Getting a Fair Divorce Settlement in Arizona is Easier than Ever

Getting a Fair Divorce Settlement in Arizona is Easier than Ever

If you are thinking of getting a divorce in Arizona, your options are good. It’s up to you to do everything in your power to get the best possible settlement for your divorce. You can do this by hiring a Scottsdale Divorce Attorney to represent your case. If you have assets that were yours before you signed on the dotted line, you certainly don’t want to sacrifice them when you separate permanently from your current spouse. Hiring the right divorce attorney for the job is the best way for you to make sure that all of your property will still be yours when your marriage ends.

A Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer is Your Best Bet for a Fair Settlement

The most important priority on your list should be to make sure that the settlement you receive is a fair and just one. If there are any children that came from the marriage, you will certainly want to make sure that your rights as a parent are fully respected. You may wish to file for primary or sole custody of the children so that you can be recognized as the legitimate caregiver. You will need the help of a qualified Scottsdale divorce lawyer to have yourself certified in this fashion. There may also be other issues that your lawyer can help get resolved on your behalf.

Your Divorce Lawyer Will Help You Make Your Point in Court

There are many reasons why most divorcing couples do not represent themselves in court. The main reason is because you want to make sure that your side of the story is presented in the most compelling and convincing manner possible. This is a tall order for the average person to fill, especially because the average man or woman on the street is not a trained legal professional. It’s always best for you to hire a fully qualified and experienced divorce attorney to handle your case and present your argument to the court.

Your Divorce Attorney Will Know What Evidence to Present on Your Behalf

One of the most important things that your Scottsdale divorce lawyer can do on your behalf is to present all of the necessary documents and other evidence that you need to prove your point. If you are in possession of assets and property that predate your marriage, you certainly don’t want to surrender it. In order to keep it, you will need your attorney to help you produce the necessary proofs of ownership so that these bits of property don’t end up being allocated to your soon to be former spouse. This is definitely a task that should be left to a qualified divorce attorney.

Hiring an Attorney for Your Divorce is Easier than Ever

If you are ready to put an end to your marriage, the time to hire a qualified divorce lawyer is now. Don’t wait until your soon to be former spouse hires their own lawyer. The sooner you make a proactive stand, the better. A divorce attorney can help you get your case ready in advance so that everything you need is in order at the moment you actually file for divorce. This is the best way to make sure that you will win a fair settlement.

Kim Jong-un: Forget the crazy image in the media, because this man is both able and dangerous

From The Wall Street Journal:

South Korea Wants to Talk Olympics (And Nuclear Weapons) With North

Seoul seeks to meet next week at DMZ

By Andrew Jeong | Updated January 2, 2018 | 9:03 a.m. ET

SEOUL—South Korea proposed talks with North Korea over its possible involvement in next month’s Winter Olympics—and Kim Jong Un’s nuclear program—a day after the North Korean leader said Pyongyang would be open to sending a delegation to the Games.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Tuesday that his country seeks to meet North Korean officials Jan. 9 at the Panmunjom truce village, an enclosed area within the demilitarized zone on the inter-Korean border that has been a venue for previous talks. The Olympics will be held Feb. 9-25 in the South Korean ski resort city of Pyeongchang.

“The North will have its own objectives for coming to talks, if it accepts our proposal,” Mr. Cho said in a press briefing. “But considering Kim Jong Un mentioned the possibility of North Korea participating in the Winter Games, we expect the North to be prepared for that topic, and although we will seek to discuss other topics, the Winter Olympics will be the priority.” .  .  .  .

With tensions on the Korean Peninsula high a few weeks out from the Pyeongchang Games, South Korean officials appear to be using the Olympics as a way to reduce the likelihood of a military provocation from Pyongyang. A Unification Ministry spokeswoman said Mr. Cho believes the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics would lower the probability of a clash.

Mr. Kim on Monday appeared to demand that in return for sending a North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics, Seoul must suspend its participation in annual military exercises with the U.S.

