“In the following sheets, the author hath studiously avoided every thing which is personal among ourselves. Compliments as well as censure to individuals make no part thereof. The wise and the worthy need not the triumph of a pamphlet; and those whose sentiments are injudicious or unfriendly, will cease of themselves, unless too much pains is bestowed upon their conversion.”
October 28, 2009
David Smith’s Private Twilight Zone – It is not what you think it is
There is a place in another dimension, where a confluence of seemingly unrelated elements is found, joined by the glue of pure circumstance. That we have discovered them at all might be attributed to serendipity, though some could argue, given David Smith’s obtuse actions, our discovery was all but inevitable. The elements are basic, human behavior, the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and clueless, blundering.
Maricopa County (Arizona) County Manager David Smith is our anti-hero. Freshly emerged from a series of inept moves, one would think Mr. Smith should have learned to think seriously about the nature of cause and effect. One would think, but given his history, we know better.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, at whose pleasure Mr. Smith serves, has been involved in a long running battle against the office of the County Attorney, Andrew Thomas. Several of the board members are under criminal investigation by the County Attorney. With misguided wisdom, the Board of Supervisors has sought to undermine those investigations using a series of gimmicks including withholding much needed funds from the office of the County Attorney. That these actions have drawn considerable attention from a disapproving public is not astonishing. The local blogs has been aflame with incriminations, finger pointing and fact corrections offered by cognoscenti, as well as lesser lights.
The Board of Supervisors has not been pleased, to say the least. He, or she, caught with a hand in the cookie jar is never happy, and repeatedly, bloggers have found Board member hands in the jar, or at least have been able to report crumb-coated fingers, guilty grins and missing cookies. One would think the Board, and its appointed manager, would take the hint and strike a lower profile. One would think, but then again, logic does not seem to be a guiding principle of these people. Attempted retribution is what they pulled out of their bag of tricks yesterday, with dismal results.
David Smith is demanding that several employees of the County Attorney’s office disclose details of their communications with various media, including their private communication sent from their personal computers during non-work hours. It is here that we find the confluence of their foolishness, the First Amendment and human behavior.
Our Founding Fathers, primarily at the insistence of Thomas Jefferson, endowed upon us a legacy of freedom, based in part on these immortal words: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press… David Smith appears to be nibbling at the edges of the First Amendment, never an advisable thing to do, and in the process, has triggered the third element of our extraordinary confluence – human behavior, specifically the manifestation of aggression that comes from frustration. Psychologists tell us that more arguments result from interruption of speech than any other source. David Smith tells us to shut up; we feel frustrated and lash out ever more aggressively in our blogs.
This begs the question: why does the Board of Supervisors tolerate such behavior from their chief employee, and has the time come for him to step down? Furthermore, if they are in complicity, shouldn’t they all seek new jobs? We believe that this would be C O M M O N S E N S E.
Who the author of this Production is, is wholly unnecessary to the Public, as the Object for Attention is the Doctrine itself, not the Man. Yet it may not be unnecessary to say, That he is unconnected with any Party, and under no sort of Influence public or private, but the influence of reason and principle.
- Philadelphia, February 14, 1776