Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Speak to Me!!

I'm writing, yet again, in response to an article in the opinion section of The Daily Watermelon, written by Graham Dart, entitled "The true meaning of freedom of speech: College Republicans miss the point for I-FA Week." First, I would like to honestly give a hand to Graham for writing what was a well written article, though I don't agree.

Mr. Dart comes out immediately to state that the College Republicans had the 1st Amendment Right to present the video "Obsession." Thank you, Mr. Dart. He also acknowledged that the counter-protesters (he didn't actually say their name in his article, and I'm not giving them any free advertising either) had that right as well. That's great. I, The Red Knight, agree. He states that some people take free speech to extremes, sometimes recklessly so. Cool.

Then Mr. Dart blew it.

He accused the CRs of "hid[ing] behind free speech and attacking those who dare to disagree with them," and trying to stifle debate. I strongly disagree. On the contrary, what we didn't like was a WSU department attempting to force us to advertise for another (and opposing) group on campus. If anything it was Campus Involvement that tried to violate our free speech rights. Imagine the FCC telling AT&T they had to advertise for Sprint.

And we did not try to stifle debate. We didn't encourage it very strongly, but we certainly didn't try to stifle it. Many of the CRs, including myself, attended the counter-protester's discussion session after the video in good faith. We were there in the spirit of debate and free speech. But what did it turn into? A CR-bashing. Did many of the counter-protesters respect our right to have a healthy share in the discussion? Not really. I thought they were very disrespectful, seeming to imply that if we had an opinion, it had to be compatible with theirs or it was wrong. Were the CRs polite when listening to another's talking points? Yes. Did they receive the same courteously? No.

Perhaps commentators of the more left-leaning persuasion should consider these things when chastising the CRs on an almost constant basis. If they did, I really don't believe they'd have to wonder why we are so suspicious of "discussions."

Now, as to the title of this article "The true meaning of freedom of speech," I don't believe Mr. Dart fully understands it either. He speaks of "free speech" as being the same as a First Amendment Right. It is not. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. I don't even believe that's an opinion: That's the way it is. The federal government has not authority (according to the constitution) to protect your right to free speech. Not a word. All the First Amendment says is that government cannot tell you what you cannot say:

"Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech."

That's all it says!!! Does it say a school can't prevent you from saying certain things? Noooooo. How about when a mother tells her son or daughter not to cuss? Should federal agents arrest her for violating little Johnny or Sally's freedom of speech? That's ridiculous.

So, essentially, if the College Republicans did do something to prevent the counter-protesters from speaking, it wouldn't be a violation of their First Amendment rights. It would be a violation of their freedom of speech, but not how the First Amendment defines it. Unless the CRs can be equated to Congress.

Make It An Even Half Dozen

Today's Daily News story on the quest to replace Rep. David Buri is already out of date. Today I received a letter from Tedd Nealey, a farmer and teacher from Cheney, announcing his candidacy. That makes an even six candidates now in the running.

This was not unexpected. Nealey, as you recall, was in the GOP primary last year, losing out to Rep. Steve Hailey.

No hard feelings against Tedd, who I have met several times and consider to be a gentleman, but his outspoken opposition to Initiative 933, the Property Fairness Initiative, last year, which was sponsored by the Washington State Farm Bureau and endorsed by the Washington State Republican Party, in my mind puts him out of step both with our party and our county. Nealey also spoke in favor earlier this year of the Whitman County Rural Residential Housing Ordinance, another bane of private propery owners.

A Little Humor

I regret (just a little) that I didn't dress up today for Halloween. When I thought about what the scariest thing I could think of to be I naturally thought President Hillary Clinton. Unfortunately I was too late. Wal-Mart was out of witch costumes.

I heard a joke on the radio this morning on G. Gordon Liddy's show (AM 950). I thought it was pretty good. It made my morning.

Three doctors are sitting together at a bar after a big international medical convention. One is from Japan, one from Germany, and the third from the USA.

The Japanese doctor says to the other two, "Medicine in my country is the most advanced. We can replace a patient's kidney and have him out and looking for work in six weeks."

The German doctor says, "No, no. Germany has the best medicine: We just took a half a healthy heart from a donor, transplanted that half into a heart disease patient, and had both of them out looking for work in four weeks."

The American doctor smiles and nods. Leaning back he says, "The United States has you all beat. We're about to send a woman with no heart and no brain to Washington D.C., and have half the country looking for work in two weeks."

Happy Halloween!

Farewell From Rep. David Buri

Just received the following e-mail from David Buri:
Dear Friends,

As many of you know, I will resign from my position as your legislator on November 1 to accept a job with Eastern Washington University.

I have always felt that while I was allowed to sit at the desk in the House chambers, it was never mine to keep. I am grateful for the experiences I’ve gained during my three years as a lawmaker. Serving the people of the 9th Legislative District has been both an honor and privilege. I worked hard to be a legislator you could be proud of and rely on, and I deeply appreciate the trust and confidence you placed in me.

Leaving the Legislature was not an easy decision. Now that Becky and I are expecting our first child together in December, it has been a good time to reflect on where I would best serve my family and our great state. Colfax is my home and always will be. Ensuring a top-caliber higher education system for Washington students is a passion of mine. This is an excellent opportunity for me professionally and personally.

I have been so blessed to work for you as your state representative. We accomplished a lot together, and I thank you for this incredible experience.

My best wishes to you all.

Hope to see you around, Dave. You were a good legislator and remain a class-act. Thanks for your service.

"Field deepens for Buri legislative seat; Two more enter race for spot in Washington House, bringing number of prospects to five"

Next week's 9th District Joint Republican PCO Meeting in Colfax to select a replacement for Rep. David Buri is shaping up to be rather interesting. I think the important thing to remember here is who has been there for the party all along, not just when a juicy political office is up for grabs. If you are a candidate, declared or not, feel free to e-mail me at palousitics@adelphia.net and I'll be happy to post any pitches to PCOs you want to make.

From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Two more Whitman County residents have entered the race for David Buri's soon-to-be vacated seat in the state House of Representatives.

Palouse School Board member Darin Watkins and Jeff Phelps, finance director for university relations at Washington State University, both have announced their intentions to pursue the 9th District position.

Buri said earlier this month that he would step down from the Legislature, effective Saturday, to become director of government relations at Eastern Washington University. Buri was elected to the Legislature in 2004 and has one year left in his second two-year term. His replacement will serve out the final year of the term.

Palouse Mayor Michael Echanove, Cheney Mayor Allan Gainer, and Colfax farmer and small business owner Joe Schmick also have declared their intentions to pursue the position.

Watkins, who is a public information officer at WSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, said the slogan for his campaign is "Putting Represent Back in Representative."

He said he would like to see more people become involved in politics and give citizens a voice in Olympia.

"I really believe the best model to use today is to communicate ongoing with our Legislature," Watkins said. "People need to be reconnected to the process because then they buy in."

Watkins said his ability to communicate with people makes him the right candidate for the job.

"The bottom line for me is communication," Watkins said. "What I bring to the table is I am a very good communicator."

Watkins has been a member of the Palouse School Board since 2006. He moved from Seattle to Palouse in 2003 to have more time to spend with his family and to raise his two children in a small-town atmosphere.

He lived in Palouse for a short time during high school.

Prior to accepting a job at WSU, Watkins worked for 25 years as a broadcast journalist in several markets throughout the state, including Spokane and Seattle. He covered legislative affairs.

Phelps, a graduate of Pullman High School and WSU, ran for the 9th District seat in 2004 and was narrowly defeated. He said he thought he developed a connection with voters during the campaign and had many good ideas.

"It was a disappointment, but we felt we had a great message and struck a cord with a lot of voters in the district," Phelps said. "I still have the same desire to good things and have an even better resume now."

Phelps, who lives outside of Pullman, has been employed at WSU for the past 14 years. He also worked in the pea and lentil, and apple industries. He said his experience will be an asset to the district.

"I feel like I have a well-rounded experience in agriculture, higher education and business," Phelps said. "It's that well rounded mix that will benefit the people of the district.

"It's important to have a well rounded base because it's not just one issue - it's a myriad of issues."

Both Watkins and Phelps said the well-being of the district's agriculture industry is high on their list of priorities.

