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Authority Issues in America

November 26, 2014 1 Comment

America has major authority issues. If we look at law enforcement as a human body with a single anatomy we see ailing, weak systems.  Eric Holder is the lame duck head of the brain of the body.  He will leave office without prosecuting bankers who drove the country over the financial edge with gambling and mendacity.  The next US Attorney General will serve for a couple of years and then we presume another will be appointed by the next president.  The brain function at a national level seems fuzzy if not corrupt.  Balance is impaired as a result.  The core strength seems very weak and lacking integrity.  The voice is breaking as it speaks.  We do not trust people in authority to tell the truth or follow a code of ethics.  We rely on the institutions of law enforcement and justice, but do not believe they are functional.  This is a highly unsustainable situation. I live in the state of Arizona, famous for making our own immigration laws.  We are also famous for Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County Sheriff who loves to defy the Feds.  The Tucson sector of the US border, named for my home city, is responsible for a high volume of traffic in smuggling of drugs and people.  This has been true traditionally for many reasons.  The geography here favors the smuggler, and Mexico does not lack tunnel engineers or builders.  Cartel power trumps Mexican law enforcement to the point that it is dangerous to expose or oppose the profitable business of smuggling on the other side.  It would be crazy to believe that there is not some corruption in the US that smoothes the way for contraband to flow through Arizona.  This is a very complex economy that  existed long before the border wall or the concept known as “Homeland Security”. Economic security in Arizona had long depended on a whole lot of unreported income and undocumented workers to stay afloat.  To reverse this trend is a very difficult task. How can we restore trust and build integrity within our law enforcement institutions now?  I do not accept the idea that crime and injustice must continue to blight the nation.  I believe all of us, in and out of authority positions, have been complacent and apathetic.  If we view the crisis in law enforcement as a Missouri thing, with no impact on our daily lives, we will perpetuate our current problems.  I am not optimistic about change, but feel strongly that we must attempt it.  Do you trust the police where you live, gentle reader?  Do you feel protected by the courts?  Does America feel like the land of the free and the home of the brave to you?

Samhain/All Saints

October 31, 2013 1 Comment

The Celtic holiday Samhain is still celebrated by some on October 31. The city of Dublin is embracing the ancient holiday in new ways.  Poetry is a way to create connection with the future and also with the past.  Some poems and songs survive from anonymous authors, while ancient Greeks are preserved in drama, ode and epic.  Translation is a tricky thing, especially when translating Pagan rituals to Catholic practices.  My ancestors, the O’Byrnes, came from County Meathe where Samhain was and is celebrated.  I hope someday to visit Dublin to see these Irish in action with their ancient tradition.

Since I am in Tucson, with a strong and popular All Souls’ Day party I plan to add poetry this year by attending the reading on Friday night at the U of A Poetry Center by our new poet laureate.  He is from the border, our own very specific and special place. This border has been directly responsible for plenty of death, and plenty of opportunity.  In a spiritual sense our border has never been real, but artificial, setting a trap, catching little prey.  It makes crime irresistible to the desperate. It works to incentivize illegal behavior. If the dead are visiting this week they will have no trouble crossing the border, even though they may have died trying.  I look forward to the experience.

Talking About Race

August 10, 2013 2 Comments

My tribal sister Rayshay has attended a training offered by the Justice department to teach individuals how to have a conversation about race.  I admire her courage and conviction in stepping up to the plate on this issue.  She lives in Philly, and I live near the Mexican border in Tucson, so we have different perceptions of where we are today.  I am also older, and lived in Texas in 1967-70, when civil rights were a really big deal, not in a good way.  I would not take up this subject on my own.  This is the first time I have responded to a prompt, but I think this discussion is important, so I hope some of my readers will decide to write a piece this week also.

