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Pedal Vision
Old 04-05-2010, 03:04 PM   #1
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Pedal Vision

PHOENIX Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has started a program he calls "Pedal Vision," in which inmates pedal stationary bikes to generate electricity for television sets. The bikes are customized to turn on connected TV sets once inmates at Phoenix's Tent City Jail pedal enough to generate 12 volts of electricity. An hour of pedaling equals an hour of television.
Arpaio said inmates only will be able to watch television if they choose to pedal.
He said he started the program with female inmates because they seemed more receptive.
Arpaio said the only exercise female inmates have been getting is speed-walking around the tent yard.
He said Pedal Vision gives them a reason to get moving and a way to burn calories. [AP]
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Old 04-05-2010, 06:58 PM   #2
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I like the idea.

Even more, it's be neat if some of the energy generated would be harnessed to offset the taxpayers expense of housing the inmates. But I bet some might call pedal vision a form of cruel and unusual punishment.
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:20 PM   #3
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Actually, I don't have too much of a problem with this one. It's voluntary, and lack of TV isn't punishment. Making them watch reality TV, that would be cruel and unusual punishment.

However, Joe Arpaio seems to be pretty whacked out to me. I've been reading about him for a number of years. Seems to have his own fiefdom going, where he makes his own rules. This article has links to a few of the stories I've read. The Sheriff Is Coming! The Sheriff Is Coming! - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Now they'll have the ability to outrun the authorities if they happen to escape. Perhaps the prison guards need to be on the pedal program as well.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:39 PM   #5
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The sheriff is a media whore.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #6
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I'm surrounded by several prison farms here. Leadbelly came up with his song The Midnight Special while in prison just about two miles from my home. Inmate labor was the theme of the Texas prison system and they produced, manufactured, raised or built everything they needed to wear, use, eat, and live in plus license plates for 12 different states.

It was a sad day when inmate labor was abolished and the prisons have gone to hell since then.

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Old 04-06-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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I certainly agree that idle hands are the devil's workshop. So to speak.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:31 AM   #8
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The sheriff is a media whore.
Some of us who are living a little closer to the issues might tend to disagree....
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:41 AM   #9
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Some of us who are living a little closer to the issues might tend to disagree....
I guess my statement was a bit political, eh?

But, pink underwear?

And millions have been paid out in claims arising out of the operation of jails under his oversight. A bit troubling.

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:05 PM   #10
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I guess my statement was a bit political, eh?

But, pink underwear?

And millions have been paid out in claims arising out of the operation of jails under his oversight. A bit troubling.
I think you have to go more in depth than just that some claims were paid out. Even if he lost some lawsuits at trial would not be unusual for such a large law enforcement agency, especially a sheriff who is running huge jail and penal institutions. It would be better to look at the nature of the claims, why they were paid (or why he lost) and look for patterns of poor management and supervision.

Law enforcement is a lawsuit magnet. My standard response got to be, when threatened with "I'm going to sue you!", was to tell them to get in line behind everybody else.

Of course, some those lawsuits are justified. Cops come from the same population everybody else hires from and occasionally we scoop up a complete imbecile. You try and catch them before they go nuclear in the middle of your organization, but that's not always possible.

But the majority of them are nothing but pure and unadulterated crap. The inmate generated stuff is the absolute worst. Months, if not years in the making, often handwritten in bizarrely worded legalese, they're laughable in their fiction. I have my favorite line memorized: "For an entire fortnight plaintiff was 'tucked in" by Detective Leonidas who came to his cell at the county jail every night and beat the plaintiff with a baseball bat and chain until he lost consciousness from the pain, abuse and terrorizing." That one was easily solved, I just faxed the city attorney a copy of my boarding passes to show I had been in the Virgin Islands for most of said "fortnight".

Between the two extremes is the meat.

