Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When A Prominent Presidential Candidate's Church Goes Astray

Oh! You thought I was talking about this?
Do note the date. One year ago today. If the Times could figure it out, why couldn't the man who claims that his judgment alone qualifies him to be president?

"Group will continue challenge of WSU water rights; Pollution board's decision not to overturn consolidation will be appealed"

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

"Conservationists?" Please. The only thing Scotty Cornelius is trying to conserve is his 15 minutes of fame.

They do realize, of course, that the aquifer is not like a spotted owl or a redwood. It does not reproduce. Like any well, it will run dry one day, no matter how much we try to "conserve" it. However, plenty of water and snow fall from the sky in our region. All we need to do is figure out how to store it above and/or below ground. Or we just burn everything down and drive all the people out of the Palouse Basin. That seems to be the approach the aquinuts prefer.

And where in the hell is the money for all these appeals coming from?

From today's Lewiston Tribune:
PULLMAN - A group of conservationists will continue to challenge Washington
State University's water rights after saying last week further action was

One of the group's attorneys said it will now ask the state Pollution Control
Hearings Board to reconsider its recent decision not to overturn a 2006
consolidation of those rights.

"The ruling now requires that water supplies be depleted before the state will
step in," Rachael Paschal Osborn, the group's Spokane attorney said in a
statement issued Tuesday. "With this decision, WSU has a green light to
over-pump groundwater supplies."

WSU officials have maintained the consolidation only joins water rights
scattered across several campus wells, allowing it to increase pumping from its
two modern wells. The alternative would be expensive upgrades to aging wells,
according to WSU.

But the group - which includes the Palouse Conservation Network, the Sierra Club
Palouse Group and Pullman resident Scotty Cornelius - said the consolidation
means WSU can triple the amount of water it pumps, if it wants to.

And it does want to, Osborn said. "The appeal challenges WSU's request to
consolidate all of its rights so that it may pump from new wells, in part so
that it may irrigate a new 315-acre, 18-hole golf course which WSU expects will
double water use compared to the previous golf course."

That course, Palouse Ridge, is set to open inAugust. Its practice facility opens
Thursday, with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m.

Osborn said water rights have been "over-allocated" during WSU's 118-year
history. The majority of its unused water rights should have been returned to
the public before the 2003 Washington Legislature killed "use it or lose it"
provisions in state water law, she said.

A three-member panel from the hearings board recently split 2-1 on overturning
the state Department of Ecology's award of the consolidation. Osborn has
previously said action in Whitman County Superior Court to overturn it is also a
possibility, albeit a remote one.

Could Barack Obama Be Blackmailed Now?

More than ever, Barack Obama is invested in the probably lie that he never heard even one of the reverend Jeremiah Wright hateful sermons that we heard on Fox News, or the New York Times knew all about or that the The New Republic cited long ago. By saying that this was all news to him, he essentially issued a Gary Hart-like invitation to prove him wrong.

That means that there is at least one person then who holds Barack Obama's presidential prospects in his hand - Jeremiah Wright.

After getting a good look at Jeremiah Wright over the last few days, does anyone doubt that he would refrain from coaxing whatever he wants out of Barack Obama? Let's face it. All Jeremiah Wright has to say is that: "Yes, Barack Obama was in my congregation when I said these things. We've talked about them. He agrees with me." And Obama's campaign would be sunk - permanently.

That's an awfully heavy fist to be holding over the man who wants to be the president of the most powerful nation in history.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NOW Obama denounces Rev. Wright

Barack Hussein Obama finally decided to denounce something that racist and terrorist Rev. Wright said.

B. Hussein stated his Wright's remarks about things such as the U.S. government creating AIDS and giving it blacks in a genocide attempt was “a bunch of rants that aren’t grounded in truth” and that they were "appalling"? REALLY?? It doesn't take a PhD to figure out that basically everything Rev. Wright stands for is anti-American, racist, and the same propaganda that is preached by terrorists throughout the world.

For me and hopefully for America it is too late for Obama to be denouncing this man. He has stated over and over that he will not repudiate the man and now that Wright goes on one of his weekly rants Obama decides to reject what he is saying. Obama has been listening to this garbage for almost 20 years and today was the first day he realized what Wright was saying is wrong? I don't buy it and I hope for the sake of America that people realize this is completely a political move and that Obama obviously DOES believe in Wright's teachings. Name one thing you would voluntarily do every week for 20 years if you didn't believe in it or want to participate.

I'm sick of this fiasco and pray that America wakes up and realizes that Obama is just as evil as his great friend Rev. Wright.

Democrats Are So Predictable

Check out this March 18 post on National Review Online. Amy Holmes predicts today's events almost word for word.

Obama's Pastor Plan [Amy Holmes]

I just figured out how Obama gets out of this. It's devious. But it may be only way.

He leaves this thing alone for the time being and suffers through the next few primaries. He hangs onto his pledged delegate lead, makes the argument that pledged delegates are all that matter. So far, polling shows Democratic voters agree.

He prevails and wins the nomination. Then, he deploys The Pastor Plan. It goes like this. Pastor Wright arranges to give a speech. In it, the pastor makes such outlandish and slanderous claims, not unlike we've already heard, that Obama has no choice but to say, "Enough! Jeremiah has gone too far. I cannot abide his divisive, harmful, and inappropriate language. He does not speak for me or my family which is why we must, with heavy hearts, sever our relationship. He will always be a friend and welcome at my door. But I cannot continue to take his counsel, religious or otherwise." It helps here if the pastor has used some swear words and invented new conspiracies.

Obama sends Pastor Wright a heartfelt letter, more in sorrow than in anger, which he posts on his website. He holds a press conference to inform the public that he has spoken with the pastor privately and explained his position. Obama vows to carry on the church's work of charity and compassion. He stages some events showing him involved in a multicultural community service project, visits a West Virginia coal mine, stuff like that. And he exhorts his fellow Americans to join him in the journey toward racial reconciliation.

Timing is key. Sometime right after the inevitable 527 Pastor Wright ads start running. In fact, they can be the pretext of the pastor's speech. The 527 ads provoke the Reverend's fury. Obama reacts. Bam! It's over. Pastor problem solved.

Think the Clintons wouldn't do it?

03/18 11:28 PM

Business Killer

Let's examine some facts about stormwater runoff in Pullman:

  • No matter how much money we spend or what efforts we make, due to topography, soil, and agricultural land use, the South Fork of the Palouse River will run chocolate brown before it gets to Pullman and chocolate brown after it leaves Pullman. Our stormwater efforts are equivalent to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Pullman is a hundred miles or more upstream from the Snake River, roughly 300 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River, and not connected to the Puget Sound drainage at all.

  • Name one endangered species that lives in the drainage of the Palouse River. Salmon and trout have not lived in the river since at least 12,000 years ago when the Glacial Lake Missoula flood formed Palouse Falls.

  • Much of the impairment of the South Fork of the Palouse River that we are being required to correct originated at the Moscow Sewage Treatment Plant upstream on Paradise Creek. Moscow was recently fined by the EPA for these numerous and egregious violations.

  • Despite all this, the Washington Department of Ecology proceeded with imposing the onerous Phase II stormwater permitting on Pullman anyway. Now, Pullman taxpayers have gotten a proposed bill.

    Homeowners may have to pay up to $80 extra a year. That's bad enough, but the impact on local business is going to be even worse. Gee, thanks, pencil-pushing bureaucrats in Olympia.

    From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:

    Pullman stormwater fees could be significant for businesses

    Pullman business owners with more than one acre of property may be expected to pay more than $1,000 a year in utility fees to help the city recover costs incurred by a mandatory permit intended to clean up the state's waterways.

    Businesses with 10 acres could face annual fees of nearly $11,000.

    John Knutson, a consultant for Otak Inc., outlined estimated stormwater utility fees for business and home owners during a forum at Pullman City Hall on Monday night.

    The forum - which included a panel of speakers - was the first of many meetings to educate the public about the Washington State Department of Ecology permits, issued to municipalities across the state in January 2007.

    Knutson said the implementation of a stormwater utility was the most realistic way to raise roughly $800,000 a year to help pay for the first five-year cycle of the permit, which has been estimated to cost $4 million.

    Washington State University is a co-permittee and will be expected to address the same issues as the city. The university cannot employ a stormwater utility, and must seek other funding mechanisms to meet compliance standards.

