Category Archives: Arizona

Silver Linings

I was out taking pictures of our clouds the other day…er… more like a few weeks back, and this was one. I love our clouds, and the way the sun plays with them, brings out those silver linings.

(Silver linings: A hopeful or comforting prospect in the midst of difficulty.)

Looking at this photo, I can see that the bright linings show the sun is shining beyond the cloud and perhaps soon will be fully manifest. Kind of a cool analogy to the Lord… He’s always there, shining, but sometimes clouds get in our way and we can’t see that. Forget to see that. In tonight’s lesson, Pastor McLaughlin reminded us that when we react to people, to unjust treatment, to a difficult situation, it’s because we’ve gotten our eyes off of the Lord — we’re no longer occupied with Him, but with ourselves.

Never a fun place to be. Especially since, when occupied with self we become like those smudge pots they used to use in orange groves to keep the fruit from freezing — belching out black smoke that further obscures our view of our Lord. Our Good Shepherd.

I’ve had a busy, draining few days… well, nearly a week now, I guess. Started feeling the effects of it yesterday (Monday) but had housecleaning and the monthly trip to the cancer center with my mother. I told myself I would rest today, but then kept coming up with all these things I “should” do. As it turned out, I rested despite myself, because it was one of those flitter days, where I flit from thing to thing and can’t recall quite how I ended up doing the things that I did. Generally when I get to the end of such a day I start to condemn myself, but today I recognized the pattern. It’s part of being tired, part of the resting. So I’m going to stop with the condemning and just enjoy the results of the day. Which is that I’ve gotten to rest, and when I do that it always surprises me what a difference it makes in my motivation and my attitude.

An Issue of Law and Nationalism, not Race

Last Thursday’s post on Judge Bolton’s injunction of AZ SB 1070 stimulated a comment from the opposing viewpoint that in turn provoked such a long answer from me, I thought it would serve better as an actual blog post.

“Aelinor” commented that she was delighted with Bolton’s ruling because she thought SB 1070 had racial overtones and we need something better. She also thought that racism was a problem in AZ, one she’d experienced first hand, and stated that “Unless you are a minority, you cannot say that you understand the racism firsthand.” My first response was to point out that her statement is itself racist since in it she was making an issue of my race in her assessment of my ability to understand something.

I take issue with that because for one thing, “racism” is merely someone having a judgmental, arrogant, implacable, critical, hate-filled, exclusionary and/or irrational attitude toward someone else and expressing it. It is someone making assessments of another’s  understanding, character, ability, talent, based on something as superficial as the color of one’s skin, structure of their bones, shape of their eyes, and assigning relative worth because of it.

Everything about that is stupid, ludicrous and absolutely, disgustingly wrong. And I don’t think I have to experience it as a minority to understand that.  In point of fact, I have experienced it, just not based on skin, bones, shape of eyes. It’s sin, it’s evil human viewpoint, and its source is the sin nature that every single one of us have. A nature we have all operated in from time to time (some of us, all the time) and will continue to operate in until the day we die, and we’ve all been the recipients/victims of other people’s sin natures, as others have been the recipients of ours. And race has absolutely zero to do with it.

No race is better or worse than another, just as no man, before God, is better or worse than another. We’re all depraved. We’re all sinners. Some of us go for the overt expression of it, in immoral degeneracy; some of us for the covert expression in moral degeneracy (think Pharisees of Jesus’s day for your example). Jesus died for all of us and desires for all men to be saved. We have only to believe in His name. Race is irrelevant.

And it’s irrelevant when it comes to SB 1070 as well.  This bill is not a furtherance of racism except in the thoughts, apparently, of those who think in terms of race. We’re not against Hispanics. We’re against people who break the law and think they should be rewarded for it by services paid for out of our paychecks. Or perhaps full citizenship. It doesn’t matter what race they are, what matters is that they come here illegally, they have flouted the laws of our land, circumvented the proper road to citizenship in order to get to the golden eggs.

Worse, because they can’t live in the mainstream, they gather in their own little enclaves, speaking their own language instead of ours, and failing to assimilate as so many other immigrants who have come before us have done. I read an article recently about the impact large numbers of a single, unassimilated ethnic group of this sort would have on the existing population — rather than assimilation, it’s invasion. The host country’s culture would be overwhelmed by the new if allowed unfettered entrance. The host country, in essence would be lost.

And that,  I think, it really what’s at stake here.

SB 1070 and this border issue is not about race but about our responsibility and determination as a nation to preserve our borders. If anyone can come in at any time, then we have no borders. If we have no borders, we have no nation, and if there are no nations, then we’re on the road to one world government, which is against the word of God. Nationalism is a biblical principle instituted for the protection of mankind. Man continually messes up every system he gets involved with, but if there are many nations, there’s always a chance for freedom to flourish somewhere.

There is another issue here as well, and that’s the rule of law, under which this country has always been governed and which is crumbling before our eyes. Judge Bolton’s ruling was not based on consideration of the law, but on her opinion of what is “right.” The Obama administration’s  justice department brought the suit not for fear of racism — having admitted 1070 has nothing to do with that — but in an attempt to consolidate power. They want amnesty. They want open borders. They want a raft of democratic voters, ignorant and beholden, feeding from the government trough, and motivated by that to vote for those who promise to feed and care for them.

They want all that in order to do what they really want, which, I truly believe, is to bring this country down. And so far, they seem to be succeeding.

Judge Rules Injunction against SB 1070

Sigh…

I shouldn’t have been surprised. And yet I was when around lunch time I opened the Drudge Report to discover that Federal Judge Susan Bolton had indeed issued an injunction against AZ’s SB 1070 that essentially guts it of any power…  That is to say, she disallowed the part where officers are required/allowed to determine the status of any whom they arrest in conjunction with another crime, should they have sufficient justification to think they might be here illegally.

Her argument? It would inconvenience some of those legally here if they didn’t have their documentation with them, and had to wait around while officers checked on their status after being arrested. 

Secondly, she claimed federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement  resources would be completely overwhelmed, unable to handle the vast numbers of inquiries that were sure to come their way, and leaving their other responsibilities unattended to because of the diversion of their workers.

 Thirdly, she ruled that while Arizona’s law mirror’s federal law, it nevertheless pre-empts it because Arizona has altered the penalties to be levied on those found guilty.  That’s true. Arizona did alter the penalties — SB 1070 penalties are reduced from what the federal law stipulates. More to the point, though, is the fact that this whole part of her argument is a distortion. It’s not that our law would pre-empt federal law, but that it would pre-empt the federal government’s policy regarding that law.  That is, their policy of not enforcing it.

Heather MacDonald at NRO’s The Corner gives a brief, incisive (some say biting) critique of the ruling HERE (“What Judge Bolton’s Injunction Doesn’t Say”).

Also at NRO, Andy McCarthy gives his take, highlighting Bolton’s misapplication of the ruling in a previous court case, and the fact she’s ignored other case precedents that apply directly. One of which, Plyler v. Doe (1982), went to the Supreme Court, which ruled, “Despite the exclusive federal control of this Nation’s borders, we cannot conclude that the States are without power to deter the influx of persons entering the United States against federal law, and whose numbers might have a discernible impact on traditional state concerns. [Emphasis added.]” You can read his entire review HERE.

Meanwhile, the busload of SEIU people who came from LA to protest the law are now celebrating, as are the locals who were already threatening to block government buildings in Phoenix and dare authorities to ask about their immigration status. Then there were the people in Mexico City, about 100 of them hanging out near the US Embassy cheering and chanting,  “Migrants, hang on, the people are rising up!”  What in the world is that supposed to mean?

Sigh.

SB1070 Trumps Federal Law?

