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When the news we report becomes all too real

Citizen Staff Writer



Editor’s note: Judy Carlock reviews the week in news, with her own personal twist.

News is what happens to your editor. So reporters say. To our credit, we noticed the economy was bad even before the hooded guy with the ax showed up. I take it back, everyone in a position to hire me someday is wonderful.

The 5,000 job hunters who showed up at the Tucson Convention Center on Tuesday drove it home. Gone is the guilty sense of relief – glad it’s not me!

Journalism has gone digital, and mainstream media organizations still struggle with making money on the World Wide Web. The junk aggregators and blathering blogs and navel-gazing narcissism of social networking may tell us what we want to know, but I for one still like someone vetting information for fairness, accuracy and all that jazz.

Maybe we’ll get it right some day.

In the meantime, pending the Citizen’s probable closure March 21, the company is offering us high-quality paper to print our résumés.

Leaving me to wonder: If print is dead, why does the quality of paper matter?

AX? TAX? FACTS? The state Legislature, eager to show how well it can do without popular former Gov. Janet Napolitano, appears to be closing in on a deal based mostly on cuts.

With a Republican governor, they’re free to do whatever they want without the threat of a line-item veto.

It’s not their fault they have that power in a year of plummeting sales tax revenue. Napolitano got a better job offer, so she left. Now she’s head of Homeland Security.

But the GOP should take care. Under three successive Republican governor-and-Legislature combinations, we chalked up two indictments, an impeachment and a giant government giveaway – an alt-fuel tax credit that had to be rescinded.

A quick Web perusal tells me government is Arizona’s biggest employer. And our government is already smaller than most states’. An immediate $1.6 billion whack translates simply to this: More layoffs. Lots more layoffs.

Those laid-off government workers? They are constituents, too.

We’re not running on pure free markets or pure Marxist collectivism. Our government is a hybrid. Perfect? No. But it’s what we’ve cobbled together.

It’s easy to blow up a bridge. Harder to build one.

DEFICIT HAWKS: Arizonans pay federal taxes, too. We’ll get some of that back. Though some lawmakers grouse about the strings that may be attached, they’re in no position to opt out of the Union. I don’t think.

So the hacking continues apace, as if we’re going to refuse our part of a big federal stimulus package.

Refusing federal money on ideological grounds qualifies as cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Legislators won’t lose face by accepting. They’ll save it. A good thing, in my opinion.

Somehow, some way – I really doubt government is going to make itself smaller. If we keep innovation alive without smothering initiative, we might get some bang for our tax bucks.

It’s worked before.

DRUG WARS: Meanwhile we go through all this trouble to seize perfectly good commodities – heroin, cocaine, marijuana – only to destroy them. Really, is that fiscally prudent?

We could sell it back to the cartels. Drop it over Afghanistan – screw up al-Qaida’s business plan.

If we were ideologically wedded to personal freedom, we’d sell it here. We buy into some government intrusion, except when we’re exercising our right to drive a 2-ton missile down Interstate 10.

Smuggling would still be illegal, so that we could seize the assets of the bad guys.

I hear the Border Patrol is hiring.

HOW ‘BOUT THEM CARDS? Didn’t I always say they were headed to the Super Bowl? No. Thanks to the Internet I can make it look like I did.

Just go back to last week’s column, change it on the server and my digital tracks are covered, sort of.

In “1984,” George Orwell’s unlikely hero, Winston Smith, worked falsifying records at the Ministry of Truth.

Orwell didn’t imagine how easy it would become – or that we’d come to surveillance.

Finally, I love Big Brother.

On second thought: Forget I just said that.

Contact Judy Carlock at 573-4608 or at jcarlock@tucsoncitizen.com. For links to the stories she’s writing about, see her column online at www.tucsoncitizen.com

Our Digital Archive

This blog page archives the entire digital archive of the Tucson Citizen from 1993 to 2009. It was gleaned from a database that was not intended to be displayed as a public web archive. Therefore, some of the text in some stories displays a little oddly. Also, this database did not contain any links to photos, so though the archive contains numerous captions for photos, there are no links to any of those photos.

There are more than 230,000 articles in this archive.

In TucsonCitizen.com Morgue, Part 1, we have preserved the Tucson Citizen newspaper's web archive from 2006 to 2009. To view those stories (all of which are duplicated here) go to Morgue Part 1

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