Looks like Joe Arpaio, who calls himself "America's Toughest Sheriff," will have to stand down for a little while now.
U.S. District Judge Murray Snow issued a ruling today, upholding claims that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office targets Hispanic drivers based on their race, a violation of their constitutional rights.
From the Arizona Republic:
Dan Pochoda of the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union called the ruling “a real vindication for the community. It was a terrific win — it was a very solid, comprehensive piece of work, and clearly demonstrated the unconstitutionality from top to bottom at MCSO for many years.”
The case began when Manuel de Jesus Ortega Melendres, a Mexican tourist who was in the United States legally, was stopped outside a church in Cave Creek where day laborers were known to gather. Melendres, the passenger in a car driven by a White driver, claims that deputies detained him for nine hours and that the detention was unlawful.
Eventually, the case grew to include complaints from two Hispanic siblings from Chicago who felt they were profiled by sheriff's deputies, and from an assistant to former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon whose Hispanic husband claims he was detained and cited while nearby White motorists were treated differently.
According to the Republic, the ruling is likely to be appealed, though apparently Arpaio's lawyer was still looking over the ruling.
Remember the Liberator? The single-shot plastic gun, made with fairly cheap materials, fabricated with 3D printers? The one whose blueprints were pulled down by the State Department, but not before they were downloaded more than 100,000 times and distributed countless more times?
Well, if you happen to be printing off such a weapon, be careful — Australian police tried it, and one of the damn things blew up on 'em.
The commissioner said that a Liberator pistol had experienced a catastrophic misfire during testing. The failure would have been capable of seriously injuring the person using the firearm, the police chief said.
When the pistol successfully fired, it propelled a bullet with sufficient force to kill a target, the police revealed. When tested using a block of so-called ballistic soap — a block of gelatine used for firearms testing — the shot penetrated 17cm, which could be a fatal wound, the police said.
The police spent $35 on materials to create a Liberator and used a $1700 desktop 3D printer. The only metal parts used in the pistol's construction where the firing pin, created with a nail, and a .380 ACP calibre pistol cartridge. The all-plastic body means that the pistol is hard for security forces to detect.
Inspector Wayne Hoffman said the creation of a pistol took the police around 27 hours. Assembling the pistol's 17 parts took around a minute. Hoffman said that the police had exactly followed the original instructions for creating the Liberator, with a number of modified versions of the file currently in circulation.
Granted, there's no word on how many shots were fired with that pistol before it blew, so that might have been the result of stress and warping. Either way, that thing appears to have blown up, and blown up good.
No one's saying you shouldn't make one of your own (aside from, y'know, government agencies, possibly), but be careful, folks.
If you've spent any of your time and money at Hotel Congress's Tap Room, you've surely encountered Tom "Tiger" Ziegler , the long-beloved bartender who has prowled behind the bar at HoCo for 54 years.
Well, Tiger is turning 80 this year, prompting the good folks at Hotel Congress to throw him a spectacular birthday bash — and they're inviting all of Tucson!
From Hotel Congress:
On Thursday, May 28 at 5pm Hotel Congress invites the public to celebrate Tiger's 80th birthday! With 80-cent wells in the Tap Room and a birthday cake topped with 80 lit candles, all are welcome to wish Tiger the happiest of birthdays.
Tiger is the Tap Room. His constant presence is one reason the space has become so iconic over the last half-century. As a special birthday surprise, the Tap Room will be officially be renamed "Tiger's Tap Room" and a new, bright blue neon sign baring Tiger's namesake will be revealed. Shhhhhh! Don't tell Tiger!
Tiger started bartending at the Tap Room in the 50s, when it was the only bar at Hotel Congress. He served Coors and Budweiser for fifteen cents a glass, and mixed drinks for twenty-five cents.
"I just love the Hotel Congress. I love my ladies because they're not bothered by the men unless they want to be, and I like the university kids that come here - they're always ladies and gentleman. They're nice kids," says Tiger. "My co-workers are like a big happy family. I love coming here to work every day."
Presumably, Tiger isn't the biggest fan of computers or the Internet.
Either way, let's head down there next Thursday and show Tiger one hell of a good time in appreciation for all of the booze he's slinged our ways over the years.
For more info, check out the Facebook event created by Hotel Congress here.
Coming to your television screen sooner rather than later (unlike the story of Jodi Arias, which is constantly on the edge of any television viewer's consciousness): Lifetime presents Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret.
The synopsis, via Movienews.com:
Based on the disturbing murder trial that has captivated the nation, “Jodi Arias: Dirty Little Secret” tells the story of Jodi Arias (Tania Raymonde, “Lost”), a seductive 27-year-old aspiring photographer recently found guilty of killing her former lover Travis Alexander (Jesse Lee Soffer, “The Mob Doctor”), who was found nude in his apartment shower with a slit throat, 27 additional stab wounds and a bullet to the head. While investigating the violent killing, Mesa, Arizona, police retrieved a digital camera from Travis’ washing machine, revealing shocking images authorities claim Jodi took of their sexual escapades, as well as during and after his murder.
