama

I dislike McCain

I Really Am in favor of Felicia Rotellini

I do like Laura...( and remember, there are only two
In the Dist 4 race, both are Dems...but LAURA is the best choice, in my opinion.

I have NEVER been a "wingnut" but thanks for trying to get me into some namecalling

Cal lash...

CIA...EGYPT....Let's add Afganistan...Pakistan....and now it looks like more troops into Iraq..

I do not think King Obama has a clue as to what he should do.

He has nothing to boost economy, is destroying the best Military in the World, his three+ year effort for Health Care is a total failure, he sends weapons to Al Quida rebels, but want to take ours...He has NO UNDERSTANDING of the Constitution (and don't give me any of that " he was a Constitutional Law Professor crap...that NEVER was the case. And, he give too much support to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Did I mention his total mishandling of Bengazie? Hillary should be prosecuted for lying to Congress, and Obama for the coverup, total lack of action..not ANY attempt!
Now...IRS, NSA, and Still That "Fast and Furious" debockle.
Well, I digress,,

What was your question?

There was a question?
I just checked in with Antonio and he said vote for Los Lobos.


My head does explode. I don't wish bad things on Mesa, but Apple will be going to a totally car-dependent site. Worse, the core of Phoenix keeps losing jobs. The "Opportunity Corridor" on the light-rail line never happened. As far as I can tell, the city has no serious economic-development strategy, especially for downtown, the Central Corridor, the LRT line, etc. It is very disheartening.

Even the so-called Apple building is just its supplier (GT Advanced Technologies) that is just manufacturing the glass used in Apple devices, not the assembly of Apple consumer electronics.

It remains to be seen if Apple will even put its logo on that building. Will the workers actually be Apple employees?

Cal, I'm glad Thigpen left the GOP and he's suitable for a swing/R leaning district as a Democratic candidate. Based on his website, his views put him squarely in Blue Dog territory.

I forget who said it, maybe Jon but the way to identify the truth is when the government denies something.
Lie, lie and deny.

"It remains to be seen if Apple will even put its logo on that building. Will the workers actually be Apple employees?" - Sanjeev

That's really besides the point. It doesn't matter whose logo is on the building. What matters is that a high-tech manufacturer will not be locating in Phoenix despite plenty of available land along the light rail line and south of downtown. The average salary for future GT Advanced Technologies employees in Mesa will be over $50k a year.

It is also important to point out that GT Advanced Tech also produces equipment for solar technology. This could be a strategic move for the company.

Apple philosophically is conservative and a profit seeker. Their philosophy is vary similar to the private enterprise called LDS. Thus Mesa Mayor, Scott SMITH and company have much more in common with Apple than liberal Phoenix.

Skip the big I.
"I do not think King Obama has a clue as to what he should do."
Well, how about George Bush Jr?

Cal - conservative profit-seekers are job creators and tax payers. Go bleed a stone.

Did I say that was bad?
"conservative profit-seekers are job creators and tax payers."
Pass your own stone!

Terry dudas
let me be clear, what i meant was Apple and Mesa are a better fit from a business standpoint than Apple and Phoenix. To extrapolate that I meant that Mesa and Apple are bad guys is a real hyperspace leap!

As we await the election results
a note on a previous blog about first americans.
For those of you that recall my post's on "Zuni Enigma" by by Yaw Davis, there is more support for her theory's in a new book. "Who Discovered America" by Gavin Menzies and Ian Hudson.

Terry dudas: Am i suppose to think I'm a member of a socialist mob?
"Skip, you are a star! Thanks for taking this socialist mob on."
Posted by: terry dudas | November 01, 2013 at 08:10 PM.
Please note Terry, I just renewed my voting registration and it still says Republican just as it has since 1961.

After years of watching the Phoenix City Council, I still don't know what they do besides acting as PR flacks for their pet projects and boosters for the city. This is with the exception of Sal DiCiccio, whose pandering to the Fox News crowd is extremely troublesome. I'm not a fan of the city manager form of governance in this era. A city like Phoenix needs a strong hand (think Michael Crow - which doesn't mean I agree with everything Crow has done, but rather, his leadership style) to address its unique situation, especially as regards to mitigating the urban heat island and density.

Apple does not pay its fair share in taxes (and what has Mesa given away to get them here?). Really, you can Google "apple taxes paid" and get more links to business journals (Forbes, WSJ, NYT, etc.) pointing out the various ways Apple avoids paying taxes than is possible to post. That jobs will be created great! That their employees and the rest of us will have to pick up Apple's tax tab -- bad.

