By Sue Allan - Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 0 Comments
CALGARY – Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington and an associate have been ordered…
CALGARY – Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington and an associate have been ordered to pay more than $5 million to settle a securities fraud case in Arizona.
The settlement with the Arizona Corporation Commission ends a year-long investigation into Pocklington, co-accused John McNeil and their affiliated companies — Crystal Pistol Resources LLC, Crystal Pistol Management LLC and Liberty Bell Resources I LLC.
There was to be a hearing this month, but two sides came to a settlement, which was approved by the commission last week, spokeswoman Rebecca Wilder said Monday.
By Luke Simcoe - Monday, April 9, 2012 at 11:06 AM - 0 Comments
Lately, it seems you can’t swing a LOLcat by its tail without hitting some public official flaunting their ignorance of the Internet. We’ve seen everything from Vic Toews trying to haul Anonymous before the Canadian Parliament to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly claiming that “the Internet is the new Afghanistan.”
Not wanting to miss out on the party, legislators in Arizona recently tried to make it illegal to say mean things online. Two weeks ago,the state senate unanimously passed Arizona House Bill 2549, which reads:
“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use any electronic or digital device and use any obscene, lewd or profane language or suggest any lewd or lascivious act, or threaten to inflict physical harm to the person or property of any person.”
Regardless of the fact that we shouldn’t be legislating civility, or that the right to be as asinine and hyperbolic as possible is one of the basic tenets of the Internet, the law had “First Amendment violation” written all over it. The language was overly broad, and no definition of terms like “annoy” or “offend” was given, meaning the bill could have criminalized being a jerk in the comments section of a website.
By Alex Ballingall - Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 8:40 AM - 0 Comments
Gary Lachance takes his boom boxes and banana suits on the road
Gary Lachance sounds exhausted when he answers his cellphone. “My brain’s a little slow in the morning,” he says in a ﬂat, expressionless voice, neglecting to acknowledge that it’s 4 p.m. “I’m more of a night person.” It becomes clear that’s an understatement as Lachance explains how, the night before, he led hundreds of people on a roving dance party through the streets of Phoenix, Ariz. The next night, the Vancouver ﬁlmmaker drove more than 1,600 km so he could do it again in Austin, Texas.
Such is the life of the self-described “twentysomething” who declines to name his suburban Ontario hometown and instead claims to have travelled from the future to change the world, one decentralized dance party at a time. “Our goal with these parties is to create something that’s novel and revolutionary and unique,” says Lachance. And he’s pledged to bring one to every country on Earth—even North Korea.
Lachance and his partner “Tom” came up with the idea to remove the dance party from the conﬁnes of a single location while “decentralizing” the source of music by dispersing hundreds of boom boxes to the crowd. Each stereo is dialled to the same radio frequency, which receives audio from a portable FM transmitter connected to Lachance’s iPod. His playlist is loaded with “booty bass,” ’90s dance tunes, and crowd-pleasers like Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ and I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing by Aerosmith. The result, says Lachance, is a “really cool, distributed sound effect” amid a party atmosphere that’s spontaneous and mobile.
By Stephanie Findlay - Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 9:10 AM - 15 Comments
Echoing Arizona, Georgia passed a tough immigrant law. Now it finds itself desperately short of farmhands.
Following in the controversial footsteps of Arizona’s lawmakers, the ruling Republican party in Georgia introduced beefed-up immigrant legislation earlier this spring. The bill, HB 87, empowers police to question the immigration status of criminal suspects and demands business owners use E-Verify, a federal database, to check a prospective employee’s immigration status. HB 87 will take effect July 1. But, just as in Arizona, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the legislation: last week, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with several rights organizations and individuals, challenged the law in federal district court. “This legislation turns Georgia into a police state,” says Azadeh Shahshahani of the Georgia chapter of the ACLU. Even Carlos Santana weighed in on the national debate: “The people of Arizona, the people of Atlanta, Georgia, you should be ashamed of yourselves,” said Santana earlier this month at Major League Baseball’s annual civil rights game.
Along with opposition from civil rights groups, leaders of the agricultural industry—one of Georgia’s largest—are protesting the bill. Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, says migrant workers have “heard horror stories of people being harassed, being deported, being stopped at a licence check.” As a result, says Hall, farm workers are bypassing Georgia, causing a massive labour shortage in the state and sending the $1.1-billion industry into a tailspin. Hall reports farmers are experiencing labour shortages of up to 50 per cent, and estimates that a quarter of Georgia’s crops will go unharvested—representing some $300 million in lost revenue.