Watkins said agriculture is critical to the state, and officials in Olympia need to be reminded of its importance. He said one out of every two jobs in the state is affected by agriculture.

"We are about agriculture, and it's getting the folks in Olympia to recognize that," Watkins said.

Phelps said many issues will be facing the agriculture industry, including water shortages and high input prices.

"Certainly anything that can help our farmers is important to me," he said.

Phelps also said he would like to see continued and additional funding agricultural and alternative fuel research.

Susan Fagan, chairwoman of the Whitman County Republicans, said the district will have several qualified candidates to choose from.

"I think we can all be really thankful there are people who want to serve who bring with them a diverse background," Fagan said. "We have a fine array of candidates to choose from."

Republican committees from the six counties comprising the 9th District will meet Nov. 10 in Colfax to narrow the list of candidates to three or less. Their recommendation then will be forwarded to the Washington State Republican Committee.

The state committee will review the candidates and forward the list to the district's 18 county commissioners. The commissioners will make the final decision with a simple majority vote. The district has until Jan. 1 to select a representative or the governor will appoint one.

The 9th District includes Whitman, Asotin, Franklin and Garfield counties, in addition to parts of Adams and Spokane counties.

"PULLMAN: Candidates say communication key to town-gown issues"

From yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Challenger: Students need to be more involved in city politics

Al Sorensen and Nathan Weller have conflicting views regarding the current relationship between the city of Pullman and Washington State University.

A Pullman City Council hopeful, Weller said city officials lack unity with the university - a unity that would make Pullman a better place to live.

"WSU and Pullman are one community," he said. "If we're to be one community, we need to communicate."

Weller is vying for the Ward 2 council seat against incumbent Al Sorensen. Also on this year's ballot are Mayor Glenn Johnson, Ward 1 Councilman Benjamin Francis and at-large Councilman Keith Bloom. Each are running unopposed for re-election.

Devon Felsted - who was running unopposed to replace Councilman David Stiller - will appear on the ballot but has removed himself from the election due to conflict of interest issues.

Weller said he's talked to "95 percent of Ward 2" and the consensus is that students should be more involved in city activities, from beautification to drafting ordinances. Two scheduled meetings between the council and the Associated Students of WSU each year does not provide enough opportunity for students to voice their concerns and suggestions about how the city is run.

"Two meetings a year, to me, seems pretty light," he said.

Sorensen said Weller has it all wrong.

"I outright disagree with Nathan stating that there is a lack of communication with students, WSU and the city of Pullman. It's not just those two meetings. We do a lot of communicating behind the scenes," he said.

"We have an open door to students all the time. I talk with the kids," Sorensen added. "They know if they have a concern they can call the city or myself. We're accessible."

Johnson agreed, noting the council and ASWSU are working together "better than ever."

"We're on the same page ... I think there's a lot more harmony than we've ever had before," he said.

Weller said communication issues also spill into the areas of water conservation and city beautification. The areas between campus and downtown need to be cleaned up, too, and if the city and university worked together, it could be done. WSU also has smart water conservation practices Weller said should be shared with the city.

Weller, a recent WSU graduate, said recent actions by the City Council are "driving a wedge" between city government and the nearly 18,000 students. A series of ordinances passed during the last several months have ostracized the student population, he said. These ordinances include one which makes it unlawful to have or consume an alcoholic beverage in a public place, and a proposed code, which would allow police officers to issue civil infractions to people who engage in fights, be it mutual combat or not.

"Students feel targeted," Weller said. "I think the ordinances are a step backward. These ordinances, I feel, are just making the students upset."

Sorensen understands how some students may think the ordinances are aimed at them, but is quick to point out that they are meant to diminish behaviors that threaten the community's quality of life, not punish students for having fun.

"We want to make Pullman safe for everyone," he said.

Johnson said the city recognizes many of the problems pertaining to open containers and rowdy behavior are caused by visitors and WSU alumni, who come to Pullman for football games and other events.

"They remember the day in the '70s and '80s when they could do whatever they want," he said.

Sorensen said a majority of ordinance violations are "more prevalent" on College Hill, but it's only a testament to the hill's dense population of Pullman residents.

"If it happens to be directed at the students, it's because there just happens to be 18,000 students who live here," he said.

Weller doesn't disagree that fights and "moving parties" are an issue, but he said communication "neighbor to neighbor" is a better way to solve the problem than involving police or city codes.

"It's important that as WSU changes and Pullman changes, they work together," he said.

Sorensen argues that as adults, students should be able to party responsibly.

"I'm not against alcohol and having a good time, but I'm for responsibility. If you wouldn't do it in your front lawn, why the hell would you do it in my front lawn? Be responsible. Be a good citizen. Be a good neighbor," Sorensen said.

Bloom agreed, adding that the ordinances aren't intended to curb anyone's fun.

"You can still drink and you can still party," Bloom said. "You just can't carry your drink outside and fight."

Weller said a proposed ordinance that would require all rental-property owners to apply for a business license isn't a smart move. The license process would require rental properties to periodically be inspected for code violations and conditions that could make the dwelling uninhabitable.

Weller said there aren't enough houses in disrepair in Pullman to warrant such an ordinance, especially since he believes the cost of inspections likely will be passed on to renters.

"I think a blanket ordinance is the wrong way to go," he said.

Sorensen said the proposed ordinance is intended to protect the health and safety of residents renting property.

"There's a catastrophe waiting to happen out there," he said.

Most students are new renters, who "don't fully understand all of their rights and responsibilities," Weller said. Instead of being heavy handed with the rental property owners - who he said for the most part run clean businesses - the city should educate students on their rights as tenants and how they can report a violation or properties in disrepair.

"We won't have to go out and legislate everything, we can communicate and educate," he said.

The communication problem could be repaired "relatively easy," Weller said if a student representative - either elected or volunteer - could be present at all Pullman City Council meetings.

"Being a college town, they would like to be a part of Pullman itself," he said.

Sorensen said Weller needs to do his research. Students were once encouraged to sit on the City Council - but the four-year position was such a time commitment that it was eventually taken over by a full-time resident. Sorensen said he does support students playing an active role in city government.

"I would welcome them to sit on the boards and commissions. That's great," he said. "If anyone is interested in helping and they want to help, we've got a place for them."

Sorensen said he is pleased with student involvement around the city. Volunteers from campus involvement groups, Greek houses and student organizations help with fundraisers and city beautification projects.

Sorensen said he tries not to identify people as student or nonstudent.

"I don't like categorizing the citizens of Pullman that way," he said, noting students, generally in town for nine months out of the year are included in the city's Census figures. "Just because they don't have classes in the summer doesn't mean they don't live here. I don't see it as an us verses them situation. I don't ever want it to come to that."

"Next City Council faces variety of issues, challenges"

From last Thursday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Both Al Sorensen and Nathan Weller applaud Pullman residents' efforts to play a part in their community to improve the quality of life.

Neighborhood identity is becoming more common across Pullman: The College Hill Association has been an active voice for several years, and the Pioneer Hill Neighborhood Association was established during the summer.

"If that's what residents of Pullman need to do to convey their issues with the city, that's a good thing," Sorensen said. "We want people to correspond with us and share with us. We can't do anything about it if we don't know about it."

Sorensen, 45, is vying to retain his seat on the Pullman City Council for another term against newcomer Weller, 25. Ballots for the mail-in election were sent out Oct. 19.

Weller said residents should do whatever they can to communicate with each other, and issues should be brought to the council in an act of unity.

"It's important for us to be able to find a consensus," Weller said. "Communication is my big thing. Without communication, we're going to get the wrong feeling across."

Weller said all Pullman residents have valid ideas. Washington State University students, he said, should be considered key players in how Pullman - and its neighborhoods - develop and grow.

"No one person or organization has all the answers," he said. "Only with communication can these issues be dealt with."

Sorensen said recent ordinances - such as a code that makes it unlawful to be in a public place with an open container of alcohol, or the updated nuisance code meant to curb noise and litter problems - are a result of residents pinpointing issues and making moves to have them corrected.

"It has to do with people and entities coming to us with questions, concerns and suggestions," Sorensen said.

Also on this year's ballot, Mayor Glenn Johnson, Ward 1 Councilman Benjamin Francis and At-large Councilman Keith Bloom are running unopposed for reelection.

