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July 12, 2018


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Great Rant, Jon!

Anybody who quotes Dewey Hopper as an expert on the weather is a short-timer.I remember Art Brock with his flat top giving the humi-ditty report when most of the valley had evaps.(that is evaporative coolers for you short-timers.)I remember dust storms of the 70's and how frequent they were and then in the 80' forward they just quit happening so often.I guess it was because most of my time was spent at John's Green Gables or Bobby McGees in the late 70's and then I moved back to Tempe in the 80's.Oh well-now that we are in our 70's we can all be Grandpa Simpsons.

Given our current state of classlessness, I suspect some people just like getting saying a word with "boob" as the second syllable.

I still use dust storm because it’s the native Arizonan word and easier to say. Perhaps the reason haboob didn’t make it into the Phoenix lexicon sooner was a lack of worldliness in a small, Southwestern town. That is until 1950 when enough people came and with them, came the realization that this sort of things occurs elsewhere in the world and has a meteriological name. I still will use dust storm, so old habits do die hard. I wonder if Native Americans have a word for the phenomena?

"Ho:d skal" Apache for hard headed. We know it as psycho-sclerosis, hardening of the attitude.

I liked the old dust storms because of the thunder they brought with them after the suffocating and abrading dust had moved on.

Those thunder claps were concussive and slapped you around and rattled your innards. You couldn't believe everything around you wasn't destroyed when the shock wave passed. Nothing was safe.

But no more. Mega tons of wallboard dampen the effects, it's bricks and stone that honors the thunderstorm.

Ruben, that's funny and good to know. However, I was wondering if there is/are Native American term(s) for haboob.

Hopper liked it cuz he got a tickle out of saying boob on the air.

There's an excellent screed in the current print version of Harper's Magazine about the "decline" of New York City. This might seem weird given that it has probably never been richer, safer, and more architecturally spectacular. If you're an urbanist, however, you know the argument. Cities like NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, etc, are not as socially complex and vital as they used to be. Rather, they've become virtual gated communities for the rich. 100-story point towers for Russian oligarchs and Chinese businessmen are replacing the gritty but wonderful details of small shops and regular people doing regular things.

Phoenix is not considered a winner in the Back to the City movement but you can still see the outlines of the same homogenizing process. Downtown may be inert and dull but if you squint your eyes, it has never looked better from mid-distance. Things are changing and younger people, in particular, are happy with the results.

I was in San Francisco last month for Wagner's Ring and stayed at an Airbnb in the gritty Mission District, which amazes with virtual whiplash: new condos in the high six figures on the one hand and human feces on the sidewalk on the other. Rich yuppies, a rising tide of tented homelessness, and no middle class are the new urban norm.

I've been complaining about Phoenix for a long, long time. I remember the god of small things living there once but now long dead. In Portland, I look for hints of that magic in old buildings but it's dying here, too. The dive bars, greasy spoons, and real-world retail are giving way to cider pubs, sushi palaces, and Pilates studios. I ask old-timers when the city was, in their view, at Peak Magic and most will say some time before 1990. I keep looking compulsively because I want to wallow in that dreamy Edward Hopper painting or Tom Waits song. I know it's self-indulgent melancholy, but cities were soulfully beautiful once. Unless you can manufacture authenticity in a South Asian sweatshop, that's not coming back.

I know this is off-topic from the city of Phoenix, but I would agree with soleri about the shocking gap between rich and poor in San Francisco. I go there every year for conferences or to visit my sister, who lives in the region. My sister and her husband, who run a coffee shop in Glen Park, cannot afford to live there. They commute from Walnut Creek. One BART station near the Moscone Convention Center had an escalator closed due to feces, and homeless folks were everywhere. A local TV station earlier this year reported on businesses fleeing Union Square to the homeless crowd. Frankly, it's a sad. I guess all cities have their issues.

As for Phoenix, I find it hard to love compared to my old stomping grounds in central Texas. But I do find charm. You really have to dig and look beyond all the generic chains. Recently, I went to Mary Coyle's and, despite the oppressive heat, walked around downtown on a First Friday, shopped at local restaurants and had a good time with my date, who had never been to a First Friday. We both enjoyed it, and I loved the little shops and new eating/drinking establishments. Still need to make it to Durant's - cannot believe I haven't gone there yet.

