Arizona tried to illegally import an execution drug not approved for use in U.S.

Outside Phoenix's "Tent City" jail REUTERS//Joshua Lott

Arizona tried to illegally import a lethal injection drug that is banned in the U.S., but the state never got the drug after federal agents halted the shipment at Phoenix airport. The Associated Press has the documents, and the resulting scoop.

Arizona paid nearly $27,000 for sodium thiopental, an anesthetic that has been used to carry out executions but is no longer manufactured by FDA-approved companies, the documents said. When the drugs arrived via British Airways at the Phoenix International Airport in July, they were seized by federal officials and have not been released, according to the documents.

"The department is contesting FDA's legal authority to continue to withhold the state's execution chemicals," state Department of Corrections spokesman Andrew Wilder said Thursday.

Arizona and other death penalty states have been struggling to obtain legal execution drugs for several years after European companies refused to sell the drugs, including sodium thiopental, that have been used to carry out executions. States have had to change drug combinations or, in some cases, put executions on hold temporarily as they look for other options.

The Arizona documents obtained by the AP were released as part of a lawsuit against the corrections department over transparency in executions. The AP is a party in the lawsuit.

"Documents: Arizona tried to illegally import execution drug" [AP] Read the rest

Airport workers, including TSA, raid unlockable luggage for valuables

Airport stings keep catching insiders pilfering millions of dollars worth of passenger property from bags that can no longer be effectively locked, thanks to a TSA rule that insists on luggage being equipped with locks that are all vulnerable to the same passkey. Read the rest

Black ASU prof beaten by campus cops without provocation, charged with assault

A reader writes, "ASU Police beat the crap out of a black professor for walking in the street around construction, throwing her against a police car so hard that they damaged the car. Then they charge her with felony assault." Read the rest

Solid gold DNA-strand rings

Zanders Creations' solid 18k gold DNA Strand Ring starts at $750 and is available in four colors. The image is a computer render, and the Arizona-based team that makes the rings consists of a 3D artist and a jeweler who collaborate on some very beautiful pieces. Read the rest

Starbucks employees offered free tuition at Arizona State U

Starbucks is offering to pay some or all tuition at Arizona State University for any 20+ hour/week employees, with no requirement that these employees remain with the company after attaining their degrees (employees who already have two years' credit get the remainder free; others will pay part, but are eligible for grants and aid). ASU has a very large online education offering, and Starbucks employees surveyed by the company often cite a desire to finish their degrees. Read the rest

Congress was giving spies a pass back in 1975, too

If you are outraged by American spies getting a free pass from their political masters (and you really should be), remember that this is an age-old tradition. Matt Stoller revisits the 1975 Congressional hearings in which radical Congresswoman Bella Abzug grilled CIA director William Colby over the CIA's records of the membership rolls of peaceful, domestic protest groups, only to have Arizona Congressman Sam Steiger suck up to the spook-in-chief, expressing concern that anti-American terrorists could destroy the CIA by sending it too many Freedom of Information Act requests. Read the rest

Phoenix cops arrest prostitutes, detain them without trial in churches, pressure them to take deals without access to lawyers

Molly Crabapple sez, "I wrote this piece about a program in Phoenix called Project ROSE arrests sex workers in massive raids and brings them to a church, where they are held extra-judicially and offered alternative sentences without lawyers, judges, or due process." Read the rest

Poop Strong: Cancer patient whose costs exceeded insurance cap wins victory, via Twitter

Arijit, 31, is graduate student in Arizona who was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with stage IV colon cancer. He endured multiple surgeries, and grueling rounds of chemotherapy. Then, in February, 2012, the cost of his treatment exceeded the lifetime limit on his graduate student health plan, which is managed by Aetna.

His coverage was terminated. His cancer was not.

He launched what we cancer patients sometimes refer to as an internet lemonade stand: a site called Poop Strong (a light-hearted parody of "Livestrong"). At, he invited well-wishers to make a donation or buy schwag, with all proceeds going to his healthcare.

