February 4, 2016
“The Commerce Department doesn’t promote American business overseas. It promotes the business of some American companies – at the expense of their competitors, foreign and American.” Harry Browne, Libertarian Party candidate for President 1996 & 2000.
Whenever government, at any level, tries to pick winners and losers in the marketplace it always ends up that political cronies get picked to win – regardless of what y0u want. A recent example happened here in Pima County Arizona. A company got $15,000,000 from the County Government in order to provide balloon rides at $78,000 a shot. Is there a demand for this service? Not that I can tell. Does the company have the technical expertise to provide this service? Well, they have sent a man up three times and no one has died yet. Is their business plan sound? No one knows as the company refuses to release that data. Do you want to take one or more of these rides? Can you afford to spend what would probably twice your annual salary each time? But you are paying for others to take these rides through your tax dollars. Money you could better spend making your life and the lives of your family better.
The Commerce Department primarily benefits large corporations that can afford to do their own publicity and marketing, and those corporations would probably do a better and cheaper job than the government does. After all, the corporation knows its strengths and its weaknesses and can do the research so that their marketing campaigns can best reach their target customers. If the government did this it would not know, without extensive and expensive research into the corporation, what the benefits of the product or service was. Nor could the government mount an effective publicity campaign in any reasonable time – think how long the Post Office takes to deliver packages as opposed to FedEx or UPS. And how long were you at the government agency the last time you renewed your driver’s license or registered your car?
Governments cannot react fast enough to changing market conditions and rarely has the experience to make intelligent decisions when they do try to act. Unless the government bureaucrats previously worked in the industry and then they tend to act in favor or their previous employers and stifle competition. Governments should have as little to do with commerce as possible, and it should not be the politicians who decide what intervention is possible and proper since politicians will always act in favor of increasing their own power at your expense. And they also will act in favor of their cronies at your expense as well.
You are a better judge of what goods and services you want, and foreign markets are the same. The Federal Government does not need to spend millions of dollars so that Coco-Cola can increase its market share in Serbia by 0.1%.
February 1, 2016
I am hoping that whatever has been laying me low has ended and I can get back to normal. However, if I have identified the symptoms correctly, it hasn’t ended. It was suggested to me, and I did some research to check it out, that my thyroid is not working right – hypothyroidism. That may be and it does make sense but I am wary of trusting too much what I learn on the internet about health issues. Even WebMD can lead someone down a wrong path. So I am going to have to remember to talk about it at my next doctor’s visit. However, the doctor I had been going to at the VA has left the VA and so my last visit was with another doctor in another clinic; and I do not know, no one knew at the time, if I will continue to see that doctor or will get assigned to someone else. I don’t even have an idea when my next appointment will be. If need be, I will have to make an appointment on my own and find out what is wrong with me. Spending almost all of January in bed because I don’t feel well is way too much.
Several months ago one of the attendees at the monthly Pima County Libertarian Party meeting suggested that I start doing YouTube videos, mentioning that he could do the editing and upload the videos as he had considerable experience with videos. He hasn’t been back so I am going to have to do this on my own. I am presently looking for an editing program that I can easily learn to use. Maybe I will become a media star.
Pima County wasted another $15 million a couple of weeks ago giving the money to a local company that intends to offer balloon rides to the edge of space to the wealthy. There is no indication that there is a demand for this activity so I wonder if this is just a way to funnel a lot of money to a politically well-connected group. One of the principals is retired US Navy Captain Mark Kelly the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. From what little information I have, this seems to be a criminal violation of the Gift Clause in the Arizona State Constitution.
In about a week and a half is the start of Lent for denominations that use a church calendar. There is a web site called Lent Madness that has a March Madness-style elimination tournament among various saints. It is good fun reading about those listed for each year and it is fun reading the comments people put on the site explaining their vote. You might want to check it out.
