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October 22, 1987

Portrait of the Blogger as a Young Blowhard

I moved to Seattle in January 1986. My first civic involvement was volunteering to help start the Broadway (Seattle) BIA, second was a group called KC 2000. (The end result of this would be the Metro/King County Merger per the Judge Zilly decision.) These KC2000 folks would be perceived as the typical regional heavy hitter crowd. FWIW the earlier, more modest endeavor, matured more sweetly in my memory.

This was the end of the Reagan era, the Fall of 1987 when George I was making his run. At that time the economy was tanking, and I used that as a theme for a promotional editorial I wrote in the UW Student Newspaper - The Daily.

Best thing about this event was the UW Students and Faculty I met - faculty included the Geographer/Demographer Richard Morrill and Transportation Engineer Scott Rutherford.

Two student footnotes: The Op-Ed was published by Sally Clark, currently a Seattle Councilmember, and perhaps the best home grown public career resume of my generation, locally.

Asterisk
Second was Tom Nolan. At the time he was doing his Master's Thesis on a proposed Computerized Mapping system for King County. Tom currently runs the City of Seattle Department, funded by City Light. This is his Master's thesis abstract/outline relevant to the local history of this profession, a topic I should continue to write on.

The handwriting should be his.

March 6, 1994

Access to Public GIS Records

In 1994, under City Attorney Mark Sidran, the issue of public access to GIS records was, surprisingly, actively being debated. That's hard to believe in this day and age - thank current State Attorney General Rob McKenna and the newspapers of this State led by Michael Fancher of the Seattle Times and their 'open government' initiatives.

At the date of this writing I was employed full time with King County and was attending graduate school in geography, as well as serving on the board of Vision Seattle. I interviewed Tom Nolan(Asterisk), head of Seattle's GIS unit for this piece, but I didn't include any quotes in this article. I don't remember the reasons why.

Besides a question of public record access I'm also 'envisioning' a future for the profession here, to some extent that does seem to be finally happening on a broad scale.

July 6, 1994

Vision Seattle Newsletter

In the summer of 1994 I was given the honor of editing the Vision Seattle Newsletter, City Watch. Here I talk a little about communications as they apply to civic and neighborhood decision making, as I take up those reins.

District Elections

This isn't so much a biographical item as an interesting story which I was a somewhat close spectator of.

The district election reform effort would play out as a major scandal. Though not conceived as an attack on the Seattle establishment, it was certainly an effort to make electability more accessible to the average citizen. Kerman Kermoade, the author of the following clipping was a friend on the Vision board, doing this as a project for his later life Poly Sci degree. I was at the initial organizing meetings for their effort in support and followed the issue loosely.

As you may recall this became a scandal when it was revealed that food executive (and active Republican) Tom Stewart was making illegal contributions as a way to seek revenge for previous battles with the City bureaucracy. I wasn't active in the campaign nor know anything about the details of Stewart's other city battles. Stewart, with his company, has since left the State, one of several biggies in the last decade or so.

Tacoma, as you may know, has a mixed system of at-large and district seats - the particular mix I came to favor out of observing these debates. Seattle still talks about it, but does nothing.

September 6, 1994

Vision Seattle Finance Survey

This is the write up of a survey I did for Vision Seattle on public finance issues. Though not a huge response the folks were quite varied and vocal - and a great way of going viral on a framework - not an agenda. Note especially the results on the Seattle Commons.

View image

February 12, 1997

Leveraging the Law through the UW Law School

Before Bill Gates became a big donor at the UW he, through his Father Bill Senior, was involved in an effort to, IMO, bully the campus in order to build a new law school building. This was at the same time they were being actively investigated for anti-trust violations by the US DOJ.

I was the first to write on the subject, below. Rick Anderson of the Seattle Weekly also wrote on the subject and did a better job than I.

Do make note of the advice of Architecture Professor Folke Nyberg, at the end of the article. The Gates would later step up to the plate and make a fair contribution, though not without a fair amount of bad blood with those departments who had been pushed to the back of the line.

(Asterisk)This **may** well also mark the start of their entire philanthropic effort, through the Gates Foundation.

For another perspective worthy of consideration look at this 'priority' as an expression of the authority of Land Use law and it's Institutional Planning regulations to hold itself above its own regulations....

March 14, 1998

Affirmative Action

I've commented on the affirmative action debate pretty consistently with one single point - it is more important to be able to get rid of mistakes in hires (and create new openings) than it is to assign fewer openings to minorites - affirmative action may well actually increase the number of 'mistake' hires. At this point we need to get rid of those affirmative action mistakes, old school discriminators, and perhaps the worst, those that have abused these rules whose spirit is the reduction of hate, not the inflaming and manipulation of it.

This letter is from the Seattle Times.

(I'm not totally sure on the year for this piece - last digit of the year is torn)

May 15, 2002

Renton Reporter Letter on Transportation

As a resident of Tacoma I'd make a similar argument for Pierce County. Perhaps the most important thing to think about is how Pierce and S. King coordinate their somewhat overlapping interests.

October 17, 2007

Everybody's a Transit Expert

I've always liked Danny Westneat, but his latest has me wondering as he proclaims to be a better financial analyst than Brian Sonntag evaluating Sound Transit.

There are two things we know for sure about Sound Transit - that we haven't seen any of the SeaTac-Dowtown line work, so we have NO BASELINE to realistically compare it to anything - and that Transit finance numbers are always underestimated dramatically. It is quite safe to say that this is not a ten billlion dollar project.

We also know that the last three votes to expand Portland 's Max system have failed.

I know, and you should too, that we can do much better. No doubt 'they' are already making excuses about why this project failed because of the 'public', not because the plan, or 'they', are losers.

I'm not anti-light rail - but we need to insist we do it right - and if 'they' refuse - as is evidenced here - 'they' need to be fired for insubordination- or for soliciting a fraud, to be more specific. The only line that even merits discussion for expansion at this point is the Tacoma line - and that only modestly. Fairly, I guess it would also make sense to seek funds to fulfill the original promise made to voters - the dropped stations and the U-District leg. Along that line a starter system in Everett and Bellevue would also make sense. Bellevue might well choose a bus tunnel though - following the already established investment phasing plan of the Seattle Hybrid Tunnel. That would be a smart continuation of the best of the Status Quo, not the worst - rewarding those project ideas, and people, that have earned it, yes?

BTW - on the subject of global warming - how about spending your own money, wisely, to buy an electric vehicle? Or for that matter, take the money you save from riding the bus and invest it in a green investment fund?

Heyo!

November 4, 2007

One Step Back, Two Steps Forward

Sometimes the best way to approach your goals is to move away from them. An unseemingly large number of election items at issue Tuesday have brought this simple life rule to the forefront of my thoughts.

Moving backwards to go forwards is a life lesson taught to me through sport - and though built a bit like Seahawker Mack Strong - it's a lesson I learned through navigating the wilds of the Western U.S., not as a High School Offensive Lineman.

Proceeding blindly towards an obsessive goal can be dangerous. Even more dangerous is taking an easy road that has been put before you fraudlently.

Before my comments, a brief outdoor story, illustrating the point:

I once took a friend on one of my favorite hikes in Washington State - the Soleduck River/High Divide/Ridge Loop, just north of Mount Olympus. The day was perfect, late August with the Huckelberries at their ripest - as also was the weather.

The hike is long, about 20 miles, but it is also a loop, returning to the same spot you started. These 20 miles can be covered more easily in a day, lightly burdened, than could be covered in a weekend with full camping gear.

The pace to begin is mellow, slowly climbing through the rain forest of the Soleduck River valley, past Soleduck Falls. Only near the end of the basin do you enter the open Alpine Country - a modest cirque of heather, huckelberries, and small granite peaks. Climbing out of this basin you reach the pass, High Divide, to the Hoh river basin.

Though the climb to the pass is moderate the other side is quite dramatic, dropping thousands of feet below to the Hoh river then climbing several thousand above to the glacier covered peaks of Mount Olympus.

But this is not our route, our route is down the ridgeline - wending among rock pinnacles and cliffs as we slowly descend to our starting point - all in the glorious view of mountainous glory and riverine sublimity.

Though Huckelberries and views can do much to sustain this is a long hike, and by now all but the most enduranced of travelers will be feeling the burn. Perhaps distracted by a herd of grazing elk we chose any path that we thought was heading back down to the Soleduck Hot Springs.

But it was not descending into this watershed, it was in fact descending into the Hoh - a decision that could've proved quite problematic. Luckily, upon a bit of reflection, we discovered our error, corrected our path with only a slight detour - a worthwhile one actually - save for the legs. It was not long before we began to climb down from the ridge, steeply now, and returned to the trailhead, conveniently located next to the Soleduck Hot Springs.

For those of you so inclined, they do serve. I'd highly recommend spending the night here before driving back to home and work. My trip was the last time I smoked marijuana, an experience I'd like to do again some time. Proper time to recover, like that of an airplane pilot and alcohol, is important - something I think I learned, though not always through the easy path...

That said - observations on a few of the initiativi that are now before us.

Proposition 1, Sound Transit Two, et al:

This has been covered at length by myself and others, perhaps best on Crosscut. (The pieces by Bundy and Morrill are best - quality commenters include Piper Scott and David Sucher, and, hopefully, moi.) I won't burden my site anymore with the deserved negativity of the so-called 'business' practices of this funding proposal. (BTW, nothing wrong with the engineering, at least so far - save for poor route choice on I-90 - one of at least two very poor financial choices, the other being the Sea-Tac to Tacoma segment.)

A second vote will improve the package, just like with Sound Transit One.

R-67 - Insurance Reform:

Though the letter of this law make sense the implementation of it by the legal profession will not. Witness the heart tugging ads regarding a Puyallup Fireman, covered by the State's Workemen's Comprehensive and City of Puyallup policies, neither of which are subject to this initiatives regulations.

As for me, I trust my insurance company (and their lawyers) than I trust the trial attornies. A good place to start here would be the effective implementation of triple damages for legal practice malfeasance.

4204 - Levy vote margins for Schools

The proponents of this proposal are right. It is not fair that schools need to pass a higher threshold for passage than other financial measures. However we need to get State spending practices back in touch with reality, and a better move would be to raise the standards for all proposals to the level currently held to our schools.

I am, unfortunately, reminded of the not unrelated recent watering down of mathematics requirements in our standardized school testing program.

Lowering standards is not the way to improve our schools. Threats about the future economic success of our children, should this fail, should be legally pursued.

I-960 - Legislative Financial Accountability, by Initiative

My socially liberal politics are probably completely opposite the drafter of this proposal, Tim Eyman. However the continued lack of financial responsibility to even the most simple of legal standards is shameful.

I can't say this is the best way to do it. Like with global climate change though it is damn well time to start trying to do something. Claims of red tape are, like State Treasurer Mike Murphy, are bogus.

November 13, 2007

Not Everybody's a Transit Expert

Just about everyone thinks they know the secret to solving our transportation future - all, no doubt, have some basis in reality.

However some pass the wheat test, other's chaff.

Governor Gregoire's gambit on 520 might strike one as a good example of leadership. I may be wrong, but I think not. If she can get a plan onto the ballot by next November, and passed, I'll be eating a lot of crow. If she also wins re-election I may be eating crow for life.

Our best bet is going to be Rossi - negotiating with Sims and Chopp, as well as others, say the long time economist legislator, Helen Somers. 520 is not simply a matter of finding money - it is as complicated and controversial as the Viaduct.

Besides coming up with a specific plan for 520 there are also issues of integrating any upgrades - increasing capacity means nothing if bottlenecks still exist. Most notable of these bottlenecks is the one both the Viaduct and 520 feed - the Mercer Mess and it's accompanying 520 Weave. These problems need to be solved together with a multi-phased plan that WORKS.

Sound Transit is also an element of that enigma - the intersection of Sound Transit and 520, in the Montlake neighborhood is important - especially if I-90 becomes a busway in the interim. Sound Transit needs to get started by fulfilling their original committment to everyone in the ST district - including service to the UW AND Seattle University.

Some thumbs up on folks commenting on Prop. 1: Knute Berger on Crosscut, Bill Virgin in the P-I, and Doug McDonald, formerly of WashDOT. Gregoire might get one from me with much reluctance, but that's strictly going to be in hindsight, after she has proved me wrong.

A big thumbs down for the absolute stupidity of the Seattle Times in their Sunday Editorial. Perhaps this is as much about my personal journey as it is about regionalism, but Sirs and Madams, please cancel my subscription, effective the currently paid period.

December 22, 2007

A Washington Citizen's Warning to the Other 49 Governors

Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire recently made local headlines and national quotes with her action joining in support of California in opposition to Bush's EPA practices.

Gregoire is very good at this sort of thing, both locally and nationally - it is perhaps her strongest point. However, as religous wisdom tells us "even the devil can quote scripture for his (or her?) own purpose".

Ms. Gregoire's background is in the legal profession and she has a long track record of supporting a political 'environment' which cites very valid causes as justification for financial frauds. The typical dynamic is a male individual will object to an item of financial malfeasance only to be accused of being 'sexist' (or racist) as well as being an obvious 'bad person' with a secret agenda against the specific matter. That person will either then be silenced or fired, with a lifelong stigma attached to his name in either case.

These practices are many, the most recent of which will probably prove to be State Auditor Brian Sonntag's audit (including initiative granted performance powers) of the public Port of Seattle. The strategy can also be seen in the professionally closely related Sound Transit agency (whose CEO was a former Port CFO). Ms. Gregoire's latest on this front is to call for an 'emphatic' end to a provision called 'sub-area equity' which insures funds from one County or area are not sucked into whichever one happens to be most powerful (historically downtown Seattle).

It is in this aspect where you should be most concerned. It is assumed that the current 17 State lawsuit does, appropriately, have its eye on the emerging market for green business services. The 'business' associates of Gregoire include a firm called Preston Gates and Ellis, representing Sound Transit and a little company called Microsoft. I believe if you ask Sen. Orrin Hatch, UT, privately, about Microsoft and a former company called Novell you might well get an interesting opinion.

Although the benefits of the 17 State Coalition may well appear to be desirable the actual facts may well prove to be counter-productive. Instead of assembling political coalitions for the control of the environmental market I would urge you to instead rely on less 'powerful' influences on the private sector.

I believe Al Gore and others are calling for a 'Green' Manhattan project. I personally support this, but not for Washington State. If such an public expenditure is made, make it outside of New Orleans in a hurricane safe area. In that way the citizens of America get more bang for their buck - New Orleans is rescued - and, perhaps, are we all.

FWIW, if you wish more detail on this see the background on Gregoire's two most powerful attorney hires- Mark Sidran and Jenny Durkan. Sidran handles the financial side of the malfeasance (see the writings of Michelle Malkin and Barbara Serano in the Seattle Times regarding the Sidran, Preston Gates Ellis HUD blight parking garage for Nordstrom). Durkan, the Mary Cheneyesque lesbian daughter of the State's most powerful Lobbyist, Martin, handles the sexual side - see her 'representation' of the the too liberal, but very honest Governor Mike Lowry.

December 29, 2007

Through Rose Colored Glasses - Looking at Puget Sound Streetcars from Portland

Kimberley Marlowe Hartnett is David Brewster's and Crosscut's best hope at avoiding the stereotypical Seattle limousine liberal mindset (including symptoms of xenophobia?) in his current effort to expand his voice beyond the bounds of the 36, 37, and 43rd State Legislative Districts (okay, maybe the 48th as well).

Marlowe Hartnett is a Portland resident, a city, like Seattle, that has not seen a real estate slump (of 3 total nationally) - and perhaps for better reason.

She writes whimsically about Portland's coming year - in a style that owes a bit to Crosscut Editor Knute Berger.

I was in that City over Christmas and commented on her piece at some length - albeit wandering off topic, onto the above subject.

Viewing your city through the perspective of another is important, especially those in your region. This particular 'rambling' of mine looks at the issue of planning light rail - whether it be streetcar oriented like Tacoma's LINK or a regional system like the light rail system with a 'track record' - Portland's MAX.

Having had a favorable experience riding the Sounder this year I decided to try Amtrak - at $25 one way, cheaper than my gas driving alone. All in all it was a very enjoyable, and hopefully also, productive, 'multi-modal' trip. I urge you to become familiar with Marlowe Hartnett (linked above) as well as the details of my comments - though for different reasons.

