Thursday, July 29, 2010

AZ SB1070 - The latest

The sheriff who is considered to be the toughest sheriff in the nation, Joe Arpaio, made an appearance on Good Morning, America in which he threatened to jail protestors of the anti-immigration law after it takes effect. The sheriff of the most populous county in Arizona says he's "not going to put up with any civil disobedience" . You know, he's the guy that makes the inmates wear pink underwear and live in tents in 110* weather. I have always wondered how he can get away with this. Doesn't it violate the human rights code? But Maricopa County residents love him; they must because they keep reelecting this sadist.

Fortunately, Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court issued a preliminary injunction against sections of the law, scheduled to take effect on Thursday.

Following are excerpts from the NYT article on Judge Bolton's ruling.

A spokesman for Gov. Jan Brewer, a Republican who signed the law and has campaigned on it for election to a full term, said Wednesday that the governor would appeal the injunction on Thursday and ask for a speedy review. Legal experts predicted that the case could end up before the Supreme Court.

The ruling came four days before 1,200 National Guard members were scheduled to report to the Southwest border.

Judge Bolton, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, did allow some, less debated provisions of the law to go into effect, including one that bans cities from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents.

But she largely sided with arguments in a lawsuit by the Obama administration that the law, rather than closely hewing to existing federal statutes, as its supporters have claimed, interferes with longstanding federal authority over immigration and could lead to harassment of citizens and legal immigrants.

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens,” she wrote. “By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose,” she said, citing a previous Supreme Court case, a “ ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

“This fight is far from over,” said Ms. Brewer, whose lawyers had argued that Congress granted states the power to enforce immigration law particularly when, in their view, the federal government fell short. “In fact,” she added, “it is just the beginning, and at the end of what is certain to be a long legal struggle, Arizona will prevail in its right to protect our citizens.”

State Senator Russell Pearce, a Republican and chief sponsor of the law, said in a statement that he was confident that the sections blocked by Judge Bolton would survive on appeal.

But Gabriel Chin, a professor at the University of Arizona School of Law who has studied the law, called the ruling “a nearly complete victory for the position of the United States.”

He noted that she ruled in the federal government’s favor on most of the points it challenged.

Aside from stopping the requirement that the police initiate immigration checks, the judge also blocked provisions that allowed the police to hold anyone arrested for any crime until his immigration status was determined.

“Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” she wrote.

She also said Arizona could not make it a state crime for non-citizens to be in the state without proper documents, nor could it allow the police to conduct arrests without warrants if officers believed the offense would result in their deportation. She said there was a “substantial likelihood” of wrongful arrests.

The parts of the law she did allow were not challenged by the Justice Department, but do figure in some of the other lawsuits filed. They include forbidding “sanctuary city” policies by allowing residents to sue the local authorities if they adopt policies restricting cooperation with the federal government in immigration enforcement.

She also let stand a provision aimed at day laborers, who are mostly Latin American immigrants, by making it a crime to stop a vehicle in traffic or block traffic to hire someone off the street. But she blocked a provision that barred illegal immigrants from soliciting work in public places.

Terry Goddard, the Arizona attorney general who opposed the law and is a possible Democratic opponent to Ms. Brewer, was quick to condemn her for signing it. “Jan Brewer played politics with immigration, and she lost,” he said in a statement. ( I will vote for Terry Goddard. He's a good man.)

But Republican candidates, including Senator John McCain of Arizona, who is seeking re-election, criticized the Obama administration for bringing suit.

“Instead of wasting taxpayer resources filing a lawsuit against Arizona and complaining that the law would be burdensome,” Mr. McCain said in a joint statement with Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, “the Obama administration should have focused its efforts on working with Congress to provide the necessary resources to support the state in its efforts to act where the federal government has failed to take responsibility.”


(The following post was created before Judge Bolton issued her ruling on the Arizona Immigration Law and I am attaching it to this post.)

Classical musicians would most certainly include Mozart, Bach and Beethoven on this post. While they wrote great music I am not going to go there because I am sticking with light classics. My definition of light classics would be melodies familiar to a larger group of people.

