Category Archives: environment

Call the Republicans what they are on fiscal responsibility: phonies

Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, the only two Presidents in the last 40 years to preside over falling budget deficits while growing the American Economy. Clinton left this country with a budget surplus.

When Ronald Reagan raised the national debt from one trillion which took 200 years to accrue to over four in eight years, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

When first-term popular vote loser George W. Bush took an inherited surplus and blew it on two unpaid tax cuts, an unpaid war in Iraq and a partially unpaid Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

When the current popular vote loser President and his allies passed a major tax cut without paying for it, where was the Republican outrage on deficits?

Over the last 30 years, there have been two general reactions by Republicans when Presidents try to prudently manage the economy.

The first reaction on deficits is when they ridicule Presidents like George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barrack Obama when they pass tax increases on the rich to bring deficits down, saying it is the wrong strategy to combat the national debt because it will bring down the economy. Here is a quick history lesson. Economic expansion occurred after Bush, Clinton, and Obama tax increases (the Reagan ones too but Republicans seem to have a memory lapse when it comes to that inconvenient truth.)

Continue reading

Democratic Candidate Profiles to consider when voting this month

Dear reader,

Below are the links to the profiles of Democratic Candidates interviewed up until July 30, 2018. Future profiles will be added for study. Please use this valuable resource to help make the best-informed choice when you vote in August either via a mail-in ballot or in person on August 28, 2018. Above all, please do not forget to vote. There are many exceptional Democratic candidates to consider so please take the time to vote for the ones that you feel will best move your local community and the state forward.

Federal elections

Statewide elections

Continue reading

Some Preliminary Thoughts on Conscience and Biophilia

By Michael Bryan

Humans arguably have a genetically determined capacity to empathize to some degree, to consider themselves from the viewpoint of another, and to imaginatively place themselves in the viewpoint of another. Together with our prosocial nature, these capacities are called conscience and underpin ethics, much of religion’s moral precepts, politics, law, and human social life.

While we have a psychological basis in the brain for such feelings and intuitions, our culture develops, refines and conditions our actual ethical/moral behavior by building upon that biological bedrock. For instance, the circle of a human’s ethical concern might naturally be constrained to those just like them, i.e. their own tribe, with outsiders falling into a category of “other” not requiring or eliciting the same level, or any, ethical obligations.

Some have theorized that the cultural phenomenon of religion has hijacked, or built upon our natural capacity for conscience to widen the circle of ethical concern to co-religionists, and even to the universe of all humans. Thus does culture reinforce, reify and widen the reach of our natural capacity for conscience, and turns it into the basis for ethics, religion, morality, philosophy, politics, law and hence into large-scale cooperative behavior. In recognizing that a fallow, culturally-undeveloped conscience is limited in its application to the complex social constructs and questions of a modern society, we might consider the innate capacity for love of the natural world that E.O. Wilson has termed “biophilia”.

Continue reading

Democrats Get to Pick their State Senator in Tucson’s LD9

Rep. Victoria Steele and Pamela Powers Hannley

LD9 state Senate candidate Victoria Steele with Pamela Powers Hannley, LD9 House representative.

Here’s some great news: Democrats in Legislative District 9 in northern Tucson will get to pick their Arizona state Senator in the August 28 primary — because there is no Republican running.

This means we are talking about Sen. Victoria Steele or Sen. Jim Love.

LD9 is the best-organized Democratic district in Arizona, with 250 precinct captains (an increase of 91% from 2016). By any measure — whether it is registering voters, signing up people for voting early or meeting voters face to face — the volunteers in LD9 is have risen to the challenge.

Steele vows to take action

Speaking at the recent LD9 meeting, Steele emphasized four pressing issues that face voters today: Continue reading

Julie Gunnigle pledges to fight corruption as a State Representative for LD 15

LD 15 Democratic State House Candidate Julie Gunnigle

In what has become the designated meeting place for Legislative District 15 Democratic Candidates, the Starbucks at Tatum and Paradise Parkway, Julie Gunnigle ardently relayed why she would be the best candidate to work for the district’s constituents as one of the two State House Representatives after the November elections.

Ms. Gunnigle is one of three Democrats running for two State House seats in LD 15. The others are Jennifer Samuels and Tonya MacBeth. In what is a likely result of the prevailing political winds (The Trump Administration, the reactionary state Republican Legislature, and Governor beholden to Dark Money-Koch Interests), this is the first time in recent memory more than one Democrat is running to secure at least one of the State House seats.

Who is Julie Gunnigle?

 A native of LD 15, Ms. Gunnigle graduated with a Law Degree from Notre Dame University and served as a Cook County Prosecutor in Illinois (where she participated in the indictment of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Cook County) before moving back with her family in 2011 to practice education (special needs including gifted), midwifery, veteran’s affairs, and reproductive rights law. Some of her work (veteran’s law for example) is performed on a pro bono basis. She also taught at Summit Law School and has been a member of the Arizona Association Advocating for the Gifted and Talented, advocating for special needs children and restoration of funding for them in front of the Arizona State Legislature for three years. She is also a wife and mother.

Continue reading

Happy Birthday, SunLink! (video)

Sunlink

The eastern stop of the SunLink modern streetcar.

Four years ago, on a ridiculously hot July day, thousands of Tucsonans showed up to welcome the Modern Streetcar (AKA SunLink or affectionately “the trolley”) to downtown Tucson.

Tomorrow, July 28, Tucson will celebrate the streetcar’s steamy birthday with music and air-conditioned rides.

I won’t be downtown for the birthday party because I am giving a talk on the Equal Rights Amendment on Saturday night in Tubac, but I hope you all will check out the festivities and the live music on the streetcar and along the route. Below the fold are a few photos and a video from opening day.

Continue reading