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September 12, 2016


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Within 10 years, Arizona and other red states will begin to see the light. The parents and grandparents of younger voters will begin dying off, replaced by those people no longer hypnotized by the melanin content of human skin. The real question is whether it's already too late. A high-sugar diet of low taxes and a drive-everywhere environment may have damaged the state's civic health beyond recovery.

On a national level, we can see the Cold Civil War paralyzing the nation for no better reason than making the rich richer and the stupid stupider. Niche media have made it possible to inhabit one's own echo chamber without challenge or intellectual persuasion. On the right, this amounts to racist and xenophobic preoccupations mixed with nostalgia for a make-believe past and resentment at the government for allowing "others" to have rights. The preoccupation with political correctness, however, is not about the hypersensitivities of the bullied and powerless. It's more that the tribe of Real Americans feels disrespected and ignored. In effect, it's the wrong political correctness, not the concept per se.

Arizona is a one-party state where the party caters to people detached from community and the idea of effective government. The Republican Party is now based in its own media that are largely national in scope and interest. Local issues are increasingly irrelevant, disproving Tip O'Neil's point that all politics is local. 20 years ago, Donald Trump would have been impossible to nominate for president in this party. In 2016, his conquest proved ridiculously easy. He's the media savvy outcome of a party devolved to its lower common denominators.

David Brooks, one of the last Republican intellectuals, is now like a lost puppy looking for an owner that left him at a gas station in some desolate Wyoming town. Where, oh where, did my party go? I could tell him it left for a better world where racist dog whistles no longer cause people to vote against their own self-interests. That's a joke, of course, because you require toxic explanations to attack your own well-being. This is what the auto-immune disease of democracy necessarily entails. Arizona's tragedy is that it was only lightly moored to the real world of benefits and costs. When the highwaymen road into town, there wasn't the defense of memory and collective purpose to withstand them. Arizona was one of the first states to fall to their cult of greed and cruelty. It might eventually recover its sanity but if it does, it may well be too late to matter.

Thanks for the insightful post, Soleri. I hope you are right about younger people. From the Pew surveys I've read, the melinnials and some Xers may or may not actually trend progressive/Democratic. Pluralities are undecided. And while they are undeniably more open on culture war issues, it remains to be seen where they stand on other things, including addressing climate change and reducing sprawl. Most don't know history. They have no memory of everything government did to make our lives better. Many don't read. The political "center" has been to the right all their lives. Many are seduced by libertarianism.

Meanwhile, we decide presidential elections by states and each state has two senators. While younger people flocking to the coasts are progressive — at least culturally — those whites left in the New Confederacy have a good chance of voting red and absorbing the Trumpian grievances. This is true of young people in red states I know, so more serious sociological research is needed. The youngest boomers will be with us some time, too. And the New Confederacy can control the Congress, with devastating results.

As I say, I hope you're right.

Good article and good comment. May I offer that the problem is not exclusive to the Republican Party, the problem is bi-polar. We are living under a system that no longer resembles anything like the democratic republic story that was used to indoctrinate generations of us into believing we and our political system are exceptional in a good way. We are not! This train wreck of an election has done a great deal towards disabusing that idea.

If you have any good argument why I should bother to honor this sham with my participation please spell it out.

Recently I spoke with a Millenial in a deep red state who had been raised in Arizona but relocated with his parents deeper into the heartland. I suggested that racism will hopefully lessen with his generation coming into power. He wasn't as optimistic, pointing out that those values are many times passed down from generation to generation.

Another talk with an X-er in a deep red state. He was native born in deep red country, had a college degree, and lived in Portland and Los Angeles for 15 years before returning to his native state. He was an avowed White Supremacist. When I asked him where he acquired his supremacist beliefs, he said that he met a mentor in NW Portland who "enlightened" him.

It was when I came to Arizona that I first met people who would say to me, "You're not white." That was news to me. Since then I've met numerous people hailing from the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountains who have made similar comments about my skin color. Experiences like that never happened to me when I lived on the east coast or east of the Mississippi River.

I'd also point out that many of the interracial law enforcement shootings involve millennial and X-ers.

Racism isn't disappearing in one generation and there are plenty of Aryan Brothers in California, Oregon and Washington state. But it will be a lot better when the Boomers are gone.

Oh, my! I have long recognized that I am a member of every cohort that it is still politically correct to ridicule and be prejudiced against e.g. blond, overweight, near-sighted, Christian, Anglo-Saxon, Republican, conservative, Arizonan, and so forth. Now, apparently, I can add "Baby Boomer" to the list. Is there no end to the double standards that the left observe?

Jon, you write so well! That makes your obsession with everything that is "wrong" with Arizona all the more tragic. Plus, at least some of what you write here--overlooking the issue of whether I agree or disagree with any of it--doesn't even make sense. For example, you write that

"...Arizona's population expanded by 40 percent in that decade, but it was the "big sort," where people came seeking ideological co-religionists. It was almost entirely on the right..."

You explained to me, in connection with light rail, that "WBIYB" means "we built it, you b**stards!" Well, at least in the most recent election relating to light rail and transit, "We" includes a majority of Republicans who voted for Phoenix's Prop 104 in August 2015.