That’s the gist of the lawsuit pressed by the US Department of Justice against Arizona’s new law SB 1070.  Oddly, after all the talk of how the new law was racist and would encourage, even require racism, there is no talk at all of racism in the Federal suit against our state. Instead, the objection is that Arizona’s law, which mirrors the federal law already on the books, somehow attempts to trump that law, or, is “pre-empted” by it.

On Sunday, July 11, Attorney General Eric Holder was on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and the conversation was quite … telling.

“The solution that the Arizona Legislature came up is inconsistent with our Federal Constitution,” say Holder in that interview. And yet, the law is the same as the law already on the books. Perhaps, but, according to Holder, “It is the responsibility of the federal government to decide immigration policy…”

But… at issue is the fact that there is a federal law that makes it illegal to cross our borders without going through proper channels and the feds simply are not enforcing the law drawn and passed by our Congress. Is that the “policy” then? To not enforce the law of the land?

Holder continues:

“We have a an immigration policy that takes in a whole variety of things. International relations, national security concerns, and it is the responsibility of the federal government as opposed to states on a patchwork basis to decide exactly what it is our policy should be with respect to immigration.”

I am impressed by the convolution of  his answer, little of which has to do with the obvious issue… and yet says much about the way the Constitution and our system of government is under attack today.

Schieffer though, ignores this point and hurries on to the racial issue, saying — erroneously — that SB 1070 allows a policeman to stop someone he thinks might be an illegal. No, the police can’t just stop whomever. The person or persons have to be breaking some other law for the police to stop them and if in the course of dealing with that the officer has reasonable justification in suspecting the person might be here illegally, he has the right to ask them to show their documentation.

To his credit, Schieffer does ask, given his  — and many other people’s (note all the wailing done about how people going out to the ice cream store with their kids are going to get stopped and harassed because of this law) erroneous assumption, why the Department of Justice didn’t file on the basis of racial profiling. Holder’s response was classic. “Well we wanted to go with what we thought was our strongest initial argument.” LOL. Because the racist argument holds no water, they had to go with the pre-emption thing.

“Are you saying states have no responsibility in enforcing immigration,” Schieffer asked, “that that’s solely the responsibility of the Federal government?”

And Holder says that “states and locals can certainly help, but can’t pass laws inconsistent with or do things that contravene federal policy when it comes to the enforcement of our immigration laws.”

In other words, when the federal government’s policy is not to enforce the federal, congress-generated immigration laws, he doesn’t think states should be able to, either. And furthermore, “if you look at the guts of SB 1070, there are a whole variety of things that are inconsistent…” not with federal law but… “with what we have decided to do as a federal government…”

What WE have decided to do as a federal government. Whoa! No rule of law there. Congress? Who are they? We’re in power now and we’ll do what we please.

Which is exactly how the Ruling Class, as mentioned in the article in The American Spectator I linked to last week does it. They think it’s their right. Their duty. They don’t believe in representative government. They believe only they have the intelligence and ability to decide what’s right, not a bunch of yahoos who aren’t rich, aren’t Ivy league educated, don’t have liberalism’s enlightened views and worst of all, actually believe in God and the Bible.

It’s just like having King George again!

… And on that subject, I have now read the American Spectator article American’s Ruling Class — and the Perils of Revolution in entirety. Iit printed out to 22 pages, nevertheless I highly recommend everyone read it. Last week Rush Limbaugh dubbed it an “important” article and he rarely calls anything like that important. But he’s right. It is. A few quotes won’t do it.

As I read it I saw over and over how right the author Angelo Codevilla) was. There IS a ruling class, and they DO disrespect the “country” class. Can’t hardly even understand us. Don’t want, to, either, because to them we’re just a bunch of Yahoos. It’s why they DESPISE Sarah Palin. She’s not part of the elite. It explains the business with SP1070. And the actions not only of our current administration, but also of the Washington DC Republicans. It’s the new aristocracy, our very own lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, princes and princesses.  Right here in America, the very thing our founders and forefathers came here to escape, the thing they said would never be again.

