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'Illegals In Our Yard': Why Arizonans Still Love Sheriff Joe

Arizona's hard-line isolationism runs deeper than a few elderly racists. Welcome to Joe Arpaio country.

This holiday season, I spent 10 days in Maricopa County, a Republican stronghold in the center of Arizona that stretches across 9,000 square miles of urban and desert sprawl. I hadn't spent more than a few days in my home state since I graduated from high school in 2003 and moved away forever. Over the years, I grew more and more distant from the people who stayed there. Then, late one night during vacation, I ended up in the Phoenix apartment of three nice, engaging 20-somethings who suspect that the U.S. government engineered the September 11 attacks and insist that Osama bin Laden has been dead for years. They believe that Americans should overthrow the federal government and regulate ourselves "as adults." Then, we'll all agree to secure our borders, deport all undocumented immigrants, and put an end to birthright citizenship.

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Your Tax Money at Work: Steven Seagal and Cops Storm a Cockfighting Ring with a Tank

The action hero plays cop in an absurd show of force in Phoenix.


The Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, with actor Steven Seagal in tow, stormed a Phoenix-area home on Monday in what some are calling a misuse of force. According to eyewitnesses, SWAT forces blew the windows out of a home suspected of running a cockfighting ring before rolling over its walls with armored vehicles and a tank. Seagal, who was filming an episode of his reality cop show, Lawman, was riding in the tank.

Neighbor Debra Ross was not amused. Terrified, she called 911 because of the ruckus, but she soon relaxed when she saw what all the commotion was about. "When the tank came in and pushed the wall over and you see what's in there," she told a local news station, "and all it is is a bunch of chickens."

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Food for Thinkers: WANTED! Prison Food Writers

Bryan Finoki pursues his interest in the politics of space into the prison dining room—and all the way along the inmates' digestive tracts.

Bryan Finoki is the author of Subtopia, a blog exploring the shadowy intersections between architecture, urbanism, militarism, border space, and geopolitics, as well as an adjunct faculty member at Woodbury University's School of Architecture in San Diego, California. For Food for Thinkers week, Finoki pursues his interest in the politics of space into the prison dining room—and all the way along the inmates' digestive tracts.

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