The typewriter, the phone book and the payphone had their day, and the businesses that relied on them either got busy changing or got busy dying.
Despite claims made by Arizona Public Service, the utility thus far has not been open to options on net metering. APS has been trying to kill rooftop solar in Arizona, or at least change the rules to have this effect.
Rather than innovate or find ways to profit from solar power, APS decries the solar industry and opines that its revenue is heading downward. That’s not the solar industry’s problem. That’s not the ratepayers’ problem. That’s a problem for APS shareholders, and that must not be our state’s concern.
Instead of trying to fix the problem, APS is trying to fix the game. It’s looking to rig the system so the utility doesn’t have to pay fair market value for the excess electricity that rooftop solar customers send back to the grid. That’s the essence of “net metering.”
The bottom line is that this will impact APS’ bottom line. And what APS is saying is that it doesn’t want to make less money.
Rather than try to outlaw smartphones, Bill Gates developed the Windows phone. Phone companies provide cable TV service. Cable TV companies provide internet service. Internet-based companies are carrying television programs and movies. In the private sector, you either innovate or evaporate.
APS executives should have embraced net metering and seen the potential for profits. Now that they have missed the boat, they want to sink it. They have been around for so long and are so set in their ways that they don’t understand that what’s good for APS isn’t necessarily good for Arizona.
APS enjoys a healthy profit margin. Its profits have increased by more than 50 percent since 2008. Its long-term financial forecasts cite solar energy as competition that could impact profits. But instead of trying to figure out a long-term solution, APS is trying to convince the Arizona Corporation Commission to change the rules so its shareholders will continue to see generous dividends. That’s not capitalism; that’s cronyism, and I firmly believe those serving on the ACC will side with energy choice and ratepayers and stand against a utility that would rather change the rules than change its ways.
Indeed, APS’ efforts to crash the future of solar power in this state are the very reason I applauded the ACC for taking the first steps toward more utility competition in this state.
Former U.S. Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr. is chairman of the group Tell Utilities Solar Won’t Be Killed. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During their last earnings call, as reported in the Arizona Republic, Arizona Public Service (APS) CEO Don Brandt was asked about the financial impact rooftop solar could have on APS if solar’s popularity continued to soar.
Just like the public education monopoly, the APS utility monopoly is concerned that more energy efficiency and choice, specifically more rooftop solar, is starting to eat into its profits and revenue growth. APS clearly disclosed this to its investors when it revealed that between now and 2015, it expects its electricity sales to grow by less than 1% even though its customer base will grow 2% annually. The reason? APS customers are investing in more energy efficiency with rooftop solar being the primary technology of choice.
Frankly, how APS addresses this with investors is no concern of mine. And neither should it concern the Arizona Corporation Commission. A more innovative future with more energy choices for Arizona consumers should not and must not be dictated by the utility’s bottom line. By that same logic, we would have harnessed the Internet because of the challenge it posed to newspapers and many other technologies.
I would think by now that any astute energy consumer would recognize that APS’s sudden concern about the proliferation of rooftop solar in Arizona has nothing to do with empathy for Arizona ratepayers. It has everything to do with curbing a disruptive technology growing quickly in their existing marketplace. As one pollster has opined, allowing APS to do this would be “political malpractice.”
But there appears to be a far greater threat to APS’ stock price (PNW) on the horizon and that, fortunately for consumers, is a healthy competitive change. Because of their blatantly naked attempts to kill independent solar in Arizona, along with other reasons, the Arizona Corporation Commission is rightfully looking at opening up more utility competition in Arizona. In fact, they took the first step down this path last week. Kudos to Chairman Bob Stump and Commissioners Gary Pierce, Brenda Burns, Susan Bitter Smith and Bob Burns for their actions. Clearly, APS’ effort to thwart more solar choice in Arizona is exactly why we need more competition in Arizona.
Choice and competition – these are concepts all conservatives can rally behind. And it is one all Wall Street stock investors will surely be watching. The bottom line for consumers is we simply cannot have a better energy future in Arizona if the primary focus is on APS profits rather than innovation and competition that always best serves the marketplace.
