Tag Archives: Arizona

Crazy Phoenix weather

We experienced some record cold weather here in Phoenix, AZ. Some stats I gleaned from the National Weather Service:

  • Low temperature yesterday: 33 degrees (predicting a low of 26 tomorrow morning)
  • Low windchill: 20 degrees
  • High temperature: 44 degrees
  • High windchill: ~35 degrees (estimated)
  • Low dewpoint: -18 degrees

Now how did this vary from the “normal?” For that, I went to Weather Underground:

  • High temperature was 24 degrees below normal
  • Low temperature was 23 degrees below normal
  • High dewpoint was 33 degrees below normal
  • Low dewpoint was 38 degrees below normal

In total, a historic day for Phoenix weather. And with a low of 26 expected tomorrow morning, let’s see what other record can be set (record low for February 3 is 28 degrees).

Mayor Bloomberg an accessory to a federal felony

For those who haven’t heard:

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wanted to illustrate that buying a gun like the one used in the recent Arizona shootings is as easy as buying “a hamburger and fries at a McDonald’s.” So he sent out undercover investigators to help him prove it.

In a performance straight out of Hollywood, an investigator is seen handling a semiautomatic pistol that he is thinking about buying from a dealer at a Jan. 23 Crossroads of the West gun show in Phoenix. Sounding sinister, he says, “I like the concealability, it’s the best part,” and admits he couldn’t pass the background check required to buy a gun from a licensed dealer — but not from a private dealer like the one at the gun show. He then hands over a wad of cash and walks away with the pistol.

“That sale was blatantly illegal,” said Bloomberg, explaining that private sellers are not supposed to forgo checks if they have a reason to believe buyers are felons, mentally ill or couldn’t pass federal scrutiny. “But it happens all the time.”

My good friend Alan Korwin, who literally wrote the book on gun laws, explains in a just published article:

On an unrelated note, I’ve just been informed that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City has sent a team of people to Arizona to attempt to illegally purchase firearms at a gun show. He has apparently just held a news conference to promote this fact. If true, this makes Mr. Bloomberg an accessory to a federal felony, and the people he sent would have committed several federal felonies in attempting or making the purchases. No word of indictments of the Mayor have yet surfaced. We’ll be watching these developments closely. Elected officials are not free to break laws in an effort to promote any agendas they may have. Such activity is reprehensible and deserves punishment.

Thank you Alan for defending our rights and shedding light on the hypocrisies of our “leaders.”

Ballot propositions: The voice of the people or the tyranny of the majority?

When I moved to Phoenix in 1986, the sales tax was 6.7%. Today it stands at 9.3%. How have we let our state legislature, county, and city councils raise our taxes so? Well, actually, they didn’t. We did! Correct me if I’m wrong, but every sales tax increase in Arizona, Maricopa County, and Phoenix, except the recent food tax, has been approved by us at the ballot box.

That’s democracy for you. Aristotle, Polybius, and the Founding Fathers all warned about the evils of democracy. Tocqueville called it the tyranny of the majority. In our case, the majority votes to raise taxes, collected mostly from the rich, to distribute as gifts among themselves.

But hey! We are doing it for the kids. We are doing it because we need more cops and firefighters to protect us. Spending ever-increasing amounts of money on schools, most of which goes to bureaucrats, is not “spending” but an “investment.” An investment in the future.

Just about every year we have tax increases on the ballot. Some fail, but some pass. The result is steadily rising taxes. But when we voted to raise taxes for more police and fire, Phoenix announced cutbacks just a few months later. Taxes rose while the number of police and fire remained largely unchanged. It was all a big shell game. A trick to raise our taxes.

So why do we fall for it time after time? More than 2000 years ago, Polybius wrote that the people become “accustomed to feed at the expense of others and to depend for their livelihood on the property of others.” We just can’t help ourselves. If we didn’t receive our free schools for the kids, our free police and fire services, our cheap public transportation, our welfare, our unemployment, and our food stamps, we’d all suffer the consequences.

Most of you may find this a shock, but I hate democracy. I hate referendum and initiative. Politicians use it to skirt responsibility, saying that they weren’t the ones who raised taxes. Public unions use it to push for bigger government.

