Friday, September 7, 2018

Get Good Karma and Save a Life

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 1:17 PM

On Saturday, Sept. 8, there will be a football-themed Community Blood Drive at Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Oral Surgeons, Dr. Robert Wood, Dr. Nicholas Coles, and Dr. Negin Saghafi have partnered with United Blood Services Arizona for this blood-drive.

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get a chance to win tickets to the University of Arizona football games as a raffle will be hosted at the event! Help save lives and give back to your community. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. need blood and one donation can potentially save up to three lives.

click image On Saturday, Sept. 8, there will be a football-themed Community Blood Drive at Arizona Oral  & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Just one donation can save three lives. - UNITED STATES BLOOD SERVICES
  • United States Blood Services
  • On Saturday, Sept. 8, there will be a football-themed Community Blood Drive at Arizona Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons. Just one donation can save three lives.
3 Benefits of Donating Blood

1. You get a free physical.
Before giving blood, you must get a quick physical to measure your temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin levels. After giving blood, a lab takes your blood to do 13 tests for infectious diseases.

2. You will have a balanced iron level
Five grams of iron in the blood is healthy. When you donate a unit of blood, you lose about a quarter of a gram of iron. You regain that iron from the food you eat in the weeks after you donate blood. Having too much iron could affect your blood vessels. Lowering iron may also reduce the risk of a heart attack.

3. The feeling you get knowing you are saving someone’s life.
Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to someone else. It is the gift of life. You become a real-life superhero. It’s a quick, easy way to give back to your community and feel good about yourself!

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Make Your Own Soap at the Fort Lowell Museum!

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 10:30 AM

On Saturday, Sept. 8, Arizona Historical Society Fort Lowell Museum will be hosting a soap making event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event takes place every second Saturday of the month and will be available to attend until October, so get your butt over there and make some soap while you still can! Have you ever wondered how to make your own soap? Learn about the history of soap making and be able to make your own scented soap. The scents range from oatmeal to lavender. It is fun for all ages and $4 per person. Just show up to the event or call ahead if you are bringing a large group.
click image A soap making event takes place at Fort Lowell Museum every second Saturday of the month. - ARIZONA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
  • Arizona Historical Society
  • A soap making event takes place at Fort Lowell Museum every second Saturday of the month.

5 fun facts about soap:

1. Soap making was known as early as 2800 B.C. because there is evidence of a soap-like material found in clay cylinders during the excavation of ancient Babylon.

2. The most expensive soap in world, a single bar of Qatar soap produced by a family-run business in Lebanon infused with gold and diamond powder, costs $2,800.

3. The revenue from a soap and cleaning manufacturing industry in the United States was about $50.75 billion in 2010. Scrub a dub dub!

4. In 1806, William Colgate’s company became the first major soap manufacturing company in the United States.

5. Soap makers today use fat that has been processed into fatty acids as a major ingredient in many soaps. Yum?

Find more information about the soap making event here.

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A.G. Mark Brnovich is Shocked! Shocked! To Hear About Charter School Profiteering. (Does That Make Him the Education A.G.?)

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 9:25 AM

  • Courtesy of
Who knew? Certainly not Attorney General Mark Brnovich. "I can't believe it's not a crime!" he said when he found out that charter school operators were pocketing and investing millions of dollars the state pays them to educate our children. "I'm not only shocked, but I'm disappointed."

Brnovich must be new to the concept of privatizing government and profiting handsomely from public funding. For instance, he probably doesn't know much about the Arizona's conservative/libertarian Goldwater Institute, which advocates for privatization and deregulation. Wait, check that. He was Director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Constitutional Government. OK, so maybe he doesn't have any real world experience with for-profit businesses which make big money by performing government services. Wait, check that too. He was Senior Director for the Corrections Corporation of America, the private prison company.

I guess it's possible Brnovich hasn't read or seen the many news stories about charter schools misusing state funds during his years in Arizona, or heard the topic mentioned in the halls of government. Possible, but not likely.