    Knutson said most stormwater utilities are based on a property's impervious surface, which include impenetrable materials such as rooftops, asphalt and brick. These materials repel water and prevent precipitation from reaching the soil, leading to runoff. Otak was hired in 2006 to help pinpoint the city's strengths and weaknesses in regard to stormwater. Otak staff assessed 340 Pullman residences via air photos to calculate an estimated fee structure. On average, a single-family home in Pullman has 3,500 square feet of impervious surface, and that amount has been determined to be one equivalent billing unit at a cost of about $7 per month.

    For developed nonresidential property, the amount of impervious surface would be divided by 3,500 to determine the number of billing units.

    For example, Knutson said a drive-through restaurant on one-acre would likely pay in the neighborhood of $87.50 per month. A 10-acre commercial property would be billed close to $900 per month. He added that vacant or undeveloped property will not be charged a utility fee, and duplexes and triplexes will be considered half a billing unit because they tend to have less impervious surfaces.

    City Finance Director Troy Woo put the $7 billing unit in perspective, and said sewer and water utility fees for single-family homes are around $18 per month. [Gee, let's put that in another perspective: That's adding 39% to your monthly water bill. Not an inconsequential increase. But this is the government we're talking about here. - tf]

    Pullman home owner Paul Spencer said he can handle the $7 per month. The information in the meeting helped him become aware that nearly everything - even owning a car - can affect stormwater quality. [Oh, brother. - tf]

    "Anything we can do to help the situation is good," he said. "Being aware of the problem plays a big part in its solution."

    Pullman Stormwater Services Manager Rob Buchert said the utility is only one component of complying with the permits, which were designed to manage the quality and quantity of runoff from development and to control stormwater discharge into sewer systems. The requirements are intended to help municipalities detect and eliminate illegal discharges, reduce contamination of downstream waters, create good housekeeping practices for existing systems and educate the public.

    The utility fees will help create a new arm of the city maintenance department to oversee the nearly 1,000 stormdrains and roughly 80 pipes that discharge stormwater into area waterways. A new pumper truck also will be purchased to clean out storm drains, and miles of old storm-drain lines also will need to be replaced.

    The draft ordinance necessary to implement the stormwater utility is expected to be completed sometime in May. A public hearing will be scheduled, and the ordinance would be passed on to the Pullman City Council for adoption.

    Elaine Snouwaert, watershed coordinator for the Department of Ecology and a member of the panel at the meeting, said the permits are necessary to ensure area waterways are clean for animals and future generations. She explained that stormwater is not treated before it is discharged into streams and rivers.

    "Everything on the ground can become pollutants when it rains," she said.

    Snouwaert said recent water quality tests conducted on the South Fork of the Palouse River have shown the water temperature is high and there are high levels of dissolved oxygen, pH and fecal coliform bacteria. Paradise Creek and Missouri Flat Creek also have been deemed impaired.

    Don't Mess With J. D. Johannes

    The Democrats have prepared a treacherously dishonest advertisement smearing John McCain. J.D. Johannes retaliates with the truth.

    He notes that the Democrats included footage from an Al Qaida snuff video (the soldiers lived by the way - not shown in the video of course), and replies:

    Al Qaida is in Iraq. Al Qaida wants the U.S. military out of Iraq.

    The Democrats want the U.S. military out of Iraq.

    Draw your own conclusions, but I think it is pretty obvious which side Al Qaida is on.

    As Johannes notes, all that's missing from the ad is a few Allah Akbars.

    Baghdad Jim McDermott Contributes To Republican Party

    Baghdad Jim has finally paid up - $1,093,297 into Congressman John Boehner's political action commmittee.

    McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, paid $1,093,297 to the Ohio Republican's campaign committee earlier this month, spokesmen for the two men said Monday.

    The payment is in addition to $64,000 McDermott paid Boehner in January, as part of court-ordered punitive damages in the long-running case.

    A federal judge ordered McDermott to compensate Boehner for attorney's fees after Boehner sued McDermott for leaking the contents of a cellphone call that was illegally recorded in 1996.

    A federal court found last year that McDermott had no right to release the recording, in which Republican leaders discussed an ethics case against then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga.

    A Florida couple recorded the cellphone call on a radio scanner and gave the tape to McDermott, who at the time was a senior member of the House ethics committee. McDermott leaked the tape to two newspapers, which published articles on the case in January 1997.

    Seattle's NIMBY Liberals Bash The Homeless

    This sort of proves a theory that I developed years ago, that liberals favor big government because it allows them to avert their eyes from those in need. Isn't that what we pay taxes for?

    Many residents in Seattle's affluent Magnolia neighborhood are fuming over plans to house homeless people near Discovery Park at soon-to-be-closed Fort Lawton.

    At one community meeting, some residents wondered whether homeless housing at the fort would attract wife-beaters, sex offenders and crack addicts. They rolled their eyes when city officials asserted that such housing increases property values. They worried about the impact on schools and scoffed at the idea of homeless people shopping at the closest grocery — which sells pheasant-and-rosemary pâté for $9.99 and ground coffee for up to $18 a pound.

    "We're the ones who live here, and we want to have a nice, safe neighborhood to live in," Donald Raz, a King County deputy prosecutor and Magnolia resident, said later.

    Monday, April 28, 2008

    Hanging Up The Headphones

    You can read my post over at www.thepes.com and learn more, but today I have decided to stop doing The PES.

    Friday, April 25, 2008

    Whoa There, PARDner!

    Chinese Junk

    You might want to reconsider saying that Wal-Mart only sells "cheap Chinese crap."

    From Reuters:
    A Chinese primary school teacher and a beautician have filed a suit against CNN in New York over remarks they say insulted the Chinese people and are seeking $1.3 billion in compensation -- $1 per person in China, a Hong Kong newspaper reported.


    Cafferty said the United States imported Chinese-made "junk with the lead paint on them and the poisoned pet food" ...
    Liberals: Saving oppressed workers of the world one epithet at a time.


    So proclaim new real estate signs advertising store and pad availability out in the Pullman-Moscow corridor.

    And why not? The Hawkins Companies just purchased the land and groundbreaking is imminent.

    What a dramatic turn of events. 3 months ago, this project seemed to be on life support. This is the biggest thing to happen to retailing on the Palouse since the Palouse Mall was built 30 years ago.

    From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:

    Hawkins completes land purchase at development site

    Hawkins Companies has finalized the purchase of $5.45 million of land from Whitworth University for its 714,000-square-foot retail development just west of the Idaho border.

    Hawkins spokesman Jeff DeVoe said the sale marks the beginning of much work that remains to be completed. The company is forming plans with contractors and still working to secure additional tenants to the Lowe's-anchored shopping center. Hawkins paid $27,665 per acre for the 197-acre tract. The sale was finalized April 9.

    "Certainly (the purchase) is a major step, but there are lots of steps on the way to completing a development," DeVoe said.

    "We are just working like mad," he added. "Now is the time we have our sleeves rolled up and are working."

    Hawkins has set a target date of June 1 for beginning to develop the site, weather permitting.

    "It's all weather-dependant," [sic - the Daily News needs to invest in a spell checker. Two other egregious examples over the past few days in sports headlines were "seperate" and "lastest" - tf] DeVoe said. "Obviously, spring weather hasn't been very conducive to drying out the land."

    "City planning for stormwater utility changes; Forum will address ordinance, how it will affect residents, business owners"

    Get ready to open up your wallets, Pullman residents and business owners. The Department of Ecology's $4 million unfunded mandate to save non-existent salmon in the Palouse River is going to be funded by someone: Y-O-U. Too bad more people didn't stand up to try and stop this insanity. Now it's too late.

    From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
    Pullman city leaders are working on a plan to cover the costs incurred by a mandatory statewide stormwater permit program.

    Stormwater Services Manager Rob Buchert said an ordinance soon will be presented to create a municipal stormwater utility, aimed to bring in about $800,000 from residents per year.

    Buchert said the ordinance is a necessary evil to help the city pay for the first cycle of a five-year Washington Department of Ecology permit that has been estimated to cost roughly $4 million to implement. The ordinance will have to be approved by the City Council.

    "This is not an additional tax," Buchert said. "This is a fee for services, just like water and sewer."

    The state issued permits to municipalities in January 2007 that set strict guidelines on stormwater management. The permits were designed to manage the quality and quantity of runoff from development and to control stormwater discharge into sewer systems. The requirements are intended to help municipalities detect and eliminate illegal discharges, reduce contamination of downstream waters, create good housekeeping practices for existing systems and educate the public.

    Buchert said the fees will help pay for inventory and maintenance of the city's estimated 1,000 storm drain catch basins and roughly 80 pipes that empty into area waterways, such as the North Fork of the Palouse River and Missouri Flat Creek.

    "You never know when someone will dump motor oil (down a storm drain), or which pipe will be affected by pollution next," he said, noting that obvious toxins include antifreeze and motor oil, though soap from car washes also can be dangerous because it can change water's pH balance.

    "The cumulation of all of those - without a doubt - will have an effect on our waterways," he said.

    Public Works Director Mark Workman said the utility payments will be collected from residents and businesses that pay Pullman for water and sewer. People who own land in city limits that isn't served by utilities, such as compacted gravel parking lots, also will be subject to fees because of the impervious surfaces of their property.

    Impervious surfaces include rooftops, sidewalks, roads, and parking lots covered by impenetrable materials such as asphalt, concrete, brick and stone, Workman said. These materials seal surfaces, repel water and prevent precipitation from infiltrating the soil, leading to runoff.

    Workman said the original goal was to present the draft ordinance to the public during a stormwater information forum slated for Monday at Pullman City Hall. But the language requires more tweaking and the draft more likely will be presented to residents sometime in May. However, residents will get a sense of how the permits work and a ballpark figure of what they may have to pay in fees at Monday's meeting.

    Buchert said the forum, which will be led by a panel of speakers and include a question-and-answer session, is designed to fulfill the public information requirement of the permit. The forum is sponsored by the city, Pullman League of Women Voters and the Pullman Chamber of Commerce.

    "Step one is really getting people to realize that none of the storm drains go into the wastewater treatment plant. It's going into the waterways," he said. "The Department of Ecology really wants to see an active campaign to make people aware of how their actions affect water in the storm-drain system."

    Buchert said the first few years of the permit focus on education. The state won't begin strictly monitoring progress until the third year.

    Workman said some residents may find it difficult to understand what they're paying for.

    "It's not like you can say, 'Well, for this monthly payment, I'm getting this service.' It's a much harder concept to sort of get your arms around, because it's more general and programmatic," he said. "There's much more to the stormwater program that we're being required to implement ... It's related to overall cleaning up the environment through program methods."


    WHAT: Pullman stormwater information forum

    WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday

    WHERE: Pullman City Hall

    WHY: The forum is designed to kick-start the public education portion of a Washington State Department of Ecology municipal stormwater permit issued to the city in January 2007. The forum will be led by a panel of speakers from the city, Department of Ecology, Washington State University and Otak, Inc., a consulting firm that has helped the city with the initial phases of the permit cycle. The forum will be televised on local channel 13. Residents unable to attend the forum but who have questions can contact Rob Buchert at (509) 338-3314 or by e-mail at rob.buchert@pullman-wa.gov.

    "Lesson was counterproductive"

    Another great letter in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News from Terry Day:
    WSU architecture Professor Ayad Rahmani makes some valuable observations about Pullman's Bishop Boulevard (Opinion, April 18); observations all the more important because we're about to see similar "architorture" practiced along the Pullman-Moscow corridor.

    But with all due respect, I'm going to file his methods under "politorture."

    Conjuring a protest unfortunately elicits media coverage, and there may even be some value in raising public awareness about these planning and zoning issues; but Rahmani's methods countervail his stated purpose of teaching architecture students a civics lesson.

    Best he leave civics to someone better qualified to teach it.

    The lesson he taught is counterproductive of his own aims, which is to influence Pullman planning and zoning in a direction that he believes will produce a people-friendlier built environment.

    Better he teach his students to attend meetings of relevant city boards, and city council meetings, and perhaps develop an educational report on architorture instead of encouraging students to organize an in-your-face protest that likely will push the community further from the goals he espouses in his profession.

    Terence L. Day, Pullman

    "College Republicans wrong to complain"

    Here is a letter to the editor from Friday 4/25 in response to Danny's letter and my own letter to the editor on Thursday.
    "Editor: Concerning the whining of College Republicans about why they were not awarded among the 20 of the most influential students list, I think it shows a serious lack of respect for those who were awarded to complain that no members won the award......The Evergreen has more than done its job to appease the College Republicans. As most people who have been reading the Evergreen for more than 3 years have noticed, the number of conservative articles has dramatically increased, and the page space for conservative writers overlaps that of the liberal ones by leaps and bounds. This year alone, a person could not open the Evergreen without reading some lowbrow attack on liberals, immigrants, gays or minorities in every opinion column, only to be followed by a far-right diatribe on why we need Jesus and no other god in our lives. Leave the podium with dignity, College Republicans, you’ve had more than your fair share of the limelight."

    -Isaac Harrison alumnus, 2005
    First off, my letter to the editor did not refute those on top 20 most influential but rather stated that it is ridiculous that the most influential and active group on campus had no members on the list. Of course, today they continued to add the great influential Liberal students such as Alex McDonald to the list, the Evergreen then tried to save face and state that they wanted to add Chris Del Beccaro, but due to time constraints and space they could not. Mr. Isaac Harrison believes that the Evergreen has in the last 3 years seen "the number of conservative articles dramatically increase". He is correct in the fact that maybe they have increased simply because the newspaper slanders the College Republicans even more than they used to. There is 1 positive article for at least every 20 negative ones about us in the newspaper. So congrats Isaac you are correct there are more articles demeaning the most influential group on campus.

    Secondly, there is a difference between the Evergreen hiring opinion columnists and those who actually write news articles and do other jobs for the Evergreen, they try to hire 1 Conservative columnist on staff to try to be "balanced" - 1 to about 15 isn't very balanced in my mind though. Also, Isaac your information is a little incorrect in believing that you could not open the "Liberal Green" without reading "some lowbrow attack on liberals, immigrants (illegal aliens is what I think you are referring to), gays or minorities". I was the only Conservative opinion columnist last semester Isaac, and for some reason I don't remember ever attacking gays or minorities - and I never attacked Liberals, just stated the truth. Get a life Isaac and stick to reading your Liberal propaganda rather than attempting to write your poorly thought out letters with complete fallacies and figments of your imagination.

    Back When Obama Was Only 47 Years Old

    Why would anyone associate with somebody who celebrates mass murder?

    At one rally, Dohrn famously praised the Manson family for murdering Sharon Tate and others, shouting: "Dig it. First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into a victim's stomach! Wild!"

    "Planning panel, commissioners eye code revisions for Hawkins project"

    More clues on the stores that will make up the Hawkins Stateline Retail Center from yesterday's Whitman County Gazette:
    County commissioners met with members of the county planning commission last Wednesday, April 16, to lay out their goals for the next year.

    Similar meetings in recent years produced revisions to zoning codes in the ag district and created a new process for permitting home businesses.

    Commissioner Greg Partch credited the planning commission for “helping to wear down the opposition,” to last year’s changes to the county’s rural residential zoning ordinance.

    At Wednesday’s meeting, the two boards touched on a number of issues, ranging from an update to the county’s comprehensive plan and critical areas ordinances; expanding the cluster residential district to allow for future growth of Pullman, and tying up loose ends to the ag zone code.

    Atop the list, however, is a series of changes to zoning laws aimed at easing the development of Boise-based Hawkins Companies’ stateline strip mall.

    “The stuff in regards to Hawkins is most vital,” stressed Commissioner Jerry Finch.

    Commissioners asked the planning commission to remove a number of hurdles from the shopping center’s development.

    Among those hurdles is adding to the list of businesses allowed to locate in the Pullman-Moscow Corridor and loosening signing restrictions. At present, certain types of businesses are not permitted in the corridor. Those exclusions may limit what companies can move into the mall.

    “We came up with that because we wanted to keep out strip joints, tattoo parlors and the like,” explained County Planner Mark Bordsen.

    Assistant planner Alan Thomson said the county has received a request from a pet store looking to establish its business in the shopping center. Pet stores are not on the list of allowed businesses.

    Partch said it was a simple matter of omission, and commissioners suggested the planning commission develop a more complete list of permitted businesses for the corridor.

    Ordinances relating to business signs may also need to be changed.

    Thomson noted zoning codes only allow one sign per retail development in unincorporated parts of the county.

    The possibility of dozens of stores in the 700,000-sqaure foot shopping center may require several signs. To accommodate Hawkins’ plans, the county must change its signing ordinance to allow the erection of multiple signs.

    Commissioner Michael Largent stressed it is urgent these changes be made fast.

    “Time is of the essence,” he said.

    Also discussed was the permitting of wind-power towers.

    Wind towers are currently listed under county code as a conditional use, but the height of towers is limited to 350 feet.

    Typically, Whitman County has not had sufficient sustained wind levels to sustain a wind farm, but Bordsen said newer towers that reach as high as 500 feet may mean companies will look to the county’s open skies.

