Sunday, September 30, 2007

Arizona Star Praises Cloth God

Tucson, Arizona. Today's Star has an opinion piece praising Dr. Richard Florida's inane economic development speech on Thursday to 500 suits. Only 500?

Last year had almost a thousand.

The reader can certainly read the article, so I won't say much other than state the already stated view that this "consultant" is pure snake selling empty rhetoric to clueless nimrods who know nothing at all. Note the article could not get a number for the dollars TREO forked over to pay the guy to do his pep rally. He typically charges, as the article points out, at least $25 grand per chat.

The math skills course for a YEAR was less than $20 grand. I was so naive in thinking they actually wanted worker skills and wages improved. I don't think the "gay male index" came up last Thursday, but Dr. Cloth has created another one, the "brain drain" index, and Tucson's is very high.

Imagine that. The guy is actually right, and of whatever value, my brain is one of the ones they lost. I've gone cosmopolitan. I have nothing to do with local economic development. When I graduate, I leave.

I poured my heart out to help the local workforce, and Roach, Major, and Mouch shot me through the heart. I'm not going to do a thing, but they drew from an account, especially Roach. They knowingly and willfully entered into contracts with board members behind the back of the Chair of the Board, saying nothing. Those in the contract tried to fire the Executive Director against the will of the Board Chair.

Sloppy, disgusting behavior. Don't believe me? Click on the Something Else link to the left. It's all there.

Robert DeNiro in Angel Heart captures it so well, "I don't like messy accounts."

Every dog has its day.


Tucson, Arizona. Daniel Scarpinato’s Saturday Arizona Star political piece noted that in committee, Congresswoman Giffords voted against the inane condemnation of a newspaper ad. Good for her. Okay, when it got to the floor, her math said to vote for the thing.

Anyone with a brain and the luxury of no concern with re-election would either vote against the stupidity or refuse to vote on principle. I dismissed all freshman as having to go with the flow on such nonsense. I find the committee "No" vote encouraging. Daniel’s twist of the switch into a "flip-flop" is just that, a twist.

Our Congress is voting on newspaper ads. Think about that. What GOP hypocritical pussies. I’d love to take out an ad in the same paper and call them a bunch of twats. Using Photoshop I’d populate the entire GOP side of the aisle with bobbing Britney Spear heads, the caption reading, "Bimbo Twats cry about ad that caused boo-boo ouchie poo."

But I digress. Today’s post concerns HATRED. Many are quick to condemn hatred as evil. Such views reflect an understanding of neither. Hatred is a natural and healthy short term response to certain conditions. High octane juice with dangerous possibilities, yes, but hatred in and of itself is not evil.

Love is HOT. Hatred is COLD. If you allow yourself to really feel hatred, and I mean really go there, you’ll notice a cool body sensation, a cool desire for the suffering of one who has caused it. Got a kid? Consider your child raped and tortured to death and you’ll know hatred. It will flow thick and cool through your veins fueling a deep hunger for brutal, primeval justice. In a just world, you would get such justice, and quoting Shakespeare, "There’s the rub."

It doesn't quite work.

Sustained hatred eats the soul, a toxic venom with a particular addictive quality for the feeble mind. The spiritually weak find its nectar useful to support a fractured self image and a desire to place blame elsewhere for one’s condition. George Lucas tapped it in cinema and Adolf Hitler tapped it in politics, strength flowing from darkness. Our current White House commits the same atrocity. Replace Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and other identified "undesirables" with "terrorists" and take another look at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Well, Daniel’s piece pointed to something I had not noticed. Tim Bee's "campaign for a campaign" Bee Our Candidate Web site features a set of folks including a supporter who hosts another Web site, I Hate, the latter site a sick piece of work by a right wing nut. First of all, the notion of a site dedicated to the hatred of a single individual is pathological, and second of all, the site sucks. Like another place claiming to "watch" but in fact seeking every opportunity to condemn a single person, the publication is trash.

To make this mean something about Bee is a stretch for now. If Bee manages the myspace site, at some point he will have to answer for who he considers his friends.

Do I hate George W. Bush? No. Perhaps if I got to know Dick Chcney, I could hate him. I hate the corruption they perpetrate. I hate the blatant give-aways to greed mongering monsters, but the hatred of events, concepts, or situations is ancillary psychology to the real bona-fide icicle desire to slowly rip the meat off another person’s bones while they are alive and conscious to SUFFER profusely.

Through spiritual wisdom (the fortunate) or street smart hands on experience (less fortunate), some know that hatred lies. Sweet in concept and tasty at first, the fruit turns bitter. The revenge exacted, the hated brutally vanquished, leaves not fulfillment, but a certain spiritual nausea. Wrongs cannot be made right. The tortured and murdered child cannot be brought back. Mutilating the perpetrator, while perhaps appropriate, does not yield the joy that the hatred promises.

Revenge is best served cold, but its sweetness rings hollow, and its spiritual cost exacts bright blood from the soul.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Repeating History & Academic Snafus

In ancient history before the Internet, your humble blogger worked as an engineer for IBM in Tucson. I took some math classes at the University of Arizona for fun (long before teaching anything), and wanting an easy semester one time I took a hiking buddy's advice that Introduction to Topology would be easy and fun. He had enjoyed it, so I enrolled in Math 434, Introduction to Point Set Topology (also long before the real math days). Within two weeks, I am so lost I couldn't tell you if my butt was open or closed, much less compact or continuous.

I am drowning in epsilons and deltas as the course spanks my academic fanny all over the classroom. About four weeks into the course I turn to another student, "I thought this course was supposed to be easy."

He turns, completely bewildered, "This is one of the hardest undergrad classes in the math department."

Furious, I chase George down, "What the #$@#@%$ are you telling me that topology was an easy class, you #@#$#42 this is not funny!"

George makes a face, "I took intro to topography. It was fun. We cut out pieces of construction paper and glued them together."

Construction paper.

Flash forward 20 years. Eager to focus on a dissertation, I wanted an easy overview course just to fortify my statistics a little. I am told that a basic econometrics course would be an easy treatment typically provided to MBA students.

MBA students? If MBA students are taking it, it has to be pretty easy, and some of those MBA's are pretty cute, so why not? I should have known something was amiss when a) no MBA students, b) no one was cute, and c) most of the class comes from Asia.

This coming Thursday I have a midterm. The first page of notes looks like this.

That's page ONE. The other day the professor remarked with a smile, "We've now completed the pedestrian material."

I am getting too old for this sort of terrain. You know what they say about those who don't learn from history. Can't I just press a button?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Good Friend Bill

Tucson, Arizona. My recent lunch with my old friend Bill (not real name) warrants more material. Bill dates back to the mid 90's and the LDP (Leadership Development Program). Bill participated in Group 7, thus witnessing your humble blogger's ontological meltdown when Errol tossed me off the course leader cliff. Via another route of equal peril, Bill himself became a for real course leader.

Run of the mill teachers deliver material to a randomly engaged audience. More effective teaching moves the random variable's expected value upward. In a room led by a course leader, engagement is not a random variable. Everyone is engaged, period. Language and semantics shift. Teachers have students. Course leaders have participants. Participants PARTICIPATE.

Now, duly respecting teachers, the highly skilled and effective ones do engage a room, and some (unfortunately few) do attain distinctions of course leadership. Without a mentor or training, the feat is almost impossible. Teachers deliver content and try to do so as effectively as possible.

Course leaders alter participants. The distinction is profound beyond language. Does the reader think I can raise the aggregate wages of a group of 25 Tucsonans over $130,000 /year in a twelve week course teaching algebra? Those in the room become different people. It feels like magic. The room glows, and it is the closest I have come to feeling in touch with God.

Bill helps elect Democrats in southern Arizona. He is also a course leader, and he has a job. I asked him what he did. He said, "I teach at a high school."


A course leader at a high school?!!! Our eyes locked, and his were beaming. He was really doing it. He saw the wheels turning in my head and broke out laughing.

