Just getting back from a short vacation in Tucson to see the folks. Tucson is an interesting place. On one hand it is the liberal epicenter of an otherwise libertarian-to-conservative state. On the other hand, Tucson is a sprawling mess, destined to become another Phoenix. For the uninitiated, Phoenix makes Los Angeles seem positively urban and transit-oriented.
Perhaps I'm not being clear enough, dear reader. Phoenix is mostly an awful shithole. I'm really saddened to see Tucson traipse down the same route. Well, that's life in a state where developers rule the roost.
I can't see how Arizona's growth patterns are sustainable. The largely empty expanse between Phoenix and Tucson is slated to grow by a million or more persons over the next 20 years, making the swath from Phoenix to Tucson - and down to Nogales (Green Valley is also growing rapidly) one ginormous suburban wall of sprawl.
The development patterns are really a shame because Arizona's geography is second to none, and it has a unique culture centered on its desert environs. However, that unique culture is easily missed amidst the national retail chain store heaven that is Arizona today. What's amazing to me is the 48th state will not be celebrating its centennial for another five years.
A link here to a news analysis largely debunking the flypaper strategy. The flypaper strategy supports the idea that all the foreign nuthead jihaddis would converge on Iraq for the big showdown against the big bad U.S. of A. The problems is - for the USA - is they forgot to bring their tanks. The second is there are only 250 or so foreign fighters in Iraq. In either case, the flypaper strategy is as stupid as it is cynical. After all, the US presence in Iraq has displaced over two million Iraqis.
Watch out Sheryl Crow. After taking on Karl Rove at the Washington Press Sycophants Dinner, the reeps slime machine will go after her like O'Reilly on a falafel. Already Drudge links to an article on Crow's view that we should be limited to one toilet paper square per person per visit. Nice way to misrepresent Drudgie; Crow was simply trying to discuss wasteful consumption.
Our space cadet president has "increased confidence" in Gonzo after Friday's hearing. Almost too strange for words.
And finally, CBS radio suspended a pair of shock jocks for making fun of Chinese on-air. Maybe CBS would have done so anyway, but I have to think that the Imus debacle has now limited what constitutes acceptable speech these days. In general I consider myself fairly libertarian on free speech issues; I would never say idiots JV and Elvis don't have a right to say pretty much what they want. However, I also don't like having to listen to asshats like this on the public airwaves. Hat's off to CBS for suspending these two idiots. Simply getting dolts like this off the airwaves elevates the public discourse.
I am hopeful the Imus affair has finally cast a light on what goes on on AM radio these days. Is it possible to be compelling without resorting to ethnic and racial slurs and blatant misogyny? I sure hope so. And I can't wait for the day when the real demons of the airwaves - hatemongers like Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh - get their comeuppance.