Time magazine is in town, attempting to determine whether Nevada is still the "Land of Liberty."
In the week when Dina Titus announced she wants to join Shelley Berkley as our Southern Nevada "congressional delegation" (meaning none of our congressgals would actually sound like they hail from west of Nashville) we felt obliged to report most of the leading indicators seem to be headed the wrong way. Though at least a Health District swamped with endoscopy enforcement seems to have given up trying to enforce this year's Silliest Law, that being the feel-good edict that pretends to protect entirely imaginary small children from breathing the second hand smoke of some taverngoer who want to puff a coffin nail while chowing down some chicken fingers and a Newcastle at midnight at the Pair O' Dice.
The enactment of this halting and unenforceable step toward Economic Suicide in the Desert is surely sufficient evidence that no one moving to Nevada from California or Chicago should be allowed to vote for at least seven years or until they can show evidence they've purchased and successfully hit a man-sized target with firearm of at least .30 caliber.
Although I smoke only for political reasons, we concluded our meeting with the New York fellow by sharing a hookah over the remains of our moussaka and lamb shish kabobs (the babe, who doesn't eat fur people, prefers the spanikopita), which water pipe we were assured by our chirpy hostess actually did contain tobacco. The proprietor "had to work very hard to get an exception" which allows him to serve food and tobacco in the same room at the same time, she explained. Having lived here awhile, I was tempted to speculate it was the proprietor's checkbook that actually got the workout, but refrained from saying so, not wanting to give outsiders the impression that politics is as corrupt here as in some Third World satrapy or, you know, New York.
At least this further step toward tobacco Prohibition is fulfilling our happy predictions -- as such attempts to legislate political hygiene always do -- by moving us further away from a land where everyone understood and generally obeyed the law, to the situation more familiar to residents of any Third World kleptocracy, where the relevant question is not what's illegal (since everything's illegal) but rather which laws the authorities are actually likely to enforce at any particular time and place, and how much it's likely to cost to have them see things our way.
The photographer on the case, the esteemed Kenneth Jarecke, who may have had something to do with Time's cover shot of Nevada's estimable Dick Carver a few years back, is a westerner who actually understands ranching and the stewardship of our supposedly "federal" lands, so time will tell. (Sorry.) We hear our friend Glen Parshall at Bargain Pawn took our visitors out to the range to demonstrate that Nevada still possesses some firepower.
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Meantime, we take a few days off, and what do Bob Beers and Sue Lowden get up to? Shenanigans. They try to hold a state convention in a year when the presidential nominee is already decided -- this should be nothing more than a head count to see who can afford bus fare to take the lamented Kathy Augustine's place at the national convention (I still have her convention badges), for heaven's sake, and what happens? Shenanigans!
Delegates to the state convention have to pay a fee to help cover the cost of the room, of course, and I'm told the number of bounced checks and bad credit card charges this year was way above the norm, indicating there may be a down side to my man Ron Paul bringing in so much "fresh blood."
Let's think this thing through, folks. You want to attend a Nevada state Republican convention, which costs about as much as a burger and beer at your favorite tavern, in hopes of winning a seat at the NATIONAL convention, which could cost you, like, $5,000 to attend, and you pay your modest state convention registration fee with a BAD CHECK?
Then, as if that's not bad enough, you mail it in to this year's convention CHAIRMAN, one Bernie Zadrowski, who works for the D.A. here in Clark County, heading up the detail that prosecutes people for ... hang on, I've got that business card around here, somewhere ... wait for it ... passing bad checks.
These Demopublicans would be looking none too bright, if we had anyone to compare them to besides, you know ... the other guys.