Friday, July 17, 2009

TGIF Open thread

Remember what happened 40 years ago? I hope we still have the capacity to think that big.

New gun law makes bar owners first line of defense

Here's what I asked for yesterday, and I'll bet more than a few local residents will be surprised that bar operators are not pleased with the bullets & booze bill. I know and work for some of these people, and I know that many of them are very big on Second Amendment rights. But where the rubber meets the road, they agree across the board that public safety demands clear limits, and they apparently don't buy the idea that all CCW holders are cool, well-trained professionals who are just there to defend us from the bad guys with a dead-on hipshot across a crowded room.

Sorry to be a bother, but editors, where was this article when it could have done some good, when it was up for vote in the Legislature?

Now, about that headline: while I tend to agree with the sentiments, it's really more than a little over the top, reflecting the editorial position rather than the news. That's a reflex we must resist even when it favors our own opinions.

Editorial: State should back out completely

The unnamed Courier editor kites the idea that if the state won't fund Sharlot Hall Museum, it should give up ownership to an organization that will. It's a fair point in principle, but is that really the outcome we want? I don't think so. The museum offers greater value than its parochial local-curio and tourist-attraction aspects, and stepping it down from a successful professional organization into the hands of well-meaning local amateurs (where it started) would not bode well for its long-term future, even if it does continue to tick over in the short term.

I recognize that the editor may be exercising this logic to evoke exactly this thought process. But he also may just be reverting to his habit of seeing government involvement as bad, as the headline implies.

The positive response is to stand up for our important institutions when the legislature is making bad choices. The museum clearly deserves an unrelenting and vigorous defense.

Update: in response to BearWhizBeer: I checked. The museum is a small state agency by special legislation, and its staff is paid by the state.

Letter: Starting black church is an act of racism

Here's a great example of how privileged white racists convince each other that they're the real victims of racist conspiracy. Because they think about race in terms of exclusion, they infer that everyone else is too.

When I think of black Xtian churches, I just see a difference in style, a difference that devotees would clearly not be able to exercise in a white church, whatever their color. I mean, go on, try to imagine a bunch of Presbyterians doing some real singing and gettin' their groove on for the Lord.

Perhaps Mr Barry would think I'm being racist when I say I play black music.

Talk of the Town: Why Kirkpatrick opposes 'Cap and Trade'

The Representative gives her reasoning for voting against the first significant piece of new-economy legislation to cross her desk, citing possible impact on electric rates in rural and reservation areas. I'm not sure how it works on the reservations, but I know that in the rest of the state the Corporation Commission regulates rates, so we have a constitutional safeguard against the sort of hardship pricing she wants to avoid. We also clearly need strong incentives for all Arizona's energy producers -- rural co-ops included -- to get out of the coal and oil business and into sources that allow the planet to continue to support human life. That's the whole point.

Well, it passed without Rep Kirkpatrick's vote, and if the President gets to sign it we'll see whether her dire concerns were warranted. Right now it appears that she's more short-sighted than I'd like.

The contention that with this vote she hoped to curry favor with moderate Republicans is just hooey. There's no way she's that stupid.

Election: Blair emphasizes need for open space maintenance

Mr Blair regrets his vote to allow us to vote to tax ourselves to acquire open space. He thinks it should have included funding for maintenance of the land so acquired, but I'm not picking up what sort of maintenance he's talking about -- picking up the trash once in a while? The piece includes an interesting logical cul-de-sac, in that Mr Blair laments that city officials -- including, presumably, himself -- "never thought it through," yet he is clearly enthusiastic about having us return him who failed to think it through to the office, presumably so that we may depend on his not thinking things through further. You fumbled that one, Coach.