Although Georgia’s unemployment rate sits at 9.9 per cent, Hall says hiring domestic workers isn’t an option. “If we could get domestic workers to do our field work, we would,” he says, “but they’re not available.” Domestic workers might work in the cooler packing houses, but not in the fields. “It’s back-breaking work,” says Hall.
By Jonathon Gatehouse - Monday, April 11, 2011 at 11:32 AM - 39 Comments
Death threats, hate mail, conspiracy theories. Welcome to hockey night in Phoenix.
The clock is ticking for the Phoenix Coyotes. Down 1-0 to the St. Louis Blues with less than three minutes left in the first period, the team is fiddling away a two-man advantage. The wingers are having trouble controlling the puck, and the one shot Keith Yandle manages from the point misses the net by a country mile. When a fumbled pass results in a short-handed rush for the Blues, the boos rain down in Jobing.com Arena. It’s surprisingly loud given the size of the crowd—10,977 tickets sold or given away, but at least a thousand fewer actual bums in the seats. On a Tuesday night in late March, matched up against a team bound for the golf course instead of the playoffs, hockey is a tough sell in Phoenix. Hand it to the fans who do show up, though—they’re as apt at expressing their displeasure as any in the game.
The chant that rises out of the upper bowl during the second period isn’t quite as lusty, but perhaps even more telling. “Goldwater sucks! Goldwater sucks!” NHL catcalls aren’t usually directed at libertarian think tanks. Then again, nothing about the saga of the Phoenix Coyotes is business as usual.
By macleans.ca - Friday, April 8, 2011 at 11:02 AM - 0 Comments
Are the Vancouver Canucks the prohibitive Cup favourites?
A Canuck Cup fave?
The Vancouver Canucks captured the President’s Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top regular-season team, despite playing in the superior conference and suffering an unearthly skein of injuries to its defence corps. This marks the first time Vancouver has won the trophy, introduced in 1985. The Canucks dominated impressively in 2010-11, surrendering far fewer goals than any other team, running the best power play, and ranking second in overall scoring and penalty-killing.
Laurent Gbagbo, the strongman clinging to the presidency of Ivory Coast, faced a reckoning as UN and French armies intervened in support of forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, recognized internationally as the winner of a 2010 election. Peacekeepers entered Ivorian borders and airspace after Gbagbo’s militia began targeting civilian Ouattara supporters. The capture of the capital, Abidjan, soon followed. Gbagbo, trapped within a small perimeter around a personal bunker, was said to be negotiating a surrender.
A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 landed safely at an airport in Yuma, Ariz., after a panel tore open and depressurized the cabin at 36,000 feet. Southwest, whose short-hop business model, say experts, is hard on airframes, inspected its fleet for metal fatigue after the mercifully inexpensive warning. Meanwhile, underwater robot vehicles operating off Brazil’s coast found wreckage from Air France Flight 447, promising new clues to a mysterious 2009 crash that killed 228 people.
Fries with that recovery?
In a gesture of faith in the U.S. economy, fast-food giant McDonald’s will hire 50,000 American personnel in a single day (April 19), expanding its U.S. workforce to 700,000. (McDonald’s Canada will add 4,000 workers the same day.) Of the 8.7 million jobs lost in the U.S. during the recession, only 1.5 million have been regained since 2009. “McJobs” is a byword for tenuous, low-paying work, but McDonald’s U.S.A. observes that half of its franchise owners and 75 per cent of managers started behind the counter.
Violence wracked Afghanistan after Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who backed down on threats to burn the Quran last year, followed through and immolated the holy book after a webcasted mock trial. Protesters stormed a UN facility in Mazar-e-Sharif, killing three staff and four Nepalese Gurkha guards; at least 17 more people, mostly Afghan civilians, died in further riots. The White House denounced Jones’s action as “un-American,” as did U.S. Gen. David Petraeus, who says his forces now face “an additional serious security challenge.”
A referee’s regrets
South African judge Richard Goldstone, who led a UN investigation into the 2008-09 Israeli invasion of Gaza, added a postscript to his 2009 report criticizing Israel and Hamas for war crimes. In the Washington Post, Goldstone wrote that he had hoped his report would introduce “a new era of even-handedness” at the often anti-Zionist UN. But he found that only the Israeli side followed up the report and investigated its own conduct; Hamas, meanwhile, continued unlawful attacks on Israeli civilians.