So why this sudden concern about charter schools ripping off the public and his call for "a mechanism . . . to make sure that charter schools . . . are not enriching themselves at the expense of students"? Here are four good reasons.
1. He's running for office in a year Democrats look like they have a shot at winning statewide races.
2. He has an able, hard working Democratic challenger, January Contreras, who has a strong record of serving and protecting Arizonans.
3. Education is the top issue for most Arizonans.
4. He's one of 20 attorneys general who signed onto a lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act. If they're successful, insurance companies can refuse to cover people with preexisting conditions. He'd rather talk about how much he loves children and education than how he's working to deny people health coverage.
The first three reasons are self explanatory. Number four deserves more explanation.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Any Questions?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 4:30 PM

  • Graphic created from BigStock image

Across the country, teachers give up some of their earning power when they decide to enter their noble profession. Arizona tops the list in earning losses: 36.4 percent.

We're Number 1!   We're Number 1!   We're Number . . .   Oh wait, that's not a good thing.

According to an analysis in the Money section of Time, on average, teachers earn 18.7 percent less than other college grads working full time, factoring in education, age and years of experience. If you consider teacher's benefits, which are higher than in the private sector, the gap goes down to 11.1 percent.

But all pay gaps are not created equal, as we learn in the article's "Teacher Pay Penalty, State-By-State" chart. Scroll way, way down to the bottom, past Oklahoma, past North Carolina, and you get to Arizona, where teachers earn 36.4 percent less than people of similar education, age and experience.

Do you teach in Arizona? If so, slash a-third-plus-3-percent off your earning power.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

In Which I Get FOXed, But Not OutFOXed, On the John C. Scott Show

Posted By on Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 2:22 PM


Saturday I was a guest on the John C. Scott radio show. John and I were discussing the push to arm teachers, which I find abhorrent. A caller wanted to let me know how wrong I was. Here's what she said.
"There was a massacre in 1974 in Israel called Ma'alot. There were 31 children and 4 teachers killed and 115 people wounded. The next day the military moved into the school, and they taught the teachers how to protect the children with guns. Since 1974 there has never been another school shooting in Israel."
It's a perfect story. Children harmed, teachers armed, children safe. Perfect. Too perfect.

It's a safe bet, stories this neat and tidy are either complete lies or they leave out important details. That's why as I listened, my Bullshit Detector was maxed out at eleven, lights were flashing and sirens were blaring. But what could I do? I'd never heard of the incident, so I couldn't tell the caller she was wrong. Yet I was damned if I was going to leave what sounded like a perfect fabrication hanging there without a response.

If she was lying, or if she was retelling an inaccurate story she believed, any chance of us carrying on a reasonable discussion was gone. For people to talk about something with the purpose of understanding the issues and arriving at conclusions, not just winning, both sides have to play fair. Otherwise, it's just a question of who's better at fighting dirty.

My sense was, purposely or not, she was fighting dirty. But was the Ma'alot story she told incorrect? I couldn't be sure.

The one card I had to play was my knowledge of how restrictive gun laws are in Israel. It's much harder to get guns there than in the U.S., so the notion that their schools would be filled with gun-toting teachers doesn't make sense. Did the caller know anything about Israeli gun laws, I wondered, or was she just repeating a story she heard?

When she finished talking, I asked, "Do you know anything about how difficult it is to get a gun in Israel?" Silence. Either she knew nothing, or she had already hung up.

I took a chance, figuring the odds were with me.

After I explained how difficult it is to own a gun in Israel, I said, "With all due respect, I'm going to look this up after the show is over, but I don't believe teachers are armed in Israel's schools. I think that's a bogus argument."

After the show, I looked it up. I was right. The thrust of her argument and most of the details were wrong.

Continue reading »

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Stay Safe Out There: September is National Preparedness Month

Posted By on Mon, Sep 3, 2018 at 10:06 AM

click image The 2018 National Preparedness Month logo. - FEMA
  • FEMA
  • The 2018 National Preparedness Month logo.

September is National Preparedness Month which reminds everyone to prepare themselves, their communities and families from now and throughout the year for disasters that could happen. Prepare in advance to any situation by improving your skills such as CPR and first aid.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is encouraging people to get involved on social media by helping others understand the need to prepare for emergencies. In 2017, Hurricane Harvey left the nation devastated. About 80 percent of households impacted by Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance.

The theme of this year's National Preparedness Month is "Disasters Happen, Prepare Now, Learn How." FEMA has releaased a calendar of four events, one per week of the month-long event. Homeowners can take these steps to make sure they are ready for any disaster that might come their way:

Week 1. Create an emergency plan that includes signing up for emergency alerts and making contingency plans for shelter, evacuation, and family communication.

