Editor’s Column: Moderation is key, even at Christmas

Moderation has been the word of the week here at the office. Moderation in diet, moderation in speech, moderation in all things. Moderation is beneficial and excess is destructive. Even drinking too much water can kill you.

Niki Turner

This, of course, is the season of excessive excess: America’s hyper-commercialized “Christmas” celebration. While people are screeching about sexual innuendos on their Starbucks cups, and maxing out their credit cards to buy heaps of cheap plastic junk made in China they’ll still be paying interest on when it breaks, and getting in arguments with family over who spends how much time where and with whom, we need to take a step back and think about where our focus lies.
What is this holiday all about? Is it about fighting over saying “happy holidays” or “merry Christmas”? Or is it about love and mercy and generosity and kindness in thought AND in deed?

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The Washington Post’s new tagline is “Democracy dies in darkness.” I wish I’d thought of it first. This week the U.S. Senate passed a 400-plus page tax bill in the dark of night, with hand-scribbled additions in the margins no one—especially the public citizens they’re supposed to represent—had a chance to read before the vote. Congressional bills aren’t supposed to be like the surprise at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack.
Remember “I’m just a Bill, on Capitol Hill” from Schoolhouse Rock? (Google it if you’re not of the Saturday morning cartoon generation.) Bill, in the cartoon, is “just a bill” on his way to becoming a law. To make it accurate now, on his way to becoming a law, Bill would be attacked by lobbyists and snowballed into a giant document the size of a Los Angeles phone book. This is wrong. We’re supposed to know what our representatives are voting on and why. That whole “taxation without representation” deal is a big part of what spurred our forefathers to take a stand against what was the most powerful country in the world at the time. Maybe we need to remind our elected officials of that.

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While you’re looking for Christmas gifts, check out our Rio Blanco Herald Times Smugmug site for unique photo gifts. Loved that photo from the summer rodeo series? You can order it as a canvas print, on a coffee mug or even as a cell phone case. And from now through Dec. 25, take 20 percent off your order with code Christmas20Percent.

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Thank you to everyone who offered feedback about coverage of Rangely and Meeker news, and keeping the paper united or separating it again. We’re happy to hear that the great majority (everyone who took the time to comment, at least) likes getting news from both sides of the county. That said, you’ll be seeing refreshed, cleaned up newspaper racks (boxes) in the next few weeks: Meeker’s will be yellow and Rangely’s will be green.