Tag Archives: Arizona

What I’ve Been Reading: April 1

There are atheist nurses. To say otherwise is incredibly ignorant, to say the least. Thanks to Mike on Inspirational Freethought for calling this to my attention and writing a great response to it.

Flops of all shapes and sizes.

The death penalty, in my opinion, is not wrong in theory. In practice? Because it cannot be applied evenly and the guilt of the convicted party cannot be assured, I think it is terribly wrong. This is yet another example of why. Cameron Todd Willingham is another.

Skepchick offered a very basic explanation of Islam recently. It’s a worthwhile and quick read.

Taking Responsibility for Death” Living wills and discussions about end-of-life care are very important.

The grey area of medical treatment should be recognized. Patients and doctors shouldn’t be forced to follow what “the experts” say is best.*

Obama made an interesting proposal regarding immigration to change the way illegal immigrants with legal immigrant family members can apply for legal status. I’m not sure if it’s positive bias from the article, the fact that I’m tired, or that this is actually a good idea, but I like it.

Very long article on hazing at Dartmouth. Didn’t read the whole thing as I don’t feel like it right now. Maybe later.

I’m so glad I don’t live in Arizona. What is up with their legislature? They just seem to be full of bad ideas.

Naked couple, talking snake, prohibited produce** aka the Adam and Eve myth. Interesting video. Originally saw this on Mister Gradenko. I don’t think he necessarily understands a lot of what neoatheists say, but it’s still a great TED talk. Sidenote: Netflix just added a bunch of TED talks. So. Excited.

Zebra stripes… Insect repellant? Awesome.

The silliest country in the world.” (hint: not the U.S. in this article)

I still stop by the Dickinsonian’s*** website once and a while. This time I found a fantastic letter to the editor in response to a not-so-fantastic letter to the editor.

*I think “the experts” are the new “they.” “They say” was finally deemed to vague.

**astrobiologist? Is this a thing?

***Dickinson College’s student-run newspaper for which I wrote from my sophomore year until I finished college.

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Follow Up: Legislator Privilege When Legislature is in Session

44 state and the United States constitutions* contain legislative privilege. Minnesota, as I mentioned in “MN State Legislators,” is one of those states.

This topic came up recently in Colorado and in Arizona according to “Legislative Privilege: Not So Popular.”

This article explains extremely well the origins of legislative privilege, basing the explanation on the behavior of British royalty toward parliament members they disagreed with**. It also highlights other times when their privileges are unjust – like the following incident:

That came into question in Arizona in 2010 after the majority leader of the Arizona Senate got into a donnybrook with his girlfriend. Rep. Scott Bundgaard told police he was a state senator and had legislative privilege. They uncuffed him, released him and took his girlfriend into custody. She went to jail. Bundgaard just resigned his Senate seat in January.

One man quoted seems to think that, because the future is unknowable, the privileges need to stay in place:

“Legislative privilege has a very important 400-year-old history in a democratic government and the separation of powers,” said Rep. Bob Gardner. “One can’t predict the future in Colorado or in the United States and what the political climate will be and for the reason those constitutional protections are important.”

Gardner believes lawmakers need to watch each other’s behavior to see if the privilege is being stretched.

But in this day and age, can anyone really expect us to believe lawmakers are going to watch each others’ behavior and not just watch each others’ backs?

Democratic Representative Clair Levy had this to say to CBS4:

“I think it’s worth having a conversation about whether that has outlived its purpose … Maybe we need to get rid of them either that or narrow them down because there’s always the risk that somebody’s going to misuse it.”

Her analysis is right on, in my opinion. We need to critically examine if this is serving a purpose or just creating a situation in which disincentives for certain behaviors don’t apply to lawmakers during sessions. As Levy said, maybe we need to get rid of it, maybe it needs to be narrowed down.

*See Article I, Section 6. Thanks to the Inactive Activist for pointing that out to me and leading me to check into legislative privilege a little further.

**Although I also think of the French royalty and their propensity to use the Bastille as a home for political dissidents. Most of my knowledge of this, sadly, comes from fiction.

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