Wireline's Declining Market

End of the line...

CenturyTel recently announced it's acquisition of Qwest Communications to be rebranded as CenturyLink. CenturyTel is the descendant of an old Independent Telephone Company and Qwest, a Baby Bell, previously US WEST, which in turn was a descendant of Mountain Bell, Pacific Northwestern Bell, Malheur Bell and Northwest Bell. They operate on the Public Service Switched Network (PSTN) providing basic wireline service to residences and businesses based on a network model that dates back to the late 1940s. It is a declining market.

These are photographs of what has become of once was The Phone Company.


Great Books Unbound

Reading great books and discussing their ideas is entertaining and enlightening...

The Great Books Foundation was founded in 1947 with the goal of helping people think and discuss ideas through groups discussing books selected as "Great Books." Reading, discussion groups, talking with participants and what is gained from the discussions are the subject of this video.

Great Books Unbound from The Great Books Foundation on Vimeo.
Passionate discussion of books that matter is alive and well as The Great Books Foundation hosts Great Books Chicago.


Invest In Yourself

Engage in self improvement in turbulent times...

Invest in yourself while seeking shelter from the storm:

This era of Great Disruption due to technology and the internet, economic difficulties, political divisiveness and social problems can be disturbing to even the most even keeled of us. The world at large is in chaos of one order or another and it is difficult to remember that we have little control over much of it. We do have control over how we observe it, engage with it, cope with it.

I'm reminded of the era between 1968 and 1974, when in the US everything seemed turned upside down with racial tensions, university student disruptions, the draft resistance movement, urban riots, Kent State Shootings and Watergate. There were times when it seemed society was hopelessly mired in social ills with no end in sight. Who knew that Deep Throat was feeding Woodward and Bernstein information that would ultimately bring down Nixon? That was the beginning of the end of scary times during which many of us felt this country was dead-ended. Nothing lasts forever, change always happens.

Where we go from here in this time period is not within my foresight, although I have some ideas of what could happen. This time healing and recovering is going to be a long and deep process for most of us. The best thing to do in times like these is seek shelter and stay out of the storm, while observing for change in the weather. Staying out of the social storm doesn't mean personally stopping though. Engage in self-improvement, take care of things you've been meaning to, prepare yourself by building a foundation out of methods that have stood the test of time.

These six items seem to be good on an agenda:

1. Take control of your life.

2. Invest in (formal and informal) education and your mind.

3. Improve and maintain your physical and mental health.

4. Build solid relationships with good people - people good for you and people you're good for.

5. Devote energy to your business or career and/or make plans if you currently don't have one.

6. Think positively, turn away from negativity and engage in good self-talk.


Urban Landscape Photography III

The Presentation of City in Everyday Life...

Advice to Tea Partiers

Republicans aren't always your friends, Democrats aren't always your enemies...

With five rational points, John Samples, author of The Struggle To Limit Government, in this Cato Institute video delineates to Tea Partiers five points of advice:

1. Republicans aren't always your friends. (They're also Big Spenders)

2. Some Tea Partiers like big government. (i.e. Social Security, Medicare)

3. Democrats aren't always your enemies. (some Democrats have supported tax cuts)

4. Small Government demands restraint abroad. (reject lack of restraint in foreign policy, cut defense)

5. Leave social issues to the States. (US Constitution supports federalism, states have important role to play)



Where Have You Gone Arizona?

A nation turns it's lonely eyes on you...

I am an Arizonan. 

My personal beliefs lean towards civil liberty, personal freedom and libertarian ideals with a tilt of objectivism and conservatism, along with a belief in the rule of law. I tend to listen to different sides of an issue and form my own independent opinion. Sometimes that's contrarian.

Arizona State Senate Bill 1070 the "Arizona Immigration Enforcement Law" has stirred national interest from support to outrage. Calls for boycotting Arizona are growing and conventions and meetings already cancelled. Media coverage is wide and international, from print to radio to televison to social media. One thing I think a lot of the media, political class and out-of-state tsk tsk tskers don't like to admit is that Arizona actually is representative of the vast majority of America. We're the 48th state and just a little more raw and have enough of open range left in us, that we haven't refined ourselves to the false pleasantries like so much of the rest of the country.