I asked him if it was as extraordinary as leading adults. He replied, "Even better, but you must break yourself apart and reconstitute in the context of the new commitment."

Piece of cake, NOT.

The material he delivers is irrelevant, but I'll share that it's math and physics. Parents send him emails and visit his office with tears of gratitude. Students also cry. Crying is normal when words cut bone and alter reality. Transformation is profoundly moving and deeply touches the dignity of the human spirit and its desire to matter and make a difference. Witnessing it is priceless. The sacred honor of causing it transcends language.

Bill invited me to join him on the front lines of our embattled high schools. I'm no lightweight, but Bill is packing solid brass. He is part of the solution, and God bless him.

The Cloth God Speaketh

Tucson, Arizona. National God of Economic Cloth spoke today in Tucson at the Snake and Roach feast at the Starr Pass resort. Well dressed, important people converged at the resort to hear the Go To Guru's enlightened words of economic wisdom and buy his autographed book, The Rise of the Creative Class.

OVD over at Sonoran Alliance suggested that safe neighborhoods, good schools, an efficient transportation system, and an attractive development environment would attract businesses. What an idiot. Doesn't he understand what really drives the engines of economic development? No one cares about safety, schools, or transportation. He didn't mention it, but I will. We have also been told that no one particularly cares about the skills of the local workforce. That's a non-priority unworthy of funding.

Austin has "Keep Austin Weird."
Tucson has "Keep Tucson Clueless."

Roach, Major, and Mouch have worked hard to create a call center, retail, resort, golf course and restaurant mecca with jobs averaging $9 an hour. Learn how to answer that phone today, and your future's so bright you gotta wear shades.

Returning to the Cloth God, I don't know how many stood in line to purchase autographed copies of Dr. Richard Florida's many books including:

The Rise of the Creative Class
The Flight of the Creative Class
Cities and the Creative Class

Rumors abound about future works including:

The Return of the Creative Class
The Creative Class and the New Bohemians
The Creative Class in San Francisco - Hot Beef Sizzles Local Economy
The Creative Class Diet - Healthy Eating for the 21st Century
The Creative Class 20 Minute Workout - Enhance Your Life in 20 Minutes per day
The Creative Class Life Management Toolkit
Creative Class Art - Forging new Paradigms
Creative Class Religion - Not Just on Sunday Anymore

Don't worry about that Wall Street Journal article pointing out that the economic development of the communities ranking high on Florida's index woefully underperformed those ranking near the bottom. Tucson's economic development machine is about as far from reality as possible.

I would invite attendees who listened to capital C Cloth for at least an hour and a half (aggregate Roach and Snake) to watch this.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Good Vote, Bad Vote, & Stupid Veto

Last night Congress did the right thing and passed SCHIP, a bill providing health insurance to lower income children. Ignorant of what the bill actually does, Bush plans to veto it, saying it is too expensive (although funded by cigarette taxes) at $35 billion over five years. He says this in one minute, and in the next he requests an INCREASE of $50 Billion for 2008 alone for the wars. That the health care for the kids would be funded by a cigarette tax puts icing on this cake. Marie Antoinette would be proud.

Bush continues to display his true colors, offering to do an interview with NPR but if, and only if, Juan Williams conducts the interview. Williams is also a part time contributor to, surprise, Fox News. Well, NPR declined, so Williams did the interview anyway, you guessed it, for Fox News. The subject of the interview: race relations. Bush discussing race relations on Fox Noise? Put that on the calendar!

For contrast, when Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign offered an interview to an NPR health reporter (probably to discuss her health care program), the network suggested "All Things Considered" host Melissa Block conduct the interview instead. Hillary’s campaign agreed at once.

Conversation consistent with the prior post here about GOP corruption fuels forces leading GOP candidates to criticize their own party. Massachusetts GOP candidate for Congress Jim Ogonowski is shunning his own party, and at a higher profile, presidential candidate Mitt Romney goes as far as to, while carefully crafted, throw some darts in a television ad. The Ad.

Expect more of this as the DCCC and organized Democrats begin to highlight the almost infinite pile of hanky panky perpetrated over the last seven years. The GOP is starting to crack. More on that later.

No doubt the reader has heard, but my "Stupid Move of the Week," not that the week is over yet, goes to Rudy Giuliani for his fundraiser charging an entry fee of $9.11. In addition to being offensive, the price is certified stupid as they will need 35 pounds of change for the cashier. More damaging was the response when asked about the situation, "Their decision to ask individuals for that amount was an unfortunate choice."

We seem to be making lots of unfortunate choices these days, including our House of Representatives (I had a bad feeling this would happen) who just couldn’t resist condemning the MoveOn ad in the paper. While our House of Representatives conducts the vitally important task of evaluating and condemning advertisements, I nominate they take aim at the Cialis commercials, the Cave Men, the western style weed killer showdowns, and anything containing the song, "This is God’s Country."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reaping the Sowing

There was this party I once knew....People change. They don't change but they reveal. In time they reveal what they really are. It's an old story.

Well, this party, it was really somethin', lookin' back on it. It was planning somethin'. Well, somethin' happened all right. People can really get mad when they get mad.

The ambulance guys, they say, "What the f*ck happened here?"
I say, "Some guys been up to reapin' what they been sowin', that's what."

They say, "The f**kers been sowing some heavy kinda shit."

David Lynch's Inland Empire

Jack Abramoff, Bush Pioneer and Republican lobbyist, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud in connection with Suncruz casino boats in January 2006. He also pleaded guilty to two additional fraud counts and tax evasion in connection with lobbying for Native American tribes in 2006.
Alan Fabian was the co-chair of Mitt Romney’s national finance committee and a prominent Republican donor who gave 100,000+ to the RNC and the Bush inauguration. In August 2007 he was indicted for allegedly making $32 million in false purchases of computer equipment to pay for his lavish spending habits.
Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the former #3 official at the CIA, was indicted by a Grand Jury on corruption charges in connection with his campaign contributions to Republican members of Congress and resulting federal contracts.
Robert Kjellander, Bush Pioneer and RNC treasurer, was subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in August 2005 as part of a probe investigating corruption at the Illinois Teacher’s Retirement Systems, a state run teacher’s pension fund. The subpoena specifically sought records relating to Kjellander’s receipt of $4.5 million in fees from the Carlyle group, for helping to land the business with the pension fund.
Bernie Kerik - Federal prosecutors in New York have informed Kerik that he is a ‘target’ of a criminal investigation into possible tax problems, illegal wiretapping and making false statements in an FBI questionnaire connected to Kerik's nomination. In addition, a Daily News investigation revealed that Kerik accepted cash and gifts from Interstate Industrial, an allegedly mobbed-up construction company.
Michael Mixon, major NRCC donor, was indicted on charges of fraud and funding terrorism.
Thomas Noe, Bush Pioneer, pleaded guilty in May 2006 on charges of money laundering in connection to his political fund raising. He was also the key figure in the Ohio "Coingate" scandal.
Ralph Reed, Bush Pioneer (2000), Christian Right wing nut, and prominent Republican lobbyist, is being investigated because of a $4 million payment that Abramoff made to Reed.
James Tobin, former NRCC, RNC and Bush-Cheney ’04 staffer was convicted in December 2005 for his role in a plot to stop people from voting in New Hampshire in 2002.
Brent Wilkes, George W. Bush's finance co-chairman in California, was indicted in February 2007 by a Grand Jury on corruption charges in connection with his campaign contributions to Republican members of Congress and resulting federal contracts.
Sam and Charles Wyly, top Bush fund raisers from Texas, are under investigation for tax evasion by federal and state agencies. The Billionaire Bush patrons are accused of setting up offshore trusts on the Island of Man, a noted tax shelter in the Irish Sea, in an attempt to evade paying taxes on stock options.

