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Thursday, January 29, 2009


You all remember Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona , who painted the jail cells pink and made the inmates wear pink prison garb. Well.........


Oh, there's MUCH more to know
about Sheriff Joe!

Maricopa County was spending approx. $18
million dollars a year on stray animals, like cats and dogs.
Sheriff Joe offered to take the department over, and the County Supervisors said okay.

The animal shelters are now all staffed and operated by prisoners.
They feed and care for the strays. Every animal in his care is taken out and walked twice daily. He now has prisoners who are experts in animal nutrition and behavior. They give great classes for anyone who'd like to adopt an animal. He has literally taken stray dogs off the street, given them to the care of prisoners, and had them place in dog shows.

The best part? His budget for the entire department is now under
$3 million. Teresa and I adopted a Weimaraner from a Maricopa County shelter two years ago. He was neutered, and current on all shots, in great health, and even had a microchip inserted the day we got him. Cost us $78.

The prisoners get the benefit of about $0.28 an hour for working, but most would work for free, just to be out of their cells for the day. Most of his budget is for utilities, building maintenance, etc. He pays the prisoners out of the fees collected for adopted animals.

I have long wondered when the rest of the country would take a look at the way he runs the jail system, and copy some of his ideas. He has a huge farm, donated to the county years ago, where inmates can work, and they grow most of their own fresh vegetables and food, doing all the work and harvesting by hand. He has a pretty good sized hog farm, which provides meat, and fertilizer. It fertilizes the Christmas tree nursery, where prisoners work, and you can buy a living Christmas tree for $6 - $8 for the Holidays, and plant it later. We have six trees in our yard from the Prison.

Yup, he was reelected last year with 83% of the vote.
Now he's in trouble with the ACLU again. He
painted all his buses and vehicles with a mural, that has a special
hotline phone number painted on it, where you can call and report
suspected illegal aliens. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement wasn't doing enough in his eyes, so he had 40 deputies trained specifically for enforcing immigration laws, started up his hotline, and bought 4 new buses just for hauling folks back to the border. He's kind of a 'Git-R Dun' kind of Sheriff.




Sheriff Joe Arpaio (In Arizona ) who created the ' Tent City Jail':
He has jail meals down to 40 cents a serving and charges the inmates for them.

He stopped smoking and porno magazines in the jails. Took away their weights Cut off all but 'G' movies.

He started chain gangs so the inmates could do free work on county and city projects.

Then He Started Chain Gangs For
Women So He Wouldn't Get Sued For Discrimination.

He took away cable TV Until he found out there was A Federal Court Order that Required Cable TV For Jails So He Hooked Up The Cable TV Again Only Let In The Disney Channel And The Weather Channel.

When asked why the weather channel He Replied, So They Will Know How Hot It's Gonna Be While They Are Working ON My Chain Gangs.

He Cut Off Coffee Since It Has Zero Nutritional Value.

When the inmates complained, he told them, 'This Isn't The Ritz/Carlton......If You Don't Like It, Don't Come Back.'

He bought Newt Gingrich's lecture series on videotape that he pipes into the jails.

When asked by a reporter if he had any lecture series by a Democrat, he replied that a democratic lecture series might explain why a lot of the inmates were in his jails in the first place.

More On The Arizona Sheriff:

With Temperatures Being Even
Hotter Than Usual In Phoenix (116 Degrees Just Set A New Record), the Associated Press Reports:
About 2,000 Inmates Living In A Barbed-Wire-Surrounded Tent Encampment At The Maricopa County Jail Have Been Given Permission To Strip Down To Their Government-Issued Pink Boxer Shorts.

On Wednesday, hundreds of men wearing boxers were either curled up on their bunk beds or chatted in the tents, which reached 138 Degrees Inside The Week Before..

Many Were Also Swathed In Wet, Pink Towels As Sweat Collected On Their Chests And Dripped Down To Their PINK SOCKS.

'It Feels Like We Are In A Furnace,' Said James Zanzot, An Inmate Who Has Lived In The TENTS for 1 year. 'It's Inhumane.'

Joe Arpaio, the tough-guy sheriff who created the tent city and long ago started making his prisoners wear pink, and eat bologna sandwiches, is not one bit sympathetic. He said Wednesday that he told all of the inmates: 'It's 120 Degrees In Iraq And Our Soldiers Are Living In Tents Too, And They Have To Wear Full Battle Gear, But They Didn't Commit Any Crimes, So Shut Your Mouths!'