Devon Felsted - who was running unopposed to replace Councilman David Stiller - has removed himself from the election due to conflict of interest issues, though his name will appear on the ballot.

Benjamin said he knows that when issues arise on one hill - such as the parking problems afflicting College Hill - other neighborhoods could be similarly affected. Citizen input is helpful to the council, which will work with necessary departments or agencies to correct the problem, he said.

Neighborhood groups, he said, help to self-police the area and create a sense of identity in Pullman.

"It shows they have an interest in where they're living," he said. "They're helping to identify areas and issues. They're saying, 'We're expressing a concern.'"

On the issue of parking, Benjamin noted that he hopes to see a park-and-ride program developed that could relieve traffic and parking woes on all of Pullman's hills and surrounding communities.

Bloom said the proposed ordinance that would require all rental property owners to apply for a business license is designed to preserve neighborhoods and protect renters. The ordinance could require rental properties to be inspected periodically for code violations and conditions that make the dwelling uninhabitable.

"We've lost the art of being neighbors," he said.

Johnson said he hopes to see neighborhood organizations developed on all of Pullman's hills.

"We have a lot of other issues we're trying to deal with it," he said. "It would be really great if we had volunteer participation from everyone on the hills, but that just hasn't happened yet."

Johnson said people should know that their valid suggestions don't go unnoticed.

"For many years, people have been pushing certain things ... sometimes it takes a while to get to it," he said. "Considering how we have to go through every hoop to get people involved, we've done a lot."

No Treat

My apologies for the lack of postings the last few days, but Dr. Forbes, our youngest daughter and myself all came down with a very nasty virus nearly simultaneously last Sunday. My only real interest in the Web since then has been checking NFL stats for my fantasy football team (despite foolishly benching Greg Jennings, who scored 15 fantasy points on one play, the Wal-Martians still pulled out a victory.)

I'll start catching up hopefully this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Environmentalist Wackos to Sue Fish and Wildlife Service Over Earthworm

The moment we have all been expecting since that damned worm was found is about to fall upon us. Will the environmentalist wackos succeed in making farming illegal? I'll bet they'd make an exception for farmers who were willing to plant a few rows of marijuana.

A coalition of environmental groups and concerned citizens filed today a 60-day notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the agency’s refusal to study the rare giant Palouse earthworm and its worthiness for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The legal action was taken by the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Clearwater, Palouse Prairie Foundation, Palouse Audubon, Steve Paulson of Orofino and Lynne Nelson of Palouse after the agency rejected their plea to conduct a status review of the lily-smelling worm that can grow up to 3 feet long and spit at attackers. The worm was described as common on the Palouse around the turn of the 20th century. But it has only been seen a handful of times in the last 100 years.
“All we are asking for them to do is a study that it may be warranted,” said Noah Greenwald of the Center for Biological Diversity at Portland, Ore. “For them to deny that (petition) at this stage, given the few times the earthworm has been seen, is just ridiculous.”

My trip to see Discovery.

?????? At site Discovery's launch exhaust on 10/23/2007. Click the pic to see it larger.

By Day 6 of the Florida vacation it was launch day. We left real early and followed the line of cars to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We got there about two hours before they closed the gates at 8am. We got in line and were subjected to a metal detector test. A note to you guys, they have tough security around there. We visited some of the exhibits and caught one of the two 3-D Imax movies, “Space Station”, before the launch.
Tell you the truth I did not think it was going to launch because of the winds. But I'll be damned, they launched at 11:38am! It was a great site, even though we did not see it until it cleared the trees. I made a mental note for future launches and found some nice launch viewing locations away from the visitor center and the trees. I could hear the launch four miles away and felt some vibrations in the concrete I was standing on. Nothing like viewing a launch in person, so if you get a chance, take it since the shuttle fleet will be retired by 2010.
A note to future visitors, get in line as soon as possible for the bus tour. Seeing how big the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) in person is astonishing. Seeing the last Saturn V on display was a truly awesome site. It is just massive and I had to take six pictures to cover all the sections of the rocket. Whoever said “we never made it to the Moon”, never saw the size of the Saturn V or understood its power. Here is a picture of the five F-1 engines on the first stage. The diameter of one of those engine nozzles is 12 feet.
?????? At site Click the pic to see it larger.
We also made a stop at the Space Station Processing Center and viewed the shop where the components of the ISS are being prepped. Saw Columbus and Kibo station components. It looked like they were going to get started on building a third cargo module or waiting for it. One of my friends told me that NASA is preparing for the third node to be moved there.
The comical part of the trip was watching the hordes mob the gift store. They were like piranhas going after anything that said STS-120 on it!

Going to Kennedy Space Center, viewing the launch and seeing the last Saturn V filled me with pride at our nation’s achievements. I cannot wait to see the launch of Ares-Orion in six years.

Light Up. It's For The Children

An idea so dumb, only Congress could think of it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If The Fu Hsits, Part II

Long ago, Charlie Trie started funneling foreign money to the Clintons through his restaurant, Fu Lin. The Chinese aren't through purchasing who knows what from the Clintons.

The beat goes on.

The Clinton's Chinese funny money connection seems to involve organized crime.

On October 19, 2007, the L.A. Times broke the NYC Chinatown donations story. The reporters noted that Clinton's success in raising money from "dishwashers, waiters and street stall hawkers" is due, in part, to a strategy of forming "mutually beneficial alliances with powerful groups." Really, what sort of groups?

The L.A. Times stated that "Clinton has enlisted the aid of Chinese neighborhood associations, especially those representing recent immigrants from Fujian province. The organizations, at least one of which is a descendant of Chinatown criminal enterprises that engaged in gambling and human trafficking, exert enormous influence over immigrants." What sort of influence, and to what end?

The unnamed organization has to be the Fukien American Association. On page 22 of the Senate report, a display labeled "Leadership Structure of Primary Tongs and Affiliated Gangs in New York City" draws a line between the Fukien American Association and the street gang Fuk Ching. A map of street gang territories in a book entitled Chinatown Gangs: Extortion, Enterprise, and Ethnicity, by Ko-lin Chin (Oxford University Press, 1996) locates Fuk Ching's territory on East Broadway, near the Manhattan Bridge -- right where the L.A. Times found bogus addresses for some missing Clinton donors.

This all begs the question: Is the communist Chinese government trying to buy influence from the Clintons again?

Back on June 24, 1997, a select team of investigators from Canada's Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Canadian Security & Intelligence Service drafted a report entitled "Chinese Intelligence Services and Triads Financial Links in Canada." The secret report, code-named "Sidewinder," concluded that three groups of recent immigrants from China were working together to "gain influence on Canadian politics by maximizing their presence over some of the country's economic levers." The three groups represented the (1) Chinese Intelligence Services (ChIS), (2) former Hong Kong tycoons with known connections to ChIS and PRC officials, and (3) "Chinese organized crime elements." (The Sidewinder document is available here and here. This writer also telephonically interviewed two persons with intimate, first-hand knowledge of Sidewinder.)

So - what is it about the Clintons that the communist Chinese government and Chinatown crime gangs want? Or considering the Clintons' history of auctioning off pardons and renting out the Lincoln bedroom, it may be that they just want the Clintons in office, comfortable in the knowlege that they can place their specific orders later.

One Man's Bicycle Is Another Man's Porno

I read an interesting post this morning, recommended by The Blogfather, regarding political correctness in classical Rome.

One of the points of the post was Tacitus's belief that superior morals should make good laws superfluous.

I don't know if this was a failure of law or morals, but there's certainly nothing noble about this savage having sex with a bicycle.

A man has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle.

Robert Stewart was discovered in his room by two cleaners at the Aberley House Hostel in Ayr, south west Scotland, in October last year.

On Wednesday Mr Stewart admitted to sexual breach of the peace in Ayr Sheriff Court, where depute fiscal Gail Davidson described how he had been found by the hostel workers.

She said: "They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply.

"They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white T-shirt, naked from the waist down.

"The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex."

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Lib vs. Liberty

Someone I know to be a self-proclaimed liberal told me the other day that I was fooling myself for believing that a little security against Islamo-Fascism was beneficial to society. He used a quote from Benjamin Franklin that has recently become popular to his kind:

"Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security."

