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Commie capitalist running dogs

What hath China wrought?

Copper prices have fallen 25 percent.

Oil companies have laid off a quarter million workers as prices imitate the skydiver whose parachute doesn’t open. Oil is $30 a barrel.

China created this mess. It created the demand. Now it’s going bust with the cosmic belch felt around the world.

Chairman Mao would not, we suspect, approve. It was in the time of Mao, after all, when the phrase “CAPITALIST RUNNING DOGS” was coined by the crazy commie denizens of what used to be known as Peking.

Pitifully ironic, ain’t it. So we pause amid the oil, copper, nickel, iron ore, palladium and platinum gluts to tip our hat to George Orwell: “Four legs good. Two legs better.”

Five years hence

Five years ago today Tucson was forced to endure random murder and chaos. People were shot and recovered. Some died. Since then, many more have been killed. This nation is dedicated to the proposition that all people should have the means, the guns, to kill others. It happens so frequently that it has become a sort of American pastime. Anymore, we hardly blink an eye when confronted by murder by handgun.

No one, except for the president alone, has tried to do a thing about it.

The New York Times reports the stock of two firearms manufacturers is on the rise. The stock is a good buy because the killing bidness in this country is in full flower, waxing behind the promise of astonishing profits in killing our fellow man, woman and, in particular, child. This is the American Nightmare that our politicians embrace as though it were the American Dream. Just as there is apparently no serious recourse to ending the insanity of gun violence, there can be precious little faith in the once noble ideal that this is a nation of the people, by the people and for the people. Just substitute “gun” for “people,” and you have what we are, the NRA nation, violent, brutal and deadly. None dare call this civilization.

Cold Feet

I am not alone in my disgust with the weather. It was a beautiful day yesterday (Sunday). And now this. We are in the Wet. Surely snow is inevitable. This is ABnormal. It is currently 48 degrees. the rain is unrelenting. This is not my desert.

El Niño schmeaño.

Today’s amended First Amendment

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, except for Muslims and any religion slightly resembling it; or abridging the freedom of speech, excluding Muslims and any religion slightly resembling it,), or of the press excluding Muslims; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble (Muslims excluded), and to petition the government for a redress of grievances except in instances regarding Muslims.

Swept away

Dear Mr. Krutch: What makes you fume?

An easy answer, my lad, Desert Broom.

Why is that, sir?

There’s no proper place here for broom.

It is a rotten unrepentant renegade.

It has cotton mouth and spits it into the desert like a spittoon.

The broom sucks water and takes all the room.

It sweeps up its quietly vegetating neighbors makes them weep for water.

It is oppressive, anarchical and an annoying mutant.

If it were a person, it would be Vladimir Putant.

Bite the bullet

Is it not odd how the people of this country have been content to observe the panorama of murder? Perhaps we all are Madame Defarges, just knitting and cackling with delight with the death of every American who succumbs to a crazy man’s bullet. Perhaps it is just our unspoken entertainment, secretly enjoying the cascade of blood. Whatever the reason, mass murder is uniquely American and apparently destined to be part of our national character.

California’s Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom seeks a state initiative to require anyone buying ammunition be required to undergo background checks. The fact that the National Rifle Association will spend millions to defeat it leaves one cynical at the prospect of passage. Besides, ammunition buyers will avoid the issue by buying in other states.

But the focus on bullets is correct. What if the federal government imposed a tax $20 per 9-millimeter bullet and larger handgun cartridges? Police and competitive shooters could be exempted and the police, obviously. For the rich who would pay at least there would be a fund to finance aid for the victims of crazy people with guns. Thus a doc of 50 9-millimeter shells, which sells for around $14, would cost $1,014. This proposal is based on the tobacco model. A pack of smokes that used to cost 22 cents today costs about $7.50, most of it in taxes used to finance anti-smoking programs.

In one of his standup routines, Chris Rock argued to increase the price of bullets to $5,000 each. That fine too, as long as the profits do not reach the retailer or manufacturer.

The best plan is for the federal government to acquire all manufacturers of bullets in the country and to make it illegal to import foreign-made bullets. There would be a great smuggling and black market operation, but this would give the ATF people more to do.

Focus on bullets at least makes the Second Amendment argument irrelevant. But the NRA is of such a nature as to argue that all of us have a right to stand by and watch fellow citizens kill each other en mass. There may be no such right writ anywhere, but it is what we do.

And it is despicable.

Talking football

The UA loss to Washington State was a heartbreaker. The Cats weren’t on the same page. Some guys were on page 2 and others were on page 301. What is there to say? It’s a confusing game. In football, three doesn’t always follow two. You have to score 6 points at a time. Or three. Once in a while two. You can score one but only as a bonus. This is how you get one player on the fly leaf and the other on the inside cover. Never mind about the dedication.

