December 14, 2008

Wherein the New York Times Attempts to Save Us From Ourselves

Oh, the horror. The editorial writers at the NYT think our poor backward state will be lost without our level-headed savior, Janet Napolitano.

But Doug MacEachern takes them to task

Someone in the Times editorial chambers seems to have gotten his hands on a story about Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer, who is next in line to assume the governorship should Napolitano become President-elect Barack Obama's Homeland Security secretary. And the story apparently mentioned that Brewer, unlike Napolitano, is a Republican. Well, that just won't do.

Posted by Vox at 07:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2008

AZ Propositions - 105

Majority rule-let the people decide act

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of requiring that a majority of registered voters approve any initiative measure establishing, imposing or raising a tax, fee, or other revenue, or mandating a spending obligation, whether on a private person, labor organization, other private legal entity, or the state, in order to become law.

A "no" vote shall have the effect of retaining the current law under which an initiative measure is enacted upon approval of a majority of registered voters that vote on the measure.

I admit that I am mightily tempted by this one. Anything that makes it harder to raise taxes is good in my book, especially when you see how easily led (and misled) the general electorate seems to be.

However, knowing (again) how greedy our government is, I know they would still find a way. I would hate their quest for new tax revenue to lead them to try some boneheaded moves to 'encourage' more voter turnout. You only have to think back to 2006 to get the idea.

If people are too lazy and/or stupid to vote - more power to them. I don't want to find in years to come that we are paying for votes, or levying fines for not voting, because the legislature decides it needs to get around this Majority Rule initiative.

Looking like a "No" anything to add?

Posted by Vox at 01:23 PM | Comments (1)

AZ Propositions - 101

Medical Freedom of Choice

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of prohibiting laws that restrict a person's choice of private health care systems or private plans, interfere with a person or an entity's right to pay for lawful medical services, and impose a penalty or fine for choosing to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any health care system or plan.

Another one of those pesky propositions to amend the state constitution. While the idea of retaining choice sounds like a good great one, I worry that this is yet another case of overkill. Why must everything we decide to do involve a constitutional amendment? Bad enough that the process has devolved into this complete direct-Democracy spend-a-thon.

Still, I am leaning toward "Yes" here...but just barely. C'mon, people - I'm looking for a little feedback on these.

Posted by Vox at 01:02 PM | Comments (3)

October 24, 2008

AZ Propositions - 100

Proposed amendment to the constitution by the initiative relating to real property

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of prohibiting any new tax, fee, or other assessment on the sale, purchase or other conveyance of real estate after December 31, 2007.

I am tax opposed - any way, any how. This seems like a fairly straightforward initiative to prevent a potential future tax - so that seems good. However, I do realize that a government as greedy and irresponsible as ours will find new ways to get the money they feel they 'need'. If there is one thing the government does well, it is bleeding the populous. Still, a chance to cut off one channel is good with me.

I am leaning toward YES on this one, but seeing who is on record supporting it I worry I may be missing something. Could something supported by Rose Mofford, Eddie Basha, Barbara Leff and Ken Cheuvront possibly be a good thing?


UPDATE: My Realtor, who is anti-Obama, is favor of this one......

Posted by Vox at 10:53 PM | Comments (0)

AZ Propositions - 201

Homeowners Bill of Rights

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of granting "prospective buyers" a right to sue over a dwelling action, permitting lawsuits despite alternative dispute resolution provisions in sales contracts, shortening buyer purchaser notice and seller response period before and after filing defects lawsuit, requiring seller to inspect dwelling after receiving notice, requiring any seller offer to include repair or replace option that must be performed by a licensed contractor, eliminating seller right to receive attorney fees and costs if the seller prevails, mandating seller to provide ten year warranty of materials and workmanship, requiring newly constructed dwelling contract to include disclosure of seller's financial relationship with a financial institution, disallowing seller from requiring a buyer deposit unless contract allows 100 day cancellation period, extending from eight to ten years the time to file suit against any person making improvements to real property, and expanding remedies available to an owner who is successful in a dwelling action against the seller.

Don't think I really need to add much. The paragraph above makes it very clear why this one should not pass.

Proposition 201 gets a NO

UPDATE: How to know for sure this one is a bad idea - the AFL-CIO supports it. Prop 201 NO

Posted by Vox at 09:19 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2008

Pot. Kettle

Just caught Dan Saban on the news. I don't get a good feeling about him.

I think he is just Arpaio (America's Toughest Media Whore) with less practice (America's Newest Media Whore).

6 of one....

Posted by Vox at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

AZ Races

I don't have much to say about the specific races, but I will leave you with this:

I can't think of anything that would convince me that a vote for Bob Lord was a good idea.

Carrie Harrison is a judge that needs to find a new line of work.

And, if you vote for Kyrsten Sinema the terrorists win.

Full listing of candidates

p.s. The ads for the Democrat corporation commission candidates are suspicious to me. In the primaries they were very clear to tell you to vote for "George, Kennedy, and Paul Newman". Obviously trying to mislead the Cool Hand Luke contingent into voting for them. Or, perhaps they are letting us all know they are a "crazy handful of nothin'"

Posted by Vox at 07:03 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2008

AZ Propositions - 200

Payday Loan Reform Act

"Arizonans use payday lending services everyday to meet unforeseen expenses and financial emergencies. The payday lending industry is set to be eliminated and the Arizona Legislature refuses to enact reforms to benefit borrowers while preserving this important financial option. This measure will bring dramatic pro-consumer reform to payday lending and preserve consumer choice. It includes a substantial rate cut, eliminates rolling-over principal to extend a loan, creates a repayment plan at no cost to customers that can't meet their obligations, and inhibits a borrower's ability to obtain more than one loan at a time." From SOS website [emphasis mine]

I used to think payday loan stores were just a nuisance that only hurt idiots that were stupid enough to sign up. After all, if someone is fool enough to pay 400% interest on a $100 loan, that's their problem.

