Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sonoita/Elgin wine area coming of age.

For years, Callaghan Vineyards has been in a league of its own in the Sonoita AVA and perhaps in all of Arizona, producing wines to rival those of California, Oregon, and anyplace else. I dropped in to taste at a few wineries yesterday following a hike near Patagonia and found that things have changed; the Wilhelm Family Vineyards wines impressed me, and I'm not easily impressed by wineries. Their specialty is Albariño, from which they produce a very well-structured white, and they also make a heavily extracted but food-friendly oak-aged Sangiovese. Most of what is produced is labeled "Hawk's Flight" as it's made from sourced fruit. The first estate wines will be released later in the year; given the capability and good taste shown by the winemaker, I have high expectations.

Village of Elgin Winery, too, has quite a bit to offer--and probably the only bargains in the area--buried in its Chinese restaurant menu-like list of wines. Skip the sweet tourist fare and go for their dry reds made from Italian varietals and the perfect Spanish-style rosé.

An interview with Mike Ross, some semi-novel remarks on the budget crisis, and a report on the latest sure-winner lawsuit against Sheriff Joe (hatin' on spics brown people is expensive!) to follow in the next few days. Expect one of those three by the end of Sunday. And as soon as I get his permissions issues settled--does Gmail eat e-mails?--there should be a second co-'blogger.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Criminality of CCW permit holders

Via Arizona's Dave Hardy, an update on CCW in Texas. No surprises: CCW permit holders are far less likely to engage in violent crime or burglary than the rest of the populace.

Arizona doesn't provide a similar breakdown. It should. But is there any reason to believe Arizona's concealed carriers to be more criminal than Texas's?

More on Fan Cans

The Desert Lamp has done a fairly thorough roundup of "Fan Can" news. Notably, Becky Pallack, 'blogging for the Daily Star, heard from Budweiser distributor Golden Eagle that not selling UA "Fan Cans" was a "business decision".

Interesting. There'd probably be more demand for this than for blue, white, and tan cans in Provo (I'm picturing Jim McMahon in the commercial...) but not enough to justify whatever costs in storage, retailer shelf space, and goodness knows what else--I don't know a thing about the macrobrau distributor business!--offering yet another permutation of the famous acetaldehyde-flavored rice brew would entail. I presume that that, and not avoiding being the subject of pseudo-moral grandstanding from Robert Shelton, is the reason for the decision.

On that subject: is there any reason to believe that administration grandstanding makes students less likely to consume? Less likely to consume to excess? The way I see it, responsible position-taking on matters of institutional or public policy entails considering whether or not one can reasonably believe one's preferred policy to be effective. There may be good or at least respectable reasons for administrators of a public university to choose ineffective policy. (Some of my readers may be thinking "principle", but saying that one is doing something "on principle" is saying that one is doing it "just because". I'm thinking more about signaling.) If it's not expected to be effective, one must also consider whether or not it will make things worse. Signs point to "yes" here--today's Daily Wildcat reports at least two cases of extreme intoxication resulting from different instances of clandestine, anti-social drinking. Not taking a hardline position on alcohol consumption by 17-20 year olds would put the administration in a far better position to promote socially normal and responsible drinking behavior. And the signaling to our knuckle-dragging black-and-white-worldview legislature and the public that elects them shouldn't be as problematic as it would be if Shelton and Co. grew spines and took an independent stand. They need only engage in me-too-ism and sign on to the Amethyst Initiative.

This actually gives me a good angle for a Sheriff Joe post I'm expecting to have up within the next day or two...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

McArdle on firearms at protests

If you think that his position on healthcare changes the likelihood that he will discharge that weapon, is this a rational belief?

Megan McArdle writes sensibly about open carry at protests, ultimately deciding that the practice is wrongheaded albeit harmless.

On the same topic, it turns out that the AR-15 was part of an Ernie Hancock publicity stunt. (Hancock is the paleocon who runs Freedom's Phoenix. Hat tip on this one goes to Mike Ross.) No demonstration like this is not centrally organized--it turns out that the Left has actually been paying people to work the demonstrations!--but to reveal such an act as "staged" is to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Raise "tuition" without raising tuition--just don't mention the acetaldehyde

Actually, now that I think about it, if the acetaldehyde is mentioned it'll be lost on the victims of my scheme, anyway.

The Desert Lamp has resumed, perhaps with the application of a bit of tequila to the flickering wick; among the several topics covered are colored beer cans.