Skip says: “I believe I have a mind and can listen to candidates and vote for whomever I think can do the best job.”

headless says: Why would anyone with an actual mind have to hedge on the matter and say they only ‘believe’ they have a mind?

Skip says: “I Really Am in favor of Felicia Rotellini”

Felecia Rotellini says: “As your next Arizona Attorney General, my priorities are to protect Arizona families, work to secure our border, and stop mortgage fraud.”

headless says: Presumably, her opponent wants to harm AZ families, work to make the border completely porous, and encourage mortgage fraud.

List of words and phrases used by Skip that betray his bias:
 I did NOT vote for Obama. I dislike McCain (but, did you vote for McCain?)
 King Obama
 “Well, I digress” At least you spelled ‘digress’ correctly, so it wasn’t a total ‘debockle’ (sic).
 “TOTAL FAILURE of the web site” (Yes, the Affordable Care Awesome Website Act was a total failure.)
 ‘"no bid" contract to a foreign company’” (Considering Halliburton – a company headquartered in Dubai – this is the height of hypocrisy on your part.)
 (President Failure Obama) You’re the voice of sweet reason here, Skip.
 …the GOP was not invited to participate in the law, and NONE voted for it. (I’m sure the Mafia feels the same way about criminal conspiracy laws.)

Skip says at the end of one of his name-calling tirades: “Having aid (sic) all that, Jon, I'll wait and see who wants to start the name calling after they read my opinion.”

headless says: No need to wait. Just look in the mirror, WINGNUT.


Cal - re "socialist mob" remark made on 11/1/2013, by me, if the shoe fits, wear it. I did not name anyone in particular.

BTW, I am a registered Independent.

Registered Independent = Registered Pontius Pilate

Lord have mercy.

Independents and independent thinkers sure draw the scorn of the two parties.

Two parties who are corrupt, inbred, unimaginative, perverted, tyrannical, dictatorial, oppressive, repressive, undemocratic, unenlightened, and just plain full blown American assholes.

Why would we want anything to do with you losers??????????????????????????

They love to watch us plebes fight amongst ourselves.

In any case, terry dudas sez:

...conservative profit-seekers are job creators and tax payers.

You have to allow that at the very least they are reluctant taxpayers. But that is an understatement, as "conservative profit-seekers" go out of their way not only to avoid taxes (and who doesn't, really?) but go further and really take it to an art form. Hell, most are "internationalized" so they can park their profits wherever they'd like, far away from the talons of the "home" country's taxman.

As for job creation - the profiteers are currently having a fine old time (see the DOW,) and they're not bending over backwards to invest in production and job-creation as of this writing.

No, profit-seeking is about... profit-seeking. Nothing more. There is no morality in it, it is mere greed and "get some." It's the "socialist mob" that advocates for altruistic action in society.

Yea, I know, "altruism" is a fiction to "conservative profit-seekers."

Reb cause we R all stuck on the same planet, unless U were planning on leaving." "I hear there is a great universe next door"
And Reb Im the last real Republican since Ike died.

Republicans are socialists. They promote socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest.

Trotsky, hows Frida?
At 73 Im not changing parties.
I will just vote for whatever.

The Good News, the Phoenix women take office.
Reb, maybe a fan club meeting around the 20th or such. Im off to Mexico to try and find the kid that cared for Villa's horses. And get una cajon de Tamales Verde y Mole.
Mas tarde.

Jon, re light rail. I suggest that the streets upon which light rail exist be dug up and returned to their natural (desert) state. Plus some trees. Trying to drive on them is exasperating.

Trying to drive on them is exasperating.

Good. :)

Reb -- "Why would we want anything to do with you losers??????????????????????????"

Don't tell me. Call your 'winner' registered independent congressman and let them know how you feel.

Really doesn't matter, because independents 9 times out of 10 will vote Republican -- but then again, what real choice do you have, right?

What Republican president said that thing about fooling the people? hmmmnnn.....

Practically speaking, the "I'm and independent" statement translates to the fact that you want to take credit for good things, no matter which party is responsible, and deny responsibility for bad things, no matter who is responsible.

Sure sounds like a Republican to me.

Petro, I agree. I got us some shovels, a coyote and some Sahuaro seeds.

Apple and LDS: "Huge corporations like Apple, Pfizer and Microsoft are dodging their taxes by shifting profits overseas. They're shifting American jobs overseas, too.

