Second time around? – Great analysis of today’s Phoenix with good action points.

Rogue Columnist: Second time around?.

Solution ideas:

  1. Repeal SB 1070.
  2. Elect Terry Goddard governor.
  3. Throw out the Kook majority in the Legislature.
  4. Raise taxes on the rich and, if the Growth Machine ever revives, enact a real-estate transfer tax and a tax on long commutes.
  5. Stop all residential development outside existing urban footprints (and the extravagant planning maps of Buckeye, Surprise, Maricopa, et al, are not existing footprints). For one thing, there’s not enough water.
  6. Establish a real state commerce department employing best practices to attract high-wage jobs.
  7. Build out the Phoenix Biosciences Campus on a speedy schedule to include a hospital, large med school, pharmacy school and private-sector research facilities. Add a full-court press to lure biomed manufacturing from California.
  8. Eliminate GPEC. Let the cities go their own ways.
  9. Fund the public schools and universities to compete at top levels.
  10. Establish real infill incentives along the light-rail line.
  11. Put a premium on shade, including enhancing and reclaiming the shady oases in central Phoenix.
  12. Reform the tax structure so cities aren’t so dependent on sales taxes.
  13. Create a climate-change emergency plan now and begin acting by, for example, building intercity rail, commuter rail, light rail, streetcars and an integrated, easy-to-use transit system.

National Journal Magazine – Repairing The Job Machine (Interesting read, even if you love Jesus.)

Put that in your tea bag and drink or smoke it. If you want I can come and tea bag you for a small fee as well.

Bush’s total, of course, was suppressed by the slowdown he inherited from Clinton and the full-scale meltdown during his last year. But even during the recovery in between, job growth lagged. In only eight of Bush’s 96 months did the economy create as many jobs as the 290,000 it did last month. Clinton exceeded that level 33 times. Reagan exceeded it 24. In all, the economy gained about 1.2 million jobs annually during the six years of recovery under Bush. It averaged about twice that during the expansion from March 1991 to February 2001.

This record suggests two conclusions. One is that there’s no evidence to support the argument from congressional Republicans that tax cuts offer a silver bullet for expanding employment. Job growth boomed after Reagan cut taxes, but expanded even faster after Clinton raised them, and then faltered despite two massive tax cuts under Bush. If tax rates are the critical factor in that record, the relationship is well disguised.

via National Journal Magazine – Repairing The Job Machine.

Free-Will, Determinism, and PageRank

Mobius Strip

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important”.

via PageRank – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Immigration documentary 9500 Liberty creating groundswell in Arizona

Annabel Park, film director and co-founder of Coffee Party USA arrives in Phoenix tomorrow

Scottsdale, Ariz., May 6, 2010 — Following a sold-out premiere at the Harkins Valley Art Theatre in Tempe, 9500 Liberty begins its second week with the announcement that director Annabel Park will host special event screenings at the Valley Art on Friday night, Saturday night, and Sunday.

The award-winning film documents a Virginia county’s short-lived policy requiring police officers to question people they deemed likely to be undocumented immigrants. It was repealed after two months of implementation due to its negative economic, social, and public safety impact.

Ms. Park is internationally known as the founder and leader of Coffee Party USA, an upstart grassroots movement that in three months has reinvigorated America’s silent majority. Today Park is on Capitol Hill meeting with lawmakers about financial reform legislation. Tomorrow she will arrive in Phoenix.

“There never would have been a Coffee Party if not for the lessons we learned making 9500 Liberty,” Park said. “I hope to share some of those lessons with the people of Arizona and suggest a way forward.”

Park and Byler will be available to the media from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday May 7 outside Harkins Valley Art Theatre. Show times and tickets can be found at www.harkinstheatres.com. In addition to Ms. Park’s appearances at the Valley Art, Byler and producer Chris Rigopulos will take questions from the audience at:

Harkins Shea (Eric Byler)

Friday and Saturday: at 7:15 p.m. and 9:25 p.m.

