No Saguaro

No Saguaro

August 4, 2012

They Did Something Right – For Once


I had lunch today at one of Tucson’s Five Guys restaurants.  I was a big fan of Five Guys when I lived back in the D.C. area, but this was my first visit to a Tucson location.  Given that this is Tucson, I went in expecting the worst. This city has a habit of making dining out at even the most well-established chain restaurants a crap shoot.  Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised.  The hamburger I had was fresh, cooked to order, with quality toppings.  The bountiful serving of french fries, something for which Five Guy is famous, was fresh, hot, salty, and tasty.  All in all, a pleasant experience.

Even though the chances of any Tucsonan launching an original restaurant chain that serves quality food are somewhere south of zero, it appears that every once in a great blue moon, they can at least manage to sustain a local franchise of somebody else’s restaurant.  I have to imagine that the Five Guys corporate headquarters keeps a very close eye on their franchise outlets, probably to ensure that no one like the average Tucsonan ever manages any of their restaurants.  In fact, given what we all know about Tucsonans, I also have to believe that Five Guys had somebody relocate to Tucson from the D.C. area to open and run their local outlets.

Who says I never say anything positive about this city? 

August 3, 2012

T2 of the Week: Adam Smith


Not to be confused with the famous eighteenth century Scottish economist whose treatise The Wealth of Nations is one of the seminal works behind free-market economic thought.  Our tard this week is a pathetic, acerebral adultolescent who somehow managed to stumble his way into an executive position at (what one assumes is) a private corporation run by grownups.  It would appear that this company’s human resources and hiring mechanisms could use a serious overhaul.  While it seems almost unsporting by now to pick on this pathetic dweebtard, I haven’t posted here in a while, so I’ll take what opportunities come my way.  Besides, I haven’t found an award recipient this deserving in months.

Apparently Smith didn’t care for Chick-Fil-A™ corporation CEO Dan Cathy’s public statement last week in which Mr. Cathy defended his and his corporation’s views on traditional, biblical marriage and family.  Nor could Smith apparently stomach the favorable reaction of large segments of the American public to Mr. Cathy’s statements, which manifested itself in the form of record numbers of them patronizing their local Chick-Fil-A outlets.  Smith was apparently so outraged that he took it upon himself to drive out to the Chick-Fil-A outlet located at 3605 E. Broadway on Wednesday to give them a piece of what passes for his mind.

Smith proceeded to pull up to the drive-thru window, ordered a free cup of ice water as a statement (the company would not only make no money on such a transaction, but would lose a few pennies of profit to boot by giving away a cup), then berated the poor server behind the counter for daring to work for a company that would  --oh, horror of horrors!—make favorable comments on the traditional family. 

Apparently neither the deepest thinker in the world (well, DUH… he’s a Tucsonan) nor someone who considers the long-term consequences of his actions, and apparently also affected with a bit of narcissism, our Brain Trust of the Week decided to video his encounter with the Chick-Fil-A server, then upload said video footage to YouTube.  It seems that he also had supreme confidence not only in his abilities as a wannabe RealityTV interviewer, but also that his self-righteous, patronizing rant to the virtual world would garner mass sympathy and support.

In fact, the only thing that our T2 “garnered” was a pink slip from his employer, Vante corporation, a high-tech firm that must be one of the few “private sector” employers operating in this economic desert.  Operating a business and staffing it with qualified and issue-free employees is challenging enough in Tucson under the  most ideal of conditions.  Vante CEO Roger Vogel apparently realized that he and his executive staff had somehow mistaken Adam Smith for a mature adult and that if they didn’t remove him from their midst, they would end up a statistic like so many other businesses in the past that have tried to make a go of it here and failed, among the reasons for their failures being that they were saddled with baggage like Adam Smith.  As Mr. Vogel told the Arizona Daily Star:

Vogel said he was “shocked” by the video, which he first discovered when people emailed him a link.

“We obviously found it very disturbing,” Vogel said. “We respect everybody’s ability to share their opinions in the public square and we have a very diverse workforce with a diverse set of opinions. We expect employees to behave in a professional manner that’s commensurate with their positions, and discuss their opinions in a civil fashion. ... We thought what he did was inappropriate.”

Well said, Roger.

Hey, Adam: while no one gives a dried javalina turd what kind of lifestyle you lead, and no one is suggesting that you be persecuted for your beliefs or feelings, your (now former) boss hit the nail on the head.  Let me put it to you in what are probably the only terms you can understand:

You weren’t fired for your beliefs; you were fired for behaving like an ASSHOLE in public.  When executives of high-profile businesses behave like assholes in public, it gives their employers a very bad name.  With the economy the way it is and with businesses having to compete harder than ever for clients, they can’t afford to have spoiled, self-centered adultolescents with the judgment and self-control of toddlers giving them a black eye.  

Roger Vogel didn’t mention it in the interview with the Daily Star, but I’ll bet if he were to consider it worth his time to take you aside and give you a “life lesson,” he would probably have said to you something like: “Look, Adam, I’m sure you have your reasons for being upset with Chick-Fil-A.  If you’re that upset with them, write an open letter to Dan Cathy and tell him, in civil and professional language free of emotion, why you are upset with him and his company’s core values and why you think they should be more accommodating.  I would be willing to bet that corresponding with him as one executive to another, you might actually get his attention and maybe even have him constructively chewing on some food for thought.”

It’s probably a good thing that Mr. Vogel didn’t waste his precious life-minutes on such a lecture.  Judging from the juvenile idiocy that Smith upchucked on YouTube, it would have been wasted breath.  

Finally, I noticed the following at the tail end of the Star article online:

According to his LinkedIn profile, Smith taught Valuation and Corporate Finance to MBA students last semester.

Before accepting the job at Vante, Smith worked for more than seven years at IBM, where he was Senior Finance Manager. Smith earned a business degree at the UA, graduating in 1999, as well as an MBA in 2007.

That says it all.  I only needed to see those three little letters –M, B, and A—to know what we’re dealing with here.  Bad enough everywhere else in the nation, I can only imagine what kind of time-and-space-rending incompetence and stupidity these three little letters mean here in Tucson.

