2004 - Jan thru March
To April - August 2004 archives
Wed, Mar 31, 2004
Gov Locke is not scheduled to act on the primary election bill today, this the 20th day since the legislature adjourned and supposedly the last day he can act on a bill. SB6453 is missing from his full day of bill actions. My guess is he plans some live or special event on it this evening. Perhaps he plans to not act and let the entire bill become law. Perhaps he is still 'talking' to the party bosses about a partial veto versus their pending lawsuit.
Tue, Mar 30
For your morning entertainment. And for those who are in awe of the 'experts' in Olympia. Gov Locke vetoes three sections of a bill meant to streamline our bankruptcy laws. To wit:
March 26, 2004 To the Honorable President and Members,
I am returning herewith, without my approval as to sections 47 (40), 47 (41) and 47 (42), Substitute Senate Bill No. 6189 entitled: "AN ACT Relating to receiverships;" This bill develops a body of statutes to govern receivership proceedings and consolidates these laws into one chapter. In creating this chapter, it was necessary to repeal duplicative or inconsistent statutes. These statutes are repealed in section 47. Section 47 (40) repeals RCW 24.03.310; section 47 (41) repeals RCW 24.03.315; and section 47 (42) repeals RCW 24.03.320.
All three statutes deal with foreign corporations, and have no connection with receivership proceedings. These statutes were included in error, as the statutes that were meant to be repealed are RCW 24.06.310, RCW 24.06.315, and RCW 24.06.320. For these reasons, I have vetoed sections 47 (40), 47 (41) and 47 (42) of Substitute Senate Bill No. 6189. With the exception of sections 47 (40), 47 (41) and 47 (42), Substitute Senate Bill No. 6189 is approved.
Respectfully submitted, Gary Locke Governor
What is the point of posting this little embarrassing piece? The point is we should realize that our legislators should be subject to review and input by common citizens. This is an example of a technical screw up. They often pay little more attention to the actual wording of their legislation, leaving it to staff or one or two representatives. And we end up with laws that don't work.
The impending Primary Election boondoggle is another example. Our legislators blindly followed a few leaders and are all hoping it does not come back to bite them at next November's election. Indeed, the bill was largely written under the supervision of the political party bosses - not our elected representatives. They were merely the sheep who approved the dysfunctional bill.
Gov Locke will act on the bill today or tomorrow.
Before Wednesday, Gov Locke will act on SB6453, the primary election bill. There has been no news on his deliberations these past two weeks. All legislators are very quiet. No press releases by the party bosses. The Seattle Times editorialized for the Top 2. The Olympian editorialized for the Top 2. The Seattle PI editorialized against the Top 2. And our Bham Herald editorialized for the Top 2.
Here is what is about to happen. Either Locke will veto the 'Top 2' section or, if he signs the full bill, then the two political parties will immediately file a lawsuit demanding they have the right to decide which candidates can label themselves Republican or Democrat. Our legislators crafted the bill to allow this lawsuit to be successful and overturn the 'Top 2' section.
Don't bother writing or phoning the Governor on this. Raw power - political power of party bosses - is what will influence Locke on this one. They are the group threatening us with a lawsuit. The local Democrat and Republican party workers are for the most part just dupes following the party line and speaking against the Top 2 primary election process. I've been getting a lot of email from them - angry that I would suggest their party would stoop to trying to control our election process. Sorry folks - it is true. The parties want to control the final two candidates we get to vote for in the general election. They work together to keep others out of the election process. Their arguments that the 'Top 2' is flawed against independents is a very self serving argument.
Notice no legislators are speaking about the bill - the most important legislation they passed. Why not? Because they all know they violated the public trust and passed a bill that satisfies the party bosses - a bill with poison pill wording. Those who voted for and against SB6453 know it is a fraud that invites either a partial veto or a lawsuit. Shame on them.
Powerful groups are trying to gain control of the very core of our democratic process - our election process. Our "leaders" - our elected representatives and officials - are all cowering and wishing they had never been put in the position of having to decide on this. Their political party bosses put extraordinary pressure on them and they all caved in. All.
The Washington State Grange will be our rescuers on this over the summer. We should be ready to support them.
Fri, Mar 19
Gov Locke has not acted on the primary election bill. No doubt he is wondering how his reputation will be hurt if he vetoes the 'Top 2' process. He will be known in the future as the guy who tried to put our elections in the control of the two biggest political parties - the Republican and Democratic party bosses. It is not a pleasant future.
The 'Top 2' will allow us to elect moderates who may not be boot lickers to the party bosses. In California, where they must select a party ballot, extreme candidates from the two parties tend to win and in the general election they have two extremists to choose from. That could happen here.
If the 'Top 2' is not used then I will bet any one of you that the primary election turnout next September will be low. Voters do not want to vote party lines. We want to choose who will represent us.
Let the parties use the caucuses to choose their candidates. Let anyone who wants to file also file and run. Let the top two vote getters advance to the general election. Democracy. If the two finalists are of the same party then so what - maybe they are the two most qualified. They are definitely the two most favored by the voters. In time we may develop some third and fourth parties of strong membership. And that is good for democracy and good for our republic.
