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June 06, 2011


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If someone would have told me 50 years ago that Yuma, AZ and Deming, NM would someday hold 100,000 to 200,000 retirees EACH, I would have said "fella, you've been out in the sun way too long. Let me get you some water and a wet cloth for your neck."

It is astonishing to see a "master-planned community" 50 miles east of Yuma on I-8. Even weirder is the evidence that people are still buying houses there. Yuma itself has sprawled beyond comprehension. There are vast empty tracts and fields in what passes for the center city. Density, such as it is, relates more to the RV space requirements in certain parks. All that said, Yuma can support a Dillard's (ditto, El Centro), which is more than central Phoenix can do.

There is an end-of-the-line quality both to the geography and the human sadness that stuggles to make sense of itself. Collapse would almost represent progress. What happens when energy costs put an end to air conditioning as we know it? What sustainability strategies apply in a place this extreme and forlorn?

Like every other city in Arizona, Yuma was once "tight-knit" and coherent. In the past four decades, that quality necessary for emotional health and even sanity has dwindled away. What you see now is little more than the wildness in people's eyes as they grasp at anything to remind them what they're supposed to love.

For several years, I was a reluctant overseer to the largest retail firearms business in Arizona. It was implanted in an unlikely host . . a series of superstores called "Smitty's" which was a Phoenix institution in its day. Some on this blog will remember it fondly, as I do. But the firearms department was an anomaly, having grown fast because we had economies of scale vs. the gun shops. Long story short, there was nothing good if one looked within the bowels of the business. Margins were low, inventory turn was slow and the clientele was long on testosterone, to put it kindly.

Basically the business had no strategic benefit in this family-type environment, so we shut it down. Finally . . but not without having listened to a litany of horribly sad stories about those hand guns and what our customers did with them.

So I'm left with an almost sphincter-like revulsion and near zero understanding of gun love. The more our state legislature runs amok, the more I believe that there's some sort of mental illness growing among the disenfranchised. Scary stuff!

The few times I traveled through Yuma I was struck by the feeling of having been laid bare by an unyielding and inescapable sun that burns away even shadows. In that town where the scant trees dream of hiding, even the longest, darkest night cannot assuage the loneliness of being abandoned even by shadows.

Another reminder that Arizona is nut country.

Wow Rate, sounds like the lyrics of a Moody Blues song.

On another note, can a SWAT team be charged with murder? It's looking like Tucson SWAT is killing innocent citizens. These wild west cowboys are watching too many Rambo movies and drinking too much Red Bull.

.357 to Yuma...

Brilliant title Jon. It has had me alternately chucking and shaking my head all day.

As for this:

"They have been played for fools by the plutocracy. Their American Dream has been taken away by Wall Street and all they're left with is cheap stuff from China, anger and ammo. "

I can only add:

They're also left with a Justice Department that is going after Lance Armstrong and John Edwards; an old and new media that is wallowing in Palin's Paul Revere horsedirt and Anthony Weiner's sizzling sex talk.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Blankfein, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, has been caught lying to Congress about his firm's behavior. When is Nancy Pelosi going to request a committee to investigate that? Not ever. Hoover's Justice Dept. is too busy going after a bicyclist with a Cancer Foundation.

Just when you think we've hit Peak Crazy...
You realize it is all just another false summit.

There are two reasons to go to Yuma
San Luis and San Diego.

Americans won't rebel. Just like formerly prosperous Cuba, we'll slowly, quietly become poor. People will complain and little else. This military and police state I certainly am not going to take on. I'll vote and bitch about things, but Jeffersonian revolution? Not so much.

The only thing we have to fear is a citizenry too afraid to revolt.

