Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Trifecta of Stupidity

I moved to Arizona a couple of years ago for the sunlight. Unfortunately, that does not create more enlightenment, as we have witnessed the last few weeks. While the rest of the country is experiencing political gridlock, the Arizona legislature has proven they can pass anything by doing so.

First came the concealed weapons law. A number of years ago I was surprised to learn that anyone can carry a weapon here as long as it is visible. It gives the state a feel of the old west to see folks packing their six-shooters. The Arizona legislature, in its quest to go where few have gone before, decided that wasn't enough so they passed a law allowing anyone to carry a CONCEALED weapon legally. That moves us from the Old West, to a reprise of the Godfather.

The next day or so they passed a "birther" bill requiring presidential candidates to "prove" they are a natural born citizen of the U.S. Even though laws pertaining to presidential candidates are governed by federal statute, Arizona is now protecting America from leaders who might have been born in Panama (as was John McCain) or even Hawaii/Kenya as other might have been.I thought they had reached their nadir with this one but they were just getting warmed up.

Later in the week they passed the law that allows (no demands) police to check people who might look "suspicious" to determine if they are legally in this country. Immigrants would be forced to carry their papers proving they are here legally. But in fact ANYONE could be stopped and asked for papers. I stopped carrying my birth certificate some time ago so I suppose I am vulnerable.

But I have been assured that won't happen because I do not "look" illegal. I suppose it is the light hair and blue eyes that gives me away. And yet the proponents of the law have insisted it will not lead to racial profiling. One question. How in God's name does a policeman determine that someone looks suspicious except by the color of their skin and their accent?

All this harkens back to the good old days of Nazism and Aparteid where those who were different had to label themselves by wearing a gold star of David or by carrying their papers. Even though this law has created a national firestorm, polls indicated that about 70% of my fellow Arizonans think it is a good law.

Some of this stems from violence along the border and the heavy influx of illegals into the state which has gotten folks on edge. Certainly the federal government needs to step up and deal with the border issues so that craziness like we are seeing out of Arizona will not happen.

On a related note, the genius astro-physicist Stephen Hawking has indicated he believes their are alien cultures in space and if they come to visit earth they will not be coming in peace. Never fear, if that should happen, just come out to Arizona. If they try to get in here, we will throw their ugly alien butts in jail!