President Trump asked the crowd last week at his Phoenix rally, "Was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job?" Had the hall been filled with an accurate cross section of Arpaio’s former constituents, the answer would have been a resounding “no.”
Nevertheless, Trump pardoned the ex-sheriff on Friday, though he had not been sentenced and had shown zero remorse for his crime.
America’s self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff” was convicted of criminal contempt of court last month after refusing to obey court orders. This most recent legal battle involved numerous federal attempts to get Arpaio to stop racially profiling residents of Maricopa County.
I’m a proud member of Generation X, the oft-forgotten demographic between the utopian Baby Boomers and the self-adoring Millennials. Granted, not all the members of any generation fit their stereotype, but the culture spawned by these groups defines them in aggregate.
After the Greatest Generation survived the Great Depression and returned from a bloody world war, they sought a quiet sanctuary in suburbia, sparing their kids such pain. The Boomers decided that life was boring and inauthentic, and tried to replace it with a Summer of Love that would usher in the Age of Aquarius. That experiment didn’t go too well.
Gen X was sold the Boomers’ utopian dream throughout our youth, but never quite bought it. The culture of our childhood was infused with the wreckage wrought by hippies and yippies. Vietnam protests and the loss of that war. Drug addicts and dead rock stars. Kiddie shows that toggled between LSD trips to eco-apocalypse. We watched the failure of the War on Poverty, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. (Not to mention the hideous fashions.)
Outrage is the currency of modern America. The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “An extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.”
Every day, another statement, joke or action provokes anger, shock and indignation against the hapless offender.
A dentist hunts a lion in Africa. Outrage! A woman tweets a joke before boarding a plane bound for Africa. Outrage!! A white cisgendered male op-ed writer mentions Africa in three different outrage examples. OUTRAGE!!!
It’s exhausting just to read about the outrage, so it must be debilitating to those peddling it.
Someone flew a giant inflatable chicken with Trump hair next to the White House.
I’m not sure why someone flew a giant inflatable chicken with Trump hair next to the White House, but apparently it made an important political statement. Perhaps something about animal rights, vegetarianism, or the importance of free-range conditions. Or that Trump is chicken for not doing something that the balloon owners want him to do. Maybe a basic cable channel is premiering a show that has something to do with flying poultry.
Regardless, the picture was passed around social media by people thinking it was a “sick burn,” as the kids liked to say a decade ago. But, as with most silly protests, I was left with a simple question: Why?
I was AWOL from Ricochet last week because I finally took the fam on an old-fashioned summer vacation. I dropped off Calvin the Wonderbeagle at the kennel, loaded up the missus and the wee ones in the family truckster, and headed off on a Four Corner tour. Raced through Payson, earned a speeding ticket in Overgaard, ate my weight in enchiladas in Albuquerque, then ate more in Santa Fe. Hiked in Los Alamos, giggled at Taos hippies, hiked more near Pagosa Springs, exposed the lie that is the Four Corners Monument, and was nearly struck by lighting in Monument Valley.
I drove 1,400 miles, meeting people rich and poor, urban and rural, liberal and conservative (if their Subarus and F-150’s were any guide). We talked about where we were from, where we were headed, kids, work, food, coffee, and the weather. But the subject that consumes much of the internet never seemed to arise.
When people invoke the Beltway, it usually means something bad. Especially to Arizonans 2,000 miles away, the Beltway represents a far-off, out-of-touch elite, intent on telling us how to live our lives while they desperately grope for more power.
Nothing reflects this fact as powerfully as Washington, D.C.’s control of our most fundamental resource: the ground beneath our feet.
While our imperial capital controls just 3 percent of its neighbor Maryland, the Beltway controls nearly 39 percent of Arizona’s far larger area.
Compared to other western states, Arizona gets off easy. The feds own 61 percent of Alaska, 63 percent of Utah, and a staggering 80 percent of Nevada. In fact, the federal government controls more than 50 percent of all land west of Kansas.
To many in Washington this isn’t a crisis; it’s just a start.
Bloomberg released a poll Monday in which they gauged Americans’ mood six months into the new presidency. While Trump didn’t fare too well, Americans are quite optimistic about the economy in general and their personal financial health. As part of the study, Bloomberg asked respondents what they think is the top issue facing the country.
Here are the results:
If people have too little money, the state needs to raise wages; too much money, it needs to raise taxes.
Too much violence in Iraq and Washington needs to stop policing the world; too much violence in Syria and Washington needs jump in.
Government needs to reform health care immediately; how else can they fix the problems created by their last reform?
Whenever there’s any problem anywhere, our politicians and chattering classes cry, “We need to do something!”
Samuel Girod of Bath County, KY, is an Amish farmer who sold homemade herbal remedies. The FDA saw to it he would spend the next six years in federal prison.
The 56-year-old man created a salve made of chickweed, rosemary, beeswax, and olive oil. The label said it was to treat skin disorders such as “dry skin, cuts, burns, draws, and poison ivy.” Girod also handed out pamphlets touting the product’s effectiveness in treating skin cancer, diaper rash, and fungal infections.
When a Missouri resident filed a complaint, the state health department demanded he remove the language. Girod changed the product’s name to “Healing Chickweed,” agents said the word “healing” was verboten, so he renamed it “Original Chickweed.”
While the rest of America was celebrating Independence Day, CNN kept digging its own grave.
Furious over a silly video President Donald Trump posted Sunday, the flailing network sicced Senior Editor Andrew Kaczynski on its creator. He tracked down an anonymous Reddit user who first posted the GIF of Trump tackling a wrestler whose head was replaced with a CNN logo. Kaczynski then found out the person’s real name and threatened to release it if he misbehaved again:
After posting his apology, “HanA**holeSolo” called CNN’s KFile and confirmed his identity. In the interview, “HanA**holeSolo” sounded nervous about his identity being revealed and asked to not be named out of fear for his personal safety and for the public embarrassment it would bring to him and his family.