Friday, April 30, 2010

Kobach/Pearce SB 1070 Email

The Wonk Room at ThinkProgress obtained the 4/28/2010 email shown here from Arizona SB 1070 author Kris Kobach to AZ Senator Russell Pearce. The email discusses the modifications passed this week to help the law face the impending legal challenges. In addition to replacing "lawful contact" with "lawful stop, detention or arrest," the changes includes the addition of "or any county or municipal ordinance" to broaden the reach of the law.

Also note in the email the reference to Mike Hethmon, the attorney who works as the General Counsel directing the Immigration Reform Law Institute in Washington, DC.

Read the email carefully and note the last sentence of the first paragraph, which reads, This will allow police to use violations of property codes (i.e. cars on blocks in the yard) or rental codes (too many occupants of a rental accommodation) to initiate queries as well.

I wonder who they are targeting.

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"Papers Please" Highlights GOP Split

Arizona’s Immigration Law has accentuated the split in the Republican Party between the:

1. GOP establishment: The corrupt "deficits don’t matter" spend like banshees wail, lobby saturated servants of the ultra rich who gutted regulation and threw the country off a cliff, most exemplified by the Bush dynasty, Karl Rove, Eric Cantor, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Dick Cheney....you know the gang. In Southern Arizona they are the likes of Jim Click and Don Diamond.

2. Main Tea crowd: The Limbaugh flock of Fox lobotomized Bushophiles who scream about pills for grandma, socialism, birth certificates, and the need for the good white people of America to "take our country back" from the colored savages. Their key spokespeople are Michele Bachman, Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, Tom Tancredo, Dick Armey, and of course media mouthpieces Beck, Hannity...

3. Paul Tea crowd: Rooted in the ideas of Senator Ron Paul and for real Libertarianism, these folks were against both wars from the beginning and despise deficit spending even when Republicans do it. They don’t want the government in bedrooms, classrooms, or fighting holy wars in areas such as sexual preference, birth control, recreational substances, or scientific findings. Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul are the two key figures of this movement.

The "Papers Please" Law highlights the different philosophies of each.

1. The Establishment is uncomfortable with "Papers Please" as it may upset the profits associated with screwing the country’s most exploitable labor force. Jeb Bush ("may have unintended consequences"), Karl Rove ("I wish they hadn't passed it"), Michael Bloomberg, Connie Mack, Bob McDonnell, and Lindsey Graham are just a sampling of established Republicans that have made public statements voicing concerns. It's feasible that Rove is concerned that the GOP being seen as seeking to harass and imprison every Latino in the country might impact Latino support for GOP candidates.

2. Main Tea LOVES "Papers Please" and the racism for which it stands. Sarah Palin, Tea AZ CD-8 candidate Jesse Kelly, and pretend Tea candidate JD Hayworth (Hayworth actually doesn’t stand for anything except Hayworth) have endorsed the bill. The tea aligned AZ righty blogs are fine with "Papers please." I could say more, but frankly, this group has been amply covered here and elsewhere.

3. Paul Tea despises the bill as yet another expansion of government and law enforcement intrusion at great expense to the American taxpayer. Unlike Main Tea, Paul Tea actually knows how to read a budget and a balance sheet, understands logistics, and knows that "Papers Please" is a law enforcement nightmare.

Interesting cross overs have occurred. Tea pal Tom Tancredo, who called for a return to tests designed to block minorities from the polls, as well as Florida candidate Marco Rubio, have expressed discomfort with the bill. After all, it empowers minority police officers who have "reasonable suspicion" to mess with white people, even white women, "If you don't have papers, lady, you're looking at six months. Perhaps you have something else?"

In another twist, Click/Diamond GOP establishment nominee for AZ CD-8, Jonathan Paton, voted for the bill and strongly supports it, even if it means some of his best friends might have to start paying minimum wage.

McCain remains confused.