Moreover, if the recent influx of persons moving to Arizona is "almost entirely on the right", why is the race here between Hillary and Trump so tight? Are many of Arizona's "deplorable" new citizens reluctantly supporting Clinton? Despite "voter suppression" (What is the big deal with voter I.D. anyway?) will the Mexicans turn out for her?

Either Arizona is the incorrigible hotbed of "alt right" racists you say it is, or it is the light-rail-loving, might-vote-for-Hillary center-right reality. It can't be both.

By the way, I thought conservatives, in addition to our other "faults", were the ones who wish to "turn back the clock." I'm with you on this one--heck, I even miss Legend City, let alone the "Golden State"!

No, I don't think we can get the "old Arizona" back, and a lot of good things are gone forever, but millennials--racist or not--do want to live downtown and--compared to us dastardly boomers--are more interested in transit.

Your Arizona columns are analogous to Hillary's campaign. All she does is badmouth the things that are bad (in this case the flaws of her opponent) without ever telling us what she would do to improve things, or reminding us of the things that have changed for the better. I doubt that she has the intellect or the ability to change her approach at this point. I am confident, however, that you have plenty of both.

Most polls, effectively, show that Clinton has as much a chance of winning AZ as Trump does of winning the electoral college. It will be interesting to see what this means to younger Hispanic voters if Arizona's results are close (and maybe someone like Arpaio gets bounced) -- will they be 'so close they can taste it' and turn that into motivation to keep up the fight and stay involved in future years (the goal of the "Taco Bowl Engagement")? Or will a big Trump win in AZ, along with continued victories at the state/local level, serve to disenfranchise young Arizona Hispanics for years to come?

I don't personally worry too much about Trump's campaign having a lingering effect in AZ. Look at how quickly the Bernie Sanders fire has died out. Trump will lose and the state will go back to being a baseline GOP (not conservative) state. Unlike the southern states that want to continually take up "religious freedom" legislation, Arizona's leaders would rather focus on the crony capitalistic interests that provide them with the highest return. They'll always have immigration as a built-in wedge issue (whereas North Carolina, for example, has to fabricate this bathroom fight) to mobilize the base so they can focus on abusing their power, not just holding onto it.

Oh. no, Robert.

Arizona is the leading member of the new Confederacy and the state hates people of color.



McCain 54%
Obama 45%


Romney 53%
Obama 45%

See? See the hatred? The racial animosity? The insensitivity? The Klan- ness? The White Supremacy? The voter suppression?


I appreciate you coming here to comment. We need to see more sane, civil argument from conservatives.

I commit what it called "journalism" on this blog. I know it's not often done in boosterville (although see Arizona's Continuing Crisis). My job is not to be a cheerleader or booster of the great Arizona Ponzi scheme and other assorted rackets.

Orwell said, "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations."

I'm holding those poll results at arm's length. Trump should lose to Clinton in Arizona -- he should lose to anybody, really, because he's that unqualified (and is even more disinterested than he is unqualified) -- but it seems enough people are willing to watch the world burn than to vote for someone they have grown tired of despite her qualifications.
Still, if Clinton wins, as I think she will, she won't have to worry about impeachment even if the GOP has both chambers in Congress. The Senate would not have enough votes to convict. More than that, I don't think even the Republicans think they would need that tactic. They'll do just what they have done to Obama, which is gum up the works and never actually govern. If they hold the Senate, it wouldn't surprise me that they wouldn't bring the Supreme Court back to nine members, because they would deem Clinton to be an illegitimate president. They said that of Bill Clinton and Obama, so I don't think Hillary can avoid it.

Nate Silver said no in July http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/state-to-watch-nate-silver-sees-trump-currently-squeaking-by-in-arizona-8418812 However the energetic diversity on display at Congressman Gallego's roast this spring was encouraging. Many young energized Hispanic voters and campaign workers.

First what blaxabbath said,
"Look at how quickly the Bernie Sanders fire has died out."
Smoldering fires are as dangerous as visible flames.

About BHB post:
I understand the rational of Lite Rail in Phoenix and I am not logically opposed to its arrival and continued expansion into the suburbia waste lands of east and west and north (but not south) parts of the Valley of the Sun while tearing up the great sands of the Sonoran desert.
What’s left of it.

Subjectively and emotionally I am appalled at the ugliness of the light rail system as I am of the overwhelming number of light posts on the concrete and asphalt roadways. Thirty five (35) miles from downtown Phoenix the desert is subjected the night time glow of artificial light. May the day come when these lights are forever gone and the roadways are broken apart by mesquite and other desert plants, maybe even a sajuaro or two.

BHB said, “ I doubt that she has the intellect or the ability to change her approach at this point. I am confident, however, that you have plenty of both.”

Jon would make a much better president than Hillary and the Donald combined. The US political scene is a wasteland much beyond a T.S. Eliot description. More like a Mad Max movie.

If Donald has to surrender his tax returns then I believe Hillary needs to hand over all her medical records particularly those pertaining to the use of prescription drugs. I am opposed to anyone being required to hand over their tax returns for public consumption to the broadcast system. If there is an issue the news needs to come to the broadcasting system and to the public from an investigative agency in the form of a criminal indictment.

I kept yelling Bernie but no one except Petro was listening.