While Jodi pled not guilty and contends she killed Travis in self-defense, police concluded that when Travis broke off his relationship with Jodi, she became a real life “Alex Forrest” (portrayed by Glenn Close) from the film “Fatal Attraction.” Jodi, they say, stalked her ex-boyfriend, who she successfully seduced one final time before murdering him and then attempted to cover her tracks. Her subsequent trial has been grand theater, dominating the cable news networks, with Jodi testifying in her own defense, offering insight into the sex, lies and obsession that led up to Travis’ murder — beguiling media and onlookers, alike.
SEX. MURDER. INTRIGUE.
This is stupid.
You can watch the stupid, non-event made-for-TV movie based off of a stupid, non-event murder trial on June 22 on Lifetime.
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Devo. In anticipation of their show at the Rialto tonight (tickets still available!), I though't I'd share my 10 favorite Devo tracks.
10. Space Junk/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
A fragmented and paranoid tale of falling space debris and a particularly unlucky girl named Sally. Skylab fell out of the sky and landed over parts of Western Australia in 1979, a year after this album was released.
9. That's Good/Oh, No! It's Devo
Devo on full-on synthpop mode. An upbeat song about the joys of bland conformity. So upbeat in fact that the "Bad Boys" from San Francisco used it for their dance routine in the 1987 Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. I don't think they were in on the joke.
8. Gut Feeling (Slap Your Mammy)/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Probably the best intro of any Devo song. Imagine if the Autobahn was placed smack-dab in the middle of Ohio. People tend to forget that Devo is a damn good guitar band.
7. Come Back Jonee/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
Again, Devo being a great "rock" band is often forgotten. Devo takes the cars 'n' girls songs of rock and roll's past to its next logical step. What happens when you're having too much fun and you're driving a little too fast? Come back, indeed.
6. Red Eye Express/Duty Now for the Future
If I had to pick a favorite Devo album, it would have to be Duty Now for the Future. Their second album, this is when they struck the perfect balance between the guitar and synthesizer. Red Eye Express is the album's closer and includes some of my favorite off-the-the-wall lyrics. "Something's flattened my cola/something's wrong with my brew/something's rotten in Idaho/and I don't know what to do."
5. Booji Boy's Funeral/Hardcore Devo Volume 2
R.I.P. young man. Taken from the incomparable Hardcore Devo Volume 2, the second installation of Devo's raw and humble beginnings.
4. Mongoloid/Q:Are We Not Men? A:We Are Devo!
The tale of a man who had one chromosome too many. He wore a hat, he had a job and he brought home the bacon, so no one knew. Years before David Lynch's Blue Velvet, Devo peels away the layers of suburban blandess and finds mutants running amok. The music is ominous, spooky and robotic, and like "Gut Feeling" it also has a stellar intro.
3. I Desire/Oh, No! It's Devo
In a career full of subversiveness and pulling media-savvy pranks, this might be the crown jewel in the Energy Dome. Lyrics are credited to "Casale/Hinckley/Mothersbaugh". Who's Hinckley? None other than John Hinkcley, Jr., the man who attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan to impress Jodie Foster, living out some sort of sick Taxi Driver fantasy. Some of the lyrics are taken from the love poems Hinckley Jr. wrote to Ms. Foster. How they snuck this past Warner Bros. is beyond me. Does this mean Hinckley Jr. receives royalties?
2. Jocko Homo/Single
The Devo Manifesto. Planet of the Apes meets crazed religious sermons meets Revenge of the Nerds.
1. Beautiful World/New Traditionalists
The moment Devo realized devolution has caught up with modern society and there's no going back. It's a somber, almost melancholy track that's full of spite. "Beautiful people everywhere/they way they show they care/it's a beautiful world/for you/it's not for me."
Big, big news out of Texas, where the Boy Scouts of America have lifted the ban on membership based on sexual orientation, allowing for openly gay scouts to join for the first time in the organization's history.
According to CNN, the vote maintains a ban on gay adult leaders.
"The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," the 103-year-old organization said in a statement.
The BSA said there are no plans for further review of the issue.
"The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue," it said.
Predictably, there are large swaths of the country now unbelievably offended by this decision:
Boy Scouts of America today abandoned decency, integrity and courage in favor of popularity, convenience and aimlessness. It's a sad day.— theFinancialSkinny (@FinancialSkinny) May 23, 2013
The Boy Scouts of America have every right to torpedo themselves. An alternative scouting org will arise. #GodIsNotMocked— Alo Konsen (@OhioCoastie) May 23, 2013
Unfortunately for them, they're part of a minority who appear to be content to choke on the dust of history. Which is cool for them I guess.
What remains to be seen is how openly gay scouts will react when they age out of the organization and are left unable to remain part of an association that they've taken part in since they were children.
Congratulations, Boy Scouts of America — you've only got a little further to go.
If Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, was wondering whether or not Gov. Jan Brewer was bluffing about her bill moratorium he got his answer.
Brewer vetoed five bills the Senate sent to her desk Thursday.
Two weeks ago she said didn’t want to see any more bills until the Legislature resolved the budget and the plan for Medicaid.