Actually, we don’t have to imagine.  Adam Smith has already shown us.

Maybe, stoked by righteous anger, Adam and a pool of investors will answer Mr. Cathy and company by launching a new fast food franchise for the gay crowd called Dude-Fil-A.  I'm sure he'll have no trouble finding people to work there who can “live with themselves” for doing so.

I’ll never know.  I prefer traditional family values.

June 16, 2012

A Brief Editorial Note

To explain the paucity of posts of late (to anyone who cares), I've been out of town for the last month on a combination of work and vacation and will continue to be out until mid July.  It's going to be a travel-intense summer, so even under the best of conditions, this blog probably won't get a lot of attention from me.

If anyone out there is reading and has anything current that they think might makesuitable posting material, feel free to let me know and submit via the comments section.  Due credit will be give to the contributor for anything that is submitted.

March 22, 2012

Medical Care in Tucson: Don’t EVER Get Sick Or Injured Here!

One of the greatest puzzles about living in Tucson is how so many people manage to escape “medical care” in this town without death or permanent disability. As they do with everything else in life, the residents of this miserable shit hole settle for second, third, fourth…fiftieth best, and medical “care” here is not only no exception, but particularly illustrative of the phenomenon.

As to the “why” behind the substandard care in El Pueblo Viejo, the answer is pretty simple and obvious: shitty wages for health care professionals, shittier working conditions, and a patient population that not only cannot/will not pay for quality care, but doesn’t even know how to demand such care, or even recognize what such a thing is. Ergo, the cream of the medical field crop flees elsewhere or doesn’t come here in the first place. Instead, the real professionals choose localities where skilled healthcare professionals not only earn something resembling competitive wages (even accounting for the increasingly socialized environment of today’s medical profession), but are able to practice real medicine. When I say “real medicine,” I mean the actual diagnosis and treatment of patients who have something actually wrong with them, rather than tweakers who are just seeking their next fix.

Well, OK, maybe “tweakers” is the wrong word to use here. Contrary to popular belief, the most popular substance abused in Tucson is not methamphetamine, but prescription drugs. Most of the health care “professionals” here (I’ll illustrate shortly why this term does not apply to most medical employees in Tucson) spend most of their time fending off people who mistake clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices for pharmacies and who haven’t ever actually been sick, in the clinical definition of that term, at any time in their adult lives. For this reason the doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and medical assistants here do very little real medical diagnosis and treatment. This means that most of them are out of practice in and unfamiliar with this area of medicine, and therefore cannot recognize genuinely ill patients when they see them.

My wife’s bout two years ago with valley fever, a common and sometimes fatal disease of the desert southwestern United States, provides a perfect illustration. Almost two years ago to the day, she began suffering symptoms of what at first appeared to be the flu, followed by painful and difficult breathing that resembled pneumonia. We suspected from the beginning that this was the onset of valley fever, but of course needed medical confirmation of this fact, thinking (foolishly, it turned out) that we’d get answers right away. Thus began the dreaded process of dealing with Tucson “medical care.”

Step one was to visit what was then her general practitioner, an H1-B doctor from India who worked at the same clinic where my medical assistant daughter then worked. Not being either a native Arizonan or a long-term resident, this woman had no clue what valley fever was and attempted to first tell my wife that 1) she had a bad cold, 2) she was suffering from stress, and then, finally, when all else failed , that 3) she was suffering from depression! Being not only a medical ignoramus, but a Big Pharma whore (aren’t all doctors these days?), this doctor then actually prescribed Zoloft – for a whole year! My daughter, a mere medical assistant, had already figured out what the problem was and begged the GP to send my wife for a chest x-ray, which would have immediately detected the damage valley fever does to the lungs. Of course no self-respecting quack, especially one from India, could ever allow a mere medical assistant to show her up, so she of course refused to prescribe the chest x-ray. End of step one.

Step two was my wife progressively getting sicker and sicker for the next two months, her energy draining, her breathing becoming more and more difficult, and her skin breaking out in lesions, another prominent valley fever symptom.

Step three was me taking my wife to the emergency room at around dawn one spring morning after she became so weak with fever and chills, and her breathing became so labored that she could barely move. I dreaded this step because the nearest hospital to us, the one at which our doctors all practiced, is also, sadly, one of the most mediocre (OK, let’s be honest and drop the euphemisms – worst) hospitals in town. That said, I simply had to imagine that SOMEBODY on their emergency room staff would have recognized her symptoms for what they were.

HAH!

My wife nearly died that day in the ER. In fact, one ER quack, a shaved-headed prick-with-ears who looked and acted more like an off-duty copthug than a doctor, actually told her “I don’t think there’s much we can do for you here.” My daughter, who had taken the morning off of work to meet us at the ER, looked this doctor straight in the eye and told him what was wrong and what needed to be done, the first order of business being a chest x-ray. Once again, of course, no “doctor” could ever let a lowly medical assistant show him up and this cop-masqerading [ineptly]-as-a-doctor was no exception.

Fortunately, there just happened to be, among the losers that “staffed” this underperforming excuse for a hospital, a pulmonologist on duty that day who actually knew what he was doing and what he was talking about (he’s probably still the only one of his kind in town. I wonder when he’ll get fed up and move out). He immediately ordered a chest x-ray, looked at the results when they came back 20 minutes later, and said “valley fever, no doubt about it.” He then proscribed the proper medication that had my wife on the fast road to recovery (as much as anyone can “recover” from valley fever, as it stays in the body permanently and can resurface at any time over the course of one’s life). My wife still sees that pulmonologist once per year for a checkup.

One doctor, the ONLY competent one on that hospital’s staff, stood between my wife and death! I still shudder when I think of what would have happened if this doctor had not been on duty that day. I would now be a widower – with a very large lawsuit against that hospital. I also wonder how many others not as fortunate as my wife, unable to find a competent doctor able who recognized a very common Arizona disease, have lost their lives under similar circumstances.

