Joe Arpaio

speaking in Phoenix, Arizona on February 26, 2011.

speaking in Phoenix, Arizona on February 26, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sheriff Joe
Maricopa County, Arizona
Must go
Pink underwear? No
Prison tents? No
Poor food? No
No air conditioning? No
No entertainment? No
Racial profiling? No
Neighborhood sweeps? No
Obama birth certificate? No
Sheriff Joe
Must go
Forced retirement?
YES

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Birthers

speaking in Phoenix, Arizona on February 26, 2011.

speaking in Phoenix, Arizona on February 26, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mitt says that Barack was born in the US. So why all the birthers scheduled to speak at the Republican National Convention? Among the prominent birthers present will be Donald Trump and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Are the Republicans really ready to write off all the people who The Donald has fired and/or offended and the latino voters offended by Sheriff Joe’s heavy-handed enforcement of the law in Arizona? The GOP has lost the black vote 94% to 0%  in recent polling and they are behind by double digits among latino voters. Can they really afford to lose more latino voters at the same time they are losing more of the female vote? Women are more than 50% of the voters. I suppose the GOP have more plans to further disenfranchise voters. It is the only rational explanation that I can think of.

Arizona

English: Grand Canyon at Sunrise in November

Image via Wikipedia

How Grand the Canyon

How purple the mountain‘s majesty

How deep the snow

How jake the Flake

How often the Phoenix

Risen from the ashes

How often the sheriff

Doles out pink underwear

How porous the border

How dense the politicos

How can the residents

Retreat indoors, inside gated oases

So close to heaven

So blind to wonder

So far from life.

Jan Brewer’s book

Scorpions for Breakfast

Scorpions for Breakfast

Scorpions for Breakfast, My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure America’s Border by Jan Brewer. The subtitle tells it all and there really is no need to read further. However, I did read the entire book and I think that the following is what Barack objected to.

“We sat down and started with some chitchat. but after a few minutes the president’s tone got serious–and condescending. He proceeded to lecture me about everything he was doing to promote ‘comprehensive immigration reform,’ which was code for encouraging more illegal immigration by letting those already in the country illegally jump the line. He said they were doing everything they could, but the system was broken. He didn’t mention the violence on the border, the drug cartels, or the enormous costs being borne by the citizens of states like Arizona. He mentioned that the Department of Justice was reviewing SB 1070 and that he was leaving to them the decision whether to sue. ‘I will not put my finger on the scales of justice with regard to this review,’ he said. ‘I have completely delegated the decision to them.’ Joe and I exchanged a glance. We were skeptical, to say the least.

“It wasn’t long before I realized I was hearing the president’s stump speech. Only I was supposed to listen without talking. Did he care to hear the view from the actual scene at the border? Did the opinions and observations of the people of Arizona mean anything to him? I didn’t think so. His mind seemed made up. If he knew about the escalating  levels of violence, the kidnappings, the drop houses, the home invasions, the spotters, and the drug mules, he didn’t give any indication. It was as though President Obama thought he would lecture me and I would learn at his knee. He was patronizing. He understood that we were ‘frustrated’ he said–heck, yes we were frustrated!–but he didn’t seem interested in knowing why. Then it dawned on me: He’s treating me like the cop he had over for a beer after he bad-mouthed the Cambridge police, I thought. He thinks he can humor me and then get rid of me.

“I listened to about ten minutes of this. Finally the president’s lecture ended and it was my turn. I hadn’t interrupted the president because I respect the office, and I was determined to show respect. But now I was ready to give him a piece of my mind.”

And then she did. Barack’s impression of the meeting was that it was cordial. Funny how two people witnessing the same event can come away with such differing impressions, but that is human nature. We each bring differing life experiences and expectations to life’s daily events. In her book, Jan Brewer brought a differing viewpoint to the meeting and encountered different experiences with the media and pickets after the meeting. Can there be a true meeting of minds between Brewer and Obama? I don’t know.

Please see Jan Brewer

Wilderness and Razor Wire

English: Ken Lamberton reading in Amherst, MA ...

Image via Wikipedia

Wilderness and Razor Wire, a Naturalist’s Observations from Prison by Ken Lamberton. Ken Lamberton was an award-winning teacher at age 27 when he made the grievous error of falling in love and running away with a student aged 14. He was arrested after two weeks and sent to prison for a total of 12 years served in a split sentence when he was released by one judge and returned to prison by an appellant panel. He was released in 2000 and has not returned to prison. His life story is different in that his wife and three children did not abandon him during the prison years. In fact, his wife returned to school to learn enough law to fight his case from outside prison.

In prison, Ken met Richard Shelton who was teaching creative writing at various prisons in the Arizona penal system. He began writing at the same time he observed the natural world that invaded the prison. He kept records of what he observed, made drawings and read voraciously. Wilderness and Razor Wire is about his prison experience and also about the people and the nature he observed while there. He was fortunate in that most of his sentence was served among other sex offenders where gang violence was minimal. He was brutally attacked and injured when he was mistakenly transferred into the general prison population.

Pets for prisoners were prohibited where he was incarcerated, but prisoners kept pets in defiance of the rules. Some prisoners kept insects and others had small rodents as pets. Lamberton observed that prisoners with pets were happier and less prone to violence. I think some prisons should experiment with allowing inmates to have pets. Lamberton observed that human contact, one person to another, or one man to pet, was essential to prisoner mental health. The most feared punishment was isolation from others, and that is the trend being followed in more and more prisons.

Please see Prison reform | America’s prisons