In response to Rayshay’s next question: Where are we now?  Where I live the strong elements of denial and us vs them mentality are damaging our quality of life.  Racism is unfortunately integrated into politics and business.  If you think national politics looks magnetized to the extreme, just take a walk on the wild side down here at the Mexican border of Arizona.

Here in Tucson racism is very likely to be emotionally bound to the border and immigration.  The race/language/culture issues we have are about being Mexican and or Native American in a land once exclusively owned by your ancestors.  Arizona became a state in 1912, so very different from Pennsylvania, one of the 13 colonies.  The border itself is an unnatural place to stop anything or anyone.  A long stretch of the Arizona border is on tribal land, which is a sovereign nation belonging to the people who were undoubtably here first, the Tohono O’odam.  Arizona was part of Mexico; some land ownership in Arizona is documented by Spanish land grant.  Rich mines belonged to the Apache tribes, and there were resources to create a thriving economy. Now we suffer from a water shortage that is unsustainable.  Golf, cows, and general waste of our water has left the southwest in a pickle…literally. The salty groundwater leaves minerals in the ground that eventually make plant growth impossible.  It is late in the game to decide who took what from whom; the resource of water has been depleted for everyone.

Politics in Arizona are tied to race, language, and Mexico.  The school district in Tucson has been ordered to stop teaching a curriculum in ethnic studies.  This complex and emotional issue brought out the worst in everyone.  Some of the books from the program were apparently banned from all the libraries after the closure.  There is bitterness on both sides of this issue.  If public education becomes a reason to bicker, all students loose. Where we are in Arizona is nowhere near the place we need to be for a thriving and honest economy that serves the best interest of society.

Bienvenidos a Tucson

December 30, 2012 1 Comment

Tradicionalmente en Tucson los negocios han servido el mercado de ambos lados de la frontera. Nogales, Sonora es la puerta de entrada por la mayoria de frutas y verduras que exporta el pais de Mexico. Hay bastante negocio y riqueza en Sta. Cruz County y en Sonora desde el tiempo de los Espanoles. Ranchos enormes y negocios viejos, acostumbrados de la cultura y los riesgos de la frontera sobreviven. Tucson, entre el diablo y la frontera, sufre poque los Maricopanos han parado comercio legitimo, pero no el crimen. Nos molesta, pero ellos tienen el poder político en el estado. Joe Arpayo no nos representa.

La gente de Sonora ya no tiene ganas visitar Arizona ya que SB1070 es la ley. Esto me parace muy natural. Tucson tiene una herida economica bien seria resultando de la clima politica. El nuevo alcalde de Tucson, Jonathan Rothschild, quiere renovar el comercio entre Sonora y Tucson. Si tiene éxito los Mexicanos, lindos y queridos, van a regresar con su efectivo a nuestra ciudad. Yo le brindo mucha suerte porque nos hacen mucha falta nuestros vecinos Mexicanos elegantes, distinguidos, y mas que todo, ricos, que antes nos visitaban. Aqui les esperamos, para servirles, sin pedo.

Disculpe el Espanol desnudo. No he encontrado el espellcheck en Espanol en mi WordPress.

As Above, so Below-the Border

December 24, 2012 1 Comment

How irresistible is untaxed profit?  So magnetic that a Border Patrol agent just was stupid enough to load a large shipment of dirt weed into to his migramobile for transport right next to the border recently.  I live in Tucson, in the slipstream of untaxed profit provided by the border. It feels to me like the economy that transpires outside the law, under the table, is much greater than legal business in my state. We are so damn fast, furious, heavily armed, and racist that anything can and does happen.  South of the border, down Mexico way, kingpins of crime created  a much stronger economy than the local legal economy. They now have their own saint which is a sure sign that they are in control. The border itself offers them the risk reward system of illegal commerce that increases their power and wealth. Sure, they have guns (supplied by us), but they only enforce their special jurisdiction with guns. If they had no economy based on smuggling they would have no power in Mexico or the US, thus no need for a saint.