Meanwhile, the FB group vehemently opposing the bill has now sailed past 900,000 strong and should reach its target of 1 MILLION by the end of the week.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Papers Please" on Facebook

Among many others, the image here has been posted on Facebook and is making the rounds. The group 1 MILLION Strong AGAINST the Arizona Immigration Law SB1070 membership has surpassed 525,000 people in just two days, a number including myself, Liza, Mariana, my daughter, a certain math professor, and others I know personally. It's growth is escalating and now exceeds 10,000 per hour. An informal perusal of the many, many faces shows massive Latino membership joined by African Americans, Asians, Native Americans, and Anglos from locations all across the country, and they are furious.

One particularly interesting comment came from Native American Guillermo Aguinaga Pantoja: That land belonged to us..long ago.. How come the strangers themselves want to send away the real inhabitants? Stop that awful, racist, and inhuman law!!

Legal speak and intricate explanations cannot even dent the common sense interpretation that this is not only state sanctioned, but state ordered racial profiling. The bill provides for suing police departments that don't sufficiently inspect the brown people. SB 1070 PDF.

Six months in jail if you don't have your paperwork?

I won't highlight the numerous headlines available elsewhere about the exploding boycott movement and travel warnings. I will note the curious silence of the tea leaders about big government demanding people show their papers. I guess big brother's okay when it comes to bashing brown. Tea hypocrisy is legion.

Governor Brewer is no more of a white supremacist than Barack Obama is a socialist, but since tea has led the way with the over the top vitriol and demonizing of elected officials, we've got the gander getting a dose and what's been heaped on the goose. Somehow I don't think Fox News is going to Photoshop or use stock footage of rallies to inflate the appearance of their size.

The Arizona Department of Commerce's Facebook page is being bombarded with messages including:

Dear ACCI, please make available on this page a list of all your businesses, both large and small, along with contact information of executives of same. This will help us organize and distribute information on which companies to boycott nationwide.
Thanks,
The United States of America


and

Is it me or does this seem a little like the gestapo rounding up Jews during world war II...I'm just saying...

FB users also posted a link to a scathing video by Rachel Maddow exposing the characters principally responsible for writing the law. In addition to the comments, they added the photos shown here (I merged them together) to the AZ Dept. of Commerce photo album. The text over Hitler and with Brewer, "Welcome to Arizona. Now show me your papers." The text on the car reads, "I'm Mexican. Pull me over."

Cafepress, in a development eerily like the legend of Denmark's population wearing yellow stars to render the Jews invisible to the Nazis, is now selling T-shirts declaring "I am an illegal immigrant" over the shape of the state of Arizona. The Shirt sale Facebook Page.

This is really happening.

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Hawking's Invaders

Adding to a conversation I have always found fascinating, brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking of A Brief History of Time fame (great book), in his new television program Stephen Hawking's Universe, has chimed in on intelligent life on other planets. What Hawking had to say is interesting - that contacting aliens would be dangerous, using the analogy of Christopher Columbus and the Native Americans.

His remarks initially had me scratching my head because if we indeed have the planned (by them) Independence Day style "hard encounter," we're had. Apparently Hawking is suggesting that the best preparation for this is to get ourselves out there and diversify our locations, which he is known to support. Still, I think he's up to something else.

The inevitable first encounter between civilizations almost certainly occurs when the more advanced finds the less advanced. In this circumstance, the find will occur without the latter's awareness, and if the more advanced choose to make contact, as in Contact, it will likely occur in accordance with an established protocol, which will be a very "soft encounter" unlikely to make headlines for quite some time. One would like to think that a civilization lasting long enough to develop the means for interstellar or intergalactic travel would have its act together and the means to obtain the resources it requires from far closer planets that aren't covered with soft warm bipeds and kitty cats. There's a lot of planets between us and them.

This entire conversation stays inside a certain paradigm which may or may not apply. The best break outside this box that I've encountered in film is Andrei Tarkovski's extraordinary Solyaris, slower but superior to the (also pretty good) Soderburgh Solaris.