January 2, 2008

No Country for **Young** Women?

This also isn't about the Joel and Ethan Coen film.

It's just a quick speculation about UW Student Amanda Knox and her Italian experience. I travelled prior to starting school, very close to Knox's age and can understand some of what she was going through. The move 'Talented Mr. Ripley' is perhaps the most relevant profile - and, IMO, Damon's best.

But, please, sexual games leading to murder? This girl, yea, girl, sure can put up the sweet innocent face, but there is enough evidence and contradiction to make it very clear that there is a darker side to this female - in spite of first appearances.

The question I ask you gentle reader - is the UW spoiling young women? Being a punk is not an unusual thing - I'd be suspicious of anyone who never had a phase of that sort. Training young people to become responsible adults is the JOB of the UW and evidence would indicate they are failing in that regard, perhaps critically.

Not every spoiled punk becomes a homicidal sexual or financial control freak, but the profile is similar. How about instead of affirmative action starting at the youngest of ages we learn, as a community, to complete those final stages of becoming an adult.

As to those old white male control freaks - it wouldn't hurt to get rid of them - not to mention quite a few 'diverse' folks of a younger age who have fallen for some of those same temptations. Yea, that includes UW Regent Bill Gates Sr, father of Micrsoft Bill Jr.

No **County** for Old Men

This isn't about the Joel and Ethan Coen film still in current release, though I do recommend it.

Rather this is a comparison of the psychological profile of power presented in this piece of fiction with the power structure of King County.

Perhaps the most curious thing about this movie was that I identified with all 3 characters. I wish I was more of the Tommy Lee Jones character, but the truth is I've got a bit of all 3 inside me - thankfully enough of the Tommy Lee to keep my own 'country' looking pretty good.

In the movie the character played by Javier Bardem, Anton Chigurh, is very efficient, very rational, and very, very much a violent psychopath. Logic, law can be consuming, and Chigurh has been consumed completely and effectively. In his world he is fair and consistent but around him spins nothing but chaos and destruction.

Simply put he is a control freak.

And yes, I am saying that King County is being run by control freaks(mostly unknown). No Anton Chigurh's there, save for the occassional wannabe like a likely victim of Gregoire's projessional cohorts, Dan Evans own Ted Bundy. But the profile is similar and revealing.

Does that mean I'm comparing Microsoft to a bunch of drug runners? Go figure....

January 14, 2008

'ATONEMENT' for Benazir?

There will likely be no atonement for Benazir Bhutto, just an ongoing tragedy.

I've never been in Pakistan, but I have been only a camel ride away in Western India - a region populated with villages of Muslim, Hindhi and Sikh faiths. My camel voyage, with muslim guide, is a story worth telling, but not today.

I've also been aquainted with two younger Pakistani's - the first likely a left member of Benazir's coalition, though this was prior to her first election. He was following in educational footsteps not all that different from Benazir's time at Harvard, where I'd guess she was popular. The second was more recent, in business - most likely son of a moderate successful right wing merchant who paid his way to the US via work in Kuwait or the like. Although my current politics are probably closer to number two, this guy was arrogant, incompetent and stupid, though I guess I'm being redundant. I've filed him away as a profile of the arab mindset, right or wrong, though I do have others that are more positive.

Pakistanis, like the followers of the Sikh faith, have found a balance between the typical arab mindset and the more mellow hindhi which is admirable. However I fear the 'force' of the taliban and al qaeda may well have doomed this country.

Remember, Pakistan is a member of the nuclear club.

If we do pull completely out of Iraq I fear for the future of this region - their redemption, their 'Atonement', most likely leads through nuclear conflict, on arab soil, though not necessarily in Pakistan (hopefully not on US Iraq bases).

Some lessons have to be learned again, the hard way. Call it going back to basics, if you will.

January 16, 2008

'Z'

'Z'

Directed by Constantin Costa-Gravas

Starring Yves Montand and Irene Papas

1969, based on events in 1963

Some stories never change - in time or place. Roger Ebert makes a similar comment in his 1969 review of this movie, the first foreign film ever nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.

The plot concerns the May 1963 assassination of the Greek leftist, Grigoris Lambrakis, as well as the successful investigation, and the subsequent military and political consequences. As even the most casual observer of history will note this was only some six months prior to the murder of the first Kennedy.

The actual date of the assasination got my attention, though I won't say why. For trivia buffs it was also the date of the first American ascent of Everest, via the West Ridge - by Washington's own Whitaker, if I recall correctly.

January 25, 2008

Is it okay to lie to protect the First Ammendment?

I'vr got a pet peeve about current elections regulations in Washington State - I thought I might be the only one, but Dori Monson, a talk show host on the top-rated centrist radio station KIRO 710, covered the subject yesterday, or at least got close to it. (Dori is the centrist station's right winger, though he claims to be more of a Libertarian.)

As you know Washington regulations concerning primaries have been the subject of recent Supreme Court Decisions and Initiatives - currently you are required to be a member of a party to participate in the primary decision. I have no problem with that, but as is usual with bureaucracy the devil is in the details.

The problem is this - County Auditors (except King County, go figure) are required to throw out any vote which is independent - either by a cross-over vote between parties or from one choosing not to identify. It's codified in 29A.52.151.

My initial thought that was this must have been some sort of administrative mis-step - perhaps with some degree of intentionality - I did a public records request to State Secretary Sam Reed's office on the subject. I found out I was wrong - one of the female people I correspondend with was kind of insulting and/or threatening when I made the insinuation that the First Ammendment would require tabulating of my vote - regardless if the parties used it or not.

FWIW, I'm a tad disappointed that Reed hasn't already sought to correct what may have been a constitutional oversight - his failure to act does go to his performance in that office. He does seem otherwise capable in his duties and I did vote for him last time around, even though I lean a shade left. I'm still researching the orignal bill that made these modifications but I do gather that Mary Margaret Haugen, someone I respected previously, but has had some suspect actions this year - including apparently supporting the powers that be around the Port of Seattle.

Go Figure.

The Monson/Reed interview, live, is at the start of this audio. Caller comments follow. The only other published reference on the subject that I'm aware of was cited by Dori on his page, from the Whidbey paper.

If your interest in this is great enough to want to see the emails from my PDC request I'd look forward to meeting you, as well as responding to your request.

Oh yeah, the lie thing - which Monson went into - you have to make an oath of party affiliation to vote in a primary. My point is that you should be able to vote independent or cross over in a single race and have the vote reported, but not applied to the Party decision. As it stands for the Presidential Race I think I'm gonna participate in the Republican Caucus and also vote in the completely non-counting Democratic Primary on the 19th.

This law needs to be repealed - it shouldn't require a court case or a big political battle. It is the constitution, arguably the most important part of it - all it should take is a single person pointing out the problem, nothing more - or less.

While you are at it - a suggestion - how about creating primary rules for independents whereby anyone can vote for them - independent or crossover - and allow them to advance if they receive one of the top two positions?

Heyo!

January 28, 2008

At best, Overpaid

The post-affair resignation of the 46 year old married Federal Way Judge Colleen Hartl received wide coverage. Many of the gritty details have just been released in a cover story by the Tacoma Tribune, last Saturday.

Judge Michael Morgan had attemped several times over the seven month career of Hartl to encourage her to act responsibly. In response to these 'legal' calls for accountability Hartly responded by accusing Morgan of "Workplace Domestic Violence" in an email to the Federal Way Police Chief.

This certainly gives a new dimension to the practice of 'sleeping one's way to the top' - and perhaps to the relationship with Hartl's lawyer husband as well.

It is shameful that the legal profession gives harrassment gossip full weight before the bench - the degeneracy of this practice is perhaps best revealed by this case.

My question here though is why in the world are we paying this lawless trailer trash more than $125,000 a year? That's more than any elected state-wide official save the AG and the Gov. Perhaps it is because the lawyers threaten the other two branches of government with 'workplace domestic violence' if they don't cough up?

Now, just where would one take such an allegation - if the Court's, and their officers, are complicit in the problem?

That's a tough question, but let's hope that Judge Michael Morgan will continue to be part of the solution. He is certainly worthy of his compensation, he just earned several years of it.

Besides the major dailies and broadcast TV this story has been covered, and discussed, on the below list:

Federal Way News

Normandy Park Blog (South King County, Washington Suburb)

Above the Law

Police Crimes

(The TNT has a policy of archiving articles into paid status after a few weeks.)

January 31, 2008

Culture, from Port to Port

The recent Port of Seattle controversy over misuse of the public's trust in their wasting, at best, 97 million dollars leads to some deeper questions.

Just what in the world is going on? How is such a monumental culture of **non** accountability allowed to florish?

A story today about a spat between SF Board of Supervisors and the leadership of that City's Port may well provide some clues:

SF Chronicle Story

Sure, intimidation from the old white boys is something to be concerned about - but knee jerk uses of such accusations may well be just a continuation of the cycle of abuse - flip side of the coin, etc.

What makes a society work is people that work - who earn it. That ain't happening, and I think the root of the problem is spoiled white women who think it's equal rights for them to have the same ability to abuse power as their husbands, and fathers.

For all the high falutin talk of equal rights all we've got is a bunch of spoiled rotten folks worse than even their white male 'predecessors' in authority. And it is the legal profession which has taken ownership of the public's trust - who cares about an incompetent employee just so long as they continue to funnel money to your 'clients'.

Banning talk about harrassment isn't the solution - applying it correctly is. Harrassment is the abuse of power - the bigger the authority the bigger the response. Continuing the pattern of authority from supervisor to up and coming employee or from generation to generation just means that the responding is more difficult - and all the more necessary.

February 12, 2008

Sam Reed (Old R) v. Dean Logan (Young D)

Dean Logan, controversial former elections director at problem plagued King County, is now lead of L.A. elections and continues his press presence today.

This story concerns an issue of mine - the ability of non major party members to express their preferences in the primary process. The issue here appears to be voter confusion. Though the details are not clear in the article it does appear that Logan is trying to make improvements. Although I'm a bit sceptical about his learning these lessons at his level of status he does seem to be trying.

This contrasts with Secretary of State Sam's Reeds actions on the same issue. Reed does have the ability, but he isn't trying to apply same to the problem with integrity. The forthcoming 10 million dollar primary vote on February 19 seems to be 'fair' including both Democrats and Republicans. In reality though it is slap in the face of every Washington Citizen - considering the recent history of primary election law in this State.

As you probably know the Democrats don't even use the primary at all - it is merely a straw ballot. So why can't Independents and Cross-overs express their preferences as well? In addition why aren't smaller parties, including the Greens and Libertarians allowed access to the primary ballot?

I'm not opposed to the parties restricting participation in decision making, however restricting the expression of free speech is a constitutional crime - though perhaps only currently prosecutable through harrassment law!

I won't recall the full history of primary elections here - the solution stands on its own. For both local and national primaries all parties should be allowed access and all votes tabulated and reported, whether the parties use them or not. The 'Top Two' preference of voters, invalidated by court order, should be re-invented as the top two different party winners.

Included in those eligible for top two advancement should be a special category of unafilliated independent (small i). As there is no 'party' for this group, any one should be allowed to vote a counting vote for this candidate.

Advancement wouldn't need to happen very often to have a big effect - including on lazy corrupt old Republicans like Reed and young unqualified and manipulated Democrats like Logan. As it stands now we ALL lose, whomever wins.

Use 'harrassment' law on me for that 'negative' campaigning. PLEASE, go ahead punks, MAKE MY DAY.

February 19, 2008

'BOOM'

BOOM

A discussion of the book with

Author Tom Brokaw

Moderator David Brewster (Founding Team Member of the Seattle Weekly and Crosscut)

Available for Download from TVW

David Brewster and Tom Brokaw are both big fishes in their respective ponds - Brewster in the world of local alternative weeklies and Brokaw as a long term top dog of the news team at 30 Rock. One might think Brokaw to be a big fish in a bigger pond, but Brewster is a bit more of a pioneer, and at least in Seattle may have more influence than Brokaw. As to the rest of the region their influence may be relatively equal.

Like my Parents Brewster and Brokaw are not technically 'Boomers', born before the war, but to young to have worked during it. Their leadership in that history, as well as the differing approaches towards journalism, makes for a very interesting discussion.

Alternative weeklies, including Brewster in Seattle are an experiment in journalism - dropping the pretense of inpartiality for advocacy journalism (turf the bloggers may yet win). Brokaw, in comparison follows the tradition of Cronkite and Murrow in attempting to be objective. Their discussion from those two perspectives from two top players at the top of their game is as interesting as the discussion of the baby boomer generation.

I'll leave it up to you to decide who is the more impressive. I do think though that from the perspective of politics in America (Brewster is unashamedly pro-Democrat) Brokaw wins hands down.

FWIW I haven't read either of Brokaw's two books, I do think I know the story already and don't have the time to rehash. They are both on my list though, and hopefully at some point I will - perhaps if I should ever be so fortunate to have a couple of children of my own - 21st century boomers or busters, however the case may be.

February 22, 2008

Counting 'I'

One of my pet issues is the question of the political parties and the primaries in Washington State. The points aren't immediately obvious, but upon reflection do become unavoidable.

Peter Callaghan, long time columnist with the Tacoma News Tribune, communicates the problem better than I:

No-count elections: A lot has been said about the oddball presidential nominating process in our state. A lot more will be said.

But any debate should include this troubling fact: Tens of thousands of ballots cast by registered voters were not tabulated. Elections officials were ordered by the Legislature not to count ballots from voters who refused or neglected to declare themselves a Republican or a Democrat.

This isn’t about the Republican Party’s refusal to accept the primary votes of those who identify themselves as independents. This isn’t about the Democratic Party’s refusal to accept the primary votes of anyone.

The federal courts have let them do whatever they want.

But state and local government should tabulate all votes and let the parties decide which ones to count and not count. State and local government should not be in the business of discarding ballots of those who refuse to go along with the charade.

If Primaries are solely for the benefit of the two major parties they should pay for them. If the State is to pay for them all parties should be allowed to use them - and anyone who choses to run as an independent should be able to accept votes from ANYONE.

Voters have deigned to have a top two primary system in this State. Personally I'm okay if the courts modify the initiative to require that the top two candidates NOT be from the same party. The current modifications though are perhaps the worst example of judicial activism that this country has ever seen. The Federal Courts, and those AWARE Olympia legislators should be ashamed.

Not to mention opening their checkbooks.

February 25, 2008

McCain and the Environment

I still haven't made up my mind who to support this year. I am certainly respectful of the very different careers of Hilary Clinton and John McCain, and optomistic about the future for Obama (if also a bit sceptical).

The Sierra Club though has released a negative rating on McCain. Unlike the NYTimes piece, I'll listen to this one.

Their suggested letter to the editor is here:

Dear Editor,

I was appalled to learn that John McCain was the only Senator who two weeks ago chose to skip a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America -- dooming the measure to fail by just a single vote.

Now I am even more appalled to learn that this is a pattern with Senator McCain. On the League of Conservation Voters scorecard he received a 0 for missing the 15 most important environmental votes in 2007. McCain's score of 0 is lower than members of Congress who died last year.

John McCain's LCV score exposes the real record behind the rhetoric: a lifetime pattern of voting with polluters and special interests and ducking the important votes.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Mailing Address
Phone Number (use your cell phone so the newspaper can verify you quickly!)
Email Address

I won't send the letter, but it does merit mention.

BTW, anyone notice the announcement about the Spainish Solar Company cutting a deal for their first big solar construction project in the US - in Arizona. A bit of interesting global strategizing, that.

March 1, 2008

Plausible Deniability - Politics and Boeing

I'm not one to make excuses for Boeing and their handling of the Tanker deal, phase 1. A bit of speculative analysis is in order though as Boeing is again rejected in phase two.

These sorts of abuses are common in current American corporate culture. Boeing, doing business with every culture in the world, competes only with oil in a a knowledge of the business 'culture' of every country on earth. It is worthy of note that the oil 'tanker' aspect raises the specter of this being a symbolic battle for corporate dominance - Boeing v. Big Oil, if you will. I won't analyze that further though.