  • The closer to the border, the higher the risk/reward.
  • The closer to the border, the more violent the scene
  • The closer to the border, the higher the pay for crime
  • The closer to the border, the higher the bribes

At the border everything is exponentially magnified and all the cops are criminals, all the sinners saints.  Stakes are high and the dominant criminal precedent has been set in place forever.  Smuggling pays well, and pays law enforcement the highest salaries, one would imagine.  The fence that was built to solve our bizzillion border issues has magnetized them.  The pay is now higher to break laws at the border, and the violence much greater.  Every pendejo who loves lawlessness is attracted to the Arizona/Sonora border. Why?  It is simple.  The pinche-punk criminals flock to both sides of the border because the border itself is pura pendejada.  The migra doesn’t even have a saint. How pathetic is that?

Virgin of Guadalupe Day

December 12, 2012

Virgin of Guadalupe Day

New Mexico celebrates 12 Dec

The village of Tortugas near Las Cruces, NM takes the 12 December very seriously.  The fiesta and pilgrimage to the Virgin of Guadalupe is the main event of the year in the town close to the border. The Piro and Tigua traditions are honored in this village.

Dances 12 Dec.

Dances 12 Dec.



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Navigating Backwards

December 9, 2012 4 Comments

sunken treasure of dreams

sunken treasure of dreams

Studying one’s ancestry one learns history once and for all. Any abstracts become clear when you chart your own pedigree. Any dates memorized come to life when you find out what your own ancestors were doing at those times. I am always a big proponent of being present in the moment, but historical knowledge helps me appreciate the present.  The belief in intuition is enhanced when the timeless soul is given room to move. Calendars and clocks are maps of time that match the heavens in a very precise way.  The full meaning of the heavens is impossible to capture in a clock.  If you can view your life from a higher place time is less relevant than it appears to be in your rear view mirror.  Meditation is the path to truth beyond time.

I am all the way a navigator. I have flown many miles in private planes navigating from the air, do very well with driving, or public transportation. Reading maps and finding different kinds of maps has always been a fascination for me. Historical maps and charts of the heavens are of particular interest. I am learning with precision how to navigate backwards by means of the family tree. My study of Sacred Contracts teaches me to align with time in a much broader spiritual sense.

Memory and dreams reconstruct time as well as facts.  Often by repeating a story that is highly revised and edited for the ego’s best light we create a strong reality that never existed or has a chance of being true in real time.  Our poetic dreamy visions of ourselves and others are the pageant we produce in order to learn our life lessons.  Each one of us produces and directs the archetypal dramas in which we live.  We act in the dramas of others, as do they in ours, but we only witness tiny segments of other people’s story. In dreams we only see faces we have seen in our waking lives.  In dreams we deconstruct and revise the archetypes and their roles in our own big picture.

Looking at the symbolic as well as the scientific meaning of the past I see above and below are forever linked just as the past and the future.  They have no meaning without their partners, like the border crossers and the migra.  Our lessons are repeated in time, but are not done in a logical worldly sequence.  If we believe in divine order it would be wise to honor and make some contact with it.  In this way we can avoid swimming against the current , struggling to arrive in a place we have already been. Deep meaning is found by reading the treasure maps in our dreams.

Governor Lost and Found

December 6, 2012 2 Comments

Gov. Jan Brewer of my home state put on her high-heeled sneakers, and that ever-present wig hat on her head to sneak out to Afghanistan. This was done presumably to brighten the holidays for AZ National Guard troops stationed there… IF…..her presence was so exciting it is worth it to all to export it.  Troops used to get Bob Hope, Raquel Welch,and lots of  A list stars to light up  their holidays.

