Random Thoughts…..

Posted: January 28, 2011 in AZ, Non-AZ, Thoughts on the Day
  • Challenger, 25 years ago today – I was sitting in Algebra class, 10th grade. Mr. Neilly, the teacher, was excited because the first schoolteacher was going into space. He had a TV in the room and we were watching it take off. And then it exploded and I’ll never forget the look of stunned disbelief on my teacher’s face and how quiet he became. There were tears in is eyes. It’s one of those things that defines Generation X. Our oft maligned cohort remembers where we were when Reagan was shot (5th grade, outside by the rotting tree on the dusty playground) and when Challenger exploded. All this was brought back to me suddenly when I heard a StoryCorps segment on NPR this morning. It was the brother of astronaut Ronald McNair. Ronald was only the second African-American astronaut in the NASA space program and was one of the 7 who died that day. His brother recounts a story of Ronald, 9 years old in South Carolina. It is a “must read” story–it touched me deeply.


  • Is Crazy Catching? – AZ has had for a while now some proposed state laws regarding immigration that have shocked the nation. The latest salvo from republicans is a challenge to U.S. citizenship for children born in the state whose parents are illegal immigrants or other non-citizens. Their point, they admit, is to force the Supreme Court to review the 14th Amendment in hopes of having it struck down so that it can be modified. They’re hoping the right-leaning Court will see things their way. Unfortunately, this craziness isn’t limited to AZ anymore. Just yesterday Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a similar bill to Congress.Some on the left are beginning to believe that craziness is contagious because this kind of thing is cropping up everywhere now. I don’t think that is the case. I think there is a lot of dog whistles in the media and in popular culture nowadays that is bringing these kinds of people out of the woodwork. They’ve always been there, they’ve just been relatively quiet for so long. But a severe economic downturn never fails to create opportunity for scumbags who wish to take advantage of dangerous popular sentiment in order to garner power. These are the Limbaughs and Becks of the world. The other kind of people coming out of the woodwork are the true believers. They’re bigots in their heart of hearts and they sense an opportunity to advance their beliefs. So no, the crazy isn’t catching. It’s just that the bigots are just being more open about it.
  • When Time Stands Still – I can’t even begin to explain what is Known as ‘Kerr spacetime’. Apparently it has something to do with the end stages of a Black Hole and non-relativist equations. In any case, scientist are now saying that when a Black Hole reaches the end of its life, it literally gets frozen in time. Check it out.


  • Immaculate Bureaucratic Conception – Some thoughts on the Citizens United v. FCC ruling and how it relates to the current laws being proposed in AZ and Congress to change the 14th Amendment. In the SCOTUS ruling in Citizens United, corporations were declared to be “persons” with respect to the 14th Amendment. However, corporations don’t have parents and aren’t born. How then can they be citizens? If they are not citizens how do they have all the same rights as citizens do? And if they have no rights, how can the ruling in Citizen’s United be correct? Just some food for thought….


  • Have Gun Will Travel – Local Republicans are freaking out about the potential for violence from Mexico coming across the border. The irony is that the ease by which guns can be purchased in AZ is fueling the violence in Mexico. Read for yourself.


  • Priorities, Priorities – Pima County Republicans are seeking to oust Sheriff Dupnik as payback for his on-air comments regarding the Tucson shootings and how the level of vitriol in the MSM played a role in it. Conor Friedersdorf (filling in for a sick Andrew Sullivan) had an interesting take on the effort today. He wrote,

    It isn’t that I want Pima County Republicans to turn the other cheek exactly. Forcefully point out the guy is wrong. But maybe it would be better to direct your focus and your $100,000 elsewhere…I’m just encouraging them to rise to a level of maturity and cold logic that one doesn’t often see in these situations. It would help if voters were mature enough to disconnect they’re impulse to give money from their sense of aggrievement.

    What Conor and every other conservative blogger and the MSM seem to be missing is the larger context of Dupnik’s statement. Very few people have paid attention to what Dupnik has experienced in his county. Just one example is the sad case is the murder of Juan Flores and Brisenia Flores, who were killed by right-wing minute men leaders in his county. Sheriff Dupnik would have seen the body of 9 year-ld Brisenia and heard out she begged for her life. Sheriff Dupnik would be aware that the accused killer, Shawna Forde, had attended a Tea Party rally in Phoenix, a month before the shooting and she was stoked about a revolution and using her gun. Now look at this clip of Beck getting angry and acting a little nuts about accusations against the Minutemen and tell me that Sheriff Dupnik was wrong to feel what he did and say what he did.

  • The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same – While housing prices continue to fall in AZ, the economy is improving overall. It grew at a solid 3.2 annual rate in the last quarter of 2010. AZ is the red-headed stepchild of the American dream. We thought we had reached the bottom back in April 2009, but alas it just ain’t so.
  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tina Rhodes-Arden, Tina Rhodes-Arden. Tina Rhodes-Arden said: We're the red-headed step children of the American Dream. http://wp.me/pYORZ-5x […]

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