I recommend printing the piece up (there’s a little red box in the upper right hand corner of the article, under the picture) and then reading it in parts, until you reach the end. (You can also underline particularly exciting passages that way!)  It’s so crammed full of information and observations it deserves one’s full attention.  Here’s the link again:  “America’s Ruling Class and the Perils of Revolution.”

Prepare to be blown away by how so many things fall into place.

Arizona’s SB 1070

In a week Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070 will go into effect. That’s the bill that’s come to national attention, requiring police officers to ask people they’ve stopped for some other offense to show proof of US citizenship, given, of course, that said officers have sufficient justification for suspecting they might not be citizens. Another Arizona law forbids officers from ever using profiling, so that’s really not the issue here, even though SB 1070 also guards against profiling being used.

 (I have my own issues with the whole ban on profiling thing because frankly it doesn’t make sense. If you have a flood of illegal Mexican nationals pouring over the border, why would you stop a car full of blue-eyed, blond-haired Scandinavians? If the overwhelming preponderance of terrorist acts have been committed by those of middle eastern descent, why would  you not look first to people of middle eastern descent for your suspects? Why would you deliberately turn aside from those of the same ethnicity, just because you don’t want to “profile”. It’s ludicrous.)

But back to AZ SP 1070, and the ridiculous circus that has erupted around it. Do we need it? I think we do. Everyone I talk to here thinks we do. I have friends who work in the hospitals who can testify to the resources diverted to people who are not here legally (and hence pay no taxes, but do get free services).   Emergency rooms are overwhelmed with people who cannot pay for their treatment but must, by law be treated anyway. Physicians, if they wish to use the hospital to treat their paying patients, must donate a particular amount of their time to working basically for free in order to service people who have entered the state illegally. Many of them leave the state, altogether. One group banded together to build a new, private hospital to avoid the forced free service the other hospitals demand. One trauma unit closed because it could not afford to keep operating, drained by the influx of non-paying, illegal alien patients.

My husband has encountered illegals hiding out in the bushes on his hunting trips. He has friends who tell alarming stories of their own encounters in the wilds. One was in his a tree stand, bow hunting in one of Stu’s favorite areas south of Tucson, when a group of drug runners came by, armed with AK-47s. They walked right under his tree, while he held dead still, All too aware that with only his compound bow to protect him against AK-47’s he had the very short end of the stick.

Thankfully the drug runners appeared to ignore him until the guy who followed up the rear stopped right under his tree to look up at him, deliberately making eye contact. He held gaze with the hunter for a bit, then moved on. As soon as they were completely gone, my husband’s friend lit out as fast as he could back to his vehicle. He won’t hunt down there any more. Neither will my husband.

We have friends who have illegals walking through their property on a regular basis. Recently a rancher was killed by illegals down in Douglas. Across the street in our middle class neighborhood, about ten years ago, the man of the house was murdered by Mexican hit men. He was subsequently found to be involved in the drug trade. Our crime rate is pretty high and much of it involves the same drug trade from south of the border.

A couple of years ago, the local news ran a story about the way illegals were coming up through the San Pedro Riparian Conservation area east and south of Tucson, and trashing it up horribly — plastic milk bottles, soiled diapers, feces, etc. Recently an email went around about it, which I didn’t save, and then when I wanted to find it for this post, though I searched the web… I failed to locate it. I did find some photos from another site, not far south of Tucson.

The caption accompanying the photo at left said it is estimated that over 5,000 discarded backpacks are in this wash, as well as countless water containers, food wrappers, clothing, feces, and “thousands” of soiled baby diapers.

I understand the need these people feel to escape their own desperately dysfunctional country. But resorting to illegal entry just isn’t the answer. We don’t have the resources to provide for all of them (schools, buses, medical, welfare in some cases), they take jobs that US citizens would otherwise have, especially in the difficult economic times we are in, they take money but pay no taxes and send much of it back to Mexico, instead of contributing to our economy. Some would argue that others come up from Mexico to shop, but I’m not sure it evens out, and regardless, it’s still illegal.