A nurse in Dartmouth, N.S., was reprimanded for poor handwriting, sparking a national debate about hospital records. Wilfred Gordon’s illegible scrawls on charts had been a problem “for many years,” declared a disciplinary panel of the province’s College of Registered Nurses, but he “had not successfully addressed the issue.” Gordon was ordered to take a course in documentation and will face penmanship reviews by a manager.
It’s bad for your arteries, too
Another mess in Nova Scotia emerged when a sewer backup in a Bedford neighbourhood proved to have been caused, in part, by bacon grease. A Halifax Water investigation into flooded basements in the Ridgevale subdivision revealed that clogs of fat and oil, accumulating at levels “more often associated with commercially zoned areas,” played a role in damage to five homes. Local homeowners were sceptical, and a councillor noted that in at least one case, it was steamers used by sewer workers to melt the grease that sent sewage blasting upward into a Ridgevale domicile.
By Jaime Weinman - Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 9:19 AM - 5 Comments
A show that takes a stand against bullying might have given bullies some ideas
One month, two very different stories about Glee and bullies. Entertainment Weekly recently praised the hit show for its stand against gay-bashing and “the daily high school realities of bullying, discrimination and ignorance.” Soon after, Toronto newspapers reported that students at a Toronto school were not only shouting anti-gay slurs at people but “slushing” them—throwing colourful ice drinks at them and trying to soak them or stain them, or just hit them with the ice. This happens to be a technique popularized, and maybe even invented, by the bad guys on Glee. Enza Anderson, a Toronto transgender political activist who has organized a public meeting to discuss the attacks, told Maclean’s that “it was definitely copied from the show. In my 20 years of living in this community, I’ve never seen this done until that show started.” If anti-war movies like Saving Private Ryan have been accused of making war seem exciting, then Glee could be the anti-bullying show that gives bullies ideas.
The throwing of slushies, or Slurpees, or whatever they’re called, is one of the most iconic running gags on the show. It tends to be done by the members of the football team, the representatives of evil, as a quick and easy way to humiliate the characters on the good-guy glee club: everyone from the annoying Rachel (Lea Michele) to saintly Kurt (Chris Colfer) has randomly been splashed.
Even people who don’t watch Glee regularly might have seen the drink-throwing somewhere else, thanks to advertising. Before the current season started, the cast promoted the show with an ad where they all threw multi-coloured drinks at the camera. Oprah Winfrey even invited Michele to help demonstrate the proper splattering technique on her show, introducing the show’s property master as he practised covering a dummy named “Bob” with red dye: “Not bad,” he mused. “I would have preferred a little more texture.” Along with singing and incomprehensible plots, slushing may be the thing Glee most wants to be known for.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 9:32 PM - 61 Comments
President Barack Obama’s remarks in Tucson this evening.
I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.
That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.
I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.
By Alex Derry - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 5:58 PM - 22 Comments
Why the Giffords shooting isn’t out of character for the desert state
Having recently returned from Washington, where she was sworn into her third term in the House of Representatives, Gabrielle Giffords and her aides arrived at a Tucson Safeway to meet and greet her constituents on the morning of January 8, 2011. As one of Arizona’s more conservative Democrats and the only Jewish woman in the state’s history to serve in Congress, Giffords was a popular centrist politician in a state whose political representatives have often gone off the ideological deep end.
When the news spread that Jared Lee Loughner, 22, had allegedly turned a gun on the crowd, killing six and wounding 14, with Giffords as his intended target, it was greeted with shock and disbelief. How could America have fallen so far? Could the national debate have grown so vitriolic that people now turn to their guns to express their dissatisfaction with the order of things?
Perhaps such utter disbelief is a little naïve. After all, as Stephen Lemons of Phoenix News described Arizona, it is a place where “there are very real ideas at war with each other.”
Giffords herself represents Arizona’s conflicting political dichotomies. She is a hawkish “blue dog” Democrat in favour of tighter border security. She has defended SB 1070, Arizona’s controversial anti-immigration bill, calling it a cry for help from a state that was desperate for action on comprehensive immigration reform. Arizonan journalist Terry Greene Sterling explains that while she is by no means a polarizing figure in the state’s politics, “she walked an increasingly political tightrope in her sprawling southeastern Arizona district.” Her constituency, Sterling says, was a loose patchwork of “employees of military bases, Minutemen, retirees, borderland townsfolk, meth dealers, Tucson suburbanites and cattle ranchers.”
