As Read in the Newspaper:
Bits and Pieces from the Arizona Daily Star - 2014
“If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed.
If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.” - (Mark Twain)
Bill allowing discrimination on religious grounds is offered
PHOENIX — A veteran state lawmaker is pushing legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays, and potentially women and Jews, as long as they were acting on sincerely held religious beliefs.
SB 1062 would allow businesses sued in a civil case to claim they have a legal right to not provide service to an individual or group because it would “substantially burden’’ their freedom of religion.
Sen. Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler, said the measure is aimed specifically at preventing what happened in New Mexico, where courts said a gay couple could sue a photographer who refused to take their wedding pictures. But Yarbrough said his legislation could also be interpreted to allow motels with vacant rooms to refuse to rent to gays. More...
As you might expect Mr. Yarbrough's attempt to legalize discrimination generated a few letters to the editor. Here is just one. -mb
Yarbrough’s ‘freedom’ is simple bigotry
Re: the Jan. 16 article “Bill allowing discrimination on religious grounds is offered.”
What Sen. Steve Yarbrough seeks to protect can be accurately described as the “sanctity of bigotry.” Clearly, he is a pious and devout Christian, as his interest in defending intolerance is obvious.
Should the Muslim owner of an Arizona motel be free to deny a room to a woman in labor because she and her husband, Joseph, are Jews? Should the gay owner of an antiques store be free to deny service to anybody who looks like a Republican?
Yarbrough’s freedom of religion stops at my civil rights. If a man is not prepared to do business with each and every member of the public, he should not open a business to that public. That is how it works in the United States of America.
It is people like Sen. Yarbrough who make me think just maybe we are not too bad off in West Virginia. But, that never lasts long. -mb
Just 2 chemicals leaked in river, company says
A second chemical was released during a spill that contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians, state officials said Wednesday, though the newly identified substance appears to be less toxic than the coal-cleaning agent already known to have leaked.
"Less toxic"? Know one really knows that since the toxicity of the coal-cleaning agent is still not known. -mb
State officials sharply criticized the company at the center of the Jan. 9 spill for failing to report the presence of the second chemical and ordered them to disclose everything that leaked into the Elk River from their storage tank by 4 p.m. Wednesday.
Freedom Industries responded by the afternoon that only those two chemicals, which are sometimes paired during coal processing, seeped into the river.
"Having to order them to provide such obvious information is indicative of the continued decline of their credibility," said Randy Huffman, secretary of the state's Department of Environmental Protection. More...
"Department of Environmental Protection"? Also known as the "Department of Environmental Prostitution".
This agency gets it's marching orders from the Governor's office. Our Governor's are little more than Coal Whores who drop their pants and hold out their hands. - mb
Panel rejects AZ's bid to require proof of citizenship for voting
PHOENIX — In a rebuff to state officials, the head of the federal Elections Assistance Commission has rejected Arizona’s request to require proof of citizenship by those using a federal form to register to vote.
The ruling is yet another significant setback for Arizona’s effort to enforce the 2004 voter-approved law. The state had argued all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court that it has a constitutional right to demand citizenship proof, only to be rebuffed last year.
In a 46-page order late Friday, Alice Miller, the commission’s acting director, said Congress was within its rights to conclude that those seeking to vote need not first provide documentary proof of eligibility. Miller said the affidavit of citizenship, coupled with criminal penalties for lying, is sufficient.
“Arizona’s evidence at most suggests that 196 of 2,706,223 registered voters, approximately 0.007 percent, were unlawfully registered non citizens around the time that Proposition 200 took effect,” she wrote.
Attorney General Tom Horne said over the weekend that he does not believe the legal fight is over. He intends to take the issue back to federal court. More...
A great use of taxpayers dollars. Why spend them on Education when you can spend them on a non problem which targets minorities?
Obama: Pot is not more dangerous than alcohol
WASHINGTON — President Obama said he doesn’t think marijuana is more dangerous than alcohol “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” More...
This comes under the "comparing apples to oranges category".
There are approximately 88,000 deaths attributable to excessive alcohol use each year in the United States and in 2010 approximately 10,228 people died in drunk driving crashes.
The number of people who have died from marijuana overuse: None. According to one frequently cited study, a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint in order to be at risk of dying. -mb