A couple of things have happened lately to change my mind.

  1. The housing collapse, as well as the banking meltdown, have shown that people can be much more stupid than I gave them credit for - and they take the rest of us down with them.

  2. One of our on-call employees got one of these. Then he didn't pay it back. They sent us a lien, but he didn't work (or not much, anyway. They are seasonal and go weeks or months without being called) and he has a child support brandishment that gets first dibs, so we had no way to withhold the money. So the payday loan service took us to court to recover the money. That meant that M had to waste her time going to court to explain that he wasn't working enough for their levy to kick in. Now, had they bothered to verify his employment before giving him a payday loan based on his employment, they would have known it would be unlikely they could collect quickly (if at all). Several hours and lots of paperwork. That makes his, and their, stupidity our problem.

Proposition 200 is being billed as Payday Loan Reform, which is entirely misleading. If it passes, the loan sharks will have to reduce their interest charges from a top rate of 400% to a much more reasonable 391%.

If Prop 200 is defeated, payday loan stores will be reformed in 2010, when their ability to charge those exorbitant rates will expire.
If Prop 200 is defeated, the highest rate they will be able to charge is 36%.

Many states have outlawed these lending practices already, and I am ready to join them.

A "yes" vote shall have the effect of repealing the July 1, 2010 termination date for the existing "payday loan" licensing program thus allowing it to continue indefinitely, allowing payday loan licensees to provide electronic debit agreement services, prohibiting services over 35 days, requiring payday loan agreements be in English or Spanish, prohibiting certain fees, permitting only one payday loan transaction with a customer each business day, requiring a payment plan if requested by the customer, prohibiting arrangements with customers having outstanding repayment plans, allowing licensees to make other loans and requiring licensee applicants to maintain a minimum net worth of at least $50,000 per location up to a maximum of $1,000,000. [official]

Proposition 200 gets a NO.

Posted by Vox at 12:39 AM | Comments (1)

October 16, 2008

AZ Propositions - 102

I'll have more to say on this soon, but for the time being ~

Not Decided, Leaning toward: Yes

Official site: Yes on 102

What I said last time: AZ Propositions - 107

Previously: What Does 'Marriage' Mean?

Anonymous Mike: Thoughts on Same Sex Marriage

Posted by Vox at 03:38 PM | Comments (1)

October 04, 2008

Ballot Propositions

Eventually, I want to look more deeply into these and post on them. For now, here are the AZ ballot propositions as currently listed on the Secretary of State webite.

2008 General Election
Ballot Measures
Last updated on August 25, 2008 at 11:47:28 AM
Janice K. Brewer
Ballot Number Identifier Sponsor Date Filed Ballot Status Short Title Full Text
100 C-18-2008 No New Home Tax (AAR) 255 East Osborn Road Phoenix, AZ 85012 (602) 351-2471 Bettina Nava, Applicant (602) 266-5112 Frank Dickens, Chairman (602) 351-2471 June 24, 2008 Yes Protect Our Homes
This Initiative prohibits the government from charging any new tax on the sale or transfer of real property in Arizona. Currently, there are no real property sales or transfer taxes in Arizona. However, the government could enact a real property sale or transfer tax at any time. This Initiative would prohibit the enactment of any new real property sales or transfer tax by a constitutional amendment.
101 C-15-2008 Medical Choice for Arizona 3655 W. Anthem Way, Ste. A109 - PMB 212 Anthem, AZ 85086 623-271-9576 Lori Klein, Applicant 623-218-6090 Dr. Eric Novack, Chairman 602-298-8888 Dr. Jeffrey A. Singer, Treasurer 602-996-4747 June 26, 2008 Yes Medical Choice for Arizona
The "Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act" will preserve and protect the rights of individuals to make their own health care and health insurance choices. Currently, many lobbyists and special interest groups in Arizona and around the country are promoting policies that would limit or even eliminate the ability of people to have choices when seeking out health care for themselves and their families. This initiative will guarantee the right of Arizonans to make their own health care choices. Lobbyists and special interests will see their power to control and dictate your health care limited.
102 SCR 1042 Legislature June 30, 2008 Yes Marriage
105 C-19-2008 Majority Rules - Let the People Decide P.O. Box 2935 Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 303-7175 Christina Bryngelson, Applicant & Chairman July 3, 2008 Yes Majority Rules - Let the People Decide
To protect the will of the people of Arizona for fiscal responsibility through true majority rule, any initiative that imposes additional taxes or spending must have support from a majority of qualified electors in Arizona. Currently, initiatives that increase taxes or spending can pass with approval from only a minority of qualified electors. In the past, big money, special interest groups have pushed higher spending and taxes. Arizona now faces one of the largest deficits of any state in the country. We must protect the will of the people and let a true majority of the voters decide.
200 I-16-2008 Arizonans for Financial Reform 2525 East Biltmore Circle, Suite A-117 Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-224-0212 Lisa Urias, Applicant & Chairman June 23, 2008 Yes Payday Loan Reform Act
Arizonans use payday lending services everyday to meet unforeseen expenses and financial emergencies. The payday lending industry is set to be eliminated and the Arizona Legislature refuses to enact reforms to benefit borrowers while preserving this important financial option. This measure will bring dramatic pro-consumer reform to payday lending and preserve consumer choice. It includes a substantial rate cut, eliminates rolling-over principal to extend a loan, creates a repayment plan at no cost to customers that can't meet their obligations, and inhibits a borrower's ability to obtain more than one loan at a time.
201 I-14-2008 Homeowners' Bill of Rights Committee 2604 East Addams Street Phoenix, AZ 85034 602-273-1388 Dion Abril, Applicant & Chairman June 30, 2008 Yes Homeowners' Bill of Rights Committee
HOMEOWNERS' BILL OF RIGHTS. Ten-year warranty on new homes. Right to demand correction of construction defects or compensation. Homeowners participate in selecting contractors to do repair work. They can sue if no agreement with the builder. No liability for builders' attorney and expert fees but homeowner can recover these costs. Homeowners can sometimes recover compensatory and consequential damages. Disclosure of builders' relationships with financial institutions. Model homes must reflect what is actually for sale. Right to cancel within 100 days and get back most of the deposit. Prohibiting sellers' agents from participating in false mortgage applications.
202 I-12-2008 Stop Illegal Hiring P.O. Box 3217 Tempe, AZ 85280 480-388-1642 Andrew Pacheco, Applicant & Chairman July 1, 2008 Yes Stop Illegal Hiring
"Stop Illegal Hiring" Act is an initiative designed to crack down on unethical businesses who hire illegal immigrants. This initiative targets employers who hire workers and pay under-the-table in cash, which fuels illegal immigration in Arizona. It revokes the business license of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal immigrants. This initiative increases penalties for identity theft, as illegal immigrants often use stolen identities to conceal their undocumented status. Fines collected as a result of this initiative will be distributed to schools and hospitals to help deal with the financial burden placed on Arizona because of illegal immigration.
300 N/A Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers June 30, 2008 Yes State Legislator's Salaries
Posted by Vox at 01:46 PM | Comments (1)