Regarding Illegal Mexicans, few Arizona conservative businesses want to stem the flow of cheap labor but they do want to keep them in their place, hidden in the shadows of car washes and restaurant kitchens. However as INPHX notes there is a creeping increase in the voting numbers, and there is also a observable increase in Mexican owned business that are creeping northward.

As a big fan of demographics,I am very disappointed the leaders of the hispanic community has not been able to get out their voters.What will it take to get this growing demographic to vote?If they need more incentive,I can't imagine a better one than Trump.If Al Sharpton or any minority leader had said the same kind of thing that Trump has said about Hispanics,Obama would have been defeated in 2012 and maybe even in 2008.Come on guys,get on the bus.

A forward from one of my conservative Arizona friends. "Hillary Imploding"?

Flipping the world, I like this quote from the article from the Front pages,"Does the Left have a future." I believe it pertains to all US political parties, currently.

"No party can exist forever. Political traditions can decline, and then take on new forms; some simply become extinct. All that can be said with certainty is that if the left is to finally leave the 20th century, the process will have to start with the ideas and convictions that answer the challenges of a modernity it is only just starting to wake up to, let alone understand".

My money is on the left leaving the 20th Century sooner than the right leaves the 19th.

Jon, good to see you bringing Ted Simons up to speed on PBS.

Even if Hillary does not flip Arizona to "blue", I predict a very close race. Although this is anecdotal, I know many, particularly college-educated, white Republicans who abhor Trump and (rightly) see the man as destructive to conservative doctrine, if not the country. His bromance with Putin isn't making friends with retired military, either. In addition, although considered part of the "New Confederacy", Arizona, like many Western states, is not the bastion of Evangelical Christianity that Alabama is. We have lots of Catholics here, and Catholics right now are not happy with Trump, at least according to an article I read in "The New York Times". As for the LDS faithful, I don't see them being happy with a candidate who is friendly to Evangelicals and hostile toward faiths considered outside the mainstream. I know this all sounds optimistic, but I would like to think my fellow Arizonans are smarter than folks might believe.

I hate to preach, but I have had an experience with God, and that informs my beliefs completely.

I can also speak about the hypocrisy of both political parties, so it becomes a choice of the lesser of two evils.

I believe love to be allowing others to be who they will be--instead of demanding strict conformity for someone to be relevant and accepted.

I believe the antithesis of love to be "control." Control seeks to demand things and behaviors of people--instead of letting them have freedom.

The Republicans have cynically appropriated and commandeered the word and concept of "freedom" to be THEIR conservative way of "doing things."
In their universe, most anything that portends "change" is seen as "constricting" their freedom to expect conformism to their ideals.

The Democrats, on the (not completely) other hand, don't "give back" what they should, but it is slightly more--and less control-oriented than the Republicans.

"Strict interpreters" of the Bible, the Constitution, and other documents such as the Koran have a vested and self-serving interest in limiting or halting the pace of the often-hated "change."

But the world will change. That much is certain.

I suspect that Arizona's majority electorate and assigned conservative leadership will attempt to limit and halt change in the state.

This will likely cause Arizona to be rendered poorer and much less relevant on the world stage in the coming decades because the larger world will have less and less in common with an Arizona stuck in the past.

There is also the 1989 XTC song, "King for a Day" that is so appropriate here...
It is a critique of "ambition."

King for a Day

Everyone's creeping up to the money god,
Putting tongues where they didn't ought to be
On stepping stones of human hearts and souls,
Into the land of "nothing for free"
Well the way that we're living,
Is all take and no giving,
There's nothing to believe in,
The loudest mouth will hail the new found way,
To be king for a day
Everyone's licking up to the new king pin,
Trying to get way up with a smile
Sing for your supper boy and jump to a finger click,
Ain't my way of living in style
'Cause the ladder gets longer,
And ambition gets stronger,
I can't satisfy the hunger,
That bad old moon has got you in its sway,
To be king for the day
You're only here once so you got to get it right
(No time to fuss and fight)
'Cause life don't mean much if measured out with someone else's plight
(In time you'll see the light)
'Cause the way that we're living,
Is all take and no giving,
There's not much to believe in,
The loudest mouth will hail the new found way,
To be king for a day
You got to be the king for a day, ah
To be king for a day

For non-commercial use only.
Data from: LyricFind


How one Bernie supporter comes to Clinton.

"I won’t belabor the Trump-Hitler comparison here, but read this if you harbor any doubts about the nature of Trump’s personality disorder and intentions. This is a nihilistic man punch drunk on ego and power, hungry for violence, all in for cutthroat competition, incapable of self-reflection, one hand on the nuclear button and the other on Mein Kampf, capable of the unthinkable. What he cannot create he will destroy — such is the nihilist’s endgame."

Bradley, as far as I can see, belief in God (or whatever) isn't really an issue.

As evidence I offer up the adamantly Christian right. The fact that they behave in a manner foreign, and in many cases directly contrary, to Christ's teachings doesn't bother them in the least. In their minds, they're still "true" Christians of the best sort.

I say believe whatever nonsense you want, just keep it to yourself. As long as Methodists don't start blowing themselves up at the Safeway, we'll be OK.

The real issue is that "they" vote in large numbers and "we" don't.