I am the only "real" Grandpa Simpson on this forum. I too remember when the dust storms covered the entire valley.
We moved to the base of the White Tank Mountains in 1973. Many an evening in the summer was spent watching these storms march across from the east valley all the way to us.

I can also remember when there was no TV Weathermen because there was no TV !

The last week here has seemed like the good old days with daily storms.

Weather is not the only change I have observed in my 80+ years of living in the valley. Most of which were not necessarily for the better.

Mr. Ramjet of the west valley,
I still can't wrap my mind around the idea of the 303 freeway. Boy, that sucker is way out there. I guess the future 404 freeway will wrap around the west side of the White Tanks?

Back to the subject at hand, the weather is the weather. As long as April Warnake on channel 3 is on the screen, I'm OK with whatever the weather does. No disrespect to Dewey.

Soleri, I'm about half way through Richard Florida's new book New Urban Crisis. It speaks to your point, but with some incredibly depressing findings. The basic theory he puts forward is that everything us urbanists have been advocating for: density, transit, high tech jobs, talented people and the walkable neighborhoods that attract them (even lefty politics) have been causual factors in income inequality and spatial segregation. It's pretty eye opening.

I respect Florida, but disagree with his conclusions.

Our problems are not because of successful cities or urbanism.

Rather, blame lax antitrust that allowed the economic crown jewels of countless cities and towns to be merged away; tax cuts and "asuterity" that destroyed federal funding for infrastructure, research, etc; financialization of the economy that penalizes deploying capital for job-creating enterprises; destruction of a progressive taxation system, and local policies dominated by the right-wing that hurt "loser" cities and states.

ExPP, Thanks for the tip. I'll get the Florida book tomorrow.

Without knowing all the complexities of the problem, let me share a few observations over the decades. I lived in Denver from 1974-76 and I can still recall the strong historic preservation movement there. Old houses with good bones were being bid up in value and the city was enjoying an influx of Boomers (we were young then) who lived primarily in the central city. Denver had a big bust in the '80s but it came back later in the decade and hasn't looked back. Today, it's even more expensive than Portland.

I recall this gentrification in other places, too, like Santa Fe, San Diego, Santa Monica, Aspen, Washington DC, San Francisco, and even Tucson and Phoenix. In each case, it was not evenly distributed through the entire city. Rather, it was most evident in those neighborhoods with character houses close to the old core. I remember thinking that this is what was happening across America, that the best places were being bid up in value in a buying frenzy of young boomers. That may be the etiology of the current crisis. There are only so many really good places in this country. They are generally not suburbs, lookalike housing pods, or boring places with little diversity or cultural interest.

Why would anyone want to live in Mesa or Surprise if you could afford to live in Willo or Palmcroft? The problem is that the supply of the former vastly outstrips the supply of the latter. In all the world, there is only one San Francisco. But there are countless Vallejos, Fremonts, and Pleasantons.

The urban crisis today springs from the relative rarity of really great places. As the rich move in, they displace the middle and working class, who then will move to the affordable suburbs (see comment of David A.). Barring a revolution in architecture, this is a done deal. We no longer build great towns or cities. We literally can't do it because our culture/economy is so radically different today.

I saw one thing in San Francisco last month that was interesting. The Mission District for all its dodgy sidewalks had more urban energy than I've seen in anywhere in Portland or Seattle. It's a heavily Latino area and the reason they can afford SF is called "rent control". I'm an agnostic on the subject but maybe that's the price we may have to pay to keep cities interesting.

I know Denver and Seattle (and San Diego) well. The “rich” in the first two are generally people with well-compensated skills or longtime residents who can afford to stay. The truly wealthy still prefer their exclusive suburbs (e.g. Clyde Hill and Medina across Lake Washngton from the city of Seattle).

One problem is the economy is radically separating the rewards now. Only a few sectors pay really well. Millions of people have been made obsolete with no chance to recoup what they once made, retraining notwithstanding.

It's a very complex issue. I think of Cincinnati, a jewelbox of architectural styles and urban beauty. Churchill called it America's most beautiful inland city. It's also affordable and still has good jobs.

But most people there don't have urban values. They want to drive to a new house in a Warren or Butler county subdivision pod. There's also racial tension and a red county/state preventing such things as light rail. But places such as Cincinnati are diamonds in the rough. I loved living in that city.

I lived in San Diego in the '80s, a block from the Pacific in Ocean Beach. Great walkable urban district. But I was paid in "sunshine dollars." I never had an expectation/entitlement of buying a house (and SD prices were sky high even then). So I had to move and move, steadily improving my salary. People are doing less of this now.

I don't have much to say. I came to Phoenix as an eight-year-old in 1958, the move commanded by my dad's Iowa doctor for the sake of his lungs (a classic relocation-to-Arizona story, repeated thousands of times). I found it a marvelous place and felt like the luckiest kid in the world. We had dust storms and -- it seemed at the time -- they were always followed by a drenching summer thunderstorm. Neither "monsoon" nor "haboob" were in sight.

Long residence in Phoenix now makes you see what might have been. Long residence in Phoenix makes you see what we have now, and despair. If family obligations didn't hold me, I'd be gone in a heartbeat. This is a hell hole, and so is the United States of Trump.

Great bones and a strong urban ethos are not the only values, of course. Climate is a major one, which explains why west coast cities are so highly valued. It's why a great city like Chicago is still affordable given its more challenging climate. Cincinnati, St Louis, and Pittsburgh may be graded down in that way as well. On the other hand, spectacularly endowed cities like Boston and NYC could easily overcome their weather issues.

The seed carriers in America's urban renaissance tended to be hippies, artists, and gays. If your city had a "cool factor", it was a good bet they would spot it and capitalize on it. Of course, the seed carriers needed to reach critical mass before their efforts paid off. I used to wonder if a sleepy city like Tucson might be discovered given some of its felicities. It didn't happen for a variety of reasons and I doubt better urban planning would have ultimately made a difference. I don't think Phoenix was ever really a candidate for "discovery" given the relentlessly suburban character of the city overall. But Phoenix had some seed carriers like Kim Moody, Beatrice Moore, Wayne Rainey, Kimber Lanning, and Ben Bethel, who've done great work for the creative arts but couldn't quite make Phoenix cool for all their efforts.

Great colleges are definitely a plus, which can translate to much stronger economies. Still, it's a mystery to me why some cities really take off (Austin, for example) while others don't (once again, Tucson). There are layers of complexities here but I would still rather live in Tucson than Austin.

Everything can be explained if you go into sufficient detail. I don't think there are any unworthy winners or unfortunate losers here. I lived in Tucson when it seemed possible it was going to shift from Sun Belt mediocrity to something potentially wonderful. It didn't happen because the local establishment fended off the creative class when it looked like they might stage a coup (see: Ron Asta). Terry Goddard couldn't wrench Phoenix out its rendezvous with mediocrity either, although his effort was probably even more quixotic given the tectonic forces he was up against. Still, it's fun to play this game if only to tease out the wonders and disappointments of life itself.

Love this!! I have been telling my out of state friends for several years that I just call them Dust Storms.

R.C.-Loved your article on Malthus in above post.Wish you would alert us fans when you get published.Also a great article by the Economist in the same Front Page and this seems to me to be the best argument for the Dems. in the coming elections."Dont' let the bastards steal your vote through election laws"No wonder so many people don't bother to vote.

Thanks, Mike. I write twice a week in my day job. The archive is here:

Ramjet im 78 and moved into Dust Storm Slope in 50. For my health Joe.

The Malthus piece was great. Very supportive of my thoughts since 58.
I read it while picking on Jon about the houseless and the homeless.

May there be many dust devils be in our future.

Apologies for earlier downbeat message. It was occasioned by my recent return to Phoenix from an extended trip to Europe, which included renting a modern apartment in Nancy, France built into the bones of a residential block first constructed in the 1750s. Everything close; everything walkable. Great tram and bus system; TGV service to Paris and Strasbourg. Everyday people darn friendly, too. I did have a rented Peugeot, which I stashed in a public lot a couple blocks over. Didn't need it much but when I did I found the French drivers remarkably tolerant of my boneheaded driving errors. Why the heck was everyone so laid back and happy?

I can only conclude that living in most American cities, and especially Phoenix, makes the residents CRANKY.

Is Arizona at a political inflection point?

The irony is that the very population demonzied as "other" (read:Un-American) might save American democracy.

Interesting article. The answer does, as always, come down to turnout. History indicates that it, once again, be too low to have an effect.