If you wish to do so, please pray for: Michael the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Owen Chandler, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian’ for those in need especially Brian Arthur, Bill Bigglestone, Catherine Brown, Anagrethe Christensen, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Brenda & Gus Gustafson, Brother Chuck Hannan, Sara Heitshu, Joyce Henderson, Kent & Molly Johnson, Jeff Kindle, Rita Magdaleno, Anagrace & Dan Misenhimer, Jennifer O’Connor, Brenda Pentland, Bill & Heather Pentland, Vinca Pessarakli, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Sam Reynolds, Robert Rosenberg, Susan Southwick, Marilyn Thompson, Al Whitehurst, Sister Carol Willans, Amaleah, Ed, Georgie, Lee, Melea, Susan Anderson, William Brown, Sandy Fox, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Jane Knebel, Reverend Susan & Ray Lawton, Maribel Ortiz, Laurence Pasquini, Peggy Southwick, Kim Waters, Alex, Amy, Bill, Catherine, Dave, Debbie, Isiah, Elijah, Deirdre, Jeanette & Connie, Jerry & Rondy, Jim, Joel, Karen, Karl, Marilyn, Monica & Danitza, Myles, Nate, Nick & Emily, Patti, Penny, Phil, Sam, Sharon, Shanna, Sophia, Yong Ae, R.A.; for animal companions in need; for those who have died especially Billie Manthey, Joe Coensen; for animal companions who have died especially Audrey, Biscuit, Pumpkin, Kitty.
January 28, 2016
As I mentioned in my political post last week, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to give about $15,000,000 to a company that intends to provide balloon flights to the wealthy. These flights are supposed to reach the edge of space but the company does not have much in the way of a track record in this. Nor does the company have any evidence, at least it has presented none, that there is a demand for this activity.
No bank or any other financial institution would lend money on such a risky venture except at interest rates that would be sky high to reflect the dangers inherent in financing this project. And yet the local government, strapped for cash and negligent in performing basic governmental functions, stepped up and gave the husband of former Congresswoman Giffords the money just for asking. At least, it appears to be a gift since there is no evidence that World View Enterprises will ever be able to repay the $15,000,000. The politically well-connected, and very wealthy, get the money taken from the poor by the county and the poor get nothing.
This is the sort of thing that happens when government, at any level, gets too powerful. Once government has a lot of power, people will use the powerful government to gain an advantage. An advantage that will not benefit the ordinary people. When government appoints a board to regulate an industry, it is the big companies in that industry that take over the board and use the board to suppress competition. Here in Tucson, for example, taxi fares for going to the airport are set by the Airport Authority and no taxi company can charge less than that rate if delivering or picking up a passenger at the airport. Since it is too hard to set one fair for airport and another for non-airport trips, all taxi companies charge that rate regardless of where you start or stop your trip. The customer cannot get a break, the sort of break that competition would provide. Before the phone service was deregulated there was just one company and that company had a stranglehold on services provided and equipment available. Once deregulation took place we now have low phone rates, no restrictions on what equipment we can buy and use as well as choices that match our needs and wants.
By taking the government out of the picture, phone service improved in a multitude of ways. I now have one company for my landline (which I use only for internet access) and internet, another for my cell phone and a third for my TV access. If I don’t like my cell phone provider, I can get another without having to spend hours filling out government forms and satisfying government regulators. The same with my landline, internet and TV access. There is no government action that tries to pick which company to make a winner. And without that, there is no bribery of government officials, elected or otherwise in office, in order to gain an advantage over the competition.
Compare this to the action of the Pima County Government. They did not investigate the financial stability of World View Enterprises nor did they investigate the demand for such an enterprise. The $15,000,000 could have paved a lot of roads – roads that need repair and upgrading. Instead, it was given to the 1% for their balloon toys – toys that may never get used. But a crony got paid off.
January 21, 2016
Tuesday, January 19th, the Pima County Board of Supervisors voted (4 to 1) to give $15,000,000 to a company connected to the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. You may remember that she was shot by a left-wing wing-nut named Jeffords because she wasn’t left wing enough for him. The purpose of this company, ostensibly, is to provide balloon rides to the wealthy (at a reputed $78,000 a ride, just the thing for minimum wage earners) from a location here in Pima County. If the company prospers the County will be paid back by lease payments and maybe taxes. The most optimistic return I have seen claimed a $10 million return. Thus giving Mr. Kelly and his cohorts a $5,000,000 gift in violation of the Arizona State Constitution. I wish I could anticipate criminal proceedings.
The reason I titled this little essay “No potholes in the sky” is that Pima County is notorious for not maintaining the public road system in Pima County. The vast majority of roads in Pima County are rated as either “failing” or “near-failing” according to whatever outside agency does such ratings. Since Pima County refuses to maintain the road system properly, there being no potholes in the sky is no barrier to Pima County spending the poor peoples money to benefit the 1% and their balloon toys. I do not know how many miles of roads, used by ordinary people, could have been repaired by that money but if it was one mile or a million miles makes no difference. The issue is that the Pima County Board of Supervisors (3 Democrats and 2 Republicans – 1 a TEA Party Republican and the other a Chicago Republican so guess which voted “NO”) are once again in support of the wealthy and well-connected rather than their constituents.
