An ethics reform bill has passed in the US
. I think those bullet points will help improve legislative governance. It is a shame the Australian Senate is not independent enough from the executive presently to pass similar laws which enforce process on the Senate.
Earmarks are quite small in terms of dollars, especially in relation to budgets and appropriation bills. The issue with earmarks is that they are repugnant because they are so cynical. Revoltingly so.
The lobbying stuff I am not so concerned with as long as it is transparent. However the dead of night
additions - which are an attempt to subvert the liberal democratic process - and anonymous holds will be good to be removed. A Senator placing a hold on a bill should be proud to do so if they are protecting minority rights.
Something had to be done after the US Republican Party behaved like children when they controlled the legislative. It was not pleasant. So I am not surprised that a law of this nature has passed the Senate.
One of the problems with the Rovian form of governance was the government existed for the party, not the nation. So we got a very cynical and lop-sided view of policy; it was essentially for executive aggrandisement and to make a natural party of government through controlling the branches of government.
It failed. The public is not stupid. But it informed government at levels other than the national level. I cannot say that county governance has been good where I am. Rovian style politics was conducted which had little care for separation of powers and constitutionality.
The state had a mixed record. The Governor, Mark Warner, provided good governance. But the legislature and most recent governor have not. The result is an unconstitutional law to raise monies through unjust punishments on drivers. Mark Warner campaigned to raise taxes to pay for the transport issues.
People in the area know something has to be done, and are willing to listen to a method to achieve it, even if it involves raising taxes. But the legislature and present government won't do it. It will just put the issue off into the future for someone else to deal with.
The Town I live in has provided good governance and has met its responsibilities without raising taxes in contrast to the county who has got drunk on increasing property taxes - in the same way states in Australia have over stamp duty.
Warner started a run for President but then opted out to spend time with his family (yeh right). I suspect he knew he couldn't raise enough money to win. The scuttlebutt was that he was going to run for Governor of Virginia again. Virginian Governors are not term limited but cannot serve consecutive terms. I think that is a bit silly, I would be more comfortable with consecutive terms but a maximum of two terms.
With the retirement of Republican Senator John Warner, the former Democrat Governor, Mark Warner is now running for the national Senate. He was a good executive, but will he make a good legislator?
Phoenix Eats Out
is the restaurant review site for Phoenix
and Old Town Scottsdale
which lists the modernist and contemporary restaurants, taverns and bars in the greater Phoenix area.
This is the list of the most popular restaurants pages from phoenixeatsout.com that have been viewed the most;
My personal favourite restaurants in Phoenix are AZ88
, Humble Pie
, Orange Table
, The Vig
and others coming close behind. View the complete list with the photo-journalistic style images on phoenixeatsout.com
Arizona is an outdoor state and has lots of hiking in the city and around the state. Phoenix is unusual for most cities in having several large mountains in the center of the city with great hiking. Anyone who comes to Phoenix has to do the Echo Canyon trail on Camelback
and the Summit Hike on Squaw Peak
or Piesta Peak. The views of the city, suburbs and surrounding mountains are wonderful from Camelback and Piesta Peak.
For more experienced hikers there is the McDowell Mountains in North Scottsdale that has several difficult and strenuous hikes in Tom's Thumb
and Bell Pass
. Alternatively, you can hike the highest mountain in Arizona. At 12,600 feet Humphrey's Peak
is a long and difficult hike.
Between 2004 and 2009 this site, southsearepublic.org
, was a constitutional blog based on scoop which focused on Australian and global constitutional issues.
One of the strongest aspects of it was the development of constitutions by those involved in the blog. These constitutions are the outcome:
The constitutions were built using principles from Montesquieu's separation of powers, the enlightnment's universal political rights and the ancient Athenian technology of sortition and choice by lot.
South Sea Republic started in 2004 as an Australian constitutional blog in 2004 based on scoop software. It was an immigrative outgrowth of Kuro5hin. The archives for each year since then;
The articles are ordered by views.
I am an Australian living in the United States as a permanent resident.
I am a software developer by trade and mostly work in Java and jump between middleware and front end.
I originally worked in the New York area of the United States in telecommunications before moving to Washington DC and
working in a mix of telecommunications, energy and ITS. I started my own software company before heading out to
Arizona and working with Shutterfly. Since then I have joined a startup in the Phoenix area and am thoroughly enjoying myself.
I do a lot of photography which I post on this website, but also on flickr. I have a photo-journalistic website which lists
the modernist and contemporary restaurants in phoenix. I have a site on the Australian Flying Corps [AFC]
which has been around since the 1990s and which I unfortunately
lost the .org URL to during a life event; however, it is under the www.australianflyingcorps.com
The AFC website has gone through several iterations since the 90s and the two most recent are Australian Flying Corps Archives(2004-2002)
Australian Flying Corps Archives(2002-1999)
which are good places to start.