Most recent news from Arizona's politics includes bills being discussed in the state legislature to allow guns to be carried on college campuses. The curious irony in northern Arizona is the best-known appearance of hand guns resulted in a deadly shooting on the campus of Northern Arizona University. The basis for this wave of open carry stuff is, of course, the Second Amendment, built upon the premise, among other things, that a militia would be needed to remain armed in case, say, the British came back. And in the case of the shooting right down the street, it turned out it wasn't a British invasion, but a fleet of television trucks to display what, exactly? is the benefit of having guns on campus. But extremism is ... blah, blah, blah ...

If you follow this flintlock musket policy initiative to a few logical implications, all part of a Barry Goldwater meme buried like valley fever in the sands of the Southwest, then the sovereign principality of Arizona should send away all federal employees, including the military and border patrol. Then it can establish its own constitution, supreme court, and enforce what it really has in mind, a rigidly biblical caliphate where everyone should be carrying a rifle to everything.

Arizona voters are the first to blame for the apparent dysfunction of this crew. But rather than voting out the designers of the budget crisis, a governor was put in to reinvent the wheel. And Goldwater Institute goons were brought in to be the "yes" men. Sounds like the crunch over school funds is just the tip of the iceberg since these designers, not being scientists, won't embrace the wheel until more research comes in. It's good advice to keep following the money for all kinds of categories as the radicals seek to privatize law enforcement, prisons, social safety nets or hand over public lands to developers. They seem to be intent on handing over government programs to a legion of mercenaries, reintroducing a system that we haven't seen since the 19th century, or, in some cases, the Middle Ages. It's becoming a cruel world, indeed. Which is why, I suppose, all of these rifles are needed.

The Goldwater Institute, hunkered down in the melted money mounts of Paradise Valley, is a menace to compassionate governance. If we had listened to that bunch, there would be no light rail system in the Valley. It's an anti-union, anti public healthcare think tank for the tax dodging cronies of the New Capitalism, replacing social ideals fought for across the Western World with a new religion called "profit." We haven't seen this wave greed hounds since the Reagan era, and now the fate of the 99 percent is at their mercy.

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