I wonder if this segment of Hawking's program is saying more about humanity and its treatment of Earth than the aliens who may want it (and so shortly after James Cameron's Avatar). Perhaps Hawking is showing us his version of Cameron's film by suggesting that perhaps to someone out there in the deep black ocean, someone nasty like Columbus, we're the blue people.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Fox Cult

At a recent post Liza's comment linked to a 12 minute video of the April 15, 2010 Tea Party gathering in Washington DC. In the video, an interviewer with a microphone is followed by a cameraman. For clarity:

My writing is plain text.
The reporter is blue.
Tea attendees are italicized.

Break indicates a cut to other footage.

What are your concerns with the current administration?
Socialist agenda
What are the things they are doing that have you think they're pursuing a socialist agenda?
Mandatory health care, uh, (pause), I dunno.

Break

Everybody over 65 is expendable. They can't expect to be treated. The government wants the younger people who can make more money for the government. We're senior citizens, and now they tell us we can't get medical care because they're gonna give us a pill.

Break

They're trying to get control of the country so that they can run every business and run every person and tell them what they can do and when they can do it, and tax us to death.

Break

This is gonna be the end of life as we know it in America.
Which issues are going to be the end of life in America?
Well, (pause), uh, (pause) the socialist angle.
Which issues specifically?
Um (pause), the tyranny of the government? Unfair taxation! The redistribution of wealth.

Break

Did you know that President Obama is considering banning fishing in America?

Break

They've actually lowered taxes on 95% of Americans.
I would say that would be false.
There were $300 billion in tax credits to middle class families by the Obama administration and the Congress.
Where's those middle class families at? I don't see them here. I'm a middle class family. I didn't see no tax credit.
If you didn't fill out the paperwork for that tax credit, they will adjust it and send that back to you.
I think you 're misinformed.

Break

(Regarding the tax credit): Hogwash.
You don't believe it?
No.
(Another) Anyone that believes that just hasn't been paying attention.

Break

If people are making billions of dollars a year, do you think they should be paying more taxes?
No I don't.
You don't think a billionaire should pay more taxes than you?
No I don't.
How are you doing financially?
I'm really struggling. I can barely make my house payment each month.

Break

What policies would you like to see changed?
Abolish the Federal Income Tax. Repeal the health care bill. Get rid of the Department of Education. Get rid of the EPA, the IRS.
Social Security?
Absolutely. All of the agencies.
All of them?
Get rid of all of them.

Lord Monckton spoke at the event: Now we are met on the great battle field of a new civil war, and the greatest battle of the war is the global warming battle.

Can anyone explain to me why this group is so hostile to the notion that carbon emissions are heating up the planet? If we address it effectively, do we screw up God's Armageddon agenda? Surely the Supreme Being has a plan B for unleashing the End of Days if we resolve our fossil fuel issues.

In what may possibly be a profoundly illustrative moment, Monckton went on to praise Fox News to great cheering in the audience. He praised Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, and the crowd went wild. What if the entire Tea phenomena, minus a few exceptions, is nothing but a Fox News created entity? What if the Tea Party movement is an intellectually vacuous Fox Cult exploited by Fox and a few other schmucks purely for financial gain?

One: Glenn Beck is very educational. He can explain things to you. He's not making things up. He gives factual information.

Two: I think Glenn Beck is great for the dissemination of information and the dispelling of disinformation.

Three: We don't watch CNN. They're a lying bunch of pigs to put it nicely.

Four: CNN I would call Communist News Network. MSNBC is way out there flagrant socialists.
You don't think that Fox News, who has on their network people right out of the Republican Party, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, Republicans sometimes running for office. You don't view that as actually more biased?
Not at all.
You speak as if you have been victimized by liberal media.
Absolutely. I've been brainwashed my whole life.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Paton Supports AZ Immigration Bill

The whole country is talking about Arizona's SB 1070 that would require all brown people to carry papers under threat of immediate arrest. The Star's Rhonda Bodfield has a good piece capturing some of the reactions from the likes of Stephen Colbert ("Harassing Latinos with racial profiling isn't an inevitable side effect of Arizona's anti-immigration law - it's the entire point.") to US News & World Report ("members of the Arizona state House have made a strong bid for this year's coveted 'nuttiest legislative body' award").