    “This will alter the county forever, so let’s make sure we’re careful in what we’re doing,” said Planning Commissioner Mary Collins of Pullman.

    Thomson reported two wind energy companies will attend the May 21 meeting of the planning commission in regards to the issue of zoning for wind farms.

    Bordsen also said he wanted the planning commission to address regulations regarding replacement homes under the ordinance.

    The code is not clear on the requirements for those building new homes on the site of former homes.

    Bordsen’s issue is how far away those new houses could be built without being subject to the ag zone’s viewshed and buffer requirements.

    Currently, the planning department has set an arbitrary ten-foot limit. Bordsen worried, however, that limit might be difficult to defend in court.
    The Gazette also reported that the Whitman County Commissioners have hired a consultant to help the county apply for $14 million from the state’s Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT) program for the Hawkins project.

    Racist La Raza Creates Own Border at Michigan State University

    Video of La Raza, Mecha, and other pro-illegal alien groups create own border on college campus bridge.

    Listen to the foul language and propaganda used by these pro-immigration groups. They stopped students crossing a bridge for their MSU ID cards to go across to class. They are not winning any people with that attitude. Those protesters remind me of those foul-mouthed students and that idiot professor who went after the College Republicans for their peaceful demonstration.
    I can see these same pro-illegal groups on the WSU campus doing the same thing and WSU-CES would support them.

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Barack Obama The Heartless

    Can you imagine that anyone would take seriously a candidate so cruel that he would support leaving unwanted infants to die in the Spartan style of exposure? I can. His name is Barack Obama.

    In 2002, President Bush signed into law a bill titled the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act" (BAIPA). This law was necessary because, believe it or not, infants were being born alive during attempted abortions and then, ancient Spartan style, left to die. Jill Stanek wrote about this last year, saying:

    "As a nurse at an Illinois hospital in 1999, I discovered babies were being aborted alive and shelved to die in soiled utility rooms. I discovered infanticide."

    The act was so vile that even staunch abortion advocates would not oppose BAIPA. Stanek tells us that it passed the Senate by unanimous vote, garnering the support of senators Kerry, Kennedy and Clinton. She then pointed out:

    "The bill also passed overwhelmingly in the House. NARAL went neutral on it. Abortion enthusiasts publicly agreed that fighting BAIPA would appear extreme."

    But the state version of BAIPA failed for years in Illinois. Any guesses as to why? Stanek goes on to explain:

    I testified in 2001 and 2002 before a committee of which Obama was a member.

    Obama articulately worried that legislation protecting live aborted babies might infringe on women's rights or abortionists' rights. Obama's clinical discourse, his lack of mercy, shocked me. I was naive back then. Obama voted against the measure, twice. It ultimately failed.

    In 2003, as chairman of the next Senate committee to which BAIPA was sent, Obama stopped it from even getting a hearing, shelving it to die much like babies were still being shelved to die in Illinois hospitals and abortion clinics.

    Wednesday, April 23, 2008

    "Proud of Bishop Boulevard"

    For those of you without a subscription to the Moscow-Pullman Daily News, below is my letter to the editor that ran on Monday.

    In addition to making the obvious comparison between Professor Ayad Rahmani's elitism and that displayed by Barack Obama in his "bitter Americans" statement, I wanted to make a deeper, more subtle point.

    Many of Rahmani's cheerleaders, including Chuck Pezeshki and Chris Lupke, are proponents of locally-owned businesses versus national chains. Yet, there are no chain stores on Bishop other than Safeway (yet.) There are only locally-owned businesses (Fireside Grille, Village Centre Cinemas, Corporate Pointe, Crimson and Gray, Zeppoz, Barnacle Bill's, et. al.) and locally-owned and -operated franchises (Radio Shack, Absolute Fitness, Jiffy Lube, Holiday Inn Express, et. al.)

    Do we as a community really want to impose onerous and expensive architectural requirements on the types of businesses we supposedly want to encourage just to please the aesthetic sensibilities of a few professors? That will make our local businesses even less competitive with national chains. I'm quite proud of all the progress on Bishop Blvd. over the last 10 years. The sidewalks will come later when the city has more money and the Bishop build-out is complete.

    For example, up in Hayden, the city negotiated with Wal-Mart to have the facade of the store tan and brown with rock veneer "to blend with the rustic flavor Hayden Lake is trying to develop as part of a revitalization project." That's chump change to Wal-Mart; merely the cost of doing business. They are dropping $600,000 to put in stop lights down in Clarkston. But that's a very big deal to a small business.

    From Monday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
    Prior to Professor Ayad Rahmani's "architorture" faux-protest a few weeks back, I had heard only pride expressed about the buildings on Bishop Boulevard from Pullman residents, civic leaders and elected officials. Many have rightfully praised native son Duane Brelsford Jr.'s Corporate Pointe, Fireside Grille, and Village Centre Cinemas, as well as the new Pullman Regional Hospital.

    Now, much as presidential candidate Barack Obama has been doing for the past week, Rahmani, who called Bishop Boulevard "counter-human," has tried to perform damage control (Opinion, April 18.)

    Unfortunately for Rahmani, his Viewpoint column in the Oct. 26 issue of WSU Today completely undermined his efforts.

    Sure, Rahmani is concerned about the "built environment," but only because a "worldly faculty member wants to be proud of his or her choice of place, not making apologies to those who visit" and "high-class faculty will refuse to live in scattered and inconsequential buildings."

    His call for the public and the private sectors to work together also rings hollow. In his column, Rahmani claimed only the university can "save" Pullman. Pullman's housing represents the "worst of the effects of a market economy." Developers persist in building homes with "materials and planning that are highly wasteful and unsustainable." The city is "too bogged down in trying to increase tax revenues to worry about the role of architecture in improving matters." Rahmani advocated a Washington State University land grab on Grand Avenue, which "shows little beyond gas stations and neglected farm buildings," under the guise of "student housing."

    Rahmani stated, "This need not be a divisive issue." Unfortunately, we nonworldly, low-class, nonfaculty types get bitter. We cling to offensive "mcmansions" with garages or inconsequential cookie-cutter homes or antipathy to people who insult and disparage our town and the people who live in it as a way to explain our frustrations.

    Tom Forbes, Pullman

    Quote of the Day

    We all have a responsibility to be environmental stewards. But that stewardship requires that science, not political agendas, drive our public policy.
    Co-founder and former leader of Greenpeace Patrick Moore, "Why I Left Greenpeace," Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2008.

    Attention Scotty Cornelius, Queen Nancy, and King Solomon....

    This column by Moore is a must-read.

    From the "Better Late Than Never" Department

    At last night's Pullman City Council meeting, the council adopted its 2008 goals.

    One goal in particular caught my eye.
    Encourage growth, promote a welcoming business atmosphere, and consider passing a City Council resolution in support of the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pullman
    Those are all worthy goals. But a resolution supporting Wal-Mart? That would have been a heck of a lot more timely and appropriate back in Fall 2004, not Spring 2008. The District III Appellate Court decision is due any day now and I'm sure ground will be broken shortly thereafter. By the time the council gets around to "considering" a resolution, it might all be over.

    It should be pointed out that Mayor Glenn Johnson and City Supervisor John Sherman have been outspoken supporters of a Wal-Mart Supercenter, and councilmembers Ann Heath, Bill Paul, and Nathan Weller all ran contested campaigns in which they publicly expressed support for the retail project in Pullman.

    In related news, the Hayden Wal-Mart Supercenter project is moving ahead, with construction set to get underway this summer. That's good news for two reasons:

    1. The same developer, CLC Associates from Spokane, is doing the Hayden development and the Pullman development.
    2. The Hayden Supercenter has been in the works since 2002. It has faced many hurdles, much worse than the project here in Pullman, including city council rejection of a rezone request and efforts by a group similar to PARD. Wal-Mart actually withdrew from Hayden for some two years. But they retooled their plans, came back, and now it is about to happen. Like I've said before, when Wal-Mart sees a market it wants to get into, it is very patient. Pullman-Moscow is such a market.

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    "Many WSU grad students want union cards rescinded"

    Union surrogate Mary Jo Klinker has obviously learned well from her WSU American Studies program chair, TV Reed. When you are trying to organize a left-wing cause:

    1. Be as vague as possible. Never present any facts, just rhetoric.
    2. Be deceptive when gathering petition signatures.
    3. If opposed, marginalize the opposition as "small" and led by far-right extremists.
    4. Always claim you're in the majority, but never provide any data to back that up.

