Wednesday, January 27, 2016



Monday, January 25, 2016

"The Girl With The Cornflower Eyes"

(If you’re under 40 you probably will want to skip this)

I couldn’t just sit down and write this..earlier in the week when it happened.  I had to leave it back there, on the back burner of my simmer a bit, adding a bit of liquid when it began to go dry….and yet holding on to it lest it slip away forever.  That’s because it was such a rare occurrence…a literally physical and soulful connection with a young lady young enough to be my granddaughter, so much so that it defied explanation.  (A bit of explanation would be good right now, wouldn’t it?)

I had taken my Chi,  Rosie over to the PETCO grooming salon.  Steady, competent and sweet Melissa, a latino lady, took Rosie in the crook of her arm, advised me to come back in an hour, and I set off to run a number of shopping errands while waiting for Rosie’s grooming session.

When I returned an hour later Rosie was still getting her nails trimmed so I posted my haunch on the low counter and began exchanging pleasantries with Melissa as she did her work.  Just then, a young lady entered the salon, stepped through the swinging door, and announced to Melissa that she, “Annie”, had been sent over to intern with her today.  Apparently PETCO shuffles their trainees from one franchise to another…to expose them to various grooming techniques.

At the first sight of Annie I had a visceral reaction to that was not lustful in nature…far more complicated and unexplainable than that…and I certainly could not explain it myself, even had my very life depended on it.  But I was immediately entranced…and in a strange vortex of the sweetest feelings.

First of all, she was indeed beautiful.  Her heart-shaped face was alive and in great grace by that mid-western “milk-fed” complexion, yet to be marred by leathery beach tans so often sought by the young, not a wrinkle evident, nor a frown line that might sprout from life’s worries.  Her cheeks were full; two rosy “half-apples” framing a lovely smile.  Her lips were plump, and a man could imagine softly bruising those lips while laying prone with her in some sun-kissed meadow.  

But it was the widely spaced cornflower blue eyes, an almost angelic light beaming behind them, that proved to be the icing on this beautiful cake.  Those eyes, nearly violet, whispered of icy blue seas and sirens beckoning above the roar of mighty waves.   They caused one to stare into them..for just a little longer than politeness might allow.

Annie did not dress sexily in any way.  Though she clearly had a figure that might stop traffic out on Northern Avenue, her jeans held generous space about her rump and above she wore a ratty old Denver Bronco’s jersey, cut down at waist and sleeve.  And, as if trying to somehow blunt a bit of her beauty, she had cut her hair as short and severe as a boy…kind of like throwing a towel over a bright lamp to soften the glow.   It didn’t work..she remained lustrous.

She turned and smiled at me, and said “hi”, then turned to Melissa to offer her assistance with Rosie.

Melissa greeted Annie cheerily and instructed her to go out in back and put on one of the freshly laundered smocks that best fit her, then told her she’d be with her as soon as she was finished with Rosie.

Annie donned her smock, then came back out and lingered around the reception desk, where I sat on the low counter.  As Melissa busied herself with Rosie, cooing words of comfort as she trimmed her nails, Annie and I began talking about our dogs.  She pulled out her phone and showed me pics of her boyfriend’s dog and her rescued Dalmation-Pitt named “Domino”, and all the while I was somewhere else…standing somewhere to the side of where my physical body stood, still bedazzled by this exquisitely designed beauty, and felt an electric charge as our shoulders touched while bowing to look at her phone pics.

At last I was jolted out of my reverie by Melissa delivering Rosie into my arms.  I paid the bill, proffered the tip, and bid the two ladies goodbye.

And, as I walked out to the van, I pondered this most unusual reaction I had just had to simply another human being!  Was this the first sign of old age lechery?  I doubted that.  For at least twenty years I have felt not a single attraction to anyone under forty….I have been attracted to women with those frown lines and laugh lines, solid proof that they have some life experience under their belt.  