June 03, 2008

Talkin' 'Bout My Conurbation

The AZ Republic, hot on the heels of the city of Peoria spending over $80,000 for a new slogan, offers some bargain-basement, alternative slogans for our fair cities.

They got me chuckling, especially these two:

Phoenix: Working to bring you a vibrant downtown since the turn of the 20th century.

Apache Junction: Gateway to the Renaissance Festival.

Posted by Vox at 06:41 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2008

Arizona Sports Teams

..will break your heart.

Every time.

more. more. more. more.

Posted by Vox at 10:33 PM | Comments (3)

April 13, 2008

We're Number 4! made a list of the cities that suffer the most sports misery - and we couldn't even win that.

Still, at number four, there is lots to whine about. I've said it many times, Arizona sports teams will break your heart. Well, not the Cardinals - no one ever expects them to go anywhere. The other teams, however, play well enough to get your hopes up . . . and then they crash and burn.

Here is their list of why we are considered a Miserable Sports City:

4. Phoenix, Ariz.

Teams: Cardinals (NFL), Diamondbacks (MLB), Suns (NBA), Coyotes (NHL)

  • Title round record: 1-2 (21st)
  • Semifinal round record: 3-7 (25th)
  • Total seasons/early playoff-round exits (or baseball 2nd place): 82/28 (23rd)
  • Total seasons/championships: 82/1 (22nd)
  • Years since last title: 7 (8th)
  • Teams lost: 0
The Suns have lost six times in the NBA's Western Conference finals, and twice in the NBA finals, without a ring

Once again, the Diamondbacks are setting us up to believe...I'm trying really hard not to fall for it.

Don't even get me started on the Suns.......

Posted by Vox at 11:01 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2007

December 7th

Pearl Harbor today

Posted by Vox at 03:39 PM | Comments (0)

December 14, 2006

The Weekend

Posted by Vox at 06:28 PM | Comments (5)

On Top Of Things

Our company handles payroll for several types of businesses, including restaurants. I wanted to be sure I had the correct information for them concerning the new minimum wage the voters of Arizona so foolishly approved. I was pretty certain all tipped employees would be $3.75, but wanted confirmation.

I started at the State of Arizona's government information line. I told the girl who answered that I was looking for information on the new minimum wage. She told me that was Federal and I should try them.

This is the first contact person at a governmental information service, and she didn't even pay attention to the recent election. Nice.

After finally getting transferred to the labor department, I got my answer. $3.75 it is.

Posted by Vox at 12:41 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2006

AZ Propositions - 102

Proposition 102 - No Punitive Damages for Illegal Aliens

I definitely agree that we should not be rewarding illegal behavior by allowing those that break the law to collect huge settlements in civil lawsuits. However, I don't believe we should be awarding enormous settlements to anyone in these type of suits. The system is out of control, and no one wins but the lawyers. Compensatory damages are one thing, punitive damages are quite another.

Proposition 102 seems to treat the symptom, while ignoring the cause. Does this proposition really do anything to quell the immigrant problem? Does it help to reduce nuisance suits?

Generally, when I am unsure on a ballot measure, I default to NO. On this one, I am leaning slightly towards YES.