Evan Lisull's most recent post discusses a Federal Trade Commission objection to, of all things, colored beer cans. Anheuser Busch/InBev has been packaging Bud Light in cans with color schemes matching those of the U.S.'s biggest party schools state megauniversities.

The FTC and many colleges have objected, claiming that this may somehow encourage more underage drinking to take place--as though an 18 year old will think harder before he has the regular Bud Light than the one in University of Arizona blue and red--and might be construed as University endorsement of the product. The University of Arizona has been silent on the matter.

They should embrace it and even go one farther: license the "A" logo or the silly Wildcat thing, and charge a per-can royalty.

I'm guessing that the Bud Light drinkers, especially the ones who'd be more inclined to drink it because of the logo, overlap considerably with those who moan--and hop buses to the Capitol en masse to moan--about tuition fee increases (how dare they charge me more for this private good?) even as the State faces extreme shortfalls. I'm fairly certain they're also the ones who shout "ow!" at random on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, who blast stereos from their cars, who pile five at a time into trucks and harass pedestrians, and who generally lower both the University's prestige and, more importantly, the quiet enjoyment of the neighborhood by others.

Bud Light licensing, like a surcharge for the most obnoxious students. Fair enough, right?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

That's not a bug, that's a feature.

The East Valley Tribune recently concluded a reasonably good three-part investigative feature on Arizona's tuition tax credit scheme.

For those who don't remember, Arizona doesn't give a parent tax credit for those sending their kids to private school. But it does give tax credits to donors to "School Tuition Organizations" which then give "scholarships" to students attending private school. It actually forbids parents to make "donations" to their own children or any specific children.

The Trib's findings: Schools "highly encouraged" parents of enrolled children to make contributions restricted to benefiting their school and to recruit others to do the same.

Did anyone not see that coming? Parents, faced with having to make double payments for education (one for their kids via tuition fees and another for everyone else's via taxes) work with schools and STOs to find a way to some temporary and incomplete relief, and it's treated as a surprise? Come on, quit being so naive. And quit treating this behavior as corruption--that's as ridiculous as complaining about illegal aliens giving fake SSNs to employers. The law forces people to act like schemers in their search for simple fair treatment.

My recommendation is the same as it has been since I launched this 'blog: eliminate the STO program and establish an individual tax credit, which provides dollar-for-dollar tax relief, capped per child at the amount the State spends per pupil, for parents, grandparents, godparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, or anyone else who pays the private-school expenses for a particular child.

Who will thwart health care reform?

If you're living in Arizona, look roughly in the direction of Mi Nidito. Nothing against the restaurant--I recommend the cazuela--but it's a convenient landmark, known to have been frequented by the culprit back in his days as a Pima County Supervisor.

That's right: you're looking toward the Seventh Congressional District, and Raúl Grijalva. The New York Times has the story:
Representative Raul Grijalva, the co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, said on Thursday they will not support a bill that replaces the public insurance option with health insurance cooperatives. The co-op idea, formulated in the Senate Finance Committee, is a toothless substitute for a government-sponsored alternative, they said.

Those teeth? Crowd-out. Grijalva is a supporter of single-payer, and the "public option" was little more than a stealth route to that regime of harsh egalitarian rationing. Or not--I could be wrong about the "stealth" part.

Anyone else see "progressive" as a joke? What does rationing have to do with human progress?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another good resource, and a writing opportunity for readers. is fast becoming one of the best sources of participatory journalism and commentary on the Web. Chances are you've already been directed to an article or two on the site via Google News. Its writers are paid, but usually have day jobs and are often writing in areas of personal expertise.

Among Arizonan political writers on Examiner, Phoenix Libertarian Examiner Daniel Heller hasn't been writing long, but is showing himself to be a capable and interesting commentator from the modern-classical-liberal or libertarian perspective. I'd add him to the 'blogroll but can't pick up a proper feed from the Examiner, so he's in the link list instead.

To readers who might want to start writing on the Web: Examiner pays, and given that it's a bit more formal than Associated Content, it probably pays considerably more. (For the curious: I've made from this 'blog roughly enough to buy lunch at Subway. Reviewing glue, household appliances, and tasty beverages on pays my internet related bills in a good month. This is a hobby and not a living!) Currently they are soliciting writers in Phoenix and Tucson, with Tucson a bit more wide-open. Scanning the Tucson availabilities potentially of interest to readers, I find:
Arizona Statehouse Examiner
Arizona Policy Examiner
Tucson Economic Policy Examiner
Tucson Fiscal Responsibility Examiner
Tucson Government Examiner
Tucson Nonpartisan Examiner
Tucson Independent Examiner
Tucson Political Buzz Examiner
Tucson Pollution Examiner
Tucson Public Policy Examiner
Tucson Ethnic Restaurants Examiner
Tucson Eco-Travel Examiner.