There’s more at the original.

Naturally, Kim Jong-un wants something. The idea that he’ll get the Republic of Korea to suspend or cancel its military exercises with the United States seems far-fetched, but the North almost certainly has a fall-back position. The real question is: what does he want that he reasonably thinks he can get?

I have said previously that Kim Jong-un might be crazy, or he might be crazy like a fox, and I was leaning toward the latter:

Kim Jung-un might be crazy, or might be crazy like a fox, but one thing is certain: he is a very able man. He wasn’t part of the succession plans at all until his half-brother, Kim Jung-nam fell out of favor, and his elder full brother, Kim Jung-chul wasn’t considered forceful enough. His father could see his own end coming, and rapidly promoted his favored son, but still Kim Jung-un took power when he was only around 28, and he managed to not only secure power, but consolidate it very swiftly; his authority is unquestioned at this point, and we should not underestimate him.

Crazy like a fox. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has even kept the birthdays of both him and his wife, Ri Dol-ju, confidential, drumming up speculation and sowing confusion in the West. There’s little reason to keep those things secret, other than to create an air of mystery, and it has worked that way.

From The Washington Post:

Why North Korea succeeded at getting nuclear weapons — when Iraq and Libya failed

Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer

Dr Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer, from her photo with the Wilson Center.

By Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer1 | January 2, 2018 | 6:00 AMNorth Korea was considered too poor, authoritarian and vulnerable to succeed with its nuclear and missile programs. And yet Pyongyang has acquired advanced nuclear weapons capabilities — and, at the end of November, tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Why has North Korea succeeded when other countries such as Iraq and Libya have failed?

Three factors are central to North Korea’s success. This analysis draws on findings about the North Korean program from a recent New York Times article, as well as my recent book on the Iraqi and Libyan nuclear programs.

Yes, Dr Braut-Hegghammer is promoting her book, but she posited three good reasons why President Kim succeeded where others have failed:

  1. Mr Kim made nuclear weapons his top priority, where Moammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein did not;
  2. Mr Kim shielded scientists from political penalties, and promoted science education in ways the other dictators did not; and
  3. Mr Kim made North Korea’s nuclear program as self-reliant as possible, reducing problems stemming from having to import material and technology.

These are not the policies of a crazy man, but an able one. Dr Braut-Hegghammer noted, in particular, how Mr Kim “shielded scientists from (key institutional) purges, and has given them exclusive privileges, including better food rations and new apartments.”

Kim Jong Un has reportedly not killed scientists and has even developed a reputation for tolerating failures as part of the scientific learning process. He appears to have adopted a meritocratic approach to hiring scientists into the military programs and to selecting the new generation of scientific leaders. These efforts may have helped accelerate the missile program’s success in recent years.

Click to buy on Amazon.

Considering the (sometimes overblown) reports concerning how President Kim has purged those he believed to not be completely loyal, to have protected scientists in this way would appear to be completely out of character, at least for someone frequently portrayed as half-crazy. But adapting his techniques and management style, in ways he might not personally prefer, to further a particular goal is a sign of a very able man, not a nutcase. He’s working for what he sees as his country’s, and his, best interests, and is, if anything, overachieving.2

This guy is sharp, and we’d better not forget it.
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  1. Målfrid Braut-Hegghammer is an associate professor of political science at the University of Oslo and the author of “Unclear Physics: Why Iraq and Libya failed to build nuclear weapons” (Cornell University Press, 2016).
  2. I have previously noted that I love it when the only fat kid in North Korea wastes another missile shooting at an empty spot in the Pacific, and I love it when he wastes hard-to-produce weapons grade fissile material blowing up empty holes in the ground. Every missile expended, every weapon tested, is something removed from the North Korean arsenal. The North Koreans know this, and they are using these things to provoke a Western response, knowing that such a response will be yet another torrent of words.

Good news from The Washington Post! President Trump is keeping another promise.

The exodus probably hasn’t been enough to return Virginia to the ranks of red states, but it’s a good start!

