In May 2022, within 10 days of each other, there were two mass murders in the US.
On May 14, 10 black people were gunned down and three others injured in a neighborhood grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
On May 24, 2022, 19 children and two teachers were murdered and 17 wounded inside an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
When will the United States take meaningful steps to curb gun violence in this country?
Continue reading When Will the US Take Meaningful Steps to End Gun Violence (video)
I was surprised to find Grover Norquist’s Taxpayer Protection Pledge on my desk on the Floor of the Arizona House on Monday. First of all, state employees like the Pages should not be distributing political propaganda to members in the House Chambers on state time.
That aside, Norquist’s pledge is completely unrealistic in a state that gives away as much tax revenue as possible in the form of tax advantages for big corporations, wealthy Arizonans, and private religious schools. Norquist’s tax pledge states that members pledge to “oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.” The problem is that Arizona has far too many lawmakers — on both sides of the aisle — who consistently vote to give your taxes away.
When they go overboard with tax breaks and are caught short during a financial disaster — like the Wall Street Crash of 2008-09 — the state is forced to cut vital programs or raise taxes to make up the difference. Arizona has been cutting taxes for decades; this resulted in massive across the board cuts under Governor Jan Brewer and Senate President Russell Pearce.
Let’s not go there again. Let’s learn from past mistakes, shall we?
Continue reading Grover Norquist Tax Pledge Is Unrealistic in Tax Giveaway State (video)
Today’s video is about HB2082, which is an attempt to further restrict medical marijuana and adult use marijuana. In my opinion, it is government overreach. Although medical marijuana and adult use are legal in Arizona and although the state is making bank on the sales, there are still people who believe in overregulation.
The age old question is: Should marijuana be regulated like other legal recreational drugs (like alcohol and nicotine) OR like prescription drugs (since medical marijuana is technically a prescription) OR like a traditional herbal remedy?
Continue reading Should Marijuana Be Regulated like Other Recreational Drugs? (video)
Stay safe out there! As predicted, Arizona Legislators, staff and lobbyists are testing positive for COVID19 after multiple political super spreader events in the past week including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce luncheon last Friday and Open Day at the Legislature on Monday.
Some of the vaccinated are symptom-free and COVID positive. I got tested before I left the capital, even thought I didn’t have symptoms. I didn’t want to be a silent spreader. I tested negative. Now I am heading back to Tucson for the weekend.
Continue reading Stay Safe! #AZ Legislators, Staff & Lobbyists Test Positive for COVID (video)
In Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State address on Opening Day at the Legislature, one of his big applause lines was when he said that we should “focus math, not masks.”
I think the governor should focus on math — particularly the epidemiological data that shows COVID is still a public health threat. In the past two weeks, cases nationwide are up by more than 200%. COVID deaths are up 36%. COVID is not over. Three years ago in my videos, I said we could move into a chronic COVID world if we were not careful. We are on our way there.
Continue reading Ducey Is Ignoring COVID Math (video)
Before each Legislative session, out-of-town legislators, like myself, have to find living quarters in Phoenix for roughly six months.
Shopping for apartments and combing through corporate websites to look for affordable housing with no hidden fees is a laborious process. No matter how careful I am, the corporate landlords seem to always stick me with me with something.
A few years ago, I made the mistake of renting a “smart” apartment. I saw on the website that the smart apartment option was available. I didn’t realize until I showed up with the movers and a truck full of furniture that I couldn’t get out of that option. A smart apartment is one that tracks your every entry and exit with your smart phone, tracks your utility usage, and tracks who knows what else. My smart apartment had sensors hung here and there throughout the apartment, including closets and cupboards. The sensors were easy to see – and a bit creepy. What wasn’t easy to see was the smart apartment section of the lease which said by signing the lease I was giving an unnamed subcontractor permission to collect, store and use my personal data. I couldn’t get out of the $40 per month fee for a smart apartment, but I chose not to download and activate the app.
The smart apartment now seems like a quaint, old fashioned attempt at surveillance mostly because the tracking was so obvious, and by accepting a bit of inconvenience, I was able to get around most of the surveillance.
Today, with social media plus 5G, smart phones, smart watches, and all sorts of wi-fi or bluetooth enabled devices from refrigerators to car radios, we are surrounded by devices and software programs that are tracking us, collecting data, building profiles and using what they have learned about us to influence our behavior.
Continue reading Podcast: Cybersecurity, Corporate Surveillance & Crypto. How Safe Are We? (video)