In Arizona, even law enforcement is tainted by the state’s divisive politics. Pima County Sherriff Clarence Dupnik, a friend of Giffords’s and an opponent of SB 1070, said in a press conference following the shooting that Arizona is a “Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” In contrast, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of neighbouring Maricopa County is a militant opponent of illegal immigration. He has regularly rounded up Hispanic people suspected of being illegal immigrants and thrown them into Tent City, a Guantanamo-like detention centre that even he has described as a “concentration camp.” His harsh tactics have made him the subject of a Federal Grand Jury investigation for civil rights violations.
Gun ownership in Arizona is not as politically divisive an issue as it is in the rest of the United States. While critical of the state’s lax gun laws and draconian immigration policies, Sherriff Dupnik has also advised Pima residents to arm themselves, saying the Tucson Police Department doesn’t have the resources to protect residents. A strong supporter of the second amendment, Congresswoman Giffords also owns a gun and has described herself as “a pretty good shot.” Her weapon of choice is a Glock 9, the same make of gun that Loughner allegedly used to shoot her through the back of the head at point-blank range.
During the 2010 mid-term election campaign, Nevada Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle invoked a troubling and archaic interpretation of the constitutional right to bear arms. Angle’s supporters, she warned, were increasingly looking to “Second Amendment remedies” as a means to “turn this country around.” The rhetorical symbolism of the gun used by frontier state conservatives is not a recent trend. In 1961, Arizona’s native son and archconservative Barry Goldwater declared “we’re not going to get the Negro vote as a block in 1964 and 1968, so we ought to go hunting where the ducks are.”
In the meantime, Arizona has kept its law books clear of all but the most rudimentary restrictions on gun ownership. Last January, Governor Jan Brewer signed a law allowing Arizonans to carry concealed weapons without a permit. This law allowed Loughner, reportedly motivated by political passions, to buy a Glock 19 handgun almost a year later. He passed the instant background check despite a history of unstable behaviour (he had been suspended from Pima Community College due to “mental problems”), because his name never appeared on the National Instant Background Check System.
Decades of financial mismanagement have left Arizona teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, forcing it to make massive cuts to social services, including mental health counseling. It is now a state where vigilantism rules the border, and where guns are freely allowed in universities and the state legislature. Loughner’s crime may be no one’s fault but his own, but is it really that much of a surprise that it happened in Arizona?
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 8:57 AM - 179 Comments
They’re in a tough spot these days partly because it’s impossible for them to mount the defense of their rhetoric that is true: “I am a frivolous person, and I don’t choose my words based on their meaning. Rather, I behave like the worst caricature of a politician. If you think my rhetoric logically implies that people should behave violently, you’re mistaken – neither my audience nor my peers in the conservative movement are engaged in a logical enterprise, and it’s unfair of you to imply that people take what I say so seriously that I can be blamed for a real world event. Don’t you see that this is all a big game? This is how politics works. Stop pretending you’re not in on the joke.”
Though the specifics and subjects are different, that sense of “humour” feels familiar. Read those last three sentences and consider how often they could be applied as a post script to what’s said here.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 11:50 AM - 35 Comments
Liberal MP Dominic LeBlanc, recently the subject of death threats, considers the reality of public life.
“It makes us all stop and think,” LeBlanc told the Star on Monday. “No public figure can be completely immune from any threat whatsoever if you’re taking public positions on controversial issues. But it’s the responsibility of the police to ensure that public persons’ freedoms aren’t restricted by these threats.”
… Events like in Arizona, certainly that incident involving Mr. Chrétien, remind everybody that there’s often a violent fringe element that doesn’t live in any kind of real world, or any kind of reality, and can resort to senseless violence without any warning,” LeBlanc said.
Last year, a Guelph court dealt with a mentally ill woman who had been threatening the Prime Minister.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 9:02 AM - 84 Comments
I do think that its important for us to watch our rhetoric, I do think that its a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with our enemies if for no other reason than to draw a better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid mad men and what passes for acceptable political and pundit speak. It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV. Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM - 60 Comments
John Dickerson considers what should happen now.
