Category Archive 'Arizona'
09 Jan 2011
Jared Lee Loughner’s picture from his MySpace profile (since removed)
Jane Fonda, lots of my liberal classmates on the class listserv, and the New York Times were busy, chinstroking, and fingerpointing at the Tea Party Movement and Sarah Palin for “targeting” Rep. Giffords’ district.
â€œIt is fair to say â€” in todayâ€™s political climate, and given todayâ€™s political rhetoric â€” that many have contributed to the building levels of vitriol in our political discourse that have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired,â€ said a statement issued by the leaders of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Ms. Giffords is the first Jewish woman elected to the House from her state.
During last springâ€™s health care votes, the language used against some lawmakers was ratcheted up again, with protesters outside the House hurling insults and slurs. The offices of some Democrats, including Ms. Giffordsâ€™s in Tucson, were vandalized.
Ms. Giffords was also among a group of Democratic House candidates featured on the Web site of Sarah Palinâ€™s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time.
â€œWeâ€™re on Sarah Palinâ€™s targeted list,â€ Ms. Giffords said last March. â€œBut the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, theyâ€™ve got to realize thereâ€™s consequences to that.â€
James Delingpole spoke for all of us on the right.
How sick do you have to be to start making political capital out of the killing of six people including a nine-year old girl, long before anyone has the remotest clue what the murdererâ€™s motives were, or his political affiliations, or his state of mind?
Not sick at all, to judge by the response of so many US Tweeters in the immediate aftermath of the Arizona shootings. When youâ€™re a liberal, it seems, cloying sanctimoniousness, grotesque moral posturing, double standards, hypocrisy and cynical, malevolent smearing all come as naturally and healthily as breathing.
As Toby Harnden reports, barely were the bodies cold when the liberal fascists started pointing the finger of blame: it was Sarah Palinâ€™s fault, of course; Sarah Palinâ€™s and Glenn Beckâ€™s and, of course, the Tea Partyâ€™s. Definitely not a crazed killing spree by a deeply confused young man, no, sirree. After all, as Rahm Emmanuel would say, you must â€œnever let a crisis go to waste.â€
So what were the shooter’s, Jared Lee Loughner, politics actually like? This description, reported elsewhere by the New York Times itself, does not make Loughner sound exactly like a Movement Conservative.
Another former high school classmate said that Mr. Loughner may have met Representative Giffords, who was shot in the head outside the Safeway supermarket, several years ago.
â€œAs I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,â€ the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. â€œI havenâ€™t seen him since â€™07 though. He became very reclusive.â€
â€œHe was a political radical & met Giffords once before in â€™07, asked her a question & he told me she was â€˜stupid & unintelligent,â€™ â€ she wrote.
On MySpace, Loughner describes his reading tastes and, on YouTube, he seems to have shared some of his political opinions. Arizona Daily Star:
In a MySpace profile, Loughner said “My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college.”
He lists among his favorite books “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”. But he also includes a broad variety of other titles, including: “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.
In another YouTube message, Loughner said: “I know who’s listening: Government Officials, and the People. Nearly all the people, who don’t know this accurate information of a new currency, aren’t aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn’t have happen.”
“In conclusion, my ambition – is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I’m conscience dreaming! Thank you!”
HillBuzz points out that you could just as easily blame Kos for publishing the vitriolic speech that inspired the shooter.
Glock 9mm, used in the shootings, pictured on Loughner’s MySpace page atop a US History book
03 May 2010
Yesterday, our friend Bird Dog at Maggie’s Farm linked the generally admirable Clarice Feldman at American Thinker who was editorializing from the perspective opposite to my own on immigration.
Ms. Feldman quoted some alarming, and authoritative sounding, statistics from “the Law Enforcement Examiner.”
On April 7, 2007, the US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails.
In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990.
They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses.
More than two-thirds of the defendants charged with an immigration offense were identified as having been previously arrested. Thirty-six percent had been arrested on at least 5 prior occasions; 22%, 2 to 4 times; and 12%,1 time.
Clarice Feldman ought to have inquired a little more more closely.
“The Law Enforcement Examiner” is actually an editorialist named Jim Kouri. Mr. Kouri’s biography identifies him as a former chief security guard at a housing project in Washington Heights and the “fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police” which, I expect, must be roughly on a par with being First Guard of the Tent at one’s local International Order of Oddfellows chapter.
Mr. Kouri is renowned on the Internet for his expertise on Satanism and for the exoticism of the views of some sources he has in the past relied upon.