I remember laughing to myself as I thought this was probably the only quote by Benjamin Franklin that would be remotely useful to a liberal. Old Ben was an amazing advocate of personal responsibility and merit-based rewards, things that seem to be far from the liberal mind-set nowadays. What's more important I think is this: the quote is also often written as "
Anyone who trades essential liberty for safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Like this, the meaning changes dramatically. When I told this to the individual that had started the argument, he seemed to lose all desire for further conversation.

I would have to agree with Ben, but only in the most extreme of cases. If I have to live with my international telephone calls being tapped by the CIA while being protected from suicide bombers and airline hijackers, then so be it. Having my bag checked at the airport seems like a small price to pay for security in the skies.

A less well known quote of Ben's is "Distrust and caution are the parents of security." But then, distrust of those who might be terrorists (aka, profiling) doesn't fit the liberal bill. He also said "God helps those who help themselves" and "The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself."

Ben Franklin was not a perfect man, and his words were by no means the perfect model for society and life. I do believe he knew what freedom was, and also believe the liberal model is far from it. Crying about wire-tapping as violations of basic rights and liberty is a waste of time considering how modern liberalism is headed. Some law-makers chastise President Bush for "spying" on the American public while they conspire to increase our taxes, take away our rights to provide our own health care, limit our ability to fund our own retirement, and violate our Second Amendment rights. They want to control what type of car we can drive and prevent parents from home-schooling their children. It's the philosophy that silences debate in the classroom, fosters hatred between races and social classes, tells us we can't eat certain foods, and says we should accept everything and everyone no matter how vile or repulsive. The list goes on.

As far as I can see liberalism has become one of the greatest modern threats to freedom and civil liberties, and promises to get worse. Such violations may not be as overt as wire tapping or arresting people suspected of terrorist ties. But they are far more dangerous because they are hard to recognize in daily life, slowly parasitizing and eating away at liberty. By the time they are recognized, the infection is so far matured it's developed to untreatable levels.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Pullman City Council candidates want growth; Sorensen, Weller would welcome Wal-Mart to Pullman"

When you read this, remember that PARD claims only a "handful of fanatics" want Wal-Mart in Pullman. From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Al Sorensen and Nathan Weller make it no secret that they shop at Wal-Mart and they both have to go to Moscow to do it.

"I would be a hypocrite to say I was against Wal-Mart," Weller said. "But Wal-Mart isn't going to solve everything. It's not a silver bullet for Pullman's economic development."

Sorensen, 45, will duke it out with 25-year-old newcomer Nathan Weller to retain his Pullman City Council Ward 2 position. mail-in ballots for the Nov. 6 election were sent out Oct. 19.

Economic development - and a candidate's views on Wal-Mart, in particular - is a hot-ticket item in this fall's City Council election. A community debate about whether or not the retail giant should be allowed to set up shop in town began in October 2004, when Wal-Mart officials announced plans to build a store on Bishop Boulevard.

Members of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development appealed the city's approval of the retail corporation's environmental checklist and site plan. The appeal was dismissed in 2005 by Whitman County Superior Court Judge David Frazier. Currently, the case is held up in Washington's Division III Court of Appeals. No date has been set for the hearing, which will include oral arguments.

Sorensen wants Wal-Mart naysayers to understand the amount of sales tax revenue lost each day the store is not open in Pullman. As Pullman residents go to Moscow to shop, dollars are going with them.

"We're losing money right now and we don't have any money to lose," he said.

The city's budget is tight and Sorensen said the council may have to refuse department heads' requests for the 2008 budget, including the push for more police officers, firefighters and improvements to Reaney Pool.

"The city can't do it," he said. "Economic development and sales have got to increase. If people want more paths and parks and pavilions, we're going to have to have money. I just want Pullman to retain the tax money we should be getting,"

Also on this year's ballot are Mayor Glenn Johnson, Ward 1 Councilman Benjamin Francis and at-large Councilman Keith Bloom. Each are running unopposed for re-election.

Devon Felsted - who was running unopposed to replace Councilman David Stiller - has removed himself from the election due to conflict of interest issues, though his name will appear on the ballot.

Johnson said Pullman is struggling financially because it can only legally increase property taxes by 1 percent each year. With the increasing cost of living and insurance and employee health care costs on the rise, Pullman could use the extra bucks that Wal-Mart - or any economic development projects - would bring in.

"You cannot run a city with a 1 percent lid without getting additional revenue sources. Otherwise, we may be facing some layoffs," Johnson said. "The city of Pullman needs economic development, especially in retail."

Benjamin said Pullman's sales tax dollars are lower than they should be.

"That speaks to the people who go outside Pullman to shop," he said. "Wal-Mart would be a good mix in Pullman."

Bloom doesn't buy the idea that Wal-Mart will cause local businesses to dry up. Wal-Mart's presence will force smaller businesses to find their niche, he said. He used the now closed Ken Vogel Clothing as an example, noting the Main Street business tailored to customers seeking high-quality clothing, while Wal-Mart sells cheaper goods.

"There isn't a business downtown that will suffer," Bloom said. "I've thought long and hard about who will get hurt and it's no one."

Weller agreed, noting that specialty stores such as Ricoshay or Bruised Books would likely be able to compete with the big-box store.

"I'm not going to get what's at Ricoshay at Wal-Mart," he said.

Sorensen said the city should welcome all economic development opportunities instead of chase them out of town.

"Other businesses know if there's a Wal-Mart, there will be more shoppers for their goods," he said. "If Wal-Mart gets denied to come here, how are other potential businesses going to feel?"

Johnson said several retail spaces have sprung up around town - such as the Crimson Village on Bishop Boulevard - in anticipation of Wal-Mart.

"They build it and businesses have a tendency to flock nearby," he said.

Wal-Mart would mean much more than low-priced accessible goods, Sorensen said. Economic development in the entire Pullman-area hinges on whether or not Wal-Mart comes to town. More economic development will mean more revenue for the city - and revenue is what's needed to extend services into the Pullman-Moscow Highway corridor.

Sorensen said a proposal to split sales tax revenue 50-50 with the county from commercial businesses in the corridor would be a positive step. For now, development is limited because water and sewer service are not available. During early negotiations, county commissioners have promised to provide the city with some grant money on top of the tax revenue, if Pullman officials will use the money to extend water and sewer services east of town.

Sorensen said the city and county will have to work together to reach an agreement - but it will be mutually beneficial.

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

Benjamin said he supports projects such as the Knowledge Corridor, which would keep recent college graduates on the Palouse, with cooperative efforts from the cities of Pullman and Moscow, as well as Whitman and Latah counties and the two local universities.

Weller said regardless of whether Wal-Mart sets up shop in Pullman, or development occurs in the corridor, the city must continue to help small business. He suggests city sponsored forums - and perhaps even consultants - would help to keep local businesses successful.

Weller said he is concerned Wal-Mart may increase traffic on Bishop Boulevard, noting he doesn't want to see long-term residents "interrupted" by more cars on the road. He said he supports a Bishop Boulevard study, currently being conducted for the city. The study, which is due out later this fall, will examine road safety and how development in southeast Pullman - such as the potential construction of Wal-Mart - would affect traffic.

"We need a real comprehensive plan for this," Weller said. "It's a lot of planning, but the benefits outweigh the problems."

Sorensen agreed. As excited as he is to see economic development, he doesn't want new businesses popping up without a game plan.

"I'm ready for (development) to happen, but I want it managed," Sorensen said. "We need smart thinking so that 10, 20, 30 years down the road we know where they're going to be put."

Bloom said he believes in capitalistic ideology.

"Let the market determine what works," he said.
A story in Wednesday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News backs up these claims:
In other business, Finance Director Troy Woo told the council that 2008 will be another tight financial year, and the challenge will be to adopt a budget that doesn't dip too far into Pullman's reserves. An initial general fund budget indicates the 2008 year-end cash balance would be $1.785 million - $294,150 below the council mandated 13 percent reserve level.

Woo discussed the preliminary budget with the council Tuesday, explaining that employee cost of living adjustments are slated to increase by about $225,000 in 2008 and benefit and insurance costs continue to increase. Requests by the Parks and Recreation Department for a feasibility study of Reaney Park and Pool, as well as Police Chief Ted Weatherly's plea for more officers, likely won't be possible because of increased financial obligations.

"We would just be going in the wrong direction if we approved those enhancements," he said.

