WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of News That Doesn’t Suck

For those of you unfamiliar Joe Arpaio or “America’s Toughest Sheriff” as he liked to be called, he was the sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona. He made quite the name for himself back in the day by treating prisoners like animals and flaunting his power. Among Arpaio’s many bad decisions was setting up a tent camp in Maricopa County to house prisoners, feeding them nothing more than bologna sandwiches, and making them all wear pink jumpsuits because reasons.

The rationale behind the tent camp was “if tents are good enough for soldiers on deployment, they’re good enough for prisoners”. I’m pretty sure the bologna sandwiches and pink jumpsuits were just for the lolz, though.

Those are Sheriff Arpaio’s more forgivable sins, though. Even though the area around his famous tent camp could hit well into the 106 degrees Farenheit – I’ve seen Phoenix hit 118 – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world. Although, Joe himself did brag that the temperature inside one the tents could hit 145F in the summers and the fans may or may not have been working. What was among the worst things in the world was his abuse of power, misuse of funds, failure to investigate sex crimes, improper clearance of cases, unlawful enforcement of immigration laws, constant racial profiling, and election law violations. He reintroduced chain gangs, intimidated political opponents, and had guards that stood by and watched as a woman chained to a bed went into a diabetic coma and died.

In other words, he was (and still is) a pathetic racist shit bag with a mean streak and a strong lust for power. Toward the end of his tenure as iron-booted madman of Arizona, the DOJ took a good hard look into Arpaio’s dealings and found him guilty. At 80-something, Sheriff Joe was about to get a firsthand look at the Justice System he’d helped put in place.

Fortunately for Joe, Donald Trump pardoned him before he could get his own taste of justice.

Now, that’s all the bad news. Arpaio’s still an asshole, still free, and Trump still pardoned him. It’s all water under the bridge and there’s not much we can do about it now. But there is a light side to this story. Arpaio is no longer Sheriff of Maricopa County, he’s the Sheriff of his couch where he spends his free time yelling at Mexicans on his TV. The new Sheriff of Maricopa County, Paul Penzone, takes a different view of justice. Whereas Joe’s version of justice was punishing people a lot over every little offense, Penzone seems more interested in justice as a rehabilitation process.

The new Sheriff of Maricopa County is turning the old (and recently shut down) tent city into a facility for drug rehab with new sleeping spaces and classrooms. Penzone has an eye on the future; he’d rather see people leave the jail in better shape to cope with the world than when they went in.

Read about it here:


We Are The World Blogfest is a loosely organized group of like-minded bloggers all trying to shine a little light in the world. This month’s hosts are:
Shilpa Garg, Sylvia McGrath, Mary Giese, Guilie Castillo and Belinda Witzenhausen
So be sure to go check them out.

If you’d like to connect your blog and help spread a little joy (or snark, like I do), it’s easy to sign up. Just ask and ye shall receive. Or go check it out here: here.


1. Keep your post to below 500 words, as much as possible.

2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love, humanity and brotherhood.

3. Join us on the last Friday of each month in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.

4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.

5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.

6. To signup, add your link in WE ARE THE WORLD Linky List below.

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And now, your moment of Zen

19 thoughts on “WATWB – Your Monthly Shot Of News That Doesn’t Suck

  1. Maricopa County has seen such contrasting Sheriffs. Glad that the new Sheriff is sane and just. His view on providing better conditions to people so that they are in better shape to cope with the world when they leave the jail is just what the doctor ordered. Thanks for sharing and participating in this edition of WATWB, Eric!

  2. I didn’t know the rest of the story about Sheriff Joe, a heinous [allegedly] human being. It’s encouraging to find out that his warped values are being dismantled by someone who understands what it takes to rehabilitate people. Good contribution to the positivity that #WATWB promotes.

  3. It is great to find out that the new sheriff is interested in helping inmates prepare for life after release. Good news also that the old tent jail will be used for something positive and useful in the lives of those who need help. Thanks, Eric, for letting us know.

    PS I love that you title your WATWB posts …news that doesn’t suck 🙂

  4. For a moment there, I wondered that you’d posted for the wrong blogfest, because the news about Sheriff Joe actually did suck. However, it’s great to hear that his successor is his polar opposite. How sad that about half of those in custody have been there before. This shows such a failing of the system, and the new guy in town sounds like he has his head on straight.

  5. Oh my gosh, Eric, so with you on the snark! Great post and article. Glad that Arpaio’s finally gone, pardon notwithstanding. Good to know that someday, he’s going to be Karma’s bitch. :0)

  6. For a moment I was wondering what is this post all about and as I completed reading till the end of the page I understood the twist coming in to know that new sheriff of caripa has come in to bring changes…. thank you for sharing

  7. I heard about this miserable creep of a guy, with either some serious error in his wiring, but probably just plain bad, even all the way over in South Africa. The Mayor of Maricopa. Maybe on the TV. But somewhere I heard of this rotten piece of garbage. All of what you said in your post. I heard about the turn-around also and Pelzone and that trump pardoned him, that slouch on the couch … all kudos to Pelzone and may his work continue effectively and the turn-around happen … Great post thanks Eric

    • You know you’ve done something seriously wrong with your life when people halfway around the world think you’re a miserable bastard, but Arpaio deserves every bit of hatred heaped on him. I still can’t believe Trump pardoned him. Or maybe I can, they’re peas in a pod.

      • I agree that when this is heard this in the outpost of South Africa, maybe that will get them thinking that maybe they have done something wrong .. sad to say we hear it all … and sad to say that sort of stuff happens here. Bad stuff … seriously bad. When I heard that trump pardoned him I thought maybe fake news … but I gather not. He pardoned him. How is this possible. It clearly is possible but how …
        Anyways – I’m nervous to turn on the TV. Think some buttons are going to pressed anytime soon? We get it all in the outpost that is South Africa …CNN, BBC, Sky, Al-Jzeera, Russian TV … the works. Who knows what is the very latest news within our very own country .. I’m nervous to what the latest whatever will be ..

  8. How did this man manage to stay in his position? That’s what the real shocker is. Someone as corrupt and mean as him should have been removed from service long ago. But I guess power works in weird ways. Thankfully, he’s history and the new Sheriff is the polar opposite of this guy. Great story. Thanks for sharing

    • He managed to stay in power because he managed to convince the populace that the dreaded Mexicans were doing all sorts of unspecified dastardly things and they believed him. Once he had the power, he set about abusing it under the guise of protecting freedom for others. In a lot of ways, Arpaio was like Trump on a smaller scale, so it’s no wonder Trump pardoned him; Joe Arpaio wrote Trump’s playbook.

      • That’s so sad. People lose track of what’s right and wrong for immediate gains and personal comfort. And food like Trump come to positions of power where they shouldn’t be at all. But thanks for sharing this story. It shows that people still believe in good and justice

  9. When I started reading, Eric, I thought you were delving into history. But when I saw the name Donald Trump, I was jolted back to present day. What a dramatic turn around. Good for Penzone. May his legacy continue on to even better things.

  10. Pingback: WATWB – Your Monthly Shot of News That Doesn’t Suck | Eric Lahti

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