Most governments have no litigators on staff. And, to be brutally honest, the attorneys that are on staff are not the shiniest pennies in the drawer. In fact, I think most of them would be mopping up grease at some burger joint with their law school diplomas if they had not been able to find a government job. Seriously, I've seen so many of them humiliated in civil service hearings that I shudder to think of them in a real court room.

When a lawsuit comes in the government's attorneys have three choices: Get it dismissed because of some legal defect, hire outside litigators at potentially budget busting rates, or settle the sucker. Yes, some of them need to be settled because the government has a potentially huge liability if they lose it at trial. But so many of them are just BS and the attorneys settle just because they can make it go away cheaply. It is very aggravating for the employee whose alleged actions were the highlight of the lawsuit. You can claim it was settled just to make it go away, but people will always wonder about you.

And let's not forget those bottom feeders that specialize in federal civil rights lawsuits against government agencies. All they have to do is win one case and it's like winning the lotto for legal fees. They love to poison the pool of potential jurors by standing up in front of the cameras and telling tales of woe about what happened to their poor client at the hands of the evil government employees. When the reality is that if the case had any potential it will never make it to a courtroom because the city will roll over and pay because they are deathly afraid of it going to a jury. It's the cases that are muddy and unclear that go to trial, and all too often it's showmanship and BS that wins the case rather than facts.

So, in the case of Joe Arpaio, I would look for patterns of losses. If there is a pattern of similar conduct that he loses in court or the county pays off on, then there might very well be a problem. I think he's smart enough to try and dot all of the 'i''s and cross all the 't''s before he sets out to do most of this stuff. But there is no telling what a jury will do sometimes.

If I were Arpaio the thing I would really worry about are the current allegations that he has been systematically harassing his critics. If that one is true, Joe could be on the wrong end of some huge payouts. Or, the county taxpayers will be to be more accurate about it. That all has to be proven yet.

As for Arpaio's more spectacular spotlight grabbing stunts: Yes, he obviously craves attention and lacks some degree of sophistication. He's just a product of his former career as a DEA agent. That agency is the poster child for standing in the spotlight of fame without actually accomplishing much of anything. (They don't call it "Don't Expect Anything" for no reason.)

Snake oil showmanship aside, there is actually some pretty decent logic behind much of what Arpaio has been famous for doing. The pink underwear and pink flip flops all started because the clothing was being stolen from the jail. I bet they're happy to leave the pink drawers behind when they check out of Arpaio's Crossbar Hilton.

He requires all male inmates over the age of 18 to be registered for selective service. It doesn't mean much, but why should they be allowed to break the law while incarcerated?

Making them live in tents to ease facility overcrowding. I'll let Arpaio answer that one in his own words: "It's 120 degrees in Iran and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."

Politically it's a good move. Joe knows that most of us taxpayers feel that jails should not provide anything other than basic needs to inmates. Many institutions do provide more because it keeps the inmates more docile, but even then there has been such a political backlash about some things that a lot of that has been cut back. My tax dollars could be better spent on something other than TV sets for inmates, or constantly buying them new clothing because they keep stealing the stuff. And while living in a hot climate without AC sucks, I've done it and survived and I don't know why they can't.

Arpaio may turn out to be a liability - and then again, maybe not. But he is at the epicenter of liability lawsuits, and is the natural target of a large number of bored, creative and litigious potential plaintiffs. Not to mention the greedy shysters who make a living out of suing the government and just hoping to win one. Factor in that the county's attorneys that represent him and the agency are probably no more competent that any of the other government attorneys on staff across the nation. And then toss in the fact that he loves being the center of media attention, and it's little wonder that he's been on the losing side a few times.
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Old 04-07-2010, 01:19 PM   #11
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I think you have to go more in depth than just that some claims were paid out. Even if he lost some lawsuits at trial would not be unusual for such a large law enforcement agency, especially a sheriff who is running huge jail and penal institutions. It would be better to look at the nature of the claims, why they were paid (or why he lost) and look for patterns of poor management and supervision.

Law enforcement is a lawsuit magnet. My standard response got to be, when threatened with "I'm going to sue you!", was to tell them to get in line behind everybody else.