Harkins Gateway Pavilions (Eric Byler and/or Chris Rigopulos)

Friday thru Sunday: 1:10 p.m., 3:20 p.m., 5:50 p.m.

via 9500 Liberty | Press Release 4-26-2010 | Immigration documentary 9500 Liberty creating groundswell in Arizona.

Fear Politics and Hate. SB 1070 is a repeat. It can be beat.

When being fair isnt fair. How one group is poisining the US with hate.
So I got dragged to 9500 Liberty last night. Thats not true, I saw the trailer for 9500 Liberty the day before and learned that it was a documentary about an anti-immigration bill from Prince William County, VA. This bill was passed unanimously by the county board to give police officers the power of ‘probable cause’ to ask ethnic minorities for legal documentation. When the illegal immigrants were thrown out foreclosures skyrocketed and local businesses closed as they lost 10% of their business in a matter of months.
The county managed to take the recession pains felt by the whole country and exacerbate them by removing their lower class tax and revenue base. Then the politicians who used the bill as their election platform started to attack the Chief of Police, who had been in the town for over 4 decades, for being a traitor. Turns out money and loyalty are two things that will motivate people to speak out and tell their leaders what they want. Eventually the bill was changed to remove ‘probable cause’ and now all crimials are given background checks, regardless of race, after they have been caught. Basically they remembered that whole: innocent until proven guilty thing that we get to enjoy as US citizens.
This was in 2007-2008, the erie parallels to present day Arizona are enough to make you have a few stiff drinks. Today we have Jan Brewer, the governor who wasn’t elected into office, using illegal immigration as her election platform cause everything else she has done here has failed, failed, and oh yeah failed in a big ball of flames. We have the same group that wrote the bill in Virgina writing the one in Arizona, oh and it turns out they are listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Lay Center. We have a miserable economy, huge deficits, and a very gullible population that has fallen victim to fear politics.
As a failably intelligent person I have allowed my self to become complacant and indifferent to politics. Pretty sure 8 years of draconian events under the first mentally challenged president, George Bush, put me into the position of throwing my arms up in surrender. This bill in Arizona however has woken something up. The line has been crossed into something I have up till now only experienced in other countries: China, the former USSR, and Poland to cite specific examples. I dotn want to be the crazy screaming guy that no one can talk to. I am open to hearing all sides of the issue and then will expect the same gesture of civility and composure when I get to give you my side of the issue.
If you agree with me on this I suggest a few things: 1) Go and see 9500 Liberty, I know that it is playing at Harkins Art in Tempe, AZ this weekend. 2)Start talking about this with every person that you know, but be civil and open to everyones opinion. If it crumbles into an argument find a bar and get a few beers and maybe a shot or two. 3)Find out who your representatives are from the ground up. You may be shocked to find out how many there are. If you dont agree with their stance find out who is running against them in the next election and start talking to them. Turns out politicians are blank sheets of paper and whatever their constituancy tells them is what their stance will be.
If you don’t agree with me thats cool too. I have a comment section just below here and you are welcome to say whatever you want there. I will not edit or delete any comment that isn’t spam. Please remember that all caps means you are shouting, thats cool as long as you realize it…
Here are the sites I linked to above:
Papers Please by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
Papers Please by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

So I got dragged to 9500 Liberty last night. That’s not true, I saw the trailer for 9500 Liberty the day before and learned that it was a documentary about an anti-immigration bill from Prince William County, VA.

Prince William County is not far from Washington DC but is a very rural area with lots of history. It is an affluent area and like the rest of the country experienced a boom in building in the early 2000’s. In order to meet the demand for houses a new labor force was utilized, much of this labor force consisted primarily of latino workers and some were undocumented, aka illegal aliens.

One group of citizens began to feel intimidated by this new populations customs. They were different from the ones that they lived with. They began to speak out about their fear of this new group and influenced elected officials to act in their interests. The bill was passed unanimously by the Prince William county board to give police officers the power of ‘probable cause’ to ask ethnic minorities for legal documentation. When the illegal immigrants were thrown out foreclosures skyrocketed and local businesses closed as they lost 10% of their business in a matter of months.

