Tom loves his readers—especially those who make comments online

I love reading the comments that people post in the online edition of this publication. It's cool that people have someplace where they can have their say. I will forever hold in great disdain the journalistic Typhoid Mary who, in the dawn of this electronic-media age, decided that people could hide behind fake names, but that's a relatively minor concern. For the most part, I'm happy that people can still get fired up enough to sit down at the computer and spew.

My favorite comments, by far, are in the vein of, "Hey Danehy, you suck! I hate you; I hate your writing; I hate your mama. You're the worst columnist ever! I read you every week."

That seems like a fair trade-off to me.

There was one such comment a couple of weeks back after I wrote about how Tucson voters probably feel as though they're trapped in a Coen brothers movie—but there were other comments that were far more entertaining. For example, one guy knew to the dollar how much I would be fined in France if I were convicted of "hateful speech" (for what I wrote about Tucson City Councilmember Regina Romero). The thing is, I don't think I've ever mentioned Romero's gender or ethnicity, mostly because I don't give a crap about that stuff. All that matters to me is that she says really dumb things a lot.

That others bring up Romero's ethnicity, ostensibly on her behalf, is just lame. I'm not naïve enough to believe that racism is gone; sadly, it may be around forever, in one form or another. For those of us for whom race never was an issue of any significance, as well as for those who have arrived at that level of enlightenment over the years, the proposed task of trying to prove the negative of not being racist is recognized as a fool's errand. So we have a special disdain for those who would inject it into a discussion where it clearly doesn't belong, thereby serving to reinforce its unwelcome place in American society. Its misuse weakens the validity of those times when its invocation is warranted, and often serves only as a fall-back position for those who have no real argument.

I've always felt that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is a jackass. He's not a jackass because he's black or because he's conservative, or even because he's a black conservative. He's a jackass because, among other things, when he was accused of sexual harassment, he brought up race. (I hope whoever coined that "high-tech lynching" line for him got paid well.) It didn't matter to him or his supporters that his accuser was the same race as him. Race conveniently became something behind which to hide.

(I still believe Anita Hill and, to be fair, I don't know if her accusations ever rose to the level of something that would have warranted his disqualification from the nomination.)

He's also a jackass because he used affirmative action to get into and out of college, and then, as soon as he was out, he wanted the door nailed shut behind him, because affirmative action was no longer necessary. That makes him a hypocritical jackass (who just happens to be black).

The funniest thing of all is that the Francophile who wants me indicted on hateful-speech charges goes by the username "rocknroll." Dude, anybody who sucks up to France cannot use the name rocknroll. At best, you're EasyListening.

Another guy said that I attack the Tucson City Council because they fired my friend, Mike Hein. Well, Mike was (and remains) my friend, but I think that both he and I would agree that, with the way things are run in Tucson, he was probably not the best man for the job of city manager. Mike's successor, having quickly learned how best to apply his tongue to Karin Uhlich's boot, is doing just fine in that position.

CAgirl wants to know "if its (sic) so easy," why don't I run for Tucson City Council or even mayor?

Well, first of all, if I did, I would have to give up this gig, which, as you may know, is awesome. But more importantly, I don't live in the city of Tucson. When my wife and I were first looking for a house that we could afford, we happened to find one in an unincorporated area that's between the city of Tucson and the town of Oro Valley. And we like it just the way it is.

Finally, several people commented on the aforementioned Ms. Romero and her passionate defense of Jefferson Park Neighborhood residents in their battle against the evil mini-dorm developers. A couple of people e-mailed me directly to ask why I hadn't jumped in on what should have been a big news story.

First of all, people shouldn't assume that everybody is going to come down on the side of the neighborhood residents. As for it being a big story, please show me a time when a member of the Tucson City Council doesn't publicly identify with/bow down to/shill for a vocal neighborhood group. Now, that would be newsworthy!

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