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A billion-dollar theft by Republicans

The Star’s editorial last Sunday was softer than the Pillsbury doughboy. The subject was Basis Charter schools. This outfit has attracted a lot of attention as allegedly being the very best in the country, yada, yada, yada.

Nowhere in the editorial or the three-part series upon which it was based was it pointed out that the charter school legislation represents the Republican effort to undermine, if not destroy, public education: The state of Arizona gives more than a billion dollars every year to corporate thieves posing as educators. This is a massive raid on the state treasury while the Republicans continue to squeeze university budgets. It is beyond outrageous. It is criminal, state-sanctioned theft, a massive scam.

There is no accountability for the state’s spending on charter schools. Charters spend how they please on what they please. If you want to know how the money is spent, ask and you will be told essentially “fuck you.” The school owners own the property financed by your tax money. Nothing bought with public money — charter school buildings, real estate or other assets — belongs to the public.

According the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Arizona provides $5,366 per pupil per year to public schools. It gives $6,669 to charter schools. Per pupil. Per year. It provides nearly $5 billion to public schools and a little under $1.1 billion to (unaccountable) charter schools.

 But it isn’t just the money. One wonders what the racial composition of Basis North high school. What are the entrance requirements? There’s a reason it scores high. Could it be its selection of none-but-the-best students? What are the teacher requirements? None of this is the public’s business. It’s only the public’s money.

The Legislature’s Republicans intended that the owners of charter schools should get rich and lord it over district schools. They hate public education that much. It’s beyond belief and sanity. But it has gone on so long and continues to do so, that obviously no one gives a flying shit.


A sumptuous repast of fashionable naught

Below is a link to a fine little ditty written by
Sam Negri while he was an editorial writer for the Star.


Regarding the Sons of Whores

From The Arizona Daily Star, August 8, 1977,  one of the best pieces we ever ran. As true today as it was then. Here is the link:


Of Time and the Smell

Notice the scent of the breeze wafting off the windward side of 1600 Pennsylvania? It’s not cherry blossoms, but the aroma of impeachment mixed with the unmistakeable stink of executive privilege. It’s like 1974. Here is an article from — appropriately enough — Bastille Day of that year: clipping_12108527

St. Clair’s argument stunk up the Supreme Court, and President Nixon was history a month later.


Sunrise today


Sometimes it’s hard to tell between sunrise and sunset. The blue gives this one away. I think.

Tucson’s streets

I am constantly astonished at the activity on Tucson roads. Barriers are everywhere, blocking lanes, creating detours, stopping traffic. It’s astonishing because the roads only get worse. One county supervisor who seeks reelection says she will fix the roads. If she does, it will be only because she is GOD. Only God can fix Tucson’s streets. They have been for caca for most of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries. The explanation you hear is that Tucson temperatures are extreme, really hot and then really cold. But why then is Phoenix able to maintain roads like glass? My friend Zoe theorizes that it’s a lot like Tucson’s TV news. There’s a rule that it has to be bad, and another one says the streets have to be so bad as to punish your kidneys. Zoe says it’s the price you pay for the sunrises and sunsets.

So soon, mon

We seem to have an early monsoon season. This is a very good thing, being In the Wet, (a novel by Nevil Shute). In any event, this is what you

find on the Rillito these days.


Badda bing

If you lie with camels, expect to get up with fleas. A lesson right here for Paul Ryan from the best editorial-page columnist in the country.


For those of you who don’t know, Zoe is our medium Golden Doodle. She is a quarter Golden Retriever and the rest Poodle. She like to hunt lizards. The fact that she does not catch any does not discourage her. Besides, she gets to run a lot. As you can see in this video.