Sun, Mar 14
Today's Bham Herald editorial is well meaning but hopelessly ignorant of the process in Olympia. Naive may be a better word to describe their editorial board. Gee, goes the editorial - the legislature put so much effort into crafting a 'Top 2' primary bill that they hope Gov Locke will not veto it.
They totally miss that our elected legislators worked very hard crafting a bill precisely so that Locke _can_ veto the 'Top 2' section of it. This was done on orders from Republican and Democratic party bosses to our elected representatives. This party pressure is well documented in news reports over the past several weeks. The editorial urges Locke to "... not bow to the pressure of the party machines." Duh. Locke is working _with_ the party machines. They are discussing which roles each of them will play in dismantling the 'Top 2' primary process. bb
Sat, Mar 13
Will Gov Locke veto the 'Top 2' primary process and allow the Montana process to become law? Probably, but not necessarily. He may sign the entire bill - getting himself off the hook with voters - and let the Republican and Democratic parties file a lawsuit to overturn the 'Top 2' process.
Locke and party bosses are probably negotiating the prices for each others actions. A delay is not caused by Locke staring at the horizon and trying to decide what is the right thing to do. Delays are due to secret bargaining. If Locke vetoes the section, then what will the parties give him or his favorite candidates? What is in it for him? He is not running for reelection, so he has good leverage on the parties.
Our representatives in Olympia designed bill SB6453 such that Locke could negotiate with the parties over his partial veto. They designed the bill so that the 'Top 2' primary process does not have a chance. Give them credit for intelligence. And political savvy. Those who voted for the bill will claim they tried - and they will be a lying.
Not one of them - not one of our 147 elected legislators has had the courage or integrity to speak out and tell us that the bill is a purposeful fraud on the voters. You only need scroll through the bill (you may need to key in 6453) and scan the sections to see how it is setup. Part One is the 'Top 2' and is numbered 1 thru 57. Part Two is the 'Montana' primary and is numbered 101 thru 205. The governor is expected to veto Part One. Very neat.
If Locke does not veto, then the parties can sue. Read section 101. This section is an invitation to a lawsuit by the parties. Our legislators removed words from the original bill that would have defeated efforts by the parties to overthrow the 'Top 2' primary. Our representatives purposely worded the 'Top 2' primary bill to be defeated in the courts.
Here is the original section 16 that allowed a candidate to avoid using the label 'Democrat' or 'Republican'. I have bolded the important part.
This section was purposely taken out because it would have prevented a lawsuit by the political parties from overturning the 'Top 2' primary process. The bill was reworded to allow easy legal challenge by the parties. In open session, our legislators spoke openly that they had taken out the "three words" description, thus making the bill subject to a lawsuit. If available, you can check the video tapes. I watched it on ch. 23.
Strange you have to read this here first. Your corporate news media have not told you. Your representatives will tell you they voted for the 'Top 2' system. Your representatives will stumble and slide sideways trying to avoid admitting they knew what they were doing. Those who voted for and against the bill knew they were all participating together in a fraud on the voters. Now you know. They are tinkering with the basics of democracy and trying to avoid accountability.
Wed, Mar 10
Your elected legislators are congratulating themselves right now on their crafting a bill that can be dismantled by the governor and then defeated by the political parties. They are openly stating these two possibilities. The have crafted a primary process that the party bosses want and wrapped it in 'Top 2' decorated paper that can be torn off and thrown away. I could be wrong - but that is what it looks like to me.
The Senate has passed the bill 36 to 12. Brandland voted for and Spanel voted against the bill. Both of them know their votes are a sham and the bill caters to the political parties. It now goes to Gov. Locke. Expect a partial veto.
The legislative website gives no information for events yesterday, nor any agenda for today. I haven't the time this morning to make the usual phone calls to staffers in Olympia to learn the off the record information. That is right. Last time I used a staffer's name she caught hell. Not supposed to tell us citizens what is happening.
What is happening? We are paying through our taxes for political party bosses to meet behind closed doors in our government buildings with our elected representatives to hack out a law that will deprive us of our democracy. Spanel, Linville - you can bet your bleeding heart liberals are shoulder to shoulder with right wingers Ericksen and Brandland to work out a bill that gets them off the hook and allows the political parties to prevail.
Tomorrow the legislature is scheduled to adjourn. The bill - in some form - will go to Gov. Locke. He threatens to veto any democracy based primary election sections. He will leave the sections creating primaries controlled by the political parties. He is in the pocket of the of the political bosses.
What is our hope? The fear that our representatives have of us voters next November if they do not give us the 'Top 2' primary process. I urge you to phone your representative this morning and express your support for democracy and the 'Top 2' primary election process. Even 3 or 4 phone calls generated from this website will have a positive effect.
Tue, Mar 9
We have Kelli Linville and Doug Ericksen voting against democracy and for the iron grip of the two political parties on our election process. Shame on them.
Quall and Morris voted for the 'Top 2' primary process. We thank them - sort of. We should expect they would vote for it. They should explain why they did not speak out loudly for democracy.