PHOENIX — Picture a typical public school classroom: Rows of students facing a blackboard, with a teacher lecturing. It’s the same scene in 2011 as it was in 1911 – and, in a world of laptop computers, smartphones and iPads, it’s wildly out of date and ineffective. But that is changing.
In A Custom Education for Every Child: The Promise of Online Learning and Education Savings Accounts, Goldwater Institute Senior Fellow Dan Lips examines how technology can be combined with the newly created Education Savings Accounts to help parents create education solutions that challenge their children and help them prepare for the real world.
In 2011, the Arizona legislature adopted Education Savings Accounts, which give special-needs K-12 students state money for educational services tailored to their individual needs. The report calls on Arizona lawmakers to expand the savings accounts program to all Arizona students, and for legislatures across the country to adopt Education Savings Accounts for all students.
“By 2020, online learning is expected to rise dramatically, with about half of all high school instruction taking place online,” said Goldwater Institute Education Director Jonathan Butcher. “Schools must keep pace, and implementing and expanding Education Savings Accounts is one way to open these tools up to all students.”
Butcher added that the growth of online learning solutions changes the discussion of choice in education – the conversation moves from choosing a school to choosing individual services that specifically meet a student’s needs.
The breadth of digital learning programs extends from full-time online virtual schools to occasional online instruction that supplements a student’s traditional coursework. The benefits include improved academic achievement and a better overall learning experience for students.
One Arizona school is leading the way. In 2011, Carpe Diem Academy in Yuma was named one of the best high schools in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Carpe Diem uses a “blended-learning” approach in which students receive half of their instruction from a computer-based learning program and half from a traditional teacher-classroom environment.
The Goldwater Institute is an independent government watchdog that develops innovative, principled solutions to issues facing the states.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 24, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX (June 24, 2011) – Speaker Andy Tobin released the following statement in response to the hacking group LulzSec breaking into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s computers on Thursday and downloading hundreds of files:
“I am outraged to learn that a group of international hackers have illegally stolen and released hundreds of law enforcement files from the Department of Public Safety. Even more outrageous is that they have done this in response to the Legislature and Governor’s efforts to secure our border and protect Arizona citizens by passing SB1070. Instead, this extremist group has now put hundreds of Arizona’s finest in danger. These cyber terrorists should be prosecuted to the full extent possible. Their actions have compromised the safety of our brave law enforcement officers and their families. Therefore, we will be looking at whether additional policy is needed to fully hold them accountable in the event the release of this information results in harm to any of our public safety officers or their families.”
Follow the Speaker on Twitter: @Andy_Tobin
Homeland Security calls them “domestic terrorists”.
Posted on 05.16.11 By Eric W. Dolan
CBS correspondent Byron Pitts reported on a group of Americans calling themselves “sovereign citizens” who don’t pay taxes, carry a driver’s license or hold a Social Security card. There are an estimated 300,000 sovereign citizens in the United States and some in the movement have grown increasingly violent.
“What’s driving people to it is they’re beginning to understand that the government has moved away from fundamental principles that this nation was built on,” sovereign citizen Alfred Adask told 60 Minutes. “Where are the limits in limited government? The sovereignty movement is attempting to rediscover those limits and reassert them.”
Do you believe these Americans are terrorists?
Let’s put it in spiritual context.
If you refuse to get the mark of the beast you will not be allowed to buy anything or to sell anything. You will not get paid for your work. You will not be able to buy food, medicine, water, fuel, clothes or anything at all. You will be cut off from support and most likely you will be killed.
Maybe we’re not to the point yet where the government (or others) is going out to murder the mark refusniks, but we’re getting closer with our government now labelling them ‘domestic terrorists’ and our states requiring law abiding citizens to carry papers.
1/3 of the saints shall be mislead. These are perfected saints who truly believed they were saved but accepted the mark.
At what point will you stand up and say ENOUGH?
Do you know these words?
“when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government”
The Insurgency has begun!
