Editorial: AP style makes Arizonans racists

Why don't we let 'immigrants' have licenses?; a taste of the World Cup; killing a business in Golden Valley

Page 5 of Tuesday's Miner carried a lengthy Associated Press story about the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the Arizona "cannot deny driver's licenses to young (illegal) immigrants who are allowed to stay in the U.S. under a 2012 Obama administration policy."

Illegal in the above paragraph is in parentheses because I added it before almost every reference to "immigrants" in the story, the exceptions being the two times the AP mentioned the "immigrants" entered the country "illegally."

Several months ago the AP issued a style change rule to its reporters, telling them that they can't call illegal immigrants illegal immigrants. I can't recall the reasoning behind not calling a spade a spade, but I think it has something to do with Obama headquarters and most national media offices being pretty much at the same location.

If you're skeptical of that assessment, go back to last Sunday's Miner and read the AP report about how the U.S. economy is "humming" and how it gives plenty of credit to government policy without mentioning Obama by name.

Now, if you were here from 2004 to early 2008, ask yourself if what you see now compared to then is "humming."

By the way, the first "illegally" in the story not added by me came in the eighth paragraph.

By that time, of course, any number of people will have wondered why there are so many racists in Arizona. I mean (according to the AP), here we are, wanting to deny driver's licenses to these wonderful immigrants who have come here to live the American dream. With no "illegal" in front of immigrants, we come off looking like heartless jerks.

There's another place where AP could have added "illegal" - the first paragraph. Obama has no authority to change immigration policy by fiat, regardless of whether Congress wishes to act or not.

Another illegal immigration note: Nancy Pelosi offered the opinion she wished she could take all the children crossing the border into her home.

Nancy, I wish you could too.

•••

I was right in the middle of the World Cup the first time I heard of it.

It was 1974 and I was doing the Army thing in West Berlin. On this particular day, though, I was having pizza with a buddy in a restaurant.

Between bites and gulps I managed to notice every other person in the place was watching televisions, including a lot of the help. Soccer was on TV and my buddy, who spoke German and was more in tune with his surroundings, advised me that Germany was hosting the World Cup, whatever that was.

I forgot all about it until a few days later, when I had to take some paperwork from USMLM to the British headquarters. I didn't know it at the time, but a World Cup game was being held at the Olympic Stadium (the same one where Jesse Owens stole the show in 1936), and that stadium was on an incredibly wide boulevard you had to use to get to the Brits.

The soccer game got over about 10 minutes before I arrived. And, oh, I forgot to mention that the incredibly wide boulevard also happened to be the only way to get to the nearest subway (U-Bahn) station from the stadium. I was in between those locations.

So I crept along among the pedestrians until I could go no further. I was the only car out there in a sea of cobblestones and German pedestrians. All I could do was wait.

I'd been unfailingly polite among Germans during my first year there, and the vast majority was polite to me. But I was leery of anti-Americanism, and I jumped a bit when a hand slapped down hard on the trunk of the Army sedan. I made sure the doors were locked, rolled up the window and waited, my imagination running wild.

As it turned out, my imagination was over-active. A few more folks slapped the car, perhaps annoyed that it was in their way when the crowd parted in front of them. After about 10 minutes I was able to proceed.

As for who won the World Cup that year, I couldn't tell you. My interest in euroweenie kickyball, as one Tweeter refers to it, pretty much ends when the U.S. is, inevitably, eliminated.

•••

I have no interest in taking sides in the latest recall attempt on Golden Valley Fire District board member Rhonda Brooks. Sign the petition or don't, it's up to people in the district.

And no, the Miner does not have a policy against running letters about the issue, either for or against Brooks - even if I think she's not fit for office. That doesn't mean it's worth the cost of a recall election.

Since I haven't been to a fire district board meeting, and since Brooks has declined to speak to the Miner to tell her side, I'll have to take board member Steve Robinson's word that Brooks is opposed to the district operating an ambulance service.

Well, good for Brooks.

I'm sure the board members who think it's a swell idea have revenue figures dancing in their heads. But ambulances need to be replaced and they are expensive, and there are other equipment costs to consider.

Then there's the matter of reimbursements and having a billing department smart enough to understand how insurance companies and government agencies have to have things done, while also keeping track of private pays that don't pay.

In other words, a lot of the revenue is going to turn into write-offs.

My real opposition, though, is that if the Golden Valley Fire District and Ambulance Service comes to life, it kills a privately-owned ambulance service now covering the area.

I've heard the argument that the fire department already responds to ambulance calls. Fine. Stop responding unless it's a fire department call. Make the ambulance service earn its money.

I'm always surprised when avowed fiscal conservatives find themselves on a government board and suddenly decide government can do something more efficiently. The fact that they'd do it and harm an existing business at the same time is troubling.