UPDATE: This one gets a NO

Posted by Vox at 09:17 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

AZ Propositions - 103

Proposition 103 - English as the Official Language

Does this even need an analysis?

Please, it is an easy and obvious YES

Posted by Vox at 08:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

AZ Propositions - 107

Proposition 107 - Protect Marriage Arizona

I have posted before about my opposition to gay marriage, and one of my arguments is financial. There is no reason to extend the Social Security system even farther, it is broken enough as is. I already have a problem with paying out to people who didn't pay in, I don't want to create a whole new class of survivors.

I wasn't sure this was a topic that required such drastic action as Prop 107, but they have thrown me some extra goodies with this one. The end of government support for domestic partners, hetero or homosexual. Bonus.

In the commercials against 107, they list such horrors as seniors having their SS benefits reduced. Good. There is a reason that the payout is reduced when you are married, staying unmarried to scam the system should not be rewarded. They talk of families losing their health care. That is just bull. Private companies still have the option of offering the benefits if they choose, but they will not be compelled to do so.

I have never supported domestic partner benefits. If you don't feel strongly enough about your relationship to make the commitment, why should your employer or the federal government?

All the things the gay marriage proponents claim to want can be achieved via other means; wills, powers of attorney, planning. Everything except Social Security survivorship benefits and automatic permanent U.S. resident status for spouses - oh, and the right to not testify against your spouse. I would like to keep those privileges from being abused.

This one gets a YES.

From the official site:

What the amendment does:

  • Reaffirms the definition of marriage in the Arizona Constitution.
  • Prohibits judges and politicians in Arizona from redefining marriage.
  • Restricts all levels of government from using taxpayers' dollars to undermine the state's marriage policy by giving recognition or benefits to marriage counterfeits, like "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships."

What the amendment does not do:

  • Does not prevent the state of Arizona from granting benefits on an equal basis.
  • Does not interfere with benefits granted by private corporations to their employees.
  • Does not void benefits granted in existing contracts.
  • Does not prevent governmental bodies from the common practice of giving benefits to financial dependents.
  • Does not prohibit or prevent individuals from establishing any hospital visitation or health care decision-making arrangement they see fit.
  • Does not interfere with the individual choices of citizens as to the private and/or legal relationships they desire to enter into and maintain.

Some well reasoned arguments in the gay marriage debate from around the web, click through and read the full text.

Thomas Sowell:

The "equal protection of the laws" provided by the Constitution of the United States applies to people, not actions. Laws exist precisely in order to discriminate between different kinds of actions.

When the law permits automobiles to drive on highways but forbids bicycles from doing the same, that is not discrimination against people. A cyclist who gets off his bicycle and gets into a car can drive on the highway just like anyone else.

Now before anyone says "sure Deb, but you haven't made a good case against gay marriage, you've just impugned the arguments for it" let me say that I think this is half the battle. The other half I'll let you get for yourself from your answer to this question: If it's "no big deal" to you--as a hetero or homosexual--whether marriage remains reserved for hetero couples, then why have marriage at all?

Insomnomaniac again:

Not only don't I see any acknowledgement of why our society instituted marriage in the first place, I don't see any honest acknowledgement that marriage was always, and is still, defined as one man and one woman. To listen to the rhetoric, you'd think there was this definition of marriage somewhere that read something like this: "When two humans decide they love each other a whole lot or just want to live together, share custody of some kids, make medical decisions for each other, bury the one who dies first and inherit that one's stuff without having to go through probate first, they get married."

Posted by Vox at 03:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

November 02, 2006

AZ Propositions - 300

Proposition 300

Why are my tax dollars being spent this way in the first place?

No, No, No

It is only reasonable to clarify that the tax dollars of our citizens and legal residents should not be used to support those who have chosen to violate our laws and our sovereignty.

It is indefensible that we should be charging students who come to Arizona for education from other states more than we charge students who have defied our laws by their illegal presence in our state.

The American sense of fairness dictates that we should not be subsidizing students who are here illegally in college level and adult education programs at the expense of the taxpayers of Arizona.

~ Don Goldwater

Posted by Vox at 02:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

AZ Propositions - 207

Proposition 207 - Private Property Rights Protection Act

This one seems like a very good idea in light of the Kelo decision, but I am not sure this is the best solution. Anyone have compelling arguments pro or con for me?

Posted by Vox at 02:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

AZ Propositions - 205

Proposition 205 - Your Right to Vote by Mail Act

You already have the right to vote by mail, however you also have the right to vote in person. This measure is an attempt to stop that - most likely to circumvent the ID requirement recently enacted.

That's right, all registered voters get their ballots in the mail, all votes are in the hands of the US Postal service. (with "a limited number of county- wide polling places" available)

Bad idea - NO.

UPDATE: Curious if SAJU is in support of this one, too, in order to 'increase voter participation'.

Posted by Vox at 02:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 01, 2006

AZ Propositions - 202

Proposition 202 - Raise the Minimum Wage for Working Arizonans Act

This ill-conceived proposition not only increases the state minimum wage by $1.60 per hour, it sets a yearly increase automatically, as well.

All the arguments I have heard in favor of this go the same way - some variation of how people can't raise their families on $5.15 an hour. Well, they shouldn't even be trying. The minimum wage is nothing more than a starting point, and a bad one at that.