My medical assistant daughter has not escaped Tucson’s health care nightmare unscathed either. Suffering from a permanent physical disability, a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and leaves her susceptible to orthopedic problems, she has visited three orthopedists in Tucson over the last five years, none of whom had either ever heard of her disease (it’s not an uncommon one and should be known by anyone daring to call themselves an orthopedist) and who could offer her no medical help for her aggravating symptoms. In short, actual diagnostic medicine was too much trouble for these bottom-of-their-graduating-class losers. Far easier to deal with drug seekers and recklessly issue prescriptions while collecting subsidies from their Big Pharma pimps.

Needless to say, my daughter is trying to get the hell out of this wretched town. She not only has been on the receiving end of of the abominable medical care that this town offers, but she also fed up with the utter disdain with which the local medical establishment treats qualified and competent medical assistants, what few that there are.

Speaking of which, I don’t know how my daughter was able to abide nearly four years of the medical clinic at which she worked. While the doctors for whom she worked were actually relatively competent, at least in Tucson terms, and were very supportive of her efforts to support them, it was the medical administrators and her fellow MAs who were insufferable and who finally caused her to throw in the towel and walk away.

From what my daughter tells me, and from what I’ve witnessed first hand, in order to “work” as an “administrator” of a medical services establishment in Tucson, one must be one or more of the following:

• A complete and hopeless moron who is absolutely devoid of any interpersonal, leadership, or managerial skills whatsoever

• Completely and hopelessly ignorant of actual medicine, medical terminology, medical practices and standards, or medical administration, to include patient scheduling, billing, referrals, insurance claim management, and patient outreach

• Hostile to anyone knowledgeable of, qualified to practice, or experienced in the medical profession or medical administration

• An arrogant, backstabbing, ass-kissing egomaniac

• Barred from working as a medical administrator in any other city, in any other state in which actual demonstrated competence and standards are demanded of a medical administrator

• A miserable and consistent failure in every aspect of life

• Openly and unashamedly contemptuous of both patients and medical staff

Before you dismiss these as the ravings of a disgruntled employee, let me assure you that, based on my and my wife’s personal interactions with such people, my daughter’s assertions are one hundred percent accurate. In fact, if anything, she probably omitted a few key attributes from the above list. The fact is that I would not allow any of the “medical administrators” of my acquaintance in this town to flip burgers at a local fast food joint of my patronage, or to take my garbage can out to the curb, let alone run an establishment that might be responsible one day for saving my or one of my loved ones’ life. The fact that they are allowed anywhere near a medical services organization tells me that not only does the “medical establishment” of this town –hell, of this state—not care one wit about the well-being of patients, but that it is openly contemptuous of them and sees them as nothing but dollar signs to be milked and discarded. Given the criminal Establishment that runs every other aspect of this corrupt, disgusting, hopeless state, I do not think that such an assertion is mere hyperbole.

Concerning medical assistants in this town (and probably just about anywhere else in the country in this standards-free day and age): they’re almost universally lazy and incompetent, a direct reflection of everyone else in this cesspool of a city, as well as the so-called “training” they received.

Just watch TV ad testimonials on behalf of local fly-by-night diploma mills that milk gullible and talentless morons out of thousands of borrowed dollars that they’ll never be able to repay because of the “great jobs” they won’t get after they graduate. You get the impression that “medical assisting” is a field staffed by bright, ambitious young people who are on the first rung of a career ladder that might lead all the way up to a prestigious position as a senior medical administrator, or even a career as a doctor.

Bullshit.

The typical “medical assistant” here in Tucson (and probably everywhere else) is a single woman –usually a single mother—who is generally a member of a racial or ethnic minority group or a lower-class white family. In most cases she either 1) dropped out of high school, later to get a G[ood]E[nough]D[iploma]; 2) has a criminal record, a drug problem, or some other issue that has kept her out of the productive, gainful workplace for most of her adult life; 3) is academically hopeless and functionally illiterate, not even able to survive a two-year community college program; 4) all three of the above. One thing that is common to almost all medical assistants in Tucson, whether they work for a public clinic, a private practice, or a hospital, is their complete inability to do simple tasks, follow simple directions, think critically, or get anything done without being micromanaged. Some of the recurring problems with Tucson MAs, no matter where and for whom they work, include:

An inability to communicate with patients. Granted, most Tucsonans in any profession can’t communicate clearly with other human beings, but these people are in a class by themselves. I cannot tell you how many times my wife and I have tried to either schedule appointments, get exam or lab test results, or verify insurance co-payment or update information with doctors offices or clinics in this area, only to meet a brick wall. Granted, a very big part of the problem with the MAs in this town is that many of them are Mexicans who can barely communicate in English at a functional level (yes, it’s un-PC to say this, although that doesn’t make it any less accurate), but that’s only an aggravating factor. The truth is that most of these creatures simply do not know how to do their jobs, do not know how to talk to patients, and are not the least bit interested in helping patients get the proper care or information that they need.

An inability to communicate with the doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants for whom they work. This is an especially dangerous shortcoming. After all, it is essential that the information imparted by doctors to their MAs, information often vital to a patient’s understanding of their condition, and therefore there ability to accurately assess the need for treatment, along with the ability to update patient care records correctly, be as accurate and clear as possible. Sadly, as with their communications skills with patients, too many Tucson MAs simply cannot comprehend the information that doctors, labs, pharmacies, and other clinics provide them. Far too often information that needs to be handled in a timely manner falls through the cracks. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, part of this is due to language barriers, but the predominant cause is simply poor education and training, as well as careless apprenticeships by practitioners of newly trained MAs, who tend to pick up the bad habits of those providing them with on-the-job training.

Laziness and apathy. This is the great Tucson “occupational plague” that is causing the local economy to implode. MAs are not the most common sufferers of this disease, but are arguably the most dangerous, given the nature of their work.

