Friday, January 25, 2008

AZ legislators propose allowing guns in schools

In another one of those astounding "welcome to Arizona" events, two AZ State legislators have demonstrated their complete lack of understanding of human civilization and come up with a bill that would allow students and teachers with a concealed weapons permit to carry firearms on Arizona school campuses. How stupid these people are can be seen by the way they talk:
"These gun-free zones are just open areas," [Mesa Rep. Karen Johnson] said. "If a kid gets mad or crazed or some weirdo decides to go into school, he knows there's going to be nobody there to stop them."
[Mesa Rep. Russell] Pearce said schools have become "no-self-defense zones."
Johnson said changing the law might deter someone who means harm from deciding to start shooting.
"This way, nobody knows who has a concealed weapon," she said. "But at least they'll know that somebody could."
"If somebody does start shooting and is crazed, they can be taken down pretty quick," she said.
Pearce, a former Maricopa County sheriff's deputy, said the best ally of law enforcement can be an armed citizen or someone willing to "jump in and help."
Wow. I'll just let that speak for itself. They sound like psychotic 5-year-olds that watch too many violent movies. So, nobody would know who has a gun on a college campus, and the moronic new law would allow "armed citizens" to "jump in and help" if "a kid gets mad," or "some weirdo decides to go into school." Yes, they actually said that, it was in the AZ Daily Star right here. This is the kind of thing that makes many of us who live in Arizona ashamed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

BushCo environmental destruction continues

It seems like anything destructive you hear about, whether it's environmental, social, diplomatic, economic, infrastructure-related, or civil liberties-related, you can just say, "Thanks Bush." Moronic industrialization of old-growth forest and the consequent destruction of salmon habit in the Pacific Northwest is detailed in this story in the AZ Daily Star. Because the Star's links only last a week or two, I'll quote a bit of the story here:
GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The Bush administration's plans to dismantle more than a decade of protections for northern spotted owls and salmon to sharply increase logging in old growth forests is seriously flawed and not adequately supported by science, the federal agency in charge of saving salmon concludes.
In a Jan. 11 letter obtained by The Associated Press, NOAA Fisheries told the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that its Western Oregon Plan Revision — known as The Whopper after its acronym — has no coherent or cohesive conservation strategy for salmon and steelhead, and relies on assumptions and models not supported by published scientific studies.
Once again you can see the typical BushCo hallmarks of doing business. First, an aggressive disregard of scientific evidence. You can see this at work all through the Bush Presidency anywhere you look, whether it's support for fundamentalist bullcrap like Creationism, or policies regarding reproductive and women's health. Second, time after time, the people Bush puts in charge of environmental and Interior Department responsibilities are usually on the payroll of companies that profit from environmental destruction. Look no further for a motive. This is just plain illegal, but of course the law means nothing to BushCo.

For example, in this story, by veteran Star reporter Dan Sorenson, which details the Federal Government's unraveling of policies related to the survival of endangered wildlife, in this case the Jaguar, some hack by the name of Elizabeth Slown glibly defends lack of support for the jaguars that have managed to survive, while the reporter presents some weak evidence that the abandonment of reintroduction plans is actually related to Homeland Security plans for the so-called border wall, which Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano described in her Tucson state of the state speech as "nothing but an ivitation to go get a ladder or dig a tunnel."
"What we said is that … doing a recovery plan for the jaguar doesn't advance conservation for the jaguar," Slown said.
"We'd rather put our efforts into on-the-ground efforts: participating in the Jaguar Conservation Team led by (the state of) Arizona, continuing to fund research we do throughout Central America," she said.
"The jaguar is still under (the protection of) the ESA; it doesn't affect that at all," Slown said, referring to the Endangered Species Act.
"Instead of a 200-some-page recovery plan," Slown said, "let's help the countries where the jaguar can survive and help the Jaguar Conservation Team."
There will be no recovery plan, at least not one with teeth, for the rarest of the wild animals native to Arizona — the largest and rarest cat species of North America — the jaguar.
The Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation group that has pushed for an official plan to set goals and spell out and enforce efforts to save the big cats, portrays the move as a concession to the Bush administration's border-fence project.
A reporter on the job as long as Sorensen no doubt did some background on the spokepeople quoted in the story, and no doubt the Star's editors didn't include that, and you can bet that Slown works for some company somewhere that has a stake in the dismantling of environmental law.

The overall point is here, if we're going to take a giant chainsaw and clear all the forests and deserts so that mining companies, logging companies and private security companies can have an easy go at running up profits, and if we dismantle the law in the process, then we destroy not only our fellow animals that live on our planet, but we also destroy our planet, and destroy the resources we need. BushCo policy, if it continues, will lead to a planet without wood, fish, januars, deserts, mountians or forests, and not only will we suffer in ways we cannot even imagine, but the resulting economic destruction will make things much worse than are now. You can't make a buck off a scorched, denuded, dying Earth, Republicans! You can't feed your children if you destroy this place in the name of short-term profits, and you can't give your children clean air to breathe if you kill all the trees.