Thursday, January 31, 2008

Omnivores for Obama

(The Daughter at Stanford) Tucson, Arizona. I got an email from the daughter at Stanford, and according to her, the entire campus is for Obama. Unlike your Independent humble blogger, the daughter is pure Democrat. She votes Nepolitano, Giffords, and has told me that she voted via absentee for Obama in the primary. I love my kid. The GOP has lost all but a small minority of the omnivore population. They hate the war. They think people should have health care, have no issue at all with gays, and think abstinence is quite possibly the stupidest concept ever considered by a human being.

They really don't understand Bush, who says, "If you don't pass this bill, America will be attacked, but if you send it to me without protecting phone companies from lawsuits, I will veto it."

The bill automatically extends a year if not renewed. Does the reader get it? Bush is more committed to protecting corporations than the nation itself. In his own words, he will a veto a bill he says is necessary to protect the nation from attack unless it protects corporations from litigation if they break the law.

Occam's Razor. Our President's loyalties are to large corporations, not the people of the United States of America, and that has been the case since January 2000. Those not born into billion dollar legacies are pig food.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Cerebral Afterburners

Tucson, Arizona. In an admittedly self-indulgent post, thought I'd share that this is the week: Comprehensive Final Exams for the Doctorate. Think thousands of pages involving hundreds of authors. The exam is four hours long and one needs every second. There are three questions only, each huge in scope. The test taker must self-organize a well crafted answer. Each question gets 80 minutes.

For example:

Explain the history of Higher Education Finance. How has policy shifted in the last several decades and explain the impact on the socio-economic stratification of society. You must cite all sources.

What are the three fundamental functions of higher education institutions and apply theories you consider relevant (e.g. institutional theory) to explain the development of academic capitalism. Justify your choice of theories. Then select an area within higher education and thoroughly discuss the implications of academic capitalism on that area. Cite all sources.

I like this stuff. It sure beats econometrics. Econometrics is the cerebral equivalent of lugging cement up a staircase. Preparing for this feels more like the cerebral equivalent of kicking in the afterburners of a jet.

FEC reports are coming in. Those interested can peruse the other blogs.

Friday morning, 8 AM sharp. In the afternoon I have a date with a fine cigar and a nice bottle.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

GOP Sinks Romney, Nominates McCain

Tucson, Arizona. Tony GOPrano must be having a glass of bubbly this evening. Arizona Senator John McCain will win the GOP nomination for President of the United States. The candidates telegraphed the event prior to a recent debate when they warmly interacted in a circle. Not in the circle, and excluded, stood an awkward Mitt Romney. Tomorrow Giuliani withdraws and endorses McCain. Huckabee, a friend of McCain, will remain in the race to siphon the sheep away from Romney until after Super Tuesday. After Super Tuesday Huckabee endorses McCain and the GOP has their candidate. If Huckabee pulls through, his displaces Joe Lieberman as the McCain VP choice.

The GOP ticket: McCain / Huckabee

Those at Sonoran Alliance must be thrilled to know the GOP has chosen a candidate whose platform essentially consists of: The jobs are never coming back. Illegal immigrants are never going home. There’s going to be a lot more war..

Hillary’s Platform In a Nutshell: Half the country hates me. I will generate an outpouring of resentment and vitriol surpassing even the unprecedented mouth foaming produced by my husband. But I can effect the change that needs to happen.

The televisions ads have hit Tucson in earnest. I think if I hear Hillary say "35 years of experience" too many more times I'm going to have to hit or hurt something.

Person and SAIAT

Tucson, Arizona. Someone calling themselves "Person" posted the following over at Michael's Blog for Arizona a few days ago:

In your search for the ultimate meaning to life, perhaps you should remember "what is, is." Nothing more. Let it go. I did. It was dying before it began, and now it has passed.

Good luck to you.

The post brings the communications to four that have said the same thing. SAIAT was dead no matter what. Yeah, I know, Cigar Man, it was all about making TREO look good and taking credit for our work. I let them take the credit! I don't care about getting credit. They could have it.

Well, "Person" says he let it go, so that means he was involved. I have no idea who he is. For the record, I have no hard feelings for anyone who actually worked there, so whoever he is, I wish him luck as well.

It was dying before it began? I just don't get how pumping tons of money into a place, millions, only to destroy it when it becomes really good at what it does. With the exception of the very specific and limited areas where demand consolidates in volume and ability to pay, like MBA's at the University of Phoenix, or inexpensive and easy to provide Microsoft courses at New Horizons, training cannot be provided at actual cost. The actual cost of education is higher than people can pay.

If you want to educate people, educational costs = price + subsidy.

Stanford spends over $200,000 to teach a student in a year. They charge (full price before aid) $46,500. The rest is subsidized. At the University of Arizona, Pima Community College, same thing only smaller numbers. At K-12, the students pay nothing. It's all subsidized. I am talking about a subject quite easily understood.

Market forces will not train our workforce. If the price equaled the cost, only the ultra rich could afford an education. The U of A would run well over $25,000 per year if it charged what it truly spends per student. A skilled workforce costs money. SAIAT generated 2/3 of its revenue through "tuition and fees," about $1/2M per year. It required a 1/3 subsidy, $250,000 to provide all sorts of stuff no for-profit operation could touch.

Certain people know the REAL reason why TREO destroyed SAIAT. It has nothing to do with operations. If they knew they were going to destroy it no matter what it did from day one, why did they create it?

Yeah, I know, Cigar Man: To make themselves look good.

They don't look very good to me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Russell Girl

(Sarah and Lorraine in Lorraine's studio) Some critics have woefully misunderstood a Hallmark film that aired last night on CBS, The Russell Girl. Don't proceed if you want to see it unspoiled. I disagree with the critics and found the exquisite performance of Amber Tamblyn (of Joan of Arcadia fame) more than enough to make it worth watching. She plays Sarah Russell, a college graduate who arrives home unwilling to tell her family or friends that she is dying of leukemia.

Tamblyn elegantly plays the inner wrenching as the happy family celebrates her admission to Northwestern’s prestigious medical school.

For reasons unknown, neighbor Lorraine, well played by Jennifer Ehle, just seethes with rage towards "the Russell girl." The simple fact that Sarah has returned home causes Lorraine to plunge into debilitating depression. She brutally rebukes modest efforts by Sarah to right whatever wrong occurred in the past. Most viewers will correctly expect an accident of some kind, quickly confirmed as occurring six years earlier but not specified. The film makes no effort to be suspenseful, mysterious, frightening, or even dramatic, which I consider courageous. The critics call it painfully slow. I call it painfully real.

