Archive for the ‘Delusional in AZ’ Category

So we just got over the Jim Crow anti-LGBTQIA bill that the Gov. vetoed the other day.  Well, they’re at it againHouse Bill 2481 would allow ministers the right to refuse to perform same sex weddings.

My drawing of "Just a Bill"

My drawing of “Just a Bill”

Never mind that they already have that power.  [ht Ashby at BobCesca.com] A minister is by definition bound by his particular faith and is NEVER required to marry anyone.  They’ve always had this choice.  However, this new bill defines minister very broadly.  So broadly that it would allow government officials like judges, county clerks, etc the right to refuse to marry same sex couples.  Essentially allowing government officials to discriminate.

Again, this bill is so unconstitutional it’s laughable and it would continue to be laughable if it didn’t have a good chance of passing.  See the religious right here in AZ (really around the country) are engaging in a broader strategy that you might not notice unless you were paying attention to the kind of bills that are being promoted and passed in all of the different state legislatures.  For example, everyone knows that conservatives are unhappy with Roe v. Wade and have tried and tried to get it overturned through the Federal Court system to no avail.  So they’ve inundated state legislatures with bills that aren’t specifically about abortion or are about various aspects of abortion but affect abortion anyway.  The Wisconsin “we have the right to shove a wand up your hoohoo” bill was one of those.   Other examples include attempts to have the fetus given legal “personhood” status, laws prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks, and modifying regulatory laws that affect clinics so they can’t provide services or cutting of their funding entirely.  On this last effort in Texas, I think there are only two clinics left to service the entire state that meets the new regulatory restrictions.  To make matter worse, Texas has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country.  I hope taxpayers there are as interested in paying to raise all those children as they were in forcing the mother to give birth.

This is just a few examples of their attempts to overturn Roe v. Wade “de facto” because they couldn’t do so “de jure“.  The same thing is happening with same sex marriage laws.  Hence the recent attempts in Arizona (and elsewhere).  And you will see the pattern on every single issue that the right has lost on over the last few decades.  In one sense it’s very frustrating to fight against this kind of attack because you’re constantly putting out a fire in different states and having to shift focus.  This is intentional on their part, of course, to make us fight in all fifty states and use up our more limited resources (they have the Koch brothers and other billionaires bankrolling their efforts–the laws were drafted by ALEC which is funded by these conservative billionaires).   And it distracts us from focusing on doing things that could really help people on a day to day basis like healthcare, raising the minimum wage, decreasing the gap between the 1% and everyone else (again, this benefits their wealthy benefactors).

In another sense, this may be a good sign because it means they’re getting desperate and that their values are dying as society changes both demographically and culturally.  In the meantime, we need to continue to fight all of these kinds of “local” incursions against our Civil Rights until the day when these zealots no longer have a choke hold on the nation’s political agenda.  I don’t care how they “phrase it”, discrimination is discrimination and I will oppose it to the bitter end.  It’s a Rubicon that this country cannot afford to go back across because it will mean that the LGBTQIA won’t be the only group they can and will exclude from having all of the same Civil Rights that they enjoy.  First they came for the Jews and I said nothing because I wasn’t Jewish, then they came for….

 

Edited after publication — see red text

Congratulations, Phoenix!  You’re number 6 on the list of the cities with the fastest growing suburban poverty population.  What’s it feel like to be in the top 10?

According to a recent study:

Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.

> Pct. growth, suburban poor population: 134.2%
> Suburban poverty rate: 13.3% (34th highest)
> Suburban share of metro poor population: 37.9% (18th lowest)
> 10-yr. population change: 28.9% (18th highest)

Do you see that?  134.2%  Just wow.

As I said last week, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is forcing his 3,000 volunteer “posse” members on school grounds at a variety of locations to provide “armed protection” to our children from possible mass murderers. I say forcing because he is on record as saying he will force the schools to accept his help.

It doesn’t matter whether they like it or don’t like it,” Arpaio said, regarding whether schools want armed guards. “I’m still going to do it. I can’t imagine criticism coming when they’re given free protection.

He can’t imagine criticism? Of course he can’t. He’s a narcissistic asshole who thinks even his bowel movements shine with the light of divine inspiration. Since he can’t imagine a criticism, let me point out a few REALLY obvious problems with this little scheme.