Ramjet, I just witnessed probably the most amazing presidential performance in American history where Trump fully took the side of our Russian adversary. If there isn't a blue tsunami after today, democracy is not only over, America is finished.

Phoenix and the Sonora desert have much in common. There are dust storms, and then there are haboobs. Calling what the photograph depicts a dust storm is like calling the Grand Canyon a pot hole. There's a reason that the Phoenix Zoo had the Arabian Oryx as it's symbol for so many years. Our climate is very similar to that region. That's why our Zoo was chosen to aid in saving this species. I think it useful to have another descriptive word on the toolbox. All haboobs are dust storms but not all dust atoms are haboobs.

Interesting Ben, when is a dust storm not a haboob?

Good Politico article but will the white supremacists let it happen?

Did you miss a the center photo on page six of the Arizona Republic article on Charter Schools for Profit? I am not seeing it in this online version.

I had not seen what went on until reading your post. I have now seen some of it and really wish I had not. It is one of those pictures you get in your mind and get rid of.
I can only imagine what would have happened if JFK had kissed Nikita's ear over the Cuban Missiles If Truman had acquiesced to the Emperor and not dropped the bomb. Lincoln had told Jeff Davis go ahead and take Maryland - those people don't like me anyway.
One is forced to wonder what Putin has on Trump. Trump screwing a pig or even worse having homosexual sex.

I have to hope that the American public will finally say enough is too much. The odds of that happening are, unfortunately, not very favorable.
I will stay on topic by saying that dust storm, haboob, or natural reshaping of the planet is a messy business.
I will now retreat to my alternate universe where they are no politicians!

Ths sex tapes will not turn his idiots against him. They will just giggle and find a King James bible verse to justify such.
One has to follow the $$$$$$$$.
Its always about the trail of gold.
Especially with golden toilet seats Donald.
Without a GOP revolt against thier child emperor he will use their money and Russian Mafia billons to win another four years.
If you are under 45 i suggest a new country is in order. Particularly if your not white and not a christian. (What to know who is running the US. Try the book, The Family by Jeff Sharlett)

Joe Lauria
Throwing sand into the Russian Haboob.

A good Arrest on American soil.
Russians and NRA "Collusion"

Speaking of Haboobs!
Here is a psycho dust storm!

How did I know that this innocuous and interesting post would have political commentary - the hysteria is a real and ever present phenomena with the Left.

The Politico article posted states that "Arizona is in a place that California was in the 1980's" - insinuating that California has made progress since the 80's. As a native Arizonan, I would prefer that we not follow in California's footsteps. To help to avoid that looming disaster, I will be sure to vote in the upcoming elections bringing to bear my (@cal)idiocy, Bible, $$$, Russian Mafia, whiteness, Christianity, white supremacy at the voting booth. The only problem is that I'm not sure how I'm going to fit all these elements of hate into my handbag of hate.

This article perfectly illustrates the tribalism and the failing ideology of the Left. I read the article while shaking my head in dismay.

I can't wait for the midterms.

Regarding dust storms vs. haboobs. I only recall hearing "haboob" around 2008 and I heard it, for the most part, from my out of state friends attending university. I prefer dust storm.

We may not have had dust storms at all prior to the arrival of European man. The desert had a crust that held its soil in place. Farming, road building, mining, and profligate abuse of the terrain by dirt bikers all disturb the crust and create the dust:

Somebody's sock puppet writes from a perch of high dudgeon that "an innocuous and interesting post" has resulted in "hysteria". Pass the smelling salts! Schoolchildren have deviated from the agreed-upon topic!

No one really cares what we say here except in the fever dreams of a few commenters. Internet blowhards are, sadly, suffocating discourse in an avalanche of excess verbiage. That said, let it rip. We don't change minds but we blow off steam. If you're not hyperventilating at this point, you probably need to check your vital signs.

Hyperventilating?! I've already coded - flatlined since the tax cuts, or was it net neutrality? Honestly I can't keep track of how many times I've met my maker during the tenure of this administration.

Honestly though - I think every native Arizonan commenting here could agree that Arizona should not aim to be California without the weather or the beach.


Besides more convenient motoring for suburbanites, how is Arizona better than California?