But things aren't all bad.

With a "record level" of construction during the last several years, Woo expected sales tax collections to trickle off. But with projects such as the Washington State University Compton Union Building remodel and construction underway on Martin Stadium, related sales tax collections should continue through 2008.

The city also expects to see an increase in its assessed property value, which could property tax revenues. Early estimates show $64 million could be added to Pullman's assessed value.

"We're very pleased to see that high amount being added to the assessment role," he said. "Property tax is the city's largest source of revenue."

Councilmen Bloom and Barney Waldrop suggested it may be necessary to cut back the work force, in order to not rely so heavily on year end savings to even out the budget.

"I think if we continue down that path, we're setting ourselves up," Bloom said.

Woo cautioned the council not to make any big decisions right away, as the 2008 budget still is in its very preliminary stages.

"I'd really hate to make drastic moves right now (and then) learn we were incorrect," Woo said.

A series of public meetings will precede the council's adoption of the 2008 budget, which is scheduled for Dec. 4.
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John Edwards' Thin Skin

Johnny Boy reveals two more personality disorders that should disqualify him as a presidential candidate. He's too vain and a he's a bully.

A University of North Carolina professor said Friday that John Edwards' campaign demanded that he pull a student reporter's television story that focused on the upscale location of the campaign's headquarters.

C.A. "Charlie" Tuggle, an associate professor at the school, said the Edwards campaign contacted the reporter, second-year master's degree student Carla Babb, asking for a video of her report to be removed from the Internet. When that failed, the campaign demanded in three calls to Tuggle that the TV story be killed, he said.

Click the "read more" button to view the offending broadcast. What a wimp John Edwards is.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chillin' Wit Da Mullahz

"High quality of life makes a big difference. When people have a good quality of life, they're chill and less prone to radical thinking. There's a lot of poor people supporting (the) wealthy."
- Our favorite Schwinn-riding moonbat, Alex McDonald, quoted in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News at the Progressive Student Union "discussion" following the WSU College Republicans' airing of the film "Obessesion: Radical Islam's War with the West" Wednesday night.

"They're chill?" What?

Maybe they need a Wal-Mart in Gaza, Alex?

Seriously, this is the most pathetic of all the leftist apologies for Islamic terrorism. It demonstrates just how flawed conclusions can be when viewed through the red-colored lens of American academic neo-Marxists. "It's class struggle!! It's multi-national corporations!! All they need is a living wage, good medical benefits and a labor union and everything will be fine!!"

Hogwash. Osama bin Laden comes from one of the wealthiest families in Saudi Arabia. Mohamed Atta, who crashed American Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, was a degreed architect and town planner. All of the 19 9/11 hijackers came from middle-class families and had college degrees. Shehzad Tanweer one of the London subway suicide bombers, left an estate worth 121,000 pounds.

In his book, Understanding Terror Networks, Marc Sageman studied 172 jihadists. He found that Al-Qaeda members are from the upper or middle class. Sageman notes, "the vast majority – 90 percent – came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that's usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways."

Islamic terrorists are motivated by cultural and religious factors. It's ideology, stupid, not the economy.

Women's Self Defense at WSU

I think we can help out with this!

Why don't we offer to assist women who wish to arm themselves. We could recommend appropriate guns and offer shooting lessons.My mother lovers her S&W Ladysmith.

Tragic? You tell me.

Fire crews searched the Green River in Tukwila [Washington] Thursday but found no sign of a 17-year-old suspected car thief who escaped police and jumped into the water Wednesday afternoon.

Think there is any loss to society here?

Type rest of the post here

Quote of the Day

"There's a lot of people who go to Moscow to grocery shop, particularly those who have children, because groceries in Pullman are expensive. I hope Wal-Mart shows up. Their groceries are going to be cheaper than what you can buy in Pullman now."
- Pullman City Councilwoman Ann Heath as quoted in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News

The Daily News ran a three-part series this week on dempgraphics on the Palouse that dispelled the PARDners notion that Pullman is full of wealthy Ph.D.s and students from affluent west side suburbs flush with cash, yearning for something more upscale like Target or Nordstrom. The paper reported that while about 20 percent of people in Whitman County earn more than $75,000 a year, more than a quarter of families earn somewhere between $15,000 and $35,000 a year, according to U.S. Census data, with 16.6 percent living below the poverty line The median home price in Pullman is a whopping $207,000

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Intolerance of Fascism - Not!

What we now know is that liberals will tolerate fascists before they will tolerate Republicans.

When WSU’s Progressive Student Union synchronized its “Week of Tolerance” with the WSU College Republicans’ “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” I thought that perhaps we would at last have an ideological reconciliation. According to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, the PSU’s daily themes would focus on “racial and ethnic equality, gender identity and sexual orientation, disability awareness and environmental issue education.” Considering that Islamofascism is uncompromisingly intolerant of such liberalism, a grand harmonic kumbaya between well-groomed campus conservatives and leftist wackos with their multiple facial piercings seemed in order.

Nope. I was wrong. Tolerance does not extend to those who wish to defend Western Civilization from those committed to snuff it out. As one of Tolerance Week’s organizers phrased it: “The College Republicans appear surprised about why we find their outrageous film so objectionable, but by the end of the week they will have felt the full fury of progressive voices for tolerance on the Palouse.”
Consider my bubble popped.

Michael Moore expects to have flower petals cast before him when he waddles his twaddle onto a college campus. The dominant culture of higher education cannot wag its tail enthusiastically enough when a leftist agenda is promoted. Conservatism cannot expect reciprocal courtesy.

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we were all lectured, in sanctimonious tones worthy of Hillary Clinton, that we needed to make clear distinctions between the monsters who would commit such atrocities and the great majority of peaceful Muslims. It would seem that now, even pointing the finger at Osama bin Laden and his acolytes is no longer politically correct.

If moderate Muslims fear that Islamofascism is staining their faith’s image, it is not the College Republicans or David Horowitz that is to blame. Point the finger at Islamofascists who distribute snuff films of themselves beheading infidels and apostates while chanting “Allah akbar.” Moderate Muslims could ameliorate the harm done to their faith’s reputation by turning out in numbers to forcefully denounce Islamofascism, but they don’t. In part, I am sure that they don’t for the same reason that American bookstores refused to sell Salman Rushdie’s “Satanic Verses,” in 1989. It’s the same reason that United States’ newspapers refused to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons that sparked deadly riots throughout the Middle East.

It’s fear. Islamofascists enforce their doctrine with a level of violence that would shock Hitler’s Brownshirts. Journalists immodestly pound their hairless chests and extol their courage when they exercise their constitutionally protected right to criticize the president. But few dare to dip their toe into a storyline that might invite a suicide bomber’s attention.

In this strange world, the left trembles in fear of encroaching fascism – as well it should. I fear it. We live in a country now where a kindergartner can be expelled from school for drawing a stick figure holding a gun and the Democratic leadership and most Democrats in the United States Senate try to force Rush Limbaugh off the air. And right here at WSU, the College Republicans were ordered by Campus Involvement to advertise a Progressive Student Union event scheduled to follow the showing of their movie, “Obsession.” As the anti-Islamofascism Awareness week theme was that the College Republicans are racist, it’s not hard to imagine what they were being asked to promote.

I am personally sick of hearing liberals excuse their deplorable behavior by reciting their new favorite cliché, “dissent is the highest form of patriotism.” Among the so-called progressives, patriotism might qualify as the highest form of dissent. It would certainly rank as the most unusual.

Rather than confront those who wish our obliteration, the left prefers to ponder “why they hate us?” The left never considers that they hate us because our culture tolerates expressions of “racial and ethnic equality, gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Winston Churchill once defined appeasement as feeding one’s friends to a hungry alligator expecting nothing more in return than being the last course on the alligator’s menu. Today’s appeasers are not that smart. When one considers that the left has replaced Franklin Roosevelt’s four freedoms with the freedom to engage in any manifestation of sex without judgment or consequences, the freedom to access pornography, the freedom to use psychoactive drugs and free access to unfettered abortion, it’s clear that those now serving as Islamofascism’s useful idiots would be the first to lose their heads under an Islamofascist tyranny.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Then There Were Three

Jeff Phelps contacted Whitman County Republican PCOs yesterday to inform us that he is seeking appointment to the state House of Representatives seat being vacated by David Buri.