Unfortunately, Mr. Kouri is not himself a reliable source. He tells us that his statistics come from “a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails” issued by the US Justice Department on April 7, 2007.
It is not accidental that Mr. Kouri does not link the original report.
The report in question was really released on May 9, 2005. It is GAO report number GAO-05-646R entitled ‘Information on Certain Illegal Aliens Arrested in the United States.’
The figures cited all pertain to 2002-2003. Mr. Kouri (and the study’s authors) deliberately selected the best figures for making certain kinds of arguments in the quoted paragraphs.
In reality, this study pertains to 55,322 individual illegal aliens who are the portion of the illegal alien population that wound up arrested, convicted, and sentenced to jail.
55,322 out of the seven million illegal aliens estimated to be present in the United States by this same study is the 0.0079 portion of that illegal immigrant population, well under 1%.
And the character of their crimes?
Forty-five percent of illegal alien offenses were for drugs and immigration;
8% for Traffic violations;
7% for Obstruction of Justice.
60% of the under 1% of illegals in jail in 2002-2003 were not even in jail for any form of theft or violence.
And, more recently, both illegal immigration and violent crime have actually been declining (even while la patrie est en danger reports are dramatically increasing).
[S]tatistics from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency and the FBI indicate that both the number of illegal crossers and violent crime in general have actually decreased in the past several years.
According to FBI statistics, violent crimes reported in Arizona dropped by nearly 1,500 reported incidents between 2005 and 2008. Reported property crimes also fell, from about 287,000 reported incidents to 279,000 in the same period. These decreases are accentuated by the fact that Arizona’s population grew by 600,000 between 2005 and 2008.
According to the nonpartisan Immigration Policy Institute, proponents of the bill “overlook two salient points: Crime rates have already been falling in Arizona for years despite the presence of unauthorized immigrants, and a century’s worth of research has demonstrated that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes or be behind bars than the native-born.”
If we really looked at the facts, we could only conclude that illegal immigration is not the same thing as narcotics smuggling and, by and large, illegal immigrants tend to be more law-abiding and less violent than us native-born Americans. The public panic and the draconian laws represent responses to misinformation, commonly disseminated by sensationalizing journalists.
Look at AP and Matt Drudge yesterday. or check today’s Wall Street Journal, which blares Killing Stokes Immigration Debate, in reference to Deputy Puroll getting slightly grazed in a minor skirmish with marijuana smugglers. Nobody got killed, and the incident had nothing to with illegal immigration.
01 May 2010
Bad reporting using sensationalistic headlines incorporating gross exaggeration and downright misinformation is how.
Look at how various news sources headline a basically trivial injury to a law enforcement officer received in the course of a minor skirmish with drug smugglers near the border.
What actually happened:
Pinal County Deputy Louis Puroll patrolling alone in a wilderness area about 50 miles south of Phoenix exchanged fire with five armed smugglers carrying bales of marijuana. A shot fired from one of the narcotrafficantes’ AK-47s apparently grazed Deputy
Puroll’s back. He called for assistance and was airlifted by helicopter to a regional medical center where his injury was treated, deemed to be non-serious, and the deputy immediately released.
So the Associated Press shrieks:
Deputy shot; illegal immigrants suspected
Matt Drudge echoes AP:
AZ deputy shot in stomach by suspected illegal…
Deputy shot by suspected immigrant released from hospital
There isn’t really much to report here. A deputy was slightly grazed by a bullet, sustaining insignificant injury, in a minor confrontation with bad guys engaged in smuggling marijuana.
The incident really has nothing to do with illegal immigration. The marijuana smugglers were not, in reality, on their way to pick fruit, wash dishes, mow lawns, or hang sheetrock at all. They were delivering a shipment of pot and once they delivered it, doubtless they were going to illegally emigrate the same way they had illegally immigrated. Undocumented aliens are not in fact arming themselves with AK-47s and shooting it out with police in order to get their hands on American leaf blowers.
It’s unfortunate, of course, that Deputy Puroll was shot at and slightly injured. This incident causes me to marvel at the futility of it all. You’ve smoked pot. I’ve smoked pot. Pretty much everybody in America has smoked some pot. Certainly every single one of the last three presidents has smoked pot.
Why do we insist of making things illegal which most of us still do anyway? And why do we tolerate a state of affairs that rewards crime bounteously while jeopardizing the lives of law enforcement officers to no useful purpose?
And finally, why do we insist on confusing the innocent people coming here to do hard work at low pay with the armed criminals crossing the same border?