Arizona cannot be "aiming" because a geographic/political entity is not a conscious agent. You do know that, right? California didn't decide to be what it is, either. Reality is simply the accretion of millions of individual choices and decisions from the various actors in our human drama. No one conspired to ruin your day with this reality. It happened while we were all sleep-walking in our personal explanations about reality. I think this partly explains why it's so extremely difficult for human beings to tackle climate change. We want a morality play (I'm good but you aren't!) in lieu of complex policy.

Look at politics this way: it manages the damage of those decisions. Sometimes, that "management" creates more problems, and politics will be forced to consider yet another solution. It's not meant to upset you. It's what adults do when we meet a force of nature (i.e, our collective selves): hunker down, bide our time, and then clean up the mess. When you turn this process into a conscious conspiracy, you make it harder to keep this process working. Someone like Trump enters, and mesmerizes the rubes with his cheap and vacuous "solutions". But politics isn't a salvation play. It's just the only tool we have to address reality without shooting each other.

I'd like to believe that every native Arizonan would not want to "aim to be California" in the bad way — enormous population — but even that's not true. Not true of native Arizonans of my generation, even. Or of those who read this site.

Some made a good living by adding more than 6 million people since I was born and putting subdivisions and golf "communities" in the High Country, paving over American Eden, etc. Many don't even know what has been lost.

As for almost everything else California, Arizona needn't worry. It won't have world-class cities of culture, beauty and economic power. Nor extensive networks of rail transit and intercity traIns. Nor globally renowned universities. Nor an environmental ethic that has proved remarkably successful, while preserving and enhancing the world's sixth-largest economy (contra Ducey, some low-end companies might move to AZ, but California outperforms Arizona by every metric of quality).

Nor will Arizona "finally turn blue" because of a fired-up Hispanic voting block. The Politico story was written with the usual out-of-town hope. In reality, Hispanic turnout has been abysmally low forever. Even Phoenix lacks the political infrastructure to copy Villaraigosa's success in LA. If the attack of SB 1070 couldn't mobilize it, I am skeptical Trump can. Don't assume all Mexican-Americans support open borders, either.

The extreme right epitomized by Arizona's ruling class deserves condemnation for many reasons. It supports a traitor as president, for one thing (and is complicit with him). But also because it has total control of the federal government and is wrecking decades of progress at home and around the world. It denies climate change in this last hour we could turn away from catastrophe.

The left that rules much of the West Coast can be tiresome and counterproductive. Some of the worst are little totalitarians of their own, but their damage is limited. I dislike the hard left's intolerance of nuance and skeptical of its vision of multiculturalism. I don't care for fanatics. But the Evergreen State College-style left isn't in charge nationally. And the right is more likely to enact an American version of the Enabling Act. The right is the big danger to our form of self-governance and to the planet.


Just curious - what is the hard left's "vision for multiculturalism"?

At the risk of walking into a setup, it's the vision of permanently separate communities in a majority-minority nation vs. the historic melting pot, where immigrants (especially their offspring) joined a common American identity while preserving and celebrating their heritage.

Yep thats me. @cal idiocy. Enjoying every second of it. For the Ostracist a copy of the Family, Holy Blood Holy Grail, War is a Racket and The Plot to Seize the White House and a 10 year exile to a quiet place in the California Mohave desert.
Ostracism, Shunning, Exile. Interesting Greek stuff.

PS. This old farm boy, last in his class idiot has been subjected to extreme criticisms by BRILLANT experts for 73 years. But i am still here spewing forth.
Great column,
Gotta go Sweep the Dust.
Hasta Luego

There is no historic melting pot (for people of color). Only a fire of racial animus. The Klan of the 20s celebrated a "common American identity." It's this exact logic that allows pundits to blame a colonized people (Mexican-Americans) for not participating in the colonial ritual of "voting." As if there was a vote on the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. As if there was a vote on whether AZ can have ethnic studies. The Russian troll is more like the "liberal" left than anyone wants to admit. The real debate between is what is the best way to keep up this charade of inequality. And, as a native Arizonan, I hope the place never becomes like California because then I couldn't afford to live here either.

Intellectual assassin, inequality is perpetuated by not voting. I think you half-understand that but you're having too much fun playing with demonizing jargon.

I'm not surprised by the low voting participation of Latinos in Arizona. The stakeholders in American democracy can defend their rights because they make a causal connection between power and status. If you don't understand that connection, you probably won't vote because the civic relationship is simply too vague. This will change in Arizona as it has elsewhere. Defeatism here is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In 2016, Arizona was the red state that came closest to flipping blue, missing by only three and a half points. All the other Southwestern states are blue now, so I think it's only a matter of time before it happens in Arizona.