Well, the WA State legislative website still does not inform us of the vote. Normal screwups in Olympia. Maybe later today. I learned from a staff person in Oly. This issue will have legs. Locke will probably sign it - and hope the courts strike it down. The House even put in a whole subsection for the 'Montana Primary' system to go into law when the courts strike down democracy. How charming.
We citizens may have to raise the money ourselves - and an attorney or two - to defend the 'Top 2' primary process. Our elected officials in Olympia have shown no excitement for democracy. Can we expect any better from Christine G?
Mon, Mar 8
Kelli Linville sent an email stating she supported the Montana style primary. None of the other five reps sent a reply. Kelli provided information on the late evening voting - apparently emailing from the floor. The official legislative website is malfunctioning this eve and does not give the roll call votes. Maybe in the morn.
Gentle reader and fellow citizen - this is nothing dramatic. Our government agencies violate the law all the time. It is usually not caught and reported. Any state representative who does not stand up and speak out against this is the same as an accomplice to the act. All one need do is attend sessions, hearings, committee meetings and such to learn that process is at the whim of the elected.
Time and again citizens who finally attended some meeting with the intention of seeing first hand themselves how wrong I was have instead told me in amazement after the meeting that I am right.
When they ignore the law and are caught they always say they "suspended the rules" - which they are doing this time to stop democratic primary elections. Shame on Sam Hunt and his abuse of power on the committee. Laws? Those are for us unwashed. You can expect more introductions even this week - three days before the legislature adjourns as they try and overturn the "Top 2" primary election bill - which was introduced on January 21.
Call your legislator & insist they support SB6453 election bill.
Two top Democratic Party members of the Government Affairs Committee - Rep Sam Hunt of Olympia and Joe McDermott of Vashon Island were allowed to introduce a new political party backed primary election bill late Thursday. It is HB3212. Strange, but this is long after the deadline for new bills, by House rules. I'm sure the Democratic leaders of the House found a loophole. Rep Hunt is Assistant Majority Floor Leader. HB3212 favors the political parties and not citizens.
You might contact the chair of the government committee - Rep. Haigh at 360-786-7966 or email her assistant Kim at email@example.com - and express your support for SB6453. Or you might phone your reps and tell them to support democracy.
Whatcom County Auditor, Shirley Forslof, favors the 'Top 2' primary election process. It is less confusing for voters and election staff.
Thur, Mar 4
Democracy on the line. On Friday morning at 8 am, the WA House committee on government will hold a hearing on the "Top 2" primary election bill - Senate Bill 6453. This is the hot bill this legislative session. The House will probably vote on this next week. We should let our four reps know our support for SB6453 - for the Top 2 primary election - and for democracy.
You and I cannot afford the time or effort to drive to Olympia tomorrow morning. The political party hacks will be down there making veiled threats to the committee - and through them to the legislators. I've attended and testified at hearings in Oly in the past. They have their own religion down there and we citizens are the unwashed. The lobbyists rule the hearings.
You might contact the chair of the government committee - Rep. Haigh at 360-786-7966 or email her assistant Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org - and express your support for SB6453. Or you might phone your reps and tell them to support democracy. In Olympia they wear foggy glasses and often forget they represent us. This issue should not even be a question. This is all due to the two political parties trying to hijack our election system. And our state representatives responding to their threats.
Wed, Mar 3
Top 2 primary election bill, SB6453 - Senate Bill number 6453 - has passed the Washington State Senate by a vote of 28 to 20. This is the primary that allows citizens to vote for whom they want to represent them - the good primary. Voting for it was Republican Sen. Dale Brandland of Whatcom County. Voting against was Democrat Sen. Harriet Spanel of Whatcom County.
We thank State Senator Dale Brandland for bucking the party machine and voting for democracy.
Mon, Mar 1
Traffic and Western Washington University. If WWU gets their way, $20 million in state taxes will be spent on jack hammering out good roads and building new ones a hundred yards away. No increase in safety nor traffic movement. A big increase in roadways on campus. Two roads replacing one. Not a single new classroom. The roads are to help expand the campus further - setting up traffic patterns aimed at the South Hill and Happy Valley neighborhoods.
Tip Johnson, former two term Bellingham city council member and Happy Valley resident is now serving on Western's Traffic Advisory Committee. The committee is only allowed to consider a fraction of the campus and not allowed to consider impacts off campus. The process is a charade designed to give WWU administrators the plan they want.
Tip has prepared a packet advising Western to change its approach to traffic management. And to change its attitude towards the three neighborhoods adjacent to campus. Tip, who has a community development degree from Fairhaven College, writes from experience and many years of involvement with Bellingham planning.
The PDF file (340K) will stay available here for easy reference to our legislators in Olympia and those interested in this issue. It includes two revealing maps that illustrate Tip's concerns and which he made from existing WWU maps and aerial photos.
Currently Western has 12,000 students. Tip and many of us who understand Western and its place with other Washington State higher educations institutions, feel it is time to limit the ultimate size of the campus to its current space and the student body to 15,000 students.
