americasgreatoutdoors:

The sun sets behind Horseshoe Bend, a breathtaking creation of the Colorado River meandering through centuries of red rock near Page, Arizona in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area.Photo: Sylvia Zarco

americasgreatoutdoors:

The sun sets behind Horseshoe Bend, a breathtaking creation of the Colorado River meandering through centuries of red rock near Page, Arizona in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area.

Photo: Sylvia Zarco

americasgreatoutdoors:

80 years ago this month, Saguaro became a National Monument and then later, a National Park.The park is famous for the giant saguaro, which is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.Notice anything interesting about this picture?Photo: National Park Service

americasgreatoutdoors:

80 years ago this month, Saguaro became a National Monument and then later, a National Park.The park is famous for the giant saguaro, which is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

Notice anything interesting about this picture?

Photo: National Park Service

shortformblog:

It is not clear at this stage and on this record that §2(B), in practice, will require state officers to delay the release of detainees for no reason other than to verify their immigration status.  This would raise constitutional concerns.  And it would disrupt the federal framework to put state officers in the position of holding aliens in custody for possible unlawful presence without federal direction and supervision.  But §2(B) could be read to avoid these concerns.  If the law only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been  released, the provision would likely survive preemption—at least absent some showing that it has other consequences that are adverse to federal law and its objectives.  Without the benefit of a definitive interpretation from the state courts, it would be inappropriate to assume §2(B) will be construed in a way that conflicts with federal law.

Translation: Police can still ask officers to see your proof of U.S. residency.

EDIT: But as Think Progress notes, this decision leaves room for this portion of the case to be decided more definitively later. If there is evidence that this is being used for racial profiling, it’s possible it could get struck down later.

"Leadership starts at the top. All of the alleged violations that are outlined in the complaint are the product of a culture of disregard for basic rights within the culture of MCSO that starts at the top and pervades the organization."

— Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez • Commenting on the Department of Justice’s decision to sue infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, alleging a pattern of abuse towards Latino inmates. The decision follows the conclusion of a three year investigation, and is the second time that the Department of Justice has filed suit against Arpaio for his conduct as sheriff. In 1997, the DOJ accused Arpaio and his employees of using excessive force on inmates, though the case was ultimately settled outside of court. When asked about the 1997 lawsuit, Perez said that the settlement in that case lacked oversight, and as a result the demanded reforms  ”proved not to be sustainable.”  source (viafollow)

DOJ Cuts Off Negotiations WIth Sheriff Joe Arpaio

TPM:

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has cut off negotiations with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and said his recent actions are driving the U.S. “closer to pursuing judicial remedies.” Arpaio had claimed he was cooperating with the probe into alleged civil rights violations back in February.

"We believe that you are wasting time and not negotiating in good faith," Deputy Assistant Attorney General Roy Austin wrote in a letter to Arpaio’s lawyer obtained by TPM. "Your tactics have required DOJ to squander valuable time and resources."

Above: Video of Jennifer Jones being arrested while speaking at a June 28 Quartzite, Ariz., city council meeting. Council members accused Jones of being “out of order,” despite her speaking during the public comment period. Quartzite Mayor Ed Foster is heard saying, “She’s exercising her First Amendment rights. You are in violation of my rules of order.”

Now: Mayor Ed Foster has been removed from office, after the council held a secret meeting and declared the town in a state of emergency.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

The council’s declaration put Police Chief Jeff Gilbert in charge, making Foster the “deputy chief executive of nothing right now,” he said. It also allows the five-member council to meet without public notice and suspend all public comment at the meetings until the members declare the state of emergency over.

"I’m going to tell you frankly, this council is out of control," Foster said. "The chief has been out of control for some time, and I’ve asked the state government to help a number of times," to no avail.

[…]

[Foster] said since being in office, he has discovered that every pay period, eight to 10 paychecks go to unnamed people and that he has been denied access to financial records to find out where the money goes at every turn.

He said that’s been happening since 1991 and amounts to $250,000 every year. “That’s literally millions of dollars,” he said.

He said he’s gone to Gov. Jan Brewer’s office, the Attorney General’s Office and the FBI with his allegations and pleas for an investigation, and that he’s been ignored. 

