•Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik: Have you ever actually been unavailable for comment?
•Kim Kardashian: Do you have any talent at all? And no, that thing you can do doesn't qualify as a talent. At best, it's a skill.
•Linda Ronstadt: Why didn't you stay and fight for your beloved Tucson instead of moving elsewhere and then talking crap? (However, I still love all of your music.)
•University of Arizona Athletic Director Greg Byrne: Do you have one of those Time Turner things that Hermione used in "The Prisoner of Azkaban" that allowed her to be in two places at once? I could swear I saw you at a high-school basketball game at the same time a friend of mine saw you at a Wildcat game in McKale Center. It's either that or you've discovered a way to squeeze 36 hours into your day.
•KOLD News Anchor Heather Rowe: Where does someone even find false eyelashes like that in the 21st Century? You do a good job, but those things are so distracting. You look like you belong in an Austin Powers movie. And instead of "Mole-y, mole-y, mole-y, mole-y," he'd be muttering "Lash-ey, lash-ey, lash-ey, lash-ey."
•Peter Doocy, the former Navy SEAL who went on Fox News to take credit for shooting Osama Bin Laden: Let me get this straight: You're a member of a group of the baddest dudes in the world and part of what makes you so bad is that you train incessantly and when an incredibly tough mission comes along, you handle your business and then you never, ever, NEVER talk about it. Why, then, did you bitch out?
•Governor-elect Doug Ducey: Are you, by any chance, related to that guy?
•Former head of the defunct TUSD Mexican-American Studies program who now goes to conferences and picks fights with people: ¿Como se dice "beat a dead horse" en Español?
•Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller: Really?!
•Hillary Clinton: Are you just going to lie low until the Democratic National Convention and not come up with any fresh ideas, because that strategy worked really well for you in 2008?
•Arizona Wildcat football star Scooby Wright: When you get married someday, will the preacher have to say, "And do you, Maria, take this man, Scooby..."?
•Immigration activist Isabel Garcia: In all seriousness, if 1,000 sweating Liberians showed up at Arizona's southern border, would you still be your usual strident self in support of letting them into the country? And if not, why not?
•Newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas: If Common Core hadn't come along and given you a raison d'etre, at which Denny's would you be working?
•Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero: If, as it has been argued by some (and against by others), there were no verification process in place, would it not be unfair to rescind the revocation process through which the negative action had not taken place?
One last question. I used to be on a radio show with a conservative friend of mine. He eventually tired of me and now the show has a strictly I'm-More-Right-Wing-Than-You-Are format. Anyway, this guy named Vince used to call in to give me crap. It was cool; I always enjoyed talking to him, although we almost never agreed on anything.
Well, after my last column, Vince wrote a comment that included: "Boring, Tom. Democrats are good. Republicans are bad. What's next...the State House conservatives are evil? Or maybe more anecdotal crap about how your wife is a great teacher, so all public education is wonderful?"
My question to Vince is: What is all of a sudden different that would make me change my mind? Injustice is still injustice and good is still good. While it could always find ways to improve incrementally, public education is wonderful. It's a big reason why America became a world power. Parochial schools do a good job and private schools are fine, but America is on its third century of educating EVERYBODY. It's easy to see how public education became the whipping boy for the Far Right, but the assaults thereon are generally misplaced and almost always self serving.
Yeah, my wife is a bad-ass teacher, but so are a whole lot of other people who don't get the respect they deserve because it's far easier to scapegoat them than it is to give them the support they need to be optimally great at what they do.
As for state legislators being evil, I don't believe that. They're not evil. ISIS is evil. Child molesters are evil. The so-called conservative Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature are just wrong...all the damn time. They're wrong and smug and mean. Those traits don't add up to evil; they just add up to petty. They think narrow and act small. Instead of following the job description—educating our young, maintaining the infrastructure, and providing public safety and health care, where needed—they are obsessed with remaking Arizona into a dystopian Crackpot Disneyland for rich people, bigots, and religious fanatics.
Listen, Ayn Rand sucked while she was alive; she sucked when she wrote those books, and she still sucks now that she's dead. That's never going to change and neither will my disdain for people who get elected and then refuse to just do their damn jobs.