red tailed lockdown, early morning

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I spent the better part of the last two days driving through Arizona. Brought my passport just in case but managed to elude the blue meanies. The people that I talked to in the state are not too thrilled with their new reputation as America's jackbooted stormtroopers. They tend to blame everything on the illegal invasion.

I heard last night that the reason that practically all of the highway rest stops have been shut down is because of the illegals causing the state to go broke. News has popped up in the last two days that the cause celebre of the anti immigrant movement, the unfortunate rancher shot dead on the border, might have actually been killed by an anglo. And the criminality rate of the illegal aliens is around 5.3%, much lower than the general legal population. But facts be damned. People across the land and Arizona are apparently in Governor Brewer's corner. Of course, most southerners backed slavery as well.

I had the realization today that unlike its neighbors to the east and west, Arizona is a state mostly denuded of spanish names for it's cities. I tried to name one and got stuck after Casas Grande. Odd that the spanish influence leapfrogged the Grand Canyon State, a state long known for its paleface conservatism.

I stayed with friends in Phoenix last night and had a great sushi dinner. They had a very good book on Vienna and Austria that broke down the cultural and political environment that led to the rise of national socialism. An Austrian politician in the late 1800's would get nowhere unless he peppered in a little anti-Semitism. Hitler was greatly influenced by two jew and immigrant hating local politicians, Karl Lueger and George Ritter Von Schonerer. It all started with a wave of senseless anti immigrant behavior and morphed very quickly into one of the most horrible episodes in human history.

When I try to explain that my feelings lie with the latino Americans who will now be forced to show identification in Arizona, it doesn't seem to impact my white friends, who think it is no big deal and a necessary intrusion. I got into an interesting side conversation with my friend, who is a religious person, regarding where Jesus would stand on the illegals. I maintained that he would be there for the weak and dispossessed but my friend said that I had it all wrong, Christ was a law and order guy. What do I know?

My friends also told me that a client of mine had died several years ago in a drowning. I had no idea. Got a strange hollow feeling knowing that he has been gone all this time.

The trip was long, windy and boring. Lots of wind gusts blew the van around. The dust storms were like a thick red rouge that covered the sky like pastels. Tumbleweeds hurtled towards my car and slammed against the windows at breakneck speeds. Not too hot, never got over 101 degrees.

I like to check out the small hometown newspapers from some of the small communities I pass on my route. I was reading the Cibola paper today and apparently a couple of the local abandoned mine sites may soon go superfund. Uranium mining has despoiled a lot of the local sparse water supply and there is no money to do anything. One rancher has been waiting for help since 1975. These are poor people without much voice or power and their cries go largely unheeded. When we start trumpeting for more nuclear power we need to think about what happens to the poor communities where the uranium is located and the horrible mess that we have already left..

I listened to KTNN for a while, the voice of the Navajo Nation. There are very few musical idioms I have problems with, but polka and indian drumming are two of them. Hippie drum circles are another.

I turned on christian radio for a while, as I sometimes do when I am bored. Cultural eavesdropping. A pastor said that you can not be spiritual without believing in spirits, and ladies and gentlemen, apparently they are all around us. A lady in his church saw two demons sitting on his shoulders. Very weird stuff.

Another pastor gave a great lecture on the book of Ruth the Moabite and her relationship with Boaz, a mighty warrior of the Hebrews, and more importantly her mother Naomi.  I think that I will reread it when I get a chance. He pointed out the repeated failure endured by the champions of this book, including Sampson, I think. Said that even if you are not religious, it is a wonderful literary effort and the love for Ruth and Naomi quite striking.

Went to one of my favorite barbecue joints tonight, Rudy's in Albuquerque. It is located on Carlisle. I had a half pound of burnt brisket ends, potato salad, pickles and root beer. Really delicious.


Sanoguy said...

I agree with many of your comments about the immigration situation. It is nice to hear the words of a kindred soul.

I think many people have forgotten (or maybe never realized) what the immigrants, starting with the slaves, have done to for the country. We have always depended on low cost labor: slaves, Chinese, Eastern Europeans, Irish, Italian and Hispanics. Most recently, the Hispanics, both legal and illegal, have picked our crops, done our landscaping, built our houses and worked in our restaurants. Who would do that work (and at what price) if these folks were not around. Would some high school or college student pick my avocados? Doubtful.

Also, I strongly believe that most are here to make a living and make their lives a little better like the immigrants before them.

I agree that we need immigration reforms, starting with tightening the border. We are not sending the 10 million or so back from whence they came. Even George Will said that it would take 220,000 buses to do that.

I would like to see, along with better border enforcement, a guest worker program that would bring those already here out of the shadows and in to the system. I don't think we necessarily need to give them citizenship, or as some call it "amnesty". At least we would know who was here and where they are located. It would be a throw back to the bracero system of the 40s and 50s.

The guest workers could go back and forth like the braceros. It would be easier to get them in to the tax system and they could further help pay their way.

By the way, some say the illegals pay no taxes. In fact, they pay sales taxes and property taxes through their land lords. Probably others as well.

WildBill said...

Does seem a bit extreme at times...

Sorry if I sent this twice... New touch keyboard

grumpy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

as a matter of principle i don't see how anyone has a right to be here illegally, regardless of what they contribute to the economy; today there's lots of people here legally (citizens and otherwise) who could do at least some of the work Sanoguy speaks of; whatever happened to the bracero program? at least that was a gateway to citizenship...


Anonymous said...

Robert quit telling half truths. You make it sound like Arizona is Berlin 1936.
The next thing you'll be reporting for FOX TV or dating Rachal Maddow.
On one hand you have a bunch of bigoted fools who want a police state in Arizona. They have no historical knowledge and less cultural awareness that the land they live in was purchased from Mexico in 1912. They have made no effort to reach out to the Mexican Community to compromise a growing problem.
And on the other hand you have illegal immigrants [aliens] who openly violate U.S. laws and have no intention of working with the legal system.
Only a fool would deny the obvious problems that go along with the influx of millions of undocumented citizens.
There are alot of us in Arizona, including the SUNS, who oppose the racist Governor and the two goons that are our Senators. Arizona is a good state and has millions of good citizens that oppose Jan Brewer and the out of touch GOP'ers.


Anonymous said...

Arizona sounds like the Holy Land....dry and hot and inhospitable....let the zealots all go there...the ones who are not already in the middle east, and shoot at each other and leave the rest of us alone....Democracy....Free Enterprise.....Freedom....CAPITALISM....
NOPE>.....Chomsky was dead on all those years ago....NO CAN DO>> wanna make some money? You gonna need some cheap labor. freedom in slavery....