Hiyu ferry for Lummi Island service - Explained
Tue, Jul 12, 2016, 10:55 pm // Guest writerBy Jim Dickinson. I would like to thank Tip for writing such an excellent and realistic article. (See "Lummi Island Drawbridge" of June 25 by Tip Johnson.) As…
Sat, Jul 23, 2016, 8:31 pm // Tip Johnson
An astute political observer just brought this to my attention.
Clinton’s selection of unknown Kaine as running mate signals that Democrats are willing to throw the election to Republicans and Trump will likely be our next president - absent a resurgence of Sanders in a contested convention. Why would they do that?
For one, the two parties like to switch it off every eight years. It prevents either party from having to take responsibility for the results of their government. One party can rail against the failures of the other in the run-up to elections, and each can alternately play whipping boy to the other. Their real job is raising campaign money and cramming down the middle class for their corporate overlords. It takes a lot of poor to make one rich.
But what both parties fear most is insurgent domestic reform. That’s why mainstream and especially old school Republicans dislike Trump. It’s also why Democrats will throw the election. There is nothing of greater value to party hack Democrats than punishing progressives, especially Bernie Sanders. Sanders is clearly figured to become the scapegoat and will be loudly blamed for Hillary’s loss (though she will have earned it on her own).
The dynamic ensures that the agenda will continue to incrementally slide toward the industrial/military/socially conservative direction Reagan commenced and global corporatism favors. That's what both sides offer when they laud incremental policy shifts. Of course, it means war without end, the perfect corporate marketplace. First planes and boats, then bombs and bullets, then waves of subsidized contractors protected by private security, puppet governments, more trade deals and profits. What’s not to like?
That's why progressives of every stripe should hope, pray and work tirelessly for a progressive candidate miracle. It’s the only way the agenda can be nudged toward prioritizing basic human needs and the environment. Once started, it would be hard to roll back. Ironically, it costs a lot less than the corporate brand, so those who favor lower taxes should be in support.
If anyone out there has not read Walter Karp’s “Indispensable Enemy” and “Politics of War”, you better get busy! Interesting times.
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 5:13 pm // Tip Johnson
Well, steampunk that is. Watch here to see Northwest Citizen publisher, John Servais, promote an upcoming Fairhaven Steampunk festival on big city television:
Mon, Jul 18, 2016, 1:32 am // John Servais
Tonight - Monday, July 18, 6:30 pm - at the Bellingham City Council Chamber, will be a most informative forum of candidates for Washington Land Commissioner. Current commissioner, Peter Goldmark, is not running for reelection. He has been outstanding as a common sense administrator of our public lands and will have served 8 years when he retires in December.
We have 7 candidates for this open office. This is one of the important voting decisions we will make this year for our state government. The top two vote getters will advance to the general election in November.
The League of Women Voters is producing several forums this election season. The first is tonight. They have invited all 7 candidates and we can expect a majority to show up. The League conducts very fair and well managed forums. The city council chamber is a great venue for a political candidates forum.
It will also be live streamed by BTV10 - and should be available via the COB website.
The link for live streaming on the Internet is:
We keep permanent links to the League of Women Voters website in the right side Links column. Of course they have this forum listed there and advance info on the other forums for later in the season on October 15, 18 and 22. The LWV continues to be a valuable and very fair political organization for our community.
Fri, Jul 15, 2016, 7:31 am // Dick Conoboy
Police shooting citizens. Citizens shooting police. Racial profiling. Guns, guns and more guns. Militarization of civilian police forces. These issues are front page across the country in newspapers, in the blogosphere and on YouTube. Consequently, the topic for the next Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission (MNAC) meeting: “police policy issues in light of some of the topics in the national news” is most timely. On July 20th at 6:30 pm in the downtown Bellingham library (lower level) conference room neighborhood representatives on MNAC will be discussing these issues with representatives of the Bellingham Police Department, Deputy Chiefs Flo Simon and Dave Doll. MNAC meetings are open to the public but seating is very limited.
For those interested in reading about some local aspects of police issues see below the list of links to articles written for NWCitizen by local citizen journalists. This is no way represents the totality of the information available or of varying points of view but will certainly spark areas for discussion. The official agenda for this meeting will appear here.
Sat, Jul 09, 2016, 9:35 am // John Servais
This interview seems to be one of those random on the street interviews that so seldon provide much insight. This fellow provides rare insight and common sense - more than most politicians can provide even with aides spending hours crafting speeches. This guy hits the issues straight on. And he goes beyond the immediate situation to look at America in a way we all can. Late in the interview he goes to a religious theme but only after being asked a question that required him to go to his fundamental values. He did not preach. The values he touched on are ones that any person - any believer or non-believer - can support. For me, an old white man, this is so refreshing to view and take in. This guy in Dallas puts news pundits to shame in his off the cuff display of good thinking. His interview shows the absurdity of racial prejudice.
