20081127

What is Buy Nothing Day?

What is Buy Nothing Day?
Black Friday is perhaps the most important day in the world. This is a day that people stand up to the consumerist attitude of much of the world and say, "No. I do not believe that I need to spend all my money on crap I don't need. I do not need to pay exorbitant amounts of money, in fees and interest charges, to banks so that I can buy stuff. I am beyond that."


Watch the video and learn a little bit:

Visit the site to learn a little more

20081126

Humanitarian struggles to save lives

Reservation ban of water for migrants is reported
By Brady McCombs
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 09.03.2008

A Tohono O'odham tribe member who has been putting water in remote desert areas for the past seven years for the benefit of illegal immigrants says he has been told to stop.

The order was given Saturday morning while Mike Wilson was southwest of Sells on the reservation showing 11 non-tribal guests one of the four water stations he operates, Wilson said.

A Tohono O'odham police officer approached Wilson and said the district chairwoman, Veronica Harvey, had instructed her to tell Wilson to take down the water station and escort his guests off the reservation, Wilson said. He didn't take down the two 55-gallon water barrels but left with his guests, he said.

Tohono O'odham Chairman Ned Norris Jr. confirmed Tuesday that Baboquivari District leaders asked Wilson and his guests to leave, but he said he has no knowledge of the request to remove the water station.
Phone calls to Harvey requesting comment were not returned.

The tribe has a standing decision not to allow humanitarian groups to place water on the reservation. Norris, who became chairman after that decision was made, has said the decision falls to the reservation's 11 districts because it's a matter of local concern. He said the same thing about the reported decision to ask Wilson and his guests to leave on Saturday.

"The tribal constitution authorizes each district to govern themselves on issues of local concern," Norris said. "This, in their view, is an issue of local concern."

Wilson gave the following account of Saturday's events:

Early that morning, Wilson and the group were at one of his water stations east of the village of Topawa on Federal Route 10, commonly known as Fresnal Canyon Road. He was talking about the history of his work in maintaining the water stations to eight seminary students from Denver, their professor and two retired Tucson pastors, the Rev. John Fife and the Rev. Gene Lefebvre.

A tribal police officer drove up to the group and told Wilson that she had received a complaint about non-tribal members being in the Baboquivari District. She told him that the Baboquivari District is a restricted district, which means O'odham are required to notify the board and get permission before bringing in any non-tribal guests, the officer said.

Wilson said he had never heard of the rule.

Fife said the officer told them she needed to check on the matter with the district and waited for 15 to 20 minutes before delivering the order to remove the station and to leave. She told the group that the seminary students were banned for life, Fife said.

After Wilson refused to take down the water station, the officer told Wilson that the district would do it. But as of Sunday, all the water stations were still up, Wilson said.

He said he believes he upset Harvey by bringing out such a large group of visitors.

The seminary students and their professor had been in Southern Arizona for about a week studying border issues, Fife said. They went with Wilson to learn more about the illegal-immigrant deaths on the reservation, he said.

Fife, the retired pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church and a leader in the old Sanctuary Movement, doesn't understand why the Baboquivari District kicked the group off or why it asked Wilson to remove the water station.
Fife has spent time on the reservation in his many years involved with border issues, including an internship on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in 1963.

Wilson's four water stations are in the Baboquivari Valley, which is the deadliest corridor for illegal immigrants in the United States.
The corridor had claimed the lives of 229 border crossers from the beginning of fiscal 2000 through November 2007 ― more than three times the average number of deaths in other segments of the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, according to the Arizona Daily Star's analysis of 1,156 deaths recorded by the federal agency. Most immigrants died from the heat.

Seventy bodies of illegal immigrants were recovered on the Tohono O'odham Reservation in 2007, and 83 were found from Jan. 1 through June 12 of this year, the latest numbers available.

Wilson has experienced problems with his lifesaving efforts in the past.

From 2001 through 2003, the water jugs he placed in the desert were slashed by vandals on a continuous basis, he said. In September 2003, nearly a quarter of the 4,000 gallon jugs of water were slashed in one rash of vandalism.

Around 2003, he switched from water jugs to 55-gallon water barrels. In 2006, all eight barrels at the four stations were stolen.
"I'm upset that the Tohono O'odham Nation would continue in this ― what I consider a crime against humanity," Wilson said. "That they would take down my water stations."

● Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or bmccombs [at] azstarnet [dot] com

20081125

Help farm workers this Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to help farm workers. You know, the people that do the hard job of planting and harvesting crops.



Here is one way you can help out:
The United Farm Workers Thanks & Giving appeal is our annual Thanksgiving solicitation. We're asking for your generosity in supporting the work the UFW does to improve the lives of farm workers and their families. Thanks & Giving asks us to give "thanks" for our healthy, prosperous lives, while "giving" to help poor farm workers and their children to live better lives.

20081124

Exercise of the week: chair pose

Workoutz.com has recently added this yoga pose to it's library of exercise videos. Check it out.

20081122

Tell your politicians to stop supporting the MPAA & RIAA

On October 13 President Bush signed into law the PRO-IP bill. This is good news for the Recording Industry Association of American and the Motion Picture Association of America and bad news for consumers like you and me.

Any law the president of the RIAA describes as "music to the ears" is
guaranteed to be big trouble. On October 13th, President Bush signed the
misleadingly named PRO-IP bill into law, giving the DRM-loving segments of the
entertainment industry a substantial foothold in the Department of Justice,
paving the way for unwarranted seizures of computer equipment, and funding
entertainment industry propaganda with your tax dollars.

This was yet another gift to the industry and an attack on the public's
interest, from our own representatives and senators. Just because the bill has
become law does not mean that we should let them off the hook for their votes.
Take this important opportunity to write and call them, to let them know that
this is unacceptable and that you expect an explanation for their votes.

More information can be found on the Defective by Design Blog

20081121

WIC on Fox

My job, WIC, got it's own 15 seconds of fame on a local Fox affiliate

20081117

Your baby at home

Your Baby at Home

You will probably be very excited to bring your baby home from the hospital. It might even be a little scary. Your baby will seem so small and fragile you might worry about hurting baby. Baby's crying may make you nervous. If this is your first baby, everything is new to you. As you spend time with your baby, you'll learn to become more relaxed. Soon you'll know what baby likes and what upsets baby. Until then, here's what you should know about the first weeks at home.



A time to rest

You'll probably feel quite tired. Your body has worked very hard to have your baby. And now she'll be waking up many times in the night. But it's important for you to get enough sleep. During the day, nap while your baby sleeps. Don't worry about cleaning the house or doing the laundry, it's time for others to help you with that. Ask your friends to help you with those chores. As baby gets older, baby will sleep more at night.



When your baby cries

Baby's crying might upset you. That can make you feel like a bad parent. Don't worry. Babies cry. A lot. Soon you'll be able to figure out what baby wants when baby cries.

For now, start by looking at her diaper. If it is wet or soiled, change it. If baby is still crying, baby may be too hot or too cold. Check by putting your hand on the back of baby's neck. If too hot, take off some of baby's clothing. If too cold, wrap baby in a small blanket.

Still crying? Feed and burp baby. Here's how to burp your baby:
Hold baby upright with baby's head on your shoulder. Support baby's head while you gently pat her back with your hand.
.

Sometimes babies cry because they want to suck on something. Help baby find baby's thumb or fingers by guiding baby's hand to baby's mouth. Or give baby a pacifier. Some babies like to be carried or taken for a car ride (in a properly installed child safety seat). If your baby's cries make you angry, take a break. It's best to step back, leave baby with someone else and go for a walk or do something else for stress management. If no one is available to help you, put your baby down and call your doctor to ask for advice.



The best ways to bond with your baby

Every time you pick up your baby or sing baby a song, the two of you are growing closer to each other. To help baby learn that baby can always feel safe with you, spend lots of time with baby. Here are some other ways to help baby feel loved:

  • Hold and touch baby often. Cuddling baby will make baby feel secure. It won't spoil baby.


  • Breastfeed your baby.


  • Talk to your baby. Baby won't understand the words yet, but baby will like hearing the sound of your voice.




Don't forget about your partner

Your partner is probably excited, worried, and tired too. Your partner may also feel alone. In many families, the mother takes care of the baby. Dad may want to help. There are plenty of chores your partner can do. Diapers need to be changed, baby needs to be bathed and dressed. This is an opportunity to take some much needed rest.

20081112

What is the Birth to Five Helpline?