I'm sure that Tucson Barista Examiner appeals to some of you single guys, too. (I'm not making that one up!) At the very least, it will make for a good pickup line. I can't find an equivalent category for the ladies. Maybe Tucson Single Men Examiner? There are also some wacky ones: "Tucson Cuddle Party Examiner", "Tucson Zombie Examiner", "Tucson Sidewinders Examiner", "Tucson Support Groups Examiner", "Tucson Suicide Examiner".

On an unrelated note, Radley Balko's The Agitator has been added to the bottom 'blog feed.

Dissidents carry openly to a political event, act responsibly, and don't even shoot anyone: if you have the press's prejudices, this is newsworthy.

Update: "Chris" is exactly who I think he is, a libertarian-leaning paleocon, affiliated with We are Change.

By now you've probably heard that at least twelve people exercised their right to openly carry firearms to one of the satellite demonstrations associated with President Obama's Monday Morning visit to Phoenix. Somehow, if gun owners carry openly and have the gall to act civilized and not even shoot anyone with whom they disagree, it's national news. It flies in the face of everything reporters, editors, and the still-anti-RKBA establishment expect from gun owners.

A few remarks:
  • I'm 95% certain that "Chris", the man carrying the AR-15, is someone I know. If he is who I think he is, I'll try to get him to answer a few questions here. No guarantees, but don't be surprised if you see something about it here. And if he is who I think he is, he's a levelheaded, well-spoken professional, the sort you'd want to be carrying.

  • Reports of an "assault rifle" are exaggerations, a manifestation of reporter ignorance. "Semiautomatic assault rifle" is a glaring contradiction. "Assault is a behavior", or so the mantra goes, but we have to acknowledge that "assault rifle" is a class of infantry weapon. By definition it is selective-fire. AR-15 rifles that are both assault rifles and legally ownable by private individuals (i.e. not licensed firearms manufacturers or police departments) are very rare.

    Note that the M16, which is the military assault rifle version of the AR-15, was designed based on studies of real combat in WWII and made for closer combat than the M1 Garand, which, by the way, isn't an assault rifle (confused yet?). If one wanted to assassinate the President, far better choices of weapon exist, and could be obtained from Cabela's or Bass Pro Shop. None of these necessarily fall into the political scare category of "assault weapons"--which aren't assault rifles, either--except by choice of magazine or if someone chooses a folding stock. A folding stock would, by the way, make it less appropriate for assassinating the President.

    I'm still of the opinion that all reporters who might end up covering a story such as this should be required by their employers to both go shooting and be familiarized with firearms.

  • It's not very often that police conduct is remarkably good. In this case, the Phoenix PD or Maricopa County sheriff's deputies--it's not clear who was involved--are to be commended. Rather than caving in to obvious demands to arrest or remove those exercising their right to open carry, on invented "disorderly conduct" or some other excuse, they merely explained the law to complainers. Classy. Very classy. Contrast this with the abuse and occasional assault open carriers have faced in other parts of the country.

  • Many commentators (here's a representative example) have leapt to the conclusion that those carrying openly at this event must have been doing so to intimidate others. With no evidence whatsoever, they have slandered these men and women by declaring their intent malicious. It's true that some others present may have felt intimidated, but that B feels intimidated by A does not mean that A is out to intimidate B. It's also possible that B's feeling of intimidation is due to some defect of B's thinking. Hoplophobia, for example.

    Note that there were no reports of menacing conduct by any of the 12 carriers! That someone else is merely visibly armed is not grounds for feeling intimidated, that is, unless one would otherwise have physically attacked those who are armed. If they were brandishing the weapons or threatening to shoot people over the content of their speech, that would be different. Short of that, any feeling of intimidation is irrational, especially given that (legally or not) anyone in the crowd could be concealing a weapon!

  • For the benefit of readers from out of state, it's worth noting that open carry is a common form of political expression in AZ. It's especially common at Bill of Rights Day and Independence Day parties. If an Arizonan is afraid of mere open carry it is a sign that said Arizonan doesn't get out much--that his social circle is so limited (he's probably a far leftist who only associates with far leftists!) that he hasn't encountered peaceful open carry, and possibly, given that in every crowded public place in Arizona except the universities it's likely that someone is carrying, either openly or concealed, that he is deranged. Open carry and concealed carry are both so common in Arizona that anyone afraid of mere carry is either ridiculously sheltered or deranged or both.

