Friday Music Blogging: Calexico.

This is Arizona put to music.

Tucson band Calexico, joined by Mariachi Luz de Luna, performing at the historic Barbican Theatre in London. The song “Crystal Frontier” focuses on our peculiar life in this border state. (Note the nice Specials cover towards the end of the video).

Praise us or bash us, but we love our state.

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

Once was enough

Thirty-five years ago today

Best-case scenario

Keep in mind, this was the best-case scenario for the U.S. presence in Iraq, at least according to our current President

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

La Oleada

Arizona’s new immigration law has been divisive, to say the least (and to say the most, quasi-unconstitutional). It’s united Karl Rove and Shakira (sorry for that visual) and it’s brought the overwrought call for a boycott of everything Arizona-related. And it didn’t have to happen. 

First, a look back on what effective policing looks like. Let’s go to the source

  1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder.
  2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.
  3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.
  4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.
  5. Police seek and preserve public favour not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.
  6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.
  7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.
  8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.
  9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

This new law fails #2, #3, #4 and #7 (and until recently, #8) of these timeless principles. This law, and any law like it, is doomed to failure  because it treats the people affected the most (the legal Hispanic residents of Arizona) as part of the problem and not part of the solution. Hispanics of all political stripes are speaking out against this law, and Arizona’s lawmakers (and the Republican Party) would be wise to listen to what they have to say.

We need to stop illegal immigration, but how can we reconcile the need to crack down on this crime wave tsunami and yet still have the trust of the people? Yes, I know, the majority of Arizona residents like these new laws, but I’d be willing to bet a poll of the residents of Guadalupe or downtown Mesa might yield different results.

We can end illegal immigration and improve relationships with the Hispanic community in Arizona by applying what has worked in the past to Arizona’s current predicament. We need a surge. 

(* Pauses, waits for the hysterical lefties to finish screaming “Ah-ha! I KNEW you were a fascist! Keith Olbermann is right, you conservatives are all Nazis! *) 

Done now? Ok, moving on. 

The Surge worked (and yes, it did work) because it applied the age-old principles of counter-insurgency to the battle in Iraq, and if thousands of people streaming over the border and a dramatically increased crime rate in Arizona isn’t an insurgency, what is? The three pillars of a successful counterinsurgency are

1. Security
2. Politics
3. Economics

How could this apply to Arizona’s problem with illegal immigration? 

  1. Close the border. At the very least, send National Guard troops there on a regular rotation because it’s good practice for what their jobs will be in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the feds won’t build a fence, build one ourselves a few miles in-country from the border.
  2. Get the Hispanic community onboard with the fact that illegal immigration hurts them more than anyone else in Arizona. This is just basic common sense. Russell Pearce would be shocked (just like Walt Kowalski before him) as to how much in common he has with the people of west Phoenix. Unite the communities of Arizona to fight a common enemy: Don’t cordon off neighborhoods and stop every car you see. 
  3. Low-cost illegal workers keep wages down for legal immigrants. It’s blindingly obvious, but make even more obvious. If the resident Hispanic population of Arizona can see that illegal immigration hurts their prospects and ruins their lives, the coyotes and other enablers of human smuggling will find no safe harbor in our state. 

Insurgencies prosper when the people around them see their goals as more attractive than the government’s goals. To fight an insurgency, you need to isolate the insurgency from the people and turn the people against the guerrillas, and right now, that ain’t happening in Arizona, not with “Cuidado: Arpaio vienne” signs on the city limits of Guadalupe. If the politicians and policemen of Arizona can turn the Hispanic community against illegal immigration, they’ll find their job is much easier and much safer. But it will mean scrapping the current heavy-handed approach and embracing Arizona’s Hispanic past, and not hiding it like an embarrassing drunken uncle at a family reunion

E Pluribus Unum. It’s not just a good idea, it should be the law. 

