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Hold Off On Cheering Polygamist Leader's Arrest

Note: With the recent arrest Fundamentalist Mormon leader Warren Jeffs, time to revisit a column I wrote a few years back that resulted in my Double Secret Suspension from the Arizona Republic - a suspension that is still in effect thanks to the furious Mormons that rule the Republic. - Dary


Hang on everybody. This polygamy fight is getting nasty.

And suicidal. And grossly hypocritical.

How does it reek? Let me count the ways.

Much ado was made recently when a few scattered teenagers "escaped" the fundamentalist Mormon communities of Colorado City and Hildale, Utah. The prospect of teenage boys running headfirst into safe houses promoting a life of grinding monogamy is too absurd to consider, so one can assume these were girls.

If the young ladies feel abused and want out, fine enough. But lost in the stories is a frightening secondary aspect. Arizona Governor J-Nap is using the escapees as witnesses in a legal witch hunt she's mounting against the polygamists.

Meaning, the state is providing a safe haven, shelter and food in return for the teens testifying against their parents, relatives, and community.

Shades of Nazi Germany there.

And what about J-Nap and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard themselves? The pair owe their lofty positions to a strong homosexual lobby that heavily supported their campaigns. Personal freedom, especially in marital issues, is the current issue de jour for gays.

Someone please explain how J-Nap, Goddard and their homosexual supporters can scream for government sanctioned marriages for those practicing what many see as an abominable alternative lifestyle, while at the same time intolerantly crushing the marital rights of a less favored group?

Neat trick, considering that polygamy was widespread in the Judeo/Christian culture upon which America was founded, while homosexual liaisons are rarely accepted in any society.

It gets crazier. Into the fray jumps State Sen. Marilyn Jarrett of Mesa. Jarrett is currently working on a new sex police bill criminalizing marrying teenagers younger than 16. Is this about protecting children, or is it about the civil war raging inside the Mormon Church between the traditional fundamentalists sect, and the "New Age" Mormons who sold out the beliefs of their founders in exchange for Utah's statehood?

How many of Brigham Young or Joseph Smith's legion of wives were teenagers when they married? Those two polygamous males remain icons of the Mormon church ­ both New Age and fundamentalists.

Here's a question for Sen. Jarrett. Do you really want to invite government scrutiny of the Mormon Church ­ a religious body rife with secret ceremonies and strident views? Once you invite the liberal democrat jackboots in to help hammer your enemy, how are you going to root them out? Are you ready for Mormon church sanctioned homosexual marriages?

As for J-Nap and Goddard, do you really think the folks in Colorado City and Hildale are going to take your hypocritical religious meddling lying down? They're already arming themselves for a Holy War, and are expected to wage an intensive and violent fight to protect their beliefs.

What we have is the makings of another Waco and Jonestown ­ only a lot bigger and much worse.

As for the teens trickling into the monogamy safe houses, let's put that into perspective. Imagine the reaction if J-Nap created a safe house for teens tired of doing homework? Or one for teens who want to stay up all night? Or teens who hate the curfews put on them by meanie parents? Or teens who want to get tattoos and wear hip huggers?

The trickle would turn into a flood.

The polygamous Mormons at the border are already imploding from within due to wretched leadership. The whacked out, Castro-like honcho running things (Jeffs) recently excommunicated all his rivals ­ including four of his own brothers. Tensions are on a razors edge.

And here, good ol' J-Nap wants to give them a reason to unite? Brilliant.

Dary Matera

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An Angry Army of .08 Felons


I've had it with MADD.

Lower blood-alcohol limits, combined with pressure tactics pushing for intensified police scrutiny and outright jackboot oppression, have turned thousands of regular Joes and Sues into .08 Felons.

You know the story. Average hardworking citizen stops off at a sports bar after work to catch a baseball game or hang with the girls. They have two or three beers and feel relaxed. Afterward, they think nothing of hopping into their car and cruising the remaining few miles home. They navigate the route perfectly, breaking no traffic laws, causing no accidents, killing no mother's kid. Only this evening, they get pulled over. Why? The cops were staking out the joint. Shooting fish in a barrel.

Joe and Sue, who have no clue how to legally regulate their blood alcohol level, fail the test. For the next six months, their lives are hell. They'll pay $2,500 to $10,000 in fines, court costs and possible legal fees. Their auto insurance will triple. They'll spend hours in mind-numbing driving safety classes. They'll serve a mandatory jail sentence in some wretch prison surrounded by real crooks. They'll be branded criminals, lectured, beaten down and humiliated. They might even lose their job.

In some states, including Arizona, those arrested for minor DUIs now have to attend every preliminary hearing, sheepishly begging time off from work to do so. They can also be served and hassled by the police at their workplace. The stated intent is to embarrass those arrested ­- guilty or innocent -- and force them to bend over, abandoned all hope, and quickly plead guilty instead of opting for their right to a fair trial.

Why the hell are we sitting still for this?

Joe and Sue deserved it, you say? They broke the law. Well, guess who also broke the law in this scenario? The police officer who pulled them over perjured himself in court, falsely testifying that they were weaving to justify the stop. It's the way the DUI game is played.

In fact, sit in on a DUI trial and you'll invariably find a prosecutor who knows the cop is lying, a judge with a god-complex who's aware the prosecutor coached the cop, along with an oily, no-money-down defense attorney who's going to bleed his client dry. The defendant is the most innocent person in the courtroom.

Left unsaid is why the police stake out some sports bars and nightclubs, chasing away customers, while others, like the high end money pits in every city's party district, stay cop free? Payoffs? Political pull?

