Week in review: Where will all the commenters go?by Judy Carlock on Feb. 21, 2009, under Local, Opinion, Special
My bad. I erred in saying a group that rancher Roger Barnett held at gunpoint in 2004 were U.S. citizens.
Hardly anyone noticed, which shows how much attention I get.
Barnett did detain a group of citizens in 2004, and got sued. In that case, he was ordered to pay $99,000.
This week, Barnett was ordered to pay $78,000 in a civil case stemming from another 2004 incident.
Online readers were quick with comments about the legal system and illegal immigrants:
“Maybe these skanks will return to Mexico and live a life they are not used to. May they all bake in the flames of Hell.”
So much for Christian charity.
The Tucson Citizen Web site serves as a forum for a core contingent of anti-illegal-immigration stalwarts. They’re not all bigots, but some are. When we fold, they’ll find other online venues – or start their own.
UBEA EST MEA? Late columnist Mike Royko touted that as the informal motto of Chicago. It means “Where’s mine?”
Plenty of people asked that when details of a housing bill were spelled out as President Obama visited Phoenix Tuesday. Same with the stimulus package. Even if you disagree with the concept, it’s hard to say no to the dough.
Most encouraging: Obama’s 1,000-watt smile at Arizona’s frosty governor, Republican Jan Brewer, who also cracked a grin.
Some 7,000 Tucsonans may need help to avoid closures. Not me. Not yet.
CHOP CHOP: Through sheer lack of imagination I’ve been at the Citizen 28 years – all because my uncle played poker with the features editor.
They’re both dead now, and here I am.
Not for long. The paper will likely cease production March 21 – Iranian New Year and the second day of spring.
We reported thoroughly on our own demise in Friday’s paper. As one who has watched the dismal decline in circulation, I’ll leave with a measure of grief.
Mixed with relief.
SEX ED: Colleague Anne Denogean wrote this week of a sensible sex-ed bill that will never see the light of day in our Legislature, which has been chiseling away at abortion rights.
I figure if kids are old enough to do it, they’re old enough to look it up. Though on the Net, they might have to scroll through 10,000 pages of porn before they get to WebMD.
That will give them an education – a bad one. Not what state Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, had in mind.
Meanwhile, a local weekly claimed a bill would allow pharmacists to refuse to dispense birth-control pills. Not exactly. “Morning-after” pills target a fertilized egg, keeping it from getting a tiny toehold in the womb.
If a pharmacist really believes that’s murder, should he or she have to participate? There must be another way deliver such services.
PRIORITIES: The Citizen doesn’t look so bad compared to alleged cable “news” channels that milk one story for 24 hours or more. This week, another missing toddler: “Where’s Haleigh?”
All too likely, murdered. And though it’s news, it crowds out a lot of content.
Like, where’s Swat? That would be Pakistan, where leaders have made a truce with the Taliban, allowing the enforcement of “Islamic law.”
These male chauvinist thugs are to Islam what Arizona’s polygamists are to mainstream Mormonism.
And Pakistan is supposed to be our ally.
CALL IN THE CAVALRY: My conservative father, in the 1960s, argued to the Supreme Court about the Citizen’s business arrangement. He lost.
Congress then took up the cause, and made it legal for separately owned newspapers to share a press.
He also helped found the Council on Abandoned Military Posts, now the Council on America’s Military Past.
State budget cuts that affect parks may hurt efforts to preserve that history.
This seems like an area where the private sector could step up. Couldn’t well-heeled history buffs form a foundation?
Maybe they already have – I’m no expert. But one reason the private sector may stay out of these efforts is pretty simple.
Under big, benevolent government, it’s sometimes hard to get a chance.
Editor’s note: Judy Carlock catches you up on the week’s news – with her own spin. Contact her at 573-4608 or firstname.lastname@example.org.