All stirred up {Editor’s Column}

Niki Turner

There’s this Bible verse in the book of James that says “the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” The word wrath used there, in the original Greek, can be defined as “excitement of mind.” By that definition, we’re surrounded by a lot of wrath these days and it’s definitely not producing righteousness (equity of character or action).

Everybody is all stirred up, agitated, angry and offended about everything, and now we learn there are outside entities provoking the American people on purpose via various media outlets.

The real question is why?

If keeping everyone distracted is the purpose, it’s certainly working. If the purpose is more malicious, like “divide and conquer,” that seems to be working pretty well, too.

I’ve spent several days trying to find a line-item accounting of the expenditures for the Anvil Points trust fund. It’s next to impossible to find detailed spending reports for federal and state agencies online.

That, dear readers, is how the federal government walks off with millions of our tax dollars. There’s no accountability.

It’s a painful reminder why I’ve been hammering on this state bill to allow counties to avoid print publication of several of their financial reports. Once we entrust publication (note that “public” is the first half of that word) of spending reports to the same folks who are in charge of the checkbook, with no third-party verification and only on the dubious world of the ethernet, we’re asking for trouble.

Trusting the government to hold the piggy bank is almost as smart as trusting your little brother or sister with it.

We’ll find out this week how many of our state legislators approve of hiding government expenditures behind government-controlled websites.

On a national level, legacy print publishers are watching another legal issue. The U.S. Commerce Department is responding to a complaint from a single paper supplier in Washington (which is actually owned by an obscure New York hedge fund) that imported Canadian paper is being sold below market value.

Since the supplier filed the petition last summer, the cost of newsprint has steadily increased. If duties and tariffs are added to the mix, many small publications won’t be able to afford to publish local sports and government stories in print. When that happens, everyone loses.

I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist, but this looks sketchy. Since when does the U.S. government give a rat’s patootey about some small company’s complaint or concerns? Who benefits if legacy publishers (paper and ink) are forced to go all digital? (Digital is easier to manipulate and control than print, which can’t be edited after the fact.) Who is profiting from this hedge fund? 

Closing thoughts this week? In the interest of maintaining some degree of positivity, “Be excellent to each other.” Thanks, Bill and Ted.