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

The Change I Needed

Ok, I’m on board with the new immigration law now

One change to the bill strengthens restrictions against using race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning and inserts those same restrictions in other parts of the law. Changes to the bill language will actually remove the word “solely” from the sentence, “The attorney general or county attorney shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

Another change replaces the phrase “lawful contact” with “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to apparently clarify that officers don’t need to question a victim or witness about their legal status.

A third change specifies that police contact over violations for local civil ordinances can trigger questioning on immigration status. 

Good for them. I think the bill, as it is now written, will past muster. However, I also agree with Mario Rubio, Jeb Bush and that noted RINO (NOT!) Karl Rove: This will be devastating to the GOP within the Hispanic community.

The sad thing is, it didn’t have to happen. There’s a better way to stop illegal immigration and tighten our borders, and it doesn’t involve ticking off Shakira.

But that’s another post. 

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

Well, I hate to say I told you so, but…

.. I told you so

A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday.

Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure. 

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

Phil Gordon wins “Creepiest Mayor Ever” contest.

KFYI’s Jim Sharpe shares a snapshot of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon getting ready to consume the soul of Shakira.

Perhaps S.B. 1070 wasn’t created to eject illegal immigrants, but to protect them from Phil.

Also creepy? Beard dude. What are you looking at, chief?

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April 30th, 2010 by admindude

Ditat Deus.

When Governor Jan Brewer signed Arizona’s controversial new illegal immigration bill, I had mixed feelings. Like my co-bloggers, I completely support the end, but disagree with some of the means.  I don’t want police singling out Hispanic citizens — some of whose families have lived in the state for more than a century. Obviously, many SB1070 supporters say that this won’t occur and I certainly hope they are right.

But regardless of whether you support or oppose this new law, the reaction to it has been completely over-the-top. Daily Arizonans are savagely insulted as racists, xenophobes, nativists and even Nazis. Desperate politicians hurl epithets while media-hungry hucksters demand boycotts. Receiving lectures on good governance from Californians and lectures on morality from Al Sharpton is a bit too much to bear.

Despite not always agreeing with every political development, I love Arizona. I moved here when I was six and — outside of my Navy stint — I’ve lived here ever since. From the falls of Havasupai to the hoodoos of the Chiricahua to the old streets of Bisbee to the ancient streets of Oraibi to the Eegee’s of Tucson and the snows of Greer, this state flat-out rocks. And I’m sick of ignorant opportunists from lesser states talking it down.

I’ll take pride in my state regardless of what the haters throw our way. “Desde Arizona” means “from Arizona” — a state formed by the blood, sweat and tears of natives, latinos and Anglos working together. If you too are proud of Arizona — whichever side you’re on — feel free to display this logo on your Web site or see it on products at CafePress.

They can boycott anything they want, but as for me and my house, we’re vacationing in state this summer.

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April 29th, 2010 by admindude

Reason-ably suspicious

Reason Magazine expresses some doubts about who will be affected by Arizona’s new immigration law, and who won’t be.

Since most of the state’s illegal immigrants are Latinos, the natural impulse of police may be to interrogate every Latino with whom they cross paths. Critics complain that approach would be racist. It would probably be illegal. In any case, Brewer says she won’t allow it.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, however, sees no problem (somehow, I just *knew* he wouldn’t… – ExKev) : “Ten guys in a trunk. I would think that’s reasonable suspicion.” Well, yes. But if cops can ask for evidence of legal status only when they find people secreted in cargo compartments, they will not be catching many interlopers. 

Read, as they say, the whole thing. 

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April 29th, 2010 by admindude

Ummmn, no.

This just popped up as a banner ad on the right side on our site. 

Candidate who?

“Not affiliated with any candidate or candidate’s committee” ?

In the words of Konrad Seigfreid, I find zat hard to believe.

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April 29th, 2010 by admindude

The Governator

No, not Ahnuld. Texas governor Rick “Deadeye” Perry

Perry says he needed just one shot from his laser-sighted pistol to take down a coyote that was menacing his dog during an early morning jog in an undeveloped area near Austin. 

Nice shootin’, there, Tex!

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April 27th, 2010 by admindude