How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy

By Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Tran | December 30, 2017 | 1:00 PM EST

Nearly a year into his takeover of Washington, President Trump has made a significant down payment on his campaign pledge to shrink the federal bureaucracy, a shift long sought by conservatives that could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades.

By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees, according to an analysis of federal personnel data by The Washington Post.

The diminishing federal footprint comes after Trump promised in last year’s campaign to “cut so much your head will spin,” and it reverses a boost in hiring under President Barack Obama. The falloff has been driven by an exodus of civil servants, a diminished corps of political appointees and an effective hiring freeze.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I really wish that I could reproduce the entire article, but that would be plagiarism! But there’s one more short paragraph that is of paramount importance:

Federal workers fret that their jobs could be zeroed out amid buyouts and early retirement offers that already have prompted hundreds of their colleagues to leave, according to interviews with three dozen employees across the government. Many chafed as supervisors laid down new rules they said are aimed at holding poor performers and problem workers to account.

What? Heaven forfend! Holding poor performers and problem workers to account? That’s what should have been happening all along! If an employee cannot or will not do his job, he should become a former employee.

There are some unfair comparisons in the article. It notes, for example, that 71,285 career employees either resigned or retired during the President’s first six months in office, compared to 50,000 during his predecessor’s first six months, but private sector employment conditions were horrible during President Obama’s first six months in office, while the economy is doing very well right now. Employees who weren’t retiring, who needed to keep working, simply have more options now than in 2009.

But here’s a statistic that is not misleading: at the end of FY2017, the federal government was down about 16,000 permanent employees, while the government had grown by 188,000 permanent employees under Mr Obama. Under President Obama, the federal government’s career workforce grew by the equivalent of the entire city of Newport News, Virginia.

Not all of the news in the article is good news: the Senate has not taken confirmation action on 79 political position nominees, and far more than that have not even been appointed by the President yet. For some departments, this is a good thing: overgrown bureaucracies in the Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor and Housing and Urban Development being throttled into doing nothing leaves too many career people still employed, but at least the bureaucracy is doing less harm than otherwise. I don’t like the idea of paying for idle paper-pushers, but it’s better to pay them to do nothing than it is to give them the chance to harm the country.

Maybe President Trump shouldn’t travel quite so much

From The Wall Street Journal:

President Trump Spent Nearly One-Third of First Year in Office at Trump-Owned Properties

Unlike his predecessors, president traveled frequently to places he owns but where others pay to stay

By Rebecca Ballhaus | December 25, 2017 | 8:00 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump, who is currently spending a 10-day Christmas vacation at the Florida luxury resort he owns, has visited one of his company’s properties on nearly one-third of the days he has been in office, according to a Wall Street Journal review of the president’s travel.

Of the more than 100 days Mr. Trump has visited one of his properties, he spent nearly 40 at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J., which he visited for much of his two-week August vacation. And he spent 40 days at Mar-a-Lago, his luxury resort in Palm Beach, Fla., where he arrived Friday.

Mr. Trump’s is an unusual case of presidential travel, since he spends much of his time away from the White House at places that he owns but where other guests pay to stay. Other presidents have traveled frequently to spend time at their own homes, such as President George W. Bush to his Texas ranch, or his father to Kennebunk, Maine. Others have vacationed at Camp David, the White House retreat in Maryland, or rented accommodations, as President Barack Obama did in Hawaii.

As a businessman who made his fortune in residential and commercial real estate, Mr. Trump’s considerations are more complicated because his visits can create the appearance of a conflict of interest in highlighting a Trump property—from which Mr. Trump draws revenue—on a visit paid for by taxpayer dollars, ethics experts say. . . . .

