Something Borrowed, Something Blue

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

Let me be clear from the onset that I am “borrowing” this article. In fact unless the words are in bold italics, they are hers, not mine. I’m hoping the author, Athens Banner-Herald columnist Myra Blackmon, a resident of Washington, Ga., sees my “borrowing” as the “sincerest form of flattery. I chose to use her piece titled “School vouchers raise too many questions,” because I found it both very well written and remarkable in that I needed only change the state name and some of the numbers to make it apply to Arizona.

With the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. secretary of education, we can expect to see a flurry of new “initiatives” designed to address the so-called education problem in our country. For the moment, let’s set aside the relationship of poverty and poor academic achievement. Ignore for a moment the fact that our schools are actually performing pretty well.

We will likely see a renewed push for voucher programs, where parents can supposedly take the tax money allocated for their children and use it to enroll them in private, religious or charter schools, many of which are combinations of those categories. Continue reading

Winds of War

I stole the title from a friend’s Facebook post. I doubt he’ll mind.

He and I had the identical reaction to Trump’s speech to CPAC on Friday, in which Trump declared that America is about to undergo the greatest military buildup in history. Military buildups have one and only one purpose: going to war. That’s especially true when the nation embarking on the buildup already has the largest and most advanced military in the world, with most of the world’s other large fighting forces aligned with its own.

Worse yet, Trump, who expressed puzzlement at America’s no first strike policy regarding nuclear weapons, has promised a buildup in nuclear weaponry as well.

The only real questions are who and when. Iran? China? Mexico?

These are, as the saying goes, “interesting times.”

And we’re living in them.

2017 Peace Fair at Armory Park (new location)

New location: Armory Park downtown at 220 S 5th Avenue.

“Join us for Arizona’s largest gathering of Peace, Justice and Environmental groups. Live music, tabling, food, entertainment, children’s activities and more! Free and open to the community! The Tucson Peace Center extends the invitation to peace, justice and environmental organizations to table at the annual event, which provides the opportunity to build solidarity and strengthen movement work. Please note the new location!”

Info:  www.tucsonpeacecalendar.org.

 

Rep. Martha McSally emerges from her chicken bunker, constituents let her have it

Now you can understand why Rep. Martha McSally schedules  private “town halls” before friendly constituencies (like her former employer Raytheon) and tele-town halls rather than public town halls where she gas to face constituents who show up and ask her “impertinent” questions that she does not want to answer.

Let’s take a look at how McSally’s town hall in the usually friendly confines of Sahuarita and moderated by editor Dan Shearer from the Green Valley News went yesterday.

The Arizona Republic reports, At tense town hall, Rep. Martha McSally faces calls of ‘Do your job!’:

In a sometimes-raucous replay of town halls across the country, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally faced shouts, pleas and cat calls from a noisy share of her constituents Thursday.

Many among the 250 people inside the afternoon event at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ vented their simmering anger at President Donald Trump and called for her to rein in his agenda on issues such as health care, gun rights and immigration reform.

Dozens or more people chanted “Do your job!” and pressed signs hostile to the administration against the doors outside the church.

For about 90 occasionally tense minutes, there was little sign of the close partisan division within McSally’s district. Instead, it was dominated by Democrats and liberals who called on her to serve as a check on the president.

I’m sorry, but how can this reporter know the voter registration of those in attendance? This is an editorial assumption by a reporter without supporting facts. There were just as likely unhappy Republicans in attendance as well.

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(Update) House Tea-Publicans vote to restrict your constitutional right to make laws

The unrelenting assault on your constitutional rights by the Chamber of Commerce organizations and their lickspittle lackeys in our lawless Tea-Publican legislature continues unabated. The Chambers’ package of bills to take away your constitutional rights passed in the House on Thursday.

The Arizona Republic reports, Arizona House passes bills to restrict citizen initiatives:

In an attempt to gain control over laws proposed by citizens, [Tea-Publicans in] the House on Thursday night approved a package of bills designed to rein in the century-old initiative process enshrined in the Arizona Constitution at statehood.

Opponents say the moves would undercut the power of the people to shape laws, and run counter to the citizen initiative process, while proponents argue lawmakers need the flexibility to fix unforeseen problems that might arise from a ballot measure. The measures now move to the Senate for consideration.

Four bills affect the initiative process. Two ask the voters to review the 19-year-old Voter Protection Act that blocks the Legislature from changing voter initiatives; the other two make changes to the laws governing initiatives. They passed along party lines, with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed, in a contentious session that lasted late into the night.

Even if the bills win Senate approval in the coming weeks, two would need voter approval in November 2018. Two others would go to Gov. Doug Ducey for his signature.

Still pending is a bill that would change the way signatures are gathered on citizen initiative petitions. House Concurrent Resolution 2029 won approval from a committee late Wednesday but was held up from a full vote over questions about its constitutionality.

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Payday Loan Elementary

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

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