To paraphrase JP Morgan when asked if he felt he should be able to pay his workers $.25 an hour, he said, "If I can find someone to do it for that much". I wholeheartedly agree that the market should decide this. Artificially increase the wage range, and you increase the cost of doing business. Not just the $1.60 an hour, but the additional burden of higher workers compensation rates, higher unemployment insurance rates, higher federal & state taxes, higher Medicare and social security contributions.... Increase the cost of labor and you will get less of it. Increase the cost of doing business and the cost of goods and services you buy increase as well. Suddenly, someone trying to support a family on $6.75 an hour has the same problem they did before.

I heard one of the proponents on the radio yesterday saying that the average person who would benefit from an increased minimum wage is 28 years old and has been in the job market for 12 years. WTF! If you are 28 years old with 12 years worth of experience, and you are still only making minimum wage - perhaps you aren't even worth that amount. You would have to be seriously challenged to be in that position.

I have young nephew who has a high school education, no special skills, no experience, the whole goth hair pierced face thing, and he has no problem getting jobs (repeatedly) for more than that. His latest position started at $8 an hour, has a benefits package that kicks in a few months down the road, offers advancement opportunities and regular pay increases. And you're telling me some 28 year old is trying to support a family on $5.15? Please.

There is no need to artificially increase the cost of labor. There is no reason to increase the hiring of illegal workers, which could easily be one of many unintended/unforeseen consequences.

Perhaps scariest of all is the language that allows "private lawsuits" to enforce the law, and blanket accessibility - "ANY PERSON OR ORGANIZATION MAY FILE AN ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT WITH THE COMMISSION CHARGING THAT AN EMPLOYER HAS VIOLATED THIS ARTICLE AS TO ANY EMPLOYEE OR OTHER PERSON." Yeah, that isn't just begging for misuse and nuisance suits.

Prop 202 - NO, NO, NO!

Posted by Vox at 09:11 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

October 31, 2006

AZ Propositions - 201/203/206

Proposition 201 - Smoke-Free Arizona Act
Proposition 206 - Arizona Non-Smoker Protection Act

I hate that going dancing involves marinating in second-hand smoke. I would love to be able to go out to a bar that was smoke free. What a joy that would be! I soooo want to be able to vote for these, but I can't.

Because they are both wrong.

I can not stay true to my political beliefs, and vote for a measure (or measures) that tell a business owner what legal behavior they can and can not allow in their business. I can not support the free market on the one hand, when it is convenient for me, and then abandon those principles at the first chance for a smoke free evening. These are bad politics, they are bad business, they are expensive, they are bad.

These are being marketed as either/or measures - but they aren't. You don't have to pick the lesser evil, you can vote no on both. I will.

Proposition 203 - Arizona Early Childhood Development and Health Initiative

Another sin tax disguised as a program "for the children"

[snip] The issues in question aren't early childhood development services rather taxation and appropriation that violates and goes far beyond the principles of our representative democracy. Proposition 203 would increase in perpetuity the sales tax on tobacco products and allow an appointed unelected council to determine the expenditure of $150 million of state tax revenue without any legislative oversight and without any allowance for legislative adjustment of the taxes or the expenditures. [snip]
Barry M. Aarons

Voting "yes" on this tax is voting "yes" to creating a huge new bureaucracy to control taxpayer money, with the activity of this bureaucracy having no direct oversight from or accountability to the legislature or the Governor. This proposal establishes a statewide board and an unlimited number of unelected regional councils to distribute tax money to communities however they see fit without any direction from the officials we elected to represent taypayers' interests. This is a massive tax increase, and NONE of these tax dollars will be dedicated to our K-12 education system. And though all of this money will be collected from smokers, NONE of this money is dedicated to smoking prevention or cessation. [snip]
Theodore L. Jones & Charles R. Wenzler
Couldn't have said it better myself, this one is also a BIG no.

Posted by Vox at 09:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 30, 2006

AZ Propositions - 200

Proposition 200 - "ARIZONA VOTER REWARD ACT"

My stand - ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!!?

Please, we are going to bribe people, people who think the lottery is a reasonable retirement plan, to go to the polls. Not that they would actually have to have a clue about what they vote on, all they have to do is show up. They can just randomly mark their ballot and turn it in. Ridiculous.

Couldn't people just do that now? Absolutely, but we aren't bribing them to do it. With no incentive to show up, why would anyone bother unless they had an opinion.

Voting is a right, it is a privilege, it is one of our greatest chances to make a difference - but it is voluntary for a reason. Just as you have the right to vote, you have the right no to.

Shoot, you don't even have to get it right to be in the lottery. At least if they limited the drawing to the voters whose votes came closest to the election results, voters might be inclined to study which candidates and/or propositions made the most sense. Or they would just go with whatever the polls said.

No matter how you slice it, this is a stupid idea. When the only person who writes in to support it is the author, that should tell you something. Lets see what he has to say:

Some criticize "Voter Rewards" as being morally wrong. If that might be the case, we should look to the ultimate authority on morals and ethics. What does God say? Do what you are supposed to do and I will REWARD you with eternal life in heaven. What are we saying? Do what you are supposed to do, vote, and we will REWARD you with a chance to win a million dollars. If incentives are good enough for God, they are good enough for the voters of Arizona!
I don't believe God's reward is interpreted by biblical scholars to be monetary. Your reward for voting is having a voice in your government, the opportunity to make a difference. It should never be something you are 'paid' for.

Posted by Vox at 03:45 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 30, 2006

Memorial Ad

I had a long post about why I think this 9/11 Memorial ad is a bad idea - and MT ate it. I hate it when that happens, piece of @$#&!