    There's an old, silly argument, that used to be part of ACLU policy--those days are long gone, and ACLU-AZ now explicitly acknowledges RKBA as a civil liberty--that the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and those guaranteed by the Second are incompatible. In Arizona we know that empirically to be false, from years of evidence. There's no better illustration of that than today's events. People carry, openly, to an event where others can be emotional, over a perhaps irreconcilable difference of opinion on public policy--it'll be reconcilable when the "public option" crew learns some economics so we can have a reasonable discussion on fair and reasonable terms--and nothing bad comes of it. (Perhaps the police presence had something to do with it--keeping the hoplophobes from trying to do something stupid to the guys who are carrying!)

    But sometimes, too, carry is itself an act of political expression. In the U.S.A., and foreigners I've met have difficulty understanding this until they learn quite a lot about our history and our political culture, the two are intimately related.

  • I'm not going to write too much about the semiotics of open carry in a free society, at least not right now, because I do not wish to speak for the demonstrators. But I'll throw this idea out there. In recent weeks, opponents to the Democrats' crowd-out plan for health care have been assaulted by union goons at "town hall" meetings at least twice, the worst of this incident being the beating outside a St. Louis "town hall" meeting of button vendor Kenneth Gladney, including kicks while he was on the ground, at the hands of one SEIU official and at least two members of the union wearing union t-shirts.

    In light of this, open carry to one of these events is a way of saying "bullying is off the table." That's not the only possible meaning, and it may not be why the group of 12 was carrying in Phoenix yesterday morning.

    Given the strange racialist nature of the Gladney incident--Gladney was the target of a Black minister/union organizer's rage because he was Black--at least one person among the dozen carrying openly may have wished to make an especially strong statement. I don't like to identify people by their ethnicity/"race" on Goldwater State as I believe strongly that this is something we need to move beyond, but it might be relevant that the gentleman who was carrying the AR-15 is also Black.

It isn't often that responsible conduct by gun owners gets covered in the mainstream, popular news. I'd say I'm enjoying the coverage, but they're trying so very hard to demonize this peaceful conduct--and this is the same popular press which glorifies left-wing protest--that it's painful.

Remarks? Think I'm way off on this one? Have any peculiar insight? Leave a comment. Traffic from Blog For Arizona is welcome. As usual, anonymity is highly discouraged. And if you say something silly, including referring to me as a right-winger or a Republican or something similar, I'll gladly call your ridiculous assumptions ridiculous and otherwise deserving of ridicule.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Arizona Supreme Court: Legislators are no longer mere "alleged" pendejos.

They're convicted pendejos--and you won't find that one in your law dictionary.

From the Arizona Republic:

...The Arizona Supreme Court ordered Thursday that the Legislature immediately relinquish to the governor all bills that have received final passage, but did not specify exactly how quickly the transmittal must occur.

The ruling would appear to bar future Legislatures from refusing to send the governor bills that have passed the House and Senate, as happened this year.

In an expanded, 22-page majority opinion written by Justice Scott Bales, the high court found that lawmakers violated the state Constitution during the last regular session when they approved a budget proposal for fiscal 2010 but declined to send it to Gov. Jan Brewer for nearly a month....

The ruling stems from a state spending plan that the House and Senate granted final approval on June 4.Weeks later and with the budget still not in Brewer's possession, she filed a special-action lawsuit against legislative leaders and asked the Supreme Court to force them to send her the budget.

The governor contended that legislators were attempting to press their political advantage by hanging onto the bills until the fiscal year concluded at the end of the month - forcing Brewer to sign a budget she didn't like or risk shutting down state government.

It was a claim that legislative attorneys didn't dispute. But they argued in a June court hearing that lawmakers have discretion in determining when to send passed bills to the governor, provided that the Legislature remains in session...

The lengths to which the Republicans in the Legislature have gone to discredit a Republican governor that they should be thankful to have--Napolitano's departure was a stroke of luck--are shameful. I'd recommend knocking some of these out in primary challenges, but they're more popular in the Republican Party than Brewer is, which may reflect just what is wrong with the Republican Party these days--it's turning into a group of chirping sectaries. And if they think that immigration hawks or strict social conservatives (think Len Munsil) will somehow win over independents from a strong Democratic challenger, they're even more disconnected from reality than I thought.