Week 2. Learn life-saving skills. CPR is a good place to start, but also be certain you know how to turn off the utilities in your home and ensure your smoke and CO detectors are properly installed and working.

Week 3. Check your insurance coverage. Once the emergency is over, appropriate and sufficient insurance will be key to getting your life back to normal, or at least on track.

Week 4. Plan financially for the possibility of a disaster. This goes beyond having a “rainy day fund” for immediate needs. Gather and organize important home, business, insurance, financial, and personal documents and keep them up-to-date and stored in a secure, water-and-fire proof location.

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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Don't Get Sad. Get Mad!

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 3:26 PM

  • Courtesy of BigStock

Supporters of education should be seeing Red right now.

We need to be Red-hot angry over the decision by Ducey's Supreme Court, backed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, to take the Invest in Education initiative off the ballot.

We need to be more #RedforEd than ever.

We need to rid Arizona of Red/Republican politicians who vote in lockstep with their rich backers, ignoring the needs of our children. Throw The Sons Of Bitches Out! To paraphrase a slogan Republicans loved in the 60s: "Arizona: Love its children or Leave office." Don't let the Capitol door hit your asses on the way out.

If we can't campaign for Invest in Ed, then we campaign hard for candidates who promote a progressive education agenda: David Garcia for Governor, Kathy Hoffman for Superintendent of Public Instruction and all the other state and local Democrats who are facing uphill electoral battles. It doesn't matter if they were your first choice in the primary. They're your first choice now. The future of Arizona education — hell, the future of Arizona — is hanging in the balance.

Don't get sad. Get mad! And do something about it.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Winners Take All

Posted By on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 at 4:22 PM

  • courtesy of BigStock
He's rich as a lord, and as powerful. All worldly pleasures are his at the snap of a finger. People know they must follow his commands to the letter or suffer the consequences. He strides through the world with the feeling that everything is supposed to go his way. "The earth and the fullness thereof are mine," says this lord among men.

Now and then, he makes a show of caring for others, though compared to his own sense of self worth, he cares little for the welfare of others and even less for people in his employ, whose purpose in life, he is certain, is to make the world a better place for him to live. If someone is injured — especially if he is somehow to blame — he might have a hireling deliver a gold coin as a token of his concern. And he likes to make a public display of bestowing money on people and organizations who, unlike him, devote their lives to making the world a better place for others.

Once, when his carriage careened through the city streets and killed a child . . .

Wait. What? A carriage? A child?

Did you think I was talking about the multibillionaires walking among us who devote their lives to stepping over others to increase their wealth, then give a few million dollars to worthy causes to ease their consciences, to make them feel like they're part of the solution, not the problem? No, I was talking about "Monseigneur," a rich and powerful lord in Dickens' novel, A Tale of Two Cities.

After taking his morning chocolate, Monseigneur ordered his carriage driver to race through the streets with "furious recklessness" and "an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days."

The carriage struck a child. Monseigneur tossed the father of the dead child a gold coin while thinking, "It is extraordinary to me . . . that you people cannot take care of yourselves and your children." When a man in the crowd offered wise, world-weary condolences the child's father, Monseigneur said to him, "You are a philosopher, you there," and tossed him a gold coin as well. Then he went on his way.

We can tell ourselves the ways of today's rich-as-lords plutocrats are different from those of the lords who lived before the French Revolution. Dickens, pen dipped in acid, tells his readers living 70 years later that Monseigneur's ways are "not easy to be understood in these days." We can believe the same.

Continue reading »

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Staff Pick

Native Gardens

A hilarious new comedy that’s anything but neighborly!… More

@ Temple of Music and Art Sat., Sept. 8, 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 9, 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 11, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 12, 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 13, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 14, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 15, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 16, 2-3:30 & 7-8:30 p.m., Tue., Sept. 18, 7:30-9 p.m., Wed., Sept. 19, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 20, 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 21, 7:30-9 p.m., Sat., Sept. 22, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Sun., Sept. 23, 2-3:30 p.m., Wed., Sept. 26, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Thu., Sept. 27, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m., Fri., Sept. 28, 7:30-9 p.m. and Sat., Sept. 29, 2-3:30 & 7:30-9 p.m. 330 S. Scott Ave.

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