Saturday, June 30, 2007

Salette Latas for Oro Valley Council

Tucson, Arizona. Those who followed the 2006 CD 8 election know about Salette Latas, wife of candidate Jeff Latas, in particular the ones who watched the DVD the Latas campaign produced and mailed to thousands of citizens in the district.

Salette gave a talk on the DVD that was so authentic, genuine, and heartfelt that it emitted that resonance certain folks can taste when the truly powerful speak. I'm talking about the personal power of an individual human being, not the wealth and office holding stuff.

Daniel Scarpinato's political notebook today notes that Salette Latas is running for city council in Oro Valley. I have heard this woman speak, so let's discuss Salette for a moment. Unlike your humble blogger, who passed through Webmaster and Web design in his fiasco of a career, Salette became and continues to be a Web designer. She probably IS Vistoso Media. As a political entity, expect powerful Internet presence. She already has it. Google her name. Note the family history. The astute will recognize she is a person to watch.

Salette is smart as hell (not to mention hot). Like Congresswoman Giffords, Salette Latas absorbs and integrates information with firehose velocity, always sharpening the saw. Tomorrow, she will know a little more than she knows today. The best of humanity constantly grows and develops. Salette Latas is part of the solution. As Scarpinato notes, Oro Valley leans right, but I have a sense that she has figured out how to handle this.

Friday, June 29, 2007



For everyone, regardless of distinction, I simply list first and last name. No lack of respect is intended. Listing accurate titles for everyone exceeds my resources, so I list all in the same manner. Many are distinguished professionals or elected officials with impressive titles. Weird names (Godzilla, Kralmajales, etc.) are bloggers or pseudonyms. Something Else is 100% true except for one small lie I acknowledge in the introduction.

Some play a huge role in the story. Others have only the slightest mention, but make no mistake. SOMETHING ELSE IS NOT FICTION. Every name without exception represents a real human being inside of a real story. If your name is on this list, you are in Something Else. The story principally involves 2000 – 2007, but it features flashbacks to as early as 1960.

