First he tried to have inmates pay for their own meals (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/04/sheriff-joe-arpaio-inmates-meals_n_2806388.html). That was back in March of this year.
In Arizona, Maricopa County inmates get two meals a day. Now the jails will dish up only vegetarian meals for the prisoners in Maricopa County, Arizona where Sherriff Joe Arpaio runs a theatre of cruelty. Meat now will be replaced by ‘soy’.
Arpaio claims that replacing meat with soy will save taxpayers $100,000 a year. However, we are not talking salads with vegetables or mouthwatering vegetarian dishes and luscious fruits. And of course Arpaio cares little for prisoners or their rights so we know this is not motivated by health concerns.
FOX reporter, Troy Hayden stated, when he saw the soy slop to be fed to prisoners:
After a taste, Arpaio claimed he thought the soy-gruel was fine, although even Hayden of FOX News begged to differ.
It doesn’t matter. The recent move by Arpaio is motivated, he says, by what he calls cost cutting, but even this is a lie. Arpaio used the same pretext in the past when he bragged at one time that he saved taxpayers $20,000 by eliminating salt and pepper (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/10-worst-prisons-america-joe-arpaio-tent-city).
Arpaio is a classic fascist in a classic fascist state
The truth is that Arpaio is a classic fascist, psychopath and hideous tormenter of prisoners and human beings.
In 1993, he said that to save the county the cost of building a new jail, he would set up hundreds of Army surplus tents from the Korean War era and used them to house prisoners — the notorious Tent City Jail.
The tents are unheated in winter and not cooled in summer so temperatures inside them have been clocked as high as 145 degrees. There are a few permanent buildings that suffice for showers and meals, and a guard tower displays a permanent “vacancy” sign, warning passersby to stay in line.
Tent City’s prisoners have gone so far as to cobble together a survival guide to stay alive (ibid).
There was a time when rehabilitation was the hall mark of the US prison system but now, with the culture of cruelty and the theater of the macabre that has become America, prisoners not only have no rights, they soon will have little food.
In the Nazi death camps:
“Meal times were the most important event of each day. After morning roll call the prisoners would be given their morning ‘meal’ – imitation coffee or herbal ‘tea’. For lunch prisoners would be given a liter of watery soup. If they were lucky, they might find a piece of turnip or potato peel.
In the evening prisoners would be given a piece of black bread weighing 300 grams, together with a tiny piece of sausage, or margarine, marmalade or cheese. The bread was supposed to last the prisoners for the morning also, so prisoners would try to hide it on their person whilst they slept” (http://www.theholocaustexplained.org/ks3/the-final-solution/auschwitz-birkenau/meals/).
The lack of food in the camps, poor diet and hard labor caused the prisoners to suffer from starvation sickness. That’s what the Nazis wanted. So does Arpaio.
The policies of Joe Arpaio are no different than that Nazi Germany. In Tent City, Phoenix where Arpaio is Sherriff and Warden, he makes no bones about his policies of callous cruelty and proudly refers to the ‘jail’ as a concentration camp (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/05/10-worst-prisons-america-joe-arpaio-tent-city).
The amazing part in this macabre theater of cruelty is the sheer number of Americans that support such harsh treatment of their fellow citizens. This is surely a barometer of the American mind, or at least some of it.
Arpaio was re-elected in 2012 to a sixth four-year term. He then sidestepped a recall attempt this year, just a week after a federal judge ruled that the sheriff’s office had engaged in systematic discrimination against Latinos in violation of their constitutional rights (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2013/0531/Sheriff-Joe-Arpaio-dodges-a-recall-in-Arizona.-Still-is-his-star-waning).
A Facebook site: “I support Sheriff Joe Arpaio” is up and running and has attracted 4,500 fans (https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Support-Sheriff-Joe-Arpaio/154660304570625).
Then there is the site: “I Stand With Joe” (http://standwithjoe.com/).
“Americans for Sherriff Joe” is another internet site that weighs in with support for the goose stepping Sheriff (http://www.americansforsheriffjoe.com/).
“Support Sheriff Joe” can be found on the net at (https://www.causes.com/causes/266553-support-sheriff-joe-arpaio).
Then there is the commodification of cruelty.
You can buy Sheriff Joe gifts at CafeExpress (http://www.cafepress.com/+sheriff-joe-arpaio+gifts).
You can buy Sherriff Joe T-shirts and bumper stickers at: (http://www.zazzle.com/arpaio+regalos?lang=es).
There are even Arpaio collectibles to be bought on e-bay (http://www.ebay.com/bhp/joe-arpaio).
Arpaio can get away with all of this criminal behavior and sadistic treatment of human beings due to the fact that a vicious cycle of violence is now endemic in America and blankets the country. It is fed by what philosopher, Henry Giroux calls, “a culture of fear” (http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19025-beyond-savage-politics-and-dystopian-nightmares).
And the violence is seeded and groomed each day by deep rooted economic inequalities and a culture that marginalizes, demonizes and perpetuates violence on its citizens while ‘disappearing’ hope from the social and personal landscape. As savage inequalities abound, with them comes the ethos of cruelty, ginned up racism, harsh antagonisms and the repugnant jack boots.
Yes, now homeless ‘shelters’ filled with huddled masses, urban ghettos that scream with pain, jails and prisons that mimic Gitmo, detention centers for young people and immigrants, and militarized schools are all the norm in America and in fact, are big business.
Meanwhile, while the stock market continues feeding the one percent caviar, ‘tent cities’ exist alongside the nation’s highways — holding tanks for the new refugees from the American nightmare — citizens who have lost their jobs, their homes, their wives and husbands along with their dignity find themselves laced to the neo-feudal rack of social and economic torture, misery and despair.
When will it end?