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November 07, 2013


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"To be sure, Democrats can't count on Republicans to keep walking into the propeller of their own extremism"
I am not so sure Jon. The Tea party seems to still be holding sway. Today's republican party is the dumbest bunch of dangerous idiots to come along since the nations founding.
Well like Ed Abbey said, not in my house. Today its not in my school.
Maybe we can get Snotsdale to succeed to South Carolina.

I'm sad about the defeated overrides.

A state motto should not be "stupid is as stupid does".

Reb, Petro fan club coffee in Mesa around the 17th? Im headed south but should be back, Chapo willing, around the 15th.

Back in the 'hood, for what it's worth, Phoenix Elementary passed its override by 62%.

But Reb there is so much more latitude for pedophilia in charter schools.
Charter school's are dark hallways of narrow minded religious fanatics and bigoted mind control freaks. Producing
Manchurian candidates of the future.

The"Hood". Its been a long time since az had a real hood. The last hood was bought out by Sky Harbor Airport. And even those hoods were not highly populated hoods.

Interesting that Scottsdale voters turned down their own overrides considering their school district includes highly regarded and wealthy schools, like Chaparral.

Compare that to voters in nearby Paradise Valley Unified (PVUSD) where voters passed its override. PVUSD also serves N. Phoenix and parts of Scottsdale.

Almost all of the inner city school districts with large Latino populations voted "Yes" on overrides: Alhambra Elementary SD, Isaac Elementary SD, Osborn Elementary SD, Phoenix Union HSD, and Washington Elementary SD. The only holdout was the Roosevelt Elementary SD.

Voters in the Tempe HSD passed its override by a significant margin.

Phxsunfan left u a latino vote registration post near end of previous blog.

Thanks Cal. It's a good news, bad news article for sure. Bad news: Latinos register to vote at significantly lower rates than Whites and Blacks (only 51% of eligible Latinos are registered to vote). The disparity between U.S.-born and foreign-born Latino voters is significant. U.S.-born Latinos register to vote at a 76% rate, whereas foreign-born register at a 31% rate.

The article does state that this problem may "self-correct with time" considering current trends. This is a significant issue for Phoenix and Arizona. That's why I will continue to volunteer for voter registration drives in Phoenix and Tempe.

Cal, I responded to you but it went into the spam trap. I'm sure it will pop up soon.

We geezers and kranks in the extreme northeast valley want nothing to do with anything south of Carefree Highway.

Does the City have any explanation for why you had to go to two different polling places to vote? I had to go to the Burton Barr Library to vote for Council, then I had to go down to Buckeye and around 15th to vote for the school bond. I know the real explanation is to disenfranchise the types of people who cannot easily travel all over town to vote, but what is the b.s. explanation? Surely it cannot be administrative ease or lower costs because operating separate polling places for the two questions on the ballot seems like it would be a bigger headache.

Bill, I understand. Sunnyslope used to be that way about south of the Arizona canal. In 56 I got my first speeding ticket just south of Carefree Highway on Cave Creek road.
However I havent been a fan of the town of Cave Creek since about 1980. I pass by occasionally on my way to Cordes Junction via Bloody Basin.

Anticipating the blow back on my Charter school remarks. OK there may be a couple of OK charter's. But that said, if you want to send your children to private school or charter school as opposed to public schools, you should pay out of your own pocket. No tax credits, no vouchers. And you should still be taxed to support public schools even if you think they are the "Black Board Jungle."

p.s. Us geezers in the extreme northeast valley would more about what's south of the Carefree Highway if we had light rail all the way to a El Pedregal stop so we could travel to Union Station to take Amtrak to LA or SD (or Durants for cocktails without worrying about DUI). Probably not in my lifetime.

The Virginia governor election results can only be viewed as great for Democrats both now and as a sign of good fortune in coming elections.

Question to blog Urban Experts.

Distinction between urban and suburban resident and area?

For example, is a resident of Alexandria, Virginia living in a suburb or an urban area?

Very good Bill.
And how about light rail to the Grand Canyon and Nogales.

Urban vs. suburban.

There's no hard-and-fast definition. For example, the Willo Historic District was once a "streetcar suburb" a mile from the old town center.