Pima County needs good roads so that businesses are willing to move here and the potholes are all over the County, except in the sky above where the rich will be playing. Pima County needs to get out of the way of business, eliminating needless regulations and other hindrances such as high taxation. Fifteen million dollars may not seem like a lot of money when government is involved but it still hurts when it is spent on cronies not the public.
January 14, 2016
If you can get a copy of The Law by Frederic Bastiat do so and read it. It is a small book but profound. The copy I have was published by the Foundation for Economic Education, Jameson Books Inc. Frederic Bastiat lived from 1801 to 1850 so you might be excused in thinking that what he wrote has no relevance today but you would be wrong. M Bastiat had a clear understanding of the role of the law in the working of society and expressed himself in clear terms that one does not need to be an academic sitting in an ivory tower to understand.
Inspired by M Bastiat I put forth my ideas on the law and its role in society.
The purpose of the law is to protect the rights of the individual. These right include, but are not limited to: the right to not have your property stolen, the right to live your life without interference, the right to not have your body violated. I include fraud in the concept of theft. The law is not to impose the morality of a tiny fraction of the population on the rest of the population; at least, it shouldn’t. And that is where the modern concept of the law has failed I think.
THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!! This is the rallying cry of far too many people who cannot stand the idea that other people disagree with their interpretation of morality. America saw that with Prohibition early in the 20th Century. Progressives thought that they should impose their ideas of how society works so that a Utopia would emerge. They ignored human nature and they ignored the fact that the idea of Utopia is a personal one, what you think of Utopia is not what I think of as Utopia. Your vision of Utopia can only come about by force, forcing me to abandon my vision of Utopia and accept yours. Thus violating my right to live my life without interference. Indeed, violating my right to not have my body violated because eventually you are going to have to use violence on me in order to make me comply with your morality.
The law should keep me from violating your rights, and it should not allow me to strip you of your rights in order to impose my morality on you. But far too many people see the law as a means of controlling others and forcing those others to acknowledge the superiority of that tiny fraction of the population seeking dominance over others.
Every legislative body from Congress down to the city council or equivalent should take the time to do nothing but repeal every statute on the books that does not work to ensure the rights of the population. And then go home and stay home.
January 11, 2016
This has not been a good week for me and it looks like next week may continue along similar lines. Last Wednesday night / Thursday morning I got terribly sick and since then I have had little energy and have been listless and lethargic. I got my haircut / beard trim Thursday morning after sleeping for maybe a couple of hours and without breakfast (dangerous for me as I am diabetic) and for lunch I had maybe six or seven French Fries and three bites of a chicken sandwich (still a dangerous lack of food) as I just could not eat any more than that and for dinner I had a meal drink. Friday I spent in bed sleeping and continued the lack of eating (Only an English muffin for breakfast and half a sandwich for lunch and the other half for dinner)(I did drop almost ten pounds Friday and Saturday which is good if I can keep it off) and even now I merely want to go to bed and sleep some more. Isn’t it horrible when an old person complains about their health? The cold weather here in Tucson isn’t helping although the rain is welcome. We have a real start on beating our normal rainfall average. The temperature being about ten degrees below average would be nice in the summer but not now. I feel lousy and I don’t have a clue if it is the weather or lingering effects of whatever I had last week.
I was out with friends as normal for me on Saturdays, I felt bad but not bad enough to skip, and recorded the Steelers / Bengals playoff game. I watched it after I got home and was disappointed for two reasons. First, for some reason the recording stopped with 1:40 left in the game and I thus missed the most exciting part of the game; and Second, the Bengals lost. I found that out by going onto the internet and seeing the title of a story just as soon as I got to the home page. Five years the Bengals have made the playoffs and lost the first game. And from the stories I’ve read so far today, the 1:40 I missed is when the Bengals threw the game away, helped by a totally blown call by the officiating crew it seems. The call is to fire HC Marvin Lewis because he cannot seem to win a playoff game and cannot control the players, one especially, enough to avoid stupid penalties in critical situations. I am glad that I did not see the final 1:40 because, if it was as described, I would still be angry and I am just upset and sad at the loss. And I do not like being angry. I guess I will have to see how things develop for the rest of the playoffs and see if there is any team I want to cheer for, even if it is the team that isn’t the Steelers.