Offering Parenting Resources for Families with Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers

Birth to Five Helpline



1-877-705-KIDS
The Birth to Five Helpline is open to all families with young children looking for the latest child development information from experts in the field. Professionals may also take advantage of this free service.

An extension of the successful Helpline is the Fussy Baby Program. The Fussy Baby Program is an affiliate of the Fussy Baby Network at Chicago's prestigious Erikson Institute, and expands the organization's Birth to Five Helpline. This program provides telephone and in some instances, home visiting support to help families navigate challenges associated with hard to soothe infants.


Staffed by early childhood development specialists, registered nurses, disabilities specialists, early literacy specialists, and mental health counselors, the Helpline provides access to the Fussy Baby Program as well as:

  • A toll-free number for all Arizona families with young children and parents-to-be

  • Professional telephone consultation

  • Individualized child development information

  • Home visitation services in some cases


Topics covered are wide-ranging and include:
  • Health and Nutrition

  • Child development

  • Language Development

  • Sleep

  • Discipline

  • Colic (inconsolable crying)

  • Getting ready for school

  • Early literacy

20081111

Support Breastfeeding!

Calling all parents: Support Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an important thing to do. The following mostly discusses how the non breastfeeding parent can make it easier for their partner to breastfeed.





Why should partners encourage breastfeeding?
  • Research shows that breastfed babies have fewer colds and ear infections.

  • The nutrients in breastmilk help build the baby's brain and immune system.

  • Breastmilk is always the right temperature and ready to serve.

  • Breastfeeding builds a close bond between mother, father, and baby.





How can fathers be a part of the breastfeeding team?
    Here are some suggestions:
  • Help around the house. If there are other children, take care of them so mom can get some rest.

  • Take your baby to mom for breastfeeding. If mom needs something while she's breastfeeding, offer to get it for her.

  • Do things that will make mom feel good about herself:

    • Praise her for breastfeeding

    • Do something special for her

    • Be proud!

  • Make time for just you and your baby. Babies need cuddles and hugs from their dads, too.

  • When mom is breastfeeding, help her feel comfortable and relaxed.

  • Your support can make mom feel more comfortable about breastfeeding, even in public.

    • When the baby gets hungry and needs to eat in public, mom can breastfeed without people noticing her.

    • Mom can use a blanket or a shawl to cover up while breastfeeding. People will think she's simply cuddling the baby.

20081106

Pregnant Exercise

Exercise and Pregnancy


Along with eating the right foods, regular exercise is a great way to keep you and your baby healthy.

When you're pregnant, exercise will help you feel your best. But don't exercise to lose weight. This is a time when you should be gaining weight.

Don't do much more exercise than you did before you got pregnant. It's better to stick with what you're used to. Ask your doctor which exercises are right for you before you start.





Walking is best.

Walking is the best exercise for pregnant women. This is true even if you didn't walk much before. Special exercise classes for pregnant women are also good, if you can afford them. Hospitals and community centers may offer these classes. Ask around.


Make a plan.

Put together a plan of exercises that you'll stick to. And then decide how often you'll do them. Try to schedule 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, like walking, most days of the week. Remember that you can add up the time that you are physically active, so if you only have time to be active for 10 minutes 3 times a day, take advantage of each opportunity.


Take it easy.

You must be careful when you exercise while you're pregnant.
  • Don't exercise in very hot or very cold weather.

  • Be very careful about your body. Some things are different now. Joints like knees and elbows can be injured more easily. This is because of the increase in flexibility that your body uses to prepare for childbirth.

  • Drink plenty of water.

  • Don't let yourself become too hot. The warm up and cool down are just as important now as they are at any other time. Start off slowly for the first 5 to 10 minutes. Then you can go a little faster. Slow down again at the end for about 5 to 10 minutes.

  • Watch your balance now that your belly is much bigger. Avoid activities that require extra balance or that pose a greater risk for falling.

  • After 20 weeks, avoid during exercises on your back.


When to stop.
Your doctor may want you to stop exercising when your due date gets closer. And at any time during your pregnancy, be sure to stop exercising right away if you:
  • feel pain

  • have cramps in your uterus

  • feel blood or fluid coming from your vagina

  • get dizzy

  • have trouble breathing

If the problem doesn't go away after you stop exercising, make sure to call your doctor.