So why such an immediate fascination with a 20 year old?  Well, for several days now, when my daily activities are on “pause”, I’ve pondered about those few minutes of attraction silliness.  The only explanation I can come up with is that my emotional machinery must have slipped a cog at just the right moment.  Perhaps, the night before, I had dreamed of an apple cheeked love of long ago.  Maybe a song from the radio, from my teenage years, had set me off on an unconscious nostalgic trip to those days when I might have lay in a warm meadow with a lass such as her, gazed into those “cornflower eyes” and bruised her lips with summer kisses.

Never mind.   The spell, of whatever nature, has now been broken and I’m back to worrying about fixed income pensions, and creaky old joints of early mornings, and fumbling for my reading glasses and whether I’m getting enough fiber.  And, happily, I’m back to ogling 50 and 60 year olds in the Supermarket aisles so life is back to normal.

But, just for a few moments on a warming sunny morning last week, I was 20 again, and cornflower eyes and green meadows were a grand thing indeed.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Spike Lee, Pinkett Smith and Ethnic Privelege


I don't believe there's a better example of today's spoiled Black ethnic class, that ultimate sense of "victimhood", than Spike Lee and Jada Pinkett Smith's declaration this week that they'll boycott the Oscars because Blacks aren't represented in the major award categories.

Stop and think about that.  Blacks make up 12% of the population but really believe they are deserving of the majority of awards....simply because of the color of their skin!  Can you imagine that?  In the very week that we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, who advocated for NOT judging people by the color of their skin, folks like Spike Lee and Pinkett Smith believer they deserve MORE awards because of the color of their skin!

One wants to look back at the last decade to see the preponderance of Blacks who have captured major acting and grammy awards...the numbers are astounding!  But that's not enough!  They want all the awards because, well, because they are Black!  And who could possibly argue that we have Black Divas and Black rap artists who have reaped untold billions in "filthy lucre" (who, by the way, aren't donating any of their billions to the impoverished Black!...witness Beyonce's spending a million bucks for a "birthing suite" that have gone to Black poverty programs.

Spike Lee and Pinkett Smith and others of their ilk are the ultimate "brat"...the kid in the supermarket pouting cause mom won't buy that sugary cereal, or the multipack of chocolate candy...and decide to sit down in the middle of the aisle and pout and scream till their lungs burst.

I'm sorry...fuckem!  I get weary of America's culturally spoiled..of all races...but I believe we've reached a damned sorry state when we demand awards simply based on the color of one's skin.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Big City Values Week"


At the Republican debate the other night "The Donald" scored big with his liberal friends when he used the tragedy of 9/11 to defend against Ted Cruz's attack on Trump's "big city values".  Trump talk about how New York magnificently re-built after the downing of the Twin Towers.

Of course, what Trump didn't say was that "We" rebuilt New York City...the big "WE", as in U.S. taxpayers as George Bush committed $100 billion of taxpayer rebuild infrastructure, to cover the medical bills of first responders, to cover all the many lawsuits, many fraudulent, of those who claimed they were somehow damaged by the tragedy.

So, it wasn't "New York values" that rebuilt after 9/11.  It was taxpayers in Iowa and Idaho and Phoenix and Toledo who paid the bills.  It was all those "small town values" that offered the compassion for rebuilding.

And I would argue that, if New York values are so damned great, how come people are leaving both the city and the state in literal droves....fleeing a high tax, over regulated state where the government model is not working, where the former mayor was more concerned about 16 ounce sodas than he was about crime, where the current mayor has just this week forced the NYPD to delete all investigative records of potential Muslim terrorists because it's politically incorrect to profile Muslims.  

And shall we champion the "New York Values" of those Wall Street barons who "penny flipped" the nation's mortgages, trading them like monopoly money, and brought the nation to it's financial knees just eight years ago?  

It should be noted that Ted Cruz is not the first politician who challenged "New York Values".  Who can forget President Ford, in 1975, refusing to bail out bankrupt New York after years of liberal mayors running the city's finances into the ground...such that their municipal bonds were worthless, sending their pols to Washington with hand out for a multiple billion dollar rescue.

While Ford finally did come up with some rescue funds, the loan came with some pretty hard spending restrictions...things like forcing the city to quit giving their garbage workers 10% annual pay raises and funding their gambling trips to Atlantic City, and forcing the city to live off their revenue.

