Friday, April 30, 2010

A Letter to the Governor of Arizona

Dear Governor Brewer,

Many congratulations on all of your success following your entrance to the world of Arizona politics back in the early 1980's. I know you must be especially proud of your governorship status. I'm sure it is a bummer that you never got the opportunity to actually run for that office. Running a campaign is such a pain and sharing your platform with the people can be so time-consuming. It was definitely better that you just assume your role and not have to worry about letting Arizonans elect you. At the very least, your succession to the highest role in state government was legal and supported fully by Arizona's Constitution, which is empowered by the U.S. Constitution. I wish I could say the same about the recent signing into law of Arizona SB1070.

In your past opportunities to actually run for office, you did so on a platform of family values - which is commendable. But what you failed to mention was how you define a family about whose values you care. Yes, there is an overwhelming amount of illegal immigrants in Arizona. But you are doing a truly despicable and horrible job of protecting Hispanic families, either legal or illegal.

Legal Hispanics in make up 30% of Arizona's population and each of them is in danger now of being harassed and profiled by police who, in three months, could have the authority to stop anyone on the street that they suspect may be an illegal alien. You've made it clear that you understand that racial profiling is illegal in Arizona and in every state. I think it is great that this bill has so well defined and gives law enforcement clear guidelines by which they can make these stops. Language like "reasonable suspicion", "reasonable attempt", "practicable" is so clear and specific and I think it will really help police stop the targeted people and not families whose ancestors have been in Arizona longer than yours.

This really begs the question, did you at all look at the US Constitution before signing this bill into law? This law seems to have crossed the line of infringing on the rights of our fellow countrymen. I see it as an illegal search and seizure, prohibited by the 4th Amendment in the Bill of Rights. In addition, the 14th Amendment was designed to ensure the rights of citizens, but apparently the framers forgot to mention that those rights are waived if you are in close proximity to the border, driving the wrong kind of car, and wearing a certain type of clothes. Good thing you are here to correct those mistakes.

This all spills into the over-arching problem of how to deal with illegal immigrants who are already in the country. Some have been here for a very long time. Many have family members who are naturalized US citizens. Does the state of Arizona even have the resources to adequately execute this new policy? Are there enough holding facilities to hold that many people for the years it will take to process all those cases in court? I wish I had a solution for this problem but I don't. The good news for me is that it isn't my job to have that solution. It is the job of elected officials to, in good faith, strive to find the best possible solution for any given problem. I ask you, Governor, was Arizona SB1070 the best you had to offer? Can you really stand before the citizens of Arizona and the United States as a whole and declare with whole-hearted confidence that this was the best, most humane way to deal with this problem? If so, perhaps we all need a refresher course to redefine due process. Part of this law makes it illegal to provide support and shelter for those in the country illegally. What is your plan for the hundreds of churches in Arizona, especially southern Arizona, who provide for the lowest level needs for anyone who passes through their doors, regardless of where they were born or what side of the border on which they legally belong?

People are fighting this bill left and right. It is being fought in courts on many levels and it most likely will not go into effect within 90 days as planned, if at all. In the mean time, regardless of what happens, you are ruining yourself politically. You have 2 years left to finish your predecessor's term. Are you interested in running for your own term? Because if you are, I can think of at least 2 million Hispanic votes you can count on giving away to another, more compassionate and realistic candidate. While you're at it, you can also plan on losing the votes of a host of other people who, though not Hispanic, support their Hispanic brothers and sisters and will not stand idly by while Americans are discriminated against and illegals are treated as pests instead of people. I'm not blind. I know that there are many who support this bill. But regardless of what they think about it, how will they feel when the state as a whole goes millions of dollars farther into the hole because individuals and businesses will boycott your state. There's rumor of next summer's Major League Baseball All Star Game looking for a new venue instead of using the currently scheduled location of Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix. Can the state budget weather a boycott of such magnitude? No. The loss of jobs will be astounding. But don't worry. There will be plenty of unpleasant and far-far-far-below-minimum-wage jobs available that illegal immigrants once willingly and happily did. I'm sure your Anglo constituents won't mind working 16 hours a day for pennies. Maybe that's a market you could get into personally after the state boots you from any possibility of election in 2 years.

Governor, this bill is heinously offensive. Do I think that border control should be a high priority? Yes. Especially in a state like Arizona which reportedly has over half a million illegal immigrants. But don't you think the more prudent and intuitive thing would be to focus more on the border than the people already in the country? When there's a water leak in your house, do you try to soak up the water before stopping the leak? No. You go to the source of the problem to stop more leaking and once that has been resolved, you move on to the mess that it created. Our resources need to go to securing the border more efficiently. This model is proactive. Arizona SB1070 is a solution imposed by a reactive government that isn't seeing the whole picture.

Sincerely and with much disgust,

Maggie Moore

P.S. I almost forgot to thank you for your recent attention to the safety of Arizonans as it relates to gun control. I think unlicensed, concealed weapons are a swell idea. Especially in establishments that sell alcohol.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It Ain't Over!

