Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Party of Tokyo Roses

US troops have noticed that the Democratci party and the mainstream media have assumed the role that Tokyo Rose served in World War II.

Japanese Propaganda and American Mass Media
June 29, 2007: June 29, 2007: U.S. troops have been mystified at how differently the war they fight in Iraq is portrayed by the U.S. media back home. Most just shrug it off as "politics," and yet another reason to not trust what the mass media presents as reliable reporting. But recently, the troops have been passing around an interesting discovery. Namely, that the Japanese psychological warfare effort during World War II included radio broadcasts that could be picked up by American troops. Popular music was played, but the commentary (by one of several English speaking Japanese women) always hammered away on the same points;

1 Your President (Franklin D Roosevelt) is lying to you.

2 This war is illegal.

3 You cannot win the war.

The troops are perplexed and somewhat amused that their own media is now sending out this message. Fighting the enemy in Iraq is simple, compared to figuring out what news editors are thinking back home. A few times, the mass media has been bold, or foolish, enough to confront the troops about this divergence of perceptions. The result is usually a surreal exchange, with the troops giving the journalist a "what planet are YOU from" look. Naturally, this sort of thing doesn't get much exposure. When pressed, a journalist or editor will dismiss the opinions of the troops (of all ranks), because they are "too close" to see "the big picture." For the same reason, reporters who send back material agreeing with the troops, find their stuff twisted into an acceptable shape, or not used at all. Historians will have a good time with all this.

hat tip: The Blogfather

Immigration Prevents Crime?

Well, at least the authors aren't claiming that illegal immigration cuts crime.

Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities in a bloodstained corridor along the East Coast are seeing a surge in killings, and one of the most provocative explanations offered by criminal-justice experts is this: not enough new immigrants.
The theory holds that waves of hardworking, ambitious immigrants reinvigorate desperately poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods and help keep crime down.

It is a theory that runs counter to the widely held notion that immigrants are a source of crime and disorder.

"New York, Los Angeles, they're seeing massive immigration - the transformation, really, of their cities from populations around the world," said Harvard sociologist Robert J. Sampson. "These are people selecting to go into a country to get ahead, so they're likely to be working hard and stay out of trouble."

Lou Dobbs has the story, and this guy has the story, and this guy has the stats.

More data here:

Progress in Iraq

Richard Lugar et al seems to be every bit as well informed about the war as most senators were about the immigration bill. It's too bad he isn't aware that we're making significant progress.

This isn't news to blog readers. We've known about this for months. But the mainstream media is just beginning to catch on to the story.

The U.S. military is enlisting hundreds of fighters each day from tribal and insurgent groups in alliances aimed at countering al-Qaeda in Iraq, the top U.S. general in Baghdad said yesterday, calling it a "very positive development" but one that requires caution to ensure it works to promote security.

Maj Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., commander of Multinational Division Baghdad, said U.S. and Iraqi troops control nearly half of the capital's neighborhoods, but that hard fighting remains as operations continue to clear out insurgents from the rest of the city. Overall attack levels in Baghdad remain constant, he said, but casualties have fallen among Iraqi civilians and Iraqi security forces and risen for U.S. troops as their operations and numbers intensify.

In the Abu Ghraib region outside Baghdad, about 1,500 fighters have agreed to renounce violence against U.S. and Iraqi government forces, and join the Iraqi police. About 300 are signing up each day, said Fil, commander of the 1st Cavalry Division. A similar program is underway in the western Baghdad district of Ghazaliyah, he said.

"Some of them, who have previously been fighting us, have come to us, . . . and they want to fight with us. They are tired of al-Qaeda and the influence of al-Qaeda in their tribes and in their neighborhoods, and they want them cleaned out," Fil said. "We're excited about it. But we are, frankly, being cautious."

Senior U.S. military and Pentagon officials have said negotiations with such groups have also progressed in Iraq's western province of Anbar as well as in northern Iraq, where they say a group of 130 tribal sheiks around the town of Tikrit have joined forces against the Sunni insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq. In some regions where such alliances exist, attacks have fallen and the number of roadside bombs discovered before they detonate has risen to as high as 80 percent -- about double the nationwide average, the officials said.

Even Al-Reuters is carrying the story.

But readers of the New York Times still don't have a clue about this development. Good news from Iraq remains unfit to print. One suspects that Lugar and Voinovich rely too much on the Times for their news.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Moscow Has the Say, Pullman Has to Pay

April again nailed it on the head recently with her saying, "Moscow has the say, Pullman has to pay." A perfect example of this appeared in a story in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Airport water project moves forward; Pullman begins early work to address fire flow concerns

Pullman officials are moving along with a project to provide more water to the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport.

The City Council has given Public Works Director Mark Workman the thumbs up to prepare a scope and budget for the project so the design phase can start soon.

Inadequate fire-flow to the airport has put any construction of additional airplane hangers on hold. Fire codes require 3,500 gallons of water per minute be accessible for up to two hours on the airport property. Water piped to the airport currently has a 1,000-gallon-per-minute capacity.

Last month, the airport board scrapped a $2.7 million, 600,000-gallon reservoir project that would serve the airport and potential growth in the highway corridor. [Because of Queen Nancy's veto of the project - tf] Instead, the group is pushing forward with an estimated $1.5 million 420,000-gallon reservoir that will provide water only to the airport.

The water is expected to be provided by Washington State University and piped to the airport through Pullman water lines.

Workman said he has $200,000 budgeted out of Pullman's utility fund for airport fire flow design projects. He doesn't expect other airport stakeholders to chip in any money to hire the engineers necessary to draft preliminary designs.

Pullman, along with the city of Moscow, Latah County, WSU, the University of Idaho and the Port of Whitman County all have stakes in the airport and contribute money annually.

"With the airport issues, Pullman has typically taken the lead and generally paid the lion's share of the costs. To me, if this is a project that's going to happen, someone needs to take responsibility and move forward. And that's what I'm trying to do," Workman said.

In the last several weeks, Airport Manager Robb Parish has met with the respective entities to get feedback on the proposed project. Nothing formal has been decided by any entity, but Parish said prospects look good.

"Moscow, I think, is very much on board. Pullman is," Parish said. "We've heard privately that the (Port of Whitman County) is. WSU is. The University of Idaho and Latah County have said OK in preliminary discussions. They didn't say yes, but they didn't have any problems with that concept.

"This is still very much in development stages, but so far, in the conversations we've had, everyone is on board," he added.

One concept for funding the fire-flow project would be to replace the current 20-year bond for the terminal and terminal improvements, which expires in 2008, with a new 20-year bond for fire flow. The idea has been discussed, but no action has been taken by the airport board. Any bond agreement would be incorporated into the airport interlocal agreement, currently being amended before its 2008 expiration.

Workman said construction of the reservoir could begin as early as 2009.

If the bond issue moves forward as planned, he said the city may be able to recover some money it fronted for design.

"Whether or not those costs would be folded into the bond, I don't know if that would be allowable or not," he said.

Parish said he's pleased the city of Pullman is taking initiative and that the airport board is working as a unit.

"It's picked up a tremendous amount of momentum in the last several months," he said. "Let's not start the planning in 2009. Let's do it now, so that when 2009 comes around and we have the opportunity for new bonds, we can move on with construction."

Chuck Amuck

Another slap down of Chcuk "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
HIS VIEW: 'Mother Nature' is not the best forest steward

By John Krebs

It is doubtful professor Chuck Pezeshki (Opinion, June 19) ever saw a commercial timber sale he could support on federal lands.

Trees are a very renewable resource and one need not go far from Moscow to witness some excellent examples of forest management. Yes, it takes roads to access, manage and protect the forest resources. These same roads provide access for all kinds of recreational activities and are used by many thousands of forest visitors throughout the year.

The jobs and industries associated with timber harvest are tremendously important to the local economy, to say nothing of the many industries dependent upon the products made from those trees.

When it comes to clearcuts, "The Butcher of the Targhee" (John Burns) and his successor, Jim Caswell, were pikers compared to Pezeshki's preferred manager - "Mother Nature." That sweet, gentle "woman" prefers treating a mountain of pine beetle infestation by indiscriminately burning millions of acres in a "stand replacement" conflagration. A "stand replacement" fire is Mother Nature's clearcut.