Alas, we have retrogressed a bit.  New Yorkers, as in Greece, believe they are entitled to board the government gravy much that they make Greece Socialists look like small timers.  Or look at Baltimore where Black leaders, taking their cue from 50 years of Black corruption in Detroit, are overseeing the death of that city too.  And, speaking of Detroit, let us not forget last year's ultimate silliness when Detroiters stepped right over the state and federal government and sent a delegation to the United Nations with a plea for UN oversight over their municipal woes.  The Blacks in Detroit told the UN that they shouldn't have to pay their water and electric bills...claiming free water and power was a "human right".

And how those "big city values" viruses are spreading across America.  Just this week Angelinos are celebrating Governor Brown's signing into law legislation that makes it legal for illegal Mexicans to vote in state wide elections using their state granted illegal driver's licenses.

Nope...those "big city values" are not doing us much good...they are destroying what's left of the America we grew up in.  Once again Ted Cruz is right...and Donald Trump is wrong.

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Monday, January 18, 2016

"Number 11"


Maybe he's such a fine human being because he grew up in the Midwest. Or maybe it's because now and then God turns out a "keeper". For whatever reason, Cardinals' receiver Larry Fitzgerald makes a mighty fine neighbor to have for we folks here in Phoenix.
The Arizona Cardinals plucked Larry Fitzgerald off the University of Pittsburgh campus in 2004. From the very beginning, despite a succession of mediocre Cardinal quarterbacks, Larry stood out. He seemed to be able to leap his body length in any direction and bring in the most unlikely of catches. And, once the ball touched his hands, it rarely left them. (Today Larry Fitzgerald holds the NFL record for "catches vs drops" ratios.)
Then, finally, a Kurt Warner came along, mentored Larry on the divinity of "team"...then went about throwing Larry passes that would take them down the football field...and all the way to the Superbowl.
Alas, when Warner retired, Arizona again had a succession of lousy quarterbacks. Yet, even with those piss-poor throws, Larry managed to rack up a thousand yards a season..playing for those mediocre teams.
Coach Bruce Arians came along, and, believing age was catching up to a 30 year old, recruited some fleet wide receivers and put "old" Larry in the be used mostly for those garbage like tosses over the opponents defensive line, when the wide-outs were too well covered.
And Larry, despite his disappointment at being relegated to "use to be", kept piling up receiving yards, catching "impossible" catches...and even blocking on the line, or for one of those younger wideouts.
Eventually Arians saw Fitzgerald's true worth; his intense spirit, his will to win, and a work ethic second to no one. On many occasions, when those fleet wide-outs weren't getting it done, it was those "garbage tosses" to Larry that moved the Cardinals down the field.
And when Larry is tackled by an opposing linebacker, when he is absolutely mashed, he leaps up, extends an arm to pull his opponent up, and blows their mind by asking "how's the family?"
So, even opposing gladiators, while fearing Larry Fitzgerald, love him for his humanity. And we in Phoenix do too. Larry spends hundreds of hours every year, mentoring inner city kids, visiting children in cancer wards, and using his foundation to help the less fortunate. 
So, God was favoring Larry Fitzgerald last night...shining a big old light on him, and saying "look at my fine work!". When the Cardinals didn't seem to want to win this game it was Larry who stepped up, put the team on his shoulders, and carried them to victory...side-stepping and straight-arming tacklers as he picked up 75 yards that no one else seemed able to do.
This morning fans will be hard-pressed to find a number 11 jersey anywhere west of the Mississippi. Last night a few folks might have just discovered what we in Phoenix have known for a long time. Larry Fitzgerald is an outstanding player...having already accrued the mileage to get him to the Hall of Fame.
But he's an even finer human being. Game ball to you, Larry. Should you never win a Super Bowl, rest assured you've won our hearts...forever.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Barry's Last SOTU


No, I didn't watch Barack Hussein Obama's last SOTU last night.  I reached the gag factor on Obama about the middle of 2009.  However, I did watch after the see what the media pundits would have to say about "dear leader".  And, in one of those 30 second sound bites, I saw Obummer leaning casually on the podium of "the people's house", sounding arrogant and self satisfied...and just a bit disgusted that so many can't recognize his "greatness".  And in that moment I had a visceral reaction, a punch in the gut moment that reminded me of a previous pic of Obummer, feet up on a historic desk in the oval office...and nearly retched at how this "Muslim Socialist" has disrespected the office of the Presidency.

