Tag Archives: Arizona

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.

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…

Cataracts, Light and Heat

I’m happy to report that my mother’s cataract surgery went very well last Wednesday! (Thanks to those of you who lifted her up in prayer for that.) Post operative treatment included three types of eye drops, each administered a different number of times per day… one four times a day, one three times a day and one two times a day. Since the three times a day drop cost nearly $80 for this teeny little bottle, and my mother had been told it held exactly the amount she would need, she had no ability to get it into her eye without wasting precious drops. In fact, at first she was afraid she’d not be able to get any drops into her eye. So I came over and did that.

Which turned out to be a lot more tiring and disruptive of my writing routine than I anticipated especially given that our temps last week had surged into the triple digits — 104, 105, 106 — even as the dew point soared from 30 something to 57 (It’s 64 tonight, which is very high for us) Moisture from the Gulf of Mexico had finally made it up here with a vengeance. And we still haven’t had a storm at our house (I have to specify “at our house” because people several streets over could well have experienced rain.) Instead it’s just been very hot and humid and our evaporative cooler, is not up to the task of bringing full relief.

I’ve always found it very tiring to run errands, though that seems an awfully insignificant thing to make one tired. Still, there’s something about getting into the car, driving, getting out, going into the store, coming out, getting into the car, driving… etc… that just leaves me blitzed. The garden tour which my mother and I used to take yearly, involved a lot of that, and by the end I could hardly wait to go home and lie down in a dark room, whereas my mother was wishing there were more gardens to visit. I felt like a total wimp!

In fact, when we came out of the surgical center, she fresh from cataract surgery, her pupil dilated as big as the hole in a piece of notebook paper, I was scrambling for my sunglasses whereas she was only reluctantly donning those flimsy sunglasses they give you at the eye doctor’s to slip behind your glasses. The next day she wore no sunglasses at all. And I’m squinting!

So perhaps it’s no surprise that the short jaunts to my mother’s last week to put in the drops did the same thing to me as the garden tour did. I’d leave my darkened house (open blinds let in way too much heat) and step out into BRIGHTNESS! POUNDING HEAT! Get into the car, where the heat is worse, though the light, at least, is dimmer. Turn on the ignition, the AC starts up and and I start moving. By the time the AC’s cooled me off, I have reached my destination. So I stop and get out and HOT! BRIGHT! I go into my mother’s house … cool, dim… ten minutes later I come out… etc. And those weren’t the only places I had to go.

After the second day of that toward the middle afternoon when I had done three such runs and was laying on the couch in the cooler’s breeze, wiped out and bereft of motivation while drinking a glass of ice water, I remembered something I’d read in one of those introvert books.

“Energy creation is the most salient difference between introverts and extroverts,”said Marti Olsen Laney in The Introvert Advantage, “but there are two other primary differences: their response to stimulation and their approach to knowledge and experience. Extroverts thrive on a variety of stimuli, whereas introverts can find it too much…” (pg 20)

“Introverted bodies seem to be particularly attuned to fluctuations in temperature and to the rhythms of light and dark,” she said, on page 265. “At the same time, because they may not sweat as easily as extroverts, innies don’t function well when they are overheated. Every body movement slows to a crawl and thinking grinds to a halt.”

Well that certainly described MY experience! LOL. It was cool to be able to recognize that I wasn’t making it up, and not to have to beat myself up for being so wasted by what seemed like nothing. Instead I gave myself permission to sit on that couch in the breeze from the cooler drinking the ice water until I felt like doing something else. Unfortunately that didn’t include writing any blog posts. Or working on Sky…but it was definitely a learning experience. But really, I’m starting to feel like a mole.

On the other hand… maybe that’s why I’ve set Sky in an underground city…

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!

Quizzical Quigley

 

Life has been full of late. Lots of challenges, lots of opportunities to make applications of doctrinal truth, and of the fabulous doctrines we’ve been learning about our position in Christ. Dead to the sin nature, alive in Christ, we must continuously consider those facts. Every day, throughout the day: I’m in union with Christ and therefore I forbid the sin nature to reign, it has no power any more. It’s dead. So I have no business submitting to it, and instead must submit or yield to the Father’s will…

But, as has been obvious, I’ve had no time and no energy left over to write any blog posts.  In addition to taking care of my mother (she had to have another MRI last week) we’ve been getting ready for our son’s wedding coming up this week. Thus, I don’t expect to do any posts until next weekend.  But fear not. I’ll be back next week.

In the meantime, here is a picture of Quigley up on Mt. Lemmon, which is about an hours’ drive up from Tucson. This was early in the season, back in December. My hubby takes him up on weekends if the weather’s good and he doesn’t have other things scheduled. The last time they went the snow was so deep, Stu sank past his knees, and Quig had to bound from track  to track behind him. They both got a pretty good workout, but I think Quigley prefers it when there isn’t quite so much snow. It was the first time he was actually ready to get back into the car to go home.

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.

Arizona Gold

Fall sunset 3

Last week as I was driving home from my mothers, the sky turned to rivers of gold above me. It had faded somewhat by the time I got home and brought out the camera, but was still impressive so I took a couple of shots. Just moments before though, the whole sky was the same gold as what’s in the distance. I don’t think a camera can really capture it anyway — the instensity and sparkle never seems to make it through the translation to digital.