My knowledge concerning the clearcuts on the Targhee National Forest did not come from flying in a jet some 30,000 feet above the earth and viewing this ungodly, devastating mess created by the "butcher" and his successor.

Allow me to digress a bit. In 1995, I retired from a 36-year career with the U.S. Forest Service. For 22 of those years, I was privileged to serve as a fire behavior analyst on one of Region One's National Incident Management teams. Most of the summer of 1988 was spent on fire assignments in Yellowstone National Park. Had it not been for the clearcuts (a response to the mountain pine beetle outbreak), the North Fork fire would have been much larger than 900,000 acres.

I ask you, Chuck, was it a better decision to harvest those trees than to see them go up in smoke and introduce more green house gas into an already overloaded system? How much more responsive is it to actually store the carbon in something useful to mankind like the lumber in our houses, schools, churches and stores? (Didn't you write a book - presumably written and published on something other than papyrus?)

That harvest on the Targee, which you and other environmental "nonactivist" groups stopped, would have contributed 25 percent of the gross timber sale receipts back to the state to be used for schools and road maintenance. Now that you have succeeded in virtually stopping all national forest timber sales, these dollars have dried up. I hope you are as successful in persuading your "roadless advocating" buddies in Congress to cough up the payment in lieu of tax dollars that were to replace the 25 percent funds.

The effect of a few miles of roads on the Clearwater National Forest being washed out by the "storm season of 1994-1995," pales in comparison to the mass erosion that has occurred in thousands of acres burned by wildfire. I'm sure you must be acquainted with Jim Mital (forest ecologist for the Clearwater National Forest). Ask him about the tremendous soil loss resulting from the 2003 Pleasant Fire in the Powell Ranger District.

Jim Caswell is not responsible for the Clinton Roadless Initiative. It is the so-called environmental activists, such as yourself, who prefer to have mindless Mother Nature "manage" our natural resources. Here is a proposal for you, Chuck. Take those areas in Idaho that were already designated "wilderness" (and roadless) prior to Clinton's edict, and develop an environmental impact statement for a management plan consistent on the whims of Mother Nature. You will have to consider removing all trails, bridges, public and private structures, outfitter and guide permits, white-water pursuits, wolf and other predator controls, invasion of noxious weeds, smoke pollution, CO2 emission from forest fires, riparian and old- growth protection, massive erosion (remember, no measurable increases in sediment due to your proposal), etc.

While you write this EIS, turn the rest of the forest and rangeland over to the U.S. Forest Service, that was doing a darn good job of management in the 1950s through the '80s without the benefit of the "let nature do it" crowd.

The US is Responsible for the Darfur Genocide?

Fred Thompson tells the UN where to stuff it.

Fred Thompson on the UN, global warming and the Darfur genocide
Posted on June 28th, 2007

Excerpt from June 28 commentary aired on ABCRadio.com.

Why, then, would the new UN Secretary General blame climate change? I think it’s pretty obvious.

Blaming the Islamic government and groups that have manipulated events in Sudan will get him nothing but enemies. Blaming global warming, however, is basically the same thing as blaming America. The reason is that congress rightfully balked at ratifying the Kyoto international climate treaties during the Clinton presidency.

There is simply no downside to blaming America, because Americans don’t punish their ideological foes. From the UN, we don’t even require sanity sometimes. And there might even be an upside to blaming us, since there are Americans who suffer from such ingrained feelings of guilt, they’ll support increased aid to both the UN and Sudan.

There is a lesson to be learned here, though. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is arguably the most powerful man in the international community today. We know he’s unwilling to blame those who actually gave the orders to commit genocide in Darfur. And apparently he’s happy to shift the blame for ongoing deaths to those living peaceful, productive lives in the West.

Now hopefully we can work toward international cooperation with regard to environmental policies that make sense. It’s not very encouraging though when the head of the world’s leading international body uses climate change as an all purpose excuse in order to avoid hard realities.

Here They Are

Here they are!

Supposedly, illegal aliens live in shadows and we can't find them to deport them. Well, the New York Times found some - in the United States Capital building.

Immigration Bill - Kick the Ball Charlie Brown

At least we did fall for Lucy's tricks this time.

As of this morning anyway, Europe’s last fascist dictator and the comprehensive immigration reform compromise have at least one thing in common. Like Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the immigration bill is still dead.
Already once risen from the grave, the immigration reform is likely to reemerge again. And it should, but not in its current form. And the process needs to be cleaner, more honest and more transparent. And proponents should have better arguments than to accuse opponents of racism.
For all of the good points that the bill contained - and there were many - too much of the compromise required that conservatives to trust the honesty and sincerity of Democrats. But haven’t we kicked at that football long enough? At least Charlie Brown learned to be suspicious of Lucy.
The New York Times gave the game away when the immigration reform last perished in the Senate three weeks ago. Pointing to what the editorial board considered punitive portions of the bill, such as the hurdles that must be crossed to gain citizenship and the restrictions on the number of family members that as the suddenly legal aliens may sponsor for entry into the US, the Times declared that those provisions could simply be stripped out by a future congress and the next president, whom the Times assumes will be a Democrat. The $5000 fine that the recently deceased legislation mandated must be paid by any illegal alien wishing for citizenship could simply be reduced to nothing. The restrictions upon the number of family members that a newly legalized alien may sponsor for citizenship could just as easily be overturned. However, the legalization of the 12-20 million illegal aliens already in this country could never be undone.
Translation: Kick the football Charlie Brown.
There is certainly adequate reason to distrust Democrats on this issue. Last year the Congress passed and the president signed a law directing the construction of a border fence. It lasted barely two weeks into the new year. Among the first acts of the new Democratic congressional majority was to strip funding for construction.
Lucy yanked the football away again.
As offensive as any particular clause in the legislation might have been, the attempt to ram it through without any serious debate was even worse. Several senators who had staked out strong positions one way or the other were eventually forced to admit that they had not read the law and were often surprised when interviewers confronted them with specifics that they did not know were included.
Even the White House, which had pushed hard for passage, could not answer whether or not someone who had committed serious crimes, such as identity theft, would be prevented from gaining legal status or even citizenship. When asked directly on the Dennis Miller Show, White House press secretary Tony Snow first said that any illegal alien who had used a stolen identity could not gain legal status, but then backtracked and admitted that he really didn’t know.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham unwittingly, or perhaps considering the source, witlessly, revealed a potential election strategy. He complained that the enforcement provisions were the best that the Republicans could get from a Democrat majority and that, to get even that, they had to give ground on the amnesty issue.
Well, bless my soul! It turns out that the overwhelming majority of the American people favor enforcement and oppose amnesty. So, why not make that a campaign issue in 2008? The American people overwhelmingly support the border fence that the Democrats defunded. Make them pay a political price by re-introducing the legislation over and over again.
Realistically, we will have to consider some form of legalization for the illegal aliens already in the country. It would be frankly impossible to track down and deport 20 million illegal aliens and even if we could, it would be devastating to an economy that already suffers from labor shortages. But, granting legal status as guest workers should be more than adequate compensation to someone who has spent his tenure in the United States as a chronic lawbreaker. Citizenship should be a prize reserved for those with a demonstrated reverence for our country and its laws.
The next immigration reform should be done in the open with all the debate and scrutiny that such consequential legislation deserves. Sunlight should shine on any deliberations of such consequence.
pe rest of the post here

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Hey, give Finch a break...sometimes"

Once again, I find myself in agreement with Gordon Forgey, the publisher of the Whitman County Gazette, this time about Whitman County Commissioner Jerry Finch.

I have not seen eye-to-eye with Jerry on every issue, particularly the recently passed Rural Residential Zoning Ordinance. But I consider him a personal friend and he always has the best interests of Whitman County in mind. If Jerry runs for reelection next year, it'll be my privilge to help him out. But what I love the most about Jerry is how he always says what he thinks, no matter how politically incorrect it might be. That's quite unusual these days.

From the June 14 edition of the Gazette:
County commissioner Jerry Finch is catching heat again.

This time it is because of comments made during a light moment in the commssioners' chambers.

Some of his comments in the past have marked him. The disabled, the underemployed, publishers of rags and the like have taken umbrage to specific remarks he has made. Now it seems every utterance of his is checked against the scale of political correctness by the public.

He can come across hard at times. He can sound flippant at others.

Sometimes, too, he can make sense.