A young woman barely into her twenties is dying, keeping it a secret, and refusing herself treatment. Halfway into the film we see the flashback. As a babysitter, distracted by the older boys, Sarah lost sight of an infant in a walker for 15 seconds. Fifteen month old Jennifer walked into the basement stair well and fell to her death. Although the hatred is killing her, Lorraine cannot forgive. No apology can right what occurred.

The first break occurs when Sarah suffers an episode associated with her illness on the sidewalk and Lorraine sees her. Sarah looks terrible and almost falls, insisting she is fine as she controls a drop to sit on the sidewalk. She again extends an olive branch only to receive another cruel rejection, but the shift in Lorraine is perceptible.

Later, while reading material on cancer on her porch, Sarah’s nose starts bleeding, and Lorraine sees it and also notices the papers, now clear that Sarah is gravely ill. Now the transformation occurs quickly, opening up the possibility of a healing perspective. The light bulb flashes and everything clicks. Of course they could have kept the door to the basement locked. Of course they could have installed an infant proof gate. Of course two fighting nine year old boys can distract a fourteen year old babysitter for 15 seconds. Regarding the purchased but un-installed gate that would have prevented the accident, Lorraine has the best line in the film, telling her husband, "I bought the wrong screws."

One of my best friends lost a baby daughter. It leaves a mark.

(Sarah finally telling romantically interested Evan why she's been resisting his advances.) Lorraine's animosity disintegrates and the forgiveness is immediate, removing the blinders that allow her to see Sarah’s profound suffering and belief that she deserves her illness and should die. Sarah confesses, "Ever since Jennifer died I’ve been waiting for the other shoe." Played perfectly, not dramatic, her confession is gut wrenching. Lorraine will have none of this now, "If you don’t tell your family, I will."

Sarah speaks the second best line of the film, very simple, but spoken in front of Lorraine, her mother, her father, and her brother, "I’m sick."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A President Like My Father

As mentioned yesterday, Caroline Kennedy has a written a moving endorsement of Barack Obama for President of the United States. I was not born when the country elected JFK. The most emotional election in the history of my life was 1992. I will remember forever buying the champagne, standing in line at the store with others buying champagne. People cried. I cried. We cheered and danced and watched the president elect play the saxophone wearing dark sunglasses. Suddenly the world seemed brighter, like there might be a chance for humanity to make it, that it was possible for someone who actually cared about people to take the helm of the nation.

I've been told 1960 felt the same way, almost exactly two months before your humble blogger was born. A younger generation committed to the welfare of the many and not the connected few replaced the old guard and the country fell in love. Kennedy was going to get us out of Vietnam. Then the old guard returned, and lying for the sake of war profiteers, invaded another nation to squander outrageous sums and ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens forced into service against their will.

The Clinton administration inherited massive debt incurred under 12 years of "deficits don't matter" GOP administrations. Clinton succeeded in obtaining a better than balanced budget with a surplus after one of the most prosperous economic expansions in the country's history, and relative peace. Things were so good a sexual encounter with an intern seemed like a huge crisis.

In 2000 the American people voted for more. An individual of character, seeing the popular vote against him, would have conceded the election at once. Eggplant, having the character of a snake and the soul of a demon (or no soul at all) usurped control and sacrificed competence for blind allegiance. Would 911 have occurred with a competent administration? We will never know. Corrupt and malevolent, Bush lied to start an unprecedented cash cow for his buddies, blatantly and in complete view violating the constitution and everything the country stands for. Cheney boasted with a smile to ABC News before the 2006 election, "The election doesn't matter. We do what we want."

The 2008 election surpasses 1992 as the most emotional I have ever experienced. Tomorrow Senator Edward Kennedy will endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States. Governor Janet Nepolitano has endorsed Barack Obama. The Democrats have the best candidate for president they have had in my lifetime. Do they select a candidate that half the country cannot stand (for good reason or not) or do they select someone who can win this thing, and not only win, but truly introduce new possibilities?

The time has come for Democrats to muster the courage to recognize real change from more of the same. Cheney's pigs have stolen the country to serve as their cow. The time has come to take back what has been taken.

With a vengeance.

On Tuesday, February 5th, I want to see the cactus voting in an unprecedented blue tidal wave that even in Arizona results in more blue votes than red. Yes we can. South Carolina delivered. See you at the polls. I'll be wearing my x4mr certified blogger badge on a Giffords for Congress T-shirt.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tsunami Beforemath - Shifting Sentiments

The nation's desire for change in government has reached perhaps its greatest level since the Civil War. While not old enough to recall the 60s, I think today's anger and disgust exceeds that time.

South Carolina handily awarded Barack Obama a victory, an unprecedented event in the history of the nation that brings tears to my eyes. South Carolina all but cements the recent polls that tell us that if the Democrats can just pull it together and hand him the nod, CHECKMATE. Obama beats ANY GOP opponent. No Republican can touch him. Good luck and God Bless, Barack. My prayers are with you.

In tomorrow's New York Times, Caroline Kennedy will formally endorse Barack Obama for President.

On presidential items GOP, Florida Governor Charlie Crist has formally endorsed John McCain for the GOP nomination. Damn! McCain has a chance against Hillary. Romney does not.

Further news of the blue tsunami was noted by blogger cpmaz at his blog, Random Musings. You can read his post. The key takeaway is that voter registrations are significantly shifting away from the GOP. Both Democrats and Independents are gaining at the expense of Republicans. The phenomena occurs across the country. Perhaps the teaming masses of lower class Americans are tired of stuffing Cheney's pigs. Word is that some think they deserve health insurance. Bush's plan to cut taxes on corporations? ExxonMobile, double digit billion profit a quarter, should pay less taxes. Ahh, the GOP, motivating voters nationwide.

In Arizona, and in particular CD 5, registration numbers are trending in a direction that gives Harry Mitchell cause for hope and a chance to defeat his challenger. Remember that Arizona is the fastest growing state in the nation. Below are percent increases in registered voters since the 2006 election:

Democrats: 6.5 percent (5458 voters)
Republicans: 0.15 percent (208 voters)
Independents: 8.5 (7397 voters)

In case the reader is not the statistician I've become, allow me to put it differently. For every one individual that registered as a Republican, over 26 registered as a Democrat and over 35 registered as an Independent. I don't live in District 5, but that's a tsunami.

Mitchell cannot kick back and relax. The GOP still enjoys a substantial majority in terms of total registered voters, and he faces an extraordinary challenge to keep his seat. If the Democrats nominate Obama, Harry will win. If the GOP nominates Romney, Harry can win. If we have McCain against Clinton, oh Harry, may God help you. Good luck.

I won't be saying much about CD-3 (not my turf), but Shadegg (R-AZ CD 3) slipped this week and finds himself slapped with formal allegations of campaign finance fraud. I seem to recall a smiling mug shot of a jackass. Apparently Shadegg's PAC played shenanigans to get around that pesky $2300 limit. Shadegg's race is also heating up to become contested and the DCCC has now targeted his district with formidable challenger Bob Lord, who is giving Shadegg a run for his money, literally. Some believe the next FEC reports will show the two neck and neck with funds raised and cash on hand. If Shadegg needs GOP support to keep his seat, it cuts into the resources available to challenge Mitchell. Good luck, Bob.

The news from the north will certainly bring a smile to our local CD-8 Congresswoman Giffords, who faces a credible challenge from AZ Senate president Tim Bee. Events to our north dramatically reduce the odds Bee will get any NRCC calvary. Bee will raise a good sum, but he will not catch her war chest. The Bee machine faces a rocket sled on rails. When Democrats go to the primary on February 5, you can pretty much bet on smiling greeters in Giffords for Congress T-shirts requesting primary voter signatures to put her on the 2008 ballot. Will we see clipboard equipped Bee units doing the same? I don't know. Bee may have a trained legion all prepared to go.

Derek, got clipboards? I mean no disrespect and wish you well. Do not underestimate the work involved to get quantity AND QUALITY of good, solid names on hundreds of pages and remember that those having already signed a Bee or Giffords petition will not be valid. Other than prior signers, I'm not clear who can't sign Derek's petition. Can any registered voter?

Another slip closer to home, LD-26 (this blog primarily covers LD-26, CD-8, and the presidential races) Senator Charlene Pesquera had a minor slip regarding financial reporting. It had no impact on anything and word is that everyone's dismissing it as a mistake on the part of a newbie. The Democrats say she is running again. Others say she is not. Charlene, this is how to lose. It's a Senate seat in a challenging district. Resolve the ambiguity. Now.

Recent press regarding fundraising suggests the GOP itself is floundering miserably compared to the Democrats. Perhaps McCain will falter for financial reasons. Still, even though he has money, go Mitt!

I'm trying so hard not to get too pumped about Obama. Watching it evaporate on the night of the fifth is going to hurt. Yes, I will vote for her over her GOP rival, but I won't like it. This blog enthusiastically endorses Barack Obama for President.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Home of the Brave

Wars begin where you will but do not end where you please.

I made the mistake of watching Home of the Brave. I knew I shouldn’t have but did anyway. I could not have watched that film in a theater. The movie does not represent extraordinary work as cinema, but it effectively illustrates a subject I have addressed here on many occasions, the mental health crisis facing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. It’s portrayal of the alcoholism, sleeplessness, disorientation, and agony reflects the reality now occurring.

I’ve written how family and loved ones claim they do not know the person who has returned from the war. The film provided an additional insight. The veterans who return home have the experience of no longer knowing their families and friends, a distinction new to me.

Those knowledgeable and able to see under the surface can tell that your humble blogger is no spiritual novice. I practice, but what I do is not in a church or a best selling book, and it's hard to find and even harder to be accepted. For sake of simplicity, let’s just say it involves development of an Awareness. Those who know recognize expanding a vision doesn’t lead to sugary insights about how the wonderful God, universe, apple pie, and baseball point to an awaiting heaven for the deserving.

Two people looking at the same phenomena can experience different planets. Watching Home of the Brave just crucified me. I broke down three times, got so angry I started screaming and had to stop the movie, and I could not deny myself the experience of sheer, distilled hatred, a cool body sensation that permits one to funnel fear into courage and an abandon that lets one swing from the soul. Anger is hot. Instantaneous hatred is cold. Sustained hatred is cool. Rage and hatred make a cocktail that dates back to primordial roots and survival against a violating threat, fueling a lust for the infliction of unspeakable agony and harm against the object of its focus.

Hatred is a response to an invasion, a violation, a betrayal.

Parents of raped, tortured and murdered children know the energy of which I speak. Watch a woman discover her husband is cheating and fear she will lose the father of her children. Watch a man learn his wife is cheating and wonder if his kids are his own. They don’t want a gun. They want restraints, sharp and hot objects, and time. They want to return every ounce of the suffering they have sustained.

At the end of the film, I was shaking. The NSA goons monitoring the blogosphere can relax. I am only going to blog, support certain candidates how I can, and vote. But I will express the hatred I feel for the war in Iraq and those who created it. I’m not going to do a thing to these lying malignant monsters, but no language exists for what I would like to do, just as no language can capture the amount of suffering and loss of life (not just physical) the evil greed ridden demons have inflicted on this nation and humanity as a whole.

What equates to the suffering they have inflicted on so many? Water-boarding would be the appetizer. I’d do that until they got used to it. Then we’d get into the real stuff that involves drills, circular saws, clippers, needles, a good blow torch, and stimulants to keep them conscious. After sufficient amputations by cutting or torching comes the IV into the bloodstream with the very slowly increasing concentrations of sulfuric acid that disintegrate them from the inside out.

Understand I describe an emotional state, a conceptual representation of a desire for justice against unspeakable evil. In reality I would faint at the first drop of blood. No language can grasp how much I HATE the war in Iraq, invented solely and entirely as a profit making venture for Cheney profiteers.

The enlightened can correct me, but thus far all my navigations suggest that as you open up to the brighter and brighter, the darker and darker comes along for the ride. You can’t get to the top without knowing the bottom. It's a package deal.

Every stick has two ends.

Shoot an Undergraduate for Jesus

Tucson, Arizona. Arizona lawmakers Karen Johnson and Russell Pearce have to be among the stupidest knuckle dragging Neanderthal nimrods the GOP ever elected to office. Sure enough, today's AZ Star has a piece discussing their proposal for a bill to allow faculty and students to carry guns on college campuses. The University of Arizona bans the possession of firearms (and alcohol) on campus, and for good reason.

Of course the kids drink beer despite the signs on campus that suggest most don't. Teenagers will be teenagers, and as with sexuality, drugs, driving, and other matters, the most effective solution is EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE, and I mean teaching reality, not absurd concepts like abstinence. Our governor wisely rejected funds for those embarrassingly inane, ineffective programs.