Shawna Adams - Steve Aiken - Larry Aldrich - Paula Aboud - Alyssa - Errol Anderson
Jerry Anderson - Paul Anderson - Angel - Annette - Frank Antoneri
Linda Arzoumanian - Bruce Ash - Hank Atha - The Attorney – B - Paul Bablove
Eva Bacal - Ron Barber - Keith Bee - Tim Bee – Beth - Frank Bohac - Frank Bouchard
Mike Boyd - David Bradley - Brad Branan - Robert Breault - Jan Brewer
Sharon Bronson - Alan Brown - Joel Brodesky - Michael Bryon - Bill Buckmaster
C0 - Jim Calderwood - Jack Camper - Carmine Cardamone- Ray Carroll- Charles Casey
Mark Clark - Jim Click - David Cohen - Steve Cohen - Connie
Rosemary Cora-Cruz - Cristi Cristich - Vaughn Croft - Hermi Cubillos
Larry Curran – DF – DS - Barbara Dawson - Ann Day – Darth - Prabhu Dayal
Steve Delgado - Laura DeNinno - Don Diamond – Dogma - Ted Downing
Richard Ducote - Kathleen Dunbar - Art Eckstrom - Dan Eckstrom - Jennifer Eckstrom
Chris Edwards - Richard Elias - Jerry Ellis - Ian Ellison – FH – FO - Steve Farley
Fedup - Steve Fell - Sally Fernandez - Tamara Ferris - Alan Fischer – Floof -Andy Flores
Ray Flores - Robert Flores - Terry Forster - Martin Fowler – Framer
Louise Francesconi - Emily Friedman - Michael Friend - Gabrielle Giffords - Giff Giffords
Gloria Giffords - Melissa Giffords - Spencer Giffords - Gilbert - Lou Ginsberg
Terry Goddard - Lori Godoshian – Godzilla - Irwin Goldberg - Robert Gonzales
Carol Gorsuch - John Grabo - Randy Graf - Daniel Graver - RT Gregg - Raul Grijalva
Jeff Groscost - Romero Guest - Valerie Guttman - HS - Bob Hagan - Dorothy Harmon
Mike Hatfield - Paul Hawkins - Duff Hearon - Mike Hein - Mike Hellon - Toni Hellon
Pete Hershberger - Lazaro Hong - Byron Howard - Chuck Huckelberry - William Hudson
Steve Huffman - Jose Ibarra – JC – JP - Art Jacobson - Katherine Jacobson - Jennifer
Robert Jensen – Jim - Bill Johnson - David Jorgenson - Steve Juliver - Kathryn
James Keene – Kelly - Laura Mance Kelly - Mark Kelly - Judy Kessler - Jim Kiser - KMBlue
Brenda Knapp - Henry Koffler - Jim Kolbe - Jana Kooi - George Kozmetsky – Kralmajales
Jeff Latas - Salette Latas - Sylvia Laughter - Suzanne Lawder - Steve Leal - Barbara Leff
Peter Likins – Liza - John Lombardi - Paul Loomis - Lisa Lovallo – Lucky
Wayne Lundeberg - Mike Lupien - Steve Lynn - Cigar Man – Max - Cheryl McGaffic
Michael McGrath - John Madden - Steve Martin - Scott McNealy - Rodd McLeod
Al Melvin - Claude Merrill - Frances Merryman - George Miller - Jim Mize
Barbara Monroe - Ed Moore - Andy Morales - Wesley Mouch - Bob Mueller - Nadina
Nannette - Janet Napolitano - Andy Nichols - Ann Nichols - James Nintzel - David Nolan
Howard Odum - Bill Orinski - Fred Orozco – P - Manuel Pacheco - Jonathon Paton
Daniel Patterson - Pat Patton - Kathleen Perkins – Pidge - Walter Plosila
Mauro Peralta - Charlene Peters - Steve Peters - Rebecca Pfaff - Marion Pickens
James Pignatelli - Betsy Pollack - Pike Powers - John Prescott - Ted Prezelski
Tom Prezelski - Mike Proctor - Kevin Prodromides - Jay Quick - Robert Reich
Mike Reuwsaat - Elaine Richardson - Dale Ridgewood - Karl Robbins - Pat Robertson
Robin Rogers - Fred Ronstadt - Denny Rossman - Paul Roughton -Nancy Russell
SJ – SL - Matt Salmon - Daniel Scarpinato - Kyle Schliesman - John C. Scott
Shirley Scott - Rick Seaney – Sergio - Francine Shacter - Stu Shacter - Ken Shaver
Neil Shpritz - Ron Shoopman - Walt Sickel – Sirocco - Lee Smith - Joe Snell
Victor Soltero - Carol Somers – Steve - Stephen Stelting - Sheila Storm - Stacy
Suzanne - TK - Steve Taylor – Thalia - Karen Thoreson - Jim Thornton - Art Toussaint
Nina Trasoff - George Tuttle - Karin Uhlich – UCE – UCIC - Ernie Urias
Ramon Valadez - Linda Vibert - Anne Waisman - Beth Walkup - Bob Walkup
Ward Wallingford - Kirk Watson - Steve Weathers - Howard Weiss - Patty Weiss
Curt Weldon - Carol West - Vera Westerman - Jim White – Wife - Tom Wilson
Burgess Winter - Bruce Wright - Marshall Vest - Teya Vitu - Virginia Yrun - Loren Yunk
James Zwilling

Groups that appear in the document (individuals names not revealed):

The Tucson Police Department
The Tucson Fire Department
Tucson Central Alarm
St. Mary’s Hospital Urgent Care
Emergency Medical Services Technicians
The Sierra Vista Emergency Medical Center
The Cochise County Search and Rescue Unit
Law Firms

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AZ Freshmen GOP Strategy

Tucson, Arizona. One might react to the following as, "Well, duh!"

The value lies in fully exploring the implications and how the framing works. First, the simplicity of the approach. The GOP tack against both Mitchell and Giffords will be the same: the individual is not a match for the district. CD5 is X, and Harry Mitchell is Y. CD 8 is X, and Gabrielle Giffords is Y. Sure, so what? Say something we don't all know.

What is relevant and worth noting is the implementation of the message. Let's think about this a moment.

Step One. Craft the 2006 results of both districts as an anomaly that put the wrong person in office. For CD8, it could not be easier. The GOP side of that race truly was a meltdown. They have to find something for CD5.

Step Two. Refine Step One further. We have a Y where there should be an X. Create bullets and soundbites articulating how the current representative is not a match for the district.

Step Three: Craft credible points demonstrating how the GOP candidate is a better match for the people in the district.

Bullets will be crafted with spin on votes, statements, positions, affiliations, and financial contributions. Bee's hits will not involve a parking lot or whatever that was. I've already forgotten.

Also, not sure if folks know this, but Graf had a certain chivalry about him. The guy just couldn't hit a woman, not really.

I'm not saying Tim Bee is not a gentleman. I am saying he is a skilled politician. Both Mitchell and Giffords, while incumbents, will face tougher, not easier, races in 2008.

Hold me to account and blast accordingly if I am wrong, but in 2008 both races will be framed in the context of the best match for the district's sentiments. The GOP will allege, skillfully, that Mitchell and Giffords are poor fits.

