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Category Archives: History

Twelve Gen-X Republicans Who Will Have Some Explaining To Do Some Day Soon

The worst day of my six years in the legislature was also the last day of my last session: June 27, 2008. This was the day that the Senate passed SCR 1042, which referred to the ballot a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The change was unnecessary and strictly political. Arizona law already forbade such marriages, so the […]

Recommended Reading For The Bundy Thing

The cameras have largely left, but this week, we were reminded that the story of our Little Ukraine On The Virgin River continues. First, there were reports that militiamen (largely from other states), having stayed behind after the standoff and apparently lacking anything else to do, have been harassing the locals and demanding their papers. […]

“Hey, Conservative Trolls, Its More Complicated Than That!”

We have been hearing about a forthcoming Cesar Chavez biopic since at least the 1990s, when an El Vez lyric plugged a rumored project by Moctezuma Esparza which never materialized. Today, a mainstream feature film about the legendary Arizonan finally opens nationwide. Predictably, this has brought out the trolls, the same trolls who tell us […]

The Annual Statehood Day Post: Ten Great Arizonans You Have Never Heard Of

It is statehood day, so I wanted to write something special. This was written a few years ago and posted in a few different places. I was going to re-visit this list, but I decided that I still like my choices, since you still have not heard of most of these. My call to the […]

The NFL Sanitizes The Declaration of Independence

I suppose that I could go on and on about how high-handed, pretentious, manipulative and ultimately hollow the annoying Super Bowl tribute to the troops was (someone else already did that here). Instead, I will point out a glaring omission in their reading of the Declaration of Independence. As every schoolboy knows, the Declaration features […]

What Stephen Lemons Missed About the 17th Amendment

For Arizonans, the rise of the TEA Party nationally has only meant that we now have a convenient name for a strain of Republicans who have always menaced the political scene and been, to at least some extent, an obstacle to our progress as a state. Back in the 80s and early 90s, we called […]

Senator, You Are No Five Syllable Henry.

I was going to write a snarky piece which said that Senator John McCain’s takedown of Ted Cruz, while effective, was nowhere nearly as awesome as what his predecessor, Senator Henry Fountain Ashurst, did to Huey Long in 1935, but my brother beat me to it in the Tucson Sentinel. Ashurst, a Shakespeare-quoting cowboy turned […]

Governor Brewer Proves My Point

Yesterday, I wrote here about how the Martin Luther King Jr. of the public imagination has been reduced into a cuddly Care Bear to make him palatable to the picket fence crowd, enabling movement conservatives claim his legacy by forgetting nearly everything he stood for. In fairness, I was not the only one who did […]

Ignorance of History

In retrospect, inducting Martin Luther King Jr. into the Pantheon of American Heroes may have been a mistake and a disservice to what he fought for. Back during the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the big arguments here in Arizona was about the Martin Luther King Holiday. It was debated on the floor […]

Its All Fun And Games Until One of Your Deputies Gets His Eye Put Out

Folks who claim that our modern border militiamen are part of a proud Arizona tradition would do well to read what Captain John G. Bourke, an officer who accompanied General George R. Crook during the pursuit of Geronimo, had to say about their 19th century antecedents. Bourke characterized them as “rum-poisoned bummers” and “senseless cowards […]