Economic power translates politically and vice versa. It's frustrating that too many Latinos don't understand their own political power. But it's not the fault of liberals. It's the fault of the white nationalist party underfunding education, suppressing the vote, and demoralizing working-class Latinos with police sweeps. There are a lot of good people working hard to change this. Join them.

Wait... what?! Does nobody remember the 2016 Maricopa County 2016 PPE? Because, as a participant, I recall voter suppression, not voter turnout, being the primary storyline of that election.,_2016#Controversy_and_allegations_of_voter_suppression_and_electoral_fraud

The real problem with the word racist is that too many people actually are for it to have any meaning. Perhaps color-unconscious is a better term for those who blame people of color when racist policies are the underlying culprit. This squishy moderation only secures victories for Russian trolls.

As if Latinos aren't stakeholders in American democracy!

I don't think I've ever heard anyone on the hard left advocate for "permanently separate communities in a majority-minority nation" and I'm not ever sure what that means. I would say that the only true American culture that immigrants should assimilate to are the values and principles within the constitution (which are already part of the citizenship process and I've never heard a lefty advocating for changing it).

So, I'm not sure what is meant by those who say they need to "assimilate"? Does this mean move to the burbs and drive everywhere? Eat McDonald's? Stock pile assault rifles? Listen to John Cougar Melencamp? Yes, I'm being sarcastic but you get my point. Culture constantly evolves and is subjective. Who decides what superior American Culture immigrants should assimilate to? And, more importantly, why should we care? I was perplexed by your previous column about 90's nostalgia. Who cares if the dress code has changed? How does that affect you? There are many other issues with American culture that do affect the commons (e.g. obesity) why not focus on those?

A better response to Soleri--and to all liberals out there: why should anyone join you? What do you offer that is better than dropping out? That is what has frustrated me with the discussion on this blog. There is not a critical analysis of how liberalism simply did not work--such as how ICE deported more people than ever under Obama; how more people were incarcerated than ever under Clinton; how liberalism has not alleviated people of color from state terrorism by, as you call it, the white nationalist party? My argument--that is not the mission of liberals. Liberals may not like white nationalism but will tolerate it for the sake of governance. The Russian troll is telling you--the conservative backlash is coming. And marginalized people will bear the brunt of that backlash. Just like, coming out of the 80s, marginalized people suffered tremendously under Reagan. HIV (as an example) destroyed the lives of many marginalized people just like the current forms of social cleansing destroy the lives of many marginalized people. And, similar to arguments like "well, why would you have unprotected sex?" Or, "why would you smoke crack?" I see liberals on this blog blaming people of color for the negative outcomes of choices made in a system predicated upon white supremacy. Individualism, denuded of environmental context, does NOT work. And to castigate people of color (especially Latinos) for not voting when they are subjected to an environment created to ensure their subordination is victim blaming at its finest. Liberals have to punch up if they want anyone to win. That's why the "Abolish ICE" stuff works--it gets to the underlying problem. Which is white supremacy. Its perpetuation by the right and accommodation by the left is what has made this situation where we are at. This civil discord, similar to the civil war, is something that disrupts traditional political alliances. You have to--HAVE TO--pick a side. Because the Russian trolls, the Republican Party, they are already at war with people of color. Allies who blame people for their tactics are no allies. It is demoralizing to hear such negativity directed at marginalized people. It's like telling someone with no shoes to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. It is an argument that can be made by the cozy and comfortable. The Russian troll that has come on this blog is exciting because she lays down a gauntlet: whose side are you on?

Perhaps this is the point about the "tribalism of the left." But once again, this is an appeal to the logic of whiteness that allows for the demonization of colonized people. Trump is already tribal. Millions of people are already saying as such. So, I'm done after this, but white liberals really need to decide what tribe they are part of. What racial logic are you willing to unlearn? Whatever existed before no longer works and, yes, if the tribalism of white supremacy reigns (because the arguments of liberalism no longer compel people to the electoral box) then that is not the fault of people who don't show up to vote, but of those who didn't give them a compelling reason. Trump, despite all this chicanery, damn sure will give his voters a reason to show up. Can liberals?