I for one believe that the problems at Boeing were the exception, not the rule. Though not an excuse I personally believe it more likely that the 'infection' started on the government side, not vice versa. Certainly Boeing did the right thing by correcting this action immediately. This compares with Washington State's other dominant international company, Microsoft, and their 'behavior' in Europe, home also of Boeing's competitor, Airbus.

There are a number of speculations as to what the major 'external' forces were at work here. Perhaps the most positive is that the 777 production line will be changing from a global outsource model back to a domestic one and that the Northrop/Airbus deal may be a new attempt at an international aerospace business model. Perhaps second on the list of the positive theories would be that the Airbus participation is a mea culpa on the part of the Bush Administration for the embarassing behavior of Microsoft (and, in the context of international business, the equivalent of an out of control teenage punk).

However the most negative scenario is something to be very concerned about. In the realm of defense Boeing is by far and away the most 'Democratic' of all competitors. Their civilian jetliner business is a big reason for this, and is perhaps best evidenced by their choice of Chicago, hometown of Barack Obama. The history of that is of course much more rooted in the past - of which I'm not competent to speak of, but most likely going back to the Jackson/Magnuson era.

Would it be fair to accuse John McCain of himself being subject to corruption? No. However it is more than fair to speculate whether his 'organization' is being subjected to the same corrupting influences that affected Boeing in the same place. Being a control freak, strangely enough, is a universal phenomena, in the US, and the world.

And yes, if it isn't clear I am raising the question - did the Air Force 'attack' one of America's very best very large corporations in order to, in their minds, benefit McCain?

I've been a supporter of McCain's, but I'm beginining to wonder if he is succumbing to the dark side in his older years, in order to pass muster with the Republican party faithrul.

There are many lessons in life Mr. McCain, and you have learned many of them, some of them the hard way. But one of the most important is knowing when defeat IS a viable option. In some cases it is better to lose. People who must win every battle end up defeating not only themselves, but everyone around them.

We're waiting for your leadership Mr. McCain. Are you going to take that call from the most credible of defense democrats, Norm Dicks? Are you going to comment on the Boeing deal?

Lastly, a bit of disclosure. My Father was a Northrop engineer for most of his career in Southern California. However given my Paternal Grandfather and Maternal Uncle's employment with Boeing, as well as Northrop's deals with Boeing itself to call this one a wash - not even counting any local biases. FWIW, a personal note, I don't really know what pop's role was - his story was optics, but that's a field that blurs with intelligence, if one considers the various steps necessary to both identify a target and deliver, for example, a smart bomb.

March 12, 2008

Is Sound Transit the Energizer 'Bunny' in disguise?

The Tacoma Tribune has an editorial today regarding light rail, noting the faster than projected ridership on the Sounder Commuter train. They imply, but do not articulate, support for Sound Transit. I've submitted a letter to the editor, which I've enclosed below. (I've thought some about delaying the publishing of items I've submitted to others - this case though seems like one okay to put out immediately - it is not like my readership competes with theirs!)

The editorial is here.

Although I was, and am, opposed to Sound Transit I do agree with the editorial board's numbers regarding demand for high capacity transit.

The crucial number to understand at this point in reaching a plan of action is 20-30 years from now - the likely completion date of South Sound Light Rail. I think the case for arguing for a delay in that decision until it actually needs to be made is compelling.

Technology changes. It may well turn out that the best solution for the region's needs in 20-30 years is actually a replacement of the successful and easy to expand commuter rail - perhaps a bullet train or some sort of maglev technology?

Providing guaranteed funding to a single source agency with no real accountability for that time frame is simply idiotic. The power network behind Sound Transit is extensive and quite capable - but are they accountable to the individuals that make up this region? Or are they perhaps responsible for creating a 'hostile' working environment for everyone who choses not to be a corporate lackey(or political party hack)?

It is essential that Pierce County works together to get our fair share of transportation funding - what WE need now, not what appears to be simplest to obtain from a menu put together by a deadbeat agency with no real planning expertise or realistic local connections.

Those items include expanding Light Rail TCC and the Sounder to Lakewood. Personally I'd also like to see the Sounder go all the way to Olympia and a spur line built to Eatonville.

And this is a planning 'philosophy' that works not only in Pierce County but also for the rest of the region - perhaps nowhere more so with our close neighbors in South King County.

Instead of building that long expensive link between Sea-Tac and Tacoma how about connecting light rail to the Sounder Station in Kent? How about doing it in less than ten years instead of 30?

Instead of building light rail across I-90 with questionable engineering compatibility why not delay the building of that crossing until 520 is built, and built right for light rail? Why not, as proposed, extend commuter rail from Renton to at least Bellevue. (and perhaps using the segment north from Bellevue for the first track/technology upgrade).

Building Sounder service to the Eastside would create nearly as much demand as that service to Seattle - and Bellevue should also follow our lead by building their own starter light rail service to provide circulator service among the different areas of that medium density employment center.

The role of the Tribune in the leadership team of the South Sound is crucial. Jumping to easy to reach conclusions motivated more by a desire to grab for the easy pork rather than doing the right thing is a sure bet to create more problems than are solved. But then in 20-30 years, will you care?

After all it is about getting yours, the rest of us be damned, right?

March 13, 2008

Conan keeps on Going and Going and Going....

I'm not a fan of Conan O'Brien, but I'm awake tonight - not a good sign, but that is a totally seperate story.

For what it is worth, Conan strikes me as the sort of smart ass rich boy that would have been holding court in Rome during its fall. FWIW2 - in a parallel universe I could've become a very similar character, if I'd continued my east coast college age pranks and politics.

Leno had Cosby, so grandfatherly as to be invoking god himself. Conan has Snoop Dog - and frankly their comedy bit was shere genius:

Snooper Delegate Snoop Dog offered to solve all of the Country's problems, including Ms. Elliott Spitzers, if you get my drift....

On the subject of college pranks - I did use my East Coast Evergreen school's civiliian security service as a foil in a prank - by calling them in (in hindsight, probably on tape) to a situation where I knew they were coming to. I forget if it was that party or another one soon after, but there was a 'keying' of a patrol car - a la the recent West Coast Evergreen rioters - and for the record, I had nothing to do with it.

Also, for the record, the drug dealer was, and hopefully is, a good friend, And although I did do drugs in college (I was actually mostly past it by the time I started) I don't believe I ever purchased them from that individual.

As to being awake, well that's a stress sign, for me, that says walk away.

I guess I'll go turn off Conan and watch the rest of Jean Luc Godard's 'Contempt'.

March 19, 2008

Bailing out Authority: Regents visit the UW-T

If my calendar is correct the UW Regents will be in Tacoma tomorrow.

FYI, as the evidence and their own law indicates, these folks are legally and morally bankrupt, though, unfortunately, not financially so.

No details today, but, FWIW, all I have to is show up tomorrow and and not say a word and your entire credibility will be destroyed as well as that of your associates. That includes your son, Mr. Gates.

Of course it had already happened 15 years ago - even before I attended a meeting of yours quietly, hanging out with David Brewster.

Again, per your law and your actions, just how do you pay back for 15 years of good living when everything should have been taken from you then and you have nothing now, nor will you ever again?

How about you show some responsibility for once and dedicate your genetically defective bodies to science? That would do it for me.

I do realize that you have supporters, and certainly I'll listen to any of them with credibility, but do be aware that anyone who identifies support for you also runs the risk of being accused of conspiracy.

You are, not by my actions but your own, Scum. Scum multiple orders of magnitude worse than a recently released sexual predator. I'll give you one notch over Hitler, at least to date.

If you wish, you can probably kill me to defend yourself. As Clint Eastwood might say to a younger, less dangerous, punk, MAKE MY DAY.

March 26, 2008

I'm Okay, You're Okay?

The story of the OK Boys Ranch, in Thurston County is an old one. It is a story that we, as a State, never fully dealt with. Given Christine Gregoire's support of a contempary in her profession, a Thurston County Judge who validated some of these disgusting practices it is again timely. I also believe a second look is merited as the complexities, and dangers, of accusations of sexual abuse have become more apparent to everyone.

Thurston County resident Larry Bloom is the archivist on this issue and he has much of the material here:

http://lbloom.net/okbr.html

There is also an expert consultant on these sorts of issues who comments on the accuracy of Mr. Bloom's history.

You've got to dig a bit to find the worst of these stories - my understanding of the situation is that the OK Boy's ranch, a home for juvenile problem males, was used as storehouse of sexual victims for the benefit of well connected donors and staff- most notably including, allegedly, the Olympia Kiwanis Club. Though the club was eventually shut down a Thurston County Judge 'okayed' the practice and Gregoire supported her actions, in the interim.

I guess it's not okay to kill prostitutes, but raping young white males is fine, right Christine - just so long as you call them 'problems'?

Maybe, Christine, just maybe it's you, and your legal contemparies who are the 'problem'? Maybe, Christine, maybe it was one of your contemparies abuses that actually drove law student Ted Bundy, born in Tacoma, crazy?

Is Pierce County a Second Class Citizen when it comes to Light Rail?

The Tacoma News Tribune has, rightly, taken up the cause of advocating for Pierce County's share of regional transportation funds - including noting the rising need for same due escalating gas costs.

Today's paper has an editorial on this objective, but one that is, perhaps, miscalculated.

I've only lived in Pierce County for four years, and am really only begining to get involved, so it is definitely not for me to have a final say on this. However I have been a regular user of the routes in question, both for work here prior to my move and work north afterwards. I was also quite active during the early days of Sound Transit during my extended college years.

Though, personally, I think Sea-Tac airport should be transferred from the Port of Seattle to the Port of Tacoma it is a fact that connecting Sea-Tac to downtown and Pierce County is among the lowest priorities in Sound Transit's list.

Rather than giving a blank check to an agency, it is most important that we start on the highest priority projects now. Planning for a single source technology more than 20 years in the future is bad engineering and bad business. The TNT's editorial does call for the purchase of right of way for this corridor, and that is a wise position. Taking small steps of prudent planning and business is a good thing. Selecting mass transit corridors is not a reversible decision, nor fiscally imprudent, action.

Though the editorial rightly raises the need for better transit in Puyallup and Lakewood it is a simple fact that light rail works best in dense areas. Sounder service is scheduled for Lakewood already. Planning for a Sounder spur to Eatonville would do much to reduce traffic pressures on Puyallup's Meridian. In addition planning for extended light rail service - perhaps a loop via the EQC and Lakewood would also be wise. Who knows, by the time TCC students can afford to buy a Puyallup home the rest of us can afford to pay for Light rail service to that City as well.

Certainly I doubt, newbie that I am, that Puyallup residents are clamoring for light rail any sooner.

The most pressing issue is dealing with the complex network of business management problems associated with Sound Transit - perhaps best evidenced recently through the closely associated Port of Seattle scandal.

As to the local politics, perhaps we should hear again from the Dome Business District folks about what THEY think about Sound Transit's current management and legal team? And on the subject of roads - how about we get our own road district for Pierce County - or perhaps a reformed DOT service district organized around the Port of Tacoma and extending as far north as Kent?

April 23, 2008

Good Day on Crosscut

Crosscut can put forth some of the worst seattle centric limousine liberal right wing conspirator friendly propoganda - but at the same time they also manage to occassionally publish stuff from some of the best.

Today I commented on three pieces, a great example of this profile.

A piece by Hugh Spitzer is an example of some of the worst:

Hugh Spitzer on the Constitution

An op-ed by former WSDOT Director Douglas MacDonald is an example of some of the best:

Douglas MacDonald on Transportation and Realistic Growth Management

What Crosscut will actually mean to the NW is perhaps best foreshadowed by a piece by Business Manager Yazmin Mehdi.

Yazmin Mehdi writing about business

May 7, 2008

Hilary Clinton for President

I've been going back and forth between Hillary and McCain for most of this election cycle - both have very definite strong points as well as weaknesses. Obama is an intriguing speaker and has the potential of being a leader as inspiring as Kennedy or Reagan, but that's potential, and the downside risk is not small. One of the reasons I've settled on Hillary as my candidate is my decision, on balance, to support Republican Dino Rossi in the Washington State Governor's race. McCain as a leader of our Military is an improvement over Cheney/Bush. But that is a decision we should've made 8 years ago - and at this point the military establishment in this country is in need of a good whipping. McCain isn't the person to dole out that punishment. McCain's admitted lack of knowledge of economic issues and the tremendous amounts of debt this country has taken on to the profiteering of Haliburton, et al is not something to take lightly. The run for the corporate republicans, including the oil companies, to grab as much as they can in the last months of George W.'s regime is more than insulting. In spite of the 'mainstream corporate media's' dissing of Ms. Clinton's chances the question of Florida and Michigan has not been analyzed nor presented. I'm not enough of a politico to have the desire to look into it myself, but I do believe that she leads in those States. The placing of the party's rule book over the will of the voters of these States is also shameful. I do think that Obama should be selected as her Vice President and given the chance to fullfill, with low risk, the promise this truly remarkable young man holds.

June 21, 2008

Emerald Antithesis (C) #1

In 1988 Dukakis was defeated in his race for the Presidency. Curiously, this also marked the 'bust' of the high tech 'Massachusett's Miracle' in the Computer and Software industries.

More curiously Gore's 2000 defeat was similarly preceded by the 'popping' of the internet bubble.

As such, a prediction.

In 2015 the green energy bubble will bust, and Jeb Bush will be elected president in 2016!

Funny isn't it, about how predictable Democrats are with money!

July 11, 2008

Last words on Hillary, 2008

I have to admit that although I was a supporter of Hillary I'm in fact encouraged by the fact that some of her supporters have gotten at least a small bit of comeuppance. Hillary herself will certainly go on, and hopefully the power structures of this Country will learn the appropriate lesson. Hopefully.

Both my sister-in-law and ma are big Obama supporters. That positited the rhetorical question in my mind of comparing the 'stereotypical' female Obama supporter in contrast with the typical female '50 year old white woman' Hilary supporter. Upon reflection the question, though interesting, is mute. The important thing is to treat each individual on their own merits, and that's a rule that's a part of every commandment Moses scribed in stone millenia ago.

However there is another question, not asked by the mainstream corporate media that may be very relevant.

Perhaps it is not gender that was the reason for Hilary's loss, but her generation? Are people sick and tired of the boomers and their 'group think' ethos which ignores individual responsibility and encourages the sort of negative behavior exhibited, at times, by the stereotypical '50 year old spoiled white woman'?

As such the question of the day: Will the boomer generation ever put forth another finalist in the race for president, in either party?

August 1, 2008

Cops, Crooks, and Politicians

Cops, Crooks, and Politicians

By Neil W. Moloney

With a foreword by Former Governor John Spellman

1993

This book is not quite the tell all that the title promises, however for those concerned with public safety, post WW2 corruption, or Pacific NW history this is a must read.

This is a cop's story of an uncompleted investigation, starting with a 1954 murder of a Seattle Police Officer in a Greenwood neighborhood bank robbery. The perpetrators were Canadians, apparently connected.

The author, former chief of the Seattle PD, Port of Seattle, and the Washington State Patrol, started his career about this time. He rose to the top ranks in the 1974 corruption scandals, a story he also addresses.

He doesn't name American names, or at least new ones. He does talk at great length about Canadian corruption and implies that there are similarities in 'practice' on this side of the border.

One name he mentions a lot, and seems to like, is former US Attorney Brock Adams who did his best to prosecute the case. Curiously this book was written not long after Adam's disgracement on no evidence.

Reading between the lines the names not said would be Norm Maleng and the Judges of King County, to start. Moloney though is a good cop, and states only those conclusions that he can back up.

It is up to the reader to bring their own experience to the story - and to ask themselves whether those same corrupt practices continue - or, as more likely, reinvent themselves.

The Moral Center

The Moral Center

By David Callahan

2006

Callahan rose to notice in America with his early 2004 book 'Cheating Culture' where he makes the case that America has been taken over by those who dishonestly make their living - on the right and left.

'Moral Center' is his 2006 post election reflection on solutions for that problem.

I knew Callahan as an undergraduate (where Brock Adams was Trustee, in addition to his duties as US Secretary of Transportation). Callahan was on the political track while I was a economist into divestiture and workplace democracy. But we did have the chance to have several worthwhile conversations - my strongest memory is noticing that he was getting letters published in the New York Times on a regular basis. Definitely someone worth talking with, and hopefully I for him.