Former Sen. Conrad Burns was the largest recipient of Abramoff-related money in the U.S. Senate, and made calls urging the Department of Interior to award federal grants to an Abramoff client. That effort failed and Burns later inserted an earmark directing the grant in an appropriations bill.
Soon to be former Sen. Larry Craig, stall stalker, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in incident where police report documented conduct in a Minneapolis airport restroom. Craig also returned $43,500 in campaign contributions received from Brent Wilkes and his business associates after an Idaho paper reported that he sponsored an amendment to earmark a $3 million contract to Wilkes’ company.
Pete Domenici - In April 2007, the Senate confirmed that the Senate Ethics Committee was investigating Sen. Domenici’s role in phone calls he made about ongoing investigations into Democratic officials shortly before the 2006 election.
Bill Frist - The Securities and Exchange Commission in investigating whether Frist, the former Senate Majority Leader engaged in insider trading, selling off holdings in HCA immediately before its value plummeted. Frist maintained that his holdings were in a blind trust, but the Senate frequently provided Frist with information on his holdings and Frist directed the sale of the stock. At the time of the sale, Frist’s brother was on HCA’s Board of Directors.
Mel Martinez - A FEC audit found the Martinez campaign failed to properly disclose $162,000 in contributions.
Lisa Murkowski - A complaint filed with Senate Ethics Committee alleges that Sen. Murkowski received property from an Alaska real estate developer at a price well below market value.
Sen. Ted Stevens home in Alaska was raided in July 2007 by the FBI and IRS looking for evidence in connection with an investigation of a remodeling project conducted by VECO.
Sen. David Vitter acknowledged committing a "very serious sin" after his number appeared five times in the records of what federal authorities say was a Washington call-girl operation

Ken Calvert - A Grand Jury issued a report which said that Rep. Calvert received an illegal no-bid contract for sale of 4 acres of public land in California.
Former Rep. Tom DeLay resigned from Congress after being admonished by the ethics four times, being indicted for money laundering in Texas, and revelations showing numerous controversial ties to Jack Abramoff.
John Doolittle - In April 2007, the FBI raided Rep. Doolittle’s home in its investigation into ties between Doolittle and Jack Abramoff.
Tom Feeney - The U.S. House said that Rep. Feeney violated House rules by accepting a trip to Scotland. Feeney was required to pay the cost of the trip to the Treasury. He was later questioned by the FBI in the investigation into lobbying activities of Jack Abramoff.
Mark Foley - Former Rep. Foley resigned in September 2006 after the FBI and House Ethics Committee opened investigations into allegations that he sent suggestive emails and instant messages to teenaged current and former House pages.
Former Rep. Katherine Harris accepted $32,000 in illegal contributions from MZM Inc.’s President Mitchell Wade. She then requested tens of millions in earmarks that would benefit Wade. Wade later pleaded guilty to making illegal campaign contributions, in addition to conspiracy, corruption and election fraud. Harris maintained that she did not know the contributions were illegal and lost her race for Senate in 2006.
Patrick McHenry - A campaign worker for Rep. McHenry has been indicted for voter fraud in North Carolina.
Gary Miller - The FBI is investigating land deals in which Rep. Miller made an estimated $10 million.
Former Rep. Bob Ney was sentenced to 30 months in prison for corruption after pleading guilty to conspiracy and filing false financial disclosures.
Rick Renzi - In April 2007, the FBI raided an insurance company tied to Rep. Renzi. As a result of the raid, Renzi resigned from the House Intelligence Committee and will not seek re-election.
Don Sherwood - In September 2004, Washington, D.C. police responded to a 911 call placed by Cynthia Ore, 29, who said she had locked herself in the bathroom of Rep. Sherwood’s apartment after he began choking her while giving her a back rub. Ms. Ore later filed a lawsuit alleging Rep. Sherwood "repeatedly and violently physically assaulted and abused" her during a five-year affair that ended in September 2004.
Don Young - Federal officials are investigating a number of allegations against Young, including his ties to Veco, an Alaska company whose CEO pleaded guilty to bribery, as well as contributions connected to a Florida highway and a transportation measure benefiting a Wisconsin trucking company.
Curt Weldon - In September 2006, the FBI raided the homes of Rep. Curt Weldon's daughter and one of his closest political supporters as part of an investigation into whether the veteran Republican congressman used his influence to benefit himself and his daughter's lobbying firm, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Claude Allen, who had been Bush's domestic policy adviser, pleaded guilty to theft in making phony returns at discount department stores while working at the White House. He was sentenced to two years of supervised probation and fined $500.
Robert E. Coughlin II resigned as deputy chief of staff in the Criminal Division of the Justice Department after "a federal task force investigating the activities of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff," began probing whether Coughlin traded favors with an Abramoff colleague.
Lurita Doan, head of the General Services Administration, attended a luncheon at the agency earlier this year with other top GSA political appointees at which Scott Jennings, a top Rove aide, gave a PowerPoint demonstration on how to help Republican candidates in 2008. A congressional committee is investigating whether the remarks violated a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes.”
Brian Doyle pleaded no contest to sending sexually explicit Internet messages to someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. Doyle was sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison.
Frank Figueroa, former head of the Tampa office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, pleaded no contest to charges of exposure of sexual organs and disorderly conduct. He was accused of exposing himself in front of a teenage girl at an Orlando mall.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is under investigation by the Justice Department inspector general over whether he "gave false or misleading testimony to Congress, including whether he lied under oath about warrantless surveillance and the firings of nine U.S. attorneys."
Steven Griles pleaded guilty to lying to a Senate committee in a hearing into the Abramoff scandal.
Eric Keroack, Bush's choice to oversee the federal family planning program, resigned from the post suddenly last month after the Massachusetts Medicaid office launched an investigation into his private practice.
Donald W. Keyser was sentenced to a year in prison for "mishandling classified documents and concealing his relationship with a female intelligence officer from Taiwan." Keyser had been the second-ranking official in the State Department's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs before retiring in 2004.
Scooter Libby was convicted of obstruction of justice and perjury in connection with the CIA leak investigation.
Julie MacDonald, a deputy assistant secretary at the Interior Department resigned "about a week before a House committee was set to hold hearings on political interference with biologists," and "a month after the department's inspector general issued a stinging report that said she violated federal rules by giving industry lobbyists internal agency documents and rode roughshod over agency scientists."
Susan Ralston, top aide to White House strategist Karl Rove "resigned after disclosures that she accepted gifts and passed information to now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
David Safavian, former chief of staff for the General Services Administration, was sentenced to 18 months in prison on "obstruction and concealment charges for lying to investigators about his relationship with [Jack] Abramoff."
Robert T. Schofield “pleaded guilty to accepting at least $600,000 in bribes to provide fraudulent citizenship documents to hundreds of Asian immigrants.”
Tom Scully "was the front man for the Medicare and Medicaid programs through December 2003," before he resigned from CMS after allegedly withholding data from congress on the cost of the new Medicare law. Federal investigators said Scully should repay seven months of his salary for the violation.
Theresa Shaw stepped down amid "growing criticism that the agency has been lax in overseeing the government's $68 billion student-loan program." "The department's inspector general, John Higgens, is looking into possible conflicts of interest involving department employees and lenders. The inquiry follows an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo that has unearthed widespread payments by lenders to schools and aid officials responsible for referring students to lenders.
Roger Stillwell, a former Interior Department official, was sentenced to two years on probation in January after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge for not reporting hundreds of dollars worth of sports and concert tickets he received from Abramoff.
Randall Tobias resigned after a madam facing federal prostitution charges named Tobias as a client of an escort business that specialized in "sexual fantasy."
Mark Dennis Zachares pleaded guilty "to conspiracy to defraud the public by steering potential clients and inside government information to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in return for cash, gifts and the promise of a high-paying job on K Street." Zachares "admitted to prosecutors that he accepted more than $30,000 in tickets to 40 sporting events, a luxury golf trip to Scotland and $10,000 in cash from Abramoff and his lobbying team. He acknowledged providing them with information about the reorganization of the Homeland Security Department, federal disaster and highway aid, and maritime issues."