The Democrats require a skillful response, and their opponents, not currently in Congress, will have the luxury of no record of votes regarding Iraq or immigration or any issue at the federal level. They will leverage this as effectively as possible.

Duly noting that every day in a certain respect is a moment of truth for our two freshmen as they work to be effective and make a difference, reducing to the simplicity of elections, for both, in your humble blogger's opinion, 2006 was not the moment of truth.

The moment of truth comes next year.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

AZ Freshmen & Resign to Run

Tucson, Arizona. Arizona is a resign to run state, which if I understand correctly, ties Bee's hands in certain ways while he remains president of the senate. Those who understand the law better than I do are welcome to clarify, but the gist as I see it is that he can't do too much until he resigns.

After he resigns, my understanding is that all handcuffs are removed. Daniel Scarpinato gave us a good update yesterday replicating other press material that Bee is still saying no, but saying no the way politicians say "Yes, but not yet."

I'm still praying for Al Gore, but hopes are thinning. It hurts. He would make a better president than anyone running. I'll bet the farm that Al Gore has not read Battlefield Earth.

Both Giffords and Mitchell are likely to face a tough race. The GOP has its sights on Mitchell as discussed here at the Times in May.

Neither freshman is taking incumbency for granted. Both are smart enough to know the heat is on. Both are actively fundraising and working hard to secure their seats. Resign to run prevents those currently in office from launching any real rockets.

Payoff / cost analyses are calculating timing. My math says to jump as soon as possible and get to work. Schedule events, raise money, start with a skeleton crew of volunteers and add paid staff as appropriate. Get an office, even if it's a volunteer's guest house, and start an organization.

Bee will carefully choose his moment. Frankly, I think that is the choice. He is considering when, not if, to launch. He has launched some minor salvos, including the following at this May 25 CQ Politics piece:

Bee contends that the congresswoman’s voting record would be her undoing. "The district is a conservative to moderate district, and obviously coming from a liberal to moderate perspective is not representative of the district," he told

The fact that Giffords "is following the Democrat Party line almost verbatim when the district here has a Republican majority and independent voters" does not represent their interests, he said.

No one has resigned to run against Mitchell yet either.

What is the calculus? The session is over. Maybe handle this special session thing and then leave the starting block? The professionals know better than me, but I think waiting is a mistake. I don't know, but based on what has been posted at this blog and others, Giffords is on track for $3/4 M and Mitchell easily $1/2 M by year end, conservatively, and sentiment against Iraq continues to escalate, fueling blue cash.

I'm handing someone on our Congresswoman's staff a check this Saturday.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Stephen Colbert's Better Know A District

Tucson, Arizona. If I had time, I’d watch more Jon Stewart (the "Barack tones" video is hilarious) and maybe even Stephen Colbert. Colbert's interview with CD 7's Raul Grijalva ("That would make me very uncomfortable.") about the mustache was serious funny and still has me in stitches.

I have a request for our Congresswoman. Prepare for Colbert. Should he get to Arizona CD 8, know that Colbert will come from outside the box. You don’t have a mustache, so he will find its equivalent. I am trained in thinking outside the box and consider it safe that Colbert does not read this blog, so I will offer possibilities to anticipate. It will be irreverent, humorous, and designed to catch you off guard and talking about something stupid:

1. You are engaged to an astronaut, is that right? Would you like to be the first woman to have sex in space?
Dignified answer: My job gives me more important things to think about.
More aggressive answer: How do you know women haven’t already?

2.Have you thought about having sex in zero gravity? Do you think it would be better?
Dignified answer: Again, I’ve given it no thought. If he persists with Well, think about it now cut a sharp look and snap, "Next question."
More aggressive response: I'm too busy to think about that, but clearly you've had time. What's your speculation?

My suggestion: do not discuss sex in space with Stephen Colbert. During the entire interview, have the "Next question!" snap armed and ready to shoot.

3. Does your boyfriend wear the diaper?

4. If you cheated on your boyfriend, do you think he would wear a diaper to drive across the country? Have you considered this when thinking about cheating on your boyfriend? (Note the clever semantic move.)

5. You are new to Washington. Have you ever gotten lost? Are you afraid of getting lost? If you did get lost and called your boyfriend for help, would he wear a diaper?

6. You sponsored a bill to preserve a trail? Have you ever seen the trail? How many times have you walked the trail? Now, if your boyfriend were to walk with you on the trail. . .