I'll leave his solutions to you, but let me extract his quoting of FDR for your thought.

Roosevelt was masterful at laying claim to the ideals of self-creation and personal liberty through hard work. In his 1936 speech to the Democratic Convention, Roosevelt decried industrial barons who had imposed a "new despotism", and said that "the average man once more confronts the problem that faced the Minute Man." He exhorted America to fight a "new industrial dictatorship" that crushed "individual initiative". FDR than spelled out his vision of freedom: "Liberty requires opportunity to make a living - a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives a man not only enough to live by, but something to live for .....Today we stand committed to the proposition that freedom is no half-and-half affair. If the average citizen is guaranteed equal opportunity in the polling place, he must have equal opportunity in the marketplace."

Just prior to the conclusion of the book he quotes from another early 20th century leader, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.

We can have concentrated wealth in the hands of the few or we can have Democracy. We cannot have both.

Veep Peep

Tom Brokaw has recently been suggesting Al Gore as VP and energy Czar - to both Gore and Obama. That is an interesting prospect, and, for me, I couldn't think of a more persuavive, and credible, addition to his pitch.

Value wise I'm definitely more in line with Obama, but there is nothing worse than the inability to deliver on such promises, most likely creating the reverse. McCain is a military guy, and although a good one, the upper ranks of the DC military establishment definitely need a wipping. Bringing him in to cover up the mess could also lead to as negative a result as a failed Obama presidency.

Joseph Lieberman has been talked about as a Lieutenant for McCain. This is interesting, but I don't think realistic. More likely McCain will promote a younger member from his own party. I'm not capable of guessing who might be on the short list, but if he can select a member of the GOP that can credibly continue McCain's legacy than that too would be a very powerful team.

If McCain can find a Republican woman in her 40's or early 50's who is also a credible maverick and a 'compassionate conservative' that individual would likely be the first female president of the US... regardless of McCain's success or failure.

August 14, 2008

Clinton v. Bush - at Yale

A bit of speculation, for fun and perhaps a bit of enlightenment, a comparison of Bush and Clinton during their College years at the same institution, Yale University in the Connecticut river valley.

Although both got their undergraduate degrees in 1968, Clinton did not arrive at Yale until 1970, for his Law Degree - after his Rhodes Scholarship. The Washington Post biography of George W. cites 1968, Bush's senior year, as a notable transitional political year at Yale, as it was also for the Country as a whole.

I've done a quick google review of both men's record at Yale, but before I get to the facts let's start with some assumptions I had before starting to write this piece.

Continue reading "Clinton v. Bush - at Yale" »

August 18, 2008

Measuring State AG McKenna - and Pierce County Prosecutor Gerald Horne

I'm a fan of current Washington State Attorney General McKenna. I saw him work in detail on the Sound Transit Board in the tough days leading up to the passage of the first Bond Issue. Many times he was the sole voice of dissent, though frequently he worked with his fellow King County Councilmember, the relatively independent Maggi Fimia of Shoreline. Although he himself was opposed to the project he was always constructive and his involvement led to a strong start for that agency - and a strong bus dominated plan of service for his own district area, the Eastside of King County.

Unfortunately the Sound Transit Board lost its leadership continuity in the days after passage. My opinion is that the turnover was a powerplay by the powers that be (operating through the Greater Seattle Chamber of Comerce). There was also a well managed financial 'scandal' that pretty much finished the job not too much later..

I'm voting for McKenna this time around, and I think he'll win. However I am concerned as to whether he's keeping his own 'continuity of leadership' as he matures in office. I'm of the opinion the barrel is rotten and we all know what all to often happens to good folks in such a situation.

Top on the bad apple level, and more senior to McKenna, would be the former AG, Christine Gregoire, and, on the Republican side King County Prosecutor (Seattle and immediate suburbs) Satterberg. FWIW, these two are the start of the Government 'Blame Game' cited effectively by current GOP gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi.

Continue reading "Measuring State AG McKenna - and Pierce County Prosecutor Gerald Horne" »

August 20, 2008

Preliminary Washington State Primary Results and Analysis

Initial vote tallies are available this morning. With the absentee ballot deadline being yesterday votes will still be counted for days. Statistically this is interesting because if there is significant change that will indicate some demographic factors at work, more difficult to fathom then a well structured survey, but also more meaningful.

Top vote getter in all Statewide races is incumbent State Auditor Brian Sonntag, a TCC and UPS Graduate from Tacoma. FWIW, of all Statewide officials Sonntag is my personal favorite and I believe our strongest leader and the most honest.

Second is Same Reed, Secretary of State. I voted for Mr. Reed, but not without small reservations. I think he could of been out in the lead a bit more on the recent partisan primary issues. Most importantly I think he should be doing more to clean up KC elections as being messed up by those local folks, including Republican Prosecutor Satterberg. His office however is without scandal and he is perhaps the best of the 'old white guy' Republicans in this State, in or out of office.

Rounding out the 400 club is Rob McKenna, Pierce County Executive and former Prosecutor John Ladenburg received less than 75% of McKenna's total. Although I'm a Pierce County resident I'm a McKenna supporter, nothing against Ladenberg here, save though for his leadership of Sound Transit. Personally, I wonder if the Sound Transit survey folks have exit polled the success, or failure, of their board in this election.

Of course these are two way races, and the most watched race will be that between Gregoire and Rossi.

Continue reading "Preliminary Washington State Primary Results and Analysis" »

August 28, 2008

Emerald City Antithesis (c) #4

Although the folks at the University of Washington believe that is their intellectual brain power that justifies above average salaries it is in fact an unlawful conspiracy of politically correct extortion, and only those with the 'literary' capability of accusing anyone who actually works for a living - blue collar or small business - of being somehow morally deficient - and worthy of sub-par compensation.

Technical and mathematical fields, the nerds, are somewhat exempt from this classfication, however for the more socially skillful of these individuals the burden of 'guilt tripping' is only heightened. A technically capable individual who is also intellectually honest will get the full 'hazing' from all parties, right and left.

For a related take on this see a Crosscut article by Richard Morrill.

September 3, 2008

If it quacks like a Duck...it must be a winner!

Although originally hailing from Eugene I'm not a huge University of Oregon Duck fan, but I did have the opportunity at being at last Weekend's Duck/ UW Husky game, the season opener.

This was my first since that famous UCLA game some 20 years ago, marking their first undefeated at home season and the start of what appears to be a Phil Knight/Nike sports dynasty at that institution.

Coaching a Football team is more than just measuring how fast your wide receivers and running backs can cover 40 yards.

If you'll recall the Huskies had a great year nearly 20 years ago, winning the National Championship under former coach Don James.

Unfortunately the UW program has had a long decline since those years, perhaps most notably begining with the 'overlooked' rape charges against star players including by the PC police chief, Dean of Students Dean Morris, an African American who certainly appears distinguished.

That's no slight against Tyrone, he seems like a good guy - the problem is not likely with him, nor was it with Neuheisel, rather it would appear to be a metastized cancer in the larger authority of the campus community.

Sport has lessons for life, and one of those is that you fire the violent morally decrepeit power abusers, no matter how much money they are currently bringing in.

Salvaging the UW, and the State, at this point will be tough. Who is going to pay THAT cost...?

FWIW, methinks Paul Allen, part of the Knight's Portland sport community, will have more to do with it then Gates and crew.

BTW, game was great, even from the cheap seats.

-Douglas Tooley
At the McKinley Neighborhood CoffeeHouse, Tacoma

CHOICE: 2008 Presidential Race

Now that John McCain has made his selection for VP let me weigh in on the 2008 Presidential Race, and both Biden and Palin.

FWIW, I haven't made up my mind yet, save for the fact that I am heartened by the two, quality 'competitive', choices some of us have before themselves. Choice here is the big issue, and respecting the choices of those in your immediate vicinity, be it family or neighbor is perhaps the most important thing.

When it comes to white liberal females going gingrich on Palin because McCain chose a woman who doesn't follow their 'party' line I am disgusted. And no less so than I am when a Republican attacks a pro-business democrat for 'competing' with them.

Those these folks would have you believe that anyone who disagrees with them is trash the fact is that these choice attackers are the trash, all the way up to those old school corporate lobbyists who pander to them in search of US Deficit dollars.

It is time to pay your bill folks. Once you've done that you are free to gripe all you want, in the meantime, go away.

Aside, a word to Joe Lieberman - though you are respected as an Independent please don't assume that you've got the same clout as a member of the Democratic party would have over its 'group'. You do gain powers going to the middle, but you also sacrifice others.

FWIW Lieberman came across as an 'Old White Guy' partisan going up against the upstart Obama, of my generation. Hopefully we can get some Biden/Lieberman action going somewhere, outside of a formal debate - that's certainly an exchange I'd like to see.

While I'm asking how about getting rid of the seniority system of committee (and money) allocation on the basis of seniority. Getting the best person in each position regardless of time in that particular body would be an improvement over the current partisan problem - and the evil the money has created.

September 8, 2008

Fannie, Freddie, and Kerry

An interesting trifecta of financial news this weekend - perhaps more significant than either 2008 VP choice, of the previous weeks.

First, the feds announced a takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two competing federally created financial coroorations underwriting much of the residential owner occupied 'market'.

Perhaps more significant, at least locally, is the ouster of long time Washington Mutual President Kerry Killinger. I was doing some web research this morning on the recent history of the Killinger's relationship with WAMU, as well as that of its long time outside Counsel, Foster Pepper Shefelman.

It was my recollection that Killinger had recently been taken to task for giving himself a bonus as the firm was on its way from to 15% of it's all time stock price high. I also recalled some changes in the relationship with FPS. Although I was able to find plenty of references to shareholder lawsuits, I didn't find anything in my quick research.

This quote though, from FPS Senior Partner Judy Runstad in 2001 is particularly telling:

2nd item in Godden's Column

Any chance FPS will be held to account for their actions?

September 11, 2008

Isn't it Ironic X 2

Isn't it ironic that on 9/11, the anniversary of the bombing of the NYC financial center, the World Trade towers, that our financial system is collapsing in a more damaging manner than could of ever been hoped for by Al Qaida - in substantial part because of the war profiteering of the Bush/Cheney administration and friends.

But if you think that is ironic, consider the fact that the reformist Republican Candidate has, by an edge, a better case for being able to deal with the economic situation than do the Democrats...

(See this piece from the Financial Times of London for a perspective on how Democratic members of the Congressional majority are looking.)

Emerald City Antithesis (c), #5

Though legal counsel for the currently troubled WAMU savings bank have crafted a careful image of social and environmental responsibility their financial practices and 'PC' abuses of power will in fact result in a net loss on these issues and the individuals themselves responsible will continue to profit from these 'changes'.

September 14, 2008

WW HD

Words of advice for both Obama and McCain:

"What Would Hilary Do?"

September 15, 2008

Tina Fey and the Bush Doctrine of Pre-emptive War

I'm gonna take Charlie Gibson to task for his interview of Palin, and call it an intellectually dishonest 'ambush'.

Yes, pretty much every thinking person is aware of the concept of 'pre-emptive' war, but calling it the Bush Doctrine is something new, and not in common useage. Although Mr. Gibson is trying to come across as the tough, revealing reporter the only thing he accomplished was a 'post-preemptive' destruction of his credibility.

That said, I do like the term 'Bush Doctrine', and hopefully it will come to be a commonly known phrase.

To ABC's credt George Will, on the Stephanopolous Sunday show, did make this observation as well (confirming also my suspicisions). BTW, Stephanopolous, a former PR guy for the Clintons, does a good show. His biases are well known and ackowledged and he, as with the rest of the Clinton team, maintains an open mind - and presentation.

He also played the quickly becoming famous Tina Fey satire (from NBC's Saturday Night Live) of Palin citing her foreign policy experiences as 'Heck, I can see Russia from my House...'.

September 24, 2008

What the Stranger Said....

Stranger has a great clip from YouTube on Rep Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio (Toledo)

Kaptur on Federal Response

Basically she is calling for criminal prosecutions, where warranted, and confiscation of assets.

FWIW, that's really the only option we have.

Curiously, she suggests going back as far as 15 years - a time frame similar to one that I'd use in Washington State for not unrelated problems.

Personally I think we should also look for civil recovery of assets, though we do need to be very careful about legal standards and precendents in such 'property rights' matters.

October 3, 2008

Persuasive Debaters

I caught the Biden/Palin debate last night. Dem's were expecting to see a Palin train wreck due recent network coverage. In holding even with Biden, Palin 'won' the debate.

Personally, I was impressed with both candidates and do feel that I know them both now, for the first time. Each has articulated their own vision of being a 'maverick' consistent with the ticket leads. Hopefully this is now a requirement for success in the 100 member Senate club or the slightly more diffuse 50 Governor rank.

For me the candidate criteria now is which ticket has the best case for moving us forward, and the answer to that is not in the candidates, but in us as a Country of individuals, some of whom belong to political parties. The ranking two citizens under McCain or Obama are Palin and Biden.

Can we treat each other as civilly as did Palin and Biden? Can we actually hold their feet to the fire to progress the functioning of accountability and reward in our society without resulting to destructive criticism?

By the way, I still haven't caught a single Washington State Governor's Debate between Christine Gregoire and Dino Rossi.

October 7, 2008

Brokaw, Man of the United States or of General Electric?

Tom Brokaw will be hosting the 2nd Presidential Debate tonight. He has the opportunity to make history, perhaps as much as the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1859.

Now, I'm not suggesting that Brokaw do a 'Network' 'mad as hell' speech. I will definitely measure the man on his ability to hold not just Wall Street but all of Corporate America, including NBC's parent, General Electric, accountable.

Tonight's format will be 'town hall' style. There will be people who are definitely 'mad as hell' attempting to get questions into the debate, however the microphones will be cut off immediately after the question is asked, allowing no follow-up to an evasive answer. It is Brokaw who must do the follow up, honestly and constructively, even if it means someone in New York, or Seattle, actually has to pay for their mistake.

Main Street - Metropolitan Seattle aka 'Nickelsville'


Main Street in Metropolitan Puget Sound, Metropolitan Seattle, as 'they' would prefer is no longer 3rd Avenue. Main Street in this city-region is now I-5 or 405, with the various malls strong along it's length as our new 'main' street businesses.

The folks at Sound Transit would like to make main street for this region their light rail system, and, though I'm currently an opponent (for financial and legal reasons) they do have a shot at it. Given the current people in charge this is a very scary thing.

Sound Transit is currently controlled by the law firm of Foster Pepper Shefelman. I testified at a recent meeting about the financial and legal practices of this firm, given the recent failure of another institution they control, Washington Mutual Bank. In addition I also pointed out a specific example of managerial ommission in Tacoma/Pierce County the bike trail crossing of Pacific Avenue at the Sounder location, as per the GMA mandated Tacoma Comp Plan under employee Chris Larson.

A telling quote from FPS senior Partner Judy Runstad, former land use czaress at the City of Seatte, from a Jean Godden column in 2001. (Godden and Runstad share hair stylists, as well as money from FPS and hubby Jon Runstad)

Continue reading "Main Street - Metropolitan Seattle aka 'Nickelsville'" »

October 24, 2008

The Pigs are Flying...

The 'Maverick Republican' Brian Derdowski has an op-ed in the P-I today about King County proposition 8, which would make the county elected offices non-partisan.

Below is my comment, edited.

I come out on this with Derdowski, though, FWIW, I left the County about the same time he left office.

The parties do however need to become more accountable - Jane Hague on the Eastside is one big fat example. They also need to get a bit more respect for Independents. These are both meaningful tweaks, not sham reforms like King County propostion 8.

I would agree with the commenter who challenged Derdowski as being a true Republican - if I'm up to date Derdowski is backing Gregoire when many of his Eastside neigbhors are voting Rossi-Obama.

But there is a reason for Derdowski's concerns about his Issaquah neighbor Rossi - and those reasons are, for me, the biggest red flag about Rossi.

But who knows, perhaps pigs will fly, Rossi and Derdowski will make up, and this practical, realistic 'independent' socialist will join a re-constituted Republican party.

Perhaps we can all go moose hunting with Teddy's ghost in the Issaquah Alps and try to forget that the last 'partisan' century even happened....

October 25, 2008

Emerald Property Rights #7 - Who decides the public interest?