That’s the strategy of the Democrats, this whole criminalization of politics. That’s the new level of politics now that the Democrats have exhibited. They can’t beat you at the ballot box so they try to beat you in the jury box. They have no ideas and no agenda so they try to destroy you and put you in jail.
Tom Delay, August 14, 2007

We have bloody Monday, and three GOP Senators have announced that they will not run for re-election in 2008. Former Speaker Dennis Hastert is throwing in the towel as is Jim Ramstad. Jerry Weller cracks soon if he hasn't already. More announcements are on the way.

If you were a Republican running for re-election in 2008, what would you do? Everything the party has ever stood for, ever, has been obliterated. They are the hypocrite party, the party of a pussy president who hides behind a general and then cries like a two-year old girl when the general takes a jab in an ad.

An ad.

A party who claims to be against pork and stands against earmarks after what happened 2000-2006? Fiscal discipline after obscene tax cuts for the wealthy with no means of recovery? Imagine being a Republican and talking to anything associated with ethics, integrity, truthfulness, honor, or decency. Faith in God? Is that before or after fondling pages, stalking stalls, exposing oneself to teenage girls, buying prostitutes, buying gay prostitutes, and unprecedented corruption?

Slated to deliver the next State of the Union address is the Girl Scout elected "best speaker" at their next Leadership Development Program. The Girl Scouts of America is contacting newspapers to request they refrain from running advertisements critical of the girl after she delivers the address prepared for her.

The smart GOP in Congress facing re-election will not run. The fortunate among those foolish enough to do so will lose.

Some f**kers been sowing some heavy kinda shit.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Creative Class Recruitment

Tucson, Arizona. Understanding that a flourishing creative class promotes the development of entrepreneurial spirit, the incubation of start up companies into prosperous high technology enterprises paying top wages, and the general well being of our children, we are interested in recruiting creative individuals into Southern Arizona.

Please answer the following questions.

1. If you are a musician with an established band, would you consider relocating to Tucson if provided free rent for a year, $100,000 worth of studio time, and a one year grocery card at Fry’s? At your performances, would you be willing to grant discounts to entrepreneurs incubating startup companies?

2. If you are an artist, what art do you practice?

a) Painting b) Sculpture c) Photography d) Cannot be classified

Would you be willing to relocate to Tucson if provided free rent for a year, a studio downtown to produce and display your art, and a one year grocery card at Fry’s? Would you be willing to sell your work at a 15 % discount to entrepreneurs incubating start up companies?

3. This question applies to men only. Women please skip to the next question. Are you a homosexual? If not, are you sure? Are there conditions under which you would consider becoming a homosexual? If you are homosexual, would you consider moving to Tucson if we provide free rent, a Fry’s shopping card, a gasoline card, full service Cox Communications cable television with the programming of your choice, and a 15% discount good for all rock concerts and art sold by local artists? If you an artist or a musician but not homosexual and clear you will not become homosexual, for a stipend of $500 / month, would you agree to adopt a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding your latent heterosexuality while around entrepreneurs incubating start up companies?

4. Do you consider yourself creative? If not, would you consider moving to Tucson if we paid for your participation in Pima Community College’s Community Campus "Unlock the Creativity Inside of You in 60 Days!" fast track training program, a $60,000 value (plus overhead and program coordinator fees)? Note: Participation in the program requires your creative expression be included in the Creativity Expo at the Doubletree. The admission fee is waived for entrepreneurs incubating start up companies.

RMM is committed to promoting economic development and the quality of life in Southern Arizona. Experts have shown that creative individuals like you promote the creation of optoelectronic software optimization firms. We are the thread that weaves the creative sparks of the community fabric together to generate venture capital for investing in our future. As part of the fastest growing state in the nation, our highly skilled workforce stands ready to fill the engineering, programming, and other knowledge worker positions required by modern organizations.

We are pleased to announce two new incubator companies that have come to town. Ear-Alive is a high tech company developing a cream to treat AWMHES (aging white male hairy ear syndrome), and Nano-Muscle, Inc., creates micro-computers the size of a, of a, large cricket. Their newest machine produces intelligent sounding remarks about economic development using a random number generator.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Outrage Cometh

The reader has no doubt heard the clash occurring between Congress and the White House over the SCHIP Program, which seeks to provide health insurance for children in families that cannot afford health insurance but make too much money to qualify for Medicaid. Funded by both federal and state funds, the program serves the lower classes living slightly above the official poverty line.

Congress wants to use funds from a 61 cent cigarette tax increase to expand the program and increase the number of children that can be served by several million. Bush has promised to veto any expansion of the program, citing that it will cost $35 Billion more over the next five years and represents a move towards a national health care system.

$35 Billion. We drop that in Iraq every couple months, even more if ancillary costs are included. Children are for neglecting, not insuring. I’m sure glad we have a pro-life president committed to protecting our children, insuring they are safe, that is, until they are born.

The graph comes from a study completed over ten years ago. Not to worry, I'm sure the policies of the current administration have greatly reduced child neglect, in particular medical neglect, since 1996.

Speaking of complete hypocrisy, our idiot in chief has thrown his two cents behind the criticism of the now famous ad attacking Patraeus. I have already posted my utter rejection of the cry babies bitching about this ad like it crossed some line they didn’t obliterate years ago. The hypocritical nonsense caught the attention of Keith Olbermann, who of course says it better than I do. Olbermann perfectly captures my sentiments about the Patraeus fiasco. Perfect.

If we thought the political discourse was ugly before, just wait. Can a Republican win the presidential election by attacking, uh, the Republicans?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

ThinkRight Tim Bee Video

Tucson, Arizona. Well, obviously Mr. ThinkRight has learned Premiere or the tool of his choice to produce video prior to your humble blogger's learning the art, a somewhat humiliating experience. I have owned Premiere since May, but have not had the time to fire it up and learn the craft. My stack of "to be produced" videos exceeds half a dozen. I promise the phenomenal. If only I could pull a Sirocco and productively spend those four hours I'm slammed on a mattress while he's awake.

Well, I find it next to impossible TR produced this video without Bee's advance knowledge and approval. Bee had better know what he is doing here. Politics is about impressions. Without question his legal mumbo schumbo goons have blessed the independent actions of a "rogue blogger" as beyond the campaign's control, but this is slippery stuff. TR is obviously on safe ground. I could produce a Giffords video (have one in mind) or any other. The campaign has no control. (The thought of Ron or Daniel, "You posted what?!" entertains me.)

What I consider deeply problematic, but apparently it's okay, is a Web page with credit card functionality soliciting donations as large as $2300 when he has not even announced. Come on!

What this video cements is TR's very close connection to Tim Bee. TR is a Tim Bee blog. I solicit comments, and TR is most welcome to confirm, deny, or elaborate.

I was so hoping my first video at this blog would be my own.

Dreams and Nightmares

Tucson, Arizona. Years ago, Congress considered passing the DREAM Act, a bill designed to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who obtain a college education. One of the more significant components of the bill is its repeal of the part of the "Immigration Responsibility" bill in 1996 that prohibits public universities from providing in-state tuition to immigrants without their papers.

Strictly set in terms of the pursuit of higher education, the bill, well, the reader’s heard what happens to snow balls in hell.

Times have changed. Remember all of those contractors in Iraq? Remember that our military is stretched to the breaking point and having horrible recruiting problems? Oh, we also have that issue about daily fatalities and injuries.

Didn’t that DREAM legislation include military service? The military service component provides a far more politically palatable path where young men without their papers can sign up, serve this country nobly and with dignity, prove their worthiness as soldiers, and earn the right to citizenship.

From the Arizona Republic’s article a few days ago:

The DREAM Act has broad bipartisan support in Congress.

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Tucson, is a co-sponsor of the bill in the House. He said the legislation has a better chance now that the military aspect is being played up.