For the purposes of this blog, "suburban" means subdivisions of single-family detached houses, malls, shopping strips, "cartoon architecture," berms, purblind zoning that radically separates housing from shopping and all car dependent. (Interestingly, to maximize profit, developers often create greater density in new subdivisions than found in city neighborhoods).

Alexandria, with relatively high density, walkability, retail shops right up on the sidewalks adjacent to real neighborhoods, good civic design, closeness to DC and access to the Metro, is more urban than suburban.

There's also a state of mind. Urbanites like the energy, diversity, edge and choices a real city offers. The classic suburbanite is intimidated by all this and is most fearful of "where will I park?".

But it's not as hard a line everywhere as is found in Phoenix. Increasingly, quality suburbs want to replicate the best of cities and want transportation options. Much of suburbia near blue cities is turning blue.

Women of means in Virginia can easily travel to DC or Maryland if they need a procedure done so Cuccinelli's radical views on reproductive health are no threat to them. Based on numerous years of interacting with white women who vote Republican I can tell you that race trumps everything else. They vote GOP because "those people" are getting too much "welfare".

Shocking: Tea partiers become liberals?

Donna nails it. I never met a Republican who wasn't either racist or, at a minimum, oddly comfortable with racists. This is why the "cold civil war" is so durable. The politics of the American id may not be inspiring but they do validate the fears of people isolated in their suburban bubble. It's also why the urban vs suburban/exurban/rural divide has become the best explanation of voting patterns. Where you live tells us how you vote. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/portlandia It's not actual issues separating "real" Americans from the rest of us. It's race. As time goes on, the Republican advantage in the Dumb White Voter category will grow increasingly irrelevant. Destiny can be a real bitch.

McAuliffe is one of those guys you have to hold your nose when voting for. And you can do that proudly. There's no contest between a tainted Democrat and some crazy wackadoodle from the far end of the political spectrum. None. It's why progress isn't measured in the cadences of victory marches. It's measured in the slow drip of demographic inevitability. America is finally becoming America.

A new book by Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, has recently been published: “Reign of Error
The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools”. In a recent interview she stated that:

“Test scores have never been higher than they are today for white children, black children, Hispanic children and Asian children. High school graduation rates have never been higher than they are today for all of those groups. Our schools are not failing; they are very successful.

Where there are low test scores, where there are higher dropout rates than the national average, is where there is concentrated poverty.”

You could look it up!!!!!!!

From a source: prejudice in Europe

Cal, Notice the final note about Sweden. my friend told me this some years ago and said it was the reason he got his child US citizenship. He also noted in the same wave, the rise of fascism in Europe.
My friend told me it is like a virus, always latent. I visited him in Rome and he said every serious poll showed about half the Italians were still fascists. He meant it. He is the one who told me you should always have a very expensive watch (his grandfather's lesson) so you can bribe guards to cross frontiers. He was born in Eritrea, raised in Istanbul, has worked in Rome. He also has a US passport for security. In a better world, he would not know he is a Jew. I don't think he knows the slightest thing about Judaism. once in Rome when we were looking for a special shop he asked a street vendor who told him, oh, it's the one by the mosque for Jews. He buckled over with laughter.

soleri good post but broad brush. There must be 2 republicans that are not Racist and uncomfortable with it. I m one. But I can move into a group of racist's quite easily as I know the talk and the walk. And I have to be careful as the talk sometimes filters into conversations where it is not welcomed.
I grew up in a racist culture where Black Americans and Jewish and Japanese folks were always referred to in a derogatory manner. American Natives got the same treatment but not as bad as the other groups. My relatives thought Indians would be OK if they became Christians. My father finally accepted Orientals after he became a Zanjero and interacted with Japanese farmers for many years.

Westbev, it is no conspiracy. City elections are conducted by the cities, school district elections by the county. It has been that way for a long time. Not that it shouldn't be fixed in some way. As it turns out, 95% of voters in the Phoenix elections vote by mail anyway.

The vast majority of Americans are racist in varying degrees. The US is a racist country after all.