As a contiguous campus, WWU has reached its limit. The neighborhoods around Western are well developed and it is time Western showed them respect. Western can develop areas on the Bellingham waterfront, at the old Chestnut Medical Center and in downtown Bellingham if it wants to grow beyond 15,000 students.
We appeal to our state government to halt Western's contiguous physical growth. It is too expensive and too disruptive to neighborhoods. Put the $20 million into the new Cascadia University in Everett or into more classrooms and education facilities. Not unneeded roads.
Democracy or Oligarchy? Empty and rigged voting system or citizens choosing their representatives? Which will our state legislators choose? The US Supreme Court on Monday made final the requirement that our state legislature must reform our method of primary elections. For all offices - city, county, state and national.
For democracy, we want the "Top Two" or 'Cajun' or "Louisiana' type primary. The Republican and Democratic party bosses are trying to bully our state legislators into a primary that will favor those two parties. Did you know that your tax dollars support the two parties for meetings and expenses? Yes they do. For caucus expenses and more. The party bosses strut through the hallways of Olympia, subsidized by us taxpayers. Now they want an election system that allows them to keep power. We should tell them to stick it.
With the Cajun system we will give a chance to independents and third parties. We will give a chance to anyone who wants to run for office. A slim chance, but still a chance.
Democracy? A great idea. We are still a long ways from it, but we are closer than in the past. Tell your legislators that they had better vote for the Cajun system. The party bosses will threaten lawsuits and the withholding of party funds to those who dare to vote for democracy. Don't kid yourself that those days are behind us. They are still very much with us. Democracy is still a goal, not a reality. The parties still control the system. A Cajun primary is a small step towards democracy.
Thur, Feb 19
OK, let's update things here. Dean link is moved down as his website will continue to push for change in this country. Kucinich link is at top as he needs to be heard and paid attention to. Kerry - not a great candidate and not a leader - appears to be anointed to be our next president. I am more convinced that the American people will turn Bush out to pasture - despite the staged traumas and dirty tricks his organization will put our country through between now and November.
It is baffling how our news media ignore important issues until election time. Genuine questions about elected officials are ignored - until election time. Then the media create a soup of issues and confuse us.
Example. Bush went awol while in the military. With the release of his military papers because it has become an election issue, we have proof that he went awol. This website - and many others - have been asking this question for three years - and our national media have ignored it. Our media are still making excuses for Bush and confusing the issue. After Bush is out of office they will then run reports showing how the American people did not realize how this guy avoided going to Vietnam and used his elite family status to go awol - desertion by definition - and still get an honorable discharge. Keep in mind the right wing FoxNews and Rush whined for 8 years about Clinton and his draft deferral.
As a veteran who served, I resent Bush getting a free ride by my conservative and Republican friends. And I resent them saying it is not an issue and that it happened long ago. They use a double standard and have no excuse for it. Check the chickenhawks website. You will see that virtually all the Bush organization men found ways to avoid military duty and/or Vietnam. They are all chickens who as young men pulled strings to avoid service to their country - and now are sending young men to their deaths and war for false reasons. How any conservative or Republican can defend them is beyond me.
Fri, Feb 13
Benzene in Lake Whatcom water. How much is there? Well, this chart is from the city of Bellingham Public Works Department.
We see 1/100 of one part per billion or less of benzene to water during most of the year 2000 and into the spring of 2001. Then in the summer we see the amount rise by ten fold to over 1/10 of one part per billion. This is a log chart, so that spike in Aug reachs to about 1/5 of one part per billion.
What levels are needed before we are concerned? That will be the debate over the next several months. I've read that the health folks get concerned when 1/2 of one part per billion level is reached and that the safe drinking water limit is 5 parts per billion. But those limits will no doubt be contested. Let the debate begin.
Thur, Feb 12
Motor boats off Lake Whatcom? What was that apology from city senior planner Chris Spens at the city council on Monday? El bull in china shop Chris got the word from el mayor that the motor boat initiative was now part of the city party line. He recanted his arrogant lecture in the Herald.
Look for back lash - er, opposition - to the initiative. All the big money people around the lake are organizing. They cannot keep it off the ballot but they can defeat it in the election. Sharon Crozier and her fringe environmentalist friends are hell bent to get enough signatures to get it on the ballot. They will probably get enough.
Putting the initiative on the ballot is OK - imho. We should not be afraid of initiatives. My experience with the city and county voters is they show common sense and a conservative view. Not political conservative but real conservative: they do not change things unless there is good reason. There is little reason to ban all motor boats from the lake.
It will be fun to watch the money folks go up against the most extreme environmentalists in the area. This is what results when progressive steps are blocked by local powers. You get extreme actions that threaten reasonable practices. Because the city - mayor - and county have resisted progressive steps to protect our water, we will now face a divisive and hurtful political brouhaha over motor boats. My advice is to the money folks: you bend or you break. Try bending next time.
