Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Politics’

UPDATE 2:  I no sooner finish posting this when I see the following quote:

The proposed law is so poorly crafted it could allow a Muslim taxi driver to refuse service to a woman traveling alone.

Please, Governor Brewer, veto this bill!

_____________________

The Arizona House passed the bill that I wrote about yesterday–the one that allows businesses to discriminate against LGBT people. So now I live in a “Jim Crow” state. I’m at a loss for words….I just….I can’t….arrrrggh….I need a drink.  The LGBT community must be livid–they’re protesting but I’m not sure the local media is covering it (haven’t watched local TV news lately….I’m allergic to it).

This country is going backwards.  Next thing on their agenda is probably taking the vote away from women.  This nonsense has got to stop.

Well, here we go again….the Republican dominated Arizona legislature is flirting with yet another unconstitutional law.  The Senate passed along party lines a law that would permit private businesses the right to refuse services based on their religious beliefs (of hate and intolerance) about LGBT people.

Why is it that many conservatives simply do not understand the nature of Religious Freedom in this country?  You have the right to believe whatever you want, to talk about those beliefs and to practice your religion without interference by the government.  Notice I said “government”, not everyone else, just the government.   Private individuals violating others rights is a mixed bag and one would have to look at the 200+ years of legal jurisprudence to tell what has been considered acceptable and what has not.

The argument being made in support of this bill is the same as the argument made in favor of discriminating against African Americans.  Here’s what they used to say.

Black people cannot eat in my restaurant because the Bible says so.

Now they’re saying…

LGBT people cannot eat in my restaurant because the Bible says so.

What if my religion said that men are stupid, lowly and sinful creatures who deserve death as punishment for their wickedness.   Do I get to refuse to worship with them?  Yes.  Can the government force me to worship with them?  No.  Can I say and write all kinds of horrible things about them?  Yes.   Do I get to refuse to serve them at my restaurant?  No.  Do I get to refuse to rent a place to live to them?  No.  Do I get to charge them more than other customers?  No.  Do I get to give them worse service or less value for their money?  No.  Legal precedence and this country’s values say that this is simply not acceptable.

It was an ugly sentiment back then and it’s just as ugly now.  We don’t get to discriminate against people just because our religion tells us to.  So if this bill passes the Arizona House, then the ACLU or NAACP or someone will file a lawsuit (and rightfully so) and our hard earned taxpayer money will be poured down the drain, once again, in defense of another patently stupid and unconstitutional law.

Why can’t our legislature focus on governing instead of making hateful laws?  Although we have plenty of problems that need to be tackled they’d rather pander to their foaming at the mouth base and waste what little financial resources we have.  Congratulations Arizona!   You voted them in and they’re screwing you over again.

The lawyers waiting to swoop in and make bank off the crappy decisions made by Republican Lawmakers.

The lawyers waiting to swoop in and make bank off the crappy decisions made by Republican Lawmakers.

PS: This pic is of three buzzards that I discovered sitting on a light post outside of my office the other day. An animal had probably died or was in the process of dying in the empty field across the street and they were biding their time. I’ve seen buzzards in AZ before but usually circling high up in the sky in rural areas. This is the first time I’ve seen them hanging out in a relatively urban area.

“Find out the cause of this effect,
Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
For this effect defective comes by cause.”

—-William Shakespeare, “Hamlet”

There is something rotten deep inside the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. It’s some kind of infection that permeates the entire agency and results in pustules that force the public and the larger justice system to take notice. Sometimes those pustules burst and leave no doubt that something is terribly wrong. Rank problems include too many poorly explained and poorly handled inmate deaths, charges of racial discrimination, profiling and harassment, and 6,300 lawsuits that have cost County taxpayers over $50 million and counting. Just to put that into perspective for you….take Harris County, Texas (which includes Houston)….over the last 17 years Arpaio’s MCSO has had 6 times as many lawsuits against it. Yes, I said 6 times. Something is indeed rotten…we should just call Sheriff Arpaio “Cousin Fester” and be done with it.

