Talk-show hosts and print pundits made great, gleeful note of the story: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a federal court order that Arizona prisons provide inmates with top-drawer law libraries! "Such gross overreaching by a federal district court simply cannot be tolerated in our federal system," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the high court's 8-1 ruling, which followed a six-year legal battle between inmates and the Arizona Department of Corrections. The news was so hot that Attorney General Grant Woods cut short his vacation to take full public credit for the great victory.
Although The Flash doesn't like to give barristers credit for good work, he realizes he should make an exception this time. Not for camera-huggin', press-conference-lovin' Grant Woods, of course.
No, here's to the little-known team of lawyers, led by Dan Struck at the Phoenix firm of Jones, Skelton and Hochuli, that did the six years of legwork that were the basis for the prison-library victory. It was a team that got nary a word of public thanks from Our Attorney General, who came in at the 11th hour, argued the Struck team's case before the Supremes (who, undoubtedly, had their minds made up when they agreed to consider the matter) and then hogged all the glory.
To paraphrase Justice Thomas: "Such gross overreaching by a state attorney general simply cannot be tolerated . . ."
Have You Called Area Code 51?
A year ago, William Cooper was riding a crest of popularity as one of the top propagandists in the militia movement. From his White Mountain "resource center"--actually a $500-a-month storefront in the decaying commercial district of St. Johns--Cooper filled a shortwave band with an unsteady stream of fear and conspiracy, much of it connected to his book Behold a Pale Horse. His rambling rhetoric ranged from UFO encounters to Kennedy assassination plots (JFK's driver did the deed, if you must know) to secret Masonic rituals in Las Vegas casinos. Cooper's believers visited St. Johns to attend expensive weeklong seminars on surviving the New World Order.
But St. Johns' raucus times are over.
Cooper abruptly left the Apache County town in April. Some residents say he moved to nearby Springerville. Other residents say he's in Wyoming. No one seems to know for sure. "I don't know where he is, and I could care-a-less," says an agitated Tim Lespearance, a former Cooper business associate who runs a St. Johns diner with the charming multicultural name of Kathy's Kountry Kitchen.
Of course, anyone who really wanted to find Cooper would just make contact with Ambassador Krlll, the vowelless alien who, according to Cooper, signed a secret treaty in the 1950s with President Eisenhower.
But Do Have a Nice Day
The Tucson Weekly gets "darted" in the current issue of the Columbia Journalism Review for letting Sierra Club lobbyist Raena Honan write about environmental matters under the pseudonym of Sidney Phillips. The CJR blurb was inspired by a story New Times published in February; you may remember what the Weekly's managing editor, Dan Huff, asked when we requested comment on the byline legerdemain: "Why don't you go fuck yourself?"
Well, Dan, after all these months, you've finally got the answer to your query: No thanks, we'd rather fuck you.
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