Our Founders knew the evils of democracy. Democracy had its place in American cities of the 1700s, at a very small local level, but the Founders knew that it could not work for large numbers of people. It only worked in small communities where just about everybody knew everybody else. The largest American city back then had just 100,000 people or so. Phoenix with well over a million people, Maricopa County with three million people or so, and Arizona with six million or more are just too large for democracy. That’s why the Founders made the US a republic. Except possibly for small communities, all our governments should be republics.

Democracy is based on majority rule. Republics are based on rule of law. I prefer the protection of stable and well-known laws than the whims of the public. The public’s job is not to vote for higher taxes or more “free gifts” either. As Jefferson said, the people are the “ultimate, guardians of their own liberty.” That is our job. To protect our liberty. Protect our liberty from foreign invasion. Protect it from our government. Protect it from each other.

So what is the true purpose of ballot propositions? Are they to defend our liberty? Sure doesn’t seem that way. Or are they designed to trick us and grow government? Based on our history, it sure seems that way.

Republican government merely reflects the people it represents

At my speech on Sunday to the Arizona chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, I expressed over and over that republican government merely reflects the people it represents. Let me count the ways:

  • We elect our President. The winner has almost always received the most votes or was in a virtual tie. The exceptions: 1) in 2000 Bush lost the popular vote by 0.5 percent (a virtual tie) but won the electoral count; 2) Hayes lost the popular vote by 3.1 percent in 1876 but still won the electoral count; 3) Harrison defeated Cleveland in 1888 even though Cleveland received 0.8 percent more votes. [Some include 1824, but not all states popularly elected Electors back then.]
  • We directly elect our representatives and, since 1913, we directly elect our Senators.
  • We indirectly choose the political ideology of the Supreme Court. I heard numerous complaints about the Supreme Court and their legislating from the bench, but the Supreme Court must be chosen by the President and approved by the Senate. Thus, the Justices should hold the same values and politics of the people as a whole who elect those who choose them.
  • In my home state of Arizona, our sales tax has risen from 6.7 percent to 9.3 percent in the last 25 years. How can the politicians raise taxes on us time after time thinking we won’t care? But they haven’t; we have. We the people of Arizona, Maricopa County, and Phoenix have voted for new sales taxes to build roads, trains, stadiums, and parks, hire more police and firemen, and support general government operations.

If we have anybody to blame for our government, it is us. We elect these people and often re-elect them, even after they have proven to care little for the Constitution or their constiuents. Heck, we often re-elect these guys even after they’ve been proven to be corrupt. We voted for higher taxes to pay for more government program and then complain about high taxes and government intervention. We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

Federal Government Boycotts Arizona. Time to Return the Favor!

Foxnews.com reports:

Two federal agencies have joined the “boycott Arizona” trend and nixed conferences there out of concern over the state’s immigration law, a Democratic Arizona congresswoman said, calling the development “very troubling.”

Any cancellations by the Department of Education and the U.S. Border Patrol may have been more out of a desire to steer clear of controversy than outright protest of the law. But Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who has written to dozens of cities and groups in a campaign to persuade them to end their boycotts, said it was disturbing to learn that the federal government would withdraw from the state over the issue.

If the federal government feels it is appropriate to boycott Arizona, Arizona should boycott the federal government in return. Earlier this week, I called for civil disobedience by the states. Arizona should now do all it can to recover the losses from the canceled conferences. Arizona should sue the federal government for violating Article I Section 9 of the Constitution. Arizona should also sue for slander and libel because of the lost business which was the direct result of the federal government’s attacks against Arizona’s anti-immigration bill.

Arizona should also mention “secession” as a possibility. Arizona has no interest in seceding, but the threat will show the Feds that Arizona is serious. Many states have already mentioned the secession possibility, so Arizona will join a growing crowd of states.

When the federal government no longer represents the people, we need the states to represent us. When they fail to do so, we need to take to the streets. The tea party movement began the street campaign long ago. The states now need to assert their proper role in our federalist system. I am proud that Arizona is leading the fight against the growing collectivism of the federal government.