Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Apparently, if you fold a 20 dollar bill in just the right way, the result is a vivid picture of the twin towers burning...

Then, if you fold it a few more times, you get the equally shocking image of George W. Bush holding hands with a Saudi prince and laughing at you!

And two folds beyond that yields Dick Cheney sneering as he drinks the blood of Iraqi children...

I tell you, it's positively eerie.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I don't put much faith in an afterlife...

But if there is one, I'd pay good money to someday see Justices Kennedy, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito explain to Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and Franklin how corporations are people and money is speech.

I'm guessing there would be much amazement and even some laughter from our Founders.

And imagining what would happen if that noted "originalist" Antonin Scalia, whose belief in his own intellectual superiority is somewhat detached from reality, began to lecture Tom, James, John and Ben about what they really meant, fills me with immeasurable, dare I say heavenly, joy.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today's Chuckle

John McCain, R-Bitter Old Man, has announced plans for a "think tank" bearing his name at Arizona State University. I will now pause briefly for laughter....

"Think tank"? To quote Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

"I think I want to be a Senator" and "I think I want to be President" don't really qualify. Nor does "Hey, I was a P.O.W.! You people owe me!"

Every time McCain runs for re-election I send a letter to the editor of The Arizona Republic asking them to publish a list of his accomplishments. Because Arizona is such a transient state, it would be helpful for all of our newcomers to see in black and white just what "The Maverick" has done for the state. Never once have they replied to my request. Could it be because there's nothing to list?

In the article announcing his "think tank", McCain makes the following declaration, apparently referring to the difficulties of being in the Senate with those wicked Democrats: "I'm surrounded by such incompetency that it's very dispiriting sometimes."

Hey John, you want "dispiriting" try living in a state that's represented by you, Kyl, Flake, Franks, Quayle, Schweikert and Gosar. That's dispiriting.

And Senator, if you want to see real "incompetency" take a good long look in the mirror.

Monday, May 21, 2012

SB1070 And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

The other day, or maybe it was last week or even last month, I don't know, when it starts to get hot I get confused about time...anyway, somebody important, a businessman or something, said that SB1070 was hurting business, because all the cheap labor had disappeared. Well, yeah.

Arizona has run on cheap labor for as long as I can remember. Even before Taft-Hartley and the "right to work" laws (back in my construction days they were known as "right to starve") crippled unions, a living wage was unheard of in the agricultural industry. Itinerant produce workers, many of them Mexican nationals, moved from crop to crop and state to state, doing back breaking piecework from dawn until dusk. They worked so hard and for so little that it wasn't long before other businesses took notice. Construction, restaurants, lodging, landscaping--all wanted their share of cheap labor.

The math on this one is pretty simple, simple enough for even someone with an Arizona public school education to understand: Keeping wages down keeps profits up. Not having to pay any benefits and having a large, disposable, faceless workforce helps too. My God, the beauty of the unfettered "free market"! Pure Capitalism at work! Before outsourcing to China, India and everywhere else, was even a gleam in a businessman's eye, there were hundreds of thousands of  "illegals" willing to work for next to nothing in the Southwest.

Everything was fine in the Land of King Dollar until somebody scared the locals with lurid tales of headless corpses blanketing the Sonoran Desert. Be afraid, be very afraid! Somebody better do something! Enter the SB1070 crowd.

But in their efforts to be tough on illegals, the Rabid Right may have ultimately shot itself in the foot.

In all likelihood the most successful push-back on SB1070 won't come from the left, or from a basic sense of decency and humanity. And it certainly won't come from the Supreme Court.**

No, it will be from conservative Republican businessmen worried about their profits, because all the cheap labor has disappeared.

**As a rule of thumb, don't expect anything good to ever come from the Supreme Court as it is presently constituted.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Balanced, Well Reasoned Analysis

Because these things have a way of sneaking up on us, it's never too early to start analyzing the upcoming Presidential election from the perspective of a typical Republican leaning independent voter:

Former President George W. Bush, Simple W. to friend and foe alike, and as Republican as you can get, came into office with a budget surplus which he quickly turned into the largest deficit in history. The Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, would go even further than Bush in cutting taxes--the root of the deficit. The Democratic incumbent, Barack Obama, would return taxes to the level of the Clinton years. However, Obama is black.