The county managed to take the recession pains felt by the whole country and exacerbate them by removing their lower class tax and revenue base. Then the politicians who used the bill as their election platform started to attack the Chief of Police, who had been in the town for over 4 decades, for being a traitor. Turns out money and loyalty are two things that will motivate people to speak out and tell their leaders what they want. Eventually the bill was changed to remove ‘probable cause’ and now all criminals are given background checks, regardless of race, after they have been caught. Basically they remembered that in the US you are innocent until proven guilty.

This was in 2007-2008, and the parallels to present day Arizona are enough to make you have a few stiff drinks. Today we have Jan Brewer, the governor who wasn’t elected into office, using illegal immigration as her election platform cause everything else she has done here has failed, failed, and oh yeah failed in a big ball of flames. We have the same group that wrote the bill in Virgina,  the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), writing the one in Arizona( Arizona SB 1070). It turns out they are listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Lay Center. We have a miserable economy, huge deficits, and a very gullible population that has fallen victim to fear politics.

I have allowed my self to become complacent and indifferent to politics. The 8 years of draconian events under George Bush, put me into the position of throwing my arms up in surrender. However I did get out and support President Obama and I did vote for him even though Arizona went with the other guy. This bill in Arizona however has further awoken my sense of pride in being an America which to me is embodied in one word – tolerance.

The line has been crossed into something I have up till now only experienced in other countries: China, the former USSR, and Poland to cite specific examples. In these countries I experienced first hand what it means to always have to carry Identification and have paramilitary police on every corner. In Poland I visited Auchwizt where the worst of what people can become existed and thrived and still hallows the ground and air.

I understand that people are frustrated about the economy and taking care of their family. I agree that something needs to be done, but this bill simply goes too far. If we want to hit illegal immigration hard why aren’t we looking at the businesses that employ illegal immigrants harder? If there was no demand then economics tells is there would be no need for supply.

If you agree with me on this I suggest a few things: 1) Go and see 9500 Liberty. 2)Start talking about this with every person that you know, but be civil and open to everyones opinion. If it crumbles into an argument find a bar and get a few beers and maybe a shot or two. 3)Find out who your representatives are from the ground up. You may be shocked to find out how many there are. If you dont agree with their stance find out who is running against them in the next election and start talking to them. Turns out politicians are blank sheets of paper and whatever their constituancy tells them is what their stance will be.

If you don’t agree with me thats cool too. I have a comment section just below here and you are welcome to say whatever you want there. I will not edit or delete any comment that isn’t spam. Please remember that all caps means you are shouting, thats cool as long as you realize it…

Here are the sites I linked to above:

http://9500liberty.com/

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2007/12/11/fair-crossing-the-rubicon-of-hate&splcnewsletter=panewsgen-121107/

Project Vote Smart – Who in your district voted for SB 1070?

Its time for the rubber to meet the pavement on this whole SB 1070 Increasing Undocumented Immigration Enforcement Bill that was passed in my current state of Arizona. I went to Project vote and inserted my zip code and found my state representatives and then looked at their voting record on SB 1070.

Good job to Senator Cheuvront and  Representative Sinema you have my vote.

Bad job Senator Leff and Representative Driggs you will not be getting my vote.

WTF Representative Meyer and Lujan? I want a good reason for this one.

Oh Governor, I hope you enjoyed your stay but it is time to go, bye bye.

Here is my email to Cheuvront and Sinema:

I am new to your district and wanted to reach out to you and thank you for recently voting no on bill SB 1070. This bill represents the worst of fear mongering politics and needs to be exposed as such. Please keep up the fight.

Here is my email to Leff and Driggs:

I am new to your district and am sorry to say that my first message to you is one of disappointment. Your yes vote to a bill written by a known hate group is quite disconcerting. This bill is merely an election platform of fear and it makes me sad to be an Arizonian. There is no defense you can offer me except for an apology and immediate progress towards repealing this bill from our books.

I suggest you learn more about FAIR and the damage they did to Prince William County Virginia in 2007 – http://www.9500liberty.com/

I wish you the best of luck in the next election. You will be hearing from me.