  1. Posse members wear uniforms that look very much like official deputy uniforms so it is difficult to distinguish them from actual law enforcement officers.
  2. Our kids don’t need that kind of protection, thank you very much. The odds of a mass murder happening are still very, very low (1 in 1 Million). They catch our attention, sure, and it hurts us all psychologically, and yes, something needs to be done about gun control. Particularly when you combine these rare but very public mass murders with the much more common gun deaths the U.S. experiences every year, all 30,000 of them. However, scientifically speaking, the odds that your child will be a victim of a mass murder are much lower than the odds of your child getting killed in a car crash (1 in 67) or getting cancer (1 in 330) or drowning (1 in 7,683).
  3. By allowing the posse thugs to patrol our schools the odds that something bad could happen just got worse. Apparently posse members are poorly vetted.

Example A: Jake Cutler. This man tried to sexually assault his girlfriend while choking her. She fought back and he threatened to call the police himself. He said he “had a badge” and that the police would believe him and not her. Parents love violent sexual offenders being around their children while armed, don’t they?
Example B: Kevin Ray Campos. This guy got into a fight with bouncers outside a nightclub and verbally assaulted Scottsdale police officers. Parents love men who have little impulse control and a disrespect for authority hanging around their kids with loaded weapons, don’t they?
Example C: Doug Clark. This fellow is a real gem and he’s a constable too. Imagine our luck! He had rolled a county vehicle, driven over 90 mph in a 45 mph zone, used his siren when he was not on duty (this is a big NO-NO in law enforcement folks), and using red/blue emergency lights to slow traffic so he could find something in the road that his wife lost (again, an officer should NEVER do this). Oh, did I mention that he is accused of ramming his car into another driver and holding them at gunpoint while he was off duty? What was the other driver’s crime? The other driver had earlier backed into Clark’s car and left the scene. Now we’ve all experienced this at one time or another. But Clark’s response is way, way over the top. So a fender bender deserves a ramming and being threatened with a gun and being in fear of one’s life? Sounds like Mr. Clark needs a lessen in humility, not to mention proper law enforcement procedure AND impulse control therapy. Parent’s love men who think they are above the law patrolling elementary schools with deadly force, don’t they?

And this is only a tiny sample. The list of offenses is long–Drug possession, violent behavior in public, impersonating an officer, and even sex crimes against children….yes, even pedophiles, apparently can join Arpaio’s posse. That’s EXACTLY who we need watching our kids pretending to be gods with death on their hips. When confronted with the results of this investigation by CBS5, Arpaio’s response is that he trusts his posse and he needs them because of budgetary shortfalls.

What’s that, Joe? You say you’re short on manpower? Why is that? Could it be because you and the entire Republican party in Arizona refuse to tax the population properly and instead give massive tax breaks to businesses who in no way, shape or form need them and you pay yourself far too much money and line the pockets of your cronies with money and spend money on frivolous unnecessary things? I would gladly pay more in taxes to have vetted, trained deputies performing their duties than to allow violent, sexual predators performing a deputy’s job. And I sure as hell don’t want these freaks at my kid’s school with guns.  How about we reduce your salary and every yahoo in State Government, up to and including the Governor, and hire some more deputies?

So tell me again, how these posse members increase my child’s safety. We have rules and standards for the police for very good reason–so we don’t end up with a fascist government! You can’t just let anyone be a cop because it’s a tremendous amount of power. So, why the hell are we allowing crazy, irresponsible and criminal people to become “posse” members and giving them the power of life or death over our children?!

Furthermore, why, for the love of all that’s holy, is Sheriff Joe Arpaio still in office? What the hell is wrong with you Maricopa County voters? Seriously. What could possibly be worth putting up with this corrupt jerk and his dangerous foot soldiers  If something happens to one of the kids because of these volunteers, because apparently people like me can do nothing to stop this asshole and his fascist agenda, then I want to see Arpaio go to prison where some very large ugly man uses him in very bad, painful ways for the rest of his unnatural life.

If you live outside of Maricopa County just be thankful–oh, and maybe call the Department of Justice and ask them why the hell they dropped the ball on prosecuting Arpaio? Too bad they don’t allow booze at work because a shot of whiskey might help me forget that I still live in The Fourth Reich.

Every time I read an article about the shooting in Connecticut and see the faces of the victims the tears come to me unbidden.  I have a 9-year old and a two-year old.  I cannot even begin to imagine the suffering of those families.