    And that is why, in my opinion, the attempts to unionize graduate students at WSU are as DOA as PARD's efforts to stop Wal-Mart in Pullman.

    Congrats to Devin Rokyta for following up on this story. From today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
    About 200 Washington State University graduate student employees have signed letters that will be sent to the Washington Public Employment Relations Commission requesting to have their union cards rescinded.

    Steven Davis, a member of At What Cost, said many student employees were misled when they signed the cards. Unknown to many of them, signing the card meant they were pledging their support to the union that represents more than 25,000 academic student workers nationwide - the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. Many thought signing the card indicated they wanted to explore the issue further.

    "There's plenty of students that want their card back," Davis said.

    Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire recently signed a law allowing student employees at WSU the right to be represented by the union. The law goes into effect in June, and WSU students will vote whether to ratify their contract with the university in June if they elect to unionize.

    At least 70 percent of graduate student employees must approve joining the union for it to be ratified. The union must then submit a petition for certification to the Washington Public Employment Relations Committee before contract negotiations can begin.

    Davis said he is not anti-union, but he is concerned with the lack of facts being provided by the union and its organizers.

    "The biggest issue I have is the way it has been approached," Davis said. "There's so little information; the only thing we get is, 'Collective bargaining is good.'

    "At least give us the ability to see the information and really know what we are getting into."

    Union organizers say the union will represent the students on issues of workload, grievance procedures, health insurance, vacation and sick leave. The union will charge its members 1.5 percent of their gross income in addition to a $10 initiation fee.

    Graduate and Professional Student Association President Manpreet Chahal said his organization hasn't taken a union stance, but it also would like to see more information provided to the students.

    "I think there are a lot of students upset over the process," Chahal said. "It could have been done in a better way. I feel like students were kept in the dark and misled on what they were signing and getting into.

    "We are not telling our students not to join the union, our goal has been to get information from both sides," he added. "My worry is come summer when everything is a done deal and they are told to pay union dues they will be wondering what is going on."

    Scott Goates, an economics graduate student, said he did not feel misled when he was asked to sign a union card, but others in his department have taken issue with recruiting methods.

    Goates is upset with the union's lack of response. If several complaints are brought against a recruiter who had collected 100 signed union cards, the union only investigates those individual complaints rather than question all 100 people who signed the cards.

    "For me the big problem is the union doesn't seem to want to investigate," Goates said.

    Union solicitor Mary Jo Klinker said she would like to hear from anyone who has questions about what they signed. In many cases people think they signed their union card when they actually didn't.

    She said the union is investigating claims on a case-by-case basis.

    "We have been asking people to come to us so we can address those concerns," Klinker said.

    Klinker said much of the concerns are being driven by a small group of people.

    "Obviously, we are aware of the fact that people have been encouraged to rescind their union card by a group of anti-union people," she said.

    Klinker said the union has support from a supermajority of WSU's more than 1,500 graduate student workers, although she does not have exact figures.

    "We have a strong majority who are pro-collective bargaining at WSU," she said.

    Davis said the students can get that same representation through the GPSA. The organization already represents students working as teaching assistants, research assistants, graders, and tutors for free.

    "I believe all of these issues can be taken care of through channels we already have and that's the GPSA," Davis said. "That to me sounds like a more viable option and one that doesn't cost us any fees."

    Klinker said students who are confused about what they signed can contact the union at (509) 334-5220.

    Students who signed the card can write to the Public Employment Relations Commission to have it revoked. More information is available at http://wsu-at-what-cost.pbwiki.com/.

    The Imminent Environmental Catastrophe - Circa 1970

    We're all gonna die!

    * “...civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind,” biologist George Wald, Harvard University, April 19, 1970.

    * By 1995, “...somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.” Sen. Gaylord Nelson, quoting Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, Look magazine, April 1970.

    * Because of increased dust, cloud cover and water vapor “...the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born,” Newsweek magazine, January 26, 1970.

    * The world will be “...eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age,” Kenneth Watt, speaking at Swarthmore University, April 19, 1970.

    * “We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation,” biologist Barry Commoner, University of Washington, writing in the journal Environment, April 1970.

    * “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from the intolerable deteriorations and possible extinction,” The New York Times editorial, April 20, 1970.

    * “By 1985, air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half...” Life magazine, January 1970.

    * “Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

    * “...air pollution...is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone,” Paul Ehrlich, interview in Mademoiselle magazine, April 1970.

    * Ehrlich also predicted that in 1973, 200,000 Americans would die from air pollution, and that by 1980 the life expectancy of Americans would be 42 years.

    * “It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” Earth Day organizer Denis Hayes, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

    * “By the year 2000...the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America and Australia, will be in famine,” Peter Gunter, North Texas State University, The Living Wilderness, Spring 1970.

    I hope you all had a happy Earth Day.

    The Congo Penis Panic

    Who would you want in the White House when the phone rings at 3:00 AM warning that there's a black magic penis theft ring operating in the US?

    Rumours of penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo's sprawling capital of some 8 million inhabitants. They quickly dominated radio call-in shows, with listeners advised to beware of fellow passengers in communal taxis wearing gold rings.

    Purported victims, 14 of whom were also detained by police, claimed that sorcerers simply touched them to make their genitals shrink or disappear, in what some residents said was an attempt to extort cash with the promise of a cure.

    Of course, there are those who fear that one of the Democratic candidates has a similar effect on men.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    WSU ALERT!!!!!!!!!!

    I see that WSU's new alert system is working just fine. I just received an e-mail notifying me that arson fires were being set Sunday Night!


    Notice of Possible Continuing Threat

    After allegedly setting nine fires around campus in the early morning of Monday, April 21, two Washington State University students have been arrested and booked on five counts of arson, four counts of reckless burning and one count of malicious mischief. They are David P. Miner and Ian J. Copland.

    Charges have not yet been filed, and they have been released from custody. WSU is taking appropriate action. However, in the interim, you are being notified that these two individuals could pose a continuing threat to the safety of WSU people and property, given the nature of the crimes they are alleged to have committed.

    Please be aware of your surroundings and report any suspicious behavior by calling 911 or the WSU Police Department at 335-8548.

    This notice is provided in compliance with “timely notices” provision of the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act.

    BREAKING NEWS: State Board Sides with WSU on Water Rights Consolidation Case

    Is this a surprise to anyone? Remember, during the hearing in January, Scotty Cornelius stated, "I can't say it's because of anything WSU did ... There's not enough data for me to draw any conclusion."

    Construction on the Palouse Ridge Golf Club is nearly complete. Cornelius, the Sierra Club and King Solomon's Palouse Water Conservation Network were just tilting at windmills and grandstanding for the media. Promised next stop for the aquinuts: the Washington State Supreme Court, which I'm sure will promptly decline to hear their case.


    From Dnews.com:
    A state hearings board has sided with Washington State University regarding the appeal of a water-right decision.

    The Washington Pollution Control Hearings Board has determined the appellants did not provide enough evidence to effectively prove that the university’s water rights impairs other existing rights in the area.

    The decision was rendered late last week and follows a three day January hearing regarding the university’s application to consolidate its water rights — a practice that would allow WSU to pump water through any combination of its seven wells.

    The appellants — the Palouse Water Conservation Network, the Palouse Group Sierra Club and Pullman-area resident Scotty Cornelius — claim WSU’s water right consolidation will allow the university to pump more than three times as much water per year as it currently does. They argue that the university has contributed to the dropping levels in the Grand Ronde aquifer, and point to an 18-hole golf course under construction as a project that will create more drawdown of the area’s primary water source.

    Cornelius, who lives outside Pullman, has said his well is decreasing at a rate of 10 inches per year.

    WSU currently has the rights to operate seven wells, though two large wells pump a majority of the water needed on campus at 2,500 gallons per minute. Additional wells can be used in case of emergency.

    “We conclude a preponderance of the evidence demonstrates that consolidation of WSU’s existing water rights will not impair Mr. Cornelius’ well or other existing water right holders,” the decision reads. “In the absence of impairment, we also therefore conclude that the public welfare will not be harmed by Ecology’s approval of these water changes. Finally, we conclude Ecology’s approval ... did not unlawfully ‘enlarge’ the water right represented by that permit.”

    The appellants originally argued 40 issues and all but three were resolved in 2004. The remaining issues for the hearings board included whether the state’s decision would impair neighboring water rights, harm the public welfare or enlarge the university’s pumping ability beyond permit’s guidelines.

    According to the decision, the three-member board does recognize that the Grand Ronde aquifer is “experiencing a long-term and troubling trend of declining water levels.” But the board members made clear in the hearings that the decision before them would have no bearing on the declining aquifer or how the state should manage groundwater in the area.