Who could be against this? Remember those Numbers USA people I mentioned quite some time ago? They’re seething and bringing up the scarlet letter, "A - Amnesty."

"The DREAM Act would address a very serious recruitment crisis that faces our military," said Sen. Dick Durbin, the bill's author. If Durbin is successful in attaching the DREAM Act to the defense-authorization bill, the proposal is almost assured of passing.

On the right, we have the numbers people and their ilk. On the left, we also have some mightily upset people who suggest the bill is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Those without the resources to attend college living in poverty may find the instant cash, training, terrific food, and a path to citizenship via the military impossible to resist. According to that link, the two years of service is a lie, and that the minimum enlistment is eight years.

We have the right calling it Amnesty and the left calling it essentially a poverty fueled draft for the military.

How many will actually attend college as a result of the bill? Hispanic high school graduation rates are below 50 percent. How many will actually join the military? Is this really an economic draft? The answers make a difference. What cannot be disputed are barriers before each path. It doesn't cost anything to join the military.

My question: IF they do join the armed forces, serve a year, and get badly injured. Are they citizens? Are they veterans, or are they flat out SOL with no legs to boot?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Partisan War, Partisan Positions

Last week General Patraeus gave his report before Congress, and Thursday night Bush gave his speech on prime time television to generate public support for the surge and forward the notion that it was so successful we can now start rotating troops home on a scale that was pretty much already going to happen anyway.

A Pew Foundation report illustrating public reaction to the events of the week should surprise no one.

Regarding the Patraeus report, did it make one more optimistic about the war?

More optimistic----------16 %-----------31 %---------------7 %-------------------11 %
Less optimistic-----------12 %-----------7 %----------------17 %------------------11 %
No change-----------------67 %----------57 %---------------71 %------------------74 %
Don't know------------------5 %-----------5 %------------------3 %-------------------4 %

When participants were asked if they had heard or read about the Patraeus report:

A lot-------------------24--------------27-----------------24----------------------23
A Little----------------44--------------45-----------------45----------------------43
Nothing At All-------29--------------27-----------------29----------------------32
Don't Know-------------2--------------1--------------------2-----------------------2

When asked if they had heard or read about Bush's speech:

A lot----------------------16---------------20------------------13----------------------18
A Little-------------------28---------------34------------------26----------------------36
Nothing At All----------55---------------49------------------59----------------------56
Don't Know----------------1----------------1--------------------2-----------------------*

The CBS Poll shows the results of the week causing more harm than good, with approval of Bush's handling of the war slipping from 26% to 25%, i.e. as before, the one fourth with him, the three fourths against, a number I posted weeks ago. Regarding the surge, do people think it is making the situation in Iraq better? Before the speech, 35%. After the speech, 31%.

Now, given that over half the country has neither heard nor read a thing about Bush's speech, I doubt the speech itself mattered. Most have stopped listening.

The people of the United States are annoyed with the Democrats in Congress. With the Republicans in Congress, they smell blood.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blognetnews AZ Influence Ranking II

Tucson, Arizona.Each week the national Blog Net News organization ranks the political blogs in each state. I posted critical remarks as did the conservative Maricopa blog Arizona Political Intel. The ranking method still contains flaws, but the site is improving and we are all works in progress.

Your humble blogger is currently ranked first. Last week this blog ranked second. This is not the most influential political blog in Arizona. What I am delighted to report, however, is that its regular readers are a sharp set of folks.

What is influential? In higher education enrollment management, the astute understand that some students (if admitted) will enroll no matter what. Some will not apply no matter what. Influence occurs in the middle. In political context, extremists who preach to their own will influence no one.

BNN's algorithm (which I don't know) uses more than traffic and is likely to include prolificacy of stories and comments, links, and ratings. The U of A football game story got thousands of hits and 150 + comments. Considering prolificacy, does a cartoon equal a powerful, researched, and well-written paper? I spent 30 seconds posting a humorous cartoon. Any good or not, the Bloody Words story took 4+ hours.

A factor worth considering is who is posting. I am not Robert Reich. Further, sites like Arizona Eighth and Sonoran Alliance (links to right) feature a team of several as well as possible "guest" posts from individuals of interest. Even though Pullen's site pretty much stinks and the comment functionality is a joke, he's head of the AZ GOP.

More important than authorship is readership, and who reads is as important as (if not more than) how many. I can promise the dear reader that an visit feels different from or someone in Malaysia who googled "sustainable grass." hits are a delight, indicating a story at their place links here, but the visits make me nervous. I’m praying it’s a politically intrigued secretary. I smile and say a certain "Hi" when I see I have never received a visitor. If I do, I will freak, notify the family, and make financial arrangements. Actually, the visitors to fear will not show reference information.

Summarizing, I salute BNN's efforts, but they have a ways to go. I would suggest clarification of local vs. national influence, and even local has to distinguish how local. RRR and AZ Political Intel have different audiences. Restricting ourselves to Metro Tucson, RRR kicks this blog halfway to Cleveland. If the desired measure is statewide influence, the Maricopa blogs should dominate. Their population dwarfs other communities and they have the state capital.

If BNN wants an overall aggregate measure of blogosphere political impact regarding local, state, and federal issues, they need a serious statistics geek to sort that out.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Devolution Fruition

Greenspan's Book

Alan Greenspan, who reigned as the country's finance god for over 20 years, has a book hitting the shelves on Monday. Greenspan has a brain. I remember trying to understand him when he spoke before Congress.

REALITY is merciless, infinite, and deep. Greenspan's book is just the appetizer of the condemnation flood from countless angles reaped by the unconscionable incompetence of the Bush Administration. Greenspan writes, "They swapped principle for power. They ended up with neither."

Greenwald's book serves from another angle.

I doubt I will live long enough to see the mess cleaned up, if it ever is. Again my thoughts turn to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who wrote in The Great Gatsby, "They were careless people, Tom and Daisy."

Greenspan will appear on 60 Minutes tomorrow.

UPDATE: Just watched the 60 Minutes piece, and while interesting, very lame. The piece had not one peep about Iraq or oil. It also steered away from the "power over principle" remark featured in yesterday's New York Times. The Greenspan book will sell like hot cakes. Everyone listens to Greenspan, and he is going to tell us what we already know about the insidious 2000-2006 White House / GOP Congress fiscal prostitution and $why we invaded Iraq$.

Crude Awakening & Fallon

Why we invaded Iraq. Why we will never leave Iraq. We are talking about blood for oil. Profiteers run this country. Think Hunt. Oh, Hunt is on the board of Halliburton. Think he knows Lord Cheney? Based in Texas, think Hunt knows Bush? Naah.

Ahh sure be glaad we gittin them thar terrists in Raq. Ain't no corpraptions got to do with it.

Meantime, if you haven't heard, Admiral William Fallon ripped his subordinate Patraeus as an ass kissing little chicken shit.

Not exactly the highest approval marks from your boss. I wonder how Lord Dick will handle Fallon. Washington word is that this will not be a cakewalk even for the Lord.

Washington word also says (what do I know living in Tucson?) that after Bush's speech last night, Nancy Pelosi confronted our idiot in chief proper and verbally slapped the wimp halfway to Christmas and back to Easter. Our Speaker has five times the intellect of our president. Okay, so does a head of lettuce, but still, I wish Nancy would do it for the camera.

I have been a fervent New England Patriots fan for fifteen years. No, I don't dress up funny or drive that incredible pick-up cruising around Tucson. (Seen it?)

