Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Missing: Blair loves 'em to death

It appears the Courier isn't interested in Prescott Councilcritter Steve Blair's little dustup the other day, which began with him referrring to residents of the Lincoln district as "taco-flippers" on his radio show. That sorta seems like news to me, but I know, I'm just a lowly news editor for a major international service.

Cartoon: Rosie as The Blob

I guess I missed the memo, I thought we'd grown beyond fat jokes.

O'Reilly: "Tony Snow, an honest and courageous man"

Today's chuckle.

The original version includes a gratuitous slap at Howard Dean and some nice thoughts for Elizabeth Edwards, check before it drops behind the sub wall.

A3: "CVID repeals rate hike of its irrigated water"

Kudos (I guess) to Doug Cook for using plain facts and straight quotes to bring us a story that makes no sense (subscription required). Can I be reading this right? The company pays $140 per acre-foot to deliver water to its customers, and has just reduced the price it charges customers back to $10 per acre-foot. What are they thinking?

The Courier blogs, too

Well, sorta. Look here. John Kamin is working hard to teach the old-media dog new-media tricks. The drag is that no one seems to be attending the party. I've yet to see a comment there, and blogging without comments can make you go blind. Help John out. Remember, your comments can be about anything.

Some accountability might lead to having the "local music" blog contain discussion of, you know, local music.

Editorial: "We must manage future growth"

The headline's encouraging, and something of a departure from the paper's historical role as pom-pom girl for development. Perhaps the Courier editor can be forgiven for once again parroting the meme that we are simply doomed to dealing with more and more people showing up here -- the idea is common coin of the realm and has been for ages. But I have to wonder whether it would be if everyone wasn't constantly parroting it.

Any chance we'll ever see a real think piece on this in the paper? After all, it's plain physical fact that every patch of ground has a certain absolute carrying capacity of humans, which when exceeded degrades the environment. That's when you see people voting the other way with their feet. Like the people of New Orleans voted with their feet. Managing growth with a commitment to sustainability is the concept that's missing in action here.

Prescott residents are growing less patient with the idea that every hill and vale needs a new McMansion. In that context this encouraging headline reads more like a holding action.

PS: Following up on the editor's standard gratuitous reference to pop culture, I saw Harry Lorayne at a company picnic in the late '60s. He's also a card trickster. Just sayin'.

Letters: School dress codes

I agree with Mr Baskin that we've seen lots of smoke but little fire on the real effects of requiring kids to dress a certain way in school. It would be a lot to ask a Courier reporter to undertake this sort of research, but I'll bet AP has a few things in its catalog that might prove more illuminating.

I'm ambivalent about the issue myself. The most orderly kids I've seen wore school uniforms -- in Japan, which imported its school systems, right down to the uniform styles, from Prussia circa 1900. I recall vividly the horde of first-graders marching past my window every morning, each offering exactly the same perky 'Good morning!' to the crossing guard, each in his or her exactly matching yellow hat and yellow patent-leather backpack. This uniformity was terrific for making orderly factory workers, but when globalization hit and the corporate masters abandoned their accustomed paternalism, suddenly the country was hard up for people who could think on their own, and huge numbers of kids were just dropping out and living with their parents into their 30s. Balance is important.

I also never saw a teenager who didn't act like a teenager just because she was in uniform. And the issue is really about keeping teens under control, isn't it? Well, you know what? They are totally hip to that, too.

Cohen: "Obama's memory is politically expedient"

So I've read the Courier version and I'm over on WP checking the original, and everything's matching up nicely. I'm thinking, "OK, the headline is harsh, but here's an example of pretty much just presenting the column -- no introduced errors, no editorial wedgies, all nice and kosher." Right up to the end, where I find this:

JFK, of course, is the politician to whom Obama is most often compared -- the wit, the physical grace, the eloquence, the youth. That's understandable, but superficial. The politician who really understood that life should unwind like a movie -- the arc, the reveal, the back story, etc. -- was Ronald Reagan. He always starred in his own movie and so, it seems, does Obama.

Removed "for space," no doubt.

I suppose it's also just a quirk of fate that this column was from March 27 and yesterday's column is titled "Gonzales the Cipher." Care to see the lead? Bet you won't see this in the Courier.

Dead men tell no tales. But if they did, the ones they would tell about Alberto Gonzales would by now be familiar: an expert in giving his boss, George W. Bush, precisely what he wanted. The dead men in this case are the ones who were executed while Bush was governor of Texas and Gonzales was his legal counsel. Sometimes, as often seems true with Gonzales, the details eluded him.