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News/Opinion
‹‹ V.16 No.12 | March 22 - 28, 2007

News Bite

Oddities in Obscurity

The Legislature’s stranger bills

By Marisa Demarco

Retired Cocks—It's nice to know the folks in our state Legislature maintain a sense of humor. Take, for instance, Rep. Thomas Taylor's memorial in support of good digs for feathered fighters out of the fray. He writes persuasively: "Whereas the lonely cluck of the warrior with no battle plucks at our heartstrings and stirs the very fabric of our compassionate souls." The cocks have probably not spent any time thinking about their golden years, Taylor laments, and it would be really unfair to cook them up and eat them. Therefore, the state should implement a retirement program "befitting the majesty" of the fighters. This would include "twice-weekly visits from the very best cage-free hens the state has to offer, one high-definition television for every six cocks and a subscription to ESPN, Animal Planet and CMT pure country, but not to the Food Network or FOX News." Amen.

Terrorism is Against the Law—Hand it to Rep. Jeff Steinborn; he's bringing the hammer down on terrorism by ... outlawing it. Wait, weren't the use of weapons of mass destruction, bombs and grenades, or biological weapons illegal to begin with? Granted, Steinborn's calling for stiffer penalties, but if a terrorist wants to do some terrorism, will tougher punishment matter?

Days and Days—It starts with New Mexico Youth Day. On the first Saturday in August, parents and guardians are supposed to celebrate the importance of the state's youth by hanging out with their children. By itself, it's not so bad. Then there's Read to a Child Day on Nov. 1 to celebrate the importance of reading.

OK. Reading and kids are good. How about:

Ronald Reagan Day on Feb. 6? Or the second Monday in June might be declared Hemophilia Awareness Day? Have you heard of Santa Fe Design Day, Postal Customer Service Awareness Week, Cowboy Day, Cowboys for Cancer Research Day, Las Vegas New Mexico Day, Native Plant Day, Dental Hygienists Day—you get the idea.

Winning an award for ineffectual Day-making: Pluto Planet Day, sponsored by Rep. Joni Gutierrez, a person who cannot let go of the fact that Pluto was recently stripped of its planetary status. The measure was tabled. But really, what difference does a Day make?

All of these measures--except for Ronald Reagan Day and Pluto Planet Day--were adopted. Think about how much brainpower and voting time is spent on these Day declarations.

Wouldn't it be nice if there were a No-Day Day? We'll call it, I don't know, June 15 or something.

Breast Pumps at Work—This one is not so much useless as it is odd. Rep. Danice Picraux was calling for a law to safeguard the right of a new mother to use a breast pump at work and in a safe, clean place that's not a bathroom.

Official State Nail Polish Color—It's black. Not really. Nor is the Official State Sunglass Shape the aviator. However, the governor signed into law the bolo tie as the Official New Mexican Tie this session, and the Official State Answer of "Christmas" made it out of the House alive. The Official State Question? “Red or green?” Again with the sloppy use of legislative brainpower.

Also, since there was so much flak last year over the Official State Cowboy Song, Rep. Gloria Vaughn requested the New Mexico Arts Commission create a composer competition. The measure passed. It's worth noting New Mexico already has a State Song, a State Ballad and a State Bilingual Song.