Now even my football team has a scandal gate.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Bloody Words & Bloodshed

The administration I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house.
George W. Bush, Des Moines Register debate, Iowa, Jan. 15, 2000

I think anybody who doesn't think I'm smart enough to handle the job is underestimating.
George W. Bush, U.S. News & World Report, April 3, 2000

I have a different vision of leadership. A leadership is someone who brings people together.
George W. Bush, Bartlett, Tenn., Aug. 18, 2000

I don't know whether I'm going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes.
George W. Bush, Des Moines, Iowa, Aug. 21, 2000

We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans.
George W. Bush, Scranton, PA, September 8, 2000

America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points.
George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul.
George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000

They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program.
George W. Bush, November 2, 2000

November 7, 2000 - American voters cast votes as follows:

Al Gore - 51,003,926
George W. Bush - 50,460,110
Ralph Nadar - 2,883,105
Others - less than a million combined

Rehnquist puts Bush in the White House.

The legislature's job is to write law. It's the executive branch's job to interpret law.
George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Nov. 22, 2000

If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

The person who runs FEMA is someone who must have the trust of the president. Because the person who runs FEMA is the first voice, often times, of someone whose life has been turned upside down hears from.
George W. Bush, Austin, Texas, Jan. 4, 2001

I want everybody to hear loud and clear that I'm going to be the president of everybody.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 18, 2001

January 20, 2001 - George W. Bush inaugurated.

My plan reduces the national debt, and fast. So fast, in fact, that economists worry that we're going to run out of debt to retire.
George W. Bush, radio address, Feb. 24, 2001

Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy.
Dick Cheney, April 30, 2001

There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead.
George W. Bush, May 11, 2001

It's amazing I won. I was running against peace, prosperity, and incumbency.
George W. Bush, June 14, 2001, speaking to Swedish Prime Minister Goran Perrson, unaware that a live television camera was still rolling.

I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe - I believe what I believe is right.
George W. Bush, in Rome, July 22, 2001

September 11, 2001.

When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C. Sept. 19, 2001

October 7, 2001 - The United States and Britain start bombing Afghanistan with national and international support to overthrow the Taliban, succeeding in six months.

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.
George W. Bush, June 18, 2002

There may be some tough times here in America. But this country has gone through tough times before, and we're going to do it again.
George W. Bush, Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.
George W. Bush, Trenton, N.J., Sept. 23, 2002

December 2002 - Larry Lindsey, top Bush economic adviser, tells Bush the Iraq War could cost $200 Billion. Lindsey is fired at once.

December 6, 2002 - Secretary of the Treasury Paul O'Neill submits his resignation.

January 25, 2003 - Richard Clarke, top level counter-terrorism expert, submits his resignation. He later publishes Against All Enemies.

February 5, 2003 - Colin Powell delivers his infamous speech to the United Nations in what an aide later called the lowest point of his career.

February 25, 2003 - Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki, having experience keeping the peace in Bosnia, testifies to Congress that the Iraq occupation would require "several hundred thousand troops."

The Bush Administration vilifies his assessment. Months later Shinseki retires.

It is unknowable how long the war in Iraq will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.
Donald Rumsfeld, February 2003

Starting late February to mid-March, US diplomats and other diplomacy/security officials begin submitting resignations in droves. To state a few:

John Brady Kiesling, February 27, 2003
John Brown, March 10, 2003
Ann Wright, March 19, 2003
Randy Beers, March 2003
Anthony Zinni, March 2003

This Tomgram provides details and many other resignations, firings, or retirements.

We know he's been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons.
Dick Cheney on Saddam Hussein, March 16, 2003

My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.
Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

March 20, 2003 - The United States starts the Iraq War.

May 1, 2003 - A confident George W. Bush lands on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED in Iraq.

We are making steadfast progress.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 9, 2003

My answer is bring them on.
On Iraqi insurgents attacking U.S. forces, George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 3, 2003

I don't do quagmires.
Donald Rumsfeld, July 24, 2003

See, free nations are peaceful nations. Free nations don't attack each other. Free nations don't develop weapons of mass destruction.
George W. Bush, Milwaukee, Wis., Oct. 3, 2003

For diplomacy to be effective, words must be credible, and no one can now doubt the word of America.
George W. Bush, State of the Union Address, Jan. 20, 2004

June 3, 2004, CIA Director George Tenet announces his resignation. He writes a book and appears on 60 Minutes.

Go f*ck yourself.
Dick Cheney to to Sen. Patrick Leahy, during an angry exchange on the Senate floor about profiteering by Halliburton, June 25, 2004

Give me a chance to be your president and America will be safer and stronger and better.
Still-President George W. Bush, Marquette, Michigan, July 13, 2004

November 2004 - Bush re-elected.
January 25, 2005 - Colin Powell submits resignation.

If you're a younger person, you ought to be asking members of Congress and the United States Senate and the president what you intend to do about it. If you see a train wreck coming, you ought to be saying, what are you going to do about it, Mr. Congressman, or Madam Congressman?
George W. Bush, Detroit, Mich., Feb. 8, 2005

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.
George W. Bush, Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

I think they're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency.
Dick Cheney on the Iraq insurgency, June 20, 2005

August 29, 2005 - Katrina drowns New Orleans. Incompetence reigns.
September 15, 2005 - FEMA Director Michael Brown resigns and becomes a Bush critic.

Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not."
George W. Bush, Washington D.C., Oct. 6, 2005

October 2005 - David Kuo publishes Tempting Faith.

I think we are welcomed. But it was not a peaceful welcome.
George W. Bush, Dec. 12, 2005

March 28, 2006 - Andrew Card, Bush's Chief of Staff, announces his resignation.

You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.
George W. Bush, interview with CBS News' Katie Couric, September 6, 2006

They have, in fact, made significant progress.
Dick Cheney on Iraq, November 3, 2006

It may not be popular with the public. It doesn't matter in the sense that we have to continue the mission and do what we think it right, and that's exactly what we're doing.. [The 2006 election makes no difference.]
Dick Cheney on ABCs' "Full Speed Ahead in Iraq," November 3, 2006

November 7, 2006 - Democrats win control of both the House and the Senate.
November 8, 2006 - Donald Rumsfeld submits his resignation.

And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I'm sorry it's the case, and I'll work hard to try to elevate it.
George W. Bush, Jan. 29, 2007

January 31, 2007 - Harriet Miers, Bush confidant, resigns.
March 12, 2007 - Attorney General Aide Kyle Sampson resigns.

Some call this civil war; others call it emergency. I call it pure evil.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., March 28, 2007

The solution to Iraq - an Iraq that can govern itself, sustain itself and defend itself -- is more than a military mission. Precisely the reason why I sent more troops into Baghdad.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

Suiciders are willing to kill innocent life in order to send the projection that this is an impossible mission.
George W. Busy, Washington, D.C., April 3, 2007

May 14, 2007 - "Bloody Monday" - Top Justice Department official Paul McNulty and civil rights expert Lanny Davis announce their resignations.
June 1, 2007 - Dan Bartlett, another close confidant of Bush, announces his resignation.

More than two decades later, it is hard to imagine the Revolutionary War coming out any other way.
George W. Bush, Martinsburg, W. Va., July 4, 2007

The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.
George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., July 12, 2007

August 13, 2007 - Karl Rove announces his resignation effective 8/31/07.
August 27, 2007 - Attorney General Alberto Gonzales resigns.

We're kicking ass.
George W. Bush, on the security situation in Iraq, to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile, Sydney, Australia, Sept. 5, 2007

I end this post with our president’s May 7, 2006 response when asked to reflect on his presidency and specify his best moment while holding office as President of the United States. After a brief pause, he seriously replied:

I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound largemouth bass in my lake.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mark Warner to Run for VA Senate

As anticipated by your humble blogger and Sirocco, but not by Framer, Mark Warner will indeed seek the Senate Seat vacated by retiring John Warner.

He will win.

The Republican that runs against him is political fodder. Mark Warner very successfully served as the Governor of Virginia and is well liked. The notion of someone defeating him is folly.

Arizona also has an extremely popular governor about to term out and seek the US Senate as well, and she will win. The Republican who runs against her is also political fodder.