I can't speak to the other inner city school districts with large Latino populations but in Phoenix Elementary the bulk of the votes comes from the historic districts and there is a strong history of approval of overrides and bond issues. I worked on this year's override (I was the campaign treasurer) and the GOTV effort was concentrated on Willo, Encanto Palmcroft, FQ Story and Roosevelt.

Cal, point taken. I felt that "broad brush" while I was typing, even as a huge wave of pleasure washed over my inner adult. Still, apologies to you for any sense of disrespect. Please remember, however: you're free to leave that toxic cult at any time you so choose.

One thing that keeps getting to me about the Party of Lincoln is the apparent lack of any push-back from the rank and file toward those politicians and opinion leaders who traffic in racist dog whistles. I think David Frum is one Republican who's done so, and then there's the revelations of a former congressional staffer, Mike Lofgren. What's remarkable, however, is how few Republicans can admit any kind of moral revulsion at their own party's blatant pandering to some of the worst impulses among human beings. Maybe it's all that "Christianity" they wrap themselves in, but I get the feeling they're not even vaguely ashamed of themselves.

Unfortunately for the God-Is-Love crowd, hate for a black president leaves telltale stains on their collective personality. Whether it's the execrable Donald Trump or the birdbrain rocker Ted Nugent, there's a kind of ugliness that seems more at home at a Klan rally than a Trunk 'n Tusk dinner.

If you're a Republican, say it out loud: I'm ashamed of my party and how it's mainstreamed extremism and racism. Okay, I'll stop apologizing now.

Soleri, No apology necessary. For me as a tough in Sunnyslope,apologizes were seldom in order. I think I was pretty clear in the first comment on this blog about how far away the current Republican party has moved from a sense of any thing humane.

Great stuff.

The former Party of Lincoln used the Southern Strategy starting with Nixon to take the Solid South from the Democrats. It was implicit -- and sometimes explicit -- dog whistles on race in the wake of the civil rights movements successes.

Hard to believe that for decades Republicans were somewhat more progressive on racial issues. The Democrats were stuck with their segregationist Solid South and its powerful committee chairmen. Even in the 1960s, the civil rights and voting right acts wouldn't have passed without major Republican support (but not St. Barry).

That hasn't been the case for so long. Now, in general, Soleri's point is true. Racism and stoking the sense of white grievance are an essential tool of Republican power. And just like in the Jim Crow South, the plutocrats want to keep struggling whites from realizing who the real enemy of their interests is (hint: Not people of color).

Struggling whites: U would think they would come to the point it's not Obama the black savior that's the problem. But the folks with the gold.
The white racist's I know turn red to purple when it becomes apparent that a person of color may be in charge of anything. Hard to think clearly when one is in a constant rage. And their god forbid if we elect a democrat that's a woman.
I would like to live long enough to see how my fellow white folks handle what is inevitable. A US dominated by people of a color, not white.

"The former Party of Lincoln used the Southern Strategy starting with Nixon to take the Solid South from the Democrats. It was implicit -- and sometimes explicit -- dog whistles on race in the wake of the civil rights movements successes."
I'm no expert but didn't Wallace carry a great deal of the south in '68? And in 1972 Nixon carried most of the Nation. And a year later you couldn't find anyone who voted for him haha.

"I can't speak to the other inner city school districts with large Latino populations but in Phoenix Elementary the bulk of the votes comes from the historic districts and there is a strong history of approval of overrides and bond issues." -Paul Benjamin

Pual, I didn't mention the Phoenix Elementary SD since you had already listed the district in your post. However, Phoenix ESD is indeed a better funded inner city school district with high Latino enrollment (over 50% if I am not mistaken).

I also agree that this district in Phoenix has strong support among wealthier residents in the chic historic districts and condos around downtown and midtown. This despite the fact that many of these same residents send their own children to private or charter schools.

"Suburbs are generic. Cities are particular."


Yesterday the US Senate voted 64-32 in favor of ENDA, the bill outlawing discrimination against the LGBT community in the workplace. It will probably die in the GOP-controlled House, but in a sense it no longer matters: it's already "passed" among the American people. Hating gays is another losing battle for the Neo-Confederate Party. To see Arizona's Jeff Flake and the blustery John McCain vote with the majority was the big surprise (along with Orrin Hatch of Utah and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania). These votes are seldom "acts of conscience". Rather, it's politicians' exercising their exquisite sense in determining which the direction the wind is blowing. Flake, McCain, Hatch, and Toomey are, in effect, Republican weathermen telling their party the culture war is in trouble.