Since this seems to be shaping up to be a complaint post, I’ll add something that I hope is positive. The City of Tucson and election laws that are a disgrace but with the Federal courts ruling against the city a more reasonable election law can be put into place. I met with the Committee that is to make recommendations to the City Council on changing the Charter and spoke with them about the law and what should be done. I plan on attending the meeting tomorrow as well and pushing for better election law.
If you wish to do so, please pray for: Michael the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop of Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military, especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Owen Chandler, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Michael Allen, Brian Arthur, Catherine Brown, Anagrethe Christensen, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jim & Rosemary DeCook, Jay Elliston, Peter Foley & Pia Cuneo, Phyllis Garver, Ann Grisel, Oma “Sam” Guard, Brenda & Gus Gustafson, Brother Chuch Hannan, Sara Heitshu, Joyce Henderson, Jeff Kindle, Anagrace & Dan Misenhimmer, Brenda Pentland, Bill & Heather Pentland, Vinca Pessarakli, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Sam Reynolds, Robert Rosenberg, Susan Southwick, Marilyn Thompson, Al Whitehurst, Sister Carol Willans, Amaleah, Ed, Lee, Melea, Susie Anderson, William Brown, Sandy Fox, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Jane Knebel, Reverend Susan & Ray Lawton, Maribel Ortiz, Laurence Pasquini, Peggy Southwick, Kim Waters, Alex, Amy, Bill, Catherine, Debbie, Jeanette & Connie, Jerry & Rondy, Jim, Joel, Karen, Karl, Marilyn, Monica & Danitza, Nate, Nick & Emily, Patti, Penny, Sharon, Shauna, Sophia, Tina, Yong Ae, Yvonne; for animal companions in need; for those who have died especially Matthew Q. McClintock; for animal companions who have died especially Biscuit, Pumpkin, Kitty. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homes or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.
January 7, 2016
There should be a simple relationship between science and politics: science should determine politics when science is applicable. However, there are always those who say that politics should determine science. There are always those who say that science should not investigate something because it is not politically proper to do so.
Some say that gender-based differences should not be studied, indeed should be denied to exist in the most violent terms, because such studies might be used to deny women what they want to do. Notice the “might” in that sentence. The argument is not that such studies will deny women what they want to do or even that it is a good thing for women to do what they want to do but it is merely that the possibility exists however remote the possibility is.
Investigating the possibility that talent is not spread uniformly across the races and genders is another political prohibition because it might be used to undermine the idiotic political argument that there is no differences between the races or genders. Putting politics ahead of science undermines both. Stalin believed in Lamarckism and so Soviet biological research was put back decades. Hitler refused to let modern math be taught because many of the principles were discovered by Jews thus setting back research in many fields in Germany and the areas it controlled.
My Father had a saying: “If the refrigerator has quit working, changing the tires on your car won’t help fix it.” And having politics determine what science can investigate or what results are acceptable does not fix the problems of society that science can deal with.
Refusing to allow something on the chance that it “might” cause some harm is stupid. If we go down that route then we need to outlaw reading and writing because of the possible harm that might get done by reading some propaganda. Young men, especially black ones, should be locked up because they are most likely to commit crimes – think of all the lives that could be saved. You see what my point is. “Might” is a poor excuse for banning or restricting some line of investigation.
January 4, 2016
So far, for the few enough times I have had to use the present year, I have not used last year but instead I have always used 2016. That might change, I might slip and make the error but so far, I haven’t. But, hey, it is only the 3rd so far. I still have 363 days to screw it up yet this year.
I have been sick, nothing real serious as in go to the hospital or even just see a doctor, but a bad cold. At least I think it is just one cold, it has come and gone so it might have been more than one. However, I haven’t been out and about much these last two weeks so it might have just been one that somehow got worse every few days.
For some reason I have not been able to get a copy of my 1099 from the Air Force, so I cannot start in on my taxes and get the refunds I will probably be due. The passwords are only good for six months so I have to get a new one every year but this year I haven’t been able to get one sent to my email so I am having it sent by snail mail. If that doesn’t work, I will have to go onto DMAFB and go through the Finance Office there and that is going to be a hassle since I doubt they will believe that I wasn’t able to get the needed password and I will have to argue with them.
It has been cold in Tucson these last couple of weeks, I think much colder than normal. Yes, I know that the East Coast is warmer than usual but I do not live there, I live in Tucson and it has been cold here. I have to wear a sweat suit inside my apartment, either that or spend a bunch of money on natural gas for the winter and for the non-use of natural gas for the rest of the year. Wearing warm clothes is cheaper.