And I didn't need to watch...because we have all heard Obama's kitsch before...for seven long years.  We know the actions never reach the meteoric rise of his rhetoric, we know, in every speech there will be a period of whining, a smattering of blaming Bush and the Republicans, a bit of demonizing those who don't agree with him, followed by a long monologue about his supreme achievements that so few Americans really appreciate.

I'll be interested to see the TV ratings for that speech.  I suspect they will be paltry...we've all heard his standard spiel..and even his loyal liberal zombie following have heard it all no real need nor desire to hear it all again.

Now I will watch on January 20th, 2017.  I want to see the moving vans pulling up to the south lawn and hauling that trash out of the White House.  

The State of the Union is fraught with peril, with 47% of the people now acclimated to expecting to receive a green check, with millions more on food stamps, our university students as ignorant as neanderthals, with nothing to show for it but $3 trillion dollars in student loan debt.  Our nation is as racially divided as we've ever been, our cities are ravaged by thugs and illegal aliens, wealth envy is the "cause celebre" and whining and victimhood is the latest social trend.  Our economy is such that 94 million Americans have left the work force entirely (and boarded the government gravy train), our work force is predominated by folks working two jobs to survive (cause 30 hour work weeks allow employers to skirt Obama care coverage mandates that would bankrupt them), and the national debt is $20 trillion and counting as our government masters are living off the "credit card" of our children and grandchildren.

And all our economic woes won't matter a bit because our world is now so unsafe that we now face the real threat of biological or nuclear armageddon by Muslim extremists who don't mind dying...those 96 virgins waiting for them in Muslim heaven.  And if you expected our military to save us, abandon that idea; our military strength is one third of what it was just three decades ago, severely underfunded, and their Commander in Chief is only concerned with rainbow flags, designing uniforms for transgenders and setting a small army of architects to work on three bathroom facilities; "his" "hers" and "other".

We all know the State of the Union...and we know it's not the rainbows and unicorns Obummer says it is.  

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"You Can Still Find America...You Just Have To Look A Little Harder"


There are still farm families in Iowa, and in other places in the Mid-West, where farm families get up before dawn and milk the cows and feed the chickens before the sun comes up.

They sit down to breakfast, a heaping platter of bacon and eggs and fried potatoes before them...and never worry about our government masters' proscription against fat and cholesterol.

Then the kids go off to school, mother fires up the pressure cookers for a day of canning, and father hops on the tractor...which he'll ride until the sun sets on his corn fields.  In the evening they'll sit down together for supper, and after a meal prayer, put away a pot roast and fresh corn on the cobb (swimming in butter) and fresh made bread...and again ignore the national cholesterol guidelines the FDA provided to them last year.

After supper Ma and Pa might go over to the attend a PTA learn how their young are faring this school term.  On Friday night they'll attend the high school football game where "Jr." will score a touchdown or two and be cheered on by family and friends.  "Dad" will saunter down to the local bar and have a couple of beers, and soak up the praise for his son's football prowess.

And all across the Midwest, American life plays out in a comfortably serene manner.  These folks work hard and don't "overthink" things.  They can't begin to understand the national headlines...of Ferguson, or Detroit, or Baltimore, or of Latin gangs in Los Angeles.  And they can't even imagine the concept of 47% of Americans who live off the political favorings of big government...they've always worked hard for everything they've received and can't imagine getting something for nothing.

And the "human fruit" of the Mid-West still provides the only stability we have left.  I have business friends who say they like to hire Mid-Westerners because they are honest and work hard, having never learned the art of gaming the system.