Phelps, Finance Director for the WSU Office of Marketing Communications, finished second to Buri in the 2004 Republican primary. He joins Joe Schmick of Colfax and Michael Echanove of Palouse , who have already publicly announced their intention to seek the seat.

The Joint 9th District Republican PCO meeting to select a replacement will be held November 10 in Colfax.

WSU Gets Torched

Guess what has just been posted on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's blog, The Torch:

Free Speech under Attack during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

"Felsted removes himself from Pullman City Council race; Family's attorney tells candidate there could be conflict of interest"

Devon Felsted's on-again/off-again Pullman City Council candidacy appears to be off, for good. From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Pullman City Council hopeful Devon Felsted has informally removed himself from the upcoming election.

Felsted, who is president of the family-owned Pullman Disposal, Inc., said Wednesday that he has been advised by his attorneys that he would be caught in a conflict of interest if elected.

"I'm really disappointed," said Felsted, who was running unopposed to replace Councilman David Stiller. "I was really looking forward to running."

Pullman Disposal is the only licensed solid waste disposal company for the city and its outlying area. State code of ethics statutes pertaining to municipal officers restrict 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, even though the two agencies do not have a binding contract per se.

Though Felsted is not a major stockholder, his parents, Bill and Val Felsted own the company and, in planning their estate, put stocks into a trust for their five children.

This trust is considered a beneficial interest, said City Attorney Laura McAloon. Both direct and indirect beneficial interests can be conflicts.

"The estate planning brought to the forefront some other issues," she said. "Once that happened, it would be clear cut that there's a conflict."

Questions regarding a possible conflict of interest arose in June. After some research, McAloon determined Felsted's position as president - with no ownership in the company - was not a conflict.

McAloon said Wednesday the recent developments with the company have highlighted a conflict. As president of the company, Felsted has "some benefits attached to his title that could be construed as a conflict."

If elected, she noted, Pullman Disposal would risk losing business with the city under state law.

Felsted said that although he wants to be a councilman, he won't give up Pullman Disposal.

"I don't want to invite any problems," he said. "I don't see it as a conflict, but I can see how there would be the appearance of one. It's not worth it to me to defend myself from a conflict of interest."

Felsted said he was under the impression that he could not withdraw from the race because the ballots already have been sent to voters. He said he is going to speak with attorneys to verify whether or not he needs to file formal withdrawal papers with the county.

McAloon is researching how the city should proceed to fill the position. She said the council may be able to appoint someone to the position, but she's looking into all options. Stiller will remain in the position until someone is appointed.

"I frankly have not done any in-depth research on it," McAloon said.

Mayor Glenn Johnson said as far as he knows, the council will open the position to any interested party who lives in Ward 3. The council would then appoint someone to the seat. That person would then have to seek reelection in November 2008.

Johnson said he was disappointed to hear Felsted will not sit on the council.

"It's really sad to hear that," he said. "He's a good guy ... To be honest, he is a great guy, and he would have made a great councilman."

BREAKING NEWS: It's Official, Dino's In!!!

I just received the following e-mail from Dino Rossi:

Dear Supporter,

Today, I am very excited to announce that I am a candidate for Governor of Washington.

While I've enjoyed getting back to being a regular dad and spending more time with my family and friends over the last three years, I am keenly aware that our state is headed in the wrong direction.

After a great deal of thought and discussions with Washingtonians across our state, it is clear to me that the best thing I can do to ensure a better future for is, indeed, to run for governor and make the change our state needs.

Our campaign will not be about "What could have been?" Instead, we're looking to the future and saying "We can and will do better."

To help kick-off my campaign, will you be one of the first to sign the "Pledge of Support" by immediately following this link and making a generous contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500 or more to Dino Rossi for Governor?

Our current governor, Christine Gregoire, is on a four-year spending spree and leading a culture of failure in Olympia that is failing citizens in every corner of our state:

* State spending has increased by 32% - or $8.2 billion - in just four years.
* Accountability has been stripped out of school spending.
* Thousands of dangerous felons were released early onto our streets.
* Our roadways have become even more crowded and dangerous.

The polls show we can win - the race is a statistical dead heat- and we're just getting started! Christine Gregoire is reading the same polls we are and there's no doubt that she and those who have a stake in maintaining the status quo will say, do or spend whatever it takes to try to tear me down. But with you on my team, I'm confident we can win and bring the kind of change our state so desperately needs.

Washington state is full of promise. But to harness our opportunities, we need new leadership that is not afraid to take on business as usual and change the culture in Olympia.

As the campaign unfolds, you'll hear a lot more about my ideas to make Washington great - to cut taxes, reduce out of control state spending, keep our neighborhoods safe, and bring the kind of accountability and reform to our schools that will allow our children to compete in the global economy.

I can't do it alone - I need your help to get my campaign off to a strong start. Please follow this link right away to sign the online "Pledge of Support" and at the same time make a generous contribution of whatever you can afford.

You and I both know that money is important in political campaigns. But we also know that most important of all is leadership, accountability, integrity, and a willingness to move forward long-term ideas that bring the real solutions Washingtonians need.

If I can count on your support today, please take a moment right now to follow this link and sign the "Pledge of Support

Thank you for your time -- I look forward to seeing you as I travel our state in the weeks and months ahead.

Your friend,

Dino Rossi

The Department of Ecology's Scorched Earth Policy

The cost of the Department of Ecology's nitwit stormwater regulations to Pullman? According to an article in yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News, it's a whopping $4.4 million and counting. And guess who will have to bear the brunt of it? That's right, as always, Mr. and Mrs. Pullman Property Owner.

This doesn't count the hidden costs of businesses that will locate in Idaho to avoid the burdensome and costly stormwater regulations and the $3.3 million in sales taxes that Whitman County will miss out on if Ecology's water right denial chases the Hawkins Companies out of the corridor.

And all over a ditch that would run dry in the summer if not for the effluent flowing downstream from Moscow's sewage treatment plant. When Dino gets elected next year, it's going to be time to clean house at Ecology.
Council hit with stormwater sticker shock; City learns it could cost $4.4 million to meet state mandated guidelines
Members of the Pullman City Council sat in stunned silence Tuesday when they were told a state-mandated stormwater management program may cost the city $4.4 million.

John Knutson, a senior project manager for Otak, a Yakima-based consulting firm, told the council that costs associated with implementing the five-year permit program are higher than expected. The costs likely will add up due to increased equipment, capital and staff services needed to bring the city into compliance with the permits issued Jan. 17 by the Washington State Department of Ecology.

The city also will be expected to pay a yearly permit fee of $5,500.

The permits are designed to manage the quality and quantity of runoff from development and to control stormwater discharges into sewer systems statewide. The requirements are intended to reduce pollution and contamination of downstream waters and require municipalities to manage construction stormwater, detect and eliminate illegal discharges, create good housekeeping practices for existing systems and educate the public.

Knutson suggested the city set up a stormwater utility district, which he expects could cover up to 90 percent costs associated with the permits. The utility district would charge property owners a set amount, similar to water and sewer services.

"It's the most common approach," he said.

The city also could charge development fees, which may bring in $124,000 by the third year. The fees are associated with developers bringing new construction areas up to permit standards. Treatment on existing development and infrastructure is not yet necessary - at least in the first five-year phase.

Councilman Keith Bloom said he understands the importance of being environmentally conscientious, but he's frustrated with the permit program. Even with a tight city budget, he's not sure taxing residents is the right answer since everyone would be affected one way or another. Increased costs to rental property owners, he added, would likely be passed down to tenants.

"We need to (meet permit requirements), but the issue is how do we pay for it," he said. "I don't want to put more pressure on the taxpayers for ... this unfunded mandate."

Councilman Bill Paul agreed.

"I was shocked," he said. "I was shocked about the whole thing."

Paul isn't sure what the best method to recoup the city's losses may be, but he said he would be open to a utility district.

"I just want to make sure it doesn't put hardships on the citizens," he said.

As the first year of the program prepares to sunset, Knutson estimated that the city will have paid $128,000 toward the program - most of which is associated with consulting costs. The city was granted $75,000 by the Department of Ecology earlier this year, though Knutson considers it "seed money" to gain compliance with the permits.