President Obama has remarked on the bill, "Our failure to act responsibly at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe."

Someone forwarded me an email today from Jonathan Paton's AZ CD-8 campaign. He voted for SB 1070, strongly supports it, and his email expresses outrage over CD-7 Rep. Raul Grijalva's remarks Tuesday suggesting that the bill is inherently racist. Racist? Really?

Grijalva also suggested that businesses should leave Arizona if Gov. Jan Brewer signs it. Paton's email also calls for CD-8 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to join him in denouncing Grijalva's remarks, and then it goes on a tirade that all of this is Giffords fault, actually criticizing her for supporting the STRIVE Act of 2007, which was a harsher bill than the failed 2005 McCain-Kennedy Secure America bill that many Republicans supported including Sen. Kyl., of course McCain, and GW Bush. STRIVE was an excellent bill that recognized the reality that we cannot locate the 15 million people who don't have papers, let alone ship them out of the country. What does he want, Operation Wetback times 15? Funded how?

AZ CD-8 was 20.4% Hispanic (fastest growing ethnicity) in the 2006-2008 survey. The 2010 census will return a larger number. It's possible Paton figures if Brewer signs the bill, by the general election, the brown people will be too afraid to go to the polls, assuming they're not already in prison.

Update: Rep. Grijalva has closed his offices after staff received multiple death threats.
Update II: Governor Brewer signed the bill.

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To Tell Tea Truth

Leonard Pitts Jr. has a good piece in the Miami Herald noting the recent CBS News poll regarding the Tea Party movement. Despite righty blog BS saying otherwise, about 20% of Americans identify with tea party sentiments. The poll came in at 18%. Unavailable from the poll is the size of the Ron Paul component, who can't stand Bush, opposed the wars, and clearly don't fit the following profile.

As for the rest, and the results would be strengthened with the Ron Paul component removed, the poll supports what everyone knows: they are old, white, racist, and saturated with hypocrisy.

They love George Bush, who trashed a $200B surplus to produce a $400B + deficit, but foam at the mouth over Obama's spending.

Bush deficit good!! Obama deficit bad!!

They hate big government but want it in bedrooms and classrooms. They hate health care legislation but love Medicaid and Medicare. They scream against a national ID card but support Arizona's SB1070. They bitch about government handouts as they cash their social security checks and ride public transportation to a public park for their rally. On seeing their rage, Newt Gingrich has suggested that while not sustainable as a political party, tea is more likely to end up as the militant wing of the Republican party.

What in the world does that mean?

The 20% figure is actually down from the ballpark 25-30% figure used for the last two decades to indicate the solid GOP base, probably reflecting a distillation towards more extreme elements. Tea is a louder but smaller subset, not an expansion, of the traditional GOP base. Sadly, media's obsession with ratings/drama is causing hyperventilation over tea party activities. Their 1500-2000 sized rallies generate a dozen times the press coverage given to much larger gatherings (some exceeding 100,000) for causes like K-12 and higher education funding. The single shot elections of the past year offer no real insight into the reality of matters tea. This summer and fall will clarify a lot. It will be interesting to see how tea pumped candidates perform. Rubio in Florida and Hayworth in Arizona provide a couple races to watch.

I did a double take when I heard that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has said that, "to be honest," African Americans have no reason to vote Republican. How refreshing to hear a prominent African American state the obvious, but how perplexing for it to come from the only African American left in the GOP, and further, the RNC chief! He's talking straight about his own party's pathetic record on race relations knowing full well they can't do a thing about it. Illinois Republicans closed a major fundraiser featuring Steele in Chicago Thursday night, not wanting what occurs there to be public.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tea Party Prayer

Haven't seen it yet on the blogs (so far), but the following is going viral on the email network of the tea party community and has now burst into the Facebook scene.