But I am also angry, so angry because I am seeing the same old arguments against gun control.  First there are the 2nd Amendment literalists who not only believe we all have the right to own ANY  number and type of gun AND that there should not be any restrictions whatsoever.  This class of folk do not even want the pathetic patchwork of gun control we have now.  They don’t like waiting periods, they don’t like concealed carry permits, they don’t like gun free zones like schools and campuses, etc.  I’ve written on their erroneous interpretation of the 2nd Amendment many times, so I won’t bother here.

As angry as those people make me, there are a still worse creatures.  These folk I like to label the Self-Proclaimed Gun Superhero.  You probably know one of them, maybe are even related to one.  They are usually male, but not always.  Usually, white, but not always.  To a person, they believe that if they had been on the scene, they would have had their weapon and would have been able to take out the shooter before too many people were hurt.  They are often members of the first group.  Their favorite saying after tragic mass shootings is “if more people carried guns, fewer people would have died”.

This group forms the core of the anti-gun control movement and they have created the laws regarding guns through arguably the most powerful lobbying group in the United States, the NRA, with the help of cowardly politicians and an easily distracted public.  This group of completely delusional individuals basically hold the rest of the nation hostage with their extremist views.

Why do I say they are delusional?  Because the facts are very, very clear.  Most people who own guns end up having them used against them or they end up hurting someone they love (h/t Bob Cesca).   Also because I know from my own professional training with weapons and occasional recreational use over the years that shooting a target in a range is completely different from shooting a real live person.

Let’s use the recent Colorado Shooting as an example.  The perp had body armor so a shot to stop or kill him would have to be to the face, neck or legs–a much smaller target area.  Lighting was horrible.  You know how it is in a movie theater–the lighting from the movie is constantly changing from bright to dim and back again, objects moving so the light affects one part of the theater but not another.  If you take your eyes off the screen, try focusing on the people and things around you.  You know your vision would be extremely debilitated.

In this incident, the perp set off a smoke or tear gas grenade to conceal himself.  All you would know is he is somewhere in that fog BUT so are dozens of innocents that you can’t see.  You might be able to go by  his muzzle flash but you’d still be shooting blind into an unseen crowd.  And that brings up the people.  They’d be running, shoving, pushing at you to get by.  Or they’re laying on the floor trying to take cover, so you’re gonna step on them.

What cover could you take?  The chairs?  Not very good cover against the modern assault weapon.  Do you know that some bullets actually went through the wall and struck people in an adjacent theater?  So no convenient boulder or car or metal dumpster to hide behind like in the movies.  So imagine squatting there behind your chair while people are shoving, kicking, climbing over you, panicked to get out.

Oh, and don’t forget the noise.  You’re not at the range with ear plugs.  You’d hear the full sound of  his automatic weapons fire.  You’d hear screaming and the continued noise of the movie.  What about smells?  Think it wouldn’t affect you?  You’re wrong.  See in times of crisis your senses go into hyperdrive.  You notice things in great detail that you wouldn’t normally notice.  The rancid butter and popcorn on the floor layered with spilled sugary soda.  Possibly the smell of vomit.  People throw up in such situations, particularly when they see blood or feel sudden extreme fear.  They also piss themselves.  So add the smell of urine and of course the smell of blood.  Have you ever smelled blood when someone is mortally wounded?  You don’t smell it so much as taste it.  And finally add the smell of feces.  Why?  Every battlefield in the history of the world predominantly smelled like shit–for most people killed in sudden violence that is their body’s last act.  That’s an ugly fact.

You’d also smell the smoke or be affected by the tear gas.   It would make your skin itch, your eyes water and maybe even make you cough.  Ever try to shoot while coughing?  Good luck.  You’d also smell the gun powder of the perp’s weapon. You’d most likely taste and smell the bile that rises in your own throat.  Think you wouldn’t be affected by these smells, these sensations?  Think again.

Oh, don’t forget that the perp is shooting too.  The minute you opened fire he would naturally turn his gun on you. Do paper targets shoot back?  No, didn’t think so.  Do those moving paper targets on a wire at the range dodge left, right, up, and down AND shoot back.  Nope, didn’t think so.  Furthermore, I guarantee you that perp came with more rounds and more guns than the average gun carrying person has on them.  At most you have one magazine holding up to about 17 rounds (number in the most popular handgun in the U.S., the Glock).  If you have a revolver and no reloads, then you’re looking at 5 or 6 rounds, typically.  Do you have any idea how fast you’ll fire those bullets?  We do. The studies have been done, over and over and over.  Did you know that the first shot of a policeman drawing his weapon invariably ends up in the ground?  Because his adrenaline shoots through the roof and his trigger finger spasms way too soon.  He’s trained and periodically re-certified with his duty weapon and he still can’t help himself.  The average hit ratio for an officer is 50% and in low light 30%.

