Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the only Orc known to speak with a drawl, dwells in a dank and musty Manichean world with his loyal consorts, fear and paranoia. That reality informs a Hobbesian vision of governance characterized by reduced oversight of police authorities, more private prisons, and a slavish dedication to keeping strangers out of the country. He is President Trump’s pre-eminent policy enforcer and his world view has led him to bring dangerous simplicity and absolutism to policy issues that require analysis, nuance, insight, compassion, and a complex understanding incompatible with a Manichean worldview.
When the Arizona Legislature passed, and Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1431, they opened the door to a substantial replacement of public schooling with a taxpayer-supported system of private and parochial schools. Proponents claim their objective was to maximize school choice, despite insufficient evidence it will improve educational outcomes. Critics claim there is no improvement and the real purposes are to undermine teachers’ unions and dismantle the public school system in furtherance of an ideology that decries what some deride as “government schools.” Whatever the consequences, there is a danger that has not received sufficient attention: creation of a new system of segregated schools likely to be more expansive, insidious and dangerous than the segregation that led to Brown vs Board of Education.
On June 18, 2014, Justin Ross Harris and his 22-month old son, Cooper, ate breakfast at an Atlanta Chik-fil-A before Justin went to work. He was supposed to drop Cooper off at day care. Instead, he drove directly to work and left Cooper strapped in his car seat in the family’s locked Hyundai Tucson. Based on information from the Global News, this is what likely happened to Cooper: As the temperature rose, he became more and more uncomfortable and struggled against the car seat. A small child overheats quickly and his heart rate began to rise. He suffered neurological dysfunction, nausea, disorientation, delirium and seizures. He gasped for air as dehydration and electrolyte abnormalities caused heart arrhythmia. Cooper was trapped for seven hours. Justin claimed he simply made a horrible mistake, but the evidence was against him. He engaged in extra-marital affairs and paid for the services of a prostitute. He exchanged lewd text messages and photos with several women, including while Cooper slowly died. He researched the Internet for information on deaths in hot vehicles. He was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.