Sure, individual and company property rights are easy to understand, even if we are doing a piss poor job at supporting them with our financial system.

Much more difficult are public tools - ones that belong to all of us, over whatever span they may reach.

I'd argue the public system is as broken as the private one - in fact I think we've foisted the weaknesses of both systems upon each, rather that reaching for the best of the two worlds.

I won't claim to have the final word on this subject, but, one measure that is very important is what people are willing to do for free. If someone finds something worth working for without compensation, it is likely a good endeavor.

This brings up the concept of matching private donations with public, and, this, too, is part of the solution.

October 27, 2008

A Public Pinging of the Plumber

The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch has an interesting story about State computers being recently used to access the records of 15 minute famous 'Joe the Plumber'.

Story

According to the published report someone in the AG's office, a child support agency, and the Toledo Police Department accessed these records, all without 'cause'.

Methinks this might say more about these employees and their agencies than it does about the independent plumber.

October 29, 2008

American Columbia?

As in, like, compared to, British Columbia?

I went to a cross-border environmental lecture at Tacoma's University of Puget Sound last night, 'hosted' by Steve Scher of KUOW as well as Vaughn Palmer, Political Correspondent for the Vancouver Sun.

Palmer opened with an interesting historical rant on the name 'Columbia - it turns out Washington State had been considered to be named so - but it was rejected as too confusing, given the existing Washington, District of.....

Go figure.

I took it to be this writer's rhetorical take on the prophesy of 'ecotopia' or the more mainstream 'Cascadia'. It is an interesting take - a way of literally reflecting both the shared environment and economics of the two cross-border regions - as well as their sovereign differences. Perhaps I'm reading too much into his words, but I do think at least one student had the same read.

..I wonder what Bert Goyle would think....?

December 10, 2008

Frank Chopp's Viaduct Proposal - Negotiating Genius?

The usual Downtown Seattle suspects are blasting at Frank Chopp's proposal for the Viaduct replacement, but, as usual, aren't coming up with the money for their preferred alternative. Chopp's ideas might be just the way to get them to put up or shut up.

Chief among these proponents is Tayloe Washburn.

Continue reading "Frank Chopp's Viaduct Proposal - Negotiating Genius?" »

December 22, 2008

Tricky Dick's Labor Pool

Mike Connell, IT guy for Karl Rove and numerous other Republican operations died in a suspicious plane crash after death threats and before testifying in an Ohio election case.

Curiously, his companies, among other things, was also involved in the US Attorney controversy that included Seattle area lawyer John McKay.

Besides the speculation on possible dirty play, the resume is interesting - FWIW, not all that different from the resume of Jack Abramoff, employee of the Seattle firm Preston, Gates, and Ellis.

December 23, 2008

Other People's Children -
Thoughts on flat taxes, kids, religion, and Proposition 8

Our society has thousands of ways of biasing in favor of families with children. This is a good thing, but, frankly, it's not explicitly done, and therefore, easily subject to manipulation. Perhaps it is time to remove those implicit subsidies, 'flatening' the tax struture, while adding explicit subsidies for families raising children.

There's a tax target here - married folks without children currently have the highest discretionary incomes. Part of this reason is their ability to tag along on some of the implicit ways our society favors families. And this is where I start when deliberating on my own personal conclusions about gay rights. Please note as a single person these ideas would also mean a small rise in the amount of taxes I would pay(mortgage deduction) - though hopefully also less societally allowed discrimination in the workplace.

Marriage, family, is the institution society has created to raise children, though partnerships can exist without kids. Family is also the basis of many religions, and that's fine. Personally, I think we should take current debates on gay rights as an opportunity to clean up some of the implicit practices and biases we have around these building blocks of society, as well as in our tax structure.

Marriage should be considered 'religious' territory on which the state shall not tread.

Continue reading "Other People's Children -
Thoughts on flat taxes, kids, religion, and Proposition 8" »

Other People's Money, Other People's Lives

This phrase, other people's money, is resonating with me. As you know, much of this blog is dedicated to exploring various aspects of societal responsibilty, including fiscal. I'm also a legal critic believing that much of the current problem we face goes to the lack of responsibility in the bar, to, you guessed it, other people's money.

Kent Kammerer, convenor (sp?) of Seattle's most diverse (best) civic forum had a recent piece on Crosscut regarding money and leadership in the City of Seattle which brought this all together for me.

I used the term in my comment on this piece - and coincidentally, heard it on the radio just that same day by the author of a book by the same title, Nomi Prins, published in 2004. Though Ms. Prins rose to the top at Goldman Sachs she is not a fan of Wall Street's excesses and her tales remain relevant.

But why am I blaming the legal profession for the sins of the financiers?

Continue reading "Other People's Money, Other People's Lives" »

January 6, 2009

The Future Road

The US Department of Transportation is getting ready to release a commission based study of the future of highway funding arguing for a high tech tolling solution. The folks at the Discovery Institute, whom I've been railing at lately for their support of a financially questionable bore tunnel proposal for downtown Seattle, have done a great job at predicting the likely recommendations of this Commission.

They are arguing for a concept called VMT, vehicle miles travelled, presumably technologically similar to the GPS based system now before the state of Oregon. Gas taxes will be gradually phased out, though, personally, those words are as questionable as the financing for the Seattle Tunnel.

I disagree with this proposal on the basis of what seems to be politically feasible for local voters, not to mention saleable to the Washington State driver.

I have a counter-proposal for advancing Highway funding based on what is already working in this State - HOT lanes, limiting tolling to converted HOV lanes with pricing based on congestion levels.

Continue reading "The Future Road" »

January 12, 2009

My .02 on the Future Seattle Viaduct

The Washington State Citizen's Legislature convenes today for it's 2009 season, and, at the risk of reinforcing Seattle centrism in media, let me throw in my solution for the viaduct replacement, arguing that the surface option is the best way to act now.

Governor Gregoire once took the leadership on this subject, but she has now bailed once again, taking along with her Ron Sims and Greg Nickels. Though she claims to have a solution proposed in January we've been hearing similar promises for quite some time - in reality the ball is in the Legislature's hands.

And on this subject they have proven quite able.

Continue reading "My .02 on the Future Seattle Viaduct" »

January 13, 2009

More on 520 Tolling - Bob Drewel TVW Clip

Here's that clip (1 min, 10 seconds) of Bob Drewel talking about public participation being an opportunity for 'Catharsis' - on a task where public participation, the evaluation of tolling, is the primary charge.

Fellow ad-hoc Commissioner Dick Ford sets the stage. FWIW, he interprets Drewel's comments as regarding his, contrary to my interpretation. Ford is very smart and regardless of flaws by association he has made legendary contributions to State Transportation Planning in many commendable ways.

Drewel, in contrast, has, IMO, made a career of being a bureaucratic bully. He was hired to head the PSRC after being booted from the Executive office by the voters of Snohomish County. In my opinion he chose to sell out his County in order to advance his career with the downtown Seattle corporatists. My personal experience with him confirms this, that's another story.

Here's my opinion on the subject.

January 21, 2009

Harsh Reality in the Obama Age, #1

America, each and everyone of us, the Country as whole, and every one of its companies, IS BANKRUPT. Sure, some folks, the oligarchs, have cash sitting around, first off the republicans controlling TARP bailout funds and the oil companies. But is having cash in an economy that is in reality nothing more than a giant ponzi scheme a sign of merit?

I think not.

George Bush turned us into a socialist country, and to paraphrase Marx, we are now entering the 'Bankruptcy Trusteeship of the Proletariat' phase of world history.

Continue reading "Harsh Reality in the Obama Age, #1" »

January 26, 2009

Harsh Reality in the Age of Obama, #2

Everything you own is worth less than you think it is.

Though the $700 Billion TARP, Troubled Asset Relief Program, is supposed to protect those 'asset' values it is doing exactly the opposite. It is an excess of finance that created this problem and nationalizing the banks under the argument of them being 'too big to fail' will only make it worse.

Consider this, with the passage of the first round of the Obama stimulus, we will have spent $17,000 per household in 'rescue' funding since February of last year - money that will need to be paid back.

Continue reading "Harsh Reality in the Age of Obama, #2" »

February 8, 2009

Mr. Sims Goes to Washington

Ron Sims is no Jefferson Smith, the lead character from the 1939 Capra movie, 'Mr. Smith goes to Washington'. Sims may well be the administrative/stimulus official to make sure that Obama does not repeat the mistakes of boomer era executives, for example, Norm Rice.

Sims is a real human being, and a pragmatic one, making, what he believes, are honest decisions about weighing practicality with ideals. How he handles his new authority to further advance the idealistic in King County, at this moment in time, will show whether he has succumbed to the temptations and corruption of power or will rise to the constitutional responsibilities of his federal position.

Continue reading "Mr. Sims Goes to Washington" »

Harsh Reality in the Obama Era, #5

You work for your corrupt lawyer, not he, or she, for you.

Sure, you benefit, but only by agreeing to be a party to the corruption.

And you'd better darn well believe that the Republican Tarp and the Obama Stimulus is only going to benefit the corrupt. Obama is only president because the Chicago Bar has certified that he is someone who can be manipulated through standard PC 'Best Management Practices'.

It's a tough question, are you going to own up to your failures or are you going to sell your soul to the devil in order to NOT be a responsible adult?

Are you a businessperdon who isn't fit to be an assistant manager at a fast food joint? Are you a public servant whose ideas are nothing but a white sheet for your acts of hate against the American public?

Consider the case of Enron. Did any of those lawyers get held accountable? Not a one, and it should've been a lifetime disbarrment for senior counsel as well as jail.

Did we fix the problem? Damn well we didn't, we only repeated the same type of complicated scam throughout corporate and financial America.

And we may well be going to hell for our sins, if we don't send those responsible there damn quick.

February 17, 2009

Jack Welch Meets the Press

Today is the day traditional broadcast TV was supposed to end. Commenting on what was the finest broadcast civic programs, Meet the Press, since the sudden death of long time host Tim Russert seems salient.

Sure, MSNBC still has some thought provoking coverage, but it's not part of the strictly 'public' sphere, it;s paid cable. David Gregroy is just not up to the job - more glib and self-satisfied than Mark Lauer on what was once the best, politically practical, critical program in this country.

Is this the corporate future that Welch, married to a mergers and aquisitions attorney for most of his tenure as president, has in mind for us?

He should be ashamed. MTP was a quality organization and you couldn't keep up a tradition of independent journalism? I guess you, and yours, know best. Or at least you think you do.

I for one disagree. The running of our nation is everybody's business and it is the responsibility of the Press to insure we are all involved, and educated. You and your fellow NYC primadonna punks and your DC lobbyists either need to pay off the deficit and then leave.

You may well think you are better than everyone else, but all you have done is make yourself into no account gutter trash.

BTW, first hit on Google about 'Meet the Press' whose URL doesn't start with msn also doesn't like Gregory, but for different reasons.

June 19, 2009

Sound Transit and Tacoma's Dome District

Jori Adkins, Jim Merritt, and Apex Engineering have done some great professional work creating a 'post and beam' alternative to the ill-conceived Sounder 'berm' crossing of the Dome District in Tacoma and put it up on a website.

This stands in sharp contrast to the City's current position, as I hear it, that you can't use the area under the Post and Beam for anything. In addition the Sound Transit plan violates the City of Tacoma's Comprehensive Plan on both initial trail planning and the new but promising 'habitat corridor' designation which is designed to work well in denser areas.

Sound Transit does have a plan for a pedestrian connection - at 'A' Street, but this is basically a connection to nowhere, unless there is a major redesign of I-5 in this area.

Berms have construction problems as well - greater utility relocation is a very common place for costs to escalate and building close to the berm has issues with that structures 'load' profile.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the Sound Transit design is aesthetics - they are taking a rural rail design and plopping it down through the 2nd largest urban center in Western Washington. Imagine, if you will, a 20-40 foot high 'mountain' of dirt running down the middle of the street by your office - with a trash collecting fence.

The arrogance of Sound Transit in responding to this professionally prepared alternative isn't too pretty either. Not to mention also fiscally irresponsible.

June 23, 2009

Foreclosure Update

If one reads between the lines on the barrage of media stories on a topic a very simple, evolving, story.

Perhaps the most important of these today is the foreclosure 'story' - many typical conservatives would have you believe that the whole financial crisis was the result of lower income households purchasing houses they couldn't afford via sub-prime programs that were completely legal and appropriate.


Continue reading "Foreclosure Update" »

June 28, 2009

My $.02 on Russell Financial

Russell Investments is considering a relocating its Headquarters as part of it's current planning processes - a big topic in the Pierce County media of late.

Seattle is a major suitor for Russell - and there is definitely a logic to it - Russell is an international company, and Seattle, an international City.

But Seattle is also a City marked by major financial scandal and a power structure that has not yet evolved away from that Corruption. Moving into the former WAMU HQ would be an apparent coup for Russell, but if you are bailing out the corrupt and, at least in part, acknowledging even a smidgeon of authority then is that good for anyone?

My $.02 for Russell - punt on this one, for now - turn down both the Seattle and Tacoma offers.

The global finance world is changing - most likely becoming much more decentralized as a response to the corruption in such centers as Seattle and New York City. Your location in Tacoma might turn out to be just about right - very near a large global powerhouse, but far enough way to remain, uh, honest.

When it comes to attacting business, whether it be a firm or a City - it is really only honesty and accountability that matters. Any other strategy will only bring the undesirable, of whatever stripe, and income.

My $2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 on Health Care

Obama's health care reform effort is laudable - as well as revealing of the structure of power in this Country. Unfortunately due the fiscal crisis and the recent bailouts of right and left, there is no money to do this - or, at least, financially prudent political will.

My long term brainstorm, now to repeat, is somewhat similar to the Wyden/Bennett proposal now being revitalized. I suggest requiring medical coverage for all drug useage, including alcohol.

Specifically, require that to purchase drugs an individual must be have medical insurance - include with this MD review of purchase history. This might seem burdensome but with today's technologies and barcodes on drivers licenses it is just a software fix - with a license that's already supposed to be out in front of the store scanner anyway, right?

This also opens up the possiblity of using marijuana revenues to fund health care, along with a re-structured alcohol taxing system.

And, yes, that does mean I'm saying the pot heads could do a better job with health care than either the Republicans or the Democrats - presumably with a healthy portion of former pot heads in the mix.

For what it is worth, I also support legalization of psychedelics, including Ecstasy, LSD, and Peyote - though use of these should be highly restricted - maybe only once a year, give or take.

June 29, 2009

Convicted Financier Bernard Madoff and the Jewish Community

Perceptions of Bernard Madoff as a member of the Jewish Committee at this particular moment are interesting. Certainly there is anti-semitism, but there is also condemnation from within the Jewish world as well.

I did a google search on the subject, perhaps most interesting was a story in the Huffington Post from an outsider about Madoff's exclusively Jewish Club in Palm Beach, Florida (December, 2008)- a retirement area for many wealthy New Yorkers.( And, perhaps as an example of the divine hand at work, also home to many of Madoff's victims.

Here's the google for 'Bernard Madoff Jewish Community', for some of the rest.

July 21, 2009

More Summertime DOT - Department of Tooley

From Tooley Street in London comes this curiously relevant story about a government (the burough) rejecting its own building permit for failing to complete a transportation component.

Thanks to London SE1 Community Website


For the deeper meaning of this, see the story on Tacoma's own efforts at drafting just such regulations.

July 26, 2009

The Curious Case of the "Stupid" Americans

By now the whole case of the arrest of Harvard African Studies Professor Henry Lois Gates should have blown over - if it even had ever risen at all to the level of national attention. But it has not, and this is telling. Most revealing was Harvard grad President Barack Obama initially calling arresting officer James Crowley "stupid".

As comedian and commentator Jon Stewart noted, perhaps it was Obama who was stupid - not to mention Prof. Gates himself.

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If this were simply a matter of reverse racism without effect it would be easy to let this pass - that would be as appropriate as the dropping of charges against Mr. Gates by the Cambridge officials.

This case is not about race, but about class in America, it is about the elites of America calling anyone who dares to hold them to account "stupid" racists.

The sad fact is that the people who run this Country are smiley faced abusive alcoholics, the only difference between themselves and the stereotypical abusive trailer trash is the price of their booze, and the rest of their lifestyles - to you, me, and every honest, accountable American, born and unborn.

One thing for darn sure, the Cambridge PD understands this problem - and hopefully are setting an example for **every** officer in every department in this Country.

August 5, 2009

More on the Dome District -
Tacoma/Pierce News Tribune

Peter Callaghan has a great piece on the Sound Transit Berm through the Dome District of Tacoma. Instead of repeating myself I'll leave it to Peter to put his spin on matter. See also the piece in the Tacoma Weekly.

August 19, 2009

The Bankruptcy Trusteeship of the Proletariat

From January 11, 2009:

Harsh Reality in the Age of Obama, #1

Seattle - Schelled and Nickelled

It is looking like incumbent Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels will not make it through yesterday's primary, losing out to former Sierra Club Chapter President Mike McGuinn (a staunch opponent of the proposed 'big dig' Seattle Tunnel) and T-Mobile CEO Joe Mallahan.

I would suggest to you, dear reader, that it is not just Nickels that folks are dissatisfied, but the entire crew of downtown limousine liberals - including the 800 folks at City Hall making over 100k a year and certain segments of DT professionals.

August 21, 2009

Need any more be said?

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

September 3, 2009

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah

Though Ms. Palin was clearly, painfully, not ready to take over had President McCain passed away in office it is also clear that she sets a leadership example that all of us, D, R, and I should show respect.

Ms. Palin attacked the obvious corruption in her State, and in her Party quite effectively at a time before the current crisis of national corporate and government leadership. Viewed in this perspective the continuing righteous vitriol from the left, strongest from 'independent' women, takes on a different meaning. Are these vocal folks actually nothing more than the patsy retaliators for the man? For the alcohol drug addicted man who thinks anyone who asks for personal responsibility from them is a sex predator?

We need more Sarah Palins, lots and lots, and each in her own style, whether it be Democrat, Republican, or truly 'independent'. And, FWIW, who cares if they are qualified to be President or not?

The de facto Republican in the King County (Seattle and environs) Executive race, Susan Hutchison is running her race as a Sarah Palin. Her campaign is really just getting going after an easy cruise through the primary based on name recognition - but as of today it sure looks like we've got a Sarah Palin - **without** the predilection for tackling Washington State's not unrelated corruption,

Perhaps what we truly need right now is a Sarah Conner?

And, of course, Arnold?

Measuring 'O'

I think it is safe to say that Barack Obama's presidential honeymoon is fading as quickly as summer 2009 and that an objective look at the man and where he is going is timely. All of us after all are along for the ride. Perhaps we all need to get on the bus and head back to school?

And what better measuing stick than the student Sarah Palin, another relative political neophyte? Obama is no doubt the quicker study and much better versed on foreign affairs. But when it comes to domestic matters is his inexperience our greatest danger?

It's been said that corporate America has become about privatizing profit and socializing risk - well under George W, corporate America became about legalizing private fraud and socializing corporate thuggery.

And Obama, in name of moderation and being pro-business has done nothing but continue to assist these Chicago school gangsters to operate through the likes of Haliburton, Goldman Sachs and the protection racket AIG - with the full support of our federal government.

Mr. 'O' - this Fall is your opportunity, perhaps your only one, to step up to the plate and lead an honest America. Fail, and you corrupt us all and turn us into nothing but the corporate version of the USSR, complete with an alcohol ridden aparatchik quite happy to sit in their smoke free rooms decrying the degeneracy of the working American Man, and Woman.

Or, in other words, let's stop ourselves from throwing the entire country **under** the bus....

September 13, 2009

9/11/2009 - Thinking globally, Thinking Locally

In economic theory positive thinking has been proved to be directly related to economic performance. Positive or negative expectations are self fulfilling, but not as some elected leaders would like to believe are they the only thing that matters.

So, on this 9/11, 2009, let's take a look at our mental economic twin towers - are they standing tall or collapsing in a pile of dust? What will it take for our perception of economic details to reset with reality?

Continue reading "9/11/2009 - Thinking globally, Thinking Locally" »

October 9, 2009

A brief interlude of Responsibility

Army Officer Appointment Acceptance and Oath of Office

I (insert name), having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.

And another moment of contemplation

From the Washington State Constitution, Article IV

SECTION 28 OATH OF JUDGES. Every judge of the supreme court, and every judge of a superior court shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe an oath that he will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Washington, and will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of judge to the best of his ability, which oath shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state.

November 1, 2009

Junior Senator Barack Obama and Halloween, 2009

Senior United States Senators were admittedly being frightened by Junior Senator Barack Obama pretending to be United States President.

Leading the pack of screaming old white guys was Joe Lieberman, after this incitement by Rachel Maddow:

Meanwhile, in the real world:

(Seriously, perhaps it is time to get rid of Seniority rules in Congressional leadership - allowing us to, among other things, reward a moderate Republican who is willing to lead from the center instead of destroy from the status quo?)

Where's Lowell Weiker when you need him!

November 3, 2009

Book Review
- Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost

Don't Follow Me I'm Lost

by Richard Rushfield

2009

At the height of the Reagan revolution author Richard Rushfield chose to attend the most prestigious radical institution of higher learning, Hampshire College. This book is his story, and the story of the allied group of artists, producers and marketers that was the Supreme Dicks. It was a coming of age in a moment of political and artistic zen, the time between punk and grunge in the musical world.

The Supreme Dicks were the sperm that fertilized the egg that would become the Universe of Nirvana, Sonic Youth, and Dinosaur Jr, and, as a side project, create the first X fueled raves.

In this book RR skewers the pinnacles of the corrupt and hypocritical NE establishment with humor blending Sean Penn in 'Fast Times at Ridgemont High' and Hunter S. Thompson. His words are filled with the freshness and perspective of a west coaster wandering free in the strict class society of the east coast.

Rushfield leaves the titans that used Hampshire College, and the Dicks, to forge the abusive corporate and political tool of Nifong political correctness sleeping under the bridge with recently released Priest pedophiles.

You however, will walk away laughing, with a buddha smile of enlightenment and individual empowerment that will carry you through whatever the bastards may throw your way.

Available at Amazon and other booksellers.

(A mea culpa: I was a friend of the group in its early days - I believe I was the one who started calling the civilian security force as a prank, a 'theme' that apparently persisted after my departure from the campus.)

January 6, 2010

Amanda Knox - A Curious Case of Circumstantial Coincidence

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell, whom I usually like, has come out in support of Amanda Knox, convicted of murdering the mixed race Meredith Kircher in Perugia, Italy. Admittedly much of the evidence is circumstantial, but, nonetheless there is a dead body.

Curious how the University of Washington finds white males guilty of harassment **without** evidence, a policy and management attitude that would also facilitate arrogant female prima donnas that think they are above accountability. Just saying, Senator Cantwell - nothing more than circumstantial evidence, right?

Personally, I'm still wondering about the rapes by black football team members that were overlooked by the former black Dean of Students, Ernest Morris.

Just saying Ms. Cantwell, perhaps you should get your priorities in order?

February 14, 2010

Treason in the Judicial Branch and all Legal Practice?

There has been much said about the recent five vote Supreme Court decision equating corporations with persons - including accusing the Five Supremes who voted in favor of this decision of treason.

The Constitution sets explicitly high and narrow standards for this crime, noticeably different from English statute and common law. However, for evidence, the Constitution only requires two witnesses.

Continue reading "Treason in the Judicial Branch and all Legal Practice?" »

February 15, 2010

Slumburbia?

New York Times stringer and author Tim Egan (The Good Rain) opines in the New York Times on the steep decline of housing prices in the greater San Francisco 'sprawl' zone. Anecdotally Egan cites the case of Lathrop California, two hours from the Bay Area in the Central Valley. Housing prices there have dropped from a peak of $500,000 to $150,000.

This is an interesting phenomenon, certainly both worthy and timely. But where Egan takes his analysis of this tragedy is truly irresponsible.

First, he implies that the problem in Lathrop and surrounding communities is the model of foreclosure throughout the United States. Then, curiously, he defines such areas as slums in a typical Seattle passive aggressive manner.

Continue reading "Slumburbia?" »

February 23, 2010

Obama and the Tea Party

George Will made an interesting observation on the ABC news program 'This Week' claiming "1/5th of Tea Party folks voted for Obama and 1/3 express support". I quoted this on Facebook and was promptly informed that Will is known to pull statistics out of his ass. As such, I decided to research further. That Facebook friend may well be right, and an analysis of the motivation for the apparent fiction is disturbing.

Here's the clip:

(commenters on the video repeat that question about Will's numbers, but Wikipedia does not.)

Even if this 'analysis' is completely false I do think it is safe to say that Independent Voters, who tilted strongly for Obama in the election, have largely lost favor with Obama. This would include myself, and I am certainly NOT a Palin/Tancredo tea bagger.

Continue reading "Obama and the Tea Party" »

April 3, 2010

Tea with Goldilocks

The Tea Party, still not a fully formed effort, has become the focus of much mainstream media attention regarding the potential for violence. What this still forming group will become is not yet known, and I would certainly give little credence to any corporate coverage of this group - and not too much more for their coverage of the Democrats or Republicans.

As to the threats of violence, there are certainly those in both mainstream parties who put their often hypocritical group think ideologies above the foundation of American Law, the United States Constitution. We do have the legal right to overthrow our government, should it lose sight of its protections of individual social and economic liberties. But recall too, that the right to bear arms is the 2nd right, and speech is first.

Continue reading "Tea with Goldilocks" »

An Easter Thought - R reborn as T?

Given that the Republicans have crucified themselves with their own ideology (and fucked themselves to a corporate communist hell!) perhaps we will be so lucky to have the Tea Party rebirth true conservative ideals in this Constitutional Republic?

May 27, 2010

The Bar and the Public, #2 - Tooley v. King County Prosecutor's Office, et al

Click through for the text of a Bar complaint against the King County (Seattle) Prosecutor's Office, received at the WSBA Office May 26th, at 10:25 A.M.

Continue reading "The Bar and the Public, #2 - Tooley v. King County Prosecutor's Office, et al" »

The Bar and The Public #1, Tooley v. US Attorney John McKay (2007)

In the Spring of 2007 my last 'regular' work, an independent contractor arrangement ended and I began exploring new career options as well as revisiting previous issues that led to the end of my first professional career.

Addressing many of these issues was a Washington State Bar complaint I filed against the disgraced Bush 2 US Attorney, John McKay, one of 8 nationwide in this well know incident. Though John McKay is an okay guy, I do believe that the Bush administration got this one right, probably coincidentally and the only one of the 8 to be so - for reasons more to do with Washington State legal practice rather than McKay's own character. (His brother Mike, the office holder under Bush 1, is a completely different story.)

Here's a link to the Press Release I issued - not all that long before I started this blog.

Download file

Whenever I get the chance I repeat the story about the assassinated Senior Attorney in that same office at the start of McKay's term, Thomas Wales.

Rand and Rachel, Racist?

I've been considering the Rachel Maddow interview of Rand Paul over the last week considerably perhaps THE issue of the moment in these changing times. Here's the interview, what looks like a 'racist' ambush to me, if you missed it.

Maddow and Paul

Much of the media picked up on this particular meme very quickly, including the New York Times who quite deliberately misled readers about specifically what was said.

Most of what I've read has been very polarized, and I think missed the crucial issues. On my Facebook page I'm fortunate enough to have some great folks who come to those issues from each direction, but with an open mind. If you have the time to read this through I think you'll get a better sense of this particular zeitgeist issue than you'll get from anywhere else.

Tooley's Facebook Discussion about racism and Rand Paul

(Click through for my personal conclusions.)

Continue reading "Rand and Rachel, Racist?" »

June 6, 2010

The Curious Case of Dino Rossi and the Tea Party

I have thought long and deep on the question of whether to support Dino Rossi in his 2010 challenge to Washington State Senator Patty Murray - and the answer that emerged is quite clear - NOPE.

The recent statewide election contests of Mr. Rossi are an interesting story. In 2004 he ran for the open governor's seat as an outsider against the heavily favored Attorney General, Christine Gregoire. His campaign was personally directed and he crafted it with a 'real', sincere outreach to independents and the nicely phrased crossover 'dino-crats'. Surprising all he won that race, unfortunately it was a victory **exactly** like Al Gore's in 2000.

Since that time I've realized (and been reminded!) that his centrist political positions were not at all consistent with his role as a 'neighbor' in the Issaquah/Sammamish area - marked by hyper-partisanship and extreme divisiveness - though likely also not without blame from the opposing camp. That history likely shows the true character of the man behind the facade.

This 2008 rematch against the now incumbent, Gregoire, curiously, foreshadowed the emergence of the Tea Party.

Continue reading "The Curious Case of Dino Rossi and the Tea Party" »

August 8, 2010

Cascade Land Conservancy Shows its Cards?

The Seattle Times profiles fiscal moderates getting attacked in Snohomish County in today's Sunday paper, including the Cascade Land Conservancy lawyer Nick Harper challenging Jean Berkey.

With this year's early primary on August 17th, this weekend is perhaps most important timing wise, and this story follows only Patty Murray's likely first drubbing of Dino Rossi, in the estimation of the Times management.

What's the big deal about the Cascade Land Conservancy? Well, they are certainly fostering an **image** of being a progressive organization, but in the end their motives are clear - the capture of as much public as money as possible through political machinations and abuse.

August 21, 2010

Opportunity Missed?

Last Tuesday, 8/17/2010, was the Washington State Primary - a crucial decision point in this crime of economic crisis, but not apparently in Washington State which did not 'turn the bums out'.

Washington is a largely Democratic State, and this makes dubious the common wisdom that the National Democrats will lose power come this November when final decisions are totaled and meanings therein prognosticated. The simple fact is this, voters are aware that the Republican party is the responsible party and in spite of the 'socialist' democrats are far likely to be much healthier under them than under a draconian Republican administration attacking its citizens to pay for its own corporate failings.

In the context of this gestalt comes an interesting op-ed piece by Seattle Port Commissioner Jack Creighton - 'Don't Waste a Good Crisis for Considering Consolidation of Municipal Services'. That's a strategic argument that makes apparent sense, and one that I'm supportive of, but consider the Port's own recent actions in the 'gestalt' of corporate and government accountability - being shown to have wasted hundreds of millions of public monies in crony contracting benefiting that particular establishment headquartered in Downtown Seattle.

This is exactly the governmental and corporate 'entitlement' behavior that has created the situation we are in - an authority that is both corrupt and bankrupt, though as of yet only profiting from their own 'mistakes' in the calculation of risk - financial and otherwise.

As such a counter-proposal
- how about we 'consolidate' the management of Downtown Seattle with the Port, including the assumption of adult financial overrun responsibility for the currently proposed 'Big Dig' project through Downtown?


August 28, 2010

Proposed for your Consideration; A Draft Manifesto

Respect for difference of opinion is the foundation of the Constitution, and what is sorely missing in America these days.

Much of the freedom in historical America has been through having a Western Frontier which allowed for the practice of those values, even if they were violated regularly in the Eastern Cities, and pre-civil rights South.

Even though that freedom existed only for northern and western white males, it did exist and the progress it produced was real.

It is a sad historical fact that the fruit that was the civil rights movement of the 60's coincided with the partisan political divisiveness of the Vietnam War and the final days of the frontier in the west. That tragic coincidence continued through the end of the last chapter of the frontier, the completion of the the oil pipeline in Alaska in 1977 and the Corporatist takeover of the economy by Reagan 80's investment bankers and lawyers. (FWIW, the folks running our economy now were sniffing coke at Studio 54 and fostering an continuing alcohol dependency at the time.)

The key to the success of the Libertarian Party, and the future of America is more than just a good PR strategy to counter the likes of the Rachel Maddow attack on Rand Paul on his primary victory in Kentucky early this summer, on civil rights grounds - it is also the Parties ability to include the left - i.e. non-violent anarchists (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_and_violence).

Consider this, what if the white male business America had embraced racial diversity without the need for a civil rights act in 1964?

Running to the government to protect your business is every bit as much an entitlement failure as the so-called 'welfare state'. The hard fact is that if you believe in the free market you **must** be okay with the fact that one of your employees will, one day, out compete you.

Relying on the Judicial Branch of government to create a barrier for your employees to compete by de facto creating a Corporatist Caste system in America contains every evil of Socialism, and more - witness today's America.