    “...this case was focused on the much narrower question of whether WSU is legally entitled to consolidate it’s existing water rights in order to be able to pump its currently authorized quantities from a different configuration of wells within it’s integrated cam us water system.

    Al Gore's Movie Fakery

    It turns out that one of the more dramatic video clips from Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" was a computer-generated sequence pirated from another alarmist movie - "The Day After Tomorrow."


    (Voiceover) Al Gore's 2006 documentary, 'An Inconvenient Truth," makes the same point with actual video of ice shelves calving. Which shots have more impact?


    And if you were flying over it in a helicopter, you'd see it's 700 feet tall. They are so majestic.


    (Voiceover) Wait a minute, that shot looks just like the one in the opening credits of "The Day After Tomorrow."


    Yeah, that's, that's our shot. That's a fully computer generated shot. There's nothing real in there.


    (Voiceover) Audiences expect Hollywood to twist fact into fiction. But Gore's documentary does the opposite, using a fake shot to make a real point, that ice shelves are disappearing, and vanishing ice means global warming.

    Apparently, ABC tried to get a comment from Gore concerning the matter, but none was forthcoming:

    Happy Earth Day Al!

    Irish Wisdom

    "We in Ireland cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.

    On one side, you have a bitch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, … and a lawyer who is married to a bitch who is a lawyer.

    On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a woman with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.

    Is there a contest here?"

    It's too bad we don't have a lot of Irish illegal aliens that we could register for this election.

    Spokane 1.6 Inches From The All Time Record

    This latest blast of global warming has pushed Spokane's seasonal total to 91.9 inches, just 1.6 inches short of the all time record.

    Meanwhile, the predicted high temperature today in Yuma, Arizona is 93 degrees. And Yuma hasn't seen snow in over a century.

    Monday, April 21, 2008

    Happy Earth Day Al Gore

    Investor's Business Daily really hits the nail on the head with its Earth Day editorial today.

    Shortage: Al Gore sees no climate improvement since he made "An Inconvenient Truth." Actually, things have gotten worse. As the environmentalists celebrate Earth Day, the rush to replace fossil fuels threatens global famine.

    A week after Tax Day, April 15, we are forced to endure another indignity, Earth Day, April 22. This Earth Day finds the world threatened not by rising sea levels, but by rising food prices. Many on the planet are more likely to starve than drown, and we have only Gore's disciples to blame.

    In an interview with the British paper The Sun, the jolly green giant whined: "I have to say the situation has not improved since I made the movie in 2006." The polar bears, he says, are still going to drown, and boats will soon be moored to the top of the Washington Monument.

    To be sure, we're setting weather records, but they're not what Gore has in mind. Record cold temperatures have occurred over the globe this winter, and the only concern about flooding is from record snowfalls across the planet.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently warned of a more imminent threat, one ironically created by the rush to save the planet. Speaking in Accra, Ghana, the U.N. chief said the world must drastically increase food production to ease skyrocketing prices that have caused food riots in countries like Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Haiti.

    The production of food grains has increased. But it is being diverted to empty gas tanks, not empty stomachs. Gore and others have warned that climate change is an imminent threat to the world. We would argue that climate-friendly policies are more of a threat.

    The Gore-induced rush to biofuels has diverted crops such as corn, soybeans and palm oil from food to fuel. Vast swaths of rain forest in places like Malaysia and Indonesia have been cleared to provide farmland not to feed the hungry but to fuel our cars. Our own grain belt has been increasingly diverted to ethanol over corn flakes.

    This has pressured food prices while damaging the environment. In the U.S., more cultivation has increased runoff from pesticides and fertilizer, creating dead zones for aquatic life from Chesapeake Bay to the Gulf of Mexico.

    As Indur M. Goklany of the Cato Institute reports, agricultural expansion leads to higher releases of carbon from biomass and soil above and below ground. Fertilizers that increase yields also increase nitrogen discharge into waters and emissions of nitrous oxide — a greenhouse gas that heats the atmosphere 300 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.

    According to World Bank data, as of March, world grain prices had tripled and fertilizer prices had quadrupled since 2000. Food prices have risen an astounding 65% just since the beginning of this year.

    "Climate-change remedies can lead to greater poverty, starvation and disease, as well as widespread ecological destruction — some of the very misfortunes that they're supposed to prevent," Goklany wrote in the New York Post. "In our haste to address global warming, we have yet to think seriously about our policies' unintended effects."

    In his 1968 book "The Population Bomb," Paul Ehrlich warned of famine and mass starvation from overpopulation. Ironically, that might yet occur, not from overpopulation, but from overzealousness in trying to save Earth from a nonexistent threat.

    Happy Earth Day, Al.

    Myths About Nuclear Energy and Global Warming

    Myths About Nuclear Energy and Global Warming
    Instead of hearing about global warming from the media, why not hear about it from a scientist who worked with Dr.Teller and his group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Detailed Biography of Dr. Bill Wattenburg


    Background Report and

    Major Public Service Contributions by

    Dr. Willard Harvey (Bill) Wattenburg

    Research Scientist, Research Foundation

    California State University, Chico,

    and Consultant to the

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

    Very few scientists in the U.S have contributed more to public service and national security than W.H. (Bill) Wattenburg has done in the form of simple, sometimes bizarre, but very workable solutions to major national security and public problems. He was raised on a farm and construction job sites in northern California. He studied at the University of California, Berkeley, under some of the great physicists of the day, including Dr. Glen Seaborg and Dr. Edward Teller. He was one of the youngest ever appointed to the Berkeley faculty after finishing his Ph.D at Berkeley. He became a lifelong colleague and friend to Dr. Teller. He worked in Dr. Teller’s group at the U.C. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the design and testing of nuclear weapons. At Livermore, he made a discovery of great importance to the underground testing of nuclear weapons and test ban treaty verification. For thirty years, he has had a second profession as one the most popular and controversial nighttime radio talk show hosts in the western United States. His weekly six-hour broadcasts reach millions in eleven western states.

    Bill Wattenburg’s work in several fields and his publications in scientific journals are listed below. But the public and press know him best for his impressive and often bizarre solutions to highly publicized problems in our society. He typically does basic experiments on his own to prove that his ideas are feasible before he presents them to government agencies and the press. (He actually build a section of a four-lane freeway bridge out of surplus railroad flatcars using construction equipment to prove that freeways could be repaired very quickly after earthquakes. The California Dept. of Transportation adopted his design to open major freeways thereafter.) His public demonstrations often irritate bureaucracies that are left with no excuse to ignore his ideas when the public and the press already know that they are workable. In turn, he has demonstrated a profound impatience with slow-moving government agencies.

    Typically, government agencies had failed to solve major problems after spending enormous sums of money and time before Wattenburg was asked to step in by top state and federal officials. His clever creations have saved many thousands of lives and untold amounts of public resources. Dozens of scientific journal articles and major newspaper stories have chronicled his exploits and accomplishments over the past thirty years.

    Bill Wattenburg grew up on farms and worked with his father in the heavy construction industry before he was given a scholarship to U.C. Berkeley. He was appointed to the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley, at the completion of his Ph.D. in electrical engineering and nuclear physics at the age of 25. He specialized in the design of digital computers for computations in nuclear physics. He took a leave of absence from Berkeley in 1962 to join the physics division at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the nuclear weapons “A Division,” where he worked on the initial designs of some of the nuclear weapons in the U.S. inventory today. He spent a year at the Nevada Test Site where he tested the warhead designs on which he had worked. There he helped develop and improve underground nuclear testing technology. He continued working at Livermore part-time after he returned to teaching at Berkeley in 1964. He has continued as an unpaid consultant to the Livermore Laboratory since 1975. In turn, the Livermore Laboratory has provided equipment and resources for many of Wattenburg’s scientific experiments described herein. Bill Wattenburg was the co-founder in 1966 (along with Nobel Prize winning physicist Dr. Donald Glaser) of Berkeley Scientific Laboratories. Wattenburg was the president of Berkeley Scientific Laboratories from 1966 to 1970 when he returned to university teaching and research.

    It is significant that since he left the faculty at U.C. Berkeley thirty years ago, Bill Wattenburg has never taken pay of any sort from government agencies for his public service activities. He has assigned his most significant patents to the university. His often stated position is that the public gave him a free education at two great universities, California State University, Chico, and the University of California, Berkeley. He has said that he can well afford to return a little of the good fortune that the public provided to him.

