Fenger Pointing

Becky Fenger | January 7, 2009

Becky FengerNutty ideas

The best New Year's Resolution we could make would be the sound pronouncement that we will not tolerate the implementation or continuation of nutty or disproved ideas. A few of the prime examples:

Copyrighting state law: Commentator Paul Jacob was floored to learn that the state of California, amongst others, copyrights its laws. In a naked attempt to make money, California controls access to its building codes, plumbing standards and criminal laws. Yes, they are available online, but it costs $1,556 for a digital version and even more for a print-out. The Golden State makes nearly a million dollars a year by selling the citizen what is legally theirs. This so irked patriot and Internet technician Carl Malamud that he published the whole California code online for free last Labor Day. Oh, boy. The blow he struck for transparency is certain to get him in hot water. Since Arizona's goofiest ideas seem to spill over to Arizona – and since we're about $4 billion short on cash – we'd better watch out.

Racial preferences at law schools: Two studies released in October by the Center for Equal Opportunity document massive racial preferences at Arizona's two public law schools. The CEO found that the odds of a black applicant's admission to ASU were 1,100 times greater than a white applicant's and 250 times greater at U of A. Scores of other nationwide studies confirmed that the racial preferences at ASU were the largest of any in the country. This does nothing to erase the racial divide. The only action that could inflame racial tensions more than clinging to such preferences would be to adopt reparations.

Government-based food choices: In an attempt to protect people from themselves, government entities are poised to make us pay more dearly for food they deem too fatty, sugary, salty or high in calories by adding an "obesity tax" to items declared "unhealthy." The mind boggles as to how these decisions would be made. Elizabeth Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health, poses these questions to the food police: "Is a McDonald's cheeseburger (rich in protein) unhealthy? How about a couple of Oreos with a glass of milk after school? An avocado is loaded with fat and calories – does that go on the unhealthy list? What about calorie-filled, sugary orange juice?" California (there's that state again) banned Crisco last July. Ah, the pot thickens!

Rescuing Clean Elections Institute: A thrill went up my leg upon hearing the news that the privately-funded interest group that hawks the unfair "Clean" Elections Act is broke. It may be the only upside of the smashed economy that the Institute is going begging for contributions now that the Piper Fund of Massachusetts, their sugar daddy for the past year, is tapped out. Matching funds may be outlawed by the courts anyway (I hope).

Limiting and taxing bullets: The gun grabbers are trying another line of attack, now that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in July that the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual to keep and bear arms. If you can't get their guns, they figure, let's get their ammunition! Nick Dranias, constitutional government scholar at the Goldwater Institute, tells of a bill in the Arizona legislature last session and possibly to appear this session that would impose a tax on each round of ammunition sold in the state and would mandate that each bullet and box of ammunition be coded for entry into a statewide database. Plus, it would order all uncoded ammo to be destroyed by Jan. 1, 2011. "In short, the bill proposed the legal framework for gun prohibition through ammunition depravation," Dranias states. Fengernails to the creators of this end run around our Second Amendment rights.