I’ll make no pretense of open-mindedness about the congressional race brewing in my district here. Every single time I’ve heard Rick Renzi speak about something that I care about, I’ve been thoroughly insulted by him. His campaign has really brought divisive rhetoric to a higher plane lately, though, as he repeatedly slurs his opponent Ellen Simon. It takes a fairly breathtaking level of audacity to tar Simon as having “Nancy Pelosi views” while dodging local debates and hiding from his own constituents.

Renzi shows plenty of contempt for the Constitution by maligning Simon for taking money from an attorney who has represented terrorist suspects in court. Hi, Rick, Sixth Amendment, much? That of course is pretty standard Rove-style water boarding carrying, so it doesn’t really come as any kind of surprise. What I really, truly am surprised by is Renzi’s calling Simon to task for being from the scary midwest:

ACLU President Ellen Simon’s Cleveland values are completely out of touch with the values of rural Arizona, and she ought to be ashamed of her disgraceful record.

Whew knew that Cleveland is the new San Francisco? Cleveland?

New UA library resources

The following comes to me in a memo from the UA library:

Beginning August 21, articles and book chapters from the University of Arizona Libraries print collections will be scanned and delivered to your desktop for free. You will now receive, free, all articles you need whether the UA library own the journal or not.

This is cool, especially for folks like me who are off campus and can’t just waltz to the library to copy an article from Mobilization (one journal to which the UA library doesn’t yet provide electronic access). Now, if they can scan/deliver a chapter that comes in a volume they retrieve via interlibrary loan, that will be even cooler. We’ll see.

In case of fire, pack car

The Brins fire is really cramping my Northern Arizona style. I live a few miles south of Flagstaff, just about at the northeastern end of the canyon in which the fire is currently sitting. Since Sunday afternoon, the neighborhood has been pretty well socked-in with smoke, enough that we have our very own smoke and ash advisory that includes advice to be prepared for evacuation. The fear is that if the fire fully reaches Oak Creek Canyon, it may burn its way right to our door.

So if you had to leave your house, what would you take with you? The preparedness advisory suggests the essentials: Medicine, clothes to last a few days, important financial and insurance documents, and all the keepsakes that aren’t replaceable. I’d add to that my file drawers of archival dissertation material that’s not yet digitized, the backup hard drives, some photos. But I’m sure that leaves things out: My grandmother’s heirloom lace tablecloth; plenty of books with sentimental value; a couple of antique tools. The thought of losing things that are irreplaceable is not even so much worse—in forethought, anyway—than the thought of having to replace all the things that would be insured.

As if itemizing one’s life and staying out of the smoke wasn’t bad enough, word comes this morning that the Forest Service is closing the entire Coconino National Forest until further notice, in order to reduce the likelihood of further fire. Flagstaff is fully boxed in by the Coconino, so we’re not only cut off from the woods that surround our neighborhood (in which we’ve been doing lots of biking this summer), but in fact just about all the outdoor areas nearby, including the Blue Ridge Reservoir where we planned to kayak today. With the entire forest closed, it’s a pretty long trip to anywhere that we can take the dogs for a good walk. I’m still plenty happy to be out of the Tucson summertime, of course, but I’d like some fresh air soon.

About, the short version

I’m a sociologist-errant. This site is powered by Textpattern, Pair Networks and the sociological imagination. For more about me and this site, see the long version.

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