They've come out here to get away from cold weather and "them". They found a new "them" to be afraid of--but at least Sheriff Joe is there to protect them. They don't mind low wages because they're retired. They don't care much about education. They care even less about the arts. They don't use mass transit. And anything that doesn't directly benefit them is a waste of money. So, the mantra of "lower taxes" is their panacea for everything. The status quo is just fine. All they want is to be left alone.

And they always vote en masse regardless of whether or not it is an "off year" election.

Sure, most of them are older and they'll die off sooner or later...but there's always more where they came from, just waiting to retire to the Valley of the Sun.

Sadly, I don't see that changing any time soon.

Here is a race that needs to be flipped.

B. Franklin:

I bring “God” into my excoriation of Arizona’s morally indefensible practices because God is employed by the conservative leaders and electorate here as the main underlying and justifying factor in their conduct. God is an intrinsic and virtually intractable basis of Arizona’s aberrant governing and electorate behavior and stems from religion’s integral place in Arizona’s definition of itself. Since most of these allegedly “religious” and likely “evangelical” churchgoers here are very politically active, conservative, and are the voting majority, their regressive religious beliefs hugely underpin the conservative politics which result in the following governing policies. I believe these religious beliefs have become aberrantly perverted by these heathens in their aggressive “fair weather” faith, freedom, and firearms dogma that the rest of the world sees clearly as a regressive and self-serving worship of false idols.

I believe the world also sees that God, with Jesus Christ being his earthly example, would never behave in the intolerant, exclusionary, socially divisive, and self-serving manner that passes for government and policy in Arizona, and Arizona, being proudly defiant in that hypocrisy, has brought the world’s loathing upon itself.

I also very strongly contend that Arizona’s twisted “our freedom is divinely ordained” justification for its immoral governmental and legislative actions follows the same religious path ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Nazis followed in their “rabble rousing” that each claimed was divinely inspired and sanctioned.

If an entity such as an individual, organization, state, or country brings God into the equation of either its existence or mission, it is incumbent upon that entity in their conduct to behave as God would—to the best of their ability. That means with fairness, inclusion, and acceptance of everyone—with complete equality being the ideal. Anything less is dishonorable, heretical, and brings opprobrium from all that witness such a self-serving ideology and practice.

B. Franklin:

Religious hypocrisy is something I have very little tolerance for.

To answer Mr. Bohannon,


Arizona needs to get with the rest of the world in both spirit and substance--instead of this silly us vs. them posture.

Failing that, I predict a long, slow slide to irrelevance and a lowered standard of living.

Reading Bradley Dranka's comment, I began a compare-and-contrast analysis with David Brooks' morning Times' column http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/16/opinion/the-uses-of-patriotism.html?ref=opinion. Brooks is writing about patriotism but as a civic religion. He worries that our national project depends on a sense of solidarity and when the National Anthem no longer commands the same respect and fervor, we lose a crucial tie that binds. This has political implications in that a loosely defined nation no longer functions well if at all.

During Vietnam, I got the feeling that loud patriotism was the province of the hawks. Because I was young and very cynical, I didn't see what was happening to the nation overall: if prompted to choose, most Americans would select patriotism and religion over their humanist alternatives. By the 1970s, our shared values had permanently fractured as Republicans discovered the magic of wedge issues in our politics.

I am not a religious believer and I still recoil instinctively at the demands of compulsory patriotism but I understand what Brooks is saying. As much as I dislike the inch-deep religiosity of Republican "Christians", as much as I mock the bellicose nationalism of their me-first patriotism (whose perfect symbol is the draft-dodging Donald Trump), I can still see our opposition to their values as a political catastrophe. We can't change their political opinions once we gave up on their hearts and minds, which have hardened in the polarization of our civic and spiritual lives.

It may well be impossible to heal this rift at this late date. The cold civil war obeys a logic all its own now. Into this abyss stomps a man-child with an oceanic ego and insatiable need to dominate. How did it happen that someone with the civic values of a ferret and the religious impulses of a hyena could seize the America that is still enthralled by church and flag? I suspect the answer has less to do with Jesus and Reagan than tribe and identity.

We are as a species stranded between the mud and stars. We can no more overwrite our evolutionary development than we can reason our way to a shared understanding of reality. As crude and offensive as the American right is, they still prevail because human nature remains intractable. Instead of demanding people be smarter or more rational than they are, we would do well to accept their existence as we would a feature of the landscape. We can no more browbeat them to their better selves than we can move the Rockies to Kansas.

Again Soleri proves that the convergence of prose and poetry is possible. His post suggests we are hardwired to eventually bring about our own annihilation It seems we are the planets most ignorant organism.
Well said Soleri.

Well said, Soleri.

I am increasingly fearful that Trump could win. How is this even possible? And yet...

Comment adds no value? Not even wit? That's why it's gone.

Subjective? Perhaps.

But it's my blog and my goal, as long as we have comments, is to ensure they are worth reading.

INPHX, just so you know, I'm not writing for racist enablers like you. Your party nominated Donald Trump. If you weren't so oblivious to the mordantly obvious you might think twice about calling some nobody on the Internet a bunch of names that perfectly describe your party's candidate.

BTW, Trump appears to be on the precipice of taking back his racist birther charge about Obama. He's almost there! Remember how you called that bigotry "a legitimate question"? Remember how you absolved George Zimmerman of any bigotry, a guy who paints Confederate flags for sale online?