Mon, Feb 9
We have mercury contamination all over our county. That we know. Lake Whatcom and Bellingham Bay. Georgia Pacific's chlorine plant leaked mercury for about 35 years and neither GP nor our environmental agencies will tell us how much. We do know that in making chlorine, half the mercury leaked in waste water and half into the air. Of course it dropped out of the air after a bit of travel. Where is the question. Over Lake Whatcom? Perhaps. Over the Lettered Streets? Over the Cornwall neighborhood? Over the northern county areas? No studies have been taken or released.
Now this. Research that Mercury is even more dangerous than the scientists thought. And they thought it was terrible. Nada in today's Herald. One may not have to eat fish from Lake Whatcom to get mercury poisoning in Bellingham and Whatcom County. Does our city health department test our drinking water for mercury? If so, what is their threshold for testing? You see, mercury is accumulative.
While a few fringe environmentalists get excited about outboard motors on Lake Whatcom, we tend to ignore the real dangers. Leaking septic systems. Leaking sewage system at Sudden Valley. Accumulated runoffs from lake side developments that put pesticides, fertilizers, oils and toxins into the lake. And mercury. What proportion of the total is outboard motor oils may be a very small fraction. But some environmentalists love a crusade more than improving the environment. And some politicians will jump on a noisy bandwagon and ignore real issues that could be socially awkward. Mercury anyone?
Sun, Feb 8
Well, good luck to Kerry. He will certainly have my support if he gets the nomination. And it looks like the Democratic party machine will give him that at the convention in Boston next July.
That said, it is really a mistake by the Democrats. Dean was far more qualified by his accomplishments as governor of Vermont and by his courage on the issues of war and health. Kerry kept quiet while he watched to see how Americans would react to Dean. He then copied Dean's views and, with the help of the Democratic party machine, he pushed Dean aside.
The American people might throw Bush out no matter who the Democrats put up. Bush might find an atomic bomb in Bagdad in August and find Osama in October. Kerry will be sliced up on his Senate record and whatever else they find - and they will find it. There will be a terrorism scare or tragedy at the right time. Dirty tricks will reach new extremes. Bush will make promises that will be reversals of his record. But in the end, we might throw him out anyway. Lets hope so. He was never elected president in the first place.
Is Kerry a Dukakis2? Lets hope the Democrats select Howard Dean at their caucuses tomorrow in Washington State. Lets select the guy with the best potential to beat Bush. And lets hope we get a cajun primary from our State Legislature for the future.
Thur, Feb 5
Why does Howard Dean have a much better chance of beating Bush than John Kerry? Because Kerry will be tarred and feathered by the Republicans if he is the nominee. Kerry is a guy who puts effort into his image and little into accomplishments. Check out this article by Howie Carr, who has covered Kerry for 25 years and is a columnist from Kerry's home town of Boston. Why nominate a guy who has a poor record that the Bush campaign can slice and dice? It defies common sense.
Dean has an excellent record of accomplishments and has shown his character throughout. Dean had the courage of his convictions to speak out against the war when Kerry and other Democrats kept silent. Dean has experience setting up a health care program for his Vermont residents. Dean deserves our support. He is real and he will make a very good president.
We can only hope the Democrats have the smarts to nominate Dean in this Saturday's Washington state caucus meetings. Dean will garner votes from Independents and even moderate and conservative Republicans. Kerry will be just another Democratic Party machine puppet who will turn off the Independents.
Wed, Feb 4
George Bush AWOL? Hell, he was a deserter. Now, now. It is quite true. I've been through this several times over three years now with conservative friends. They end up changing the subject or getting all excited about Bill C putting a cigar in a sweet spot. Ahh - yes. Janet showed us exactly 1.4 seconds of an old boob. And the country goes nuts. We do get upset about trivia and ignore substance.
Bush is a deserter. These links have been posted here for years. Nothing new. George Bush - awol & deserter and Chickehhawks - draft dodgers. Shall I say it again? George W Bush went absent without leave from his military duty in the Air National Guard in 1972. After 30 days of not reporting for duty, it became desertion. They shot a soldier in World War two for this. Bush did not report for months - and there is a good question if he ever reported again. He simply skipped off. He pulled strings to avoid Vietnam and then just ignored his military duty. End of story.
Tue, Feb 3
Know how to stop Western Washington University from repeatedly trying to destroy the neighborhoods around it? By limiting its potential size and by starting a new university in Everett or Port Angeles.
Sound farfetched? Our state legislature is actually considering a new U. We would never know it from reading our Bham Herald. To learn what might impact Bellingham, we need to read the Everett Herald. This article appeared in Monday's paper. Read about the possible Cascadia University. Write your legislator and urge their support.
Meanwhile, Western moves ahead with its plan to spend millions of dollars destroying and building new roads on its campus - all to no improvement in traffic or safety. Why do it? Only to build that perfect, beautifully landscaped, english garden like campus. Roads are so - well, you know, unsightly. So WWU will put them through the Sehome Arboretum. And other places. With traffic aimed like a dagger at the Happy Valley neighborhood.
