Over the Top Religious Discrimination in Phoenix

A member of the clergy in Phoenix today received a suspended sentence of 10 days in jail and three years probation today for violating a Phoenix noise ordinance.  Bishop Rick Painter’s church, the Cathedral of Christ the King, got into this mess because of its bells which ring on the hour from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening.

The city provides an exemption for noisy ice cream trunks, and the city transit buses roaring, grinding and screeching past the church create much greater nuisances.  But Phoenix isn’t taking them to court.

The bells at the Cathedral of Christ the King normally chime at a modest 67 decibels from the nearest property line.  The judge ordered the chimes to be toned down to just 60 decibels.

Was this really justifiable? In a city with 7,500 gang members and nightly shootings? And heavy trafficking in drugs and illegal immigrants?

No. No. No.


The Wrong Time and the Wrong People Tapped to Solve State’s Spending Addiction

PHOENIX –Governor Jan Brewer this week admitted she wants to raise taxes as part of the solution to the huge budget deficit former Gov. Janet Napolitano dumped on taxpayers on her way to Washington, D.C. The tax increases are part of Brewer’s 5-point plan to tackle this financial disaster.

Brewer released a “long-term, sustainable 5-point plan” as the foundation for her FY2010 budget proposal. 

Assessments estimate the state’s general fund budget deficit could reach the staggering figure of $4 billion – due to overspending during Napolitano’s 6-year reign of fiscal mismanagement. The Arizona Constitution requires a balanced state budget by June 30th of each year. Napolitano played fast and loose accounting games to slide around that throughout her tenure.

Brewer’s five-point plan calls for:

1) Structural Budget Reform

Changes to the Budget Stabilization Fund (or “Rainy Day Fund”), extending revenue forecasts beyond the current budget cycle, increasing fiscal year ending cash balances, and reducing the rate of spending growth.

2) Improve Proposition 105 – The Voter Protection Act

The governor proposes that the legislature approve a 2010 voter referendum requiring that any initiative or referendum measure that passed between 1998 and 2004 which require state spending would be subject to a vote of the people to ensure that the measure provided for an increased source of revenues – independent of, and with no detrimental impact on – the General Fund.

3) Spending Cuts

The governor is calling for $1 billion in spending cuts – $400 million for FY 2009 and $600 million for FY 2010), while protecting critical funding to education,

health care, and public safety.

4) Temporary Tax Increase

A temporary tax increase of one percent for 36 months in the state’s current sales tax. This proposal would not expand the current sales tax to service industries.

5) Tax Reductions for Economic Growth

The governor is calling for a state tax structure “that promotes job growth and

sustainability, capital formation, investment in Arizona and revenue stability.” The first step in providing tax relief to Arizona homeowners and businesses would be the phased repeal of the State equalization tax, with permanent repeal occurring proportionately over a three-year period beginning in FY 2010.

Gov. Brewer, who is risking re-election chances with the mere suggestion of a tax increase, said: “Unfortunately, after considering every option, and after performing a painstaking assessment of our real economic situation, a temporary tax increase is necessary to bridge the gap between fiscal crisis and recovery,” Governor Brewer stated.”

This is the wrong time to raise taxes. People are hurting.

The citizens are the wrong target to solve the state’s budget problems. The state needs to bear the responsibility of the problems it created by massive over-spending.  Rather than increase taxes for 36 months, the state needs to cut or privatize non-essential services for 36 months or more.

ASU Student Pundit Fails to Make the Case for Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

ASU’s State Press is still churning out leftist newspaper columnists faster than President Michael Crow can say “new American university.” One of the recent vintage, Andrew Hedlund, complains that religious beliefs are the main reason behind the denial of “equality of rights to homosexuals.

Further, he asks: Must we continue to deny rights to minority groups? Will social policy continue to be the tyranny of the majority?“

And says …

“The Declaration of Independence states‘s ‘that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.‘

“If all men are created equal, then homosexuals should not be denied the right of marriage. If our Creator endows men with these rights, religious beliefs should not be a reason to oppose same sex marriage.“For someone acknowledging a creator, which isn’t commonly done on America’s cookie-cutter leftist campuses, Hedlund sure has a grudge against religion.

Now let’s get real. Jefferson and the men who wrote the Declaration of Indpendence knew that throughout modern history marriage constituted a man and a woman. Their words cannot be twisted and contorted to shoe-horn same-sex “marriage“ into unalienable Rights, no matter how leftists spin it.

The talking parrots in favor of same-sex “marriage“ keep saying that religion is the major force blocking approval of counterfeit marriage. If students like Hedlund would dig deeper into the subject, they would find court precedents – unguided by church congregations – demonstrating the compelling interests of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the high court of Maryland, among others, have both stated that homosexuals do not constitute a suspected classification. Nor are they powerless or politically disenfranchised.

The Maryland Court of Appeals also said: “The right to same-sex marriage is not so deeply rooted in the history and tradition of this state or the nation as a whole such that it should be deemed fundamental.”

Homosexual activists vastly out-spend state marriage amendment committees – it was 30 to 1 in Missouri – but haven’t yet convinced a majority of Americans to throw in the towel on the future of marriage or the well-being of children.

Communities and states have a vested interest in marriage because married people stabilize society. Taken as a whole, homosexuals and cohabiting people have deplorable records of domestic violence and instability, running up high social costs. That’s why cities like Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson and others are foolish to reward domestic partners with taxpayer benefits.