7. You stand for solar energy. So you like the sun? You want your district to be the persian gulf of solar energy. Are you aware that the sun causes skin cancer? Do you want your district to be the skin cancer center of the country? Do you know anyone who’s had skin cancer? Do you support skin cancer research? What have you done about skin cancer? Have you read the study on skin cancer and the use of diapers?

Colbert’s team will examine bills sponsored or supported and positions articulated and seek ways to suggest you have no idea what you are doing. Clearly you are smarter than most, but I haven’t seen enough to get a more accurate reading. The safe move is to remain dignified and stay sharp enough to avoid looking ridiculous.

If really sharp, the aggressive option is to dance with Colbert at his own game. Colbert went to my alma mater (Northwestern), and he is good at what he does. To dance effectively with Colbert requires the real thing.

The footage will be posted on blogs. Grijalva was posted at ThinkRight’s place.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bee Resignation Imminent

Tucson, Arizona. Well, unless he changes his mind that is, and he is struggling.

For good reason. Still, word is out that around the end of the month or early July, it is time to get serious. He must seriously start the engine or seriously tell the GOP to find someone else. Starting the engine right means resigning, as Giffords did almost immediately (I believe it wasn't even a week!) after Kolbe announced he would not run again. She saw and she pounced forcefully, determined, not kidding, for real. If Bee is going to do this, that's how it's done. Tick Tock.

Now, should Bee fold, some are thinking about Jonathan Paton, who won an election without campaigning and has potency and potential. Further, were Jonathan to lose against Giffords, the blow is less severe. Jonathon's ability to regroup and get back in the game after a loss is without question. Of course, one should not underestimate either of these two gentlemen.

Either would make a formidable opponent in the CD 8 election, and I think both have political futures if they lose. Bee, as senate president, clearly takes the larger risk.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pullen Pulling or Pulled? Web 2.0

The influence of Web 2.0 on the political landscape is increasing. Readership is growing, perhaps exponentially, and posted material exerts influence by virtue of its readership, its quality, and its authority. The Chairman of the Arizona GOP has a blog. Whether he posts brilliant material or nonsense, his blog matters. He will get instant readership and influence because of the authority his position yields.

Web 2.0 supports the forces of democracy by allowing nobodies like me to respond either in comments or by posting our own stories. Randy made some allegations yesterday that, well, failed to impress. Let’s start with the idea of the "historic vote" for the largest tax increase in the history of the country. Which bill was this?

Let’s examine the math. Frankly, I would support the largest tax increase in the history of this country given the Bush administration's tax cuts for the apex of the affluent combined with the greatest financial bloodletting in the history not just of the country, but of the planet. How are we going to pay for this folly based on lies? Is Pullen advocating we sink the country $15 TRILLION into debt?

Let’s leave the tax increase, whatever it was, and move to the next part of Pullen’s June 13 blog post, the secret fund. Giffords has set up a secret fund? What vote was this? Actually, the language is slightly different, reading Democrats like Giffords have set up a secret fund. Which ones?

White men with gray hair are screwing 12 year old boys in Cambodia. Pullen is white and has gray hair. When was his last trip to Cambodia?

What secret fund? What earmarks? "Where’s the fence?"

Exactly what money did Congresswoman Giffords earmark for whom? You do understand that the GOP earmarks of the last six years are fair game to note in response? I can just stick to 2006. Given what has occurred in the last six years under the Bush Administration, the notion of the GOP throwing the earmark/pork stone at a Democrat occurs like someone on a pile of gun powder flicking their Bic at someone sitting on a newspaper. Giffords has been in office six months.

Not beating it to death, but the assertions are another case of taking a general macro-level event (the whole earmark thing) and trying to create a specific image that does not apply.

Do folks remember that Pullen took the committee slot from Mike Hellon by 5 votes in 2004? The GOP, conducting its own investigation (no democrats involved), found evidence of voter fraud. Hellon didn’t pursue.

In this last race, Pullen won by how many? Just curious, does he know where Tim Bee stands on the immigration debate? Maybe that’s a secret.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Technopolis and Buffel Grass

Yes, indeed, your humble blogger has contributed to the community of Southern Arizona. My entire participation in the long sessions of the Tucson Town Hall in May led to the following sentence at the top of page 14 of the Tucson Town Hall Report:

The Tucson region could be the next technopolis.

Without my dedicated participation, said sentence would be missing. The course of Tucson history would alter.

Alas, I am frustrated. I gave a whole speech on buffel grass. I warned profusely of the impending buffel trouble. Buffel does not appear anywhere in the Town Hall Report.