"It’s a supremely ridiculous waste of everybody’s time. If you want to live in a Republican state with very conservative right-wing laws, then there’s a place called Arizona."

— Today in #SHOTSFIRED: Gil Duran, spokesman for California Governor Jerry Brown, responds to a proposal to form a new state called “South California,” out of 13 southern counties. (via motherjones)

"I just didn’t have my hand on the trigger."

— Arizona State Senator Lori Klein (R-Anthem) dismisses the prospect of danger after showing off the laser sighting of her .380 Ruger by pointing it at a reporter’s chest; the weapon has no safety.

(Source: azcentral.com)

"The legislature passed a new law that sought to balance the budget by kindly asking citizens to donate money to the “I Didn’t Pay Enough Fund” (their phrase, not mine). If, as the name suggests, you feel like you haven’t paid enough in taxes, you can choose to pay a little bit extra, which the state will then put to good use—say, for buying tanks to break up cockfighting rings. Per the Phoenix New Times, the law is expected to chip about $2,500 off of the $2.5 billion state deficit, leaving only $2.4999975 billion to go. Baby steps, people; baby steps."

MJ’s Tim Murphy explores Arizona’s new plan to finance a border security fence entirely with private donations. (via motherjones)

 Brisenia Flores was an ordinary American girl in a dusty border town in Arizona. Nine years old, she loved Belle from Beauty and the Beast and playing on her teeter-totter. On May 30, 2009, Brisenia was sleeping with her puppy when armed robbers broke into her family’s mobile home. After initially identifying themselves as law enforcement, one of the intruders shot Brisena’s parents. Brisenia begged for her life,crying, “Please don’t shoot me!” She was shot point-blank in the head twice.

On February 22, a jury gave Shawna Forde the death penalty for masterminding the home invasion that resulted in the deaths of Brisenia and her father. Forde thought he was a drug dealer who she could rob in order to fund her Minuteman group, although no drugs were found in the Flores home.

Like many Latinos, I was surprised that Brisenia’s murder and Forde’s trial drew scant attention from the media. CNN’s limited coverage was probably the best; MSNBC and FOX mostly ignored the story. Because this was such a shocking crime, I thought news outlets would run with it. But they didn’t - and in the absence of extensive coverage, Brisenia’s death failed to resonate with most Americans.

Compare Brisenia’s tragedy to that of another nine-year-old in Arizona. When Christina Taylor Green was killed in the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her death led to national soul-searching over the tenor of our political discourse. Christina was eulogized in President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address as her family sat with the First Lady.

Or consider the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz last year. Krentz was shot by unknown assailants who were believed to be undocumented immigrants. His death inspired an outcry over illegal immigration. Politicians invoked his name at Department of Homeland Security hearings and in the subsequent passing of SB 1070.

I don’t mean to take away from the suffering of the Green and Krentz families. However, Brisenia’s death did not provoke anywhere near the same amount of attention, let alone outrage by politicians and the news media.

From a purely journalistic standpoint, Brisenia’s case was ripe for headlines. It involved gruesome violence, vigilantes, drug allegations, the death of a child, and the hot-button issues of gun control and immigration. The testimony by Brisenia’s mother, an eyewitness to her daughter’s murder, was so intense that at least half of the jury later asked for post-trial recovery counseling. 

Yet cable outlets did not give Brisenia the 24/7 coverage afforded household names like Chandra Levy, Lacey Peterson, JonBenet Ramsey, and Natalee Holloway. Maybe Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post was correct when he opined that America requires its damsels in distress to be white (“This requirement is non-negotiable”) and preferably middle class. Since Brisenia was neither, apparently her life mattered less to our society.

Brisenia should matter because she died as a result of anti-illegal immigration extremism. Shawna Forde was not a lone nutcase; she was "well-placed in the border security movement," according to the Arizona Daily Star. Forde led protests and patrols on the border, and appeared on television as a spokesperson for the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR). She was in email contact with Jim Gilchrist, cofounder of the Minuteman Project, until the day she was arrested. Unlike Jared Loughner, implicated in the Tucson tragedy, Forde was indeed motivated by political beliefs. She heard all the ugly rhetoric and decided to act on it.