The gist of it is: This ad being produced by the GOP plays into the hands of those who claim that the whole issue is merely a political ploy devised to exploit the victims of 9/11 to garner votes in November. As I said here:

Remember that it was not brought up by a candidate, but by a blogger..and then another...and another. The fact that the uproar is so close to an election is not designed to garner leverage - the timing was decided by the unveiling of the memorial.

Though I have no problem at all with Munsil taking up this issue as one of his talking points, I think the outrage should span party lines. Making it a GOP commercial diminishes that. I think.

But what do I know.....?

UPDATE: BTW, I think Napolitano could take this up as one of her talking points, as well, if she was a true leader. I will paraphrase what I read elsewhere (if I knew where it came from, I would get the quote right and know where to give credit) "Janet Napolitano could show true statesmanship by telling us in eloquent terms why this memorial will stand the test of time. Or, she could admit there are problems with it that she did not forsee or was not aware of and give us a plan to rectify them."

She isn't doing either. She has gone from praising the memorial at the dedication ceremony, and for a few days after, to denying she had any control/input what-so-ever. I would have much more respect for her if she would stand up and claim it, defending the commission and their choices, or if she claimed responsibility and promised a solution. She has no backbone, no principles, and no sense of responsibility. That makes her an easy target on many issues.

Posted by Vox at 03:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 17, 2006

Boom Boom Club

A few weeks ago, we took a day trip up to Prescott to visit this shop - now I am a gun owner (some might call it a canon).

The first range we took it to was Shooters World; conveniently close to work, air-conditioned indoor range. At $13 per hour (or portion thereof) it is a bit pricey, though. Also, though they may be watching through the windows, there aren't many employees on the firing line with the customers. If you need help or instruction you are on your own - though you may be able to get it in a class for a fee. It was a very humbling experience shooting at targets on a range, seeing how inaccurate I was at the various distances.

Yesterday we went to Ben Avery - what a difference. $5 gets you a whole day of shooting, or as much of it as you can take...we made it about 3 hours. There are an abundance of safety officers on the line, all quite friendly and open to questions. From that humbling experience at Shooters World, I was feeling pretty bad about my skills. I grabbed one of the range volunteers and told him I needed help - he gave me two tips and I hit just on the edge of the bullseye with my first shot. I emptied the whole clip in a 5-7 inch group. Wow - I was amazed :-) Now, that was sitting down and at a target 5 yards away. I didn't do quite as well standing up or at a longer distance, but I did SO MUCH better than I had been doing.
The boyfriend and his buddy had their hunting rifles, which one of the range workers sited in for them...quickly and for free.

A great way to, as Len says, "turn money into noise" - in my case just shy of 200 rounds and the range fee.....about $30 all together.

BTW: Forgot to mention that they carded me when I went to buy ammo. My birthday on Wednesday is decades away from the ammo buying threshold, so I thanked him profusely for making my day :-)

Posted by Vox at 03:15 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 13, 2006

April 06, 2006

"Illegal Amigos"

Scrappleface has breaking news on the immigration debate:

In an attempt to break the Senate deadlock on immigration reform, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and Florida Sen. Mel Martinez proposed a bill today that would crack down on recent illegal immigrants, yet offer a path to citizenship for those who violated U.S. immigration law before January 2001. Under the terms of the measure, roughly six million undocumented workers living in the U.S. for five years or more would be granted guest worker visas and then hired to work for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. With the INS, they would try to find and deport six million others who broke U.S. law more recently. Sen. Hagel, reportedly a Republican, said “putting our illegal amigos on the federal payroll, will help us keep track of them. As federal bureaucrats, their high pay and excellent government health insurance will keep them from becoming a burden on American taxpayers.”

Posted by Vox at 07:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 01, 2006

RE: 'Immigration'

  1. It is called illegal immigration, not because Americans are racist, but because it refers to people who do not follow the legal channels that are in place to allow migration to the United States.

  2. Amnesty: As far as I can tell this is a combination of throwing up our hands in defeat (they are already here so we can't do anything about it), and a very flexible statute of limitations (they got away with it so far so lets give them a pass). I have never really understood the statute of limitations concept as it applies to any crime, why do we allow someone to walk just because they avoided detection for a specific period of time? I don't care if it takes 20 years to figure out who done it - whatever the crime - I want them to be charged.

  3. Guest worker: We are paying billions each year in welfare and unemployment, yet we are expected to believe that there is a need to bring in workers from across the border to fill jobs. We have the workers here, it is just far too easy to sit back and collect your government check. Any guest worker program in consideration should require the elimination of welfare and unemployment in those states that utilize it.

  4. Jobs Americans won't do: I have heard many of the protesters make this claim, usually in the form of "someone has to clean your toilets". I find that to be far more racist than expecting someone to file the proper paperwork when entering this country. Are they saying that, in their estimation, that is all the Mexican people are capable of? I know there are jobs that many Americans would rather not do and at this point they don't have to. The government pays them to sit on their a$$. Since there are people filling the jobs, there is no market pressure to get them in there. Were it not for those working under the radar, those jobs would be filled by Americans.

  5. Legal immigrants: How do we square any of this with those who have filed the proper paperwork, paid the proper fees, waited till their time came, and are now living here (or are still waiting to come). Do we give them a refund when we just grant amnesty to those that bypassed all that? I know that at least one of the 'plans' requires paying a fine in order to get amnesty, should they just pay that directly to a "Sorry you got screwed but we appreciate you doing the right thing" fund?