One thing this non-violent, limited government, Constitutional Anarchist believes in is the separation of powers among the branches - removing all 'officers of the court' from the legislative and executive branches of government, in as speedy a fashion as practical.

Since the 60's the left has evolved the law to deal with discriminatory abuse - this is a good thing, but misapplied under the direction of the courts. The cycle of abuse is a dangerous thing - in a 21st Century context the American Constitution is designed to prevent exactly that in its protections of individual rights.

There is nothing wrong with determining a persons economic value to society **in part** through governmental decree, including judicial findings of abusive behavior.

It is a true tragedy that it is the abused who becomes the abuser, and in a broader context this is what has happened in America, in the partisan employment spheres of the private right and the public left - under the control of our legal system.

And make no mistake, those individuals that make up our legal system are not victims tragically recreating a cycle, they are fully intelligent humans that have made a conscious choice to abuse via third party for their profit, and sexual control freak.

It is a fact of life that we are not all equal, for the Constitution, and America, to continue to evolve, survive, and succeed, we must do this on merit - and for no other reason.

There are many in right wing America that are using the economic situation they created in failing to realize the competitive economic global environment they operate in to create legions of new members to a financially disenfranchised class. The fact is that it is exactly these people, and these people only - who deserve a government determination of degeneracy - the worst of them no better than a homeless level 3 sex predator.

The word 'nigger' manifests a historical shame in America, never mind the attempts of those that have bought the Tea Party to re-instill racial politics. It is a word we should perhaps not let die - it is a hard fact of life that the human race does produce scum - we just need to make sure it is done justly.

And FWIW, our current legal system can't even manage it's own responsibilities, let along those of the other branches of government AND the entire corporatist economy.

The legal profession has created a monolith - that monolith is most certainly NOT comprised soley of scum, if though led by it. It is however bankrupt - with the responsibility lying along a continuation in direct reverse proportion to position.

There are those that would make it a crime in America today to be poor. But responsibility goes with authority, not the other way around, and if you aren't able to bear the same, you shouldn't be in the game.

Got a problem with that, Nigger?

October 19, 2010

Dr. Paul and the Racists

Dr. Ron Paul has his work cut out for him, attracting droves of the fanatic right wing. His mission here should be the same as it is with the rest of America, personal, individual, responsibility comes first.

Regardless of what the mainstream media tells you Dr. Paul is the real leader of the Tea Party, and one who is positively contributing to the civic dialogue. This October 9 speech to the Virginia Tea Party aptly demonstrates this.

November 5, 2010

Post Election Wisecrack #2

Given the success of conservative Hispanic candidates perhaps we should be talking about 'La Madre de los Lobos' rather than Mama Grizzly? Not that it would be racial, or anything like that.

Post Election Wisecrack #1

RE: Record levels of campaign spending

Well, at least they finally found someplace to spend the Stimulus!

P.S. - I am reminded of an quote I heard this year in a oil industry community - "The economy won't get back on track until oil goes back to $4/gallon" Hah!

November 22, 2010

Corporate, REPUBLICAN, Socialism?

In what now appears to be prophetic Ralph Nader penned a piece defining 'Corporate Socialism'. The article was originally published in 2002 in the Washington Post.

Here's an excerpt; point number one:

Consider the following assumptions of a capitalistic system:

1) Owners are supposed to control what they own. For a century, big business has split ownership (shareholders) from control, which is in the hands of the officers of the corporation and its rubber-stamp board of directors. Investors have been disenfranchised and told to sell their shares if they don't like the way management is running their business. Nowadays, with crooked accounting, inflated profits and self-dealing, it has proven difficult for even large investors to know the truth about their officious managers.

Here's the full text.

I was an active member of the Nader Campaign in 1996, about the same time as the more conservative local Seattle Commons issue - which some perceived as politically inconsistent. I would beg to disagree - and would hope that the best of the right and left would agree with above, and only the worst, disagree.

Ranger Shooting in Grand County, Utah

The shooting of a State Ranger in Grand County, Utah, last Friday night is a tragedy, but having just left Grand County on Wednesday let me add a bit more depth to the story.

Just the Friday night before I was camped in the Kane Creek Springs area near the San Juan County line and was mildly harassed, by a couple of 'rangers' - jurisdiction as yet unknown. It was at almost exactly ten p.m. and the first of two official vehicles made it a point of stopping on a curve at the main road with his lights pointed directly at me, just as I was exiting (somewhat awkardly, half-dressed and half-awake) to pee.

Continue reading "Ranger Shooting in Grand County, Utah" »

January 13, 2011

Target: Sarah Palin

As a lefty independent I was once a fan of Sarah Palin. Her opposition to oil corruption in nearby Alaska - especially in opposition to the old school machine boy Senator Stevens impressed, as did her appointment by John McCain.

Even recently I'd give her props for the above, but I can no longer do so.

Continue reading "Target: Sarah Palin" »

February 1, 2011

Economic **Un** Pundit

I'm going to make a positive economic forecast.

If you've been a regular reader of this modest blog you'll have noticed a strong economic awareness and context for pretty much everything I do - including I believe foreshadowing the 2008 crisis not long after I started this endeavor.

No numbers on this, just my own particular call.

However, the fundamental problems remain and even a modest recovery will not address the fundamental "failures' of corporate America. The question is not the ability of these organizations to revitalize America, but of Americans to do as they always have before.

February 8, 2011

Is Citizenship an Intellectual Property Right?

Having lived in Washington State for the past 25 years I've witnessed, from a distance, the emerging field of intellectual property rights law. (Curiously, this was coincident with the emergence of family law and the rise of women in the profession of legal practice.)

One particular critique I have of legal practice in this State is that the profession itself has taken control over the constitutional property rights of its citizenry, providing them and withholding them as it sees fit.

Continue reading "Is Citizenship an Intellectual Property Right?" »

'Socialism', Law and the "Span of Economic Control"

Do the public own the practice of the law or do they own us, our jobs, our families, and our individual souls? 'Span of Control'; analyzing who really controls what is a good tool to analyze this.

It is a rather curious fact that 'Law and Order' Republicans rely so much on court records to determine wages, all the more so in this intellectual information age. Is this socialism?

Continue reading "'Socialism', Law and the "Span of Economic Control"" »

February 17, 2011

A Few More Thoughts about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

In a recent post analyzing some of the curious sexual politics behind the recent repeal of Ronald Reagan's policy of homosexual discrimination I touched on the desirability of avoiding all sexual politics in every workplace. Doing this would actually be the outcome of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' if it were literally enforced, and not merely a media spun euphemism for discrimination also attributed to Bill Clinton.

Consider, if you will, the sexual politics of those Clinton years - where the right wing disrupted the government and nearly overthrew it with nothing more than gossip about consensual sex - under the leadership of Southern History Professor Newt Gingrich as a newly anointed Speaker of the House.l

Continue reading "A Few More Thoughts about 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" »

February 22, 2011

Alaskan Way Viaduct
-Before the Growth Management Hearings Board of Washington State

Below the jump is a 'Petition For Review (PFR) to the Growth Management Hearings Board concerning the ramifications and processes of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The jurisdiction of this PFR extends the envelope of practice before the board, consistent with the law and appropriate to the circumstances. These circumstances include the alleged victimization of the petitioner by King County, its Courts and officers (public and private) and the State of Washington as an inappropriate growth management practice. As such, State Courts massive jurisdictional problems over the matters at hand.

Please note that petitioners academic, civic, and professional experience in these subjects is substantial, likely in a preponderance of measures exceeding that of Board members in depth and seniority. Board members Paegler and Earling have direct familiarity with this history and petitioner in fact ‘trained’ them in some regards during the professional emergence of Growth Management.

Lastly please note that there are substantive and procedural matters regarding this case that must remain confidential to the Board and Respondents.

Continue reading "Alaskan Way Viaduct
-Before the Growth Management Hearings Board of Washington State" »

March 7, 2011

Memo to King County Superior Court (Seattle) re: Prosecutor Dan Satterberg

Here's the memo:

Download file

Besides the Judges of the Seattle Superior Court, listed below the jump, concurrent conformed copies were delivered to the Office of the King County Executive, the Seattle City Attorney, U.S. District Court, Seattle, and members of the King County Council.

Continue reading "Memo to King County Superior Court (Seattle) re: Prosecutor Dan Satterberg" »

April 7, 2011

The Law and Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct

The replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is turning out to be as much a legacy project for its legal precedents as it is for whatever civic edifice rises in its place - major issues so far include the State's ability to ignore environmental law before issuing contracts and contrary to public vote and the separate 'lead' authority of the Council and Mayor in that context.

This Seattle Times article concerns a third player rising to 'lead' status - the Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes, who has now filed suit on behalf of the City without explicit authorization from either the Mayor or the Council.


Continue reading "The Law and Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct" »

April 17, 2011

An Open Letter to Interim Hampshire College President Marlene Gerber Fried and Board of Trustees Chair Sigmund Roos

25 years ago today marks the closed circuit tv suicide of Andrew Hermann, protesting the overly aggressive political correctness that was somehow also supposed to bring the school back to the mainstream of the Reagan era - as perhaps best documented in Richard Rushfield's book 'Don't Follow me I'm Lost'.

But is attacking young white males on the pretext of battling 'patriarchy' really politically correct feminism? Or is it really spoiled rotten white women providing scapegoats to the real crimes of old, white male abusers?

Continue reading "An Open Letter to Interim Hampshire College President Marlene Gerber Fried and Board of Trustees Chair Sigmund Roos" »

June 15, 2011

Commission on Judicial Conduct Complaint against Pierce District Judge Jack Nevin

I've had four 'anti-harassment' restraining orders placed against me, the first two by State of Washington employees retaliating against fully lawful and 'respectful' accountability complaints. The first of these was in 1989, no long after the first of these laws were passed.

Below the jump is my response to the last of these, in 2010, a complaint filed with the Commission on Judicial Conduct another such lawless retaliatory accusation coordinated by the Cascade Land Conservancy.

The biggest point of law is the inappropriateness of assigning 'malicious intent' via a civil process, by common law precedent a very difficult thing to do and made too easy through these otherwise appropriate legal reforms. Applying these statutes to constitutionally protected free speech is of course statutorily exempted and the practice of ignoring such law shameful, conspiratorial, extortionary, and criminal.

Most evil in these practices is the way they have been used to take control of land use and transportation planning, and, increasingly, private business via these abusive practices. Many of these practices have arisen in the social service legal ranks, most notably the large number of Attorneys hired by current Governor Christine Gregoire during her tenure as Attorney General. There is an evident, and unfortunate, legal practice of treating some as second class 'trash' before the law in unwritten practice that is neither criminal nor civil in nature. It is the case that many social service clients have been inappropriately subject to these stigma, and worse. But reinventing the cycle of abuse for political and financial control is a whole level of predatory behavior that exceeds that of even a level 3 sexual predator.

There is precedent for standing against this politically convenient abuse, the Duke LaCrosse Player case as handled by the Prosecutor Michael NiFong.

But the situation in Washington State is much worse. It appears, in fact, that this technique has been politically successful, and has also made major inroads into many larger corporate businesses in the state, not just academia, government, and non-profits.

It is sadly ironic and illustrative that many so-called feminists have become 'hate whores' for the man allowing their once righteous concerns to be misdirected and manipulated unto the next generation of younger white males.

Continue reading "Commission on Judicial Conduct Complaint against Pierce District Judge Jack Nevin" »

June 30, 2011

Washington State Needs Brian Sonntag

"If you speak the truth, have one foot in the stirrup"

(Curiously this quote is claimed by a variety of cultures, including Romania, Ireland, Arabic, Turkish, and Armenian - all making the first page of a Google Search, plus also John Wayne!)

Brian Sonntag, the Washington State elected Auditor, fiscally responsible Democrat, and open government advocate has previously announced he will announce his decision to run for Governor by July 4th, this weekend. Already running and evidently anointed by their respective parties are Democratic Congressman Jay Inslee and Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna.

Inslee's liberal party insider support makes Brian Sonntag's potential candidacy, to some degree, a de facto third party effort, no doubt a factor in that decision he is now finalizing. The importance of this decision, at this time, could not be undervalued - America is on the brink of a double dip depression that will challenge the future of not just Washington State, but the Country as a whole. Washington has the opportunity to lead this Country in responding this crisis at the risk of 'reinventing' the FAILED power dynamics that have brought us to where we are now.

Continue reading "Washington State Needs Brian Sonntag" »

September 4, 2011

How 'Healthy' is the legal Profession?

I've recently started reading the Columbian editorial page - at least on subjects that hit my google alerts. Here is a great one, on the recent battle between Gregoire and McKenna on the subject of health insurance

Consider also recent legal opinions which give the Seattle Legislative Body the ability to override Executive order AND avoid accountability to the fiscal accountability requirements of the STATE legislative body.

Me thinks Mr. McKenna has a few more things to accomplish as AG regarding the sorry state of health Ms. Gregoire left the profession in, before he asks us for a promotion..

September 8, 2011

Law and Philosophy #1

When several villages are united in a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of a good life. And, therefore, if the earlier forms of society are natural, so is the state, for it is the end of them, and the completed nature is the end result of them. For what each thing is when fully developed, we call its nature, whether we are speaking of man, a horse, or a family. Besides, the final cause and end of a thing is the best and to be self-sufficing is the end and the best.

Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal.

- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) The Politics, Book 1

September 27, 2011

Tooley v. Cascade Land Conservancy, et seq

Click through for the complaint, filed in Pierce Superior Court, September 13.

Continue reading "Tooley v. Cascade Land Conservancy, et seq" »

Demand for the Resignation of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire

Are you capable of stopping yourself Governor Gregoire? That is, of course, self-governance in the personal, and corporate, sense.

Gregoire%20Resign0001.jpg

(Click image to see full size)

November 28, 2011

Utah and the Feds

Never mind Mitt Romney's strong bid for the Republican party's nomination to be the next U.S. President, but do consider these three court cases between Utah and the Federal Government.

Perhaps symbolically most important is a case regarding public access to Federal Lands - of which there is an awful lot in Utah. I've touched on this issue in another area of the State, but not far away.

With greater business implications, but also symbolically revealing of corporate business practices in America today, consider the Utah based anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft, for the benefit of the Utah based Novell, once the leader in word processing (Word Perfect) and computer networking.

Lastly, there is a Federal action against Utah for its current immigration law.

As you might recall, I'm having my own battle with the Federal Government over the abusive handling of a camping ticket in SW Colorado, less than an hours drive from that State, and perhaps the heart of the Four Corners region.

Occupy Access to America's Public Resources and PROSECUTE THOSE THAT TRASH OR PREVENT THEIR USE!

December 19, 2011

UPDATE: Alaskan Way Viaduct Growth Management Act Challenge

My somewhat Quixotic battle against the Gregoire power machine continues with my very symbolic Growth Management Act challenge of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project.

Two key issues which go to the edge of the Growth Management Hearing Board's authority concern the financial aspects of the Comprehensive planning. RCW 36.70a.120 concerns internal financial requirements. Perhaps even more important for the future of Growth Management is the regional coordination requirements, including fair financial dealings, as in RCW 36.70.100.

As you will recall, the State Legislature required the City of Seattle to cover any cost overruns. Numerous legal authorities have said this is unenforceable, including Rob McKenna and former King County Prosecutor Sally Bagshaw who infamously stated that "virtually every Attorney in Seattle" concurred. I argue, Pro Se, the contrary, extending the Growth Management Act to the full (and appropriate) limits of its authority.

Here's the original petition:

There were some interim pleadings, refining issues and the like that I believe are safe to omit. The Central Puget Sound GMHB's final response was in a PDF:

Download PDF File

Follow the jump to see my response, a 'MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION'.

Continue reading "UPDATE: Alaskan Way Viaduct Growth Management Act Challenge" »

December 20, 2011

A Small Political Observation

How is Ron Paul doing in Iowa, whose caucuses are scheduled for January 3rd, immediately after the upcoming holiday season? It looks like Paul may well be nudging out both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney by a whisker.

Russia Today, an increasingly relevant source of global news claims Paul is winning, citing a study from Public Policy Polling, an organization I know nothing about.

I am aware that Glenn Beck has been pumping Newt Gingrich as of late, and this would explain Newt's recent surprise bump in the polls, a bump that now may be deflating.