But, big news today, as his pal Kirk Caron tells Boing Boing,

In the six months between when he was dropped and when he'll be picked up by another student health plan, he's been looking at well over $100K in medical bills for his treatments. In addition to updates about his own condition and the state of Poop Strong, Arijit's been tweeting (naturally) about the state of health insurance, and recently, Aetna got involved. The conversation (as Twitter convos tend to do) sort of spirals out from the main thread between Arijit and Aetna.

That's an understatement! Arijit ended up debating directly with the CEO of Aetna, Mark T. Bertolini. The tl;dr: Aetna, and Mr. Bertolini, agreed in the end to cover the full extent of bills that accrued since Arijit was dropped from insurance (about $118,000).

"The system is broken," said Bertolini. Read the rest



Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Ferrigno, 59, a body builder who donned green makeup to star in the popular 1970s television series 'The Incredible Hulk,' was among 56 people sworn in as volunteers for an armed immigration posse. Arpaio said the posse would work with sheriff's deputies in operations targeting smugglers and businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants in the county, among other duties.

Little Brother, the play, back on in Phoenix, AZ

A high-school in Phoenix, Arizona is mounting a production of the theatrical adaptation of my novel Little Brother (this is the same script that was mounted for the 2008 performances in Chicago, written by Bill Massolia). They're doing a three-night run, starting tomorrow -- tickets are still available. Read the rest

Mechanical mustache will make you look like a dandy robotnik

This swell mechanical mustache would be the pride of any lip, but it belongs to John Kit, who sported it at the first anniversary celebration of HeatSync Labs in Chandler, AZ.

Mechanical Mustache Project (via Make) Read the rest

Used book domino run

Mammoth Arizona used book seller Bookmans made this sweet advert featuring a warehouse sized store in which thousands of used books do a domino run across counters, shelves, floors, etc. Hypnotic!

Bookmans Does Book Dominoes (via Neatorama) Gigantic domino run Domino run video in a gothic 3D role-playing game Toy truck craps out domino runs Logic gates out of dominoes Read the rest

DJ Spooky and Chuck D remix "By the Time I Get to Arizona" in honor of anti-immigrant law

DJ Spooky sez, "I just finished a studio session with Chuck D from Public Enemy. In the wake of Republican Governor Jan Brewer's appalling anti-immigrant law, me and Chuck D were rappin' and we decided to put together an update of his classic track 'By The Time I get To Arizona.'

" Anyone who knows about hip hop from the early 90's remembers John McCain's unwillingness to endorse creating a local version of Martin Luther King's birthday. The update here is a 21st century look in the rear view mirror. The cliché that 'those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it' still holds sway in our hyper amnesiac culture. I remixed D.W. Griffith's infamous film Birth of a Nation with a bit of Public Enemy in mind, and later on, they named an e.p. with the same name as my project."

By the Time I Get to Arizona (Thanks, Spooky!)

(Image: TIFF Wrap Party #35, a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from tsarkasim's photostream) Previously:Arizona's "papers please" law inspires frijoles-swastikas - Boing ... New Google Maps Option: "Avoid Arizona" (alright, it's a joke ... Homage to Arizona: 1 Public Enemy's By the Time I Get to Arizona Homage to Arizona: 3 Read the rest

Public Enemy's By the Time I Get to Arizona

A few minutes late, but man, this is good stuff.

YouTube - Public Enemy - By The Time I Get To Arizona (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Previously:Free MP3: folk cover of Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise" - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Public Enemy's Internet strategy Public Enemy's history of copyright in hip hop - Boing Boing Boing Boing: Mashup up of Flaming Lips, MLK and Public Enemy Crossed Genres cover art featuring MLK as Terminator, KKK as girl ... Rare MLK speech on civil disobedience - Boing Boing Lost 1965 MLK sermon from Hollywood Synagogue - Boing Boing Video: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" - Boing Boing Martin Luther King, Jr. playlist - Boing Boing Read the rest