I really miss "small town America".  We used to have that...even in the West.  I grew up in a little town in the central valley of California...a town with a population of a few thousand..and yet we lived in the safety and security of a community where everyone gave something of himself to make that community work.  Thanks to the blossoming of drug use, and illegal immigration, and a government that rewards sloth, that little town is now infested with gangs, crime, graffiti strewn about town, and doors you lock and windows you jam...even during the day.  The schools are failing...producing illiterates hell bent on either gaming the government or any potential employer..and demanding a minimum wage that is neither justified, nor earned.

And my little home town is not an isolated tragedy...7 of the nation's most crime infested cities now come from cities in the valley I grew up in.  And we only need to look at our big cities to see the massive plague of a nation in crash mode.

It's getting harder and harder to find America these least the America that led the world in innovation and prosperity and societal harmony.  The Mid-West seems to be the last bastion of an America that I grew to love and respect.  

Sad.  Damned Sad.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy Birthday, Elvis


In his last concert performances he was a bloated image of himself. Bedeviled by inheriting his own mother's early heart problems, he abused prescription drugs to get him through those last concerts, where he left nothing on the everything that he had left to give to those still adoring audiences.
But, maybe those last days told us more about Elvis Presley than the young handsome man with the crooked smile and swiveling hips ever would.
Those last days showed us how much he loved his music..and his fans....loved them so much that even his illnesses and his bloat couldn't stop him from standing in front of a microphone and singing of love and angst....even with his faulty heart.
His movies were cheesy...suitable only for teens like me who didn't care if the plots were paper long as Elvis was up there on the screen. And there were millions like me....Elvis still remains the only screen star in Hollywood history who never had a movie that lost money.
The story of Elvis is an American story unlike any other....a poor boy from Tupelo, Mississippi whose fame was so immense, who was adulated so greatly, that the simple young man couldn't cope with it. One tries to imagine not being able to even walk out your front door without being mobbed by fans and filmed and photographed at every turn. Such exposure would be hard on anyone, but especially hard for one whose young life had been filled with loneliness and poverty.
But, what connected so many millions to Elvis was his ability to transcend fear and confusion, and belt out a rock a billy song, or croon a love song with such sincerity that you knew it was coming from deep within him.
Of the many Elvis songs, the ones most touching, the ones most soulful, the ones most revealing of his early love of Black soul and "Nashville Country" are those early Sun Sessions when a young man was singing out "look at me"..."hear me"...and we looked, and we listened.
Happy Birthday Elvis.  (January 8th, 1935)

Friday, January 8, 2016



A Gallup survey, released this week, reports that 63% of all Americans could not handle a $500 dollar unexpected expense, such as a car or house repair.

I find that amazing.  There has not been a time,  when I drive around my local commercial center, that folks aren't lined up at restaurants at dinner time...fully prepared to fork over $200 bucks for a nice bottle of wine and a sumptuous dinner!

And when I look upon a football or basketball game on TV the stands are full for those $100 bucks a seat sporting events.

So where are people getting the money to spend for such luxuries when they can't afford a plumber?  Or a car repair!  

Are they living off of their credit cards?  Are they all illegal Mexicans getting paid cash under the table and free of paying taxes, and still qualified to reap welfare benefits and free runs to the food banks?

And, if Obama's economy is so damn great, how is that folks can't afford a washing machine repair?  

I confess I do not understand the new economy.  I can't imagine how folks can afford to pay Obamacare premiums and still afford to put food on the table.  And with 93 million Americans who have left the work force, no longer even trying to find a job, I find it amazing that Obama dares to crow over a 5 percent unemployment rate.  

Yes, I'm amazed that 63% of American can't afford an unexpected $500 dollar expense.  But I find it even more amazing that Obama got elected twice and that all the political gurus say Hillary will win and doubled down on Obama's economic policies.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Intergalactic Anthropology"


I suspect that, if we don't survive past the current century, at some future date in time some galactic entity will dispatch an exploratory team to earth...with anthropological experts who will dig through the rubble and try to figure us out.

