Two things I really try to avoid talking about in my blog are religion and politics. Not everyone will agree with me, and there’s no point in alienating a potential reader. however, two stories hit the news today that I have to comment on, one especially since it involves the state I live in.

The first is a Utah judge signing an order to allow convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner to die by firing squad. Yes, he requested that, but I can’t think of anything more barbaric-aside from the electric chair-to use as the death penalty than that. It’s bad enough we have the death penalty, but to use something as archaic as a firing squad? It’s a sad commentary on society, that that option is even allowed.

The second is SB1070, which was signed into law today by Gov. Jan Brewer.  In brief, this bill states that  anyone can be asked to show  proof of legal citizenship if there’s suspicion they’re in the country illegally. Think about that for a moment. The purpose of this bill is to secure the border between AZ and Mexico-it was written with Hispanics in mind. The only reason a policeman would have to stop someone is the color of their skin.

Yes, did I mention this was designed to allow local law enforcement to handle illegal immigration? Rather than spend time and resources on real crime, the police are now obligated to look for illegal aliens wherever and whenever they see fit. If they suspect someone is illegal that are”obligated” to investigate-and while they’re doing that, someone could be getting robbed, raped or murdered.

AZ has always been a conservative state, home to the far right fringe, militia groups, and of course Timothy McVeigh(who in spite of blowing up a federal building was never called a terrorist, because, see, he was white). I’ve lived here since 1981, and have seen things go from bad to worse to bad to good and now back to bad again. I’d like to think most of Arizona’s residents are good and decent people, but there is an undercurrent of racism that is showing through the cracks.  It started when President Obama was elected, and has only grown in the passing months.

It’s grown pretty damn scary to be honest. I can only hope that this law will be found unconstitutional, and that the architects of hate who wrote, voted and passed this abomination are thrown out of office and never to return.

Only then will AZ come back to sanity.

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  2. Excellent article. I live and practice law in Maricopa County, Arizona. I personally believe that SB1070 hearkens back to 1930s era Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR. I am not normally one who speaks in superlatives. But I feel I am on solid ground when I say that the Arizona Legislature seems to have been hijacked by some hate-motivated xenophobic people.
    I will always oppose this unconstitutional law with every fiber of my being.

  3. raingods says:

    Thank you Paul. One thing I find laughable-and sad-is the poll all the local news channels used, stating 70% of the state agreed with SB1070 was a Rasmussen poll, arguably the most conservative pollsters in business.

    And while the Nazi analogy has become an internet meme, I really think in this case it fits. I also read your blog piece and glad to see it broken down somewhat. Nice job.

  4. SirOtter says:

    I’m not sure I understand the objection to firing squads as opposed to other forms of execution. There have been more than enough botched electrocutions to convince me shooting can’t be that much worse. The gas chamber and lethal injection have their own elevated creep factor. Cyanide gas is what the Nazis used in the death camps, and who knows how painful those injections are, since the first chemical used paralyzes the executee? No, given my druthers and in that situation, I’d prefer a quick bullet, or decapitation, or even being hanged by a skilled ropehandler than the so-called more civilized methods. Better yet, let’s just do away with killing people in the name of the state altogether.