What Palin didn't know

Whoah, Fox sure did a quick turn around huh:



Look for a Palin run to the White House in 2012.

20081103

Reasons to not vote for Obama: He isn't real change

Debra Sweet, from the World Can't Wait, put it much better than I could have:

All of us living in this country will confront change after tomorrow's election, but not the change most people think they are getting. If Obama wins, he will preside over changes we don't want and shouldn't get sucked into supporting.

I'm calling on you to keep resisting the crimes being done by your government. Tuesday, let's go out among the people at the polls, and in the evening, be among those celebrating a presumed Obama win to challenge them on the facts, and on their consciences, and raise these questions:

What are people even getting to vote about after this two year long campaign? Did you get to vote on whether the U.S. should occupy Iraq? Or whether the CIA, the private contractors, or the military should use torture and secret detentions?

And what is there to celebrate in an Obama presidency? Making us feel good about the country again when Obama is trying to unite us to fight the "good war" in Afghanistan? Happy that some combat troops will be removed from Iraq, while air strikes kill more civilians in Pakistan and Syria? How could we celebrate "national unity" when Obama's vote for the FISA law opens the way for unprecedented political repression and spying on the people?

I know, from talking to many people, that lots of people have "settled" for Obama, as opposed to McCain. Others are hoping against hope...and will be open to hearing what we have to say. If what we say is unpopular, or angers people, then so be it. You don't change political terms by shying away from controversy. And you can't learn what people really think without challenging their assumptions.

This is not the time to "wait and see" what Obama will do after January 20, or after 6 months or a year...or never, because if he does what's in the peoples' interests he won't be re-elected? He's telling us what he will do, and the worst thing would be to get passive in the face of it.

Wednesday, November 5, World Can't Wait is holding the first anti-war protests while Obama is president-elect. (see sidebar: if the election is stolen for McCain, there will be 5 pm protests at federal buildings that day which we will join with our message).

Millions of people will be overjoyed to see Bush gone after 8 disastrous years. But they project their hopes on a candidate who is not even promising what they want. To be blunt, most people, when you ask them, don't know what Obama's program is. They need to know what Obama is planning, not that which they are being hood-winked to believe in, as Dennis Loo calls it.
What matters now, the busy/cheney legacy.

1) Obama, the "anti-war" candidate wants to leave 50 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, but move the combat brigades to Afghanistan, and add then add more troops. My friend Missy Beattie, whose nephew was killed in Iraq in 2006, wrote on Counterpunch, "I'm sick of Obama's 'right war' in Afghanistan." He first promoted sending drones and special forces into Pakistan last spring. The Bush regime publicly disagreed, but secretly began attacks on Pakistan in July, which have killed scores of civilians.

Joe Mowrey wrote on Obama's "progressive warfare" in a piece that begins with why Colin Powell, salesman for the Iraq debacle with his own war criminal history, should have driven people from Obama with his endorsement. "Let's catalog of few of Barack Obama's progressive qualifications to be next President of the United States of Imperialism. Well first, there's his adamant condemnation of the war in Iraq. Why, he was against it from the very start. Of course, that hasn't prevented him from voting continually to fund the Occupation. But hey, he has to get elected before he can implement all his wonderful changey policies, right? You know, like maintaining a presence of 50,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq, along with a dozen or so permanent military bases and the world's largest foreign embassy. Then there is his pledge to escalate the "good war" in Afghanistan. We've only killed about 10,000 or so innocent civilians there in the last few years. I won't feel safe until we can push those numbers much higher. And Pakistan? Sending robot drones out to drop bombs on people is my kind of progressive war. Obama has assured us he'll continue that policy and actually increase the number of illegal violations of that country's sovereignty."
Name that Candidate

2) The June 2008 FISA Bill: Lots of people have told me this is where their hope for Obama flew away. Obama campaigned against Bush's FISA law. Then he voted FOR it, including immunity to the telephone companies, so no one can sue them for violating federal law for years by handing over email and phone traffic to the NSA. Bush could never have gotten his FISA bill through Congress in 2006, but by 2008, when the Democrats controlled the House, they gave him everything he wanted. People expected Obama, who taught Constitutional law, to protect their rights, but Obama went out of his way to make an unpopular vote to bolster the "war on terror" and set the basis for expanded political repression. He voted for an amended USA PATRIOT Act that had more draconian curbs on political protest than the 2001 version.