The University of Arizona is a gun free zone and should be. The instant a firearm is sighted on campus, heads will turn immediately and people will call security. A gun on campus immediately indicates a problem. We cannot stop the concealed weapons and insane psychopaths, but we can establish a culture where possession of firearms on campus is flat out unacceptable. The reader can visit the article for the ludicrous language on why allowing guns on campus is a good idea. I'm wondering why we apparently have a law that bans brains from Mesa. People actually voted for these clowns.

The bill will not pass. Hopefully our distinguished university presidents and the Arizona Board of Regents will contact whatever scraps of intelligence can be found in our state legislature and insure this atrocity never sees the light of day.

While they are allowing guns on campus, why not go whole hog and allow alcohol too? In fact, build a liquor store and a bar in the student union. Then Randy Graf can suggest we let the students take their guns into the bars.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

R & D

The Business Cycle Dating Committee at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) determines the amount of business activity in the economy by looking at employment, industrial production, real income and wholesale-retail sales.

We're in a Recession, which occurs when business activity starts to fall until the time when it bottoms out. When it starts to rise again we have what’s called an expansionary period. The average recession lasts about a year.

Speaking street smart, in a recession your neighbor loses his job. In a depression you lose yours.

What distinguishes a Recession from a Depression in fact involves only the amount of the same event: a drop in GDP. Economists established the border between the two at 10 percent. If GDP drops by more than that, we graduate from R to D. In the big D, lots of people, including politicians, lose their jobs. Fortunately, D has occurred in the United States very rarely. As all readers know the greatest occurred from 1929 to 1933 when GDP crashed a full third and devastated millions. The years 1934 to 1937 actually saw expansion, but then 1938 to 1939 saw another 18 percent body blow that made the modest mid-30 growth disappear. Since WWII, the United States has not experienced a Depression.

Thanks to the grotesquely irresponsible gluttonous orgy of Eggplant and his GOP corporate whore 2000-2006 Congress, we’re deep into a situation that has no attractive choices. Some put the chances of experiencing the first D in 70 years at better than 20 percent. Healthy otherwise, we could sustain the housing hit, but we are not healthy otherwise. We are borrowing a fortune from the rest of the planet to funnel trillions to Cheney’s profiteers. The number without health insurance is the highest in decades. One out of eight Americans lives in poverty. Over half live in scarcity, above poverty but barely scraping by without any savings.

Hundreds of thousands lose their homes as we speak. Who will buy them? With foreclosures available at fifty cents a buck why build new homes? The number I personally know losing construction jobs has gone double digit as has those handed pink slips who supplied materials and services to home builders. A mortgage professional I know runs a branch for a mortgage firm. Her office had 23 employees a year ago. Now it has three.

Government by the rich for the rich has bled the nation. People are terrified and furious. The irony: the party of the ultra-rich is broke. They ran the nation into the ground.

The nation will return the favor.

The demise of the GOP will be financial in nature.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fame Fatalities

Heath Ledger of Brokeback Mountain fame died recently in his lower Manhattan apartment, too many pills in too little time. What is it with these people?

I remember when Chris Penn died at 40. John Belushi was found naked on the floor after doing eleven speedballs (injections of heroin and cocaine). The drugs found in Elvis could occupy a shelf at Walgreens. If I had tons of fame and fortune, would I do so many drugs? I'll never know. While no stranger to a cigar and a glass of scotch, I like to entertain the notion that if placed into a position of such wealth, I would enjoy it and find ways to use it to make the world a better place.

Ledger was 28 years old. My sympathy is somewhat limited. In a certain respect, I am almost offended. What a waste of life. He had everything. The guy was only eight years older than my daughter. If my daughter pulled that crap I'd chase her into the afterlife and trounce her proper. If she wants to die young, she can go to the University of Arizona and forget Stanford. After four years of Stanford she'd better live to 100.

Perhaps having everything isn't what it looks like to those of us who don't have it.

Update: I just learned Ledger had a two year old daughter. I have a daughter. During the darkest of the dark, and I will spare the reader, my daughter was a source of strength and purpose. For her, I toughed it out on tough terrain. Dads do that.

The guy had a fortune. Retire. Write a book. Start a blog. Get a PhD. Love your little girl and watch her grow. Isn't she worth staying on the planet?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Arizona LD-26 Hanky Panky

(Lena Saradnik) Tucson, Arizona. The nature of the 2006 election allowed Democrat Lena Saradnik to win one of the state district 26 representative seats. Unfortunately, and I wish her well, Lena suffered a stroke that forced her to resign her seat. Under such circumstances, the LD-26 Democratic PC's select three candidates from which the Pima County Board of Supervisors choose the replacement.

Everybody knew that the most popular replacement matched who Saradnik specified as her choice for a successor, Don Jorgenson. I didn't post a story, but considered him the heir apparent. When the votes were cast, Don Jorgenson won 62 of the 76 votes cast. The resigning official elected by the people said Jorgenson. 81.6% of the precinct vote said Jorgenson. What's to discuss? Well, yesterday Tedski posted a story betting on Nancy Young Wright. I thought he was nuts.

Wrong. Tedski's good.

Hats off to blogger Michael Bryan for a great piece showing us the reality under the hood. Michael's work is an example of what the blogosphere can provide that will never see the light of day in the mainstream press. Based on Michael's post, commenter ForcePrimeval posted Lara's letter to Supervisor Bronson. This is first rate blogging.

Tedski is right. Who cares what the person who won the seat fair and square thinks? Who cares what the people think? Michael provides the content on how back door dealing trumped the will of the people.

There seems to be a lot of that going around.

Arizona Legislature Eyes Gutting Education

Tucson, Arizona. As described in the Star's Howard Fisher 1/10/2008 piece, Republican John Kavanagh thinks state law should require universities to charge 40 percent of the institution's tuition to students regardless of financial need.

From the January 10 article:

Overall, a proposal by Pearce and Sen. Bob Burns, R-Peoria, his Senate counterpart, would immediately cut spending by more than $630 million to balance what they say is a $970 million deficit.

How much of the $630 million is to come from universities? $110 million. $50M from ASU, $44M from the U of A, and $16M from NAU. Dr. Robert Shelton is the president of the U of A.

Shelton all but told lawmakers cutting the universities that much can't be done. He said the new semester begins next week. And canceling classes — the major cost of running the university — would deny many the courses they need, meaning they could not graduate in four years.

"Frankly, I have no solution at the moment," he said.

I know the feeling.

Michael Crow, his counterpart at ASU, said the only way he could find that kind of cash immediately would be to sell off some vacant land his school owns. But he said dumping property to avoid cutting expenses is a one-time solution.

Crow noted the plan by Burns and Pearce would not restore the cuts next budget year. He said that could mean capping enrollment or even closing entire colleges within the university.