These schemes cost the American people almost $200 billion in lost revenue. That's money that could go to education, jobs or fixing our aging roads and bridges.

Carl Levin introduced a bill in the Senate that ends these abuses, plugs the loopholes and ensures everyone pays their fair share."

A line from the movie Repo Man:

The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.

In Maricopa County "I'm an Independent" translates into I'm a Democrat from outside of Arizona who does not want to be excluded from most of the higher level jobs due to my political affiliation.

Death penalty qualified and NRA approved a must in the armpit of dust.

Edward Abbey was a lifetime NRA member and a great person of the soil, dust included.

I've been registered Independent since forever. While I'm Democrat-leaning, I just don't like affiliation. Clinton and Obama have vindicated my aversion, IMO.

Last year, Proposition 121 addressed the problem with the state's Republican Party (which is also the problem with nation's Republican Party): its growing extremism. To recap: it would have pitted the top two vote getters in the primaries in the general election instead of the nominal R & D winners. One of its principal supporters was Paul Johnson, father of Justin. It failed by 2 - 1 in the November general election.

I'm not a big fan of Paul Johnson or his Conserva-Dem politics. Still, I thought he was exactly right about this problem. What has been happening in Arizona is the disappearance of moderate Republican office-holders. 10 years ago or so, there were still a few around like Sue Gerard and Carolyn Allen. In alliance with Democrats, they could stop the kookiest proposals from dominating the legislative agenda. They're mostly gone, now, and the results of that are painfully apparent.

The real problem is not that the average citizen is a Tea Party zealot. Indeed, most citizens seem hostile to the worst excesses of culture-war politics. But the Republican name is now synonymous with "white", so suburbanites vote Republican even when they laugh at the gun-rights-for-fetuses kind of bills flooding the Arizona legislature. They don't follow politics closely enough to realize that their Republican candidates are now being purified in the primaries of all moderate impulses.

Racializing the Republican Party began in earnest with Richard Nixon and is now so utterly pathological that the Voting Rights Act has been gutted and voter-suppression among low-income Americans, particularly black citizens, has been sanctioned. The cold civil war we're enduring is ultimately about the historic struggle for racial equality creating a different set of victims - white males. On its face, it's utterly absurd, but the emotional power of the "idea" is so strong that it prevents rational dissection.

The politics of racial grievance (so effectively propounded by despicable racists like Rush Limbaugh) cannot be combated by voting for "independents" or by the siren song of the False Equivalency. If you're voting Republican, or not voting for Democrats because of their inadequate purity, you're simply another aspect of a problem that is destroying this nation. I'd call you a loser but the irony would be lost.

Thank you Soleri.

"The real problem is not that the average citizen is a Tea Party zealot. Indeed, most citizens seem hostile to the worst excesses of culture-war politics"
Respectfully disagree. I personally know people who registered to vote for Jan Brewer due to SB1070, and who think Obama is here to steal their guns, and the other far right nuttiness. I know people who don't vote, but most do and vote far right due the threat of left wing socialism/sarc. Perhaps my view is different in the blue collar trenches. It sounds like you are making excuses ("they don't follow politics enough") for idiot Arizona voters.
It can only be "combated" by having an educated and informed population, and I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Conservatives and Liberals.
Republicans and Democrats.
From By the Lake of Sleeping Children by Luis Alberto Urrea.
"The conservatives love their cheap labor; the liberals love their cheap cause. (Neither group, you will notice, ever invites the immigrants to move into their homes. Not into their Homes! )" Edward Abbey

100 Octane, Arizona is not unique and isn't particularly stupid. New Jersey just re-elected governor a bullying blowhard who makes Jan Brewer appear thoughtfully restrained. The problem in Arizona and nationally is the erosion of civic consensus - that is, the vital center that once engaged most voters in constructive politics rather than nihilistic outrage and nuttiness. Complexity is a bummer, of course. When you have national politicians grotesquely oversimplifying issues (e.g., Ted Cruz, Rand Paul) in order to advance their careers, you can understand what ails the nation.

It's a myth to think we used to be smarter than we are now. Citizens have always been vague and superficial about issues. But they didn't have to be particularly smart because businessmen and union leaders were fully engaged in a political process dealing with real-world issues. The rise of Ronald Reagan, whether as cause or symptom, showed the decline of this consensus. The vital center only works when the middle class is fully represented as an interest group. When it isn't, the scapegoats get the attention and the predators run amok.