I predict this will be some of their observations:  The Chief Anthropologist will radio back to galactic control and say "Galaxy Central, we've been studying these earth men for six months now Our findings indicate that the North American Continent hosted the wealthiest of the human species.  The key to their wealth seems to have been some form of capitalism built on human greed.  As compared to the rest of the world, this "greed thing" was not so bad; greed seems to have driven all economic activity and indeed produced a wealth of goods and services and kept the human population employed, and living a higher lifestyle than the rest on the planet."

Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer:  "How did you figure this out?"

Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control:  "At first we were at a loss to evaluate their civilization.  Then we came upon a refuse dump replete with the Sunday editions of their newspapers.  Seems more than 75% of their papers consisted of commercial advertising!  And when we began examining these papers in depth we found some strange seems that, from the first of November of an earth calendar, extending all the way to their New Year's Day, these human ads promoted materialism and staging orgies of food consumption.  Then, beginning the day after the earth New Year, the ads began touting weight loss foods and exercise equipment!  And the papers were bountiful with ads promoting fitness centers and something called a "treadmill."

Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer: " very odd!"

Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control:  "Yes, these human feeding habits were quite remarkable! They seemed to have emulated the process by which they raised their domestic animals...creatures called "chickens" and "cattle" and "pigs".  Seems that, before they were put to slaughter as a food source, their handlers fattened them up for the kill.  Ironically, humans seemed to have fattened themselves up over that end of year period too!  Then, perhaps in fear of being slaughtered themselves, they went on diets and tried to lose all that weight they had put on during their "festival season".

Galaxy Control to Earth Explorer:  "How interesting!" "Did you find out anything else about these North American humans?"

Earth Explorer to Galaxy Control: "Well, we're still evaluating, but it appears these humans did have a sense of seems at one time they elected a Community Organizer as their leader...whatever that is.  Guess he wasn't very good cause it took those people fifty years to recover from his inadequacy!"

"Earth Explorer Out!"

Monday, January 4, 2016

Facebook Follies


I just read the weirdest story in my Sunday morning the Crime Section. It seems that some small town fellow from "Hicksville" (some little town in southeast Arizona) hooked up with a sophisticated city lady in Phoenix on Face Book.

Before long "hick" and "city lady" were exchanging "keyboard endearments" with each other. The exchange got sufficiently heated that "hick" decided to abandon his tractor, climb into his ancient Ford 250, and motor on up to Phoenix for a little "slap and tickle" with his new found "cyber siren".

So "Mr. Hick" showed up on city lady's doorstep on Friday afternoon, where the two engaged in some heated "beast with two backs" all Friday night and into Saturday morning, and all was fine and dandy..until the next day when city lady went to the front door, cracked it open an inch or allow easy access by two of her male friends to enter, tie "Mr. Hick" up in duct tape, steal his clothes, valuables, including his Hulk Hogan genuine alligator wallet filled with dollar bills that totaled his whole net worth.

"Mr. Hick" eventually alerted the neighbors to his plight, by screaming and putting his hog calling talents to good use, neighbors alerted the police who found "Mr. Hick" clad only in white knee socks and Walmart silk boxers, adorned with little red hearts.

Then the story gets a bit convoluted. Seems that the real "city lady of his FB dreams was actually out of town. Someone else on FB had followed their heated exchanges and taken the opportunity to break into the apartment...the second pretender "lady in waiting" part of a scheme to shuck poor "Mr. Hick" from all his worldly goods. Which they did!

Police have contacted "Lady Number 1", who was out of town, and totally ignorant of the ruse, and feels just as sorry for poor "Mr. Hick" as she can be. Alas, police have searched for "pretending lady #2" and her male co-conspirators, without success.

I guess the moral of this story is "never plan any cyber hanky-panky until you have at least shaken hands with your prospective bed mate...and matched up their profile pic with whoever you plan to "make the beasts with two backs" with.

And, while I don't know how much "Mr. Hick" had in his wallet, I hope it was worth a night and morning of mad passionate love with a "cyber-sweetie".

Friday, January 1, 2016

"If You Build It They Will Come"


"If You Build It They Will Come"

Each day Harrah's Ak-Chin casino sends their big purple bus winding through various valley cities, picking up old folks and ferrying them 60 miles out, to their Maricopa casino.  All "free of charge".