In Oregon, gay marriage and marijuana legalization referenda will almost certainly pass next year. While Oregon is a blue state, it has voted for Republicans in the past. But the state's Republican Party cannot compete now because it's too aligned with the national party. That is, it's too extreme. Ditto for Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, and I believe (contra Rogue) Virginia. Arizona showed its libertarian streak with the ENDA vote. Can its own evolution be that far behind these other states?

What the other states have that Arizona lacks is a stronger urban pulse that effectively counterbalances the Republican suburban/exurban power centers. Portland, Seattle, Denver/Boulder, Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NoVa, etc. have pushed their states into the blue column. Arizona is a highly urbanized state but with density levels not quite high enough to shift it politically. This is where the game will be won or lost. Arizona will turn blue eventually (demographic destiny) but it could move faster if its cities really acted like cities.

The ENDA vote is a harbinger. Arizona is not part of the Neo-Confederacy. McCain and Flake just told us. Celebrate quietly if you will, but celebrate.

While I celebrate quietly the ENDA vote, I will also illustrate Donna's point with this:

I read the East Valley Tribune. Not long ago the paper published a column by Linda Turley-Hansen wherein she lectured her readers about “self-proclaimed black leaders who teach entitlement, grown in the fields of blame, seared in hate. . . . Thus, the pernicious mindset among black leaders . . . has the potential to further cripple an entire race and take down a nation from the very top.” She said, “the entitlement mentality seems to define the black community.” And, “white guilt” keeps us in a “tolerance trap”.

The Tribune did allow a rebuttal from four local black men, but I don’t think Mrs. Hansen understands why they, or anyone, would accuse her of racism. In her next unrelated column, as a final appeal she wrote, “I’ve taken some heat from readers regarding my early September column berating black leaders . . . . As for my bombastic detractors, they compound the problem; they are the problem.”

I believe that Mrs. Hansen is sincere even while she ignores the fact that the black and white community share welfare almost equally.

LDS Linda Turley-Hansen?
White spremacy genes?

The poor keeping the faith
and the Bishop passing the plate.
A $22,000 dollar bathroom?
Big enough to park his BMW, in.
Is there a pattern here.
Are the Robber Barons the Bishops of the Tea Party.


I'm curious what your thoughts are on the potential development of Surprise's downtown. Phoenix seemed to overshadow everything else in the Republic's article on the topic, and the council members certainly had interesting opinions, to put it mildly.


Just back from the Heard Museum's annual Spanish Market. I wonder why its called the Spanish Market?

Cal, I believe it is named the Spanish Market (Mercado de las Artes) because it is meant to resemble mercados from the Spanish-Colonial era. Some of the crafts and artworks are created in a style dating back to that era as well. And don't forget, the Heard Museum itself is built in the Spanish-Colonial architectural style.

Good answer phxsunfan

Gilbert school district to allow vouchers for private schools and currently okayed zoning for a new private schools.


Certain interests have long wanted to unlock this parcel by dangling the promise of "a real downtown for Surprise." I have long been skeptical. The last push was during the boom when some playerz wanted to throw up highrises a la Tempe's hideously out-of-scale Centerpoint tower. It was all a hustle.

Surprise is entirely suburban in its composition. A suburban "town center" might result, although even that is doubtful, since most Phoenix suburbs are hostile to the essential elements, such as true public spaces. Everything must be built around the car. This plat is far from potential commuter rail -- and Surprise is not pushing for it.

The dreary sameness of suburban Phoenix comes from it all mostly being thrown up at the same time, by the same band of developers, mostly on the cheap. Any distinctiveness comes from something that somehow survived from the past, such as the little heart of Glendale.

Right, a lot of what's already been built up there feels like a suburban attempt at individuality and development, like you said, or even a small town's idea of what might engage people. It's very tourist-based, and while that might be the model that best suits Surprise, it's not what makes a distinct city core.

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