    He does most of his work today as a research scientist at the Research Foundation, California State University, Chico, and as an unpaid consultant for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Many times over the last 25 years he has teamed up with top scientists and engineers at the Livermore Laboratory to test and develop his solutions to national security problems. Dr. Wattenburg is still one of the most active scientists conducting experiments at the former Nevada Nuclear Test Site.

    Pullman: The Land Spokane Forgot

    First, there was a kerfuffle last week when the Spokesman-Review didn't cover the Elton John concerts.

    Now, KXLY in Spokane is reporting that Glenn Johnson is in the ICU at GRITMAN MEDICAL CENTER OVER IN MOSCOW.

    Somehow, KQQQ, the Daily News, the Trib, the Evergreen, KLEW, KING5, and the Seattle Times all got it right.

    The good news is that Glenn seems to be doing fine.

    Academic Freedom?

    The great Milton Friedman wrote:
    The essence of political freedom is the absence of coercion of one man by his fellow men. The fundamental danger to political freedom is the concentration of power. The existence of a large measure of power in the hands of a relatively few individuals enables them to use it to coerce their fellow men. Preservation of freedom requires either the elimination of power where that is possible or its dispersal where it cannot be eliminated.
    By Friedman's definition, there is no freedom at WSU, as Foley Institute director Ed Weber recently pointed out, "hegemony of the left-leaning liberal viewpoint" has coerced him into not "inviting too many of 'the wrong kind' of intellectual."

    Yet "academic freedom" is being used as a defense of Ayad Rahmani's "architorture" protest by Chuck Pezeshki and Chris Lupke.

    A letter in Saturday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News pointed out that absurdity:
    Protest not the best way

    Chuck Pezeshki (His View, April 12 & 13) does it again. He missed the point even after questioning it himself. And Ayad Rahmani, (His View, April 18) with somewhat reasonable explanation, also.

    If a medical professor required a for-credit peaceful protest against abortion, a science professor for nuclear energy or against climate change advocates, a political science professor against anti-war protesters or for guns, or a religion professor for prayer in schools or against gays, and many more possibilities, there would not only be a tempest in a teapot, there would be tornado in a Starbucks latte.

    You would never hear the end of it from liberals. Just think if this type of requirement became a trend in education. A more responsible, rational, less controversial requirement would have been for students to critically evaluate the good, bad and ugly of the situation, write a comprehensive article and send it to the newspaper and all concerned.

    Joe Ulliman, Moscow
    Indeed. The 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure states with regard to academic freedom that:
    Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to their subject.
    College and university teachers are citizens, members of a learned profession, and officers of an educational institution. When they speak or write as citizens, they should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but their special position in the community imposes special obligations. As scholars and educational officers, they should remember that the public may judge their profession and their institution by their utterances. Hence they should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that they are not speaking for the institution.
    There are a couple of comments on the Friday Rahmani column that are too good not to repeat:
    "I have a great idea for Lupke, Pezeshki, and the architecture prof: If you don't like the way it looks, then you can buy the property and do anything they want with it. Just like the folks who own it now. The concept that the "community" should consider themselves stakeholders is ridiculous and elitist, and pretty parasitic to those who buy, develop, maintain, and pay taxes on the land. You do what you want with your stuff, and I will do what I want with mine. period!"

    "I cannot believe the arrogance of some of these professors. Bishop Blvd was not developed for your walking/visual pleasure. It was developed to grow retail development for Pullman. For your walking and visual pleasure and in memory of Bill Chipman many of us worked very hard to gain funding to develop the Chipman trail and downtown walkways for that purpose. I also resent that you seem to think our elected/hired city officials do not know what our community wants and apparently are not as intelligent as you. I am very pleased that they are not making the mistakes of their predecessors and are moving in the direction the community has been waiting for."

    Scary News Regarding Glenn Johnson

    Pullman's mayor is in the hospital with "stroke-like symptoms." Whatever the hell that means.

    Pullman mayor Glenn Johnson has been admitted to a hospital for what are described as stroke-like symptoms.

    Johnson is at Pullman Regional Hospital, where staff says he is undergoing tests after having a blood pressure spike.

    His wife says his prognosis is good. Johnson is also a communications professor at Washington State.

    As Matt Drudge would say, Developing...

    Sunday, April 20, 2008

    ED A Problem? - Try Liagra

    In this case, ED stands for excessive dishonesty.

    Maybe Obama needs a prescription to Che-Vitra, to help him conceal his Marxist tendencies.

    Quote of the Day - Godwin's Law Edition

    Sadly, in the epilogue the author develops a tortured analogy comparing the logging of these forests with the Holocaust and Nazi Germany. Apparently, he actually believes that the people working for the Forest Service and in the timber industry hate the woods and the trees just as the Nazis hated Jews.
    - Phil Druker, book review of Chuck "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki's book, Wild to the Last.

    Wow, and I'm the one accused of having a "prurient fascination with Nazis." I guess we can conclude Chuck is not acting as an advisor to any logging corporations.

    This was pointed out by a commenter on Dnews.com Some good stuff coming out of that thread about Ayad Rahmani's column last Friday. More later.

    Eleven Gallons of Booze Never Fed A Starving Child

    Our destructive corn to ethanol program is finally causing enough damage the the mainstream media are taking notice and even the environmentalist wackos have decided that enough is enough.

    Is one child's life worth eleven gallons of ethanol?

    EUnuchs seem equally immune to understanding. Does it matter to anyone that generating ethanol from food doesn't reduce dependence on oil or reduct greenhouse gases or anything else?

    Global Warming My Butt!

    It dropped to 25 degrees last night (11:59 PM) at the Pullman airport - a new record for the date. And it supposedly dropped to 23 degrees at some point this morning.

    And with a snow advisory posted for Spokane with 3-6 inches predicted, the all time seasonal snowfall record could fall.

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Future Democratic Leaders


    MoveRed.org, the young Republican group I profiled the other day, has discovered a disturbing video posted on Facebook by the UW Young Democrats. Filmed in a car returning from a Texas event, the UW Young Democrats president, an ASUW senator, and other UW Young Democrats are apparently attempting to mock Republicans. But all they end up doing is dispalying the profanity, bigotry, contempt, and intolerance that apparently lies just beneath every the liberal facade of every so-called progressive.

    Obama Explains National Anthem Stance

    Saturday, April 12, 2008 1:12 AM

    Subject: Obama Explains National Anthem Stance

    Well this ought to give the Obama fans something to cheer about. Looks like they've scraped the bottom of the barrel with this guy!


    Obama Explains National Anthem Stance

    This really is frightening!!!

    Publishers, Friends and Fellow Americans:

    This message was forwarded to me today and in my opinion clearly shows the lack of Honor or Respect that Senator Barack Obama holds for our Country!

    Major Robert Fry, USA ret


    On Sat, 22 Mar 2008 18:48:04 -04! 00, "LT G Bill Ginn" USAF ret forwarded:

    Hot on the heels of his explanation for why he no longer wears a flag pin, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama was forced to explain why he doesn't follow protocol when the National Anthem is played.

    According to the United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171, during the rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform are expected to stand at attention attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart.

    "As I've said about the flag pin, I don't want to be perceived as taking sides," Obama said. "There are a lot of people in the world to whom the American flag is a symbol of oppression. And the anthem itself conveys a war-like message.

    You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. It should be swapped for something less parochial and less bellicose. I like the song 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing.' If that were our anthem, then I might salute it."

    "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." - Barack Obama.


    If someone had told me 45 years ago, as I was roaring down the runway in the most beautiful airplane in the world, that I would see our country subjected to one of the most disgusting Presidential elections imaginable, I would have told them they were crazy as hell...

    What in the world have we come to?

    Quote of the Day

    When you match my success in corporate America, as an advisor all the way to the top of some very large corporations, then we'll talk.

    You've never given any evidence that you're anything other than a dead-end small-town loser that's even afraid to stand out in a rather small community.

    That's the truth. Too bad for you-- as well as the rest of your pathetic cohort.
    - Chuck "Mr. Civil Discourse" Pezeshki, online comment at Dnews.com, April 19, 2008.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Chuck is demonstrating how a six-figure salary tenured professor engages in the third-grade schoolyard game known as a "pissing contest." (One wonders what Chuck "advises" these corporations on.)

    He's also, indirectly, acknowledging that he has no further aspirations for elected office.

    Friday, April 18, 2008

    Wake Up and Schuss the Powder

    From today's Seattle Times:
    The last time Seattle-area residents contended with snow this late in the season was more than three decades ago, when Seattle-Tacoma International Airport reported snow on April 17, 1972, said Johnny Burg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.