She came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!" So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) ~ John 20:2-9

Unfortunately, we as Christians too often forget that Easter isn't just a day. It's a season of 50 days! Here we are, only at the halfway point with so much celebrating and understanding ahead of us.

This year, for the first time, I noticed how much attention was given to those darn burial linens during the Gospel account of Christ's Resurrection. I know I've heard it before but I never really thought twice about it until this year. But I didn't understand or have a reason as to why so I quickly forgot.

About 2 weeks after Easter Sunday, I was walking down the hallway at church and noticed an informative flyer on the wall that explained exactly what I had been wondering about.

As with so many other mysteries like this, most things become clear when one is made privy to Hebrew traditions that were so commonplace for the people of the time. As it turns out, when a master got up from the table, he sent a message to his servant by how he placed his napkin. If he wadded it up, it was a signal that he was done and that the servant could clear the table. However, if the master folded his napkin neatly and placed it beside his plate, it meant that he was not finished.

By folding his burial linens, Christ sent his disciples a clear message: I'm coming back.

Alleluia! He is risen!

Keep It Real!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Case of the Mondays

This coming Monday won't be like any other Monday.

The weather will be nice, which is getting to be normal around here. I'll get up at my leisure and go into work for a couple hours and come home when I feel like it. Setting your own hours at work is so wonderful.

The main difference is that when I get home from work, Leni won't be there. Nope. I'll wait impatiently for him because I'll be excited to hear about his very first day of work! It's a huge, long story full of well-meaning people, red tape, delays, and more frustration than I have ever experienced in my life, but we're there and Leni has a job now.

I don't think it will really hit us, or at least me, until that first paycheck comes. Kind of how graduating college did not seem real until the Fall rolled around and I found myself somewhere other than in a classroom.

Anyway, I wanted to thank those of you who have been there for us during this situation of unemployment. Thank you for your support. Thank you for asking how we were doing. Thank you for your offers of financial assistance. Thank you for your empathy and being angry about the situation for us. Most of all, thank you for praying for and with us. And to those of you who haven't been in the loop and really had no idea about all this, I'm sorry for not telling you about it. I'm usually pretty good at communication with friends but these last few months were hard and I just didn't feel like telling the story over and over. Thanks for your understanding.

To celebrate on a small scale, we're going out to eat when we go to Santa Fe on Saturday - a treat we haven't afforded ourselves in many months (unless of course someone else was paying -thanks to both sets of parents!). Since it's Leni's job, I'm letting him pick the restaurant. It was no surprise that he chose a restaurant attached to a local brewery :) No matter how much money that boy makes in his career, his tastes will always warrant a good beer and something from the grill.

Keep It Real!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Family Ties, Part II

Not less than a week after Nick and Claire's visit, we got hit up again! This past Thursday, a large, blue Buick Le Saber named Obama pulled into our driveway and out piled the geriatric circus, consisting of my folks and their two 12-year-oldish dogs.

The visit was pleasant and even relaxing. Between the meals we cooked and the couple we had out on the town, we ate well...a must for any visit/vacation. The first full day was spent doing Los Alamos things like a visit to the good free museum, some geo-caching, and a visit to a popular donut shop. Also insert old-man-nap-time.

Day two consisted of a half day trip down to Santa Fe for some lunch and a little walking tour of historic downtown. A favorite stop was Loretto Chapel, home of the Miraculous Staircase, as pictured here:

The staircase is miraculous for two reasons. The first of these reasons is that its construction is structurally impossible. If you look closely in the photo, there is no supporting pillar running up the center of the spiral as you would find in other similar looking staircases. TV's Unsolved Mysteries even did a show segment on it! The other miracle is the circumstance under which the staircase was built. The architecht died before total completion, leaving no plans for access to the choir loft. There was not room for a traditional staircase and the nuns of the chapel were not comfortable with a ladder scenario. After much prayer, a stranger arrived, wanting to build them a staircase. Asking for total privacy, he locked himself in the chapel for 3 months with primative tools to begin construction. Upon completion, he vanished.

The staircase was orginially built with no handrails. Can you imagine what a frightening ascent this must have been for the nuns? My dad made the comment that this staircase may have been a cause of the dwindling number of sisters in this convent in the early 1900s. Good point, Dad!

For the record, day 2 also had old-man-nap-time.

In the morning of each of the two full days of their visit, my parents joined us for brief walks into the canyon behind our house. Those of you familiar with their health conditions, both past and present, will understand what a miracle this is, in and of itself! Below is a picture of my parents on such an excursion:

On one of these walks, our dog, Sierra, found two attached leg bones of a large animal. I told her that if she could carry them home, she could keep them. With much gusto and effort, she did just that!

On Sunday after church and lunch, the geriatric circus piled back into Obama and headed back down the mountain to spend an evening with Nick and Claire in Albuquerque before starting the trek back to Tucson the next morning. We'll see them in our neck of the woods again in early June for another visit, this time including taking in a show of Cirque du Soleil:Alegria. Insert excitement here: ____________!!!!!