I’m saddened by the indifferent response to Brisenia’s death. While Forde is a disturbed individual, she was part of a nativist movement that deserves further scrutiny. Her radicalism was Made in the USA. That’s the “big story” much of the media missed - as well as its deadly consequences. 

theatlantic:

gq:

“I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound”

The way that I had crouched down on the ground, both of my legs fell  asleep, because I was in such a weird, awkward position. And it was a  little bit of time before the paramedics arrived, because the  authorities have to make sure the coast is clear. Once the EMTs came in,  I tried not to get in their way. They told me, “Hold her in the same  position.” I did that. They were taking care of her medical needs. I  wanted to take care of her emotional needs: “I know you’re in a lot of  pain, honey, but just stay still. They’re trying to help. Do you  understand that the police are here? There’s not going to be any more  shooting. Squeeze my hand. The ambulances are on their way. Do you  understand that?” I was trying to keep her calm and informed, because I  know Gabby’s an inquisitive person, and she would want to know exactly  what was going on, because she couldn’t open her eyes and see for  herself.
Originally we were going to be airlifted to University Medical Center.  However, I saw that there was an ambulance there. I said, “What’s the  ETA on the air evac?” They didn’t respond, probably because they didn’t  know. I took that as too long. I said, “She’s number one priority. We  need to get her out of here—now.” They put her on a board. They told me,  “We don’t want you to go in the ambulance. There’s no room.” I said,  “You’d better make room.” On the way, I continued to talk to her. I told  her, “I’m on the phone right now trying to get ahold of Mark”—her  husband—”and your mom and dad here in Tucson. Do you understand that?”  Especially when I mentioned her parents and Mark, she squeezed extra  tight.

Daniel Hernandez, one of three heroes during the Tuscon shooting who provided a second-by-second account of what they witnessed on that Sunday morning to GQ’s  Amy Wallace. You might think by now you’ve heard the whole story, but this tense, vivid oral history will prove otherwise. Today’s must-read.

Enthralling. Give it a read if you have the time.

theatlantic:

gq:

“I Heard the Shots and Ran Toward the Sound”

The way that I had crouched down on the ground, both of my legs fell asleep, because I was in such a weird, awkward position. And it was a little bit of time before the paramedics arrived, because the authorities have to make sure the coast is clear. Once the EMTs came in, I tried not to get in their way. They told me, “Hold her in the same position.” I did that. They were taking care of her medical needs. I wanted to take care of her emotional needs: “I know you’re in a lot of pain, honey, but just stay still. They’re trying to help. Do you understand that the police are here? There’s not going to be any more shooting. Squeeze my hand. The ambulances are on their way. Do you understand that?” I was trying to keep her calm and informed, because I know Gabby’s an inquisitive person, and she would want to know exactly what was going on, because she couldn’t open her eyes and see for herself.

Originally we were going to be airlifted to University Medical Center. However, I saw that there was an ambulance there. I said, “What’s the ETA on the air evac?” They didn’t respond, probably because they didn’t know. I took that as too long. I said, “She’s number one priority. We need to get her out of here—now.” They put her on a board. They told me, “We don’t want you to go in the ambulance. There’s no room.” I said, “You’d better make room.” On the way, I continued to talk to her. I told her, “I’m on the phone right now trying to get ahold of Mark”—her husband—”and your mom and dad here in Tucson. Do you understand that?” Especially when I mentioned her parents and Mark, she squeezed extra tight.

Daniel Hernandez, one of three heroes during the Tuscon shooting who provided a second-by-second account of what they witnessed on that Sunday morning to GQ’s  Amy Wallace. You might think by now you’ve heard the whole story, but this tense, vivid oral history will prove otherwise. Today’s must-read.

Enthralling. Give it a read if you have the time.

First tweet from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Twitter account since shooting in Tucson.

First tweet from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ Twitter account since shooting in Tucson.

Jim Geraghty tries to defend Palin by saying, essentially, “Other people have said ‘blood libel’ too!”

Let’s take a look at his examples of other uses, as posted on the National Review:

The use of the term “blood libel” in non-Jewish contexts is out of bounds, eh?

Andrew Sullivan, October 10, 2008:

A couple of obvious thoughts. Paladino speaks of “perverts who target our children and seek to destroy their lives.” This is the gay equivalent of the medieval (and Islamist) blood-libel against Jews.