Ravel's Bolero Andrei Reiu

Claude Debussy
Clare de Lune - Maria Kovalszki, Pianist
This selection is in every pianist's repertoire.

Pavane pour une infante defunte Vladimir Ashkenazy
Conductor S. Ozawa

Stranger In Paradise (theme from the Godfather) melody borrowed from Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky. Andrei Reiu, violinist.

Jalousi, The Boston Pops Orchestra, Arthur Fiedler, conducting

I have indulged myself long enough. I promise that my next post will be on something other than music. This has been a selfish undertaking on my part. I have enjoyed listening to some of my favorite melodies and training my brain to hear them again. I have taken you along for the ride and I hope you had time to enjoy a few of these musical videos.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Rant and Music For My Mother

For the most part I am avoiding politics for now. It's too depressing and my mind is too mushy to sort it out. But I am going to include a portion of Tom Friedman's op-ed piece in the morning NYT.

I don't know what will do this country in first; our addiction to oil, climate change, Afghanistan or the absolutely stupid members in Congress who fail repeatedly to do anything about the dangers. Here is what Tom had to say:


Long after BP’s oil is gone, we’ll still be fighting for survival against a much more serious enemy — our sinking, crumbling delta. Our coast is like a cancer patient who has come down with pneumonia. That’s serious, but curable. After the fever breaks, he’ll still have cancer.”

That’s where the Senate has failed miserably. There are three things it should be doing for the gulf and our other vital ecosystems. First, taking out some minimal insurance against climate change by reducing our carbon emissions; this region is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and the more intense storms that climate change will bring. Second, set us on a path to diminish our addiction to oil so we don’t have to drill in ever-deeper waters. And, finally, provide the federal funding to restore America’s critical ecosystems. The Senate abandoned the first two but is still working on the third.

The Senate’s failure to act is a result of many factors, but one is that the climate-energy policy debate got disconnected from average people. We need less talk about “climate” and more about how conservation saves money, renewable energy creates jobs, restoring the gulf’s marshes sustains fishermen and preserving the rain forest helps poor people. Said Glenn Prickett, vice president at the Nature Conservancy: “We have to take climate change out of the atmosphere, bring it down to earth and show how it matters in people’s everyday lives.”

If that makes your blood boil I am going to post some soothing music. You are free to listen (or not.)

My mother did not play an instrument,but she loved music.
You'll Never Walk Alone and I Believe were two of her favorites. This is for you, Mom. I wish you were here to listen.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings You'll Never Walk Alone.

Kiri Te Kanawa sings I Believe

Morton Gould plays Malaguena

Sasha Cohen ice Skating to Malaguena Mom would have loved this, too. I was unable to decide which Malaguena to embed. Morton Gould has the better orchestration, but you get ice skating with this version. Pick Your Poison.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Music, Music, Music

Recently a very exciting thing happened to me. I received an unexpected e-mail from a relative that I had never met. Her name is Judy and she is the middle one of three daughters of my only first cousin on my mother's side. My cousin, her father, was my playtime companion until he moved away when we were ten years old. Up until then we were both 'only children' and were only two months apart in age. We got in trouble together, had fun together and had an occasional spat as children are won't to do. He remembers things I had forgotten and vice-versa.

My cousin had
frequently talked about me to his daughter, relating stories of our childhood. Judy finally asked for my last name and, with that information, found me on the Internet. Since that time we have been in a flurry of e-mails back and forth. As she so aptly put it, we are in a marathon.

We have been filling in the blanks for each other. It has really sent me down memory lane remembering so much that I had thought forgotten forever. Because music is so much a part of my memories I am, therefore, continuing with some of my favorite songs and artists. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The first one is My Funny Valentine by Rodgers and Hart. The song has been recorded by just about every singer on the planet, but I think
Ella Fitzgerald's recording is the best and that is the one I have embedded.

