By Ray Stern
By Ray Stern
By New Times
By Amy Silverman
By Stephen Lemons
By Stephen Lemons
By Monica Alonzo
By Chris Parker
Great Knights of Columbus, this carping canary can barely believe the scuttlebutt whispered in its ear-hole by a well-placed source in the offices of the Maricopa County Attorney, somebody The Bird will hereafter call Deep Beak! According to Deep Beak, our tough-talkin' County Attorney Andy Thomas should be renamed Candy Thomas for showing his true colors (shades of yellow, perhaps) back on April 10 during the massive, 100,000-strong pro-immigrant rally downtown.
Deep Beak asserts that, during the march, the MCAO offices at 301 West Jefferson Street were armed to the teeth with Kevlar-wearin', shotgun-bearin' gendarmes lest Hispanic protesters storm the building and tear Candy's pasty, cracker frame limb from limb.
Was this overkill on Andy's part to order such fortification? Unless you're a pussy, damn right! You may remember that what was undoubtedly one of the largest political demonstrations in Phoenix history was also as peaceful as a Girl Scout bakeoff.
This wize-crackin' whippoorwill had to wonder: Could Candy be so frightened of Latinos that he spent that day cowering beneath his desk while activists mimicked Martin Luther King Jr. that is, marched nonviolently through the streets of the PHX?
The way Deep Beak tells it, Candy's new title should be Coward of the County. That clandestine catbird claimed that the MCAO's security preparations for the April 10 march "verged on paranoia," with all but a couple of the County Attorney's about 40 investigators reassigned to security detail.
"Investigators were taken off regular duties and reassigned inside the building on every floor in case the masses broke through three rings of already established police security," detailed Deep Beak. "All investigators were issued an additional 50 rounds of ammo for God knows what, and a final defense team in body armor and shotguns was assigned to protect [Candy] and his people on the eighth floor."
Two- to three-man teams roamed each floor in case throngs of peace-lovin' Hispanics turned bloodthirsty. And Deep Beak says Candy was lying low for the entire day, presumably hiding in his office with the shades drawn, sucking his thumb and holding onto his favorite baby blanket as protesters all but sang "We Shall Overcome" nearby.
This inquisitive ink-slinger had to know if Deep Beak's tawdry tale was true, so it phoned MCAO flack Bill FitzGerald and related DB's narrative of Candy's terrified actions. FitzGerald replied via e-mail with a classic non-denial denial:
"We don't under any circumstances or in any detail discuss or comment on the security in any of the buildings that house the staff of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office."
The Bird then pressed FitzGerald on the MCAO's preparations for the big march. But all Fitz the Cat would say is that The Bird's "version of events" was false. False how? Deep Beak's as reliable as a Rolex, someone who's in a position to know what went down. The Bird then asked FitzGerald again and again what actually happened, if what it was relating weren't the gospel. No comment.
The Bird shared this info with one of the main organizers of the April 10 demonstration, Elias Bermudez, executive director of Immigrants Without Borders, who as recently as last Friday went down on his knees along with other activists in front of Sheriff Joe Arpaio to beg that Joe and Candy end their pogrom against Mexicans. Instead of focusing on real criminals, Thomas has turned his office into a hayseed version of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, coming up with all sorts of lame ideas for tormenting hardworking Mexicans.
Bermudez seemed genuinely perplexed by Candy's scaredy-cat ways.
"I guess he feels guilty," commented Bermudez. "And fearful, because he has committed aggression against us. But we have shown tremendous respect for authority. We asked the Phoenix Police Department to help with the crowd, and have abided by its instructions. So there is no indication and no incidence to make anyone believe we want violence. If he fears us, he's barking up the wrong tree.
"He does have a phobia," continued Bermudez, about Thomas. "He's stereotyping all Latinos as being criminals, and that's totally untrue. He has no reason to have this fear."
The Bird then pointed out to Bermudez that Candy's Hispani-phobia must not be 100 percent, as Candy's wife Ann Estrada Thomas is herself Hispanic.
"All I can tell you is that we know he is an Anglo who sleeps with a Mexican every day, but that's about it," Bermudez said. "He doesn't understand us or our heritage."
This cantankerous crow had to cackle over the aforementioned Candy Thomas' losing his first two cases using Arizona's new anti-coyote statute against run-of-the-mill illegal immigrants (whose only crime was crossing the border for jobs so they could feed their families back in Mexico).
The Arizona Human Smuggling Law passed last year makes it a Class 4 felony "for a person to intentionally engage in the smuggling of human beings for profit or commercial purpose." The two Republicans who authored the bill, Representative Jonathan Paton, and Senate Majority Leader Tim Bee, have publicly stated that the law's intent is to punish human traffickers, or "coyotes" not the immigrants being smuggled. But that hasn't stopped Candy. The twisted sister's using the law to pursue conspiracy charges against hundreds of illegal immigrants who've paid coyotes to transport them north of the border.
Candy asserts that these poor slobs conspired to smuggle themselves. And he's using this perverted interpretation of the law as an end-run around Governor Janet Napolitano's veto back in April of a measure that would have empowered the local po-po to arrest all illegal immigrants. Since Candy can't get the law he wants democratically, he's decided to thwart the will of the people and their elected reps. Aiding him in this endeavor, of course, is goofy old Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who thinks the law green-lights his band of buffoons to arrest folks willy-nilly. So far, Joe's nabbed more than 260, the overwhelming majority of whom are alleged conspirators, not actual coyotes.
