If we want law and order in our streets, a commonsense place to start would be to disband so-called militias of both the right and the left. Gangs of men in our streets brandishing semi-automatic weapons do nothing to bring law and order to our communities. They bring fear and the potential for lethal violence. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, two protesters are dead, another injured because a young man with a gun responded to a militia all-call. An alleged militia member was shot dead in Portland.
The term “militia” implies government sanction. Without government sanction and regulation, so-called militias might just as well be called gangs. Why does the media use the term “militia” to describe these self-organized, free-lancing paramilitary units that have no connection to government. Most so-called militia members justify their existence as the first line of defense against tyrannical government. The problem is that so-called militias can just as easily be used to support the rise and persistence of tyrannical government.
The idea of a “well-regulated militia” in the U.S. Constitution was of citizen soldiers prepared to come at the call of government to defend the nation. That is different from thousands of individuals responding to a private citizen’s call to lock and load to defend, at whatever time or place, whatever they choose to say they are defending.
If we want peace and order in our streets, we must make just laws and enforce them equitably. That is the message of protesters across our county. Common sense should tell us that putting our faith in AK-47s and AR-15s carried by gangs of either the right or the left will only lead to more fear and more lethal violence in our communities. It is time to say to all so-called militias, “Thanks, but no thanks.”
I disagree with Anthony Smith (Dispatch, Aug. 1) that reelecting Trump in November will bring us a safe and prosperous country. Reelecting Trump will bring an authoritarian order never before seen in this country. Law will be what the president and his attorney general and his rigged Supreme Court say it is. America will become a country not of laws but of men who wield power with impunity in the name of law. We see that happening already with an impeached president pardoning friends like convicted lawbreakers Joe Arpaio and Gen. Flynn and commuting the lawful sentence of Roger Stone. Trump believes he is the law. AG Barr agrees.
That is the problem at the local level of law enforcement — police who believe they are the law and who break the law in the performance of their duties and get away with it. This is the root cause of the BLM protests. All protesters are not anarchists and all police are not storm-troopers. It just takes a few to defame the rest. Most of our law enforcers are decent, dedicated, hardworking professionals who put their lives on the line for the community every day. Most protesters are decent people — from students to veterans to grandparents — who are seeking justice through our democratic system and are willing to put their lives on the line
If the majority of our budgets go to funding public safety, as Anthony Smith says, why not reconsider how effectively the money is spent. Should some go to police reform? Can we reduce the root causes of crime such as mental health and neglected social conditions through redirecting a portion of law enforcement funding? I am with Biden — it is worth considering.
Nobody ever voted for ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) yet ALEC drives legislation for all Arizonans by using legislators Arizonans did elect. ALEC is a private, national organization that threatens our democracy at the state level by seducing our elected legislators with perks and “model legislation” to push a national agenda that serves radical conservative and religious right ideology and corporate America. Through ACCE (the American City County Exchange) ALEC has extended its reach into our counties and cities.
ALEC is a danger to good government. A co-founder of ALEC, Paul Weyrich, called the idea of good government the “Goo Goo syndrome." View the video on YouTube where he advocates voter suppression to benefit the radical right. Type in YouTube and Paul Weyrich and click on the video.
According to Alexander Hertel-Fernandez in his 2019 book about ALEC, entitled "State Capture": “Weyrich emphasized that his philosophy about political change was ... ‘different from previous generations of conservatives ... We are no longer working to preserve the status quo. We are radicals, working to overturn the present power structure in this country.’” (Dallas 1980)
ALEC relies on radical conservative legislators like LD11’s Leach, Finchem and Roberts as well as most Republicans in the Arizona Legislature to pass its national agenda of voter suppression, protection of “dark money,” public money for religious schools, elimination of minimum wage laws, privatization of public schools, public lands and prisons, state preemption of local government, ending Obamacare and the U.S. Postal Service and much more. Learn more online at “ALEC Exposed."
Radical conservative LD11 state legislators Leach, Finchem and Roberts work for ALEC. Elect LD11 legislators who will work for you by voting for Democrats in 2020.
The real question for this climate change and coronavirus era is not how soon we can get back to our jobs and entertainments and conveniences so that we can live as we lived before — the real question is what should we do to ensure our survival going forward.
What political, social and personal policies should we consider and enact to ensure the availability of the following necessities: clean drinking water, clean air, a stable food supply, clean and stable energy sources and efficient transportation, health care and education systems. How should we arrange our economy and infrastructure to support it all? How do we secure our physical survival while protecting human dignity and human rights?
If we insist on returning to a belief in unlimited economic growth for a few, rather than moving forward to a belief in limited and optimal economic growth for all, only the few will survive in a world no longer worth inhabiting.
Forests would not exist if every tree decided it had the right to outgrow every other tree and the right to all available resources to support only itself. Because everything in nature is connected, every living thing is limited in its ability to extend its growth. We are being reminded by climate change and this pandemic that we are part of nature and are not exempt from limitations on our growth.
This is not a partisan issue. We humans distinguish ourselves from other furry creatures on this planet by our intelligence. Climate change and this pandemic are telling us to use our intelligence to reflect and reconsider our way of life, our connection to the Earth, and what we need to do to establish a stable and sustainable future.
Just received a handful of mail. There’s a new book, my electric bill, a few pieces of junk mail and my bank statement. Some days I get Netflix DVDs and, around holidays, cards from my kids and grandkids and friends. At voting time I also get a voter’s guide and my ballot. Later I will be dropping off something — mailing a check to pay a bill, or sending a small package to my brother in Florida, or mailing out my ballot. All of this I get at minimal cost and minimal personal effort.
So I was astounded when I learned that President Trump and state Sen. Vince Leach do not support the United States Postal Service. They are opposed to including it in the national COVID-19 bailout and would rather have it fail.
Some say it is because they fear voting by mail will increase voting and that will benefit Democrats. Others say Trump and Leach wish to privatize mail delivery along with public schools and prisons and Social Security. Privatization is what happens when people who do not really believe in public service and democratic government get themselves elected to public office. That usually happens when fewer people vote. Kapeech?
Americans need to support the USPS as we support our military, our fire and police and our public schools. These institutions and others served our country long before Trump and Leach decided government should serve corporate America and big money. Trump and Leach will be forgotten. The institutions that actually do something to make our lives better will go on to serve us and all who come after as long as we support them by voting for people who really do believe in public service and democratic government.