The full text of the ruling is now available on the Court's website. Even if you're not interested in the legal particulars, read the first few pages--especially if you're a Republican--then think again about who needs to be thrown out of office in 2010.

One on health care.

Associated Content put out a "call for content" asking for summaries, with commentary and a statement of my own position, of the positions taken on health care reform by my representatives in Congress; I wrote a few hundred words, which are now published to the site.

It isn't my best work, but it's a reasonable place to get started.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lost and found forbidden Daily Wildcat comic

In the comment thread of a recent post concerning the University of Arizona's absentmindedness about the First Amendment, I noted that when I went looking for a copy, either digitized or printed, of a controversial Joseph Topmiller cartoon in the Daily Wildcat, none was to be found.

Evan Lisull of the Desert Lamp dug up a copy on the Web. I thus finally get to see what the fuss was about. Offensive? No, just stupid, and not funny, and too stupid and too unfunny--too clumsy--to be offensive. The Keef "We're voting for the nigger" comic on the other hand was both hilarious and thought-provoking even if based on a true story, and whether or not one was offended was sort of a binary IQ test. Miss the point, get offended.

I'm an on-again, off-again go player. One of the more difficult lessons for a beginner in go is to learn to tell the difference between sente and gote moves, those which require response and those that do not. The Japanese (with stereotypical bombast) consider the goban to be a mirror of life, and there is a correspondence here. While that day's paper's disappearance from the Wildcat's physical stash and the removal of the cartoon itself from the archives is not a First Amendment matter, the events do speak to a general cowardice at the U in regards to free speech. We don't need to be protected from stupid--students should by the time they get to college be able to recognize stupid and have the confidence to simply not respond. Stupid is a gote move, not a sente move.

As for the Wildcat, the better response would have been "Joseph Topmiller has been fired because his cartoons are unfunny and he will be replaced by someone we force-fed LSD, locked in a closet, and convinced he was actually Arnie Bermudez."

From the road #3: Concerning beverages, and clearly out of sequence.

On Interstate 8 between the petroglyph site/old state park and Yuma is a non-town called Dateland, site of an old Army Air Force training base--the runways are a little rough but still there--a grove of date palms, perhaps a dozen residences, an RV park, a couple of filling stations, and apparently its own post office, or at least its own zip code.

The billboards would have you think it's a tourist trap a la The Thing or Casa de Fruta or those wacky lopsided "mystery spot" houses one used to find off of highways, but all one finds is a gas station with a gimmick: sales of dates and "Date Shakes."

Date shakes? Much better than they sound: flavorful and no sweeter than the usual milkshake--if you also need gas, it's worth stopping in for one.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

From the road #2: A partial solution to road shrapnel

Cyclists in the Tucson area, especially in the Mountain Avenue corridor populated by under-mature college brats, encounter much more glass than they should, and throughout Arizona we commonly see roadside beer and pop cans, more glass still, and "urban flotsam" even in Garden Canyon and Oak Creek. It's a hazard to cyclists and an eyesore to everyone else. "There ought to be a law!", the vulgar might say. There already is a law: both the State and municipalities will fine litterers of the public streets and highways.

The law is a "stick"; a "carrot" is also possible. I remember, vaguely, grocery stores taking refillable bottles back and refunding deposits until the mid-1980s, at least in the Chicago area, but this seemed to have stopped when pop stopped being sold primarily in glass bottles. Bottles and cans to this day are stamped with "HI" and "MI" and "CRV" bottle deposit indicators or values--I've noticed these but didn't think too much of the system or directly encounter it until this trip.

One doesn't see bottles along the roads even in poorer or shabbier areas of CA like one does in e.g. South Tucson or the student-populated areas. There are some, but fewer. Perhaps a cultural difference is involved--I cannot say definitively--but I suspect that the State's bottle deposit program has something to do with it. This is what "CRV" indicates on some containers: California "Cash Return Value" of five cents for small bottles and cans and ten cents for those holding more than twenty-four fluid ounces. One pays a deposit at checkout and collects it at service counters or very nifty "reverse vending machines" which scan the bottles and give cash or cash-equivalent coupons in return.

