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December 02, 2013

Comments

barbara

I ask the citizens of Ariz. why do they have privatized prisons? Easy answer if one just thinks about it? -- barbara (hint -- look at the tentacles of greed first)

Brandon

"Obviously this is a place where most people don't give a damn, except about their money and their stuff and maybe their own people. That was sure my impression when I was there, based on only one week in Scottsdale, for sure. I kept waiting for someone to say they gave a damn, but no one said they did."

I'll read this post more thoroughly soon, but I recommend a Harper's article from 2010, "Tea Party in the Sonora." Like other deep-red states, Arizona has pockets of progressivism, especially around the colleges. The colleges themselves seem to center around sports and partying, though.

Hattie

Barbara: What is so extraordinary is that the taking of profit needs no defenders. It's holy writ.
Brandon: Certainly what I experienced. I visited an anthropology professor friend, now retired, who taught at Arizona State. She took me to a Yaqui Easter celebration. That was a fascinating experience. So there's that. There was also the college President who informed people at the conference I was attending that Arizona State had the prettiest co-eds in the country.
Maybe you remember this?
http://hattie.typepad.com/hatties_web/ruskin-in-pheonix.html

Brandon

Yes. I've never been to Arizona, or out of Hawaii, for that matter, but I have a friend from elementary school who lives there.

Hattie

Brandon: You would not believe it if you saw it.

naomi dagen bloom

Isn't it awful how many states are dreadful? Most of the south appears stuck in its racist, homophobic (did I forget something?) history. And the pockets of even "better" places like New York. So much work to be done, so little time.

Toni

Arizona has its pockets of sanity. For example, Tucson is the home of Gabriel Giffords and Raul Grijalva and consistently votes Democratic. The University towns are far more progressive but just not enough to offset the Phoenix area. Hence we have the infamous Joe Arpaio (5 time elected Maricopa sheriff), Governor Jan Brewer, plus insane gun laws. I remember, not too long ago, when the prison guards were setting up gladiator matches between the prisoners for their own entertainment--and for betting. How did our society ever reach this point? I think we teach it in high schools-"Capitalism and competitiveness are the only virtues; we must win at all costs; losers are scum; performance enhancing drugs are everywhere, "Go Team!" Ethics and compassion are for sissies. It's not just Arizona but this state wants to be the best--at being the worst. (Thanks for the soapbox)

Hattie

Naomi: Arizona is complex. As Toni points out, it's the Phoenix area that has the most reactionary politics.
Toni: Your comments make me want to look at Arizona political history and compare it to California political history. I wonder if Arizona will swing to the left, as California has. If things get any worse, there could be a reaction. But what worries me about Arizona is that it does not have a strong left tradition the way California does. Leftists must feel very isolated there. Even Texas has a populist tradition, still represented by people like John Hightower. So Texas, for all that goes wrong there, has some real kick-ass progressives.

Brandon

Again, the Harper's article from 2010, "Tea Party in the Sonora", provides an overview of Arizona's politics.

Today's Tribune-Herald has a front-page article, "New Kulani Warden Sets Sights on Re-Opening: Facility Expected to Be Ready for Inmates by July 1."

Brandon

So you knew her back then.

Hattie

Brandon: I did not know her at the prison but had other contacts with her. Never impressed.

naomi dagen bloom

Texas? Texas? Come on, Marianna, what can be said of a place whose state legislature has wiped out abortion clinics? Jan Brewer is governor of Arizona so I cannot be convinced. Gabby Giffords was shot in Arizon; I cannot be convinced.

Though there are many aspects of Oregon that need much attention, I think it is impressive that the two senators are progressives Wyden and Merkley. There is a sane governor, an equally divided state legislature with few crazies. Because Portland, largest urban area, and Dems are in majority. Does not mean there is much regressive here--concealed carry enthusiasm, unwillingness to raise taxes on the rich, underfunded educational systems at every level.

And I'm thinking it is preferable to be an undocumented immigrant here than in Arizona--or Texas.

Hattie

Naomi: It certainly is not all sweetness and light in Texas! But there IS a progressive tradition there. There is NONE in Arizona. The same is true of Idaho. Progressives in those two states are isolated and overwhelmed. There really is a difference.
BTW: Did you notice that this Arizona legislator mentioned in my post above is not a native? He's from NYC (He even went to NYU!) and has worked in NYC and New Jersey. I think I read that the company that got the no-bid contract to build those prisons for Hawaiians was in the NY metro area,too, but can't find the reference again. These prisons are run by the Corrections Corporation of America, which is based in Nashville. So these are people coming from outside the state to exploit the situation, which is a political vacuum. An out of state legislator, an out of state contractor, an out of state corrections company, and out of state prisoners. How perfect is that!
I would add to that that our lovely ex-governor is also from New Jersey. There are reactionary elements in Hawaii, but at least for the time being we've got Democrats all the way down.
These other states are all going to turn left, as California has already. But it won't happen overnight.
Oh, I guess Toni would disagree with me. Tucson is more liberal than Phoenix. The problem is that the biggest city in the state is so reactionary. But viewed from the outside, Arizona's left seems feeble.

Brandon

"I would add to that that our lovely ex-governor is also from New Jersey."

Lingle? She was born in St. Louis, and moved to Hawaii decades ago. Abercrombie was born in Buffalo, New York, and has lived in Hawaii since at least the sixties.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Lingle

Incidentally, today is the third anniversary of Lingle's last day and Abercrombie's first day as governor.

Hattie

Brandon: Oops. Thanks for the correction. Should have fact checked that. I think I got confused because she is friends with Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey.

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