Way To Go, Sheriff!

Maybe if all prisons were like this one there would be a lot less crime and/or repeat offenders.
Criminals should be punished for their crimes - not live in luxury until it's time for their parole, only to go out and commit another crime so they can get back in to live on taxpayers money and enjoy things taxpayers can't afford to have for themselves.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

RIP John Updike

John Updike was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, and spent his first years in nearby Shillington, a small town where his father was a high school science teacher. The area surrounding Reading has provided the setting for many of his stories, with the invented towns of Brewer and Olinger standing in for Reading and Shillington. An only child, Updike and his parents shared a house with his grandparents for much of his childhood. When he was 13, the family moved to his mother's birthplace, a stone farmhouse on an 80-acre farm near Plowville, eleven miles from Shillington, where he continued to attend school.

John Updike Biography Photo
At home, he consumed popular fiction, especially humor and mysteries. His mother, herself an aspiring writer, encouraged him to write and draw. He excelled in school and served as President and co-valedictorian of his graduating class at Shillington High School. For the first three summers after high school, he worked as a copy boy at the Reading Eagle newspaper, eventually producing a number of feature stories for the paper. He received a tuition scholarship to Harvard University, where he majored in English. As an undergraduate, he wrote stories and drew cartoons for the Harvard Lampoon humor magazine, serving as the magazine's president in his senior year. Before graduating, he married fellow student Mary E. Pennington. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard in 1954, and in that same year sold a poem and a short story to The New Yorker magazine.

Updike and his wife spent the following year in England, where Updike studied at Oxford's Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. While they were in England, their first daughter was born and Updike met the American writers E. B. and Katharine White, editors at The New Yorker, who urged him to seek a job at the magazine. On returning from England, the Updikes settled in Manhattan, where John took a position as a staff writer at The New Yorker. He worked at the magazine for nearly two years, writing editorials, features and reviews, but after the birth of a son in 1957, he decided to move his growing family to the small town of Ipswich, Massachusetts. He continued to contribute to The New Yorker but resolved to support his family by writing full-time, without taking a salaried position. Over the years, he has maintained a relationship with The New Yorker, where many of his poems, reviews and short stories have appeared, but he has resided in Massachusetts ever since.

John Updike Biography Photo
Updike's first book of poetry, The Carpentered Hen and Other Tame Creatures, was published by Harper and Brothers in 1958. When the publisher sought changes to the ending of his first novel, The Poorhouse Fair, he moved to Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., his publisher ever since. The first novel was well-received, and with support from the Guggenheim Fellowship, Updike undertook a more ambitious novel, Rabbit, Run. The novel introduced one of Updike's most memorable characters, the small-town athlete, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. Updike's publishers feared that his frank description of Rabbit's sexual adventures could lead to prosecution for obscenity, and made a number of changes to the text. The book was published to widespread acclaim without legal repercussions. The original text was restored for the British edition a few years later, and subsequent American editions of the book have reflected the author's original intent. Updike's reputation as a leading author of his generation was established.

After the birth of a third child, Updike rented a one-room office above a restaurant in Ipswich, where he wrote for several hours every morning, six days a week, a schedule he has adhered to throughout his career. In 1963, he received the National Book Award for his novel The Centaur, inspired by his childhood in Pennsylvania. The following year, at age 32, he became the youngest person ever elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and was invited by the State Department to tour eastern Europe as part of a cultural exchange program between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1967, he joined the author Robert Penn Warren and other American writers in signing a letter urging Soviet writers to defend Jewish cultural institutions under attack by the Soviet government.

John Updike Biography Photo
In 1968, Updike's novel Couples created a national sensation with its portrayal of the complicated relationships among a set of young married couples in the suburbs. It remained on the best-seller lists for over a year and prompted a Time magazine cover story featuring Updike. In Bech: A Book (1970), Updike introduced a new protagonist, the imaginary novelist Henry Bech, who, like Rabbit Angstrom, was destined to reappear in Updike's fiction for many years. Rabbit Angstrom reappeared in Rabbit Redux (1971).

