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Trump in Phoenix

Does anyone know what Trump meant about making sure new immigration reflects the population? Sounds like a quota system meant to keep the country pale. We have a rich history of such xenophobia. All of it unconstitutional, meaner than hell and deftly exploited by Trump.

Speaking of unconstitutional: The ideological test Trump proposes brings to mind the Internal Security Act, called the McCarran Act, passed by Congress in 1950 over Truman’s veto. It was aimed at keeping commies out of the country. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Trump’s aim of curse is to keep Muslims, instead of commies, out. It’s strange he did not make it a blanket prohibition as has been his wont. It seems like he is softening his position to broaden his appeal.

Some appeal.

Meanwhile, let us all pause to pity President Enrique Peña Nieto, such a fool. What a dumb-ass schlub.

See the movie about a book

Did this video with Linda and Sixto Valdez about her book. Looks good with a full screen.



This is a SCREAM.

Sunrise today


Sometimes it’s hard to tell between sunrise and sunset. The blue gives this one away. I think.

Dredging the Rillito

The county is blading the Rillito, perhaps to prevent foliage from sucking up water better used to filling the aquifer.

Or perhaps the river has diverted itself to courses along the edges thus eroding the banks. If there is a whole lot of erosion the

bike paths at the top of the banks might tumble down. Tucsonans love their bike paths. Erosion thereof would not do. I have heard these explanations on the trail.

Tucson’s streets

I am constantly astonished at the activity on Tucson roads. Barriers are everywhere, blocking lanes, creating detours, stopping traffic. It’s astonishing because the roads only get worse. One county supervisor who seeks reelection says she will fix the roads. If she does, it will be only because she is GOD. Only God can fix Tucson’s streets. They have been for caca for most of the 20th and all of the 21st centuries. The explanation you hear is that Tucson temperatures are extreme, really hot and then really cold. But why then is Phoenix able to maintain roads like glass? My friend Zoe theorizes that it’s a lot like Tucson’s TV news. There’s a rule that it has to be bad, and another one says the streets have to be so bad as to punish your kidneys. Zoe says it’s the price you pay for the sunrises and sunsets.

So soon, mon

We seem to have an early monsoon season. This is a very good thing, being In the Wet, (a novel by Nevil Shute). In any event, this is what you

find on the Rillito these days.


Badda bing

If you lie with camels, expect to get up with fleas. A lesson right here for Paul Ryan from the best editorial-page columnist in the country.

A superb book


This is wonderful book by a superb writer.

Linda Valdez, today a journalist with the Arizona Republic in Phoenix, tells the story of how many years ago a nice young woman from Cleveland traveled to Mexico and fell in love with Sixto Valdez, a talented, spirtual man from Sinaloa. This is the story of their courtship, marriage and the uncommon blending of families and cultures. Valdez draws vivid and strikingly honest family portraits, particularly, of her mother and mother-in-law.

Sixto and Linda had to jump through more than their fair share of hoops to wed. That saga shows the sheer meanness of American immigration laws and the devastating effect they have on good people who can be blamed only for wanting better lives and risking everything in that pursuit.

Valdez writes with insight into people and compassion. So much so that I put down the book at the end, wishing I had known her mother-in-law, Donã Sole, not to mention her cooking.

There are many memorable scenes in this book. None is more poignant than when Linda meets her mother-in-law for the first time in Sinaloa. Here is an excerpt:

“Sixto reached out to me over his mother’s shoulder, still weeping. The other ladies shepherded me forward. When I got close enough, he pulled me into their embrace. It was a tight hug, and all I could do is hold on.”

“I tried to return the intensity of their moment. But I was unaccustomed to such raw emotion. It washed over me, but did not sweep me away. My eyes stayed dry, and I felt a twinge of guilt about that.”

“. . . I had not said one word, but I’d been accepted.”

“From that moment on, whatever I did — whatever harebrained, outlandish, North American request I might have — was just fine with Sixto’s mother. I was part of her family and under her protection, as surely as a chick under the wing of its mother hen.”

This is a good book and deserves a wide audience, particularly in these Trumped-up times.