Monday, April 16, 2007

Editorial: "Deductions take pain out of taxes"

Everybody loves to hate taxes, right? So why not yet another bit of harmless fiction about the evil politicians and bureaucrats laughing at all of us for lining their pockets with our money?

I'll tell you why: this BS is not harmless. It's designed to make you stupid -- about government, about taxes, about how our civilization works -- and lead you to use your vote to make yourself poorer and less powerful.

There is a lot of perfectly valid debate we can conduct around what we do as a society and how we pay for it. But debating whether taxes are good or bad carries no more sense than gad gave a chicken. What adults want to talk about is the value we get back from what we put in. Focus on that idea and you'll get a useful discussion.

And what's with that headline?

Amster: "Community means having a dialogue"

Randal gently reaches out to his critic last week and tries to make a larger point with it. Good on you, Randal. We have to talk up the philosophy and responsibilities of community to make it happen -- it's not something we can take for granted.

I suppose in this talking-up there's not a lot of room for the unfortunate reality that population density and technology are conspiring to push people into smaller, more tightly delineated communities and mentally out of the larger, healthier communities we inhabit physically. I think it'd be useful to try to point out that this is happening and how we individually drift this way. Holding up a mirror to dis-community might be a wake-up call for some.

That said, I will wholeheartedly second Randal's softly put but nonetheless sharply drawn point about respect on the Courier editorial page, and for that he gets a cookie.

Readers will please forgive a moment of classicly educated geekiness. Sorry, Randal, my references agree that "community" derives from one source, that is the Latin communitas, an extension of communio, meaning first the area inside the city wall, secondarily and more abstractly the sharing of responsibility. This derived from con + munia, 'with' + 'duties,' building the concept of serving together. Now munia could have evolved from something from a previous culture, that's not really known, but let's not tangle the path unnecessarily. Moneta, which led to 'money,' is a quite different word, originally in Roman culture a surname for the goddess Juno describing mindfulness, leading to English words like 'monitor.' The Latin communicatio, actually something of a pun on communio, named the oratorical device of inviting audience response. None of this interferes much with your point, but you didn't need shaky etymology to make it.

Letters: Air service

I'll say it again, scheduled air service from Prescott to Phoenix is for rich people who think they're too cool for the bus.

There's some talk about flights to Las Vegas, for example, which might have limited utility, but it's hard to see that happening with runway slots already full. Some numbers in the Courier on this might be informative.

Missing: Another Walgreen's robbery

My spies tell me there was another robbery at the all-night Walgreen's in PV that was hit last month. Courier readers might like to know about that, as well as what the PVPD has done about it.

A1: "Human Resources works behind the scenes for county employees"

Paula turns in a nice puff piece on a county department, promising regular installments. I suppose that Monday is the day for this, since no one's working on Sunday to get actual news. It just seems like this would fit better on B1.

By the way, Mr Vigneron's name shouldn't be so difficult to spell.

A1: "A common voice"

Paula Rhoden reports on a meet-and-greet between local seniors and a couple of our legislators at the Adult Center. Both pols and seniors come off as whiny, and I gotta wonder if that's an accurate characterization.

Online edition: Monday blues

John K, are you working today? I found a bunch of busted links in the online edition.

Blog: "Blair's "taco" comments aren't too intelligent"

I'm a little behind here, as I don't check the blog section every day, but I'm keeping an eye out to see whether traffic picks up.

John Kamin makes the first mention I've seen in the Courier of a story I pointed out on April 4, and doesn't pull the punch, so he gets a cookie. I've got a couple niggles and a prod, though.

Niggle 1: Blair wasn't referring just to illegals, but rather to everyone of Hispanic heritage. In the back of his mind, I'm sure, was the Lincoln neighborhood's common nickname among Prescott natives: Taco Flats.

Niggle 2: He angered more than the direct targets of his derision. There are a lot of us out here who think this sort of behavior is absolutely out of bounds for a public official, radio host or no.

Prod: 'Jackass Flats' has sort of become the derisive name for PV, but it didn't start that way. It was the standard name for the area until about '66.

A1: "Immigration, water issues top City Council agenda"

Cindy Barks' regular Monday agenda rundown is pretty dry reading, but important in that we all get a nudge to show up and say something about the issues involved, rather than a report on what Council has done after the votes have been cast.

I've been here long enough to remember when Council followed a pretty strict no-debt policy. How things have changed, eh?

A1: "Assessor explains agricultural designations"

Paula Rhoden runs it down, but nowhere did I find why it's a page-one story.

Free at last

DC's Emancipation Day marks the beginning of the end for American slavery.