And NAU's John Haeger said the cut the lawmakers want him to absorb is the equivalent of wiping out his school's education and business schools.

Haeger also questioned how much spending he legally could cut. For example, he said NAU has a contract with Yuma Regional Medical Center for its new program to turn out nurses with baccalaureate degrees.

Even if you are dirt poor with a single parent making $12K a year at Burger King, you need to cough up 40 percent of the tuition or you can kiss education good-bye and take your parent's place making Whoppers.

When TREO slaughtered SAIAT's funding, I made a choice to work with a different type of individual. I now work with great people committed to making a difference for humanity and contributing to the common good of everyone, individuals I can look up to, and I do. Well, two of them contributed to a piece published in the Arizona Star today addressing this insanity. I know both of them. Jeff and John, distinguished scholars and published experts, unlike some of the goons that get elected or run economic development organizations, know what they are talking about. From their piece:

As tuition and fees have increased steadily, the incomes of the lowest-paid members of our society have not. But tuition and fees are not even the most pressing costs facing low-income students. By foregoing college and entering the full-time work force, low-income students could make immediate contributions to help lift their siblings and parents out of poverty. These foregone earnings weigh heavily on the minds of low-income students as they consider whether or not to enroll in college. This is something that higher income students never have to contemplate.

To increase the extremely low enrollment rates of low-income students, federal, state and institutional aid policies should reduce the costs of college attendance for these students. But Kavanagh's proposed policy, which requires students from families with the lowest incomes to pay more than what established federal financial aid guidelines indicate that they should pay, would add to the real costs these students face.

The problem is not that low-income students bear too few costs to value their education as Kavanagh asserts, the real problem is that they face too many.

During the 1960s President Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty and passed the Higher Education Act of 1965 that expanded opportunity for millions of Americans and provided us the intellectual infrastructure to establish the lead in science, technology, and productivity to produce a prosperous middle class.

Now we have a GOP that eschews the War on Poverty, preferring to declare war on the poor.

Reproductive Freedom Works

The rate of abortion in the United States has been declining for years and has hit the lowest level since we started measuring it in the 70s. Well connected and savvy omnivores have more sexual activity than any generation to date, but they use birth control, and should they find themselves minus the appropriate protection, they engage in oral sex. Should they fail to do that, they rush to the store for the morning after pill. Should they fail to do that, they can obtain RU-486.

The healthy dynamic will continue and the rate will continue to drop. The solution involves sex education, easy access to affordable birth control, and the safety nets of the morning after pill and RU-486. If the so called pro-life fanatics would empower the young instead of telling them to abstain until marriage, the issue is history. Guess who is more likely to have an abortion? An ignorant God freak indoctrinated into Jesus obsession and abstinence. The spiritually and intellectually healthy kids don't have abortions because they don't have unwanted pregnancies.

If the real commitment were eliminating abortions, the pro-life movement would attack unwanted pregnancies. They don't. They attack sexual activity. It's a lie with roots in Christianity's discomfort with sex, in particular, with women having sex. Mary, mother of Jesus, didn't have sex. Uh-huh. The early Christians got downright persnickety about whether Mary and Joseph went at it to have Jesus's brother James.

Well, I have news. Mary and Joseph went at it like bunnies, and Mary LOVED it. She couldn't get enough of Joe. She had Joe for breakfast, lunch, and dinner including seconds and thirds. The sex was so fantastic and extraordinary she had the Son of God. God's no idiot.

Notice they don't have purity balls where mothers take their sons as "dates" and give their sons a ring to wear as a symbol of "chastity until marriage."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tim Bee to Announce on Saturday

Tucson, Arizona. The Green Valley News published a piece last night stating that Tim Bee is making the announcement this coming Saturday. As it says in the article, Bee will address supporters at the library of Palo Verde High School at 10 AM this Saturday. FEC reports coming soon. I wonder how those limited edition Bee pins worked in raising funds. Update 8 PM: Daniel Scarpinato released an online piece this afternoon quoting Bee campaign manager Meg Econ that Bee has raised "well over $300,000" confirming what I have speculated. Bee will have money.

Bee will try to unseat freshman Democrat Gabrielle Giffords in Congressional District Eight. Bee had better be prepared on Saturday. Roger Kralmajales might attend and ask him what that 1990 diploma from the University of Arizona was in.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Collateral Damage

(Photo – Matthew Sepi) At the conclusion of the Civil War, no media existed to report the post battle psychological meltdowns faced by certain survivors. At the conclusion of WWI, consensus chose to repress such stories, the “wacko-vet” stigma thwarting the ability of veterans to find employment. At the conclusion of WWII, actual news stayed quiet, but now we had cinema, and numerous films depicted insane soldiers reliving battles in hospitals and many others having nightmares. The fresh out of the war 1946 The Best Years of Our Lives won the Oscar for Best Picture. Real life amputee Harold Russell plays the role of Homer Parrish, who lost both hands in the war and resists the advances of his girlfriend, afraid to let her see what has happened to him. Russell won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

Alcohol is the self-medication for PTSD and mental wounds that continue to bleed. The film shows the men drinking heavily. I have written repeatedly on the issue of veteran mental health and the utility of EMDR. On Sunday the NY Times launched a breakthrough piece, War Torn that extends the work done by CBS News to expand our understanding of unexplored terrain. What we are doing to our military today surpasses what occurred in Vietnam. We win the war and lose the peace. Our Veteran’s Administration lives in denial about the extent of the situation, and starved of resources it explores every angle to deny care, insisting that veterans had “pre-existing personality disorders.”

Soldiers with no criminal records, confident young men and women with families and children and jobs and churches, go to the Middle East, and different people return, heavy drinking, suicidal, nervous, and unwilling to be separated from their guns. Matthew Sepi, a battle hardened vet drinking to cope, bought a couple beers at a convenience store. Gang members approached him on the walk home and found themselves on the wrong end of an AK-47. He faces murder charges.

(Photo – Seth Strasberg is serving 22 to 36 years for murder) Human beings are more fragile than acknowledged. Pack animals like dogs and wolves, we are hard wired to care deeply about what others think of us and whether we are accepted. We crave strokes and approval. Soldiers muzzle weakness and funnel social forces into comradeship with their units. The love and strength of the bonds can exceed the strongest romance. A soldier returned from his two week leave to learn his entire unit was killed. He committed suicide. The VA suppressed story of the growing suicide epidemic slowly leaks into public consciousness.