Goaded on by his Vice President, Dick Cheney, or if your prefer, the Dark Lord Cheney, Bush then started two "unfunded" wars. The one in Iraq was completely uncalled for and will cost us as a nation well over a trillion dollars. Romney's foreign affairs advisers are all Bush retreads. Barack Obama ended US combat involvement in Iraq, oversaw the elimination of Osama Bin Laden, and is winding down the US presence in Afghanistan. But Obama is still black.

The world wide economic meltdown was caused for the most part by an unregulated gang of Wall Street bandits who fancy themselves "Masters of the Universe." They wreaked havoc on the industrialized countries with a series of financial instruments so complexly structured that few understood them. Mitt Romney who was himself one of these "Masters of the Universe" would prefer that Wall Street be totally unregulated and we let the "free market" decide everything. Obama has called for more--not less--regulation of Wall Street.  However Obama remains black.

Health care in the US is much more expensive than in any other nation. Yet our life expectancy lags and we have millions of uninsured citizens. Mitt Romney is fine with this. Being a multi-millionaire, he has no worries about the cost of health care. "Whatever the market will bear" seems to be his motto. Despite the determined efforts of the Republican party, Obama was able to pass the first major overhaul of the US healthcare system in 40 years. It's major flaw is that it doesn't go far enough. Romney has promised to repeal every aspect of the President's program, once again depriving millions of people of healthcare.

As you can see, it will be a very tough decision for the undecided. Romney? Wrong about everything. Obama? Black.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

We Really Don't Care

Here in Arizona we really don't care that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is a cosmic joke. Civil liberties be damned, Sheriff Joe is protecting us from the rampaging hordes of dishwashers, gardeners, busboys, short order cooks, and all the rest of the low wage Mexican vampires that threaten to do, uh, something to Arizona's economy. Prop it up, maybe?

We also don't care that our illustrious governor, Jan "Chuck, tell me what to do!" Brewer, she of the wagging finger and perpetual fright mask, just appointed a man to run the State Parks Department who is, let us say, slightly under-qualified. By slightly, I mean he fit just 2 of the 7 criteria set forth by the search committee. He was, of course, chosen over someone who fit all 7. Because he had the one key qualification that trumped all the rest: he was buddies with the "Chuck" of "Chuck, tell me what to do!" But this had nothing to do with his being selected. How do we know this? 'Cause Chuck said so, and Chuck is an honorable man. Ha Ha Ha. When he isn't busy "helping" the governor, Chuck is a lobbyist for mining companies and for-profit-prisons. Ha Ha Ha again.

We certainly don't care that Brewer and her crew are doing everything they can to de-fund Planned Parenthood--despite the fact that Planned Parenthood was started in Arizona by Barry Goldwater's wife. You know, the Barry Goldwater? Mr. Arizona? The guy who used to be the patron saint for conservatives? Of course, compared to the nutjobs who call themselves "conservative" today, Barry Goldwater looks like Karl Marx.

We don't care that the state of Arizona is in a neck and neck race with Mississippi, Alabama and both the Carolinas to see who can be the most backwards. How low can you go? My money's on us.

Finally, we especially don't care that the Republicans have run the state legislature for the last 30 years or so. There is no provable correlation between this and the mess we find ourselves in. Besides, as we all know (say it with me now) "it's the liberals' fault"!

No, we really don't care. And so, we continue to elect a collection--did I say collection?--nay, a festering pile, of racists, hillbillies, flat-earthers, birthers, home schoolers, gun worshipers, Crazy Jesus Club members, out and out morons, and all-of-the-abovers. So, facts be damned, and full speed ahead!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Of course we all remember when Willard Mitt Romney single-handedly saved the American auto industry. While treasonous Obama and the socialist Democrats dithered, Willard Mitt manfully took charge and brought Detroit back from certain ruin. Ann Romney is just like any working mom.

Nixon ended the Vietnam war in early 1969. He did have a "secret plan"--just like he promised in the campaign. The war didn't drag on for another 6 years and spill over into Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge never happened. Henry Kissinger is a great man.

Ronald Reagan was right about "welfare mothers driving Cadillacs." They were all that was really wrong with America, and once he got rid of them, wages rocketed skyward and the middle class thrived like never before. He correctly identified that "government was the problem" and realized that bankers and brokers always and only have the best interests of the American people at heart. His courageous actions prevented the Sandinistas from conquering all of Latin America and probably Canada, too. Ollie North is a hero.

Only the quick thinking of George H. W. Bush saved us all from being raped and then murdered by Willie Horton. Lee Atwater was a genius.

Bill Clinton was 100% right about NAFTA.  No American jobs have been lost and the Mexican middle class has flourished, turning that country into a stable, safe, law abiding, first world democracy. Ross Perot didn't know what he was talking about.

After the wholly unexpected and completely unpredictable attacks of September 11th, George W. Bush brought us all together with his "compassionate conservatism" and then hunted down and killed Osama Bin Laden. Only his quick action invading Iraq prevented Saddam Hussein from destroying the world with his stockpiles of WMD's. Dick Cheney is a patriot.

Ahhh, memories...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Russell Pearce's Kind Of Guy

Gee, what are the odds of a gun loving, white supremacist, neo-Nazi vigilante also being a mentally and emotionally unbalanced psychopathic murderer? And a Republican, to boot? 

Wow. Must be astronomical.

In Arizona?

OK, maybe not so astronomical.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Was That About Worshipping False Idols?

There it was, on the front page of the sports section of The Arizona Republic. An urgent plea for a statue of Jerry Colangelo to grace downtown Phoenix. Oh, they love them some JC at the Republic! And to be fair, compared to the other owner's of professional sports franchises that our sad metropolis has been burdened with, Colangelo would probably be the pick of the litter. But what a feeble litter!

Let's see, first you've got the Bidwill's, pere et fils, who spent years defying the NFL's concerted efforts to raise up the historically bad franchises by any means possible. Parity is the expressed goal of everything the league does. And still the Cardinals always stayed at or near the bottom. That kind of commitment to mediocrity was rewarded by a shiny new tax payer funded stadium, by the way. The new stadium increased the value of the Bidwill's family business to close to a billion dollars. This same stadium will cost well over a billion dollars of public money by the time all the bonds are paid off. But never mind that. We love our football too much to care about such things. Besides, the Cards are semi-respectable these days.

Then there's that trucking magnate who pissed away 2-300 million bucks on the Coyotes. I've never been quite sure how to pronounce his name. Is it "Moyz" or "Moyess"? I suppose "numbnuts" will do in a pinch. Of course, he had the help of the Mayor and City Council of Glendale--except when he really needed it. The Coyotes are now owned by the NHL--and heavily subsidized by the tax payers of  Glendale. Services will be cut, residents will suffer, hell, the city might even go bankrupt, but you'll never take our hockey team! Never, never, never!

After nearly 40 years and no NBA championships, Colangelo himself was forced out of the Suns by Robert Sarver, he of the court-side seats, big foam finger, and crappy personnel decisions. Some people buy sports franchises thinking they are the next Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner. Most of these people are dead wrong. Robert Sarver meet Daniel Snyder.

That brings us to the Diamondbacks, Colangelo's other noteworthy accomplishment. Yes, they did win the World Series 11 years ago. Yes, JC deserves some of the credit for it. However, he ran the team so deeply into debt with a string of big deferred money contracts (Bernard Gilkey? Really?) that it's taken them the better part of a decade to get their heads above water again. At some point, the partners who had real money invested in the team grew tired of seeing their shares diluted and showed JC to the door. Since he never had much of his own money invested, it wasn't that hard to remove him.

But then Jerry Colangelo has always been very good at spending other people's money. This has worked out very well for Jerry Colangelo, but not always so well for the people whose money he used.

So, in keeping with his modus operandi, I propose that any statue of Colangelo be paid for with borrowed money...that will never be paid back.