    "We've had powdery snow practically the whole season," said Duncan Howat, general manager at Mount Baker. "This is a great end for what's already been a record season for us."


    Years ago, Mount Baker used to operate well into May — and even went until July 4 once during the 1970s, Howat said. But now its season concludes in late April, ending this year on April 27.
    Eastern Washington will also be faced with snowy conditions this weekend.

    It's interesting to note that the last time we had a winter this bad was in the Seventies. It was almost 33 years ago exactly, April 28, 1975, that Newsweek ran a story titled "The Cooling World."

    Notice the graph in the Newsweek article of average temperature change from 1880 to 1970. It's a classic sine wave. Since then, the average temperature change swung back up again, peaking in 1998. It has remained stable since then, declining slightly. Could we be at the beginning of another downturn in temperature like in the Seventies? Who knows? The weather and climate are constantly changing. The only thing that is consistent is man's alarm and overreaction at the various trends.

    One thing that does not exhibit sinusoid behavior is the amount of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fules. It is steadily increasing. The level of atmospheric CO2 is now nearly twice that in the Seventies. But we still have a winter like this one? I'm skeptical that one climatological phenomenon (La Nina) could override all that CO2 if that truly was causing the planet to warm so dramatically.

    Feeling Gouged at the Gas Pump?

    Well, you shouldn't. It's not the fat cats at ExxonMobil, price-fixing collusion among gas station owners, or a Bush conspiracy to help out his Texas oil buddies.

    It's simple economics, says a new study on gas prices released by the state Attorney General's office. Crude-oil costs increased by more than 76.5 percent from December 2003 to May 2007. Gasoline providers are simply passing that cost along to us.

    If you're looking to blame someone, try the Democratic administration in Olympia. The AG study found that Washington has the highest gas tax in the nation. Efforts to repeal the latest 9.5 cent gas tax hike via I-933 failed as the Democrats engaged in scare tactics using the Alaskan Way Viaduct in Seattle. Now Queen Christine's "solution" is to just tear the Viaduct down without replacement in 2012. But they're still collecting the 9.5 cents for its replacement/repair.

    Blame the environmentalist wackos as well. According to the AG study, Washington only has five refineries, and even at full capacity, they do not produce enough gas to meet the state's needs. The state therefore has to import more expensive gas. The last refinery built in the U.S. was back in 1976. It is not likely there will ever be another refinery built in this country. The last one proposed (in Portsmouth, VA) was fought for 9 years by environmental groups and local residents before the company cancelled the project in 1984.

    Barack Obama Is A Serial, Sanctimonious Liar

    So, what else is new?

    Democrats Can't Handle The Truth

    Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid stormed out of a briefing with General David Petraeus. Well, Nancy Pelosi did warn General Petraeus against bearing good news

    So says Army Reserve Maj. Will Breazale to John Hawkins, claiming that the dynamic duo were so frustrated with the general’s use of military jargon that they stormed out in a huff. I don’t doubt Breazale’s story, but could there have been a miscommunication? Maybe they left for some other reason and he simply misunderstood? Just seems like a totally gratuitous headache for them to bring upon themselves by behaving so rudely to someone in the military. Patrick McHenry ate buckets of crap for less.

    Quote of the Day

    Our region should declare its independence...We are held back because our state and federal government still believe our economies are driven by wheat farms and timber logging
    - Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels stating his belief that the Puget Sound should secede from Washington State.

    I think it's a hell of an idea. Is there a petition I can sign?


    In today's New York Times, Timothy Egan has a unintentionally hilarious elegy to the "lost small town" of Spokane (metro area population around 625,000) that was "devastated" when Kaiser Aluminium collapsed. I'm sure Spokane seems like Dogpatch to the New York urban sophisticates sipping their skinny, half-caf, soy milk, no foam lattes and tut-tutting the plight of the poor rubes out there in flyover country. If only they would vote Democratic!

    Conspicuously absent from Egan's apologia of the Obamessiah is the role labor unions and asbestos lawsuits played in Kaiser's demise. So is the fact that none of the natural resource industries that built Spokane (timber, mining, etc.) would be possible now under current environmental regulations, not to mention concern over "climate changing" energy usage and emissions and the lawsuit-happy NIMBY-state Washington has become. All these business- and job-killing factors, promulgated and championed by liberal Democrats, are somehow Dubya's and the Republican's fault.

    And in Egan's eyes, the sins of Crackerquiddick are washed away, because rock star and patron saint of the working class Bruce Springsteen has endorsed Obama. After all, "The Boss" once sang a song that had the line "these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back.”

    I especially like some of the online comments on the article:
    "The bad lands of eastern Washington have been dead and gone for years."

    "From my perspective, there is a cultural inbreeding and resistance to change and better ideas in small-town heartland America that is more responsible for the decay there than any of the factors many inhabitants of the heartland blame."

    "Another aspect of small town living is their isolation. Making a sweeping generalization you can say that the people between the mountain ranges are different than those that are on the coasts. The former are protected and look inward the latter are unprotected and look outward. Spokane is even more isolated."
    You know, come to think of it, I did see a boy playing a banjo on a front porch the other day while I was driving around Pullman...

    As the Dems focus on class and culture, instead of the economy, Iraq, immigration, etc., they are snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

    Bitter Americans

    Yes Barack, some of us are bitter. But not why you think

    My how things have changed in my idyllic little hometown of Tombstone, Arizona. Why, back when I was just a tyke, we were a gun free utopia populated exclusively by enlightened atheists. When illegal aliens wandered into town from across the Mexican border, we’d put our arm around their shoulders, walk them down to the nearest gay bar and buy ‘em a drink. Actually, all we had in those days were gay bars. And if you wanted to start a fight, all you had to say was that you were in favor of higher tariffs.

    “What, you barbarian,” we would shout. “Have you never heard of Smoot-Hawley? Put up your dukes!”

    San Francisco’s billionaire sophisticates had no one to look down their noses at during their Camembert and canapé parties back in those days as we were just as snooty and elitist as they were.

    But then, the mine closed and the town sank into a deep bitter gloom. And when nobody from the federal government came by with a welfare check, well that was the last straw. Just like that, the town was transformed into a seething caldron of snarling, bible-thumping, gun-toting xenophobes who would never dream of buying anything that did not have a “made in U.S.A.” sticker on it.

    Well, I might have Tuzlaized that story just a little bit. In fact, there were guns and churches in town before the mine closed. And any alien who showed up in Tombstone was probably just passing through on his way to someplace else with better opportunities. In fact, after the mine closed, lots of people moved on for the same reason.

    There are other reasons why people own guns and worship God other than an insufficiently paternalistic nanny state. But in the cocoonish world where the anointed cloister themselves to ponder how best to supervise the rest of us, caricatures serve to stroke the vanity of the elite rather than to inform their thinking.

    This is not the first time that Barack Obama betrayed a total misunderstanding of those whom he certainly considers mere commoners. In December, he attempted to show just how much he shared the pain that Iowans feel by complaining about the high price of arugula at Whole Foods. Whole Foods is a very upscale grocer specializing in natural and organic foods that caters to the sophisticated tastes of people like the Obama family and San Francisco snobs. There is not a single Whole Foods store in the entire state of Iowa.

    The awkward silence and puzzled looks on the faces of his audience after his attempt to harmonize with the little people indicated that they know as little about arugula as I do (Note: It’s a leaf that rich people put on their salads because lettuce is just too common). And, if they have every heard of Whole Foods, they probably would never fill a grocery basket there, as they would prefer to save money at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

    But Obama may have gotten one thing right. Many Americans are bitter. But they are bitter because there is too much government in their lives, not too little.

    Every trip to the filling station or the grocery store embitters Americans. They are bitter because gas prices are high and their government obstructs exploiting known domestic reserves or exploring for new ones. They are bitter because their food prices are soaring (not just arugula) because their government encourages and subsidizes a disastrous corn ethanol program that accomplishes nothing positive.

    And Americans do not “cling” to their guns so much as they defend their Constitutional rights.

    Here on the Palouse, environmentalists have sued to have an earthworm declared an endangered species. If they succeed, farming as we know it will become illegal. Are farmers “clinging” to dirt or are they defending their Fifth Amendment rights to own private property?

    Americans are also bitter because they have to walk on eggshells lest a word slip their lips that offends a member of a fashionable victim group whose plight is in vogue with the San Francisco crowd. But WSU faculty can call the president of the WSU College Republicans a "white shitbag" without tangible consequences.

    Yes there is bitterness out there. But it’s not because we don’t have enough of Obama and his friends in our lives. It’s because we have too much of them already.