The United States (or should I say Corporations?) of America is grinding its military down. Militarily, economically (got deficit?), intellectually (got education?), and physically (got health care?), every day our nation grows weaker as self-serving scorpions continue to sting the frog.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Giffords Launches 2008 Campaign

Tucson, Arizona. A whole bunch of Democrats converged at the Hotel Congress last night to mark the beginning of the 2008 campaign for Arizona's Eighth Congressional District. The place became so full they had to keep people out of the Copper Room to comply with fire hazard regulations. So everyone would get a chance to hear her speak, the Congresswoman addressed those who couldn't get in the first time about an hour later in the Tap Room.

Your humble blogger was in said Tap Room purchasing a Guinness at the time the Copper Room got too full, so I had another Guinness (oh, twist my arm) and waited for Round Two, which featured a much smaller group. Giffords took questions, and one woman asked why we weren't impeaching Lord Cheney and Eggplant. Giffords replied that Reid, Pelosi and the Democratic leadership had made the decision not to pursue this since the two cannot run for re-election anyway. The group didn't like the answer, but everyone understood that the freshman is not in a position to move the leadership to impeach the president.

I asked the following:

Speaking of this horrible administration, are we going to be able to hold these guys to account? These men are criminals. They took an oath to uphold the constitution and they are throwing it in our face. Can Bush just pardon himself and everyone and they all waltz into the sunset with the money they made?

Giffords acknowledged that she was as frustrated and disgusted with the administration as we were. (The room shared your humble blogger's opinion of Eggplant and his corporate goons.) I have already forgotten the name of the Congressman she referred to that is looking into what can and should occur if after the 2008 election evidence exists to prosecute those who committed crimes with and under Eggplant.

I wanted to speak with her husband, but he left pretty early. Perhaps NASA mechanics got confused and needed to ask him something about the space shuttle.

Apparently who will play the roles of Rodd and Daniel this time around has not yet been determined. Jennifer is serious cute (Ooh! Aah!). The campaign office by law must be a separate location from the working office. They've secured a spot at 4444 E. Grant.

Tim Bee, last I looked, remains parked at the end of the runway. Any day now. The Sierra Vista Herald published a piece on Bee today. What do I know, but in my opinion delaying past this week is a mistake. I remember the Club Congress event two years ago. What a difference.

At least 500 attended the event last night. That's a lot of checks. I wonder if Bee really knows what he is up against. Last night she looked the strongest I've seen her. He needs to get in the air soon or he never will.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pins and Needles

Tucson, Arizona. Last night I attended the Republican Cigar event, and now that I've learned the next one is at my smoking location, I might be at the next one as well. At the event, I enjoyed a terrific conversation with Frank Antoneri, candidate for Arizona House LD30. I also had a chat with Vic Williams, AZ LD26 House candidate, and several others. Vic wears the limited edition gold Tim Bee pin. Regrettably, I did not take a camera to collect a photo of the gold Bee pin, but I got to see it. Very nice. I speculate it is the nicest pin ever produced by someone exploring a run for office.

Last Friday the Sonoran Alliance shared that Karl Rove would be visiting Tucson to speak and raise funds at an event on January 23. The announcement provoked a rather spicy thread, your humble blogger contributing some of the spice. The idea that the precise location would be announced struck me as a little odd. Will they really publish for all to see whose Tucson home Karl Rove is going to be inside on the evening of January 23?

Attendance of the event runs $10,000 per person. They expect fifteen to twenty to attend. I'm guessing Jim Click's home, but what do I know? The event will generate close to $200,000 to be used for Arizona GOP candidates, I believe mostly in the Congressional races (Federal), not local contests. Perhaps Karl will unveil the latest breakthrough in the tactical use of lies and deception to manipulate the voters.

I wonder what the next breakthrough in "If you knew X raped four month old puppies, watched kiddie porn, and had an alcoholic wife who worked in a brothel, would you still vote for him?" looks like.

Count on Karl to show us the way. Surely there is a lower rung of political depravity possible.

Targeting Education and a Warehouse

Tucson, Arizona. Sometimes I embarrass myself by failing to see the most painfully obvious facts that are right in front of me. I once spent 20 minutes frantically searching for my car keys. I looked everywhere over and over, growing more and more frustrated. Finally I screamed at the ceiling, "Show where the $#$#@ keys @#$#@$!!" and threw my keys violently to the floor.

The keys had literally been in my hand the whole time. Scary.

Well, Target is going to open a warehouse in Tucson, hundreds of jobs (perhaps - we have heard this before). Thinking about that this morning, it suddenly dawned on me that a low wage town does in fact attract business. I got this before, but not like this morning. It just clicked at another level. Just like affordable housing attracts individuals to a location, affordable labor attracts employers. DUH.

What was I thinking wanting to raise the wages of the local workforce? That's not we want to do. That's not it at all. We WANT a low wage town. It's UCA in action. The employers, the owners, the top make everything. Tucson is simply an example of what is happening nationally. Gut education. Gut workforce development. Gut training. Education is expensive. As Sirocco noted at the previous thread, let the other countries pay for it, and then our companies can steal their well trained workers by bringing them here or setting up shop over there.

Unable to get them here on visas, Microsoft is building offices in Canada for software development. It hires programmers from India. We have a ways to go, but this country is on a trajectory to an economy consisting of slave owners and slaves.

When all education is privatized, we accelerate in this direction. The slave owners will receive first rate preparation to rule. The slaves learn to do what they are told. A terrible lie exists in the system.

The nation would tank into chaos. The nation itself would become something that does what it is told, either by corporations or other nations. The United States has lost its connection to education and its importance. We had it in the 50's and 60's. We don't have it anymore. We pay it lip service and cut its funding. As above so below.

Dr. Robert Shelton has to face the razor blades out of Phoenix. I faced my razor blades in Tucson. Unlike SAIAT, of course the university will not close, but when they cut, it hurts somewhere. Classes get larger. Equipment is replaced a little slower. Tuition has to rise yet even further, so fewer can attend.

Everyone loves education so long as someone else pays for it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Arizona Congressional District Eight

Tucson, Arizona. Republican Arizona Senate President Tim Bee will announce his candidacy for Arizona's congressional district eight within the week, perhaps in the next day or so but probably next week after the legislature enters its 2008 session on Monday, January 14.

Once Bee announces, the jet on the runway releases its brakes and charges down the runway full throttle. Months of strategic planning and positioning launch into action and a web site that talks about exploring shifts to one that talks about defeating incumbent democrat Gabrielle Giffords. Now an official candidate, Bee can invite people to breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners, all associated with a check made payable to Tim Bee for Congress. The microphone awaits.