In the 1970s, Updike continued to travel as a cultural ambassador of the United States, and in 1974 he joined authors John Cheever, Arthur Miller and Richard Wilbur in calling on the Soviet government to cease its persecution of dissident author Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Updike separated from his wife Mary in 1974 and moved to Boston where he taught briefly at Boston University. Two years later, the Updikes were divorced, and in 1977 he married Martha Ruggles Bernhard, settling with her and her three children in Georgetown, Massachusetts.

John Updike Biography Photo
Rabbit is Rich, published in 1981, received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1983 Updike's other alter ego, Harry Bech, reappeared in Bech is Back, and Updike was featured in a second Time magazine cover story, "Going Great at 50." Among his novels of the 1980s and 1990s are a trilogy retelling The Scarlet Letter from the points of view of three different characters, and a prequel to Hamlet, entitled Gertrude and Claudius. In 1991 he received a second Pulitzer Prize for Rabbit at Rest. He was only the third American to win a second Pulitzer Prize in the fiction category.

In an autobiographical essay, Updike famously identified sex, art, and religion as "the three great secret things" in human experience. The grandson of a Presbyterian minister (his first father-in-law was also a minister), his writing in all genres has displayed a preoccupation with philosophical questions. A lifelong churchgoer and student of Christian theology, the Jesuit magazine America awarded him its Campion Award in 1997 as a "distinguished Christian person of letters." He received the National Medal of Art from President George H.W. Bush in 1989, and in 2003 was presented with the National Medal for the Humanities from President George W. Bush. He is one of a very few Americans to receive both of these honors. The same year saw the publication of The Early Stories, 1953-1975. His latest novel is Villages (2004). To date he has published over 60 books, including novels, collections of short stories, poetry, drama, essays, memoirs and literary criticism. Today, he resides in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, in the same corner of New England where so much of his fiction is set.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FBI didn't keep tabs on comedian Carlin's 7 words

LOS ANGELES – Talk about irony. George Carlin spent decades pushing the bounds of free speech by saying the seven words you can never say on television, but not one of them made it into an FBI file on him.

Among the 12 pages in a file recently released by Carlin's family are a couple of letters from outraged citizens who complained that the comedian had made fun of the FBI and its director, J. Edgar Hoover, during TV appearances in 1969 and 1970.

There's also a letter from Hoover himself thanking one of Carlin's critics for defending his honor, and an internal FBI memo that quotes the director as asking: "What do we know of Carlin?"

Not much, as it turned out. The memo notes the FBI has "no data concerning Carlin" other than the two letters from his critics.

"Which kind of disappoints me," laughed Carlin's daughter, Kelly Carlin McCall, who provided the file to The Associated Press. "It doesn't really cover any of his more radical 1970s stuff."

Carlin was arrested following a performance in Milwaukee in 1972 for saying the seven words (none of which can be reprinted here).

The following year the Federal Communications Commission reprimanded New York radio station WBAI for airing his "filthy words" routine, triggering a legal battle that resulted in a landmark 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government's right to determine indecency.

Carlin, who died of a heart attack last June at 71, obtained the file years ago through a Freedom of Information Act request, McCall said.

Richard Belzer read from some of it when Carlin was posthumously awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in a ceremony that will be broadcast on PBS stations Feb. 4.

After Carlin's death, the FBI answered FOIA requests from the AP with a form letter saying the bureau had no file on him. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said this week she was checking on the contradiction.

The two FBI memos Carlin's daughter provided both stated the bureau's files "contain no information identifiable with Carlin." They also indicate that investigators didn't find the comedian particularly amusing.

One, dated Feb. 12, 1969, refers to Carlin as an "alleged comedian" after he made fun of the bureau during an appearance on "The Jackie Gleason Show."

"His treatment was in very poor taste and it was obvious that he was using the prestige of the bureau and Mr. Hoover to enhance his performance," the memo says.

It also quotes one segment during which Carlin says he is Hoover and is on a stakeout at the attorney general's house. The memo recommends the people who pointed out the performance be sent thank-you letters.

The second memo, dated May 5, 1970, was triggered by a similar complaint, this time for a Carlin appearance on "The Carol Burnett Show."

That time Hoover himself apparently sent the thank-you note, saying: "It's always good to know we have the support of such staunch friends as you."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009