3) Obama vows to expand Bush's "faith-based initiatives" that have wrapped the delivery of shrinking social services in Christian fundamentalist messages. Chris Hedges, a scholar of right wing populism, makes the point in American Fascists that the hard core Christian "fascists" running the reactionary movement of which Sarah Palin is a rising star, don't want to come to an agreement with gay people, women who won't submit to their prescribed role in the family, or people who don't share their religious views. "They are out to eliminate you," said Hedges.

American Fascists

Hedges new piece today on Truthdig.com

As a defender of women's reproductive rights, and abortion doctors specifically, for 26 years, I know they have, and want to eliminate us. In this context, Obama wants to find "common ground" with the program of ending abortion and birth control. He voted against the ban on so-called "partial birth" abortion in the Senate, but now says it's up the states, as long as there's a health exception for the woman concerned. Obama: "I don't think that 'mental distress' qualifies as the health of the mother. I think it has to be a serious physical issue that arises in pregnancy, where there are real, significant problems to the mother carrying that child to term. Otherwise, as long as there is such a medical exception in place, I think we can prohibit late-term abortions." Barack Obama on Abortion

Obama is not protecting women's endangered rights with his goal of "ending the polarizing debate on abortion."

A McCain/Palin presidency would be dangerous. If they win, it will be as illegitimate as Bush's selection was; a terrible further leap in the fascist direction Bush took this society in after 9/11. We should lead people -- who will correctly be horrified -- not to accept a stolen election.

But putting our principles aside just to keep McCain from being elected won't stop this juggernaut of war and repression.

As all this settles in, people who get alarmed need to know there's a force to join with that will firmly oppose this program. Malcolm Shore writes in "What Now - The Difference Four Years Can Make" about what it means to have World Can't Wait on the political scene. It's more essential now than it has ever been that we be out among people with a sober, clear reality to help people see the responsibility we who live in this country have now.

We are a minority. If what we say is unpopular, or angers people, then so be it. We have a responsibility to act on what we know to be true. Our strength can be an anchor to others, as they discover the program they will be forced to accept, or resist.

We will be here, organizing a movement of resistance with a realistic aim -- to bring these crimes and this whole direction to a stop. If you don't want to join us now, remember us and join us when it does become clear to you that the crimes of your government have to be stopped. Then, join with the kind of movement that CAN make it happen.

Only the independent action of the people can create the conditions where those in power can be forced to act in accordance with our demands. This is the change we can believe in.

How about this? Stop thinking like an American, and start thinking like someone who cares for the whole planet.

I'll write when we know the outcome of the election!

Debra Sweet, Director, The World Can't Wait - Drive Out the Bush Regime

I'd like you to read the Call to Drive Out the Bush Regime signed by tens of thousands since 2005.

Why would we accept any of this, no matter who the president?

PROTEST Wednesday November 5

World Can't Wait will hold the first anti-war protests in the era of president-elect Obama.

No matter who the president is, stop the endless wars!

Step up as someone who won't accept these crimes. End the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan. Stop the airstrikes on Pakistan & Syria and the secret operations in Iran.

* If the election is stolen, representing a further escalation of the fascist direction the Bush Regime has been taking society for the past 8 years, don't accept it! Paralysis and demoralization are not acceptable.

New York City: Federal Building, 26 Federal Plaza 5:00 pm

San Francisco: Powell & Market Streets 5:00 pm

(details being posted at worldcantwait.org)

Learn about the 2008 Arizona Ballot Issues

Prop. 100 - Protect Our Homes

Sponsor: Arizona Association of Realtors
What it would do: Amend the state Constitution to prohibit the creation of real-estate transfer taxes.
Pro: The initiative would protect families and businesses from a damaging real estate sales or transfer tax on homes or property. Since home and property owners already pay annual property taxes, an additional tax, levied at the time people buy, sell or transfer ownership of their home would be double taxation.
Con: The measure would close off one avenue of potential tax income for the state and change the state's Constitution to protect real estate corporations and developers. It is an attempt to tie the hands of Arizona's elected officials as they try to deal with the costs of meeting Arizona's needs.
The bottom line: Would close off one avenue of potential tax income for the state.
RareHero says vote NO: Limiting income for the state is never a good thing. At a time when the state is struggling to find money to pay for anything (like higher education) voting for this proposition would really hurt Arizona's future.