The pendulum swings. Sadly, and not by my preference, it swings violently. The Bush/Rove/Cheney machine raped all notions of decency, fair play, and conscience. These unspeakably incompetent and malevolent thugs have taken this country into terrain it did not deserve. Godspeed to Mark Warner. Godspeed to Janet Napolitano. Godspeed to all forces that will destroy the malignant cancer Lord Cheney has unleashed.

Bush is a mouth around a dick. Cheney is Satan laughingly walking about his dominion, feeding our young to his friends.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Border Brutality

Tucson, Arizona. On July 2, 2007, for reasons that continue to mystify, Arizona Governor Janet Nepolitano signed HB 2779, a pathetic piece of legislation passed by xenophobic nimrods. Responding to the fiasco, concerned Arizona employers including Tucson's Jim Click formed an organization called Wake Up Arizona. Not to be outdone, Arizona Rep. Russell Pierce had his folks create a Wake Up Arizona Web site that forwards his possible (inevitable?) run against Jeff Flake for Arizona CD 6 next year.

UPDATE: I don't have the resources to verify if the email I received is true, but until circumstances suggest otherwise, I will respect those with the conviction and courage to email a correction. Apparently Pierce is not involved with the Web site above and I won't delete, but I am told my language about Pierce's involvement with the site is incorrect, and I cannot counter the remark. I have no idea.

What can be cemented are those officially sponsoring the bill:

Rep. Barnes, Ray, Sen. Bee, Timothy, Sen. Blendu, Robert, Rep. Boone, Tom, Rep. Burges, Judy, Rep. Farnsworth, Eddie, Rep. Groe, Trish, Sen. Johnson, Karen, Rep. Kavanagh, John, Rep. Murphy, Rick, Rep. Pearce, Russell, Sen. Verschoor, Thayer, Rep. Yarbrough, Steven.

While Jim Click may have joined Wake Up Arizona, he is the one who has the least to fear. The goons hired to hit companies with this club will not mess with Click. Click can hit back. The companies facing trouble if not complete closure will be the smaller operations that let Pablo stock their shelves, wash their dishes, or maintain their property. The intimidation of the law may cause them to tell Pablo to take a hike before the goons in suits even arrive.

REALITY. Been around any of the resorts lately? Looked at the ladies changing the sheets? Been inside the kitchens? Eat out at restaurants or looked at the guys doing all that landscape maintenance?

Worse, my cloak and dagger people have reliably informed me of some Border Patrol darkness apparently prevented by the introduction of sanity from an undisclosed direction. A set of technical folks designed sonic devices to line our borders. These systems would, upon the approach of border crossers, emit a sound loud enough to puncture an ear drum and leave the affected approacher DEAF. The reader can explore the medical reality of punctured ear drums. That it only blasted people and spared aberrant cows is unknown.

What mentality is creeping into this conversation?

Why did Janet sign HB 2779? Anyone know? If she is gunning for the US Senate, did this signature help her?

Like Iraq, our conversation about immigration is infested with lies and blindness to the reality of the situation. What are the semantics of "border security"? Stopping all traffic? To those who believe stopping all traffic will improve our situation, be careful what you ask for.

Regarding the completely esoteric and not the least political alternative meaning of the border, those interested should revisit that story. Navigator shared his first experience at the place. It sounds legit.

MoveOn Morass

The reader has no doubt heard some of the horse puckey and hullabaloo over a newspaper advertisement in the New York Times by Senator Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introduced a Senate resolution Tuesday condemning the ad. Someone with a brain stepped up and killed the thing as "not germane."

Giuliani called it "one of the more disgusting things that has happened in American politics."

Oh really?

Look at the events of the last six years, and one of the more disgusting things in American politics is an ad in a newspaper? Who are these people? 4000 dead, 30,000 wounded, hundreds of billions of dollars, pathetic health care system, an education system falling behind, and these people are bitching about a newspaper ad?

Patraeus is a general in the army. I would assume the man has thick enough skin not to cry to mommy because he got criticized by a liberal organization's expression of frustration with the war and the escalating recognition that we have been lied to and misled about this holocaust from the word go.

It's an ad. I'm too busy to learn Premiere, but if I pull it off, I can promise you the stuff I post on youTube will make that ad look like a kiss on the cheek.

I have nothing against Patraeus. The country is now brutally bifurcated between about 3/4 of us who hate this bloody mess and 1/4 who eat what Cheney is shoveling. If they think the rhetoric is ugly now, wait nine months. We'll be in the same mess with more dead, more wounded, more debt, and Cheney's buddies will have more contracts in place to snarf that sweet Iraqi crude.

The ad struck a nerve because there is a nerve to strike. People are getting really, really angry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Six years ago early this morning I had a student tell me planes had flown into the World Trade Center buildings, both of them. I didn't believe him and held class anyway.

Witnessing a train wreck is painful. For the record, few people know less about Britney Spears than your humble blogger. I have not heard one song of hers from start to finish and have no interest. I won't link because it's everywhere. Of course, the next morning we had the Patraeus show, and that's also everywhere. It says, guess what, stay the course, shocking everyone. We're making progress.

Haven't heard that before.

Today marks the publication of John Dean's Broken Government which will add journalistic rigor and detail to your humble blogger's assertion that the GOP has sold its soul to Lord Cheney and his corporate barons.

We have history repeating itself on many fronts led by inept self-centered goons thinking their actions have no consequences and that they command reality. Wrong.

On the corporate side, we return to the late 1800s with powerful trusts bilking the country out of everything. Regarding the balance of power, we have Nixonian deja vu's of a presidential meltdown with a newly added flavor, that of a 2000-2006 whore congress with its lips wrapped around Lord Dick in the White House.

Now we hear allegations of Democratic cynicism smelling serious blood by giving the Dick, his moron, and his whores what they want, continued incompetence and insanity until the 2008 election. Let another few thousand kids die for nothing and kick red ass next year.

If the Democrats are smart (not a done deal) they will craft conversations recalling the initial deception. They will create solid sound bites articulating the corruption, the suspension of habeas corpus, the late night race to the hospital to visit a drugged attorney general, the resignation of a disgraced attorney general, the deficit, the growing gap between rich and poor, the pathetic decay of national infrastructure, the suppression and distortion of scientific research particularly with respect to energy and global warming, the breach of church/state separation through "faith based" government giveaways to various churches and the funding of ineffective abstinence programs, obscene pharmaceutical legislation crafted by drug lobbyists and pushed through the house floor with the filthiest tactics perhaps in the history of the country (but perhaps not), unprecedented escalation of CEO salaries in the face of stagnating if not declining middle class wealth, the collapse of loyalty between employer and employee and the betrayal of promised pensions, the burgeoning population of individuals without health insurance, and the economy?

Wait six months. You think this economy is strong?

You think our military is okay? You think our education system is effectively competing? You think our borders are secure? We think we have national unity? Do you even think we have the freedom on which our constitution is based? Sure?

Britney's in meltdown.
Bush is in meltdown.
The GOP is in meltdown.

The United States of America?



About what?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three Down, Nineteen to Go

Senator Chuck Hagel, R-NE, added his name to the list of Republican senators who will not be seeking re-election in 2008, becoming the third GOP senator to make the announcement, and don't forget stall stalker Craig, although let's face it, he will not survive a primary and whoever beats him will win the general.

Twenty-two GOP senators must defend their seats in 2008. Only twelve Democrat senators are to run.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

UA President Dr. Robert Shelton

Tucson, Arizona. The AZ Daily Star features an article today with University of Arizona President Robert Shelton. Before I get started, the reader should know the interview and the material behind the article all took place before the tragic murder of Mia Henderson.

I like the article, where Dr. Shelton most accurately distinguishes between the missions of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. As he correctly states, they play different games in different leagues. Still, the notion that ASU does not grab some Tucsonan high school graduates (good ones) with lucrative financial aid packages, well . .

The reader can read the article. I want to call attention to one subject addressed, economic development. Shelton states:

Last May I bet I had no fewer than 20 students — and/or their parents — who were graduating, coming to me and saying, "I'm so sorry I'm leaving Tucson." They either grew up here or had a great four or five or six years here but are leaving because there are no jobs in this community for them.