The election does not exist in its own little world, but within a system of many variables, some that can be controlled, many that cannot. The GOP has all but recognized that AZ CD1 has been lost. Devoting resources to AZ CD1 represents a poor investment of resources in an election cycle where GOP resources are scarce. The lowest hanging Arizona congressional fruit is Harry Mitchell in CD5. The GOP knows that money spent in CD5 is money well spent, but how much?

The answer to that question impacts the CD8 election. The decision to defeat Mitchell has been made. A strong Mitchell running a strong campaign requires more GOP resources. A weak Mitchell running a mediocre re-election is Schweikert food that frees resources to send south, CD8.

CD5 is the must win slower caribou. Chasing Gabrielle before Harry is the bad bet no smart wolf would make. Harry is dinner. Gabrielle is dessert. Never chase dessert before dinner.

The presidential nominees matter. An Obama nomination lifts all blue candidates and cements victories across the country for many democratic candidates. If Obama prevails, Giffords is in like Flynn and Harry has a good chance. A Hillary nomination, in your humble blogger's opinion, has the opposite effect. A Hillary nod brings nasties out of the wood work.

A Hillary nomination hands the GOP the frame that a GOP congress must be elected to thwart her fanatical ideas (maybe health insurance that provides health insurance). Hillary with a democratic congress is Armageddon. True or not, the conversation will resonate at better than forty percent. A Hillary nod sinks Mitchell and wraps a heavy chain around Giffords ankle.

In my own context, I've run dragging a ball and chain. It's not easy.

Indian Wheels

If you think Japan rocked the world of automobiles, wait for the gigantic India and China. China's car sales are rapidly growing, adding to the urgency regarding oil and global warming. Western automobile manufacturers eye China as a fat market. They can eye it along with all that tea. China is working on an economical vehicle to cost less then $10 grand. The populations of these countries will not pay the US average $25 grand for a new car. In less than a year, in India one can buy the Tata Nano. The price?


If the thing meets safety standards, all it has to do is last a year to knock its competition to Neverland. The car has 33 horsepower and gets 50 mpg. It tops out at 65 mph. The real breakthough in transportation involves creating an efficient electricity producing mechanism to power electric motors.

China and India are not going to wait for Detroit. In fact, they won't wait for anything American. The United States of America (USA) got the importance of education during the Cold War. The United Corporations of America (UCA) does not. Both our financial and intellectual capital continue to slip against other countries.

Arizona's Education Hypocrisy Continues

Tucson, Arizona. The Star has a piece today noting the state's abysmal funding of education for its population. Arizona ranks LAST in the entire country regarding the education of its population. I have personal experience being derailed time after time in my efforts to provide real training that makes a real difference to working Arizonans.

Maybe this is by design. Perhaps the business leaders, elected officials, and the terrible TREO deliberately suppress training of the workforce, seeking to keep the populace as ignorant and low wage earning as possible. They talk high wage skills but thwart any efforts to provide them. Perhaps the powers that be want an ignorant workforce submissive to call center wages. Southern Arizona does not want an expensive, educated workforce. By design, educated workers leave. The model works. So long as you are a resort needing sheet changers, a call center needing cheap callers, a retail store needing cheap sales clerks, Tucson is perfect.

If you want a real job, start your own business to exploit the cheap local labor pool or move.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


New Hampshire voters:

Democrats: 221,217 (26%)
Republicans: 255,251 (30%)
Independents: 374,368 (44%)
TOTAL: 850,836

Of the possible voters above, about 533,000 voted, 63% and probably the highest turnout ever. Listing the candidates vote totals:

Hillary Clinton: 116,000
Barack Obama: 108,000

John McCain: 91,000
Mitt Romney: 77,000

John Edwards: 50,000
Mike Huckabee: 27,000

The country is screaming for change
. Change from what? The corporate whore corrupt Eggplant White House, its lies, its wars, its torture, its appointment of incompetent yes men, its suppression of scientific research, its politically motivated firing of competent attorneys, its outing of CIA agents, its windfall tax giveaway to the super rich, its onslaught against the separation of church and state, its brazen contempt for the global community and utter rape of the constitution.

If there is any good news, it's that we are unlikely to elect a president worse than the current disaster, although Romney has credentials rivaling Eggplant for producing the worst presidency in the history of the country.

Hillary had a good night, and her emotional moment may indeed prove to be a breakthrough in establishing a connection with the public, not a breakdown. I think McCain's momentum will continue and lead to the nomination. The race between Hillary and Obama is now razor thin and entirely too close to call.

Yes, we can.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Presidential Candidate Ranking

The word "CHANGE" now dominates the 2008 presidential election. On both sides of the aisle, the most recent debates found candidates working to craft themselves as agents for change. All but the most die hard Bush fanatics have reached the point where hearing the man speak causes them to wretch. The hatred towards the current administration continues to escalate.

No administration has inflicted so much damage to this country and its standing in the world. Under Clinton, it made sense to speak of United States hegemony on the planet, setting an example and showing other nations possibility and hope. Now we are regarded as evil, dishonest, and corrupt, fabricating evidence to justify invading sovereign nations, imprisoning anyone we please without habeas corpus in secret prisons where we torture them.

Not only evil, suppressing scientific research and outing CIA operatives, but hopelessly obsessed with creating an environment of blind obedience, the administration appointed sheer incompetence at levels staggering the mind, resulting in fiasco after fiasco from the prosecution of the war to the most pathetic Attorney General in history to Katrina. The list goes on.

The 2006 election was about change, except we couldn't vote the Eggplant out of office. Given the hideous context of the worst presidential administration in the nation's history, who would be the most desirable successor to enter the White House and start to repair the extensive damage inflicted at home and abroad?

The ranking of our presidential candidates in terms of their ability to right a wrong course, meet with the leaders of other nations, and generate progress on an extraordinary list of challenges.

1. Barack Obama
His presidency would produce change. He is young, energetic, and has shown himself capable of building consensus. The election of an African American as president would send electricity across the nation and the world. He is everything Eggplant is not. He listens, learns, and understands, verbs beyond the idiot in chief. His background and his record show that he is not a corporate whore.

2. John Edwards
No candidate has more directly addressed corporate greed, corporate welfare, and corruption. His election ties to the 2004 loss and like the election of Obama, would send a signal to the rest of the world that there's a new sheriff in town. I have liked his recent speeches and think his desire to contribute is authentic.