Prop. 101 - Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act

Sponsor: Doctors, patients and business owners
What it would do: Bars the state from restricting patients' ability to choose their own health-care system or insurance program, or to pay directly for medical services. Blocks the state from penalizing patients for choosing to obtain or decline health-care coverage.
Pro: The Medical Choice initiative would preserve the rights of patients to make their own health-care decisions and block health-care reform proposals influenced by insurance companies, lobbyists and other special interest groups that try to cut costs and thereby limit health-care options for consumers. It would create a constitutional amendment that would lay the groundwork for a solution to the health-care crisis.
Con: The initiative could bar any type of single-payer universal health-care system in Arizona, thereby limiting access to health care for some patients. It is too ambiguous and vague, and would end up in the courts as lawyers try to interpret the meaning of the law. Because the initiative would amend the state Constitution, the law, and any unintended consequences, would be extremely difficult to reverse.
Rarehero says vote NO: The initiative could bar any type of single-payer universal health-care system in Arizona.

Prop. 102 - Gay-marriage ban

Sponsor: Referendum sponsored by Senate President Tim Bee and House Speaker Jim Weiers, both Republicans
What it would do: Amend state Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. State law already contains that definition.
Pro: Arizona's law preserving marriage as legal only between one man and one woman is not enough. The state needs a constitutional amendment. As evidenced in several states, laws can be declared "unconstitutional" by a few judges who rule based on their own personal views.
Con: The measure is unnecessary, as there is already a law in Arizona that prohibits marriage except that between one man and one woman. That law has survived court challenges; it was upheld by the state Court of Appeals and the Arizona Supreme Court let it stand. Arizona does not need unnecessary amendments of the state Constitution.
The bottom line: A more expansive measure that would have barred the state from recognizing civil unions of same-sex couples failed in 2006. But it's unclear whether opponents can mount a successful challenge a second time around.
RareHero says vote NO: I'm already against marriage, especially for people that get married before the age of 28 so it should come as a surprise that I don't support this proposition because it is my firm belief that people are people. If a person wants to marry another person, go for it. They're probably just going to get divorced later anyway. I just don't understand why some of you are so set on the idea that gay marriage will destroy Amerikan families. Like Lewis Black said, we're so fucked up we better put it in the constitution so we don't forget who we're supposed to marry.


Prop. 105 - Majority Rules, Let the People Decide

Sponsor: Fast-food franchisee MJKL Enterprises/alcohol distributors
What it would do: Require that any initiative imposing new taxes or fees, as well any that mandate new spending, must have support from a majority of Arizona registered voters, whether they go to the polls or not.
Pro: The Majority Rules Initiative would make it harder for special interests to use ballot initiatives to raise our taxes. Previous initiatives have created out of control state spending and burdensome regulations by special interests of using the ballot box. This initiative says if the voters of Arizona want to enact new taxes and mandates on government and the private sector, the measure must be passed by a majority of those qualified to vote in that election.
Con: This deceptive initiative is intended to tie the hands of voters in Arizona. The measure will make it nearly impossible for civic and community organizations to affect public policy through the will of the voter.
The bottom line: Raises the threshold for voters to increase taxes and spending. Currently, it takes just a majority of voters who actually vote to pass new taxes.
RareHero says vote NO: Limiting income for the state is never a good thing. At a time when the state is struggling to find money to pay for anything (like higher education) voting for this proposition would really hurt Arizona's future.


Prop 200 - Payday Loan Reform Act

Sponsor: Arizona Community Financial Services Association/payday lenders
What it would do: Preserves small, short-term loans known as payday loans through rate cuts, the elimination of loan extensions and a new repayment plan.
Pro: Every day in Arizona, thousands of hardworking people use a payday loan to meet unexpected financial challenges while avoiding expensive bounced-check fees, overdraft fees, late bill payment penalties, and other less desirable short-term credit options. The time has come to implement reforms in the industry to further protect consumers, improve the way companies do business in Arizona, and preserve this financial option for those customers who choose it. This asure would enact such reforms.
Con: The measure will not really reform the state's payday loan mess; things will only get worse because the problems will become permanent. Payday lenders are notorious for making huge profits by exploiting the financial hardship of people with limited resources, especially the poor and young people, and those living near military bases and in low-income communities. This measure would allow that to continue, and would halt the Legislature's efforts to reform payday loans.
The bottom line: Halts Legislature's efforts to kill payday loans.
RareHero says vote NO: I doubt that payday lenders would propose something that would limit their ability to take advantage of the people they serve.