My prior employer, now led by Carol Somers, will attempt to spread the word. That’s right, SAIAT is offering buffel class. For only $49 you can learn how to baffle your own buffel before it is too late. Classes are scheduled for June 29 and July 14.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rising Ashes

Tucson, Arizona. Additional options exist for those with wealthy and influential parents. Bruce Ash, son of Paul Ash, inheriting his father’s successful real estate company known as Paul Ash Management and its revenues, is in the position to move and shake.

Standing firmly on pop’s well prepared turf, Bruce is stepping up to a plate that needs a good batter. JFK, RFK, FDR, and many others had the privilege of being born into well positioned slots. If I recall correctly, Al Gore’s dad didn’t exactly flip burgers. How many of the successful had well paved paths? Think Disney’s “Lion King” where the wise and gifted father prepares the son. It’s optimal if done well.

FDR and JFK present examples of the affluent handed the world on a plate. Once handed the world, however, one has to do something. There is JFK, and there’s the garbage that clubbed a 15 year old girl to death. There is Caesar, and there is Caligula. Personally, I prefer the rags to riches Abraham Lincoln model featuring poverty, struggle, failure, huge risk, huge achievement, loss, suffering, blood, victory, and assassination. It hits a little closer to home, and I admire few as I admire Lincoln.

Being born on a greased slide to success does not destroy character, but it does change how the character must be crafted. The admirable born into wealth and privilege feel an obligation, a spiritual duty, to make the world a better place. Some rise to the occasion and others just gorge themselves. Credit must be given where it is due, but no one born into wealth and privilege, no one, can garner the eye wetting admiration I feel for Abraham Lincoln.

Nah. Just kidding. No doubt W earned everything he has. He’d be where he is and have what he has even if the son of a Terre Haute dishwasher.

On a particular level in a different conversation, W indeed has earned what he has.

Bruce Ash, as mentioned by several blogs, is now the Republican Committeeman, shown here with GOP Chairman Pullen. The 2008 election is not going to throw easy pitches.

Game on.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Randy Pullen is not Stupid

While some of the blue folks may consider this guy a right wing nut pandering to extremists, I have cause to think otherwise. I have been thinking about his recent and highly public whipping of the immigration reform effort including national exposure on both television and the talk radio shows in what proved to be a successful defeat (so far) of the effort to pass immigration legislation this summer, something desperately desired by the Bush Administration.

Well, as Chair of the AZ GOP, Pullen swung out and nationally criticized AZ Senator Jon Kyl, who is generally recognized as one of the top Senators in the country. I will underscore just in case: the Chair of a state party has very publicly criticized a top ranking Senator of his party and state.


Pullen is someone to watch. What is he saying to Kyl? Of course they speak. I smell design and am a little embarrassed I did not smell design earlier. My earlier post about a GOP split now occurs as naive. Of course, that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Pullen's recent moves mark the start (or the early continuation) of a plan.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Immigration Meltdown, Bee, Happy Birthday

Tucson, AZ. An October 10, 2006 Tucson Citizen article on Senator Bee refers to his top issue as securing our border. This is his top issue?

Huh? From his website:

Sponsored the law that stopped illegal aliens from getting Arizona driver’s licenses.. Okay. So they go without or get fakes.

Co-authored the law that established felonies for human smuggling and sex trafficking. Okay.

Supported a comprehensive border security plan that included a high tech radar detection system. What plan? Is it published?

Does he favor a wall? What is his position regarding the twelve million? The video has footage basically repeating the above. Everybody favors technology except the Eckstroms.

Well, as Framer’s place anticipated, stick a fork in S1348 and as Tedski noted, Kyl reversed himself after being one of the major proponents. You know what the death of this bill means? Guess what will figure prominently in the presidential campaign? A preview.

What a mess. How are we going to handle Iraq, global warming, spiraling economic disparity, the disintegration of our education system, obscene deficit spending to greedy war profiteers, the suspension of habeas corpus, and buffel grass?

Oh, I believe Birthday Wishes are in order for someone. Have a good one!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Got Google?

Naturally, politicians maintain an awareness of what occurs when they get googled. If not, they're idiots. I am pure nobody, and even I google my name occasionally just to make sure the result is not some youtube video of my likeness being intimate with a four legged creature.

I wanted to share with my readers that this is the tip of the google iceberg. The activity runs far deeper than placing a particular name in the search bar. For example, is my dear reader aware that quite recently the NRCC ran a google search with the two keywords "NRCC" and "Jessica Boulanger" in the search bar? Do you know about the google searching activity of our Department of Justice? I'm talking simple, unhidden activity. Can you imagine what the NSA people do? When they process this blog and others, I am rather clear that I am given no trace of their presence.

No, I am not going to post the kind of language that I think would trigger the real deal. While an interesting exercise, Framer or Sirocco can do it. If they email me the info, I will notify next of kin when they disappear.