It is refreshing to have a politician who isn't a politician. He speaks without considering what his comments will do for his career or his likability numbers.

Sure, he has ruffled fathers. Sure, he has been wrong about the quality of a certain newspaper. Even so, his comments show him to be unrehearsed and spontaneous. At least, he does not waste public time consulting a public relations handbook.

The comments quoted in the Gazette last week were in jest. Although it might cost him a Father's Day present from the daughter who he said whined only less than fellow commssioner Michael Largent, his comments were not hurtful. The worst that can be said is that he wuold never make it as standup comedian. Henny Youngman he isn't. He should leave the humor to Commissioner Greg Partch.

Finch is doing his best for the people of Whitman County. He brings a no-nonsense approach to certain aspects of county government that sometimes works.

And, just because he doesn't know the difference between some yellow tabloid and a Pulitzer worthy weekly, there is no reason to gang up on him. Send him a Father's Day card instead of a nasty note. he is bound to get one of those from his daughter.
NOTE: Commissioner Finch's comments were made with regards to approval of Commissioner Michael Largent's request to purchase a new laptop computer.

Fred Thompson on Immigration Reform

From today's Fred File.

A Good Day
Posted on June 28th, 2007
By Fred in Immigration

This has been a good day for America.

For a while, it didn’t look like Washington was going to listen to us regarding real immigration reform. Thankfully, we’ve been spared a serious mistake, but I wonder if things would have turned out the way they did without the work done by the bloggers, talk radio and the American people. Rush, Hannity, Laura Ingraham, RedState, Powerline, Pajamas Media and a lot of others have done a great job. Take that, Fairness Doctrine.

I’m up in New Hampshire today. Met some great people and got to help the state GOP up in the Granite State. I did want to clarify something coming out of my time yesterday in Columbia, South Carolina.

Anybody who knows my track record or has read some of the things I’ve written about the Cuban-American community knows where I stand. While the communist dictatorship has been a tragedy for Cuba, America has been in some ways, at least, the beneficiary.

One of those benefits is the presence of the great Cuban-American artist, Gloria Estefan. She co-wrote a song called “No hay mal que por bien no venga” which I understand translates something like — there’s no bad that doesn’t bring some good. The bad that is Castro’s tyranny has given America one of the greatest communities in the Western Hemisphere.

And no one knows better than that community that the Castro regime remains dedicated to infiltrating American institutions to spread his ideology of tyranny. Castro admitted it himself in an interview with CNN in 1998.

This is why the Cuban government rightfully remains on the State Department’s terrorist list for its continued support of terrorism. It’s also why we must oppose the illegal immigration of Castro’s agents into the United States while welcoming the vast majority who immigrate legally and with legal intentions.

It seems to me that few Americans understand the threat that the illegal entry by Cuban spies represents to our country, though Cuban-Americans have never forgotten or stopped pointing it out. Ambassador Otto Reich, the former Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere has called Castro’s efforts to penetrate U.S. intelligence networks “relentless.”

The best-known incident involving Cuban espionage, which many believe may have provided U.S. secrets to hostile Middle Eastern regimes, is probably that of former Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Ana Belen Montes — convicted of espionage in 2002. Now, our intelligence picture has been further complicated by the emergence of oil-funded Hugo Chavez and his anti-American, pro-Castro regime. We know that Cuban intelligence officers, for instance, are in South America — presumably training Venezuelans and others in the intelligence arts.

Our national security is too important an issue to let folks twist words around for a one-day headline. Cuban-Americans are among the staunchest opponents of illegal immigration, and especially so when it’s sponsored by the Castro regime. We know we have a porous southern border in which they can currently slip through easily. Our enemies know it too.

All of us should be rightfully concerned about Castro and his ideological pal Chavez sending agents and provocateurs into the United States through Mexico. I’m sure that Cuban-Americans share this concern as well.

We’ve seen today what the voice of the people can do in Washington. Let’s hope similar voices can do the same thing for Cuba.

Immigration Bill Dies

I'm not entirely certain how I feel about this. I've been quite torn about this immigration bill from the beginning. Sometime soon, I'll be sitting down in front of my computer to organize my thoughts, but regardless of what I think, this is big news.

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush's plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.
This is a breaking news update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

WASHINGTON (AP)—The Senate voted Thursday on an effort by opponents to stop a bill supported by President Bush to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants while also tightening the border against future immigrants.

The critical vote determining the bill's fate began shortly after 11 a.m. EDT.

Bush, seeking to salvage the biggest domestic initiative of his final two years in office, called senators earlier in the morning seeking help.

However, supporters needed 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to keep the bill alive. Aligned against it were conservatives who derided the legislation as a grant of amnesty for illegal behavior and some Democrats who said it would leave a new group of temporary workers vulnerable to exploitation.

Supporters pointed to the bill's tougher border security and workplace enforcement measures, along with an immediate infusion of $4.4 billion to pay for them, as reasons to keep the bill alive for a final vote Friday.

The carefully crafted compromise was left for dead after a similar vote three weeks ago but was revived by Bush and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who gave opponents more chances to change it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Just When We Thought He Was Out, They Pull Him Back In

Devon Felsted's on-again/off-again Pullman City Council candidacy appears to be back on for now. From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
City attorney says Felsted OK to run; McAloon revisits earlier comments that candidate's business ties create a conflict

Pullman City Attorney Laura McAloon said after a meeting with City Council hopeful Devon Felsted she has determined there would be no conflict of interest if Felsted is elected.

"The information he gave me is that he doesn't have any ownership in the company, despite the fact that he's the president," she said. "It sure doesn't sound to me that it's a problem, but it's something that Devon as a candidate" would have to address.

On Friday, McAloon said Felsted's role as president of Pullman Disposal likely would be a conflict of interest if he were elected to the council's Ward 3 seat because the company, owned by his family, received too much money from the city for its services. She said a state code of ethics statute pertaining to municipal officers restricts a city from working or exchanging money with an elected official on a business level for more than $18,000 per year.

Pullman Disposal is the only garbage hauling company in Pullman and the city pays about $45,000 a year for the service.

McAloon said after talking with Felsted at length Tuesday she determined there would be no conflict of interest if he were to become councilman, because he has no beneficial interest in the company with no stocks or monetary investment. If he had a financial interest in the company, Felsted would have to divest his interest in the company or the city would have to find a new garbage service, if Felsted were to be sworn in to a city council position, she said.

Felsted has five months to prepare for the election and in the interim, McAloon said "it's going to be up to Devon to demonstrate what his relationship is" with Pullman Disposal.

Felsted said he is treated as any normal employee of the company.

"(McAloon) doesn't see there is any conflict, because I don't own an stock and my pay isn't tied to any performance," he said. "She was using that as a rational. I don't have any 'beneficial interest' as she called it."

Felsted said he understands some community members may still argue that because the company is family owned, his role as president would be a conflict. If too many voters have that opinion, Felsted said he would step down.

"I would resign," he said. "It's not worth it to me impugn my credibility or my reputation. It's much more important for me to have a good reputation than fight this."

For now, Felsted will move forward with his candidacy. Incumbent Ward 3 Councilman David Stiller is not running for re-election.

"I'm just proceeding on," he said. "I'm back to the high-stress City Council life."

Why I Can't be a Democrat

Here's a letter to the editor in today's MP Daily News. It illustrates one of the MAJOR problems with the Democratic Party and most especially with the local loonie lefties who constitute its rank and file.

The first thing that strikes me is that the courts should only be available to contest issues in which "a majority of votes determines an issue" and then in the very same sentence state "any attempt to overturn the results should be taken only when the outcome of the vote does not truely represent the will if its citizens." I feel sort of like the AFLAC duck after he hears what Yogi has to say. How does a majority vote not reflect the will of the citizens?

The rest of the letter is just a rehash of the usual lies and drivel but it's nice to see the idiots reveal themselves by signing the Party's name to the letter.

Time to drop lawsuit
The Latah County Democratic Party believes that in a democratic society when a majority of votes determines an issue, any attempt to overturn the result should be taken only when the outcome of the vote does not truly represent the will of its citizens.
The suit against the successful Moscow School District levy does not meet that criterion.
Additionally, the effect of the suit has already caused harm to students because the district has been forced to shift dollars to meet mandated needs, resulting in a loss of high school teaching positions, as well as class sections of music, art and foreign language, despite a projected rise in enrollment for next year.
Corresponding adjustments also were made in the other district schools.
Had he who brought the suit and those who support him raised their legal questions prior to the levy, they could have been considered in a timely manner. However, Gerald Weitz deliberately chose to wait.
We urge Weitz to drop this unnecessary litigation and to present his case to the legislators from District 6.
If steps need to be taken to clarify the law they can be addressed during the coming legislative session without further harm to the students in Moscow School District.
Corinne Hunter, Betty Benson, Sue Hovey
Latah County Democrats
This letter also was signed by eight others.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pullmanites Make Deposit in Washington Idea Bank

This afternoon, Michael Costello, several local Republicans, two Democratic flunkies, one local liberal, and myself had a nice lunch at the Hilltop Restaurant in Pullman to hear the Washington Idea Bank presentation from Dino Rossi.

The Washington Idea Bank is a project of Forward Washington , the non-partisan group created and headed by Dino.

This was not a campaign event. Dino has not yet announced his decision on next year's gubernatorial race. That, of course, has not stopped the Democrats, who are terrified of Dino. They have filed a frivilous PDC complaint and that is why the two earnest looking young ladies were there filming every word Dino had to say. Dino told them they needn't film anything, that it was all on the website. The girls appeared to be Young Democrats on summer vacation. Wonder if the Washington Democratic Party pays a "living wage?" I should have asked them...

Anyway, this was very much in the style of a "town hall" type meeting. Dino has been traveling the state (he was on his way to Spokane afterwards) solicting solutions, not complaints, for Washington's problems to make this a better state for everyone. The idea is that through statewide collaboration, maybe we can come up with some really innovative ideas. Unspoken, but obviously on everyone's mind, was the fact that the best idea for improving Washington is to throw Queen Christine and her dark minions out of office next year.

Dino presented a few ideas that had already been solicited, such as a required rainy day fund, especially after this past legislative session's drunken spending orgy. He said he knew that tactic from his days in Olympia: The easiest way to get reelected is to give people things, even though it comes out of someone else's pocketbook.

Rossi also talked about repealing the estate tax and how it damaged local ownership of business and drove entrepreneurs away. As I have said before, if Democrats really support local business and hate evil, faceless corporations from back east, the best way to do that is to get rid of the death tax.

Each person in attendance had an index card on which they could write an idea. Those ideas were collected and then Dino discussed some of them. They included:

- Getting rid of the B&O tax
- Health savings accounts and competition in the health care industry
- Increasing the quality of science and math teachers in the public schools
- Sustainability of the state budget
- Welfare reform
- Property rights protection (yes, that was mine)
- Bureaucratic costs and regulation (I was interested to hear from an audience member that 40% of the price of a house in Washington comes from regulatory overhead and taxes)

You can submit your own ideas here.

Alice Schroeder, president of the Pullman League of Women Vultures, er, Voters, was present Her "great" idea was to get rid of sales taxes, not because they are regressive and unfair, but because they make local governments chase after "rampant, unchecked growth and development," which "ends up costing the city more in infrastructure costs in the long run." Without ever mentioning it, you could tell she was referring to the Pullman City Council and Wal-Mart, obviously having drank deeply from the PARD Kool-Aid. I guess Schroeder considers our city government to be soulless whores for supporting the Supercenter project. Schroeder, of course, failed to mention that Wal-Mart, or any other large retail development in Pullman, would more than pay for any increased infrastructure requirements through the variety of taxes, including sales taxes, they would pay. She also neglected to mention the benefits of increased employment for students, increased traffic for other local businesses, increased amenities and quality of life created by more shopping choices and less driving, etc., etc. And Schroeder had no solutions on what would replace sales taxes, as obviously we are maxed out on property taxes and a state income tax is politically unpalatable. But what else could you expect from a left-wing, anti-capitalist front group like the LWV?

I witnessed Schroeder chewing on everyone's ear before and after lunch, offering her liberal spin on various issues that had been raised. I noticed Michael was speaking with her (she obviously had no idea who he was; Schroeder didn't bother talking to me.) I'd like to get his perspective.

Speaking of Michael, it was nice to finally meet him in person, if only very briefly. I was going to snap a picture afterwards, but he slipped out too quickly!

I did manage a photo of me with one of my heroes, the Once and Future Governor of Washington.

Since I had my camera, I thought I would capture this horrible encroachment on, and desecration of, a beloved and historic cemetery on film. No, it's not the Pullman City Cemetery and Wal-Mart. It's the Oddfellow's Cemetery and the Pullman School District bus garage. Where is all that selective outrage now?

Forward Washington with Dino Rossi

Tuesday June 26 ~ 12 noon

Hilltop Restaurant
Pullman, Washington

We Need a President Like This

The predictable outrage from the Muslim world generated a mostly tremulous silence from western leaders. No doubt they fear provoking Islamic Outrage Boy.

Fred Thompson saw fit to answer directly.

June 25, 2007

The Queen and Free Speech

Last week, I was fortunate enough to spend some time in London. Being there, I couldn't help but think how much America owes to British culture and traditions. Even our past disagreements, like that “taxation without representation” thing, had their roots in British thought. The American Revolution can, in fact, be traced directly back to ideas set forth by the great British thinkers such as John Locke and Adam Smith.

For our part, I think what happened in the 13 colonies actually helped the British rid themselves of the “divine right of kings.” Perhaps because of the fact that we fought a war to escape undemocratic monarchy, Americans are sometimes puzzled by Britain's maintenance of royal institutions and traditions.

I've got to admit, though, that I’ve seen things in a slightly different light recently. The efforts by the two princes, Harry and William, to fight in Iraq impressed me. I was also impressed by the knighthood of author Salman Rushdie and the British reaction to the predictable outrage that followed.

That's not to say I'm a big fan of the British-Indian novelist. I don't agree with a lot of his criticism he's made of America and the UK in the past. But that's the point, really. In the West, we can disagree strongly with someone without issuing fatwas and calling for his death. We can even honor someone with whom we disagree.

In 1989, when Rushdie was first threatened with death by the Islamic regime in Iran, it was for saying far less critical things about Muslims than he’d said about American Christians. Since then, he's become a much stronger critic of Islamic intolerance and authoritarianism. Rushdie defended, for example, the publication of the Danish cartoons and has called for ending the oppression of women in Islam.

While Queen Elizabeth doesn't actually select those who’ll be knighted, lending her name to the honor is symbolically powerful. She and the honors committee who have put the "Sir" before Rushdie's name had to have known that it would provoke anger among those who believe Islam should be protected from criticism. Furthermore, Rushdie had to have known that accepting the honor would prompt renewed and serious calls for his murder -- and it has.

Already, Britain's Home Secretary John Reid has responded to a Pakistani government minister's comment that Rushdie’s knighthood justifies a suicide bombing on the writer. Standing by the knighthood, Reid reminded his international audience that the West tolerates movies made by Monty Python and Mel Gibson even if they offend Christians and Jews. Reid said that, "in the long run, our protection of the right to express your views in literature, argument (and) politics is of over-riding political value to our societies."

And for that, I say, “God Save the Queen.”

You can't please the NIMBY left

Here are extracts from two articles in the 6/26 online edition of the Seattle Times. Both deal with potential solutions to the left's poster boy problem of the hour; global warming. Both technologies emit no greenhouse gasses, both rely upon equipment and technologies still produced in the USA (and therefor a boon the US labor). You'd think the loonie leftie greenies would be all over these but then they'd have to give up their protests if problems got solved. The whining and moaning go on unabated. The left and their shills, the so-called environmentalists of the world would be laughable if they weren't such a threat to civilized society.

Extracts from the ST-online


"Sandall says he doesn't oppose wind power. He gets his electricity from solar panels and from his own relatively tiny wind turbine mounted on a 50-foot pole.
But rows of white massive white poles, topped with blinking lights and propeller blades that make a "whoosh" audible from several hundred yards away — that's another thing.
Sandall remains unconvinced by assurances that the sound won't be noticeable from farther off, and that it won't hurt property values.
"I'm 72 years old. I came out here to be alone," said Sandall, who is part of a citizen group, Residents Opposed to Kittitas Turbines. "I have no objection to alternative energy. This is just not the place."
With such concerns from the neighbors, the three-member Kittitas County Commission rejected the enXco plan in 2005 and Horizon's in 2006.
There are signs of displeasure elsewhere in the region.
Last month in Columbia County, where several wind projects have already been built, a group of landowners challenged yet another project. In Oregon, a proposal for turbines near the Columbia River Gorge prompted a call in May for a moratorium on all new wind farms in the state while officials sort out how to regulate them."


"Nuclear waste
Passing on problem
Bill Cohen suggests that the solution to nuclear waste is to simply pass the unresolved problem down to the future to solve, like the gift that keeps on giving ["Technology will improve," Times, Northwest Voices, June 25]. Such intergenerational irresponsibility is appalling. But what really disgusts me, as an engineer, is the fact that we produce this mess, toxic for longer than man has been "civilized," to boil water for 50 years. Are we so ignorant that we can do no better?
— Crispin B. Hollinshead"

Fashion For the Ignorant Chic

Michael Ramirez offer fashion advice for Cameron Diaz and other simple-minded useful idiots.

At least she apologized. Now if we could just convince people to stop wearing those stupd Che tee-shirts.

The Wages of Groveling Before Islamic Rage Boy

Just how hard should we try to appease this guy? And how much does it cost us?

I doubt that I am the first to notice that, if want respect for your religion, you should scream, yell and commit ghastly violence in your maker's name. Christopher Hitchens points out that we gain nothing from this pandering and lose much.

We may have to put up with the Rage Boys of the world, but we ought not to do their work for them, and we must not cry before we have been hurt. In front of me is a copy of this week's Economist, which states that Rushdie's 1989 death warrant was "punishment for the book's unflattering depiction of the Prophet Muhammad." There is no direct depiction of the prophet in this work of fiction, and the reverie about his many wives occurs in the dream of a madman. Nobody in Ayatollah Khomeini's circle could possibly have read the book for him before he issued a fatwah, which made it dangerous to possess. Yet on that occasion, the bookstore chains of America pulled The Satanic Verses from their shelves, just as Borders shamefully pulled Free Inquiry (a magazine for which I write) after it reproduced the Danish cartoons. Rage Boy keenly looks forward to anger, while we worriedly anticipate trouble, and fret about etiquette, and prepare the next retreat. If taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean living at the pleasure of Rage Boy, and that I am not prepared to do.

Monday, June 25, 2007

This is Too Good

I'm not a Katie Couric fan, but this is just right.

Gay Make Out For Peace - Or Something

Clearly, popular culture has left me behind.

This makes even less sense than stilts.

The Greatest Story Barely Told

Freelance journalist Michael Yon has a new post up concerning the latest offensive in Iraq. It's very encouraging, which is probably why you'll hear nothing about it on the nightly news or read about it in your local paper.

Here are the introductory paragraphs:

On 19 June American forces sealed off Baqubah and began attacking targets within the city. The immediate goal of Arrowhead Ripper was to free Baqubah of al Qaeda, by trapping and killing its members, but according to American officers here, public remarks by senior military officials may have flushed many AQI leaders before the attack. Despite this frustrating and significant setback, progress toward the end-state goal of Arrowhead Ripper—turning over Baqubah to Iraqi government control—appears to be working, at least in terms of the removal of the current AQI leadership and its quasi-government. There are conflicting signals about how many of the AQI leadership escaped before Arrowhead Ripper launched. This weekend’s capture of a possible high-value target in Baqubah indicates that not all AQI leaders successfully fled the city before the attack.

Media reports indicating that many top leaders escaped before Arrowhead Ripper began appear to be mostly true. But other information suggests some AQI leaders are trapped just down the road from where I write. In addition to the seven men who were caught trying to escape while dressed as women, there is information that some AQI leaders remain trapped in a constricting cordon.

Here's another encouraging passage:

American losses include one soldier killed in action, with 21 wounded. One Bradley and one Stryker have been destroyed. The low numbers of friendly casualties have been largely due to the slow, methodical clearing operation where success is not measured against the clock. In meeting after meeting, I have seen Townsend stress to his subordinate commanders the importance of moving deliberately and at their own pace. Given the massive amounts of IEDs that have been found, my guess is that we might have taken dozens more killed by now if the clearing operation had been rushed. Doubtless many American lives have been saved by locals just saying “stop,” and pointing to bombs.

It's all worth reading. But apparently, it's not fit to print. There has been nothing about Arrowhead Ripper in the New York Times since Saturday morning.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

As Usual, April Is Right

Devon Felsted cannot run for the Ward 3 City Council seat being vacated by David Stiller and continue to hold his position as president and general manager of Pullman Disposal Service. From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Felsted not presently able to run for council seat

Elected position would be considered conflict of interest for Pullman Disposal president

Devon Felsted decided at the last minute to file as a candidate for Position 3 on the Pullman City Council.

With incumbent David Stiller not competing for re-election, and seeing that no one else had filed by the June 8 deadline, Felsted figured he'd give it a shot.

"I was encouraged to run, and I thought it would be fun," he said.

Felsted said a small part of him thought his position as president of Pullman Disposal - a family-run business - might be considered a conflict of interest for a sitting councilman, but shrugged it off.

"It crossed my mind in a vague sort of fashion," he said. "I figured if there was a problem, someone would tell me."

Pullman Disposal is the only licensed solid waste disposal company for the city and its outlying area. City Attorney Laura McAloon said because the city is such a large customer of Pullman Disposal's, it is an apparent conflict of interest for Felsted to be elected to the council, even though the two agencies do not have a binding contract per se.

"The city is a customer of Pullman Disposal," she said, noting most larger cities have franchise agreements with disposal companies when there is more than one business to choose from. "We get a bill from them, and we pay it."

McAloon said a state code of ethics statute pertaining to municipal officers restricts a city from working or exchanging money with an elected official on a business level for more than $18,000 per year.

The city's trash bill with Pullman Disposal is about $45,000 per year.

McAloon said there are two options if Felsted wants to vie for a council seat: He can step down from his position at Pullman Disposal, or the city can work with another disposal service.

"He would have to completely divest himself in his interest in Pullman Disposal or the city could get its disposal (services) from another hauler," she said. "If he were elected, it would be a conflict of interest and would have to be addressed before he were sworn in."

Even if Felsted was to quit his position as president, it may continue to be a problem because of the business relationship the company has with the city.

"I can't say that Devon stepping down would avoid a conflict of interest," McAloon said, adding that to the best of her knowledge "he couldn't hold office while he had that beneficial interest."

Felsted said he doesn't view Pullman Disposal's dealings with the city as a contract.

"I guess it's not that different than (the relationship with) any other customer," he said. "I guess if you wanted to call that a contract ."

Still, if forced to choose between a potential council position and his job, Felsted said he would stick with his job.

"I won't be shedding any tears if I'm not able to run. Pullman Disposal is my priority," he said. "I can't really imagine myself (leaving Pullman Disposal). Even if I wasn't emotionally tied, you know, it's a family business. I don't think I could support the six kids on the City Council business."

McAloon said Felsted could run for City Council if the city's annual payment to Pullman Disposal was less than $18,000, although he would need to recuse himself from any matters pertaining to Pullman Disposal or the disposal industry.

"He would have to recuse himself from anything that would impact his business," she said.

According to the Washington Secretary of State's Web site, if a nonpartisan candidate who has filed dies or is disqualified, the elections officer is required to open a special three-day filing period.

It has yet to be determined when the refiling period will open

Felsted said he feels disappointed knowing he won't become a council member.

"It's, I guess, a minor disappointment, but I guess that's the way life goes," he said.
So I guess we're not done yet with Ward 3 and the spectre of The Trolley Conductor.

Yoda Lives!!!!!!!

And he won the "World's Ugliest Dog Contest."

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Greatest Story Never Told

America's finest are beating the brains out of the bad guys. But, Paris Hilton gets more attention.

From today's Investor's Business Daily

Iraq War: You've no doubt heard of Paris Hilton, and of Rosie O'Donnell as well. We're pretty sure you know what Barry Bonds is up to. But have you ever heard of Arrowhead Ripper? The likely answer is no.

But if that's the case, it's not your fault. Arrowhead Ripper isn't an athlete, a TV star or a person famous for being famous. It's the code name for a massive U.S.-led assault under way in Iraq's Diyala province — an undertaking that has garnered token media coverage since it began Tuesday.

After getting some initial front-page treatment in major U.S. newspapers, the story was pushed back to page 18 in the Washington Post Thursday and Page 10 in The New York Times on Friday. The Los Angeles Times ran a front pager Thursday, then nothing.

Meanwhile, NPR radio this week highlighted U.S. soldiers' deaths during the assaults, with nary a mention of the bigger context for the soldiers' sacrifices.

The Associated Press' dispatches focused on U.S. casualties: "U.S. military says 15 American troops killed in last 48 hours." CNN ran with: "12 U.S. troops killed in Iraq in 48 hours." The New York Times headline read: "14 U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq in 2 Days."

Surprisingly, only Reuters seemed to get what was going on. Its headline said: "U.S. troops set trap for militants near Baghdad."

Never mind that the aforementioned headlines don't seem to agree on the number of deaths. What needs to be said is this is one of the war's largest operations to date, and perhaps the most significant. If successful, it could push al-Qaida out of Iraq. It also might lay the groundwork for an eventual war-ending peace.

This operation also stands out because the U.S.-led assault force has explicitly made it a goal to "eliminate" the enemy — not to let it slip away, then watch as it returns to bring more chaos and terror to Diyala province.

Michael Yon, a blogger who is embedded with the 3/2 Stryker Brigade Combat Team in Diyala, has written extensively at his Web site (michaelyon-online.com) about the battle. He's also taken some dramatic pictures. He's a brave journalist, and his site is worth a visit.

Here, in an e-mail to the highly popular Instapundit Web site, is what Yon had to say about what's going on:

"It's Friday evening 22 June. Operation Arrowhead Ripper continues to unfold. The operation is going very well. This looks like it will become a serious problem for al-Qaida."

That, of course, would be great. But then, if the media don't start covering it seriously, we may never know.

We can be sure, however, that if Arrowhead Ripper is less successful than hoped, we'll be treated to an endless number of "Diyala: What Went Wrong?" retrospectives.

The fight will go on for up to two months, military officials say. It involves 10,000 troops, with "a full complement of attack helicopters, close-air support, Strykers and Bradley fighting vehicles."

Using unusually blunt language, Army Brig. Gen. Mick Bednarek told American Forces Press Service, "The end state is to destroy the al-Qaida influences in this province and eliminate the threat against the people. That is the No. 1, bottom-line, up-front, in-your-face task and purpose."

And so far, it's working, with dozens of terrorists killed. It bears watching. But sadly, if the successes pile up, it won't be long until the story's pushed even further back in the nation's newspapers.

So, has Paris Hilton gone to the bathroom yet? That's what the MSM considers more important than winning the war.

Leave the F#$%ing Stilts at Home

Matt Taibbi, a contributing editor to Rolling Stone, has written what I consider to be the most insightful (and damning) indictment of modern American liberalism I have yet seen. THIS IS A MUST-READ TO UNDERSTAND THE POLITICAL DYNAMICS IN PULLMAN AND MOSCOW!

When you read this, think of the wealthy Ph.D's of "grassroots" PARD and No SuperWalMart reliving their Berkeley-esque tie-dye glory days and lecturing us about the plight of the working class. Think of Mayor Chaney and her "sustainable" Mexican fishing village. Think of white professor David Leonard yammering on about Hurricane Katrina and African-American "genocide." Think of the recent freakshow that was the "Northwest Progressive Conference" at WSU. Think of John Streamas comparing the WSU College Republicans to Nazis. Think of Alex McDonald, the Young Democrats, and other middle-class WSU students complaining about "racism" and "oppression" on campus. Think of the monotonously politically correct and left-wing orthodox editorialists of the Daily Evergreen writing about "getting involved," "where's the outrage?" and "youth apathy." Taibbi makes the same point I have made before: Liberals ARE the establishment now. How can they rebel against themselves? That is why I contend that conservatism is becoming the new counterculture, and hence, much more fun.

Some relevant quotes:
Thus, the people who are the public voice of American liberalism rarely have any real connection to the ordinary working people whose interests they putatively champion. They tend instead to be well-off, college-educated yuppies from California or the East Coast, and hard as they try to worry about food stamps or veterans’ rights or securing federal assistance for heating oil bills, they invariably gravitate instead to things that actually matter to them – like the slick Al Gore documentary on global warming, or the “All Things Considered” interview on NPR with the British author of Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook. They haven’t yet come up with something to replace the synergy of patrician and middle-class interests that the New Deal represented.


“Perhaps what the real issue is that the left is not really a grassroots movement,” he says. “You have this donor/elite class, and then you have the public . . . You have these zillionaires who are supposedly funding the progressive movement. At some point that gets to be a problem.”


This is another dirty little secret of the left – the fact that, at least when it comes to per-capita income, those interminable right-wing criticisms about liberals being “elitists” are actually true. According to a 2004 Pew report, Americans who self-identify as liberals have an average annual income of $71,000 – the highest-grossing political category in America. They’re also the best-educated class, with over one in four being post-graduates.


But having rich college grads acting as the political representatives of the working class isn’t just bad politics. It’s also silly. And there’s probably no political movement in history that’s been sillier than the modern American left.

What makes the American left silly? Things that in a vacuum should be logical impossibilities are frighteningly common in lefty political scenes. The word “oppression” escaping, for any reason, the mouths of kids whose parents are paying 20 grand for them to go to private colleges. Academics in Priuses using the word “Amerika.” Ebonics, Fanetiks, and other such insane institutional manifestations of white guilt. Combat berets. Combat berets in conjunction with designer coffees. Combat berets in conjunction with designer coffees consumed at leisure in between conversational comparisons of America to Nazi Germany.

We all know where this stuff comes from. Anyone who’s ever been to a lefty political meeting knows the deal – the problem is the “spirit of inclusiveness” stretched to the limits of absurdity. The post-sixties dogma that everyone’s viewpoint is legitimate, everyone‘s choice about anything (lifestyle, gender, ethnicity, even class) is valid, that’s now so totally ingrained that at every single meeting, every time some yutz gets up and starts rambling about anything, no matter how ridiculous, no one ever tells him to shut the fuck up. Next thing you know, you’ve got guys on stilts [like the No SuperWalMart doofus pictured above - tf] wearing mime makeup and Cat-in-the-Hat striped top-hats leading a half-million people at an anti-war rally. Why is that guy there? Because no one told him that war is a matter of life and death and that he should leave his fucking stilts at home.

Then there’s the tone problem. A hell of a lot of what the left does these days is tediously lecture middle America about how wrong it is, loudly snorting at a stubbornly unchanging litany of Republican villains. There’s a weirdly indulgent tone to all of this Bush-bashing that goes on in lefty media, a tone that’s not only annoyingly predictable in its pervasiveness, but a turnoff to people who might have tuned in to that channel in search of something else.


But to me the biggest problem with American liberalism is that it hasn’t found a new legend for itself, one to replace the old one, which is more and more often no longer relevant. I’ve got no problem with long hair and weed and kids playing “Imagine” on acoustic guitars at peace marches. But we often make the mistake of thinking that the “revolution” of the sixties is something that rightly should continue on to today.

While it’s true that we’re still fighting against unjust wars and that there’s unfinished business on the fronts of women’s rights, civil rights, and environmental preservation, there’s no generational battle left for America’s rich kids to fight. In the sixties, college kids had to fight for their right to refuse to become bankers, soldiers, plastics executives or whatever other types of dreary establishment lifestyles their parents were demanding for them. And because they had to fight that fight, the interests of white college kids were briefly and felicitously aligned with the blacks and the migrant farm workers and the South Vietnamese, who were also victims of the same dug-in, inflexible political establishment. Long hair, tie-dye and the raised black fist all had the same general message – screw the establishment. It was a sort of Marxian perfect storm where even the children of the bourgeoisie could semi-realistically imagine themselves engaged in a class struggle.

But American college types don’t have to fight for shit anymore. Remember the Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill album? Remember that song “Fight for Your Right to Party”? Well, people, that song was a joke. So was “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “And the Cradle Will Rock.” The only thing American college kids have left to fight for are the royalties for their myriad appearances in Girls Gone Wild videos. Which is why they look ridiculous parading around at peace protests in the guise of hapless victims and subjects of the Amerikan neo-Reich. Rich liberals protesting the establishment is absurd because they are the establishment; they’re just too embarrassed to admit it.

When they start embracing their position of privilege and taking responsibility for the power they already have – striving to be the leaders of society they actually are, instead of playing at being aggrieved subjects – they’ll come across as wise and patriotic citizens, not like the terminally adolescent buffoons trapped in a corny sixties daydream they often seem to be now. They’ll stop bringing puppets to marches and, more importantly, they’ll start doing more than march.
This is why I don't sweat PARD. No one will ever take them seriously. Those self-important poseurs would have been finished a year ago if not for the Pullman City Code that threw their appeal into the glacially-paced justice system.

And I don't fear the Democrats, because as many missteps as the GOP has made over the war, immigration, etc., the average American does not consider the looney moonbats of Pelosi, Reid and Company to be a viable alternative. Once the Republicans find a leader who can connect with the common people again, as Ronald Reagan did, the ship will be righted and the left will be put out of our misery for good.

HT: Dale Courtney

The Carnival of Moscow Water Hypocrisy

There was a lot of news about Moscow and its hypocrisy over water issues while I was in Mexico.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007 - For some reason, the Daily News does not have this article in their online archive, and the Moscow City Council minutes have not been published yet, but I the gist of the story was that the Moscow City Council refused to increase its funding to the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee, which puts the future of that water conservation organization in jeopardy.
This follows the Pullman City Council's move to INCREASE its funding to PBAC. And Queen Nancy "doesn't want any misunderstanding when it comes to her stance on water?"
Monday, June 18, 2007 - The Daily News reports that "Moscow officials say residents aren’t noticeably decreasing their water use as the city heads into its second summer with a tiered water-rate system."
No suprise there. As I pointed out in my last Town Crier column, residential use is the major factor in water usage, and new housing continues to go up in Moscow. Calls to halt retail development to conserve water are just disingenuous left-wing attacks on capitalism, like global warming. As long as people live on the Palouse, the aquifers will continue to be depleted. It's time to cut all the BS about "Yes Moscow, No SuperWalmart!" and finally get serious about finding alternative sources of water, such as graywater, rainwater, and reservoirs. It'll cost money, but that money can come from the sales, utility, and property, taxes generated by new retail stores. Commerical development pays for itself much better than housing growth.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 - The Daily News reports that "Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney on Monday appointed Tom Lamar, 46, to fill Bob Stout's seat on the City Council.


Lamar has been the executive director of the Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute for 17 years..."
It was entirely predictable that anti-Wal-Mart union/Democratic activist Stout was replaced by anti-development water activist Lamar. We can see where the fight over the Pullman-Moscow corridor is headed with this appointment.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - Daily News editorial states "Moscow must get tough on water use."
It would have been nice had Murf mentioned that Moscow should clean up its own act on water conservation before taking their act on the road to Pullman and Whitman County.

Hillary Clinton - Felon? Part 2

Peter Paul was convicted of a felony for his role in this. How intimately involved in the planning was Hillary? Inquiring minds and perhaps prosecuting attorneys want to know.

Click here.

Fire Photos

According to KXLY this morning, the fire consumed a 6 unit apartment. As it was only a few blocks from my house, I snapped a few photos.

The Victories You're Learning Nothing About

The US Military is destroying Al Qaida in Iraq. Too bad it's not being reported.

The “surge” is on. You wouldn’t know it by reading this or just about any other newspaper, but the troop surge that was announced months ago to suppress the Iraq insurgency kicked it into full gear recently. And, it’s yielding some significant successes.
Arrowhead Ripper is the name given to the current offensive. It’s the biggest military operation since the fall of Saddam’s regime in 2003. But the news has been all but ignored by the mainstream media.
There are probably two reasons for the paucity of information on Arrowhead Ripper. First of all, the surge has already been declared a failure by the Democratic Party’s congressional leadership and the sympathetic news media are reluctant to contradict those with whom they are ideological soul mates. The second reason is that the media have almost no one there to report on the war. Only the New York Times’ Michael Gordon and freelance journalist Michael Yon are anywhere near the action.
Surprisingly, Michael Gordon’s (examples here and here, registration required)reporting on the surge has been almost entirely free of ideological tampering by his editors in New York, except in regards to placement. Thursday, for example, far greater prominence was given to a story tallying US troop losses than Michael Gordon’s riveting account of the previous day’s fighting. Michael Gordon’s reporting has detailed the successes and, very importantly, assistance, that locals are lending the US, as Al Qaida fighters, their hideouts, their arms caches and even the roadside bombs they have placed are pointed out.
Michael Yon’s reporting is even better, if only because his writing does not suffer from the clipped quality of Gordon’s, as Michael Yon has no stateside editors who trim his stories so that they fit into the allocated column inches (examples here, and here).
Yon’s pieces provide much greater detail of the tactics being employed to rout Al Qaida from its redoubts. From Michael Yon’s stories, one can clearly understand why operations like Arrowhead Ripper were not possible before the surge. And after reading his stories, one can understand why Americans and Iraqis alike should have far more optimism regarding the surge’s prospects than Harry Reid.
In Michael Yon’s reporting, one also learns just how open the military is with information regarding this offensive: “The Army is giving full access to the battlefield, and while on base full access to the TOC (HQ) which means I see the raw truth on the ground, and as it feeds through the TOC. They are hiding nothing. Or if they are, it’s in plain view. (Special operations notwithstanding.) A reporter can see as much as he or she can stand.”
Unfortunately, the major news networks, CNN, Fox, the Associated Press, and other mainstream news media are not there. And so a battle that could very well turn out to be the hinge upon which the future of the War on Terror pivots is going largely unreported. Paris Hilton’s bathroom habits and the latest missing girl miniseries gain greater attention.
But things could be worse. Although the US news media give encouragement and moral support to our enemies, while doing all they can to demoralize the home front, at least they are not supplying the enemy with tangible assistance, as the British Broadcasting Corporation attempted Wednesday.
Earlier this week on its website, the BBC was actively soliciting reports of allied troop movements in Iraq , presumably so that it could post them on its website for the enemy to read. All that Al Qaida would have had to do to gain the benefit of this information was point their web browsers to the BBC and there they could have tracked allied operations and either set up ambushes, or simply escape before the trap ensnared them. The information request was up for two hours before outraged reaction forced the BBC to take the page down. The BBC insisted that it had no intention of posting the information it was trying to gather, but why would they solicit the information in the first place?
If the BBC sincerely wanted news regarding the progress of the fighting in Iraq, I’m sure that Michael Gordon and Michael Yon would not begrudge them the company. CNN would be welcome too.
Michael Yon’s reporting can be found at: http://www.michaelyon-online.com
His reporting is scrupulously non-partisan, and you Bush haters will find plenty of criticism of the administration’s handling of the war.

Note: since this column was completed, Michael Yon reports that the Los Angeles Times and CNN have joined the fight. The Associated Press and Time Magazine have also made brief visits to the front.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: Structure Fire in Downtown Pullman

6/21, 7:49 PM: April reports that there's a big fire in downtown Pullman behind the Manor Lodge Motel. At least two alarms have responded. April thinks it must be a house. She and Russ can see the flames from their parking lot.

More as details become available. Maybe Scotty can gives us a report later.

Of Pots, Kettles, Hoists, and Petards

"We don't feel like the bad guys here."
- Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney in today's Lewiston Tribune on Moscow's payment of a $134,000 fine to the Environmental Protection Agency for more than 950 violations of the Clean Water Act between March 2002 and June 2006.
"Moscow's new wastewater treatment plant will be out of date within two years of its completion this spring.

The plant will have cost the city and its ratepayers $12 million. It will produce treated water many times cleaner than the wastewater the old treatment plant discharged into Paradise Creek. Unless city water use changes significantly, treated water won't meet environmental requirements.

Increased regulation of sewer water means Moscow will not meet requirements of its wastewater discharge permit in 2004, according to city officials."
- Moscow-Pullman Daily News, December 28, 2001

Perhaps O.J. will join Queen Nancy in searching for the real "bad guys."

"Wal-Mart, labor unions and the republic"

Ed Iverson, the bĂȘte noire of local liberals, has recently stirred up firestorms over global warming and religion. So, it only seems logical that he would now invoke the "WM-word" in his column that appeared in last Saturday's Daily News:
The City Council of San Diego recently voted to uphold its earlier ban of Wal-Mart Supercenters.

The ordinance was tailored so carefully as to leave no doubt that it was expressly aimed at the nation's No. 1 retailer. One of the council members who voted with the majority complained that it would be irresponsible to let the free market decide issues such as this.

Refusing to allow her constituency the opportunity to shop for cheaper groceries, the councilwoman voted with the majority (5-3). She justified her vote by observing that she was "no economist." In effect, she admitted that her vote had no economic justification. Well, she did more that admit it. One might say that she was pretty defiant about it. She went on to establish her bona-fides as "formerly poor." Now, everyone knows that one sure way to rise in today's political world is to be raised poor. Ask John Edwards about his plan for withdrawing from Iraq. You are likely to get a heart-rending description of his poverty-stricken youth.

So the council member made it clear that she was raised poor. She was quick to admit that her poor family would have undoubtedly shopped Wal-Mart for its very attractive grocery prices. But she went on to remark that sometimes we all need to take a hit for the greater good of the community. In effect, she argued what she was doing was the right thing. The wallets of her low-income constituents were of little consequence. Refusing Wal-Mart entrance to her community was a higher priority.

For the present, I want to ignore the likelihood that her vote was bought by labor union interests. This is a little hard to do because it is widely understood that the national anti-Wal-Mart campaign is principally financed by organized labor. Organized opposition to Wal-Mart in my own community appears to be financially dependent upon the shills for organized labor.

In the case of San Diego, it is almost certain that Big Labor sponsors the Wal-Mart bashers. Several years ago the unions launched one of the most punishing labor strikes in history against large supermarkets such as Safeway. The San Diego legislation against big-box stores specifically targets stores that "derive more than 10 percent of their sales from groceries." Add together those two pieces of information and the conclusion is inescapable. San Diego is not against large retailers. The San Diego City Council is against large retailers that refuse to bend over for big labor. The fight is not over some kind of quaint community life. It is not about driving mom-and-pop stores out of business. The "Wal-Mart War" is a last stand of Big Labor in the attack on free markets.

But suppose that such is not the case for the council member who styles herself as formerly poor? Consider for a moment the possibility that she is genuinely convinced that she is doing the honorable thing even though her vote had adverse consequences for her constituents. In that case, may her tribe increase. All politicos should be so principled. Instead, we get government by public opinion poll.

The United States is not a democracy. We were established as a constitutional republic. Congress was intended to comprise men of principle. As citizens, we were to elect men of sound character, who would consider all sides of an issue and do what was right, even if it was not popular at the moment.

Instead of principled representatives, we get a bunch of fops, holding their fingers in the wind, sniffing the odor of popular opinion, and saving their tail-feathers in the next election.

Why don't we all just vote on everything by interactive screen? That would save ourselves all the money we spend to support the leeches in D.C.
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Tales from the Vienna Woodenhead

I see Don Pelton eloquently rebutted blowhard Chuck "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki in the June 11 edition of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Pullman is not Vienna

I agree with Chuck Pezeshki that Vienna is a wonderful city (Opinion, May 22). I like to stay at the Bristol Hotel, which is across the street from the opera house.

The advantage that Vienna enjoys over Pullman is that it has a population that can support many public amenities. Austria has a population density of about 260 people per square mile. To apply that density to Whitman County would yield a population of about 550,000 with two-thirds living in Pullman. Yes, Pullman would be a city of 360,000.

Following the Vienna example, most folks would live in multistory apartment buildings with the ground floors making perfect locations for many small shops supplying necessities to the residents living upstairs.

Sadly, Whitman County only can offer a population of about 42,000 or about 20 folks per square mile. About two-thirds, or 28,000, live in Pullman. Of these, about half live in the square mile next to the university. The others live within about eight square miles, or approximately 1,800 to a square mile. This is not enough population to support much mass transit. But, if Washington state were like Austria, our population would be 19 million and there would be lots of trams, highways, and maybe even a subway from the CUB to Bishop Boulevard.

For Pullman, I would rather have at least one super Wal-Mart-type department store with an inventory of upwards of 200,000 items augmented by many specialty shops instead of large numbers of nearly identical neighborhood stores with inventories of 5,000 items as in Vienna.

Donald D. Pelton

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Happy Birthday TWO Palousitics!

On June 21, 2005, I thought I would give the whole blogging thing a try. I wrote some thoughts on I-912, the initiative to repeal the 9 1/2 cent gas tax, that virtually no one read but me (and my wife, who deserves more credit than anyone for putting up with all my blogging and politicking.)

I had no idea then that, two years later, I would be joined by a dozen or so other local conservative voices and that Palousitics (if I had known it would be so popular, I would have picked a more pronouncable name) would grow to have 1,826 posts that have been read by over 100,000 unique visitors from every continent (except Antarctica, still working on that goal.) Blogs on Palousitics have been linked to major regional and national blogs, as well as covered in the national news. I think we have definitely changed the conversation about news and politics on the Palouse. Certainly, the cabal of WSU left-wing intelligensia no longer hold a monopoly on public ideas and discourse in Pullman and they can no longer conceal their activities beneath the friendly local media (ask David Leonard and John Streamas). As Justice Louis Brandeis said, "Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman."

This last year was the best so far, with the WSU College Republicans, Paul E. Zimmerman, Satanic Mechanic, Barenjager, and the great Michael Costello joining in the fun.

Palousitics has changed its look several times since that first post two years ago. We've opened up the discussion to include national as well as local politics. You can count on things to continue to evolve, but the conservative focus will always remain the same.

Here's to another great year! And my heartfelt thanks to all for making it possible!

The News Media Favor Democrats?

Who knew?

Nancy Pelosi's NewSpeak

Give credit where credit is due. Nancy Pelosi has managed to keep on of the promises she made during the 2006 election.

In the 2006 campaign, the Democrats promised earmark reform. They've succeeded - sort of, by changing the language. According to Nancy Pelosi, there are no more earmarks, only "legislatively directed spending requests."

I am not making this up.

Another Reason to Like Fred Thompson

If I had to point to the one trait that most endears me to Fred Thompson,it's his plain speaking and the total absence of weasel words in his speech

While most politicians dance around the "M" word and the "I" word when it comes to war and terrorism, Fred Thompson does not. Can you imagine fighting WWII with politicians fearful of offending Germany or Japan?
And, while most politicians and most of the mainstream media genuflect before the Council on American Islamic Relations, Fred Thompson does not. And here, he points out what the media have largely been keeping to themselves, that CAIR is not a homegrown mainstream Muslim organisation, but foreign funded front group representing the interests of those often hostile to the US.

I've talked before about the Council on American-Islamic Relations -- most recently because it filed that lawsuit against Americans who reported suspicious behavior by Muslims on a U.S. Airways flight. Better known just as CAIR, the lobbying group has come under a lot of scrutiny lately for its connections to terror-supporting groups. This time, though, The Washington Times has uncovered some very good news about the group.

For years, CAIR has claimed to represent millions of American Muslims. In fact, they claim to represent more Muslim in American than ... there are in America. This has alarmed Americans in general as the group often seems to be more aligned with our enemies than us -- which isn't surprising as it spun off from a group funded by Hamas. As you know, Hamas has been waging a terrorist war against Israel and calls for its total destruction. It also promises to see America destroyed. Nowadays, Hamas is busy murdering its Palestinian political rivals.

Even with this history, and CAIR's conspicuous failure to condemn Hamas by name, it has been treated as if represents Muslim Americans by our own government. The good news is that the financial support CAIR claims to have among American Muslims is a myth. We know this because The Washington Times got hold of the group's IRS tax records.

CAIR's dues-paying membership has shrunk 90 percent since 9/11 -- from 29,000 in 2000 to only 1,700 last year. CAIR's annual income from dues plunged from $733,000 to $59,000. Clearly, America's Muslims are not supporting this group -- and I'm happy to hear about it.

Of course, every silver lining seems to have a cloud; and this cloud is that CAIR's spending is running about $3 million a year. They’ve opened 25 new chapters in major cities across the country even as their dues shrank to a pittance. The question is; who’s funding CAIR?

CAIR's not saying. The New York Times earlier this year reported that the backing is from "wealthy Persian Gulf governments" including the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Obviously, we have a bigger problem here than the one with CAIR.

We are in a war, not just for our own survival, but for the survival of Western Culture and Christendom. We need leaders willing to take this seriously. So far, only one candidate takes the threat seriously enough to even acknowlege the threat without qualifiers or apologies.