This incentive may seem small, but there's little inconvenience associated with it and it can be a non-insignificant portion of the grocery bill for many. Moreover, it gives bums some other easy means to earn a little cash than "spanging" and gets both them and largely idle kids picking up after less conscientious neighbors and hauling the containers to the grocery store. And it puts recycling, something which some people don't do seemingly out of spite--it's no harder to throw the wine bottle into the blue bin!--into a nicely Sunnsteinian choice architecture. Roughly 78% of bottles are recycled in states with deposit programs, whereas only 23% are recycled elsewhere. keeps track of efforts to pass bottle deposit bills. Their records have a such a bill being introduced in Arizona in 2008, but by such far-left characters as Phil Lopes, Krysten Sinema, and Steve Farley (the public artist responsible for replacing cheap buses with expensive streecars in Tucson, presumably because they're more aesthetically pleasing.) A nonstarter, in other words, given the makeup of the Legislature. People can be prone to oppose ideas simply because they come from people who usually have bad ideas. Don't let that get in your way here. And cyclists: think it over a bit every time you patch a puncture.

Friday, August 07, 2009

From the road #1: Does this person sound familiar?

From a USA Today article that ended up on the front page, below the fold, of the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, fears that violent confrontations will increase as more people carry concealed guns. "When someone's carrying a gun around and they're not fully trained, oftentimes they'll use it just because it's there," he says.

Ignoring the grating singular "they", I'd hate to say it, but Paul Helmke may be right. This does happen, and in Arizona we should be more aware of it than almost anyplace else. (This, of course, doesn't imply that it's better to ban firearms...)

Why should we be aware of it? One name: Harold Fish.

On a hiking trail, Fish was approached by dogs being walked off-leash by one Grant Kuenzli. Made uneasy by the dogs, he fired a "warning shot". It doesn't take a genius to understand that (1) concerning humans, there's no such thing as a "warning shot" in Arizona law and (2) Dogs don't understand "warning shots". Following this escalation, Kuenzli ran toward Fish, upset and thinking he's trying to kill the dogs; Fish shot him three times and claimed it as "self-defense". At best, it's probably "imperfect self defense", a mere mitigating factor, but with the only witness to the altercation being Fish, who knows?

In 2006, the Arizona legislature began a dangerous experiment. In our legal tradition, self-defense and other justification defenses are affirmative defenses, that is, the defense must be proved to the jury with presumption against the defendant. In Arizona, justification defenses are no longer affirmative defenses; the prosecution must now prove that a murder was not self-defense!

In Arizona, we are thus more likely to be shot by an angry man who thinks he can claim self-defense, and more likely to see conflicts that would ordinarily end in a shouting match be escalated by cowards like Fish and end in shootings. Fish is currently released pending the outcome of a remand; the Arizona Court of Appeals says that Fish should have been allowed to introduce testimony to the effect of "Kuenzli was protective of dogs". This session, primarily for Fish's benefit (!), the legislature passed a bill making the 2006 change retroactive. If there is a retrial, the prosecution will now have to prove that Fish wasn't acting in self-defense. Attorney General Terry Goddard has appealed the Appeals Court's ruling to the AZ Supreme Court. For once, I have nothing bad to say about Terry Goddard.

Fish's release has been celebrated by firearms enthusiasts and RKBA supporters in the state and elsewhere. That's a bad call. The incident on the hiking trail is equivalent, up to a change of scenery, to the "blood in the streets" "shot over traffic disputes" scenario brought up always by RKBA opponents. Fellow supporters of firearms rights: this is not anything with which we want to be associated.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Just in: Health care demonstration at Giffords town hall, tomorrow (Thursday) at 6 PM

Via Tom Jenney of the Arizona chapter of Americans for Prosperity:

WHAT: "Casual Conversation" with Gabrielle Giffords

WHEN: Thursday, August 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: La Placita, 110 S. Church Ave.

Parking info: The address is 110 South Church Avenue, at the intersection of Church and Broadway. Parking is available across the street (West of La Placita), off of the street "Jackson" in the five-story parking garage. Parking is reportedly free after 5 p.m. on Levels 3 and above.

Remember: the "progressives", including Obama's "Organizing for America", are trying very hard to get Giffords and others to adopt the far-left "single payer" position on health care, framing Obama's proposal as a moderate alternative. We need to pull back.

Note that, while boosting protester numbers has value, there's also value in not being part of "the mob", of participating normally and asking very, very tough questions. Such as: Why not just fix the market and offer vouchers to the needy?

I'm on the road, 'blogging right now from Palo Alto. As usual, if you are able to attend and would like to be a guest 'blogger, just send me an e-mail.