Studies show that illegal immigrants commit violent crimes at a rate between four to eight times less than native born Americans.
28 Apr 2010
An Arizona sheriff is the latest person to speak out about the state’s new immigration legislation, saying he does not plan to enforce the divisive law.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik calls Senate Bill 1070 a “stupid law” that will force officers to start profiling. He is one of the first local law enforcement officials to rebel against the law.
“We don’t need to enforce it. It would be irresponsible in my opinion to put people in the Pima County Jail at the taxpayers expense when i can give them to the Border Patrol,” Dupnik said.
The Sheriff admits he could get sued for failing to obey the law, but says that’s a risk he’s willing to take.
The controversial bill was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer last Friday.
Sheriff Dupnik’s stance is undoubtedly good politics in Tucson, the home of the state university and Arizona’s most prominent liberal community of fashion, but he is making a point that persons familiar with law enforcement already know.
Illegal immigration is just another victimless crime, a violation of arbitrary current regulations not an intrinsically evil act. Police always have real crimes involving genuine evil and victims who have sustained injury to deal with, and crimes with victims always have priority over victimless crimes. Only a cop with time on his hands and nothing useful to do is going to stop people looking for green cards.
In border locations like Pima County, a casual trans-border culture has existed since the time of the Gadsden Purchase. People cross the border casually all the time to visit relatives, to shop, or for recreational activities. Attempting to investigate everyone guilty of looking Hispanic in a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood would be insanity.
27 Apr 2010
Rassmussen finds that a comfortable majority of Americans think this kind of thing is just fine.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer last week signed a new law into effect that authorizes local police to stop and verify the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an illegal immigrant. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 60% of voters nationwide favor such a law, while 31% are opposed.
It’s true that Arizona does have serious crime problems associated with illegal border activities.
In Arizona’s case, the public safety threat obviously comes from smuggling connected to the illegal drug trade. Arizona is the unhappy victim of the confluence of two forms of irrational law making, both of which Americans commonly support and both of which Americans also commonly ignore.
We have an unfortunate tendency toward statutory overreach, and are prone to pass laws expressing moral sentiments, wishes, and aspirations which, at the same time, we have every intention of personally ignoring. That is how we got Alcohol and Drug Prohibition. That is how we got a 55 mph speed limit. And that is why we have immigration quotas that make the existence on American soil of the large pool of cheap labor we require illegal.
No one wants to see Latino gang members on the streets, and no one wants day laborer flop housing anywhere near them, but everyone wants his produce picked, his meat processed, his table bused, his lawn mowed, and every other kind of low skill labor available and affordable.
If the 21st century equivalent of Ellis Island were open and in operation, and people desiring to come to America to do work Americans need done for wages Americans can afford to pay were able to enter freely and legally, you would not have coyotes leading desperate people across the Sonoran desert over the Arizona border.
If we had intelligence enough to end our futile policy of drug prohibition, we could eliminate the enormous profits associated with trafficking and smuggling and all the warfare over drug-sales turf. There would be no drug cartels, no drug gangs, and no smugglers murdering Arizona ranchers like Robert Krentz.
It was Mr. Krentz’s shooting last month that produced the wave of indignation that caused the controversial bill to pass the Arizona legislature.
Arizona Republicans took the politically expedient course and pandered to an angry public by passing the draconian immigration bill. Making illegal immigration into a crime, like all victimless crime laws, will produce only random and selective enforcement, accompanied by increased official corruption. The new law will not cure Arizona’s crime problems, but it will poison Arizona’s, and the nation’s, politics.
20 Aug 2009
Scott Wong, at PhxBeat, explains that the black guy with the gun outside the Obama Health Care Town Hall meeting in Phoenix was just affirming his Second Amendment rights.
Neatly dressed in a white shirt, black tie and gray slacks, the man, who only gave his first name as Chris, also had a pistol holstered at his side as he engaged in heated debates with those rallying in support of Obama’s heath-care reform plan.
A Phoenix police spokesman said plainclothes detectives were monitoring about a dozen protesters carrying guns, though no one broke any laws or was arrested.
Arizona is an “open-carry” state, which means anyone legally allowed to have a firearm can carry it in public as long as it’s visible. A permit is required if the weapon is carried concealed.
“Because I can do it,” Chris said when asked why he brought guns to the rally at 3rd and Washington streets. “In Arizona, I still have some freedoms left.”
Newsbusters Kyle Drennen caught MSNBC red-handed engaged in some racially-charged and highly misleading reporting.