You are a piece of work.


You display the very lack of intelligence or rational thought that you condemn.

The discussion that you and I had about Zimmerman had nothing to do with Confederate Flags; rather, it was whether or not racism or bigotry was a motivation in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Which it clearly was not.

If you want to revisit that, I'm ready.

Here's my serve:


"In an interview with FBI agents in March, investigator Chris Serino told authorities he "believed that Zimmerman's actions were not based on Martin's skin color, rather based on his attire, the total circumstances of the encounter and the previous burglary suspects in the community," according to an FBI report."

And I guess Rogue deleted one of my posts, which is fine. It's his blog.

A serial thug shoots and kills an unarmed teenage boy walking home from a convenience store. Your sympathies are with the thug for some reason. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact the boy in question was black.

The Republican Party of the past 40 years has descended into a sewer of white nationalism, wink-and-nod race cards, and now with the rise of Donald Trump, explicit racism. I don't really care if you are a racist in your heart of hearts, although I suspect as much. It's that you support people who clearly are. You make excuses for your own birther racism and like Trump, pretend it no longer matters.

It matters. Because until the Republican Party purges itself of people like you and Donald Trump, it's going to be a cancer on this republic.

Jon, I have to object to the following comment: "....the white-right apartheid suburbs and exurbs."

Apartheid, really? I don't think that is fair, or accurate.

I know you know that the Phoenix metro region is far more integrated than most metro regions of comparable size. So, whence apartheid?

Just because some suburbs have a higher percentage of whites than the City of Phoenix doesn't make them exclusionary, or necessarily monocultural, either. I live in Scottsdale; it's 80% white, 20% minority, and in my experience ethnicities and races are mixed and intermingled freely throughout the city limits without any segratatory or apartheid-esque restrictions. Gilbert, often held up as the poster-child for monocultural conservative suburbs, is 73.5% white. That, to me, doesn't qualify as homogeneous.

There surely are some racists and bigots in Arizona, but I think our race relations here are generally pretty calm at least from what I observe in my every day life living and working with people of all colors/backgrounds. (Although I agree people tend to be more extreme on the internet and other echo chambers than they'd ever be to someone in real life, that probably is the case everywhere.) I enjoy living here in part because people get along pretty well in real life and tend not to be too in-your-face with each other.


Zimmerman was not a serial thug (can your establish that he was)? He was a legal neighborhood watch guy and had called the police many times.

Martin was not shot while walking home from a convenience store. He was shot while he was on top of Zimmerman, pounding Zimmerman's head into the ground.

Martin refereed to Zimmerman as a "cracker" while talking to his girlfriend on the phone. Do you have a comment for that?

Zimmerman legally patrolled the area regularly and he called the cops. Why didn't Martin?

Zimmerman was acquitted and the feds declined to pursue a federal race based case.

If you actually read about the case, it's a very strong bet that Martin doubled back and attached Zimmerman an then was beginning to reach for Zimmerman's gun when he realized Zimmerman had a gun.

But you won't read about the case because it might interfere with your preconceived ideas, no matter how wrong they are.

Why didn't Martin continue on his route to where he was staying?

I have NO sympathies for Zimmerman. Trayvon Martin did not deserve to die.

But Zimmerman's motive were not racial, no matter how much you dislike Donald Trump and no matter how screwy in general your views on race are.

I'd additionally like to add that I think that one can live in the suburbs and still care about the City. I want Phoenix to grow and prosper and have a vibrant downtown and everything else. A good city is the anchor for all the suburbs and exurbs around it, including the nearby rural regions.

I do believe one can choose to live in the suburbs, and still appreciate the value of a vibrant downtown. I just wanted to make that clear; I am not at all seeking to be oppositional to the City of Phoenix or any of its suburbs. We are all in this together.

INPHX, Zimmerman has a long arrest record for domestic violence and even a run-in with a cop. If he's not a "deplorable", no one is. Not even you.


Wrong again.

The truth will set you free:

From wikipedia; and let's focus on the pre Martin shooting (the shooting was in 2012):

Apart from the 2012 Martin shooting, Zimmerman has had other encounters with the law, including two incidents in 2005, five incidents in 2013 and other incidents in following years.[36]

In July 2005, when he was 21, Zimmerman was arrested after shoving an undercover alcohol control agent while a friend of Zimmerman's was being arrested for underage drinking. The officer alleged that Zimmerman had said, "I don't care who you are," followed by a profanity, and had refused to leave the area after the officer had shown his badge.[37] The charges were subsequently dropped when Zimmerman entered a pre-trial diversion program that included anger management classes.[4][38]

Also in 2005, Zimmerman's ex-fiancée filed a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman requested a reciprocal restraining order. Both orders were granted.[4][39] These incidents were raised by prosecutors at Zimmerman's initial bond hearing. The judge described them as "run of the mill."[40][41]

Yeah, he's a regular Al Capone.

And speaking of "deplorable", how about a guy who is the most powerful man in the world, married, with a daughter, having a fling with a 20 year old intern, lying to the entire country, throwing his supporters under the bus, getting impeached and disbarred, and costing his right hand man the next election while most likely vindicating years worth of sexual abuse accusations?

What kind of idiot would deny that that's deplorable?