Something tells me we are going to see a lot more of these!
(H/T to NobleThinking.com!)
by Nick Dranias
The Federal Communications Commission wants to force network service providers–the companies that own and operate the wires, routers and computers that keep the Internet humming–to transmit streaming audio, video and anything else on terms the FCC deems “neutral” regardless of how much bandwidth the data consumes. Network providers say the regulation will eliminate their ability to manage network traffic and effectively clog up the Internet. They argue that such “net neutrality” will deter and destroy private sector investment in the Internet.
But there’s something more important than that at stake. It’s the First Amendment.
In Comcast Cablevision v. Broward County, Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks struck down a county ordinance that forced a cable company to give its competitors equal access to its communication infrastructure. Much like advocates of net neutrality argue today, the county government argued that its “open access” ordinance did not offend the First Amendment because it ensured the transmission of more, rather than less, information by more companies. Judge Middlebrooks rejected that argument, ruling that the First Amendment prohibits government from forcing owners of communication infrastructure to transmit information against their will. He also held that government has no power to force the distribution–or “circulation”–of information because “[l]iberty of circulating is not confined to newspapers and periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets, but also to delivery of information by means of fiber optics, microprocessors and cable.”
Net neutrality should suffer the same fate. Forcing network service providers to transmit information “neutrally” is actually worse than forcing “open access” on cable companies. Because unlike cable companies, network service providers typically do not enjoy government monopoly franchises. For this reason, net neutrality is even more like forcing a printer to publish books, newspapers, periodicals, pamphlets and leaflets on the government’s terms. And when it comes to government seizing command and control over freedom of the press, the First Amendment is anything but neutral.
Nick Dranias holds the Goldwater Institute Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan chair for constitutional government and is the director of the Institute’s Dorothy D. and Joseph A. Moller Center for Constitutional Government.
… the US government has intensified its crackdown on political dissidents opposing corporate globalization, and it is using the same intimidating and probably unconstitutional tactics against demonstrators at the presidential inauguration. (The Nation Magazine, January 19, 2001)
The Canada Free Press is citing one FBI source who is strongly suggesting that those who attended the recent Tea Party may now be semi-celebrities on law enforcement surveillance video tapes.
The second citation provided above is the other side’s story of protest surveillance, those who have been protesting the World Bank, the IMF for years now. I liked the second story particularly because it was written at the dawn of the second Bush administration.
Keep in mind, Janet Reno was Janet Napolitano’s mentor when Nappy served in the US Justice Department. Their relationship is well documented. So we have an idea of what to expect under Nappy’s reign at Homeland Security. I know for a fact that the MMCDC was infiltrated by the SPLC who provided information on the Border Watch to a government agency. Yeah, the old folks in lawn chairs sitting on the border in 2004 were the subject of government surveillance.
My point is, rather than sniping at each other as in the cartoon Spy versus Spy, both sides of the political spectrum should be carefully looking at the emergence of a very paranoid centralized government with legal powers not seen in North America since before the founding of our country.
Perhaps those “hidden hands of power” have perfected the illusion of Republican versus Democrat to the point that most Americans view their governance as yet another sporting event.
Could it be that, as the title of Larry Elder’s book suggests, there’s only a dimes worth of difference between either major political party? Rather, those holding power have utilized the dialectic to herd an inattentive populace into fascism with a happy face?
Perhaps this is what’s behind the government’s paranoia; the people might wake up. Consider that since at least the Jimmy Carter Administration, fear has been the means of motivation behind many calls for “Change”.
Maybe both sides now should look at their common ground, step out of the sporting event dialectic and as Toto did in the Wizard of Oz, pull back the curtain behind which our nation’s leaders are hiding.
Senate bills No. 773 and 778, introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., are both part of what’s being called the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, which would create a new Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, reportable directly to the president and charged with defending the country from cyber attack.
These bills include granting the White House new powers to access private online data, regulate the cybersecurity industry and even shut down Internet traffic during a declared “cyber emergency”.