The takeaway information of this post is that creative google searches have become part of the intelligence apparatus of many organizations, and it is more sophisticated than a casual consideration would suggest. Combinations of keywords are explored to see who is connecting whom with what, who with whom, and what with what. Do you understand? Content is being explored for the connections it makes.

For example, google PNAC by itself. Then google it followed by Cheney. Then delete Cheney, and google PNAC followed by Bush. See the difference?


Unknown, and I mean really unknown. Even big brother is scratching his head. Web 2.0 got turned on, and they don't know how (or if) to turn it off. My humble opinion, trying to turn if off is folly distilled. Standing in front of the train is suicide. The smart move is to influence the train, steer it. The forces of good will seek to use it to enlighten, educate, communicate, and empower humanity towards a brighter future. The forces of darkness will seek to use it as an instrument of control, propaganda, and oppression.

In the natural desire for significance, throughout history everyone likes to think they live in special times. Maybe all times are special. Well, correct or not, I succumb to this belief. I think we indeed stand at a crossroads, perched on not one fulcrum but many. On global warming, I think the US is only two or three dozen cement heads away from pursuing solutions. I'm more concerned about China.

Regarding information technology, I am optimistic, and the reason is actually quite funny. The tyrants are simply not smart enough, and they can't buy enough brains to outsmart the rest of us. They just can't. This might be the ultimate fulcrum. Do the masses get too smart and informed via information technology to be exploited, or do the exploiters stay enough in front to use the information technology to exploit?

Grassroots, Grassfire, and Entropy

Tucson, Arizona. Alas, your humble blogger is discussing border trouble, not buffel trouble. Based on the famous and fabulous Wendy’s commercial (yes, it actually plays, and you should watch!) with the three old ladies, a conservative "grassroots" group, has decided to shell out $175,000 to air a television ad, Where’s the fence? which of course demonstrates ignorance of what I learned months ago, that a fence is not fence.

They call themselves conservative, but for the last three years Grassfire appears to be a single issue set of xenophobes petrified about the alien invasion. I’m so sick of the border, but it appears to be topic de jour for all of the jours this summer.

Senator Bee hasn’t contacted me yet regarding his position on immigration. Has he said anything to anyone? I googled "immigration Bee" to research the matter and learned about the possible deportation of the parents of a spelling champion in Utah, but nothing about the president of our Senate.

Those familiar with thermodynamics and entropy understand that order requires energy. The parents arrive tomorrow, and significant energy is required today to produce order in a home that currently illustrates the results of entropy, the commingling of papers, books, magazines, glasses, dishes, bottles, notes, Starbucks cups full of discarded tissue, clean but unfolded laundry. By tomorrow, all will be properly placed and disposed, cleaned and ordered. But it will take effort.

Yeah, it’s a differential equation, but I promise an easy one. Simplifying, it says that if something hot sits right next to something that is cold, what do you think? As humanity unfolds, same thing. The question is not whether it will happen. The question is how smart we are going to be about it.

The astute might remark, "Then how do the rich keep getting richer?"

Excellent observation. Energy. Lots of it. The physics? HORRIFYING. Let them eat cake.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Stratification of Humor – A Proposed Taxonomy

Before I get into this, humor is an individual experience. One person’s wicked funny may not even cause another to smile. Here are the proposed classifications:

That which provokes an authentic smile to where teeth show. This happens all of the time.

Beyond amusing, this actually causes one to emit an audible chuckle and an ever so slight shake that subsides quickly. This also happens all of the time.

Very funny
This causes an outburst of laughter that lasts several seconds. This is the response to a really good joke or something that is indeed hilarious, like the moment in Spaceballs when they go to "ludicrous speed." This is the common experience of something really humorous and happens regularly during the Daily Show, Colbert Report, David Letterman or whatever. If you are not laughing, it does not make this level.

Serious funny
This is significantly less common. What most distinguishes serious funny from very funny is that serious funny introduces the notion of waves of laughter and the embedding of an image into the psyche that persists for a period of time. One wave of laughter is not enough for something that is serious funny. The humorous concept persists for repeat waves interrupted by gasps for air. An example of serious funny is the facial expression of a kitten, having leapt onto a marble table with too much horizontal velocity, this realization slowly registering as claws fail to obtain traction, at the exact instant it sails off the other side of the table. Another example of serious funny is the scene in Borat where the two are naked and Borat’s head is protruding out from under the fat man’s arse. Serious funny causes hysterical laughter that persists and results in loss of breath.