My God, we're back to Bill Clinton's penis!

Sooner or later it always seems to come back to Bill Clinton's penis.

So, I'll ask once more, "Why are Republicans so fixated on the sex lives of Democrats?"

Does it make them feel morally superior somehow?

How can the party that gave us the Southern Strategy, "welfare queens in Cadillacs", Willie Horton, birthers, non-stop attempts at voter suppression, and now the gilded orange pin-up boy for white supremacists, feel morally superior about anything?

Just asking.

B Franklin, INPHX's specialty is putting lipstick on his racist pig of a party. The same party that made a pedophile Speaker of the House, that elected to the US Senate a man who frequented a Washington brothel in a diaper (possibly the most disgusting perversion imaginable), and re-elected a pro-lifer to the House who forced his own mistress to get an abortion (Scott Desjarlais). The obsession with Bill Clinton's consensual affair with an ADULT (nice move, INPHX, trying to make her look underage), was probably the most discussed sexual scandal ever. Later, after similar allegations involving Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston surfaced, Republicans backtracked their pervy obsession with the Clenis and said it was the Lie that mattered to them. No. With Republicans, it's usually what gets their low-information base riled up the most.

Which brings us back to the news of the day: Trump sorta disowning his own racist lie about Obama's birthplace, a lie that INPHX not only supported but defended. Why, oh why, do Republicans go to that well so often? You might think that the guy who can't exonerate George Zimmerman enough would realize that it's probably not a great idea to wrap himself up in alt-right conspiracy theories. But he can't help himself. A political party that is all-white, mostly deplorable, and the handmaiden to the rich and powerful need to distract the rubes with gossip. It's their best weapon holding back the demographic dawn that will render them irrelevant in the next decade. And how richly deserved is this ultimate reward.


Do you find Clinton's behavior deplorable?

I do.

Same with John Edwards, BTW.

Both parties have plenty to be ashamed of. Soleri began the reference to deplorable with George Zimmerman and I simply pointed out that the term applies to one of his idols was more deplorable.

It wasn't his penis. It was the lying, the disbarment, the impeachment, and again, the vindication that he most likely behaved in a way that would get any corporate executive fired on the spot. Like Roger Ailes, for example.


No more on Zimmerman?

Surrender accepted.

Yeah, stand by a guy who was expressly told by the police not to get involved with a kid walking home, who disregarded the police and somehow ends up shooting that kids to death. I can imagine the interaction where a hothead brandishes a gun on a kid who then panics and tries to defend himself against what looks like certain death. All Zimmerman had to do what the cops told him to: NOTHING. But this serial thug ends up killing a 17 year-old kid, who unlike Zimmerman, had no criminal history. Needless to say, you defend the white thug. Because you're a racist.

One thing I totally get about this issue is that certain people will never accept the idea that lax gun laws make these kind of incidents ridiculously easy. The moral test of any society is what we do to protect children and the elderly from predators. The Republican Party now abets an indigenous criminal class for no better reason that getting votes from easily frightened elderly white people. If you had any capacity for shame, I'd tell you how disgusting it is that a party manipulates voters for this purpose. You literally countenance the deaths of children for political ends.

I accept your surrender on the birther issue. Since Donald Trump is incapable of telling the truth on any subject, he is now blaming Hillary Clinton for inventing this issue. It's a telling how Republicans like you won't hold Trump to any account not only for his slander against Obama but for his cowardly deflection of it to someone who had nothing to do with it. You ought to tell everyone who reads this forum how you could possibly justify voting for this cretin. Someone who brazenly lies to people is now an even bet to be the next president. It would be shocking in a more civilized society.

Okay, I'm done with you. I need a shower now but the stench of this discussion won't easily be dissipated.

In answer to INPHX, since we're talking about consenting adults, no I don't find Clinton's behavior "deplorable". I would save that word for the kind of people who discriminate against other human beings because of the color of their skin, or their gender, or sexual preference.

Or maybe the kind of person who tries to make a profit off a murder weapon.

A more pressing question is, since Trump doesn't like to pay subcontractors who disappoint him in any (sometimes unspecified) way, who's going to reimburse all of those researchers and detectives he's had digging around in Hawaii all this time?

You know, the ones who were, according to Der Trump, turning up some "interesting" stuff about the President's birth certificate.

Hey, maybe Joe Arpaio can put them all on his Hawaiian tab! Then the taxpayers of Maricopa County can cover the bill.

Problem solved.


Thanks for your thoughtful pushback. I don't have all the answers.

However, from its inward-built, walled-off subdivisions to its gated properties, much of post-World War II Phoenix was built to be race and class exclusionary. This was aided by the many small school districts, which fended off court-ordered busing. People moved here from the Midwest to get away from the "racial troubles" back "home." FHA and VA loans largely excluded people of color, even veterans. As poor Latinos were displaced from the historic barrios and more arrived, they took over old suburbia and the Anglos moved farther out.

Scottsdale, especially, trumpets its "exclusivity." This is one reason it was adamantly against connecting with light rail (WBIYB). It would bring "those people" — I heard this in meetings there. The same resistance has been shown for the same reasons in other mostly middle-class Anglo suburbs. When I've been to events in downtown Scottsdale, they are 99 percent Anglo. Gilbert might have a historic Hispanic 'hood, but most of it is walled-off, better-off Anglos. Some (subcontinent) Indians live in Chandler and Ahwatukee, but they're rich by Phoenix standards.