The culture war is agitprop theater substituting for real give-and-take in the political sphere. You think you're smart but the other guy is stupid? If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, we're all made stupid by the collapse of common values and shared interests. I had to leave Arizona because I felt numb from the loss of our political commons. It made me virtually comatose. Nothing engaged me because, ultimately, nothing really mattered except turning off the screeching noise.

The thin ice of nihilism will not serve as a political foundation. Somehow, someway, we have to find our way back to political sanity. The first step is to recognize the current insanity as deeply destructive. The second step is to oppose it as fiercely as you can. The third is to find ways to create community in the suburban desolation of our fractured lives. In Arizona, it's probably too late, but if you're going to stay, it might be a good idea to take it personally and get working.

"No more water. Fire next time."
From The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

@soleri..Read your post several times, every word useful and deserves a response but I type slow so I'll just say thank you for the advice.
It slipped my mind that you no longer live here. Agreed, it is probably too late. I am going to stay, I do take it personally which has worked well to alienate myself from most of the people I know.
"Turning off the screeching noise" lol I know that feeling.

I know what you mean by the screeching noise too! Nice to have you back on the blog soleri (and nice to see new posters too).

It is too late for Arizona unless climate warming inexplicably ceases and water usage is substantially reduced in the Southwest US.


Drifter, the plan was to tow icebergs to a place to where the melt could be put in the CAP. Looks like there will be no need to tow them. And shortly the east coast will be underwater.
But like the book burners the greed merchants tamped down the likes of Thomas Malthus (population theory), Charles Bowden (killing the Hidden Waters)and many others. I think Stephen Hawking has it about right, We got one thousand years to get off planet.

And the party I have registered with for 52 years: All is Lost?

for phxsunfan on elections and "Latinos":

soleri -- Regarding the centrist/moderate thinking that I think you are espousing, I have to wonder exactly what you mean.

If you are plumping for a David Broder sort of centrism, I'd have to disagree with you on that, as it seems to always lean a little to the right and slightly shriveled.

ACE Hardware?

If you are plumping for a David Broder sort of centrism, I'd have to disagree with you on that, as it seems to always lean a little to the right and slightly shriveled.

I'm a socialist so I doubt I qualify as a centrist. What you notice in my posts is a plea for realism, which is not all that popular, especially on this blog. It's a lot of fun to vogue on the Internet as a non-compromiser, someone who won't be taken in by half measures and incremental steps. In my view, this completely misunderstands what the political process is about. Compromise is what we necessarily do in politics. We split differences, live to fight another day, and pretty much work to advance our cause on the only field that matters: ordinary reality. Idealism is great but if you're not working to achieve something concrete, it's little more than a kind of masturbation. It feels good when you're doing it but is otherwise infertile.

Those of us on the left often have bleeding hearts and beautiful souls. My wish is that we also have patience and a willingness to do the hard work that real political change requires. That means not taking politics so personally that you threaten to drop out altogether if Obama disappoints you. The same goes for Hillary. Politicians are not magical creatures. They're simply human beings with millions of people pulling on their sleeves. Yes, we have to pull as well, but we should remember our struggle transcends the personalities we attach ourselves to. The work will go on after they're gone, regardless. But if you want to be effective - the only thing that really matters here - you'll choose small successes over sweeping victories. There is ultimately no final triumph here. There's only the ongoing struggle to get people to recognize our mutual interest based in respect and compassion. Everything else is just a distraction.

"There is ultimately no final triumph here. " soleri.

Living with the absurd,
“Camus is interested in pursuing a third possibility: that we can accept and live in a world devoid of meaning or purpose.”

"...accept and live in a world devoid of meaning or purpose.”

Can I make an exception with the hot and cold water spigots? As my moniker indicates, I'm an authoritative source, often quoted by all and sundry.

Sure ACE.
Turn the handle.
I prefer cold showers.

Even the choice between hot and cold water or a mixture of the two connotes that we live in a world fraught with purpose and meaning -- even in the simplest of acts.

For instance: In the 60's, I knew that Rod McKuen was a bad poet, but if quoting 'Listen to the Warm' would get me closer to my goal, then that's the way is was going to be.

Were these acts devoid of meaning? I think not.

Your right ACE.
I will try and work on something that might be meaningful,

Speaking of ABSURD
The Anal searches in the Front Page.
I have discussed such most of day with a number of colleagues.
Absolutely no meaning to this absurdity.

"I will try and work on something that might be meaningful...."

Anal searches?

Meaningful chit

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