Great stuff. Making my day in between my 2 hour work out. More!

Hmm, me thinks that it is not a russkie troll but a local yokel pretending with greek philosophical stoic tunes.

Time for a nap.

I.A., Are you saying that the left needs the same kind of tribalism that exists aleady on the right? Because, if you are, then it's really just a short trip from there to the Hobbesean nightmare of a war of all against all, from the American ideal to Syria, Bosnia, and Myanmar.

America will not survive this petulant demand of yours to be everything but America. The reason it works is because people are willing to put a primary political identity above a ethnic, religious, and tribal identity. That is what it means to be American. Anything else is simply another name for hell.

I think Latinos understand this. They can still speak Spanish, still have quinceaneras, pinatas, and rodeos if they want to. But when you're an American, you abide by the fundamental ideals that America is based on, not the harebrained dictates of self-styled SJWs.

Make no mistake: a right-winger reading your comment can take them straight to Breitbart or Drudge in order to expose them as a "liberal conspiracy against America". They want this war because if what you say is valid, there is not other outcome possible. Yours is the flip side of Bannonism, which not-so paradoxically ends up in exactly the same place: the dissolution of America.

Frankly, I never that I would read this kind of blatantly divisive rhetoric on a liberal blog. I'm more than stunned by it. I'm offended to the core of my being.

Cranes on the skyline: Seattle 65, Portland 30, Denver 28, Phoenix 4:

here u go

I note the following Washington state Real Estate DEVELOPMENT advertisement on the bottom corner of Rosenbergs article.
No cranes in sight. Just more sprawl.

Sorry for such a choppy reply. There are many interesting comments and so many points that I’m in agreement with!

I apologize as my post was poorly formatted and thus, easy to misinterpret. I didn't intend to call you an idiot, on the contrary, I think your posts are interesting and a valuable contribution (though I find some of your sweeping accusations targeted at groups of people with unalterable characteristics far less interesting). I was listing out the items from your previous post (idiocy was first) and should have used a format that was more clear.

10-4, not Russian. Am a local yokel, but currently in Asia. That said, though I’m no Thespian, I can keep playing the part – Russian or Greek.

@Ex Phx Planner
I assume you’re talking about the coast, so I’ll respond based on that assumption and be honest with you (Phoenix v. costal California cities). My favorite aspect of Phoenix is that it is not a world-class city – in that it isn’t plagued with the problems, values, and the homogenous qualities associated with reaching this falsely idolized state. Phoenix is still a middle-class oriented and unique (which gets increasingly diluted) place.

I lived in Kansas City a few years ago. A beautiful city, the Paris of the Plains. Small, but character fathoms deep. Historic buildings, but new industry. Middle-class, but with rich benefactors. Was it perfect? No. Did it have amazing art, culture, beauty, and was it a solid place to raise a family? Absolutely. Many of these elements are a consequence of historical good fortune (railroad hub for the cattle trade, until Chicago came along. Cross-roads for the trail west, etc) and longevity.

Phoenix, unlike the major California cities (and KC for that matter), is incapable of bringing to bear the accrued benefits of having been established in a key geographical location and/or at the center of commerce. Could Phoenix be better? Absolutely. For starters, could use rich benefactors. KC had the Hall family, we should have the Discount Tire family…

We are largely on the same page. My desire is to not follow in California’s footsteps by emulating poor policy (which policies qualify as "poor policies" likely differ between us). The influx of Californians into Arizona make that a task of ever increasing difficulty.

I agree, much has been lost and it is clear that you know this history far better than I. I wish Phoenix had a benefactor, a demos that would have interest in our history, and a desire to save what still remains. I also, agree that a large population damages the local environment and impairs quality of life. Furthermore, I agree that the Hispanic voting block doesn’t exist as the Left requires. My anecdotal experience supports your assertion. My friends that came from Mexico illegally (now citizens) are split 50:50, left vs. right. Moreover, their parents don’t vote. Illustrating low turnout with decidedly mixed results.

With respect to your interpretation of the Left’s vision of multiculturalism – I honestly could not have conveyed it any better. If someone comes to America, they must join the historic melting pot. How can this possibly be too much to ask? Which leads to me Soleri’s comment further below which I would be remiss not to quote…

America will not survive this petulant demand of yours to be everything but America. The reason it works is because people are willing to put a primary political identity above a ethnic, religious, and tribal identity. That is what it means to be American. Anything else is simply another name for hell.