“George W. Bush went to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, a lot, but it’s not like you could rent the bedroom next to his,” said Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the transparency advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The group filed a lawsuit in January alleging that Mr. Trump violates the Constitution when his businesses receive payments from foreign and state governments, and was later joined in the case by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United Inc., whose members are restaurants that compete with Mr. Trump’s. But a federal judge in Manhattan threw out the suit Thursday, saying the suit failed to show the alleged violations caused them harm or that their alleged injuries fell within “the zone of interests” the Constitution protects.

There’s more at the original.

I do not care if President Trump stays at one of his own properties, nor do I care if some aggrieved baizuo want to try to nitpick away at silliness. I do care about the number of days he is staying away from the White House, something for which he criticized his predecessor:

More, I care about the costs of his frequent trips, costs borne by the taxpayers. We cannot expect the President of the United States to stay holed up in the White House 365 days a year, but when the President spends 112 days out of 341 he has been in office, that’s a lot of time away, and a lot of additional expense to the taxpayers. I criticized President Obama for his too-great traveling, yet our 44th President traveled far less than our 45th.

We are looking at yet another half-trillion dollar deficit — the FY2016 deficit was $585 billion, and the FY2017 deficit was higher, at $666 billion — and the last thing that the president should be doing is wasting money. Former Secretary of Health and Human Resources Tom Price had the privilege of returning to the private sector, just eight months after giving up a long-term, safe House seat for the cabinet position, for his habit of using private jets, paid for by the government. President Trump said of Dr Price’s resignation, “I was disappointed because I didn’t like it cosmetically or otherwise.” If Mr Trump could see the bad optics of Dr Price’s trips, how is he so blind as to the costs of his own?

The left try to figure out what’s ‘wrong’ with white women Why, it's almost as though the left believe that white women cannot think for themselves

From The Washington Post:

What’s wrong with white women voters? Here’s the problem with that question.

by Vanessa Williams | December 22, 2017

The 63 percent of white women who voted for Roy Moore in Alabama’s special election for Senate did not, as has been suggested by some progressives, betray the sisterhood.

White women voters were excoriated on social media for their performance in last week’s contest, in which Moore narrowly lost to Democrat Doug Jones. Critics were especially incredulous because Moore, 70, a former state judge, had been accused of making unwanted sexual advances toward teenage girls when he was in his 30s.

Black women have been celebrated as the sheroes who delivered the coveted Senate seat to the Democratic Party, after exit polls showed that 98 percent of them voted for Jones.

“What’s wrong with white women?” was a common refrain during debates that recalled similar disappointment last year when 52 percent of white women shunned the first female major party presidential nominee in favor of Donald Trump, who had been caught on tape bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — and was accused of doing just that by several women during the campaign.

That is, in a way, a misleading statistic. Yes, 52% of white women voted for Donald Trump, but, thanks to the presence of minor party candidates, only 43% voted for Hillary Clinton; 57% of white women voters voted against her.

But the suggestion that something is wrong with women who vote for candidates like Trump and Moore, or for Republicans generally, is misguided and unfair, say some political scientists. It doesn’t take into account that women, who make up more than half of the U.S. electorate, have diverse backgrounds and experiences and have different, and in some cases competing, political priorities. It also ignores the fact that a majority of white women have voted for the Republican presidential nominee in all but two elections since 1952.

Kelly Dittmar, a political-science professor and scholar at the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics, said the recent criticism of white women voters is “embedded with the biases of more progressive women.”

“Some of those expressing concern and confusion about why women identify with the Republican Party are really asking why these women don’t seem to identify with other women who view Republican policies as problematic for women.”

There’s a lot more at the original, but the money line is that the ‘question’ is “embedded with the biases of more progressive women.” For the left, it appears that only white heterosexual Christian men are allowed any freedom of thought; all other ‘groups’ must vote the way the progressives assign them to vote, or there is something wrong with them. Why, it’s as though the progressives do not believe that people other than white heterosexual Christian men are intelligent enough to think for themselves.