Here’s the question: Why does Jay Rockefeller feel the need to expand Federal powers over the internet? Isn’t that sort of what we criticize China for doing? Will our information become as sanitized as China’s? And check out this feature of the bill, the text proposes implementation of a professional licensing program for certifying who can serve as a cybersecurity professional.
Could it be that Jay Rockefeller doesn’t like the organizing power of the internet?
Here is a link to the latest technology being used in the race for Town Council in Gilbert.
When you click on the link you will see and hear Chandler Councilman, Jeff Weninger, tell you why he is supporting political newcomer, Jenn Daniels, in her bid for Town Council.
Using a product called Talk Fusion Councilman Weninger is able to sit down at his Mac or PC and deliver a video message and within minutes, broadcast it to his constituents or in this case, politically active friends on behalf of Gilbert Town Council candidate, Jenn Daniels.
This form of campaigning is joining Twitter, FaceBook and other technology to get messages out in a flash and at vitually no cost.
Jenn Daniels is a new, energetic and savvy resident of Gilbert and will be a great addition to a town that has undergone tremendous growth and change and has a great future especially for young families.
If you are not using Microsoft Office 2007 I have one word of advice – DON’T
I am (used to be) a big fan of Microsoft. I remember the days of Windows 2.0 and 3.1. My first application program was Microsoft Excel 2.0. It included a runtime version of Windows if you were still on a DOS machine. The software came in a suitcase sized box and included instruction manuals. What I liked (past tense) about the programs is each upgrade of Excel and later Office took just a few minutes of transition time. No more. Word is a mess. Try finding the Edit, Find option.
If you must upgrade research your options. You might find another word processor that does everything you need for less money. It certainly will not take you any less time to learn a new program since Microsoft Word and Office have been so drastically altered.
You have been warned.
(This post was written in Adobe Dreamwaever.)
Congratulations to everyone at Tucson based Raytheon Missile Systems for a well-made product. The SM-3 missile traveled 130 miles before making a direct hit on a failing U.S. satellite. Excellent video of the intercept can be seen at Breitbart TV. It is almost enough to make an adult proud of his/her country. Another great legacy of Ronald Reagan – Missile Defense.
Top that Phoenix!
After reading an article in the Phoenix Republic section of the Arizona Republic bragging about how much traffic the Republic’s blogs are getting (which I don’t read – the formatting on its website is so bad, difficult to maneuver around, and constantly being changed so you can’t bookmark favorites or consistently find anything, that it’s not worth the headache), I decided to research how many people are really visiting its azcentral.com site, which includes its blogs. The article didn’t mention how many unique visitors the blogs are getting, it only referred to hits – which could be grossly inflated if you have the same tech support guys at work and employees accessing the site frequently.
I looked up azcentral.com’s popularity and performance on quantcast.com, and alexa.com, two of the leading website stats trackers. The graph below is from alexa and tracks what percentage of global users are accessing the site over the past 5 years. As you can see, the Republic’s share has been sharply declining.
Quantcast only tracks sites within the past 6 months. Their chart, which tracks monthly unique U.S. visitors, reveals the same downward trend, which buttresses the accuracy of these numbers and this trend.
Below are two more charts from alexa showing how azcentral.com’s ranking among all the websites in the world in terms of popularity has continued to decline, and also its page views.
In comparison, check out the graph for KTAR.com, right wing talk radio that is adapting slowly to the web with news articles:
The Republic’s downward trend started coincidentally around the same time the paper hired Keven Willey as editor, who pushed the paper much farther to the left. It has continued to take a hard left slant under editor Ward Bushee and now Randy Lovely with no sign that the bleeding will stop. Any predictions on how long before the Republic closes its doors? The Seattle Times announced over Christmas that it’s not making it, and they are going to try to cut jobs and change the newspaper, but one of the options considered at this point is shutting down. They’ll probably be gone in a year. Espressopundit has noted that it takes 100 times as many website readers to generate the ad revenues as print readers. The Republic must really be tanking with declining web readers in addition to its declining print subscribers.