Of course, some those lawsuits are justified. Cops come from the same population everybody else hires from and occasionally we scoop up a complete imbecile. You try and catch them before they go nuclear in the middle of your organization, but that's not always possible.

But the majority of them are nothing but pure and unadulterated crap. The inmate generated stuff is the absolute worst. Months, if not years in the making, often handwritten in bizarrely worded legalese, they're laughable in their fiction. I have my favorite line memorized: "For an entire fortnight plaintiff was 'tucked in" by Detective Leonidas who came to his cell at the county jail every night and beat the plaintiff with a baseball bat and chain until he lost consciousness from the pain, abuse and terrorizing." That one was easily solved, I just faxed the city attorney a copy of my boarding passes to show I had been in the Virgin Islands for most of said "fortnight".

Between the two extremes is the meat.

Most governments have no litigators on staff. And, to be brutally honest, the attorneys that are on staff are not the shiniest pennies in the drawer. In fact, I think most of them would be mopping up grease at some burger joint with their law school diplomas if they had not been able to find a government job. Seriously, I've seen so many of them humiliated in civil service hearings that I shudder to think of them in a real court room.

When a lawsuit comes in the government's attorneys have three choices: Get it dismissed because of some legal defect, hire outside litigators at potentially budget busting rates, or settle the sucker. Yes, some of them need to be settled because the government has a potentially huge liability if they lose it at trial. But so many of them are just BS and the attorneys settle just because they can make it go away cheaply. It is very aggravating for the employee whose alleged actions were the highlight of the lawsuit. You can claim it was settled just to make it go away, but people will always wonder about you.

And let's not forget those bottom feeders that specialize in federal civil rights lawsuits against government agencies. All they have to do is win one case and it's like winning the lotto for legal fees. They love to poison the pool of potential jurors by standing up in front of the cameras and telling tales of woe about what happened to their poor client at the hands of the evil government employees. When the reality is that if the case had any potential it will never make it to a courtroom because the city will roll over and pay because they are deathly afraid of it going to a jury. It's the cases that are muddy and unclear that go to trial, and all too often it's showmanship and BS that wins the case rather than facts.

So, in the case of Joe Arpaio, I would look for patterns of losses. If there is a pattern of similar conduct that he loses in court or the county pays off on, then there might very well be a problem. I think he's smart enough to try and dot all of the 'i''s and cross all the 't''s before he sets out to do most of this stuff. But there is no telling what a jury will do sometimes.

If I were Arpaio the thing I would really worry about are the current allegations that he has been systematically harassing his critics. If that one is true, Joe could be on the wrong end of some huge payouts. Or, the county taxpayers will be to be more accurate about it. That all has to be proven yet.

As for Arpaio's more spectacular spotlight grabbing stunts: Yes, he obviously craves attention and lacks some degree of sophistication. He's just a product of his former career as a DEA agent. That agency is the poster child for standing in the spotlight of fame without actually accomplishing much of anything. (They don't call it "Don't Expect Anything" for no reason.)

Snake oil showmanship aside, there is actually some pretty decent logic behind much of what Arpaio has been famous for doing. The pink underwear and pink flip flops all started because the clothing was being stolen from the jail. I bet they're happy to leave the pink drawers behind when they check out of Arpaio's Crossbar Hilton.

He requires all male inmates over the age of 18 to be registered for selective service. It doesn't mean much, but why should they be allowed to break the law while incarcerated?

Making them live in tents to ease facility overcrowding. I'll let Arpaio answer that one in his own words: "It's 120 degrees in Iran and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."

Politically it's a good move. Joe knows that most of us taxpayers feel that jails should not provide anything other than basic needs to inmates. Many institutions do provide more because it keeps the inmates more docile, but even then there has been such a political backlash about some things that a lot of that has been cut back. My tax dollars could be better spent on something other than TV sets for inmates, or constantly buying them new clothing because they keep stealing the stuff. And while living in a hot climate without AC sucks, I've done it and survived and I don't know why they can't.

