Saturday, April 24, 2010

"Your Papers, Please."

Back in the 1950's when I was but a child, I was often told how fortunate I was to live in free country where I did not have to produce "papers" to prove my identity. That was something that only dictators like the Communists in Russia or the recently defeated Nazis did. On this side of the Iron Curtain, we were free move about without being subject to official scrutiny and surveillance.

If anyone still believes that myth in post 9-11 America, they will be hard pressed to maintain their faith if they live or travel in my former home state of Arizona, where the legislature and governor have enacted a law allowing police to demand proof of an individual's immigration or citizenship status. Theoretically, all persons in Arizona will be subject to this requirement but I am pretty certain that I--a white male--will not be questioned if I return to the Grand Canyon State.

My friend, the artist Luis Gutierrez, whose family was in Arizona when it became a territory and whose father was Democratic leader in the state senate in the early 80's, will probably not be quite so fortunate. Of course, he will have no problem proving his right to be in Arizona. All he need to do is show his papers.

In Arizona freedom isn't just not free. It now requires documents.

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Local Event with Illuminations

This weekend is Procession of the Species weekend, Olympia's annual celebration of life on this planet. Tonight was the Illuminated Procession. Some very good photos are here.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Best Argument for Obesity Ever

In our very own schools.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Antonin Scalia to Replace Justice Stevens

With the retirement of Justice John Paul Stevens, Antonin Scalia becomes Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. As Senior Associate, Scalia will assign writing assignments for opinions where the Chief Justice is in the minority. Justice Stevens was legendary for his effective use of that position since he succeeded Harry Blackmun in the early 90's.

Scalia's ascendance to the position probably won't have much effect since he is rarely out of agreement with the Chief Justice John Roberts. Nonetheless, John Paul Stevens' retirement is a loss to the progressive and truly conservative values that he so effectively championed. No newly appointed justice can fill that gap.