Archive for Arizona

A Tale of Two Governors: Jindal and the Spill & Brewer and Illegal Immigration

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by raingeg

Here is a really quick tale of two Governors, in two sates, dealing with two very different problems, both asking the federal government for help, in an area where the federal government is actually needed.

Let me first preface what I am about to say with this brief statement about the role of the federal government. The federal government has a role to play in the United States, the problem is that it often over steps its bounds, becomes too bloated or is accomplishing a task that could easily be handled by the states, or already is to a degree handled by the states, creating redundancies in government, that make it more and more difficult to be about the peoples business. The oil spill is a perfect example of how the many levels of government bureaucracy get in the way of the peoples’ business and actually make the job more complicated than it needs to be.

On to story one, brought to us by none other than ABC News, from Louisiana, where Governor Bobby Jindal is having trouble connecting with the federal government.

ABC News:

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. “Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.

“We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

After Jindal strenuously made his case, the barges finally got the go-ahead today to return to the Gulf and get back to work, after more than 24 hours of sitting idle.

Is this really what we are worried about? I understand safety measures and such, but maybe someone can inform me as to why we are supposed to call the people who built the barge in order to see if its equip with fire extinguishers and life vests? And why does it take 24 hours to perform this task? You’d think that in this day and age, where I can get a hold of most people pretty much anytime, that it wouldn’t take 24 hours to accomplish this task. But that is what you get when you have a federal government that is to big.

On to story 2, brought to you by an Ecuadorian television station, NTN 24, our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and picked up by The Right Scoop blog.

Allow me to digress. Two weeks ago we all watched as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met with President Barack Obama, to discuss the border and SB170. It was two weeks ago that the President told Gov. Brewer that he would tell her what he planned to do with the 1200 national guard troops that are to be deployed and more money for the border within the next couple of weeks. Per Gov. Brewer “I’ve heard absolutely nothing.”

Now back to the story. Here is the video from the Ecuadorian television show.

Capitol Media Services:

Gov. Jan Brewer lashed out at the president and his administration Thursday, saying they announced – in Ecuador – that the federal government will sue Arizona over the state’s new immigration law.

“That is just totally outrageous,” the governor said after being told of a televised interview Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did while traveling. She said there is no reason Arizonans should have to learn through a blog post of an interview she did with NTN-24.

Clinton, being interviewed, said Obama has spoken out against the law because he believes immigration policy should be determined by the federal government. That mirrors statements the president himself has made since Arizona adopted the law requiring police to check the immigration status of those they have stopped if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are not in this country legally.

It was what followed that was new.

“And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act,” Clinton said in the interview.

While Obama did direct the Justice Department to review the law, the president previously said any decision whether to sue would be made by Attorney General Eric Holder.

The White House declined comment, referring calls to the Justice Department. Calls to that agency were not immediately returned.

The preceding stories were just two examples of how bad things are right now. There is a large communication breakdown between the states and the bloated federal government.

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Tucson Based Medical Society Sues Federal Government

Posted in Health Insurance, Politics with tags , , , on March 30, 2010 by raingeg

The Tucson based medical society, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, is suing the federal government, in hopes that they can overturn the recently passed health care reform bill, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in AAPS vs. Sebelius.

According to Mondays press release:

Court action is necessary “to preserve individual liberty” and “to prevent PPACA from bankrupting the United States generally and Medicare and Social Security specifically,” AAPS stated.

Executive director of AAPS Dr. Jane Orient said “If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it.”

AAPS is claiming that the bill “violates the Fifth Amendment protection against the government forcing one person to pay cash to another.” And according to the release “AAPS is the first to assert this important constitutional claim.” They also say that the bill “violates the Tenth Amendment, the Commerce Clause, and the provisions authorizing taxation.”

AAPS may be the first medical society to sue the federal government over the health care bill, but I’m sure they will not be the last. I had the pleasure of producing the KVOI radio program Americas Fabric, a show that featured AAPS’ Dr. Jane Orient who spoke to this subject.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about eXrai Tucson.

New Local Tucson Blog

Posted in Site News with tags , , on March 23, 2010 by raingeg

I’ve started a local version of eXrai, I call it eXrai Tucson, I know, real original. There is a lot going on locally in Tucson and I think that it is a good idea to start blogging on some of the issues that Tucson faces, events that are happening in Tucson and what I think are some of the ways that we can make things happen in Tucson.

