1. Our governor is a witch. She thinks it’s okay to stick her long, bony finger into the President’s face and deliver a scolding.
2. SB1070. In case you’ve been in a cave the last year, that’s the law that allows our free-ranging sheriff’s offices to run rough-shod over the civil rights of minorities. It has been used to justify racial profiling, wholesale invasions of neighborhoods called “sweeps,” and to put Latino citizens in jail until they can prove they are citizens.
3. Migrants routinely die in the Sonoran desert. Because of a huge Border Wall that puts the Berlin wall to shame, plus citizens’ posses and militias roaming the border, as well as attempts to keep humanitarian groups from even providing water, migrants cross the most rugged, inaccessible parts of the desert— leaving their bones and mummified remains to be found by the Native American tribes who own the land.
4. Ethnic studies have been purged from school curricula. And books have been banned. The battle was waged most vociferously against the Tucson Unified School District, which actually cooperated with the state by seizing books right out of students’ hands. Heaven forbid that Latinos should learn how they originally populated Arizona and weren’t always oppressed.
5. The state ranks 48th in spending for education. Heaven forbid that any of us should learn that we don’t have to be oppressed.
6. Guns are allowed in bars. Anyone can get drunk and start shooting up the glassware, or people-ware, thanks to a 3-year-old law in Arizona. Hell, you don’t even have to strap it to your hip where everyone can see it! Thanks to a 2-year-old law eliminating the need for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, you can just slide it in your pocket and no one will know it’s there until, BAM!
7. The welfare rolls in the state have been cut in half since the start of the recession. Those pesky single moms are just too needy, so Arizona is determined to end their dependence. Let ’em get a job to support those children that conservatives insist they not abort. No jobs? Sounds like a personal problem.
8. Women’s health care is under attack. A law to defund Planned Parenthood passed in the state legislature and was signed by the witch in May. Legislators continue to search for ways to limit access to birth control and abortions—for instance, by defining pregnancy as beginning with a woman’s last period, so she is eligible for the procedure for less time. The witch says, “We choose sides and there are winners and there are losers.” Hah! No kidding!
9. John McCain is Arizona’s favorite son. What can you say about a man who imposed Sarah Palin on the world and who never met a war he didn’t like?
10. The birther issue is still alive and well. Our Secretary of State, Ken Bennett, threatened to keep President Obama off the ballot in the fall unless his confrontation with the State of Hawaii produced the result he wanted—apparently a hand-delivered original of the President’s birth certificate and a kiss on the ass. To the Aloha State’s credit, they made Bennett prove he was authorized to receive any information from them.
11. Arizona’s park planners seem to believe that no park bench belongs in the shade. Seriously. They put trees in the park, but they don’t put benches under them. No. The benches are all in the sun where no one would be foolhardy enough to scorch their behinds during our 9-month-long summers.
12. Virtually every backyard is enclosed by a cement block wall. Way to capture the heat, of which homeowners just can’t get enough—right? And what’s up with everyone hiding behind their walls instead of forming neighborhoods and community spirit? Might have to do with the fact that there are no true city centers in the metro areas for people to congregate—or maybe we’re just a state of grouchy, anti-social misfits. Yeah, that’s possible.
13. Sheriff Joe Arpaio. ’Nuff said.