Substance abuse. To a great degree, this is probably the cause of the previous three paragraphs. While they don’t necessarily have greater access to prescription drugs than any other health professionals in the area, MAs tend to come from the same local population that is notorious for abusing drugs and alcohol. Given Tucson’s reputation as the unofficial “Substance Abuse Capitol of the American Southwest,” odds are that the gal (or, on rare occasions, guy) updating your medical record, calling in your prescription to the pharmacy, taking your vitals prior to a doctor’s exam, or drawing your blood is high on something, or hung over from a bender the night before. I have literally refused to have blood drawn by specific MAs on two separate occasions because the individuals in both cases were obviously under the influence of some kind of drug, prescription or otherwise. (For those of you who wonder why I didn’t report them immediately, just TRY to do that here in Arizona and see how far you get.)

Admittedly, a great deal of this mess is the fault of the “managers” and doctors for whom these MAs work, in that these experienced professionals fail to hold their MAs to a high standard of performance. This isn’t surprising, since these so-called “professionals” seldom ever hold themselves to a high level of professionalism. And why should they, given that the average Tucsonan who is their patient doesn’t know what professionalism is, nor do they show any particular concern for their own health. The inferior “colleges” in which these MAs are “trained” also share a great deal of the blame, as most are interested in only two things from an applicant for their MA programs: 1) that the applicant have a pulse, and 2) that the applicant have money for tuition, its source not being a particular concern to the school administrators and stockholders.

To be fair, I should make it clear here that there are also exceptions to the rule. In addition to the rank incompetence, we’ve also had instances where we were served by truly fine, upstanding, and thoroughly competent doctors, nurses, Pas, and MAs. Sadly, however, they are the rare exception to the rule. The majority of people in the medical profession in this town would simply be fired, and probably stripped of their licenses or certifications to practice, if they ever performed elsewhere in the nation as they do here.

All of the above said, the bulk of the fault for the sorry state of medical care in this town lies, of course, with the medical “professionals” themselves, whether they are doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, medical assistants, or administrators. Just as today’s society as a whole is a collection of helpless, whining victims who feel that they are owed a job with benefits, regardless of their performance and whether they’ve earned them or not, so the medical field reflects that society. When the majority of a city like Tucson consists of individuals reflective of this attitude, then the attitude will infect all of that city's businesses, health care being no exception. Until the medical community here in Arizona, and in the city of Tucson in particular, either cleans up its act by shedding incompetent “dead wood” and starts staffing itself with able professionals, the rot will continue and more sick and injured citizens will be victimized. Sadly, given Tucson’s unstoppable descent to the bottom of the socioeconomic abyss, that’s unlikely to happen.

As my title advises, don’t get sick or injured in this city. If you have no way of getting out now, pray that good health and good luck follow you and keeps you safe as long as you have to remain a resident. Your life depends upon it.

February 17, 2012

T2 of the Week: Martha Vazquez

Some might say that it’s premature to give (now former) KVOA news anchor Martha Vazquez this week’s award, given that she has not been found guilty in a court of law of the crime of which she is accused.  However, since she has admitted to the act, that pretty much tosses that line of reasoning into the trash can.  So, without further ado, allow me to confer upon Ms. Vazquez this week’s T2 Award.  I suspect this will be her only award, unless she does something else incredibly stupid in the future that comes to the public’s attention.

Vazquez, long-time face of local Tucson NBC affiliate KVOA TV, submitted her resignation from that station on Monday, February 13th in the wake of being charged with shoplifting a jacket and some earrings at the Dillard’s department store at Tucson Mall.  As the KVOA online news article in the link makes clear, she owned up to the theft immediately after being caught and offered no explanation or excuse for it.

No doubt there are those who will rush to her defense by stating that she must be suffering from some sort of mental illness or personal problem that would have compelled her to do something so utterly moronic.  The idea that she, a very public figure in Tucson, could get away with this juvenile criminal act in a prominent Tucson retail establishment suggests that, no matter what the possible contributing factors might be, she’s really not a very bright individual at all.  Of course, being that she’s a native Tucsonan, what other conclusion would any intelligent person draw anyway? 

One also wonders how Vazquez thinks she should be treated by her media colleagues.  No doubt they will descend upon her like the pack of rabid jackals that they are, tearing her character apart in their quest for a sensational story now that she’s on the other side of the news camera.  Who says that the state-corporate media don’t devour their own?

I’ll be curious to see what becomes of “Sticky Fingers Marty” in the future.  Either her trial will be expedited due to her celebrity status in order to “make an example” of her, or her connections in the local state-corporate media will persuade the local police and judicial organs to drop her case.   Perhaps KVOA will remind the powers that be that Marty and her employer know where some bodies are buried and wouldn’t it be extremely inconvenient if these bodies were suddenly exhumed?

For their part, Marty’s employers are playing it safe, issuing this non-statement on the KVOA web site.  Not that we would expect anything else from a state-corporate media organ trying to wash the huevo off of its face and cover its ass.  Still,  one would think that the bozos who posted this statement would be aware enough to know that their dead tree pulp/empty digit competitors have already scooped the facts known so far.  KVOA, this doesn’t make you guys look very professional, not that we expect professionalism from you in the first place.

So long, Marty.  I can’t say that I’ll miss you, because I never watched your empty, teleprompter driven propaganda sewage in the first place.  Maybe, if you manage to avoid time in the clink, you’ll find a real job somewhere. Doubtful, given that you’re a native Tucsonan, with all the baggage that this entails, but one can always fantasize, can’t one?

January 23, 2012

Thank God She’s Stepping Down, But What Kind Of Assclown Will Take Her Place?

The news that Congresscreature Gabrielle Giffords is stepping down from office is certainly good news to those of us who love liberty and common sense. She claims to want to devote more of her time and energy to her “recovery,” the theft of taxpayer money and what little is left of our freedom apparently being a bit too arduous for her current condition, although Gabby was already brain damaged even before last January’s shooting. Apparently just enough of what little gray matter she has was rearranged in that unfortunate incident to induce the realization that a “career” in the nation’s foremost criminal organization isn’t an option for someone with faculties reduced to levels even below the floor characteristic of that body. Unfortunately, it’s almost certain that the votards of Gabby’s low-mental-wattage district, an electorate consisting mostly of shiftless, brainless losers who look upon Uncle Sam as their sugar mommy, will find some other lying, power-hungry, statist loser to fill her still-warm seat.