I am going to start going to various high school classrooms and speaking on Libertarianism to the classes. I have a contact name for one school and if I do well, I will work to go to other high schools in the Tucson area.
If you wish to do so, please pray for: Michael the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy associated with Grace-St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Michael Allen, Brian Arthur, Catherine Brown, Anagrethe Christensen, Alysha Collins, Walter Collins, Jim & Rosemary DeCook, Jay Elliston, Peter Foley & Pia Cuneo, Phyllis Garver, Ann Grisel, Oma “Sam” Guard, Brenda & Gus Gustafson, Brother Chuck Hannan, Sara Heitshu, Joyce Henderson, Jeff Kindle, Anagrace & Dan Misenhimer, Brenda Pentland, Bill & Heather Pentland, Vinca Pessarakli, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Sam Reynolds, Robert Rosenberg, Susan Southwick, Al Whitehurst, Sister Carol Willans, Amaleah, Ed, Lee, Melea, Susie Anderson, William Brown, Sandy Fox, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Jane Knebel, Reverend Susan & Ray Lawton, Maribel Ortiz, Laurence Pasquini, Peggy Southwick, Kim Waters, Alex, Amy, Bill, Catherine, Debbie, Jeanette & Connie, Jerry & Rondy, Jim, Joel, Karen, Karl, Marilyn, Monica & Danitza, Nate, Nick & Emily, Patti, Penny, Sharon, Shauna, Sophia, Tina, Yong Ae, Yvonne; for animal companions in need; for those who have died especially Adrianna Vorderbruggen, Joseph G. Lemm, Michael A. Cinco, Peter W. Taub, Chester J. McBride, Louis M. Bonacasta; for animal companions who have died especially Biscuit, Pumpkin, Kitty. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people killed, driven from their homes or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.
December 24, 2015
Political correctness, free speech zones, microaggressions, trigger warnings, safe zones; all of these, and some more that I did not think of or forgot, are a denial of rights in the name of Social Justice whatever that means. And social justice means different things to different people – thus we have the Free the Nipple campaign and the campaign to declare women who get naked or perform sex for a living as degrading to women from the Social Justice Warriors. Social Justice Warriors are the modern embodiment of the old Puritan prudes combined with the old German Storm Troopers of the Nazi era. There is no right to not be offended. No one has that right regardless of who they are or what they believe. I can walk down the streets of Tucson and probably find something that offends me. I rarely notice such as I do not have the right to force my opinion onto other people. Indeed, I find Social Justice Warriors very offensive because they do believe that they have the right to force their opinions on others and act on that pretend right. Which is why they remind me of the Brown Shirts of the Nazis. Life is full of things that offend, if not me then someone else, and to eliminate everything that offends means to eliminate life.
Social Justice Warriors are control freaks. Social Justice is a philosophy that believes that you are an idiot and that Social Justice Warriors have, therefore, the obligation to control your life. And since there is no one philosophy of Social Justice but rather dozens of them originating from dozens of groups, no one can do anything without offending one of those groups and thus getting that group to sadistically punish you for violating the standards of Social Justice. Of course, there are no standards of Social Justice which give free reign to the sadists in punishing you for whatever reason they want to use as excuse.
Decades ago society had a set of rules that were basically followed. Those rules were not perfect, no human social construct is, but they allowed society to function. Those rules could be improved upon but my generation gave over trying to fit into society and began throwing the rules out wholesale. And the generations that followed have compounded the problem. Now Social Justice is demanding that the various talents of the population be ignored because everyone deserves to be at the top without working their way up the mountain. Genetics be damned, desire is the only qualifier for any position regardless of inborn talent or anything else.
I am a retired Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force. For twenty years I worked in avionics, the branch of electronics carried on aircraft. After I went on the retired list I applied for a job as an electrician / electronics technician for a small company that owned pinball machines and juke boxes and placed them in various establishments throughout the county. There were eleven people employed by the company as I recall, including the owner and his wife / co-owner. None of these people were black and only two were women, including the co-owner / wife. The Government came in and told this company that they would hire a black woman in order to start balancing the ethnic / gender balance of the company. They hired a black woman who was just getting out of the Air Force after four years as a clerk-typist. She was intelligent, I know because I made a few dollars ($150 as I remember) teaching her over a two week period. She didn’t pay more because I spent most of my time looking for work so I had little to spare teaching her. I taught her AC and DC theory, the symbols used on a schematic, the theory of troubleshooting, how to read a multimeter, and the theory of soldiering ( lack of equipment kept me from doing any practical training on the last two). She started the job knowing just enough to barely qualify as an apprentice and the job requirement was for a journeyman. But, Social Justice was achieved although it was not called that then. I lost that job due to my skin color and gender in order to make skin color and gender no longer a factor in getting a job. Actually, to meet an arbitrary quota imposed by a government bureaucrat; but today’s Social Justice Warriors would approve.