See the average person isn’t trained for this.   For crying out loud, the average cop isn’t trained for this.  Remember the shooting at the Empire State Building–16 rounds fired, only 10 hit the perp.  The rest hit innocent bystanders and that was a GOOD hit ratio!!!!  The typical gun owner, going to the range once a month, hell even once a week, isn’t trained for this.  Shooting at stationary paper targets isn’t the same. Shooting at moving paper targets isn’t the same.  Chasing your friends around and shooting paintball games doesn’t prepare you for it.  Playing Call of Duty on your XBox doesn’t do it either.  Who is trained for this?  Military Special Operations–Delta Force, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, Air Force Pararescue, CIA Special Activities Division and others you’ve never heard of before and never will.

So the next time you hear some braggart talk about how he would have taken the shooter out with his gun, tell him to STFU because unless he has been in one of the Special Operations Units AND has kept up with his training, he’s just flat-out wrong.  Besides if he was Special Ops he wouldn’t strut around bragging.  Guys like that don’t brag.  They don’ t have to.  They just silently take action.

This is what really, really bugs me.  The U.S. has had 15 of the worst 25 mass shootings in the last 50 years.  This hubris, this braggadocio and it’s ugly consequences are buried into the American character like a tick.  Everyone can’t be John Wayne or Dirty Harry, nor should they have to be.  We don’t all need to own a gun and get Special Ops training.  It’s insanity to think that the average person would even be able to handle such weapons training in the first place. That’s why those units are considered ELITE–not everyone can do it.

I don’ t want to live in such country.  Do you?  Does our 2nd Amendment require us to contort ourselves into killing machines to protect ourselves from each other?  It’s an absurd argument and expectation.  No, the reasonable thing to do would be to address those aspects of gun control that we can like banning assault weapons, improving the consistency and effectiveness of background checks, requiring more training for those who insist on owning weapons as part of the permit process, etc.  These are reasonable limits on our right to own a gun.  We put limits on our other rights–you have to register to vote, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment but we do get punished, etc, etc, etc.    Why can’t we discuss some rational, reasonable limits on guns?  Why?

Unfortunately, the more polished gun fetishists don’t want to have this conversation, especially not immediately after a tragedy.  They have been saying, “don’t politicize this tragedy by talking about gun control right now”.  By so saying, they have already politicized it.  But ignoring that, it is a political problem at its very core.  An interest group using political power to keep gun ownership open and the other extreme uses its political power to try to get rid of guns entirely.  The rest of us are in the middle saying, “WTF?!  I just can’t hear about one more dead child.  I just can’t.

We, the rational people in the middle, want to know when is the right time?  Should we wait a week or a month when the news has moved on to the latest Hollywood divorce scandal? We waited after Columbine.  We waited after Virginia Tech.  We waited after Aurora….should we wait after Newton, Conn as well?  I say we’ve waited too long and nothing has changed–if anything the laws have gotten worse. Enough is enough.

Gun Control is really about Gun Safety.  It’s not about some gun nut’s low self-esteem, but about ensuring our right to carry guns AND be safe.  And we CAN do a much better job at it.  When we do talk about gun control, these assholes who think they’re superhuman and can handle mass murderers with the aplomb of Special Ops trained soldiers do NOT get a seat at the table.  Those gun owners who believe there should be no restrictions whatsoever aren’t being rational actors and covet their weapons over the safety of the innocent.  It’s not an “either/or” debate and I refuse to let them frame it that way.  They don’t get to hold the rest of us hostage any more.  Their delusions are not our delusion.  If we don’t stand up to these nuts and pry loose their grip on the national gun control conversation, WE will be responsible for the blood spilled at the next mass shooting, which will happen.  Don’t wait.  Act now.  Contact your Congressperson(s)–advocate for rational gun safety and control.

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12 VERY interesting facts that you probably didn’t know about guns and mass shootings in the U.S.

Really? Seriously?

Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his “lack of voter participation” in last Tuesday’s presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

Future Darwin Award Winner? Good Lord I hope they don’t have children!

I bet that she signed one of the many secession petitions floating around too. Let’s just hope they stop her from watching the news in jail. She swallowed the GOP bait–hook, line and sinker.