Revolt not likely: Just a good strong vocal organization would at least be an improvement. But most us "intellectuals" just cant get it up like them ignorant Tea Party folks. But revolts will come, they will be called food and energy riots.So I am going solar and wind and raising pigs for shit fuel. Mad Max

Leftcoastdude: In the 70 plus years I have been around, those Cubans hold up in Florida have not impressed me to the positive. I will give them the CIA fucked them to death in the Bay of Pigs incident. However, Castro didn’t like the mafia running his country so he and CHE got together in the hills and eventually took over Cuba. Those folks in Florida sit around and bitch all the time and keep the heat on congress to leave the embargo in place. Bad decision! Consequently if and when Cuba starts to open up the European boys are in and ready to go and the US is out. As a student of power while I don’t admire the politics or the business of many powerful individuals I do find it extremely interesting in the ability to hold power. Castro and Sonny Barger have won nearly every battle with the giant US power for over 50 years. Interesting how we can spend trillions of dollars in faraway places but we can’t even get our next door neighbor on its knees.

azrebel: As a former SWAT team member and later a SWAT supervisor I have been following the incident in Pima County. So far it "appears" that those cops’ actions are way over the top. It's like someone told them those houses they were going into contained weapons of mass destruction. And now the most liberal County Sheriff in Arizona has shut down the information trail. However I think the endemic problem here is that police in the US have became extremely militarized (and are hiring a lot of returning vets). From the soft blazers and negotiating that I liked when I was a cop, the police forces are starting to look like genderless Robocop’s. But the most significant issue here to me as a fiscal conservative is the continued “war on drugs”. I worked narcotics enforcement twice and consequently given my experiences and my rage as a tax payer of throwing good money after bad I am absolutely opposed to illegal drug enforcement. Of course the Al Capone’s of the world are happy.
Chapo for President.

Jon, Texas Rangers. when I worked robbery and similar details we always preferred suspects getting arrested by the Texas Rangers. A ranger would call and say we got Billy Bob in custody would you like us to interrogate him or not. Of course we always had the Rangers extract the confessions.They were so good at that. For an interesting and enjoyable read on Texas and law enforcement, I suggest an article by William Finnegan, titled "A Showdown in East Texas" from the New Yorker magazine, August 22, 1994 Issue. And by the way that is a 11 shot .357 I carry while out there on my recumbent. You never know when the next whacko my come your way.

Cal, I have to get by with my Python's six rounds plus speedloaders.

Another reason a Jeffersonian revolt won't happen is revealed in phone video from Miami. How many cops does it take to patrol Miami at 4am!? The suspect is dead and four innocent bystanders are wounded with enough law enforcement (on bicycles no less) left over to attempt destroying evidence and arrest more innocent bystanders.

Yuma will grow in the coming years. After Obamacare is repealed and Medicare privatized, Yuma will provide a gateway to Mexico and affordable health care. It is one of the reasons retirees go there now.

Thats true jmav, A great place to get your teeth pulled and a quicke.
Across the border en Mejico good dentists, the whore houses are owned by two doctors and the police department gets used free uniforms from a nuclear plant.

Hey, that would be a great way to be distracted while the dentist works on your teeth. Beats the hell out of nitrous oxide.

I'll confess to going to Algodones a few times for cheap prescription refills. The dental clinics looks surprisingly first-rate, too. The trouble, of course, is having to drive 200 miles through some mind-scrubbing emptiness. Gila Bend almost looks like Vegas on the return trip.


Let me get this straight. You had your driver take you to Mexico in the Rolls Royce to get cheap prescription refills??

AND cal, an 11 shot .357 ????

I realize I was born at night, but it wasn't last night !!!!!!!!!!!!

long clip

Clips leave evidence. A revolver doesn't. Really? Rookie mistake!

cal, do you still have the flintlock you were issued as a rookie?

( : -)

Not worried about evidence
I'll stay with my clip, thank you
yes I have the SW 38 6 inch I was issued in the academy

I am not from Yuma originally, but lived there for over 20 years, always had a good job, the people I have become acquainted with are educated, good, kind people and most of them raised in Yuma. Most of them also have guns, and why not! All Americans should be prepared to protect themselves & their loved ones. Yuma also has seven very active Rotary clubs, Two Hospices, an outstanding Hospital, Entertainment & The Arts plus many other assets. Why do you think winter visitors, who, I might add are far from poor and can go many places choose Yuma? It is not a struggling, gun totin, hate the world place---maybe you should spend a little time there getting to know some of the people and quit making generalizations about things you know nothing about! By the way, Amber alert was started because of a Yuma girl being murdered (and not in Yuma). There are people being murdered every day all over the nation---why pick on Yuma? Must be because you just happen to be one of those radical left wingers I keep hearing about!

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