Not as if we need any more convincing but there’s yet another sad and infuriating story coming out of Joe’s jail hellscape.  Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, an illegal document with forged papers, was arrested in 2009 and she was pregnant.   What she says happened to her is a nightmare that no human being should ever have to endure.  Here’s a list of her charges:

  • They put her in jail while she was in active labor instead of keeping her in the hospital.
  • The purposely ignored her cries for help because they were in Spanish and not English (The Justice Department has confirmed that this was a common pattern of behavior for the guards.)
  • After being taken back a day later to the hospital to give birth via C-Section, she was not allowed to hold her son or nurse him.
  • She was shackled to her hospital bed immediately following the C-Section.
  • They took her out of the hospital early before she could be given pain medication and even before the hospital had officially discharged her.
  • When taking her out of the hospital, they had her shackled at both the hands and feet.  Her attorney said in an interview that I heard on KJAZZ this morning (can’t find the actual transcript) that she was bleeding down over her ankle shackles.

I don’t know about you, but I have had a C-Section and you can’t walk for quite a while afterward–like a full day afterwards. It’s major surgery and it hurts like hell.  It takes a minimum of 12 weeks of rest to recovery from. The fact that they had her up and walking out of the hospital (without doctor sign off) within hours not only violates hospital rules but the fact she had no pain medication is just plain cruel and unusual.

The lawsuit against MCSO was filed on Jan. 21st and one day later U.S. District Court Judge Joe Campbell threw it out of court saying that since she was not shackled during the actual labor her lawsuit cannot show that a constitutional rights violation occurred.  See the law says you can’t shackle a woman during labor but says nothing about before or after.  Industry practice, even in Arizona Corrections, is to never shackle a pregnant woman at any time unless she is a danger to herself and others.  So even though MCSO was violated their own industry practices, they weren’t technically violating the law–according to the judge.  A quick note, Judge Campbell is a well-known conservative.  In other words, there was little hope that this case could get past the patriarchal firewall of misogyny here in Arizona.  Thankfully, that’s what appeals are for.  Her attorney plans to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Until then, when will Maricopa County residents realize that this “effect defective comes by cause” and the cause is the guy at the helm of the rotting body that is MCSO.

From the land of the truly nuts:

  • As I said in a post the other day national focus has turned to AZ again primarily due to Senator McCan’t and his Border charades.  The Senator’s antics were no doubt timed to coincide not only with the state GOP’s vote of no confidence, but also to the appointment of the newest Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson, who has only been in office since Dec. 23, 2013.  Sec. Johnson is getting familiarized with the gargantuan task of running such a massive department, so it must be the perfect time for Sen. McCain to start hammering said department on the efficiency and effectiveness of their border security program.  Sec. Johnson will be visiting the Tucson sector of the Arizona border with Mexico this week.  Let’s hope the press leaves him alone so he can get to work sooner rather than later…although if Sen. McCain has his way, Johnson will be hounded every step of the way, I’m sure.
  • Since it is MLK Day, there will be lots of stories about his legacy such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which is fitting.  It should also be a day to remember that the fight for those Rights did not end in 1965 and recently has heated up.  Just this past year, a US Supreme Court case gutted the law, so states like Arizona went right back to their old shenanigans.  Since then States controlled by Republican governors and/or legislatures been involved in attempts to limit access to polling stations, remove methods of voting, and limit who can vote (mainly using new Voter ID laws or outright removing people from the state’s registration lists).  Of  course, these all target traditionally Democratic voters like African Americans, Native Americans, the urban poor, women and the young.  Today, of all days, we must remember that we’re still in the ring and the other side is throwing a lot of unanswered punches.
  • Another inmate has died in a Maricopa County jail under Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s reign.   Even though the MCSO is being monitored by the U.S. District Court (because of the pattern of abuses and unethical behavior spotlighted in the Melendres v. Arpaio Civil Rights case), I doubt anything will come from this latest death investigation. After all, who cares about another dead inmate—except their family of course.  They’ll get paid off like they always do and Maricopa County residents will forget and re-elect Arpaio yet again .
  • The incredibly stupid bill to allow people to carry weapons on school campuses is being proposed in the AZ State Legislature again.  It failed to even reach committee last year so let’s hope it suffers a similar fate this time as well.

My debut?

Posted: January 17, 2014 in Arizona Politics, Blogging, Personal
Tags: ,

My post from yesterday was published on a large, well known site called The Daily Banter (but under a different title).   You can see it here:   http://thedailybanter.com/2014/01/why-arizona-abolished-child-protective-services/  I’m a happy camper today.