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home : opinion : opinion April 29, 2016

4/6/2014 6:00:00 PM
Editorial: Keep your PILT, give us back Arizona

Rich Thurlow

Years ago, probably even before Al Gore invented the Internet, a news release crossed my desk that concerned the Bureau of Land Management and land values.

The information was easy enough to believe. It was, basically, that where there is a lot of land that is owned by the federal government, privately owned land is more valuable.

That's especially true in nice places to live. If 90 percent of the land is owned by the government, certainly the 10 percent left that can be purchased will be more expensive, simply because people want it and there's not much of it.

Basically, it's like the federal government is conspiring to make the views at Jackson Hole, Wyo., unaffordable to most people.

Now we have the Internet (thanks, Al!), and with it comes news from the Small Business Majority that "Legislation aimed at preventing new public lands won't do small business, economy any favors."

You can do your own Internet search and ascertain that Small Business Majority probably really doesn't speak for many small businesses. As for me, I think Arizona would be a lot better off if the public lands/private lands ratio was reversed, and only the truly special places be off limits to development.

In other words, local government gets the property taxes for all the new privately-owned land, and the federal government can keep the PILT (Payments In Lieu of Taxes).


Bill and Hillary Clinton were in Phoenix recently, and the AP reporters fell all over themselves churning out favorable copy, including one gushing about Hillary's chances in a run for the presidency in 2016. The suggested headline from the AP: Clinton appeals to idealism of college students.

OK, so it's been way over a decade since Bill Clinton has had a chance to sexually assault a woman in the White House, but realists don't put the words "Clinton" and "idealism" in the same sentence and keep a straight face, and it doesn't matter if the Clinton in question is Hillary. She's hung around with this scoundrel her entire adult life, enabling his behavior while participating in some questionable activities of her own. And while she was never able to divorce herself from the sexual predator, she was smart enough to flee her job in the Obama State Department before their joint "foreign policy" implosion became evident.

Even John Kerry isn't inept enough to be held responsible for all the problems overseas now coming to the forefront.

It would be unfair to say Clinton accomplished nothing as secretary of state. But it would be wrong to say the accomplishments were positive. Aside from the massacre of Americans at Benghazi, Libya, Hillary can point to Iran (now with no economic sanctions!) being that much closer to nuking us.

With that as the introduction, I turn now to my favorite comments about Bill Clinton, all of them by fellow liberals:

Andrew Sullivan of the New Republic: "From the beginning, Clinton has lied with indiscriminate abandon."

Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democrat: Clinton's an unusually good liar - unusually good."

From the editors of First Things: "The political philosopher Leo Strauss liked to say that the American system was built on foundations that are low but solid. The Clinton presidency was built on foundations that are low and sordid. For all his successes in life, it seems that Bill Clinton as a person never rose above his origins. That is a difficult subject not untouched by the delicate question of class, but the fact is that Clinton plays to the pit."

The New York Observer editors say Clinton is "an untrustworthy lowlife who used people for his own purposes and then discarded them. How could they have been fooled so badly?" Clinton ... "is terrifyingly close to the caricature his enemies drew of him. They were right after all."

(Thank you, Mark Alexander of Patriot Post, for compiling this greatest hits list of quotes.)


As I understand it, the Supreme Court said last week that all of us have the right to donate a lot more money than is currently allowed to political campaigns. This means that people who have more money than me can, if they want, donate more money than many of us even have to the candidate of their choice and it's legal. Free country and all that. What a concept.

I don't see any reason to be upset. I'm offended that lawmakers made a rule that limited how much money any of us might like to donate to a campaign.

The court didn't do away with reporting requirements. If the media is doing its job and voters are paying attention, this change may result in more openess.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 4, 2014
Article comment by: Oh Ya

Uh, I see our right wing newspaper and editor has once again chosen not to show the public the truth about his esteem journalism skills. How about that report I sited about the February 24 report on the Iranian sanctions? It may be that people have come to realize that what you print is a best half truths driven by a right wing agenda,

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Too Funny

"To make the assumption the words “create” and “invent” are one and the same is to make an asinine leap in logic."

You are so convinced you know everything you didn't even bother to look it up did you? Roget's Thesaurus gives as synonyms for "create" the following:
build, conceive, constitute, construct, design, devise, discover, establish, forge, form, found, generate, initiate, invent, make, organize, plan, produce, set up, shape, and so on to end at give life to.

"President Eisenhower saying that while president he, "took the initiative in creating the Interstate Highway System" but since Eisenhower never said that, that is relevant how? Oh yeah, it's not.

"...recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support..." none of those words are synonyms for create. Go ahead look it up this time.

So three strikes and you are O.U.T., Bobby.

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


Yes, yawn indeed.

To make the assumption the words “create” and “invent” are one and the same is to make an asinine leap in logic. An example would be to consider President Eisenhower saying that while president he, "took the initiative in creating the Interstate Highway System," in no way implies he “invented” the concept of highways or personally went out and dug ditches across the country to help build the roadway. Rational individuals would have understood he was a driving force behind the legislation that created the highway system, and this was the same concept Al Gore was expressing about himself with regards to the Internet.

In defense of Gore's statement, internet pioneers Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf in 2000 noted "Al Gore was the first political leader to recognize the importance of the Internet and to promote and support its development. No other elected official has made a greater contribution [to the Internet] over a longer period of time."

So the tired canard about Al Gore claiming to have “invented” the internet is still just bogus garbage.

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Too Funny


From a March 8, 1999, interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

This is why Gore gets made fun of. Well, among many other reasons.

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Doing Research


The private/federal land pricing also has a few other factors at play. For example infrastructure. Why would anyone pay the same price for a lot right off Stockton Hill Rd. as they would 20 miles from a paved road, let alone water pipe, or power line smack-bad in the middle of BLM land? Is it close to a supermarket? A place to get dinner? A pharmacy? A job?

I realize people do live in some...out of the way places in Mohave Co., including unimproved plots where they tank in their water and use generators to get power. But those people aren't getting random solicitations to sell their land because of its prime location.

That the Feds won't move quickly to do anything with land sales you might also see as the Senate vs. House notion that one group moves with every whim, one intentionally moves slowly to hit more long-term trends.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

Why don't you get off it. The "Al Gore" horse is dead, but you keep beating it, hoping for one last gasp of breath.

Everyone but a few dummies knows the Web is but one small branch of the Internet, which was created by DARPA, a Department of Defense agency back in the 1930s.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: THE TEA PARTY IS ON KOCH

Al Gore did not invent the internet,
However, the flat-earth, regressive, conservatives seem to think so. Please let them go on thinking that way.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: B B

Al Gore did NOT invent internet that is a big lie just like the global warming.

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“…probably even before Al Gore invented the Internet…Now we have the Internet (thanks, Al!)…”

“…since Bill Clinton has had a chance to sexually assault a woman in the White House…Aside from the massacre of Americans at Benghazi,”

“The court didn't do away with reporting requirements.”

So much misinformation in on piece makes the entire tirade – at best – suspect as to any potential for veracity in the thing.

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