Here is my email to Meyer and Lujan:

I am new to your district and have learned that you recently registered as a No Vote for SB1070. I am curious to know why you were indecisive on how to vote on this bill.

I will save judgement until after I read your response.

And finally my message for our unelected Governor:

I am disappointed with your recent passage of SB1070. This bill is clearly driven by hate as shown in its authors history and is a tool for driving your political platform on fear. I am ashamed to be an Arizonian because of this bill.

Your acceptable response will be to immediately begin repealing this harmful bill and apologize to the citizens of Arizona for once again making us the laughing stock of the Nation.

Sonoran Solar Project – Public Comments now open – Speak UP!

Encourage the Bureau of Land Management to Ensure that this project is the best possible by limiting water use and the use of natural gas.

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on the proposed Sonoran Solar Energy Project.

This is the first big solar project on public land in Arizona. The proposal includes construction of a 375 MW electrical generating facility using concentrated solar thermal power on 3,700 acres.

Read more about the project online.

Comments can be submitted via this page or via email to sonoransolar@blm.gov or by mail to Joe Incardine, National Project Manager, BLM Phoenix District Office, Lower Sonoran Field Office, 21605 N. 7th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027.

For more information, please contact Sandy Bahr at 602-253-8633 or sandy.bahr@sierraclub.org.

City of Phoenix Budget Proposal for 2010 Part 1 of 5

Reading through the City of Phoenix Budget Proposal for 2010 and once again it hits home that we are in a reverse stage of the cities growth. The 82 page PDF titled – Schedule 1: Proposed General Fund Budget Reductions by Department covers a $139 Million dollar reduction. I suggest you read through this. It is amazing to see what we have government for.

I suggest you attend a hearing if you have anything to say about this proposed budget: Phoenix Budget Hearings

A few things stood out for me but it cascaded into a really long post. Turns out we are cutting a lot of shit out of the budget this year. So here is part 1 of 5:

Page 8 – Community and Economic Development
Eliminate a Building Code Examiner position on the Non-permitted Construction Team. This will reduce investigations of non- permitted construction, further adding to the current backlog of over 5,000 complaints. This may result in unsafe conditions and deterioration in the quality and livability of neighborhoods.
$(151,000)

Yikes!

Page – Environmental Programs
1. Eliminate an Environmental Programs Specialist that supervises the Pollution Prevention Unit. Eliminating this position will adversely impact compliance with state and federal hazardous materials and waste management laws.
$(113,000)

Lets grow three eyes!

City of Phoenix Budget Proposal for 2010 Part 2 of 5

Reading through the City of Phoenix Budget Proposal for 2010 and once again it hits home that we are in a reverse stage of the cities growth. The 82 page PDF titled – Schedule 1: Proposed General Fund Budget Reductions by Department covers a $139 Million dollar reduction. I suggest you read through this. It is amazing to see what we have government for.

I suggest you attend a hearing if you have anything to say about this proposed budget: Phoenix Budget Hearings

A few things stood out for me but it cascaded into a really long post. Turns out we are cutting a lot of shit out of the budget this year. So here is part 2 of 5:

Page – 15 to 18 – Fire
1. Reduce funding for overtime by adjusting and reprioritizing the training schedule for on-going training, High-Rise training, and Specialty Response Teams.
$(1,273,000)

2. Relocate the Ambulance Billing Function to City-owned space. (271,000)

3. Eliminate civilian support positions from the Crisis Response Team, Technical Services, Ambulance Billing, and Administration, Personnel, Operations, Payroll, and Public Affairs Sections. These positions may impact the department’s ability to perform many administrative duties in a timely manner.
(1,307,000) (13.3 Civilian)

4. Eliminate one Assistant to the Fire Chief who serves as the Fire Marshall. This reduction will increase the span of control and potentially impact service delivery.
(210,000) (1.0 Civilian)

5. Eliminate three Fire Prevention Supervisors and nine Fire Prevention Specialists responsible for ensuring compliance with the Fire Code. This reduction will result in scheduling delays as fewer staff will be available to perform inspection-related duties.
(1,014,000) (12.0 Civilian)