My opinions on topics are generally not limited to bullet points, I look at the whole target. I'm a broad thinker and view issues with the wide scope of the social, economic, political, legal and historical aspects around a topic and different elements that have an impact on the subject. That is true with this legislation.

Essentially I believe that the people and State of Arizona have the right to make decisions based on problems presented to it and that illegal immigration and border crossings have been a long standing unresolved problem. The Federal government has been more a part of the problem than the solution and we don't need more of that. We clearly need some type of plan for the illegal immigration and border problem in our state.

This particular Legislature is most likely one of the worst we have ever had and this piece of legislation is actually not the worst thing they've produced and are likely to produce. Our Governor inherited the job and was not fully prepared for it. They all could have done a much better job on major issues presented to them and are still working on.

To find out what I think about SB1070 in the larger context of the State of Arizona, watch this video blog.

Where Have You Gone Arizona? from JR Snyder Jr on Vimeo.
A nation turns it's lonely eyes on you...

A video blog on Arizona's SB1070 Immigration Enforcement Law


Who Is John Galt?

Liberty vs Socialism...

Mike Wallace interview of Ayn Rand: 1959

"I am opposed to all forms of control...I am for the separation of state and economics."

In this segment of the interview a finger pointing Mike Wallace strikes an attitude common to most Liberals, that people who are achievers will by nature act in evil ways towards others taking a "devil take the hindmost, dog eat dog society and one of the main reasons for the growth of government controls is to fight robber barons...who perverted their use of power." Therefore it is up to good (liberal) people to lead in protecting people by government intervention and legislation. He speaks as if it is common sense and it never occurs to this mindset, that abuses of power inevitably fail when left to their own devices, since they are inherently evil. Achievement oriented people are smart enough to figure out ways to get people to follow (work) for them without force. Human nature will prevail and people won't work for "robber barons" if they are being abused and are not as weak willed and in need of the protection of government as people such as Wallace suggest. Liberals perpetuate the stereotype of weakness through fear in order to secure their own moral power. Ayn Rand deconstructs this notion in a firm logical, step by step, rational manner.

On labor and social welfare legislation: "It actually sprang out from the same source as the abuses, if by abuses you mean the legislation which originally had been established to help industrialists, which was already a breach of complete free enterprise...if then in reaction labor leaders get together to initiate legislation to help labor, that is only acting on the same principle, namely all parties agree that it is proper for the state to legislate in favor of one economic group over another. What I am saying is nobody should have the right to use, neither employers or employees, to use state compulsion and force." 

In other words, the Political Class acquiesces to the will of Industrialists, in total disregard of the principles they were elected under the US Constitution, to protect the interests of the people who elected them and instead protect the industrialists. This creates a conspiratorial system where the Industrialists were the originators of collectivism and socialism by making a social contract through legislation. In turn the pattern is repeated by other members of the Political Class to protect Labor, reinforcing the disregard of the reason they were elected. This pattern is clearly evident today and largely the reason for the current social, economic and political disruption we are currently undergoing.

"This country was made not by robber barons but by independent men, by industrialists who succeeded on sheer ability. I mean without political force, help or compulsion but...at the same time there were men, industrialists, who did use government power as a club to help them against competitors. THEY WERE THE ORIGINAL COLLECTIVISTS. Today the Liberals believe that the same compulsion should be used against the industrialists for the sake of workers, but the basic principle there is...SHOULD there be any compulsion, and the regulations are creating Robber Barons, THEY (government intervention) ARE CREATING CAPITALISTS WITH GOVERNMENT HELP, which is the WORST OF ALL ECONOMIC PHENOMENON."

The result is we do not have true capitalism today.




Urban Landscape Photography II

The Presentation of City in Everyday Life...


