Andrew McCullough's Blog

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Criminally different, and other thoughts

April 12, 2009

It has been a while since I added to this blog, so there are a few things that I would like to mention.

I go down to watch spring baseball every March, in Phoenix. It gets my spring started, and it is always great fun. Besides the baseball, there is a spring traditional music festival where I spend as much time as possible. But every time I go there, the local news has stories about the Maricopa County Sheriff. "Sheriff Joe" as people call him has many who think his "get tough" approach is what the country needs. And many others, like me, wonder why this two bit bully, who has built a "tent city" to house prisoners, keeps getting elected. This year, under the heading "Criminally Brown", was a story about his harassment of local Yacqui Indians, who happen to look like Mexicans, and share Spanish surnames. Unfortunately, the small town of Guadalupe, surrounded on three sides by the City of Tempe, has had to contract with the Sheriff for police services, after failing to reach an agreement with Tempe for those services. They, however, pay a high price in the rough treatment their citizens get at the hands of Sheriff's deputies who are hunting "illegals". The article mentions a small group who are raising funds to fight back when their people are wrongfully arrested in what appears to be misguided efforts to "round up the illegals". I went out one Saturday morning to find these people and missed them. Next time, Andrew.

Here in Utah, a new law goes into effect in July which encourages, but does not require, local police forces to cross-deputize their officers as immigration officers, to help in the round up. This past week, Salt Lake City and Park City opted out. Hopefully many others will do the same. The Salt Lake City Police Chief rightfully pointed out (as has our Attorney general) that cross-deputizing will instill fear in the immigrant community, and that all cooperation with the police on other issues will cease. That is counter-productive. Now, the House sponsor of the new law has threatened "retribution" on those who do not sign up. There are claims made that the immigrant community accounts for more than its share of crimes; but the statistics show this is not true. Yes, we need to control our borders, but we have not vigorously enforced immigration laws because we need this migrant labor to do so many things that our won citizens will not do. Like the stupid "war on drugs", the effort to use criminal laws to round people up for deportation is doomed to fail. One of these days, we will arrive at a sensible "guest worker" policy. Of course, in Utah, we like to round up those who are different in more ways than just race or ethnicity. Those who dress or wear their hair differently are stopped by police for investigation. And heaven help them if the police make them "nervous", as police are trained to look for this as a sign of "guilt". Watch for the upcoming story of a black man who has been repeatedly arrested, apparently just for being black in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Our esteemed Attorney General seems to be getting ready to run for the Senate next year. Senator Bennett is getting old, and there are those who think his time is up. This week's Salt Lake Weekly had an interesting lead story on the Attorney General's potent fund-raising operation, and how it may be used to funnel money into a Senate campaign and avoid Federal contribution limits. Read it and decide whether these things make you nervous. People keep asking me whether I will run for Attorney General again. Probably not. I am getting old too, and small parties suffer from a lack of money and recognition. But, I certainly intend to keep giving an alternative point of view and encouraging others to get involved.

And, in that vein, let me remind my readers of two upcoming events. the Utah Libertarian Party will hold its convention, and elect its officers, on May 16. All are welcome. See for details. That same evening, the ACLU of Utah will hold its annual dinner. The cost for this is $100, and I am hoping to fill a table of ten. Contact me at for ticket information. get involved, and help us stop the oppression.


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