Given that only bloodthirsty right-wing fascists and thieving, social engineering-addicted left-wing control freaks find any traction in politics around here, the replacement is likely to be as bad as Giffords, or worse (“the devil you know,” and all that stuff). As a non-voter who considers politics to be at best a fool’s waste of time and at worst an exercise in criminality, the outcome of the special election is immaterial to me except as a spectator. After all, the substitution of one criminal moron for another inside an elected political body has never changed anything except for the worse and this time will be no different.

I do hope –in vain, I realize-- that whatever Gabby Giffords does after leaving Congress doesn’t involve taxpayer money. It would be nice to think that she’ll just return to the ranch on which she grew up and just vegetate (pun intended), doing no more damage to the body public. However, given all of the Paris Hilton-like attention that has been showered upon her since her fateful meeting with the wrong end of Jared Lee Loughner’s bullet, attention that has practically turned her into “Martina Luther King,” she’ll probably remain in the limelight for a long time to come. From a purely political standpoint, I suppose the silver lining here is that whatever piece of excrement takes over “representation” of the 8th Congressional District will be left holding the bag once things in Rome-on-the-Potomac completely unravel. No doubt that will have a doubly harsh impact on the economic and intellectual desert that is southeastern Arizona, so Gabby will have dodged a bullet of a whole other kind in this case. Given the political nadir that Gabby represents where Tucson is concerned (her fellow T2 congresscreature Raul Grijalva being the only other comparable example), let us hope that a particularly reprehensible specimen is elected to “represent” Arizona's 8th Congressional District.

So good-bye, Gabby, and don’t like the door to the House chamber hit you on your skinny ass on the way out. Just don’t hurry back here to Tucson, okay? The fewer T2s that come back to re-infest the hive, the better off we’ll all be.

January 15, 2012

Tucson Tard (T2) Of The Week: Nathaniel Canez

This is an award that I intend to bestow each week to the Tucson Tard (henceforth referred to in this blog as a “T2”) who has managed to tunnel beneath the previously established nadir of this town’s well-known stupidity to do something uniquely boneheaded.  While ideally this award would only be conferred upon a single individual once, some of the more prominent recipients such as local politicians, celebrities, or community activists will no doubt say or do things of such mind-numbing idiocy, with such regularity that they will leave me no choice to but make them multiple titleholders.  Anyway, on to our inaugural awardee, who we are informed has been sentenced this week to almost half a century in prison for the multiple acts of stupidity described below.

Two and a half years ago, on September 7, 2009, young Mr. Canez and some of his equally acerebral, oxygen-thieving pals decided that it would be a great idea, and a lot of fun, to go on a spree of breaking into and stealing from parked cars in a heavily populated residential neighborhood.  Such capers have long plagued this crime-infested berg, leading some of the more law-abiding inmates to make extra efforts to watch out for and prevent such activity in their neighborhoods.  Given that gun ownership and gun use, among the law-abiding as well as criminal class, is very popular even in the suburban and urban neighborhoods of this place, the undertaking by Mr. Canez and company was a less than brilliant idea.  But, being model T2s, the obvious dangers and high risk of being caught didn’t deter Canez or his buddies.

One of the residents of the 6200 block of South Campbell Avenue, an intended victim of the Canez posse, apparently didn’t care to be relieved of his vehicle or property by mobile pieces of excrement masquerading as teenage humans.  Understandably, he decided to stop them in their endeavor to commit mayhem and mischief.   Unfortunately, however, he either was not armed (bad idea) or was unable or did not attempt to use any firearms he might have been carrying, because Mr. Canez shot the man. 

Either miraculously or through some judge’s unfathomable stupidity (I’m betting on the latter; the judge responsible for this is a candidate for a future T2 Award), our genius awardee was granted bail on January 8, 2010, but just couldn’t seem to be able to keep his nose clean while awaiting trial.  Not satisfied with committing attempted murder, our Tard of the Week decided that he was going to spend the weeks and months awaiting trial continuing to be a criminal scumbag.  Apparently not content with just that either, he decided, almost two months to the day after his release on undeserved parole, to lead some local cops on a high-speed chase down East Ajo Way when they tried to pull him over, undoubtedly for doing something transparently stupid (like, say, driving a stolen car?).  While recklessly joyriding down East Ajo, our wannabe Mario Andretti decided to mate his getaway car with two others on that street before finally being apprehended. 

Presumably a judge different from the one who initially released Canez on bail was not amused by either his latest Indy 500/Demolition Derby caper or his original crime of shooting people trying to prevent their property from being stolen.  The judge sentenced Canez to 26 years for the shooting and to an additional 18 for the evading arrest and other multiple charges. 

Admittedly, Nathaniel Canez’s case isn’t the most egregious that could qualify for the T2 Award, but we’ll be sure to work our way down from here. Stay tuned. Next week’s T2 will surely be more interesting and deserving.After all, there’s a nearly endless supply of candidates.

January 11, 2012

Tucsonans Are Douchebags - Example #2,017 (Updated, 1/13)

We only wish we could have talked him out of making the purchase and the move when he first looked at the property, but he was not to be discouraged.  We just wanted to prevent someone else from suffering what we suffered when we made an identical unwise decision years earlier.  Alas, history truly does repeat itself.  I refer to the rude awakening of our new neighbor, a transplant from back east like us, on moving-in day, to the disgusting state of filth and disorder in which his newly acquired property had been left by the previous owners.

As is the general rule with so much of life here, what is bad about Arizona as a whole is amplified threefold in Tucson.  It is no different in matters of real estate.  Arizona has acquired a well-earned unsavory reputation in this area.  One does not have to search far to find unqualified and unprofessional agents, shady mortgage lenders, and incompetent, dishonest, and unqualified “home inspectors.”  Sellers here appear to think that mountains of cash representing their asking price will magically land in their laps once they put their homes on the market, no matter how deplorable their home’s condition.   Because the housing bubble of the last decade gave this place the closest thing to economic growth that it will ever have, the inmates came to believe, more strongly than people anywhere else in the nation except possibly Florida, that the train would keep rolling, that housing prices would only go up, up, UP, and that any asking price was the final, unimpeachable word.  Compounding their delusions, and reflecting their well-known irresponsibility with money, many Arizona homeowners, especially here in Tardtown, weren’t satisfied just with buying houses through subprime mortgages.  They also took out home equity loans – sometimes more than one, as was the case of the previous owner of our house.   Then the bubble burst.