If you share my taste in humor, you can experience serious funny yourself thanks so much to the ThinkRight blogger for posting Colbert with Grijalva, where Colbert asks Grijalva if he could stroke his mustache. Grijalva responded with complete seriousness, "That would make me very uncomfortable."

This created the concept, an abstract image, of someone stroking Grijalva’s mustache.

Haaaaaghh!! Huwaaaaagh!!! (gasp, gasp) Haaaaaghh!! Huwaaaaagh!!!

That is the level of serious funny. Every time I think of Grijalva, seriously stating that Colbert’s stroking his mustache would make him "very uncomfortable" I just lose it. Seriously, watch the video.

The thought of anyone stroking Grijalva’s mustache . . .

Haaaaaghh!! Huwaaaaagh!!! (gasp, gasp) Haaaaaghh!! Huwaaaaagh!!!

Hence the distinction: serious funny.

Wicked Funny
This is rare. This is where funny is so funny it’s not funny, producing INVOLUNTARY painful laughter in waves to where one starts to wonder if it will ever stop. The humorous image or concept firmly embeds itself into the psyche and cannot be switched off. The laughter cannot be controlled and is painful and incapacitating. Those affected experience complete loss of control and may snort, wet themselves, pass gas, or blow something out their noses as they laugh so hard they can neither speak nor function. The wicked funny is remembered for life.

One example of wicked funny also involves a young cat. It was aged nine months, adult like but still having things to learn. Said cat nonchalantly leapt from the kitchen floor directly into a steaming hot skillet of half cooked scrambled eggs. Consider its facial expression as it processed the nature of its predicament while paws, now thoroughly greased with slippery slimy eggs, immediately began to slip, placing its entire body on a downward trajectory into the steaming yellow bath. The next five seconds of frantically flopping feline followed by the violent and very sloppy commingling of cat, pan, eggs, and kitchen floor are wicked funny.

Reading about it here is one thing. Seeing it first hand is another. The semi-omeletized cat’s behavior after hitting the kitchen floor, thoroughly eggified, added to the overall experience.

Probation Wicked Funny
This is a medically significant event unsafe for pregnant women, people with high blood pressure, the elderly, or men on erectile dysfunction medication. Only certain personalities can actually experience this situation. In my entire life, I have experienced this twice. One is described in detail in Something Else. This probation wicked funny event involved the following:

A TV satellite dish
A bird
Two dogs
A swimming pool

The wife and I almost died. You will have the opportunity to read all about it.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Disaggregating the Republican Party

Liza and I very briefly discussed a short time ago the categories that seem to comprise the Republican Party. I do think the concept can be fruitfully applied to the upcoming elections. I find the following compelling:

1. The Religious Right and Social Conservatives. Perhaps 25 percent or so of the voting population cites Christian faith as a reason to belong to the Republican party. The focus is narrow: abortion, gay rights, prayer in school, and if we really tethered them from the other groups, maybe it’s 20 percent.
2. The NRA Gun Lobby. Like #1, the focus is narrow. They have hairpin triggers about the slightest efforts to regulate or restrict the sale of firearms of any kind, and they funnel large contributions to Republicans who promise to protect their interests.
3. Corporate Barons (Oil, Pharmaceuticals, Health Insurance, etc.) who find the Republican zeal for slashing taxes and implementing corporate welfare legislation attractive. Profits before people!! Corruption and greed rule, and the job is not finished until a few thousand people own the entire planet. Implement regressive tax policies and constantly seek ways to create tax breaks for the wealthiest apex of the affluent.
4. Goldwater / Buckley traditional conservatives who support sound fiscal policy, strong defense, and limited growth of government. These relatively intellectual individuals see #1’s social intolerance as childish. They stand for a strong country with solid infrastructure. They are anti-corruption, anti-pork, and anti-deficit. They are smarter and more cautious than group #6 and are disgusted with group #3..
5. Also intelligent, we have moderate and business friendly GOP members like Tim Bee, Ray Carroll, Toni Hellon, Rudy Giuliani, Bob Walkup, who have the intellect to reject extremist positions and seek sound compromises across the spectrum of issues from taxes to immigration to defense to education to health care.
6. Neo-conservatives of the PNAC variety that want to take over the world or at least subjugate it to the best interests of group #3, with whom they get along fabulously. Our Vice-President is clearly in the #3 and #6 camps.
7. The opposite of #6, the isolationists like Michael Savage (sort of ) or Pat Buchanan (still?) that want to "circle the wagons" and build some mega-fortress protecting us from the rest of the world. These people foam at the mouth about the border and scream about "English only" and the "foreign threat" well spoken by Victor Goode who saw Muslim Ellison’s election as the beginning of Congress’s conversion to Islam.


