What Could Go Wrong?

« January 2013 »


Here at You Are Dumb Dot Net, we are generally of a practical bent. I tend to concern myself with what is, not what might be. But that doesn't make me immune to the big questions of the universe, and when suitably inspired, I find myself willing to ponder the classic imponderables. And in this spirit, I look at the following philosophical conundrum:

Can the right wing come up with an idea so awful that Joe Arpaio can't try to enact it?

When Republicans decided that abusing prisoners was right and just because they are bad and we are good, Sheriff Joe Arpaio dressed his prisoners in pink underwear and went to court to defend his right to do so. When Republicans decided we should just round up all the illegal immigrants, Sheriff Joe got Steven Seagal and a tank and ran over a dog trying to storm a brown person's house.

I mean, I'm shocked that Joe hasn't tried to singlehandedly defund Planned Parenthood in Arizona by positioning a giant magnet above the door in the hopes of stealing everyone's pocket change. That's how Joe rolls.

Case in point, the NRA, in a press conference so widely mocked you'd think Al Gore had said last year was tied with the warmest on record, suggested that the problem of gun massacres in schools could only be solved by an unpaid volunteer force of random gun nuts who took it upon themselves to "patrol" America's kindergartens, taking potshots at anyone who looked at them funny.

If suggesting the idea is unmitigated lunacy, what does that make the man who implemented it by rounding up 3,000 armed Arizonans, calling them a "posse", and instructing them to loiter around school grounds, "just in case"? In Arizona, that makes the man a six-term sheriff.

"Our posses are well trained with over 100 hours of how to use weapons... they have authority under the elected sheriff. I feel they'll be a great asset to schools around our area." - Joe Arpaio, the man who decided Steven Seagal was a great asset.

Is that 100 hours each, or 100 hours total? Because if Malcolm Gladwell is right, and it takes 10,000 hours of practice to master something, the Sheriff's posse has nearly one percent of the experience it needs to do the job. If it's 100 hours total, the problem should solve itself quickly as they'll all shoot each other by accident.

And that's without the report that some of the members of the posse have criminal pasts. Now, without details on what those criminal pasts are, I can't say whether it's a problem or not, but I will say I don't find Arpaio's defense comforting in the slightest.

"We have people in law enforcement, including my agency, that have problems. That's just a copout. That's ridiculous. They don't really understand what they're talking about. This posse is well-trained. They're covered liability-wise. They have the authority to enforce the law once I mobilize them. and that's what we're going to do."

In other words, this posse is no more fucked up than some of his cops, they can't get sued if they fuck up, and they get to do whatever they want because he says so. That wouldn't be reassuring coming from ANYBODY. Coming from someone with Arpaio's track record of fuckuppery, let's hope Arizona's parents spent big on the Kevlar Backpack craze after Sandy Hook.