Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Letter: Volunteer objects to non-citizen benefits

Interesting. I might be tempted to say that the 21st century has finally arrived at the Courier, as commenters call the writer out for what smells like a fictional, politically motivated letter. Check it out!

Editorial: Keeping the arts isn't cheap, but neither is its value

So the Courier's official position, as put by the unnamed Courier editor today, is that "We are a community that cherishes our arts and culture." That's great! It's also news, given the Courier's long history of short shrift and vanishingly small financial and political support for arts events and the art community.

Fine, anyone can change. I'll tell you what, editor, how about a corporate sponsorship for Tsunami, or PFAA, or PAAHC, or Sharlot Hall Museum, for that matter? How about getting involved in expanding, organizing, or at least promoting these events through your vast media empire? How about an ad discount for nonprofits, even? How about making an attempt to get the names and dates right?

Practice what you preach, I say.

And, please, I'm begging now, reassign the headline writer, huh? Garble, garble, garble.

Today's Chuckle

Here's a hoot-out to Tom Steele for brightening my day, from the comments on the letter from Coyote Springs school staffers in response to the Courier's story last week:

I am more concerned that teachers are indicternating children in political matters whenever possible. Since most teachers are liberial that is a long term danger. Communnity watch dogs should be reviewing text books and seeking permission to audit classed unannounced to keep check on "real" issues. Question. Can the principal listen in on classrooms via the PA system? They could when I was in school but that is probably "illegal" now thanks again to teachers unions and the ACLU.
Here we get a hilarious mix of paranoia, jackboot authoritarianism, hipshot thinking and amazingly creative spelling and grammar power-packed into just a few words. Good one, TS! I'm putting "indicternating" and "liberial" into my special lexicon of joke words. (At least he spelled "principal" right!)

As for the content, they're right, the Courier's treatment of the story was at least hamfisted, bordering on prejudiced against the school, and certainly insensitive to the damage it might inflict. I'll bet a dollar they went to press on little more than a call from the mom and a police incident report. See, the Courier editors believe that their job ends at reporting what people tell them, rather than taking on the effort of finding out whether what the people tell them is true.

Under fire: New law allowing guns in bars perturbs many

The ugly headline notwithstanding, Jason's exploration of opinions in bars ahead of implementation of the new booze-and-bullets law is at least the sort of exercise in journalism that the paper so sorely lacks. I'm not wild about the style, of course, mixing weak and often pointless quotes from random people with a few facts to give it some humint.

The facts are limited to the provisions of the law, leaving out, say, lawnforcement assessments of its likely effects (or assurances that there won't be any), or how the bouncers who will have to physically deal with these newly empowered gun-toters feel about it. But a little is better than nothing from the Courier.

That 41 states also allow this indicates that public opinion is at least neutral and the effects aren't huge, OK. But we have to admit that it's also an indication of the sort of people that Americans want to be and the sort of society they want to live in.

I wonder whether anyone's done a study on how many skilled professionals have emigrated elsewhere in the world because of our collective idiocy about guns.