Arpaio may turn out to be a liability - and then again, maybe not. But he is at the epicenter of liability lawsuits, and is the natural target of a large number of bored, creative and litigious potential plaintiffs. Not to mention the greedy shysters who make a living out of suing the government and just hoping to win one. Factor in that the county's attorneys that represent him and the agency are probably no more competent that any of the other government attorneys on staff across the nation. And then toss in the fact that he loves being the center of media attention, and it's little wonder that he's been on the losing side a few times.
I have my own thoughts on prisons. I think that they are not only for punishment but for rehabilitation. For the good of society if for no other reason. As I implied in a prior post, I believe that prisoner work is a good thing and should be encouraged.

As far as prisoner petitions, I had a friend that worked as a clerk for a federal judge. All he did was review petitions for habeas corpus. Ninety nine percent were ridiculous. Maybe even 100%. But this particular sheriff in Arizona has more than his share of issues and the amounts paid out in settlements are high enough to raise eyebrows. He certainly has had his problems with the feds and prison conditions. I don't know how much is due to him and how much is due to the unwillingness of Arizona to finance what is required, such as proper medical care. I understand most of the lawsuits arose from lack of medical care, sometimes resulting in death of detainees.

Actually, I don't care about the pink underwear. The selective service registration is showmanship.
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Old 04-07-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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I'm no media whore sheriff myself, but it bugs my inner engineer to see our home's elliptical/treadmill get used for free while we have to pay to watch TV...
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #13
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it bugs my inner engineer to see our home's elliptical/treadmill get used for free while we have to pay to watch TV...
perhaps you could have your treadmill drive a low power generator that hooks up to the electric grid. Then you (perhaps) could be compensated for your contribution. That brings a whole nuther' dimension to the power workout definition.

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Old 04-07-2010, 10:22 PM   #14
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I think you have to go more in depth than just that some claims were paid out. Even if he lost some lawsuits at trial would not be unusual for such a large law enforcement agency, especially a sheriff who is running huge jail and penal institutions. It would be better to look at the nature of the claims, why they were paid (or why he lost) and look for patterns of poor management and supervision.

Law enforcement is a lawsuit magnet. My standard response got to be, when threatened with "I'm going to sue you!", was to tell them to get in line behind everybody else.

Of course, some those lawsuits are justified. Cops come from the same population everybody else hires from and occasionally we scoop up a complete imbecile. You try and catch them before they go nuclear in the middle of your organization, but that's not always possible.

But the majority of them are nothing but pure and unadulterated crap. The inmate generated stuff is the absolute worst. Months, if not years in the making, often handwritten in bizarrely worded legalese, they're laughable in their fiction. I have my favorite line memorized: "For an entire fortnight plaintiff was 'tucked in" by Detective Leonidas who came to his cell at the county jail every night and beat the plaintiff with a baseball bat and chain until he lost consciousness from the pain, abuse and terrorizing." That one was easily solved, I just faxed the city attorney a copy of my boarding passes to show I had been in the Virgin Islands for most of said "fortnight".

Between the two extremes is the meat.

Most governments have no litigators on staff. And, to be brutally honest, the attorneys that are on staff are not the shiniest pennies in the drawer. In fact, I think most of them would be mopping up grease at some burger joint with their law school diplomas if they had not been able to find a government job. Seriously, I've seen so many of them humiliated in civil service hearings that I shudder to think of them in a real court room.

When a lawsuit comes in the government's attorneys have three choices: Get it dismissed because of some legal defect, hire outside litigators at potentially budget busting rates, or settle the sucker. Yes, some of them need to be settled because the government has a potentially huge liability if they lose it at trial. But so many of them are just BS and the attorneys settle just because they can make it go away cheaply. It is very aggravating for the employee whose alleged actions were the highlight of the lawsuit. You can claim it was settled just to make it go away, but people will always wonder about you.