I think Latinos understand this. They can still speak Spanish, still have quinceaneras, pinatas, and rodeos if they want to. But when you're an American, you abide by the fundamental ideals that America is based on, not the harebrained dictates of self-styled SJWs.

This is it. I can’t emphasize how precise, truthful, and profound this statement is. This is entirely what the immigration debate and identity politics (different but also intertwined) are about. It isn’t that we are on the same shelf, in the same book, or on the same page. We are on the same line of text. The tribe is America. The identity is American. Full stop.

The problem is, for the immigration debate, the right doesn’t know/hear that the left believes this. Instead of hearing that they will be invited to quinceaneras and a tamale infused Christmas (legal and measured immigration – time for integration) they hear that they are being forcefully moved to Oaxaca (amnesty and open borders – no time for integration). For identity politics, the right hears that your American identity is secondary to your ranking in the Oppression Olympics.

Interesting views. I’m curious, do you think La Raza is a benefit or detriment to society? Do you support the Reconquista? Do you consider yourself an American citizen or a citizen of the world?


Thanks for the response but it was pretty vague what does "problems, values, and the homogenous qualities" mean?

A few facts (comparing L.A. to Phx):
- Phoenix has a higher crime rate.
- L.A. has more wealthy residents. Percentages of middle and low income residents are nearly identical.
- L.A. has a far better education system.
- L.A. is way more ethnically, culturally, economically, and environmentally diverse than Phoenix.

I'm a month late and a dollar short in commenting on this post, but Jon certainly touches at a subtle change in Phoenix's character by having dust storms become "haboobs." Having been born and raised in Arizona, I don't remember hearing the word "haboob" until the 2010s although I have heard the word "monsoon" used in connection to the summer rains ("chubascos") all my life here. Speaking of which as a "short-timer" even I can note long-term climate changes in AZ. The actual rains of a typical monsoon storm just don't have the quick they used to have - increasingly, it's not just the Phoenix area that has to content with a scorching heat island getting in the way of necessary rainfall.

If I could add a few points to the discussion between Jon, Intellectual Assassin, Soleri, et al., it would be that I.A. has a point with the American "melting pot" being a problematic thing to aspire to. Our current political situation notwithstanding, I think overall our society is moving in a direction more tolerant of ethnic and cultural pluralism but often the melting point idea is used to demand ASSIMILATION rather than promote a richer integration between different groups. As Ex PHX Planner pointed out, the only "Americanization" that immigrant groups should be subject to is respect for the general principles of the U.S. Constitution (to make U.S. society truly "E Pluribus Unum") - which increasingly are values inherent in any western democratic system, not just the U.S. specifically.

I'm less pessimistic than Jon is about the future Latino Arizonan electorate's potential, but it is troubling that SB 1070 didn't do to Sandboxland what Prop 187 did to California (begin the gradual evisceration of the far-right GOP). I have read this blog for years and have struggled with Jon's conclusions on Latino involvement in the state's future (and can relate to Intellectual Assassin here) - the real struggle is less acknowledging that this is currently still the case in AZ than determining WHY the predominantly Mexican American Latino population behaves the way it does here politically. Anecdotally, I think a general sense of disempowerment (with the 2016 AZ Primary Election fiasco as a great example) is the biggest motivating factor in creating this problem. I know if I was a voting resident of bleeding-red Congressional District 8 with Trent Franks constantly getting re-elected I wouldn't have much enthusiasm showing up to vote if there wasn't a realistic chance of making an impact. Along these lines, the Electoral College (particularly with its anti-popular vote outcomes in 2000 and 2016) is another influence in making Latinos and other marginalized groups feel disempowered, especially if our Constitution essentially tells us our individual votes for President at least don't really matter (not everything in the Constitution is laudable). The English-only propositions from 15 years ago, restrictions on voting accessibility, as well as the blatantly anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant laws and rhetoric emanating from the far-right Legislature also don't help entice Latinos in general to be more active in what is still, for all intents and purposes, a "white space" (AZ politics). These anecdotal examples are not excuses, but I hope they convey what I'm trying to say.

I hope more people wake up and get active rather than succumb to the brain drain that often sucks Arizona's best minds to other states.

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