Prop. 201 - Homeowners' Bill of Rights

Sponsor: Sheet Metal Workers' International Association
What it would do: Help homeowners deal with construction defects and deceptive sales practices.
Pro : It would give homeowners better legal footing in disputes with home builders by balancing the legal rights between homebuilders and their customers, who have been denied reasonable protection against deceptive sales practices and construction defects.
Con: The proposal creates a mandatory and complex litigation process that will cause unnecessary lawsuits without resolving homeowner's problems. The title is misleading and affords homeowners fewer rights than the laws that are currently in place in Arizona.
The bottom line: It gives homeowners better legal footing in disputes with home builders.
rarehero says vote YES: I support unions and so should you. This would help consumers fight back against predatory business practices.

Prop. 202 - Stop Illegal Hiring

Sponsor: Business group Wake Up Arizona!
What it would do: Provide more protection to employers who violate state employer-sanctions law while targeting the pay-in-cash labor market and identity theft.
Pro: The measure is tough because it gives law enforcement the tools they need to target the underground, black market cash economy; removes illegal immigrants' ability to conceal their undocumented status by strengthening identity theft statutes; and creates a two-strike penalty that puts employers out of business if they hire illegal immigrants. Most importantly, the law allows police to arrest employers who knowingly accept fake documents from any person seeking employment. It protects innocent employees by targeting employers who don't verify documents or who skirt taxes by paying cash only. It ensures a fair complaint process and protects law-abiding businesses and their employees. It does not mandate the use of flawed databases and directs all fines collected to schools and hospitals, where the effects of illegal immigration are great.
Con: The initiative is designed to sound good to voters while giving employers amnesty in advance for hiring illegals. Punishments include fines and/or loss of the company business license. But businesses not requiring a license are automatically exempt. Also exempt from punishment are incorporated companies, partnerships and Transaction Privilege Licenses. Most corporate retailers like restaurants, hotels and retail chains are exempt. Arizona's current employer sanctions law has been working extremely well at reducing illegal immigration in Arizona. The Stop Illegal Hiring ballot measure stands in stark contrast in both form and substance to our current law that was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor.
The bottom line: A competing initiative toughening the employer-sanction law failed to qualify for the ballot, clearing the way for the business-backed proposal.
rarehero says vote NO: This one is a bit confusing. Be sure to read more about it here.

Prop. 300 - Legislative Salary Increase

Sponsor: Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers
What it would do: Raise state legislators' salaries from $24,000 to $30,000
Pro: Lawmakers are seriously underpaid and deserve a raise. Their compensation of only $24,000 per year has not been raised for many years and must be improved to attract the best and brightest to legislative service, especially people who may not work for a large business or utility that can afford to subsidize their incomes. At the current salary, the pool of citizens able to serve in the Legislature is limited.
Con: Being elected to the Legislature is a civic minded contribution, not a career. Lawmakers should be able to meet for less than 100 days each year, pass a budget, and go home to pursue other jobs.
The bottom line: Arizona lawmakers are overdue for a pay raise. But the odds are against it: Voters have rejected a number of similar measures in recent years.
rarehero says vote NO: This is the same legislature that has voted time and again to cut spending where it has been needed most. That sounds a bit vengeful but I think people should vote no until the legislature starts doing what is expected of it. Unfortunately, voting no may inhibit others from pursuing public service because their bank accounts are unable to support a campaign and taking time off of their day job.

20081102

Wal Mart in Arizona

Are there good jobs at Wal Mart? There could be, as long as you aren't an associate.

Set the record straight!


According to a report on Fox News Tucson, jobs at Wal-Mart are getting better and gaining popularity among Arizonans. Unfortunately, the reporter’s depiction of Wal-Mart’s wages and benefits couldn’t be further from the truth.

Wal-Mart continues to offer low wages and meager health benefits to its workers, and it is routinely accused of forcing them to work off the clock or during breaks.