Normally, when the U.S. Border Patrol nabs an illegal, he or she is returned to Mexico relatively quickly. But now that Candy has bent the law to his own political ends, illegals face months in jail awaiting trial, felony convictions and the possibility of two and one-half years in the slammer before being deported. Natch, Maricopa County's the only county in the state enforcing the law in this fashion.
But there is some sanity around here on the subject of illegal immigration. On July 11, Judge Thomas O'Toole threw out Candy's first two conspiracy cases against Mexican nationals Antonio Hernandez Lopez and Gustavo Urbalejo Gomez, and ordered them released. Comparing illegals to people buying airplane tickets, O'Toole ruled that the prosecutor had no body of evidence with which to proceed.
Lawyer Timothy Agan, who jousts with Loser Boy's prosecutors as part of the County Legal Advocate's Office, cautions that O'Toole's ruling applies only in this particular case. In other words, it sets no legal precedent. But Agan also states that many of Candy's conspiracy cases are little more than "fortuitous traffic stops," and that he and other lawyers are busy challenging the law on different fronts.
"People can take some heart in this result," says Agan, referring to O'Toole's dismissals. "But it's not a global ruling saying that the statute is preempted by federal law, or that this is an improper interpretation and application of this human smuggling law."
Until Agan and his allies get that sort of ruling from a higher court, Candy can bring every one of these so-called conspiracy cases to trial, no matter how many he loses. That's your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not. Candy doesn't give a damn.
Heads up, all you P-town cads and Casanovas!
Did you know there's a Web site where jilted females can post your picture, list your name, city and state, and call you every name in the book, including "child-molester," "rapist," "wife beater," "incest king," "crack-head," and "alcoholic"? All this while the chicks can remain anonymous?
You may already be on it, playa, and not even know.
The site's called dontdatehimgirl.com, and it was founded by ex-Miami Herald columnist Tasha Joseph. Basically, ladies who feel they've been done wrong can go off on a dude online, listing his personal info along with his snap. The site has a searchable database of 12,000 postings, 197 of which are Arizona playboys. And, yes, most of them reside in the Valley of the Sun.
Hell hath no fury like an Internet forum full of thousands of women scorned!
Not only do these offended hens out alleged cheaters, they drop dime on ex-boyfriends who they claim have STDs, never use condoms, don't change their tighty whiteys, and so on. These chicks give details: age, race, height, weight, chat room names, MySpace URLs, e-mail addresses, and where a pimp be doin' his best mackin'.
"He loves to drink his money away at a dive bar in Central Phoenix called the NewsRoom where he flirts with the bartender's daughter," reads one entry. "You may run into him at 12-step meetings," states another. An additional poster tattles, "On Friday nights sometimes Saturday, he likes to go to The Buzz in Scottsdale."
And check these disses, fellas: "He throws up his food like a white girl"; "His penis is so small he can't even please himself"; and, "He's looking for a fat ghetto broad with no education so he can feel better about himself." One profile managed to cram in the following bitch-slaps: "bisexual pansy boy," "ass-clown," "one sick deviant," "Loser Boy," "ass-hat," "Mr. Pig Vomit," "gutless, ball-less wonder," and "toxic waste of skin."
This stuff's way worse than what you'll hear on KISS-FMDJ Supersnake's "I knew you was a snake" segments. Joseph's site also reports on the fool who supposedly put crack in his girlfriend's dinner, the dude who allegedly slept with a 14-year-old girl, and a reputed perv who secretly videotapes his sexual encounters.
True, clawing through dontdatehimgirl.com can be funnier than Adult Swim's Robot Chicken. But what if some hellacious harpy has it in for you and posts your name, personal info and pic, and falsely says you diddle little boys? Isn't that, like, libel or something?
Not according to Webmistress Joseph, who says her sweet ass is covered by the Federal Communications Decency Act: "It states that Internet service providers and Web site owners, such as myself, are not libel for the third-party postings of its users," Joseph informed The Bird. "I'm not the person making the postings. These women log on and make the postings themselves."
The Bird's no lawyer, but Joseph seems to be correct. The CDA decrees: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
That's a Holland Tunnel-size libel loophole. And it's only valid when it comes to Internet publishing. Print publications can indeed be sued for false info.
But ladies, one thing to remember is (according to The Bird's lawyer): Though a Webmistress like Joseph isn't liable, the poster of any false information damn well could be if the offended party can figure out who you are.
And that shouldn't be all that hard, should it? The first place any offended guy's gonna look is his jilted ex-gal pal.
Despite the protection afforded her under the law, Joseph says somebody in Pittsburgh's trying to sue her. But she's undaunted. If a dude's the victim of character assassination on her site, she says, he should post a rebuttal.
"What I'm doing is giving women a chance to air these things out and warn other women," insisted Joseph. "It says all over the Web site to use it responsibly. If people are not going to use it responsibly, I'm not going to take that on myself."
Chicks may think all this is a hoot, but Joseph says she's looking into starting a similar site for gents. But can The Bird suggest a slightly different tack? A Web site for guys to tell each other about women who'll do it at the drop of a hat. Maybe call it realskankswhoputout.com. A quick Google check shows the site name's available.