There will always be people desiring to control others and now they are winning. The American Ideal is being killed and one formulated by Thomas, Hobbes, Plato, Marx and others of that ilk is being imposed. Only Plato among those listed was intelligent enough or honest enough to admit that the ideas he proposed in The Republic can not work in real life.
December 21, 2015
I celebrate my “second birthday” today. I was baptized on the 4th Sunday in Advent, 1954 which was also December 19 if I remember right.
I watched the Bengals beat the 49’ers today which was nice. Cincinnati made it to the Super Bowl twice and lost both times to San Francisco. It wasn’t the Super Bowl but it was nice to see this win today.
I will be staying up until midnight today and until about 2AM until Christmas Eve so I don’t get too tired for the church services on Christmas Eve. When I was younger, much younger, I would attend the Midnight service and then the service on Christmas Day as well. Now I sleep in unless Christmas Day in on Sunday when I sleep in on Monday. For those who are not of a liturgical tradition, the Christmas Season lasts twelve days starting with December 25th. Remember the old Christmas Carol “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” and you will understand why the carol has twelve verses. Christmas lasts until Epiphany which is always on January 6th.
The City of Tucson is losing the fight over the election law presently in place. The 9th Circuit ruled against the law but because this ruling came from just a portion of the whole circuit court the City has appealed to the entire 9th Circuit Court. I cannot see how they will win. However, the City Council has appointed a 15-person committee to propose some amendments to the City Charter in three areas, one of which is the method of electing members to the City Council. As it stands now, each candidate is selected in a Ward primary and elected by all of the Wards together. I can understand electing the Mayor who is supposed to represent the entire city but the councilmembers are supposed to represent each their specific ward. So, anyway, the committee is composed of fifteen people, one selected by the City Manager and the other fourteen selected by the council and mayor – who are all Democrats. Any guesses as to which political party the vast majority of the committee members, if not the entire committee, belong to? I have only met the chair of the committee but I intend to be at their next meeting and complain. There are four political parties recognized by Pima County, and thus the City of Tucson, and all four should have a say in crafting what law is placed on the ballot. Last Friday I met with a member of the Green Party and we discussed the issue, two other members of the Green Party were invited but did not show up. Even if all three had shown up, I outnumbered them all by myself.
If you wish to do so, please pray for: Michael the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Kirk the Bishop for Arizona, Steve and the other clergy of Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal church; for those in the military especially those in combat zones especially Ronald Berryhill, Christopher Gallo, Michael Hannan, Andrew Harris, Donna Heath, Frederick Jenning, Jordan S. Marks, Eric Osche, Mark Pundt, Terrence Robinson, Laramie Struble, Brian; for those in need especially Michael Allen, Catherine Brown, Anagrethe Christensen, Walter Collins, Jay Elliston, Peter Foley & Pia Cuneo, Phyllis Garver, Ann Grisel, Oma “Sam” Guard, Brenda & Gus Gustafson, Brother Chuck Hannan, Sara Heitshu, Joyce Henderson, Lois Mervyn, Anagrace & Dan Misenhimer, Vinca Pessaraki, Danielle Phillips, Jane Pundt, Doree Ramey, Sam Reynolds, Robert Rosenberg, Susan Southwick, Sister Carol Willans, Amaleah, Ed, Lee, Melea, William Brown, Sandy Fox, Mildred Gregory, Francesca Jarvis, Tony Jones, Jane Knebel, Reverend Susan & Ray Lawton, Maribel Ortiz, Laurence Pasquini, Peggy Southwick, Alex, Amy, Bill, Catherine, Debbie, Jeanette & Connie, Jerry & Rondy, Jim, Joel, Karen, Karl, Marilyn, Michelle, Monica & Danitza, Nate, Nick & Emily, Patti, Penny, Sharon, Shauna, Sophia, Tina, Yong Ae, Yvonne; for animal companions in need; for those who have died especially Layne Deacon; for animal companions who have died especially Biscuit. I also ask that you pray for the millions of people who have been killed, driven from their homes or otherwise persecuted by Muslims throughout the world.