Hotel Facebook: You can check out but you can never leave...

Well...yes you can but there's a little trick to it:


Do you want to delete your Facebook account and have only been able find that it appears they only allow you to "deactivate" your account? With that method everything is still preserved forever and ever until the end of data time? Well not so fast, maybe you really don't want to permanently delete your account...especially if you've just had a bad experience, prudence might dictate you wait a while. Then join the group "How to permanently delete your Facebook account" and you can get the latest instructions available on how to delete your account when you really are ready.

However...There are a lot of reasons why you probably should permanently delete your account, considering the fluid, ever-changing privacy policies and the creepy social engineering aspects of the site. The backlash is just beginning because one day...Zuckerberg may decide to go even further and display your "likes" and your personal information not only to the World of Facebook but to the Entire World! He will create a better world of his vision with your data!


Should you want to delete your account, here are the instructions, which must be followed to the letter of Facebook Law.

Go to: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=delete_account

That will take you to the page Delete My Account with the message:

If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, we can take care of this for you. Keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added. If you would like your account deleted, then click "Submit."

My Disclaimer: In spite of a statement in the group's instructions (I've posted the necessary instructions here), I'm going to assume Facebook means YOU will not be able to retrieve any content or information but THEY will still be storing it. My tendency is to believe that the data is in some deep freeze storage somewhere but not really worth their digging up at this point in time.

If you want to delete your account, then follow instructions and click "Submit." 


Pay attention to this part: Your account will only be deactivated for two weeks before it is deleted. If YOU DO NOT LOG IN during that time frame, then your account will be permanently deleted. REPEAT: Your profile is not deleted right away and you MUST NOT LOG IN to your account for AT LEAST TWO WEEKS.

If you log in it cancels the deletion request, so logging in to "check to see if it's deleted" defeats the purpose. If you want out, STAY OUT. Got that?

This is the official method and completes the process and it is not necessary to delete photos, comments, messages, items from your profile or anywhere in Facebook. If you have any questions about the deletion of your account, send email to info@facebook.com. Hopefully you won't get a template back from some intern telling you to sign in and send them secure email through Facebook. Don't fall for that one either.


Dear Facebook

You Rule...

Some content in this message has been reported as abusive by Facebook users

Freedom of Speech ("Free Speech") is the right to freely express in speech without limitation or censorship. It has a long history in Western civilization and in the United States is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 19 refers to the "right of freedom and expression...regardless of frontiers." As a resolution it is not legally binding on all countries.

The term for free speech on the internet is more correctly freedom of information. There are no clear laws completely protecting freedom of expression on the internet and in the United States we tend to take our free speech and freedom of information for granted and many people make assumptions these rights are somehow "guaranteed" on the World Wide Web.

Since the beginning of the internet in popular culture we have enjoyed most aspects of what we in the United States refer to as free speech but it has largely been by the graces of the companies that operate the backhaul networks of the internet, those who run the sites on the web and in the tradition of the originations of the internet. It is not an inherent right although there are legal precedents and organizations that work to protect it. Generally the Western World has looked kindly and turned the other way, since historically free speech is culturally and legally ingrained and also benefits commercial interests. The clearest example of a country that does censor the internet is China.

Individual websites are a different matter and through User Agreements, Terms of Use Agreements and Policy Statements, which users must agree to in order to use the site, content is controlled, maintained and distributed by the website owners and operators. Your personal information is used as they desire according to the agreement. As commercial enterprises this is their right if you agree. With the advance of the Social Web and people doing their social networking over the World Wide Web with an online identity (commonly referred to as a profile), the issue of free speech has surfaced many times and in many ways. What users should remember is that websites are governed by Terms of Service and it is the right of the operators to decide what is free speech and what is not and it is the users choice to agree to them or not. If you agree, then the terms apply, keeping in mind the website probably also has a disclaimer in the terms, that they may change those terms at any time without additional agreement.