Sullivan here is a drawing a direct comparison between the all-encompassing nature of Paladino’s all gays are perverts and the persecution of Jews. That he misidentifies the blood libel as Islamist and not Christian - it originated in Matthew in the 2nd century CE - is for another time.

Ann Coulter’s column, October 30, 2008:

His expert pontificator on race was The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson, who said the Pittsburgh hoax was “the blood libel against black men concerning the defilement of the flower of Caucasian womanhood. It’s been with us for hundreds of years and, apparently, is still with us.”

Again, Robinson is drawing a comparison between the two. Blacks in America have long faced unfounded and racist claims of a widespread, ingrown targeting of white women. 

From a the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, September 30, 2009:

Almost immediately following the aftermath of the shooting, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was the unlikely voice that called for the safeguard of Muslims in the armed forces. 

Within hours of the news breaking, MRFF founder and president Mikey Weinstein called upon President Barack Obama to “immediately issue a statement as Commander-in-Chief making it clear that there would be a zero-tolerance policy against any member of the U.S. military inflicting harassments, retribution or reprisal against an Islamic member of the U.S. military.” …

He criticized former Alaska Governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for saying that she was “all for” profiling against Muslims.

“We’re not painting all Jews as thieves for Madoff’s economic crimes,” said Weinstein, comparing Palin’s comments to a “blood libel.”

Again, a comparison of the characterization of all members of a group, and their descendents, as responsible for a single action, in this case Muslims as being responsible for all terrorism and thus subject to heightened scrutiny because their Muslim and Muslims are terorrists, ad infinitum.

During the recount in 2000:

Florida Democrat Peter Deutsch last night on Crossfire:

Let me just talk a little bit about the whole, I guess, spin from the Republicans about — which has been to me the absolute most — the worst statements I have ever heard probably in my life about anything. I mean, almost a blood libel by the Republicans towards Al Gore, saying that he was trying to stop men and women in uniform that are serving this country from voting. That is the most absurd thing and absolutely has no basis in fact at all.

This is just a poor use of the phrase, in that it references the targeting of a single person rather than a group of individuals with a shared trait.

In the grand scheme of things, the idea that Palin used a phrase associated with one particular, egregious and historically recurring false accusation to rebut a modern false accusation seems like little reason for outrage. For perspective on what really is worth outrage, the services for 9-year-old victim Christina Taylor Green are tomorrow.

The problem though with this concluding paragraph, and his last example of Peter Deutsch’s usage, is that Peter Deutsch wasn’t running for the office of the President. Sarah Palin, presumably is. Additionally, Peter Deutsch didn’t have the same public identity that Palin does. People don’t hang on his every word; I’d venture most people don’t even know who he is. Hell, I had to look him up to see what seat he represented - Florida’s 20th from 1993 to 2005.

Every word Sarah Palin says is scrutinized because she holds such a high profile in American politics and society today. She has shown no qualms about entering into nearly every political discussion, whether qualified or not (guess which I believe to be true) and for this she is both reviled and glorified.

The issue regarding Palin’s usage of the phrase is, like Deutsch, she was using it to describe an attack against a single person. Unlike Deutsch, she used it in defense of herself, which makes her video/statement not about the Tucson shooting, but about herself. Palin again turns things around to make herself the victim, a ploy that plays into the mindset of her supporters and further rankles her detractors.

EDIT: Also, that Gabrielle Giffords is the highest seated Jewish person in the Arizona delegation and Sarah Palin is avowedly and unabashedly Christian doesn’t help Palin.

"I like to hope, deep in the hidden, optimist corners of my soul, that facing this reality will at least make people think about what they say. It’s one thing to employ rhetoric: even when violent or explicit, at a certain point words all just become so much white noise, and it’s easy to say things that fit in with the world around you without actually thinking deeply of the real meaning.
But the real meaning of a lot of that rhetoric is horrific. I like to hope that confronting that reality in this way will at least, at the tiny least, result in some people stopping to think about what they say. Like a supervillain who suddenly realizes, on drowning half the world, that this wasn’t at all what he wanted."

K_Commenter responding to this post by Ta-Nehisi Coates