December 29, 2011

Is Ron Paul anti-gay?

Now leading the Republican pack in Iowa Ron Paul has become the focus of media scrutiny, most of which is focused on whether his anti-government approach equates to racism. Alex Jones summarizes these efforts nicely, and I, personally, am reminded of the Gingrich attacks against Bill Clinton in the 1990's.

As always attempting to stay one step ahead of the media machine Motley Tools asks, is Ron Paul anti-gay?

For the full story on this Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat) moment in the movie Bruno, see the full story here.

Seriously, I do believe this is an important subject for debate - and personally, I do believe that we need government involved in establishing basic protections such as in 'civil unions' - for everyone. Marriage should go further than these basic protections, but that is up to the couple themselves, and any church they choose, or choose not, to associate with...

Occupy Eric Holder, #3

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Occupy Portland is establishing itself as one of the smartest, and effective, mass 'occupy' movements - take note of their protest strategy, as many others have done, including with over 15,000 shares on FaceBook. The basic idea here is not one of resistance, but of a fluid response - appropriate for this rain soaked pinnacle of Pacific Northwest ecological urbanism.

And this fluid 'Occupy' response is now going exactly where it should, to the Courts.

After all, we are constitutionally guaranteed recourse against our government, no?

May 4, 2012

Dan Savage - The American Marquis De Sade?

June 29, 2012

All Roads Lead to Healthcare: John Roberts and Obamacare...
'Socialism', Business risk, and the Rightful Role of Legal Practice

There are those that are saying Chief Justice John Roberts decision was really a duplicitous conservative strategy - defeating the liberal legal commerce clause argument and galvanizing political support in opposition to Obama, but I disagree.

Continue reading "All Roads Lead to Healthcare: John Roberts and Obamacare...
'Socialism', Business risk, and the Rightful Role of Legal Practice" »

August 17, 2012

Back to School with Julian Assange
An Open Letter to Swedish Studies Professor Christine Ingebritsen

In a curious case the husband of University of Washington Swedish Studies Christine Ingebritsen prosecuted me, in 1994, in a case of striking political similarity to that of the current Julian Assange controversy. I was an employee of the same County at the time as the Prosecutor, involved, through my studies as a graduate student at the UW, in the distribution of government records as part of a neighborhood education effort.

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Former Prosecutor Jim Rogers, now a King County Superior Court Judge (Seattle, Washington) and his wife, UW Jackson School Professor of Swedish Studies Christine Ingebritsen.

After many years of consideration, I've corresponded with Professor Ingebritsen about this conspiracy of abusive sexual politics, of which she is, possibly, an unwitting party. The letter is after the jump.

Continue reading "Back to School with Julian Assange
An Open Letter to Swedish Studies Professor Christine Ingebritsen" »

August 29, 2012

Secrets of Our Republican Corporate Masters, Revealed

The leadership 'strategy' of the Republican corporate elite is much simpler than you might imagine, simply put all they do is send their Democratic abusers on anyone, including independents like moi, who does not toe their political line.

In such a case, you have two choices - either hate the Democrats and start toeing the Republican Party line OR become one of their abused Democratic Pit Bulls. Doing otherwise only guarantees you a spot in America's corporate concentration camp, the streets of our big cities.

The cycle of abuse, racial and sexual, is a dangerous thing and our Corporate masters have pandered to the degenerate in order to divide and conquer. Though they think they are building a military industrial **empire**, they are, in fact, nothing but "Uber-Perverts" and the font of evil in today's modern world. Not just failures, but f***ing failures.

Christian religion is based on Jewish attempts to fulfill an ancient prophesy, that a 'Son of David' would defeat the Roman Empire. It is time for the Christians to stop being hypocritical spinners and get that job done. FWIW, as far as I'm concerned, I'd be okay with crucifying the lot of them, from 'Herrod' on down. And it shouldn't be all that hard - though our military is by far the toughest in the world the domestic arm of the machine is really nothing but pitiful and disgusting.

September 6, 2012

The Role of Wildlife in Liberal Education

Aldo Leopold is known as a father of conservation and the then emerging field of ecology. His most famous work is 'Sand County Almanac' where he more fully articulates the principles below.

It was written in 1942, upon the end of the great depression and the cusp of World War II, not to mention the dustbowl land destroying years at the peak of Mr. Leopold's development.

Continue reading "The Role of Wildlife in Liberal Education" »

October 20, 2012

The Legend of Billy Moser and the Supreme Dicks

The Supreme Dicks were an infamous grunge era band originating at Hampshire College in the early 1980's. I was the band's first, self-appointed, 'business manager' which didn't mean a whole lot, save for one very epic event. If I recall correctly I was also the responsible individual starting a habit of calling the private campus security force and complaining about our own events, as a form of 'guerrilla' theater.

Below the jump is an excerpt from the Richard Rushfield book, 'Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost' concerning related events. The story, legend, is true, though the name, 'Billy Moser', is not. This excerpt starts right after Rushfield describes the security habit.

Continue reading "The Legend of Billy Moser and the Supreme Dicks" »

November 24, 2012

A Song for the Times

Or, as Bob Dylan would say, "The Times they are a-Changing..."

January 10, 2013

The Rapidly Degenerating Mental Health of Partisan Washington, D.C.

NPR recently reported that Congress, consisting specifically of the Senate and House of Representatives, has an approval rating of 9%, down, as I recall, from 11% - still ahead of root canals and pedophilia, but not a whole lot less.

Though our mass media has filled our minds with divisive partisan memes, the fact is that these hate filled, control freak, ravings are mentally sociopathic. The plurality of Americans is, to some degree, aware of this, but in our world controlled by a legal and corporate conspiracy there is, at this time, no rational recourse. Witness, if you will, the irrational recourse of random gun violence in America.

Continue reading "The Rapidly Degenerating Mental Health of Partisan Washington, D.C." »

Public Notice to Washington Governor-Elect Jay Inslee
and his Transition Committee

Civil rights of individuals are essential, no one will deny this; personally, I argue that they are very similar to one's sexual integrity - the violation of either civil or sexual rights, rape, are very comparable malicious acts.

Defending civil rights is a noble activity, but just like with sexual violence the victims of civil rights violations run a very high risk of becoming offenders themselves later in life.

This is what has happened in Washington State - to, I believe, the entire corporate body of the State itself, not to mention an increasing number of it's private members - corporate and individual.

Partisan politics, the legal profession, and leading members of the corporate leadership community, public and private, are responsible for this, in the final analysis. First among these are the former Attorney Generals Republican Rob McKenna and Democrat Christine Gregoire (a law school cohort of Ted Bundy) - not to mention the lawyer controlled Jack Abramoff conspiring Corporation, Microsoft and it's chief Counsel, Brad Smith - curiously selected by Washington D.C. refugee Jay Inslee to head his transition effort.

Continue reading "Public Notice to Washington Governor-Elect Jay Inslee
and his Transition Committee" »

March 13, 2013

Press Release Concerning my 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Case

As some of you may recall I currently have a self-represented appeal of a camping ticket I received in SW Colorado, during June of 2010. That case is now before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. I've recently put out a Press Release, click through for the text.

UPDATE: A decision was issued March 20, unfavorable - the 10th Circuit continuing to refuse to answer to my arguments, nor to take responsibility for the consequences of the lower court's failure. Here's the Court's decision: 10th Circuit Decision on Camping Ticket

Continue reading "Press Release Concerning my 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Case" »

March 26, 2013

THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR
A US 'Counter-Insurgency' against the American People?
A Crazy Allegation, Which Just Might be Right

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Like war in the Middle East, southern border violence has permeated the otherwise satiated and obese American mind. We have been presented a consistent set of perspectives, but is it really the truth?

Among the educated and still thinking citizenry criticism of American actions in the Middle East is well known, such as the moral hypocrisy of the state of Israel. Once the victims of a genocidal holocaust Israel has become the perpetrators of an identical atrocity against the Palestinian people.

In a recently released video the BBC's Arabic Desk, in conjunction with the Guardian website, details the counter-insurgency tactics of the US in Iraq. BBC and the Guardian allege a divide and conquer effort utilizing Shia militias to battle Sunni resistors, utilizing specialized strategies and personnel developed in El Salvador and Vietnam, including the infamous 'Death Squads'

My question for you: Is the American Military, and whomever actually controls it, is engaging in an ongoing relationship with the Drug Cartels of Mexico creating a holocaust zone of genocidal death on both sides of the US border?

Continue reading "THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR
A US 'Counter-Insurgency' against the American People?
A Crazy Allegation, Which Just Might be Right" »

March 27, 2013

Aztec Arches
The Eight Trails of Octopus Arch, Trail #1

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This is a work in progress in the Aztec Arches area of northern New Mexico, just south of Durango, Colorado. My Indian Caves trail is the first of these. Both of these trails are of more regional interest as opposed to the internationally known spans of Natural Bridges or Arches national monuments.

These trails do make an important point about BLM land use which appears ignorant of the variety of quality on their public properties - all too often the property is managed exclusively for resource extraction or over-protective wilderness, when much of their property would be managed with a mix of these goals, like the National Wild, Scenic, and Recreational river program.

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Follow the jump for a description and a few more pictures.

Continue reading "Aztec Arches
The Eight Trails of Octopus Arch, Trail #1" »

April 22, 2013

ON THE ROAD WEATHER REPORT: Moab, Utah

Breaking from a week plus of frequent rain, a glorious sunset over the slick-rock, transitioning to a waxing crescent moon peeking silver through sublime cumulus over glimmering pale Navajo sandstone.

Local conditions at the Behind the Rocks area just south of Moab: predominately motorized use, though mountain bikers and hikers are still present. Thanks to the addition of designated campsites on Utah State land chalk this area as a victory for the off-road crowd, but one also still suitable for non-motorized use, especially mid-week or off-peak. Some divisive 'redneck' attitudes were present among these users, but no worse than I've witnessed from mountain bikers, as of late. Sub-surface passive aggressiveness present, but was either challenge-able through conversation and/or other members of the party.

In the growing, popular Moab this is an area to focus more intensive use upon - improving some of the main access roads which would make hiking in the adjoining areas easier, likely also is additional space for more motorcycle/ATV/Jeep Trails. All in all has the potential to be a first class example of multiple use management.

Also, the near term forecast for wildflowers is excellent.

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A Tip of the Hat to Timothy DeChristopher

Congratulations to Utah Gas Lease activist Timothy DeChristopher on his release from Federal Prison, and on the documentary about the Story - including the jury precluded facts that the sale was in fact illegal AND that supporters of his actually came up with the money to fulfill the financial obligation. Below is the Amy Goodman interview on Democracy Now.

May 6, 2013

Bill Gates, On Education

TED, and PBS, have chosen Bill Gates as their lead speaker in the premiere of the video broadcast version of the iconic Technology, Education, and Design lecture series.

Having Bill Gates talk about education is like having Ted Bundy talk about women's rights, the prognosticators only revealing the core of their evil. Education for Bill Gates is like his company, not meant to empower creative individuals but to build monoliths of bureaucratic automatons.

Continue reading "Bill Gates, On Education" »

December 25, 2013

December 25th, 2013

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I’ve just returned from a sunny Christmas Day hike, out my backdoor, in the foothills of the south slope of the San Juan Mountains.. These days a hike of mine is not a very long event, but, thankfully there is plenty of magic within that range, not to mention plenty more backcountry to inspire meditations upon possible, tempting, future routes.

Today I found an awesome view/meditation spot, in the cliffs exactly above the abode where I have been living for six months. At the top, there are several ledges about seat height stepping back from the main cliff, with several ‘bonsai’ type pines extending out over the edge. The only difference between these trees and an ‘authentic’ Bonsai is that these are full size, fully ‘real’, if you will. In any case, a spot I will return to – at least until someone rolls down one of those ledge rocks unto my bedroom!

Continue reading "December 25th, 2013" »

January 23, 2014

2014 SuperBOWL Broadcast Pronounciation Guide

The coincidence of Seattle and Denver appearing against each other on the 'kickoff' of historic Marijuana legalization in both of their respective home States has led to many a comment in today's social media universe. Such comments, tongue in cheek among friends, are fun - even if they are at the level of a Cheech and Chong bit - but not appropriate for broadcast TV and Radio.

Yet, still, the historical significance of this coincidence is the top piece of 'color' commentary for the entire mega-event.

As such, a suggestion - place an emphasis on the word 'BOWL' (as in smoke a bowl....) to whatever degree, style, and context you wish. Those in the know will catch your nuance, and those who might be offended will most likely miss the reference.

Here's to a great event, great coverage, and a great 2014!

January 31, 2014

The Curiouser Case of Amanda Knox

The infamous Washington State native, University of Washington student, Amanda Knox is in the news once again regarding the brutal murder of her BRITISH roommate Meredith Kercher., in Italy.

With the overturning of her appeal she now stands convicted of Murder, but as she has remained outside of Italy she is still free. This may well have been negotiated in advance, we shall see if Italy attempts to extradite her.

It is truly amazing how much of the legal pull in Seattle was used to free her defending the reputation of the premier State school - the same school that also produced Ted Bundy. Curiously, this is not the only international play by local law, the other was the Martin Pang Arson/Fireman Death case which involved an extradition in violation of existing agreements.

This unprecedented global legal presence was built upon the business transactions of the Boeing Corporation with just about every global government, a presence that remains even after the departure of Boeing Corporate for Chicago. These days the control of that presence lies first in the hands of Microsoft, and their legal Counsel -K&L Gates (Gates, Senior), a firm which most curiously, has a proclivity for female character assassination.

Curiouser and curiouser.

June 24, 2014

John Kerry's 'Man Up' Opportunity

John Kerry should seize the day and 'Man Up' himself while in Iraq.

History has shown that the DC/Corporate establishment fought a bully war in that Country composed of out of control Vietnam era loser thugs utilizing Abu Ghraib sexual harassment. Although Secretary of State John Kerry's boss, Barack Obama, did end that war he also took those same techniques to the 'bi-partisan' management of America.

Post 2008 the 'too big to fail' thugs have alternately called the average, honest American, either a hippie commie terrorist or a woman hating raping pervert.

Although you may well believe that the First Amendment right to discuss our government with accurate information is a crime and that Julian Assange is a rapist and Edward Snowden a traitor you are, illustratively, completely misguided.

Mr. Kerry, the law is the law and it is you who should 'Man Up' by spending your days in Baghdad in the yuppie corporate Auschwitz of modern day urban homeless. Additionally you should have the decency to make a daily visit to the entrance of Abu Ghraib and publicly 'do' yourself.

You can handle that, can't you? Or do you hold yourself above your own laws?

October 28, 2014

Four Points on Abortion

1. Abortion is a choice.

2. Choosing an abortion might be a bad choice and anyone is free to state that opinion.

3. It is NEVER a bad choice to choose to have a child.

4. It is ALWAYS a bad choice to harass others who disagree with you and there is nothing worse than those who politically pander to the haters. We should ABORT these players.

November 3, 2014

For the Racists - The Historical Definition of the 50% Obama FAILURE

President Barack Obama, like every person and every corporate person/government hybrid was not 'too big to fail'. Like all of Washington D.C. and its lobbyist represented corporate collaborators he, at best, did in fact fail.

Still, as the first partially black president he has much to be proud of, even if he did reduce the civil rights of his constituency and the world more so than he advanced those of african descent.

Although many who will help to realize this failure are quite racist the ironic fact is that Obama's failures do not stem from his black half, they come from his white half. Frankly, and rhetorically, his failure comes from his white female 'Hilary' half.

November 4, 2014

A crack in the wall of the 'Uber DV' of post 2008 American Policing

Having been motivated to follow the recent coverage of the La Plata County Sheriff race I am surprised at the lack of outrage of the threatening behavior of current Sheriff Duke Schirard in his efforts to combat Domestic Violence allegations. These threats are to our Republic’s institutions as domestic violence is to a family.

Personally, I believe this abusive governmental authority, under color of State Law, to be the very root of the cycle of abuse – abuse whose very worst example is the crucifixion of Jesus Christ under Judeo-Roman law two millennia ago. Call it ‘uber DV’, if you will.

Continue reading "A crack in the wall of the 'Uber DV' of post 2008 American Policing" »

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