I have been running around like the proverbial chicken sans head lately. But here’s my latest…a list of citizens and politicians who recently earned the title of “Asshole”.

1. Matt Tolman, chairman of Citizens Who Oppose the Pearce Recall

Tolman put up signs targeting the head of the committee who wants to recall Russell Pearce. Randy Paraz, the targeted man, is pretty much unknown to the average Arizona voter. He has done nothing wrong in his attempt to have Pearce recalled. However, the signs maligned him by saying he supported the call for a boycott of Arizona (which did cost the state quite a bit of tourist dollars), that he promotes open borders and that he opposes the “rule of law”. Not only are these lies, they are the result of right wing reductionist thinking. Pearce and his automotons believe that if you aren’t for his crazy ass ideas, you must be “agin em”. Paraz threatened to sue Pearce but it had no affect because Pearce could claim, ‘hey it wasn’t me who did it’. A few days later the City of Mesa determined the signs were illegal (ironic since Tolman accused Paraz of advocating illegal behavior) and told Tolman to take them down. At least a day or two passed without any action, but they were finally taken down. They should have given him a time limit such as 24 or 48 hours and if they weren’t down by then they should have his but cited and fined. This kind of thing, outright lying about someone and attacking someone who isn’t doing anything wrong, is such an obvious right wing ploy. The ad hominem is always one of their go-to plays because they lose when the debate actually focuses on the issues. Pearce and his lackey, Tolman, would rather flirt with a libel lawsuit than simply campaign on Pearce’s issues. I am really praying that Mesa voters oust Pearce in this recall and I hope that Paraz suffers no ill effects from this stupid, cowardly ploy.

2. Bureau of Land Management agents – *

A crew invovled in rounding up over 120 wild mustang horses flew their heliocopter too close to the animals, driving them six miles withou a break, and stressing the horses out to the point that one collapsed and one had to be euthanized after falling in an overpacked trailer full of the panicked animals. The BLM was specifically accused of sideswiping the horse that collapsed (although one could argue that they should have been accused of a great deal more). They swooped down on the poor mare AFTER the poor horse had finally managed to stand up after several failed attempts to regain her footing. A judge ruled that the helicopter did not sideswipe the horse but was indeed far too close. The video shows very stressed out horses and its obvious to anyone with even half a brain cell that the BLM’s methods weren’t conducive to the animals’ health and well-being (horses are notoriously delicate and sensitive to stress, even the wild ones). Since the BLM intends to sell them, one would think it would behoove** them to round them up humanely.

3. Anyone and everyone who supported SB1070 in Arizona

For the loss of immigrant farm workers and the failure of American workers to fill those positions resulting in crops rotting in the fields. Although Arizona implemented SB1070 before the rest of the states, it is just now seeing this kind of result. Other states, ala Georgia, who idiotically followed our lead on SB1070, saw their own harvests missed a bit sooner. Perhaps due to the different kinds of crops affected. Is it too early for me to say I TOLD YOU SO?!! I’m too tired to even link to my previous posts about how American workers don’t WANT the jobs the immigrants take and that those jobs will go unfilled. That the state would lose money as a result of the law, etc, etc, etc.

4. Unknown Arizona Department of Corrections Employees

For putting a mentally ill man, Shannon Palmer, into a one man, darkened cell with a convicted killer, Jasper Rushing. The cell was dark because DOC hadn’t fixed the lights. Rushing couldn’t read and distract himself from Shannon’s mad, paranoid ravings. Shannon was incarcerated originally for “criminal damage” to a power pole in Mesa. He climbed it in the middle of a thunderstorm and the police had to coax him down. For this he received a 3 year sentence. During his prison stay Shannon had been in wards specifically for the mentally ill but for some reason had been moved to a regular cell. I suspect it was because he was nearing the end of his sentence–its very common to move inmates to lesser restrictive housing pending release. However, one would have thought corrections officers and case workers would see that Shannon was in no condition to be in a cell with someone else particularly since he was NOT taking ANY anti-psychotic drugs. As an incredibly sad note, in the U.S. the seriously mentally ill are incarcerated at more than 3 times the frequency than they get treated in the outside world. In Arizona, the rate is 10 times more and it is the nation’s highest. Hell, even the killer, Rushing, said that there was no hope for Shannon since there is no treatment or living facilities on the outside and nothing but a dark cold cell on the inside.

5. Gov. Jan Brewer, again!

For continuing to cut funding for the mentally ill and poor in Arizona which inevitably leads to situations like #4 above–her hands get redder each passing month. Another I told you so….not bothering to link to my posts about the deinstitutionalization of America by Saint Ronnie Raygun and the consquences to our Criminal Justice System.

Sources:

http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2011/08/23/20110823mesa-russell-pearce-signs0824.html

http://www.examiner.com/equine-advocacy-in-national/wild-mustang-mare-collapses-from-the-stress-of-a-helicopter-stampede

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2011-09-01/news/why-did-the-arizona-department-of-corrections-put-a-mentally-ill-man-in-a-cell-with-a-convicted-killer/

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2011-08-25/news/a-shortage-of-mexican-laborers-threatens-arizona-farming/

Notes:

*not necessarily AZ but probably in Nevada, close enough for government work, no?
**I just couldn’t resist

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