Thanks to Vox for the cool graphic

Arizona's First Political Blog

E-mail Anonymous Mike at

By Anonymous Mike, pseudonymously.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Step Up Buttercup

Last month when I wrote about former AZ Republic columnist Jon Talton's new blog, I was criticized in a few e-mails for my "obession." My dislike of Mr. Talton's view is well known by old readers of this blog and his writings at the Republic made for easy pickings. My critics now asked since the man moved to Seattle, what was my point in dredging him up?

Well I have written about him once. However you can take a man out of the Valley, but apparently you cannot the Valley out of the man. Despite being long gone from our community, he just cannot stop writing about it with the majority of his February posts either directly about the Valley or various figures from here.

When he lived here, I could always qualify my critique by offering the charitable interpretation that he was trying to make the community he lived in better. In fact that view was the defense offered by many of his supporters that I encountered both in the media and in the general public. So what did he do when he left his job at the Republic? He took the massive equity he built up in his house due to the run-up in real estate prices and left town; he cashed out.

When you live in a community, whether you rent or buy, you have a stake in it. You have stake in its economy, in its perception by outsiders, and even in your neighbors. The community also defines you; if you encounter something in the area you don't like, say graffiti or a new housing development, how you react to it and the steps you take does have an impact on you. Do you ignore the issue or it let it fester in your soul? Do you attempt to understand the issue and perhaps come to terms with it? Do you seek to correct it? In other words do you become a passive victim or do you act like a citizen?

If you grow tired of an area and decide to throw in the towel and move elsewhere then so be it. Residency isn't a prison sentence and the great thing about this country is mobility and there is something in this great land for everybody. However when you leave, you are no longer a citizen... you become an outsider, the future of the community belongs to its residents, to those who choose to have a stake. Mr. Talton chose to give up that stake.

That is why to those here in the Valley of whom I am critical; the various policy gurus and politicians, the so-called activists I can always say... they live here and they are trying to make it a better place. I may not agree with them but I know they are trying to improve the community they love enough to live in.

Unless he somehow becomes relevant, by either showing up here in the Valley or someone here explicitly using his ideas, I won't be writing about him again.