jEFFSTANA on October 8th, 2014

Don't laugh at me

Here’s one more example of the flying monkey effect originating within conservative blogs.

Canadian Police Reject Own Anti-Terror Handbook for Being ‘Adversarial’

Search the Internet with the above query, and discover loads of right-wing sites lighting up, one after another, with duplicate “news” articles detailing how Canadians might consider a soft-pedal toward Muslim Jihadists. However, try searching legitimate news channels from Canada, CBC for example, and you will find plenty of sensational crap, but no hits on the above shocking revelation.

No real surprise, since comic book lover, Adam Kredo of The Washington Free Beacon is the inventor of this fiction. Adam gives this mash, one day or so to ferment, then follows with:

US Department of State… not so much.

Why not? What these adolescent jesters have discovered, it takes little proof to seed an avalanche of fear-mongering, especially inside a fertile wheel-house of hate. The Internet is wondrous as well as vile, and people are easily duped by pretty pictures.

In an effort at full disclosure, it should be noted: a handbook was released by a Winnipeg Mosque with contributions by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), entitled: “United Against Terrorism“.

There is a section for intelligence and law enforcement officials, starting off with a warning not to equate being religious with being a radical. RCMP spokesman Greg Cox wrote CBC News, saying “the RCMP takes responsibility for its section of the booklet only.” “We have not agreed to avoid using terms such as ‘Islamist terrorism,‘ ‘Islamic extremism‘ and ‘jihad‘.

The handbook will be available online and 100 copies were printed for distribution.

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jEFFSTANA on September 30th, 2014


Twilight of Authority Redux – Ed Kilgore | Washington Monthly | September 26, 2014

“I’ve been wanting to say something about the bizarre vision of American liberalism displayed at a recent Heritage Foundation event, as described by Suzi Khimm for MSNBC. It apparently centered on the hypothesis that liberals are engaged in a Faustian bargain with government whereby in exchange for total sexual freedom The State is given total power over every other aspect of life.”

There is some truth to the notion of a Faustian bargain both for liberals and for conservatives. It is better framed as a negative for each side.

Simply stated, liberals wish to regulate social violence. Be it the proliferation of firearms, the recognition and public chastisement of bullying, or the railing against the militarization of law enforcement departments; liberals hold that there is too much unrestrained anger and violence in the world.

On the other hand, conservatives wish to monitor and suppress sexual appetites. Human nature, unfettered, will destroy polite society, be it the recognition of same sex marriage, easy access to birth control or the unregulated availability of abortion. So say the conservatives.

Broad brushed generalities, as useful rules of thumb.

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jEFFSTANA on August 2nd, 2014


Senator John McCain Embraces Congressman Trent Franks’ Anti-West Valley Casino Bill

Who’s backing McCain to oppose the Glendale Casino? Sen. McCain forsakes logic while maintaining his opposition to the building of a casino near Glendale, AZ.

As local sentiment and legal opinion evolved over the course of five plus years; as grassroots support for the casino slowly overcame targeted advertisement by special interests in opposition to the planned casino/resort – all on dubious and falsely manufactured grounds – McCain and other big hitting politicos have continued their stance against casino construction in Glendale, even as their arguments have been shot down, one by one in the court of law and the court of public opinion.

Since the game cannot be won through existing legal channels, casino opponents seek to change the rules in their efforts to block the creation of a casino/resort in the west valley. Clearly, special interests have doubled-down and purchased the support of the likes of McCain, even as they recognize defeat at the local level.

To purchase the influence of a Senator, demonstrates the financial strength of the anti-casino crowd. Players include east valley casino holding tribes and blue-nosed moralists with nativist tendencies – the deep-pocketed constituents of Congressman Franks, the originator of “the keep the promise act” (U.S. House Bill 1410), which seeks to rewrite history and postpone west valley casino construction for many years – legislation which won approval in the Republican controlled House and now languishes in the Democratic held Senate.

It’s still a gamble how all this will end.

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jEFFSTANA on April 8th, 2014


A friend with conservative inclinations forwarded a story concerning Patrick Moore, identified in the brief as a co-founder of the environmental group Greenpeace, who spoke out against man-made global warming before the US Senate. The Congressional findings were published February 25, 2014. Mr. Moore died in 2012, making cross-examination of this known radical, ultra-right winger a mute point. Moore once famously said, “I may be accused of being a dinosaur, but I would remind you that dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a very long time.” Perhaps Fox News may next question the extinction of dinosaurs, since they failed to mention the passing of Mr. Moore.

The ploy of conservative Fox News could not be more transparent. Quoting from a dead curmudgeon attempts to sway opinion based on progressive association about subjects of which Moore had no particular expertise, is a non sequitur. Others opposed to notions of global warming, should not confuse science with politics, for this is a game played by purely anecdotal means, without evidential support.