On Tuesday, MSNBCâ€™s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: “A man at a pro-health care reform rally…wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip….there are questions about whether this has racial overtones….white people showing up with guns.” Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.
Following Brewerâ€™s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: “…there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president….we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that.” Ratigan agreed: “…then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and thatâ€™s the move â€“ the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks.”
Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black.
02 Apr 2009
This time it’s reenactors battling over turf.
[T]hree years ago, a stranger rode in and vowed to shake up what he considered a moribund tourist trap. A showdown ensued between Tombstone residents who wanted to keep the streets as calm as possible and thespians with higher aspirations.
Stephen Keith, a onetime regular at Renaissance fairs who can hold forth on the similarities between the 1993 movie “Tombstone” and Wagner’s “Ring” cycle of operas, founded the Tombstone Huckleberry Players. They were not content to simply re-create the shootout under a tented space inside the O.K. Corral. Instead, hoping to build a crowd for a new late afternoon show, the actors would walk down Allen Street, performing skits in character and leading tourists to the performance space.
Keith acknowledged there was resistance. Locals, he said, with no theater experience didn’t like seasoned actors taking their favorite roles.
“Every old guy who retires and ties his white ponytail back and puts his name on his pickup truck comes here to be Wyatt Earp,” said Keith, 49, who plays Doc Holliday. “I know how to work a crowd. I’ve been in theater for 32 years. This is what I do.”
For more than a year, this town of 1,500 allowed the Huckleberry Players to do their act. But in November, a new mayor was elected, and he appointed Talvy to enforce the letter of the law.
Mayor Dusty Escapule said complaints were coming in from merchants at one end of Allen Street whose customers were being swept up by Keith’s troupe, and from rival gunfighter groups, who said the Huckleberry actors were pulling customers away from their shows.
So the City Council invoked a 1973 law that required a permit for streetperformances, and promptly turned down Keith’s application. In January, Talvy issued his first citation. Four of the players faced misdemeanor charges that could lead to a maximum $600 fine and two years in jail. …
“You know, small-town politics,” one local woman finally said apologetically before reverting to character as a 19th century showgirl. Many cite the curse an Indian is said to have placed on the settlement more than 100 years ago — that there will never be two white men who live together here in peace. “It looks,” Escapule said, “like the curse is still in effect.”
06 Mar 2009
The late “Macho B,” scientific research study subject
Remember the jaguar collared by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a wildlife research coup trumpeted two weeks ago in news stories published around the country?
Well, as so often seems to happen when the experts go to work, the patient died.
Some news agency informed us yesterday that the collared male jaguar (now named Macho B by his former captors) was looking the worse for wear after his encounter with humanity. So they captured the poor jaguar all over again, concluded he was unwell, and after a thorough session of expert chin-stroking, euthanized him.
You or I would get in big trouble if we tried collecting a specimen of Pantera onca. Jaguar hunting is streng verboten because an unelected international committee of “experts” has placed every single representative of every jaguar population and subspecies on the sacred Endangered Species list, including the ones in the remote jungle wilderness that are not especially endangered at all.
There is no doubt that Arizona jaguars, though, are rare and in short supply, but, as this incident demonstrates, any numbskull with a degree from some state college extension and a badge can get permission from his federal chums for a little scientific research. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others, as George Orwell observed.
The Arizona Game Department’s ill-advised self-promotion in connection with the initial capture has also had the untoward effect of unleashing the animal loving, enviro whackjobs, resulting in protests and (naturally) a memorial service for the dearly departed tigre.
22 Feb 2009
Arizona Game and Fish photo
Contrary to widespread reports of the big cat’s extinction in the United States, a live jaguar was photographed in Arizona in 2006.
Jaguars really do survive in today’s Arizona, as this news item from the LA Times confirms.
Erecting that border fence could have the highly undesirable impact of eliminating access to Arizona from their primary breeding source in Northern Mexico resulting in the real extinction in this country of one of our most exotic and charismatic big game species.
A jaguar was captured southwest of Tucson this week during an Arizona Game and Fish Department research study. The study was actually aimed at monitoring black bear and mountain lion habitats.
The male cat has been fitted with a satellite tracking collar and released. The collar will provide biologists with location updates every few hours and it is hopeful that this data will provide information on a little-studied population segment of this species. This is the first time in the U.S. that a jaguar has been able to be followed in this manner.
“While we didn’t set out to collar a jaguar as part of the research project, we took advantage of the important opportunity,” Terry Johnson, Arizona Game and Fish dept. endangered species coordinator, said in a press release issued by the department.