My funny valentine, sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable, un-photographable
But you're my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek ?
Is your mouth a little weak ?
When you open it to speak
Are you smart ?
Don't change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine's Day

Another favorite of mine is The Shadow Of Your Smile and I have chosen Tony Bennett's rendition. This is the theme from the movie, The Sandpiper and was written by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Paul Webster.

The next song, Misty, is very versatile. It can be played in many tempos. I used to play it as a jazz solo and, for variety I would often play it with a South American beat. For easy listening you can't beat the mellow voice of Johnny Mathis and I have chosen his recording for your listening pleasure. Music by Erroll Garner and lyrics by Johnny Burke.

Misty lyrics

Look at me
I'm an helpless as a kitten up a tree
and I feel like I'm clinging to a cloud
I can't understand
I get misty
just holding your hand

Walk my way
and a thousand violins begin to play
or it might be the sound of your hello
that music I hear
I get misty
the moment you're near

You can say
that you're leading me on
But it's just what I want you to do
don't you notice how hopelessly I'm lost
that's why I'm following you

On my own
would I wander through this wonderland alone
never knowing my right foot from my left
my hat from my glove
I'm too misty and too much in love
Last, but not least, is an oldie you may remember, More, the theme song from the movie Mondo Cane as sung by Nat King Cole. This song dates from 1956 and I could not find a recent recording. Judy Garland hated this song, but her recording is probably the best. However, I went with Nat because I love his voice. It was written by Riz Ortolani.

More than the greatest love the world has known
this is the love I give to you alone
more than the simple words I've tried to say
I only live to love you more each day,
more than you'll ever known my arms long to hold you so my life
will be in you keeping, waking, sleeping, laughing, leaping,
longer than always is a long long time
but far beyond forever you are going to be mine
I know I've never lived before and my heart is very sure
no one else can love you more.
It constantly amazes me how such a variety of melodies can come from twelve notes. I guess that's why they claim that studying music helps with your mathematics.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cole Porter's Music

I love Cole Porter's music. Even though I can no longer hear it the way I know it should sound I keep practicing in hopes that one day I will truly enjoy the beautiful music of my youth.

Many of you know that I have a severe hearing loss and that I had a cochlear implant a few years ago. I was told that I would probably lose the sound of music. It was a difficult choice to make; hearing conversation again or continuing to enjoy music.

Music has been so much a part of my life that I had to think long and hard before making the decision. However, I was not functioning as a deaf person and I made my choice. Since that time I keep listening to music that I am familiar with. If I know the melody I can usually pick it up as I listen and then memory fills in the blanks. I am at a loss with unfamiliar melodies. I hope you will bear with me, therefore, when I drag out some very old Golden Oldies.

I will start my musical journey with four of my favorite Cole Porter melodies. You Tube did not identify the singer of Begin the Beguine but I am very sure it's Thomas Hampton. I have his CD with this song on it and I can tell that it sounds the same.

I am especially fond of Cole Porter, not only for his beautiful melodies, but for the story he tells with his lyrics. He paints a picture and in this song you can visualize the shore with the Island Band and the swaying palms. As you listen you are transported to a tropical night with a full moon and romance is in the air.

The next haunting melody is Night and Day from the movie De-Lovely.

The next song features Rachel York singing the hauntingly beautiful So In Love.

Strange dear, but true dear,
When I'm close to you, dear,
The stars fill the sky,
So in love with you am I.
Even without you,
My arms fold about you,
You know darling why,
So in love with you am I.
In love with the night mysterious,
The night when you first were there,
In love with my joy delirious,
When I knew that you could care,
So taunt me, and hurt me,
Deceive me, desert me,
I'm yours, till I die.....
So in love.... So in love....
So in love with you, my love... am I....

Cole Porter was born June 9, 1891 in Peru, Indiana to a wealthy family.
He took violin lessons, but did not like the harsh sound of the instrument and switched to the piano. He was composing songs at the age of ten.

Cole's music teacher, Dr. Abercrombe, told him "Words and music must be so inseparably wedded to each other that they are like one." This was a lesson that Cole certainly took to heart.

