Thursday, August 7, 2008

"America's Toughest Sherriff"

(photo dowloaded from Flickr taken by Franco45)

Joe Arpaio Back In Court

Since he can't seem to understand the difference between rule of law, and rule of men, the ACLU has had to bring Sherriff Joe Arpaio back into court to have the laws, and recent rulings against him explained.

Hopefully, if the financial penalty is large enough to hurt, the Sherriff will understand that he is supposed to be an officer of the court, a servant of the law, and not a law unto himself.

There's an old Hatta'allii named Silas on the rez. He has always taken a special interest in my family, and especially me. He is a very wise man. Once we were sitting around talking and I spouted the old bromide "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Silas took me to task on that one. He said "Power isn't corrupting or anything like that. Power simply is, and it is without attributes beyond being power itself. What happens is that power attracts the already corrupt."

Joe Arpaio started out just another country sherriff. Then, he started getting media and spotlight, at some point, he began to dip his own hands into the till. The New Times of Phoenix has years of solid reporting on Arpaio's many abuses and questionable deals.

I doubt that one more chastising from the bench will have any impact on Arpaio, or his action.

I will also disclose here that I have ridden Search & Rescue as a volunteer for the Maricopa Country Sherriff. The Deputy Captain that was organizing that often complained that "Indian trackers are the best, but they're notoriously hard to manage. They come with their own agenda."

First off, "Indian Trackers" do not have any kind of magic, spooky voodoo DNA shit that makes them good at tracking critters and folks. It's just that most of us have grown up in that briar patch, and often being able to find a track or trail was the difference between going hungry or eating, or even, going home and staying out there fucking lost as shit. It's not a case of race magic or some other bullshit like that.

When he was lumping us together as "Indians" he was talking about an assembly of Apaches (Chiricauhua, Mimbreno, Tonto, White Mountain), Tohono O'odamm, and Navajo. That would have been better described as something closer to NATO than Indians. At one point before we even got started we thought that we were going to all go to jail while the deputies figured out that the sage we were burning over our tack and our mounts wasn't dope or other kind of evil shit like that.

One of the Tohono O'odamm guys said "This is only sage, we're doing a cleansing so we don't have to take your stuff out there with us. It's only some dumb ass white people lost in the desert we're looking for. If it was Mexicans or Indians we'd be eating cactus nubbins and getting all spiritual and shit."

We laughed, cops hate that. Finally some cooler heads prevailed and we were allowed to leave and go find those poor lost souls.

Sherriff Joe gets pissed off because there were a lot of us who were willing to go help them find folks out there lost for free, but were totally unwilling to ride for pay to help him track illegals or fugitives.

It wasn't an "Indian" stand though. It was individual autonomy being expressed. None of us ever refused for anybody else.