In other words if you don't follow the Terms of Service to the satisfaction of the website, they can restrict your use or discontinue it completely. It is your choice to participate or not and follow their terms, since there is no inherent right to access a website with stated restrictions, agreed to by the user. Sometimes these decisions are arbitrary and unevenly and unfairly enforced. Social networking websites are a private enterprise, presumably with the intention of making money, with legal rights of their own and realistically users have little recourse in decisions.

@TooMuchToTweet from JR Snyder Jr on Vimeo.

The warning message at the beginning of this blog post is what I now receive when I attempt to post a URL from this website blog, on my Facebook profile, to be distributed on the Home Page News Feed. Essentially jrsnyderjr.com has been blocked by Facebook from posting blog post notifications, as has been my habit daily for a while now. It occurred yesterday after I posted "On Illegal Immigration | Unless you have lived in Arizona a long time..." and some unknown user(s) reported it as abusive from the News Feed. You can read the blog post to determine if it is abusive or not and make your own decision.

This is Facebook's right under their Terms of Service. Since my primary use of Facebook has been to remain connected with family and a small group of friends by sharing photos and posting my daily blog URL and not to play games, use applications or spend a lot of time socializing on the site, a primary reason for my being there is gone. My choice is to no longer be on the site, something I've been considering anyway.

To me Facebook is a thinly disguised social engineering site whose operators have become drunk with the power of millions of oblivious users, continuously adjusting the rules, being more free to use your private information for free. They're also fluidly adjusting what is acceptable to them as being allowed on their site and applying the rules unevenly. It is a one way street I don't trust. Their grandiose Facebook Principles of  "Freedom to Share...One World...Common Welfare" coupled with their Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and Privacy Policy do not pass my smell test. In the past year a lot of issues have arisen with social websites, Facebook in particular, regarding sharing of our information through ever-changing policy. The arrogance of Mark Zuckerberg's statement in January that "the age of privacy is over" is enough for me. He is wrong.

The truth is the genie is out of the bottle. These sites already have our information and in the future what they do with it may well be out of our control now they have it. Their willingness to share with each other grows every day, Microsoft and Yahoo! being examples. Astoundingly, without blinking an eye, every indication is that more people are willing to divulge even more information about themselves than ever before. Read yesterday's NY Times article "For Web's New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point." There is little thought about how long this information is stored and kept around and (mis)used in the future.

For those who do, that is their choice.

I've been thinking about this for some time now and my choice is not to participate any more than I already am...actually less. I am no longer on Facebook but I recognize they have my information stored. I do not wish to give up the enjoyment I gain from social networking online completely but sometimes...
it is just too much.


Earth Day 2010

Be kind and love the desert...


On Illegal Immigration

Unless you have lived in Arizona a long time...

(This post is a response to Ken R. Goldstein's blog Random Thoughts, Notes, & Incidents post "What's So Wrong About Enforcing Citizenship Laws?")

On Arizona's "Immigration Bill" SB1070

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer appears ready to sign State Senator Russell Pearce's SB1070 immigration policy bill that sets ground rules for government intrusion and undermines the assumption of innocence in an unnecessary manner. Only one component of the bill makes real practical sense to me and that is allowing state and local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law when a clear violation is present and in my mind they are obligated to act. I believe it should be limited to only act when it occurs in the course of duty and not as a specific pursuit, while investigating a crime or in the course of doing their job. If they come across a violation of immigration law, then it should be investigated. The argument these duties are strictly in the purview of the US Border Patrol does not hold water as a practical matter and Arizona has a strong tradition of maintaining States' Rights.
Benson "The Arizona Republic" 04/22/10
Arizona has had an illegal immigration population problem for at least the 40 years that I became old enough to be aware of it and it's certainly occurred longer than my memory. What we experience here ranges from driving a surface street and suddenly finding yourself being overtaken by a 100 mph chase to being a victim of all kinds of crime. It's not as uncommon as you might think. Our wages are among the lowest in the country and it's pretty well documented that it's due to the employment of illegal workers (for prevalence see "Pro's Ranch Markets fires 300 after workplace audit" from yesterday's azcentral.com) and this harms everyone. The toll of human smuggling, sex trade, drug mules, day worker traffic disruputions, illegal immigrant houses packed with people in unsanitary conditions and much more, makes for an unstable society. The most recent headline of the murder of border rancher Robert Krentz ratcheted up the debate but sadly similar acts have been going on for years.