“It is disappointing that I must demonstrate that the moratorium was not an idle threat,” Brewer wrote.
It’s on the House now to make a move with the Senate’s budget.
"The Arizona Legislature has now been in session 130 days. We have just five weeks until the end of the fiscal year, by which time it is necessary that the State of Arizona have a new budget in place in order to assure there is no suspension of critical services or programs," Brewer wrote in the veto letters.
Emotions are running high at the Arizona Legislature now that the Medicaid expansion debate has become the House of Representatives’ problem.
A caller left State Rep. Kate Brophey McGee, R- Phoenix, a threatening voicemail and House security is investigating. She said she wants to know who the caller is and what inspired his seemingly inebriated menacing.
“I’m not sure what kind of grassroots work is going on here,” she said. “I don’t know if this is an intended consequence from someone who heard something and took it as ‘Go do something to her.’ But it is irresponsible of whoever is organizing this initiative to not craft their message in such a way that people can focus on the issue and not the legislator. It’s wrong,” she said.
The voicemail came after Rep. Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, sent out an email urging people to, “especially put the pressure” on six representatives, including Brophey McGee, to oppose Medicaid expansion. Thorpe asked people to be polite and steadfast and urged recipients of the email to forward it to “every Arizonian” they knew.
Thorpe sent out an apology for the email after House Speaker Andy Tobin suggested that the email wasn’t the best idea. Thorpe wrote in his apology email that upon reflection he “screwed up,” and that he wasn’t trying to be unkind.
“I was very disheartened when I watched our 6 Republican Senators repeatedly vote against our caucus while I stood on the Senate floor last Thursday, something that I truly do not want to see repeated in the House,” Thorpe wrote.
Brophey McGee brought up the issue to the House as a reminder that everyone needs to keep their rhetoric in check and take caution when firing people up about politics, particularly if those people aren’t usually politically engaged, she said.
She said she isn’t singling out Thorpe’s email as the cause for the vitriolic voicemail, but that his email was a dumb move.
“I’m so tired of the ‘Oh Gee I’m Sorry,’” she said. “Think it through.”
The caller, who sounded male, indicated that he had voted for Brewer a couple of times and the gist was that he demanded she vote against Brewer’s push for the Medicaid expansion or else, Brophey McGee said.
“The things that he called me were horrible,” she said.
She said since former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot she’s more aware of the dangers of things getting out of hand.
“Think about that. What did she ever do to anybody? People are just crazy,” she said.
The calls increased after the Senate passed the budget and really ramped up Wednesday, she said.
“We are being singled out. I understand that there are concerns and disagreements but this is making it very personal and I shouldn’t feel afraid to come to work,” she said.
Tobin said he doesn’t have to work to keep members civil because lawmakers are adults that have been in public service and lived "exemplarily lives."
“This is a pressure filled place. I don’t think that surprises anyone. None of the members here are going out of their way to harm anybody,” Tobin said. “People are passionate on both sides. I think they’re all professionals. Occasionally the passions get a little out of hand but we’re also human beings and they’re acting professionally in my view and I try to stay very close to them.”
Although not a lot of actual business happened in the House this week those passions were palpable.
Between the outrage over the secular prayer to budget bickering on the House floor lawmakers were emotional.
On Wednesday, several members railed against the budget — despite the speaker pointing out that members would get a chance to officially debate the budget.
It kicked off with Rep. David Livingston, R-Peoria, saying that he needed to sound the alarm because the budget is out of control.
Majority Leader David Gowan, R-Sierra Vista, joined in saying that the budget had been high jacked.
For Rep. Lupe Contreras, D-Avondale, it became an opportunity to ask the GOP what it feels like to have a taste of their own medicine.
"You guys are now in our shoes. How does it feel? How does it feel to go, to put your vote, to cast your vote everyday but fail? Regardless of how we feel we keep failing. Why? Cause we're the minority. Well welcome to our world. That's what we've been going through everyday."
The House has adjourned until next week and it’s clear the House is going to play things a little differently when it comes to the budget that sped through the Senate.
The Humane Society of Southern Arizona presents Lucas, a 4-year-old, male, Pit Bull mix.
Reference no: 750009
Lucas is a ray of sunshine! This peppy high achiever is learning new tricks and honing his skills in the Humane Society of Southern Arizona’s Canine College program. We’re so impressed with his progress and know that you will be too! Found as a stray in pretty rough shape, Lucas has transformed over the past few months into a gorgeous, healthy, social love sponge. He gets along great with his dogs pals and delights in going for daily walks. This high energy boy is searching for a special person willing to continue his training and offer regular exercise. If you’re interested in adding a giddy goofball to your loving home, let Lucas win your heart today at the HSSA!
For information, call 327-6088. The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is located at 3450 N. Kelvin Blvd.
Here's a sweet, sweet video of a new tune by KT Tunstall. Its beautiful, but it's also beautiful to see Tucson's Brian Lopez singing along and the entire moment taking place in Tucson's Wavelab Recording Studios.
Lola Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era continues through Sunday, June 23. Hours are 9 a.m.… More