Tonight at the Western Gallery on campus at 7 pm, the WWU planners and their very well paid outside lackeys will put on a smooth dog and pony show while pretending to be open to public comment on their road plans. I was on their traffic task force a few years ago and watched the duplicity at close range. The plan is cut. All that remains is a public charade. Jack hammer a road and build a new one only 100 yards away. Someone ought to tell our six state legislators to stop wasting our tax dollars in these tight times. The present roads are fine. Western does need more classrooms - and some common sense.
Mon, Feb 2
No MoveOn.org ad on CBS Super Bowl
FCC today says it will investigate outrageous bare breast
Thursday, Jan 29
Am adding a link to the Evergreen Freedom Foundation down in the Reference section. They post fiscal information on government agencies, state and local. They are the folks who uncovered the hundreds of additional millions of dollars that Gov. Locke gave away to Boeing. Locke basically cut a secret deal - illegal and corrupt. EFF exposed it. Guess who makes up the lost taxes. The state won't fund public education but will fund a training facility for new hires at Boeing. Liberal or conservative, we should speak out against this secret giveaway.
Tue, Jan 27
Moveon.org has a TV ad about the huge national deficit that George W is giving us. They have raised the million or more dollars to run it during the Super Bowl broadcast this coming Sunday. But - CBS is refusing to run the ad, saying it is "too controversial". Fellow citizen, the very airwaves CBS uses are owned by us citizens. I urge you to view the ad and then contact CBS and the FCC. Seems CBS has just gotten some big favors from the Bush government and that is probably the actual reason they won't run the ad. Time to make a call.
Sat, Jan 24
The Town Crier has a nicely improved home page which lists all articles with dates of publication. This Bellingham based website is worth your checking for a more conservative viewpoint. You can find a permanent link to it under the Whatcom section in the right column.
Fri, Jan 23
Don't spy on us is a new link added to the Reference section in the right side column. It deals with our 4th Amendment rights to privacy - just what the government is busy dismantling in the name of security. Bill Scannell runs this from Washington DC. He shows where some of these "security" laws, like CAPPS II, do not improve security but do violate our rights. Check it out.
Thur, Jan 22
The future of our war in Iraq is analyzed and predictions are made in a new post on the website World In Conflict, a sub-site of NwCitizen. Credit for the articles there belongs to a local academic who prefers to remain anonymous.
The citizens in the small town of Crofton on Vancouver Island are trying to stop their local pulp and paper mill from getting permits to burn "alternative fuels", that is, tires, creosote railroad ties, etc. Toxic stuff. Crofton is only 60 miles upwind of Bellingham and only 30 miles from some parts of Whatcom County. The toxins would drift to our lungs. They have put up a website to educate themselves and those of us who will also be impacted by this permit. I have added their link to the Community section in the right side column. My thanks to LM for this link.
Tue, Jan 20
Watching Dean on TV celebrating 3rd place in Iowa embarrassed me. Watching John Edwards speak after his surprise 2nd place finish was refreshing and hopeful. Edwards spoke to America during his 7 minutes of coverage by all the networks. Dean wasted his. Edwards spoke to basic progressive values of fairness for all.
How did Kerry win? The labor unions brought in thousands of people on Monday night to register as Democrats and vote for him. Democratic Party machine politics. This was not an election. It was a political organization process. How did Dean lose? Gephardt sliced and diced him in a desperate gamble to save his own political future. All Gephardt succeeded in doing was bring down both of them. Now Gephardt is out. Also the Dean campaign went to sleep with arrogance, predicting victory and not paying attention to what Kerry was doing.
Edwards is the winner. Not Kerry. Kerry cannot use those tactics to win a fair election. New Hampshire is an election - not a caucus. See how he does there. A link to John Edwards website is now added on the right. Kucinich? Ahhh, well he may not appear a serious contender but he speaks so well to issues. I can't let go of him.
In the end we need a candidate who can beat Bush. The differences between the candidates pale to insignificance after that need. I'm putting back the link to Kerry as a service. He has fudged words to hide his support for the war in Iraq. He now pretends he was against it.
Mon, Jan 19
Martin Luther King was a true American hero and champion of our basic rights. Without him we would be a more backward country today - and perhaps have more internal violence. He showed the way for whites as well as blacks towards a society of equality and nonviolence. We are still having trouble following his leadership - but at least we know the way.
Take a moment today to look out across the landscape and reflect on his courage, his ability to verbalize the feelings of blacks and how our federal government demonized him and probably killed him. Think about George Bush's claim that there is freedom of speech in America. Perhaps there is if you don't actually have any influence. But if your speech does influence people then look out. MLK deserves his holiday.
I'm getting email about my choice of presidential candidate links in the right hand column from supporters of candidates who want me backing their boy. I'm in favor of any progressive candidate who can defeat Bush and bring us back towards our American values of freedom and fairness.
I'm also against those who voted Bush a blank check to wage war in Iraq. Gephardt wrote the resolution when he thought that was the way to the presidency. Kerry fully supported the war and now says Bush was at fault for running the war poorly. Gephardt has little integrity and Kerry is too naive to beat Bush and the Republicans. They both wander all over the political landscape looking for where the people are thinking.