This isn't fiction. The truth hurts.

Dear Lord,

This year you took my favorite actor, Patrick Swayzie. You took my favorite actress, Farah Fawcett. You took my favorite singer, Michael Jackson. I just wanted to let you know, my favorite president is Barack Obama.

AMEN

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

To A Certain Person

In the course of human events sometimes what may occur as small to all but one can be huge to that one, and this has just occurred. Of course this blog is not written for an audience of one. I'd just send an email. However, among the complex set of motivations behind it has been the desire to deliver a certain message, a message not captured in a paragraph or even a lengthy post, to a certain person.

The message is the intangible essence of the aggregate of both Something Else and the material at the blog, including (if not especially) the comments on the various posts.

I don't have any spooky software or analytics that peer into a visitor's web cam or let me see data on their computer, but I do get very basic information on the number of visits, the city or town of the visitor, and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) used to access the site.

A few days ago, mostly on Friday and Saturday (16th/17th), a certain person read my material, and I'm not talking about a casual glance. This person really read it, drinking deep with the brain engaged. Why this means so much is difficult to explain, but it means a lot. I don't expect this person to do or say anything, but I want to acknowledge and thank the individual for reading what I had to say.

From the content visited, the comments explored, and the nature of the reading, this person gets it.

I get that you get it, and it means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you so much.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Truth about Tea

(Left-the actual sign at the rally. Right-the "Photoshopped" sign for the press.) President Clinton is warning the country that the hate infested rhetoric today has an eerie similarity to that which preceded the Oklahoma City bombing. The grotesque demonizing and vilifying of all entities not perceived as distilled tea has long passed the point of disgusting and entered the realm of the truly dangerous. Republicans are trashing rock solid candidates for a variety of positions simply because they were nominated by the Obama administration.

The distilled white mobs scream about impending white slavery yet expect the rampant racism and hysterical rhetoric to play as rational and intelligent discourse. Think about the white slavery sign for a minute.

So what are we supposed to think about these signs? I'd like Framer or anyone willing to associate themselves with the tea party movement to explain the signs at this post. They are not fabrications. I didn't make these up. They are the real deal at real events across the country.

I'd like to hear from the righty blogs (I won't) on why this vitriol is good for the country. It would be one thing if the venom were based on fact, but we witness the deliberate distortion of reality. They only have a problem with spending when a democrat is in office. Their position is a charade.

Republican Administration: SPEND!! SPEND!! DEFICITS DON'T MATTER!!
Democratic Administration: SPENDING IS DESTROYING THE NATION!!


What did Sonoran Alliance have to say about the deficit orgy of the Bush administration? Show me the deficit tirades at Seeing Red AZ, IC AZ, Espresso and Gila when it was GW Bush throwing the nation off a cliff. What were they saying while greed soaked Wall Street thrust the nation into economic ruin? Worse, who do they blame for our debt after eight years of cheering GW Bush's spending spree? The tirade against government is a farce. They're not against government or even big government. They're against government that doesn't have their face.

Why all of the hatred now? Why not in 2008? 2006? 2004? 2002? 2000? NOW they're screaming, and their signs scream the truth so loud it's hard to hear. Read the signs, real signs at real events, no fiction in this post. None.

We're so disgusted, so sickened, so revolted, that it's hard to continue. I've almost checked out on several occasions, as have some of my most valued readers. It has become so toxic and painful that many are dropping out. Dropping out of the blogosphere is one thing. Dropping out of the electorate is another, and it's critical that sound minds vote in the 2010 general elections. The 2010 strategy, more than ever, for respectable candidates, is to make sure those who voted in 2008 vote in 2010.

The unspeakable truth is that the white sheeted hate infested anger, the surge in venom towards the government is occurring because the face of the government has changed. The inevitable election of an African American as President has now occurred. I suppose with hindsight we should have anticipated that now everything about government is horrible and terrible, and that people would be screaming, "We want our country back!"