And let's not forget those bottom feeders that specialize in federal civil rights lawsuits against government agencies. All they have to do is win one case and it's like winning the lotto for legal fees. They love to poison the pool of potential jurors by standing up in front of the cameras and telling tales of woe about what happened to their poor client at the hands of the evil government employees. When the reality is that if the case had any potential it will never make it to a courtroom because the city will roll over and pay because they are deathly afraid of it going to a jury. It's the cases that are muddy and unclear that go to trial, and all too often it's showmanship and BS that wins the case rather than facts.

So, in the case of Joe Arpaio, I would look for patterns of losses. If there is a pattern of similar conduct that he loses in court or the county pays off on, then there might very well be a problem. I think he's smart enough to try and dot all of the 'i''s and cross all the 't''s before he sets out to do most of this stuff. But there is no telling what a jury will do sometimes.

If I were Arpaio the thing I would really worry about are the current allegations that he has been systematically harassing his critics. If that one is true, Joe could be on the wrong end of some huge payouts. Or, the county taxpayers will be to be more accurate about it. That all has to be proven yet.

As for Arpaio's more spectacular spotlight grabbing stunts: Yes, he obviously craves attention and lacks some degree of sophistication. He's just a product of his former career as a DEA agent. That agency is the poster child for standing in the spotlight of fame without actually accomplishing much of anything. (They don't call it "Don't Expect Anything" for no reason.)

Snake oil showmanship aside, there is actually some pretty decent logic behind much of what Arpaio has been famous for doing. The pink underwear and pink flip flops all started because the clothing was being stolen from the jail. I bet they're happy to leave the pink drawers behind when they check out of Arpaio's Crossbar Hilton.

He requires all male inmates over the age of 18 to be registered for selective service. It doesn't mean much, but why should they be allowed to break the law while incarcerated?

Making them live in tents to ease facility overcrowding. I'll let Arpaio answer that one in his own words: "It's 120 degrees in Iran and the soldiers are living in tents, have to wear full body armor, and they didn't commit any crimes, so shut your mouths."

Politically it's a good move. Joe knows that most of us taxpayers feel that jails should not provide anything other than basic needs to inmates. Many institutions do provide more because it keeps the inmates more docile, but even then there has been such a political backlash about some things that a lot of that has been cut back. My tax dollars could be better spent on something other than TV sets for inmates, or constantly buying them new clothing because they keep stealing the stuff. And while living in a hot climate without AC sucks, I've done it and survived and I don't know why they can't.

Arpaio may turn out to be a liability - and then again, maybe not. But he is at the epicenter of liability lawsuits, and is the natural target of a large number of bored, creative and litigious potential plaintiffs. Not to mention the greedy shysters who make a living out of suing the government and just hoping to win one. Factor in that the county's attorneys that represent him and the agency are probably no more competent that any of the other government attorneys on staff across the nation. And then toss in the fact that he loves being the center of media attention, and it's little wonder that he's been on the losing side a few times.
My main issue with him is in regards to the stolen papers in the courtroom. You can see it happen in the video, there's no excuse. Instead of smacking the cop in the head, suspending him, apologizing, Arpaio goes on the offensive, threatens the judge, neighboring county DAs, and anyone else who questions his actions. When in doubt, retaliate isn't a good motto for a cop.

Here's a good example of his police technique - Dog Day Afternoon - - News - Phoenix - Phoenix New Times
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:31 PM   #15
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My main issue with him is in regards to the stolen papers in the courtroom. You can see it happen in the video, there's no excuse. Instead of smacking the cop in the head, suspending him, apologizing, Arpaio goes on the offensive, threatens the judge, neighboring county DAs, and anyone else who questions his actions. When in doubt, retaliate isn't a good motto for a cop.