6. Eliminate two Fire Battalion Chief*Deputy positions assigned to Fire Prevention and Safety. This reduction will negatively impact the sworn span of control and will require some reorganization.
(519,000) (2.0 Sworn)

7. Eliminate one Fire Captain*40-Hour position assigned to the Fleet Management Division and one Firefighter*40-Hour position assigned to the Health Center. The loss of these two positions will negatively impact the department’s ability to effectively manage the fleet and Health Center.
(307,000) (2.0 Sworn)

8. Eliminate one Media Production Specialist position in the Public Affairs Section. This will reduce the number of public education campaigns related to home and life safety issues.
(112,000) (1.0 Civilian)

9. Eliminate three (of eight) Fire Battalions consisting of nine Fire Battalion Chief*56-Hour positions and nine Fire Captain*56-Hour positions. This will degrade supervisory span of control of fire station personnel and possibly affect response times for command staff.
(3,457,000) (18.0 Sworn)

10. Eliminate one (of two) Shift Command unit, consisting of three Fire Battalion Chief*Deputy 56-Hour positions, three Fire Captains, and one Secretary II position. This reduction will affect span of control and require some reorganization to reduce the impact it may have on incident command response times.
(1,301,000) (6.0 Sworn) (1.0 Civilian)

11. Eliminate two Fire Emergency Dispatchers and one Fire Communications Supervisor in the Dispatch Section. This will affect the department’s ability to maintain staffing standards but will not impact service delivery or response times.
(247,000) (3.0 Civilian)

12. Eliminate three (of 22) full-time One and One Rescue Units that provide supplemental paramedic coverage to paramedic Engine Companies. Also reflected is the elimination of one (of 11) 12-hour part-time paramedic rescue. The loss of these units will negatively affect response times, as fewer units will be available to respond to calls for service.
(3,075,000) (18.0 Sworn)

13. Eliminate six (of 64) Engine Companies that provide fire and medical emergency services in a specific geographic area. This reduction will negatively affect response times, as fewer units will be available to respond to calls for service.
(10,935,000) (84.0 Sworn)

14. Eliminate one (of 13) Ladder Company that plays a critical role in fire support and emergency medical incidents. This will increase response times, causing delayed fire ground and emergency medical activities.
$(1,786,000) (14 Sworn)

Total – $(25,814,000)
(144.0 Sworn)
(31.3 Civilian)

Carry a Fire Extinguisher in your car?

Attention: Save your AZ State Parks or Kiss them BYE BYE Forever!

Sorry to interrupt your day with this but its really important and you should understand why. Currently Arizona is facing a huge budget shortfall because of the slow economy. One idea that the legislator has is to close down the state parks to save a few million dollars against the $4 Billion deficit that the state currently faces.
The problem with this is not just that we are shutting down everyday peoples access to affordable outdoor recreation but that we are eliminating a significant portion of revenue for local business and in turn State revenue:
AZ Family Channel 3 report:
http://www.azfamily.com/news/Az-state-parks-closing-81323372.html
“State parks take nothing from the general fund and actually give back to the state budget a big fat $22.7 million in state and local taxes. The state legislature has swept millions from state parks to help balance the budget, leaving them too short to operate the 30 parks in the system.
Three have already closed.
Does this make sense since state parks bring in more than $225 million dollars to the state’s economy through the 2.5 million visitors each year.”
AZ Republic
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2010/01/11/20100111arizona-park-closures.html
“But even those will close unless the parks system gets a $3 million infusion of cash before the end of the fiscal year, said Renee Bahl, the parks director.
Parks officials hope that money will come in the form of a loan from the state’s General Fund, which will be repaid as the parks generate revenue.
Bahl said deep budget cuts to her agency have left her staff with no other choice but to recommend the closures.
Bahl noted that last year parks contributed $25 million to the General Fund, even though parks themselves receive no General Fund dollars. A Northern Arizona University study found that the parks generated $266 million annually in economic activity for rural communities.
“We’re important to the economy,” Bahl said. “We’re important to the people right now. Folks can’t afford to do much these days, and parks are one affordable luxury that we want to keep open.””
The AZ State Parks foundation points out that if this is allowed to happen we may be looking at a huge land grab of pristine public land handed back over to private owners. Maybe they will put a chairlift on the Superstitions and install a KFC on the Flatiron…
AZ State Parks Foundation
http://arizonastateparksfoundation.org/
“The cuts will force major reductions in Parks staff and closure of more than half of the State’s 30 parks this fiscal year.  The resulting loss of Park revenue is projected to leave the Parks System with no money to start the next fiscal year, July 1, 2010.  The next step will be to shut down the entire system and dispose of Parks properties, returning most of them to their original owners.”
According to the AZ State Parks Foundation there are a number of ways you can take action:
#1 – Call Governor Brewer and Email this sample letter (Word Doc):
Phone:  602-542-4331 or 800-253-0883
Email via Governor’s Contact page at:
www.governor.state.az.us/Contact.asp
Mail:  The Honorable Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona,
1700 West Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007
#2 – Attend the AZ State Park Board Meeting on Jan 15th at the Phoenix Zoo and let them know how you feel about this:
http://azstateparks.com/board/index.html#downloads
#3 – Email this sample letter (Word doc) to your legistators (find yours here):
#4 – Let the AZ State Parks Board know where you stand:
http://azstateparks.com/find/contact.html