Yes, people mostly get along in Phoenix (except for the snotty ones in north Scottsdale). Some of this is the city's cultural history as a Southern, as well as Western, city. But it also comes from the separation created by a thinned-out population via sprawl.


You defend the black kid who was on top of Zimmerman, pounding his head into the pavement, who clearly veered off his path home, and who referred to Zimmerman as a "cracker", because you're an idiot.


if you don't find a married man with a daughter having a "fling" with an intern half his age and then lying to the world about it deplorable, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

one other thing.

Soleri writes:

Needless to say, you defend the white thug. Because you're a racist.

Well, there you are. There's the mindset of the looney left. Because I agree with the lead investigator, the jury, and the lack of federal charges, along with the overwhelming reality of what actually happened, I'm a racist.

This is what the left does. Disagree with Obama? Racist. Think existing immigration law has meaning? Bigot. Balanced budget? Racist. Think there's problems with crime in Chicago? Bigot. Think single parent households have a tough go of it? KKK member. Think people should have to establish that they're citizens in order to vote? Dog whistles. Think people should generally do exactly what a cop asks them to do? More dog whistles.

It's easy, it's lazy, it's intellectually bankrupt.

If the shoe fits.......

Meanwhile, on the "looney right":

So, this Zimmerman punk has a right to stop someone walking through "his" neighborhood...because, uh, law and order?

And he has the right to ignore the police request to mind his own business...because, uh, "freedom"?

And he has a right to kill the kid because the kid decides to defend himself from some unknown, belligerent, "cracker" accosting him?

You know how the legendary journalist Jimmy Breslin defined "law and order" many years ago? "Get the nigger."

And nothing much has changed since then.

Even when black people do "exactly what a cop asks them", there's still a chance they'll be killed.

But there's nothing racist about that...

And by the way, how do Republicans "help" single parent households by cutting all the social welfare benefits they can? Oh, that must be that Compassionate Conservatism we hear about.

It never ceases to amaze me how far off topic things become here. I thought were discussing Phoenix. No!
It has turned to how history, racism, and personal attacks.How sad.

BTW: Does anybody really think that BC whispered in Monica's ear he would relly like it is she would "polish his horn?


America was born as a protest against the tyranny of a colonializing England.

Colin Kaepernick was protesting against the tyranny of the police in denying due process (by unjustified shooting and killing) to unarmed and fleeing Blacks who posed NO immediate threat to anyone.

In the post you commented on, I was pointing to a "religion" that was of base and greedy desires and how that was in opposition to anything noble and altruistic.


If the Rogue Columnist permits, because this takes some space...

The heathen "religion" of Arizona:


By: Bradley Kent Dranka

I am a Christian: being one with God over 50 years ago confirmed me—and this requires me to act as Jesus Christ would to the best of my fallible ability. This also compels me to speak out against the conduct of Arizona’s leadership and majority conservative electorate that is patently un-Christian in its actions and supporting thoughts….

This un-Christian behavior, by a conservative leadership and electorate which wraps itself in the mantle of “under God,” is seen by the larger world to be brazenly hypocritical and a moral affront, because Arizona’s “gods” and religions are of earthly, base desires. This larger world also sees little justice or ethics in Arizona’s intolerantly passive-aggressive regressive revisionism that seeks to roll back progress and turn back the clock on modern human rights. I posit that Arizona’s neo-confederate policies and perverted “religions” have repelled business investment here, to the tune of 4 billion dollars lost from business tax cuts (circa 1996-2015) enacted to entice business investments that never materialized.

Precisely, Arizona’s “value system,” supported by its underlying “justifications,” conservative electorate’s cultural attitudes, and the leaders espousing this reactionary dogma, constitutes an oligarchic “theocracy.” In this heathen belief system, freedom is “heaven,” with the “true believers” worshipping the “religions” in the title. Its “priests” spreading the “gospel” are the conservative Governor, legislators, law enforcement chiefs, business leaders, and their ideologically-aligned advocacy groups.

These “values” are glorified to the point of ignoring education and social justice: That these modern “human rights” are of secondary importance in Arizona makes this state diametrically opposed to progressive world values. This abiding “outlaw” mentality has been and will continue to be very costly to Arizona because education and social justice make for inclusiveness which drives innovation that in turn drives business profits. An educated workforce is the lifeblood of business. Where that lifeblood is constricted, and business sees its primary need as under-addressed and woefully unmet, business will consequently avoid it like the plague.

I argue that the clarion call and construct, by Arizona’s leaders, of a holy “freedom” having neither limitations nor moral responsibility, is the supporting and legitimizing basis for the “religions” of business, money, heroes (the military, police, first responders), social control, and no limits growth. A concept of unlimited “freedom” is a remnant of the “boundless frontier” spirit of America’s “macho” past, which informed a conquering and subjugating “Anglo” hegemony. This checkered and suspect history is where Arizona’s conservative leaders and its majority electorate turn to for inspiration in their quest to reverse time and progress. As were the colonizing policies of America’s frontier past, a “just for us,” fair-weather freedom and the “religions” flowing from it are cynically justified by the “powerholders” with the presumptive sheen of being “under God.” Invoking the almighty creates an umbrella of “divine grace,” thus absolving these plundering behaviors that, in their soulless disciples’ greed and excesses, trample underfoot truly inclusive policies and social justice.