Dean, Kucinich and Clark stick by their basic principles. They have shown the ability to lead and not just follow the polls. Dean and Kucinich were the first to speak out against the war - with Kucinich leading the debate in Congress against the war act - while Kerry and Gephardt led the democrats who voted for the war. Kerry and Gephardt have no place on this website.
The Democratic Party machine is going nuts trying to smear these three true leaders because if any one of them wins the nomination then the party will lose power. The Democratic Party is not so concerned with American values as it is with its own power. Same as the Republicans. True conservatives are revolted by Bush's oppressive acts and deficit spending. We need a team who can bridge this gap. I think that combination is Dean with a running mate of Clark or Edwards.
Fri, Jan 16
Screwed up city bureaucracy is exposed by Tim Paxton. He posted this to the Lake Whatcom discussion group and has given permission for posting here. I phoned the city attorney's office and asked the name of this attorney in Tim's report. They told me he is C. Thomas Moser of Mt. Vernon.
Here is a guide to the acronyms. UGA is the Urban Growth Area. SVCA is the Sudden Valley Community Association. CWA is Clean Water Alliance, which is Tim's group of environmental activists.
City Hires Outside Counsel To Assist On UGA Appeal!
The City Assistant Attorney (Perry Eskridge) who was working on the City's appeal of the Urban Growth Area designation of Sudden Valley unexpectedly quit the City. Another City attorney was on medical leave which brought down the City's legal staff to about 9 people reportedly.
The City Attorney suddenly realizes that they are gonna need some help to keep in the appeal. The official copy of the UGA appeal record is now up to about 2,500 pages of legal documents. So! What to do? Hire an outside counsel. Voila!
Instead of hiring CWA's expert Land Use attorney who is already familiar with the case and its 2,500 pages of documents, the City Attorney goes out and finds an attorney who is already currently working against CWA's attorney (I.e. reportedly pro-development, anti-environment) in not one but TWO other land use cases in Snohomish Superior Court.
So, now protecting the City of Bellingham's interest is a well known reportedly pro-development, anti-environmental attorney with some land use background. (This attorney also holds optional prayer sessions with clients as a bonus, according to his web site. So I am assuming an assist from an un-named deity is possible at this point.)
It is now probably going to cost the City months of attorney time for the new Attorney to get up to speed on the case. It may be likely that since this person is already opposing Gerald Steel (CWA's attorney) in other cases, they may be precluded from speaking and working together.
This is in addition to the Mayor's legal genius gag rule which apparently allows the City to work with SVCA's attorney but not speak with co-appellant CWA board members.
Thus the City can be assured of continuing to not be able to work with their co-appellants and originators of the challenge to the County's UGA. AND, it will probably cost the City twice what it would have if they had just hired CWA's attorney. Shall we guess a cost of $40,000 now? (About what SVCA budgeted apparently)
Does anyone know if potential prayer sessions between the City's new outside UGA Counsel and City Staff are subject to the Open Meetings Act? Just asking.
Is anyone shocked that the Mayor found a pro-development attorney who has an anti-environmental record to "work" for the citizens of Bellingham?
Northwest Citizen is firmly for Howard Dean for President. The most important single reason is that I think he can beat George Bush. I'm independent, never having belonged to either party. Some of my best liberal friends insist I'm a closet conservative. The point is I'm not partisan.
But I sure fear the next five years if Bush is reelected. We will have tyranny in this country. A reelection will encourage him in more wars, more restrictions on civil freedoms, more secret police powers, and more demonizing of those who think differently than the government likes. His economic policies will transfer wealth to the rich and impoverish the middle class - as they has started to do the past three years.
An online column for Dean by Elaine Kamarck this morning is the final argument for me. She brings a common sense overview to what I already knew - and you may find the same for yourself. My thanks to the blog Talking Points by Josh Marshall - link in right hand column - for listing her article this morning.
I contributed to the Dean campaign last fall and will continue to as I am able. He is depending on normal Americans contributing $100 each. This is happening and he will have the ability to defeat Bush. If we middle class folks can get him elected then we will have a better future for our country. We can back off from bullying the rest of the world and go back to working with other countries. We can have national security without sacrificing our civil rights. We can have a domestic economy that allows us all to have a decent lifestyle and decent health care. That is my hope.
Posted mid January at bottom of home page.
About 240 citizens check NwCitizen each day and regular readers check about once a week. Over 4,000 unique - different - citizens check this site every month. Examining where you come from reveals 1/3 of you are from government offices - meaning bureaucrats, elected representatives and officials visiting during business hours. My my. Local, state and federal. While I have known this for several years, I thought it time to tell you.
To regular citizens: If it is posted here, your government knows about it. They want to keep track of what you know about them. And they are concerned about my ability to help create public issues. In casual conversations with many of them over the years they have told me so. I never post the name or any specific information about anyone who provides me with information. Except with their permission. I protect my sources and in 20 years of activism none have ever been discovered. The Port of Bellingham fired three employees they thought were my inside sources during two years in the 90s but missed my two sources.