Amoricons in general are either ignorant of or cannot stand to come to terms with the laws of economics.  Arizonans in general, and Tucson Tards in particular, cannot even fathom the concept of economic laws.  But that didn’t change the fact that once the housing bubble burst, those laws made their presence felt, with a vengeance.  Suddenly, Tucson Tards who thought that their over-mortgaged homes had set them on Easy Street for life discovered that no one was going to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a flimsy mobile home or prefabricated house that sat on a couple of acres of dry desert scrub land.  At the same time, those subprime “balloon” mortgages –you know, the ones that the sleazy mortgage lenders told the gullible tards would never adjust upward more than a quarter of percentage point per year—suddenly got a whole lot more expensive.  So expensive, in fact, that the Tucson Tards, with their shitty minimum-wage jobs that wouldn’t have qualified them for a mortgage to begin with under real, non-FED-manipulated market conditions, couldn’t afford them anymore.  So the tards, desperate for a way out, began to abandon their properties at astounding rates, or put them on the market, believing, for reasons only the Lord Himself could fathom, that there were people out there even stupider than they were who would pay a premium for distressed property in the middle of the desert, property generally with limited or no access to civilizational amenities. 

Occasionally a white knight in the form of a potential buyer with cash, usually always someone from out of town, guided by one of the area’s sleazy and incompetent real estate hacks, would find some luck Tucson Tard trying to escape their mortgage and would offer them at least enough to cover most of their existing mortgage balance, or some amount approximating the actual current market value of the property.  Amazingly, most of the tards balked at such offers, demanding their full, bubble-era asking price, however unrealistic it was, and simply decided to hold out (to no avail) for more money. 

My new neighbor was such a white knight to my previous neighbors, who had the property on the market for two full years without having so much as a single competing offer.  I don’t know what my new neighbor finally got the sellers to agree to for a sale price, but I suspect that it was less than half of what they were asking.  They probably suffered a loss on the sale (welcome to the club!) and for that reason were resistant to doing anything to the property that they weren’t compelled by law or contract to do.  Of course they were anti-social, inconsiderate douchebags to begin with anyway, but the humiliation of having been victimized by the economic realities of the current housing market only amplified their preexisting tendencies.

So what did these douchebags do, or not do to the property?  For starters, they left the place a filthy mess, just as was the case with our property, and, I suspect, based on conversations I’ve had with other neighbors who’ve moved here within the last few years, every other property in this part of town.  In my new neighbor’s case, the previous owners did not know what soap, water, brooms, mops, disinfectant, bug spray, floor wax, and vacuum cleaners were, or chose to ignore their duty to use them.  He reported that the house’s kitchen and both bathrooms were “black with filth, grime, and grease,” that the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, in particular, were “so filthy and sticky as to be unusable,” and that the carpet, though salvageable, looks as if dirt and coal dust had been ground into it.  It took nearly a thousand dollars of his own money to get the place clean and inhabitable. 

Second, as also happened to us, the previous owners made off with fixtures that were supposed to convey with the property.  This is a common scam here in Tard Town, the natives apparently believing that, given the glacial pace of legal procedures here, along with the stonewalling for which people here are famous, most buyers will decide that it’s not worth the time, money, effort, and agony to seek legal recourse for this breach of contract once they’ve committed to purchase of the property and are read to close.  Infuriatingly, they’re right.  Not only are the real estate agents here culpable in this unethical behavior, but the state’s courts put such claims at the bottom of their priority list.  Even a small claims case around failure to convey can take over a year to adjudicate, by which time it’s simply no longer an economically viable undertaking. 

Nice scam.  You’ve gotta hand it to the tards.

Oh, and don’t bother trying to sue real estate agents here for malpractice or breach of contract.  Their lobbyists have already effectively talked the state legislature into making sure that such suits will go nowhere.

So I wish my new neighbor, a really great guy who can help us to add much more needed intelligence and decency to this neighborhood, the best of luck.  We’re taking bets on how long the “new resident’s magical trance” will wear off and when he’ll start to see the locals as the thieving, lazy, ignorant slobs that they clearly are.

Update:   Apparently the particular Tucsonans mentioned in this post are also thieves and vandals.  My new neighbor informed me today that in addition to having left the property a filthy mess, the douchebags who were the previous owners also drained the 200-gallon propane tank of all fuel and left a large, gaping hole in the living room wall, apparently gouged out by a careless furniture move or application of heavy blunt object.  Truly despicable, careless, irresponsible human beings, these creatures.  Alas, my neighbor realizes, as we did when the same thing happened to us, pursuing legal charges against the previous owners for damages is a fruitless act.  I might recommend that he do what we should have done when the same thing happened to us: sue both his real estate agent and the seller's agent for negligence.  Since he was unable to be present to conduct the final walk-through of the property that  took place prior to settlement, he had stipulated (hopefully in writing) that his agent was to act as his agent by inspecting the property and ensuring that it was in habitable condition before settlement.  This she clearly failed to do, as did the sellers' agent by ensuring that her clients had the property in a condition fit for transfer.  I don't know if there's legal precedent for such a lawsuit, but if so, he should avail himself of it.  Being every bit the douchebags as are the rest of the inhabitants of this cesspool of humanity, both his purchasing agent and the sellers' agent clearly were derelict in their obligations.  If this practice of carelessness remains unchallenged, more of the same will happen to other home buyers in the future.

January 10, 2012

Did Anyone Out There Attend or Watch Gabbyfest 1?

eThat is, did anyone waste precious lifehours either attending or watching on local TV any of the nonsense convened on the occasion of the first "anniversary" of the "tragedy" that took place one year and two days ago?  Given the insufferable "All Gabby Giffords, All The Time" nature of the first ninety media days following the original shooting last year, it was with dread that I heard of the impending "remembrances," "ceremonies," "gatherings," etc. announced for last Sunday.