It’s also not fair to those who have entered this country legally — paid the fees, jumped through all the hoops, waited patiently, learned English, learned about the government… And many of them are no happier about our porous borders than the rest of us.

If you can’t secure your borders, if you let whoever across who wants to come, even aside from issues of allowing criminals and terrorists in unhindered, the fact is that in practice you have no borders. And without borders, you can’t have a nation. Especially if you are a nation that provides a lot of “free” services for people “in need.”

Jesus said “The poor you will have with you always,” and though He performed miracles of healing, and fed thousands of people with free bread and fish… He didn’t do much of anything to alleviate poverty. And however many He healed, there were many more He didn’t heal. He didn’t come to perform physical healings, those where just a metaphor for what He did come to do: die for the sins of the world. The miracles also got people’s attention and testified that He really was from God.

Sometimes, as with the Prodigal Son, people need to suffer lack, to be brought to the end of themselves to “come to their senses” and realize their need for God. That’s not to say we don’t help when we can and when the situation warrants, but the situation doesn’t always warrant and we are simply not responsible for the rest of the world. If you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, you get no more golden eggs…

A Quick Trip to Las Vegas

 

Colorado River Bridge almost completed

Last Saturday we piled into the Jeep with Quigley and headed up to Las Vegas, a seven hour drive that turned into eight hours, arriving barely in time for the wedding reception of my husband’s niece. That went from 4 to about 8 or so. We had a good time, got to talk to another of his nieces we hadn’t seen in years and who we had not expected to be there. Afterward we walked Quigley around a mostly deserted city park where we discovered a sign on an empty dog run informing us that it is illegal in Clark County, Nevada, to own or harbor a non-spayed or -neutered dog. On pain of a big fine and possible imprisonment.

Whoa! For years Stu and I have decried the trend toward mandatory spay and neuter laws that is rising in this country. One more erosion of our freedoms that, like so many things, punishes the law-abiding for what the law breaking commit. Quigley is our seventh male dog. None of them were neutered. Of them, only Bear sired any pups and that was deliberate. He was papered, and sprang from champion bloodlines as does Quigley. We have never let our dogs run about, scaring the neighbors, getting into the trash, getting into fights with other dogs, running amok in the cactus… or making puppies with whatever random bitch in heat they might encounter.  Yet there are those who do not think we should have the right to make the decision ourselves about whether our pet is to be neutered… because other people don’t control their animals. 

And the creepy part? In Las Vegas it’s okay for prostitutes to hawk their services in newspaper like directories freely available on the street, and even for prostitutes to walk about pretty blatantly… but you better not have a dog that’s not been spayed or neutered…

Anyway, I’ll step back from that soapbox and go on. We left the park hurriedly, and returned to our hotel room, eager to leave the state as quickly as we could… which was fairly early the next morning…  (Had to get back in time for LOST, you know.  😉 )

One of the fun parts of the trip was seeing the new bridge that’s being built to bypass Hoover Dam.  I’d seen pictures of it in progress, the two arms reaching out from their respective cliff walls with a space still in the middle. (If you’re interested you can see photos here, including one from space of the canyon before contruction began) Last weekend, we saw that the two sides had been joined and the bridge now spans the gap. It’s still not open, and is obviously still under construction, but it will certainly make getting to Las Vegas faster if you don’t have to creep across the dam in bumper to bumper traffic on the winding, two-lane road that is constantly being crossed by the mass of pedestrians that bustle along either side. Nor be stopped at the security checkpoints on either side of the dam while federal officers peer into your vehicle. (Are they afraid someone will try to blow up the dam? We didn’t know)

Another fun part of the trip, besides stopping at Subway, was Quigley. See how relaxed he was in his bed at the back of the Jeep?