For this website to be effective, let government bureaucrats know you read it. Let them know you are concerned about the issues reported here. If they tell you this site is unreliable, ask them for an example. And let me know of the example. I make very sure of my facts and am able to help create public issues because my postings prove in the end to be correct.
Our governments are supposed to serve us. City, county, state and federal. We need to know what they are doing and why. We need to know of projects they are working on now that they plan to announce later when all is ready and too late for us to have meaningful input. Public hearings are charades with the process rigged. This secrecy is the main reason our taxes are so high - and so poorly spent.
This website is doing what it can to correct this. Please do what you can to help make our government processes open to citizens. The results will affect you very personally - in your home, your neighborhood, your freedoms and your pocketbook. -jan04
Wed, Jan 14
The second issue of The Town Crier is out. The online edition has the same articles as the four page tabloid. It would help if the editor would put dates with the online articles so we know which are current. Editor James Johann prints an analysis of Bham Herald guest columns that shows bias. He also prints the Herald editor's reply. Herald editor Shirley does not dispute the facts of Johann's analysis but says he should not think the cause of the Herald choice of guest columns is because of organization or conspiracy.
Indeed, but Herald editor Julie Shirley omits two other possible causes for the Herald's choices of which guest columns to print and not print. They are personal bias on the part of Herald editors and/or confusion and ineptitude. Take your choice. He reminds Shirley of the stupid column about a pet dog in Germany. It is worth your reading.
We keep a link to The Town Crier in the 'Whatcom' section of the right hand column. It is a serious effort by several local conservatives to bring some sanity to the political discussion. Something the Herald denies us.
We read that 35 US soldiers were "hit" in Iraq yesterday. When our Bellingham Herald does print war casualties on the front page, the choice of words seeks to minimize the tragedy. Hit. Did someone punch them? Did their bus or truck get 'hit' by another vehicle? Did they receive bumps and bruises? Did medics put bandages on their cuts? Anyone have a headache the next day?
Today we learn one of the 35 has died. Hmmm. Maybe some or many of the others are near death. Are any more near death? The Army is not saying. Nor are American press reporters asking very hard. Nor are the American people asking. Perhaps we would rather not know. Easier to go about our daily work and play without being told every day of the gruesome details of our young men and women being maimed and disfigured for life. In a war carried on under false pretenses. In a country that was never a danger to us.
"Hit". How simply absurd. How obscene. What is worse than the government not releasing information is our local press acting as the propaganda arm of the Defense Department to Bellingham readers. Maybe the word came down from Gannett headquarters to find soft easy words for life threatening and body ripping wounds. Hit.
During Vietnam, the Army lied a lot. It took us 30 years - and counting - to slowly learn the truth. The lies were justified as necessary for National Security. Then Defense Secretary McNamara now openly admits to and apologizes for the lies. He deeply regrets his role in the deceit of us American patriots. Back then I read the Herald and they dutifully printed positive stories about Vietnam and ignored or distorted reports about local efforts to stop the war. Nothing changed. Nothing learned.
Our kids are being maimed for life by the thousands in Iraq. Physically and mentally and emotionally. Over 2,000 have been evacuated for serious wounds - and another 7,000 have been evacuated for other reasons. Like going nuts or self inflicted wounds. For what?
But - my point today is not to argue against the war. It is to suggest to you, gentle reader, that if you consider yourself a decent American then you should insist on full reporting of the casualties. The ONLY reason for denying you the truth is you might change your mind about supporting the war or might actually oppose it. The other reasons - privacy of soldiers, encouraging the enemy, etc - are bogus. They do not want us to know. We might - as voting citizens - vote them out of office.
How do you insist? Write the Herald. Write your congressman. Write, phone or email whoever is involved. I post here and this gets read by 300 people a day. I am one citizen. No more. My opinion is not worth any more than yours. But this is my way of speaking out. Find your way - and please use it.
Tue, Jan 6
Did you feel the earthquake at 4:11 pm this afternoon? A small 2.7 intensity quake under the southern part of Chuckanut Mountain, about 4 miles south of Fairhaven, jolted us. You can check the earthquake site for details.
Sat, Jan 3, 2004
Does FoxNews lie and distort the news to fit their conservative agenda? Yes. On a daily basis. Here is a nice example.
"Dean Attack on Kerry Farm Vote Backfires" reads the headline of a Jan 2 article suggesting Dean has accused Kerry of voting against a flood relief law in Congress and now Dean will have to issue an apology and clarifying statement. You have to read the article very carefully to learn that Dean never said any such thing. Some Iowa farmer, who is supporting Dean, said it. A search of Google finds no other media organization running the story. I did find it on Kerry's website - no surprise. No apology needed.
Fox likes to suggest some negative thing about a liberal, environmentalists, Democrat or progressive - but when you examine closely you almost always find the fudge and it is usually in the headline or the lead in statement on the TV news. Such is the favorite news source of my conservative friends.
I guess the Bush Republicans are really scared of Dean and are trying to have him bumped off early. The Republicans have done this before, via dirty tricks or whatever. Nixon in '72 is the most famous example. This year it looks like the right wing news media owners will carry the water for them. Mission: discredit Dean.
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