To be clear, the events of January 8, 2011 were unfortunate and Giffords and the other victims of that day's shootings certainly didn't deserve their fate.  But to turn Giffords into some kind of martyr figure, as the local mediatards did, parroted by far too many of the moron masses, was simply inexcusable.  To revisit those events in successive years as if they should be observed as some sort of holiday is just absurd.  Amoricons in general have become obsessed with tragedy worship-as-holiday (9-11 being the most notorious example), but this is carrying things to ridiculous extremes.

So if you were bored and masochistic enough to have partaken of the hysterical, maudlin nonsense, I pity you.  But frankly, I'm also curious to know if things got as out of hand as I had imagined they would.

Do share.

January 5, 2012

Tucson Jokes

What would a site like this be without some nasty, below-the-belt jokes?
Enjoy!

Q. What’s the difference between a dead coyote and a dead Tucsonan?
A. There are skid marks near the coyote.


It’s being reported that Uof A head football coach Mike Stoops will only be dressing twenty players for the Arizona State game. The rest of the players will have to get dressed by themselves.


Q. Why do birds fly upside down over Tucson?
A. There’s nothing worth shitting on.


Q. What’s more difficult than arguing common sense with a Tucsonan?
A. Getting them to make your Big Mac correctly.


Q. What does the average Tucson high school senior get on his SATs?
A. Drool


Q: Why do they throw manure at a Tucson wedding?
A: To keep the flies off the bride.

Q. What are the longest three years of a Tucsonan’s life?
A. First grade

Q. Why don’t you find many cockroaches in Tucson?
A. Because even most cockroaches have at least an ounce of self-respect.

Q. What do you do when a Tucsonan knocks on your door?
A. Tip them $5.00 and enjoy your pizza!

Q. How do you ruin a Tucson house party?
A. Flush the punch bowl.


Q. Why do Tucson women wear high heels?
A. To keep their knuckles from scraping the ground.

Q. What do you get when you put 32 Tucsonans in one room?
A. Occasionally, a full set of teeth.

Q: How do we know Jesus Christ was not from Tucson?
A: You’d never find a virgin there, much less three wise men.

Q: How do you get to Tucson from Scottsdale?
A: You go south until you smell it, then east until you step in it.


Q: What are the only signs of intelligent life in Tucson?
A: “San Diego, 420 miles,” and  “El Paso, 300 miles”



Q. How do you get a Tucson chick into your bedroom?
A. Grease her hips and push.

The head of a Tucson high school math department told the school's honor student, “You’re failing MAT 101. In order to graduate at the end of the semester, you’re going to have to answer a couple questions correctly.  Question number one: What is four times eleven?”

“A hundred” the student answered.

“Give him another chance, Give him another chance!” the rest of the class chanted.

“OK, said the teacher, “what is two plus two?”

“Four” beamed the student.

“Give him another chance, Give him another chance!” the rest of the students chanted.


Q: How come whenever they shop for cars at Jim Click dealerships, Tucsonans never choose a
     Japanese car?
A: They’re afraid they won’t understand what’s playing on the car radio.

Q. What do you call a hot chick in Tucson?
A. A tourist.

Did you hear about the travel agency that was sponsoring a contest?  First prize was a week's vacation in Tucson.  Second prize was two weeks vacation in Tucson.

Q.  Why do Tucsonans carry turds in their wallets?
A.  I.D.

Q.  What's the difference between a Tucson woman and cholla?
A.  You could eat cholla if you absolutely had to.


Q. What's the most popular pick-up line in Tucson?
A.  “So which high school did you drop out of?”


Q.  What's Tucson foreplay?
A.  “Go get me another Corona, bitch.”


Q.  What's a Tucson yuppie?
A.  A guy who manages the fast food place where he works.


Q.  Why are their fewer illegal aliens in Tucson than in most other cities of the Southwest?
A.  Even desperate, down-and-out Mexicans still have a shred of self-respect.



Q.  How did they count Tucson's population in the 2010 census?
A.  They counted the number of known meth labs, then multiplied by 200.


Q.  What do you call a ten-year-old Tucsonan?
A.  A survivor.


Q.  Why is there an average of only six rattlesnake bites per year in Tucson?
A.  Even rattlesnakes have standards.


Q.  If you live in Tucson, how do you prevent burglars from stealing your valuables?
A.  Hide them in your library or in your bathroom underneath bars of soap, bottles of douche,
      or tubes of toothpaste.


Q.  What's the difference between a Tucson wedding and a Tucson funeral?
A.  One less drunken methhead at the funeral.


Q.  What do you call a rich Tucsonan?
A.  A snowbird


Q.  What do you call a Tucson man with a full-time steady job on which he supports his family?
A.  You're joking, right?


Q.  Why are day spas off limits to Tucsonans?
A.  The leave rings on the massage tables.


Q.  What do you call economic growth in Tucson?
A.  Wishful thinking


Q.  What do you call a 300-pound Tucson woman?
A.  Anorexic


A Tucson biker with his old lady on the back of his bike were riding down a stretch of open desert highway when they came upon a sanitation crew in the middle of the road repairing a ruptured sewer pipe.  As they came to a stop, a foul, breath-arresting, eye-watering stench from the open sewer main instantly smacked them full force in the  nostrils.  Inhaling deeply, the biker turned to his girlfriend and said “hey, babe, one of those guys is wearing my aftershave!”


Q.  What do you call a Tucson kid who is an honor student, an Eagle Scout, and an athlete?
A.  An outcast

Q.  Why did the Tucsonan divorce his wife and marry an outhouse?
A.  The hole was smaller, the smell was better, and it didn't talk back while he was using it.


Q.  How do we know that the toothbrush was invented in Tucson?
A.  If it had been invented anywhere else, it would be called a teethbrush.