Iraq has got to be one hell of a bloody nose for group #6. From Rumsfeld’s "I don’t do quagmires" to Cheney’s, "We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators," to Bush’s appearing under the "Mission Accomplished" banner they all look like idiots. The outlook for Group #6, while they will always be obscenely rich, is not good for continuing to run the country. The corruption, scandal, and arrogance perpetrated by #3 and #6 have infuriated just about everyone.

Rich as they are, they can’t just buy the planet, especially with other people’s money, which they are spending at unprecedented rates, profusely bleeding this country, disturbing #5 and enraging #4.

I think the party is going to split. The tent is coming apart. How do you put Rudy Giuliani in the same tent as Brownback? We have both of our Senators working hard to deliver a comprehensive immigration reform bill to an eager president while the chair of the state GOP holds up a piece of paper and Nathan Sproule vents violently about the destruction of the party. How do you get Kyl in the same tent with the Randy and Randy after this immigration thing plays out, YEA or NAY?

Both the deficit and the rich poor gap are spiraling unchecked. Which group is hit by four buck a gallon gas? Which color (red or blue?) do you associate with four buck a gallon gas? Although perhaps few, some Christians have Christian values. As poverty soars some might notice that for every ONE abortion performed each year, over TWENTY children perish in the group of 47 million without health care. How many children currently live in poverty? Isn’t there a song about Jesus and children?

The Christ I studied had this thing about the poor and their suffering. Like the hundredth monkey, or the straw on the camel, I see #6’s ability to play #1’s like puppets growing on thinner ice. #4 and #5 need to find a common voice for reason in this mix, and at some point #1 is going to want its soul back.

Bottom line--#3 and #6 have screwed, booed, and tattooed the rest of us, laughing all the to the bank, and people are starting to notice.

What does all of this mean for the CD 8 election in 2008?

The next time they put Giffords on a horse, sling a shotgun over her shoulder and put a revolver on her hip. She should take Randall dove hunting. Note: I said Randall, not Cheney.

Bee seems like a great guy and I wish him well as a human being, but CD 8 in 2008 will tear him to pieces in this climate. Who is Bee's friend, Kyl or Pullen? No matter what he says about Iraq, it's shaky. No matter what he says about immigration, it's shaky. If it is true there are rumblings on his right about the budget, even more precarious. I would love to hear from Framer or someone with deeper insight into this, but it looks like a nightmare to me.

“Red Star" Comment Roaches and Rove

Tucson, Arizona. (Photo—Star Reporter Daniel Scarpinato) Yeah, I did it again this morning. I clicked to read the comments posted after a Daniel Scarpinato piece. When will I learn? First of all, I just don’t buy the notion that the Arizona Daily Star is that politically slanted. If someone has a solid argument that the paper is forwarding a communist agenda, I’d like to hear it. Perhaps my slightly left leaning nature doesn’t see it. In either case, to accuse Scarpinato of liberal bias and Giffophilia is just certified stupid. If anything, he is the opposite. The man is doing his job, and I thought his piece today was solid, respectable journalism.

I think the Star should turn those comments off. After reading them I have the same sensation I get after encountering a cockroach, that slimed, icky, grotesque sensation of a particular kind of filth. It is one thing to flop around in the mud, or to get all disgusting slaving away on top of a roof or eradicating buffel grass. The cockroach sensation is a something completely different, and the comments posted after stories at AZ Starnet produce it. Yes, I know, "Don't read them!" Well, I have moments of weakness, which I then regret.

Daniel's piece today adds to the growing chorus that Tim Bee is the one, and I’d bet good money the Republicans are going to be the poster perfect image of unification in AZ CD 8 in 2008. For this race, the entire GOP of the nation will sing the praises of ONE name, and that name is probably Tim Bee, and they will curse the high heavens of ONE name, and that name is Gabrielle Giffords.

As Stacy has reported, the robo-calls have extended to Mitchell. As of this morning, the site hasn’t made a movie of Harry yet. In case you haven’t seen it, they have created a "Pelosi gauge" for every freshman Democrat, indicating the percentage of votes agreeing with the speaker. Mitchell is at 90 percent. I am not a Democratic strategist, but what’s good for the goose. I wonder what percentage of the time Tim Bee has voted with Russell Pearce? Does this say anything substantive about Bee? Of course not.

(Photo—Speaking of that sensation produced when encountering a cockroach) I think this photograph captures a lot. It comes from a Time article pointing to Rove’s involvement with the prosecution of former Democratic Alabama Governor Don Siegelman. The list of resignations continues to mount, as does the pile of evidence that this guy plays mean and dirty. Time wounds all heals. Tick Tock.