If someone's clearly impaired and weaving through a school zone at 3 p.m., hit them hard. If someone causes an accident while drunk, add that to the list of crimes. If a driver kills or hurts a fellow citizen while bombed, pile that on the rap sheet. But if someone does absolutely nothing more than drive home perfectly straight without incident on a deserted, kid-free highway late at night, leave them alone.

Yet, those are the vast majority of DUI cases clogging up our overwhelmed legal system. And the growing trend in many municipalities is Zero Tolerance. They prosecute folks for blowing any number at all, even .01s. A friend was run through the system for a .026 - a single beer over a long dinner.

In Texas recently, the impatient cops weren't even waiting for bar patrons to enter their cars. These modern day storm troopers lurked inside, spying on peoples' personal drinking habits, and then arbitrarily busted them right on their stools. The reasoning was to arrest the potential violators before they even thought about entering their vehicles.

And why not? We've spinelessly accepted all the other abuses the il-legal system has piled on us. This is merely the next step.

Let's get real for a moment. Consider what would happen if people actually followed the current DUI laws. Ninety percent of the nation's sports bars and nightclubs would close within months. Half the restaurants would follow. Thousands of people would be out of work. Multiply these numbers statewide and nationally, and you get the picture. A collapsed economy resulting from an overzealous police state.

I've never had a DUI. But I've been forced to do the street waltz numerous times. Once after leaving a 24 hour supermarket next to a popular nightspot known for great live bands and oppressive police stake outs. The cop said I was weaving, which was a crock, and made me look at his pen and breathe into a machine. An amusing diversion while sober, but a chilling reminder of out-of-control police authority.

Another time, I was yanked to the shoulder at 1:15 a.m. after viewing a late movie. The excuse this time was a drive by shooting report involving a similarly colored car. Fair enough, but how did a shooting investigation suddenly become another pen-and-breathalyzer road dance? Come on. I simply had the misfortune of going home at bar closing time.

Enough with this nonsense. There are plenty of real criminals around to keep honest, upstanding police officers busy. No need for an army of DUI Meter Maids to create a new class of .08 Felons.

Dary Matera

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South Park Pulls a Giant Fast One on the Media and Muslims

By Dary Matera

Oh those sneaky South Park guys.

As expected, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone jumped into the deadly "can't show the Prophet Mohammad's face" controversy recently with a much ballyhooed two-part episode that threatened to display the Muslim icon in all his facial glory.

That the prophet's appearance was totally inconsequential to the "Cartoon Wars I and II" episodes' actual plot added to the sheer arrogance of the stunt. Parker and Stone were going to expose America to Muslim hatred, violence, riots, and bloodshed just for the sheer thrill of it.

"Cartoon Wars" was actually about the hilariously hateful and conniving Eric Cartman character being angry over comparisons to the rival Family Guy animated series. Reason seemingly prevailed when the offending scene of Mohammad coming to the Family Guy's door to deliver one of those gag beer helmets had the prophet's face blacked out in deference to Muslim custom. A written disclaimer then flashed on screen that stated Comedy Central, the cable network that airs South Park's first run episodes, bowed to pressure and decided not to show Mohammad's mug.

In a scathingly bitter irony, the story ended with extremely humiliating depictions of Jesus and President Bush defecating up a storm. The biting message being that the Christian savior and American president can be savaged at will in multiculturalized America, but it's hands off when it comes to that Mohammad guy.

Biting indeed. And extremely disturbing. Somnambulant Christians might want to think about doing a little rioting themselves on behalf of their messiah's sullied honor.

That aside, the story, however, didn't end there. Parker, Stone and possibly Comedy Central had another typically devious card up their sleeves. A short time later, when the media attention subsided, South Park aired an old episode from July 2001 skewering magician David Blaine. The gist was that Blaine declared himself a god because he could perform better tricks than the old time deities. Jesus, a regular guest star on South Park who hosts a television talk show, united the earth's major religious figures in a parody of the Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman "Super Friends" comics and battled Blaine for godly supremacy.

Lo and behold, there among Buddha, Joseph Smith, Moses, Krishna, Jesus and the rest of the earth's old school gods and prophets was none other than the troublesome Mohammad. Not only was the fire-throwing Arab icon repeatedly portrayed, but the decidedly unflattering caricature hit his marks and spoke his various "get Blaine" lines without hindrance or hesitation.

The episode received nary a mention in the press, and incensed fundamentalist Muslims failed to behead anyone in retribution anywhere on the planet. Nor did riots ensue when eagle-eyed viewers noted that even in the "Cartoon Wars" episodes that respectfully blotted out Mohammad's face, the sneaky creators had already slipped it into the MTV-like quick cut montage that serves as the opening credits.

As Cartman would say, "Sweeeeeeeeet."

The moral to this little cardboard tale is as muddied as it's multifaceted. The first bares repeating. Violent religious radicals in repressed nations have successfully managed to elevate the hushed respect for their prophet far above the once sacred Christian messiah. And their long reach has extended to a powerful, Christian-dominated democratic nation strangled by a bizarre and confusing form of political correctness. Satirists in America can savage Jesus and the President in unspeakable ways, but can't so much as show the face of a foreign prophet revered by some of our most fervent enemies.

That is, of course, unless nobody in the media is paying attention. Then they can ridicule the foreign prophet as well. And repeat it in syndication without repercussion.

As the oft-killed Kenny would exclaim, "mmvatttt the furrrc? "

Stan and Kyle, South Park's eight-year-old voices of reason, didn't even pretend to postulate anything significant from the ordeal, although Stan gave it a shot with a lack luster spiel about religious unity ­ itself a form of superior religious thought.

Hopefully, the rest of us learned something far greater about caving in to the loudest, most violent bullies on the block ­ the porcine Cartman notwithstanding.

Dary Matera


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