Q.  What is the most confusing day of the year to a Tucsonan?
A.  Father's Day


Q.  Why don't Tucsonans celebrate Christmas or Thanksgiving?
A.  Because In-N-Out Burger is closed on both days.

Q.  Why did the Tucsonan stop bathing?
A.  He finally fixed the leak in his swamp cooler.


Q.  What's a Tucson drought?
A.  When the Circle K down the road is out of Corona and Coors Light.


Q.  Why don't Tucsonans bathe?
A.   They're afraid they'll lose their scent and that their kids won't be able to find their way home again.


Q.   What did the Tucsonan say to the javelina he caught raiding his garbage cans?
A.   “Stop, thief!”


Q.   What's the most under-attended event  in Tucson?
A.   Graduation day at the local high schools


Q.   What do you call someone with a graduate degree from UofA?
A.   “Waiter!”


Q.   What is the world's most hopeless job?
A.   Alcoholics Anonymous facilitator in Tucson.


Q.   Why did the Tucsonan stop going to church?
A.   He found out that a “Methodist” isn't someone from whom he could by drugs.


Q.   What's the difference between a Tucsonan and sandpaper?
A.   Sandpaper is smoother.


Q.   Why do Tucsonans call their city “the Old Pueblo?” 
A.   It's easier to say than “Tucson” when you have no teeth.


Q.   What do you call a Tucson dentist?
A.   Unemployed


Q.   When the church empties out after a Tucson wedding, how do you spot the bride?
A.   She's the one with a ring in her nose wearing the white tube top.


Q.   What is the world's most pointless government bureaucracy?
A.   The Arizona Department of Education

Q.    How do you tell a Tucsonan's age? 
A.    Count the number of tattoos.

Sources of Endless Stupidity

I refer here, of course, to the local mainstream print and broadcast media.  While these obsolete outlets of government propaganda for the moron masses are insufferable everywhere, they are more so here by orders of magnitude, given the diminished mental capacity of the intended audience.  I offer here a selection of the main "officially sanctioned" sources of local stupidity, the list being by no means exhaustive.

The Arizona Daily Star. The only corporate print "newspaper" still "serving" Tucson in the two years since the demise of the equally execrable Tucson Citizen , which now exists only in digital form (and is no more useful than its dead tree pulp ancestor).  How a town whose majority barely reads at a fifth grade level managed to sustain two newspapers for over one hundred years is one of the world's great unsolved mysteries.  The Daily Star has, not surprisingly, degenerated into a pale imitation of USA Today and serves the same purpose: to make functional illiterates think they're reading a real newspaper.

KGUN, KOLD , KMSB, and KVOA .  The "Four Fucktards" of TV "news" for Tucson, affiliated with ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, respectively, each of the dying "big four" having a local corpse on life support.  All of these stations are, like others around the nation, interchangeable and fungible, each station's moronic drivel packaged as "news" indistinguishable from that of its other three "competitors."  Of special note in Tucson, however, are KVOA's gang of hacks, fronted by the brainless token Kristi Tedesco and sleazy used car salesman-turned-teleprompter-reader John Overall.  A pair more representative of their intended audience is unlikely to be found in any major city of comparable size.

There are other sources out there to be found, if you have a strong stomach and life minutes to waste looking for them.  Those that I cite above will do just fine as inexhaustible sources of material for this blog.

Welcome!

To those of you who are first-time visitors to this new blog, I bid you welcome (insert proper Bela Lugosi accent here). It is my sincere hope that you are not one of us unfortunate souls who exist here in what is commonly called "the Old Pueblo." If you are, I'm assuming that you are here either because you share the sentiments expressed by this blog's title, or because you are offended by it and wish to defend what passes for this city's honor. Either way, I look forward to your input.

For those who wonder why this blog is here, I created it out of a sense of frustration. When I first moved here nearly a decade ago after surviving for nearly two decades on the East Coast, I looked forward to simply being able to settle into my new pastoral existence in the northwestern part of the city, meet new neighbors, establish new professional and social contacts, and generally do whatever I could to contribute to the betterment of everyone's life here through peaceful, voluntary interaction. Before moving here I had visited Tucson frequently over a period of several years for both work and pleasure, during each of the area's five seasons, meeting many people from all walks of life, enjoying the climate and thinking that Tucson was a functional city like any other, even considering that it had its own unique problems.
It soon became evident that I was unprepared for what it meant to actually live here year round and permanently. After succumbing to the bait of lovely year-round weather (yes, that includes summer; I'm a proverbial "desert rat") and what was then a dynamic housing market, it dawned on me after my first three months of actually living here that all was not as it at first seemed. It soon became apparent that the inhabitants of this place were the most anti-social, apathetic, bigoted, ignorant, irresponsible, lazy, shiftless, substance-addicted and STUPID creatures I had ever encountered, even by Arizona standards. I could not and still cannot grasp how it is possible that so much human stupidity is concentrated in one municipal unit and yet that unit still manages to function as a civilization. There must be just enough people here with IQs north of the zero mark able to keep the cogs in motion and prevent collapse, although I'm still not sure after nearly ten years here just who these people are. I certainly don't encounter them on a regular basis. The bottom line is that intelligent, motivated, hardworking, thrifty, moral, critically thinking people have an extremely difficult time adapting to Tucson. In fact, those who can (i.e., those with enough foresight not to have bought property here and who are not tied down to a local job) usually leave in disgust after a very short time. As has been pointed out on this excellent blog, many, if not most of those who have no choice but to stay usually resign themselves to a tedious, ultimately meaningless existence which they attempt to cope with through drug and alcohol abuse, just like the natives do. That's why even those who are not native to this godforsaken city but who have spent enough years of their lives here become indistinguishable from those who are Tucson born and bred.

Yours truly, however, has no intention of giving in to the status quo. To be perfectly clear, I fault no one but myself for the decision to buy overpriced property here during the "boom" period, but that has little bearing on my hatred of this city. The fact is that I intend to either reform my own small piece of this place or become a bone in its collective throat while trying. Either way, I intend to show the world this city's true colors. Hopefully this will serve to prevent more well-meaning people from being deceived into moving here, or encourage those with no alternative but to stay here to make a difference. With any luck and with God's help, both will happen.