Any speech now, from the president or a top Republican, would have to go beyond merely saying, “Tone down the rhetoric.” This doesn’t mean that sanitizing political speech is the answer. Passion is inevitable and even necessary. (Besides which, there’s no workable way to tamp it down. You can’t station a TSA agent at the front of every debate.)
Still, thinking first in terms of restraint rather than attack, in crafting a political message or in a political debate, might mean taking a breath before you assume the worst about your opponent’s motives. It might mean a pause to consider the danger of your own knee-jerk view of their ideas. Maybe they’re actually capable of reasonable thought.
In honor of the victims of the shooting, Congress will observe a moment of silence tomorrow afternoon. Fitting but insufficient. What we need is a permanent moment of restraint.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, January 10, 2011 at 9:06 AM - 49 Comments
In a story about how MPs cope with potential threats to their personal security, the Toronto Star footnotes an observation former Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark made in 1995, after an intruder made it into 24 Sussex.
“I think this is an increasingly dangerous time,” former prime minister Joe Clark said at the time. “I think people are very frustrated and the extent of angry rhetoric in the country can lead people to extreme actions. On the other hand, that is part of the risk one runs in a democracy. You can’t cordon yourself off.”
By Aaron Wherry - Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 5:06 PM - 161 Comments
Jack Shafer defends angry rhetoric.
The great miracle of American politics is that although it can tend toward the cutthroat and thuggish, it is almost devoid of genuine violence outside of a few scuffles and busted lips now and again. With the exception of Saturday’s slaughter, I’d wager that in the last 30 years there have been more acts of physical violence in the stands at Philadelphia Eagles home games than in American politics.
Ed Morrissey has more.
It seems to me—admittedly still sorting through my thoughts—that there remains cause for reflection here. Not because there is any causational relationship between recent political rhetoric and yesterday’s events. As yet there is no real evidence of this. And even if there were it would be worth questioning any notion that our speech should be guarded for the sake of the imbalanced and violent amongst us. Continue…
By Patricia Treble - Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 1:00 PM - 0 Comments
Arizona’s tough-talking cop is a Tea Party favourite, in spite of accusations of financial irregularities
Joe Arpaio’s reputation as a tough-on-immigration sheriff in Arizona is garnering him rock-star status among Tea Party members. And increasingly his influence is extending outside the borders of his home state. Last weekend he headlined a fundraiser for Colorado gubernatorial candidate and Tea Party fave Tom Tancredo.
Arpaio joined Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman in singing the praises of Tancredo, whose anti-immigration bona fides—he lambastes the “cult of multiculturalism”—are as impeccable as those of the sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Arizona’s capital Phoenix. And early in September, Arpaio gave a strong thumbs-up for Sharron Angle, the Tea Party candidate trying to unseat Democratic Senate leader Harry Reid in next-door Nevada. Angle reciprocated by stating every state needed a police chief like Arpaio.
For the ﬁve-term elected lawman, going after illegals involves more than stopping them crossing the border.
“Let’s say lock them up in the interior,” he declared at a rally near the border with Mexico, organized in part by the Tea Party Caucus. He claims to have arrested, investigated and detained more than 40,000 migrants in the past three years, in part by having officers stop people in immigrant neighbourhoods for minor infractions, such as jaywalking, and then ask their immigration status. Critics call the technique racial proﬁling, a charge Arpaio denies.
By Paul Wells - Friday, September 3, 2010 at 2:48 PM - 0 Comments
It’s going well in Arizona:
By Colby Cosh - Wednesday, September 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM - 0 Comments
Oiler goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin’s trial for the offence of “extreme” impaired driving was the talk of the town in Edmonton yesterday. Khabibulin, 37, may seem a little old to be horning in on the extreme sports craze, but that’s what Arizona charges you with when you’re caught going 70 in a 45 mph zone and you have a blood alcohol content of 0.16%. The Russian, pulled over in February, was found guilty late last week and was sentenced Tuesday to 30 days in jail, the mandatory minimum. He had the bad luck to be busted in Maricopa County, home to the demented Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his “tent city” justice. Continue…
By John Parisella - Monday, August 16, 2010 at 7:03 PM - 0 Comments
Once upon a time, George W. Bush was looking for a bipartisan consensus
Last October, I had a public conversation with President George W. Bush in Montreal during which I had the privilege of asking him questions about his presidency. When I asked him what was his biggest disappointment, he answered without hesitation it was his failure to enact comprehensive immigration reform. Along with Republican Senator John McCain and the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, he had tried to forge a bipartisan consensus to secure the country’s borders and develop a path to citizenship for anywhere between 12 to 20 million undocumented immigrants. Bush was in the latter stages of his presidency and the politics inside the Republican party made it impossible to reach a consensus on reform. The problem hasn’t disappeared. In fact, it has just gotten worse.