The article noted that Jane Junn, a professor of political science and gender studies at the University of Southern California, has claimed that white women are more influenced in their political behavior by race than by their sex. As the Democratic Party specifically, and the left in general, have been basing much of their political appeals on minority populations, they assumed that heterosexual white women would somehow feel as disenfranchised as other minority groups. The problem with that idea is obvious: white women tend to get together with white men to form families, and programs which are made to confer advantage upon people who are not white mean, inter alia, disadvantage to their husbands and boyfriends, and their families.

Which is more advantageous for the white married woman: having a woman in a particular political office, or policies which will benefit their families’ economic well-being?

The opening paragraph of the Post article indicates the problem: it wasn’t that white women voters in Alabama — or the 57% of white women who voted against Mrs Clinton in the presidential election — somehow betrayed the sisterhood, but that so many of the baizuo assumed that just because all white women have vaginas that there is some sort of sisterhood which exists. No one, after all, assumes that, say, all men are a brotherhood simply because all men have a penis; the left quickly segregate men into different groups: whites, blacks, heterosexual or homosexual, married or single, urban or rural, Hispanic, Christian, Muslim, just a whole host of different ‘special interest’ groups. Why, then, ought they to assume that all women are some sort of homogeneous sisterhood?

What the Chinese call the ‘white left’ have set themselves up for failure. They have assumed that they know what’s best for women, and thus all women must vote as the baizuo have determined them must vote. Nora Kelly, writing in The Atlantic, before the election, reported on the efforts of high-powered Washington women getting out the vote for Clinton, and noted the following dynamic:

[F]or many of the women I talked to Wednesday — the government workers, think-tankers, and nonprofit employees — Clinton isn’t just an aspirational figure, though she’s that, too. Rather, they seemed to see Clinton in the late days of the campaign as something of an avatar, a living representation of their own daily striving against a culture and a professional world that privileges men. When they watch her face “Trump That Bitch” t-shirts, suggestions that she is too frail or weak to assume the presidency, and other examples of blatant sexism, they recall their own, similar experiences. And when they see her succeed, it’s edifying.

That shows the problem that the elites have: Miss Kelly drew her conclusion from women similarly situated to herself. How do the experiences of professional women around Washington, DC, match up with the convenience store worker, with her laid-off coal miner husband in eastern Kentucky? Mrs Clinton, who famously ranted “Why am I not fifty points ahead?” claimed that women who didn’t vote for her ‘disrespected’ themselves, because she, and the rest of the left, assumed that having a vagina was an automatic vote for her.

Who knows, perhaps the Post article indicates that at least some on the left might actually get it, might actually understand that their assumptions about how people simply have to vote might not be entirely correct.

Baizuo 白左

I wish that I had seen this article when it was first published, 7½ months ago:

The curious rise of the ‘white left’ as a Chinese internet insult

Chenchen Zhang1 | 11 May 2017

baizuoIf you look at any thread about Trump, Islam or immigration on a Chinese social media platform these days, it’s impossible to avoid encountering the term baizuo (白左), or literally, the ‘white left’. It first emerged about two years ago, and yet has quickly become one of the most popular derogatory descriptions for Chinese netizens to discredit their opponents in online debates.

So what does ‘white left’ mean in the Chinese context, and what’s behind the rise of its (negative) popularity? It might not be an easy task to define the term, for as a social media buzzword and very often an instrument for ad hominem attack, it could mean different things for different people. A thread on “why well-educated elites in the west are seen as naïve “white left” in China” on Zhihu, a question-and-answer website said to have a high percentage of active users who are professionals and intellectuals, might serve as a starting point.

The question has received more than 400 answers from Zhihu users, which include some of the most representative perceptions of the ‘white left’. Although the emphasis varies, baizuo is used generally to describe those who “only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment” and “have no sense of real problems in the real world”; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to “satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority”; they are “obsessed with political correctness” to the extent that they “tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism”; they believe in the welfare state that “benefits only the idle and the free riders”; they are the “ignorant and arrogant westerners” who “pity the rest of the world and think they are saviours”.