Ask them what has been taken from them. You will get no answer, but the answer is clear: a white country.

Sadly, politics has its pornography as well. Pornography and prostitution are also lucrative in politics, and Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and in particular, Sarah Palin have discovered that the beast is most willing to fork over fortunes to have its ugliest sentiments stroked and supported. These whores (and that is exactly what they are) get rich showing the world America's ass.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

After the Wedding

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in a Foreign Language, Susanne Bier's After the Wedding (2006) probably would have won had it not been for Von Donnersmark's profoundly thought provoking The Lives of Others. Restricting remarks on the plot to the most basic, a troubled man finds peace by working himself to the bone at an African orphanage, immersing himself in helping kids in desperate need. Not surprisingly, the orphanage is always on the brink of financial extinction, and suddenly he is contacted by a wealthy executive in Europe, whose corporation appears eager to support his cause.

If it sounds too good to be true.

What distinguishes the film is its mastery of capturing the angst and spiritual trauma associated with family and parent and child and what these relationships mean. I have experience in this area, and the film is brilliant. Situations include a man learning he is a father, facing a daughter he didn't know he had, and the daughter, thinking her father dead for her entire life, seeing him while he sees her. Some people have some explaining to do, and souls are engaged, and more often than not, everyone cares. I've been there. This film gets it as demonstrated by an intelligent, insightful script and the attention given to the acting with extreme awareness of the facial expressions, the energy behind the eyes, and the states expressed by the characters.

The “Before the Wedding” motifs have been beaten bloody six ways to Sunday through Saturday including leap year. Virtually every possible concoction of what connects to what and how under which circumstance has been explored. We love the love story of the two, separated by the drama and circumstances of choice, overcoming outrageous barriers, embracing for imminent bliss, roll credits. In reality people do get married. In reality the wedding is not the end of the story.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Dinner with Sirocco

Exactly a year ago I posted about a a visit to San Diego for a conference, and former Tucsonan Casey DeLorme, who lives in San Diego, emailed me the next day. We met for a great dinner at a San Diego wine bar. Well, this week I posted about the SAS Global Forum in Seattle, and the next day I heard from long time blogger friend, Sirocco. Sirocco and I go way back to the spring of 2006.

Tonight, just hours ago, I got to meet Sirocco face to face for the first time and had a delightful dinner with him and his terrific wife. We discussed what the knowledgeable reader would guess we discussed, blogging, who each other is (since he is actually anonymous, my learning who he is involved a lot more conversation, A LOT), politics and the upcoming elections, but mostly the past and our time in Tucson.

Over the years, Sirocco has become one of my dearest blogger friends. Finally getting to meet him and enjoy a fine meal in a fantastic city provides a priceless memory I will have for the rest of my life.

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Monday, April 12, 2010

SAS in Seattle

By sheer coincidence, almost exactly a year after an AERA convention in San Diego, I extend greetings from the Sheraton on Pike Street in the heart of downtown Seattle. Arriving late Saturday night, Sunday I walked all over downtown, having breakfast at the delightful Von's Roasthouse famous for it's exquisite $3.50 martinis (skipped these - 10 AM).

Von's place is fantastic for an afternoon drink among friends. For lunch enjoyed phenomenal seafood at the famous Ivars on the water watching the "dainty" eating seagulls descend on tossed scraps of fish, other meats, or french fries.

Seattle is an extraordinary city in the big leagues with San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, and NYC, real cities with diversity, massive economic infrastructure offering real jobs, developed public transportation, and real downtowns that attract tourists from other countries. Today I walked by restaurants that together featured food from just about every country on the planet. The coffee is incredible, and the coin laundries have free wireless internet. On 12th Avenue I saw a film house showing unusual, award winning independent films no Republican has ever heard of, let alone seen. On the same street I entered a coffee shop, sat down with my coffee, and in minutes found myself talking to an engineering student who had expressed enthusiasm for his differential equations class. We had a terrific conversation about what ODE opens up beyond calculus and the role of math in engineering. In listening to him it became clear the guy should be a teacher, which I told him and explained why. He left beaming.