Cole attended Yale and wrote Fight songs that are still being sung there. To satisfy his wealthy grandfather he started Law School at Harvard, but changed to drama and the arts, writing songs for plays.

Cole spend the war years in France in the company of socialites and was very popular. Of course, now everyone knows that Cole was gay, and many of his love songs were written to men and not his wife. Love is love and these songs are beloved by sweethearts everywhere. Cole's marriage to Linda Thomas was one born of a close friendship that lasted until her death.

I will end my tribute to Cole Porter with another of my favorites. In the Still Of the Night. Popular singers sing this as a bouncy tune and I like the slow tempo of this choral group. I don't have a clue who they are.

I confess that Cole Porter's music leaves me feeling sad. I really don't know why.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Maxine and Unintended Consequences

Everybody's favorite gal, Maxine, speaks for me today. Click on the picture to enlarge.
More wisdom from the feisty old gal.

I have been accused, and rightly so, of being outspoken so I can identify with Maxine. I am sure many of you can find one or two of these cartoons that speak for you, too.

In a more serious vein I need to tell you about the unintended consequence of my fight to help Obama pass the health care legislation. I now need to find a new primary care physician in the next few months. This event is extremely distressing to me because I love my primary care doctor. He is the most caring and thorough doctor I have ever had. He always remembers me and my ailments, If he finds it necessary, he always takes a lot more time with me than my allotted 15 minute appointment (sometimes as much as an hour). He took over my care when I broke my hip without compensation and visited me in the rehab center. I can't praise him enough.

Of course there is always a down side. I am not the only patient that he spends so much time with and, as a consequence, he is always behind on his appointments. I have waited in the reception room
as long as 3 hours, before being seen. I t has never bothered me because I expect it and take a book to read.

Well, my good doctor has decided to get better compensation for being so thorough and has joined the MD VIP program. This means that he will be limiting his patients to 600 and will give a more comprehensive annual physical than is now covered. He will also give his patients his home phone number and take a more personal interest in them. It's a high tech version of the old family doctor.

Why am I not retaining this wonderful doctor? Because I would have to pay an annual fee of $1,500 up front. I doubt that many Medicare patients will be able to afford to stay with him. I certainly can't.

To calm myself down I am including a soothing song, Body and Soul. as sung by Mel Torme. Some of you may remember it.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I took time out one afternoon to search old favorites of mine on You Tube. I found Stan Kenton's ARTISTRY JUMPS , MALEGUENA and PEANUT VENDOR. Next came Artie Shaw's BEGIN THE BEGUINE, NIGHTMARE, and ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE. By this time I was really getting nostalgic so I searched for the two songs with the most meaning to me.

In 1987 my son, Mark, was in the movie, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME. He was playing in the studio orchestra and the cameras focused on the Saxophone players exactly 1 hour and 45 minutes into the movie. I know, because I timed it. Mark was the Sax player nearest the camera.

Gail gave me the tape of the movie. Now I guess I will have to buy the Blue Ray version (if there is one) to keep current. While there isn't a video of that scene selection, you can still buy the movie on Amazon. So here is the first song that means a lot to me as sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Then I really went down memory lane and listened to every recording on You Tube of That's My Desire. It was 'our song' and when my husband was very ill I sang it to him. I shouldn't have tortured the poor man, he was suffering enough, but I wanted to let him know in the only way that I could just how much our life together meant to me.

I selected the following recording even though it wasn't my favorite, because I met Jim Reeves and he was my husband's favorite vocalist.
I don't cry easily, but, to my surprise, tears came unbidden as I listened to this recording.

How I Met Jim Reeves

My husband owned a radio station and the station sponsored 'hops' for the kids. They brought in guest artists and the night that Jim Reeves was the starred performer I wanted to attend. Wayne gave in to my pleading and so I heard Jim in person. I am not a country fan, but he had a beautiful mellow baritone voice. I requested two songs, That's My Desire and Danny Boy and Jim graciously granted my wish. I have never heard a more beautiful rendition of Danny Boy.