Apart from some anti-hegemonic sentiments, the connotations of ‘white left’ in the Chinese context clearly resemble terms such as ‘regressive liberals’ or ‘libtards’ in the United States. In a way the demonization of the ‘white left’ in Chinese social media may also reflect the resurgence of right-wing populism globally.

And, further down:

The term first became influential amidst the European refugee crisis, and Angela Merkel was the first western politician to be labelled as a baizuo for her open-door refugee policy. Hungary, on the other hand, was praised by Chinese netizens for its hard line on refugees, if not for its authoritarian leader. Around the same time another derogatory name that was often used alongside baizuo was shengmu (圣母) – literally the ‘holy mother’ – which according to its users refers to those who are ‘overemotional’, ‘hypocritical’ and ‘have too much empathy’. The criticisms of baizuo and shengmu soon became an online smear campaign targeted at not only public figures such as J. K. Rowling and Emma Watson, but also volunteers, social workers and all other ordinary citizens, whether in Europe or China, who express any sympathy with international refugees.

The article notes that the Chinese government very heavily censors the internet, and that it also has its own agents provocateur, who try to get memes the government wants stirred up, particularly internationally, but many Chinese immigrants to the United States use the term as well, feeling slighted by the preferences given ro refugees, and believing that, as Asians, they are particularly discriminated against under Affirmative Action programs.

I would not wish to take all of the Chinese meaning to baizuo, because I certainly don’t want to echo Chinese government propaganda. But it is, perhaps, a better term than special snowflake, which is often used derogatorily against the oversensitive, whiny left.  I see the snowflakes as really not that sensitive, but rather cannily able to use protestations of being insulted for their own political gain.  In that vein, baizuo seems more accurate.  Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Peter Daou and the like seem to be thick-skinned enough not to worry if someone insults them, but know how to use those insults to manipulate others.

The definition given in the third quoted paragraph, that the baizuo are “those who ‘only care about topics such as immigration, minorities, LGBT and the environment’ and ‘have no sense of real problems in the real world’; they are hypocritical humanitarians who advocate for peace and equality only to ‘satisfy their own feeling of moral superiority,’ (and) they are ‘obsessed with political correctness’ to the extent that they ‘tolerate backwards Islamic values for the sake of multiculturalism’,” seems apt to me; how else can we explain the sympathy among the homosexual left for the Palestinians and Muslims, who would happily slaughter homosexuals in the name of their religion. Christianity and Judaism certainly disapprove of homosexual activity, but it isn’t Christians or Jews who imprison, and sometimes execute people for homosexual activity. What else explains the left who advocate peace and equality, yet support those groups which use terrorism to advance their goals, and would impose legal inequality on those who are not like them?

Conservatives have long been baffled by the intellectual torpor among highly educated leftists who are seemingly unable to see the inherent contradictions in their positions. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain spends a great deal of bandwidth noting how the feminist left falls silent when sexual assailants, presumably their greatest villains, turn out not to be heterosexual white Christian males. Personally, I have simply chalked up the left’s positions to be anything opposed to conservatives, regardless of whether such positions make any coherent sense. If George Bush (in the past) or Donald Trump (today) is for it, then the left must be against it, even if it was once a more liberal position, such as the belief that cutting the corporate income tax rate would make American businesses more competitive, which President Obama supported during his 2012 re-election campaign.

The baizuo is the reflexive liberal, the one wedded to the extreme positions of those they see as aggrieved and discriminated against minority groups, as long as those positions attack the long-established culture of Western civilization. How else can we explain the support of the baizuo for those sexual and anti-social behaviors which lead to increased poverty among the minority citizens they claim to so strongly support?

So, Chinese origin or not, possibly Communist government propaganda or otherwise, The First Street Journal now adds baizuo to our stylebook. A more appropriate definition and concept for the American left would be difficult to find.
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  1. Chenchen Zhang has a PhD in Political Theory from LUISS Guido Carli University and a PhD in Political Science from Université libre de Bruxelles. She has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen. She can be reached at @dustette.