I am politically torn on this one. Although I loathe the Barry Goldwater style move that this seems to be, and as a true conservative deplore the expenditure of public money, I do so want to export her to someplace far from here.  I am also fully in favor of her putting herself more in harm’s way than even Phoenix can offer.  If she had paid for it herself and used her vacation days I would say,  “Vaya con Dios.  Stay for a while.”  In Spanish la gobernadora is luz de la calle, oscuridad de la casa (light of the street, darkness of the home). We had a lovely Gov Jan Napolitano who was imported to DC for the security of the homeland while we replaced her with a shadow governor.

In this woman’s mind it makes sense to deny hispanic youth dreamers the right to obtain drivers licenses.  If they have the nerve to drive they will be doing so without insurance, a very unappealing idea for anyone driving through the state.  If we gave them drivers licenses we would not only acknowledge them with some dignity, we would enhance the chances that they might find employment.  In Arizona we graduate only 25% of English learner high school students in the state.  We have few legal jobs but an abundance of easy fast (read instant) careers in crime that will have a rapid turnover.  That turnover feeds our for profit prison system, a big player in the new normal economy of Arizona.  It is easy to see how granting the right to legally drive to the dreamer is a slippery slope that could be disruptive to the current crime for profit model we have for growing our economy.

The border, the stoners, the Feds

November 7, 2012 2 Comments

Now that we can be relieved of the presidential politics for a minute, let us look ahead to the rapid change  rolling into the future of the US. I live next to the border where incentive to smuggle is a traditional job creator in the region. Capital creation has historically been based on tax free labor and favorable agriculture laws that made ranching and farming possible in the state. We are now famous for SB1070, the state immigration law mostly banned by the Supremes.  The political cartoon of our state is Barry Goldwater  in drag flying a bomber over Phoenix to do the business of the people.  His legacy lives, but it is demographically challenged and I believe will soon be destroyed  by pure and simple economic reality.  During Barry’s lifetime the border was a complete joke.  All farming and ranching depended on Mexican undocumented labor.  All hotels and restaurants in Arizona used the same standards.  Tucson was the Mexican dirt weed capital of the great southwest, shipping untold tons to untold trillions of American pot smokers.

The only real change in the government that happened on election day was the legalization of marijuana by Colorado and Washington.  Lester Holt cautioned the stoners not to break out the goldfish and Cheetos too soon, which lead to a comment that there is no Entenmann’s way out west.  Yes, Brian , we do have Entenmann’s, and excellent medicinal kine bud grown right here in Arizona.  Colorado, however, has an advanced business model in play that will be ready for  Coca Cola as soon as either the Supremes or the dweebs in congress clear the active for Cannabis Coke.  There has been much investment in Colorado into development of products ready to ship across the nation.  These legally produced and consumed products replace some of the income lost by the attrition of traditional ( read tax free labor force) farming.  Arizona agriculture has been decimated by draught, SB1070, and the same loss of interest in farming as a business experienced by the rest of the nation.  We are out of water, but we still have plenty of sunshine.   The new pharming is done indoors requiring intense electric lighting to achieve the pharmaceutical quality.  Arizona can produce solar electricity, and we already have Dutch people here growing tomatoes in greenhouses.

Lawyers and lobbyists, come on down!!! Let us get real about laws that create  liberty and justice for all, and laws that provide incentive for violent criminal smuggling.  Arizona can be the crown jewell in the solar pharming phuture of cannabis.  We can provide legal jobs and opportunity that will enrich our state tax revenues, or we can continue to play deadly tug of war with the Sinaloa cartel.  Some profit from status quo.  Incentives for smuggling must always include bribes, as is the nature of the beast.  Some law enforcement individuals can and do become extra super wealthy from all this incentive, while the state becomes destitute. By eliminating the smuggling incentives we an make our tax dollars work for the public interest. Even if you are sure you never want to burn one the economic absurdity of pouring tax dollars into making sure nobody else does must be clear.  The idea of securing the border is a good one.  It is time to cut the cord for the Mexican cartels, and suck up to those cute Dutch people with all those greenhouses.  You do not need to be high to see how this works.

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