The real issue here for me is resolution of the problem and it always seems to get reduced down to the gutter level of political proposals to solve the problem that are too extreme and the immediate snapback charge is "Racism!" The discussion then devolves nowhere from that point as each side backs into their corner.

A little Arizona history helps here I think. We are the 48th state and the last of the contiguous United States and will not even be 100 years old for another two years. Our state constitution was adopted in the early populist era of 1912 and our state government was designed to be very basic and give as much decision making to the voters as possible. That allows for ballot propositions, referendums, initiatives and recalls, which has not always served us well. We have only 15 counties and are dominated by two, Maricopa (Phoenix) and Pima (Tucson), each have opposing political cultures. Arizona was swept up in the term limit movement and in 1992 voters approved term limits, which had the effect in the 2008 election of sweeping every elected official out of the legislature and voting in an entirely new set of legislators. Members had to learn on the job very quickly and frankly many have not done well. In 1998 Arizona voters past the Clean Elections Voters Act which has been anything but clean and is being successfully challenged in court as unconstitutional. If all of that doesn't make your head spin, add that we do not have a Lt. Governor and the elected Secretary of State succeeds to the office. Since 1978 we have had four Secretary of States become Governor, including the current one, Jan Brewer. Practically we have not had a stable governor and government since Bruce Babbitt left office in 1987 and was succeeded by an elected certified flake by a fluke of a three-way race, Evan Mecham, who was impeached.

None of this is an excuse for the poor legislation that SB1070 is but an explanation that Arizona's Legislature and Executive Branch have been less than probably what we should expect from our leaders. The people of Arizona have no one but themselves to blame for this, since by design the state constitution is meant to give as much power to the voters as possible. Part of the problem is that we are a state flooded with revolving door newcomers passing through, a lot of whom don't seem interested in what's going on, except maybe to complain.

Back to the issue at hand...

We need immigration and border issues resolved. The concept of a state law that allows law enforcement officers to enforce immigration laws as they come across them makes sense. It also makes sense in order to eliminate local entities allowing "sanctuary rules" and toleration of soft immigration policies by local officials. The rule of law should apply across all jurisdictions on a matter as serious as this.

It is a terrible idea and probably unconstitutional to force immigrants (or anyone for that matter) to carry identification to prove their status. None of us should have to "show our papers" in this country. Arresting people who cannot prove their citizenship on the spot is also a very bad idea. Other components of the law have some merit but combined with the entire bill it makes for a very bad brew.

Therefore this bill only inflames the debate, although it will probably either be signed by Governor Brewer or allowed to go into effect without a veto. She is in a difficult political position but that is her problem. It also makes Arizona look kookie to the rest of the nation but like most Arizonans, I don't care about that. It is highly likely to face significant mounting legal challenges, wasting taxpayer money in the most insolvent state in the US.

What does matter is we have a long-standing difficult social, political, economic and legal issue in Arizona that remains unresolved for a variety of reasons, mainly due to bad or lack of appropriate government intervention and bad execution on all levels. A level-headed discussion can never get started because every time one does, inevitably when the discussion comes around to practical brass tacks of enforcing the law consistently, the immediate rebuttal is "RACISM!" That immediately stops all productive dialogue. Is that the best challenge that can be offered?

That is what happened with this bill, causing the other side to become more entrenched and having the political might, marshaled up forces to get it passed. This bill is problematic for a lot of reasons and it is highly likely that instances of discrimination will occur. The real problem with it is not racism actually...