When social advocates use science as an aid in shaping human behavior, the procedure becomes muddy from all the back-dealing and underhandedness required to pass political legislation. Such action does not take away from the work of science, nor can opinion alter the facts. Politics is the ugly step-sister made up to be the prom queen, doing all the heavy lifting to influence human judgment.

Examine the historical process which campaigned successfully to stigmatize tobacco. Cigarette companies offered similar counter-arguments, lack of proof, large costs to the economy, etc. in a fight against what today is commonly acknowledged to be unhealthy behavior, and that which we as a society discourage through enforced sanctions and limited product accessibility.

Science made the unquestionable connection between tobacco and disease and life expectancy, but the social/political arena had the tough job of selling the cure to the public at large. This is not a black or white issue. Personal freedom becomes restricted through prohibitive legislation. Is this justified by a nod to the common good? Opinions vary. But the science is correct. How this evidence is applied; there is the rub.

Knocking science in the twenty-first century is a losing battle. Superstition or denial, both are mind-killers, unworthy of discussion. Let us argue application instead, cost vs gain for the individual and society in general.

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jEFFSTANA on October 23rd, 2013


This past Sunday, October 20th, in the pages of the Arizona Republic “Valley and State” section, cub reporter Caitlin McGlade summarized arguments pro and con concerning the future of Indian Gaming on Tohono O’odham reservation land — property surrounded by Glendale, Arizona and adjacent to the Westgate sports district at 95th Ave and Northern.

For those of us following this saga closely, little new was offered. Significantly, Glendale city council now offers up mixed signals over construction of the proposed casino/resort. Opposition by city officials toward allowing an un-taxed business entity near the Glendale subsidized hockey arena, seems to be weakenig. The continuous fiscal drain of an expensive legal campaign waged across multiple years is reason enough for dissension among council members. Many residents have long favored the $600 million casino/resort project with its demand for thousands of temporary construction jobs and its promise of numerous long term service employment wages for the citizens of the West Valley.

Meanwhile, Glendale Sports Complex remains an economic asterisk due to its glamorous appeal minus substantial return on investment. A steady draw of tax dollars toward the city funded arena and subsidized National Hockey League team, has fueled cutbacks to city safety personnel and necessitated diminished city services; notably curtailment of library hours. While the Indian run casino/resort would not provide direct tax dollars into Glendale coffers, neither would the city bare any construction costs. Some would argue that a multi-million dollar resort facility would draw visitors to Glendale, who might not otherwise venture into the West Valley. Such guests might also spend money at neighboring Westgate shops and entertainment venues.

Before Jerry Weirs was elected Glendale Mayor in 2012, former Mayor Elaine Scruggs accused Weir’s of working against Arizona cities, in his role as an Arizona Legislator from District 12. Mayor Weirs recently co-signed an AZ Republic op-ed, along with several other Maricopa county mayors, opposed to the West Valley casino, taking cover behind “Keeping the Promise“, a anti-gambling coalition expressing an overtly religious viewpoint. KtP believes the Tohono O’odham implicitly agreed not to pursue building a Maricopa County based casino.

These misguided assumptions derive from Arizona gaming compact requirements limiting Indian run casinos to locations on land with reservation standing. What KtP fails to grasp, the Tohono O’odham property in the West Valley has been awarded reservation status, as replacement land. This fact destroys the KtP narrative, so they simply choose to ignore it.

All court judgments to date have ruled in favor of the Southern Arizona tribe, finding no basis for consideration of specious arguments like those held by KtP. This has not deterred KtP zealots from seeking new advocates for their discredited agenda, such as Mayor Weirs.

McGlade produced one golden nugget, when she states:

“The arguments for and against the casino in Glendale have mainly hinged on whether its presence would help or hurt nearby shops and restaurants at Westgate.”

So we ask:

  • When will an end to the battle against this casino allow city officials to focus on the upcoming Super Bowl, as sharply requested recently by NFL league officials?
  • When will Glendale staunch the legal bleeding of taxpayer dollars and cease fighting a losing cause against the Tohono O’odham?
  • Whwn will a $600 Million construction project paid for by the TO tribe bring jobs to Glendale and the West Valley?

That folks is the crux of the matter. When will Glendale end their narrow focus on a pet project, the Sports Complex at Westgate, which has stubbornly refused to yield net revenue for the city? While spawning ruin for those financially vested in its success, the citizens of Glendale have paid greater sales tax than any surrounding West Valley community and have been saddled with shrinking numbers of safety personnel and shorter library hours.

Glendale residents are owed greater consideration by their elected officials, and a solution to the flow of taxpayer dollars into the money pit which is the Westgate Sports Complex. Enough already.

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