I did not know until I visited You Tube that Jim had recorded That's My Desire. I was a bit unnerved by that.

Like Buddy Holly, Jim was killed in a plane crash nearly two years later at the age of 40.

Jim Reeves
August 20, 1923 - July 31, 1964

In a Lighter Vein

It's time to lighten up after my last post, so here is your laugh for today.

Job Hunt

1. My first job was working in an Orange Juice factory,
ut I got canned.

2. Then I worked in the woods as a Lumberjack, but just couldn't it,

hack it, so they gave me the axe.

3. After that, I tried being a Tailor, but wasn't suited for it --
because it was a sew-sew job.

4. Next, I tried working in a Muffler Factory, but that
was too exhausting.

5. Then, tried being a Chef - figured it would add a little spice

to my life, but just didn't have the thyme.

6. Next, I attempted being a Deli Worker,but any way I sliced it...

couldn't cut the mustard.

7. My next job was as a musician but I found I wasn't note worthy.

8. I studied a long time to become a Doctor, but didn't

have any patience.

9. Next, was a job in a Shoe Factory.

Tried hard but just didn't fit in.

10. I became a Professional Fisherman, but discovered

I couldn't live on my net income.

11. Managed to get a good job working for a Pool Maintenance

company, but the work was just too draining.

12. So then I got a job in a Workout Center,

but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

13. Then I tried a job at Westinghouse as a light bulb engineer,

that lasted until they told me I wasn’t bright enough.

14. After many years of trying to find steady work, I finally got a job

as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

15. My last job was working in Starbucks, but had to quit

because it was the same old grind.

16. So, I tried retirement and found I was perfect for the job.


(Blog Spot - You are just mean. I try to edit the spaces, margins, etc. and you

do your own thing. Arrrrgh!)\


Tom Degan paid a nice tribute on his blog to the Beatle's dummer, Ringo Starr and that reminded me of my favorite drummer, Gene Krupa. So for all you old enough to remember when music was great, here's a toe tapper for you. Gene Krupa along with Lionel Hampton on Sing, Sing, Sing.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arizona in the Hot Seat

The Arizona Immigration Law SB1070, will go into effect on the 29th of this month unless one of the five (so far) lawsuits that have been filed against it are successful in stopping it. The City of Tucson has signed on to one of those lawsuits and our Sheriff has said that he won't enforce it until it is clearer what the broad statement of 'reasonable suspicion' means. (The State will be conducting training programs for the police on how to avoid racial profiling. Good luck with that.). Sheriff Dupnik says he is between a rock and a hard place because if he stops people without cause he is in violation of the Fourth Amendment governing 'unwarranted search and seizure'.

If you can tell me which Spanish speaking person is legal or not just by looking at them I would like to know how. Legal Mexicans might look scruffy when they are doing construction work and illegal 'nannies' look well groomed and clean. Does anyone really think that you can ask someone for their papers on the suspicion that they are undocumented workers without racial profiling? Give me a break.

This is not the first time that Arizona has tried to round up illegal immigrants. Arizona is getting a very bad reputation due to a few ideological racists in the Legislature. While I was in California I read an article published in a Bay area newspaper about this divisive law and about the fact that Chandler, AZ had to settle a lawsuit to the tune of $400,000 after a July sweep rounded up, and deported, 432 undocumented workers. The event is know as the Chandler Sweep where anyone looking like he, or she, was Mexican were stopped by police and detained. Just speaking Spanish was enough to get you stopped. The result was that many citizens, some whose parents were born here as were they, were detained; not once but several times. 29 of them sued and won. Chandler had to pledge to not let it happen again in addition to paying $400,000.

The "tough guy" Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has his deputies regularly rounding up suspected undocumented workers. I keep wondering how he can legally do that.
A national spotlight has already shone on the macho sheriff and, in time, he may have to follow the law that immigration is in the Federal jurisdiction. One unfortunate byproduct of this law is that it will take the law officers time away from solving bigger crimes as it has been doing with the Maricopa Sheriff's deputies.