Arizona Game and Fish press release.
Hat tip to Reid Farmer via Karen L. Myers.
02 Jan 2009
The State Bar of Arizona is weighing whether to require new lawyers to swear they won’t let their views on someone’s sexual orientation affect their duty, a move foes said could force attorneys to represent clients whose view they find personally offensive.
Existing rules require an oath saying lawyers “will not permit considerations of gender, race, age, nationality, disability or social standing to influence my duty of care.” The plan being weighed by the bar’s board adds sexual orientation to that list.
Not signing the new oath, if it is adopted, is not an option: Attorneys cannot practice law in Arizona without being admitted to the bar.
The move has provoked severe objections from 31 attorneys who sent a letter to state bar President Ed Novak.
Tim Casey, one of those who is unhappy with the proposal, said it raises all sorts of issues. At the very least, he said, the wording “is so very vague it’s scary.” …
Federal law and federal courts have spelled out that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age and similar factors. The oath, Casey said, simply mirrors those laws, much in the in the same way that lawyers swear to uphold the state and federal constitutions.
Casey said any move to make sexual orientation one of these “protected classes” should be decided by lawmakers or courts, not by the board of the state bar. …
Casey said he sees a broader agenda at work.
“There are people trying to make it difficult for professionals to exercise their religious convictions, their moral objections or their ethical objections in cases.”
So if a gay activist in Phoenix decides, for example, to sue the Catholic Church to force it to perform gay marriages, any individual attorney, regardless of his political, social, and religious views, could be forced to represent the complaintant under pain of penalties from the state bar.
26 Nov 2007
According to the Washington Times:
Fort Huachuca, the nationâ€™s largest intelligence training center, changed security measures in May after being warned that Islamist terrorists, with the aid of Mexican drug cartels, were planning an attack on the facility.
Fort officials changed security measures after sources warned that possibly 60 Afghan and Iraqi terrorists were to be smuggled into the U.S. through underground tunnels with high powered weapons to attack the post, according to multiple confidential law enforcement documents obtained by The Washington Times.
“A portion of the operatives were in the United States, with the remainder not yet in the United States,” according to one of the documents, an FBI advisory that was disbursed to the Defense Intelligence Agency, the CIA, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Justice, among numerous other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation. “The Afghanis and Iraqis shaved their beards so as not to appear to be Middle Easterners.”
According to the FBI advisory, each Middle Easterner paid Mexican drug lords $20,000 “or the equivalent in weapons” for the cartel’s assistance in smuggling them and their weapons through tunnels along the border into the U.S. The weapons would be sent through tunnels that supposedly ended in Arizona and New Mexico, but the Islamist terrorists would be smuggled through Laredo, Texas, and join the weapons later.
A number of the Afghans and Iraqis already are in a safe house in Texas, the FBI advisory said.
Fort Huachuca, which lies about 20 miles from the Mexican border, has members of all four service branches training in intelligence and secret operations. About 12,000 persons work at the fort and many have their families on base.
An attack by small numbers of irregulars on a military facility with plenty of heavily armed, well-trained personnel in a remote location, where press access can be expected to be rigidly controlled by the authorities, would not seem to fit the profile of the conventional terrorist operation very well.
11 Nov 2007
A wildlife biologist at Grand Canyon National Park likely died from the plague through his exposure to wild animals that can carry the disease, the National Park Service said Friday.
Eric York, 37, was found dead in his home Nov. 2. Following his death, about 30 people who came in contact with him were given antibiotics as a precaution.
While authorities were uncertain about how York became infected, officials said that the biologist was at a greater risk to the sometimes-fatal disease through his exposure to wild rodents and mountain lions.
Park Service officials initially said they suspected the plague or hantavirus, another sometimes-fatal disease endemic to the Southwest, because of York’s interests and hobbies.
Health officials in Arizona warned in September that the plague appeared to be on the rise and that more cases were likely after an Apache County woman was infected with the disease.
While Arizona health officials say the disease appears to be on the rise in the state, CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said plague cases weren’t on the rise nationally.
Plague is transmitted primarily by fleas and direct contact with infected animals. When the disease causes pneumonia, it can be transmitted from an infected person to a non-infected person by airborne cough droplets.
Cases are treatable with antibiotics, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that up to 50 percent are fatal if the disease causes pneumonia. The Coconino County Medical Examiner has said York’s lungs were filled with fluid and his body showed signs of pneumonia.
The autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was bubonic plague. The disease is endemic to much of the Western United States.