Here in Sun City, the big purple bus pulls up to the Bell Recreation Center at 8:30 in the morning.  A few dozen eager old people climb onto the bus, sit back in their plush seats, and begin bantering with the other "regulars" from Glendale and Scottsdale and Surprise.  

An hour later the bus pulls up to the front of the Ak-Chin casino, the gray hairs file out, line up for their free drink and slot play tickets, then grab a stool in front of one of those flashy, noisy slot machines and contribute a hunk of their social security pension to the one armed bandits installed just for that purpose.

At 1:00 PM, their pockets lighter, their wallets thinner, the old folks file back to the bus, climb on, and nap their way home.

This has been going on since the early 90's when the state granted the Indian Tribes their casino gambling licenses.  

Last week a big old clanking monkey wrench was thrown into that sweet deal the Indian Casinos in the far east valley have enjoyed for more than two decades.

The monkey wrench came in the form of a new casino that opened in the west valley.  Run by the Tohono Indian Tribe from down Tucson way, the Desert Diamond Casino opened its doors to all the west side "wanna bees", and the old folks residing in the three west side Sun City communities.

No longer do these old people have to board a bus for a two hour round trip to "slot poverty"; now they can get clipped closer to home.

Well, you can imagine the stir this caused at those "east valley casinos" that have enjoyed the plush shakedowns from all these west valley suckers.  The other casinos have sent big piles of money into political donations to all our esteemed politicians in order to stop this west valley casinos.  Both John McCain and Jeff Flake, Arizona's two senators tried to pass a Congressional law that would prevent the building of this west side casino.  And the state politicians, enriched by the old guard casinos' campaign donations, have filed suit after suit in both the state and federal courts.

To the pols' consternation, the courts have ruled time and again that the Tohono Tribe owns the Glendale land and have every right to build a casino.  The courts seemed to be saying "hey Whitey, you've been screwing Native Americans for some three hundred years, and it's high time they have the right to screw you right back.

The state, in a snit, has limited the new casino to slots only; no table games of any kind.  That limitation too has been challenged in court, with every expectation that the new casino will win and be granted full gaming privileges.

It is also interesting that the politicians are opposing this new casino even as every citizen poll has shown 80% approval for the new casino, partly because it will create thousands of new jobs, and partly because our west side gamblers desire a shorter commute to gamble.  Why would the politicians oppose what their constituents want?  Because those fat campaign donations from the other established tribes are too sweet a deal!

Amidst all this turmoil I sit and grin at the grand irony.  Being "neutered" from the gambling bug myself, I am neutral on the issue.  While I love seeing politicians taking it in the ass for a change, I'm a bit saddened that all these west siders will now find a closer and more convenient venue for losing their money.

So, last week the new casino opened.  It's situated in a temporary 500,000 square foot building that will eventually be converted to warehouse space when the grander and far larger hotel and casino is built.

Despite the modest simplicity of the temporary facility, last week's grand opening presented much pre-holiday excitement for the "slot folks".  Hundreds of them camped out the night before the opening, pitching tents, laying out sleeping bags, and equipped with flashlights so they could sit and read Stephen King and Danielle Steel novels while waiting for "slot nirvana" the next morning.

Well, I was out on Northern Avenue last week, out to the See's Candy Store to buy my wife her traditional Peanut Brittle for her Christmas stocking.  So I swung by the new casino and scouted it out for my wife, who's no slouch when it comes to her video poker.  

After driving around and around the parking lot, I finally found a parking place, walked into the casino, my senses assaulted by garish purple overhead lights and noisy slots...every seat taken on this opening day.  Old folks in wheel chairs were prominent, their bleary day brightened by the bells and whistles of the bandit machines, their life enriched as long as their pension money holds up.

I found the whole scene rather sad, the only bright spot in the whole thing being my imagining both the politicians and the east valley casino moguls grinding their teeth in frustration that they can't tempt as many of the far off west valley suckers into 120 mile round trips to shuck them of their money.