Shelton’s brilliant remark hits the nail on the head. An excellent article, it touches but does not penetrate the local lack of employment opportunity for the well educated and the lack of educational opportunity for the fully employed. The classes are scheduled when? We park where?

Understand why I’m hot?

Those already graduated, already working, already busy with jobs and kids and lives and cars and houses, STILL REQUIRE TRAINING!

Tucson has/had a place perfectly designed to meet this need. Roach slit its throat.

I consider it a tragic error to think that universities are responsible for the development of the already employed workforce, i.e. training those already working full time. It makes no sense and is horribly inefficient.

The context of the undergraduate as well as the graduate educational experience is preparation for employment, and different organizational structures are better suited for the real time, surge demand, customized training environments that serve those already possessing full time jobs.

This population is more concerned with skills than grades, more concerned with time than credit, and they need to get back to work as soon as possible. Communities are creating organizations to fill this need, and Tucson did in the year 2000.

It is possible that the UA Continuing Education Department can provide some assistance and the Eller Business School may offer fast track training for upwardly mobile executive wannabees, but the heavy lifting of the skills of the local workforce cannot be performed by either the University of Arizona or Pima Community College. It just can’t.

Dr. Shelton gets this. He is doing his job. Suzanne Lawder, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Tucson, operating at the opposite end of the spectrum, gets it. Judy Clinco of Direct Caregivers gets it. Education and training has become a lifelong necessity. I could write a book on the subject.

Our economic development chief, making $150K+ a year, wants more gay sculptors and rock bands in town. Apparently we’re going to build a hotel and a stadium downtown. Why stay at the Westin La Paloma, the El Conquistador, or Ventana Canyon, when you can stay in downtown Tucson?

Those high paying companies will just flock to Tucson, pockets bulging. Sure, no one in town can fill their positions, but look at that sculpture, and there’s a great concert tonight at the stadium. I’m sure those $5995 sculptures and $95 concert tickets will sell like hot cakes with so many Tucsonans making such extraordinary wages at call centers.

The Border

The reader can easily find a lot of nonsense online about the alpha theta border. I don’t even bother to provide a link, although this page supports the fundamentals of the material here, as does the Wikipedia content addressing the subject. We don’t really understand the highest range of the brain wave frequencies, gamma, the range from 28 Hz (cycles per second) or so up to 100 Hz. Some believe that geniuses contemplating profound thought push higher frequencies. Others reject this.

Beta, 12 to 28 Hz, is the range associated with active, working thought. Most accept that higher frequencies imply greater concentration or complexity of the contemplation. Normal life during the day occurs in this range, whether you are reading, taking a math test, or giving a speech in Washington. We live with brains running at 12 to 28 Hz. We get tired eventually and have to sleep. Slowing down some more, we enter alpha, the range from 8 to 12 Hz.

We’re still awake but quite relaxed in alpha. The best analogy I’ve heard is that the transition from beta to alpha involves relinquishing management. We aren’t "handling anything" nor considering having to handle anything. While giving our speech to Congress or leading our seminar, we’re in beta. Speech over, seminar complete, we relax and go for a walk. We drop to alpha. While on the court, you’re in beta. When the game is over, you let your hair down and have a drink, think alpha. The body and sensory perceptions are still on. We are awake and see, hear, smell all incoming data. Sitting there relaxed, we hear the phone ring, and it’s a newspaper reporter. We rise to beta in milliseconds and get to work.

Beta is "game on" and alpha is "game over" but still awake. Slowing below alpha requires relinquishing what passes for control. Better said, slowing below alpha requires disconnecting from the external environment. The process occurs when going to sleep or performing very monotonous tasks, i.e. driving for hours on a freeway. We drop from 12 to 11 to 10. At about 8 we reach the threshold of ability to connect with the outside world. The brain starts shutting down the "five senses" and awareness of the physical body. We enter "la la land" and start dreaming.

We’re asleep but not asleep, awake but not awake. If we are falling asleep, the drop continues, and we dream as we fall from 7 to 6 to 5. When we hit 4 we enter delta and the brain shuts down even further. Dreaming stops, and although not flat line (that’s brain dead), we are no different from someone in a coma. No awareness of the passage of time occurs and we rejuvenate, refresh, and recharge. We still don’t really understand what happens, but the brain replenishes marvelously in delta. Delta provides the real fruit of sleep. A good night’s sleep is a chunk of time in delta.

Oversimplified but very close is the notion that delta is OFF, alpha is ON but idling, and beta is working. The range between off, delta, and on, alpha, provides interesting turf, known as theta. Deeper insight distinguishes what shuts down when as the frequency falls. As we drop below 8 Hz we close physical perception and the connection to the outside world, but we are still "awake" and recording memory. In theta, 4 to 8 Hz, the physical is down but the mental remains up. Brain cells previously handling a boatload of work are now free to do Something Else.

The implications are extraordinary.

In computer speak, we just freed up massive CPU and RAM, and we’re still running.

The plot thickens. Shifting gears, the earth is surrounded by a conductive ionosphere. Without diving into physics, the 65 mile gap between the surface of the planet and the ionosphere acts like a waveguide which has natural resonating frequencies. The lowest frequency (and highest intensity) of the resonance occurs at 7.83 Hz, called the Schumann Resonance.

Notice anything about that number? It sits right at the top of theta, where we are free of our bodies, free of the physical world, yet still mentally functional and not only functional, but more than functional with substantially more mental capacity than during the normal waking state. A brain at this frequency has the following situation:

All physical sensory perception and body sensations are shut down.

The ability to think, feel, dream, and record memories is in fact enhanced, not weakened.

The mind is resonating with the natural frequency between the earth and the ionosphere.

Normal people going to sleep just waltz down the frequency hall from beta to delta passing door 7.83 without stopping or looking. A certain set of folks, however, have brains wired a little too hot for their own good. Getting to sleep is difficult. That brain just doesn’t want to slow down. They toss and turn in bed thinking about the implications of black holes at the center of every galaxy and the fact that it isn’t just solid, liquid, and gas, but in fact above gas there is plasma, and damn it, why do we have to die and what is that about? Well, finally, certain folks do relax, but they go down that hall REAL SLOW.

10 Hz: Tossing turning, thinking about world events and evolution of consciousness.
9 Hz: Less movement and random associations of comfortable randomness
8.5 Hz: Ah, relief. Elvis gets to sleep tonight. Thank god. It’s about time.
8.0 Hz: La la land. The body is history. Associative thinking breaks down and concepts, emotions, thoughts or fragments of thoughts pass according to different rules.
7.83 Hz: THE BORDER. What’s this? Well, this is strangest dream I’ve ever had. Wait a minute? Is this a dream? I’m in a dream wondering if I am dreaming? If I am dreaming, why am I so functional and aware? If I am not dreaming, what is this?

Wait. Something’s coming.

At the border, one navigates with instruments that do not exist in beta, and most of the instruments that exist in beta are unavailable at the border. You think that’s air you’re breathing? In this context, what is movement, location, or proximity?

Got physics? Uh, no.

Like all items paranormal, an abundance of BS is available for sale. DVD’s, music, pills, whatever, can be purchased regarding the border. Buddhism. Chanting. Prayer. Yoga. Like the rest of reality, the truth involves hard work and no shortcuts.

By the way, if you think the border is safe, I can promise it is not. As the Sufi masters are known to say, every stick has two ends. I know someone institutionalized after a border event. 1993 was a border event, I promise.

Proceed with caution. Better yet, leave it alone.

If you reject my advice and manage to get there, know that upon your return you can kiss atheism and organized religion goodbye. In this context, we know nothing, nothing at all, except that there is something.

Humanity does not know where it came from. It does not know why it is here. It does not know where it is going.

There is something going on, but we don’t know what.