Seattle has committed to be a carbon neutral city by 2030, the first in the country. I love Seattle.

The SAS Global Forum is also terrain about as x4mr candy as an environment can be. SAS is the Rolls Royce of statistical software, a far superior product to STATA, and infinitely beyond the user friendly but inherently novice oriented SPSS. Beginning statistics students typically get an introduction to SPSS as part of the course. STATA enjoys quite a large set of users, especially in fields like sociology and education research, and some of these are very brilliant scholars. They just don't want to invest in the SAS learning curve. Now that IBM has purchased SPSS, it will be interesting (for some) to see how it evolves.

In the major leagues, enormous financial institutions, insurance giants, global economists, health and medical research statistics, institutional research at many universities, where mind boggling quantities of data and highly sophisticated data mining algorithms (SAS Enterprise Miner) are used, SAS rules. Co-workers are promising me that the next couple days are going to blow my mind. I hope so.

Event Promo Video

Tonight's kick-off event gave a taste. Among other things, they are looking at mining social media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to conduct what they are calling "sentiment analysis."

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Friday, April 09, 2010

Supreme Court Nomination Rattles GOP

In a surprise move that has Republicans scrambling, President Obama has nominated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to become the next justice on the US Supreme Court. The GOP is still formulating a response, "Mitch would be great on the court, but we'd lose him in the Senate, and if he accepts, he's in the odd position of filibustering his own nomination."

In addition to confounding GOP plans to filibuster the nomination under any circumstances, the move creates confusion regarding the confirmation hearings, where McConnell would be both committee member and nominee, "It is unclear whether committee member McConnell can ask nominee McConnell a question, relocate to the nominee’s chair, and answer himself."

"If his own questions and answers become a conversation, it would be very awkward."

Armageddonization Angst

The nomination also perplexes GOP policy to "Armageddonize" any idea, bill, initiative, or concept proposed by the Obama administration. Applying this policy to a key Republican leader is inherently problematic, "Saying that letting poor kids get medicine is the end of the world is one thing, but we could really look like hypocrites if we demonize Mitch just because Obama now supports him. It's disturbing." One strategy under consideration is to fabricate a new discovery about McConnell, something previously unknown, but a Supreme court nomination is different from an election, "We can't do the Rove thing and just say he has an illegitimate N***** kid."

The GOP must come up with something because they cannot be seen as the least bit cooperative with the Obama administration. Doing so would put them on the slippery slope towards working with Obama and permitting the US government to address important issues and accomplish something, which would be disastrous for the GOP in upcoming elections.

Rumors are already circulating that McConnell, 68, was not born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, "His official website doesn’t say where he was born, and that sloppy handwritten 1942 birth certificate could easily have been forged."

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Divided We Fall

Czechoslovakian director Jan Hrebejk's Musíme si pomáhat (2000) offers a compelling and realistic depiction of a WWII Czech couple who take in a former employer of their community, David, a Jewish businessman who had escaped the Theresienstadt concentration camp and knew any capture meant death. They allow him to live in their secret closet for two years. Without getting into the plot, I will share that the film masterfully sets up a final 30 minutes of very moving and realistic sequences where individuals face imminent death and maneuver a turn of events requiring personal risk and sacrifice to save the life of another. The final scene with the baby carriage is cinematic genius.

Divided We Fall deserved its nomination for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film is must see cinema.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Potpourri

Cheating slime master Jesse James, having squandered the extraordinary good fortune of being married to Oscar winning, beautiful, wealthy, and still good people Sandra Bullock, will now reap what he has sewn as she does not hesitate to turn the screws and implement a prenuptial agreement that says he gets zero, zip, nada, should his infidelity destroy the marriage. A certain golfer comes to mind. Wouldn't that have been something?