I'm just asking.

BTW: Does this piss you off? It should. More importantly, it should alarm you. The American flag is flown upside down in times of distress ONLY, and never beneath another.
United States Code Title 4 Chapter 1 — The Flag
Section 8 - "The flag should never be displayed with the union down, except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. "
Section 7g - "International usage forbids the display of the flag of one nation above that of another nation in time of peace."

Posted by Vox at 10:24 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 17, 2005

It'll Never Fly

I can't imagine that we'll get away with this. The NEA is bound to find some way to stop it. I mean, come on, requiring our teachers to pass competency tests? Unbelievable.

But critics - including some union officials and school administrators - say the program is too rigorous. One principal in Arizona said it's a barrier in recruiting teachers and that people are less attracted to the profession the more testing they need to go through.
Those of you in out of Arizona might not realize the sorry state of our public education system here, though I know public education is pretty bad all over. I think the barrier to recruiting good teachers is that good people are turned off by the unions, which have the system in a head lock, and the current curriculum, which gets farther and farther away from quality academics.

Arizona caved on the AIMS testing by declaring lower and lower acceptable scores until they got a sufficient percentage passing. If this teacher testing actually goes into effect, I see it having much the same future.

Posted by Vox at 09:12 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2005

Sports Blogging

Our local paper of record, The Arizona Repugnant, has taken to blogging. This would barely register a blip from me if not for the fact that one of their bloggers is an old buddy of mine - and a seasoned blogger.

For those of you interested in college football in general, and ASU in particular, check out The Rookie.

I'm sorry to see him covering a narrow field because he really has such a wide range of interests he could be writing about. I miss his old blog, but I'm happy to find him somewhere.

BTW: there is still time to take the survey - Sentencing Drunk Drivers

Posted by Vox at 09:45 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2005

Searching For A Friend

I thought I would use the power of the internet to try and locate someone I went to school with, Terry Woods. He seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.

Things I know:

  • He went to ASU Law School. Not sure when he graduated/passed the bar but it was probably the mid to late '80s. I searched the Bar Association web site where I found Terrance Woods who went through ASU - in 1973. I called the office just in case it was a typo - nope, he is in his 60s.
  • He had been living in Bullhead City off and on for at least the past 10 years.
  • He was living here and working at a law firm around 7th Ave & Thomas 6 or 7 years ago. (but I think he went back to Bullhead at some point after that)
  • He was specializing in Family law.
  • He went to Clarendon Elementary and Central (I think) High School.

Any leads?

Posted by Vox at 03:10 PM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2005

Arizona Blogs I've Been Missing


You tell me who else I am missing. Please make sure that any sites you recommend are worth reading (and legible - blue text on a black background does not work)

Posted by Vox at 12:00 AM | Comments (5)

May 21, 2005

Worth The Paper It's Printed On

I am counting on one of our Arizona bloggers with more insight and political acumen (cough*Edward*cough) to give us an in depth report on the latest from our Governor, Janet Napalitano. I will include the full report I got in the extended entry, but the gist of it is: Napalitano wants some money spent on her pet projects, she goes to the legislature and makes a deal (a verbal deal) to sign some legislation they want if they pass the things that she wants, the legislature holds up their end of the bargain and sends through all three pieces, Napalitano signs the two she originally wanted and vetoes (some reports have her chuckling about it) the bit that she promised to sign in return.

Her word is now worth about as much as the pigeon droppings gracing our capitol building.

My main question here is, why would anyone have expected anything different from her? She has certainly shown herself to be opportunistic and deceptive in the past, I am sure she will continue to be those things in the future. I don't think her word has been worth more than bird poop in decades...but someone must've still believed in her. Look what it got 'em.

Late Friday afternoon, the governor vetoed a measure that would help poor and middle class children receive a quality education via corporate tuition tax breaks. This was part of an early May compromise between the Governor and Republican legislators on key educational issues. In return for the Governor’s support of this pro-education measure, Republicans agreed to her demands to spend more money on All-Day Kindergarten and the University of Arizona medical school.

Despite the apparent agreement, Napolitano vetoed the corporate tuition tax breaks bill, while signing All-Day K and the medical school bills. She claimed there never was an official deal.

“This smacks of pure Clintonism,” said Chad Kirkpatrick, president of the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers. “Instead of arguing what the definition of ‘is’ is, Napolitano is arguing what the definition of ‘deal’ is.”

The typically mild-mannered House Speaker Jim Weiers put it bluntly: “The governor lied to me.”

Senate Finance Chairman Dean Martin also had choice words on the veto. “It’s either her way or the Piestewa Peak Parkway. This is what you get with a trial lawyer as Governor; they will always find a way to weasel out of any agreement that does not serve their special interests.”

Both Speaker Weiers and Senator Martin played key roles in quelling a last minute rebellion of conservative legislators. Led by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth and Sen. Thayer Verschoor, the conservatives argued that Napolitano could not be trusted to side with parents and children over the government school lobby.

Insiders believe Napolitano’s actions only strengthens the conservatives.

Representative Russell Pearce summed up the feelings of many moderate and conservative legislators. “Governor Napolitano apparently does not know the meaning of "Contract" or "I promise." Apparently her word is not her bond and any future negotiations will be very difficult when you have to negotiate with someone you cannot trust to be honest in their dealings.

