Burges lives in Sun City West, an appendage added to Sun City, because there wasn't room in the original retirement dystopia for all the goobers who want to retire here and play shuffleboard with other Republicans. Yes, there are good Dems there, but they're probably outnumbered 10:1.
Sen. Burges's district includes both Sun Cities, places full of pasty rightwing retirees escaping the blizzards in Michigan or wherever, who now feel it's their duty to tell Arizonans how to run their business, beginning with ridding the place of Hispanics. These are the bigoted pinheads, after all, who keep electing Sheriff Joe Arpaio, while much of Maricopa County flips him the bird. Arpaio would never win an election without Sun City votes, nor would Judy Burges, a former copper mining company employee, be foisting her stupidity upon the rest of us.
Within the last year, Sen. Burges has managed the trifecta of crazy. Astute readers will note how her three measures are focused on jobs, jobs, jobs!
Join me below the fold to learn more about her lunacy ... oh, and jobs.
Last year, and the year before that, she sponsored the Birther Bill, which would've required presidential candidates to prove their citizenship before their name appears on Arizona's precious ballot. And as long as Sheriff Arpaio has "serious doubts" about the president's birth certificate, it's unlikely Obama could use that as proof. Nor could he submit his circumcision certificate, if he has one. In the first version of the Birther Bill, official pecker-snipping paperwork could have been submitted as proof of one's citizenship. However, Gov. Jan Brewer thought it was unseemly to mention dick heads in a piece of legislation, even though she works with them daily, so she vetoed the bill. Burges and her tea party brethren returned the next year with a penis-free version of the Birther Bill, but, sadly for the knuckle-draggers in her district, it was defeated.
So this legislative session Judy Burges is back with more kookiness. Here are just two bills, although you'll find her name attached to just about every piece of legislation that mentions more guns in schools, restricting access to abortions, hammering immigrants, denying healthcare, and rejecting anything that has the federal government's stamp on it.
Last week Sen. Burges introduced SB 1213, which will allow teachers to present an "alternative" version to evolution, citing "weaknesses" with the scientific theory. Burges has a business degree from that powerhouse school the University of Phoenix, so she's not to be challenged when it comes to scientific theory. Hers is a tactic used by others, like the fundies on the Texas State Board of Education, who want to insert their creationist Bible blabber into the science classroom. As we saw in Texas and elsewhere, Burges's bill zeroes in on evolution's apparent "weaknesses":
TEACHERS SHALL BE ALLOWED TO HELP PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.The language is part of the "wedge strategy" pushed by the Discovery Institute, the ALEC of creationism. They supply boilerplate legislation, provide testimony, and send in experts to dispute evolution. Their intelligent design balderdash highlights the "weaknesses" of Darwin and evolution, as if that implies the only alternative is Genesis, not more recent science.
Well, excuse me, Judy! Darwin was writing more than 150 years ago, and maybe he didn't have all the equipment and data we have today, and maybe he did get a few things wrong. But that doesn't mean we toss out Darwin, natural selection and Origin of Species completely, a book I'd wager Sen. Burges has never read—where the author never says humans evolved from apes, where he seldom even uses the word "evolution."
No, we don't toss out the parts of older theories that are deemed "weak." Instead, we do what the best science always does: We place these theories into the broad spectrum of intellectual history and extrapolate on them, even when they're shot full of holes. We build on science with more science! We don't find plausible alternatives to evolutionary theory in stories told by people who thought the earth was flat and considered disease a visit from the boogeyman.
Finally, yesterday Sen. Burges was cheered wildly when she introduced SB 1403, which requires all Arizona municipalities to reject the UN Declaration and the Statement of Principles for Sustainable Development. Commonly called Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration, you'll note that the 1992 document is a "Statement of Principles." There's nothing in it that is binding or has the force of law, but you wouldn't know that from Judy Burges's comments on Monday at a committee meeting that turned into an anti-UN rally:
"The truth contained within this United Nations program is something sinister and dark," Burges testified to a round of applause in committee. "The plan calls for government to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decisions in the hands of private property owners."Did I mention that Judy Burges once worked for a mining company? She's not trying to protect the little guy from black-booted UN thugs swooping down from helicopters to confiscate their property. She's simply trying to keep off the books any talk of sustainable development, as gigantic mining companies and other extractive industries lobby to take Arizona's land for their operations, at the same time some of these multinational behemoths continue doing business with Iran. According to Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA):
Americans would be forced to give up their land in a "redistribution of wealth" that Burges likened to communism—she later described Brazil itself as a crime-ridden communist country, though the country is a democratic republic.
"Are you ready to give up your private land?" Burges asked the crowd in attendance at the committee, which responded with a loud cry of "No!"
In the past, Members of both parties have united in sanctions against the Iranian regime, whose intention include: plotting assassinations on U.S. soil, supporting terrorist organizations, and threatening to wipe Israel off the map.That "sweetheart deal" was in Arizona, the upshot of a bill introduced by Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who actually said mining "restor[es] the ecological balance"! It didn't matter that the land is a burial ground held sacred by some Arizona tribes, or that mining, contrary to Gosar's boneheaded statement, threatens the region's ecological balance and longterm sustainability. But "sustainable" is not a word to be uttered in Arizona. It's a UN plot Burges has figured out 21 years after the fact.
But that bi-partisan opposition ended, as the Republican Congress rewarded mining company, Resolution Copper (a subsidiary of Rio Tinto), with a sweetheart land deal in the U.S., while allowing them to actively continue business with Iran, potentially providing them with minerals and fuel central to their nuclear efforts.
Ed Abbey and friends once made a great statement by unfurling a giant banner shaped like a crack down the face of Glen Canyon Dam, a symbolic cry to blow up the dam, which is the plot of his crackerjack novel The Monkey Wrench Gang. Today he'd drape a huge facepalm over the Arizona Capitol.