When our nation’s founders wrote the language in the First Amendment guaranteeing the right to “petition the government for a redress of grievances,” there were no words describing the form of that petition.
Screening the film adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984” isn’t exactly the most festive way to celebrate one’s upcoming birthday, but after reading the Tribune’s “Nerdvana” column’s recommending it this coming Friday, I couldn’t help but reserve a seat.
If you’ve ever wondered if people will ever learn to stop texting while driving, the answer is, yes, they will, but sadly it’s going to take some time. And it won’t be a law specifically against it that will ensure cooperation, but rather something that’s sometimes more powerful: social acceptance.
By the time you read this, I hope to have been part of the preservation of a piece of Arizona history. As I write, I’m filled with pride, because whenever you get involved with history, you hope that someday, people yet unborn can learn from it.
We learned in school about the inventors such as Edison and Bell who parlayed their inventions into fortunes, of the great capitalists of the Gilded Age such as Rockefeller and Carnegie and Morgan who took great risks on their way to becoming titans of industry.
My Recent Comments
Mark Scarp here. Thanks for your comments, folks. I prefer proper "time, place and manner" restrictions that respect individual rights but majority rule. Reader domusrex wonders why I can advocate allowing smoking on campus when those of drinking age can't drink on campus. My reply is, why shouldn't alcohol be permitted under certain strictures? I see nothing wrong with responsible use of alcohol by those at least age 21 in designated areas ("time, place and manner"), which means that like smoking, drinking has no place in a classroom, but drinking might at a social function or even at a sporting event, just as smoking might in a designated away-from-others area. Why ban something like alcohol entirely because a few people behave badly?
That's why designated smoking areas are a good compromise. Smokers may light up in a separate place from the lungs of nonsmokers.
And stronger penalties and enforcement should indeed be present to keep areas free of cigarette butts, as reader geekette points out. I also note that litter has many disgusting forms, including tossed soft drink cups. We should no more ban cigarettes because a minority of smokers toss them wrongfully and illeglaly on the ground any more than we should ban soft drinks because some people toss cups on the ground as well.
10 months ago
Samkat: First off, I favored neither Pearce nor Lewis, although I did say in print that (1) voters who didn't like Pearce should vote against him in 2012 when he was up for re-election and (b) since there was a recall election, Lewis was not going to win it unless he made Pearce's conduct in office the main issue (he didn't, but he won anyway!) While I agree with you that there needs to be more accountability in charter school funding, such a audit requirements, I'm afraid I don't think the public is going to see Lewis' earning a salary -- whose amount can certainly be debated -- from the state to run a charter school system as having the same bad ethical smell as Pearce's accepting expensive trips from an entity that is *not* his employer to far away football games for himself and his family. To me, the issue with Russell Pearce's taking Fiesta Bowl tickets is quite different: Although it is legal under current law for Pearce to have accepted such a gift, nowhere can it be found that it's in a senator's job description that he *must* accept them. And the voters seemed to have agreed with that notion. --Mark ScarpNov 12, 2011
Mark Scarp here. It's Mesa's pay-for-play policy that's in the news lately, so that's what I focused on in Sunday's column. But for the record, I would also agree that additional fees to rent instruments, etc., should also be eliminated and the money raised by a community-wide effort involving businesses and civic groups. (How about local professional musicians donating a performance to raise money to buy instruments?) Heck, in many if not most public schools, band and orchestra are part of the curriculum, not an extracurricular activity.Sep 18, 2011
Yes, but you prove my point. To significantly affect rush-hour traffic (what the TV morning show people report on), huge numbers of ASU students would have to be going to class at approximately the same time during those rush hours. As you have just pointed out, the fact that they travel at different times and on different days (plus the fact that since most ASU students are from the Valley and live and drive here year round, they're really not adding much to the traffic total) mean their effect on slowing rush-hour traffic is quite minimal.Aug 16, 2011
Thanks to the above two readers for writing. The first thinks that I've spent too much time in school while the second thinks I didn't spend enough! Responses:
commonsense: If your concern is about "homeless people, vagrants, people with mental problems...." etc., there are plenty of homeless people milling around in public parks near kids' sporting events and park playgrounds. And is it necessary that the person enforcing the rules about acceptable library computer use has to wear a gun?
n7mk: I should have noted that the morning show people have been talking about school-caused traffic for several days now based on elementary and high schools' openings over the last week. ASU students didn't start moving back in to dorms until yesterday (Saturday, Aug. 13, not a commuter weekday) and as for those students you point out that are commuting during rush hours, ASU classes don't even begin until next Thursday, Aug. 18.
Mark ScarpAug 14, 2011