It is too much government intrusion and treads on everyone's civil liberties, property rights, privacy, freedom of movement, travel and not just for "brown people." For all of us. We should all be afraid where the Statists of the current Federal Government will go next. Our former governor is now the Homeland Secretary and we know how much we can trust her (not at all). It's an indication of how nonsensical our country, not just Arizona, has become...a Mormon Republican State Senator getting a bill passed that should make any Social Democrat drool because it contains tools that can be turned on anyone.

If I were a betting man, I would bet that if the race card pullers would shut up, think logically and legally, pursue the argument that this harms all of us based on our liberties and unconstitutional, they might gain support from some valuable allies such as libertarians, true conservatives...the Cato Institute or hey maybe even the Goldwater Institute.


This Is Not America

It is now merely the United States...

America was an achievement oriented country where someone who may not have had a lot of advantages in life, with some intelligence and skill, pluck and courage, using imagination alongside hard work combined with some machination and a little luck, could succeed at making a better life for themselves.

John Baeder American Painting

The United States is a nation-state run by Social Democrats (masquerading as liberal progressives) backed by Government Bureaucrats and Labor Unions in collusion with Corporate Republicans (masquerading as conservatives) backed by Big Business and the Super Wealthy as a Statist country. The average person unless they have connections with Power Brokers, Labor Unions, Family Sponsors, Non-Profit/Non Government Organizations, Big Money, Bureaucrats, the Political Class and similar contacts, now has to struggle needlessly for arbitrary reasons to get ahead.

If this sounds cynical and negative to you, so be it. I'm an immigrant who arrived here at 14 years old and started working right away. I don't regret one minute of it and am satisfied with my life because I realize that in my time, most of what I didn't achieve is my doing. On the other hand I am very dissatisfied with the current condition of the United States and the implications it has for the future of all of us and the limitations for some of us. Until the current method of operation comes crashing down, opportunities as they were in America generally do not exist as they did. History is a good indicator of what happens next. Good research is the US Constitutional 16th Amendment of 1913, the Weimar Republic in Germany in 1919, Argentina since 1930, Nixon ending the Gold Standard in the US in 1971.

The beginning in my time for me was in the 1970s when Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Commision Quotas made clear to millions that what you knew, how skilled you were, the education you had, was irrelevant in a vast majority of workplaces and schools. It was all based on who you were based on your gender, ethnicity or race and if you filled a certain slot based on those inherent qualities and not on qualifications. There is no argument there was racism or sexism and no doubt achievement was limited by gender and race. The problem is the resolution was all wrong and allowed people unprepared and without talent to get ahead while highly prepared and talented people were left behind merely because they were not the right gender or color.

This created an environment that is a weird version of the main rule of Jante Law "Don't think that you are anyone special or better than us." It also morphed into equal rights for everyone has come to mean that everyone is equal in everything.


In the mean time, during this period when it is the United States and no longer America, the best most of us can do is just that, the best that we can do. It is key to rise above and think positive, be forward looking and think ahead and I can tell you from experience...

That is very hard work but hard work never hurt anyone and is part of America. You can choose to remain a part of America, even if it doesn't exist as "national policy."

Do you want to be what's left of America or fall into lockstep with the current Statism of the United States? The choice is yours.




Sgt Schultz: "I See Nothing"

We will be hearing that a lot out of Wall Street...

Pleading the Fifth:

"I assert my rights under the Fifth Amendment and refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate (or be evidence used against) me."

more often...the Oliver North Version:

"On the advice of counsel I respectfully and regretfully decline to answer the question based on my constitutional rights."

Sgt. Schultz: "I did not even get up this morning."

I suspect a lot of us are wishing we did not get up upon hearing the not-so-surprising news about the Goldman Sachs allegations of fraud and that Merrill Lynch other large financial institutions are also likely culpable. It's enough to make one's head spin on how the whole system could collapse under the weight of corruption of these institutions and the regulatory agencies that allegedly watch them.

As outrageous as it seems, the bankers if called to testify in court or before Congress or regulatory agencies, do have the US Constitutional right to "plead the Fifth."