I will go one further than Bruce Ash and say we are entering the post Republican era. Have you been to a district meeting lately? Some people so old and senile they cannot remember where they parked their car when they came to the meeting, if anyone even shows up. Does Bruce or anyone believe for a second that the generation now in college will sit through a district meeting for 5 minutes? If there were there they would be texting each other about how boring the format was or how old fashioned the concept of party is. What will motivate the next generation to attend a party event? A platform of ideas that candidates may of may not follow? Sorry, this new crowd is smarter than that. They will just get online at Facebook or Meetup and find out whom their friends are supporting. Candidates will have no need for a party apparatus when they can reach more voters for less money on the Internet and through text messaging, especially when the values of the party are completely optional and constantly morphing into something new. The next generation will log on and connect with specific candidates or single-issue groups and the concept of a political party may seem very anachronistic indeed.
The Reagan era may not be the only thing left in the past.
Drudge is reporting that Pat Buchanan is about to launch a new book tour with the theme that, “America is coming apart, decomposing, and…the likelihood of her survival as one nation…is improbable — and impossible if America continues on her current course. For we are on a path to national suicide.”
Buchanan, the 1992 equivalent to 2008′s Ron Paul, releases his new book, Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology and Greed Are Tearing America Apart an addendum to his earlier release, The Death of the West.
In his latest, Buchanan asserts the following:
• Pax Americana, the era of U.S. global dominance, is over. A struggle for global hegemony has begun among the United States, China, a resurgent Russia and radical Islam
• Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a product of hubris and of ideology, a secular religion of “democratism,” to which Bush was converted in the days following 9/11
• Torn asunder by a culture war, America has now begun to break down along class, ethnic and racial lines.
• The greatest threat to U.S. sovereignty and independence is the scheme of a global elite to erase America’s borders and merge the USA, Mexico and Canada into a North American Union.
• Free trade is shipping jobs, factories and technology to China and plunging America into permanent dependency and unpayable debt. One of every six U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished under Bush
• “Sovereign Wealth Funds,” controlled by foreign regimes and stuffed with trillions of dollars from U.S. trade deficits, are buying up strategic corporate assets vital to America’s security
• As U.S. wages are stagnant, corporate CEOs are raking in rising pay and benefits 400 to 500 times that of their workers
• The Third World invasion through Mexico is a graver threat to our survival as one nation than anything happening in Afghanistan or Iraq
• European-Americans, 89% of the nation when JFK took the oath, are now 66% and sinking. Before 2050, America is a Third World nation
• By 2060, America will add 167 million people and 105 million immigrants will be here, triple the 37 million today.
• Hispanics will be over 100 million in 2050 and concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans believe belongs to them
He then goes on to recommend the following:
• A new foreign-defense policy that closes most of the 1000 bases overseas, reviews all alliances, and brings home U.S. troops
• A purge of neoconservative ideology and the “Cakewalk crowd” from national power.
• To avert a second Cold War, the United States should “get out of Russia’s space and get out of Russia’s face,” and shut down all U.S. bases on the soil of the former Soviet Union
• To reach a cold peace in the culture war, Buchanan urges a return to federalism and the overthrow of our judicial dictatorship by Congressionally mandated restrictions on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
• To end the trade deficits and save the dollar, Buchanan urges a Hamiltonian solution: a 20% Border Equity Tax on imports, with the $500 billion raised to be used to end taxation on American producers
• To prevent America becoming “a tangle of squabbling nationalities” Buchanan urges: No amnesty for the 12-20 million illegal aliens; a border fence from San Diego to Brownsville; Congressional declarations that children born to illegal aliens are not citizens and English is the language of the United States; and a “timeout” on all immigration.
Sonoran Alliance would like to know what Arizona conservatives are thinking. Is Pat right? Is he way off base? Is this tapping the same nerve as Ron Paul’s campaign? How does Arizona’s illegal immigration problem factor into this? What will Arizona look like in 5, 10, 20 years? Or is Pat out to make a buck on our illegal immigration woes?