The AZ righty blogs are curiously disjoint regarding GOP establishment candidates John McCain (Senate) and Jonathan Paton (CD-8). What a shocker that the Click, Diamond, Inc. candidate had 1Q10 fund raising results exceeding half a million dollars. Jesse and Brian get to scratch their heads as the McCain haters swoon over (McCain endorsing) Paton. Jonathan will have the climate and resources to give Congresswoman Giffords the most difficult election of her career. We'll see if he does.

Rodney Glassman has now made his run for the Senate official. Word is that some young and enthusiastic, unidentified Glassman supporters at an undisclosed location were playing beer pong and chanting, "JD! JD!"

Fox Broadcasting has canceled the sitcom "Sons of Tucson" one week after Mayor Walkup gave it the keys to the city. Did anyone besides the Mayor know about this show (pilot)? From Star reporter Brian J. Pederson - No word if the city was going to ask for the key back, or use Rio Nuevo money to change the locks.

Speaking of Rio Nuevo, city council member Steve Kozachik is calling for a freeze on spending for the downtown hotel until the money can be tracked, "Right now, what's being done is irresponsible."

Oh, Steve, no. Really?

No matter who it is, Republicans have agreed that approving Obama's choice for the next Supreme Court Justice will produce an Armageddon that includes the ultimate violation of your mama. Socialists and Hispanics will operate death panels that turn mama into soylent green salami laced with a strain of LSD that makes people join a gay Satanic cult run by Muslims.

Word is that Obama, having learned the GOP MO, has a secret strategy regarding his next Supreme Court nomination, and it involves Kentucky!

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Saturday, April 03, 2010

KOS Poll

Not surprisingly, few AZ righty blogs mention the AZ Senate Poll conducted this week and published at Daily Kos. Yes, Daily Kos is a left associated operation, but its methodology, described at the bottom of the results, is sound, and it intentionally oversampled Republicans to fortify its validity. One of the few conservative blogs supporting (or minimally, open to posts that support) John McCain, Sonoran Alliance discusses it here in a well written post that provides numerous links to other references. Rachel's supposed to be bright, so her attempt to tag it as a push-poll is surprising. The questions are clean pitches right over the plate with results posted directly. No curves. Come on, Rachel. It is not a push-poll, and high fluctuating “no opinion” numbers suggest clean polling.

The poll provides some compelling pictures. First, let’s state the obvious result the poll confirmed and everyone knows: If McCain wins the primary, he wins the general. Second, the poll suggests that, when you strip away the hype and hysteria, McCain has the extraordinary momentum, name recognition, and sheer inevitability of a long established incumbent, showing McCain beating Hayworth 52% to 37%.

"Far left poll!" notes Rachel. She thinks the left would rather face McCain than Hayworth? Also, how about the abysmal numbers (55% disapproval) for Obama? They sampled 600 likely AZ voters with an appropriate 337 in Maricopa and 162 in Pima/Pinal/Santa Cruz. They split gender perfectly and oversampled Republicans. It's not an Obama friendly bunch, as the numbers clearly show.

No one has mentioned what leaps out of the results regarding race. Does the GOP understand that the tea party rage and associated screaming has drop kicked its relationship with minorities? See the 3% black for the GOP in the various match-ups? That's one person. The rest of the African Americans voted Democratic, period, no matter who ran against whom. Hispanics are almost as disgusted, and upcoming immigration discussions will likely exacerbate their outrage. The tea party might as well don white sheets, raise the Confederate flag, and howl about taking their country back.

That country was defeated in 1865.

As Frank Rich brilliantly distinguished, the outrage over health care has nothing to do with health care. Too early to say, but perhaps 2010 will be the most racially divisive election since 1864. If I were a Democratic strategist, rocking the minority vote would be a major initiative. The tea party crowd seems to think this country is theirs and theirs alone, but unlike 1864, in 2010 the spics and jigaboos get to vote.

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