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Beating something besides the Bush


There aren’t many things one really needs to know about California’s cranky, high-pocketed, white-shoe-and-belt-wearing, prune-munching neighbor to the east.

I know, I know, “need” is a strong word. As in, “your mother needs a hip replacement,” or “I’ll need another drink if I’m gonna have to carve the turkey.” But there are two things that people do need to understand. 

And mind you, I wouldn’t claim expertise on a state deservedly nicknamed for the world’s largest hole in the ground. That’d be like admitting I can tell a great YouPorn clip from a so-so one just by looking at the thumbnails — who’d cop to that? 

Nevertheless, in order to at least sound somewhat authoritative (much like the reason Dubya supposedly gave up hooch and nose candy) I’ll confess that I did stay in Arizona a couple times. I hauled drywall on a truck out to Sun City one summer (though I couldn’t figure out why those geezers would add bedrooms in communities where their kids can’t move back in with them), and later I earned a J.D. there (though I still dunno why I carried out such a fool’s errand as that). I’ve been there. Long time, G.I.

So I do have a good sense of why even the Joad family rolled through without stopping. And the first thing we masses need to get about the drunken-redneck uncle of the states is that even though 25 percent of it lies (or at least fibs and breaks treaties) within various Indian reservations, it is, clearly, the single biggest quasi-closeted klavern west of Hayden, Idaho. 

These crackers are in it for the long haul, like Eichmann’s kids and David Duke. Heck, back in ’87, car-dealer-cum-impeached-Governor Evan Mecham (aka “Mr. Pickaninny” — Google it) rescinded Klanizona’s MLK holiday, and in 1990 these benighted bran-grazers rejected a ballot initiative to put it back. Whereupon the NFL yanked the ‘93 Super Bowl. Didn’t matter. Dollars (and national ridicule) be damned — Arizonans want them some lynchings, even without any tree branches to use. 

They hate brownish people. Whyever they migrated from Pittsburgh and Schenectady to walker through their last wheezing days smack-up against a failing country spilling-full of the very brownish people they detest, I’ll never fathom. Anyway, these volks are black-socks-with-shorts serious about their supremacy complexes. But for the EPA, they’d have been staking up concertina and lighting up crema-ovens along the border yesterday. 

Luckily, though, their numbers are few — not even enough to pick their own oranges, to point out an inconvenient truth. 167 people, max.  And the only pikers who pay income taxes in that crater are Wile E. Coyote, his dynamite connection Asaad, and David Spade’s mom. If it weren’t for the second thing to know about that Fourth Reich, it’d merit no mention. 

The second thing, though, is what’s causing a ruckus. (Good Arizona word, that: “ruckus.”)  For whatever reason, they’ve left off hooting at Hee-Haw reruns and ranting over at Luby’s Cafeteria about affirmative action and welfare queens and whatnot, and they’ve gone ahead and operationalized their long-conjured “final solution.” 

See, they’ve enacted a law (or, what passes for a “law” in a state where 40,000 warrants now go unserved in one county because the Shurff’s deploying his Deppitys on day-long McDonald’s kitchen stakeouts, hoping to scoop up Cheech Marin on the one day he didn’t bring his three-ring binder full of identification documents with him). Reeee-publican Governor Jan Brewer (read: Leni Riefenstahl sans the camera) signed Senate Bill 1070, which basically orders every publicly employed fartknocker with a badge and a Glock 9 who squares-up in front of anyone driving an ’88 Chevy Astro within six blocks of an El Pollo Loco to haul said “anyone” off to the pokey by the sombrero, unless said “anyone” produces, upon gunpoint-demand, a birth certificate better than Obama’s.

That is to say — and let’s be clear — all the cops, jail-minders, and notaries public in Klanizona must now hassle everybody who’s ever said “no se,” and give ’em the Albert Louima treatment with a Maglite if they can’t cough up proof of a Flagstaff address or a 780 credit score right there on the roadside.

It’s an embarrassment , this Jim Crow reprise — at least to everybody who didn’t vote for Orville Faubus.

So, now the Justice Department’s roused itself for the first time since Martha Stewart’s perp walk, and it’s filed suit to … er … stop it, somehow.

Hallelujah. Go get ’em, Eric. Be like Ike and give those honkies a good tanning. Schnell. •

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