Quigley relaxed in the car

Sometimes he’d get up and come forward to rest his head on my shoulder. Then when he got tired of that he would back up into his bed and lie down again. Reminded me of a crab returning to its shell…

Spring Flowers

Everything seems to be in bloom and our desert is so beautiful now, I decided to share a bit of it through some pictures I took when my husband and I went on a hike to Picacho Peak, a little north of Tucson. This was a number of years ago, during another fantastic wildflower season, and since I never seem to remember to take the camera when I’m out (not that I’ve been out all that much!) I thought I’d share these, since they are similar. Also, they are of places we can no longer visit, since, given the state of Arizona’s economy, they have closed the park to visitors.

 

Skydivers and Book Stuff

 Last Thursday I drove up to Eloy to meet my BHP editor at Skydive Arizona. No, we were not going skydiving, it was just a place she’d recently discovered that was about midway between where each of us was: me in Tucson, she in Florence. She and her husband recently bought a house here in AZ and seem to be setting themselves up to becoming snowbirds. She was down for a couple of weeks and so we planned to touch base.

Skydive AZ is apparently one of the most popular places for skydivers in the country, even if it’s not the largest. It has fabulous weather, which I’m sure is the primary draw. Also a restaurant, a wind tunnel where you can practice learning how to control your body while “falling” through the air, and an area for spectators where we watched the planes go out full of divers, saw them disappear into the clear blue sky, and later watched the parachutists appear seemingly out of nothing.

It was a lot of fun to watch them, and amazingly, even seemed like something that might be fun to do. I’m not sure I could actually get myself to jump out of a plane, even tandem, but maybe if I’d paid the $183 fee, I would have added motivation.

We walked around, observed the incoming parachutists, went out to watch the people float and flail about in the wind tunnel and ate lunch on the restaurant’s deck, catching up and talking about The Business. Given I’d just read some pretty grim articles about The Business the night before, I was heartened by a lot of what she had to say.

The drive home was amazing… with the sun coming from the west, the light was perfect to set off the orange and yellow poppies spilling along the shoulders of the freeway and filled the easement in the middle. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful day. And Friday, I went into my office and actually worked for several hours on Sky. Did the same on Saturday…

I’ll not jinx it by hoping for more of that tomorrow, just recall to mind that I’m living one day at a time, and trying to follow moment by moment what the Lord would have me do. Right now… I think that’s go to bed!

Global Warming – NOT!

Found this picture on Drudge last night, plus headlines (sorry, no links here) and it so amused me (well, except for the death toll, that’s not amusing), I decided to share it:

Midwest bracing for heavy snow — wind chills of 50 below!
Next Arctic Blast blows even colder…
Persistent cold tightens grip on nation…
CHILL MAP…
Britain’s big snow shuts cities…
Death toll rises to 22 in UK’s biggest freeze for 30 years……
Arctic blast freezes Texas…
Weekend Freeze Looms for Gulf Coast…
Florida races to save crops…
ICE DELAYS FLIGHTS IN TAMPA…

Did you know that every time there’s some kind of climate change conference the weather turns frigid?

I find that amusing as well. I’m also delighted to gloat…er…report that I continue to reside in Paradise. Okay, it’s a bit of a DUSTY paradise, nevertheless… afternoon highs in the upper sixties. Blue skies, wispy clouds… The picture below is of my flowers on the front porch…

Snow

Did you see the snow on my blog? It’s something WordPress does for the holidays. Sometimes if you move the cursor around, the snowfall will change directions.  Fun! 

 Here’s a picture of our snowy Jeep from several years ago when it snowed here,  just to make it more appropriate:

snowy car

 

And here’s the snow paloverde the next morning… (I want to see if the snow will show up down here, too!)

 

If you’re a Feedblitz subscriber you won’t see the snow unless you go to the blog itself, here.  You can also click on the post’s title, “Snow” above.