Such a convoluted and self-serving sanctimony provides a cleansing redemption enabling this morally devoid and defunct “feedback loop.” But this aberrant and reprehensible behavior has created an adverse public image worldwide resulting in harsh economic consequences for Arizona--which will continue unabated…

As a consequence, the callback response and deconstruct, by businesses outside of Arizona, to this preaching of a limitless and irresponsible freedom, as expressed in its associated religions, has been largely to avoid investing in or relocating to the state. Considering that Arizona’s tax structure and legal system are very favorable to business, this should be cause for great concern. However, when freedom has no limitations or considerations beyond its exercise, offensive and ridiculous actions, as well as covering up failures, often become its bastard offspring. Arizona’s propensity for outlandish and obscene behavior has made the state “radioactive” for progressive business and associating with its politics potentially harmful to businesses’ public image and their profits. This business avoidance of Arizona has caused a deficit of 4 billion dollars in state revenues over 20 years from tax cuts designed to lure businesses that haven’t come. It also explains the state’s anemic economic recovery from the Great Recession.

I believe the Arizona “brand” has been severely tainted by the state’s leaders’ unjust policies, partisan legislative actions, and ignorant comments which are enthusiastically supported by an implacable majority conservative electorate. The concurrent uber-patriotic and intolerantly xenophobic opinion that the rest of the world’s opinions don’t matter—and that these “outsiders” have no business “telling” Arizona or its citizens what to do—has caused many out-of-state businesses to decide they have “no business” being in a perpetually and willfully controversial, undisciplined, repugnant, and spitefully rebellious state. The rest of the world realizes that Arizona’s majority conservative electorate is hell-bent on remaining gratuitously confrontational, if only to demonstrate their “apartness.” This unwaveringly defiant electorate deeply believes their freedom means being and doing whatever they want, no matter how offensive it may be to others elsewhere.

They also hold their unlimited freedom and the behavior flowing from it to be an inalienable and sacrosanct “right” because it supposedly is divinely ordained—and thus should not have negative consequences. Part of this delusion stems from their belief that because this “freedom” is “God-given,” it is only for them as “the chosen people.” That there may be other Gods, and that there may be “other” people worthy of this “freedom,” or that this freedom may have limits or responsibilities, is completely and, I believe, deliberately overlooked by these greedy and power-hungry heathens.

Thus, by the both the “powerholders” and electorate not only continuing their renegade behavior, but joyfully celebrating it—and becoming ever more defiantly unrepentant by the day--the state is socially and economically “crucifying” itself. On that metaphorical cross, above the slowly asphyxiating state of Arizona, lies nailed a sign reading: “Passive-Aggressive Regressively Revisionist.”

I believe most multinational businesses view Arizona this way. While it has already cost Arizona 4 billion dollars, this will only increase—and not just in dollar amounts lost.

The real problem is getting this state and its majority conservative electorate to realize their behavior has ramifications, including economic “blowback.” There is a large portion of Arizona’s electorate that sees the state as a paradise where any behavior, however boorish, is inconsequential. Whether this is a strongly held belief, wishful thinking, or an outright delusion is a difficult determination. The overly-prevalent, one-sided “boosterism” is partly culpable. If the powerholders and electorate don’t “wake up” and pay attention to the rest of the world and its opinions, or that these have merit and economic “weight,” the future could be very bleak.


I responded to you because you noticed me.

With a several notable exceptions, those being B. Franklin, Cal Lash, and Rogue Columnist, few have.

Maybe they will now.


I will permit (within reason), but most of the time the axiom "less is more" applies — unless one is a very good writer. Otherwise, your point risks being lost as readers skim across long blocks of type.

Thanks for staying on topic and "telling it like it is".

Rogue Columnist:

I have no problem with that.

In this one case, I felt the Arizona religion was so layered and intertwined by its reinforcing tenets that I needed to "let it all hang out..

Thanks for tolerating the length this once!


I'm just curious, because I think it is accurate: What do you think of my long post about "The Call For Freedom?"

You do seem to be quite erudite and are celebrated for that in this column.

Thanks for the response Jon. Your points are well-taken. I guess one way to describe what you're saying would be "structural racism" rather than intentional/individual racism?

I do find it interesting sometimes to read the local forums of which I am a part, on which some people who are generally nice, pleasant, thoughtful, etc., can really flip a switch and go off on certain groups of people if you bring up certain topics.

I wonder if this tendency is part of over-politicizing discourse, wherein its okay to be rude or hateful in one's speech because politics is war and winning is paramount, and the other side isn't worth humanizing or caring about.

I'd like to think that bozo the clown running for president is a one-time deal but European politics suggest that there's a risk of future alt-right or white nationalist politicians being a fringe fixture.

Additionally, while the GOP's focused on dealing with its own "hair on fire" moment, I know Dems are concerned about the chasm between Sanders supporters and the establishment and Clinton's remarkable unfavorability ratings, especially with younger Democrats.

Both parties have a LOT to clean up before 2020, but will they? Or is this just going to be one long-term morass?

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