Huffington Post - Dallas shooting eyewitness says exactly what we need to hear this week.
Yes, he was an eyewitness to the shooting of 11 people in Dallas a couple nights ago when 5 police officers were killed.
Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 2:21 pm // Dick Conoboy
Brexit. This is part of what I call The Great Unravelling. Brexit is also very likely the beginning of what Thom Hartmann wrote about years ago in his book The Crash of 2016. This will not be pretty or without cost but that ghastly European Union and its neo-liberal bankster managers must be put out of power. And yes, a lot of xenophobia went into this vote in the United Kingdom but this is the reaping of the whirlwind of the US and European adventurism in the Middle East and Libya. In the US people are beginning to get the message from Bernie and from the Democrats in the House who staged their sit-in last week. Trump is the insane but sure manifestation of the rot in the system. The house of cards is about to collapse. Glen Greenwald provides an excellent summary of the blindness of the elites in his Intercept column today entitled Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions.
"The decision of the UK voters to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that – for once – their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline. Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting one’s own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object."
Chris Hedges quotes economist Michael Hudson in his piece today on Truthdig, 2008 All Over Again:
“If there is anyone who is responsible for the Brexit, it is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” he [Hudson] said. “They destroyed Libya. They turned over Libyan weapons to [Islamic State], al-Qaida and [Nusra Front]. It was their war in Syria, where many of these weapons ended up, which created the massive exodus of refugees into Europe. This exodus exacerbated nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment. Clinton and Obama are also responsible for a huge exodus of Ukrainians. This is all a response to American war policy in the Middle East and the Ukraine. In central Europe, with the expansion of NATO, Washington is meanwhile demanding that governments spend billions on weapons rather than on recovering the economy.”
The European left has been given a shot in the arm with Brexit even though at the same time the European right is still using its anti-immigrant stance to gain power. Nadia Pupris at Common Dreams [After Brexit, European Left Calls for 'Massive Political Opposition] reports, "In the tumultuous aftermath of the UK's vote to leave the EU, the European left is responding with a mix of reason, measured reassurances, and righteous defiance."
Some very interesting days ahead.
Mon, Jun 06, 2016, 6:36 pm // John Servais
Tim Paxton has his guest article posted this evening about the Options High School and the unanswered questions. Tim provided the key testimony and hard evidence to the Hearing Examiner that led to last weeks ruling to deny permits needed to start building the school. Why? Because the Bellingham School District, with help from the Bellingham Planning Department failed to legally notify nearby residents of the project and hearings. I will be postinng a separate article on that. The point here is Tim Paxton is the person who had to fight to even get his evidence submitted to the Hearing Examiner. The school district's attorney tried to have his evidence thrown out on the basis that school district administrators had shown it was false. They knew full well that they had skirted the law.
We should pay attention to what Tim has to tell us. And question closely how the school district may well be not creating the Options high they claim they are.
Elisabeth Britt has posted an article on her Latte Republic titled: Identifying the Public's Perspective - or Not She looks at the irony of the natural disaster drills of the next few days contrasted with the Bellingham School District to build the new Options High School within a couple feet of a 10 inch natural gas pipeline which could burst and explode in the case of an earthquake. Which is what the drill is all about. Elisabeth has years of experience in Olympia working for state representatives in research and policy. She knows of what she writes.
Fri, May 27, 2016, 12:30 am // John Servais
Thursday afternoon, KPLU FM radio announced it had reached the needed $7 million needed to purchase the station from its present owner and make it an independent station. About two weeks ago we posted a blog informing our readers of this. At that time the fundraising was approaching $6 million. They had until June 30, so this is a big success story. Cliff Mass championed this cause on his popular weather blog and deserved huge credit for this result.
You can read the full story here at the KPLU website. Basically, the non-profit outfit will now negotiate the sale of the radio license and the station will stay independent, broadcasting news and jazz 24 hours a day through all of Western Washington. This saves it from the fate of being sold to the University of Washington which planned to down grade it to just music in order to not compete with their KUOW fm station and its news. Bottom line - most informed citizens appreciate the very high quality of KPLU news and love their taste in jazz. The truly independent news has now been saved.
Tue, May 24, 2016, 8:25 am // Dick Conoboy
In the spirit of Memorial Day... If you want to support the local non-profit Growing Veterans and have a fun evening with wine, a buffet, a silent auction, a raffle and other "stuff" come out to the Samson Estates Winery in Everson on June 2nd from 6-10pm. Call the numbers on the flyer pictured here for additional information.
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