While we admire the problem...

Stop talking, being a distraction and take action.

There is too much YadaYadaYada in the echochamber of self appointed trouble shooters who are excellent at admiring the problems.

I've determined that the majority of time spent on social media is a distraction, ineffective and a poor return on investment. Studying economics, politics and history, sociology, geography, science and the arts are good purchases for understanding this era and a solid grasp of them will go a long way.

We waste time talking about issues. Resolution of issues are not neatly wrapped up in seminars, camps, conferences and "presos" with a list of Action Items. You can dream but you have to get out of bed. Also spare me your networking groups and mixers, excuses for drinking too much and bedding someone.

Nothing is really new, everything has happened at least once...it's still about the social, economic and political of what is going on in the current time and geography and history can tell us a lot about what action to take. Look what a volcano (geography and science) in Iceland has done to disrupt Europe socially and economically and ultimately politically. We have recent history from airline disruption on 09/11/09 to consider.

Don't wait for someone else to start or lead the process, start it yourself. Take action, listening to people who you respect, have track records, are feet on the ground people. Do not confuse committees with real teamwork, a good component of taking action. Committees are not teams but a group of people with hidden agendas, if you form a committee you will get a donkey, not a horse.

Taking action may mean learning from mistakes but that is better than mulling it over and doing nothing at all. Don't operate on fear of failure, fear can be a gauge if you're going in the right direction and an indicator to change gears, it's terrible as a driver though.

It's always one foot in front of the other because if you stop you may never get started again.


A Moment of Self Indulgence

Pictures of Me...

At Squaw Peak Park with Piestewa Peak behind me.
One of my favorite refuges in Phoenix year round, including the dead of summer. I've hiked all these trails for years and still love them.

The summer straw sombrero regalia. Somehow these days I feel a bit like "Men of A Certain Age" and I guess I'm ok with that. (Is there a choice?)

I'm not sure why I really like this photo of me




From Squaw Peak...


We Have Gifted Our Individual Sovereignty to Statism Bullying

To be fairly represented, we must represent ourselves...

This video "Who Represents You" is by Jerry Day, (mininvanjack on YouTube), of Jerry Day Productions who has done an excellent series on the US Census Bureau. In this video he discusses how we have given over our political and government system to Statism, those who advocate that government is the best place to achieve social, economic and political goals and the manufactured "Left-Right Puppet Show."

Statism and the current condition of our country is antithetical to my nature and I believe it goes against the natural inclinations of man. The US Constitution upholds principles against Statism and I believe we are currently under the influence and direction of elected representatives and bureaucrats who have effectively implemented Statism. This is unnatural to human nature, harming our society and should be a matter of concern to all of us.


Agree or disagree with the conclusions of this video on the direction the US has taken in overreaching government control, one thing is certain in my mind. This is a recurring theme I hear variations on from all segments of the population, regardless of gender, ethnicity, racial background, sexual orientation or where people tilt on the political scale. It occurs to me that this alienation, combined with an economic crisis that is not recovering as the Political Class and Mainstream Media attempts to sell, with still extended high unemployment occurring after 40 years of government intervention in hiring practices, along with other factors...can only sooner or later lead to a manifestation in some way of the dissatisfaction of the general population with the status quo.

We are indeed in a staged "Left-Right Puppet Show" and too many people have fallen into the trap and right now our country is more sharply divisive in opinion than I can remember since the late sixties and mid seventies. How this proceeds and gets resolved is still "best guess" right now for the average person. I would say though that to mock anti-tax Tea Party and libertarians or tax advocating New Urbanists and far left (pick your labels on either side) may be at our peril...we may find that Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich adherents have more in common towards a common goal than those sitting in the middle trying to please everyone.

"Everyone's friend is no one's friend."



Tempe Centerpoint

Towers in foreclosure...

see "Tempe Centerpoint towers in foreclosure" by Dianna M. Nanez Contributed by Catherine Reagor in the Arizona Republic on January 11, 2010.