Legislative propositions made of fuzzy logic

Ned Cantwell: CNJ columnist

We’ve only just begun. Already New Mexico legislators are pondering legislation that would make it illegal for us to watch Desperate Housewives while driving to our favorite food joint for the family’s traditional Sunday night Nellie Burger feast.

Our elected poobahs are on a tear up there in Santa Fe, having been let loose for 60 days to bring who knows what kind of havoc to our Land of Enchantment.

Senators were quick to rev their legislative motors, assigning to the committee system SB86 making it illegal to watch television while driving. This is somewhat puzzling to me. In my circle of friends there are not those who enjoy soap operas while cruising the interstate. But, then, mine is a very small circle.

Not to be outdone in the realm of public protection is legislation that would outlaw horse meat at the dining table. Here is one citizen who really, really hopes it passes. Frankly, I did not know horse meat was on the menu, and now I am doubly suspicious of a funny tasting burrito I had the other night.

Libertarians among us will predictably groan in protest that the government is once again encroaching on our private lives by telling a restaurant it can’t serve Black Beauty with a side of fries, or that, by golly, if we want to watch Sex in the City while negotiating the off ramp, well, that’s our business.

These are the same folks who think it’s wrong for the Legislature to require motorcycle helmets, even though it is society, one way or another that gets stuck with the $300,000 head injury cost.

Meanwhile, the legislative push to ban cockfighting will pick up pace. There is opposition, of course. In Idaho, where cockfighting is not legal, 17 people were arrested at a benefit cockfight being staged to raise money to lobby against the New Mexico legislation. As benefits go, this one is never going to rival, say, the Women’s Club annual effort on behalf of the local library. But I guess we all gotta do what we gotta do.

This writer has been haranguing for years about cockfighting, but now the powerful Albuquerque Journal is on the case. Lisa Jennings, executive director of Animal Protection of New Mexico, tells me the Journal has had no less than three editorials supporting a cockfighting ban.

Just my luck. At the precise moment I come around to thinking there is a way to sanction cockfighting, everyone else jumps on the bandwagon to get rid of it. My new position evolves from the research of one Gavin Stucky-Mack of Carlsbad who sent me an article he found on Yahoo.

The story out of Oklahoma City tells of the efforts of a state senator there who wants to revive cockfighting in his state by putting tiny boxing gloves on the roosters instead of razors. He would also outfit the birds with lightweight, chicken-sized vests configured with tiny electronic sensors to record hits.
This brings up several urgent questions:

First, what in tarnation are they drinking back in Oklahoma these days?

Second, who in his right mind would ever call his company “Yahoo?”

And most important, does Gavin Stucky-Mack maybe have way, way too much time on his hands?

I report. You decide.

Ned Cantwell wonders how many readers can remember which female singer made famous the first sentence of this column. Contact him at: