Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, August 31, 2007

"The usual collection of local anti-everything folks"

Keith Bloom, WSU Director of Construction Services and Capital Planning and Development, is quoted in today's Daily Evergreen as saying, “Some people believe that if there is contention and debate it’s a bad thing, but it is necessary for public debate and for all sides to be heard.”

I like Keith a lot, but I respectfully disagree.

Keith, in fact, actually inadvertently stated the reason I disagree in further comments to the Evergreen
“Some of it may have been overstated,” Bloom said. “We have a culture of the media fostering fear within our modern society and in the media. Some of this was evident, and some people were more fearful than they need to be.”
By holding events like this, WSU has allowed the anti-growth fearmongers to be heard again by that media and foster even more fear. We have now seen stories in the Tribune, the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the Daily Evergreen, and on KLEW TV all give distinctly negative impressions about the Palouse Ridge Golf Club and citizen feelings about it. Unsubstantiated allegations are made by the opposition in the media with no chance for rebuttal. But after all, it is controversy and contention that sells newspapers and airtime, not boring old cooperation and agreement.

And what was the point? As WSU Executive Director of Real Estate Operations and External Affairs Mel Taylor was quoted as saying in yesterday's Daily News, "I don't think not opening the golf course is an option."

So now where there was nothing heard about the golf course a few months ago, the hornet's nest is now abuzz. This won't affect WSU. The golf course is almost built and the state always gets what it wants. No, we'll see fallout from this down the road. Like Keith told KLEW TV, "We have a history in Pullman of chasing away business or chasing away economic growth.”

Exactly. And it is those same anti-everything people that chase away business and economic growth that showed up at Wednesday's forum. Getting all this media coverage just energizes their batteries.

An example of what I'm talking about was reported in yesterday's Daily News:
Pullman resident Cheryl Morgan said the university is being "unethical" by drawing so much water in an area she said has been proven to have a depleting aquifer. Citing data from the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee and other studies, Morgan expressed her disgust with the university's "unconscionable disregard" for area residents by claiming so much shared water.
A search of the Daily News archives shows that Ms. Morgan has been against everything proposed to be built in and around Pullman for the last 9 years:

January 6, 1998
A housing development on Pullman's Military Hill is back on track after neighboring property owners withdrew their appeal of the city's environmental review.

On Monday, Larry and Cheryl Morgan said after meeting with the engineers for Copper Basin Construction and local developer Steve Mader their concerns about runoff from the affordable housing project had been addressed.

The Morgans had filed their appeal in December, saying not enough had been done to control increased runoff from the project which would have traveled over their property and an old city dump.
May 20, 1998
The Pullman City Council on Tuesday approved preliminary plans for the Emerald Pointe development on Sunnyside Hill -- despite protests from landowners concerned about the increased runoff from the site adjacent to Golden Hills.

Carolyn Wyatt, who has lived on Haywood Road for 18 years, said since the Golden Hills development went in she's seen more runoff in the canyon below Davis Way than ever before.

Wyatt said she's not against well-planned development but she doesn't see any guarantees the problem won't get worse.

That sentiment was echoed by a number of residents of Hatley Canyon, including Cheryl Morgan who said the city was ignoring state water quality laws regarding runoff.

"We can't take any more water down there," she said. "We shouldn't be taking the water we already are."
July 29, 1998
In Pullman, the low point appears to be Hatley Canyon where residents complain they've watched as the runoff from developments on Sunnyside and Military hills flow down through their properties to the South Fork of the Palouse River.

The subject came up again Tuesday, as the City Council approved the final plat for Sunnyside Heights subdivision No. 2 near Crestview Street and Alcora Drive.

After members of the council raised questions about possible runoff problems in the area around the subdivision, canyon resident Cheryl Morgan brought up the issue of responsibility for controlling storm water runoff and sediment from the development.

The state Department of Ecology issues permits requiring developers to deal with this problem, she said. But she questioned whether developers were actually doing this.

She also noted that DOE has the ability to levy hefty fines against developers who don't control the runoff from their property.
October 1, 1998
The council on Tuesday approved the final plat for the first phase of the Emerald Pointe development, as well as the proposed planned residential development plan.

The first phase of the development encompasses 18 acres and includes 30 single-family residences.

The total development is planned for 86 acres and would include 132 single-family homes, 240 apartments and 96 townhouses.

The biggest concern about the project was again voiced by people who live below Emerald Pointe along the South Fork of the Palouse River.

Area resident Cheryl Morgan said she's still not convinced the problem is solved.

During the 1996 flood, Morgan said the retention pond did little to slow down the waters which eventually washed over two county roads and their property.
November 18, 1998
He said plans were to meet today with engineers for Emerald Pointe and require the developer build a berm which would protect the homes below the fill should it slide.

Schaumloffel, in a letter to the council submitted Monday, said the city should have moved more quickly. That sentiment was echoed by Cheryl Morgan, who lives below the development and Golden Hills in Hatley Canyon.

Morgan has consistently raised questions about runoff and soil erosion caused by the development. On Tuesday, she said the city needs to do a better job of responding to concerns.

"I know everyone says they're overworked, but that's not acceptable where lives and safety are concerned," she said. "You've got to take these concerns with more respect for those of us impacted."
August 18, 1999
It's like a giant puddle the city constantly has to jump over without getting wet.

Discussions over preliminary plans for development in Pullman were prolonged on Tuesday as members of the City Council again were reminded of concerns over runoff.

"I don't think the standards placed on developers are near adequate enough," said Hayward Road resident Cheryl Morgan.

Her comments came as the council approved the preliminary plats for the third and fourth subdivision of Paradise Ridge on the city's Military Hill.

The two preliminary plats outline the division of 15.7 acres into 42 lots and public streets near Pullman High School.

But after that development is complete, Morgan said, it's the people downstream who have the problems.

"We're not trying to stop development," she said.

"We're trying to work with them and trying to protect our property."
July 12, 2000
It's a pond built to capture flood waters from a rain storm that occurs approximately every 100 years.

Yet some Whitman County residents are concerned the kidney-shaped pool on Pullman's Sunnyside Hill will not properly regulate storm waters through their downstream neighborhood in Hatley Canyon.

The 20-foot deep pond was installed to collect storm water runoff from the new Emerald Pointe subdivision being built near the Golden Hills neighborhood.

Contractors of the development are ready to embark on phase two of the development, which includes eight homes to be built on separate quarter-acre parcels.

In order to move forward with the second phase of the development, the Pullman Planning Commission must first recommend approval to the City Council.

The commission's vote will follow a public hearing tonight, where Hatley Canyon residents, such as Cheryl Morgan, are planning to speak.


Bob Olsen, vice president of Emerald Estates, said, "it's nothing short of a miracle that this project is going on. There are just so many obstacles."
July 14, 2000

Prior to the Emerald Pointe development, Cheryl Morgan, a resident of Hatley Canyon, said in 1996 her front yard turned into a mini-river from rainwater flowing down from the Sunnyside Hill area.

At the public hearing Wednesday, Morgan raised concern about storm water runoff.

She mentioned the past winter and spring were not bad rain seasons. With housing development overtaking the land upstream, Morgan wonders what condition her property would be in if a major storm hit.
July 26, 2000
The Emerald Pointe subdivision project on Sunnyside Hill is inching toward completion.

Pullman City Council members Tuesday approved another phase of the development, which calls for eight single-family homes to be built on 2.1 acres.

The phase is the second of a six-phase project to build 125 homes, 66 condominiums and 60 town homes on the hill. Completion of the project is scheduled for 2007.

Although construction is moving forward, community concern continues about storm water runoff.

Hatley Canyon residents like Cheryl Morgan are concerned a 20-foot deep pond -- built to capture storm water from street catch basins on the hill -- will not work properly.

Morgan's property in the past has flooded following heavy rainstorms. Her front yard is in the path of the natural runoff channel that descends from Sunnyside Hill.

Developers of Emerald Pointe built the kidney-shaped pond to handle a major storm that occurs approximately every 100 years.

The city requires developments like Emerald Pointe to build 20-year storm water retention systems.

Morgan is not convinced the pond will work.

Before council members unanimously approved the phase, Morgan approached the podium and unfolded a letter sent to the city last year from engineer Randell Hahn.
August 17, 2001
Some Whitman County residents say storm water coming down from housing developments on Pullman's hills is more than the Hatley Creek basin can handle.

Cheryl Morgan, representing 10 families that live on Hayward Road, addressed the Whitman County commissioners earlier this week for the fifth time since March 1999.

The developments are in the city of Pullman, but Hayward Road is in the county. Morgan said there should be more cooperation and planning between Pullman and Whitman County to deal with the problem, which she contends has become worse over the past five years.
April 2, 2002
More than three dozen sites in Whitman County became eligible as highway-waterway commercial zones Monday, but officials said they doubt more than four or five will be found suitable.

The zoning ordinance amendment approved by Whitman County commissioners after a public hearing Monday pertains to property near intersections of two state highways or a state highway and a paved county road.


Cheryl Morgan, who lives on Hayward Road near Pullman, said she also was concerned about safety issues. She said her main concern was whether there would be sufficient enforcement of screening requirements.

"Conditional permits are great, but if there's no enforcement, you might as well have a blank piece of paper," she said.
April 8, 2002

A proposed zoning amendment on its way to Whitman County commissioners would allow concrete manufacturing plants as a conditional use in some parts of the Pullman-Moscow corridor.


Cheryl Morgan, a Pullman resident opposed to the zoning amendment, said the rule would be contrary to at least two of the county's stated goals related to development of the corridor.

The zoning amendment to the county's comprehensive plan that set rules for development in the Pullman-Moscow corridor was approved in August 1999.

One of the goals of the zone is to enhance the scenic and environmental quality of the corridor. Another calls for encouraging public use of the Chipman Trail.

The zoning amendment runs counter to those goals, Morgan said.

"Concrete asphalt processing plants were exempt from the 1999 (Pullman Moscow Corridor) comprehensive plan for very good reasons -- to protect the quality of air, water and scenic resources," Morgan stated in a letter to Bordsen in February. "That same protection is of significance today and in the future."

Morgan and other opponents of the amendment say the cumulative impact on the environment, including the Chipman Trail and Paradise Creek, is not being considered under the zoning amendment, which would allow concrete pre-mix plants on either side of State Route 270.

"For some unknown reason, there is no mention within the environmental review sections of the (State Environmental Policy Act) and in these findings of fact that Paradise Creek even exists in the Pullman-Moscow Corridor District," Morgan said in written comments in response to the planning commission's findings of fact.
April 23, 2002
Whitman County commissioners will vote next week on a zoning amendment that would allow concrete manufacturing plants in parts of the Pullman-Moscow corridor.


Cheryl Morgan of Pullman, another opponent of the amendment, read a letter on behalf of herself and corridor residents Dan and Tina Welter.

"We're not opposed to development, but there are certain types of development that are incompatible for some areas," Morgan said.

Morgan said she agreed development requires good planning, but added, "we're kind of hesitant the commissioners are going to do that."
January 27, 2005
In other business, the Planning Commission recommended division of the proposed 14-acre Wawawai Subdivision into 50 lots.

Dana Meshishneck, a co-owner of the property, said he intends to sell the lots as affordable housing for middle income families.

"Our dismay is a lack of buildable lots in the city of Pullman in an affordable price range," Meshishneck said.

Meshishneck's property is uphill from the home owned by Larry and Cheryl Morgan, and Cheryl Morgan voiced her opposition to the development at the meeting. Morgan said she is concerned that stormwater from the development will drain into Hatley Creek, which runs through her front yard.

"We're opposed to having our private property turned into a public stormwater sewer," Morgan said.
February 9, 2005
Pullman has taken steps to restrict the use of fireworks within city limits, but some say those restrictions don't go far enough.


Resident Cheryl Morgan asked Pullman Police Chief Ted Weatherly how many arrests were made as a result of fireworks complaints last year.

Weatherly said there were six warnings and one infraction issued. He did not say how many complaints had been made, but said the police are limited in how they can respond to fireworks complaints.

"As with any misdemeanor, we are restricted," Weatherly said. "We can take witness statements, we can refer to the prosecutor, but we cannot make the arrest."

Morgan said she thinks the new ordinance will be ineffective if police can't arrest the people who set off illegal fireworks.

"We have no confidence because they've told us they cannot protect us," Morgan said. "I think a ban is about the only thing that would protect the safety and welfare of the citizens."
April 13, 2005

Rural Pullman residents Larry and Cheryl Morgan said continued development on Sunnyside Hill could result in their property being wiped out the next time Hatley Creek floods.

Over the Morgans' objections, the Pullman City Council approved plans for two new subdivisions on Sunnyside Hill at its meeting Tuesday.

Cheryl Morgan was present to argue, as she often has in the past, that storm water runoff into Hatley Creek from housing developments on Sunnyside Hill amount to a public utility encroaching on her private property. She said the city of Colfax charges a fee for stormwater runoff.

"It's no different than a telephone line," Morgan said.

Morgan pleaded with the council not to approve Copper Basin's Whispering Hills and Rafik and Marysue Itani's Sunnyside Heights Addition No. 5 subdivisions until the developers obtained stormwater easements from property owners in the Hatley Creek basin.

City Attorney Laura McAloon said, in this specific instance, she did not believe an easement was required.

"There is no trespass," McAloon said. "Under the facts of this development, the discharge is appropriate."

Larry Morgan told the council he and his wife are not trying to stop development on Sunnyside Hill.
July 28, 2005
Cheryl Morgan feels she has gone through the gauntlet in eight years of confronting City Hall over water run-off issues.

Shes weary. She often suspects her voice as a citizen is ignored. But being a part of the process is too important for her to give up the fight.

A discussion of the process brought Morgan to the Pullman Planning Commission on Wednesday night. It wasnt her first appearance there. Most of the members call Morgan by her first name.


What Im hearing here tonight is very disturbing, Morgan said. We citizens feel the staff are the salesmen and you are there to just enforce what they say.

We dont want to say the Planning Commission is the rubber stamp for the city staff, but thats how we feel. ... If you dont want to get all the information and have your own mind, why do we have a planning commission? I dont know.
January 2, 2006
Cheryl Morgan doesnt let her animals drink from Hatley Creek.

The once clear, meandering creek has become a cloudy channel for storm water run-off from development on Sunnyside Hill in Pullman. Morgan fears storm water has brought pollutants that could poison her animals and the environment.


Morgan submitted comments in favor of the Phase II permits because she said the new regulations will make the city take a harder look at the effects of development. She has been battling City Hall for about eight years over storm water drainage into Hatley Creek.

The Hatley Creek Basin covers more than 760 acres, including the area of Sunnyside Hill and Wawawai Road that has been a focal point of housing development in Pullman over the last few years. In 2005, 195 residential lots were approved for development along Wawawai Road.

Morgans concern is that all of that development bottlenecks runoff into an outlet that runs through her front yard on Hayward Road. The change in the stream is visible. Photos Morgan took of Hatley Creek in 1997 show a flat stream flowing over grasses with little or no bank. The creek today is deeply channeled from the storm water flowing through its bed. The water also is much cloudier than it was a decade ago, Morgan said.

There was more clay after the Golden Hills development went in, Morgan said. I have a neighbor who had a pond. It was all filled in with clay.

Morgan fenced off the land where she once allowed her horses to graze free. She wanted to keep them out of the water.

Water quality is very much a concern of ours for livestock, Morgan said. Nobody knows what pollutants are going into our streams.

Nobody knows because nobody has ever tested the water quality in Hatley Creek. Duncan could only say the Department of Ecology is investigating the issue.
February 1, 2006
The Whispering Hills housing development became a topic of some heated conversation Tuesday night even though the Wawawai Road project wasnt on the City Councils agenda.

The debate centered around the citys requirements for stormwater detention in housing developments within the Hatley Creek basin. Cheryl Morgan, who lives at the bottom of the basin, complained to the council that the collective stormwater run-off from development is devastating the portion of Hatley Creek that runs through her land.

The basin covers more than 760 acres, including the area of Sunnyside Hill and Wawawai Road that has been a focal point of housing the development in Pullman over the last few years. Morgans concern is that all of that development bottlenecks runoff into an outlet that runs through her front yard on Hayward Road.

Were telling you people youre not looking at the cumulative effect for people downstream, Morgan said.

Her comments were part of a public meeting on the approval of the preliminary plat for the Sunnyside Heights No. 6 subdivision. The subdivision is the sixth phase of a housing development on Sunnyside Hill off of Wawawai Road planned by Pullman developers Rafik and MarySue Itani.

The discussion quickly turned to another subdivision Copper Basins Whispering Hills development. Morgan told the council the detention ponds in the development are failing and releasing more water into the creek than city standards allow.

Detention ponds are designed to hold back stormwater that drains from paved surfaces and then slowly release limited amounts into natural drainages. Water rolls off of paved surfaces rather than being absorbed into the ground, as it would have before the land was developed.

The problem with the detention ponds in Whispering Hills is that a contractor failed to properly stabilize the site, which meant too much silt was getting into the water, Copper Basin President Steve White said in a telephone interview today. The contractor is treating the silted water and pumping it out into a drainage ditch on Wawawai Road under the supervision of the Washington Department of Ecology, he said.

Morgan cited the problems with the Whispering Hills detention ponds as an example of the failure of existing city standards to protect Hatley Creek from stormwater drainage. She has appeared before the City Council numerous times over the past eight years to plead for stricter standards, including requiring retention of stormwater instead of detention.

The city responded to some of Morgans concerns in 1999 by commissioning a study of stormwater drainage in the Hatley Creek Basin, Public Works Director Mark Workman said in a telephone interview today. After the study was completed in 2000, the city created a new, stricter set of standards for the basin. But by that time, some development had already occurred. All housing developments on Wawawai Road since 2000 have had to meet the stricter requirements. That should mean less stormwater is being discharged from building sites after construction than before construction.

Morgan told the council Tuesday night the stricter Hatley Creek standards dont go far enough.

I encourage you to look at it. Weve got to do something different, she said.
Funny how Morgan she is "not against development", and then she opposes every new development, whether it affects her directly or no. Thank God no ever listens to Morgan. If the Paradise Ridge subdivision had not been built, my wife and I would not have been able to afford our first home a few years ago.

Upcoming NRA Banquet

At the of offending the 314th Hector, The NRA will be holding it's annual Friends of the NRA Banquet on Thursday, September 20 in Moscow.

Deadline for the Early Bird Drawing entries is tomorrow midnight, Sept. 1.

If you recruit a new attendee (never been to our banquet before), both you and your newbie get entered in a drawing for a SIG .22 pistol!!

If you need tickets call Jeremy Lessmann (509)330-1822.

Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places

Larry Craig is gone.

Too bad really. Larry Craig was a good Second Amendment guy. But, when you represent a party that has standards, this is the price you have to pay for straying.

Gregoire Tells Voters To Stick It Where The Sun Don't Shine

King County Governor Christine Gregoire's attitude toward Washington's new sunshine law can only be described as ironic.

First, she appoints Tom Carr, a notoriously anti-open government attorney to chair the state's new sunshine committee.

So, if Ms. Gregoire believes that Mr. Carr is best suited to lead this committee, it's perfectly reasonable, under the new Sunshine Law, to ask who the rejected candidates were. Ms. Gregoire refuses.

Gov. Chris Gregoire has refused to reveal the identities of some people who weren't picked for seats on the state's new "Sunshine Committee."

Gregoire, responding to an Associated Press public records request, has kept secret several resumes, letters and e-mail exchanges from unsuccessful applicants to the committee.

In her reply, the Democratic governor cited an exemption to public records law that says applications for public employment can be kept secret.

Open government experts scoffed at that reasoning, pointing out that compensation for Sunshine Committee service is limited to travel reimbursements that several members don't actually qualify for.

"That doesn't make them employees of the state," said Toby Nixon, acting president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and a former state legislator.

"I don't think what the governor is doing in terms of withholding these documents, claiming they are applications for employment, is right at all," Nixon said. "And I think that the word ironic is a very good word."

If nothing else, she's consistent. She's always looking to subvert laws passed by the little people.

Blogger Conference Call with Governor Mike Huckabee

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's surprising second-place finish at the Iowa Straw Poll has clearly helped his campiagn gain needed traction (and funding). A new set of American Research Group polls are out this morning and they show a tremendous increase in support. Prior to the straw poll, this same polling firm had Huckabee's campaign polling at 1% in Iowa in July, 1% in New Hampshire and 3% in South Carolina. Yesterday, the numbers were 14% in Iowa, 9% in New Hampshire and 9% in South Carolina.

But with Fred Thompson set to enter the race next week, how can Governor Huckabee keep this momentum going? That was one of the topics of a conference call with the Governor that I just participated in.

Here is what Mike had to say initially:
Iowa straw poll was a seminal moment. Gaining lots more media coverage.

Huckabee spoke to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers convention in Orlando last week. For the first time in 119 years, the union endorsed a Republican candidate. Union stated it did so because Huckabee was only Republican with guts to meet with them. Huckabee said he didn't agree with the union on every issue, but they agreed they could work together.

Fund-raising is going exceptionally well.

3-4 times normal website traffic.

There are now 150 bloggers for Huckabee.
Then he field some questions from us bloggers:
On Fred Thompson Entering the Race: Fred Thompson will have a hard time meeting the very high expectations set for him. Thompson could have entered before the New Hampshire debate but didn't, dsiappointing some New Hampshire Republicans.

Travel and Appearances: Has to concentrate on early primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina) for now to stay competitive in the race and fundraising. Not a lot of extra time for travel elsewhere, as he flys commercial 90% of the time.

Trade with China: For free trade, but it has to be fair. Doesn't feel trade with China is fair because of the regulations there. Time for U.S. to draw a line in the sand with the Chinese urging them to improve standards. Our first job is to protect American jobs and the U.S. economy.

Gay Marriage: Overturning of Defense of Marriage Act by judge in Iowa yesterday shows why it is important who we elect and who gets appointed to courts. When liberals redefine what marriage means, it has crossed the line.

Health Care: To solve the health care crisis, we need to change the rules to encourage personal responsibility so people can be rewarded for living healthy lifestyles, not unhealthy lifestyles.

Curbing Government Spending: Wants to turn lights on government spending. Have every government transaction posted on the Internet. Will exercise veto pen. Work towards balanced budget amendment.

On Fair Tax and Criticism by Club for Growth: Supports the Fair Tax. Supported by true economic conservatives. Attacks have come from special interest groups who have an interest in protecting certain groups like hedge fund managers. In capitalism, you make sure the people who help you make the money benefit. If you don't, it's immoral and greedy. Wants to get rid of burdensome regulations on business like Sarbanes-Oxley.

Endorsement by Stephen Strang: The publisher of New Man magazine, affilated with the Christian men's organization "Promise Keepers," has endorsed the Huckabee campaign. That has meant a lot to the Governor.
There will be another conference call after the New Hampshire debate. I hope to ask a question about either Iraq or immigration then.

BREAKING NEWS: Wal-Mart Appeal Hearing Date Set

The date for the hearing of PARD's appeal of the Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Division III Court of Appeals in Spokane has been set for October 19, almost a year to the day after Judge David Frazier rejected their last appeal in Whitman County Superior Court. Notice there will be no oral arguments heard. The end is in sight.

Stay tuned for more details.

Hillary Declares Her Opposition to Cancer

Hillary Clinton took what was possibly her boldest policy stance since declaring her candidacy for president: She's anti-cancer.
Unfortunately for her, Jay Leno has been following her career for a while and predicts how this will play out should she be elected.

"Speaking at a forum organized by Lance Armstrong on cancer research, Hillary Clinton told Chris Matthews if she is elected president, she will declare war on cancer, and then she will support the war on cancer for two years, and then she will be against it for a year, and then she will back out of it all together"
-- Jay Leno, host of NBC's "Tonight Show."

Sorry - No link. It's behind the Wall Street Journal's subscription service.

The same page also has this deja vu-all-over-again story too.

Norman Hsu, the fugitive from justice who may have illegally funneled over a million dollars to Hillary Clinton and other leading Democrats, has apparently gone missing. The New York Times tried to find the elusive Mr. Hsu this week and ran into a stone wall.

There are no offices for Mr. Hsu at any of the addresses he listed for his companies, and at the elegant residential tower that he gives as his personal address, Times reporters were told he moved out two years ago.

Even E. Lawrence Barcella, Mr. Hsu's lawyer, seemed to be abandoning his client. He said that Mr. Hsu was getting a California lawyer to represent him over a warrant that was issued there in the 1990s when Mr. Hsu failed to show up for a court hearing after pleading no contest to grand theft charges. Mr. Barcella carefully declined to comment on the whereabouts of his client and stressed that he won't be handling Mr. Hsu's argument with California authorities: "On that matter, he will be represented by California counsel."

All of this is very reminiscent of the 1996 Clinton fundraising scandal. A total of 120 witnesses either fled the country, pleaded the Fifth Amendment or otherwise were unavailable for questioning. In the end, a total of 14 people were found guilty on various charges relating to the scandal. No wonder the Hillary Clinton campaign wants to change the subject away from Mr. Hsu.

John Fund

I have a feeling that we'll once againg be following Clinton campaign money all the way back to the Chinese Red Army again.

I'd like to wonder if these people will every learn, but I think they have learned - that the mainstream press will never hold them accountable. So, why shouldn't they cavort with criminals and solicit dirty cash? They're going to get away with it.

"Pulling out sends the wrong signal; Long-term benefits of staying outweigh short-term benefits of withdrawal"

Last year, two WSU Young Democrats were opinion writers for the Daily Evergreen. There seems to be no shortage of Evergreen op-ed writers again this year suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome either, but I was heartened to notice today that not one, but two conservative student commentators, including Alex Williams, a member of the WSU College Republicans, are writing columns for the Evergreen.

The first column by Graham Dart is titled "Tales of Bush's tyranny overstated; Wild comparisons need to be reigned in" and does a great job addressing the constant argumentum ad Nazium/reductio ad Hitlerum arguments favored by campus moonbats and the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies.

Alex's column details an event the CRs held Wednesday on Glenn Terrell Mall. C'mon guys, post some stories and pics here on the blog! It sounds very interesting:
This being my first column in this newspaper, I would like to introduce myself as a conservative voice for The Daily Evergreen. Here are a few things to expect from me in my future columns:

First and foremost there will be no “Bush Bashing” – the election is over and has been for a long time. Get over it and move on. There is always 2008 (good luck with that, Hillary).

“Mr. Bush” shall be known as President Bush, just as I still call John Kerry a distinguished lieutenant for firing his M-16 blindly into the water and getting shrapnel in his arm.

You will actually hear the other side of current issues; believe it or not everything you read in the liberal media is not always right. I encourage you to read both sides of issues and decide for yourself.

Other things that I will tend to write about are the political movements on the WSU campus itself. This leads me to my first topic of the year – the College Republicans’ “Safe Sex Drive,” where they promoted that the “Pull-Out Method” is ineffective pertaining to the war in Iraq.

On Wednesday, the WSU College Republicans (0f which I am a member) held a “Safe Sex Drive” on the Glenn Terrell Mall expressing their beliefs on how the United States must stick with their current plan in Iraq and not pull out until the job is finished. The pull out method simply does not work.

The military has been in Iraq too long and put so much time, effort, money and lives into the war on terror that it simply is illogical to withdraw all the troops at once at this point in time. Pulling out would cause the democratic government currently set up to collapse, giving Iraqi insurgents and terrorists the chance to overthrow the current Iraqi government. This would be a complete disaster and put innocent people in imminent danger. The United States has accomplished too much by freeing the country of Iraq from one of the most brutal dictators in the modern world. Why make the irrational decision to leave with the job half done?

Heartless or stupid you may call me. Well guess what? Whether you believe the war in Iraq is just or not, we are part of it. Just like many people here on campus, I too have family overseas and want nothing more than for them to come home safely. However, I have come to the realization that in order for the soldiers to ever come home we must do what is right. We must finish the task at hand ensuring that the Iraqi people can have a little something that we call freedom, and freedom is never free.

We Can't Handle The Truth

Summer of Love defeatist Democrats are upset - someone's telling the truth about them.

A delegation of congressional surrender monkeys were upset to find that the soldiers they were meeting in Iraq had been informed of their voting records and excerpts from their speeches. They called it, "being slimed."

In the soldier's hand was a thumbnail biography, distributed before each of the congressmen's meetings in Baghdad, which let meeting participants such as that soldier know where each of the lawmakers stands on the war. "Moran on Iraq policy," read one section, going on to cite some the congressman's most incendiary statements, such as, "This has been the worst foreign policy fiasco in American history."

The bio of Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.) -- "TAU (rhymes with 'now')-sher," the bio helpfully relates -- was no less pointed, even if she once supported the war and has taken heat from liberal Bay Area constituents who remain wary of her position. "Our forces are caught in the middle of an escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq, with no end in sight," the bio quotes.

Good grief! You'd think that somebody flashed a cross at vampire.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Castro and Europinkos Agree - Vote Hillary

It's not just Fidel who wants to see Hillary win in '08.

The French and Germans agree with the Cuban thugocrat.

More than four in 10 French and Germans would like to see Democratic candidate and former first lady Hillary Clinton elected US president in 2008, a survey by a Canadian pollster showed on Wednesday.

The Angus Reid institute also found Clinton to be the preferred candidate of British, Italian and Canadian respondents to its poll, which asked them to choose between eight of the US politicians running for the nomination.

Of course, the French and the Germans wanted John Effing Kerry to win too. And, I'm sure we know who Osama wants.

Cowgirl Up!

Davy Crockett, eat your heart out.

Mrs. Tennessee America Bitten by Rattlesnake, Saved by Mrs. Idaho

Mrs. Idaho's blog can be found here.

Welcome Will G!

Please welcome aboard Will G, a new unmoderated commenter/contributor here at Palousitics. Will has a solid, common sense perspective on the issues and I look forward to hearing more from him.

The Professor's Progress

I have nothing against professors. In fact, I'm married to a member of the WSU faculty. I know professors are very intelligent and well-educated people who have worked hard to get where they are. I have friends, political allies, and people whom I admire very much that are or were professors.

What I am against are very intellectual people who purposefully turn a blind eye to all reason, evidence, logic, and truth in the name of some political ideology and espouse patently nutty ideas like Chuck Pezeshki's economic desert, Queen Nancy's eco-communalist "sustainable Mexican fishing village" and PARD's latest "Buy Local" campaign. To believe that the Palouse can be some sort of self-sufficient hippie commune where all we need is love and that we're somehow not part of a global economy is to ignore all reality.

I have been tough on WSU professor Kathryn Meier in the past. She has written some really awful NIMBY drivel. But in her last Town Crier column in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News, I have to give her credit for opening up her mind and discovering some of the things we all already know, even if it doesn't follow the politically correct party line:
A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of attending a local sustainability dinner sponsored by Rural Roots in Moscow and initiated by a group from New York

The setting was magnificent, the bluegrass music was great, the company was very enjoyable and the food was wonderful.

As you might expect, many of the participants were already committed to sustainability issues. I don't consider myself an apostle of sustainability, even though my husband and I raise and grow much of our own food. We do so primarily for personal enjoyment, exercise, and food quality - not on the basis of political principle. I am certainly not in league with the "freegans," who attempt to utilize exclusively local products, and to barter rather than using currency. This seems unnecessarily complicated to me, albeit in the guise of simplicity. However, the dinner and other publicity have made me think a bit more about what sustainability means.

In the broadest sense, it appears that the sustainability initiatives are designed to make us think about how we can live more harmoniously in our environment, using the minimal amount of resources. I think this is a goal everyone can appreciate, and one that can be approached at many levels. On the surface, it would seem that sustainability is more easily achieved on the Palouse than in a large urban center, since we are in a food-producing region.

However, international economics make this more complicated than it appears. Much of the food grown locally is exported, and there are relatively few produce farmers in the area. Moreover, much of the farming we do is dependent on petroleum energy obtained from distant sites. Thus, matters quickly become more complicated. Finally, I would note that our farm experienced freezes Aug. 11, and again Monday - emphasizing the difficulty of sustaining oneself in an area with a short and fickle growing season.

Monday, I drove down to Lewiston to pick up some supplies, including animal feed. Several thoughts crossed my mind on the way home. First, while in Clarkston at a big-box store, I succumbed to the impulse to purchase a new frozen pesto-based pizza that was imported from Italy. On the way back, I realized this was quite a silly thing to do. We can make good pizza at home, using some of our own produce and homemade pesto in the process. Does it make any sense to purchase pizza that has been flown across the globe from Italy? I was falling prey to the "convenience" aspect as well as to the opportunity to try something new. We all make decisions like this every day. The decisions may not be "wrong," but we might choose to do otherwise if we kept the bigger picture in mind.

I next began to consider the trip as a whole. We are accustomed to driving relatively long distances for supplies on the Palouse. While this is easy and pleasant, at least in summer, it consumes fuel. I may feel smug about my use of a hybrid vehicle, but it still uses petroleum. The only good excuse that I could come up with is that I made use of a single trip to shop at several stores, and even picked a flat of wild blackberries along the way.

In the end, I conclude that all of us can do better, but that the freegan ideal is impossible for most of us. In my particular case, the air travel required of an active academician uses excessive resources, no matter how well justified. Thus, we all make compromises in our daily lives. I have nothing against a global economy and can only hope that we can use it wisely to trade for goods that cannot be produced locally.

When at home, or trekking across the state or the world, we can all work to become aware of the wonderful products that are available along the way - fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, and crafts - and support the local producers by buying from them directly. We can make more efficient use of our time, and of petroleum-based energy, by foraging as we go. And please don't forget to stop and pick the berries alongside the road.
Yes, choice is wonderful and something we utilize every day. That is what is so fantastic about free enterprise and free trade and why socialism was such a miserable failure. A centrally-planned economy that the liberals so desire takes those decisions and places them in the hands of a few. Humans naturally rebel against such an arrangement.

And the Palouse does benefit quite nicely from that global economy. The wheat, dry peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, and canola we grow are shipped all over the world, as are the cutting-edge electronics of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. Is it too much to ask that we have a few amenities to make life more enjoyable in return?

And as I have pointed out frequently, big box stores in Pullman mean less driving long distances, less fuel consumed and less carbon emissions. If we're going to buy the stuff anyway, why not buy it here? Isn't that what sustainability is all about?

Congrats on the Instalanche, Michael!!!!

Wow, what a week! All the good coverage about Palousitics being the #1 most influential political blog in Washington this week, and now Michael's post on "UN Weapons Inspectors Can't Even Count to 10" just got linked on Instapundit. Palousitics just caught another Instalanche. For those of you who don't know, an Instalanche is considered the Holy Grail in the blogosphere. Our visitors and hits today will increase a thousandfold.

I thank my lucky stars every day that we have a writer of Michael's caliber on Palousitics. I wake up every morning anxious to read what he has blogged about.

UN Weapons Inspectors Can't Even Count To 10

Deadly chemical weapons discovered at the United Nations.

ABCNews has learned that United Nations weapons inspectors discovered six to eight vials of a dangerous nerve gas, phosgene, as they were cleaning out offices at a U.N. building in New York Thursday morning.

How hard is it to count to 8? Use your fingers for God's sake! Do their lips move when they read too? Can they read at all?

Aren't these the guys who are supposed to be keeping track of Iranian uranium enrichment? How many bombs do the North Koreans have?


"WSU, Pullman citizens spar over golf course"

I just heard the story on "The Morning News on NewsTalk! 1150" about the public forum on the WSU Palouse Ridge Golf Course last night. The article below from today's Lewiston Tribune has another report. I didn't attend the forum, so please comment if you were there.

One sentence in the Tribune article reinforces what I wrote last night: "It appeared WSU representatives did little to allay the fears of people concerned about the course's water use." Of course not. They're not interested in facts. They're not interested in compromise. These people will accept nothing less than no growth of any kind. With the course well over halfway built, what is the point in giving the extremists even more print and airtime? They already have a lawsuit that is going to be heard in November.

The article also proves that the golf course enjoys wide support among the non-university residents of Pullman.
Water-use issues on course are of particular concern

PULLMAN - Washington State University officials got an earful Wednesday night from people both for and against the new golf course they are building.

And although some officials even agreed with some of the criticism leveled their way, they said the 18-hole Palouse Ridge Golf Club will be a boon to both the university and the community when it opens late next summer.

One older man in a standing-room-only audience at Pullman's Neill Public Library called WSU on the carpet for stripping vegetation when course construction began last fall. The man, who didn't give his name, said he witnessed four-foot gullies form when fall rains began.

"That should never have happened," he said.

"You're absolutely correct," said WSU Director of Construction Services Keith Bloom, explaining a contractor was overzealous with some dirt work last year. "That will not happen again."

The Washington State Department of Ecology even got involved with the erosion issue, Bloom pointed out. But one woman in the audience said the department didn't hear about the erosion problems until concerned citizens noticed them. Bloom countered that WSU officials were the first to notify the department.

After the meeting, WSU Director of Real Estate Mel Taylor said the contentious nature of the meeting was expected. WSU has been trying to build a new golf course to replace its old, 9-hole layout for decades, but concerns over water use have derailed the project until now.

Several people at the meeting worried about the projected 60 million gallons of water the course will use each year, and accused WSU of ramming the course down the community's throat. But a roughly equal number of the approximately 50 people gathered for the meeting voiced strong support for the course.

Pullman resident Leo Ressa said the old WSU course - which was bulldozed to make way for the new course - was the cheapest day care he and his wife Mollie ever found for their now-grown sons.

"Our kids grew up on that course out there," Ressa said. And the experience paid dividends, he added. His oldest son is now a club pro and another son is an assistant golf coach at Duke University.

Both Pullman Mayor Glen Johnson and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Fritz Hughes touted the course, saying it would help attract new residents and keep retirees from moving.

"I am not a golfer," Johnson said, "but I see this as a tremendous asset for this community."

A young man in the audience who didn't identify himself was a rare voice from the middle. He called himself both an environmentalist and a golf addict. He said WSU was on the right track environmentally with efficient irrigation plans. But he worried the extreme terrain the course is built on would discourage people from walking the course.

Ray Davies, the senior operations manager from the CourseCo company WSU hired to manage Palouse Ridge, said people would be allowed to walk the course, but carts would be encouraged so the pace of play can be maintained. He said a cart will cost about $14. The full proposed fee structure for the course is available online at http://golf.wsu.edu.

It appeared WSU representatives did little to allay the fears of people concerned about the course's water use. Many shook their heads at answers they received, and one woman worried what would happen if the course exceeded its projected 60 million gallon annual water use.

Davies said if that happened, WSU would curtail golf course water use, even to the point the grounds might be harmed.

But the key issue in which everyone seemed to be interested was WSU's long-delayed plan to build a wastewater treatment plant that would supply up to 1.3 million gallons of irrigation water to the city and university every day.

The $13 million project was first vetoed by former [Democratic - thf] Gov. Gary Locke several years ago, then got bumped down WSU's list of building priorities. But WSU Vice President for Business and Finance Greg Royer said the plant will be one of the school's top priorities in its next biennial budget. Pullman Deputy Director of Public Works Kevin Gardes said the plant would take two to three years to design and build, once money is found to build it.

Pullman groundwater conservation activist Scotty Cornelius, the Palouse Water Conservation Network [i.e. Mark Solomon - thf] and the Palouse Group Sierra Club have appealed additional state water rights awarded to WSU earlier this year. The appeal will be heard in Pullman on Nov. 27, according to a news release issued by Cornelius.

"Pullman mulls tax-sharing offer from county"

Market forces will bring growth to the highly underdeveloped Palouse, especially in the areas of retail and housing. We can plan for it and reap the benefits or we can stick our heads in the sand and lose out. Moscow is currently following the latter course. Multi-jurisdictional cooperation on these matters is vital. Again, we can fight and bicker with each other, to everyone's mutual loss, as Moscow is currently doing with Whitman County over the corridor, or work together, as Pullman and Whitman County are doing according to this story in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Agreement could allow city to annex some land without opposition

Whitman County commissioners have reversed their stance on future Pullman annexation in order to advance potential development around the city.

City Supervisor John Sherman reported at Tuesday's City Council meeting that county officials have revised a proposal for a 50-50 split of commercial retail sales tax in the Pullman-Moscow corridor to allow the city some room for growth.

Sherman said the county is ready to allow the city to annex land along the corridor in the future, and is prepared to identify an area in which the city could potentially annex without opposition.

Sherman said an area roughly bound by Albion Road, U.S. Highway 195 and the proposed south bypass that would extend into the corridor as far as Sunshine Road to the east has been identified by the county as an area the city could annex in the future.

"This is a very unique offer," Sherman said. "I think (the county) should be commended for their innovation."

The amended material is based on a February 2005 document provided to the city by the county suggesting a 50-50 split of sales-tax revenue from businesses along the highway, as long as those businesses do not receive infrastructure from another entity.

The county also offered to help pay for the extension of utilities into the corridor. In exchange, the county asked that the city not further annex land in the corridor and use 10 percent of the sales tax revenue to improve infrastructure along the highway.

The city declined the offer as written in April 2005. As a counter proposal, the city revised the terms of the document to include annexation in the corridor east to Sunshine Road.

Currently, the breakdown of the 1 percent local share of sales tax grants .85 percent to Pullman and .15 percent to the county on sales made within city limits. Within unincorporated areas - which includes the Pullman-Moscow Highway - 100 percent of sales tax goes to the county.

Sherman said the county is willing to bond some of its .09 sales-tax dollars - provided by the state and awarded by the county to assist rural communities with economic development - to pay for a project to extend utilities to the Rolling Hills area, which is located in the corridor near the Avista Utilities shop.

It could cost as much as $6 million to extend services to Rolling Hills, Sherman said.

Also in the proposal, the county expressed an interest in retaining a buffer area north of U.S. Highway 195 between Wawawai Road and South Grand Avenue for future commercial development. The county further suggested that some areas along South Grand be prezoned from commercial to residential, as much of the area is primarily used for private residences.

The county also would like the city to consider changing its policy against extending utilities into unincorporated areas.

Sherman said the county hopes a development company would be able to connect to city utilities - at the developer's cost - and not run the risk of future annexation.

City Council members discussed the proposal at length and agreed that further tweaking of the document would be needed in order to forge an agreement. City staff will research the implications of the proposal and return to the council with a report in the coming weeks.

Councilman Keith Bloom commended the county on its creative thinking and attempts at cooperation.

"I think it's an excellent idea to create a template that may be used by other entities across the state," he said. "I think this could, collectively, be to the betterment of the city and county."

Councilman Barney Waldrop agreed.

"I think some wonderful progress has been made," he said.

Sherman said it will take a great deal of work for there to be development in the corridor.

"If utilities are ever going to be extended, it's going to have to take a cooperative effort," he said. "I think everything is negotiable. What it will come down to is what's in it for both parties."

Remedial Education for French Reporters

A French "news" agency reveals its proof that Americans fired at an innocent Iraqi woman's home. There's just one little problem.

A couple of weeks ago, the French "news" service AFP caused more than a few chuckles in the blogosphere for publishing a photo of an Iraqi woman holding two unspent cartidges she claimed had been fired at her home by US troops.

Remember: They were unspent, meaning that the only way that those "bullets" could have hit her house would be if somebody threw them at her.

The dissident frogman decided to instruct his fellow cheese eating surrender monkeys on the operation of firearms, recognizing that most of his countrymen have more experience laying down their arms than firing them.

Link here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blonde Female Jaywalkers

When someone walks across the street against the traffic signal or where there is no crosswalk that is commonly referred to as "jaywalking".

Many times as I drive around I will see someone jaywalk. Most of the time when someone starts to jaywalk and he see a car he will yield the right-of-way to the car.

There have been two instances in the last week where a blonde female jaywalked and glared at me, as the driver.

The first instance was in Moscow (where I was spending my money buying thing I couldn't buy in Pullman). Two Barbie Doll-like blondes started to walk across the road, in a crosswalk, but started into the intersection when the crosswalk signal said "Don't Walk". They did anyway. But when the light turned green they were in the middle of the intersection. Oops! Most people would make an effort to quickly clear the roadway.

Nope, not these two little sorority girls. They didn't even pick up the pace. They kept strolling across the street like the world needed to stop for them. They actually glared at me as my big full-size Dodge Ram V8 Hemi gas guzzling pickup truck started to move towards them.

Then today on Greek row on campus three sorority blondes were walking back from class. When you're Greek the world DOES stop for you, especially when you're daddy's little girl.

One of the blondes strolled out onto the roadway, jaywalking in front of my truck. This time I was in the Bumblebee, a 1980 Toyota 4x4 with a small engine, but it still manages to only get 14 miles to a gallon. Nonetheless, she walks out in front of me. Not that she was already crossing the street in the middle of a block, she walked out in front of me. Her two friends, who obviously were gifted with some extra brain cells decided walking in front of a car was not a good idea. They obviously realize that being a blonde daddy's girl doesn't stop the laws of natural, even if you think it should.

The one girl who crossed in front of me then turns and gives me a look like I am doing something wrong. Obviously my existence in the same world as her is an inconvenience for her as I was holding up her friends from crossing.

I stopped so I did not run over the brain dead blonde. I made eye contact with the other two blondes who have brain cells, letting them know they could also cross. They waved and moved on. The other blonde, just sneered and finished crossing the road.

Yesterday someone was hit by a car by ValHalla. There has been letters to the editor about cars and pedestrians and possible accidents. With the attitude that the world revolves around these people, accidents will happen. Someone will get hurt. It would be sad in most cases, but I can think of a couple blondes who getting tapped by a car might make them realize that the object with the most mass will win in a collision.

Another Radio Alert

I was just interviewed by Evan Ellis. Not sure if the story will be on this afternoon on KQQQ 1150 AM or Border 104.3 FM or not. I would guess it will be on tomorrow's "Morning News on NewsTalk! 1150 KQQQ," starting at 7:00 AM.

Clintons Continue to Schmooze With Criminals

As long as you bring suitcases full of cash, you're okay with Bill and Hillary - even if you're a convicted felon and a fugitive from justice.

For the last 15 years, California authorities have been trying to figure out what happened to a businessman named Norman Hsu, who pleaded no contest to grand theft, agreed to serve up to three years in prison and then seemed to vanish.

"He is a fugitive," Ronald Smetana, who handled the case for the state attorney general, said in an interview. "Do you know where he is?"

Hsu, it seems, has been hiding in plain sight, at least for the last three years.

Since 2004, one Norman Hsu has been carving out a prominent place of honor among Democratic fundraisers. He has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions into party coffers, much of it earmarked for presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

In addition to making his own contributions, Hsu has honed the practice of assembling packets of checks from contributors who bear little resemblance to the usual Democratic deep pockets: A self-described apparel executive with a variety of business interests, Hsu has focused on delivering hefty contributions from citizens who live modest lives and are neophytes in the world of campaign giving.

On Tuesday, E. Lawrence Barcella Jr. -- a Washington lawyer who represents the Democratic fundraiser -- confirmed that Hsu was the same man who was involved in the California case. Barcella said his client did not remember pleading to a criminal charge and facing the prospect of jail time. Hsu remembers the episode as part of a settlement with creditors when he also went through bankruptcy, Barcella said.

More on Mr. Hsu here.

Seattle P-I Publishes Photographs

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer published numerous photos today of people who are suspected of crime. But, the photos of the terrorist suspects are still taboo.

Deputy U.S. marshals, state troopers and Seattle police put on their bulletproof vests as they prepared to hit a Renton home. Inside, they expected to find a 37-year-old man wanted for child molestation.

Moments later, the officers emerged, looking disappointed. The fugitive wasn't there.

The Friday raid didn't resemble a Hollywood movie. The Pacific Northwest Fugitive Apprehension Task Force doesn't always get its man. But judging by the results of last week's fugitive sweep, dubbed Operation Falcon, they usually do.

The Trials and Travails of Chad Vader

All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. But, when good wins, what will evil do for a living?

We Need to Redeploy our Forces

It's a quagmire. It's dangerous. It's ungovernable. We should give up and leave.

To understand how New Orleans is doing two years later, consider a few recent stories. This past weekend, seven family members and friends were enjoying a quiet evening outside their home in a tranquil neighborhood on the city's east side, which was badly flooded by Katrina. Then, according to New Orleans police, gunmen forced them into their house, robbed them, and shot them all, killing two. It was the neighborhood's second such crime in two weeks. Previously, gunmen had murdered a couple, Anjelique Vu and Luong Nguyen, leaving their infant and toddler unharmed.

"The slayings . . . were the latest in a series of armed home invasions and robberies in eastern New Orleans," wrote the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "Several crews of gunmen . , . have robbed and shot workers . . . and homeowners in the area, where many residents are rebuilding their flood-damaged homes." Also last week, gunmen lined up six laborers and shot three, killing El Salvadoran Julio Benitez-Cruz. (New Orleans has experienced a post-Katrina influx of Hispanic laborers, both legal and illegal, who are tempting targets for criminals because they carry so much cash from contracting jobs.)

Too Little, Too Late?

Hillary Clinton opposes sending Katie Couric to Iraq

“When what you’re doing isn’t working, you need to cut your losses and pull out,” said Sen. Clinton, noting that, “Almost a year into the Couric anchorage, CBS News has failed to unite any substantial group of viewers and the evening news landscape remains a hopeless quagmire of sectarian fighting.”

You, Not John Edwards, Need to Sacrifice

John Edwards says that Americans should sacrifice their SUV's for the environment. So far, he has demonstrated no inclination to make any sacrifices himself.

Photo update: Here's a link to a higher resolution photo of the Chateau de Breck Girl with circles drawn around SUV's parked the estate.

Hat tip to: The Blogfather

The irony was not lost on his audience.

Edwards was asked during his appearance how he explained the contradiction of asking Americans to sacrifice while he's living in a 28,000-square-foot (2,600-square-meter) mansion.

He said he came from nothing, worked hard all his life, has always supported workers and fought big corporations as a lawyer.

"I have no apologies whatsoever for what I've done with my life," he said to loud cheers. "My entire life has been about the same cause, which is making sure wherever you come from, whatever your family is, whatever the color of your skin, you get a real chance to do something great in this country."

He deserves to live any way he wants. You haven't earned it yet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Where in the World is Chuckie Sandiego?

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of worthless comparisons of exotic foreign locales to Pullman… the thrill of erudite cosmopolitanism… and the agony of plebeian Wal-Marts… the human drama of preening intellectualism… this is Chuck Pezeshki's's Wide World of Socialism!

Chuck "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki was back today in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News with another travelogue, informing us that
Only a couple of weekends ago, as I sat in my hotel in New Hampshire, next to the seacoast, drinking bottled water because of the salinity of the tap water, I couldn't help but think of this inherent blessing of our region.
Pezeshki then proceeds to skewer the Palouse Basin Aquifer Committee for not joining in the leftist hysteria about water on the Palouse and failing to implement a complete moratorium on growth. I knew it would too much for him to chide the greenies in Moscow on their latest stormwater hypocrisy.

I won't bore you with Pezeshki's standard arrogant, anti-growth drivel.

However, this paragraph is quite illuminating:
For many years, PBAC was led by Larry Kirkland, a nonlicensed geologist and self-proclaimed Young Earth Creationist. The water in the Grande Ronde aquifer is estimated to be somewhere between 23,000 and 12,000 years Before Present - a resource that exists totally out of Kirkland's viewpoint as someone who thinks the world is only 6,000 years old.
Now, that's what I call civil discourse. Impugn a man's professional credentials, and even better, his religious views. Pezeshki couldn't be bothered to provide facts or logic to support his allegation. He also didn't bother providing any proof on how Kirkland's beliefs have anything to do with the science of the aquifer or how they affected his perfomance at PBAC. Even Chuck said "it is estimated." It's the classic Straw Man Fallacy. For a liberal, if Kirkland's a Christian, he can't possibly know anything about science and all his views about water MUST be wrong..

Guess what, Chuck? You're not a licensed geologist either. And neither is Mark Solomon. Yet that doesn't stop Solomon from pontificating endlessly about water issues on the Palouse, heading his own little "water conservation metwork," being hired to conduct an aquifer study for Latah County, and trying to halt all development in the Pullman-Moscow Corridor. Your statement about Kirkland's beliefs are as disgusting and bigoted as if someone wrote that Mark Solomon was not qualified to speak about the aquifers because he is Jewish.

Gotta give Pezeshki some points for chutzpah though. As a professor and Past Chairman of the WSU Faculty Senate, he took a swipe at his employer's "monster golf course."

"Local blog garners statewide recognition; Palousitics.com is named state's top influential political blog for week of Aug. 26"

Some nice coverage on Palousitics being recognized as the most infuential political blog in Washington for this week from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Tom Forbes started Palousitics.com in 2005 as a way to vent his political frustrations.

It has since grown into much more.

Forbes' creation was recognized Sunday by BlogNetNews.com as the No. 1 influential political blog in Washington for the week of Aug. 26.

A blog is a personal log of thoughts published on a Web site. The tone of the writing usually reflects the personality of the author. In the case of Palousitics, the logs generally reflect a conservative viewpoint on local issues by contributing writers from throughout Pullman and Whitman County.

Forbes, who writes local political commentary almost daily on the blog, was notified of the honor via e-mail.

"It's fun," he said. "We're just enjoying the moment."

BlogNetNews, which began ranking blogs June 16, publishes each state's top 20 blogs on a weekly basis. Ranked second this week in Washington is democracyforvancouver.org, a progressive blog for residents of southwest Washington, and in third place is nwrepublican.blogspot.com.

David Mastio, editor of BlogNetNews, wrote in an e-mail Monday that the ratings are tallied based on blog traffic, links to a site on other important blogs, the number of reader comments, and how often BlogNetNews readers access a blog and how they rate it.

Mastio wrote that Palousitics may be small, but it warrants recognition.

"The writers there post frequently with tough commentary," Mastio wrote. "Blog readers like active sites with a strong voice. Palousitics also specializes in local issues which allows them to stand out in a crowd where too many people are talking about the same national subjects. Palousitics also takes advantage of basic Internet tools such as video linking in order to give readers more than just options."

Issues are blogged nearly every day by any of Palousitic's 16 contributing writers, Forbes said. Many posts have been supportive of Wal-Mart locating in Pullman, and other economic development issues, such as growth in the Pullman-Moscow corridor.

Forbes said he's also proud of his work mentoring the Washington State University College Republicans on the strength of blogs and watching the group receive national recognition on the issue of immigration.

Local and state elections also are a hot topic of discussion, and Forbes said he'd like to think the blog had something to do with the 2005 city and 2006 county election results.

"It's going to be an exciting election year next year. We'll be gearing up for that," he said.

Forbes said he's sure "there are many other blogs in Washington that have more visitors than we do," especially in the Seattle area, but adds the ranking is quite a compliment.

"For a blog that concentrates mostly on stuff that happens in Pullman, that's pretty good," he said.

Forbes said his readers primarily consist of Pullman, Whitman County and Moscow residents, as well as members of the local media and elected officials from the area and around the state.

Readers of the blog often can be tracked by domain name, Forbes said, adding that 13 percent of his site's hits come from wsu.edu and include Washington State University students, faculty and administrators.

"We are reaching people in the community and some influential people in the community. It's always a surprise," he said. "It just shows that we're reaching maturity as a blog."

Mastio agreed.

"I also wouldn't underestimate the longevity of that blog," he wrote. "Going back to 2005 makes them a greybeard in the Internet world. The vast majority of blogs fold in the first six months, long before they've had a chance to develop many loyal readers and before most people have ever heard of them. Palousitics has been going steady for close to 2000 posts, that's impressive."
Thanks to Hillary Hamm for a nice write-up. But most of all thanks to you all for making it possible.

"The final chapter of the Wal-Mart story in Pullman is about to be written"

If you have never met Don Pelton, you're missing out. He is the kind of professor I wish I had back in college. His letter in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News is right on target, as usual.
Pullman's retail revival

From the Nov. 28, 2006, edition of the Daily News, we read "It could be nine months before a court of appeals hears a case from a group trying to keep Wal-Mart out of Pullman." It is now nine months later and the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Spokane will likely soon hand down its decision.

Since the offer by Wal-Mart to open a store in Pullman has passed all the steps required by law including reviews by a hearing examiner and the district court, it is nearly inconceivable that the Spokane court will reverse the approval.

The Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development bases its opposition to Wal-Mart on two main issues. The first is so many people will want to shop there that traffic will create dangerous situations in Pullman. The second objection is Wal-Mart will create too much competition, and thus somehow negatively effect the economy. Therefore, government must forbid a Wal-Mart store in Pullman.

PARD reports it is prepared to go the limit to block Wal-Mart. It's next appeal is to the Washington State Supreme Court and then through the federal courts to the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, an appeal to the Washington Supreme Court would likely find judges who have no interest in imagined traffic problems in Pullman. The federal courts are for issues involving interstate and national issues. Business competition and traffic in Pullman would be of no interest.

Thus, we can expect the final chapter of the Wal-Mart story in Pullman is about to be written with the start of construction of the Pullman store. This will allow Pullman Building Supply to start its new store also. There will be a revival of retailing in Pullman.

Donald Pelton, Pullman
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Find out which candidate you support—without having to think about it!
HT: Jeff

Fidel Castro Endorses Hillary - Gives Campaign Advice

I have no doubt that Cuba's dictator of nearly 5 decades is an expert on democracy, so Democrats should certainly take his advice and nominate a Hillary/Obama ticket.

No, I am not making this up.

Clinton leads Obama in the race to be the Democratic nominee for the November 2008 election, and Castro said they would make a winning combination.

"The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate," he wrote in an editorial column on U.S. presidents published on Tuesday by Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma.

Since the Democrats have already blown Florida off, there's no reason for Hillary not to post this on her campaign website. After all, she does need to repair her image with the Daily Kos crowd who are still seething at her declaration that the surge is working.

Is the Cuban Communist Party's newspaper really called "Granma?"

Trembling Cowards at the Seattle Post Intelligencer

What passes for moral courage at the Seattle PI is known elsewhere as cowardice.

An inborn immunity to irony seems to an essential personality element if one expects to gain work within the mainstream media. And only those who have perfected their native skills need apply at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

In a laughably ironic column this morning, P-I columnist Robert L. Jamieson, jr. portrays his employer as an island of courage in a sea of fear. His evidence is the P-I's refusal to publish the photographs of two men who seemed were behaving suspiciously while riding on Washington State ferries. Washington's ferries have been identified as vulnerable targets for a terrorist attacks.

We live in a republic of fear. And when fear runs rampant, our good sense escapes us.

Photos, which spread across the city and state last week, showed two Middle Eastern-looking men accused of seeming suspicious on state ferries.

A ferry crew member (who took the photos) and the FBI (which released them) didn't lose sleep over the guilt or innocence of the men in the snapshots.

And why should they? The authorities had fear as an ally. They blithely enlisted a fearful public to do their bidding -- to be dutiful patriots and report them.

The two men in question could have been innocents on vacation. Or they could have been mistaken for another pair of dark-complexioned guys seen wandering ferries.

And later:

Fear makes people irrational.

A question in my mind is why ferry officials with previous reports on the two men just didn't call ahead and have law enforcement meet the ferry.

Instead, the feds enlisted the public -- like Orwellian lackeys -- to be the eyes and ears of agents who have wrongly singled out people before.

Ah, the moral superiority of the sanctimonious! The very same people who are not bothered by law enforcement advertisements that encourage people to report suspicions of unapproved discrimination are offended when government asks its people to be vigilent against terrorists.

There is a more likely explanation. The staff of the P-I are cowards. After all, the Seattle P-I was one of the numerous newspapers around the country that reported on the Muhammed cartoon controversy, but would not actually print the cartoons out of fear of provoking violence. (I know, they call it cultural sensitivity, but those of us in the Christian community know that such sensitivities are only extended to those religions that use their children as bombs.)

Mr. Jamieson is still living in the nostalgia that allowed the mainstream media monopolistic control over the message. I don't recall who once originally said it, but I recall when former LA Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda repeated the adage that it's unwise to pick a fight with someone who buys printer's ink by the barrel. That was the old wisdom. With the internet, bloggers can pronounce BS on newspaper and spread their message far and wide. The P-I's editorial decision was steeped in political correctness and fear. It's emblematic of the MSM's decline that they still parade around in the emperor's new clothes, still believing that no one will dare notice.

Moscow Pullman Daily News Online Forum

For those of you who don't subscribe to the online version of the Moscow Pullman Daily News, they have a new forum that allows immediate comment on articles, letters to the editor and such. Some very lively conversations spring up between the respondents. The cost of subscription is minimal.

Will Pond Scum Be Our Salvation?

Forget ethanol, hydrogen and wind power. The future lies in yellow-green goo.

I have come to wonder if we will have to move the nation’s first presidential polls out of Iowa before we have a sensible alternative energy program. There cannot be more than a handful of Americans out there who do not believe that the United States would be better off if it did not have to depend upon oil imported from enemies. That number probably falls to zero when we limit our sampling to the rational and informed. Even those who don’t give a rat’s fanny about the United States, but worship at the altar of renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, would embrace an honest alternative energy program. Instead, we have corn ethanol.
Thanks to federal programs that link corn ethanol subsidies to crude oil prices, corn prices rose by 80% last year. Over the last five years, the percentage of corn diverted from the food chain to ethanol has risen from 3% to 20%, even as more acres of corn are planted to cash in on the gravy train. As a consequence, the price of just about everything we eat went up. Meat and milk cost more because corn is such a huge component of feed costs. Bread costs more because acreage that would have been planted in wheat is now planted to corn.
And all of that for a crop that only returns 1.3 BTU’s for every BTU invested into its production. If we planted every conceivable acre of farmland to corn and converted to ethanol, it would not make a significant dent in our oil consumption. It costs nearly twice as much to produce a gallon of ethanol as it does to produce a gallon of oil, which is why we don't use ethanol to produce ethanol - we burn oil.
The second great fraud is hydrogen. Hydrogen is promoted as the ideal fuel. It’s the most abundant element in the universe. We’ll never run out. When burned, hydrogen produces only pure water. Not even a greenie could complain about that.
The problem is that, hydrogen is not a fuel. There are no hydrogen fields for us to drill into. At its best, hydrogen is simply a system for power transmission, like an electrical power line. To get hydrogen to burn, you have to invest even more energy into it than it will ever return. It’s the second law of thermodynamics. The laws of physics are not optional.
But, that’s only the first problem. Making hydrogen is so costly that a kilogram of hydrogen, which contains about the same amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline, costs about $100. One reason is that compressing hydrogen so that it can be transported and dispensed consumes up to 40% of hydrogen’s energy content. Transporting hydrogen is costly and wasteful. The high pressures require massive tanks that require huge, energy consuming vehicle to move it from where it is made to where it is needed. You can’t send it in pipelines. The inconvenient fact is that most of the energy used to produce hydrogen is lost before it ever gets to your car.
If only we had enough pond scum farmers to attract Washington, DC’s attention.
Researchers at Utah State University are developing algae biodiesel generators that can produce between 10,000 and 15,000 gallons of fuel per acre. Our primary oilseed, soybeans, only yields about 48 gallons per acre. These single celled seaweeds are prodigious energy producers. At maturity, their body mass is about 50% or more vegetable oil. This vegetable oil contains about 95% of the energy of petroleum diesel and requires little processing before it can be used.
The algae generators that Utah State has designed can be put to use anywhere that the sun shines and do not have to displace food crops, as corn ethanol production does. I did a calculation using Utah State’s yields and estimated that dedicating a plot of non-arable land equal to about 182 miles on a side would more than replace all the oil we now import. I’ve lived in the West all my life and can report that there is a lot more dry and desolate land than that that we can use.
A researcher from the University of New Hampshire estimates that only 1/8 of my old stomping grounds, the Sonoran Desert, could produce enough algae biodiesel to replace all the transportation fuel we now burn.
Even without federal subsidies, the Utah State research team predicts that pond scum biodiesel could be economically competitive with oil by the end of this decade.
Unfortunately, we don’t have the early presidential primaries or caucuses out west of the Rocky Mountains. If the billions we’ve already wasted on corn ethanol and hydrogen had been spent on the basis of promise and merit, where would we be today?
But that’s not how government works. Which is why you shouldn’t trust it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Should I Be Vindictive?

I have had a truck since 1989. It is my first truck, and though the paint is getting sun faded, it is still my first truck.

Since the last time I wrote about the parking troubles with my truck, I have moved and now I own a house. Today I went outside and found a bright orange notice on the windshield. I knew what it was. I was being accused of breaking the 168 hour ordinance.

This ordinance was enacted because of the enforcement problems. The ordinance allows the city to tow vehicles parked on a street after 7 days. As you can guess that is something that really only gets enforced when a citizen complaint is lodged.

Recently, a car which was parked along Terre View Drive was moved to a location on my street. It was parked across the street from my house. The car was parked in front of my neighbors house. I think the person was just moving the car from street to street as needed to not be in violation of the 168 hour ordinance. There was writing on the windows reading that the car if for sale. The people who own the house where the car was parked probably got tired of not being able to park on the street in front of their house.

They called parking enforcement to report it. But they also reported my truck IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE! I am not taking someone elses' spot. I have it parked IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE.

By the rules of the ordinance a vehicle parked on the street has to be used for its "intended purpose" at least once every 168 hours (7 days). More or less, it cannot be left parked long term. So if I drive it to the store once a week, it is being moved at least once each 168 hours. It doesn't say I can't repark it upon my return in the same spot in front of my house.

It is not my primary driving vehicle, but I do drive it around Pullman. With the 90° weather I don't drive it as often because there is no A/C besides I love to harm the environment in my gas guzzling V8 with A/C. But I love driving my old truck. It is a stick shift, and driving a stick shift rules.

So the question I have is whether the neighbor actually sees me take the truck for drives. Unless my neighbor is watching my every move, I doubt the neighbor sees me use the truck. I believe they called about the other car, which also got a notice, but they decided to turn in my truck at the same time.

The order says I have to have my truck moved within the next 7 days or I will get a ticket and it will get towed. With the way the ordinance is set up I have to move it off of my street all together. Simply moving it to a different spot on my road will not satisfy the ordinance. I could drive it to a different street or I can park it in my driveway and park my new truck on the road.

What if I leave town for a two-week vacation. When I return, my truck could be towed. That can happen to anyone in the city of Pullman. I don't think that is the intent of the ordinance, but that is what could happen.

I will be speaking with the code enforcement officer about this issue. This is a situation where I think the neighbor is not being very neighborly. In fact this neighbor never parks any vehicles on their driveway. They have room for two vehicles on their driveway, but they always park their car on the road. That is their right, and I wouldn't try to stop any of my neighbors from doing that by call them in. After all, they are my neighbor and they are parking in front of their house.

But here is where I could be un-neighborly myself. Maybe for the next week I will park my old truck in my driveway and use it on a daily basis and park my new truck on the street. But instead of parking it in front of my house. I will park it on the opposite side of the road. I will leave it in the spot the neighbor uses causing them to either use their driveway or park elsewhere.

After that I will switch between my old and new truck parking in the neighbors spot, moving my vehicle every six day. Never again allowing the neighbor to park in their spot.

That would be a pretty mean spirited thing to do, but then again calling in my truck, which NEVER caused my neighbor any problems, was pretty mean spirited as well.

Those who know me, know that I won't do that, but does anyone have any good suggestions about what I should do?