Friday, April 6, 2007

Sports and other time-wasters

Some readers may wonder whether I have anything to say about the sports pages. In a word, no. I don't read 'em, and I'm not interested in what happens there. If you're a regular fan and would like to report on them, I'll sign you up as an author. To me sports coverage is a complete waste of space.

Same goes for commercial press releases (can you spot them in the current issue?), thank-yous for sponsoring our (your nonprofit event here), ribbon-cuttings, advice columns, religion and other advertising disguised as features.

I wouldn't mind the comics if any of them were amusing in the slightest. (sigh)

Robinson: "The Decider has lost his convictions"

The headline should be "The Multipolar Presidency," which better fits the writer's point, but today's contribution from the WaPo comes through on time and almost completely unmangled. Thanks, Tim!

Letters: Yet more on guns

George Seaman offers a measured, reasonable and totally academic argument asserting support in the ninth and tenth amendments for drooling nutbars to carry M16s on my street.

Can we please get past this stuff? With the technology available over the counter at our local gun shops, ten zealots could have ruled the world of the 18th century. The founders could not have imagined what was coming -- if they had, those amendments would have been written rather differently, I'm certain.

What we need is a measured, reasonable discussion of how we deal with this technology in our midst, in terms of both physical possession and the process of socially integrating individuals to minimize the number of wackos out there.

Open thread: Climate crisis

It's looking like a big day for climate news. This is a massive disaster coming like a freight train down our throats, if you can stand a mixed metaphor.

Editorial: "ICE needs to prioritize deportation of criminals"

So, let me get this straight: the Courier editor thinks it icky that when Prescott PD pick up an illegal on suspicion of doing a crime, the Feds don't just sweep in, take the alleged miscreant off our hands, transport him back to wherever he came from and save us all the trouble and expense of a trial. It's funny how our commitment to the rule of law can so easily slip into demand for the rule of law-enforcement officers.

Last night I happened to see a clip of Bill O'Reilly making much the same argument. It's a hoot.

I'll give you that the prosecution of illegals presents us a very complex problem. Might it not be better, for example, if we could rely on our southern neighbors to prosecute and incarcerate their own for crimes done here? In any case let's not go off the deep end -- per capita, illegals do a tenth the crimes that legal residents do. Since we're convicting him in the Courier anyway, wouldn't it be more illuminating to focus on who this guy is rather than his visa status?

A1: "Snow study"

Two stories today forecast permanent drought conditions for the entire Southwest, and the Courier editorial page continues to throw chaff about climate change. Smell the coffee?

When the Verde and the Colorado dry up, we're gonna need a pipeline to the Gulf of California. How about some investigation of longer-range thinking for our area?

A8: "Wanted: a big who likes to be outside"

Does anyone else find it a little embarrassing that we're advertising children for 'adoption' (sub req) in much the same way that the Humane Society advertises homeless dogs? It makes one wonder whether the little sloe-eyed waif is in line for the gas chamber at the end of the week.

It took me a minute to figure out that the headline isn't missing a word. I think I'd have done something more to make it flow, either capitalize 'big' or set it in quotes.

A7: "Climate change threatens to create dust bowl in Southwest"

I've got an idea: let's put this (sub req) opposite one of Tim's op-eds on the subject and poll the readers on which is more persuasive.

We might also reference it in stories about pumping water up to Prescott. Complete context changes everything.

A7: "Grading work causes gas, water line ruptures"

Two grading accidents in one day (sub req) might lead me to ask someone whether PV has a glitch somewhere in its blue-staking process.

Memo to the Courier's crack fact-checking crew: I had a nice chat with CYFD's Charlie Cook just the other day. His title is Assistant Chief now.

A3: "New neighborhood program seeks to increase public participation"

I think I read this story (sub required) four times, trying to find some description of what PV's new Neighborhood Division is actually supposed to be doing. It wouldn't surprise me that it didn't come out in the public meeting -- there's a tendency to skip over things that everyone in the room thinks everyone else in the room already knows, and of course the public doesn't count -- but Ken Hedler could have stopped someone afterward and, you know, asked a question. Maybe the editors cut that bit, for space.