“Governor Napolitano agreed to this budget that had her top priorities in it (which we had to swallow very hard), and this budget had a couple of very important issues for the Majority in the legislature that she agreed to.”

Via Arizona Federation of Taxpayers

UPDATE: I just went to their site and got a headache. The information is great, the presentation is bafflingly absurd. Someone, somewhere, please give their website an extreme makeover

Posted by Vox at 02:27 PM | Comments (2)

May 16, 2005

Phoenix Fund Raiser


May 20th Fundraiser for Liver Transplant to feature trumpeter WAYNE BERGERON

A great concert is scheduled May 20 for a great cause.The three-star program will feature the Arizona All-Star Big Band, Young Sounds of Arizona and special guest WAYNE BERGERON, acclaimed jazz trumpeter from Los Angeles.

The concert at 7 p.m. May 20 at Central High School, 4525 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, 602-271-2300, will be a wonderful jazz experience, and a way to help raise funds to expedite a liver transplant for 26-year-old Dennis Doyle.

Doyle will graduate summa cum laude from Arizona State University West the week before the concert. His younger brother, Danny, is a member of Young Sounds and the Mesa Community College Big Band. Both he and sister Tracy are donor matches to give part of their livers to help Dennis return to health.

Tickets are $25 at the door or reserved by calling 623-570-9786.

"Every musician performing is donating time and talent for the concert, so ALL door proceeds will go into the fund started in Dennis' name," said Barb Catlin, one of the organizers. "We hope to raise $10,000 from the concert, to help with the $70,000 it will cost for the transplant."

Dennis Doyle has been diagnosed with a rare liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PCS), the disease that took the life of Chicago Bears team member Walter Payton in 1999. The only cure is a liver transplant, and both Doyle siblings are matches. Transplant costs will reach $70,000, and this concert is a start.

An account has been opened with the National Transplant Assistance Fund, 3475 West Chester Pike, Suite 230, Newtown Square, PA 19073, 800-642-8399, where donations in his name may be mailed, checks with notation "In honor of Dennis Doyle."

Guest artist Wayne Bergeron is one of the most active West Coast musicians, including studio and theater work, performing with major orchestras, clinics and jazz gigs. I have heard him many times in various special jazz events in L.A., including last October's Maynard Ferguson celebration and, in every performance, he satisfied the international audience of veteran jazz fans. I vividly remember his exciting rendition of the theme from Rocky, "Gonna Fly Now," one that rivaled even MF's original hit recording.

Bergeron is a thrilling high-note trumpeter whose style will astound listeners with its searing clarity and exhilarating eloquence. He has performed with the bands of Quincy Jones, Jack Sheldon, Bill Watrous and Gordon Goodwin, and has recorded with Diana Krall, Rosemary Clooney, Tito Puente, Chicago and Celine Dion. Bergeron has worked on more than 250 film soundtracks, including "Sweet Home Alabama," "Catch Me If You Can," "American Pie 2," "Meet Joe Black" and "Ace Ventura." His TV credits include "American Idol," "Emmy Awards," "Latin Grammys" and "Jeopardy."

Bergeron is on the staff of California State University Northridge and also teaches privately. The Arizona All-Star Big Band is a showcase of the best jazz pros in the Valley, an ensemble that was organized to support the Doyle family.

Trumpets are Fred Forney, Dennis Monce, Rob Hunter, Dave Coolidge and Scott Yandell; trombones Bill Foy, Gina Wagner and Jeff Martin; saxes Bryon Ruth, Jerry Donato, Dave Schmidt and Mike Crotty; and the rhythm section of Barb Catlin piano; Chris Champion, guitar; Steve Millhouse, bass and Dom Moio, drums.

Young Sounds of Arizona is the all-star Valley high school band, and members between the ages of 14 and 19 are chosen by audition. This band was founded in 1971 and is the oldest program of its kind in the nation. It is sponsored by the Professional Musicians of Arizona, Local 586 of the American Federation of Musicians. Young Sounds now consists of two big bands and a jazz combo, directed by Catlin.

UPDATE: I found another link to this exact same press release - but the site it is on must have an overactive porn filter - see for yourself. Ah, the humor of automation...

Posted by Vox at 10:46 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2004


Our local KOOL FM has started a "Thank You For Serving" drive. There are several events in November to show your support for those who serve. Let's make sure they know we care.

Posted by Vox at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2004

Arizona Primaries

It was the revenge of the right Tuesday as conservative Republican challengers took out several high-profile moderates after one of the most bitter and negative legislative primary campaigns in recent history.
Posted by Vox at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

September 06, 2004

Primary Endorsements

Our Arizona Blogfather is back to his blog (after a much too lengthy hiatus) just in time to present us with his endorsements for tomorrows primary election.

Welcome back, "Edward"!

Posted by Vox at 12:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 09, 2004

Reagan Memorial

There will be a gathering at Republican Party headquarters Friday at 8:30 a.m. They will have the funeral broadcast on so we can all watch together.

Arizona Republican Party
3501 North 24th Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85016

Posted by Vox at 12:35 PM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2004


Those of you who haven't grasped the appeal of the desert need look no further than this. Dan has posted some fantastic photos of the Grand Canyon state - and the Grand Canyon.

Those of you who might be inspired to consider a move, remember it gets to be 115 120 130 degrees here in the summer. Yeah, that's it 130 degrees - if that's too much for you, stay where ya' are.

Posted by Vox at 01:32 AM | Comments (2)