Here's a good example of his police technique - Dog Day Afternoon - - News - Phoenix - Phoenix New Times
Oh I forgot that one!
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:11 PM   #16
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The majority of Maricopa County (metro Phoenix) loves the guy. THere is a smalll vocal minority, comprised primarily of liberal media whores who trample on the constitution, believe that anyone who illegally crosses into the US, doesn't pay taxes and steals our social resources should have the same rights as law-abiding, taxpaying US citizens.

These are the folks that are costing the taxpayers money, with frivolous, baseless lawsuits, staged "demonstrations" and flaunting their disregard for our immigration laws. Arpaio is doing a stellar job, IMO. Our jails cost a fraction of what the rest of the US pays to coddle their criminals. And the inconvenient truth is that illegal immigration is a serious problem in this country, at least Joe Arpaio is on the front line in this battle , while the political dimwits in DC are doing nothing but posturing and talking..
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #17
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I have no opinion on the immigration issue as I don't have enough facts. That is why I didn't mention it in my prior posts.

Leo, I glossed over one statement you made:

Quote:
Most governments have no litigators on staff. And, to be brutally honest, the attorneys that are on staff are not the shiniest pennies in the drawer. In fact, I think most of them would be mopping up grease at some burger joint with their law school diplomas if they had not been able to find a government job. Seriously, I've seen so many of them humiliated in civil service hearings that I shudder to think of them in a real court room.
My experience is that most governmental units hire outside counsel to defend lawsuits such as the lawsuits in the Maricopa county cases. The county may also have some insurance as well and then an insurance company lawyer will defend the county. These lawyers are professional litigators. I don't know if Maricopa county settles easily. My experience is that big cases are not settled easily, it is only the small nuisance cases that might have borderline settlements. My local governments do not settle easily. Recently my firm brought a lawsuit against the state department of transportation. One of its employees drove a street cleaner down the highway in an area of very limited visibility, resulting in a serious accident. The sweeper violated several rules, no warning lights or warning vehicle along with it and operating ofter the hours they were allowed to be on the road. The vehicle that hit it was obeying all the laws. They wouldn't settle and my firm got a three million dollar verdict against the state.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:09 AM   #18
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The majority of Maricopa County (metro Phoenix) loves the guy. THere is a smalll vocal minority, comprised primarily of liberal media whores who trample on the constitution, believe that anyone who illegally crosses into the US, doesn't pay taxes and steals our social resources should have the same rights as law-abiding, taxpaying US citizens.

These are the folks that are costing the taxpayers money, with frivolous, baseless lawsuits, staged "demonstrations" and flaunting their disregard for our immigration laws. Arpaio is doing a stellar job, IMO. Our jails cost a fraction of what the rest of the US pays to coddle their criminals. And the inconvenient truth is that illegal immigration is a serious problem in this country, at least Joe Arpaio is on the front line in this battle , while the political dimwits in DC are doing nothing but posturing and talking..
The ends justifies the means? You're welcome to it. Sadly sometimes, we get the government we deserve. At all levels.

I still think the pedaling thing might not be so bad an idea, though.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:58 AM   #19
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The ends justifies the means? You're welcome to it. Sadly sometimes, we get the government we deserve. At all levels.

I still think the pedaling thing might not be so bad an idea, though.
I think that the pedaling is fine too. I want one.
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Old 04-08-2010, 11:10 PM   #20
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The ends justifies the means? You're welcome to it.
Come spend some time in Phoenix and see firsthand the societal and legal costs of uncontrolled illegal immigration and you might have a different opionion of "the end". It's pretty easy to read a few articles or watch a CBS hatchet job and tsk tsk "the means". Try living with an unceasing flow of tens of thousands of illegal aliens who are stealing us blind via social services, walk-in medical care, schools, free lunches, human and drug smuggling, etc- under the nose of a a do-nothing Federal Government that would rather wring its hands and bemoan "their rights" than possibly offending the very people who are bankrupting us by cracking down on this problem.

Where is the outcry from the government and the media over "the rights" of the US citizen who just got a couple of decades of hard labor for crossing into North Korea? Guess he's not a vote that the next immigration amnesty program can buy.
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