Enter Arizona. The problem along the Arizona border with active Mexican drug cartels soon transformed the debate into one about law and order and border security. The law enacted by Gov. Jan Brewer brought in stringent measures, including giving police a near-universal right right to round up illegal aliens. Just recently, a federal judge upheld most parts of the law, but blocked key provisions that could have led to widespread racial profiling. The battlelines have therefore been drawn between hard line Republicans who want to secure the border above all else and blame Obama for worsening the problem, and Democrats who see obvious political advantages in mobilizing the Latino and progressive voters pushing them to enact reforms.
By Luiza Ch. Savage - Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 10:20 AM - 0 Comments
How badly will the lawsuit against Arizona hurt the Democrats?
Facing November mid-term elections in which they could lose control of the House, if not the Senate, Democrats had a plan for this summer: take to the campaign trail talking about jobs. Republicans had planned to keep fanning the flames against President Barack Obama’s health-care reform and mounting government debt. But the administration scrambled those plans last week by launching a lawsuit against the state of Arizona.
At issue: its tough new immigration law which, as of July 29 unless a court intervenes, will make it a crime to fail to carry immigration documents in Arizona. (Until now, being in the country illegally was a federal civil offence.) Most controversially, the law requires police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other offences if they “reasonably suspect” them of being in the country illegally.
By John Parisella - Monday, July 19, 2010 at 5:07 PM - 0 Comments
When you ask the twentysomething crowd where they get their news, few will mention…
When you ask the twentysomething crowd where they get their news, few will mention the daily newspaper or the mainstream nightly news anchors. Most get their information from a laptop or a phone, and many will admit The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart accounts for much of their take on what’s up and what’s down in U.S. politics these days.
Given my new vantage point in New York City, I decided to see for myself what the fuss is all about. To be perfectly honest, I am a little behind the curve here—Stewart’s popularity steadily rising over the past decade and Colbert’s success alone as a spinoff from The Daily Show says a lot about the latter’s strength in the marketplace. So about a week ago, courtesy of a friend who is a writer on the show, I attended a taping of Jon Stewart’s show.
By Colby Cosh - Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 4:59 AM - 20 Comments
Patricia Treble’s short piece about Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the publicity-hogging Faulknerian nightmare who runs law enforcement in Maricopa County, Arizona, mentions in passing that
recently, a defence lawyer complained that, while her back was turned in court, two ofﬁcers riﬂed through her privileged legal documents and even managed to photocopy some pages. The sheriff’s ofﬁce insisted that the men, who were caught on video, were examining the papers for contraband.
Unfortunately, no text description is adequate to capture the surrealism of bailiffs stealing documents from a defence lawyer in open court. It’s really the kind of thing you have to see for yourself. And even then you might not believe your eyes.
Reason magazine justice crusader Radley Balko has context, along with an update, wherein the gonzo weirdness of Maricopa County gets weirder still.
By Nicholas Köhler - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 5:55 PM - 967 Comments
Canadians are snapping up foreclosed homes in the U.S. Southwest. Is it the opportunity of a lifetime, or a disaster in the making?
In her form-fitting power suit, in a beige-toned Calgary hotel conference hall, Nancy Bacon greets a crowd of would-be real estate investors with a question: “How many people in this room like to be told what to do?” Bacon, VP of financial planning development with CBI Group, is flattering the Calgarians in their after-work jeans, who like to think they don’t need Sarah Palin to tell them what a maverick is. And CBI is pitching a scheme only mavericks could love: invest a minimum $10,000 in a foreclosure acquisition fund created to make massive real estate purchases in one of the worst-hit subprime cities in the United States—Phoenix, Ariz.
As of February, prices there had fallen 35.2 per cent in a year, and by slightly more than half from their peak in June 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. That annual decline is the worst in the country. One in 40 Phoenix homes received foreclosure notices in the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac, which monitors U.S. foreclosure data, the country’s ninth-highest rate—visible on the desert cityscape as discrete patches of unwatered browns amidst a checkerboard of green lawns.