3. Ron Paul
Paul's election would be the equivalent of a Washington enema. Congress would have to work overtime, but Paul is no despot. I speculate he would succeed in pulling this country out of international messes and eliminating some wasteful spending. Congress must insure he does not cut bone, and unchecked he would. If Paul wins as a Republican, that means he won the GOP nomination, which cannot happen. If it does, he transforms the GOP into another party or it splits in two.

4. Hillary Clinton
She's not a republican.

5. John McCain
He's not Rudy Giuliani.

6. Mike Huckabee
I respect the man's integrity, but we require some cerebral horsepower the next go around.

7. Rudy Giuliani
Several months ago I thought this guy had it sewn up. Then we started learning more. At least he's not Mitt Romney.

8. Mitt Romney.
The only candidate less intelligent than Huckabee, and forget integrity. Romney is a liar and a fraud frighteningly out of touch with reality, declaring he's a lifelong hunter when he never had a license, stating that marriages in France last seven years, that he marched with Martin Luther King, the list goes on. He is Bush light, another rich kid born to a daddy with presidential ambitions. He couldn't fail if he failed. If born poor, Romney would be managing a pizza joint. Bush would be one of the cooks.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Status Quo Lost, and Change Won

John Edwards did not win the Iowa caucus this evening, but he won the best sound bite, stating the title of this story, "Status Quo Lost, and Change Won."

For a brief moment, a single day, backbone and character won over money and corporate greed. The Obama win over Clinton is not decisive and Edwards remains a factor. The rest of the blue field should call it a day. Biden and Dodd, men for whom I have a great deal of respect, announced their withdrawal from the race. That's what smart people do.

What is not yet emerging or barely emerging in the main stream press are the omnivores. Those familiar with this blog know that this refers to the under 30 tech savvy crowd, and as anticipated here they will emerge in 2008 as a formidable force in the election. They despise status quo and this time, they will participate. What is also slower in being noticed is the gap between blue and red turnout. Blue went ballistic. Red turnout was mellow in comparison.

The red results for candidates are more dramatic. Romney dramatically outgunned and outspent Huckebee, going all out to win Iowa, yet fell embarrassingly short. His 25% against Huckabee's 34% represents the results of his best, a far greater failure than McCain's (with minimal effort) 13% or Giuliani's (with no effort) 4%. Giuliani and McCain grow in strength, still holding their best cards. Romney played his top hand and fell short.

Romney's an idiot and will not withdraw. MSNBC quotes him, "I hope Iowans makes a really powerful choice, and if you select me, I think I'll go on to become the nominee," he quipped. "If you don't, well, I'll still go on to become the nominee."

Did this guy take "Pompous Ass 481" from Eggplant?

Three candidates remain standing on each side:

1. Obama
2. Edwards
3. Clinton

1. Huckabee
2. McCain
3. Giuliani

Also worth noting is the energy of the democratic turnout and the hostility towards the Iraq war. I recall Huckabee criticizing Dunce Eggplant as "arrogant" (a profound leap) and another GOP candidate (Romney) attacking such criticism as inappropriate. The former won Iowa. The latter is toast. A word is starting to emerge. Perhaps it started with the Ron Paul campaign, but it is growing, REVOLUTION.

Two final remarks:
The country is screaming for change. We are on the wrong road headed in the wrong direction, and votes flow towards the candidates that convince voters they can indeed alter the disastrous course this unconscionable administration has set for this nation.

The candidates that occur as authentic in this regard: 1) Barack Obama, 2) Mike Huckabee, and 3) Ron Paul.

Methamphetamine Meltdown

Tucson, Arizona. A far less flattering photograph of Kumari Semone Fulbright, 25, graces the local press these days after she and a couple friends kidnapped and tortured a former boyfriend. I'll spare the reader the details save to comment that they kept the poor man bound for over ten hours. Ten hours is a long time to go without the having the realization of "Wait. WTF are we doing?!"

The two photos provide about as compelling a "Before Meth" and "After Meth" set of images that I've seen. The methamphetamine epidemic is not new, but resources for addressing it have been slow in coming. Unnecessary Epidemic was published in 2004. Meth got its start out west and has been migrating eastward for the last twenty years. Eggplant regards marijuana as a higher priority in the war on drugs.

I moved to the middle of Tucson from the NW side in 2004. Within months, some meth heads (so the police informed me) broke into my house and stole my electronics. They cruise the neighborhoods looking for an easy victim. Anyone living alone with a routine (i.e. a job) and nice equipment that doesn't have security can count on being hit. If you pay attention, you can see them, kids aged 17 - 28 or so with one foot in their graves. The police even know their names, but they have to catch them in the act.

Breaking into my place now requires a blow torch, and video from multiple cameras records to a server in Phoenix. They have not come back yet.

I don't know her background, but the resources to enter and win beauty pageants and reach second year law school suggest someone who has really blown it, literally. Human beings have an extraordinary capacity to be intelligent and completely stupid at the same time.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Arizona Prop 300 & Sanctions

Tucson, Arizona. Arizona's proposition 300 is another angle in the xenophobic quest to rid the state of illegal aliens destroying the nation. The law forbids universities from providing in-state tuition to those without the required documentation verifying citizenship.

The University of Arizona exerted the necessary effort to make certain it got documentation from every student. As of June, of the 40,000 or so that attend only 877 remained. The university pursued and obtained papers for 758, leaving 119 on the list. Of the 119, six have been shown to be illegal aliens. The remaining 113 are believed to be graduate students or children of university employees, both exempt from out-of-state tuition. For all of this effort, the six will generate an additional $70 grand as private donors came forward to help them with the additional costs.

The university spent $160,000 to generate $70,000.

Six students.

They don't come here to go to college. They come here to pick fruit, change sheets, roof houses, and cook. The sanctions law begins tomorrow. Proposition 300 inflicted minor damage, sapping our schools of a few hundred grand statewide (money better spent elsewhere). The sanctions law will prove a greater implementation nightmare. I can already put a face on the blood, although in this one circumstance I can make a difference.

The ice cream girl is getting her papers, and I've already found her another job. (Having actually done something for a few, I know a set of local employers.) She is my daughter's age, only far less fortunate. At least she finished high school. Proposition 300, college, and any memory of a mother are not in her world. She lives from tiny paycheck to tiny paycheck.

The reality of the sanctions bill, like the reality of Proposition 300, is not what those who support it believe. Blogger Roger knows economics. A couple posts ago he commented about the plethora of pending lawsuits. We shouldn't have to wait long for the sparks to fly.

I'm sure all the cooks, waitresses, and dishwashers at Rigo's have their documents. Who cares about economics? If they shut down the lunch buffet at Rigo's, I foresee an ass whooping that makes the alternative fuel fiasco look like Easter.