This, like my original eXrai blog, will be a politics and news oriented site that comes from a conservative Christian perspective. If you live in Tucson for any amount of time it won’t take you long to start to see that it is not really the most conservative city in the world. Tucson is a university city and we also seem to attract a lot of the lefties that couldn’t imagine living in Phoenix that still want to live in the desert. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have our conservative areas, it just means that we are to the left of neighboring Phoenix.

This blog will probably be updated less than my national news oriented blog, I’m hoping to update about twice a week, probably after I do my news shifts at work on Thursday’s and Friday’s.

I will also hook this up to Town Hall Tucson, a community blog that my boss Doug started a while back for Tucsonans to share their opinions. There is a bit of a problem, they use Blogger and not WordPress, so I’ll have to create a Blogger account and try to find a way to syndicate this blog over to that site, I might start using Windows Live Writer to do that.

I will also find other creative ways to get the word out on this blog.

I hope you enjoy it and I hope that I can make it work.

-Ray

Tucson Crane 3D-Object in Google Earth

Posted in Humor, Politics with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by raingeg

This post is for all of my fellow Tucsonans. To put it in context for people who might not know, Downtown Tucson is a mess. Have you seen that movie with Tom Hanks and Shelly Long called “Money Pit”? That is what Downtown Tucson is, a gigantic money pit. They’ve been attempting to renovate Downtown for a decade now and a decade later it is pretty much the same as when they started.

One of the staples of the Downtown redevelopment is the crane (seen in the picture) obviously something that is not supposed to be a permanent fixture of the Tucson skyline. Apparently the people who run Google Earth know how slow the city of Tucson is and they’ve included the crane as one of the “3D buildings” in the program.

I’m becoming more and more convinced everyday that the crane is more of a symbol or statement by the powers at be that action is coming and work is getting done. Its kind of like when you go to the doctors office and they take you from the main waiting room to the examination room where you are then forced to wait some more. The only difference here is that the doctor (the people who run Tucson) is not who you thought he was and you’ve really been locked into a sanatorium.

The West Aint Dead

Posted in Humor, Life with tags , , , on February 19, 2010 by raingeg

Its often said that the “Wild West” is dead, wrong. If you live in Tucson, Arizona, you know that the West is not dead, its alive and well, and it aint going nowhere.

I get paid to read the news, and after just a couple of days I’ve pulled out some stories that come close to something that you could have pulled from the papers of the 19th century.

Arizona Daily Star 2/18/2010:

FBI: ‘High Country Bandits’ target Marana bank, others throughout Southwest:

A two-man crew has been holding up rural banks throughout the Southwest over the past five months, including one in Marana, according to the FBI. The duo, dubbed the “High Country Bandits,” by the FBI are believed to be responsible for at least 12 heists in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico between September and earlier this month, according to an agency news release. The first stickup occurred Sept. 8 in the White Mountains community of Heber, while other Arizona locales allegedly hit include Flagstaff (twice), Gold Canyon, Payson, Phoenix, Pinetop and Prescott Valley, the release said. The men are described as white or Hispanic, in their 30s or 40s, with one between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-6 and the other around 6 feet. They have been spotted making their getaways on a green or maroon all-terrain vehicle, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

FBI: Serial bank robber targeting Tucson area

The FBI has determined five recent bank robberies in the Tucson area are the work of the same man, who is being dubbed the Chameleon Bandit. The Chameleon Bandit – presumably given that moniker for his varied of clothing and facial hair assortments. The suspect is described as an Hispanic male in his mid-30s with a light to medium complexion. He is between 5-foot-1 and 5-foot-3 and weighs between 140 and 150 pounds with a shaved head, a dark mustache or goatee and deep facial acne scars. The suspect has worn glasses and a beanie cap as well as a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans or khakis, according to the release. He has been seen fleeing in both a 2006 silver Dodge Durango and a late model gold or brown Nissan sedan with Sonora, Mexico plates, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

10,000 of Vail’s proudest people expected at fest

The Vail School District will host its annual Vail Pride Day Saturday at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. School district officials expect more than 10,000 people to attend the festival, which will include classroom displays, student artwork, jumping castles and a petting zoo, according to a district press release. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..There will be Academic Jeopardy, a math bowl and science fair competitions. Gov. Jan Brewer will speak and present awards at a ceremony during the festival.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/10:

Striking Sonora miners ready for face-off with government, Grupo Mexico

A two-year-old labor conflict in Cananea, Sonora has reached a crisis point, and miners there are preparing for the possibility of violence. On Feb. 11, a labor court rejected an appeal by miners at Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine, confirming an earlier decision that the longstanding strike is illegal. It was the final word on a strike that has kept the mine shut down since July 30, 2007. Now, miners expect that the Mexican government will send in troops or security forces to dislodge them from the entrances to the mine. It is common and legal for striking Mexican workers to occupy their workplace, effectively shutting it down, but the occupation becomes illegal if the strike is declared illegal. The Cananea miners “will defend their workplace and their collective bargaining agreement even with their lives,” said Javier Zuniga, a mining union official, by phone today from Cananea. The miners were in the first of two days today of demonstrations, and the sound of a large, chanting crowd nearly drowned out Zuniga’s voice. Manny Armenta, a United Steelworkers officials from Arizona, also was in Cananea, among a group of international observers who have shown up in the town. The Steelworkers, who represent more than 1,000 employees of Tucson-based Asarco LLC – also a Grupo Mexico-owned company – have long supported the Cananea miners. “We’re all fearful that there’s going to be bloodshed,” Armenta said. Cananea is about 110 miles southeast of Tucson.

Miners, bandits and 10,000 people expected to celebrate the town of Vail. It sounds like the West is alive and well.

I Guess This is Why I Live in Tucson

Posted in Life with tags , , on January 12, 2010 by raingeg

Sometimes I complain about living in Tucson, but it does have its perks. No, its not 4th Ave. or the ghost town that is Downtown Tucson, its mostly the natural beauty that Tucson has to offer. I recently went on a little outing and took some pictures of the Catalina mountains.

This is the view a little bit into the Finger Rock trail. I am by no means close to the end of the trail and I did not manage to make it up to the top this time, but what I did see was quite amazing.

This is the view looking up at one of the many rocky mountains on the Finger Rock trail, I do not know the name of this specific ridge or rock, although it is enormous.

This is me standing at the bottom of a wash bed that intersects with the trail. As you can see there are a lot of Saguaro cactus’s behind me.

My Tucson Town Hall Experience

Posted in Health Insurance, Humanity, Life, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2009 by raingeg

Let me start from the beginning. I pulled into the place at about 4:15 and there was already a line that was reaching  around the building, for a meeting that started at 6:00. So I hopped in line and was greeted by an older gentlemen that I’d say was about 55 years. He was a jovial, tall man, that laughed like Herman Munster, and was interested in hearing what was going on. He greeted me with some kind words “Man, I feel sorry for you young people!” Right then I knew where he stood on the issue.
Signage 1
In front of me were a couple of older women in their 60’s that were firmly against the public option. In front of them was an older man, that was obviously in favor of the public option, I only knew this because he was in front of me on the way in, judging by his bumper stickers he doesn’t like George W. Bush. Behind me, there was another couple of old ladies that were firmly in favor of the public option. Behind those women were some loud mouth conservatives, spouting out how much they were against the public plan, doing their best Michael Savage imitation.

So we were all just standing in line when it started to rain, something that hasn’t happened in Tucson in quite a while, so that was odd. The rain didn’t stop us, we continued to stand in line.

Finally we made it inside, but only after having another bout with the rain. The room was nice, it was cool inside, and I took a seat toward the back on the isle so I could leave early.

I was sitting down and a woman, clearly in favor of the public option, sat next to me. She commented on how nice it was to see a young person at a town hall meeting, and I replied with my usual, a quiet thank you. We got to talking, I was trying not to talk about politics with the person that I had to spend the next two hours with, and it actually worked. We talked about hiking in Tucson, how boring it is for young people and New York City.

The meeting finally started. After a good half hour of introducing, politically correct praying, and many futile pleas for the crowd to settle down, the show was on. They started by drawing some tickets for those who were going to be allowed to ask questions. The irony of the thought that many years from now we could be using the same procedure to allow for doctor visits was humorous and scary all at the same time.

People started asking questions, some of them were good and some were bad, some were very annoyed and some were just inane. Like the guy that tried to bring Cuba into the argument. Cuba, a country that has 11 million people and a communist state no less. He was quickly booed, but he continued on in a very emotional rant against the right and in favor of Obamacare. Then there was a guy that suggested we clean house in the next election, I think he received the longest applause at about 30 seconds.

At times I felt a bit disheartened. I guess it was juxtaposing the calm, intelligent, and civil conversation with my neighbor, and the few people on both sides that would just yell at the completely wrong time. Don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer in the 1st amendment, I love good debate, and even booing and applause. But timing is everything, it would just be easier if people would understand that yelling from your seat accomplishes nothing.

For the most part people got along, conservatives were talking to liberals and liberals to conservatives, but those few that so often get the attention of the media really irked me. I had to leave early, but the experience was great, something that every American should do at some point in their life.