Gov. Brewer has also joined in the challenge against Congress and the Obama administration over the new Health Care Law. Our State will be paying for these lawsuits and we are already in dire financial straights. She is running for governor so you can see where this is headed. She was not elected, but was appointed when Obama took our good governor, Janet Napolitano, away from us to head up Homeland Security. (Thanks a lot, Mr. President.) The Arizona Attorney General, Terry Goddard, refused to sue saying he found nothing illegal in the Federal Law. He pointed out that if you take the money, you have to abide by the rules. I fear for his job. I guess the rule of law means nothing to our right wing legislators to the North of us. They want the Federal money without restrictions.

Being a good Republican, Jan Brewer is now exaggerating the problem of illegal immigrants. See what she said and see the criticism below.

Jan Brewer

PHOENIX – Gov. Jan Brewer said Friday that most illegal immigrants entering Arizona are being used to transport drugs across the border, an assertion that critics painted as exaggerated and racist.

Brewer said the motivation of "a lot" of the illegal immigrants is to enter the United States to look for work, but that drug rings press them into duty as drug "mules."

"I believe today, under the circumstances that we're facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming into the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels and they are bringing drugs in," Brewer said.

"There's strong information to us that they come as illegal people wanting to come to work. Then they are accosted and they become subjects of the drug cartel," she said.

Brewer's office said it was preparing a statement in response to a request by The Associated Press for any statistics or other information supporting her assertion.

"Unless Gov. Brewer can provide hard data to substantiate her claim that most undocumented people crossing into Arizona are 'drug mules,' she must retract such an outrageous statement," said Oscar Martinez, a University of Arizona history professor whose teaching and research focuses on border issues. "If she has no data and is just mouthing off for political reasons, as I believe she is doing, then she must apologize to the people of Arizona for lying to them so blatantly."

Sen. Jesus Ramon Valdes, a member of the Mexican Senate's northern border affairs commission, called Brewer's comments racist and irresponsible.

"Traditionally, migrants have always been needy, humble people who in good faith go looking for a way to better the lives of their families," Ramon Valdes said.

A Border Patrol spokesman said illegal immigrants do sometimes carry drugs across the border, but he said he couldn't provide numbers because the smugglers are turned over to prosecutors.

"I wouldn't say that every person that is apprehended is being used as a mule," spokesman Mario Escalante said from Tucson. "The smuggling organizations, in their attempts to be lucrative and to make more money, they'll try pretty much whatever they need."

T.J. Bonner, president of the union that represents border agents, said some illegal border-crossers carry drugs but most don't. People with drugs face much stiffer penalties for entering the U.S. illegally, and very few immigrants looking for work want to risk the consequences, Bonner said.


I will repeat what I said before. Yes, we have a serious crime problem in Arizona and the violence across the border is in danger of spilling over into our state. We have many murders here and almost every one is drug related. However, this law does absolutely nothing to solve that problem. We already have laws to take care of that, if a law alone is the answer. If you think that demanding papers will catch the drug lords I have a piece of the Grand Canyon I can sell you. It's all a 'feel good; I'm doing something' piece of legislation. Politics as usual.

Jan B. is upping the rhetoric. At a recent speech she itemized the things that we Arizonans need to be frightened about. Calamity Jan included beheadings. The only problem is, there has never been a beheading in Arizona. It's true that the drug wars over the border have escalated to that horrifying level, but it is strictly drug war related and the desperate people crossing the border just want a job.

I hope this divisive immigration law is stopped dead in it's tracks. If not, be warned that the fallout will be hard to watch.

As an aside, the one good thing that some had hoped that would come out of this law was forcing Congress to take up action on real immigration. It looks like they are afraid to touch this until after the Fall elections. So much for high hopes.

News Flash: Just in. The DOJ has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against SB1070. Jan Brewer is furious. Why didn't she see this coming before signing this hateful legislation?

To fully understand this legislation please follow the link. Fact Check has laid it all out.
For your information the government has put up a web site that makes it easy to compare insurance options in your state. If you are thinking of changing companies it's worth a visit.,