It’s time for the Wildcats to put the past and this loss behind them. (We’ll definitely let you know if they manage to put the past and this loss in front of them; that would be a good sports story, )

The bottom line is the ‘Cats need a win “for a real shot at bowl eligibility.” The top line is the Cats need a win for a real shot. Oddly enough, the middle line also says the Cats need a win for a real shot. One wonders what it would take for the Cats to obtain an UNreal shot at bowl eligibility. Perhaps this is where fantasy football comes in. We all know that you have to take your best shot.

“For the Huskies, it’s all about defense.” For many teams it’s also about offense. Sometimes it’s about offense and defense, which is how teams win. It’s also how they lose.

UA receiver Caleb Jones told the Star: “We always want to score aggressively,  so it doesn’t matter who we play.” We’d like to explore the possibility of scoring passively. Might be some potential there, passive-aggressive could be a new strategy.

Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt concluded in his story today in the Star, “For both Arizona and Washington, this game might just show who’s good enough for this year’s postseason.

Then again, it just might not. It would show the players not only were on different pages, but on different wave lengths.

But it is what it is.  It’s time to separate the men from the boys.

As Rosenblatt said: “Arizona faces the gauntlet of USC, Utah and Arizona State to finish the season.”

And while they face that gauntlet, they should put on rubber gloves.The Cats might even have to run the gauntlet. Better to look at it than run it. Guess that depends on passive-aggressive approaches. 

Whoever said winning wasn’t everything, that it was the only thing really ought to reconsider.

Because as the immortal Grantland Rice once said, “If you don’t win, you lose.”

The problem with Congress

This is the best political reporting I have seen in quite a spell. It defines the problem this nation faces with the Congress, once called the greatest deliberative body in the world. It cannot be called that today. The reporter, Tim Dickinson, was interviewed today on Fresh Air. Here is the article from Rolling Stone.

Bomb throwers

    • Below is a list of members of the Freedom Caucus of the United States House of Representatives, the members allegedly responsible for John Boehner’s resignation as Speaker of the House. NYT columnist David Brooks piece this morning puts their role in perspective, the best I have seen. Brooks points out that democracy requires basic agreement to the principle of majority rule, a principle not in the Freedom Caucus’s playbook.
    • None of the news stories mentions who these bomb-throwing, Russian-style anarchists are. Note that Arizona is home to four members, which will surprise no one. The list is from Wiki.
    • Jim Jordan of Ohio, Chair
    • Justin Amash of Michigan
    • Brian Babin of Texas
    • Rod Blum of Iowa
    • Dave Brat of Virginia
    • Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma
    • Mo Brooks of Alabama
    • Ken Buck of Colorado
    • Curt Clawson of Florida
    • Ron DeSantis of Florida
    • Scott Desjarlais of Tennessee
    • Jeff Duncan of South Carolina
    • John Fleming of Louisiana
    • Trent Franks of Arizona
    • Scott Garrett of New Jersey
    • Paul Gosar of Arizona
    • Morgan Griffith of Virginia
    • Andy Harris of Maryland
    • Jody Hice of Georgia
    • Tim Huelskamp of Kansas
    • Raúl Labrador of Idaho
    • Barry Loudermilk of Georgia
    • Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming
    • Mark Meadows of North Carolina
    • Alex Mooney of West Virginia
    • Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina
    • Gary Palmer of Alabama
    • Steve Pearce of New Mexico
    • Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
    • Ted Poe of Texas
    • Bill Posey of Florida
    • Keith Rothfus of Pennsylvania
    • Matt Salmon of Arizona
    • Mark Sanford of South Carolina
    • David Schweikert of Arizona
    • Marlin Stutzman of Indiana

No Cuban deportees

The difference between a Cuban and a Mexican in these United States is that the moment a Cuban sets foot on American soil, he or she receives refugee status; the Mexican who lands on American soil automatically qualifies as a deportee. Thus the Cuban gets a green card and can pursue citizenship. The Mexican gets durance vile. The difference, of course, is that Cuban-Americans have the wherewithal to buy prostitutes disguised as senators and congresspersons.

As for Trump’s solution to undocumented Mexicans, we’ve been here before. You might say that Trump is 80 years after his time, which explains the calcification of his brain. You can hear Guthrie’s son sing this song here.


(also known as “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos”)

Words by Woody Guthrie, Music by Martin Hoffman

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying ’em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees”

My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except “deportees”?