Sorry to interrupt your day with this but its really important and you should understand why. Currently Arizona is facing a huge budget shortfall because of the slow economy. One idea that the legislator has is to close down the state parks to save about $20 million dollars against the $4 Billion deficit that the state currently faces. Thats less that 1/10 of 1% yet the parks generate around $250 Million in local business revenue each year, and guess what? That revenue is taxed and helps out the State… Huh?

The problem with this is not just that we are shutting down everyday peoples access to affordable outdoor recreation but that we are eliminating a significant portion of revenue for local business and in turn State revenue:

AZ Family Channel 3 report:

“State parks take nothing from the general fund and actually give back to the state budget a big fat $22.7 million in state and local taxes. The state legislature has swept millions from state parks to help balance the budget, leaving them too short to operate the 30 parks in the system.

Three have already closed.

Does this make sense since state parks bring in more than $225 million dollars to the state’s economy through the 2.5 million visitors each year.”

AZ Republic Report on AZ State Park Closures

“Bahl noted that last year parks contributed $25 million to the General Fund, even though parks themselves receive no General Fund dollars. A Northern Arizona University study found that the parks generated $266 million annually in economic activity for rural communities.

“We’re important to the economy,” Bahl said. “We’re important to the people right now. Folks can’t afford to do much these days, and parks are one affordable luxury that we want to keep open.””

The AZ State Parks foundation points out that if this is allowed to happen we may be looking at a huge land grab of pristine public land handed back over to private owners. Maybe they will put a chairlift on the Superstitions and install a KFC on the Flatiron…

AZ State Parks Foundation

“The cuts will force major reductions in Parks staff and closure of more than half of the State’s 30 parks this fiscal year.  The resulting loss of Park revenue is projected to leave the Parks System with no money to start the next fiscal year, July 1, 2010.  The next step will be to shut down the entire system and dispose of Parks properties, returning most of them to their original owners.”

According to the AZ State Parks Foundation there are a number of ways you can take action:

#1 – Call Governor Brewer and Email this sample letter (Word Doc):

Phone:  602-542-4331 or 800-253-0883

Email via Governor’s Contact page at:

www.governor.state.az.us/Contact.asp

Mail:  The Honorable Jan Brewer, Governor of Arizona,

1700 West Washington, Phoenix, Arizona 85007

#2 – Attend the AZ State Park Board Meeting on Jan 15th at the Phoenix Zoo and let them know how you feel about this.

#3 – Email this sample letter (Word doc) to your legistators (find yours here: AZ senateAZ houseFind your District)

#4 – Let the AZ State Parks Board know where you stand.

Take 30 minutes out of your day today and address this issue. Please.