One of my favorite movies ever was Raising Arizona, an 80′s Cohen Brothers farce about small-time criminals and their hapless adventures. It makes the entire state look like one big open-air insane asylum where the inmates are generally better equipped with firearms and ammunition than brain cells or thoughts. At the time I first saw it, I assumed it was a spoof, an over the top exaggeration of some stereotypes left over from the Wild West.
Lately, given all the news coming out of this unusual state, and all the feedback I’ve received about a level of successful corruption and abuses of power that seem perhaps the finest expression of intellect to be found there, I’ve begun to wonder. Some examples to ponder:
This law would may soon make it a AZ State Crime punishable by a $2500 fine and/or jail to, among other things, offer anything on the internet than anyone in Arizona finds “annoying.” It applies, ostensibly, to any internet user world-wide, as long as a viewer is in Arizona. Don’t fret, however, as AZ officials reassure us that this law will not affect First Amendment Rights, as defined by officials in Arizona, which I hardly find reassuring. Yet another reason to avoid all commerce or visits to Arizona until things change substantially: see this related petition:
I’d frankly encourage folks to sign at this point if for no other reason than to annoy AZ Governor Brewer and her clack of would-be right-wing authoritarians, just to make the point that to do so, your free speech in fact, is your right as a free American, except perhaps if you live in the alternative American reality known as Arizona where this right may only apply if your government likes what you say.
Governor Brewer also just signed a bill actually defining pregnancy as starting BEFORE conception, an unusual point of view biologically see: Jan Brewer Signs
There are so many other examples, so so many, but to keep this post brief, let me close with the following :
At present, Arizona rates a D+ on The Center for Public Integrity grading scale for corruption, with F scores in State Civil Service Management, Insurance Commissions, and Ethics Enforcement: 27th among the 50 states overall, and far worse than that in these particular areas. (See http://www.stateintegrity.org/arizona) Governor Brewer has shown absolutely no concern for this corruption, except anger that the issue gets mentioned. She in facts presides over one of the most corrupt and least ethical administrations, in many important ways, in recent history.
Do you think I’m in for jail time?