By the third year, Knutson estimated the permit costs will escalate to $1.2 million, with $280,000 accounted for in equipment and $476,800 in staff, fees and overhead.

Knutson also recommended the city build a stormwater reserve account - which in five years could amount to $555,000. He said the money could begin to be saved early on in the program, when overhead costs are low.

Pullman is about eight months behind the permit schedule and is meeting partial compliance minimums, Knutson said. The city should prepare to up its public education and involvement as well as develop stormwater standards, maintenance and good housekeeping training.

"You are under the permits. The deadlines are in effect," he said. "It's going to be a challenge to get it up and running."
Public Works Director Mark Workman has been given the OK to hire a full-time stormwater manager. If a utility district is formed to offset costs associated with the permits, fees could be implemented as early as mid-2008.

No Wonder The Left Loves Ted Rall

I agree with the Weasel, Ted Rall is a piece of shit.

If you have a strong stomach, click the "read more" button.

I've long thought that you could always identify liberals early in life. They were the guys who were picked last when teams were chosen on the playground. They all threw like girls. And their bitterness has devolved into an anti-American venom.

Ann Coulter Takes On The Islamofascism And Its Useful Idiots

Ann Coulter spoke at USC's Islamofascism Awareness Week festivities last night and this morning has a column about Islamofascism's nitwit allies on college campuses.

Conservative speakers are constantly being physically attacked on college campuses -- including Bill Kristol, Pat Buchanan, David Horowitz and me, among others. Fortunately the attackers are Democrats, so they throw like girls and generally end up with their noses bloodied by pretty college coeds. But that doesn't make it right.

Michael Moore can waddle anywhere he wants in America without fear of violence from Republicans. But we still have to hear about every testy e-mail Paul Krugman ever receives as if liberals are living in the black night of fascism. Any time Krugman wants to get into a "Most Vicious Hate Mail" contest, just say the word. You don't hear me sniffling.

I still snicker when I recall Al Gore whining about "digital brownshirts" who use the internet to publish dissent from leftist orthodoxy.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

World's Wildest Terrorist Video Bloopers

"Who pissed in their falafel?"


The only thing we have to fear...is a lack of fear?

Nate Balko yet again demonstrated in today's Daily Watermelon why the WSU student newspaper continues to be a brilliant model of modern journalism. In his work, "An Ulterior Motive," Mr. Balko takes a very simple subject and complicates it with political mumbo-jumbo and subjective opinion and attacks. Essentially, he accused the CR's of using the movie "Obsession" depicting radical, fascist Islam to instill fear in the minds of those who watch it. He even goes as far as to challenge anyone of the CR's:

If just one of the College Republicans will write in and admit to me that this whole debacle is not about "eliciting discussion" but rather about pushing an agenda and instilling fear, then I will shut my mouth on the issue.

As much as I'd like to believe he'd "shut his mouth on the issue," somehow I doubt it. But it's worth a shot.
Here is the "humble" response of one College Republican.

As a member of the College Republicans (As a MEMBER, mind you. Not as THE College Republican or ALL College Republicans) I will take the bait. I'm writing on Palousitics since, for certain reasons, I have been prevented from submitting to the Daily Watermelon. I guess I'm worried that my true identity to will be revealed to the literally dozens of people that read the Daily Watermelon.

Nate Balko accuses the CR's of wishing to instill fear. And as the Red Knight I will admit that that is exactly what I want. I want people to be afraid of Radical Islam. I want people to be afraid of being terrorized and murdered by suicide bombers in the streets of America and elsewhere. I do want to instill fear, and my response to that is...


What's so wrong with that? Why else does anybody, whether conservative or liberal, black or white, rich or poor, whether this or that, push any agenda? They want to put some form of fear for something in someone's mind! For Mr. Balko to chastise someone like me for wanting to do this has clearly demonstrated a lack of understanding for human nature and politics. Such a statement is hypocritical.

Why else does Al Gore fly around the world showing "An Inconvenient Truth?" He wants people to FEAR global warming and its consequences.

Why do we wear seat belts when driving? Because we FEAR being seriously injured in an accident.

People buy health insurance because they FEAR becoming sick without a way to pay for it.

People wash their hands after using the toilet because they FEAR becoming sick from infection.

People put sunscreen on at the beach because they FEAR getting a sunburn.

Televisions and political ads (Democrat and Republican) reflect this principle every day.

The list could go on further, but I'm sure that even Nate Balko will get my point: Fear is one of the most primitive of human emotions, and it is good. Fear warns us of danger to our person, our property, and our family, and prompts us to formulate responses to eliminate or decrease that danger.

As a member of CR's, I want people to be informed of how dangerous radical Islam can be so they will FEAR it. That is not to say they should go around beating up anybody that looks like they may be Muslim. Not in the least. What I wish is for people to realize the danger of turning a blind eye to radical Islam, believing there is really no risk. While fear itself is something to be feared, if it becomes paralyzing, a lack of fear for subjects like radical Islam can be equally dangerous.

Perhaps Nate Balko should look in the mirror before writing. While he accuses the CR's of fear-mongering, what does he believe he's doing himself? Trying to get people to fear the CR's influence.

WSU President Floyd In Cahoots With Progressive Student Union Protest!!!

UPDATE: Here is the link to authenticate the rumor

Gregory T. Wilkins, Director of Campus Involement, has been tabling at the WSU Glenn Terrell Mall over the last couple of days. Mr. Wilkins, as well as the Progressive Student Union, has been handing out stickers that read:
"RESPECT: Campus Climate Response."
This "stickering" is in lieu of our screening of "Obsession", which is fine (freedom of speech). What is not fine... is being funded by Washington State University's President, Elson S. Floyd. It is against WSU policy to grant a Registered Student Organization (or individual) funding to protest another group (or individual) on campus. This is looking very similar to the controversial play in 2005 when FIRE had to step in to restore law and order.

Ignorati Emeriti

Here is Nick Gier's response to the polite invitation from Daniel Schanze, WSU College Republicans President, to attend the screening of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" tonight.

From: nickgier@adelphia.net
Date: October 23, 2007 7:31:33 PM PDT
To: Daniel Schanze dschanze@mail.wsu.edu
Subject: Re: Documentary Invitation

Dear Daniel,

Thanks for the invitation, but from what I've read about this film I can only draw the conclusion that it is not a balanced account and will damage our government's attempts to win moderate Muslims to our side in the war on terror.

I will not recommend the film to my students or my friends. I will recommend that they attend all the alternative events that have been planned for the Week of Tolerance.

I've appended one column and attached two others that I've written on this topic. One of these might appear in the Daily Evergreen this week.

Nick Gier, Professor Emeritus, University of Idaho
That's right folks, The proud professor emeritus who taught Philosophy for 31 years LEAPS TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THE FILM IS BAD BUT HASN'T EVEN SEEN IT YET. Nevertheless, he is prepared to unleash "the full fury of progressive voices for tolerance on the Palouse" on the College Republicans for showing it.

My God, this is the clearest example I've seen yet of liberal elitist closed-mindedness, academic dishonesty, and sheer willful ignorance that Michael wrote about recently. Would you want this man teaching you or your child how to think logically and rationally?

Sign of the Apocalypse?

First, Chuck Norris endorsed Mike Huckabee, now........liberal Lewiston Tribune columnist Jim Fisher? I have a feeling Fisher will be checking the box next to the name with the (D) next year, but I do agree with what he had to say about Huckabee in today's column.

(On a side note, we now have 12 people demanding Mike Huckabee come to Pullman (see box above.) Let's see if we get 10 or 20 more signatures in the next few days. Governor Huckabee will be over in Bellevue in three weeks. Maybe we can convince him to swing over to the wheatfields!)
Demolition derby's loser could actually win the race

So-called values voters, also known as members of the Christian right, are telling their purported leaders something about the candidates who have come calling: They like Mike Huckabee better than the leaders do.

It shouldn't be a surprise. Huckabee is not only the most genuine member of the faction whose votes Republican presidential candidates are desperately seeking, but he is the most genuine descendant of Ronald Reagan's campaign style. He is a genial conservative, displaying a sunny disposition while one-time liberals like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani act as if it is their duty to dispense fire and brimstone.