Next blog post topic: Leni's job.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Family Ties, Part I

Aside from the wonders of Holy Week, we've been blessed in the past week or so by visits from my side of the family.

First, Nick, Claire and Dottie came to visit.

They arrived on the Thursday evening before Easter and we enjoyed some dinner followed by fun in the hot tub with glow sticks and beer "brewed" by Nick. We had a lazy morning on Friday followed by another four wheeling excursion to a place outside Santa Fe. It was the first time Nick and Claire had been able to join us and it was fun to show them the ropes. The picture above is them in the back of the 4 Runner with Dottie, who wasn't quite sure what to make of the whole ordeal! It was a bummer to see them go on Saturday morning but considering what little free time they have, it was great that they chose to spend the time with us.

Claire has agreed to be a face-painter at some event in Albuquerque coming up and wanted to practice. So, being the only other person in the house with no facial hair, I took my place in the hot seat and let her do her thing. She found a "look" she wanted to go for and went to work. I didn't get to see the finished product until it was all over but Nick and Leni were taking photos the whole time. Here's the progression of pictures:

Getting started:

A few minutes later:


Finishing touches:


Scary, but cool, right? You got to see it as it was happening. I glanced in the mirror when it was done and my heart skipped a beat. Guess what my Facebook profile picture will be next Halloween.

Stay tuned for Family Ties, Part II coming soon to a blog near you!

Keep It Real!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


I hope that this Easter post finds you doing well and rejoicing in the Resurrection of Christ! Alleluia, He is risen!

A few months back, some staff at The Pines Catholic Camp put together the drama portrayed in the video below. It is set to the song, "Everything" by Lifehouse. We cannot take credit for writing the drama but we did work hard to recreate it so that it could be performed preceding a staff member's talk on forgiveness during a youth retreat.

Keep in mind this is amateur video. The stage was hardly big enough and we had to utilize some space below the stage that was not well lit but the meaning should be pretty clear. Although this was recorded 6 months ago, I've waited until now to post it for its Easter theme. It can be incredibly emotional for some and no matter how many times I see it, the triumph of Christ at the end leaves me speechless every time.

Note: If you have trouble getting the video to play, you can also catch it from YouTube directly here.

May Christ's triumph today leave you speechless as well.

Keep It Real and Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010


Before proceeding in this blog post, hit play on the video below. You don't have to watch it but I love the music in it. It is a song called "New Again" as co-performed by country singers Brad Paisley and Sara Evans and is meant to represent the dialog between Christ and his mother Mary in the moments leading up to His crucifixion. I'm not at all interested in the video itself but rather simply the music and lyrics. It's a very meaningful song and happens to make excellent background music for this blog...turn up the speakers!

An artist in our church felt the calling a few years back to create some pieces of art for the church to use as Stations of the Cross during Holy Week each year. Below are photos I took of each of them as they hung this week in our church's parish hall. Unlike many other stations I've seen in countless churches, this particular set does not portray what an onlooker might have seen. For the most part, the images depict the stations from Christ's point of view. Have a look for yourself and see what I mean:

1) Jesus is condemned to death

2) Jesus is given his cross

3) Jesus falls the first time

4) Jesus meets his mother

5) Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

6) Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

7) Jesus falls the second time

8) Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

9) Jesus falls the third time

10) Jesus is stripped of his garments

11) Jesus is nailed to the cross

12) Jesus dies on the cross

13) Jesus' body is removed from the cross

14) Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense

It took me a few ganders to gain what I think is the proper understanding of each of these pieces. Let me know if you need some assistance...I'll admit I had a few questions too!

Props go to anyone who understands the title of this post without looking it up! Extra props if you didn't work at Camp Gray during the summer of 2001.

Keep It Real!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A New Commandment I Give You

Today we celebrate a day in the Christian calendar that goes by many names: Holy Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Thursday of Mysteries, Covenant Thursday, and (as it is called in the Episcopal church) Maundy Thursday.

I've always understood that this was the day on which we remember the evening of the Last Supper as well as when Christ was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. What I didn't understand was the name. Some reading up yesterday indicated that there is a little controversy surrounding this meaning. This is one of the most commonly accepted meanings: "Maundy" is derived from the first part of the phrase Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicu dilexi vos, being latin for, "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you."

If you already knew this, then congrats. You had a leg up on me (isn't that a weird phrase?).

Earlier this week we participated in a Passover Seder to commemorate our Jewish roots as Christians. It was followed by a "Living Last Supper" during which some of the men in the church posed as the disciples in da Vinci's famous paining, The Last Supper. This painting is meant to capture the disciples' reaction to Jesus' statement that one of them would betray him. At church, the men held this pose except for when each of them had brief lines conveying each individual's worry that they might be the one to betray Christ. At the last minute, Leni was roped in to play the part of "James the Lesser". It was an appropriate role for him, considering the fact that the gentleman playing "James the Greater" probably has at least 100 pounds on Leni! Anyway, he did very well and everyone kept saying what a good speaking voice he has. I was proud.

Here's a picture, though blurry due to funky lighting, of the reenactment. Leni is second from the left.

Keep It Real!