The former Arkansas governor - who says he is a conservative, but adds, "I'm just not angry about it" - is reported to have come in second behind Romney in the straw poll at Saturday's Values Voters Summit. But it's not that simple. Romney received 1,585 votes to Huckabee's 1,555, but those totals include votes cast online as well as those at the summit itself.

Among those who saw the various candidates in person, Huckabee drew support from 50 percent. Romney was endorsed by only 10 percent.

Why? It could be Huckabee's reminder to the crowd that he spoke "not as one who comes to you, but as one who comes from you."

It could also be resentment toward those movement leaders who have ignored Huckabee in favor of candidates who appear more electable because they have more money and higher rankings in national polls.

It also could be Huckabee's own appeal to the crowd: "Let us not sacrifice our principles for anybody's politics."

In terms of politics, though, Republicans could do worse than choose Huckabee, and probably will.

While Romney, Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain paint themselves as more authoritarian than their rivals - an impression each would certainly work to soften after receiving the nomination - Huckabee is the same likable guy today that he will be during the general election campaign.

All GOP candidates met for another debate Sunday night, and there was Huckabee distinguishing himself by refusing to denounce his opponents as less righteous than he. As the others attacked each other's conservative credentials, Huckabee said Americans are "looking for a presidential candidate who's not so interested in a demolition derby against the other people in his own party."

If that were true, Huckabee would be the nominee. But it probably isn't.

The reason politicians continue to resort to attacks on their opponents is that attacks work. But for now, it's nice to see one candidate in the race exemplify the surest legacy of Reagan, smiling optimism.

"Upcoming elections - whither shall we go?"

Pullman resident and globetrotting professor Chuck Pezeshki weighed in on the Moscow City Council elections (?) in his column in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News yesterday. (Isn't it funny how all the local libs, even ones that don't live in Moscow, are coming out of the woodwork to attack the Greater Moscow Alliance and its candidiates? They're afraid that their little Walden experiment in Moscow is about to come to an end.)

Normally, Chuck's arrogant rantings make my eyes hurt to read. But he actually made some fairly rational points today. For example, it is true that local politicians affect our day-to-day lives much more than those in Washington, DC. I made that same point to a group of UI students last week.

I'm also glad Chuck freely admits to shopping at Wal-Mart and dismisses the silly fear that Wal-Mart will somehow "destroy" downtown Moscow and Pullman.

However, I must take exception to Pezeshki's assertion that we don't need to lay down another huge piece of asphalt to replace what we already have." Pullman residents shopping at Wal-Mart and WinCo in Moscow hurts Pullman taxpayers and it hurts Pullman businesses. One of the reasons that people own a house "that they cannot pay the mortgage on" is because all the tax burden in Pullman is on home owners. Studies have shown that Pullman is underretailed in every category except restaurants and that as a result, Pullman and Whitman County lose $150 million a year in taxable sales to neighboring communities.

Like Pezeshki, I don't think everything needs to be duplicated in both cities, but each has to be self-sufficient, whether that means Wal-Mart or WinCo or whatever, before we can talk of cooperation. I know iberals are all about equivalent outcomes and therefore fear it, but competition is a good thing.

I don't have time to get into Chuck's theories on nationalized healthcare and how the economic salvation of the Palouse lies in more professors and more bike paths. Speaking of professors, Chuck has commented on the Daily News web site:

Honestly, the anti-intellectualism present in the two towns, whose bread and butter is vastly created by those with big degrees is overwhelming sometimes. You want to know what Moscow and Pullman would look like without the universities? Drive north to Tensed.

I guess he's hurt we don't fall down and worship Ph.D.s It's actually not anti-intellectualism anyway. It's anti-arrogantassholism.

Moscow's City Council elections are hotly contested this year. Good. Residents are waking up to the fact that local issues affect them far more on a day-to-day basis than who is president. It gives me hope that we can regenerate our democracy.

There are a couple of big issues. First, people have been debating the idea of development, arguing that since the Moscow Wal-Mart Supercenter has effectively been killed for the time being, the Moscow City Council is anti-development.

For me, the whole super-center concept is a real nonstarter. I can't see how a super center (or two) adds anything to the combined communities of Pullman or Moscow. We have a Wal-Mart. I shop there. The merchandise and prices are identical to the dozens of Wal-Marts, including super centers, that I have visited, other than the fact you cannot get your hair cut or do your banking there. Even the drive time from Pullman is only marginally longer for many of us on the north side of town than if we had a Wal-Mart on Bishop Boulevard. Why lay down another huge piece of asphalt in either community to replace what we already have?

With regard to a budget grocery store, we have WinCo. I shop there. Like the Moscow Wal-Mart, I like the people that work there. Shopping at either store is not a boutique experience, but both sets of employees have always been friendly to me.

As do the proponents of the various super centers, I do not believe that Wal-Mart will displace downtown business in either town. Both Pullman and Moscow have turned their downtowns into coffee shops and boutique marketplaces. For economic development, that's a good thing. Livable, lively downtowns that serve as entertainment districts are what attract the people who create growth. These people, labeled by author Richard Florida as the "Creative Class," are the individuals who are starting the businesses that will thrive through the 21st century.

People arguing that the Moscow City Council is anti-business are off-base. People arguing that we need to bring industry to Moscow, with all that implies as far as pollution and water consumption, are living 50 years in the past. The day of creating high-paying blue-collar jobs by siting a manufacturing facility in a community are gone. In today's world, if you want growth, build a livable city where people can walk, instead of drive. Build a community with bike paths, instead of cookie-cutter subdivisions. Complete large-scale, unique amenities like the Latah Trail that set us apart from other small communities. If jobs that provide health care for employees is the real issue, lobby for a national health-care plan, because the industrial infrastructure that used to provide those kinds of jobs is gone forever.

And instead of spending time attacking the people who work at the universities, arguing that they are overpaid, when by national standards they are not, prize those high-paying jobs, and help in lobbying efforts in both state capitals for pay raises for faculty and staff. Some perspective - for every dollar that taxpayers put into Washington State University, WSU researchers, professors, and staff generate seven. And some of those seven dollars circulate in this community.

Secondly, the City Council should can the so-called "boardinghouse ordinance." One of the key things that makes Moscow great is that growth is clustered in neighborhoods close to the city center. Anything that jeopardizes families wanting to live close to the city center should be disallowed. The main beneficiaries of any boardinghouse ordinance are people who live beyond their means, owning a house that they cannot pay the mortgage on. A word to the current City Council - in this part of the world, conditional use permits turn into permanent use permits pretty quickly. Anyone doubting this should look at such permits for uses on national forests. Though it is against the letter of the law, such permits are bought and sold with various businesses all the time. Expecting anything different with boardinghouse permits is foolishness.

Finally, both city councils need to kill the competitive talk between our two cities. The fate of Moscow and Pullman are intertwined. Let's talk more about cooperation instead of duplication of services. Both communities depend on each other.

Free Speech In Berkeley, A Taste of Tonight?

Incorrect University has video of from Islamofascism Awareness Week festivities at UC Berkeley.

The best parts are the moronic commentary from critics.

Will Henry Waxman Chair Iran's Hearings?

Now this is just too good. Iran's Mullahs want to "judicial bodies to form a war tribunal to punish the United States' warmongering ruling party for its crimes."

So now that Democratic Party has the full cooperation of its most natural ally, Iran.

TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Deputy head of Iran's judiciary here Tuesday called on the world's independent legal and judicial bodies to form a war tribunal to punish the United States' warmongering ruling party for its crimes.

Seyed Ebrahim Rayisee viewed the recent statements made by the US president about contingencies of World War III as a serious threat to the international peace and security, and stressed, "Iran's peaceful nuclear activities are carried out under the legal and technical inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and such remarks indicate the ignorance and confused status of the US ruling party in dealing with international relations, and specially Iran's peaceful nuclear activities."

He further said that the crimes committed by the US ruling party in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Washington's increasing threats in the international arena would bring nothing to the US but further political isolation.

The official said the world today knows very well that the hawkish policies of the US administration have come to a dead-end, "and in case the United States continues violation of the international norms and criteria, it will have to face increased pressures from the side of the world Public opinion, particularly the American people, insisting the illogical leaders of that country to revise their current attitudes."

Actually, I think that either John Murtha or Fortney Stark would be the best candidates to chair this tribunal.

I expect that the Progessive Student Association will feel the warmth a harmonic convergence today.